South Barrington parents upset about proposed middle school boundary shift
Many parents at Barbara B. Rose Elementary School in South Barrington are concerned about a possible change in where their children move on to attend sixth through eighth grade.
Barrington Area Unit District 220 has three options that would alter the student attendance boundary for middle school in South Barrington.
Under the tentative plan, a section of South Barrington would attend Barrington Middle School-Station Campus on Eastern Avenue instead of the Prairie Campus on Dundee Road in the village. District 220 officials said the move would create a more balanced enrollment at the schools.
One option would shift students in The Woods from Prairie to Station. The other two possibilities are for the Algonquin Road area and another section of town with Mundhank Road and Bridlewood Trail.
Buses crossing railroad tracks to reach Station from South Barrington, longer rides for children and difficulty for parents navigating traffic congestion to the edge of downtown Barrington if they need to drive students to Station were among the concerns voiced at a meeting on the issue Monday night at Rose Elementary. They also said the District 220 school board does not have enough information to make a decision for 2019-20.
About 80 parents, children and other residents attended the session.
Parent Bijal Chaturvedi, who lives in The Woods subdivision near The Arboretum of South Barrington, said no students from the village should be sent to Station. Some children from South Barrington currently are enrolled at Station.
"The present (school) boundaries in South Barrington, right in the middle of our community, is divided up to go to Station," Chaturvedi said. "Those kids are pulled apart from their neighbors, their community, their friends."
District 220 officials said while students fed from the seven other elementary buildings generally are split between Station and Prairie, such is not the case with Rose. They said the idea of the proposed middle school boundary change for the Rose students is to balance the enrollments at Station and Prairie.
If no boundary adjustments are made, district projections show Prairie would educate 69 sixth-graders from Rose for the 2019-20 academic season. Station would have 17 sixth-graders from Rose.
District 220 Superintendent Brian Harris stressed Monday night's session was meant to gather community feedback on the issue. Harris said any change should be made by the end of October so the South Barrington fifth-grade students know where they will attend middle school in 2019-20.
"Just so everybody's clear, this decision has not been made," Harris said.
District 220 board President Brian Battle said officials wanted similar academic profiles when Prairie joined Station as the second middle school in the early 1990s. Some in the crowd began yelling questions and making statements as Battle tried to address the idea of placing more South Barrington children at Station.