Dist. 220 board holds off on middle school boundary change
Barrington Area Unit District 220 board members Tuesday night agreed to delay a decision on what became a controversial proposal for a change in where students from Barbara B. Rose Elementary School would move on to attend grades six through eight.
Board members said the idea of setting a new middle school boundary for the South Barrington elementary building's students would be better addressed after an expected referendum question in spring 2019 to pay for school upgrades, along with letting a new student transportation system to settle in this year.
"We're going to wait and see a little bit on how the facilities conversation plays out, with the issue of a third middle school or not," District 220 board President Brian Battle said.
Under the now-delayed plan that met stiff parent resistance, 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 attended by about 80 people at Rose Elementary last month.
With discussion about the proposed boundary change on Tuesday night's District 220 board agenda, roughly 20 Rose Elementary parents attended the meeting. Those who spoke during public comment time asked the elected officials to hold off on a decision for further study or questioned the proposal.
"I do feel that you guys have tried," Rose Elementary parent Bijal Chaturvedi told the school board, "but this is not the right time to redistrict."
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.
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.