No schools to be closed as part of final District 204 boundary committee plans

  • A large crowd attended the final Indian Prairie Unit District 204 boundary committee meeting Wednesday at Still Middle School in Aurora.

      A large crowd attended the final Indian Prairie Unit District 204 boundary committee meeting Wednesday at Still Middle School in Aurora. Kevin Schmit | Staff Photographer

  • Indian Prairie Unit District 204 Superintendent Adrian Talley addresses attendees at the district's final boundary committee meeting Wednesday at Still Middle School in Aurora.

      Indian Prairie Unit District 204 Superintendent Adrian Talley addresses attendees at the district's final boundary committee meeting Wednesday at Still Middle School in Aurora. Kevin Schmit | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 12/9/2021 11:49 AM

A heavy sigh of relief emerged from parents at the final Indian Prairie Unit District 204 boundary committee meeting when it was revealed neither of the two proposed concept plans calls for closing any schools.

A large contingent of parents from Clow and Graham elementary schools attended Wednesday's meeting at Still Middle School in Aurora in a continued sign of protest against Concept Plan 1, which previously indicated the closing of both schools.

 

But after receiving weeks of feedback, district officials announced all buildings will remain open in Concept Plan 1 and Concept Plan 3. Another concept plan was eliminated earlier in the process, which included eight boundary committee meetings that began in July.

Another change announced Wednesday is that the Welch Elementary School community will remain intact and feed into Neuqua Valley High School. Previous versions of the concept plans showed parts of the Welch community shifting to Waubonsie Valley High School.

The boundary committee's recommendations will be presented to the District 204 school board on Dec. 20. At its Jan. 24 meeting, the board plans to vote to implement one of the plans, which could take effect in the 2022-23 school year.

The process of redrawing district boundaries began in April when RSP and Associates developed an enrollment study that showed district enrollment is expected to drop by 1,000 students by 2025-26. Because of anticipated overcrowded and underutilized schools in the next several years, the district decided to undertake its first major redrawing of boundaries since Metea Valley High School opened in 2009.

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"This has been a journey," said District 204 Superintendent Adrian Talley, "and it's been a journey of twists and turns, dips and valleys, U-turns, some roadblocks and everything in between."

District 204, the state's fourth-largest school district, has more than 26,000 students at 33 schools in Aurora, Bolingbrook, Naperville and Plainfield.

At the end of Wednesday's meeting, board President Laurie Donahue thanked the 60 members of the boundary committee.

"This has gone on since July, and I know for some of you this wasn't what you anticipated it was going to be," she said. "It's been very hard and a lot of work for everyone."

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