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District 304 Ready to Re-Set Grade-School Boundaries

Some students likely will have to change schools. Forums are coming up in February.

If you've got kids enrolled in Williamsburg, Fabyan, Western Avenue or Mill Creek elementary schools, there's a chance they might be attending a different school next year.

The Geneva District 304 Board of Education on Monday night announced a plan for reorganizing elementary school boundaries to better balance the enrollment numbers at four of the six Geneva grade schools.

A task force recommended leaving Harrison Street School and Heartland Elementary School boundaries unchanged.

"Initial findings are that Harrison and Heartland are in the ballpark they need to be," District 304 Superintendent Kent Mutchler said.

A maximum of about 135 students would be affected by boundary changes proposed by a task force comprised of Mutchler and School Board members Matt Henry and Mary Stith.

The School Board presented a map Monday night showing the present boundaries and possible changes. A screen shot of that map is attached to this article, and shows various neighborhoods identified by number and letter.

According to the initial plan, 25 to 65 students would move from Williamsburg Elementary to Western Avenue School from Area 20 and Area 25. (Please see attached map.)

About 30 to 70 students from Area 8A on the map would move from Mill Creek Elementary to Fabyan Elementary.

Those numbers and boundary proposals could change as a result of four public forums slated in February at each of the four elementary schools. All four forums are set for 7 p.m. on the following dates and at these locations:

  • Wednesday, Feb. 6, at Fabyan Elementary School
  • Tuesday, Feb. 12, at Western Avenue School
  • Thursday, Feb. 14, at Mill Creek Elementary School
  • Wednesday, Feb. 20, at Williamsburg Elementary School

"We will work to refine the possible adjustments as we move through those forums," Mutchler said.

The boundary changes first came up in late May, when parents at Mill Creek Elementary School expressed concerns about the increased kindergarten class sizes. It later came to light that Williamsburg and Fabyan Elementary first-graders were experiencing a similar enrollment bubble.

The board voted unanimously to hire two teachers, one each for Mill Creek and Williamsburg, as well as two additional teacher assistants, at a total cost of around $64,300 for the school year.

That short-term solution was augmented by the long-term decision to re-set the elementary school boundaries.

"We wanted to even out the sections and try to balance the enrollment," School Board President Mark Grosso said Tuesday.

Mutchler said the hope was that new boundaries would last three to five years before the process has to be repeated.

 

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J.O. January 30, 2013 at 06:24 PM
Is this the current map or the proposed map?
Stacey K. January 31, 2013 at 01:18 AM
Looks like the current map and in the article it states which sections would move to different schools.

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