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D-47 OKs boundary changes

CRYSTAL LAKE – Nearly 50 children in District 47 will attend new schools next year under a boundary change approved Monday.

School board members unanimously approved the shift, designed to ease a space crunch at Canterbury Elementary School.

There will be 38 students in what Superintendent Donn Mendoza called the “Presidential Section” off Randall and Miller roads in Lake in the Hills who will attend Indian Prairie School next year.

In an apartment complex off Virginia Road and Route 14, 11 students will attend Coventry Elementary.

A recent study by district administration found that there is overcrowding at Canterbury, prompting the district to redraw the boundaries. The district as a whole has reported declining enrollment.

“The trend at Canterbury and Coventry is not consistent with what’s happening at the district level,” the superintendent said. “It’s been very public that we’ve got declining enrollment [at other district schools].”

But, what Mendoza referred to as “usable space” takes into account more than just enrollment figures. Some classrooms are reserved for computer labs, music and art rooms, while others are owned by the Special Education District of McHenry County. Furthermore, district guidelines cap class sizes at 25 children in kindergarten through second grade, and 28 students in grades three through five.

Facing its own space concerns, Coventry School earlier this year had several classrooms freed up when the district made an unrelated decision to move special-needs students to Glacier Ridge.

“We would have done that outside of any boundary change,” Mendoza said.

Families with fifth-grade students will have the option to be “grandfathered in” and stay at their current school, but transportation would not be provided. The same applies for siblings of those fifth-graders, but only for one year.

Nine of the 49 children affected by the change are enrolled in the district’s dual-language program, and can choose to stay at their current schools with district-provided transportation.

The decision came on the heels of a public hearing Thursday night in which no members of the public or parents attended.

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