Algonquin-based School District 300 to vote on Carpentersville boundary change

ALGONQUIN – The Community Unit School District 300 Board on Tuesday will vote whether to go forward with the more popular of two options to reconfigure its Carpentersville-area middle and elementary schools.

The District 300 administration and staff have been working through options to make changes to the attendance boundaries for the Carpentersville-area schools. Officials have said this will help make better use of space and give middle school students across the district an equal experience.

After two options were introduced to board members at a September meeting and town hall meetings were held for parents, community surveys were conducted in early October. Of the 524 responses, 373 people favored option one, 140 favored option two and 11 people had no preference.

In line with the community's preference, the administration at the most recent board meeting recommended option one for approval. A formal vote will be taken Tuesday at the board's next meeting.

"It was initially very divided," Superintendent Fred Heid said.

Some, he added, were really positive about the second option, which would have converted Meadowdale into a pre-kindergarten and kindergarten center, Carpentersville Middle School into a sixth- through eighth-grade school, and Lakewood into a first- through fifth-grade school.

Heid said the idea of a pre-K and kindergarten center was somewhat well received, but there were some logistical concerns from parents.

"Some voiced concerns, saying that would place [their] children at multiple schools, and that would make it difficult to do drop-offs and pick-ups," Heid said. "I think we were trying to be responsive to that as well."

Instead, the recommended option would make Parkview, Meadowdale, Golfview, Perry and Lakewood pre-K through fifth-grade schools; Lakewood currently serves fifth- and sixth-graders.

Carpentersville Middle School would serve sixth- through eighth-graders, adding sixth-graders from Lakewood and aligning with the district's overall middle school structure.

In addition, Parkview, Meadowdale, Golfview and Perry would add fifth-grade students who no longer would attend Lakewood.

These changes would lower the student population at all the kindergarten through fifth-grade schools, making more space for ancillary services and potential growth, according to district documents. Staffing levels would not be affected.

If Tuesday's vote is favorable, the district will begin communicating with parents in English and Spanish, Heid said.

"We'd send out several reminders [and] schedule new town hall meetings so they can come meet their new administrators and staff," he said.

If the board votes against the recommendation, Director of Public Relations and Communications Anthony McGinn said the district will go back and look at other options.

Of the total number of students at the five schools involved in the potential changes, about 500 students, or 20 percent, would be affected, Heid said.

From a staffing standpoint, the district also would have to start fielding transfer requests from employees who wanted to switch schools or grade levels.

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