Local

Algonquin-based School District 300 awaiting charter school's corrective plan

PINGREE GROVE – For Algonquin-based Community Unit School District 300, the new year is expected to bring a corrective action plan from a charter school it manages and has found to be noncompliant in a number of areas.

The school is expected to submit a plan to the district by Feb. 1 that addresses a number of issues, which District 300 Superintendent Fred Heid laid out last month.

The key areas of focus included special education, English language learners, response to intervention, summer kindergarten readiness camp, and preschool and finance, according to Heid’s presentation.

The concerns stem from complaints that range from parents being “coached” to modify their student’s individual education plan in order to attend the charter school to a response to the intervention process inconsistent with district and state requirements, Heid has outlined.

The school also was cited by the Illinois State Board of Education because of concerns that students were denied access to full-day kindergarten in some instances, according to the district.

Regarding finance, Heid’s report also indicates Cambridge Lakes has submitted “frequent erroneous bills” that would have resulted in over-payment, which puts a strain on staff that have to review submissions for accuracy.

Since Cambridge Lakes is considered a District 300 school despite having some level of autonomy, noncompliance could potentially expose the district to penalties, Heid said.

“The reality is the school wouldn’t be responsible,” he said. “I would be – it’s a district school.”

Opened in 2007, the charter school serves roughly 850 to 900 students in kindergarten through eighth grade, and district officials said there was a “high school component.”

A meeting was held Dec. 16, which Heid said went well. The school is expected to submit its plan outlining corrective actions.

“Once the documents are completed, I’ll bring it to the board and share the status of concerns and if they’ve been addressed, and we anticipate they will be,” he said.

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