Why are boundary changes needed?
The District completed a demographic study in Spring, 2021. The study identified several enrollment trends and challenges the District needs to address that are projected to impact enrollment over the next several years. These include:
Buildings currently, or projected to be, over capacity, primarily on the North side of the District.
Buildings currently, or projected to be, significantly underutilized, primarily on the South side of the District.
Identifying attendance areas for future development, including Fox Valley mall and other areas along the Route 59 corridor.
The last comprehensive review of District boundaries occurred with the opening of Metea Valley High School in 2007. The District has seen significant changes in development and student generation since the last comprehensive review.
When did the boundary process begin?
The boundary process began at the April 12, 2021, Board of Education (BOE) meeting. At that time RSP & Associates presented to the BOE an enrollment study which led to a discussion about over utilized and underutilized schools. This discussion was the beginning of the boundary process.
How were members of the boundary committee selected?
The community was informed about the committee formation via email and notification at the BOE meetings. More than 200 people applied to be on the committee. To ensure that each school had a representative, a bifurcated process was used to select the members of the committee. There was a random selection process of the people who applied, followed by a review to ensure that each school had a representative. If a school was not represented, district administrators worked with the school principal to find a parent to be on the committee. Additionally, we have non IPSD people on the committee to include several district partners such as the Cities, community organizations, and strategic vendors.
What is the breakdown of committee members representing each school?
Administration ensured all school communities had at least one representative on the committee, otherwise committee members were selected randomly from the volunteer list. The committee has approximately 60 members.
What is the role of the boundary committee in the boundary process?
The boundary committee is made up of district stakeholders. The committee is tasked with reviewing enrollment trends, developing boundary scenarios, hosting community forums, and recommending a plan to the Board of Education. The committee members reviewed the current boundary maps at the beginning of the process and then started to provide suggestions for improvements to the boundaries. From their suggestions, RSP & Associates generated the concepts for the next meeting. At each meeting the committee members continue to provide feedback on the concepts and make suggestions for changes to the boundaries.
Committee members are expected to bring their unique perspectives while maintaining a districtwide focus. Committee members are not expected to report back to individual schools, subdivisions, or communities. Committee members will be available at the Community Forums in November to receive feedback and discuss the concepts and process.
What is the role of RSP & Associates in the boundary process?
RSP & Associates are experts in enrollment projections and boundary work. District 204 has used them for years. As consultants, they use the data about our enrollment trends to make suggestions related to the boundaries. RSP & Associates examines data for both our district and for other districts to corroborate their population growth projections and enrollment projections. RSP & Associates is tasked with eventually providing proposals to the Board of Education upon which they will vote.
What is the role of the Board of Education in the boundary process?
The Board of Education will be presented with boundary proposals after the boundary process has concluded in December. The Board would take action on any changes at the January, 2022 meeting.
What is the difference between a concept and a proposal?
Concepts are brainstorm ideas that are in draft mode. Concepts are ideas that come from the suggestions of the committee members and are not in any final form.
Proposals are final recommendations that are given to the Board of Education for their review. Proposals will be created after the community provides input at forums that will be held in November where their feedback will be used to create the proposals.
When will options be presented to the public?
There will be three community forums in November in which the community can provide feedback on the concepts developed by RSP & Associates.
Monday, November 8 at 7 pm - Waubonsie Valley High School
Tuesday, November 9 at 7 pm - Neuqua Valley High School
Wednesday, November 10 at 7 pm - Metea Valley High School
When will any boundary changes take effect?
The Board of Education will approve the timeline for implementation of any boundary committee recommendations. The Board will receive an administration recommendation along with committee input. Implementation could occur for the 2022-2023 school year or later.
Will students, particularly seniors, be grandfathered in? (Updated 11/1/21)
Implementation could include “grandfathering” students, allowing students in their final years at a building (5th, 8th or 12th grade) to stay at their current school. Previous IPSD 204 boundary adjustments have had options to allow some students to stay at their current building, contingent on the family providing transportation. Administration will make a recommendation on grandfathering to the Board of Education when boundary proposals are presented.
No decision has been made this year about grandfathering or how it will be implemented; therefore, it is possible that if grandfathering is offered, transporation may or may not be provided pending a BOE decision.
What is an example of a STEM room that has been discussed at boundary committee meetings?
A STEM lab would allow students in a school to have an opportunity to engage in various STEM activities. It could be a place where laboratory work is done by students. If there is a STEM teacher, students would be able to go to the STEM lab for activities that may be better served in a space that is set up for experiments. Even if a STEM teacher is not in the school, a classroom teacher could use the space for science experiments.
How would a PTA room be used as discussed at boundary committee meetings?
The PTA room allows for each of our PTAs to have a space in the building to use. It is known that many PTAs use their parents’ homes to store all of their PTA materials. Having a PTA room gives the PTA a permanent presence in the school. It could also serve as a parent resource center - a place for parents to come in and do work for the school or for resources to be made available for parents to use.
Who do I contact if I have questions or would like more information?
All information regarding the boundary process can be found on the website at https://www.ipsd.org/Subpage.aspx/Boundaries
The district contact for the boundary process is Matt Shipley, Chief School Business Official: firstname.lastname@example.org.