SYCAMORE – Sycamore School District 427 has unveiled its finalized proposal for new elementary school boundaries that could change where parents send their children as early as this fall.
After a month of seeking parent and community feedback, district staff will present the final proposal to the school board for initial review Tuesday at a meeting set for 7 p.m. at South Prairie Elementary School, 820 Borden Ave., Sycamore, according to a Friday email sent to district families from Superintendent Steve Wilder.
“We were so appreciative of every individual who took the time to participate in those discussions,” Wilder said in the email, which was shared with the Daily Chronicle. “We know that the changes will have a direct impact on all of our schools, and your input was crucial in this process.”
The board is expected to hold a final vote on the proposed changes during its meeting at 7 p.m. Feb. 28 at Sycamore Middle School, documents show.
Several public meetings were held in January to give Sycamore parents and teachers the ability to ask questions and voice opinions about the elementary school boundary plan.
District 427 officials are grappling with what they said is uneven population growth on the city’s north side. Officials have said the growth has led to overflow at North Grove Elementary School compared with lower census numbers on the south side.
The proposed changes to elementary school boundaries would reduce North Grove’s enrollment by more than 15%, documents show.
According to district data, 477 students are enrolled at North Grove. If the proposed boundary revisions were in place today, the school’s enrollment would fall to 403, sending 74 children to other schools in the district regardless of where their family lives.
The district’s current elementary school boundaries went into effect when North Grove opened in 2009, the last time the district conducted a boundary study.
According to a districtwide survey, however, Sycamore parents overwhelmingly said they want their children to remain at their current schools.
If the board adopts the recommended changes, families that will be affected will be “promptly notified,” according to Wilder’s email, so that families can prepare and discuss with their affected children.
“We are committed to supporting our students, families and staff throughout this process, and we will ensure that plans are put into place to ease this transition,” Wilder wrote.
The finalized district staff recommendation headed for school board approval is the following:
- Residences bordered by Main Street, Mount Hunger Road and the Kishwaukee River would now fall within the North Elementary School boundary (previously North Grove Elementary School).
- Residences bordered by Main Street, the Kishwaukee River and State Street (Route 64) to the city limits would now fall within the West Elementary School boundary (previously North Grove Elementary School).
- The Stone Prairie Community would now fall within the Southeast Elementary School boundary (previously North Grove Elementary School).
- Residences bordered by Sacramento Street, DeKalb Avenue/Elm Street, Somonauk Street and Edward Street would now fall within the West Elementary boundary (previously Southeast Elementary School).
- Residences bordered by Meadow Lane, DeKalb Avenue, South Cross Street and Edward Street would now fall within the West Elementary School boundary (previously South Prairie Elementary School).
- The Woodgate subdivision bordered by DeKalb Avenue and Peace Road would now fall within the South Prairie Elementary boundary (previously West Elementary School).
Shaw Local News Network reporter Camden Lazenby contributed.