St. Charles School District 303 Poised To Make Boundary Changes As Enrollment Declines

St. Charles School District 303 Poised To Make Boundary Changes As Enrollment Declines

School District 303 is poised to vote on boundary changes that would take effect this fall, as the St. Charles transitions from a “growing” community to a “mature” community.

The district is holding a special School Board meeting from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. today (Jan. 30, 2018) at Thompson Middle School 6th Grade Center to discuss the plan, which calls for the realignment of boundaries and closing of Fox Ridge School in the fall, when it would become a childhood center. Fox Ridge students would shift to Norton Creek, Munhall, Lincoln or Anderson elementary schools, according to the proposal.

(CREDIT: School District 303 website)

Tonight’s meeting is among a series of open, public forums the district has conducted in recent weeks. It will be the last School Board meeting prior to Feb. 12, when the board is expected to consider the recommendation for approval.

St. Charles School District 303 Superintendent Dr. Jason Pearson says the transition to a “mature community” translates to lower enrollments and the need to adjust boundaries to ensure classroom sizes are uniform and facilities are used efficiently.

Some schools, such Norton Creek Elementary, are significantly underutilized, while others, like Richmond Intermediate, are reaching capacity, Pearson said. Enrollment and birth rates are geographically out of balance, with higher birth rates and enrollment in the center of town and on the west side of the district, and with lower enrollments and birth rates on the east side.

“When communities mature, the average number of school-aged children per household declines to around 0.4 children per household,” Pearson said in a message on the district website. “At the peak of enrollment in our district, we had approximately 0.6 school-aged children per household in the district.

“Because of this decline within the District 303 community, our district enrollment has dropped from over 14,000 students at its peak to around 12,000 students today. As we track the enrollment trends and birth data in the district, it has become evident that our new norm in student population for the foreseeable future is between 11,000 and 12,000 students.”

If accepted by the School Board, the plan would be implemented during the 2018-19 school year.

Read More From School District 303

Questions about Middle School Boundaries

SOURCE: School District 303 website

Middle School boundaries are not being changed as part of this proposal.  For example, if a student is slated to attend Lincoln Elementary School for the 2018-2019 school year, and lives in a current Wredling Middle School attendance area, that student will attend Wredling when he/she enters middle school. If that student would like to attend Thompson, the family may apply through the intra-district transfer process. By not changing middle school assignments, Lincoln, Wild Rose and Corron will now send students to both middle schools.

Please note that the elementary school boundaries have not changed on this map because there has been no action by the School Board. Any necessary updates will be made after the Feb. 12 School Board meeting.