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Boundary changes OK’d for three D204 schools

Students file out Young Elementary School's satellite classroom after classes Wednesday December 12 2012. Indian Prairie School District 204 is

Students file out of Young Elementary School's satellite classroom after classes on Wednesday, December 12, 2012. Indian Prairie School District 204 is looking at boundary changes that would shift students around and eliminate the need for extra classrooms like the one in front of Young Elementary. | Jeff Cagle~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: June 15, 2013 1:48PM

Indian Prairie School District 204 Board members Monday night approved attendance boundary adjustments that will see about 300 students changing schools next year.

The schools impacted include Cowlishaw, Longwood and Young elementary schools. Based on five-year projections, overcrowding at the three schools necessitated a plan to move students to Brookdale, Brooks, Owen, Steck and White Eagle schools in order to alleviate overcrowding, district officials said.

Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Schools Kathy Pease said that the adjustments would begin during the 2013-2014 school year. School visits for those to be moved by the relocation will begin next month.

“This process began after the board approved a demographic study and discussed results last spring,” Pease said. “We saw that some of our buildings were already at capacity and that changes were going to have to be made.”

Pease said that about 300 students will be moved by the assignment changes and that to date, “the transition appears to be going smoothly.”

“We’ve had very little response about the changes and have heard from probably less than 10 percent of the families affected,” Pease said. “Those expressing concerns have been spotty and I think that reflects the trust families have in all of our schools and our doing all we can to make students that are changing schools welcome.”

Students impacted by the transfer that are in the fifth grade will have the option to remain at their current school but will have to provide their own transportation.

“We have allowed fifth-graders to grandfather in and provide their own transportation,” said District 204 Superintendent Kathy Birkett. “This has been our practice in the past.”

School officials have planned meetings for families at each of the schools where students will be leaving. The meetings will feature principals from both the school the student currently attends and the one for the school where they will be going in order to provide information about the relocation.

Families of relocating students will be able to visit their new school by Feb. 22.

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