Parents Protest Boundary Adjustment At D204 Board Meeting

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Parents and students came out in full force at Monday’s Indian Prairie School District 204 board meeting to protest the district’s current boundary adjustment concepts.

Before the meeting, members of the Clow and Graham Elementary communities rallied in front of the district’s administrative building to protest the closure of both schools in one of the district’s proposed adjustments; “Concept #1.”

They and other neighborhood members voiced concerns about the potential boundary adjustments during the meeting’s public comment period, maxing out the 60-minute allotted time with a total of 20 speakers.

Parents Against School Closures

Clow parents questioned the district’s reasoning for the proposed closure, and raised concerns about transportation and student safety, as well as student social-emotional health.

“Closing schools like Clow and the rest of the schools here present, represented, is never going to be met with support or beckon from the communities. And yet you are still keeping that option open and on the table,” Clow Elementary parent Jose Leon said.

Parents from the Graham Elementary community had similar critiques.

“With the continued activity of the housing market, and rising enrollment at Graham, we see no justification for closing Graham or any other 204 school. In fact, we can see that with continued growth in enrollment, doing so would lead to overcrowding of other schools in the south, likely resulting in the need to evaluate and redistrict 204 again in just a few short years,” Graham Elementary parent and PTA president Tracy Skindzier said.

School Reassignments

Members of the Welch-Neuqua community also spoke during the public comment period, to voice concerns about Concept #1’s proposed shift that would reassign homes north of 87th Street to Owen Elementary and eventually Waubonsie Valley High School.

“Without the option of being able to walk home, due to the fact that Neuqua is a 30 minute walk away and Waubonsie is a 90 minute walk crossing two major roads, any opportunity at all to participate in football practice and football as a whole would be stripped away from me,” Neuqua Valley High School student Paul Casco said.

Boundary Adjustment Moving Forward

The district started the boundary adjustment process to address projected overcapacity in schools on the north side of the district, and underutilization in southern schools.

The district said in its boundary FAQ boundary concepts are “brainstorm ideas that are in draft mode.” They are subject to change based on updated information or community feedback.

The next boundary committee meeting is October 27 at Still Middle School. Community members are welcome to observe the meeting, but won’t be able to provide official feedback until a trio of community forums starting November 8.

The board will be presented with boundary proposals after the process of adjusting concepts concludes in December. They are expected to take action on any changes in January 2022.

Naperville News 17’s Casey Flanagan reports.

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