District 90 Board of Education to consider plan to realign school boundaries

A map of the proposed boundary changes.

A map of the proposed boundary changes.

O’FALLON – Parents received notice Friday afternoon that a District 90 committee had finalized a proposed plan for realigning the school boundaries.

The plan which was presented to the Board of Education at Tuesday’s meeting would place all fifth grade students at Marie Schaefer, effectively making Hinchcliffe, Evans, Estelle Kampmeyer, and Moye kindergarten through fourth grade schools.

Superintendent Carrie Hruby stressed to the O’Fallon Weekly on Friday afternoon that this was a proposal from the Boundary Committee and that the Board of Education would be given ample time to review it before making any decisions.

The need to realign school boundary lines isn’t a new problem. As Hruby states in the letter sent to parents, “For several years District 90 has been aware of the need to make some decisions regarding changes to our current school boundary lines. This is due to residential growth as well as the fact that some students must be transferred to another school each year to balance enrollment. In January 2016 the Boundary Committee began the detailed process of reviewing and considering possible changes to each school’s boundaries.”

The committee is made up of 28 parents, principals, staff, administrators, and a school board member. The goal of the committee was to review data, analyze all possible options, and make recommendations to the Board for their consideration.

According to the Boundary Committee, the plan put forth not only helps to equalize the number of students at each school, but also addresses current inequities in the socioeconomic makeup of each school.

From there the committee began working with the City of O’Fallon, which assisted with data collection by providing information about future housing developments, growth expected in current subdivisions, and by helping create maps that illustrated the houses of every District 90 student. Additionally the group collected data from each school’s principal about building capacities, program needs, special education, and the age appropriateness of school facilities.

After reviewing the data, the committee has recommended that beginning with the 2017-18 school year, fifth grade will be housed at Marie Schaefer and preschool students, while the other four schools will contain the lower grades. Boundaries for Fulton and Carriel will remain unchanged.

If the Board does decide to accept the plan, work would begin immediately sending out information to families about what school their child will attend, changes in bus routes, and a readjustment of staff and resources.

The committee did acknowledge that some may find this proposal difficult.

“The committee understands the initial difficulty associated with any change to the makeup of each of the elementary schools, but feels this option meets our goal of making a recommendation to the Board that is best for all District 90 families and the future of our community.”

The Board of Education is expected to make a decision at either their November or December meeting.