The District 15 Boundaries Task Force held its first meeting on Thursday, Sept. 27. Of the 224 people who applied to be part of the group, co-chairs Sid Aman and Nipesh Patel selected 37 members representing all schools and geographic areas of the school district. Membership includes District 15 parents and residents without children in our schools.
The task force was formed for two reasons: To mitigate capacity concerns at several schools where enrollment is increasing and to address community issues with the current boundary lines.
During the meeting, the group introduced themselves and explained their reasons for wanting to be part of the task force. They discussed the main goal of providing the Board of Education with at least three recommendations for boundary adjustments that provide the most benefit to the community.
Dr. Thompson explained the district’s historical enrollment data, sharing that although enrollment is decreasing overall in the district, there are four buildings where enrollment is going up, causing capacity concerns: Pleasant Hill, Plum Grove, Hunting Ridge, and Willow Bend. He also shared that 22 percent of our students come from Northeast Palatine where there is not a school nearby. These factors are among many that contribute to the complex issue of boundary lines.
After learning about the current issues, the group discussed potential priority areas. Some ideas included reducing bus travel times, disrupting as few families as possible, more efficient use of current schools, elementary schools aligning with junior high and high schools, and maintaining neighborhood schools.
The Boundaries Task Force would like to survey the community to see what its priorities are in this area. An online survey will be distributed next week for input from stakeholders. The group will review the survey data at its next meeting in October.
There is not a firm timeline in place for if and when school boundaries might change. The decision will be made by the Board of Education when presented with the task force's recommendations. The district will keep the community updated on the task force’s work as new information is available.