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District 303 begins redistricting process

District+303+is+choosing+between+two+concepts+for+boundary+changes.
Max Fang
District 303 is choosing between two concepts for boundary changes.

District 303 is considering two concepts for redistricting in the 2024-2025 school year. At informational meetings held on Nov. 28 and 29 at North and East respectively, RSP and Associates CEO Robert Schwarz presented the possible scenarios for redistricting.

District 303 has been struggling with overcrowding, especially in elementary schools. RSP was hired by District 303 to create a redistricting plan to address the capacity issues.

Schwarz presented two concepts for possible boundary changes at the informational meetings. Both concepts affect elementary school boundaries the most and high school boundaries the least. 

RSP is conducting a survey of feedback on the concepts that will be available until Dec. 10. After taking into account community feedback from the survey, a boundary recommendation will be presented to the school board at 6 p.m. on Feb. 12, 2024 for approval.

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“I fully expect that there should be some changes to one or both of these concepts from the input we hear,” said Schwarz at the Nov. 28 informational meeting.

The district provided RSP and Associates with “Guiding Principles” to follow during the redistricting process.

“[The Guiding Principles are] a way for us to try to focus in on what the end result can be,” said Schwarz.

The principles included that the boundaries should “provide better educational opportunities at each school,” “anticipate future change of the neighborhood [sic]” and “effectively utilize district resources,” among a number of other directions.

Based on the guiding principles, administration will handle grandfathering options for students transferred between schools because of the redistricting, rather than either of the plans.

“Any grandfathering or student options, that is something that is going to come from administration,” said Schwarz.

RSP’s first concept extends St. Charles East’s boundaries North to Timbers Trail. It also transfers a triangle area encased by Bolcum Road, Fairway Drive and Hidden Oaks Road and some area East of Route 25 from St. Charles North to St. Charles East.

Max Fang

According to RSP, under this plan North will have an estimated 1,787 students in the 2024-2025 school year, 1,799 in 2025-2026, 1,787 in 2026-2027, 1,869 in 2027-2028 and 1,962 in 2028-2029. RSP predicts East to initially have more students in Concept 1, with 1,948 students in 2024-2025. However, East is estimated to fall below North in enrollment in the 2027-2028 school year 1,833 students and 1,850 in the following year.

RSP also estimated the percentage of capacity each building would have under each concept. In Concept 1, North will be at 88% of capacity as calculated by RSP in 2024-2025, 89% in 2025-2026, 88% in 2026-2027, 92% in 2027-2028 and 97% in 2028-2029. RSP predicts East to be at 79% of capacity in 2024-2025, 77% in 2025-2026, 74% in both 2026-2027 and 2027-2028 and 75% in 2028-2029.

In Concept 2, no changes would be made from the current boundaries at the high school level.

Max Fang

RSP predicts that following this plan, North will have 1,785 students in the 2024-25 school year, 1,802 in 2025-26, 1,788 in 2026-27, 1,865 in 2027-28 and 1,958 in 2028-29. 

According to RSP’s analysis, under Concept 2 North would have the same percentages of capacity as under Concept 1. East is predicted to be at 79% of capacity in 2024-25, 77% in 2025-26 and 75% for the following three school years.

Concept 1 is expected to move 65 current Thompson students to Wredling and 68 current Wredling students to Thompson, while Concept 2 would move 73 current Thompson students to Wredling and 93 current Wredling students to Thompson.

Following Concept 1, up to 22.2% of Kindergarten to fourth graders could shift elementary schools. In Concept 2, this number is 22.8%.

Regardless of which concept the district moves forward with, both Richmond and Davis will have students Kindergarten through fifth grade in 2024-2025. Currently, the two schools are paired as Richmond Davis, with Kindergarten through second grade at Davis and third through fifth at Richmond. 

Lincoln Elementary will no longer be used as a school, instead housing the district’s transition programming, while Fox Ridge Early Childhood Center will be converted into an elementary school.

Richmond will have the only dual language program in District 303 elementary schools. To accommodate for these changes, six new classrooms will be built at Richmond.

Concept 1 creates a complete feeder from elementary to high school, meaning that all students who attend elementary school together will attend the same high school. Students who attend Anderson, Corron, Ferson Creek, Wasco and Wild Rose will all attend North and students who attend Bell Graham, Davis, Fox Ridge, Munhall, Norton Creek and Richmond will all attend East.

All students who attend Bell Graham, Davis, Ferson Creek, Richmond and Wasco will attend Thompson Middle School; students who attend Anderson, Corron, Fox Ridge, Munhall and Norton Creek will all attend Wredling Middle School; 53% of students who attend Wild Rose will attend Thompson and the remaining 47% will attend Wredling.

Concept 2 does not have a complete feeder from elementary to high school, meaning some students from Bell Graham, Munhall and Richmond will attend each high school. 19% of students from Bell Graham, 10% of students from Munhall and 2% of students from Richmond will attend North. 23% of students who attend Munhall and 46% of those who attend Wild Rose will attend Thompson middle school, while the remaining 77% of Munhall students and 54% of Wild Rose students will attend Wredling.

Regardless of which concept is implemented for the 2024-2025 school year, many students at District 303’s elementary and middle school will be affected. Boundary changes will also set trends for the capacity of all schools in the district for years to come.

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About the Contributors
Tyler Moore, Editor In Chief
Tyler Moore is the editor-in-chief for the Stargazer. He is a senior at North, and this is his third year on the staff. Tyler engages in student journalism because it helps him engage in events at North and talk to new people.
Max Fang, Video News Editor
Max is a senior, and this is his second year on staff. This year Max is serving as our Video News Editor. Max engages in student journalism because it keeps him connected with what's going on at North and allows him to pursue a passion for video making.

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