Redrawing Elementary School Attendance Boundaries
D63's Elementary School Boundaries will Change in 2019-2020
Letters were mailed to all parents of current K-4 students on September 21 that included their child's specific placement information for the 2019-2020 school year. An e-message with the same information was sent out on September 24 to the parent email address D63 has on file.
As part of the District's Building for Success Master Plan, elementary school attendance boundaries will shift with the start of the 2019-2020 school year and Stevenson School will close. Check the map, review the FAQs below, and download a high resolution PDF of the new boundaries.
Elementary Boundary Locator for the 2019-2020 School Year.
Click on the image to access the locator. PLEASE NOTE: this application applies ONLY to the NEW elementary school boundaries.
New Boundary School Locator
Request to Keep 4th Grade Child at 2018-2019 School for 5th Grade
Now closed. Deadline for Submission was Friday, October 12
Original parent presentation
Frequently Asked Questions
Información en Español
Why redraw boundaries?
- District-wide educational changes will result in our elementary schools being underutilized.
- As all 6th grade students shift to Gemini, space will open up in our elementary schools. Although the District will soon shift to full day kindergarten, there will be many "open seats" in our buildings.
- In 2020, all preschool students will move to a freestanding First Steps Preschool building, which fill further impact the number of families attending each elementary school.
- Operating buildings under capacity is not educationally or fiscally responsible. It can be difficult to appropriately staff underutilized schools - and keeping such schools open results in uncessary costs.
How was the new district map developed?
The District retained DecisionInsite as a consultant to complete a study on options for redistricting - which initially resulted in four scenarios. DecisionInsite considered several factors:
- A school capacity study based on data about the number of classrooms available and class size.
- Enrollment (how many students) and geographic area (where the students live) projections through the year 2027.
- Potential new housing developments and/or changes to the local housing stock that might impact enrollment.
- The District-wide educational changes described above.
Criteria used to determine the best way to configure school boundaries included:
- Balancing enrollment in all elementary schools through ten-year geographic area projection.
- Ensuring that each school was able to operate effectively and efficiently, with sufficient enrollment to do so.
- Minimizing the number of students affected by the change in boundaries to the degree possible.
- Maximizing neighborhood school attendance areas where possible.
- Optimizing safe walking distances and safe school bus routes.
Are there problems with school capacity and enrollment?
While enrollment is projected to remain stable over the next ten years, as noted above, there will be school capacity issues once the District-wide educational changes are in place.
Why do the new boundaries result in closing Stevenson School?
- With a large number of open seats at our elementary schools, closing a school will enable the District to more appropriately balance students across elementary schools. Very small elementary schools can be difficult to staff – and can be difficult to organize, as often there are not enough students in a given grade to complete a classroom.
- Closing a school will also result in considerable cost savings (other than teachers, who tend to follow the students to other schools). Estimated savings for closing Stevenson exceed $1.1M in the first year – and $11.3M over ten years.
- While all of D63’s elementary schools are welcoming and provide an excellent education, when closing a school became an option, the District identified Stevenson as the school with the least optimal layout and facilities for meeting educational needs.
If Stevenson is going to close, why build a new preschool? Why not just use Stevenson as the District's preschool building?
- The cost of repurposing Stevenson as a preschool would essentially equal the cost of constructing a purpose-built building. Stevenson would need extensive “retrofitting” – and expansion -- to serve as a preschool.
- The District’s goal is to build a facility specifically designed for the needs of preschoolers. Stevenson is not designed for these needs.
- If the District did retrofit Stevenson as a preschool, it would lose the ability to use the building again as a school should enrollment increase. This, in fact, has happened several times in D63’s history – at varying points, both Stevenson and Apollo were closed (and reopened). As enrollment fluctuates, we want the flexibility to bring the school back on line.
What will happen to Stevenson once it closes?
A number of options are possible. The District could rent the space out to another organization – or simply maintain the building for future use.
Now that the decision has been made, what's next?
- In September 2018, the District communicated the changes to all parents and the community.
- Parents received specific information about their own student(s) placement, and a new school locator tool is now available on the District’s website. (see above)
- In the spring of 2019, schools will host a series of special events for families who are transfering in.
My student will be in 5th grade the year the District boundaries shift. Does s/he have to shift schools for jut one year before going to Gemini?
No. Students entering 5th grade in 2019-2020 were offered the opportunity to stay at their “home” school for that year (with the exception of Stevenson students). The deadline for submitting that request was October 12, 2018. PLEASE NOTE that this only applied to 5th graders; younger siblings in the same family did need to shift to their new school. In addition, bus transportation will not be available to 5th graders who stay in their current schools (instead of transferring).
Will school choice be available?
No. In order to achieve the District’s redistricting goals and ensure all of elementary schools are appropriately balanced, we will need to adhere to the new boundaries.
DecisionInsite Report to the Board: April 24, 2018