Objection to Concept 3 Elementary School Boundary Modifications
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Why should you be concerned?
- If you have school age children and live in the impacted neighborhood, you should consider the impact to your child and your property value (long term issue).
- If you live in the impacted neighborhood and do not have school age children or your children attend a private school, you should consider the impact to your property value (long term issue).
- If you do not live in the impacted neighborhood, you should consider that a precedent is being set that allows for the division of cohesive neighborhoods. It may not be happening to you now, but it could in the future.
Our objection to Concept 3 is based on the following issues. Please review the issues and consider signing the petition as an objection to the use of Concept 3 as a viable solution to our District’s student overcrowding issues. Please use the comment section to voice any of your concerns.
- The Spruce St. and Linneman St. boundaries arbitrarily divide a cohesive neighborhood. One of the considerations identified in the “Boundary Committee Charge and Assumptions” document was to “keep neighborhoods together”. Concept 3 does not comply with that charge. These particular boundaries appear to have been chosen due to the convenience of breaking up population statistics into planning areas, without deference to the detrimental impacts to our neighborhood’s quality of life. The residences within the boundaries of Shermer Rd., Glenview Rd., Harlem Ave., and Central Rd. may not have a name like “Swainwood” or “Glen Oak Acres”, but it is very much a unified neighborhood. Close to all of the District’s current boundaries are along main streets, with divisions such as those on Glendale Rd. being the anomaly, rather than the norm.
- The division of our neighborhood will irreparably impact our property values. Per discussion with several Glenview real estate agents, the placement of school boundaries along residential streets, as opposed to main streets, will impact home values. Our concern for home values is not related to one school being more preferable over another. It is the mere fact that they are different schools. People make home purchases based on the desirability of a neighborhood. Concept 3 creates undesirable situations where children on the same street and kids living across from one another will be cordoned off from their neighborhood friends because they attend a separate school. As all parents can attest, kids form lasting bonds with their friends at school, which typically leads to their families becoming close friends. This essential character and sense of neighborhood results in such traditions as the annual block party, the Fourth of July float, girl or cub scout groups, and team sports. Losing those neighborhood ingredients because of a boundary change will have a permanent financial impact on our residents, regardless of whether they have children attending the District’s elementary schools.
- Will the new boundaries maintain diversity and minimize transportation costs? One of the considerations identified in the “Boundary Committee Charge and Assumptions” document was “there should be a consideration about the diversity of students in each cluster with relation to economic status (as measured by free/reduced lunch percentages)”. Concept 3 does not comply with this charge. Per RSP’s documents, Concept 3 results in a shift of 29 Henking and 48 Hoffman students to Lyons and Pleasant Ridge in 2011/12. There is only a shift of 3 free/reduced lunch students from Henking and 0 free/reduced lunch students from Hoffman. Students who currently walk or ride their bike to Hoffman would be bused to Pleasant Ridge.
- Concept 3 does not eliminate the need to increase class size. The table below illustrates when Hoffman’s projected enrollment, per RSP, would exceed building capacity under Concept 1 (no boundary changes) and Concept 3 (boundary changes). The proposed boundary change does not provide much relief from increasing class size and does not appear to significantly address the overcrowding concerns. The slight delay of a year in needing to increase class size or the slight difference in the need for a +2 or +3 class size seems minor compared to the negative impacts of dividing a neighborhood and removing students from their current school.
Based on the significance of the above listed issues and the overwhelming opposition from many of the District’s residences, Concept 3 is not in the best interest and welfare of our children or the property owners of this community. We respectfully request that Concept 3 be rejected as a viable solution to the overcrowding issue.
Concerned Citizens of District 34