District 11 board extends ‘window’ for parent school choice to May 29

       Because of a boundary study related to the School Utilization Plan, the District 11 Board of Education voted at its meeting March 11 to extend its “choice window” until May 29.

A map of District 11, created by consultant Strategic Resources West in 2004, shows the pattern of new home construction over the decades, affecting district plans. Black is before 1970; green is 1970-80; yellow is 1980-90; blue is 1990-2000; purple is 2000-04. The district is outlined in red.
Courtesy of School District 11

       This should allow parents sufficient time to choose schools after the board votes in the new attendance-area boundaries April 22, Deputy Superintendent Mary Thurman said at the meeting. The previous deadline for parents to choose schools outside their attendance areas had been April 1.
       The extension vote was unanimous, although member Tom Strand asked Thurman for reassurance that the delay would not mean the district losing “good teachers” who wouldn't wait that long to find out if they still have jobs.
       Thurman replied no, but added her belief that some staff might be lost because of other district issues.
       On the Westside, parents are still reacting to the planned closing of four longtime neighborhood elementaries (Buena Vista, Pike, Washington and Whittier), as well as a new elementary being created at West and BV's Montessori program moving to the Washington building.
       Board members Jan Tanner and Tami Hasling urged parents to let the district know as soon as they choose their schools, because it will help the district with its staff planning for the 2009-2010 school year.
       In other Utilization Plan-related news, about 25 people attended a community meeting at West Middle School March 9 at which district staff gathered citizen ideas regarding new boundaries. Concerns included transportation, staffing, safety at West, after-school programs at West, lack of a Spanish interpreter until halfway into the meeting and communication (a couple of people complained that the district had not done a good enough job letting people know about the meeting), and Thurman agreed, “We have to do a better job.”
       A Westside public meeting on the boundaries, at which proposed maps are to be provided, will be Thursday, April 2 at Coronado High School, starting at 7:30 p.m.
       For more information, call the district at 520-2005.

Westside Pioneer article