Rockford — As Rockford readies for the opening of Edgerton Trails Elementary next fall, some adjustments could be coming to attendance boundaries for the district’s other elementary schools.
Rockford recently unveiled a proposed redistricting plan to accommodate the new facility and make the best use of existing space. Community feedback will be accepted until January 14, and the Board of Education is expected to vote on the plan when it meets in February.
The plan would shift attendance boundaries for Belmont, Cannonsburg, Crestwood, Lakes, Parkside, Meadow Ridge, Roguewood and Valley View elementary schools, leading to new staffing placements and an expansion of the developmental kindergarten program.
Only Rockford’s elementary schools would be affected; no changes are proposed for secondary buildings.
‘We created this so we have room for growth for the whole district in the future.’— Rockford Assistant Superintendent of Finance Mike Cuneo
Planning for the Future
The goal of the plan is to make sure things are balanced by the time Edgerton Trails opens, according to Mike Cuneo, the district’s assistant superintendent of finance.
“We have the new elementary that’s coming in, and we knew that was going to cause disruption to families … because it’s going to cause a change to adjacent schools,” Cuneo said. “We also looked at it as an opportunity to right-size some of our other elementaries that are close to capacity or … have some room to grow.”
One of the key changes the plan proposes is an expansion of developmental kindergarten from two schools — Meadow Ridge and Crestwood — to three: Crestwood, Valley View and Edgerton Trails. Cuneo said the program is leaving Meadow Ridge to make the most efficient use of that two-story building, which, by law, can only house lower elementary level students on its first floor.
The plan also seeks to guarantee equal access to D.K. for the east and west sides of the district.
Cuneo said the hope is to implement boundaries that can last a while, rather than needing reconfiguration in a few years’ time.
“We wanted to make sure that we maintain the neighborhood feel as best as we could with redistricting,” he said, adding that maintaining class sizes is important, as is planning for future growth.
Staffing Changes Coming
If the redistricting plan is approved, there would be some staffing changes, Cuneo said, adding that teachers have been made aware of the possibility and that their input will factor into decisions about future placement.
If the plan is not approved, a new iteration will be developed and presented to the board.
Cuneo said he wants the community to know that the redistricting plan is the result of positive growth.
“We’re redistricting for a good reason. We’re not redistricting because we’re closing a building,” he said. “This is happening from a positive perspective. We’re adding capacity to a district in a positive way. … We created this so we have room for growth for the whole district in the future.”
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