Flossmoor SD 161 considers converting to grade centers
BY CASEY TONER firstname.lastname@example.org March 15, 2013 7:44PM
Updated: April 18, 2013 6:43AM
With enrollment declining, Flossmoor School District 161 officials are considering plans that include turning its neighborhood schools into grade centers.
Board President David Dreyfuss said it is all part of a facility evaluation of the district’s four elementary schools and one junior high school.
Children in kindergarten through fifth grade attend neighborhood elementary schools — three of which are in Flossmoor and one of which is in Chicago Heights — and all of the district’s sixth- through eighth-graders attend Parker Junior High School in Flossmoor.
Dreyfuss said the evaluation is being done due to the loss of students in the district. Enrollment has dropped from 2,600 students to 2,400 in three years.
“People are not selling their homes,” Dreyfuss said. “Kids are moving to high school and to college and people are staying put.”
Dreyfuss said the district’s architect is analyzing building usage and will present its findings to the District 161 board this summer.
Dreyfuss said the board considered turning its schools into grade centers a decade ago but rejected the idea. He said turning the schools into grade centers is one of several ideas Supt. Craig M. Doster is considering. Doster will then submit two to three realistic plans to the board for further consideration, Dreyfuss said.
Any plan likely would include modernizing classrooms and building new ones at Parker Junior High School, and construction or reorganization plans likely wouldn’t go into effect until the 2014-15 school year, he said.
“It’s very much a situation in flux,” Dreyfuss said. “That’s why we’re taking awhile to look at this.”
The board last week also tentatively approved reassigning Western Avenue School Principal Jennifer Camilleri. Doster is to decide whether to reassign her, after which the board would vote on the final approval. Dreyfuss declined to say why Camilleri might be reassigned, saying it was a personnel issue.