SD 230 changes anger some parents
By Steve Metsch firstname.lastname@example.org September 27, 2012 10:50PM
Sandburg High School parent Renee Kusper speaks to the District 230 School Board about the attendance boundaries during their meeting at Andrew High School in Tinley Park Thursday, September 27, 2012. | Brett Roseman~Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 29, 2012 6:59AM
Changes are coming to Consolidated High School District 230, and not everyone is happy.
The school board on Thursday night, before a few concerned parents, approved changing some attendance boundaries that affect Andrew and Sandburg high schools but kept an “option zone” that will let some students continue to choose between Sandburg and Stagg.
District 230 Supt. James Gay said the changes were necessary to balance enrollment and maintain a quality curriculum at each of the three high schools.
The board scrapped a proposal to end the Sandburg/Stagg option for some students who attend Palos South Middle School in Palos Park but stuck with a plan to switch students from Central Middle School in Tinley Park from Sandburg to Andrew over a three-year transition period.
The current Central students will have a choice to attend Sandburg or Andrew, but current fifth graders will have to go to Andrew. A grandfather clause will allow Central students with siblings who went to Sandburg to also go there.
Forcing some Central students to go to Andrew angered some parents Thursday night, most of whom stormed out of the Andrew gymnasium, where the meeting was held in anticipation of a large crowd that did show up.
A hotly contested special school board meeting Sept. 18 drew about 300. On Thursday night, 510 folding chairs were on the gym floor, but only about 20 parents appeared.
Parent Jim Harmening asked the board to table the vote on the boundary plan until the board received more input. Parent Renee Kusper was concerned that the plan called for no bus transportation to Sandburg for Central “grandfathered students” after the 2018-19 school year.
Rami Jreisat, who has three children at Kruse Education Center in Orland Park, was livid after the board approved the plan.
“The decision was made prior to this meeting. (Palos) District 118 had more pull than (Tinley Park) District 146, which is a small portion of Orland Park,” Jreisat said. “I bought my house in Orland Park because I wanted to be part of the Sandburg district. They just railroaded us. I don’t understand why we can’t get an option. “
Board president Frank Grabowski said the realignment is needed because enrollment differs greatly among the three schools. Projections for the 2016-17 school year show 1,807 students at Andrew, 2,314 at Stagg and 3,121 at Sandburg. Current enrollment is 2,135 at Andrew, 2,378 at Stagg and 3,500 at Sandburg.
“It came down to the fact that (moving some students) from one school to another is in the best interest of that group of students as well as the rest of District 230,” Grabowski said. “You want to have enough participants for each class and to have enough staff to support the options and choices there.”