Boundaries may be shifting in Homer School District 33C
By Susan DeMar Lafferty firstname.lastname@example.org December 9, 2013 5:14PM
William E. Young Elementary School, on Cedar Road north of 163rd Street, has a large bay window lighting its cafeteria. The new school has many environmentally friendly facets. | Tony Graf~Herald-News
Updated: January 11, 2014 6:07AM
As construction projects in Homer School District 33C come to an end, officials now plan to adjust the boundaries in its schools to balance enrollment.
Kindergarten through fourth-grade students have been shifted in recent years, when the district opened its new William E. Young School in 2010 at 16240 S. Cedar Road, and again when Luther J. Schilling School, 16025 S. Cedar, was renovated.
With the work at Schilling scheduled to be completed by August, Supt. J. Michel Morrow said he will present options to parents and the board of education for discussion at its Dec. 17 board meeting. Information will be sent to parents in advance of the meeting via the school district’s virtual backpack.
“This has been in the works for years and it is finally time to do it,” Morrow said. “It’s creating some anxiety. Change is never easy. But ultimately, it will be to everyone’s benefit to balance enrollment.”
William J. Butler School, 1900 Farrell Road, houses the most students with more than 700, while Young has 580, Goodings Grove, 480 and Schilling about 290. All four schools are K-4 buildings.
Boundaries were adjusted when Young School opened in 2010, and Schilling, built in 1957 and 1971, was downsized at that time because of renovation work, Morrow said.
At that time, some Schilling students were sent to Butler and Young temporarily, while others were housed in Schilling’s north wing while the south wing was demolished.
An addition was built onto the east side of school and now the north wing is being renovated, to be completed by next school year, the superintendent said.
Morrow said his goals are to balance enrollment at about 500 at each of these four schools, reduce the overcrowding at Butler, allow room for growth and minimize bus travel.
Complicating this is his desire not to split neighborhoods and subdivisions.
“Parents are a little bit nervous. I understand that. They love their principals and teachers,” Morrow said. “But at the end of the day, I hope they understand that we have great principals and great teachers in all our buildings.”
The boundaries will be discussed at the Dec. 17 meeting, with the board voting on it in January, he said.
Also at the Dec. 17, the board will review a list of superintendent candidates in closed session, as they begin to find a replacement for Morrow, who is retiring at the end of this school year.