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District 191 has changed over the past 15 years, but our facilities have stayed mostly the same. While reconfiguring grade levels and adding pre-kindergarten classes to elementary schools has made use of the space at district schools, a comprehensive facilities study completed in June 2019 found that six elementary schools and two middle schools are under-utilized in terms of square feet-per-student. The study recommended several actions, including closing two elementary schools and one middle school.
In response, the district conducted a Facilities Realignment process that will lead to a recommendation of which schools should be closed and whether any other changes to the district’s facility use should be implemented.
Why Close Schools?
This work is essential for putting us in the best situation to serve our students, families and community.
The facilities study noted that having underutilized schools has negative consequences both in terms of finances and academic programming for students. For instance:
Because some schools have only two sections - meaning two 1st grade classes, two kindergarten classes, etc. - it’s difficult to have consistent class sizes, and some end up being larger than we would like. By consolidating elementary schools, we’ll be able to be more consistent in class sizes across the district.
At the middle school level, having two larger middle schools will make it easier to offer a more robust middle school model that lets teachers work more as teams to meet students’ needs.
The district is committed to engaging our community in meaningful ways so that we can make the best decision for the One91 community and so that our schools and programs will come out stronger and better able to serve our students.
District 191 hired a neutral, third-party consultant with expertise in school facilities changes to manage the process and eventually bring recommendations to the Board of Education.
The Design Team – which first met on Sept. 23 – includes school principals and parent representatives. It will help the district plan public input opportunities to ensure community members are heard. After several public input opportunities, community members identifed what criteria should be used to decide which schools should be closed. A recommendation based on those criteria will be brought to the Board of Education in November, with a decision expected in December.
Integrated Action Plan
District 191 is taking a comprehensive approach to address our needs so that we can deliver on our mission for students. Realigning our facilities is just one component of an overall approach to securing the district's future.
Learn more about our Integrated Action Plan.