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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.
Other components of the Facilities Realignment process will include adopting new attendance boundaries in response to having fewer schools, considering options for closed facilities, and considering the future use of other district facilities, including Diamondhead Education Center.
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.
School Closure Process
District 191 hired a neutral, third-party consultant with expertise in school facilities changes to manage the process, including extensive public engagement, and eventually bring recommendations to the Board of Education.
The recommendation to close Sioux Trail Elementary, Marion W. Savage Elementary and Metcalf Middle School was presented at the Nov. 14 Board of Education meeting. A public hearing is scheduled for Dec. 4 and the Board may take action at its Dec. 12 meeting. Read more about the recommendation and timeline.
- Facilities Process Timeline
- Guiding Change Document
- Decision Making Framework
- Submitted Comments at Dec. 4 Public Hearing
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.