Modest growth at D-300 won't cause immediate boundary changes

Published: Monday, Dec. 9, 2013 9:58 p.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, Dec. 9, 2013 11:52 p.m. CDT

ALGONQUIN – Student growth at the state's sixth-largest school district will increase by roughly 600 students during the next 10 years, a modest trend that won't force District 300 officials to immediately redraw attendance boundaries.

Chuck Bumbales, assistant superintendent of operations, detailed the enrollment forecast to District Board members Monday in a much-anticipated demographic study.

In the 251-page report, the Carpentersville-based district's enrollment is projected to grow by 577 students in the next 10 years, totaling 21,247 students by 2023. From 2019 to 2023, the district is projected to grow by a mere 80 students mainly because of slow housing growth from the economic recession, Bumbales said.

"It doesn't appear that there is anything we have to do for the '14-'15 school year that involves a major attendance boundary change," Bumbales said. "We then will take a look at how we are programming at the buildings."

The demographic study is meant to help administrators determine how to use future classroom space and lower class sizes based on a teacher contract that caused a one-day labor strike nearly a year ago.

The modest projections would stave off attendance boundary changes in the near future, Bumbales said. The district would examine educational programs at the district's 27 schools in the coming months to determine whether changes could be made to help manage enrollments and classroom space at individual schools, he said.

The district's western schools around Hampshire should see the most of the modest growth, according to the study.

Gary D. Wright Elementary and Hampshire Elementary, both in Hampshire, are expected to add 112 total students by 2019. The five remaining elementary schools – in Algonquin, Carpentersville, Gilberts, Lake in the Hills and West Dundee – projected to see positive growth are expected to add 138 combined students in that time.

At the middle school level, Hampshire Middle is expected to add 109 students by 2023. Algonquin Middle is the only other school at the level expected to see growth, totaling 68 students.

Of the district's three high schools, Hampshire High is the only one projected to add students. The district's western high school is projected to add 602 students by 2023, while Jacobs High is slated to lose 263 students. Dundee-Crown should remain relatively flat, projected to lose four students.

The future enrollment trends align with general population trends within the district's boundaries. Western villages such as Gilberts should double in population, while Pingree Grove and Hampshire should triple and quadruple in size by 2030, the study found.

Overall, by 2030, the district's nine largest villages are expected to see 16,570 more housing units, representing 62,518 more people than now within the district's boundaries.

The demographic study is a response to try and lower class sizes, according to classroom caps mandated by a teacher contract that went into effect last year. The issue forced a teacher strike last December.

The district hired 65 new teachers this school year to successfully lower class sizes under the first year of the caps. Nearly half of the three-year, $13 million teacher contract went to the new hires.

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