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Town Hall meeting on neighborhood schools 10/23
We got an automated call this evening about this town hall meeting for the neighborhood school effort. I heard the first meeting was a bit heated so this one may be interesting. I hope to go. At the end of the article -sounds like there might be a chance that the Jefferson GAP program might be moved?

Town hall meeting on neighborhood schools
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October 21, 2008
By RYAN PAGELOW <!-- e --><a href=""></a><!-- e -->

WAUKEGAN -- Students would go back to neighborhood schools next year, with the exception of the two magnet schools, under recommendations from a committee of parents and staff of Waukegan Public Schools.

A second town hall meeting to gather community input on the recommendations will be held on Thursday, Oct. 23, from 6 to 8 p.m. at McCall Elementary School, 3215 McAree Rd. Students going to the closest school is meant to reduce district busing costs and to restore a sense of community around local schools. The school board will likely vote on the plan in November.

The Neighborhood Schools Task Force has met over the past year. Its recommendations for the superintendent include using Whittier School as a K-5 building instead of as a pre-K and kindergarten building, and attracting more south side students to the magnet schools to alleviate overcrowding in the other south side elementary schools.

The committee also recommends that the district provide free transportation only from the student's residence, and not from the day-care provider. The district should enact a fee system for students to utilize the bus from a day-care provider, under the committee's recommendations.

The committee redrew school boundaries to balance the current borders and to make the most geographic sense while maintaining capacity and maximizing walkers. About 4,000 students would be affected by the realignment, said Eric Christianson, who is leading the neighborhood schools committee.

If approved by the school board, the plan would start August 2009. Current fourth grade and seventh grade students may elect to stay in their current schools next year without district-provided transportation.

Programs such as English as a Second Language for non-Spanish speakers, GAP gifted and autism will be placed at the school which has the most classroom space and is nearer to the majority of that population.

The recommendations of the task force are available online at: <!-- w --><a class="postlink" href=""> ... dation.pdf</a><!-- w --> .

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