Parents’ FAQs on School Boundary Lines

Click on the above map for a searchable, interactive boundary map.

Strategic Plan – Informing the Boundary Changes

Resources

Questions about Grandfathering

BOE Votes on Boundary Lines

On Monday, December 8, 2014 the Hawthorn School District 73 Board of Education unanimously voted in favor of Boundary Concept 2A.  In Boundary Concept 2A, most students who live north of Route 60 will attend Elementary North and Townline Elementary Schools and all students south of Route 60 will attend Elementary South and Aspen Elementary Schools.

The approved plan, which will take effect in the Fall 2015, accomplishes two key goals outlined by the District 73 Strategic Plan. These goals include balancing enrollment across the schools and balancing student demographics throughout the district.

Grandfathering of Students

The approved reorganization plan calls for current second, third, fourth, sixth and seventh grade students and their siblings to be grandfathered into their current schools beginning with the 2015-16 school year. The district will provide transportation for three consecutive years for those grandfathered children.

Transportation

Beginning in Fall 2018 families will have to provide their own transportation to and from school if they would like their children to remain in the schools into which they have been grandfathered.  Parents have the option to decline any grandfathering option.  Incoming Kindergarten, 1st and 5th grade students without grandfathered siblings will attend their new school, per Boundary Concept 2A beginning in the Fall of 2015.

History

Reorganization discussion has been underway for more than a year now. Outlining boundaries has been a process that has involved parents, staff, board members and administration. In concluding its discussion, the Board commented that it felt the Board had met its objectives of keeping the interest of the children in mind when making decisions and uprooting the fewest number of children.

Update from Oct. 27, 2014 BOE Meeting

Community Update – Boundary and Enrollment Discussion
At the October 27, 2014, Board of Education meeting Superintendent Nick Brown provided the Board of Education and community a revised boundary presentation based on the feedback given to the administrative team at the previous Board meeting on October 14, 2014.

 Grandfathering Siblings
In this presentation, two items were addressed.  The first, included detailed information on the impact of grandfathering grades 3, 4 and 5 for each of the two boundary concepts that had been developed and presented for consideration at the October 14 Board meeting.  Within this analysis, as requested by the Board, Superintendent Brown outlined the enrollment projections for each building to include students entering 1st and 2nd grade who have older siblings who will be grandfathered in grades 3, 4 and 5 for the 2015-2016 school year.  As indicated within the presentation, grandfathering 1st and 2nd grade siblings of students in grades 3, 4, and 5 would not significantly exceed the capacity of any building for next school year.

New Boundary Concepts 2A and 3A
The second item for Board review, was two new boundary configurations Superintendent Brown developed based on the original concepts 2 and 3.  These new boundary concepts, identified as 2A and 3A, with updated enrollment and demographic information, were reviewed at the meeting and the Board of Education had the opportunity to ask questions and receive clarification on the changes made to the original concepts. The Board of Education then discussed the presentation, and both the new concepts and the issue of grandfathering students in the elementary schools will be further discussed at the November 10 Board meeting.

Grandfathering Middle School Students
The issue of grandfathering middle school students was originally discussed at the October 14 Board of Education meeting.  The Board of Education again discussed and approved grandfathering the current 6th and 7th grade students into their current middle school assignment for next year.  Students in the 5th grade with a sibling in 6th or 7th grade will also be grandfathered into the current middle school assignment for the 2015-2016 school year.  All other 5th grade students would attend the middle school designated by the new boundary lines.

November 10, 2014 Board of Education Meeting
The Board of Education will review and discuss the new boundary concepts 2A and 3A again at the Board meeting on November 10, 2014, and review any changes made based on the discussion at the October 27 Board meeting.  Another item for discussion will be the issue of siblings at the elementary level.  The Board of Education is expected to make a final decision on school boundaries at a meeting in December.

Oct. 14, 2014 Enrollment & Demographic Projections

Enrollment and Demographic Projections per Concepts from Oct. 14, 2014 BOE meeting.

Update from October 14, 2014 Meeting

Following a discussion with the Hawthorn School District 73 Board of Education Tuesday evening, the administration is focusing on two boundary line concepts that it thinks will meet the demands of the community in keeping neighborhoods together and having the greatest benefit for student learning.

The overall objective is for the district to balance enrollment and demographics across its elementary schools – Townline, Elementary North, Aspen and Elementary South. The School of Dual Language is not affected by the boundary decisions.

The Board of Education has directed Superintendent Nick Brown to consider more closely Concepts 2 and 3. These concepts follow closely the criteria the board has established in considering boundary changes, which is listed below.

Mr. Brown will make a report to the board on adjustments to these two concepts at the next Board of Education meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 27 in the district office, 841 W. End Court, Vernon Hills.

Hawthorn learned last year, through the reorganization and strategic plan process, there were significant differences in the building usage levels and demographic make up between some buildings.  Elementary North has space available for more students while some of the other schools have very little space available in the building.  It was also discovered that by assigning students by the boundary lines and managing the enrollment patterns the district could provide full day kindergarten to all incoming kindergartners as the space in the buildings would be better used.

In assigning students to Elementary North, Elementary South, Aspen and Townline, District 73 is looking to provide its 4,138 students with the most rigorous academic training to ensure they do well at their respective high schools.

To provide high quality programs and equitable access for all students it is paramount that building space is well utilized at each school while making sure the district follows its Strategic Plan of meeting the needs of its diverse population. In balancing enrollment throughout the district, it will allow the district to offer free full day kindergarten services, which allows the district to expand early intervention opportunities to its youngest population.

In drawing boundary lines for each school, the board of education must determine how many students would move from each neighborhood versus how important it is to ensure each school has a more balanced demographic population.  The four criteria used to begin the process for creating these concepts are as follows:

  • Balance the enrollment numbers to meet the designed student capacity of the buildings.
  • Balance the demographic make up of the buildings as best as possible.
  • Keep neighborhoods together by avoiding, wherever possible, sending students from the same neighborhood to different schools.
  • Move as few students as possible.

The four concepts shared are big picture concepts without the details of specific street assignments.  These concepts are presented to the Board so the Board can begin to see potential areas for assignment to the four elementary schools.  Monday’s Board presentation also showed potential enrollment numbers and demographic indicators.  The first criteria of balancing the enrollment numbers for the buildings can be met, but the challenge then becomes trying to balance the demographic components.

Students would begin attending their assigned school in the fall of 2015. For this reorganization plan, students entering Grades 3 through 5 in 2015 may stay in their current school or opt out of this plan and go to their newly assigned school if there is available space.

Sept. 22 Enrollment & Demographic Projections

Enrollment & Demographic Projections per Concepts from Sept. 22, 2014 BOE meeting.

Discussion from September 22, 2014 BOE Meeting

The Hawthorn School District 73 Board of Education was presented with four boundary line concepts at the September 22, 2014 board meeting. This is the first in a series of reports on creating boundary lines for the elementary schools with the goal to balance enrollment and demographic indicators across its four elementary schools.

Hawthorn learned last year, through the reorganization and strategic plan process, there were significant differences in the  building usage levels and demographic make up between some buildings.  Elementary North has space available for more students while some of the other schools have very little space available in the building.  It was also discovered that by assigning students by the boundary lines and managing the enrollment patterns the district could provide full day kindergarten to all incoming kindergartners as the space in the buildings would be better used.

In assigning students to Elementary North, Elementary South, Aspen and Townline, District 73 is looking to provide its 4,138 students with the most rigorous academic training to ensure they do well at their respective high schools. The School of Dual Language is not included in the boundary change decision.

To provide high quality programs and equitable access for all students it is paramount that building space is well utilized at each school while making sure the district follows its Strategic Plan of meeting the needs of its diverse population. In balancing enrollment throughout the district, it will allow the district to offer free full day kindergarten services, which allows the district to expand early intervention opportunities to its youngest population.

In drawing boundary lines for each school, the board of education must determine how many students would move from each neighborhood versus how important it is to ensure each school has a more balanced demographic population.  The four criteria used to begin the process for creating these concepts are as follows:

  • Balance the enrollment numbers to meet the designed student capacity of the buildings.
  • Balance the demographic make up of the buildings as best as possible.
  • Keep neighborhoods together by avoiding, wherever possible, sending students from the same neighborhood to different schools.
  • Move as few students as possible.

The four concepts shared are big picture concepts without the details of specific street assignments.  These  concepts are presented to the Board so the Board can begin to see potential areas for assignment to the four elementary schools.  Monday’s Board presentation also showed potential enrollment numbers and demographic indicators.  The first criteria of balancing the enrollment numbers for the buildings can be met, but the challenge then becomes trying to balance the demographic components.  The closer Hawthorn gets to meeting these goals, the more neighborhoods or areas may need to be divided.

“We are doing our best to keep neighborhoods together so students can attend the same elementary school. However, there are some cases where a street in a subdivision may be the dividing line between two schools,” said Superintendent Nick Brown.

The board of education will continue discussion on boundaries and  is going to review the concepts and work with the Superintendent and Administration team to finalize one option for implementation.  This may require adjustments to one of the concepts within the criteria originally identified.

Students would begin attending their assigned school in the fall of 2015. For this reorganization plan, students entering Grades 3 through 5 in 2015 may stay in their current school or opt out of this plan and go to their newly assigned school if there is available space.

Enrollment and demographic discussion per option.

Meeting Minutes, Notes and more

7/22/14 Boundary Presentation to the School Board

School Board Meeting Cable Show

6/2/14 Reorganization Presentation to BOE

Reorganization Presentation to BOE on June 2

5/27/14 Public Forum Meeting Notes

5/27/14 Public Forum Meeting

Public Input on School Choices

5/14/14 Meeting

5/7/14 Meeting

4/30/14 Meeting

4/23/14 Meeting

4/16/14 Meeting

Members

Reorganization Plan in the News