Early Childhood Update

Lease Renewal Discussions Underway

The Hawthorn School District 73 Board of Education has begun discussions on renewing its early childhood education lease at Lincoln School in Mundelein. Hawthorn leases a portion of the school building. Hawthorn began leasing these classrooms from Mundelein School District 75 two years ago to provide some space in its existing schools. This also allowed both the Early Childhood program and Pre-Kindergarten program to be combined into one building. There are 160 students aged 3 to 5 enrolled in the program.

Partnering With Other Districts

The Board of Education is evaluating a new opportunity to continue the lease at the Lincoln building at a reduced cost by partnering with Fremont School District 79 in Mundelein in sharing a portion of the building being leased. Hawthorn leases a wing of the Lincoln building that has 12 classrooms. Hawthorn uses about eight of these classroom spaces. Fremont 79 and Hawthorn 73 administrators met to discuss a potential shared services partnership related to leasing four classrooms at the school site. The districts are looking at a cooperative agreement whereby they would share a principal and specialists like an occupational therapist and speech pathologist. Students would stay in their respective classrooms with their respective district teachers by district, said Superintendent Nick Brown. Students from Hawthorn 73 would be assigned to Hawthorn 73 teachers.

This is an opportunity to continue the program at Lincoln at reduced costs by using staff more efficiently and providing a full time building principal for the building.

“The classrooms and playground spaces are great for students at these ages. We have received positive comments from parents about the program at the Lincoln building,” Mr. Brown said.

Board Directs Administration to Consider Lease Renewal

At the Nov. 10 school board meeting, the Board directed the administration to look further into continuing early childhood services at Lincoln and provide some details about the potential partnership with Fremont. There is one year left on a three-year lease for the Lincoln building. During the transition time of realigning school boundaries and moving children into different schools, board members discussed the benefits of leaving this program at Lincoln for the remainder of the lease and further investigating a partnership with District 79.