Customer Spotlight: Huntley School District 158 Faces Overcrowding

Posted by Andrea GronbergO


Background

Leggee, the district’s only K-5 building, was facing overcrowding because of two major housing developments. “We have plenty of room in our K-5 buildings district-wide,” said Superintendent John Burkey. “We do not have a space problem. We need to move some students out of Leggee to our (other) elementary schools. The ideal capacity for Leggee is about 850 (students). This will get it down to 600. We need it to be lower than 800 because Leggee still has growing neighborhoods.”

Challenge

With the largest geographic boundaries, Leggee Elementary was projected to be over capacity by 346 seats the following year and by 607 seats in 2024, while the district’s four other elementary schools all were all projected to be under capacity within that span, according to 10-year enrollment forecasts developed by our team of analysts. The district had a timeline which included a number of already planned community forums. This required our boundary consultants to develop three scenarios as quickly as possible.

Solution

Our boundary consultants assisted district staff in developing guiding principles and participated in the community forums held during the boundary change process. Additionally, three scenarios were developed which modified middle and elementary school boundaries. A clean dividing line along Route 47 was included in the scenarios. A phase-in process was developed as well as the option to accelerate the phase-in, if desired.

Result

The district’s Board of Education voted to approve the boundary changes as recommended by the administration at the Board’s March 19, 2015, meeting. The approved option was presented to the Board at its February meeting as “Scenario 1,” along with two other viable options to reduce overcrowding at Leggee Elementary School. Among other positives, the Board selected the option because it allows changes to be phased in over three years.

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