Champaign school district sets community meeting on facilities plans

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Champaign school district sets community meeting on facilities plans

CHAMPAIGN — The Champaign school district is hosting another gathering for local residents to weigh in on the future of its school buildings.

The community meeting is scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. Nov. 29 at Booker T. Washington STEM Academy, 606 E. Grove St., C.

Pizza and child care will be provided.

"We want to make it as easy as possible for parents and community members to participate," said school district spokeswoman Stephanie Stuart, adding that the child care will include literacy activities in the school's lab.

The community meeting follows what the district called a Futures Conference earlier this month.

Stuart said the community meeting will be a "condensed version" of the Nov. 1 conference, with a short presentation and time for group discussion among attendees.

Information gathered at the meeting will be combined with that from the earlier Futures Conference and will be put into a report.

It eventually will be posted on the school district's future facilities website, futurefacilities.champaignschools.org.

The first conference had individuals filling out surveys about their thoughts on education, then broke the participants into small groups to reach consensus on educational issues.

The school district is working with an educational facilities planning firm, DeJong-Richter, and a steering committee made up of school district employees, representatives of other community groups, community members and a few school board members to come up with a plan for the school district's facilities.

They're talking about what should be done with the school district's high schools, middle schools and the two elementary schools that aren't currently scheduled for renovation.

The Nov. 29 meeting is just another opportunity to get community members involved, Stuart said.

"We will also have interpreters present who speak Spanish, French and Korean and have bilingual ... caregivers (who speak Spanish and English) for the child care at the event," Stuart said.

The school district is asking those who can't attend to fill out the survey online.

"We want as many people as possible to participate, whether it's coming to one of the events or participating online," Stuart said.

The survey is available in both English and Spanish, at http://bit.ly/unit4surveyeng and http://bit.ly/unit4surveyspan.

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