Urbana school board chooses least disruptive option for changing elementary attendance areas
URBANA – The Urbana school board voted Tuesday to choose the least disruptive plan for changing elementary attendance boundaries.
It was approved by a voice vote, which means board members did not vote individually, although Board President John Dimit estimated the vote was 5-2.
The plan approved by the school board will include these changes:
— Moving the Willow Springs neighborhood, south of Interstate 74 and east of U.S. 45, from Wiley Elementary to Leal School.
— Moving the Carroll Addition from Wiley to Thomas Paine Elementary.
— Shifting the area bounded by Race Street, Florida Avenue, Vine Street and Montclair Road from Wiley to Yankee Ridge Elementary.
The board heard community input and discussed the issue for more than an hour and a half.
Many parents and community members who addressed the board were from the Edgewood and Beringer Commons neighborhoods. They felt strongly about keeping their children at Thomas Paine Elementary. Two map options had students in those neighborhoods going to Prairie School, but the board did not approve those options.
Board member Peggy Patten said she supported the plan the board approved because it disrupted 77 fewer students than the board's third option, which the elementary redistricting committee reocommended. She said she believed it was the plan that best balanced enrollment across all the district's elementary schools.
However, board member Paul Poulosky said he thought the third map addressed balancing schools' socioeconomic statuses better. He said he believed it did the best job of addressing all the criteria the school board gave the 22-person redistricting committee, which conflicted, he said. Those criteria included balancing the schools' socioeconomic statuses and enrollment, keep neighborhood schools, minimizing students' time on buses and minimizing disruption to students.
The school board is still discussing whether to allow grandfathering students into schools they currently attend.