Urbana school board chooses least disruptive option for changing elementary attendance areas

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.

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Are you kidding wrote on March 27, 2012 at 11:03 pm

Wow!!! It's finally over!! What an ugly mess you parents made of this. You folks in the audience and speaking deserved to have the Superintendent of the WONDERFUL Urbana School District 'slap your hands' over the mean and awful things you said about the schools and most of all Prairie, a school you never stepped foot in. Just for all the ugly things you said, the school board should have moved you to Prairie to fix your little red wagons!!!!

Disgraceful!! All of you!! I hope your children grow up to be great people AND someone shows them the tape of tonights meeting to see how badly you behaved.

But, just wait. It isn't over. A full overhaul is still coming, sometime, and it needs to be soon.

And by the way, I didn't see anyone getting out their checkbooks to pay for a new school. Hmmmmmmm.

ESSB wrote on March 28, 2012 at 12:03 pm

To all the families, students, and staff of Prairie School,

While there has been a history of negative views and comments about Prairie School, the last few weeks have been especially negative and personally harsh to all the members of the Prairie School family.  Our family consists of our administrator, teachers, support staff, volunteers, the families of our students, and most importantly the children who walk through our doors every day. 

Many comments made last night about Prairie School were disheartening, inaccurate, and based on a lack of knowledge.

Albert Einstien said, "The only source of knowledge is experience".

We know the comments and statements made about Prairie did not come from those who have walked in our school, talked to our teachers, seen the exciting learning that goes on in our classrooms, seen our students praised, greeted, high fived throughout our building. 

We here at Prairie, experience every day, the knowledge that we have great families and children who walk through our doors.  We witness teachers and staff teaching, modeling, nurturing, and caring for their students. 

We work HARD!


We experience SUCCESS!


"Believe while others are doubting"- William Arthur Ward



Are you kidding wrote on March 28, 2012 at 10:03 pm


Thank goodness for Member Fisher comments last night. She's a gem!!! She understands. She was there every day when her children went to Prairie. She was the PTA Safety Committee Chair. She did her darnedist to make sure students, parents, and staff were safe in the crazy old driveway and parking lot situation. Standing in the cold, snow, rain, heat to direct traffic or help open car doors. And she understands and knows her neighborhood. She does care.

The people in the crowd last night who spoke so badly of Prairie, will damage their own kids with uppity attitudes that they are too 'special' to associate with the Prairie students. Well, they'll have to do it when they get to the middle school, like Fisher said 'they all meet at the middle school'.

These school board members need to be praised for holding their tongues as well as they did. They were hurt by the evil things these people were saying. But, at the end of the day "You have to consider the source". The blind leading the blind. How extremely arrogant of them. Showing their true colors.