The School Board voted Monday night to accept the original recommendation of its boundary committee in redrawing the district’s 2012-13 attendance lines.
After another four hours of debate and public comment, the board voted 5-2 with board members Lynn Cullick and Laurie Pasteris voting no. Lessening the student population at The Wheatlands Elementary School was not addressed Monday night, and the board will discuss options for that at its March 5 meeting with a possible vote on those boundaries coming March 12.
One option being considered for The Wheatlands would be to move students from the Four Pointes or Amber Fields North subdivisions to Wolf’s Crossing Elementary School. The special education Life Skills program also could be moved to Wolf’s Crossing or Homestead Elementary School. The board will also discuss the possibility of removing kindergarten from The Wheatlands to help enrollment.
As for the rest of the district, Monday's final vote will mean:
- 324 students from the Homestead attendance boundaries will be moved from Bednarcik Junior High to Murphy Junior High in Plainfield.
- 66 Churchill Elementary School students from the Prescott Mill subdivision also will end up at Plainfield's Grande Park Elementary School and Murphy.
- 100 students from the downtown area, Saratoga Springs and Orchard Prairie will shift junior highs from Traughber to Thompson.
- 40 Bedncarcik students from Auburn Lakes in Plainfield will move to Murphy.
- 100 elementary students from Auburn Lakes will move from Wolf’s Crossing to Grande Park.
- 130 Morgan Crossing and Deerpath Trail students will move from Hunt Club to Prairie Point.
Board policy on boundary variances will allow for exceptions when capacity and programming will accommodate. However, bus service will not be provided for boundary exceptions.
The board also voted 6-0, with Pasteris abstaining, to accept the resignation of Superintendent Dan O’Donnell effective June 30.
After the meeting, O’Donnell said his resignation was due to a difference in leadership style between himself and the current board.
“This board is a lot different than the board that hired me, and I think it would be better for everyone if they were to hire a superintendent who more closely matched what they have in mind,” he said.
O'Donnell also said he has no other job prospects at the moment and will take some time to consider his options.
"I may just end up retiring," he said.
Editor's note: This story has been updated to more accurately reflect the location of Homestead students now heading for Murphy Junior High. We regret the error.