Dist. 205 to consider school boundaries in the coming months

The District 205 Board of Education could see some options for new school boundaries next month.

Superintendent Dr. John Asplund said that the administration would like to create new parameters for determining the boundaries of the kindergarten through fourth-grade attendance center.

For instance, he said, how many blocks from each school do board members want to set the boundaries, determining where a student goes to school — as he described with a current situation.. “if we control for socioeconomic standing, one of the models that we drew up showed that if you lived on the corner of Dayton and Seminary streets you would go to Steele. Well, you can see Silas Willard from that house. So, using that as a logic we’re like, ‘well that probably isn’t the best idea,'” Asplund told board members.

Asplund suggested parameters of four, eight and 12 block examples.

Another thing to consider is the socio-economic standing of the students in the school. He said the goal would be to avoid loading one school with students who get free and reduced lunches while only having a small percentage of those students in another.

The indication is that the board would make a decision on school boundaries in November.

Board members also seemed to indicate they were taking no action on the issue of cell phone use in class.

Superintendent Dr. John Asplund said a survey was conducted and the results were that 52 percent of teachers think cell phones should never be used in class while 42 percent thought maybe they should.

Asplund highlighted the efforts of Galesburg North Principal, Jason Spring, who held the opinion that students had the right to have their cell phones in class… until recently.

“I will tell you my mind over the last couple of years has been changed a little bit. Because we’re seeing as much more of a distraction. Teachers are having a hard time getting through the lessons with kids because they’re constantly redirecting the kids to put their phone away,” Spring told the board.

Spring said that ultimately, due to the cell phone issue, there were more failures and an increase in “drama.”

After adopting a new policy, having kids put their phones in lockers for the first two periods of the day and allowing them to check them later, Galesburg North has seen a drop in issues and kids have reported to administrators that they’ve fewer problems focusing.

Board members seemed to agree that the issue of cell phones should be handled within the buildings and not by the board.

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