HIGHLAND PARK – Despite parents’ protests, the North Shore School District 112 Board of Education approved boundaries for the 2018-19 school year. Now new concerns are being addressed, as the district proposed the price for full-day kindergarten.
After analyzing other tuition-based full-day kindergarten (FDK) programs, D-112 proposed charging $3,150 for the 2018-19 school year.
“We calculated our projected FDK population of 381 (students) with 286 being eligible for tuition based on our current fee waiver percentage,” said CFO Chris Wildman at the November 28 North Shore School District 112 Board of Education meeting.
Out of the schools surveyed, 10 schools charge no fees for FDK.
Here are the FDK fees from seven other neighboring schools for the 2017-18 school year:
- Aptakisic-Tripp 102 $2,950
- Barrington 220 $3,500
- Deerfield 109 $1,040*
- Kildeer 96 $1,750
- Lake Bluff 65 $2,650**
- Lake Forest 67 $4,800
- Lincolnshire 103 $3,710
- Fee average: $2,914.00
*100 percent district funded for 2018-2019 (Approved)
**100 percent district funded for 2018-2019 (Recommendation)
Board member Bennett Lasko asked Wildman to consider reducing the fee from $3,150.
“We made this vote to close schools and we’re going to save about $3 million next year,” said board member Dan Jenks. “Part of that money we’re going to reinvest in education and part of it will go toward FDK. The question for the board is how much do we want to take of that $3 million and apply it, so I’m comfortable with three or four hundred thousand dollars.”
He added that Deerfield started with a much higher number and has been reducing it over a period of years, which might be true of Lake Bluff as well. Jenks said he would eventually like to reduce D-112’s FDK fee to zero.
Wildman said if a family inquires at the business office, the district would ask them to make an application to the National School Lunch Program waiver and if they qualify, the fee is waived. If they don’t qualify they can make a hardship request and there’s also the option of a payment plan.
“So there is flexibility in the business office,” Wildman added.
Lasko explained that he’s concerned because the district is implementing a new math curriculum which will increase the amount of math time which suggests having every student in FDK.
“I’m concerned about having the dollar figure becoming a barrier to the kids getting the right start with FDK, and we do have to be careful of how we spend the money,” he said.
Wildman replied, “It’s a fund balance impact question about how much the board wishes to spend from its operating budget and the fund balance and how it’s contributed to the tuition amount.”
After a board member suggested reducing the tuition fee to $2,500, board member Yumi Ross said, “I think we’re kidding ourselves if we don’t think that $2,500 is still going to be tough. “We need to put ourselves in other people’s shoes and we need more information to know who can afford it and who can’t.”
Residents also expressed concerns about the FDK tuition fees.
Separate sections will be offered for half-day and full-day kindergarten.
The board will determine tuition fees at the December 12 meeting.
Additionally, the board approved boundaries for the 2018-2019 school year as a part of the board approved Strategic Vision. The board voted 5 in favor of the new boundaries, while Adam Kornblatt voted no and Yumi Ross abstained from voting.
According to the district, the recommendations for boundary changes are based on school closings (Lincoln and Elm Place will close at the end of this school year), as well as the implementation of full-day kindergarten, special education program placement and dual language programs, among other factors.
After the meeting, Director of Communications Nicholas Glenn, told DailyNorthShore: “The board gave the administration direction to present how permissive transfers may be offered under the new boundary plan at the December 12 meeting.”
Board Strategic Vision: Elementary Boundary Revision:
- All Lincoln attends Indian Trail
- Oak Terrace and Wayne Thomas share boundaries with dual language students attending Oak Terrace whenever possible and monolingual students attending Wayne Thomas
- Sherwood and Red Oak dual language combined at Red Oak and all new dual language students that reside in the Edgewood boundary whenever possible
- Sherwood and Red Oak monolingual combined at Sherwood
- STEP: Moves from Indian Trail to Sherwood
- LEAP: Moves from Ravinia to Sherwood
- SAIL: Moves from Lincoln to Braeside
Board Strategic Vision Middle School Proposal:
- Northwood: Oak Terrace, Red Oak, Wayne Thomas
- Edgewood: Braeside, Indian Trail, Ravinia, Sherwood