The Summit Hill School District 161 board unveiled and approved new boundaries Wednesday, outlining which schools students will attend in a post-Mary Drew world.
The new boundary lines were drawn with an eye to distributing students so the district could maximize capacity in all of its schools, said Supt. Barb Rains, who presented the new map to the new superintendent's advisory committee earlier this month before bringing it before the board to vote on at Wednesday night's meeting.
The new district map was needed after the board voted to close as part of a three-year budget-cutting plan developed to eliminate a more than $3 million deficit.
Using the above map, the redistribution is as follows:
- Purple area: Students will attend
- Green area: Students will attend
- Red area: Students will attend
- Orange area: Students will attend
District Finance Director Dean Gerdes also gave the board more complete and detailed cost-savings estimates for the district thanks to Mary Drew's closing. Although he didn't go through each line-item saving because of the late hour, Gerdes did say the estimated total savings for the district was $670,808. (Editor's note: The blog transcript lists an erroneous total estimate because of confusion over two sets of numbers presented to the board)
Wednesday's meeting lasted more than five hours in part because the board went in to closed session with district lawyers for almost two hours.
The board also discussed raising club, sports and band fees for the next school year, but tabled any decision on the matter until next meeting in order to gather more information about how much revenue the district could earn under different fee structures.
For more details from the meeting, read the transcript from Wednesday night's--and Thursday morning's--live blog. Check back Thursday afternoon for more updates, and come back Friday for a breakdown of the cost savings from the Mary Drew closing.