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Local Editorials

Our view: As enrollment rises, school district looking ahead

The City of Yorkville is continuing to grow and, as a result, enrollment in Yorkville School District Schools continues to climb. As we reported Jan. 3, the past year was another strong one for residential construction in the city, with 259 new residences, including 223 single-family homes, permitted for construction.

Anticipating continued enrollment growth, Yorkville School District officials have retained a Chicago-based consulting firm to assist them in preparing a “EVOLUTION 115,” a plan that assesses the district’s current buildings, enrollment projections and educational programming. The overall goal, according to the district, “is to determine how to use and improve the district’s schools to support the best practices in teaching and learning.”

As part of the plan’s preparation, the district hosted the first in what will be a series of community meetings last week in the auditorium of Yorkville Middle School. The meeting was lightly attended, but the district also live-streamed the meeting on its website at y115.org where it remains available for viewing. The next community meeting in the series is set for Feb. 12.

During last week’s meeting, Superintendent Dr. Tim Shimp discussed how enrollment continues to climb at each of the district’s schools. For example, he noted that the high school’s enrollment is at 1,860 students and the middle school’s enrollment is “pushing 1,000” students. “As our schools get bigger, typically you see less opportunities for kids,” he said. “So as a community we also need to talk about looking at all of our facilities and the footprint that they provide, what does that mean for our schools in the future and what does our community want?”

Importantly, Shimp noted the district is not yet to the point of having to build new schools or even remodel or knockdown existing buildings. But if homebuilding continues at its current pace, the pressure on the school district to provide more classroom space and other facilities for its growing enrollment will most certainly continue to rise. District officials are wise in undertaking the EVOLUTION 115 planning process in an effort to prepare the district and its grown number of residents for the growth that is yet-to-come. We encourage district residents to take the time to either attend upcoming EVOLUTION 115 meetings or watch them on the school district’s website.

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