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St. Charles School District Considering Closing Elementary School

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- A decline in enrollment is prompting a move to close one of the elementary schools in St. Charles District 303.

District 303 has been losing enrollment at its elementary schools for the past 11 years.

"The current elementary school boundaries that were created over a decade ago no longer distribute the student population across the district in an efficient manner," Supt. Jason Pearson wrote in a letter issued earlier this month. Pearson argued St. Charles was now a more "mature" community rather than "growing," resulting in the declining enrollment.

There are more than 12,000 enrolled students now. However, with enrollment expected to dip below 11,000 students by 2020, the district proposed closing Fox Ridge Elementary, one of 12 elementary schools, which could shuffle about 700 students district-wide. Additionally, the district proposed changes to boundaries.

Fox Ridge Elementary is at 69 percent capacity this school year, according to a district report.

"Our enrollment and birth rates are geographically out of balance, with higher birth rates and enrollment in the center of town and on the west side of the district, and with lower enrollments and birth rates on the east side," Pearson said.

The district figures the proposed changes it will save at least $280,000 a year.

A meeting to discuss the proposal is scheduled for Tuesday evening. The 303 school board is expected to vote on Feb. 12.


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