“Wanna Move?”: New Belvidere School District video aims to attract more students

Wanna move?  That’s the caption of a video posted on the Belvidere School District’s Facebook page on Wednesday morning.

"We just hope that people that are looking at the region and considering where they should live, take into consideration some of the things that the Belvidere School District have to offer and why we are unique," Belvidere School District Superintendent Daniel Woestman said. 

It came a few hours before a sit-down with four Stateline superintendents focused on attracting more students to the region, not a specific district. Although Rockford Public Schools said working together doesn’t mean schools shouldn’t fight for more students. 

"There’s absolutely competition, because we ultimately want families to live in our community and go to our schools we are very explicit in the Rockford Public Schools that we want to be the first choice for families," RPS 205 Superintendent Ehren Jarrett said.

If you watch the video, you see the Belvidere School District makes it a point to tout it property tax rate, which according to the Boone County Assessor’s Office is 10.8 percent for the city of Belvidere. That’s four percentage points lower than Rockford’s.

"In some respects, they’re all competing to provide the best products to students, so they can maintain their populations," Rockford Area Realtors President Steve Bois said.

The video also promotes the district’s technology and it’s ability to put Chromebooks in every student’s hands.  

But, when asked if the video aimed to compete with local districts? Woestman said no.

"I know everybody thinks that… So that’s not the focus," Woestman said. "It’s not the focus to compete with other school districts in the area." 

Other districts said they have no problem with nearby schools showing what they have to offer. 

"There’s always that edge of, oh we’re doing this program in our district, but certainly its usually in the way of you’re welcome to join us and we would love to join you in your efforts," Harlem School District Superintendent Julie Morris said.

According to Rockford Area Realtors, 40 percent of first-time home-buyers consider the quality of a school district before purchasing a home.

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