Parents worried about impact of proposed change to Belvidere School District boundaries

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ROCKFORD (WREX) — Meehan Elementary is getting crowded and the Belvidere School District says it has a solution, change the boundary lines.

But, that solution isn’t sitting well with some parents.

“It angers me because where is the district’s commitment to us as a family that committed to this dual language program,” Erin Walsh, a parent says.

Walsh is one of several parents who live in the Prarie Green subdivision in poplar grove. Right now, her children go to Lincoln Elementary which has a dual language program.

“Our middle child has been enrolled in the program since kindergarten and she is completely fluent in Spanish and she’s in the fourth grade,” Walsh says.

But Walsh’s kids would move to Caledonia Elementary School if the district changes the boundaries. It’s a school that doesn’t offer a dual language program. It also doesn’t offer a program called the grade leveler, which Karri Anderberg and Eric Miller’s child uses.

“I don’t think it’s fair,” Anderberg says. “I don’t think it’s fair to any of the students.”

Anderberg says her step daughter struggled with math and the grade leveler helped her scores improve.

“Now in fifth grade, she’s an AB student,” Miller says. “I can’t be any more proud of her for doing that.”

The Belvidere School District told 13 news over the phone that those students in those programs may have an opportunity to stay at Lincoln Elementary, but its no guarantee. That lack of certainty is leaving these parents on edge.

“We made a conscious decision to move into one of the schools that had the dual language program,” Walsh says.

The district says we should learn more information in February about the impact this change could have on those programs. The district’s superintendent, Daniel Woestman says, also says he doesn’t have a timeline of when those changes will happen. He says the earliest would be this fall.

Andi TenBarge

Andi TenBarge

Reporter

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