The Rockford School Board tonight agreed to update student attendance boundaries for middle and high schools. The plan also moves the bilingual program closer to home for middle and high school students enrolled in the program.
The plan was first announced in August and updated in November to allow all students – including students in the bilingual program – to stay at their current school for the rest of their time at that particular school.
The bilingual program will move from Eisenhower Middle School to RESA Middle School, and from Guilford High School to Jefferson High School. Based on feedback from community meetings, the Administration has agreed to phase in the new zone plan for bilingual students, instead of moving the entire program and all its students for the 2017-18 school year. Here’s how the updated plan works:
- Current bilingual students attending Eisenhower Middle School and Guilford High School can remain in their current school. That means a student who started as a freshman in the bilingual program at Guilford for the current school year can continue his or her high school career at that school, even though the program will move to Jefferson starting with the 2017-18 school year. The same is true for a new sixth grader this school year; he or she will be able to complete middle school in the bilingual program at Eisenhower.
- Any students who are new to the RPS 205 bilingual program or students starting sixth grade or ninth grade for the 2017-18 school year will attend school at RESA Middle School or Jefferson High School.
- Students who are not in the bilingual program but are affected by the zone change could stay in their current school for the remainder of middle school or high school; the changes will be phased in through a process called grandfathering.
The updated plan provides continuity for students – both in regular education classes and the bilingual program. An estimated 10 to 15 percent of secondary students – including bilingual program students – will be affected.
Maps of the zone changes illustrate the current student assignment plan vs. the new plan, effective in 2017-18: High school zone recommendation and comparison; Middle school zone recommendation and comparison. The bulk of the changes affect attendance zones for Eisenhower and Guilford, which will increase because of plans to relocate the bilingual program. Secondary zones were last updated for the 2011-12 school year.
Administrators regularly evaluate student attendance zones – also called boundaries – because of enrollment trends and shifts in student population. Secondary zones were last updated for the 2011-12 school year. Student population has shifted since then, and boundaries must change to accommodate.