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Updated Attendance Plan Offers Slower Transition for Bilingual Students


​​​The Rockford School Board will hear an updated proposal next month that would move the RPS 205 bilingual program closer to home for middle and high school students enrolled in the program. The plan was recently updated to gradually phase in the change for bilingual students, instead of moving the entire program and all its students for the 2017-18 school year.

The original plan adjusted attendance boundaries for secondary schools and moved bilingual program zones – and all students in the middle or high school bilingual program – starting with the 2017-18 school year. If approved, the bilingual program would move from Eisenhower Middle School to RESA Middle School, and from Guilford High School to Jefferson High School. Based on feedback from two community meetings, the Administration has agreed to phase in the new zone plan for bilingual students, as well.

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 would 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 would be phased in through a process called grandfathering.

The updated plan provides continuity for students – both in regular education classes and the bilingual program. Learn more about the updated plan at a meeting from 5-6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1, at Jefferson High School, 4145 Samuelson Road. (Administrators will review plans to move the bilingual program from 5-5:30 p.m.; other zone changes will be reviewed from 5:30-6 p.m.) The School Board will hear the proposal at its Dec. 13 meeting.​​

Maps of the proposed zone changes illustrate the current student assignment plan vs. the proposed plan: Amende​d high school zone recommendation and comparison; Amended 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.