Focus groups to provide input on District 205 student assignment

From press release

Community members will receive several opportunities to voice their opinions about student assignment in Rockford Public Schools during a series of focus groups beginning this week.

The focus groups are part of a process to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the current method for assigning students. Participants in the focus groups will review results of a study that is being funded by a federal grant and is being conducted by independent outside consultant Shannon Bingham of Western Demographics, Inc., in Boulder, Colo.

Currently, students are assigned to high schools and middle schools based on where they live. Elementary students are assigned using a computerized lottery based on parent choice and seat availability, with preference given to students who live within a proximity zone or who have siblings attending a school.

The focus groups will evaluate a range of student assignment options that include leaving the current system in-tact, adopting attendance zones for elementary schools or developing a hybrid of the current elementary choice system and the attendance zones being used for middle schools and high schools. Input from the focus groups will guide an eventual recommendation to the Board of Education.

Meeting times, dates and locations are as follows:

Wednesday, April 28: 4-6 p.m., at Ellis Arts Academy, 222 S. Central Ave.

Friday, April 30: 5-7 p.m., at the Rockford Public Schools Administration Building, 201 S. Madison St.

Saturday, May 1: 9-11 a.m. and noon-2 p.m., at Sterling Holley Center; 2000 Christina St.; 3-5 p.m., at Brookview Elementary School, 1750 Madron Road

Thursday, May 6: 6-8 p.m., at Lathrop Elementary School, 2603 Clover Ave.

Friday, May 7: 5-7 p.m., at Thompson Elementary School, 4949 Marion Ave.

Saturday, May 8: 9-11 a.m., at Auburn High School Freshman Campus, 5620 N. Pierpont Ave.; noon-2 p.m., at Eisenhower Middle School, 3525 Spring Creek Road; and 3-5 p.m., at West Middle School, 1900 N. Rockton Ave.

Space is limited to 33 people per group. Interested people should call (815) 966-3162 or (815) 966-3066 to register.

From the April 28-May 4, 2010 issue

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