From Huntley Unit School District 158 Superintend Scott Rowe:
Huntley 158 Enrollment Trends and Impact on Future Staffing
Huntley 158 community,
We want to provide you with information about ongoing enrollment trends in our district and the impacts that these trends will have on our staff and schools.
Our community has been fortunate to experience tremendous growth over the past 20+ years.
We have benefited from the population and housing boom of the 2000s that transformed our area from a rural community into a thriving suburb.
Along with that growth came an influx of young families, and our District has experienced huge enrollment growth over that time.
Now, the population boom has begun to slow, and our community has begun to mature.
With these trends comes declining school enrollment.
Over the past few years, we have seen enrollment decline, reflected primarily in smaller numbers of kindergarten students entering the District.
Since the 2015-2016 school year, the District’s total enrollment has decreased from 9,631 to the current enrollment of 9,203.
Even as enrollment has decreased, the District has found ways to create new programs, add support in our buildings with existing staff, and absorb positions as teachers leave the District.
By filling many of these positions internally, the District has been able to avoid making reductions in our teaching staff and maintain a standard of excellence in educational achievement and innovation.
As we prepare for the 2020-2021 school year, it has become evident that a reduction in our teaching staff will need to occur.
Based on the enrollment trend at Marlowe Middle School, it will be necessary to reduce one team at each grade level at that school.
In addition, as enrollment in our early grades continues to decline, it will be necessary to reduce the number of teachers at the elementary level as well.
These reductions will impact many different buildings, based primarily on the subject areas staff members are licensed to teach, their performance evaluations, and their seniority in the District.
At this time, an exact number of reductions is still being determined.
As teachers choose to retire, pursue opportunities outside our District, or request leaves of absence, those positions will be evaluated.
If a position becomes available due to one of these reasons, and is able to be filled internally, the total number of reductions may decrease.
The District will continue to communicate with our staff and community members about the impacts of these moves.
These kinds of decisions are agonizing but necessary. We remain committed to the staff members who have chosen to serve our learning community so well over the years.
In this spirit we will make every effort to help teachers affected by reductions find employment in neighboring districts and support them through the interviewing process.
Thank you for your understanding and support as we move forward with this difficult process.
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It appears that Steve Willson was correct when he used the prospect of fewer potential McHenry County College students to argue against massive expansion.