D200 Considering Closing Three Grade Schools, Putting Woodstock North High School Students in Old Woodstock High, 5% Tax Savings Envisioned

usan Handlesman fills readers in on Woodstock School District 200 Facilities Committee recommendations:

D200 Facility Review Committee (physical building review)

Recommendations of our committee:

Close

  • Clay Academy
  • Dean Street School
  • Northwoods School

and consolidate those students into remaining elementary and middle school buildings.

Students at Woodstock North High School would be transferred to Woodstock High School.

Students at Woodstock North High School would be transferred to Woodstock High School.

Consolidate Woodstock North High School students into Woodstock High School, keep WNHS building open as a tech campus.

Close rented administration offices and sell additional building across the street housing administration offices, and move admin to WNHS or other school building.

These actions are expected to generate about $3 million annual savings, which is roughly 5% of current levy.

Furthermore, there will be around $6 million in capital savings, as Clay Academy, Dean Street, and Northwoods “need” roughly $2 million each in building improvements.

The recommendations are based upon the ongoing enrollment severely below enrollment capacity at many D200 schools.

When three new school buildings were built nine years ago, new enrollment capacity for 3,300 students was created.

There has been no growth in enrollment.

The recommended consolidations would remove 1,600 enrollment capacity out of that additional 3,300, leaving 1,700 capacity for enrollment growth.

Superintendent Michael Moan indicated that the school district projected no foreseeable future enrollment growth, rather that enrollment would decline.

He was asked what he thought should be done and he stated that he would not back recommendations which would harm students academically, and that these consolidations would not harm students academically.

He said something had to be done to lower property taxes.

Woodstock property tax rate is 4.6% of home’s fair market value.

The next meeting will be January 12th.

The recommendation of the facility review committee focusing on buildings will be presented to other two committees at that time.

There will then be discussion (arguments), and the consensus recommendation will be presented to the school board.

The board is expected to hold public hearings before reaching a decision.


Comments

D200 Considering Closing Three Grade Schools, Putting Woodstock North High School Students in Old Woodstock High, 5% Tax Savings Envisioned — 20 Comments

  1. One of the complaints from students will be that some of the classrooms at Woodstock High School don’t have air conditioning, whereas all the classrooms at Woodstock North High School have air conditioning.

    Woodstock approved a new collective bargaining agreement for teachers for 2016 – 2021.

    If things are so bad why were the pay and stipend schedules in that collective bargaining agreement not frozen….the answer is because that’s not part of the process…the process is to compare pay and benefits to surrounding districts and hike pay and benefits.

    Once again, no change document has been issued for the 2012 – 2021 collective bargaining agreement, indicating change from the previous agreement, with for example underline text for additions and stricken text for deletions.

    Obtaining a change document should be a top priority.

    What are the chances the administration and union had no means to easily identify changes from the previous agreement to the 2016 – 2012 agreement….just about zero…obviously a negotiator needs a way to identify changes…every single change…so it could be provided but is not because no one forces the issue…it is status quo…just do what every other district does…the top priority is hiking pay and benefits and that is what was done.

  2. Typo.

    Should be, no change document has been issued for the 2016 – 2021 collective bargaining agreement

  3. Adobe Acrobat Document Cloud has a new “compare” feature where one pdf can be compared to another.

    Due to its use of color highlights to identify changes, it is a starting point and not a solution to identify the changes in the current Woodstock District 200 teacher contract.

    Unless someone wants to spend time to create a change document themselves, the change document would have to be obtained by submitting a FOIA request to the school district.

    And then one would wait and see if the school district wants to be compliant or play games.

    +++++++

    Some other versions of Adobe Acrobat also have the Compare feature.

    It’s a resource intensive feature…the PC runs slow when compare the current Woodstock teacher contract to the previous contract.

  4. Yes, recall problem with land & water aquifer located under building site of WNHS.

    Maybe that’s why WNHS built smaller than the old WHS?

    The dilemma I see is that population growth for three new schools never materialized, and student growth is no longer projected.

    Something has to be done.

    I don’t like it but I believe Mike Moan when he says changes are necessary to lower our property taxes and these actions won’t impact academics.

  5. I could be wrong but I thought charges were filed regarding the land acquisition.

  6. Please know that no decisions or conclusions have been made.

    These have merely been suggestions brought up at the meetings.

    Also, I would invite the author of the article to look into the actual names of these schools, as Northwood Middle School was referred to on multiple occasions as “Northwoods Schools.”

    If you would like to read a letter sent out yesterday from Superintendent Mike Moan (who is also a member of this committee), please follow this link:

    http://www.woodstockschools.org/sites/default/files/woodstockschooldistrict200/document/FacilitiesReviewCommitteeProcessLtrDec2016.pdf

    There is also an open, public forum to be held on Dec. 20th, 6:00pm in the Woodstock High School Auditorium.

    Please come, be informed and voice your opinions.

  7. This article is so misleading as to be dangerous. Last night in a public forum it was announced that:

    1. this is only one of several options that are being explored

    2. no decision has been made to recommend this specific solution

    3. this specific solution had not been explored in any depth beyond deciding that yes, it would save money.

    My understanding is that there are 60+ members of the committee.

    Does Ms. Handlesman have some authority over the rest of the committee?

    Why are the things she is saying so completely different than what was presented to us last night?

    Does she run the committee?

    Did she attend the meeting last night, and if so, what is her position today now that it’s clear that what she’s saying and what the school district is saying are in such clear opposition.

    Some follow up would be deeply appreciated.

  8. Jeremy, I do not know why D200 has chosen not to post much of the information our committee was given.

    I have been attempting to post it on this blog.

    No I have no greater voice than any other on this committee.

    More info is of greater value than less. I have other posts which clearly indicate, as you say,: .

    1.this is only one of several options that are being explored

    2. no decision has been made to recommend this specific solution

    3. this specific solution had not been explored in any depth beyond deciding that yes, it would save money.

    we were given docs which indicated the cost to run D200 Admin building 1 ran $195000 in 2016-17, then one day before Jan 12 meeting of the whole the number was revised down enormously, without prior notice to (at least me, I cannot speak for rest of) buildings committee.

    I am now given to understand that that cost figure included, for one thing, a lot of phones for administrators which may or may not be taxable fringe benefits that are not included in ‘salary & benefits’.

    I am not given specific info on certain details.
    But that is discussion on a different topic.

    PLEASE engage with me, or someone from the Community of Woodstock who has looked at the budgets, spending, borrowing and hiring by this school in the last 5-10 years and try to relate to the CRISIS that most in this community are undergoing as a result of the spending, etc..

    Facilities have been operating at full expense, but severe under-capacity, and that costs A LOT of money.

    Ignoring that fact is no longer an option, so I hope ALL people in the taxing District of Woodstock D200 will participate in finding equitable options for going forward.
    Having complete and correct data is the first step toward that.

    The more I can get published out there, I think, the better for us all to be enabled to make informed analysis and tough choices.

  9. The following is posted on the district’s home page.

    “Facility Reviews Update

    January 11, 2017

    Since October 2016, District 200 has gone through a process to review our facilities.

    This group is comprised of community members, administration, and staff, who have been engaged in a process of reviewing the current state of District 200 facilities along with examining future needs for facility utilization.

    Read More.”

    +++++++++++++++++++

    Clicking on “Read More” brings one to the following.

    The above information is posted (but the date vanishes) along with:

    +++++++++++++++++++

    “Information regarding the Facilities Review process is available on this website.

    Please click here to visit the Facilities Review page where you will find:

    – A live-stream link to the Facilities Review committee meetings, to help make the facilities review process more accessible to our community.

    – Facilities Review Committee meeting Agendas.

    – Question & Answer resulting from the Community Forums.

    – Information and Resources

    Upcoming dates of note include:

    – January 12, 2017 – Committee Meeting (live-streamed via the District 200 website) at 5:30 p.m.

    – January 13, 2017 – Community survey distributed, providing all stakeholders an opportunity to offer input.

    A link to the survey will be available on the District 200 website.

    – January 17, 2017 – Community Forum – Woodstock High School Auditorium, 6:00 p.m.

    Remember to check the District 200 website for updates on the Facilities Review process.

    http://www.woodstockschools.org/news/facilities-review-update

  10. Meeting Alert

    Tuesday, January 17, 2017 at 6PM

    There will be a Community Forum about Facilities Review at the Woodstock High School Auditorium.

  11. Please explain to the citizens and students of District 200 how closing schools and over-crowding classrooms will benefit the education of our children.

    Mike Moan – who was quite evasive in answering any questions on the 17th – should not worry about property taxes; worry about giving our students the best education possible.

    Maybe we should be focusing on the growth and development of Woodstock and not how to have it go backwards.

    Let me ask you this, does ANYONE truly believe they will see a drop in taxes after they close the schools?

    Over crowding schools thwarts growth which in the end makes taxes rise.

    Promote development!

  12. Maybe if some committee member was just a little intelligent they would get rid of Northwood combine that with Woodstock North.

    Also close Creekside and combine that with Woodstock High school.

  13. I think this is a very bad idea, Woodstock doesn’t have enough room for all of us students at WNHS,and are you guys even thinking about the students, your causing stress and worry to many parents and student and many of us are very upset because we don’t feel that you are putting us first.

    It seems to me your only thinking about the money issue, why not just not move anyone and maybe cut down on other less needed things.

    From what i am told by many school employees they think this idea is stupid, students are going to be stressed and panicked if you move them to a brand new building that we know nothing about and take our high school where we became a family.

    WNHS is not just a building or a school to us students, this is our family, and your taking that away!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.