Channahon School Board starts looking at declining enrollment
By Jeanne Millsap For The Herald-News June 27, 2012 10:18AM
Updated: August 9, 2012 6:04AM
CHANNAHON — Channahon School District’s enrollment has been on a steady decline the past few years, and administrators say it most likely will continue to decrease at least for a few more.
An example is kindergarten enrollment, expected at 98 this fall, down from as many as 148 during the 2008-09 school year. With fewer students, the school board will need to decide whether to shutter a school or keep things as they are.
Of the four schools in the district — N.B. Galloway (preschool through second grade), Pioneer Path (third and fourth), Three Rivers (fifth and sixth) and Channahon Junior High (seventh and eighth) — Galloway might be most able to accommodate more grades, Superintendent Karin Evans told board members.
It may be wise to consider whether closing one of schools would save the district money, she said. One possibility is to take the entire population of Pioneer Path and move it to Galloway. Another would be to move third-graders to Galloway and fourth-graders to Three Rivers.
One problem that would need to be addressed, though, the board agreed, is the limited gym and lunchroom space at Galloway. The school currently has one space for both needs. If more grades are added there, a new gymnasium or a new lunchroom may have to be constructed.
“You could almost pay for a gym by shuttering a school,” board member Pat Clower noted.
This was the first discussion of the possibilities, and Evans said it was worth considering while staff pulled together figures on potential savings of shuttering vs. remaining in all four schools.
“We know that enrollment will increase at some point in the future,” she said, “or we could take a look at occupying only three buildings as we continue to monitor our overall enrollment.”