Ptacek Proposes Small Section of East Morton Moves To Washington From Overcrowded South

By Benjamin Cox on October 20, 2022 at 9:29am

File photo of construction at Washington Elementary School in September.

One small pocket of students along Jacksonville’s east end may be at a new school next year.

Jacksonville School District 117 Superintendent Steve Ptacek says that South Elementary is becoming overcrowded and students from that district need to shift elsewhere to alleviate the burden: “The main goal of looking at the boundaries once again is to look at the high numbers at South and Washington low numbers, even since we implemented the new boundaries in the Fall 2018. There’s been a drastic change in the numbers since then. I analyzed multiple different ways we could address both of those issues. That area of Rolling Acres and Green Acres across the street on [East] Morton was an area in question about whether to send those kids to South or Washington even back when we originally re-did the boundaries. That seems to be the easiest transition, both transportation-wise, geographic-wise. I also think with there being a brand new school at Washington, I think that could be an attractive thing for those families. They would also be going to a school with lower class sizes.”

Ptacek says the shift in the 1000 block of East Morton Avenue would effect about 42 students: “Now, we will talk about the boundary change at the next board meeting with a potential final vote on that in December. In the meantime, I will reach out to those families and talk about that change with those families. 42 K-5 students would be moved from South to Washington.”

Using enrollment data from Skyward, South Elementary’s enrollment would fall to 281 with the move and have an average of about 28 kids per class per grade level. Currently, South averages about 32 kids per classroom with a currently enrollment of 323.

Ptacek also presented other proposals that would have shifted some students out of Eisenhower to North, as well as other students out of South into Murrayville-Woodson that had less of an impact on South’s current enrollment overcrowding.

Parents in the effected area will be afforded the opportunity to speak with Ptacek privately or during the next school board meeting on November 16th.