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District 304 board votes to move Batavia Highlands children

Published: Tuesday, April 23, 2013 5:30 a.m. CST • Updated: Tuesday, April 23, 2013 6:19 a.m. CST

GENEVA – Despite emotional pleas not to move their children from Williamsburg to Western Avenue next year, the Geneva School District 304 board voted, 5-1, with one absent Monday in favor of a recommendation to do just that.

Board member Michael McCormick cast the lone “no” vote and board member Timothy Moran was absent. As they did at the last school board meeting, Batavia Highlands subdivision parents of the 16 children scheduled to be moved next school year held signs criticizing the school board, such as, “They are not targets. They are children.” 

Although their subdivision is in Batavia, it is in the District 304 boundary.

Parent Angela Morrison criticized the boundary task force, saying it was made up of only school board members with an agenda, saying the issue should have been studied by a committee with only one person from the board.

“None of these kids should have to be moved,” Morrison said. 

Another parent, Michelle Burgwaldt, said their area has been moved repeatedly over the years. Burgwaldt said there was no reason their area could not be phased out of Williamsburg, meaning children there now could stay, but future children would go to Western. 

“If any other area in Geneva has been moved this many times as we have been – I guarantee it’s not,” Burgwaldt said, breaking down into tears. “It’s personal to me.” 

Superintendent Kent Mutchler said the boundary change is called an adjustment because it does not move major numbers of students around. He noted the task force held four public forums before issuing a recommendation. 

“The numbers are dynamic,” Mutchler said. “The main goal was to balance enrollment between schools … We would like to keep them there [at Western] forever, if possible.”

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