The time has come to connect some dots at Oswego 308 School District. This actually starts with the last time boundary lines were redrawn in this district.
The School Board at that time (three members still in place from that redraw) decided to put special interests first and drew lines how it fit their personal goals. After this was done, they then attempted to fit our Special Needs students with IEPs and 504s wherever they could fit them. This led to some of our most at risk students being bounced from school to school every year. Realize there are cases of students who had to switch schools every year of their elementary career.
An audit was then conducted on the Special Education Department. They found three significant findings: 1) The process of HOW they redrew the lines was done incorrectly 2) Minorities were given IEPS at a higher rate than neighboring districts and 3) Test scores were much lower. The test scores became an issue because our Administration quotes scores as reason to leave the Kendall County Co-Op. However, when presented to the Board, NO MENTION was made of the impact of moving kids year to year. Why?
Simple, it would immediately lead to the following question. How do we prevent our most at risk kids from moving every year? If you tell the Oswego Intergovernmental Body you have room for more students but you move Special Needs kids because some schools do NOT have room, the only solution is to redraw the lines.
Due to outcry from distraught parents, Administration DID send representatives to speak to concerned parents about leaving the Kendall County Co-Op. However, this meeting was AFTER the vote to leave the Co-Op. During one meeting, one administrator stated they wanted to conduct these meetings before but had to wait for the Board to approve the exit. The same Board that chastised Administration for waiting until the last minute to roll out the exit?
Let’s add in the troubling solution to the BPAC Parental Group that is required to exist and be involved by ISBE (the State Board of Education) in order to receive Grant Money from the state for Programs we are required to provide legally. When approached by BPAC, the administration and Board’s solution has been to contact ISBE and attempt to find ways to minimize their input...from PARENTS?!
What happened to four of the seven Board Members who sat on the Board last time the lines were redrawn? Four brand new members were elected. The reason we need to pay attention now is because this Board and Administration (though they seem to blame the other) have demonstrated the following: 1) Lines need to be redrawn 2) Parental involvement is discouraged and 3) They continue to wait until the last minute. I encourage all citizens to write to your Board members and Superintendent Wendt and demand a response regarding their intentions to redraw the lines during this school year ( an election year)!Jared Ploger
Oswego 308 Citizen/Voter
Editor's note: This letters is contributed by a community member, and the views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation.