Unit 5 looking to shift students

By Anna Yee

February 27, 2013 Updated Feb 27, 2013 at 8:17 PM CDT

McLean Co., Ill. -- Big changes are coming for some Unit 5 schools in McLean County.

Next year, more than 200 students will be transitioned to Brigham Elementary School in Bloomington.

Unit 5 is in the process of redistricting those students to help ease overcrowding issues at Cedar Ridge and Benjamin Elementary Schools.

As of now, Brigham only teaches early childhood special education and pre-school at-risk students.

The district faces two options, turn Brigham into a regular K through 5 elementary school, or keep its current classes and absorb outside pre-K through first grade students.

Cedar Ridge would then cut those classes.

The school board will take a vote March 13.

"We're probably one of the fastest growing districts in Illinois," said Dr. Gary Niehaus, Unit 5 Superintendent, "and so as you have that issue, you'll also have to plan for that, and I think it's important for us to plan forward and to try to make sure that we have a place for every student that we have in our district."

Unit 5 would also adopt an "open attendance" policy, reassigning students to attend other schools outside their current attendance boundaries.

The public is welcome to weigh in on Unit 5's redistricting options at a forum at 6 p.m. Feb. 28, at Parkside Junior High School, 101 N. Parkside Road in Normal.

For maps and more information, visit Unit 5's website or click on the link above.

To submit a comment on this article, your email address is required. We respect your privacy and your email will not be visible to others nor will it be added to any email lists.