6. Peer jury controversy
A group fighting for the restoration of the Downers Grove Township peer jury program received some encouraging news in December when two township trustees agreed to explore options to resurrect the program.
The township in July suspended the peer jury program after failing to receive a $130,000 state grant to help fund youth services programming. The grant helped pay for personnel in the township's youth services department.
Soon after the decision, a group of residents organized to explore ways to run the program privately. But their efforts were put on hold because the group believed it did not have the support of township Supervisor Mark Thoman.
The volunteers have been critical of Thoman for unilaterally ending the program instead of bringing the matter to the township board.
7. District 58 resolves boundary issue
Downers Grove Grade School District 58 Board of Education members in December made a decision in the Highland Elementary School boundary issue, which had been under consideration for several months.
After considering several options, the board decided to maintain Highland School’s current attendance boundaries but capped enrollment for kindergarten, first, third and fourth grades next school year.
The move ensures enrollment does not grow beyond classroom capacity, district officials said. Incoming kindergarten students with older siblings attending Highland School will receive priority enrollment to ensure families stay together.
New students entering the capped grades will transfer to nearby Belle Aire School when the enrollment capacity is reached. The district will provide transportation. New families with children in both capped and non-capped grades may decide to transfer all their children to Belle Aire School.