63% of voters said “yes” to the District 34 referendum in April of 2017. Because of this vote of confidence, District 34 has accomplished the following outcomes:
1. Shifted to a K-5 Grade Level Configuration. In the current District 34 configuration, students attend three different schools during their K-8 school experience. Hillcrest Elementary School serves as the Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten and first grade center. Students then attend one of 3 elementary schools that serve a grade 2-5 population (Oakland, W.C. Petty and Antioch Elementary School). All students then attend Antioch Upper Grade School (AUGS) for their remaining 6-8th grade years. District 34 has changed the configuration to a K-5 structure which will reduce the number of required school transitions. This K-5 configuration creates neighborhood schools and allows for more efficient bussing.
2. Eliminated Portable/Mobile Classrooms. Over the years, District 34 has acquired 16 portable classrooms to accommodate growing student populations. These learning spaces are not ideal and require students and staff to travel out of doors to access the main buildings. Not only have we eliminated portable classrooms, but we have enhanced student and staff safety and security and provided greater aesthetic value on our school campuses.
3. Created Greater Equity of Learning Spaces Across all Schools. There was a wide range of low-quality learning spaces as a result of the age of school buildings ranging from 15 years old to 90 years old. Some schools had central air conditioning while others did not. Some schools had separate spaces for the gymnasium and cafeteria while other schools had a combined gymnasium/cafeteria space. There was also a wide range of fluctuation in the sizes of the classrooms, quality of lighting, room temperatures and other variables that impacted student learning. The completion of the Master Facility Plan has greatly increased the equity and quality of learning spaces across the District.
4. Capitalized on the Timing of the Retirement of Debt Obligations. District 34 replaced existing debt that was due to retire in 2017. The passed referendum did not increase the amount of annual property taxes paid by a homeowner for the District’s bond and interest payments. Enjoy the highlights from each of our schools that were renovated over the last two years.