It has been a number of years since sixth grade has been housed at Lake Villa School District 41’s middle school. Due to increased enrollment at the middle school in the early 2000s, sixth grade was moved to the elementary buildings in 2002. Fast forward to the year 2020 and the middle school enrollment has decreased from 691 five years ago to 586 students today. At the same time, some of our elementary schools have limited space.
The Lake Villa School District 41 Facility Committee began looking at a comprehensive building plan in 2018 to address these challenges, as well as a referendum to address space, HVAC systems, and general maintenance of the buildings. Soon after, the District held meetings, sent surveys and worked with parents, community members, staff, and students to discuss different 6th grade programming options. Overwhelmingly, all stakeholders chose the current middle school model, in which students move to different classes. In November of 2019, the School Board voted to transition sixth graders to Palombi beginning the 2021-2022 school year.
Dr. Vic Wight, Principal of Palombi Middle School, stated, “The feedback provided to us over the past year and a half has culminated in an exciting plan for the sixth grade with slight modifications to courses for current students as well.”
The plan for sixth grade has been presented to staff, parents, and the School Board. The next six months will consist of filling positions for the new schedule, communicating with students and parents about the new opportunity in a variety of ways, and working with staff to be part of a new team. The Palombi Staff is excited to be able to develop further relationships with all students and provide them with dynamic middle school aged opportunities.