A proposal that includes closing Dean Street Elementary School and creating mono- and dual-language schools will be brought to the public for input in August and September by Woodstock School District 200.

The Board of Education set dates at its July 12 meeting for a series of community gatherings that will include presentations on the details of the proposal and time for questions and comments from community members.

The district will hold two events per week between Aug. 28 and Sept. 20, concluding in time for the Sept. 26 board meeting. 

A broader community forum night, similar to the one held in January, will be the final event before the board discusses the proposals again. 

“To me, that’s the greatest part of the process — the opportunity for the community to give feedback,” Superintendent Mike Moan said. 

Moan said concluding the meetings in September will allow the board time to implement any possible changes before the 2018-19 school year begins.

“This gives you three working meetings to approve a proposal before we’d get to the point of [making changes before the next school year],” Moan said. “We’ve got the October meetings, and a November meeting to see a proposal, present it fully, and then give the community another chance to come back and speak on it at least once, if not twice.”

The proposal under consideration by the school board would shutter Dean, create mono- and dual-language elementary schools and sell the district’s administrative office building on Judd Street, among other things. It was created by the district’s Facilities Review Committee, which was tasked with finding ways to save money and better use the district’s empty classroom space. 

The proposal represents a combination of three out of 14 plans that received at least 75 percent of the vote from the committee’s 49 members, which allowed it to be brought to the school board for consideration. It is still to be determined whether plans that did not meet the 75 percent threshold established by the committee will be discussed at the public meetings.

Board President Carl Gilmore advised board members to attend the community forum night. 

“I think it would be a good idea for the board members to hear what the community is saying in response for the types of questions that are asked,” Gilmore said. “That can add some valuable feedback and be very important in terms of decision-making.”

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