The Evanston/Skokie District 65 School Board this week made changes to the administration’s proposal for dealing with overcrowding at its Lincolnwood School that would keep a classroom for emotionally disabled (ED) students at Lincolnwood next year and also provide space for an additional fourth grade classroom.

The administration’s plan was to move the ED students to Kingsley School and to convert a small conference room to a classroom that could accommodate up to 16 students, a move that would alleviate the school’s space situation through the 2016-2017 school year.

Actually, only one additional classroom space is needed for the next two school years, but the second space would be needed for the 2014-2015 year and beyond, based upon current enrollment projections.

Since the plan was announced, board members reported hearing complaints from two sectors: advocates for disabled students and parents of next year’s fourth grade students.  The former objected to moving the ED program to another school, while the latter felt that an additional classroom for the students currently in the third grade was needed.

Hence, the decision was made to deal with those two issues for the 2012-2013 year and to consider future years at the board’s planning session on June 21.

Assuming that the new allocation survives the budget planning process that culminates in August and that current enrollment projections hold up, Lincolnwood next year would still convert the conference room to a classroom, but would allocate that space for an additional fourth grade section.

Future changes planned for the school would involve converting its auditorium into a lunchroom and converting the present lunchroom, located on the lower level of the school, to two additional classrooms, including a larger room for art.

The school’s consulting architect, however, proposed installing an elevator for $75,000, which would enable disabled students to access the basement level lunch room and leaving the auditorium as it is.

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...

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