• Referendum FAQs

    District 41 faces significant challenges due to a lack of space and is stretched beyond capacity. All schools are overcrowded and don't have the space to control our class sizes, offer full-day kindergarten, grow our gold-status preschool, or add innovative programs.

    What does the community want to do to solve it?
    According to the community-driven engagement process in Spring 2022, community feedback showed that they are most in favor of building a new K-5 Elementary School on Spalding Property (property already owned by District 41) and a New Early Learning Center at Churchill School (240 Geneva Road, Glen Ellyn). This solution would require boundary changes across the district.

    What will it solve?
    All improvements desired by the community can be achieved, including maintaining small class sizes, full-day kindergarten at all elementary schools, PreK expansion, and the ability to provide innovative opportunities for students.

    Where is the “Spalding” property and why is it being proposed as the location of a new school?
    The Spalding property is an unimproved tract of land that the District owns located east of Main Street between 1st and 2nd street. It is located in the neighborhood just north of the great western trail.

    There is a Glen Ellyn Park District park adjacent to the northern boundary of the District owned land. The Park’s address is 22W325 2nd Street, Glen Ellyn, IL 60137

    ChurchillIs there enough space for a new Early Learning Center at Churchill?
    The early learning center would be an addition to the northwest corner of Churchill elementary. Currently the District is in the process of acquiring land directly north of the existing property line. The land being acquired will complete the required land needs for the early learning center addition.

    What are the benefits of offering Full-Day Kindergarten?
    Full day kindergarten contributes to increased school readiness, higher overall academic achievement in the primary grades and beyond, increased language and literacy development, social emotional benefits, and improved student attendance. Full day kindergarten may also save money over the long term by helping to decrease the need for academic and behavioral interventions in the future.

    What will building an Early Learning Center for preschool students accomplish? Don’t we already provide preschool?
    Currently, we serve about 140 students ages 3-5. While there are robust PreK options in our community, not all provide the same level of supports and services for students who qualify for an IEP or who are considered at-risk. Because we are a public school district, we are required to provide supports and services that other programs do not. Our program affords families a smooth transition from Birth to Three Programming as well as from PreK to Kindergarten.

    Since the Spalding Park area is unincorporated and does not have sidewalks on all of the streets in what will become the Spalding boundaries, do all students need to be bussed? 
    Per the Illinois State Board of Education, in an unincorporated area with no sidewalks, only children who would need to cross a “hazardous crossing” or live outside of 1.5 miles would qualify for busing. 

    What are the current enrollment numbers for preschool?
    District 41 currently has 147 students enrolled in PreK. Of those 147, 40 spots are allocated for our community tuition program that is currently full and has a waiting list. 70 of our current students receive the at-risk waiver. This waiver is granted to those families that may have additional risk factors such as economic hardships. 37 students in our program fall under the Special Education category. Our PreK numbers do fluctuate often as we have an open enrollment policy and students enroll throughout the year after turning 3 years old. Families interested in our preschool can sign up for screenings throughout the school year.

    To see historical enrollment data, click here
    Please note that during school years 2020-2021 and 2021-2022, enrollment numbers were dictated by social distancing requirements for in-person attendance during the pandemic.

    What does the district mean by providing more innovative opportunities for kids? 
    The additional classroom space created across the district by the addition of a new school at Spalding will allow for more areas within all school buildings for innovative inquiry-based and experiential learning, such as maker spaces. This additional space will also allow the district to be responsive to future innovations as technology and other advancements continue to evolve beyond what we even know exists today. 

    What are the state mandates for preschool for public school districts? 
    It is required for early childhood special education services for children, three through five years of age and their families, to be provided through local school districts and special education cooperatives.

    What funding, if any, if provided by the state to District 41 for preschool or is the preschool self-funded?
    District 41 is in year five of a five-year grant connected to Preschool For All (PFA) through the state.  D41 is slated to receive approximately $511,418 this school year in grant funding.  The District intends to apply for a new five-year grant during this school year.  If that application is not approved, then we would go back to funding the program locally as we did prior to the PFA grant.  Our direct costs related to the preschool program were approximately $558,527 last school year. 

    Preschool For All Requirements for PFA www.isbe.net/Documents/PFA-Compliance-Checklist.pdf

    What is the current average class size? What is the current student-to-teacher ratio?
    According to the Illinois School Report Card, our average class size is 17 and our average student/teacher ratio is 18:1.

    What does the district mean by keeping class sizes small? 
    Keeping class sizes small would mean at the lower end of the current class size targets: 
    K & 1(21-23)
    Gr 2 (23-24)
    Gr 3 (24-26)
    Gr 4 & 5 (26-28)
    *Please keep in mind that a Board has the authority to revise these targets at any time.  These are the targets as they currently stand.

    Why is the district proposing a new school for only 500 students or less? 
    We do not need the additional capacity beyond 500. 500 is sufficient to create space for full day kindergarten across the district and provide some space relief within ALL of the elementary schools. 

    What is the total cost of this plan?
    Estimated Cost to Taxpayers: $49 million. The District will also draw $18 million from their existing fund reserves to complete the total project which is estimated to be $67 million.  Average Tax Impact: $276/year (average $400,000 home).

    What are the District’s current reserves?
    The most recently completed annual financial report is from June 30, 2021. At that point in time, the District’s audited fund reserves totaled $32,298,095. The June 30, 2022 audit is not yet complete, but the unaudited financial records indicated that the year ended in a surplus so the above fund reserve number will increase.

    How can District 41 contribute $18 million to solving the space issues?
    This is possible because of the district’s conservative approach to spending, focusing on needs over wants and spending on students instead of administration. Our district is fiscally responsible, with the lowest tax rate, lowest cost per student, and highest student-to-administrator ratio of all Glenbard feeder schools.

    When will the referendum be on the ballot?
    The election will be held on November 8, 2022. You can vote on election day at your polling place, or there are options for voting prior to election day by voting by mail and early voting. For more information on voting options, please visit https://www.dupagecounty.gov/Election/Voting/

    How can I register to vote?
    More information about how to register to vote in DuPage County is available at: www.dupageco.org/Election/Voting/ 

    You are also now able to register online if you have a valid Illinois Driver's License or State Identification Card. You may register online at: https://ova.elections.il.gov/ 

    kidsWhat will the referendum look like on the ballot?
    “Shall the Board of Education of Glen Ellyn School District Number 41, DuPage County, Illinois, build and equip a school building on the Spalding property, build and equip an early learning center addition to the Churchill Elementary School Building, alter, repair and equip existing school buildings, including constructing improvements to provide full-day kindergarten, additional classrooms, additional space for STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) activities, updated infrastructure and collaborative learning spaces, improve sites and issue bonds of said School District to the amount of $49,000,000 for the purpose of paying the costs thereof?”

    What is/was the process to create a new boundary map for District 41? Will families be grandfathered into their current schools?
    District 41 has engaged with a third party to reimagine the district boundaries if we were to build another K-5 school. Each existing elementary school would be impacted in order to provide enough space for full-day kindergarten in all of our neighborhood elementary schools. Once we receive our preliminary new boundary options, the district will be able to look at the projected enrollment numbers and determine what level of grandfathering would be possible. For example, we would likely be able to grandfather any incoming 5th graders allowing them to remain at their original school for 5th grade.

    Are boundary changes likely even if the referendum does not pass?
    With a successful referendum, boundary changes are necessary to open up classroom space for Full Day Kindergarten. As is the case in all districts, from time to time, there is a need to make boundary changes to address enrollment irregularities/inequities or transportation issues.  It is likely that the District will need to look at boundary changes even if the referendum fails but those changes would likely be less extensive. Keep in mind that boundary changes related to opening a new K-5 elementary building would not go into effect until we open doors on the new school and we would extend a grandfathering provision minimally to students entering their 5th grade year. 

    I don’t have kids in school. Why does this matter to me?
    Every resident’s voice is important because the school district affects everyone in the community. All residents pay taxes to support the school district. Schools are also a bedrock in the community, and quality schools are one of the main factors people consider when choosing where to live. When residents sell their home, demographers studying local trends indicate it is likely that the purchaser will have school-aged children. Quality schools will impact the decisions of those purchasers. Quality schools are also one of the factors that drive home values.