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Unit 5 Avoids Thorny Redistricting Issue

Normal Community High School is one of the school buildings in Unit 5 that needs more room because of large enrollment.

Unit 5 officials say they will not re-district Bloomington-Normal school boundaries this fall as planned. 

Unit 5 Superintendent Mark Daniel said a new demographic study shows only hot spots of enrollment growth and otherwise a slow decline in the number of students in the next decade.

"Yes, at one point in time we probably thought we needed redistricting. Now it's more where are our pockets of concentrated growth and specific schools that will be impacted?" said Daniel.

Daniel said they will avoid the always controversial effort of drawing new borders by looking only at smaller scale tools for specific schools.

"You would have to look at open attendance scenarios and volunteer parents. That is very difficult. Once a parent moves into a neighborhood, why would they want a student to move out of that neighborhood for school? But we might have to look at those configurations. And you also have to put on the table, what if you would add a few classrooms to that building?" said Daniel.

Daniel said NCHS and Towanda Elementary do have capacity issues and will need to be tweaked.

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WGLT Senior Reporter Charlie Schlenker has spent more than three award-winning decades in radio. He lives in Normal with his family.