The school district has made a number of efforts to handle Leopold’s enrollment over the years, with mixed results. Eight classrooms were added in 2003, but a $14.5 million referendum to make upgrades to the existing school and build a second school on the site failed in 2005. In 2006, the cafeteria and several areas of the campus were remodeled. In addition, attendance boundaries were adjusted on two occasions, and third-graders were transported to other schools for two years.
To handle overcrowding this year, the district approved transfers of 31 students both within and outside the district. An additional classroom was also added by moving the computer lab to the library.
Meanwhile, Nerad urged the community to be patient as the planning process continues to unfold. The district’s ultimate goals are to cap enrollment at 650 students and to implement a better balance of students according to family income. Sixty-eight percent of students at Leopold come from low-income families.
“We really want to make sure that we have dotted all of our I’s and crossed our T’s and looked at a variety of options,” Nerad said. “And I can assure you relative to the long-term solution that we have not taken anything off the table. It’s just a matter in these tough (economic) times of assuring our community that we have done that due diligence.
Much more on Leopold here.