July 1, 1993: North Shore School District 112 is Founded
North Shore School District 112 was officially formed from a merger of three smaller districts: District 107, 108, and 111. The merger was controversial at the time, and was approved by voters in March 1992.
Merger Moves Ahead in Highland Park
Chicago Tribune Article: Consolidation completed as three school districts merge
1996: Boundary Changes Discussed
Soon after North Shore School District 112 was formed in 1993, discussions of potential boundary changes began.
District 112 Remapping Could Bring Divisiveness
District 112 Remapping Could Bring Divisiveness
2010: 5-year Strategic Plan Crafted
More than 200 community members participated in crafting a 5-year Strategic Plan. This work called for the district to study, develop, and implement plans to ensure the sustainability of the District’s financial and human resources and their equitable distribution, and to ensure the district has the facilities and technology infrastructure needed to achieve its mission and objectives.
2011-2012: 25-member SCFAC Formed
The 25-member Superintendent’s Citizen Finance Advisory Committee I (SCFAC I) comprised of staff, parents, and community members was formed to study the district’s finances, and was charged with making general recommendations for addressing financial concerns. One of the committee’s key recommendations (presented February 2012) was that the district explore the impact of reducing the number of school buildings.
2012-2014: 60-member SCFFAC Formed
Based on the recommendations of the 2012 SCFAC I committee (September 2012), a second committee, the Superintendent’s Citizen Finance and Facilities Advisory Committee II (SCFFAC II), was formed. This team comprised of 60 community and staff members was commissioned to include a study of facilities, finances, and configuration and recommend a plan.
February 2014: SCFFAC Reports
Winter & Spring 2014: Community Discussions
SCFFAC II engaged community members in discussion through a series of interactive meetings and distribution of a community-wide survey. More than 1,300 community members participated and the majority indicated they could support the general concept of investing in a new model that would reduce the number of district schools.
Summer 2014: SCFFAC Funds Feasibility Study
Based on its research and community feedback, the SCFFAC II committee recommended (presented May 2014) that the district hire an architectural/engineering firm to conduct a site feasibility study and develop configuration options that meet the district’s goals. The Board entered into a contract with the Chicago-based architectural firm Nagle Hartray. Over the course of the next year, more than 50 possible reconfiguration options were investigated. Most were not feasible because they were cost-prohibitive, or because of the size of available land parcels would not accommodate building needs.
Fall 2014: Workshops Held
Based on the architectural study, the district held a series of interactive workshops to engage members of the community in discussions related to the school consolidation options under consideration. Five options were presented: two 8-building models, one 6-building model, and two middle school campus models (7-building and 8-building). Preliminary cost estimates for the consolidation models were also provided, which indicated that none of the options as initially conceived met the district’s overall funding capacity, but the 7-building model came closest. After the five interactive meetings, 97% of the nearly 400 community members who responded to a brief exit survey indicated they agree that the district needs to invest in its schools. Of the options provided, 86% of respondents said they found the 7-building model appealing and 97% were interested in learning more about the option.
January to April 2015: Alternate Configurations Accepted
The Board of Education concluded that more information was necessary before deciding on a final reconfiguration model. Community members were invited to submit proposals for alternate configurations, and the Board directed Nagle Hartray to explore additional options.
Summer 2015: Workshops Held
The Board of Education narrowed down the options to two scenarios: (sent July 2015) A Middle School Campus model, with a single middle school campus serving grades 5-8 on the Sherwood/Red Oak site; and a model with two separate middle schools, a renovated middle school at Edgewood, and a newly constructed middle school at Olson Park.
September 2015: More Information Sought For Middle School Model
After hearing a presentation that stated that the middle school campus model best meets the educational, facilities and financial needs of the district (sent September 2015), the Board of Education directed staff and architects to focus on gathering additional information only for that model.
December 2015 - March 2016: Referendum
In December 2015, the Board of Education voted unanimously to place a referendum on the March 2016 ballot (sent December 2015) asking for voter approval of a $198 million bond issue to fund the middle school campus reconfiguration plan. In March the plan was defeated by the community. Following the vote, District officials and the school board regrouped and began planning a new process to address community concerns
May 2016 - Present: Reconfiguration 2.0
After a series of informational meetings, over 100 community members applied for positions on a team tasked with studying the challenges facing NSSD 112. The group, convened by a Superintendent's Committee, is made up of a diverse collection of 31 community members charged with recommending viable reconfiguration options that address the needs of the District and operate within the Board approved Strategic Plan. In June 2016, the Reconfiguration 2.0 team participated in two 12-hour workshop sessions to establish a framework for additional reconfiguration options. The team will continue to regularly meet and also present updates at School Board Of Education meetings.