D. 202 will cut ribbon for Wallin Oaks Elementary Aug 3


Last updated 7/27/2021 at 6:37pm

Wallin Oaks Principal Dr. Stacey DiBitetto (left) works alongside Laura Opatkiewicz, secretary to the assistant principal (center) and Amy Rauen, teacher's aide (right) in the main office on Tuesday, July 27, 2021. Wallin Oaks, located behind Ira Jones Middle School, will open on Wednesday, August 18, 2021. It is the district's 18th full service elementary school and will allow the district to offer full-day kindergarten to all students.

District 202 will host a ribbon cutting ceremony for its 18th elementary school, Wallin Oaks, on Tuesday, August 3, 2021.

The event begins at 6:30 p.m. at the school at 15410 S. Wallin Drive.

A representative group of new Wallin Oaks students have been invited to help cut the ribbon, along with school and district administration, Board of Education members, and special guests.

Guests can tour the new school from 6:45 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

The school will open for the 2021-2022 school year on August 18, 2021.

Wallin Oaks was built as part of a larger plan to allow District 202 to offer full-day kindergarten for all interested students in all 18 of its elementary schools.

District officials estimate more than 1,500 students want full-day kindergarten. Enrollment is ongoing this summer, but preliminary figures show that estimate is accurate.

The creation of full-day kindergarten was one of the district's top priorities in its 2011-2016 strategic plan.

llinois does not require students to attend kindergarten. State law requires school districts provide a half-day program if they provide a full-day program.

Wallin Oaks also will house the district's half-day kindergarten program.

District 202 created a limited full-day kindergarten program for 408 students each year starting in 2016-2017. Students were chosen randomly via a lottery to avoid favoritism or conflict of interest.

In April 2019, the Board of Education approved plans to build Wallin Oaks for $25 million.

The district is "leasing" the building from the bank for $2.5 million for 10 years. After 10 years, the district will own Wallin Oaks.

District 202 will not have to raise tax rates to pay for the new building. However, individual tax bills may increase based on individual property values, but the district's tax rate will not increase because of this project.


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