The Student News Site of St. Charles East High School, 1020 Dunham Road, St. Charles, Illinois 60174


The Student News Site of St. Charles East High School, 1020 Dunham Road, St. Charles, Illinois 60174


The Student News Site of St. Charles East High School, 1020 Dunham Road, St. Charles, Illinois 60174


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D303 Families Voice Concern over Davis Richmond FLES Program Decision

For more information please visit the District’s Board newsletter, “Across the Board in D303,”
which can be found on the D303 website.

During the end of the 2022 school year, District 303 came up with a proposal to prevent the foreign language in elementary schools (FLES) program at their combined elementary school, Davis Richmond from continuing. Due to the overpopulation and boundary issues at the elementary school and within D303, the district has been concerned over the funding of school programs, population, the length of days and properties. 

According to past district board meetings, this issue revealed itself at the end of the 2022-2023 school year with a five-year strategic plan regarding the repurposing of various elementary schools. Due to this plan, there have been concerns about whether schools will change boundary lines and if they will have enough funds to keep the existing programs at certain elementary schools. One of them is Davis Richmond’s FLES program.  

FLES stands for “foreign language in elementary schools” and has been taught at Richmond for many years, with the option of learning either French or Spanish. As classes go on regularly, students are taught Spanish or French during certain periods of the day when their foreign language teachers visit them in their classrooms. However, looking at the future of dual-language programs at the school, this won’t be the case anymore. 

This past month on Nov. 13, the district board made a decision regarding both the FLES program and Davis Richmond as a whole. According to the Davis Richmond Facebook page, “At the end of the meeting, the school board narrowed it down to scenario B (which would split Davis and Richmond into 2 K-5s and put all dual language students at Richmond, along with 6 mobile units at Richmond for classrooms), or scenario F (…which would split Davis and Richmond into 2 K-5s and split dual language students between Richmond and likely Anderson).”

With both decisions, both Davis and Richmond will not only be split up physically as they’ve already been but go on into two different elementary schools instead of one combined. The only difference between the two scenarios is the boundary lines of which the two elementary schools would split as well as which schools will have a dual-language program.  Davis, formally teaching K-2nd grade and Richmond, formally teaching 3rd-5th, will both be K-5 schools due to the overpopulation issue that arose when they were combined. Along with the separation of the schools, the board has decided to keep some form of language learning in Richmond no matter what scenario is picked, but instead of the option between French or Spanish, only Spanish will be taught. 

Lisa Macaione, a mom to two daughters at Davis Richmond, voiced her opinions on the matter and the great impact dual language has had on one of her two daughters already, saying, “My daughter started the program in 3rd grade which would be 3 years ago and she has enjoyed it immensely…she has been learning the language, speaking it at home, singing the songs that she’s learned…and plans to continue taking Spanish. Eventually, she wants to even be certified bilingual; that’s her goal.” 

As Macaione shared her older daughter’s positive experience with FLES, she also detailed the disappointment of not having that opportunity available to her younger daughter who would have taken FLES next year. 

“She’s in second grade now so in third grade she would’ve taken FLES, but the school board last year voted to reduce the school hours to the grade schools,” said Macaione, “which meant that they reduce the amount of specials. That includes art, music, PE and they eliminated the FLES program at Richmond. So we’re super disappointed about that, absolutely because we moved to this area knowing that we had this beautiful program here at Davis Richmond.” 

Recently, the board has sent out emails to district D303 families with a link to a survey regarding the school boundaries and different scenarios on which people can choose which plan they like best. Open until Dec. 10, as the survey regulates opinion, the board will use the collected data to determine the exact boundary lines for the new Davis and Richmond buildings, as well as the scenario regarding the dual-language placement within the district. 

“I think moving forward we just all have to pay attention, like if we care about how our kids are being educated [and] if we care what’s happening in our community we have to pay attention to what’s happening with these local boards and if we can, subscribe to the local journalism,” said Macaoine. “You can send some emails, you can talk to your neighbors, you can attend the meetings, speak directly to these officials and vote. That’s one of the best things we can do.”

As the 2023-2024 school year continues, the school board will discuss their next step moving forward. As of right now, district families can attend future board meetings and read the board newsletter for further updates. 

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About the Contributor
Ava Brucal
Ava Brucal, News Editor
Ava is a senior at East and loves tapping into her creative side. She plans to pursue education in the future.

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