District 225 demographer

Demographer Jerome McKibben explains his 10-year forecast for Glenbrook High School District 225 to parents and district officials during a March 17 school board meeting. (Alexandra Chachkevitch, Chicago Tribune / March 20, 2014)

Affected by increased population brought by The Glen and other developments in Glenview, overall enrollment at Glenbrook High School District 225 is expected to grow, then plateau, over the next 10 years, according to two independent demographers.

Both studies, presented at a recent meeting, validated latest district calculations that predicted Glenbrook South High School's student body to continue to rise, reaching the campus' maximum capacity of 3,100 students by the 2016-2017 school year, and Glenbrook North High School's to shrink over the next five years.

Glenbrook South currently has 2,736 students and Glenbrook North has 2,087, according to district documents.

School board officials emphasized on March 17 that they have not yet talked about ways to deal with the growing population, hoping to dispel rumors about redistricting that have spread throughout the community in recent months.

"The board has to discuss their role and how they're looking at this," said Superintendent Michael Riggle, adding that residents can find more information about the developing discussion at the district's website. "There is a lot of decision-making that has to be done."

Riggle and other officials assured community members that students slated to go to either Glenbrook South or Glenbrook North will continue attending the school for which they have registered.

In addition, the district's school board traditionally has not moved a student once he or she starts studying at one campus, Riggle added.

Some parents in the area expressed anxiety over future decisions the high school district would have to make.

Beth Shabelman said she moved into Glenview about eight years ago with her family so that her children could go to Glenbrook South High School.

"We love GBS," said Shabelman, who previously worked at Glenbrook South and lives within walking distance of the school.

Shabelman has two daughters, a seventh-grader and a fourth-grader, who attend schools in the Northbrook/Glenview School District 30. She said she wouldn't want her neighborhood to be affected by any possible redistricting.

"There have been many rumors flying around," she said, adding that she was glad to find out no concrete decisions have been made so far by school board members.

Shabelman said she is not sure what would be the right way to deal with the growing enrollment at Glenbrook South, but she said she hopes officials seriously consider every possible solution.

Glenview resident Julie Hides, a mother of three, said she also picked her home based on its proximity to Glenbrook South.

Hides, 45, said she is worried her children, who now attend schools in West Northfield School District 31, may end up going to different high schools.

Her twin son and daughter go to eighth grade at Field Middle School and are already registered to attend Glenbrook South later this year. But Hides also has a fourth-grader.

"We don't want be the ones to not get what we're entitled to," said Hides, who grew up in Glenview.

Hides said she hopes to contribute her input and help district officials find the right solution.

"It's definitely going to be a process," Hides said. "We don't want to be a part of a change, but we also don't want to be a part of a crowded school."

The two demographic experts, Charles Kofron and Jerome McKibben, used different methods to make their predictions and had slightly different results.

Kofron, who relied on current data from elementary and middle school districts that feed into District 225, predicted Glenbrook South would reach a peak of roughly 3,224 students by 2020-2011 school year, then start shrinking to about 3,183 students in 2022-2023.

McKibben, who based his analysis on the 2010 Census and several economic assumptions, expected the enrollment numbers to start leveling off about a year earlier than Kofron's analysis predicts.

McKibben's data showed Glenbrook South's enrollment would reach a peak of about 3,178 students in 2019-2020 school year, and then start declining to about 2,879 students in 2023-2024.

Both said numbers at Glenbrook North will continue to decline. By 2022-2023, McKibben predicted the school would have about 1,912 students and Kofron expected about 1,876 students.

Both demographers are expected to complete geo-mapping of the district by May, a project that would consist of a deep-data analysis of every elementary school district that feeds into District 225.

Their services are expected to cost less than $10,000, which would be paid by District 225 as well as districts 28, 27, 30, 31 and 34, said Kimberly Ptak, the district's director of operations and purchasing.

District officials are scheduled to discuss enrollment projections again at their April 8 meeting. Parents are encouraged to provide their thoughts about the issue through an online feedback form.

achachkevitch@tribune.com

Twitter: @chachkevitch