by Dave Noble, Your Neighbors and Your Neighborhood Beat Writer
ELMHURST – Citing “invaluable” cultural and travel experience acquired from changing schools every few years and the potential for “the best damn fifth grade kickball team in the western suburbs”, District 205 Superintendent David Moyer on Monday emphasized the benefits of Grade Level Centers while trying to calm the nerves of local parents who fear that Elmhurst schools will soon be populated by children from the same grade level rather than by the neighborhood in which they live.
“I’m not sure if there’s a single disadvantage to this idea,” said Moyer, who inadvertently started a firestorm at the Board of Education meeting last week by stating that Grade Level Centers are “not necessarily ruled out” for Elmhurst schools. “We’re not saying that this is going to be implemented in Elmhurst, but we’re not not saying it, either.”
Criticism of Grade Level Centers has been overwhelming since Moyer’s comments, as numerous eCommunity discussions and an online petition have made it clear that Elmhurst parents are against the program.
“People seem to be ignoring the many advantages of GLC’s,” continued Moyer, focusing on the absence of peer influence on younger students. “Your kindergartner won’t come home from school one day crying because some fourth-grader told him that Santa Claus doesn’t exist, and instead of being taught four-letter words from older kids on the playground, children will learn those words from their parents at home or in the car, as it should be.”
Moyer went on to list a projected 300% increase in local bus driver employment and “leveling the playing field” of property values in Elmhurst as additional benefits derived from Grade Level Centers.
The next Board of Education meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. on March 22nd at 162 S. York St. Sources have confirmed that further discussion of Grade Level Centers may or may not take place at that meeting.