Burr Ridge Elementary District 180 officials say that despite continued individual student achievement, the district still has to fight negative images because of its diverse student body.
Superintendent Tom Schneider and School Board President Paula Dupont told the Burr Ridge Village Board allegations of problems at Burr Ridge Middle School are off-base.
"There are myths that there is a group causing violence and bringing drugs into the school," Dupont said. "These myths are inaccurate and offensive."
Schneider defended the district's use of cabs to bring some students to the school, which had been brought up during resident comments at the Jan. 25 Village Board meeting.
The superintendent said by federal law the district is required to provide transportation for any student who becomes homeless or displaced for reasons, such as a death in the family or a parent's loss of employment, if the student wants to remain in the district.
Schneider said that district transports four students via cab under the McKinney-Vento Act, which allows them to continue in their prior school district. The students are from Shorewood, Oakbrook Terrace, Maywood and Justice.
The superintendent said cabs have been determined to the be the most cost-effective way to transport the students. He said District 180 splits the cost of the cab fare with the school district where the student would be going based on his or her current residence.
Schneider said typically students in these circumstances stay in District 180 for a few weeks to a few months. He said there are times a student chooses to stay with the district and the school system pays for his cab fare for as long as 18 months.
Resident John Bittner raised the issue at the Jan. 25 Village Board meeting, fearing that students were coming to Burr Ridge Middle School from the inner city of Chicago.
"We have a Section 8 problem [near the school] which has affected our community," Bittner said at that meeting.