When students return to classes in Maine Township High School District 207 today, they can be pretty sure of one thing: the students in the seats around them actually do reside in Maine Township.
The district for the first time this year required all students – not just incoming freshmen and transfer students – to provide proof that they live in the district by showing a signed lease or property tax bill with the homestead exemption, plus at least two other documents showing that they live where they say they do.
According to a letter sent to parents in July, the new policy is designed to make sure that District 207 taxpayers don’t unwittingly pay for the education of students who actually live in other districts.
"We are proud of the educational opportunities that we provide our students at (or or ),” the letter says. “Our intent in verifying each student's residency is to ensure that we are in compliance with state law and to fulfill our obligation to District 207 taxpayers that we allocate our resources to educate students who are legitimately entitled to attend our school."
They must actually live in district
Several area districts required parents to show a tax bill with a homestead exemption – which indicates the property is the owner’s primary residence. Merely owning property in the district does not entitle a family to enroll their children in the schools.
Another document in the letter sent to parents states that the district can charge the family of any student found not to reside in District 207 $14,354 for a year’s tuition and/or remove them from the school.
There are provisions for students who are homeless or whose families have moved in with relatives or friends in District 207 for reasons other than simply to attend school there.
Many new faculty, staff
Students at all three District 207 schools will notice more new faces on the faculty than usual, due to a bumper crop of retirements last year, said Dave Beery, the district’s communications director. The teachers returned to school Aug. 20.
Also, Beery said, buildings and grounds staff were hard at work this summer getting the school ready for students to return.
New teachers and staff at Maine South include:
- Pam Alper in Special Education
- J.J. Crawford in Special Education
- Patrick Galligan in Fine Arts
- Elizabeth Gamboney will be a Psychologist Intern this year in SPS
- Richard Jones in English
- Michelle Kumor, new Special Education Department Chair
- Carrie Lombardi in Special Education, joining us from the Youth Campus
- Brenda Lynch, new Certified Nurse
- Bart Masellis in Science will be at West and South
- Rebecca McClaney in Special Education
- Neal Nikola in Special Education as a TA joined us from Youth Campus in the spring of 2012
- Linda Ryan in the LRC as Certified Librarian and will be teaching English
- James Sadilek in Technology
- Gerald Smith in Special Education, joining us from the Youth Campus
- Matt Wong joined Technology in the spring of 2012