Belvidere Searching for Another Way

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A failed referendum in Belividere may mean the end of all after-school activities in the district. But, even as students try to prepare themselves for life without sports and clubs, school leaders are searching for alternatives.
Kendall Thacker worries she'll soon have to hang up her Belvidere soccer uniform for good. That is, unless school leaders can find a way to make up a $2.8 million shortfall to operate Belvidere North High School without cutting all sports and clubs.
Monday night, Superintendent Don Schlomann will present his plan to the school board. He's not revealing any details yet, but board members say they're all looking at every possible option.
"There's a reexamination going on and i don't want to be overly optimistic or overly hopeful, but certainly the administration is going to look at Springfield, what kind of money may be coming out of Springfield for education," says Belvidere School Board Member Richard Van Evera.
There's also been a community movement to start a foundation or get local businesses to sponsor sports teams, though some say that would be hard to keep up in the long run.
The school board will likely ask for another referendum next spring, but the failure of the last two has many discouraged.
Belvidere students plan to sit in at Monday night's school board meeting to persuade the board to find another way and remind everyone just how important saving co-curriculars is to these kids.
"Kids are making signs that say our tears run purple and gold and things like that. It's weird to see how it effects people. You see like these big tough football players and baseball players getting really upset over it and it's hard," says Belvidere Sophomore Kendall Thacker.
Belvidere's school board meeting is open to the public. The board will meet at 6 P.M. Monday at Belvidere Central Middle School, 8787 Beloit Road.