Tuesday, October 23, 2012
D300 Board Considers Another Early Start For 2013-14
Associate Superintendent Sara Kedrowski told the Board the mid-August start was, in effect, the result of being caught between a rock and a hard place. The rock would be the State Board of Education's requirement district students have at least 176 days of classes. The hard place would be Christmas vacation.
A calendar with a later Aug. 19 start would have high schoolers returning from the holidays and taking finals the same week. "They struggle," in that scenario, said Board President Anne Miller. The earlier start gets the tests out of the way before the break. Kedrowski said the mid-month start would actually put the District right in the middle of the pack among school districts in the region.
Comments on the proposed calendar can be sent to the Board at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Separately, Assistant Superintendent Ben Churchill reviewed the District's record on the critical Illinois State Aptitude test for students, the one the State Board of Ed uses to compare districts' performance. The good news: it's been on upward trend the past three years. The bad news, according to Assistant Superintendent Kara Vicente,: next year the State's going to start using a completely different test and there'll be no way to compare the old scores and the new ones to see if the trend continues. Board members didn't even gripe about it since there's no choice in the matter.
The Board Monday didn't even mention talks on a new contract with the District's LEAD 300 teacher's union over which a Sword of Damocles now hangs in the form of last week's union strike authorization. Another bargaining session is set this evening. In what may be a measure of heightened tension, the Board will convene in a special closed session so Board members besides negotiators Miller and Joe Stevens can hear for themselves what the teachers' reps have to say.
In the pic: Click for District 300's preferred calendar for the 2013-14 school year. There are two others. All three can be reviewed at http://www.boarddocs.com/il/d300/Board.nsf/Public