Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Revised 2013-2014 Calendar Discussed and Partially Approved During 2/10/14 Board Meeting

During last night's board meeting, two options were presented to the board for making up the missed instructional days due to the weather and mold school closings. Dr. Russell posted these two options on BoardDocs yesterday afternoon. (Click to open description of the options.) The board approved part of option 1 which calls for all students to attend school next Tuesday, and Hinsdale Middle School students to attend school next Monday. The board deferred a final decision on the remainder of the makeup days until a future meeting, but indicated it is leaning toward approving the rest of the Option 1 calendar. Assuming no more snow days occur, all students will be done on June 6 and there would be no need to extend the school year for students into the second week of June.  Below is the letter Dr. Schuster sent out to the D181 community this morning explaining the decision.  We applaud and thank the administration for crafting a solution that will allow most of the missed instructional time to be made up.* 

Letter from Dr. Schuster:

"February 11, 2014
Dear District 181 Families,
Yesterday evening, the Board of Education held a discussion regarding the 2013-14 school year calendar. We have had significant impact on our calendar this year due to four school cancelations for extreme cold temperatures and three days of cancelation for only Hinsdale Middle School to address water damage and mold remediation. The administration presented the Board with options to consider in determining how to make up those missed days. (You can hear the full Board discussion via podcast.d181.org.)

The Board determined that it was important to address lost instructional time, have the end of the school year conclude at the same time for all students, and minimize the time in school during June. Therefore, calendar changes as described below are being implemented for this school year. 
  • School will be in session for HMS only on Monday, February 17. This day was previously a non-attendance day for Presidents Day.
  • School will be in session for all schools on Tuesday, February 18. This day was previously scheduled as an Institute Day. 
We recognize that many families may have already made vacation plans around these days. HMS students not in attendance on February 17 and any students not in attendance on February 18 will have an excused absence.

The Board has further calendar decisions to make to account for the remaining make-up days. No decisions have been confirmed regarding the dates below, but families and staff should be aware of these potential calendar changes.  
  • School is very likely to be in session for HMS only on Friday, April 18. This day was previously scheduled as a non-attendance day. 
  • School is very likely to be in session for all schools on Friday, May 16. This day was previously scheduled as an Institute Day.
  • School is very likely to be in session on Monday, June 2. This day was previously scheduled as Grading Day.
  • 8th Grade Graduation may be moved to Thursday, June 5.
  • School is very likely to be in session on June 5 and June 6 (except for 8th Grade), however both days would be half-days for students, per contract with our teachers association. In the afternoon on June 5 and 6, staff only would participate in In-Service and School Improvement Days.
  • If the above changes were confirmed, Staff Institute Days would take place June 9 and 10. Students would not be in attendance on June 9 and 10.
The Board is likely to waive the third make up day that would have been needed for HMS. (The Illinois State Board of Education permits the waiving of up to two days due to the emergency work that was needed in the facility.)

If Additional Weather Closings are Called
If an additional school cancelation is called due to weather, the Board will need to re-visit the 2013-14 calendar. If more than one additional weather-related school cancelation is called, the Board may submit a request to the Illinois State Board of Education to waive the need to make up any further days.

Thank you for your attention to this important notice.
Dr. Renée Schuster

*During the meeting, Dr. Russell stated that he and the communications director had already drafted a letter explaining Option 1 that could be sent out almost immediately. While we commend the administration for anticipating the decision and being prepared to announce it, we would suggest that if three sets of eyes are going to review something that goes out on Dr. Schuster's name, that it should be spell checked for accuracy. "Cancellation" and "cancelled" were misspelled four times. We know this is nit-picky, but if it requires the involvement of 3 highly paid administrators to send out one email, we expect that it not have mistakes.


Anonymous said...

The spelling can be either way according to the merriam-webster dictionary site below. This is a microcosm of what is wrong with this site.


Anonymous said...

I'm pleased that the kids will be in school, but it would have been appreciated if they decided this sooner. Typical last minute, knee jerk decision making.

Anonymous said...

You got her resignation. School days will be made up to your liking (obviously not the teacher's since they will be working June 9-10). Give them a break for once.

Anonymous said...

Interesting how the perfection of The Parents knows no limits.

Of course since they get decide what posts to quickly approve for public viewing and which go to never never land...

Eddie Diggler

Anonymous said...

Gary Clarin was quoted as saying an executive search firm will be hired to find candidates.

Does this mean there are no internal candidates?

If an internal candidate is identified will the district get a discount from the search firm?

Will an interim superintendent be appointed for the summer? Will there be any limits of how long such a situation will last?

Which board members will be able to not micro-manage the initatives that are facing the district while providing continuity?

Inquiring Mind