We thank you for your patience in awaiting the 2019-2020 school calendar. Administration has been working on developing the calendar and I intend to bring a recommendation forward to the Board of Education for review at the February 19, 2019 Board meeting. As this year’s calendar development has been a little more lengthy and complicated than usual, I want to offer some explanation for the delay as well as share the rationale for the shift that is being proposed to the calendar for the 2019-2020 school year.
Over the past year, the Illinois State Legislature has made some changes in the law regarding school days. In the past, the law required students to be sitting in a classroom seat for five clock hours in order to constitute an instructional day. Now, however, school districts have the flexibility to determine what constitutes “instructional time” including the use of e-Learning days. This change, along with other pending legislation, required us to spend additional time to determine how best to update our calendar to meet these requirements.
In addition to these changes, neighboring districts with whom we have partnerships have shifted their calendars to start a week earlier. The Mid-Valley Special Education Cooperative, Fox Valley Vocational Center and the Northern Career Technical Education Cooperatives that we partner with will all begin student attendance on August 14th. Being in alignment with these districts would reduce confusion and complications for students involved in these programs. Similarly, all other school districts in the Fox Valley Athletic Conference start the week of August 12th, so aligning our calendar with these districts is beneficial for our athletic programs. Moving our start date up would also allow the district to conclude the first semester before the winter break and provide high school students the opportunity to finish finals before the break.
I realize that there are numerous perspectives on when to begin the school year and I thank you for your patience and understanding as we work to set the calendar for the 2019-2020 school year. The calendar will be an information item on the February Board of Education meeting agenda, with action expected in March. Once a calendar is approved by the Board of Education, we will share it with our staff and families. Below are links to the draft calendars being considered for 2019-2020.