Local

Algonquin-based School District 300 to push out 2 late start/early release models for review

ALGONQUIN – Two early-release/late-start options for Community Unit School District 300, both of which reduce the number of affected days to 10, will be taken to the community and staff for review in the district's attempt to change the schedule for next school year.

The Algonquin-based district currently uses a model in which there are 15 early-release dates at the elementary level and 15 late-start days at the middle and high school level. The setup was said to have caused scheduling conflicts for students and families, district officials have said.

After a discussion at the previous board meeting, Superintendent Fred Heid presented four options, two of which were chosen to go forward for a parent and staff survey.

Both the final options reduced the number of affected days from 15 to 10, Heid said. One maintained early-release days for elementary students and late-start days for middle and high school students, while the other option moved to have early-release days across all grades. Both options would schedule early release/late start on the same days for both primary and secondary schools.

The other two choices presented reduced the number of affected days to eight, about which Heid said, "I would argue the eight-day options do not provide us with an adequate amount of time" for professional development.

The early-release and late-start days have been and will be used for training, which Heid has said is necessary for teachers to be able to disaggregate data and make decisions about how best to use it in their instruction.

The administrative presentation notes that the days selected in both options were chosen because they wouldn't be near holiday breaks, other than Dec. 8, which is a day contractually designated for teachers to do report cards.

The selected days include Sept. 2, Sept. 23, Oct. 7, Oct. 31, Dec. 9, Feb. 17, March 2, April 13, April 28 and May 12.

Heid said additional training still would be necessary, such as half or full days, after school sessions or summer institute days.

The board is expected to consider the results of the survey and vote on a new calendar for next school year at the June board meeting.

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