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D300 adds day, thanks to strike; approves its 2014-15 calendar

Updated: March 2, 2013 11:32AM

CARPENTERSVILLE — The Community Unit School District 300 Board of Education this week approved its school calendar for the 2014-15 school year and added an extra day to the current school year to make up for the one lost to its one-day teachers’ strike in December.

The 2014-15 calendar is similar to the calendar that Elgin School District U46 has proposed for its coming school year — a mid-August start, finals before winter break and class on Veterans Day.

But while U46 school board member Amy Kerber call those “significant” changes for U46, it’s simply keeping things consistent in District 300.

In fact, “consistency” is one of three reasons the District 300 Calendar Committee had proposed the calendar, according to a presentation included in the district’s board meeting packet.

District 300 schools have started class on the third week of August since 2010, according to the district. In the 2014-15 school year, that will be Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014.

Since 2010, the fall semester has ended before winter break and the school year before Memorial Day (on this calendar, Friday, May 23, 2014), it said. Fall break has been a week long, combining parent-teacher conferences and Thanksgiving; winter break, two weeks; and spring break, two weeks at the end of March.

That committee also looked at the impact of the calendar on students, and it surveyed educators for their recommendations.

A full 50 percent of educators responded that they preferred students to finish finals before the two-week winter break, according to the district. The rest of the vote was split with 10 to 20 percent recommending finals one or two weeks after the break or responding they had no preference.

One teacher noted on that survey, according to the presentation, “Retention of material goes down significantly during a two-week break, and results in more class time being spent on review after a break, when time could be spent learning new material.”

District 300 also has class on Veterans Day, something U46 has proposed in its school calendar for next year.

The current school year in District 300 now will end Wednesday, May 22, 2013.

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