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U46 revises proposed school calendar before board vote

U46 Superintendent Jose Torres speaks during Workforce Development Forum ElgCommunity College October 2011. | File~Sun-Times Media

U46 Superintendent Jose Torres speaks during the Workforce Development Forum at Elgin Community College in October 2011. | File~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: March 23, 2013 6:33AM

ELGIN — School District U46 has revised its proposed calendar for the 2013-14 school year, the district announced Thursday.

Those revisions mean next school year would start and end earlier than in the past, but not as early as the district initially had proposed.

Those changes come in response to feedback from parents, students, teachers and community members, according to the district.

“I am truly grateful for the comments we received regarding the proposed calendar,” U46 Superintendent José Torres said in a written statement.

“The revisions we made reflect our commitment to working together and to making decisions that will serve the best interests of our entire U46 family.”

The proposed calendar still would include class on Veterans Day, according to the district. It still would end the first semester before winter break and shorten Thanksgiving break from five days to three, it said.

But the school year would begin Monday, Aug. 19, rather than Wednesday, Aug. 14, and end Tuesday, May 27, 2014, rather than Wednesday, May 21, 2014, U46 said. This school year, class started on Wednesday, Aug. 22.

U46 officials first presented the proposed calendar Jan. 28, at the regular U46 Board of Education meeting. A number of veterans expressed their support for teaching students the significance of Veterans Day in class on the holiday, and the board decided to delay a vote on the changes.

That’s because the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday shortened the time between that meeting and the next from two weeks to one. And because, board member Amy Kerber said at the time, these would be “significant” changes for the public to absorb.

Opinions during a 30-minute public comment session at the last meeting Feb. 4 were mixed: Parents from one elementary school spoke against the earlier start because of the impact of long days and hot temperatures on their children.

Bit a student and teacher from one high school spoke in favor of taking finals before winter break.

Two others had proposed doing away with Columbus Day instead of Veterans Day.

Days later, Torres sent a recorded phone message to the community about the proposed changes, inviting people to email feedback to the school board through Feb. 20.

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