The following is a letter to the editor from local parent, Michael B.
The following opinions are those of the author. Patch provides a platform for readers to express their views.
Niles Township District 219 High Schools have posted their annual review of programs for the 2013-14 school year. You can view what the district posted on their website here.
There are a number of issues in the review to which the public should give careful consideration, but the item of greatest significance is the proposed change to the school calendar.
It reads: "With final exams ending prior to winter break; school would start the second week of August and end at Memorial Day."
While the district offers a number of sound reasons to consider making this change, there has been very little discussion about this change within the community.
As a parent, I imagine the families who reside in the district and have children at feeder schools (elementary school districts that send students to D219) would be interested to know of this proposal. Of particular interest is the question of whether or not feeder schools will follow suit and adopt this new calendar. At this point, the feeder schools currently start and end within the same week and have the same winter and spring breaks.
If D219 makes this change and feeder schools do not follow suit, then the start and end dates for the high schools will be approximately 2 weeks earlier and spring and winter breaks could be different.
This will drastically impact families who have children in both elementary school and high school.
If the district makes this change and feeder schools do follow suit immediately, it will mean the summer of 2013 will be shortened by 2 weeks (with school starting the second week of August) putting an end to any August family vacation plans. This is a short-term issue, but one that parents should be aware of.
Also, summer programs for the Skokie, Morton Grove, Lincolnwood and Niles park districts could be impacted by this change, given that the changes would be effective August 2013. This doesn't give park districts, which rely heavily on the employment of students, much time to react.
Either way, this proposal could result in a significant change to the normal routine of many Skokie-area families, so I thought it was something that our local press should be covering.
Below is D219's timeline for the proposal to be finalized:
- Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012 - Town Hall meeting at Niles North High School at 7:00pm for community discussion.
- Monday, Nov. 26, 2012 - Document revised to represent administration’s recommendations and presented at the board meeting for discussion.
- Monday, Dec. 17, 2012 - Board will direct the administration to make the changes as detailed in the finalized document for the 2013-14 school year.