Parents frustrated by gap in school start dates

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By Michael Romain

Staff Reporter

Parents of students in districts 97 and 200 have written frustrated letters to the Wednesday Journal about why the starting dates of the school year for the respective districts are so out of sync. This year, the first day of student attendance for Oak Park and River Forest High School students was Tuesday, Aug. 18. For District 97 students, the first day was Monday, Aug. 31. 

According to Chris Jasculca, D97's policy and communications director, the elementary school district's start date is not much later than it's been in the last several years.

He noted that the slight change in the district's start times was due to summer programming that occurred later into August than it has in years past. A number of parents have also recommended the district delay the start of school to avoid some of the hot August weather. 

"In fact, some people asked if we would consider scheduling the first day of classes until after Labor Day," Jasculca said in an email.

"Districts 97 and 90 have traditionally worked with OPRF High School on the coordination of our calendars. However, this became a more challenging endeavor a couple of years ago when the high school decided to administer its first-semester final exams prior to winter break, which necessitated moving the start of its school year to the middle of August," he said.

Jasculca did note, however, that winter and spring break schedules for both the elementary and high school districts are aligned. 

Michael Romain


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