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A committee composed of both District 65 and District 202 representatives has come up with a draft calendar for next year that aligns the start and end dates, key holidays and winter/spring recesses. The only dates not aligned are days off due to teacher conferences.

The Committee, comprised of teachers, parents and administrators, worked collaboratively to develop calendars for the 2015-16 and 2016-17 school years. Next year’s calendar will be presented to the school boards in April for approval. The 2016-17 calendar hopes to be ready for review in May.

There was discussion of the calendar at the joint District 65/202 Board meeting about getting input from as many interested groups as possible. District 65 may do a survey to collect opinions on holidays. District 65 board member Richard Rykhus suggested reaching out through school PTAs to make it easier for people to give their input. Vernon Clark, associate principal for Educational Services at ETHS, said that the committee is looking at ways to obtain input from other stakeholders.

We need people who have concerns with the calendar to “weigh in and weigh in now,” said Gretchen Livingston, District 202 Board president. The calendar process is a complicated one and “chiming in after the fact” is not helpful; once the calendar is set, it is difficult to undue,  she said.

The Districts’ calendars have “remarkable similarities,” said District 202 Board Member Jonathan Baum.  This is “something to be celebrated.”