For the first time ever, both Evanston school districts have the entire week off for Thanksgiving. For years, Districts 65 and 202 held regular class days on the Monday and Tuesday leading up to the annual holiday in November, but the two local districts switched up the calendar to give students, teachers and staff a longer break this year.

Joseph E. Hill Education Center in Evanston
District 65’s Joseph E. Hill Early Childhood Education Center Credit: Adina Keeling

Considering the change in schedule this fall, we at the RoundTable are wondering if you and your family have shifted plans as well. Are you taking the whole week off from work, too? Or are the extra class days off for kids making child care more complicated?

We want to hear from you. Send your family photos and how you are spending the week to, and you may be featured in a RoundTable roundup of Thanksgiving stories and photos next week.

Taking the full week off has grown increasingly common around Illinois, North Cook County Regional Superintendent Kevin Jauch told the RoundTable on Monday. For awhile now, some districts have used Monday and Tuesday of Thanksgiving week for parent-teacher conferences or other professional development days, he said.

“A lot of school districts are just recognizing that kids need a break, so they are taking off Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday to allow families to travel and take advantage of that time,” Jauch said.

Districts do have to make up for those lost instructional days somewhere in their calendar, though. Schools tend to tack on the two extra days at the start or end of the year, and some districts have even started holding classes on Veterans Day, according to Jauch. Overall, the Illinois State Board of Education requires a minimum of 176 class days in public schools.

Duncan Agnew covers Evanston public schools, affordable housing, City Hall and more for the RoundTable. He also writes long-form investigations, features and the morning email newsletter three times a...