District 203 Examines High School Start Times

January 16, 2017
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District 203 conducted a survey and held parent information sessions on the school day and school year. Now, they are making some recommendations.

At their first board meeting of 2017, District 203 administrators gave some unofficial recommendations regarding high school start times.

“I plan to bring forward at a future Board of Education meeting, a formal recommendation to allow one late start day per week at the high school level, to allow the opportunity for professional collaboration. Currently that occurs about once a month at the high school level, and that’s not enough time for our educators to meet,” said Superintendent of District 203, Dan Bridges.

If officially recommended and approved, this change would begin in the fall.

Administrators are still examining all of the data they collected regarding the school day, and plan to make a formal recommendation, for all grade levels, to the board later this year.

“A lot of work going on with this, as I said, the rational behind this really is, what we’re doing in the classrooms has changed significantly, but our structure of our school days at all three levels has not really substantially changed and it’s time to make sure that we have a school day that really reflects what’s necessary for 21st Century learning into the future,” said Bridges.

Later in the meeting, administrators gave an update on the Digital Learning Initiative, which will enter phase three next school year.

The original plan proposed having kindergarten through second graders using iPads, two students to one device. And each third through fifth grader receiving their own Chromebook.

However after piloting Chromebooks in ten second grade classrooms, administrators have altered their recommendation.

“Our recommendation is to deploy Chromebooks to every second grade student in a 1:1 ratio, instead of the original recommendation of apple iPads 2:1 starting fall 2017,” said Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction with District 203, Jayne Willard.

This change would actually save the district over a $100,000 as Chromebooks cost less than iPads.

Naperville News 17’s Evan Summers reports.