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District 61 Sets 2012-13 School Calendar

The district considered starting school the last week in August but decided to stick with a schedule similar to previous years.

Although considered shifting its start date to the last week in August for the 2012-13 school year, the board decided Tuesday to keep the first day of school in the third week of the month.

Classes will officially begin for all District 61 students on Aug. 23, which will put the last day of school on May 30, 2013. If the district uses all five of its snow days, the last day of school would be June 6.

The district considered moving the start date until the last week in August for several reasons, including the potential of cooler temperatures.

Board President Bob Rzeszutko said he didn’t think weather should be a driving factor in the decision.

“The difference between starting the week of the 20th or the week of the 27th in terms of weather doesn’t matter,” he said.

Starting on Aug. 27 would bump the last day of school to a Monday.

Board member Claudia Manley said she thought that would provide teachers with a good opportunity to wrap up class work on Friday. They could then deal with administrative tasks such as passing out report cards and collecting textbooks on Monday.

Superintendent Bob Carlo said the concern with holding the last day of school on a Monday is that students might not show up.

“Parents might check out on Friday,” he said.

In past years, District 61 students had only a partial day on the first day of school. Because of a new state law, students must next year attend classes for at least five-and-a-half hours the first day.

Since the first day will be longer, board member Deborah Gaspari said she recommended starting on Aug. 23. That way kids would only be in school for two days before the first weekend.

The board settled on a calendar it labeled option three, which is available for review in the board packet.

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