D181 Late Starts: Survey Planned for Parent Weigh-in

District 181 communications director Bridget McGuiggan said more public discussion on the late-start issue is also in the works.

Discussion of late starts in District 181 is expected to continue between now and the board of education's vote on a final 2013-14 school calendar, communications director Bridget McGuiggan said.

The eight 10 a.m. starts that are tentatively planned for next school year are meant to provide professional-development time for staff as the district implements its new Advanced Learning Plan (ALP). McGuiggan said the late starts were discussed at two ALP-related community meetings on March 19, and future conversation will take place, though particular dates have not been set.

The late starts were the subject of a recent Patch letter to the editor from Superintendent Renée Schuster.

READ: Late Starts a 'Significant Change' Requiring Discussion: D181 Superintendent

McGuiggan said the district plans to ask all parents next month about their opinions of the late starts in a survey.

"We do anticipate sending a parent survey in mid- to late April to our families to gauge their interest in late start and to received feedback on questions we would need to address in our planning if late start were to be approved and implemented," McGuiggan said in an email.

The board's vote on a finalized 2013-14 calendar is expected to take place in May.

In her letter to the editor, Schuster said professional development is an "integral" part of the ALP, and late starts are one of several ways the district will increase it. 

"Late start days provide more time for teacher collaboration and job-embedded professional development," Schuster wrote.

The superintendent said the eight late starts are aligned with proposed District 86 late starts for 2013-14.

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