Students in Flossmoor School District 161 will start the 2015-16 academic year on Aug. 21, a Friday. The school calendar, approved Monday by Board of Education members, extends through June 3, also a Friday.
However, the school year could be extended by as many as five additional days in the event of heavy snow next winter.
Superintendent Craig Doster explained that it makes sense to start classes on a Friday. Illinois education authorities chart average daily attendance, a key component of school funding. He said it is likely that the state will do its first check of 30-day attendance averages early in the year.
“There is a greater likelihood that kids will come to school on a Friday at the beginning of the year,” he said, and having students in classrooms on that day can make a noticeable difference in funding. Doster said it is more probable that parents keep their students out of school at the end of the academic year – perhaps to get a head start on a family trip – than at the beginning.
As approved Monday, the 2015-16 calendar has 181 instructional days. Winter break starts Dec. 21, with classes resuming Jan. 5. Spring break begins March 28, with classes resuming April 4. Those vacation days are the same as the dates approved by the H-F High School board for the upcoming school year.
Also on Monday:
- The board started setting dates of meetings that will lead to a new district strategic plan. Board members will meet with consultant Robert Madonia on March 16 to discuss the five-year plan, and to prepare for focus groups made up of community leaders and residents. Board members will meet with the district administrative team on April 16. A two-day session is tentatively planned for the final week in May. Doster said as many as 50 district residents are expected to take part in those meetings, and they will help forge the 2015-2020 strategic plan. The plan is scheduled to go into effect July 1.
- Doster said a review of innoculation records indicates that 99 percent of District 161’s students are vaccinated for measles. Of 2,300 district students, he said, only 22 are not vaccinated. Parents of those students said their children were not vaccinated for religious reasons.