HINSDALE – The combination of closures due to brutal winter weather and mold eradication has put a strain on District 181's school year calendar for 2013-14, leaving the board to figure out how to account for the missed days.
So far this year, school was canceled district-wide four times due to extreme cold, while class had to be canceled three times at Hinsdale Middle School for mold cleanup.
The board agreed it was important to address the lost time and have the school year conclude at the same time for all students in early June.
"At the end of the year, there's too much going on," school board member Gary Clarin said. "People have already checked out of school."
At Monday's meeting, the board decided school will be in session Monday for Hinsdale Middle School only – the date previously was determined a non-attendance day for President's Day. School will then be in session for all schools in the district on Tuesday, which previously was an institute day.
Because of the holiday and previously scheduled extended weekend, the district did recognize that some families may have made vacation plans around those days. As a result, Hinsdale students not in attendance Monday, and any students not in attendance Tuesday, will have an excused absence.
No decisions on additional days were made at Monday's meeting, but some previously scheduled non-attendance days could be used for attendance, including Good Friday for Hinsdale Middle School students, May 16 for all students (previously scheduled as an institute day) and June 2 for all schools (previously a grading day).
The board would "likely" waive the third make-up day that would be needed for Hinsdale, as permitted by the State Board of Education.
Graduation for eighth-graders could also be moved back a day to June 5.
Winter doesn't seem to be leaving anytime soon, and if more school cancellation is needed, the board could re-visit the calendar.
"This was an unfortunate situation and we've got to get through it," said Superintendent Renee Schuster.