GLEN ELLYN – Glen Ellyn School District 41 students will start the school year a few days later than usual this fall to take into account construction work that will take place as part of a referendum residents approved last year to replace the portable classrooms at Hadley Junior High School and do other work throughout the district.
Students will start Aug. 29, and the last day of school will be June 6, if no emergency days are used. In comparison, students started Aug. 23 this school year and are expected to finish the school year June 1, if no emergency days are used.
Board of Education members approved the calendar at their Jan. 8 meeting. District 41 Superintendent Paul Gordon said the calendar takes into account mainly the work that will be done at Hadley and Churchill Elementary School.
By a vote of 2,666 "yes" votes to 2,656 "no" votes, voters in April 2017 narrowly approved a $24.2 million bond referendum. The referendum will fund a two-story addition that will replace the 10 portable classrooms at Hadley and include a new music space.
The referendum also will pay for infrastructure and roofing improvements at Hadley, as well as a bus lane on district property designed to reduce traffic congestion in the neighborhood. Americans with Disabilities Act entrances to the school's bathrooms also will be funded through the referendum.
Work also will be done at the district's four elementary schools as part of the referendum, including ADA-accessible entrances to bathrooms, infrastructure and roof repair, and a secure entrance at Churchill.
"We need to get into those buildings sooner and stay there longer," Gordon told board members during a discussion of the calendar at their Dec. 18, 2017, meeting. "We are just trying to make sure we have a compressed school year to allow for our construction team to get into our buildings and do as much work [as possible] during the summertime, with no staff."
Because of the work that will be going on, staff will not be allowed back into the buildings until Aug. 20, which, Gordon noted, "is a big change from years past."
"We have dedicated staff members who come back during the summertime and they begin doing work in their classrooms, and that's not going to be occurring this year," Gordon said.
Barring any construction delays, the following year's school calendar would be a normal calendar year, Gordon said.