Improved Board Governance on Display

gavelIn case you missed it, at its February 13th meeting, the Board began consideration of a plan that would move first semester final exams from mid January to before winter break. Last fall, our Superintendent convened a Calendar Committee to examine an array of options for moving finals to December.  HPHS Principal, Tom Koulentes, chaired the committee and was on hand, together with DHS Department Head, Rich Grady, to present the committee’s findings.

District parents were also present, and during the comment section shared their feelings about the possible calendar reconfiguration–mostly speaking out against any change to the status quo.  To be sure there were great arguments expressed both in favor of and against a change.  The Board will vote at its next Action meeting in early March on whether or not to reconfigure the calendar.

Regardless of the ultimate outcome, the Board and Committee deserve praise for the their evaluation and decision making process.  The Committee conducted multiple comprehensive surveys of thousands of stakeholders–parents, faculty and students–and shared summaries all of the statistics that it had gathered.  Moreover, the Committee’s presentation was unbiased, going out of its way to acknowledge and validate many of the the same concerns that parents who were present had also expressed.  And the Board asked many questions, digging well beneath the surface of the data that was presented.

Invariably, regardless of the outcome, there will be some that will not be pleased or satisfied with the Board’s decision.  But we can all take solace that the decision making process was thorough, transparent, considerate and objective.

To learn more about the Calendar issue, check out the links below or the minutes of the Board’s February 13, 2017 meeting.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/highland-park/news/ct-hpn-district-113-eyes-december-finals-tl-0223-20170220-story.html

http://www.hplandmark.com/school/district-113-school-board-d113-mulls-shifting-finals-december

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