Hinsdale District 86 Board restores June 6 as last day of school

Residents ask the Hinsdale High School District 86 Board to not add days to the end of the school year to make up for cold weather days taken in January. | Kimberly Fornek/Sun-Times Media
Residents ask the Hinsdale High School District 86 Board to not add days to the end of the school year to make up for cold weather days taken in January. | Kimberly Fornek/Sun-Times Media

The Hinsdale High School District 86 Board voted unanimously to keep June 6 the last student attendance day this school year.

The board directed Superintendent Bruce Law and the faculty to figure out ways to make up as much as possible the four days worth of instruction time that were lost when schools were closed in January due to the subzero weather.

The administrators and staff will consider having students attend on Good Friday April 18, having them attend a full day instead of a half-day before spring break March 28, adding 35 minutes to a certain number of days and other options.

Staff may be asked to work after June 6, but students will not be in school then.

The School Board did not insist that all four days be made up.

Eight people addressed the School Board to explain why they did not want the school year extended to June 12, which was Law’s recommendation.

They said many families had made plans for vacations, summer camps and other commitments.

Fred Boshardt said his family made plans almost a year ago to take a vacation to Italy and Croatia. Without 90 days notice, the trip is nonrefundable. He would have to lose what he paid, because his daughter would not want to miss four days of school, especially if the district postponed final exams.

“Missing finals would be a death sentence,” Boshardt said.

Several people, including Melissa Vranicar, a junior at Hinsdale Central who collected 1,361 signatures on an online petition objecting to the extension of the school year, said two of the missed days were in the first semester. Students already have taken their first semester final exams, so it did not make sense to make up those days.

Vranicar is planning to travel to a summer camp in Minnesota the week after June 6, where she is scheduled to be a camp coordinator.

Katie McGowan said in addition to disrupting sports and summer camps and family vacations, if students were in school later than students in other school districts, they would be at a disadvantage when applying for summer jobs.

Law said he recommended making up the four days at the end, because there was no ideal solution and what is most important to him is restoring the lost instruction time. Law said he is confident the excellent teachers in District 86 “will make very good use of those days.”

But the board decided having the students make up the lost time earlier in the school year, before AP and final exams, made more sense.

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