Letter: Decisions made are not the best for District 86 students

School boards are elected to represent the public in the delivery of education. Their key mechanism to do so is through the establishment of policies that serve as a guide for the district administrators (not board members) to manage the schools on a day-to-day basis. An effective board should understand that the value of their success and the success of district administrators is best judged by student achievement. This is their return on investment!

When considering extending the school year, the District 86 administration and board indicated a major reason was to make-up missed instruction time. Yet, there was no talk of pushing back graduation. Did seniors not lose the same days the rest of the students lost? Ultimately, the decision was made to maintain a June 6 year-end. Then, a new final schedule was created that appears to reduce “Valuable” instruction time. Teachers are limited to teaching material that can’t be on the final or applied to grades. If finals were not changed, students would have instruction time up to the day of their finals. Instead, they now will take finals during their regular class time and across multiple days, while also dealing with all the other disruptions that a regular day includes. Yes, instruction time has technically been increased, but where is the value (return on investment) of this instruction time given all the constraints.

It doesn’t appear to me that the decisions being made are the “best” ones for the students they are supposed to be focused on.

Kent and Liz Fredrickson

Clarendon Hills

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