Suburban district to vote on shorter school day

Karen Jordan Image
Wednesday, May 11, 2016
School districts look to shorten school day
The school board will vote Thursday on the proposal.

The school board for Township High School District 214 in the northwest suburbs will consider this week a plan to shorten the school day, which typically starts at 7:30 a.m. for most students in the district.

The plan aims to reduce stress and let students get more sleep for the students who attend schools in six suburbs. The plan also proposes to ease up on the amount of homework.

"We've come to the decision that our kids are more than a standardized test score. We want them to be well rounded global citizens who can contribute in a meaningful way," said District 214 Superintendent David Schuler.

Schuler said families in the 12,000-student district were asked questions about what could impact a student's health and well-being.

He said their overwhelming response was used to create recommendations for a later start time (8:20 a.m. to 3:10 p.m.), shorter athletic practices and five weekends out of the year, mainly holidays, that would be homework-free.

"It creates balance and it models for them what they need to do when they're adults in that you shouldn't be on every minute of every day doing homework and that you should be able to focus on your family and your interests and not just your work," Schuler said.

Schuler said the adjustment would still maintain the same amount of instructional time.

However, parents have mixed reactions to the proposal.

"It will give them more time for a little bit of relaxation and to get some things done," said parent Elise Medici.

"I want her to succeed in life and making things easier, it's not gonna make it easier for her in the long run. It's going make it harder for her," said parent Edward Benner.

The school board will vote Thursday on the proposal.