The Board of Education of Woodridge School District 68 will meet to conduct a Public Hearing on Monday, February 4, 2013, at 7:30 p.m. to receive public comment on a proposed waiver application for an "All-purpose" holiday request.
Woodridge School District 68 is requesting a modification of 105 ILCS 5/24-2, which states that teachers shall not be required to work on legal school holidays. On the dates listed below the district will either:
hold regular school with student attendance;
hold a parent-teacher conference;
hold a school improvement session;
hold a teacher in-service; or
conduct a teacher institute.
Specifically, the district would like to modify the section to exclude the dates below from this provision:
Martin Luther King., Jr.'s Birthday
Abraham Lincoln's Birthday
Casimir Pulaski Day
It would be the intent of District 68 to treat these days as commemorative holidays, during which time the faculty and administrators of the district would coordinate activities which would instruct students on the accomplishments of Dr. King, President Lincoln, General Pulaski, Christopher Columbus and all veterans of foreign wars. We feel that these types of activities would add an educational perspective to the meaning of these days for our students. If a parent-teacher conference, a teacher in-service or a teacher institute is scheduled on the actual holiday, the activities would be performed either the day before or the day after the holiday. The current agreement between the Administration and the Woodridge Educational Support Staff designates specific holidays.
The Public Hearing will be held in the Learning Resource Center at Jefferson Junior High School at 7200 Janes Avenue, Woodridge, Illinois.
Testimony on said waiver application will be taken during this Public Hearing.
What does this mean?
On February 4, 2013, we will be asking the Board of Education to hold a hearing and approve a holiday waiver, which would allow the District to have school on Casimir Pulaski, Lincoln's Birthday, Martin Luther King Day, Columbus Day, and Veteran's Day, if needed. Until 2009, the process for requesting a waiver for these holidays was to notify the unions, parents and all State representatives serving the District, post the waiver in the paper, have a public hearing and request the Illinois General Assembly to approve the waiver. Our current waiver for holidays, which the Board passed on June 29, 2009, waives Lincoln's birthday and Casimir Pulaski Day and was obtained in that fashion. It expires at the end of the 2013/2014 school year.
After 2009, the law was changed and school districts no longer need to file a waiver with the Illinois General Assembly. Instead, they need to inform their unions, notify parents and hold a public hearing before the vote. We have written and discussed this with the unions, posted on the website, and will then hold the public hearing on the 4th. If the Board approves the waiver, it will no longer need to file a waiver, it will be permanent, and will not need to be renewed.
We have been given guidance from the Regional Office of Education (ROE) and Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to bring the waiver to the Board as a general waiver, waiving all of the holidays, so we don't have to keep coming back to the Board with individual waivers. The waiver above is the waiver recommended by ISBE. About 8 months ago, on May 21, 2012, the District 99 Board of Education also filed and passed this waiver.
It is important to note that we are not asking that all of these holidays become school days for next year. The Board will still need to adopt a calendar on a yearly basis that includes the school holidays, and before the District would ask for any of these additional holidays off (other than Lincoln's Birthday or Casimir Pulaski Day, which is already in the calendar), it would certainly meet and confer with the unions. It is not our intention to ask for any modifications to the calendar for holidays for the foreseeable future, however, if we were to, we would have the waiver in place.