School Hours Matter to Families

After months of working to create a more "family-friendly" school calendar, there's another issue in D65 that needs our voice. On Friday, May 23rd, a note was sent home with Lincoln, Lincolnwood, and Oakton students notifying their parents that start and dismissal times will be shifting next year to bring them into alignment with other D65 elementary schools. While consistency across the District seems in theory a good thing, the problem is that the later 9:00 - 3:20 schedule is difficult for many families when it comes to coordinating work and child care arrangements. And, of at least equal concern is the fact that the change was made without the input of parents who are among the most important stakeholders in our school community.

That's why we are asking D65 to postpone any change in school hours until parents, guardians and other community members have had an opportunity to share their views and suggestions. Here are three important ways you can support this effort:

Sign our online petition and encourage other parents to join you. Simply forward this alert using the button below or copy and paste the petition URL into a separate note to everyone on your e-mail list. Even if your children do not attend one of the affected schools, your participation in the petition drive is extremely important because we need to send a strong message to D65 leaders that parents should be included in decisionmaking on matters that directly impact the education and care of our children.

Send an e-mail to the School Board to ask that they put the proposed scheduling change on their agenda so that there can be an open, public discussion of its impact. You can also call members directly to communicate your concerns. Dial 847-859-8745 and press 1 for Katie Bailey, press 2 for Bonnie Lockhart, press 3 for Mary Erickson, press 4 for Keith Terry, press 5 for Mary Rita Luecke, press 6 for Andrew Pigozzi, and press 7 for Jerome Summers to leave a voicemail message.

Attend the June 9th meeting of the School Board, which will be held at the Joseph E. Hill Education Center at 7:00 p.m., so that we can demonstrate that D65 parents stand united in our quest for a school schedule (and system) that is responsive to the needs of our families.
Together, we can truly make a difference (and if you have any doubt, be sure to check out the Huffington Post where our school calendar efforts here in Evanston are getting national attention)!

Rhonda Present
Founder & Director

ParentsWork is a non-profit organization of Illinois parents and grandparents working for changes - in our communities, schools, workplaces and laws - that will give us the time, resources and support we need to care for our children and families.