District 97, in collaboration with the Oak Park Teachers' Association (OPTA), has decided to make Thursday, June 4, the last day of student attendance for the 2019-20 school year. June 5, the date that was previously designated as the last attendance day, will instead be used as a teacher institute day.
This institute day will be used to provide support and professional development to staff in preparation for the 2020-21 school year. Although the district has not made any decisions about the fall, we believe this extra time is critical as we continue to build our staff’s capacity to provide high-quality instruction to all of our students—whether it’s remote or on-site.
This calendar change is aligned with updated guidance provided by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The guidance outlines which days can be counted toward student attendance, and declares that calendars can be altered as long as they reflect 176 days of student attendance. The district’s 2019-20 calendar, as originally adopted, included 178 days of student attendance and four teacher institute days, which reflects the terms set forth in the OPTA collective bargaining agreement. The OPTA and District 97 have reached an agreement to instead end the year with 177 days of student attendance and five teacher institute days.
This date change will not impact our virtual eighth-grade graduation ceremonies, which will be held Saturday, June 6.