The board approved submitting a waiver with the State, which would seek to modify the school code defining attendance, allowing for more learning to occur online.
“In the future, we’d like to have the opportunity to allow students to learn at school and in a remote location. However the current Illinois School Code for receiving general state aid limits us from exploring such innovative and meaningful learning designs. So seeking the proposed waiver is one step in our greater strategy to make learning more personalized, engaging and relevant for our students,” said Chief Academic Officer for District 203, Dr. Jennifer Hester.
Currently, students must be learning in the building for at least five hours to constitute a school day, but the amendment would allow two hours of that learning to occur remotely.
A few classes at both 203 high schools will pilot this program in the spring of 2017, with hopes to offer more blended courses in the 2018-2019 school year.
However, before implementation the Illinois General Assembly must approve the waiver when they convene in the fall.
Also at the meeting, Superintendent Dan Bridges addressed Illinois’ recently passed stopgap budget.
“Some of the uncertainty we had regarding funding for the coming year has been answered for us, with a commitment to increase funding for education, so we expect to receive some more dollars. We expect to, we hope that that goes through. What did not happen with that that we are hoping for is a long-term solution, a long-term decision regarding the funding of education in the state of Illinois,” said Bridges.
Under the stopgap budget, 203 will receive around $300,000 more from the state than they did last year.
The next 203 board meeting will be on August 1.
Naperville News 17’s Evan Summers reports.
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