Naperville Unit District 203 officials have been to the drawing board and back -- and they believe they have finally found a school year calendar with which everyone can be happy.
Board members on Monday unanimously approved the 2013-14 school-year calendar; classes will start on Aug. 21, 2013 and end on May 30, 2014. Seniors will graduate on May 27.
The newly approved calendar achieves the goals of classes starting a week later than they did this year and keeps semester exams in place before the students winter break.
Board President Mike Jaensch said the balancing act of keeping the semesters at equal lengths was made possible by having classes in session during the October Columbus Day holiday. The second semester will be six and a half days longer than the first.
"We feel very satisfied that we've finally got a plan that everyone can accept and support, because everyone has been heard," Jaensch said. "We've heard from teachers, parents and students, and we've pulled something together that addresses everyone's concerns."
In August board members approved a calendar with an Aug. 14 start to next school year, prompting nearly 1,000 parents to sign a petition. About 2,000 high school students also petitioned the board to keep the exams in place prior to the break.
Jaensch said the board hopes to have a much easier time approving the 2014-15 calendar when they begin discussing it in late January.
"We'll have that next calendar a lot earlier than we even began discussing this one," Jaensch said. "We've got a good model to work from now so we're confident this won't be as big an issue in the future."