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District 113 delays implementation of lab time restrictions

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District 113 delays implementation of lab time restrictions

Township High School District 113’s experiment to change the structure of science courses will need a while under the microscope before it becomes a reality.

District 113 Superintendent Dr. Bruce Law announced throughout the board of education’s March 19 meeting that officials might be pushing back a contentious plan to shift the vast majority of science courses at Highland Park and Deerfield high schools to a single-period structure until the 2025-’26 school 12 months.

As previously reported by The Record, greater than a dozen District 113 educators addressed the School Board during its Feb. 20 meeting to rally against the administration’s proposal to maneuver to the single-period structure next school 12 months.

During that Feb. 20 session, district educators argued the change was a “spur-of-the-moment” decision that was “unilateral,” “poorly executed,” and lacked communication and stakeholder feedback.

In accordance with Law, administrators met with the District 113 Education Association in mid-March “to debate the impact of creating this variation for the 24-25 school 12 months.”

Following that meeting, “it became clear that to implement this variation well, teachers would want more time than the remaining of this 12 months and the summer to organize for it,” Law said.

“We are going to learn rather a lot as we undergo this process and we are going to ensure that that those changes are made in the most effective interests of scholars and our teachers,” Law said while informing the board that incorporating science labs into each day instruction will begin the next school 12 months.

Under District 113’s current model, students must put aside a category of their schedule so as to have a science lab, based on district officials during a presentation Feb. 20.

Those science labs typically meet a couple of times per week. When students will not be of their science lab, they’re in a study hall period, which offers probabilities to get assistance and make up work, amongst other opportunities.

Moving to a single-period structure for science classes would open up additional opportunities for college kids to enroll in elective courses, officials previously said.

Law, who’s currently the district’s top administrator but is ready to retire later this 12 months and hand the reins to Dr. Chala Holland, built on the district’s reasoning for the choice, calling it a “matter of equity.”

Full-time science teachers in District 113 currently teach 4 classes, while other full-time teachers within the district teach five, Law said, adding that along with “bringing equity to all our teachers,” and reiterating that the change also “allows students to take an elective instead of the time slot that’s now currently occupied by a science lab.”

Law believes the choice to attend a 12 months before moving to single-period science will allow the district probabilities to review what he describes as the various peer districts that incorporate labs of their each day instruction.

“The coed outcomes aren’t compromised by the proven fact that labs are worked into each day instructions and the AP results are also very strong, and it’s due to the best way that science is delivered,” Law said.

“So there may be rather a lot that we will learn from other school districts, and most other school districts are on this path. So (we’re going) to ensure that that as we’re incorporating this into each day instruction, that we learn from them and are capable of use that learning as we go.”

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