Lemont High School announces adjustment to school calendar
Due to unexpected recent action by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), Lemont High School will make an adjustment to its school calendar. Thursday, September 20, now will serve as a Teacher Institute Day and no students will be in attendance. EPAS testing now will be held on Tuesday, November 6; freshmen, sophomores and juniors all will be expected to be in attendance that day.
While this adjustment in the schedule is not due to a lack of planning on the district's behalf, the districts feels it is important for students and their parents/guardians to understand why the change is being made.
Each year, Lemont High School conducts EPAS testing during the first semester; freshmen take the EXPLORE test, sophomores take the PLAN test, and juniors take a practice ACT exam. The results of these exams help our faculty track students' academic growth. Seniors do not attend school on EPAS testing day, and are encouraged to use the opportunity for a college visit day or to take part in job shadowing.
For many years, Illinois school districts have been allowed to choose their dates for EPAS testing; some administer these exams in the fall, and some do so in the spring in association with PSAE testing in April. Lemont High School has conducted its EPAS testing in September, and ISBE has reimbursed the district for the cost of administering these exams; this year, that cost is is expected to be approximately $7,900.
The Board of Education approved the school calendar - including both the EPAS testing date and the November Teacher Institute Day - in March 2012. However, on August 21 - approximately five months after the school's calendar was approved by the Board of Education - school districts across the state were notified by ISBE State Superintendent Dr. Christopher Koch that in order for the cost of these exams to continue to be paid for ISBE, schools must administer the exams during a non-negotiable, narrow window - sometime from November 5-16.
As District 210 administrators assembled the dates for the 2012-13 school calendar, there was no indication from ISBE that there was any restriction as to when schools could administer these exams and receive their reimbursement. ISBE's mandate leaves school districts with one of two choices: pay for the cost of the exams themselves, or amend their calendars to fit ISBE's testing window. In order to be fiscally responsible with minimal disruption to students, parents and faculty, District 210 has elected to choose the latter and adjust its school calendar.
Amending the school calendar by switching the Teacher Institute Day with the scheduled EPAS testing day will allow the district to test during the mandatory window and continue to have the nearly $8,000 cost of EPAS testing borne by the Illinois State Board of Education.
The district hopes that this decision will result in minimal disruptions to students, parents and faculty. Members of the Class of 2013 will not be affected by this change, because they were not scheduled to be in attendance either day; seniors are encouraged to use both September 20 and November 6 as college visit/job shadowing days. Lemont High School serves as an election site, and this calendar adjustment will result in our freshmen, sophomores and juniors completing testing on Election Day (November 6). However, the district does not expect this to be a problem, either for students or for voters who are visiting the school.
Since being made aware of the ISBE-imposed testing window on August 21, district administrators have been in contact with ISBE officials, strongly encouraging them to provide adequate notice to school districts for these types of mandates so that the information may be considered before districts adopt their school calendars.
If you have any questions concerning this schedule adjustment, please feel free to contact one of the following (click on the name to contact via e-mail):
Dr. Mary Ticknor
- (630) 243-3260
Dr. Tom Trengove
- (630) 243-3230
, Assistant Principal
- (630) 243-3237