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Oak Lawn 229 Decides To Drop Seventh Hour

A small group of parents attended the Sept. 19 Oak Lawn Community High School Board meeting hoping for one more chance to convince the Board to keep the seventh hour in the school day for the 2013-14 school year.

A resolution was read to the Board members by Board President Dan Janik.

The resolution calls for a balanced budget with six courses per semester starting with the 2013-14 school year. {{more}}

Also included was the directive to explore and review courses currently required by OLCHS, the sequencing of courses and the possibility of enrolling in the seventh period as an overload schedule.

The Board voted 7-1 to approve the resolution and amend the schedule to exclude the seventh hour class.

Board member Timothy Burke was the only representative voting against the resolution, saying, ÒI have a serious problem with this. It doesn’t seem to be the time. We’re rushing too fast.”

Burke went on to suggest trying more fund-raisers, charging students for summer school programs, outsourcing driver’s education, or charging a fee for participation in sports. ÒLet’s give the people the chance to pay for extras,” Burke said.

Before the voting took place, the public was allowed to comment on the upcoming vote.

Parent and former board member, Lynn Craig said, ÒYou have had two consecutive 5-year terms. The current contract was a failure. There should not have been a five year plan.”

Craig suggested a one year contract with negotiations to follow.

ÒYou gave a 3 percent raise this year,” she said. ÒThe CPI (consumer price index) is 1.9 percent. You have given 42.5 percent in raises over the past 10 years. Don’t do this. Don’t lower the bar for our kids.”

Dan Sodaro, father of an OLCHS student and president of School Board District 122 in Oak Lawn said, ÒThe goal is to maximize potential of the students. Don’t sign 5-year deals if you aren’t going to fix this. Let’s strive to be better than state minimum.”

Other parents expressed similar feelings that the decision was rushed. One parent felt the Board should wait for a new collective bargaining agreement before making a final decision.

School Principal and Superintendent Michael Riordan thanked the Board for all of the efforts and support and stated, ÒStarting tomorrow we will look at additional actions to maximize student opportunities.”

Riordan then announced the Sept. 25 deadline for petitions to Board members to be added to the ballot for election next year.

In other news, Riordan introduced five new teachers and a school nurse for the 2012-13 school year.

An announcement was made regarding the Homecoming parade, which was held Thursday night, Sept. 27. The parade proceeded down 95th Street to OLCHS, where a firework show took place.

Friday, Sept. 28 will be the Homecoming Football Game followed by the Homecoming Dance at the school on Saturday, Sept. 29.

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