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Downers Grove North High School 4436 Main Street Downers Grove, IL 60515 Wednesday, November 9, 2016 Volume

er 9, 2016 Volume 47 Issue 3 DGNs Student Newspaper

News (2) Feature (4) In-Depth (6-7) Sports (12)


Find out about the changes Learn about the new expan- 108-year-drought brought to Read about the cross country
being made to Grandparents sion of Wi-Fi bandwidth. an end as Cubs win the World teams historic season.
Day celebrations. Series.

BURNING UP
2017-2018 calendar rais-
es heat questions
Abbe Murphy I Editor-in-Chief
amur1548@csd99.org

When Nihal Isaac, mother of fresh-


man Noah Isaac and senior Jade Isaac,
spoke at the District 99 School Board
meeting last year on Feb. 1, she had
one goal: relieve her daughters winter
break stress by moving final exams be-
fore break.
Over the past three years, I have
witnessed firsthand what having the se-
mester end after winter break does to
students, Isaac said. My daughter, Jade,
spends anywhere from one-half to two-
thirds of her winter break completing
study guide packets for her classes in
preparation for finals.
District 99 began work last December
to create an early start calendar for this
upcoming school year. The result led to a
five day earlier 2017-2018 calendar that
bumps finals before break and cuts the

F
school stress out of the holiday season. de-
However, less days in the generally cision
mild temperatures of early June mean and the
more days in the heat of August. Only district con-
51% of D99 classrooms have air condi- sidered data
tioning. from other dis-
A recent Harvard study suggests that tricts who switched
student performance lowers with the in- to early start calendars
crease of heat, raising concerns of how without air conditioning.
heat will impact student performance Really in the end what we found
and school function during first months was that there were few concerns, the
of school. On hot days, its hard for me to stay
The study, conducted by Harvard Uni-
heat being one of them, but that other
schools had managed to overcome them concentrated on my work when I keep
sticking to my desk. I feel really gross
WSC conference
versity PHD student Jisung Park, con- and were happy that they did. Other The Omega gathered information from local
cluded that students who took the exam and distracted, Brindl said.
schools have been on an early start cal- schools start dates and number of air condi-
on a 90-degree day scored on average Schwarze, along with multiple other
endar and not all of them had air condi- tioned classrooms. Below are the findings in
4.5% lower than students who took the faculty and staff, were part of a calen- order of percent air conditioned*.
tioning, Schwarze said.
test on a 72-degree day. Also the study dar committee that reviewed data and
Teachers union vice president Lois
showed only five additional 80-degree multiple versions of the schedule before York
Graham questions how the lack of air
days saw a reduced performance of sev- coming to a final draft. 100% of classrooms, Aug. 15,
conditioning will affect the school with
en percent of a standard deviation. This was a conversation that oc-
the earlier start date. 2016 start date
According to the website Weather curred with a lot of people over a
Its just unacceptable for students Glenbard West
Underground, this past August and Sep- long period of time, principal Janice
and its unacceptable for faculty and
tember, 50% of the days hit heat indexes staff ... Almost all the other schools in the Schwarze said. While students might 100% of classrooms, Aug. 22,
of 80 degrees or higher, with the average be uncomfortable for those few days, 2016 start date
area have air conditioning and consider-
at 82.5 degrees. This means that if stu- the tradeoff of having those two weeks
ing this is a district with only two build- Hinsdale Central
dents had started on Aug. 18 this year, as where they are not having to worry, we
ings, [the district needs to] find a way to 97% of classrooms, Aug. 15,
they will next year, 22 out of the 44 days felt, was worth the trade off.
take care of it, Graham said.
from then until the end of September In preparation for the board meeting 2016 start date
Junior Evie Brindl believes that, while
would have been hot enough to decrease last February, Isaac researched for infor- Oak Park River Forest
the finals after break are acceptable, the
student performance mation regarding the heat during mid 97% of classrooms, Aug. 15,
heat is not.
The Master Facility Plan, a facility im- August. She considered this information
in her argument to the board.
2016 start date
provement plan for District 99 schools,
involves complete air conditioning for Weather is unpredict- I thought it was very important for Downers Grove North
both DGN and DGS. However, the district able, yet the benefits to students to have a mental break during 63% of classrooms, Aug. 29,
has yet to choose a finalized plan or a set the two weeks of winter break to de- 2016 start date
year for the improvements to take place.
our students of having compress and recharge, Isaac said. ...
an early start calendar We have had hotter days than [those in
Downers Grove South
According to assistant principal Ken So-
August] in September. Weather is unpre- 41% of classrooms, Aug. 29,
rensen, for the time being, the school are very predictable and 2016 start date
will use fans and ventilation to cool the dictable, yet the benefits to our students
building. tangible. of having an early start calendar are very *The Omega contacted Proviso West, but
According to principal Janice -Nihal Isaac, parent predictable and tangible. did not get usable data in the response.
Schwarze, heat factored into the calendar Graphic by Sophia Di Iorio