Do District 86 Inequities Go Both Ways?

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DARIEN, IL β€” A Hinsdale South High School student spoke out at a school board meeting last week about what he saw as the inequity of class offerings at his school compared to Hinsdale Central.

At the same session, a top official with Hinsdale High School District 86 said Central lacked building space compared to South, saying that problem involved an issue of equity.

For years, South parents have argued their students have far fewer class offerings because the school’s enrollment has dropped to half that of Central.

Suggestions of a boundary change between the two schools go nowhere. In the April board election, only one of 10 candidates was open to redrawing the line. That candidate lost. Some Central area residents fear being redrawn into the South zone, resulting in dropping property values.

At Thursday’s board meeting, South junior Zeeshan Razzaq said students such as himself suffer scheduling conflicts with so few class sections available. For instance, he was unable to take Advanced Placement Environmental Science.

"My teacher told me that if I had been a student at Hinsdale Central, I would have received placement in every single one of my courses," Razzaq said. "That’s when I realized for almost every single one of my classes, there will be more sections running at Hinsdale Central than at Hinsdale South."

He said when he spoke to nearly a dozen of his friends, they said they had faced similar scheduling conflicts.

"Why are so many South students being denied the opportunity to pursue their ideal future?" Razzaq said. "This is not fair, and this is not right."

School board member Jeff Waters, who lives in the Central zone, thanked Razzaq and another South student, Anastasia Galinski, for speaking at the meeting about equity issues.

Later in the meeting, Waters asked whether money dedicated for another purpose could be shifted to technology, allowing South students to be connected to Central classes, which he said could minimize their concerns.

In response, Chris Covino, assistant superintendent of academics, said, "I believe we have the ability to solve that problem by doing remote classrooms. If that is the direction the board gives us, we can continue to investigate that. We have been using that technology all year for hybrid classrooms."

At another point in the meeting, Covino mentioned equity in discussing needs for space at Central and South. The meeting was at South.

"When we talk about equity and equity of resources, one only has to walk through this building to realize that there are a lot of spaces. One of the reasons we are sitting in this room right now is because there isn’t a room right now at Hinsdale Central that can accommodate with what’s going on," he said. "So to open up a place at Hinsdale Central that we can use for instructional purposes in the future would be a true benefit."

Covino also said the administration has conducted curriculum team meetings for the last three months at South because officials were unable to find such space at Central that would accommodate more than 10 people at a time.

via Burr Ridge, IL Patch

May 17, 2021 at 02:44PM

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