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Survey proposed to evaluate holiday parties in schools

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DeKALB – Gina Ostenburg of DeKalb urged the DeKalb School District 428 Board during its Tuesday meeting to allow holiday parties to happen with the understanding that compromise could be included.

She said that these themed celebrations might be one of the only social opportunities for kids to interact with peers.

The districtwide change stopping holiday parties was approved as an update to the parent/student handbook last year. In their place, schools hold seasonal celebrations.

After a spirited debate on the topic Tuesday, the school board decided to conduct a survey to determine what parents and district staff want to see – if holiday parties are again allowed in schools.

The school board agreed to review the survey at a future board meeting before it was distributed.

District 428 Superintendent Jamie Craven said he thinks the heart of the matter is that parents want to have opportunities to be involved with their children’s school, and the current celebrations still give parents the chance to participate.

“It doesn’t necessarily have to be around a standard holiday, but we’ll see what the parent response is and what our staff response is, and then take that all back to the board so they can make a decision on how we’re going to move forward,” Craven said.