Proposed changes to school curricula and policy drew Elmhurst residents to a long and well-populated school board meeting on Nov. 14.

The two issues that received the most heated discussion were the proposal to move the middle school band, orchestra, and choir practice from a before-school activity to an in-school elective, and a physical education waiver for students already participating in sports in grades seventh to twelfth.

More than 100 people attended the meeting to speak for and against both proposed changes.

The current scheduling of band, orchestra, and choir requires those students to be at school every day nearly an hour before regular classes begin. The district is hoping to alleviate a high dropout rate of students in these programs between grade school (when students go after school once a week) and middle school.

However, changing that schedule would mean that band, orchestra, and choir programs would count as an elective and drastically reduce the amount of other electives that those students could take.

The physical education waiver also inspired heated opinions. The proposal was ultimately shelved partly due to the late hour and partly due to the lack of information about how it would be implemented. Middle schools do not have any policies in place to handle P.E. waivers. Currently at high school, only varsity athletes are exempt from daily P.E. classes.

Other items on the agenda included a waiver to allow for fees to cover driver’s education and to set a fee not to exceed $325. The current fee is $245.

The meeting lasted more than four hours and discussion will continue at the next meeting on Dec. 12.

Here at Gracik Makinney, we’re proud of the community involvement from parents and residents and the welcome reception they receive from both the city council and school board. To find out more about Elmhurst issues, reach out to us at (630) 441-5570 or email us through our website, www.gmgregroup.com.