September 7, 2012
This week, for the first time ever, all Chicago Public Schools (CPS) students took advantage of a Full School Day that provides them with the time they need for quality instruction in the classroom with their teachers, as well as new opportunities for creative learning and extracurricular activities that were not available even just last year.
"For the first time, all of Chicago's students have a Full School Day and a full school year that measures up to their full potential,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “Students and teachers are no longer restricted to the shortest school day and shortest school year of any major city in the nation, and our students now have ample time to learn and thrive.”
The Full School Day looks different at each school, as each principal and school community has been given the resources and flexibility to structure a quality school day that best meets the unique needs of their student body.
“It’s inspiring to see the creative ways schools are using additional time and resources in the classroom,” said CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard. “With more time in the classroom with their teachers, students will have more opportunity to learn and succeed.”
For example, when Carl von Linne Elementary opened its doors this year on September 4, students immediately had access to 15 more minutes a day in math, 15 more minutes a day in history and 15 more minutes a day in reading. That is almost an additional hour in math, in history and in reading that students would not have had without the Full School Day in only the past week.
Similarly, at Spencer Technology Academy in Austin, students have been getting 20 more minutes a day in reading and 15 more minutes a day in math. In the past month, that’s 5 more hours in math and 5 more hours for reading that students would not have had without the full school day. That’s over 6 hours more instruction in math and 5 hours in reading that these students did not have last year.
For the past week, students at Prieto Math & Science Elementary School have had 20 more minutes a day in English/language arts class, as well as new music, physical education and technology classes. That is over an hour more of English/language arts in just one week that students would not have had last year. The benefits of this time will continue to grow over the course of the school year, enriching the student-learning experience.
This school year, new opportunities available to CPS students include:
- More rigorous academic standards that are being introduced to prepare students for tougher new state tests in 2014;
- Five new STEM-schools that will focus on the areas of science, technology, engineering and math and partner with world-class companies for mentorship and curriculum development;
- A 7 hour day in elementary school and a 7.5 hour day in high school;
- A full year, moving from 170 days to a full 180 days; and
- Extended hours for reduced-fare rides on CTA trains and buses.
Additionally, parents are able to see their school’s report cards right on the CPS website at www.cps.edu.
Chicago Public Schools serves 402,000 students in 675 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.