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Press Release

Chicago Board Of Education Approves 180-Day, Student-Focused Calendar For School Year 2012-2013 

 
New Calendar Adds More Full Weeks of School and Makes it Easier for Parents to Plan Work and Child Care Schedules

 

March 28, 2012

 

The Chicago Board of Education today approved the proposed 2012-2013 school year calendar, which is designed to help boost student achievement by adding 30 percent more full school weeks and 10 additional student attendance days, bringing the total number of student days to the national average of 180.

 

In the current Track R schedule, nearly half of all school weeks (18 of 38) are broken up with at least one day off in the student calendar, while more than 40 percent of the current Track E schedule is made up of partial weeks (16 of 38). By adding nine full weeks to Track R schools and seven full weeks to Track E schools, the new calendar will provide more continuity for student learning throughout the year, and will ease the stress associated with haphazard scheduling the current calendar places on families.

 

“We applaud the Board’s decision to remove any barriers to student learning by adding more full school weeks to the student calendar. This new calendar will allow teachers to build continuity in delivering instruction to their students throughout the school year,” said CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard. “With 83 percent of our third graders not exceeding the most basic standards in reading, and almost one out of two students not graduating high school, next year’s school calendar puts our students on a clearer path to academic success.”

 

In structuring the new calendar, CPS gathered input and feedback from principal meetings across the District, the Full School Day Advisory Committee and nearly 600 teachers throughout the District through the VIVA project. Full School Day Advisory Committee members, including parents, education experts, principals, elected officials and community and faith leaders, particularly supported creating more full weeks of school, as well as adding an additional ten days to the calendar to increase student learning time in the classroom. Similarly, teachers through the VIVA project and principals fully supported the full week schedule as well as strategically placing professional development (PD) days to provide teachers with better opportunities to plan and reflect on their instruction and collaborate with other teachers.

 

Both CPS Regular (R) and Early (E) track calendars will see the following changes:

 

  • Ten additional days of student attendance for a total of 180 days.
  • More full, five-day weeks from 20 to 29 weeks for Track R and from 22 to 29 weeks for Track E. This provides less interruption to instruction and more consistency in scheduling for parents.
  • Reducing holidays from ten to eight, changing Columbus and Pulaski Days from holidays to student attendance days. CPS is encouraging schools to use these days as opportunities to acknowledge the contributions made by Columbus and Pulaski by educating students on their roles in our country’s history.
  • Conversion of report card pick-up days to student attendance days. Students will now attend school on these days with schools ending three hours earlier to allow parents the opportunity to meet with teachers and discuss their student’s performance. Report card pick-up hours will be conducted for five and a half hours after dismissal, which will accommodate both parents who need to meet during the day as well as parents who need to meet in early evening.

 

Specific changes to the Track E calendar include:                                                                       

 

  • The school year will begin on Monday, August 13, 2012 and end on Monday, June 17, 2013. Both days are full school days for students.
  • Placement of fall and spring vacation breaks (intercessions) in the Track E calendar will now fall at the end of academic quarters to minimize interruptions for students during the academic quarter.
  • Schools will be closed for the following breaks (intercessions):
    • Fall break (intercession) - closed from October 15, 2012 to October 26, 2012;
    • Winter break (intercession) - closed from December 17, 2012 to January 4, 2013;
    • Spring break (intercession) - closed from April 1, 2013 to April 5, 2013. This will now be one week shorter than this year.

 

Specific changes to the Track R calendar include:

 

  • The school year will begin on Tuesday, September 4, 2012 and end on Monday, June 17, 2013. Both days are full school days for students.
  • Schools will be closed for the following breaks: 
    • Winter break: closed from December 24, 2012 to January 4, 2013 
    • Spring break: closed from April 1, 2013 to April 5, 2013

 

 

CPS was able to add ten additional days to the calendar through the following means:

 

Track R

2 days from converting holidays into student attendance days

4 days from moving professional development (PD) and Teacher Institute (TI) days to before or after the school year

2 days from converting report card pick-up into student attendance days

2 days from the 2012-2013 school year starting on September 4 vs. to September 6 this year 

 

Track E

2 days from converting holidays into student attendance days

4 days from moving professional development (PD) and Teacher Institute (TI) days to before or after the school year

2 days from converting report card pick up into student attendance days

5 days from changing spring intercession from 2 to 1 week

These changes are offset by the school year starting on August 13 vs. August 8 this year

 

In addition, the new calendar was developed to more strategically support teachers, and in turn, improve student learning. The five professional days at the front of the year will allow teachers the opportunity to learn and plan for the implementation of the new Common Core curriculum, as well as its instructional framework. The professional days at the end of each quarter will provide opportunity to review student data and plan for the next quarter. In addition, the increase in full weeks gives teachers a greater opportunity to impact students through their lessons without constant staggered breaks in learning.

 

Access the proposed Track R calendar here and Track E calendar here.

 

About CPS

Chicago Public Schools serves 405,000 students in 675 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.

 

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