November 20, 2011
Chicago Public Schools officials today announced that 36 charter schools serving 17,000 students citywide have applied for the Longer School Day Grant and will transition to a longer day in January. CPS plans to implement a 90 minute longer day district-wide in Fall 2012 in order to boost student achievement and ensure students graduate college and career ready.
Charters will use the time to increase instruction in core areas like math, reading and social studies as well as enrichment activities ranging from art and music to PE. Although some charter schools have used their autonomy to provide longer days, without additional funding from CPS, many have not been able to offer a full 90 minutes more instruction every day.
Charter schools that currently do not offer a longer day are eligible for $75,000 in funding to help them implement a day with 390 minutes of instruction, providing students with the instructional time needed for them to be on par with their peers in other major school districts nationwide. The grant funding matches district funding of traditional CPS schools that have chosen to lengthen their school day ahead of schedule.
These charter schools will have the same flexibility to use the funds to purchase technology, develop intervention programs, or add additional staffing positions for enrichment programs. In addition, they will be eligible to receive a per teacher stipend of $800. At this time, the grant program is scheduled to last throughout the school year and end on June 30th just like longer school day funding for traditional CPS schools.
“We’re interested in expanding educational opportunities to all of our students citywide and see a strong commitment among charter schools to put the education of their students first. None of our students, whether in traditional CPS school or in charter schools, can afford to wait any longer for a quality education, and that is why we are offering charter schools the same opportunity to extend the school day as we have offered our traditional schools,” CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard said.
Among the applicants are some of the city’s largest charter providers including UNO Charter Schools which has submitted applications for ten of its charter schools. Applicants also include: 3 ASPIRA schools, 5 Perspectives schools, 4 CICS schools, 3 Prologue schools, 3 Shabazz schools, Providence Englewood elementary school, ACE high school, Legacy elementary school, EPIC, ChiTech Academy high school, Youth Connection Charter Schools, and Erie elementary school.
The longer school day is aimed at boosting student achievement throughout the district at both traditional CPS schools and charter schools. A recent report from the National Center on Time & Learning found that schools offering a longer day consistently demonstrated at least 5 percentage points higher proficiency rates on state standardized tests in Math or English Language Arts compared to schools within their districts that did not offer a longer day.
When launching the longer school day, CPS outlined several priority areas for the additional 90 minutes of instruction to ensure that core academic and enrichment instruction is provided. Charter schools receiving grant funding will follow the same guidelines:
- Spend more time on core academic subjects including math, science and social studies.
- Provide opportunities for students to work on literacy skills in all subject areas.
- Broaden enrichment opportunities including physical education, art, music, and library time.
- Give students an adequate mid-day lunch and recess period so that they can recharge.
- Provide students with interventions and supports to help improve skills in math, science and core subjects.
To date, 13 CPS schools have opted to participate in the Longer School Day Pioneer Program to lengthen their school day this school year. The pioneer schools will help to inform the district-wide model for a longer school day that will be implemented in all CPS schools during the 2012/2013 school year.
Chicago Public Schools serves 405,000 students in 675 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.