90 Additional Instruction Minutes ... This School Year 



"It's difficult for Chicago teachers to impart the knowledge and skills their students require when our children spend less time in the classroom than just about anywhere else in the nation." – Mayor Rahm Emanuel, campaign Education Address, Dec. 10, 2010


The Longer School Day Pioneer Program is built on a simple fact – Chicago Public School students spend 15% less time in the classroom than the average American public school student. We have the shortest school day of all major American urban school districts. While the ultimate goal is to have a longer day in every school in CPS, we're supporting all schools that voluntarily participate in lengthening the school day by January of 2012.


A longer school day is a richer school day … one that provides for 90 additional minutes of instruction. That means more time for reading, math and science -- and also for enrichment programs like art, music and physical education, which are proven to boost student achievement. And it provides time for a longer lunch and a real recess.



Five Things You May Not Have Known About a Longer School Day... from Chicago Public Schools on Vimeo.




The Five Biggest Misconceptions about the Longer School Day


  • Watch CEO Brizard's video message to teachers about the Longer School Day Pioneer Program website and read CEO Brizard's letter to teachers on the facts about the program.

The Longer School Day: How it Works

Why We Need It

Of the 10 major cities in the nation, Chicago ranks last in the amount of time students spend in the classroom.

Today, CPS students receive 15% less instructional time than the national average.

Academic studies, education experts, and high-achieving schools with extended time in Chicago and across the nation confirm that additional instructional time is a key factor in student success.

How Schools Use it

The additional 90 minutes per day will benefit students by providing the opportunity to:

  • Spend more time on core academic subjects including math, science, social studies.
  • Work on literacy skills and provide reading intervention for struggling students.
  • Broaden enrichment opportunities including physical education, art, music, library time.
  • Give students an adequate mid-day lunch and recess period so that they can recharge.
  • Provide students with individualized interventions to help improve skills in math, science and core subjects as well as behavioral interventions and supplemental work for gifted students.

Waiver Process

Before Any Waiver is Discussed: All Longer School Day Pioneer Program waiver votes are conducted in strict accordance with the CPS collective bargaining agreement with the Chicago Teachers Union and applicable state law. The collective bargaining agreement says specifically that "any provision of this Agreement" is subject to the waiver process.

Step 1: Waivers are discussed in a professional, collegial and collaborative process between the

principal and the teachers before any vote is taken.

Step 2: A notice of vote is posted at each school and given to each teacher and staff member.

Step 3: All eligible-to-vote staff is permitted to do so by secret ballot. CPS recommends that the principal call a staff

meeting to present the proposed waiver and answer any questions the staff may have about it before voting begins. The principal and the school delegate should arrange for a ballot box and a sign-in sheet for voters to register. As they sign in, each staff member should receive a ballot and should be directed to a place to vote in private. The staff member should fold the completed ballot and place it in a ballot box.

Step 4: Votes are counted jointly by a CTU representative and the principal at each school, and CPS recommends that

another witness from the staff witness the vote counting as well.

Step 5: Results are verified by a CTU representative and the principal at each school. Both the principal and the delegate

should sign a Waiver Report Sheet, which certifies the number of ballots and the number of votes in favor and against the proposed waiver. The Waiver Report sheet must be mailed to CTU by the School Delegate. The Principal retains the original for the Office of Employee Relations and the School files.

School & Teacher Resources

Participating schools will receive up to $150,000 in discretionary funds which may be used for supporting the Longer School Day.. The amount received is dependent on implementation date. Schools starting in January will receive $75,000 in discretionary funds.  Schools could purchase technology, intervention programs, or additional staffing positions for enrichment.

In participating schools, teachers will receive a one-time lump sum payment equivalent to 2% of the average teacher annual salary, which shall be prorated to the number of days the school offers the Longer School Day.


Longer School Day Pioneer Project Schools

Name of School Longer Day Goes into Effect On…
Genevieve Melody Elementary School January 2012
Skinner North September 26, 2011
STEM Magnet Academy September 26, 2011
Benjamin E Mays Elementary Academy January 2012
William H Brown Elementary School September 26, 2011
Disney II Magnet Elementary School September 26, 2011
Henry H Nash Elementary School September 26, 2011
John Fiske Elementary School September 26, 2011
Julia Ward Howe Elementary School of Excellence October 17, 2011
Mary McLeod Bethune Elementary

November 14, 2011

Moses Montefiore Special Elementary School

October 17, 2011

Austin O. Sexton Elementary School

October 17, 2011

Morton School of Excellence October 31, 2011

Page Last Modified on Wednesday, August 13, 2014

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