90 Additional Instructional Minutes … Now 



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’ve invited all schools to 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.


What Chicagoans are Saying

  • Latest News clips
  • (Coming later) Quotes from opinion leaders, parents, principals


The Facts

  • Why We Need A Longer Day
  • What A Longer Day Will Look Like
  • Resources for Principals and Teachers
  • How Waiver Votes are Conducted
  • The Future of the Longer Day

Longer School Day Pioneer Program

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.

How Waivers Pass

All Longer 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.

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.

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.

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 Day in Our Future

The ultimate goal is to have a longer day in every school in CPS.  CPS has assembled a longer school day advisory committee to make some recommendations to school communities on how the additional time could be used both this year and next.  Additionally, CPS is holding focus groups and webinars in September with teachers and principals to get their input to help schools design the longer day. Please visit the CPS IdeaShare.com page to share your own ideas about the longer day.


Page Last Modified on Monday, August 25, 2014