There is currently a lot of talk and public focus on a longer school day. Five schools agreed to move to a 7.5 hour student day in the past week. RYH attended the first Longer School Day Advisory Committee meeting on September 6th. Below are some key points from the meeting.
- A longer school day is being planned for all CPS schools for the 2012-13 school year. The details on the specific length of the day and what the day will contain is still open and where the committee will focus its efforts. This is where your input is critical. We need to hear from as many parents as possible on how the day is shaped. Please take our survey. Also, please share with your school communities so you can provide important feedback to make sure that the day is structured to meet the needs of your children.
- There is an offer from CPS and the mayor for schools to move to a longer day now. This is optional and essentially up to the admin/teachers, however we maintain that parental input is critical in any key policy decision at our individual schools. These “pioneer” schools are essentially pilot programs that will receive support to make the change and provide CPS with insight into how to ensure a smooth implementation system wide for 2012, but this length is not set for all schools for next year.
- There were over 15 different community/religious/parent groups at the meeting. Input seems to be important to this process at this time and CPS is considering increasing the number of meetings planned as a result of the very vibrant three-hour discussion. In addition, RYH believes teacher input is most critical in making this a success. We must work together, collaboratively and with respect, and we hope that the Chicago Teacher’s Union will have a representative attend future meetings. Their input is needed.
Outside of the five schools that moved to a longer day last week, twelve other schools moved to a forty-five minute longer day as a result of our Fit For Learning Campaign last spring. These schools include Burrough, Coonley, Dumas, Earle, Hamilton, Kershaw, Langford, Onahan, Pulaski, Scammon, Shoesmith.and Thorpe. We have received questions on whether CPS wants to add 90 minutes to these schools and other schools that already moved to a 6hr30 minute day. The answer is no, CPS wants to lengthen the day (amount of time still uncertain) and not just lump 90 minutes on to every schedule.
RYH will focus our efforts on ensuring the 2012-13 school year implementation is a success. Again please help us understand your perspective by taking this survey.The more data we collect, the better prepared we will be to advocate for your children. Thank you.
Many of you have contacted us with some specific questions that we would like to answer. We will have any all-school meeting on 9/27 at Coonley School (4046 N. Leavitt) at 6:30 pm to answer your questions and hear from you on this important topic. Check back on our website in the next few days to rsvp to the event. Alderman Ameya Pawar will be a guest speaker at this event and we will have a cocktail summit at Gannon’s pub following the meeting (4264 N. Lincoln). This should be a great event and we hope to see you there.