Chicago Public Schools to Extend High School Days by 36 Minutes
Benito Juarez Community Academy, 2150 S. Laflin St. flickr/Zol87
Chicago Public School officials announced on Thursday, Dec. 22 the school day in Chicago Public High Schools will extend by 36 minutes at the start of the 2012-2013 school year.
Under the extended school day guidelines, high school students would receive an additional 46 minutes of direct instruction, eliminating the current 14-minute homeroom, and providing a four-minute entry period.
“Our students cannot afford to wait another day to access the high quality education they deserve,” said CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard in a statement.
Teacher instructional time will also extend by 32 minutes, providing instruction for 4 hours and 36 minutes. CPS did not mention whether teachers would be compensated for the extra time.
According to a release, the district will be moving to a 7.5 hour school day across both high school and elementary schools to ensure students’ college and career readiness. Chicago Teachers Union officials, however, have disagreed with the longer school days expressing a need for additional resources and a more structured curriculum.
“The Chicago Teachers Union has called for a better school day, one that includes a comprehensive, rich curriculum that includes art, music, physical education, science, world languages and civics; where students learn in safe, nurturing environments that include small class sizes, libraries, cafeterias, air-conditioning, heating, technology and with qualified teachers and the appropriate support staff,” said CTU officials in a statement.
The extended high school day is planned to be finalized and implemented by April or May of next year after a district-launched, year-long planning process that requires schools to convene a Full School Day Planning Team, create an ideal student schedule, and refine the plan based on feedback from the community and district to best maximize the time.
In October, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced approximately 42 charter schools would be eligible for $75,000 in grant funding and $800 teacher stipends to help them implement a longer school day. Additionally, 13 CPS schools opted to participate in the Longer School Day Pioneer Program to lengthen their school day this school year.