From 8-5:00, 6 days a week, we can have our school day. It's an alternating schedule; every day there is 180 minutes each for two of the main subjects daily- one at the beginning, one at the end of the day. In between, there is an hour of lunch, specials classes, enrichment, study help, etc.
Longer School Day
For the extra ninety minutes students should learn another language fluently. Being bilingual is an asset in the global village. Immersion is a good method.
Last spring I was very encouraged by to hear that many schools were going back to the “open campus” model that in effect lengthened the day to 6.5 hours and allowed more time for lunch and recess. The open campus model also allows the youngest grades to have more recess than the upper grades, a design that is developmentally appropriate in a k-8 school. When I heard of the current proposal to extend the school day by 105 minutes I was shocked. This will create a day that is 7.5 hours long, 13% longer than the national average of 6.64 hrs. Adding 60 minutes to the current CPS day would be more appropriate and inline with national and area averages.
A 7.5 hour day is not only very long, the proposal as stated on the CPS website does not include adequate time for recess, especially for the primary grades. As it is stated on the CPS website, students will only receive 45 minutes for lunch and recess. While this might work for middle school aged kids (grades 6-8), youngest kids need much more time for play.
In July 2010, the CDC published a report outlining the research on the impact of recess PE on academic outcomes. This report states that the bulk of the research shows that PE and recess have a positive or neutral affect on academic outcomes EVEN if instruction time is taken away and replaced with PE and/or recess.
According to research, early morning start times are good for adults; not children. The start time for elementary school should remain 8:30 AM for teachers and 9:00 AM for our at-risk children.
Give the staff and children a noon break; then add the 90 minutes to the end of the day.The children need a 30 minute lunch and a 30 minute recess (daily). The teachers need their 45 minute lunch and their 20 minute break.
Many thanks to Mr. Emanuel and Mr. Brizard for making education in Chicago a priority.
I would like to see the following:
-more specialized education
- core classes (math, Lang arts/reading, science, social studies) lengthened with emphasis on forward movement instead of homework review
-recess and any necessary breaks reasonably needed.
I would like to add that needs vary school to school and implementation should be individual. With all due respect to teachers, our local and global economy will only allow a finite monetary reward. Please help us create a stimulating and progressive education for our kids.
Our students need consistency and our teachers need the resources to use research based best practices for more than a year or two. No reform can be implemented and tested in 18-24 months ... Why not listen to what the teachers know is best for the students - smaller class size, worthwhile PD, and more Social Workers in the school to help those students who have no support at home and are dealing with a multitude of problems that they bring to the classroom everyday. Yes, we need more instructional time in the classroom. I don't know a teacher who doesn't believe this, but first let's make sure that we can make good use of the time we have by solving the problems that take away from instructional time.
I am a HUGE fan of a longer day program! If you are getting student parent resistance, simply make the program optional.
I think a longer school day is a no brainer. I think teachers know it, and parents see it. Teachers know that drilling core subjects to a tired, cranky class will get you nowhere fast. This is why enrichment from the Arts and P.E. is not a nice little extra; it is a requirement.
Arts programming in the form of Music stimulates, refreshes, soothes souls AND boosts Math scores. In the form of Drama, it improves reading, comprehension, promotes problem solving, is goal oriented, inclusive, multi-dimensional, interdisciplinary, and multi- cultural. In the form of Visual Art it allows children to communicate and express themselves effectively.
P.E. programs instill a lifetime love of physical activities. Introducing children to team sports and individual fitness techniques improves health over a lifetime.
Children who are lagging behind academically and become disillusioned with school can be lured back in and nurtured on the strength of their love for a particular art or sport. CPS should make student retention and graduation their number 1 goal- there is just no better way to do this. Make school fun for kids!
We need to work with teachers to make this a reality for our kids. We need to ask teachers what they would need and how they would like to spend that time is.
This longer school day cannot come down on the backs of our already undervalued, overworked teachers. The longer day needs to work FOR teachers.
If Teachers had free periods to do prep-work and grading that would cut down on their work hours outside the classroom.
I applaud CPS for opening this forum as a way to solicit feedback and hear everyone's voice.
If the concern about starting school one week early has to do with lack of air conditioning, money should be spent to put in at least some air conditioning at each school (maybe not central, but enough to have some cooling go throughout the buildings). Money for things like this and other improvements to the school and classroom supplies would benefit students and teachers (rather than simply giving more money as a pay raise for teachers to take home). Since most teachers say they use their own money to buy supplies, offer them supplies for their classrooms rather than more take home pay. That benefits everyone.
The "Longer School Day" could be administered in the following way;
Start time 7:00 - 8:30
Programs offered: 45 minutes Performing Arts + 45 min Skills Gap Tutorial
Performing Arts Courses Offered - Musical Theatre, Jazz Dance, Visual Arts, Orchestra or Band
Skill Gap Course - Taught by College Students who major in Education (Reading or Math) as an internship
Weak Readers - Phonics drills and decoding small narratives. How to respond to a writing prompts would also be done in exercises.
Strong Readers - Discussion groups to pull out and discuss key elements of the story. Organizing a response to writing prompts. How to write a response that would receive a top score on a standardized exam by reviewing sample essays and doing practice work.
Students behind in Math - Tutor would be teaching Basic Math (Addition, Subtract, Multiplication, Division, Fractions and introduce percents. How to decode a simple word problem that has multiple steps, review of basic math vocabulary, rules and properties. How to check your work should be covered.
Average Students - Review basic skills to address any skill gaps, focus then on decoding word problems. Algebra basics. Work out problems by hand and only using a calculator to check work. Review of math vocabulary, rules and properties.
Above Average Students - Assess their skills, address any concerns and do higher level math problem solving, discreet and linear math and probabilities. (School counselors could match them up with Saturday programs that will also challenge them as well.)
These tutorial would also have a break time!
Hopes this suggestion is useful.
In order to make a longer school day work, CPS needs to have staff to surpervise students both at lunch and recess. Additionally, CPS needs to ensure that students have a safe place for recess.
CPS students do not receive enough time for physical activities. The children do not get enough of a rest period or time to redirect their energy, refresh their minds, be creative or interact with their classmates on a non academic level. Implementing recess and increasing Physical Education classes to at least 3 times a week not only helps childhood obesity, which is of great concern, it gives children a chance to redirect their energy and participate in fun physical activities that they really look forward to. A longer school day is great, but it has to be structured so that CPS children are motivated to achieve more. Students are not going to be motivated by longer instructional time alone.