Students need more art, music and PE at the elementary level. Currently,in many schools, students get art once per week, music once per week, and PE perhaps twice a week. This is inadequate. Extend lunch periods for students for recess. Hire parents to work the recess time (to allow teachers to have an adequate, professional lunch of 45 minutes)
First, thank you for creating a democratic forum for this discussion.
I am a parent and a professional educator. I am excited and embrace the longer school day. It is good for both of my children, who are CPS students and as an educator, it is the right thing to do.
My greatest concern is that recess and any kind of physical movement during the school day is greatly limited. I cannot support a longer school day if the absence of recess, PE and related opportunities for students to run and play continues to be limited.
The work of nueroscientists like John Medina (his book is Brain Rules) cite significant science that limited or no movement actually stifles learning.
Recess, PE, art, music, drama are not "extras", they are essentials because they prepare our brains for learning in reading, writing, mathematics, science, and social studies.
Build the Longer School Day WISELY.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Wouldn't academic performance be improved by adding a high school study hall and making the class periods longer?
Don't our elementary students deserve more time for exercise?
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.
I understand your desire to lengthen the school day by 90 minutes to improve student education. If this is truly the case, why do you want to use 45 minutes of that time for recess?