Chicago Schools Gear Up for Longer Days

Thursday, September 22, 2011

As they prepare for longer school days starting Monday, teachers and administrators at six Chicago schools are busy settling the final details of teaching schedules, pickup procedures and extra enrichment activities.

Do they have enough security officers? Where will children spend recess? How will teacher planning time be allotted?

More important, they are making sure their staffs stand united, ready to teach an extra 90 minutes each day.

"We're all on board," said Fiske Elementary School Principal Cynthia Miller, whose school approved a longer day by a narrow margin. "There's no rift here. I've been in constant conversations with my teachers. ? Everyone understands what the expectation is when the majority rules."

As of Tuesday, teachers at four additional schools had voted for the extended schedule, bringing the total to 13 schools whose teachers are willing to defy the Chicago Teachers Union, securing bonuses for themselves and financial incentives for their schools.

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