Mandatory Elementary Recess in Plan for Chicago Public Schools

Courtney Williams's picture
Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Chicago Public School system for the first time has spelled out exactly what it wants the next school year’s longer day to look like.

It ensures recess for all elementary students, according to guidelines being presented to principals Monday.

It will have 54 minutes of extra face time with teachers for elementary students, a 40-minute longer day for elementary teachers and specific minimum times spent on subjects like literacy, math, science and social studies.

Guidelines for arts and physical education are fuzzier. Both were lumped in with intervention and accelerated classes for a total of 90 to 140 minutes a day depending on the grade. It was left up to individual schools to determine how to split that time up.

Elementary school teachers will have additional prep time at school, according to the guidelines, increasing from 32 minutes to 60 minutes a day.

High schools get 46 minutes more instructional time per day, but how that time will be divided is not specified.

And while CPS says it plans to hire more teachers who will be necessary for many of the schools to meet the new requirements, union officials and parents were not convinced.

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