More Chicago Schools Will Start Longer Days

Monday, January 9, 2012

Chicago schools that voted for a longer day starting in January will add that extra 90 minutes daily when students return to classes Monday.

Schools that opted not to take Mayor Rahm Emanuel's financial incentives and not adopt a longer day can expect guidelines soon for next school year, when all schools will be required to add the extra time.

The longer day initiative has been controversial. The Chicago Teachers Union filed an unfair labor complaint last fall, alleging the district coerced and intimidated teachers into voting for the extra minutes. Chicago Public Schools officials say so far elementary schools that implemented the longer schedule starting in September have logged up to 85 extra hours of instruction with most of that time focused on reading, math and science.

Some schools have added classes in social studies, and one school — Sexton Elementary — added time for courses in character education and career development.

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