Nerves were a little shakier than usual when the 2013-14 school year started in Chicago, as parents and city officials anxiously watched thousands of children heading off to classrooms in unfamiliar neighborhoods because of the district's move to close almost 50 elementary schools.
But when classes let out Friday, most of the fears of September were unrealized. The Safe Passage program to protect kids on their way to and from those schools appears to have performed as promised. And Chicago Public Schools chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett on Friday said there was an uptick in performance at schools designated to take in students whose buildings were closed.
"The promising trends we saw mid-year of increased student attendance, slightly higher grade-point averages and fewer rates of misconduct reaffirm the District's commitment to investing so heavily in the transition process," Byrd-Bennett said in a statement.