Wednesday, March 27, 2013

New Calendar for Chicago Public Schools

I previously wrote a post concerning Chicago Public School’s two-track Calendar. Along with many changes made in CPS this year, the calendar has now been switched to a single-track calendar for the 2013-2014 school year. CPS developed this calendar with the Chicago Teachers Union in order to provide a better balance of uninterrupted education and more convenient family planning. Barbara Byrd-Bennet, CPS CEO, states, ““We are one District, with one vision and we want to provide our school community with one calendar that makes sense from the classroom to the kitchen table. Families all across our city struggle to coordinate busy schedules with school, work and play and this unified calendar were designed to best meet the needs of our families’ home lives while giving our schools the time they need to implement a rigorous curriculum.”

The calendar was built as a response to an online survey and the many concerns of the Chicago parents, principals, teachers, and students. The creation of this calendar was to simplify the CPS school system and respond to the feedback of the people affected by the calendar. Some of the feedback on the survey included: The first day of school should land in August, Thanksgiving break should be extended, and half-days should be eliminated. Each of these main concerns were taken into consideration and put in effect on the new calendar.

Personally, I love this switch. With families already facing the struggles of closing schools and other inconveniences, it is important that everyone is on the same page-well schedule to be more exact. Teachers from different schools can now compare department ideas with more schools and students will have a smooth educational experience. Outside of the students, teachers, and families, now outside organizations, such as Femi, will be better prepared to work with the schedule of CPS. For example, Femi Outreach worked with schools from differing tracks. This schedule difference made it more difficult for us to ensure our services for both tracks when it comes to breaks or days off. Plus, who doesn’t like simple. A simpler calendar is easy and will unite CPS more than ever before.

Let us know what you think of the new calendar! 

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