Longer Days, Bronzeville Closings, EpiPens

Today's news is all over the place, including more about longer school days, a lot about closings in Bronzeville and elsewhere, and -- yes -- EpiPens.


Parent group, union question push for longer school day Tribune:  While the mayor on Monday defended his choice of lengthening the school day to 71/2 hours, saying the number was "not arbitrary," the teachers union and a parent group maintained that research does not support such a long day.

More CPS schools adopt longer day Sun Times: Chicago Public Schools on Monday more than quadruples the number of schools that will stretch their day for kids to 7½ hours — a number officials say so far feels “on target’’ but some challenge as too long.

New CPS Semester, Same Problems On Longer School Day, Closings Progress IL: Classes resumed today for Chicago Public Schools – with forty schools, 38 of them charters, extending their school day from five hours and forty-five minutes to seven hours and thirty minutes.


Protest over Bronzeville school closings is called off Tribune:  After a sit-in at City Hall didn't result in a meeting with the mayor, members of the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization called off their protest Monday over Bronzeville-area school closings, saying they're redirecting efforts and looking for..

In greater Bronzeville, 15 Chicago public schools were shut down in 12 years Tribune: In the last 12 years, CPS has shut down 15 neighborhood schools and conducted a "turnaround" at one area high school — tackling a large chunk of a discarded 2004 plan to close 20 of the area's 22 public schools.

Parents: School slated for closure tried to move students out WBEZ:  Parents say over winter break school staff at Guggenheim Elementary made phone calls and house visits with papers to transfer students out.

Community Anger Toward CPS At Crane Public Meeting Progress IL:  Following up the CPS power point, one Crane faculty member after another started their two minutes by saying, “I cannot speak because in all fairness the Crane’s coalition presentation was not allowed to be presented.” They then stood silent for two minutes, amid lively cheers and catcalls by the few dozen audience members – and many chants to, “Show the presentation!”


Health Advocates Waiting On CPS To Make ‘Epipens’ Available For Emergencies CBS: With one injection, “epipens” can save lives. But CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov wanted to find out why Chicago public schools still don't have them.

Paying a Price, Long After the Crime NYT:  In 2010, the Chicago Public Schools declined to hire Darrell Langdon for a job as a boiler-room engineer, because he had been convicted of possessing a half-gram of cocaine in 1985, a felony for which he received probation.

Emanuel accuses union of using libraries as ‘bargaining chip’ Sun Times: Chicago Public Libraries were closed for business on Monday for the first time in recent memory after the latest in a string of disputes between Mayor Rahm Emanuel and organized labor.

Filed under: Daily News Roundup


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  • Strong voice for education under Tea Party attack http://ow.ly/8oiRu Jim Broadway SSNS

  • CPS press release about fiske visit -- anyone from fiske reading this blog we'd love your take on how things are going.

    CPS CEO Brizard Meet With Parents, Teachers At Fiske Elementary School, To Discuss Benefits of Full School Day
    One of the first Pioneer schools, Fiske uses the entire 90 additional minutes increasing instructional time in math, science and reading

    CHICAGO –Chicago Public Schools (CPS) Chief Executive Officer Jean-Claude Brizard met with parents and teachers at John Fiske Elementary School today to discuss the benefits of the Full School Day in helping prepare students to graduate college and career ready. Fiske, located at 6145 S. Ingleside Ave., was one of the 11 Full School Day Pioneer schools that stepped up last fall to provide teachers and students with the additional tools they need to help boost student achievement.

    Beginning yesterday, an additional 39 schools are launching a Full School Day, including 37 charters and two CPS neighborhood schools. When combined with the 11 Pioneer schools, more than 22,000 students in Chicago will benefit from a Full School Day and be on par with their peers in other large districts across the country. Each school has worked with their teachers, students, parents, and communities to design a school day that meets the unique needs of their student body.

    The Pioneer Schools’ full day provides students with an additional 90 minutes of instructional time to deepen their understanding of core subjects such as math, reading and science. In addition to the 90 minutes of instructional time, the Pioneer Schools have also dedicated 45 minutes for lunch and recess, giving students an opportunity to re-boot, release their energy and return to the classroom ready to learn.
    Among the 11 Pioneer Schools that began in the fall, 71% of the 90 additional minutes have been spent focusing on core subjects, while 29% have been spent on enrichment, including physical education, art, music and other areas.

    “We know that our students need additional instruction time in front of a teacher in core subjects like reading, math and science,” said CEO Brizard. “The Pioneer Schools will be the models on how we can provide our students with the high-quality education they need to become college and career ready. It is important that we obtain feedback and input from teachers and parents at these schools as we prepare for all schools in the District to implement the Full School Day for the 2012-13 year.”

    Fiske and other schools that started in September have already provided their students with an additional 85 hours of instructional time, which is the equivalent of 17 more days of instructional time, primarily focused on core subjects like reading, math and science.

    Fiske moved to the Full School Day on September 26th and has used the additional 90 minutes to add an additional 30 minutes of instruction daily in each of three core academic subjects –math, science and language arts – giving students much needed additional time to deepen their understanding and excel academically. Prior to the full day, Fiske students did not receive any opportunity for physical activity and now benefit from 25 minutes of recess daily.
    Studies show that the more students spend with time on task for reading, math and science, the more they understand, learn and grow academically. With a high school graduation rate of only 57% and 7.9% of 11th graders testing college ready, our children cannot afford to wait another day to get the time they need in the classroom with their teachers to boost their achievement. A recent report from the National Center on Time & Learning found that schools offering a full day consistently demonstrated at least 5 percentage points higher proficiency rates on state standardized tests in Math or English Language Arts compared to schools within their districts that did not offer a longer day.

    Across the 11 Pioneer schools that have started their Full School Day, nearly 3,330 students have received a total of 32,758 additional minutes (546 hours) of core instructional time including:

    · 14,610 additional minutes (224 hours) of Language Arts/Reading instruction;
    · 9,740 additional minutes (162 hours) of Math instruction;
    · 4,870 additional minutes (81 hours) of Science instruction;
    · Approximately 1,800 additional minutes of other Core instruction in areas such as Social Studies, History, etc.; and
    · Approximately 1,800 additional minutes of intervention for students who are falling behind in math and reading.

    “We’re grateful to those Pioneers schools such as Fiske for the commitment they made to children throughout our system who need more time in the classroom with their teachers,” said Brizard. “Giving our students the extra time they need in classes such as math, science and reading is critical in our efforts to boost their academic success.”

  • the Englewood Education Empowerment Summit, will be held this Saturday, January 14, 2012 from 9 am to 12 noon at Wentworth Elementary School. Reserve your seat today by contacting Brenda Bell at (773)553-1538 or email bjbell1@cps.k12.il.us

  • allowed anyone to administer medication (Diabetes Care Act).

    The real and safe solution is not to simply drop off a box of Epi Pens but to hire nurses.

    The current practice is the equivalent to dropping off a box of pencils instead of hiring teachers.

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