CPS Releases Full School Day Principal Guide for Elementary Schools 


CPS releases guide to provide principals with a one-stop shop to help structure their Full Day plan for School Year 2012/2013

 

January 23, 2012

 

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) today released a Full School Day guide for principals that includes guidelines outlining the minimum number of minutes elementary school students should spend in each subject area, with emphasis placed on reading, math and science.  This is the first time the district has set clear guidelines for the amount of time spent in each subject area, ensuring all students get the full time they need in each subject to boost academic achievement. As principals plan for the Full School Day, the 25-page guide will provide clarity for school leaders on the minimum standards as well as maximum flexibility in redesigning their day to best fit the unique needs of their student population.

 

“These guidelines will ensure that all schools provide students with the time they need in reading, math, science and other key subjects to drive their academic success,” said CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard. “The Full School Day, coupled with a rigorous new curriculum based on Common Core State Standards, will ensure that all students receive a higher quality education to better prepare them for college and career.”

 

Last week, CPS announced the parameters for a 7.5 hour Full School Day, moving students from the shortest school day among the nation’s largest cities to bringing it on par with the national average for instructional time in both elementary and high school. To maximize the additional time provided by the Full School Day, CPS has created guidelines using information on effective practices in education to provide principals with the minimum amount of time elementary students should receive in core academic subjects based on designated groupings of grade levels (such as grades 3rd-5th). High school guidelines are already based on graduation requirements.

 

The following outlines the minimum guidelines set for all elementary schools:

 

Subject

Grades 1-2

Grades 3-5

Grades 6-8

Reading/writing

120 mins

120 mins

90 mins

Math

60 mins

80 mins

80 mins

Science

40 mins

60 mins

60 mins

Social Studies

30 mins

40 mins

40 mins

Arts education (music, visual arts, dance, theater), PE, and

Intervention/Acceleration

 

140 mins

 

90 mins

 

120 mins

 

 

TOTAL

390 mins

390 mins

390 mins

 

In the past, there has been little consistency from school to school in time spent on core subjects, with some schools offering a rigorous curriculum of science to 3rd-5th graders, while other schools provide science only when required for test preparation. These guidelines will ensure all students receive the minimum time established in core subjects, as well as daily time for additional subjects and educational priorities, such as reading intervention, to prevent students on the brink from falling behind. Schools will have considerable flexibility in meeting the guidelines and are encouraged to go beyond them. 

 

The guide is designed as a one-stop shop for principals to help cover all issues associated with the full day. It includes a wide range of Frequently Asked Questions around multiple issues regarding policies and processes regarding the implementation of the full day, charts outlining the school day current and future states, and detailed guidelines for early childhood, language and ELL schedules, among others. The guide will continually be updated based on questions that emerge during the school planning phase.

 

Currently, 50 schools – including 13 traditional CPS “Pioneer” schools and 37 charters – have implemented the Full School Day.  Thirty-nine of those schools – two traditional CPS schools and the charters – launched their Full School Day programs in January. Altogether, more than 22,000 students in Chicago are now benefitting from a Full School Day. Each school has worked with their teachers, parents and communities to design a school day that meets the school’s unique needs.

 

Examples of how Pioneer Schools are using their additional time which mirror the minutes outlined in the new Full Day guidelines given to principals today include:

 

  • Fiske elementary: 3rd-5th grade reading time increased from 120 to 150 minutes in reading, while math went from 50 to 80 and science from 25 to 55, giving each student an additional 30 minutes in reading, 30 minutes in math and 30 minutes in science each day.

 

  • STEM elementary: 3rd-5th grade reading time increased from 85 to 120 minutes, while math went from 70 to 90 minutes and science from 40 to 50, giving each student an additional 35 minutes in reading, 20 minutes in math, 10 minutes in science, and 25 minutes of enrichment.

 

  • Nash elementary: 3rd-5th grade reading time increased from 136 to 161 minutes, while math went from 60 to 85 minutes, and science increased from 47 to 72, giving each student an additional 25 minutes in reading, 25 minutes in math, 25 minutes in science and 15 minutes of enrichment.

 

Eleven traditional CPS schools began their Full School Day programs last fall as part of the District’s Pioneer Schools program. Among those schools, 71 percent of the 90 additional instructional minutes have been spent focusing on core subjects, while 29 percent have been spent on enrichment activities. Pioneer schools that started last September have already provided their students with an additional 85 hours of instructional time during the first half of the school year, which is the equivalent of 17 more days of instructional time, primarily focused on the core subjects of reading, math and science.

 

The district will use the guidelines for review and approval of draft plans, which are due February 24th.

 

More information on how schools are using the Full School Day here.

 

About CPS

Chicago Public Schools serves 405,000 students in 675 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.

 

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