6 Schools Add Extra Class Time Monday - NBC Chicago
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6 Schools Add Extra Class Time Monday



    Disney II Elementary Magnet School was among the schools that voted in favor of adding extra time, and the school saw 100 percent attendance on the first longer day. (Published Monday, Sept. 26, 2011)

    The principal at Disney II Elementary Magnet School says most of her students' parents are excited about extra class time for their kids beginning Monday.

    Disney II already has a longer school day -- about an extra hour on most days -- but they will add an additional 45 minutes Monday through Thursday and an extra hour on Fridays.

    It's part of an education board initiative, led by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Public Schools chief Jean-Claude Brizard, to add 90 minutes instructional time to the school day this term.

    A longer school day has been debated between Emanuel's school board and the Chicago Teachers Union, which even sued the board this month over the issue.

    Three Schools Agree to Longer School Days

    [CHI] Three Schools Agree to Longer School Days
    Sept. 2, 2011: This Labor Day weekend is no holiday for the Chicago Teachers Union. Two schools are breaking from the existing contract, agreeing to a longer day beginning next week. A third school will join them in January.
    (Published Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012)

    "There is no strong evidence indicating the student achievement will rise if the school year is lengthened," the union said Friday in a statement. "CTU maintains it is the quality not the quantity of instruction that matters."

    Some schools are willing to take that chance.

    Besides Disney II, five other schools will lengthen their day Monday, including Skinner North Classical Academy, Stem Magnet School, William H. Brown Elementary, Nash Elementary School and Fiske Elementary School. 

    Emanuel Praises 3 Schools for Extending Day

    [CHI] Emanuel Praises 3 Schools for Extending Day
    Mayor Rahm Emanuel on the first day of school Tuesday praised STEM Magnet Academy for voting to extend its school day by 90 minutes beginning in January.
    (Published Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2011)

    A total of 13 schools have voted to extend their school days. Teachers at Disney II voted 20-4 in favor of the longer day. In return, those schools will get $150,000 and a two percent raise for teachers.

    The Chicago Teachers Union says that's just a small number of schools and that 115 other schools took an informal poll and said no to the extra time.

    Bogdana Chkoumbova, the principal at Disney II, said her teachers support the idea. She said she doesn't believe they will feel additional pressure to perform well. 

    "I wouldn't call that pressure, but we live in this every day, knowing that you're touching the lives of 360 some students," Chkoumbova said. "If your heart is in the right place, you need to be feeling the pressure every day."