CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago Public Schools officials announced Friday that they plan to move all schools to the same calendar next year, doing away with “year-round” schools, in an effort to make it easier for parents to plan their work and daycare schedules.
During contract talks last year, CPS administrators and the Chicago Teachers Union agreed to move to a unified school calendar next fall, rather than have some schools on a “traditional” fall-to-summer schedule and others on a “year-round” schedule.
On Friday, the district announced it has proposed a new schedule — starting next school year — that will have all schools beginning the year on Aug. 26, 2013, and ending the school year on June 10, 2014. That means the “year-round” – or Track E – calendar would be eliminated.
The plan must be approved by the Chicago Board of Education.
Many parents had complained that having the two different calendars made it difficult to plan work schedules, daycare, and vacations, if they had some kids in “traditional” schools and others in “year-round” schools.
The August start is more than a week earlier than the usual start for schools that had been on the “traditional” calendar. Normally, they’d started school the day after Labor Day. The change also means the school year will end earlier than the “traditional” calendar used to. This year, “traditional” calendar schools end the year on June 24.
Students will also be getting a longer Thanksgiving break – a five day weekend starting the day before Thanksgiving, then returning to class the Monday after Thanksgiving. In addition to the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, schools will be closed for the Labor Day holiday, Sept. 2, 2013; Columbus Day, Oct. 14, 2013; Veterans Day, Nov. 11, 2013; Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan. 20, 2014; Lincoln’s Birthday, Feb. 12, 2014; and Memorial Day, May 26, 2014.
Winter break will be from Dec. 23, 2013, to Jan 3, 2014. Spring Break will be April 14 to April 18, 2014.
The district is also doing away with half-days for students on professional development days for teachers. Instead, professional development days will be full days off for students.
High schools and elementary schools also will have report card pickup on the same days – Nov. 12 for the first quarter, and April 7 for the third quarter.