3235 N. Leclaire Ave. Chicago, IL 60641Ph: (773) 534-3400, Fax: (773) 534-3684
Dear Parent or Guardian,As we prepare for a new school year, I am writing to inform you of a critical change. Our school day will move to 9:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. beginning Tuesday, September 8, the first day of school for all District schools.
We realize that changing bell times will be inconvenient for some families, and that others have concerns about how it will be implemented. I am working closely with Central Office staff to address all of your concerns.
Additionally, Chicago Public Schools is developing a comprehensive plan around after-school activities, particularly with respect to sports schedules. I look forward to sharing those details with you once the plan is finalized.The District did not make this change lightly. The dire financial challenges at CPS have prompted our District to adjust bell times at a number of schools for the 2015-16 School Year. The $13.5 million CPS saves by modifying transportation services will go directly to the area that is key to all of our improvement efforts – our schools.
Please understand that every dollar we save is a dollar we don’t have to cut from the classroom.These reductions are critical because we anticipate even greater budget challenges in the future. CPS is facing a $1.1 billion operating deficit because of declining state educational funding and a broken pension system. This has forced the District to make these bell time shifts as part of $200 million in cuts to central office, operations and programming that allows us to protect classroom investments.
Additionally, Chicago is one of a handful of major districts in the country that doesn’t stagger its elementary and high school start times. As a result, we are paying significantly higher transportation costs than other large urban districts – in some cases, over $3,000 more per pupil, according to the most recent data from the Council of Great City Schools. These are dollars that we need to invest directly in our classrooms.
We thank you for your cooperation and we hope you continue to have a safe and enjoyable summer. We will see to back at school on September 8!
Dan ZimmermanForeman College and Career Academy
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