CPS releases guidelines for principals

Longer school day requires time on core subjects, recess

January 23, 2012

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Elementary school students will now have 45 minutes for lunch and recess.

Chicago Public Schools is releasing Monday a guide for principals to help them implement the new, longer school day. The benchmarks are for principals of CPS elementary schools and they're designed to boost academic achievement by requiring certain amounts of instructional time in various subjects. Before now, schools have been able to largely determine how much time is spent on core subjects.

The 25-page guide book also outlines minutes used for lunch and recess and time teachers should take for class preparation. The district says schools will still have considerable flexibility in meeting the guidelines and the guidelines are also subject to negotiations with district labor partners.

CPS last week announced parameters for a seven and a half hour school day for all elementary and high schools. 50 schools have already implemented the longer school day.

Until recently, Chicago has had one of the shortest public school days among the nation's largest cities.