CPS’s new track

By DASCHELL M. PHILLIPS
Staff Writer

All schools in Hyde Park and citywide will be on the same calendar track in the 2013-2014 school year. Chicago Public Schools (CPS) approved the one-track school system at its January board meeting.

All schools were on a Track R regular school calendar where school started in August and went through the end of June with winter and spring breaks and federal holidays off. In 2009, CPS introduced the Track E year round school calendar where selected schools start in August, have slightly longer winter and spring vacation days, a shorter summer vacation and regular classes resume for six weeks between June and July. CPS said Track E was implemented to prevent students from forgetting what they learned in the last schools year during the summer months and to give teachers more flexibility with their lesson planning.

Track E schools in Hyde Park include Kozminski Elementary School, 936 E. 54th St. and Dyett High School, 555 E. 51st St. Track R Schools in Hyde Park include Ariel Elementary School, 1119 E. 46th St.; Bret Harte Elementary School, 1556 E. 56th St.; Murray Elementary School, 5335 S. Kenwood Ave.; Ray Elementary School, 5631 S. Kimbark Ave.;Reavis Elementary School, 834 E. 50th St.; Shoesmith Elementary School, 1330 E. 50th St.; Canter Middle School, 4959 S. Blackstone Ave., and Kenwood High School, 5335 S. Kenwood Ave.arlier

Ethis month, CPS and CTU have created a survey for parents and students seeking feedback on the best approach to a unified schedule. The survey included questions on preferred start and end dates, whether teacher professional development days should be half-day or full-day events, preferred length of winter and spring breaks and a box for additional comments.

The CPS-approved one-track school calendar includes:

  • First and Last Days of School: The first day of school for all students will be August 26, 2013 and the last day of school will be June 10, 2014.
  • Holidays: Schools will be closed to observe Labor Day, September 2, 2013; Columbus Day, October 14, 2013; Veteran’s Day, November 11, 2013; Thanksgiving, November 27-29, 2013; Martin Luther King Jr. Day, January 20, 2014; Lincoln’s Birthday, February 12, 2014 and Memorial Day, May 26, 2014.
  • Parent-Teacher Conferences: Formerly known as Report Card Pick-Up, Parent Teacher Conferences will occur on the same day for elementary and high school students and will occur on November 12, 2013 and April 7, 2014. Parent-Teacher Conferences are days of non-student attendance.
  • Winter Break: December 23, 2013 to January 3, 2014.
  • Spring Break: Schools will be closed for Spring Break from April 14 to April 18, 2014.

Three full days of professional development have been embedded at the front end of the year, before the first day of school, and will allow teachers the opportunity to work collaboratively and plan for the year ahead. The additional professional development days remain at the end of each quarter, providing teachers the opportunity to review student data and plan for the next quarter, according to CPS.

d.phillips@hpherald.com