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Summer's Almost Over For CPS Students; Classes Begin Monday

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Chicago Public Schools officials are reminding parents and students that this is the last weekend of summer vacation; classes begin for all CPS students on Monday.

WBBM Newsradio's Bernie Tafoya reports the district is moving back to a single calendar for all schools, rather than having some schools on a so-called "year-round" schedule.

The district is also starting classes a week earlier than normal, rather than starting after Labor Day.

Last Summer Weekend For CPS Students

For years, two mayors and countless school administrators touted the benefits of having some schools on a "year-round" calendar to minimize learning losses over a long summer break.

While those year-round schools are no more, the district has extended the school day and the school year. Starting last school year, elementary schools extended their day by an hour and 15 minutes; high schools extended their days by 30 minutes.

The school year also was extended by two weeks.

With all schools on the same calendar now, parents no longer have to worry about the hassle of having different schedules for their kids if they used to have some students in year-round schools, and others in traditional schools.

"I'm excited about having more educational opportunity time for our students; everybody starting at the same time. It helps not only manage our school district, but also hopefully lets families all know everybody's got to start on the same day," Chicago Board of Education Vice President Jesse Ruiz said.

Ruiz said the schools welcoming students from the 49 elementary schools in June are ready with their Safe Passage routes to protect kids crossing gang boundaries to get to their new school.

"There's always, unfortunately, incidences across our city, but we're going to have 600 Safe Passage workers across 48 routes, in addition to the 39 that already existed."

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