What’s new in CPS – JANUARY 2015

January 19, 2015 at 9:08 pm 58 comments


Thanks for ChicagoSchoolGPS for the link to next year’s calendar:


Here is news about the PARCC from catalyst–I didn’t know that CPS would only be testing 10% of students this year.


Feel free to post other news or discussion topics in the comments section below:


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

CPSO Update (and a PSA) High School Acceptances 2015

58 Comments Add your own

  • 1. HS Report card pick up  |  January 19, 2015 at 9:30 pm

    Is CPS suffering from senility!?!?! Supposedly the HS report card was moved to Wednesday (although this year one is on a Wednesday & one is on a Thursday) because when HS students don’t come to school on Thursday they tend to skip Friday. So weird…

  • 2. Chicago School GPS  |  January 20, 2015 at 9:45 am

    School starts Sept. 8, 2015 and ends June 21, 2016.
    October has one day off (10/12- Columbus Day)
    November has 6 days off (11/11- Veteran’s Day; 11/13- School Improvement Day; either 11/18 or 11/19 for Report Cards; & 11/25-11/27 for Thanksgiving)
    Winter break is 12/21/15-1/1/16
    January has one other day off (1/18/16- MLK Day)
    February has 2 days off (2/5/16- School Improvement & 2/15/16- President’s Day)
    March has no days off
    April has 2 days off prior to spring break (4/8- School Improvement; either 4/13 or 4/14 for Report Cards)
    Spring break is 4/18-4/22
    May has one day off (5/30- Memorial Day)

    I think this is the first time in a LONG time that spring break will not coincide with Easter, which is super early (3/27/16) next year.

  • 3. ChiTownTake2  |  January 20, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    why didn’t they start like all other suburban school districts (and some religious schools) and start 1 week earlier – they would get out of school earlier in June instead of the 3rd week of June! IF they started Aug 24, that is 10 days earlier in June (get out 1st week of June). Most schools go back before Labor day and the questionnaire last year just asked if parents wanted to start after labor day but did not ask if they wanted to get out earlier in June. This puts kids at a disadvantage for all the standardized testing that has set dates (incl the ever critical ACT, SAT, AP tests)

  • 4. Marta  |  January 20, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    We live in Chicago, not in CA, why in the world would you rather be free from school on a month when the average temp is 70 and the water is cold compare to a nice warm August? I feel bad for all kids in the Midwest who have to go to school in the middle of sunny August.

  • 5. CPS teacher & mom  |  January 20, 2015 at 5:27 pm

    I hate CPS’s schedule. Why do we get out at the end of June? And a Sept. 8. start date is very late. Wish they would bring back Track E.

  • 6. SouthSideIrish4  |  January 21, 2015 at 1:57 am

    I think it’s important for kids to have mental health days. We talk long weekends and go away throughout the year. It’s worked out very nice since the longer day/yr has started at CPS. Since the schedule next year doesn’t coincide with Easter, my kids will get 2 Easter breaks. When we leave for Easter and one when CPS is out. If CPS doesn’t care about my kids and giving them a healthy school year, I can’t care about when I take them out of school.

  • 7. 3rd grade - neighborhood school parent  |  January 21, 2015 at 10:01 am

    Why do the kids need to get out earlier in June? What am I missing about ending earlier in June?

    I’ve liked the Post-Labor Day start. If anything I would vote to extend the year till late June if we could get a mid-winter break in Feb.

  • 8. Learning CPS  |  January 21, 2015 at 10:12 am

    New York schools always start after Labor Day and go through the last week of June, but they also get a full week off in February plus the full week for spring break. I agree that if we are going to go late in into June, an additional week break would be good for the kids. Maybe not so good for me as a working parent trying to find an alternative option for them during that week, but good for my child 🙂

    I am not a fan of this 9/8 start though. That feels really late to me and adds one additional week of finding summer camp, etc. which is hard when so many camps end mid-August.

  • 9. ChiTownTake2  |  January 21, 2015 at 10:19 am

    When your kids are older, they will want more time in June (jobs, summer camps, leadership opportunities, etc) in addition there has not been any mention of more days to learn ahead of key tests (standardized tests, college entrance tests, PSAT scholarship). I’m surprised about comments for more vacation time- do the kids really need the vacation or is it the parents? I agree on the point that most camps close in mid-August because all the college kids leave. So waiting until after Labor day means scrambling to find other child care. Most colleges get out in May, so camps would be able to open earlier for kids getting out earlier in June. I know of many camps that start 1st week of June for sports, leadership, international experiences so kids who get out in the 3rd week of June lose out.

  • 10. Learning CPS  |  January 21, 2015 at 10:44 am

    @ ChiTownTake 2 – Interesting point thinking about summer jobs as the kids get older. My college was on the quarter system, so we started in mid/late September and ended mid/late June. It made it really hard for me to get a summer job because most college kids could start in late May…on the flip side, if they needed people into the end of August I was around but usually the start date was the bigger deal for employers.

    My child is in 1st grade at a SEES school and this is the first year I would say she has really benefited from days off just to decompress. We’ve tried to balance them with us taking some of those days off also so she can just be at home, and other she goes to school off camps. If we added an extra week off mid-winter plus the late April spring break, I do think that would help for that 6-month stint between Jan-June. Sadly, school days off rarely mean a true vacation for us other than it’s a vacation from packing lunch!

  • 11. CPS teacher & mom  |  January 21, 2015 at 1:39 pm

    @ 7 I dislike the late June exit because I have found during my many years of teaching that it becomes progressively more difficult to hold kids’ attention as the weather gets warm. Even though our school had a/c if needed, the kids were still very antsy from having been inside all winter and they want to be out. I would much rather end mid-June and return in early August. I worked on a Track E schedule for 10 years and the kids were excited to be back in early August and were focused. The fall break was a nice “mental break” for teachers and students. I get that child-care can be difficult for working parents, but not much more difficult than trying to find childcare into September! A short summer break (7-8 weeks) is enough!

  • 12. mom2  |  January 21, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    Totally agree with Chitowntake2. The late end dates has hurt my older kid trying to get summer jobs. If you are still in school when camp starts (for example), they can’t use you. You need to be available for training even before camp starts.

  • 13. SouthSideIrish4  |  January 21, 2015 at 2:34 pm

    12. mom2 | January 21, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    I agree. Although I like the after Labor Day start~there is no reason to have them in school until mid-late June. Last year at my child’s school many kids left a week early because they left for camps and trips they were taking. For many hs kids, after May (AP testing) there is really nothing left for them.

    There is no reason why CPS can’t have a post Labor Day start and end beginning of June~that’s Rahm extending the day/year. IL law reads public schools must go for 176 days with an average of IL public schools going for 6.5 hours.

  • 14. SouthSideIrish4  |  January 21, 2015 at 2:35 pm

    12. mom2 | January 21, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    If your child is trying for a camp job at the park district~it coincides with CPS calendar.

  • 15. Chris  |  January 21, 2015 at 5:04 pm

    “IL law reads public schools must go for 176 days”

    And how many school days do you think CPS has? It’s 178.

    2 extra attendance (won’t call them instructional–the last few days are a farce) days is not the reason that school runs into June. Have to shorten the school breaks, if we wanted to start after Labor Day, and end by May 31.

  • 16. IB Obsessed  |  January 21, 2015 at 5:07 pm

    CPS teacher and other moms- Isn’t it nearly universal that NOTHING academic happens the last week of school? It’s a waste of time. I’ll be allowing my 8th grader to be absent as needed after the 1st week of June. Important, enriching summer activities start then and I’m not going to sacrifice what’s best for my child for Rahm’s stupid calendar. Participation in them would not be possible with attendance through 6/16.

    Someone out there could rake in the cash starting a summer day camp that runs from 3rd week of August until 9/8. There were past times I was desperate for child care at the end of August.

  • 17. Chris  |  January 21, 2015 at 5:15 pm

    Oh, also: “Last year at my child’s school many kids left a week early”

    But for all of the ‘polar vortex’ days, they’d have been leaving only two (completely useless) days early. But, yeah, lots of families book camp or vacation starting the weekend before that stub week, and if we had a 176 day year, there wouldn’t have been a stub week *scheduled* this year, but we may get a full week anyway.

    And two years ago, the strike mucked up the end of school. So we have a recent history of mucked up ends of school year.

  • 18. mom2  |  January 21, 2015 at 5:21 pm

    southsideirish4 – no, not park district camps – several private camps and they all start based on the schools of the majority of kids in the chicagoland area which is always earlier than cps.

  • 19. Chicago School GPS  |  January 21, 2015 at 8:17 pm

    CPS make up days for the two days off will be 1/30/15 and 6/17/15.

  • 20. LearningCPS  |  January 21, 2015 at 10:11 pm

    @Chicago School GPS – Where did you see/hear that announcement?

  • 21. YES its TRUE!  |  January 22, 2015 at 12:41 am

    The principal at one of my children’s schools emailed us tonight about the 30th being a day of attendance for the students!!!! I am bummed!!! I planned on taking off work that day and sleeping in for a change!!! I have one in an AC and the other in an SEHS and finals end that Thursday!!! Really what are the teachers gonna’ work on!!! It’s the last day of the marking period!!!!!!!!!!! 😦

  • 22. Chicago School GPS  |  January 22, 2015 at 12:42 am

    @20- at an LSC meeting tonight. Unfortunately it’s not on the CPS website yet.

  • 23. Gobe  |  January 22, 2015 at 2:23 am

    So if state law is 176, but CPS is already schedule for 178, then why the need to add on days for the 2 cold days?
    Or am I misunderstanding something?

  • 24. SouthSideIrish4  |  January 22, 2015 at 3:57 am

    23. Gobe | January 22, 2015 at 2:23 am

    There is NO reason to add on days ~and CPS does not have 178 days but has 180.

  • 25. SouthSideIrish4  |  January 22, 2015 at 4:02 am

    18. mom2 | January 21, 2015 at 5:21 pm

    I would just pull my kids out early (like I have been doing) so my child could work at the private camps. However, I realize that so parents may be uncomfortable about doing this, but none that I know. I pull my kids out of school all the time, let them have mental health days, take vacas~I’m not working with Rahm’s calendar~only what’s best for my kids.

  • 26. pantherparent  |  January 22, 2015 at 9:05 am

    There are two reasons. 1. Rahm gets to screw the teachers and 2. Rahm’s simplistic education theory of more school = more smarter

  • 27. LS Mom  |  January 22, 2015 at 10:20 am

    I don’t get the random placement of school improvement days. In November, they have off Wednesday the 11th and Friday the 13th, but have to go in on Thursday the 12th? Couldn’t they move the improvement day to the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, or something more logical?

    In February, they are out on Friday the 5th and Monday the 15th. If they just moved the improvement day to the 12th, there would be a 4 day weekend.

    And having report card conferences the week before spring break is just nuts. And why is spring break so late?

  • 28. Chris  |  January 22, 2015 at 11:21 am

    “CPS does not have 178 days but has 180”

    Go to the calendar and count days of attendance. Kids are (supposed to be) in school for 178.

    It’s only 180 if you consider PT conference days as days of attendance.

  • 29. Chris  |  January 22, 2015 at 11:26 am

    “Couldn’t they move the improvement day to the Tuesday before Thanksgiving”

    Having school on Monday, only, wouldn’t work, either.

    But 11/13/15 *is* a really stupid choice.

  • 30. Suzanne  |  January 22, 2015 at 11:50 am

    SouthSideIrish, I’m with you on the mental health days, doing what schedule is best for your family, etc. My 8th grader loves to be in school so she refuses to take MHDs, but my younger three love them.

  • 31. LS Mom  |  January 22, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    @29, true. I didn’t think it all out. But surely they could move that school improvement day somewhere else.

  • 32. SouthSideIrish4  |  January 22, 2015 at 12:39 pm

    28. Chris | January 22, 2015 at 11:21 am

    Yes, I count the PT conference days~it LENGTHENS the school year for my kids. They count and CPS considers it 180 days as well.

  • 33. Chris  |  January 22, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    “Yes, I count the PT conference days”

    Of course you do. Well, then, count winter and spring break, too, as they *also* L-E-N-G-T-H-E-N the school year, and anyone that has an issue can just choose to pull their kids out of school.

    176 week days (excluding the 10 ‘legal holidays’) after Labor Day 2014 is May 20. Anything later than that is Rahm unfairly keeping kids in school longer than State Law (the gospel of Educational Perfection, naturally) requires. I, for one, would participate in a parent strike starting May 21, demanding that kids be allowed excused absences thereafter.

  • 34. Chris  |  January 22, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    “surely they could move that school improvement day somewhere else”

    The dates they choose always seem to be about not-so-subtle coercion of (the certainly few) teachers who might otherwise call in ‘sick’.

    Having them on Fridays is a big improvement on the random Wednesday half-days of a few years ago, imo, tho.

  • 35. Peter  |  January 23, 2015 at 10:03 am

    School should be year round.

  • 36. Chris  |  January 27, 2015 at 2:02 pm

    Oh, and guess what the nation’s largest school district has for start and end dates?

    NYC started on Thursday September 4, and ends on Friday June 26. So far ‘worse’ than CPS.

    LAUSD started August 11, and goes until June 4; next year’s prelim has start 8/18, end 6/11.

  • 37. SLooper  |  January 27, 2015 at 5:06 pm

    Does anyone know when private school 7th graders will take the MAP test required for SEHS admissions? This spring or next fall?

  • 38. This sounds scary--PARCC  |  January 31, 2015 at 6:48 pm


  • 39. CPS closed tomorrow  |  February 1, 2015 at 8:34 pm

    I hope we don’t have to make this day up!

  • 40. HSObsessed  |  February 2, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    Karen Lewis is talking again today after a long break due to her illness, rallying the anti-Emanuel vote. (Side rant: Why does the CTU pretend to be about anything but protecting teachers’ jobs and teachers’ benefits? There’s nothing wrong with just owning up to that. I mean, does the pipefitters’ union pretend to be about protecting the rights of the clients for whom they fit pipes? No, and that’s OK. Unions are about protecting their members’ rights. Don’t try to make it sound like it’s “all about the kids” when it’s clearly not.) Anyway, she said in her City Club speech that Lane Tech has 0 black, male teachers and separately, only one teacher who is over the age of 40. Does that sound accurate to those of you with kids at Lane??

  • 41. Chris  |  February 2, 2015 at 2:51 pm

    HSO: “Why does the CTU pretend to be about anything but protecting teachers’ jobs and teachers’ benefits? ”

    Because unlike pipefitters, public education is a very political matter. I know you were being rhetorical, but still.

    HSO: “only one teacher who is over the age of 40”

    Looked at the payroll database, crossed with Lane’s current staff list. Found 2 with 20+ CPS-experience years (ie, graduated college at least 20 years ago–so 40+) before the end of the C’s, so that part is incorrect (or inaccurately reported).

  • 42. Newcomer  |  February 2, 2015 at 5:54 pm

    As someone who has had kids in Chicago public schools, Chicago private schools, in public and private schools in France and in Singapore, some of my children’s best teachers were at CPS. And I can assure you that those teachers whom I know personally HAVE made it their life’s work to make it “all about the kids.” I’d be happy to discuss this more in detail with anyone who wishes– please get my contact info from the blog owner.

  • 43. Grace  |  February 2, 2015 at 10:22 pm

    @42 I took HSOs comments at 40 to be about the union, not about teachers. Completely different imo.

  • 44. HSObsessed  |  February 3, 2015 at 10:48 am

    So Karen Lewis clarified her comment about Lane Tech in a tweet last night:

    “I didn’t mean that Lane had only 1 teacher over 40. Actually that’s an elementary school that also has no AA or Latinos on the faculty.”

    She didn’t specify which elementary school she’s referring to.

    It’s hard for me to believe that the teachers’ union is really concerned with the kids when entire generations of CPS students only had 5.75 hours of school each day because the union negotiated under Daley to allow each school’s teachers to vote on whether to put their own lunch period at the end of the day, which nearly all schools’ teachers did. When the current administration moved to lengthen the school day again for all kids to bring it more in line with the rest of the nation’s average, there was a huge teacher’s union protest, followed by a long strike.

    @42 Yes, individual CPS teachers are often devoted to their jobs and the kids they teach, absolutely and thank goodness, but the teachers’ union is all about the teachers.

  • 45. Anna C  |  February 3, 2015 at 10:51 am

    How cool is this? Taft AC teacher recieves award from American Library Association.


  • 46. @44  |  February 3, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    @44. Only 1 teacher over 40 and no AA or Latinos on the faculty? Sounds like Skinner North. What was the context?

  • 47. HSObsessed  |  February 3, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    @46 – Sorry, I don’t have much context. The original quote was via an education reporter live tweeting from the speech, and then the reply tweet from Lewis was just a one-off. Just thought it was crazy to think there’s only one teacher over age 40 at Lane, but it looks like that’s not what she said or meant to say. However, I think she’s standing by the claim there are no AA male teachers at Lane.

  • 48. Patricia  |  February 3, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    There are plenty of diverse teachers at Lane. There are African American and many Hispanic teachers. Also, the dean of students is African American. There are also Asian, middle eastern, eastern eruopean, greek………..you name it. The faculty is a diverse group just as the students at Lane are a diverse group.

  • 49. Patricia  |  February 3, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    oops,almost forgot one of the Assistant Principals is African American…..OMG AND a Woman.

  • 50. One and Only  |  February 4, 2015 at 7:32 am

    The teachers union is made up of teachers who, for the most part, care very much about their students. Of course the union is concerned with the rights of teachers as workers, that is what unions are for. However, that does not mean that the union doesn’t also care about students.

    We give teachers our kids for much of their lives, and we expect the teachers to take care of them and teach them. Chicago teachers are given huge classes, often without enough supplies, and expected to differentiate learning for each student. They are given students who haven’t had enough to eat, don’t have a place to live, have PTSD from trauma, and are blamed when these kids don’t do well on standardized tests. They are expected to use evidence based interventions, yet have policies forced on them that have been disproven by evidence (i.e., basing teacher performance ratings on standardized tests). Yet, instead of recognizing the important work they do, we complain when they ask to be paid more when their work hours are increased, we call them greedy when they ask for a decent salary and a funded pension. Through it all, the teachers keep teaching. I can’t imagine why. I can only assume they do it because they care about their students.

  • 51. 3rd grade - neighborhood school parent  |  February 4, 2015 at 9:47 am

    …back to the Karen Lewis charge on faculty make-up.. isn’t there EEOC (or other fed non-discrimination) rules that principals need to follow regarding interviewing, hiring…. I know our neighborhood principal has commented on diversity quotas that our school needs to be mindful of…. I suspect that the union could make a legal claim on behalf of the affected groups, right?? I mean that’s what unions do, right?

  • 52. Newcomer  |  February 4, 2015 at 11:25 am

    Thanks, #50.

  • 53. Jane  |  April 17, 2015 at 11:17 am

    “Common Core consequences:
    What currently passes for reform’ has caused considerable collateral damage to schools and teachers”


  • 54. Frederique Pfeiffer  |  April 18, 2015 at 9:59 pm

    Spring break After the middle of April after ski season ends? No vacation in the winter. We’ll have to take our son out of school for a week. Will be in First grade but school doesn’t like it. What about little ski champions who need to go somewhere else than Wisconsin?… Not good CPS!!! Not everybody plays baseball or basketball!!!

  • 55. Chicagoskier67  |  April 18, 2015 at 10:06 pm

    Spring break After the middle of April after ski season ends? No vacation in the winter. We’ll have to take our son out of school for a week. Will be in First grade but school doesn’t like it. What about little ski champions who need to go somewhere else than Wisconsin?… Not good CPS!!! Not everybody plays baseball or basketball!!!

  • 56. SouthSideIrish4  |  April 19, 2015 at 5:35 am

    55. Chicagoskier67 | April 18, 2015 at 10:06 pm

    Just take your kids out of school, who cares who likes it? We always go away throughout the year because of the longer school day/year. We are leaving for Easter for over a week and then we’ll leave again when the school is closed. The last couple of years we’ve taken long weekends just to get away as well as extra vaca time. I never cared what CPS thought.

  • 57. CPS Changes School Start Times  |  July 17, 2015 at 9:08 am

    CPS Changes School Start Times at 60 High Schools, 17 Grade Schools – July 17, 2015


  • 58. Top 10 U.S. High Schools include Payton  |  August 19, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    Payton College Prep Is Among Country’s Top 10 High Schools: Rankings


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