CHICAGO — Chicago Public Schools students set sail for class Monday morning, as the Columbus Day holiday fell victim to the teachers' strike and the extended school year.
Banks, government offices and many suburban and private school districts took the day off, but for CPS — making up for seven days lost to the strike, while extending its school year from 170 to 180 days — it was just another day for classes to be in session.
"This year, they had to adjust because of strike days," said Robyn Ziegler, CPS director of media affairs.
Columbus Day will be back, however.
The recently approved CPS contract with the Chicago Teachers Union established that the holiday will return next year. The Martin Luther King Jr. and Abraham Lincoln birthday holidays were preserved. Presidents Day is out for now, although teachers will get it back as a paid holiday at the end of the fourth quarter.
Pulaski Day, celebrated the first Monday in March, is out, likely never to return.
CPS juggled days off before and after the strike and halted classes for a week and a half in mid-September. Columbus Day was on, off, then declared on, but as a makeup day.
The winter break was shortened two days, as classes were declared open on Jan. 3 and 4, and Presidents Day became a makeup day Feb. 18. Spring break was moved up a week, to start March 25. Four days were added to the end of the school year, now set for June 24.