CHICAGO — Less than two weeks after changing school start times for 82 Chicago Public Schools, CPS rolled about 34 of those due to complaints from parents and students.
On Monday, the district announced that it would keep school start times the same at 34 schools that were slated to have bell times changed. The changes were initially made to save the district money on transportation costs, as bus routes have also been dramatically cut.
That number changed to 35 after Englewood's Lindblom Math and Science Academy announced its school day would remain the same.
“After listening to educators, students and families express their concerns about changing bell times, the Board of Education felt it was incredibly important to work with principals to determine the best options for their school communities,” said Board of Education President Frank Clark said in a statement. “By engaging principals and learning about the many unintended consequences the changing bell times caused, we decided to rescind those changes that had a negative impact on schools."
Stephanie Lulay discusses why some parents were upset:
Initially CPS said the bell and bus changes would save the district $13.5 or $9 million, but now they say the savings will be about $5 million.
“Every dollar we save by staggering school bell times and streamlining transportation services next school year is one more dollar we don’t have to cut from our classrooms,” CPS CEO Forrest Claypool said in a statement. “Despite the need for savings, we are recognizing the calls from students, parents and educators to place a greater emphasis on scheduling after school activities and reducing inconveniences. We appreciate the 82 principals who worked with us to minimize disruptions and protect in-school time, and we are grateful to the 48 among those who helped us find savings that will benefit all schools.”
Whitney Young and Kelvyn Park students will have staggered start times, and most of the changes announced Monday impact high schools.
Walter Payton College Prep students started a petition opposing the change, and it looks like they got their way with Monday's announcement. Students were concerned that a 9 a.m start would have required them to take public transit during more congested rush-hour commute times.
At some affected high schools, start times will shift to 9 a.m. and affected elementary schools, for the most part, will shift to an earlier start time of 7:30 or 7:45 a.m. The change is part of a "district-wide streamlining of transportation services that is expected to save CPS $13.5 million next year," CPS said in a statement Thursday.
As DNAinfo previously reported, the district also plans to cut at least 280 bus stops throughout the city, but they were not releasing a list of consolidated stops until "later this summer."
Check out the latest bell times here, with changes announced Monday highlighted in green:
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