DOWNTOWN — Start times at three of Downtown's most prominent schools will stay at 8 a.m. next year after an outcry over CPS' controversial plan to begin classes an hour later.
It's back to last year's schedule at Jones College Prep, 700 S. State St.; Ogden International School's West Campus, 1250 W. Erie St.; and Payton College Prep, 1034 N. Wells St. Like years past, school days will end at 3:15 p.m. at Ogden and 3:30 at Jones and Payton.
The decision arrives less than a month after Chicago Public Schools announced it would push start times at the three schools to 9 a.m. as part of a bigger effort to save the school system $13.5 million in transportation costs. The later school day immediately drew criticism from students, parents and staff, who drafted an online petition and led a Downtown rally to push back against a change they thought would interrupt families' routines.
"I’m just extremely grateful and pleased we don’t have to rearrange everything, and our parents will be as well," Ogden Principal Michael Beyer said.
CPS on Monday announced that after listening to community concerns it would keep school start times the same at 34 schools that were slated to have bell times changed. The school district said the revised plan will still save about $5 million.
“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,” board 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."
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