Any of you mothering community members from Chicago, who have kids in the Chicago public school system?
I am just over the top concerned about the full day for next year, I had just come to peace with myself about sending my kid to a public school, finding many positives, and trusting that I am still in charge of raising my child, that school is just school, waldorf or montessori would be great, if you have the money, homeschooling had crossed my mind before, but it was kind of nice to have one kid out of the house part of the day... Him making friends from the neighborhood, brisk walk to school every morning, having some schedule to our very artistic family life... I felt like this is normal life, this is good.
But 7.5 hours plus homework will be a lot of time and lot more responsibility on the cps to raise my child. It will not leave much time for sports, at least without risking the kid becoming a stressed out 7 year old..
What are your thoughts, and what will you do with your child as an alternative, if you don't like the longer school day?
I'm relatively new to the city & have been a bit sour on the 7.5 hour school day. My son is just starting preschool & I am mostly concerned that kindergarten will also be 7.5 hours. No one I talk to about this seems to think anything of it (I know Chicago has been on full-day kindy for a while) but I think it's kind of insane to expect a 5 y/o to put in that many hours. It will be extremely difficult for us financially, but we will go montessori or waldorf for at least the first 3 years (pre-K & K). After that, we'll see how things are going... both for my family & for CPS's 7.5 hour day. We will find out about the montessori/waldorf applications soon, so we'll see. But we didn't even get into our neighborhood school for pre-K, so CPS is not even an option right now.
What will you do?
Mama to my little busy bee.
I have also been looking into montessori and Waldorf. Closest montessori schools are full, there are only three in the city for the elementary level. I'm in the process of trying to figure out if Waldorf will fit our son in the long term. It has always been my dream come true for my kids, but the more I research it, the more I feel nervous about it. In your case I would not be concerned, I think it would be the best place for pre school age children, but I need to make a permanent decision for my son, he has been changing schools too much.
I got a personal message from one woman so far, but haven't talked to her yet. Sounds like she is active amongst many people trying to have some say on this issue, but the mayor seems pretty solid on his decission. Also our principal quoted in last pta meeting that all parents are very supportive.. I must have been the only weirdo to give critique in the survey. I've been consumed by finding a new school for my son, and not reaching out to other parents about shorter school day.. more than signing the six point five to thrive petition, and talking to my friends.
Besides being financially difficult, leaving our current school is not an easy decision for me. My son was bullied in his kindergarten year in another school, and he has been SO very happy in our neighborhood school. He is friends with everyone in his class and outside of grade boundaries. I love love the true cultural diversity, meaning it's not 90 % latino or white, we have many europeans, arabic, african, indian. I love that my son says "my friend from africa" and grows up thinking it's just part of life that some moms wear vails. Or that even some dads wear "dresses". I would also like to stay in the neighborhood. For his kindy we drove 20-40 minutes one way. Going from that to walking 5 minutes in brisk air has been a paradise. But the catholic school in our neighborhood is not exciting me much, it feels like I'd be paying for the same educational philosophy.. with a better library, also long hours, and way worse playground.
So what am I doing? being totally lost!
It feels that they are making cps changes based on the very poor and pushing middle class to private. Mayor's own kids go to school with a short day. I feel like they just believe it's best for the poor people's kids to keep them away from the families as much as possible.
Sounds like there's a lot of good stuff at your current school for your son & family -- do you think that the added time will be enough to outweigh all the good? If you all are happy, maybe it'd be worth trying out the longer day to see how your son reacts to it. Just my initial reaction, especially if you're not confident about other options. (By the way, sounds like a lovely community you've got there!)
Mama to my little busy bee.