Mayor Richard Daley helped ring in the school year ’ literally -- Tuesday as the first day for 400,000 CPS students began.
As always, the Black Star Project went knocking on doors Monday in the Roseland, Englwood and Lawndale communities, urging parents to get their kids to classes.
For the fourth year in a row, the students who get to class on the first day get a one-day, free family pass to the Museum of Science and Industry. This year, families have all year to take advantage of that day pass.
Ron Huberman and Mayor Daley both appeared at schools around the city to get kids excited about the year and talk about some new initiatives at CPS. Some members of the Chicago Bears also went to meet students, and some lucky kids were given new backpacks for the start of the year.
This year, 15 schools will be extending school hours 90 minutes. The people supervising the students during that time will not be teachers, but non-unionized staff instead.
Daley announced that Wells Community High School will be the first of 30 schools that will be restructured to become more of a career academy.
Teachers are excited about three new career programs in logistics, law and teaching.
The mayor said other schools will be restructured as well, and it will help students become more competitive when they graduate.
’All over, they're competing for these jobs and we want to prepare our young people to be able to get those jobs in the downtown area or the metropolitan area or this country,’ Daley said.
He was followed by Chicago Bear Israel Idonije, who also helped to kick of the school year.
’Thank you for being here and committing to your education, to this community. For all of us here, continue to work hard. Have a great year and we'll do the same. Bear down,’ Idonije said.