Tuesday marked the first day for of school Chicago Public School students.
CEO Jean-Claude Brizard joined Good Day Chicago, live from The STEM Academy, which focuses on science, technology, engineering and math, to ring in the new school year along with Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
It was their first bell-ringing ceremony.
He also spoke on the proposal of extending the school year and lengthening the school days in Chicago.
This initiative has received some push back from the Chicago Teachers Union, but teachers at STEM Academy were among those who voted to accept this change. As a result, the school received a lump sum payment of $75,000 and each of the teachers who agreed to the change received $800.
The longer school day will take effect September 26.
The Black Star Project was also on-hand, to encourage fathers’ commitment to their kids, to be present in their lives and motivate their children to attend class and excel in school.
The first day of school marks the grand opening of a new charter school on the North Side: Humboldt Park Charter School. Two-hundred-and-seventy-five students will attend this year. The school is run by the United Neighborhood Organization.
School officials believe the new charter will help an academically undeserved area of the city.
A Catholic school in the South Loop is also ringing the opening bell in a brand new building: Old Saint Mary’s opened Tuesday at 14th and Michigan, to more than 260 students. The school started with just 18 students back in 2004. Students in preschool through sixth grade will go to class in a new building, with 18 classrooms, a learning resource center, and fine arts room.
Old Saint Mary’s Church was Chicago’s first Catholic congregation.