Chicago proposes later start date for 2024-25 school year due to Democratic National Convention

The Chicago Public Schools logo on the side of a glass wall with reflection of cars and people passing in the background.
Chicago Public Schools headquarters on Thurs., Jan. 25, 2024 in Chicago, Illinois. (Reema Amin / Chalkbeat)

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Chicago Public Schools has proposed calendars for the next two academic years, pushing next year’s start date back by a week to avoid overlapping with the Democratic National Convention.

The Board of Education is slated to vote on the proposed calendars for the 2024-25 and 2025-26 school years at its Feb. 22 meeting.

The first day of school for the 2024-25 academic year would be on Aug. 26, about a week later than recent years. The move avoids starting school the same day Chicago is set to begin hosting the Democratic National Convention from Aug. 19-22. The convention is expected to bring in about 75,000 visitors, according to a news release from CPS.

“This shift not only accommodates the city’s logistical needs as they relate to the influx of Conventiongoers, but it also allows time for students to attend, volunteer, and participate in the civic process of hosting the Convention,” district officials said in a press release.

Because of the later start, the first semester next year would also end after a two-week winter break on Jan. 17, 2025. School would end on June 12, 2025, about a week later than this year.

For the 2025-26 school year, the first day would return to the third week of August – on Aug. 18, 2025 – and classes would end June 4, 2026.

Both proposed calendars would continue the recent practice of taking a full week off at Thanksgiving.

The district is asking parents, staff, and students for their feedback. A survey for parents, staff, and other community members will close at 5 p.m. Feb. 7. while a survey that CPS distributed Tuesday to students in grades 6-12 ends at 5 p.m. Feb. 2.

Reema Amin is a reporter covering Chicago Public Schools. Contact Reema at ramin@chalkbeat.org.

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