Fifteen Chicago elementary schools will add 90 minutes of online reading and math instruction to the school day, reports the Chicago Tribune. Non-teachers — probably after-school activities staff — will supervise, saving money and avoiding the teachers’ union contract, which limits the length of the school day.
Federal stimulus money is expected to cover much of the cost.
. . . the new initiative is the product of a separate online pilot program the district launched last year, which provided online math courses to certain elementary school students. In those schools, students were encouraged — but not required — to attend extended school hours. District officials say math scores increased dramatically as a result of the online classes.
Learning Lab does not require certified teachers and allows Rocketship to reduce staffing by five teachers and five classrooms per school, saving $500,000 per year.