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Subscript: Academic All-Stars? After School Counts? Now you see it, now you don't.

Proving that in the newest "new" Chicago Public Schools you can't have it both ways or any way if you are a principal or teacher, consider the double back flip recently memoed from the Office of After School Programs.

According to a memo sent to principals dated July 15, 2009"

"Dear Principals, As you know, The Office of Extended Learning Opportunities typically invites schools to apply for academic and enrichment after school programs in the spring. This year, the After School All Stars (ASAS) RFP was made available to all schools, and closed on July 1, 2009. However, due to unexpected budgetary constraints, departments district wide are faced with tough economic challenges that require us to prioritize our educational needs. As a result, the FY10 After School Counts Academic program will not be available.

"We recognize that many schools were depending on ASC funding to provide much needed academic supports for their students. Given this announcement, many schools who applied for After School All Stars, may wish to use some of those funds to offer more academic clubs (Math Club, Science Club etc…). While we understand the rationale behind doing so, please be reminded, that our most recent evaluation indicates that it is in fact the combination of academic and enrichment programming which seems to have the most positive impact on student achievement, regular school day attendance and student behavior. Recognizing the need to add more time on task academically, we encourage principals and ASAS coordinators to strive to find the right balance between the academics and enrichment programming within ASAS, so that students can benefit from both.

"Award letters for ASAS will be available in early August for Year Round Schools and mid-August for all other schools. Please keep in mind all ASAS teachers will only be paid at the non academic rate of $33.75, even for activities such as Math or Science Club.

"For schools who did not apply for ASAS, the RFP is attached. All schools that apply after the original deadline of July 1st will be placed on a waitlist. While we are not able to promise funding for late applicants at this time, we will do our best to try to support all schools. Therefore, we encourage all interested schools to submit the ASAS RFP no later than July 31, 2009.

"Thank you for your cooperation and continued support. Every year, many principals express their appreciation for the activities and funding offered by Extended Learning. We want to continue to support your students in every possible way, and look forward to continuing our relationship with your school.

"If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at 773-553-3680 or via email at elharris@cps.k12.il.us. Other members of the ELO team can be reached via the mainline at 773-553-3590. (Warmest regards, Erica L. Harris, Officer, Extended Learning Opportunities, Cc: Dr. Barbara Eason Watkins, Paige Ponder, Dennis Belkofer)..."

That information was provided on July 15, 2009.

Imagine if you were a principal who worked to prepare the RFP between July 15 and the end of school on July 17. Well, you wasted your time. On July 17, principals were told the program didn't exist any more. The disappointment for anyone who believes the Huberman administration came in a memo to principals distributed on Friday, July 17, 2009 just before noon.

"Subject: After School Counts (ASC) Announcement,

"Dear Principals

"As you know, The Office of Extended Learning Opportunities typically invites schools to apply for academic and enrichment after school programs in the spring. This year, the After School All Stars (ASAS) RFP was made available to all schools, and closed on July 1, 2009. However, due to unexpected budgetary constraints, departments district wide are faced with tough economic challenges that require us to prioritize our educational needs. As a result, the FY10 After School Counts Academic program will not be available. Please read the attached announcement for more information.... Thank you for your cooperation and continued support.... Erica L. Harris..."



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