28-3. Class Size Monitoring Process
One or more joint BOARD-UNION panels shall be established to monitor concerns regarding class size brought to its attention by the UNION. Each panel shall be composed of up to two former teachers, up to two former principals and a representative of the Office of Employee Engagement and shall meet on a bi-weekly basis. When the panel investigates a referral from a school, the panel shall promptly notify the Local School Council, and a parent representative chosen by the Local School Council may join the panel. Each panel shall have authority to make recommendations to the Chief Executive Officer with a copy submitted to the UNION President to resolve class size concerns, including, but not limited to, the following: assignment of a teacher assistant, addition of an extra preparation period, reorganized classes or class schedules, additional compensation, additional positions, staggered starting and ending class times, modified school boundaries, establishment of alternative sites and institution of multi-age groupings, split shifts or controlled enrollment. Each panel also shall issue reports semi-annually to the Offices of Employee and Labor Relations and the joint BOARD-UNION Class Size Supervisory Committee.
28-3.1. Joint Class Size Assessment Council.
Effective the 2020-2021 school year, the BOARD and the UNION shall staff a 12-member Joint Class Size Assessment Council (hereinafter within this Article referred to as “the Council”). Council members must include representation of former educators or school-level administrators. To avoid deadlocks, the parties shall mutually agree upon a neutral tiebreaker appointee who will be a current or former educator. The Council shall be provided with adequate administrative support to carry out its function, which will be paid by CPS and not taken out of class size enforcement funds. The BOARD shall appoint six members, one of whom must be an educator, and the UNION shall appoint six members, one of whom must be an educator. Within 90 days of ratification of this agreement, the Council shall set standards and priorities for addressing oversized classrooms, including targeted relief to ensure equity in Priority Schools. Within the same time period, the Council shall also set standards for the functioning of the Council. The Council shall meet as needed, at the request of either party, beginning thirty days before the first day of student attendance until December 1 of each school year. After December 1, the Council shall meet monthly.
28-3.2. Priority Schools.
For the purpose of this Article, Priority Schools are defined as neighborhood schools with 60% or more students attending the school who reside in Tier 1 communities. The BOARD and the UNION have the joint goal of addressing class size in schools where the student population has higher needs and may need more targeted resources in order to ensure equity.
28-3.3. Council Review of Class Size Data.
The Council will be provided with schools’ enrollment projections and budget reports following LSC/District approval in the spring, class size data by the 10th day of the school year, and class size data quarterly. The Council will review projected school budgets, schedules, organization charts, space utilization, and school level staffing. The Council may request additional information from the Council administrator which shall be provided promptly in order to effectuate a timely decision. The Council shall review the class size data with a focus on oversized classrooms in Priority Schools as well as oversized classrooms in other schools as defined in 28-4. Upon review of the data or if notified of either oversized classrooms or oversized high school teaching loads, the Council shall identify which classrooms to investigate further.
28-3.4. Council Review Team Investigations.
The Council shall assign two- member review teams, with one member appointed and paid for by the UNION and one member appointed and paid for by the BOARD, to investigate the identified oversized classes. Compensation for Council members shall include reimbursement for travel expenses and members will be paid for travel time. Oversized classes, per Council criteria in alignment with Article 28-4, trigger automatic investigation.
28-3.5. Council Review Team Reports.
The Council review teams shall begin their assessment no later than 3 days after notification. When conducting a review of an identified class size issue, the Council review team members shall meet with the principal and impacted teachers, who shall work collaboratively with the Council members to arrive at a solution. Based on its investigation, the review teams shall provide a report to the Council within five days. The report shall include a recommendation as appropriate, inclusive of the input of the principal and impacted teachers, on how to remedy any identified class size issues. The recommendation must be shared simultaneously with the principal and the impacted teachers. The principal shall respond to the Council’s final recommendation, if the principal chooses, within three days, or before the next Council meeting, whichever occurs later. These deadlines may be extended at the discretion of the Council for good cause.
28-3.6. Council Decisions.
The Council shall issue a decision, either accepting or modifying the review team’s recommendation, at the next Council meeting following receipt of the review team’s report. The Council’s decision may include: separating oversized classrooms; adding teacher assistants; reorganizing classes or class schedules (including possible prospective relief); and other remedies as determined by the Council. The Council will grant funds necessary for the implementation of its decision. The Council shall not impose a remedy that includes establishing multi-grade classrooms in elementary schools. Council decisions are final and binding.
The Joint Class Size Assessment Council shall be the sole and exclusive means of enforcing the commitments set forth in this Article. The Council structure shall be reviewed at the end of the 2020-2021 school year to determine effectiveness and to determine if changes to the Council or the process are necessary to improve the effectiveness of the Council.