Tuesday is first day of school for CPS

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - The first day of school for CPS students could be a wet one, so grab an umbrella!

Thousands of Chicago Public School students will have a safer passage to school starting Tuesday morning. Most of the safer passages are on the South Side, around the Altgeld Gardens Housing Project - an area that has been plagued by gang violence.

The new Safe Passage routes will affect about 2,500 students. School officials say 75,000 children at 140 schools will now have Safe Passage routes.

Since the program started several years ago, CPS says no student has been hurt in a safe passage zone.

It also has become critically important that every CPS student attend the first day of class.

Not just for their benefit, but for the district's as well. Therefore, CPS is offering an incentive to make sure students attend the first day of class.

Everyone who shows up Tuesday will get two free passes to the museum of science and industry.

Another perk is that students and guardians can ride the CTA for free Tuesday. The new CPS CEO says it's extremely important that kids attend school from the very first day.

“All the research shows that children who attend the first day of school are more likely to get a good foothold in school, do better socially and emotionally, as well as academically. That’s why we make such an extraordinary effort to make sure that parents understand the importance of getting their kids to school on the very first day,” Forrest Claypool said.

The district also benefits from attendance-based state funding.

One thing that could be tricky on Tuesday is start times. The district is trying to be more efficient with buses and drivers. To do that, dozens of schools have had to change their start times.