What High School Students in The Chicago Public Schools Do in Their Out-of-School Time
Robert M. Goerge, Robert J. Chaskin, Shannon Guiltinan2006
This report provides a descriptive overview of what students in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) do in their out-of-school time, based on responses to a questionnaire administered to ninth, tenth, and eleventh graders. For the past 3 years, Chapin Hall has collected information from CPS high school students on their after-school and weekend activities. This report updates our 2004 report on the out-of-school time activities of ninth-grade students and provides some additional information about CPS students across the topic areas. We found that 25 percent of youth are engaged in a structured activity after school on any one day and 42 percent are engaged in academic activities, including homework or a tutoring program. About 14 percent of those students who are not participating in a structured activity would like to participate in one. The availability of after-school opportunities and the characteristics and dynamics of life in the neighborhoods in which students live appear to be critical barriers to participation for many young people. For example, 55 percent of the students in the survey said that they have no safe places, such as parks or community centers, to go to in their out-of-school time. This report comes at a time when after-school programs in Chicago and nationwide are receiving a great deal of attention. Policymakers are asking questions about the availability, quality, and effectiveness of these programs and are looking at ways to improve the systems of support that are currently available for young people. The survey is part of a larger Chapin Hall project that includes in-depth interviews with youth and a survey of youth-serving agencies that provides information on the availability of programs and the dynamics of provision in several Chicago communities.