“Touring” Schools in a Time of Social Distancing

School Notifications for 2020-2021 entry continue to come in despite our unique time of social distancing and quarantining. Rest assured, we will return to a “new normal” and when that time comes, we will need to have a school choice in place. In order to help determine school fit, we are providing a platform to crowdsource information on various schools. If you have any helpful information for prospective families to learn more about a school remotely, please share your experiences, or create a new string if you do not see a particular school below. If you are a family seeking information, please feel free to pose your question under a particular school. In each school’s entry should be a link to the CPS page with more info.

Besides this forum, we encourage everyone to check out the websites or social media streams for each school, along with any parent groups such as “Friends of” groups that typically have contact information.

We are all in this together, and in this time of need, our collective experiences can help others become better informed. Thank you!

Amundsen High School

ChiArts

Disney II HS

Jones College Prep

Lake View HS

Lane Tech

Lincoln Park HS

Lindblom HS

Northside Prep

Ogden HS

Payton College Prep

Senn HS

Von Steuben HS

Whitney Young HS

Westinghouse College Prep

Re-rank CPS 2020-2021 HS & SE Applications until 2/3/20

While applications for the first round of 2020-2021 Entry to Chicago Public Schools closed on 12/13/19, families can re-rank their selective enrollment and/or their high school Choice selections until Feb 3, 2020. Contact the Office of Access and Enrollment at 773-553-2060 or GOCPS@CPS.EDU for instructions on re-ranking

These ranked applications will only offer a single choice for each list (selective enrollment RGC/Classical, Academic Centers, SE schools and non-selective Choice high schools). A family’s neighborhood school never has a deadline for enrollment.

Elementary Choice (non-selective) programs such as magnet and open enrollment schools are not ranked. Families can get multiple offers for those elementary programs.

First round notifications for high schools will be released on March 27, 2020 and elementary schools will be released on April 24, 2020.

CPS 2020-2021 Applications are Open

Apply now to high school, elementary school, and 3 magnet preschools via www.go.cps.edu now through Dec. 13, 2019. https://go.cps.edu/about-gocps

2019-2020 Chicago Early Learning Preschool Applications Now Open

Families with 3 or 4 year olds by Sept. 1 can apply now for sliding scale tuition full or half day preschool programs in Chicago. Choose up to 2 program sites and find out by June if you were placed in one or on a waitlist.

Three steps to apply: 1. Create on online account; 2. Fill in family info including address, household size, employment & income; 3. Fill out info on your child and choose your top 2 program sites.

https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/sites/chicagoearlylearning/home.html

Some sites are based in CPS schools but unless it is your assigned neighborhood school, there is no guarantee that you can continue at that school for kindergarten. It is a great way to get to know a school, however, to see if you would like to put it on your application or attend it if it is your neighborhood school.

First Round CPS 2019-2020 Applications Close 12/14/18!

Don’t miss the 12/14/18 deadline to apply to a wide range of CPS options for Fall 2019.  Paper applications must be RECEIVED by 6pm at CPSOAE (see below) and online applications need to be submitted by 11:59pm via https://cps.schoolmint.net/signup.  Only families who have a CPS Student ID can use the online application.  All others need to use a paper application.

Submit elementary or high school paper applications to the Office of Access and Enrollment, 42 W. Madison St., Garden Level, Chicago, IL 60602. DO NOT SEND YOUR APPLICATION TO THE SCHOOL(S) TO WHICH YOU ARE APPLYING. Applications must be RECEIVED by December 14, 2018 by 6pm. Note that this is a RECEIVED BY date, NOT a postmarked date.
Applications received after December 14, 2018, will not be processed.

Researching schools? Check out the very informative GoCPS Search tool which can quickly show you school locations based on program types (magnet, selective enrollment, IB, military, CTE) or program group (fine & performing arts, STEM, academic centers, etc), sorted by grades or ratings, etc.  Clicking on a school’s name will show a bounty of school data.

Second rounds for any programs that still have space typically begins in April for high school and May for elementary schools.

Good luck on your CPS school search!

CPS 2019-2020 Applications are Now Open!

From now until Dec 14, 2018, you can go to www.go.cps.edu and learn about applying to CPS programs from Preschool to High School.  The applications are open and you can apply to schools and schedule testing or admissions screenings until the December deadline.

Lots of helpful info at the following links:

PreK FAQs

Elementary FAQs

High School FAQs

Remember, you can apply for up to 6 Selective Enrollment (test based) schools but must rank your choices and you will get a single offer.

You can also choose up to 20 non-selective (now called “Choice Programs”) lottery schools but elementary has no ranking and multiple offers while high school you do need to rank and it is single offer.  Good luck!

Note: CPS Tiers also change each year on October 1st, so check your tier by entering your address at https://go.cps.edu/search.  They can go up, down or stay the same each year.

Chicago Early Learning Preschool Applications Open 4/30/18

The Chicago Early Learning online preschool application opens on 4/30/18 @ 8:30am! Follow these easy steps to get your child enrolled in preschool:

Step 1) Visit ChicagoEarlyLearning.org to create an online account for your family

Step 2) Fill in information on your family, such as employment and income, information on your child, and then apply for your top choice preschool site

Step 3) If your child qualifies (you may find out immediately), you will receive an email on June 1st with information on how to verify your child’s preschool seat

If you have questions, please visit ChicagoEarlyLearning.org, or call the Chicago Early Learning Hotline: (312) 229-1690.

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It appears that these applications are “first come, first serve” so apply early for any particular site you would like.  See the forum thread for more info.

These programs were formerly known as “Ready to Learn” or “Preschool for All”.  This site does not cover magnet preschools or Tuition Based PK.  Please review the FAQs for more detailed information.

 

Enrollment Process

Search Locations

Find and compare Chicago Early Learning programs to find the right one for your child. Get Started!

Apply to Program

Narrow it down to your top two picks. Create an online account, fill out family information, and a child application to preschool sites. If your child qualifies for an offer, you will follow next steps verify their placement. If your child remains on a waitlist, stay tuned for more information from the Chicago Early Learning team.

For CPS Site Offers: Verify placement through a Family Resource Center

Within two weeks of receiving your offer, bring proof of your family’s income, address, and your child’s birth to one of 12 Family Resource Center sites across the city. Click here for more information about Family Resource Centers. See below for more details about what documents you will provide.

OR

For Community-Based Site Offers: Verify placement through your community-program location

Within two weeks of receiving your offer, bring proof of your family’s income, address, and your child’s birth to your assigned community-based program location. See below for more details about what documents you will provide.

Enrollment at CPS-Program Location

Visit your child’s preschool to complete the enrollment process. The school may have more specific enrollment directions that they will communicate.

OR

Enrollment at Community-Program Location

When you visit your child’s community-based site to verify your child’s offer, your site will communicate any additional expectations they have to complete the enrollment process.

Go to School!

If you have questions, please call our Chicago Early Learning Hotline: (312) 229-1690 or visit a Family Resource Center near you.

Spring 2018 CPS Elementary Offers

It’s that time!  Here are some tidbits gleaned from GoCPS Elementary FAQs

GOCPS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL APPLICATION PROCESS FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

FIRST-ROUND RESULTS

1. How will families find out the results of their applications to preschool through eighth grade? Online applicants to the four magnet preschools (Drummond, Inter-American, Mayer and Suder) through eighth grade will receive their first-round results on April 27th via their online GoCPS account. Paper applicants will receive a notification letter sent via U.S. mail to the home address on their application. In addition, paper applicants can view their results on an online GoCPS account that has been opened for them by the Office of Access and Enrollment. All applicants will receive more information on this process the week of April 23rd via email and robocall. Results will be posted on April 27th between 2 p.m. and 11:59 pm.

2. Will the Non-Selective Enrollment letter and the Selective Enrollment letter appear on the same screen online, or will families have to navigate to two different screens to accept or decline a seat? The results on the online account will all be on the same screen, along with a button that allows families to also download and print a hard-copy Non-Selective Enrollment letter and a Selective Enrollment letter. The letters that are mailed to the home address of paper applicants are two separate letters, one for Non-Selective Enrollment programs and one for Selective Enrollment programs.

ACCEPTING AND DECLINING OFFERS

3. How do families accept or decline an offer? Online applicants will accept or decline offers via their online GoCPS account. Paper applicants can accept or decline offers by submitting a paper confirmation form that they will receive with their paper notification letter or via the online GoCPS account that was opened for them. Applicants will have until Friday, May 11th to accept or decline an offer.

4. Can a student accept both a Selective Enrollment offer and a Non-Selective Enrollment offer, and decide which one they want later on? No. Students can only accept one offer.

5. Can students change their mind about accepting or declining an offer if they want to change it before the decision deadline? If a student DECLINES an offer, they cannot go back and change that decision once it is submitted. If a student ACCEPTS an offer and later decides that they want to decline it, they can do so.

6. What time is the deadline to make a decision on May 11th? The deadline to accept or decline offers is 6 pm on Friday, May 11th if the applicant is submitting a paper confirmation form, and 11:59 pm on Friday, May 11th if the applicant is making their decision via their online application account.

7. Will the families receive an email confirmation after they have made their decisions to accept or decline offers? No. Families will see a confirmation page online after they submit their decision. For their records, they should either print this page of save it to PDF.

SELECTIVE ENROLLMENT ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

19. Do Selective Enrollment schools have sibling preference? No.

20. When will students receive Selective Enrollment test scores? Selective Enrollment test scores and total points, if applicable, will be on the students’ notification letter that is released on April 27th.

More awesome FAQs at http://cps.edu/AccessAndEnrollment/Documents/FAQs_Elementary_ApplicationProcess.pdf

Filling the Void and Growing the Community

With the retirement of the indispensable and incomparable CPSObsessed blog that helped Chicago families for almost a decade, a sudden panic seized Chicago parents on where they would turn to soothe their obsession of tracking scores, tiers and offers for CPS admissions or learn about changing application processes or hear about new or up and coming schools, etc.  While CPSObsessed was the place to visit for all things CPS, many parents were also weighing private school options or wondering about special need supports and a myriad of other school related topics.

Out of this gaping void came the genesis for ChicagoSchoolOptions. This new website aims to be a crowdsourced destination for the next crop of anxious Chicago parents looking for answers.  It will only be as useful as those who contribute to the site make it, so please feel free to login and post to the School Forum or email us if you would like to help improve the site, be an editor or contributor (this uses a WordPress platform) or have any advice on increasing the user-friendliness.  Currently it is maintained by someone with more passion for the topics than technical savvy about the platform.

We welcome your help to make ChicagoSchoolOptions the “go-to” site for sharing Chicago area school knowledge. From preschool to high school, public and private, general, gifted and special ed, this site is meant to help fellow parents gain a better understanding of all their school related questions.  Contact us if you have anything to share and help us grow our community!