Author - Jay Annadurai

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Jay joined NPN as a new mom in 2006. As part of the amazing staff team, she loves being able to give back to NPN by helping develop innovative programs and events to support Chicago parents as they live, learn and grow in the city. Jay lives in North Center with her husband, daughter and son. 

CPS Advice- From the Parent Perspective

Nobody said navigating school options in the Chicago Public School system was easy!  The good news is that are many great choices for your family! Here are some tips from CPS parents in the know from our last NPN School Search event at Bubbles Academy.

How can you get started with your school search?   

Use the CPS School Locator to find your neighborhood school.  What are your other options? Research magnet, magnet cluster, selective enrollment and open enrollment schools. Downloa...

Posted on January 31, 2013 at 7:00 AM by Jay Annadurai

Important CPS PIN/Application Deadlines & Tips

Only 3 more days until the Chicago Public School PIN request deadline of December 7th. If you would like to apply for admission to a classical, gifted, magnet, magnet cluster, charter or open enrollment school for the 2013-2014 school year, you MUST request your PIN online by this Friday! Go to https://apply.cps.edu/ to request your PIN.  After you receive your PIN, must submit your applications by Friday, December 14th. This process is for children entering grades Kindergarten and up. Thi...

Posted on December 05, 2012 at 7:25 AM by Jay Annadurai

Applying to Private Schools- Advice from Admissions Directors

With so many great schools in Chicago, finding your way can be tough! Do you have questions on private school options in the city? Check out tips from the recent NPN School Choice Event at Bubbles Academy - our Private School Admissions Director Panel.

What can make a school really stand out? 


Teacher tenure- how long do teachers stay?  

Continuation of the school experience- enter in preschool and no need to reapply

Differentiated instructions to meet the needs of ...

Posted on October 26, 2012 at 8:31 AM by Jay Annadurai

Navigating your Chicago Public School options isn't easy

Navigating your Chicago Public School options isn’t easy! NPN is here to help. Check out some key terms and need to know information so you are prepared to make the best decision for your family.

CPS Preschool Options:  


Preschool for All- Free 2.5 hour program with priority given to children in need.  Open to 3 and 4 year olds who are potty trained.  Check www.ecechicago.org for a listing of schools and apply directly to your school of choice.

Tuition Based Preschool- Fu...

Posted on October 04, 2012 at 7:30 AM by Jay Annadurai

Gifted Option vs. Neighborhood School: Choosing What's Best for your Family

The Round 2 letter from Chicago Public Schools Office of Access and Enrollment arrived. The selective enrollment testing process had been low-key for our daughter. Instead of formal “prepping,” we maintained our routines and didn’t talk about the test. This approach may have backfired. Leela told me she mostly ignored the assessor’s questions, telling stories instead. “There goes that,” I thought.

Then Leela was offered a spot in a kindergarten options program! With one week to decide,...

Posted on September 21, 2012 at 6:00 AM by Jay Annadurai

Only 2 More Days Until Chicago KIDS Day!

Only 2 more days until the BEST KIDS FEST of the summer- Chicago KIDS Day!  The forecast is calling for sunny skies and warm weather so make plans to join us this Saturday, May 19th at Chicago KIDS Day from 10am-2pm.  All the fun takes place under a huge white tent at Ashland/Barry, keeping you comfortable as you visit sponsor tables with activities, arts & crafts, snacks and more. Focusing on children's health & wellness, this family-friendly festival will have your kids playing, ...

Posted on May 17, 2012 at 6:41 AM by Jay Annadurai

What's Sprouting Up This Spring for Expecting & New NPN Families

Baby on the way or a new family?  Turn to NPN for the resources you need to get a handle on some serious changes heading your way. RSVP today for events just for new and growing NPN families. Remember to log in first before RSVPing to members only events. You will receive an e-confirmation upon successfully registering.


Expectant/New Parents: Convert Me, Baby! (4/24) - Calling all skeptics! Hear from real moms who got “converted” to less conventional choices like cloth diapering an...

Posted on April 06, 2012 at 5:30 AM by Jay Annadurai

Sweet Dreams NPN & ChicagoKids.com Pajama Party @ Good Night Moon the Musical

I’m not going to sugar-coat things – bedtime with my older daughter wasn’t easy!  No matter how tired she appeared, I just couldn’t convince her that sleep was a necessary part of life. We finally figured out that spending a few minutes reading with the lights turned low could do wonders. One of our favorite pre-bedtime reads was the classic Good Night Moon. Now, I’m so excited to revisit our old bedtime tradition in a whole new way by taking her to see Good Night Moon the Musical presente...

Posted on September 09, 2011 at 6:00 AM by Jay Annadurai

Afternoon PreK- Life before the graveyard shift?

With a typical wake-up time of 6:30am, my kids are used to being up and out of the house by 9:30am to start the day. But, with preschool starting in the late afternoon, what's there to do BEFORE school?

After weeks of uncertainty, we were thrilled when my 4 year old was accepted into our neighborhood school’s Preschool for All Program. We were much less thrilled with her assigned time slot- 3:00-5:30pm! With the graveyard shift looming, I’m scrambling to find activities for my daughter...

Posted on August 08, 2011 at 8:30 AM by Jay Annadurai

Too Cool for School? Tips for Success

Parenting challenges don't end at potty training and sleep schedules! Parents of elementary school kids can turn to NPN for advice & info on "big-kid" issues too. Check out our Elementary School Parents Group- join them at their next event on Establishing Homework Habits.

“Oh, wow! How did you survive that?” That is a pretty typical response when I share that “pre-Mom”, I was a middle school teacher.  Apparently a lot of people think that middle school classrooms are bursting with ...

Posted on August 04, 2011 at 9:00 AM by Jay Annadurai