Category: Navigating Chicago Schools

CPS academic centers: How a mom counseled her son on whether to accept an offer

Years ago, when my oldest son entered kindergarten, I started thinking about where he’d go to high school. The lack of good public high schools in Chicago made me nervous. As a child of public school teachers and a product of public schools, I had little interest In private school. Did that mean we would have to move in a few years? Should we just move now instead? What were our options if we went to public high school in the city?

Flash forward to last year, as I was driving him home ...

Posted on October 21, 2019 at 12:43 PM by Amy Johnson

Tips for a stress-free school search [includes downloadable guide]

*SPONSORED POST BY GEMS WORLD ACADEMY CHICAGO*

For parents considering independent schools, open house season is well upon us. Whether you are looking for preschool for the very first time or for the perfect spot for your kids as they wrap up their last years before college, these next few months are an exciting time, to say the least. But, these next few months are also often filled with that little six-letter word that tends to loom large for us parents: stress. 

The biggest ques...

Posted on October 17, 2019 at 6:00 AM by GEMS World Academy Chicago

Childcare during the CPS teachers' strike

Unless the Chicago Teachers Union and the city come to an agreement, CPS teachers and support staff, who are on the picket lines now, will continue to strike into the week of Oct. 21. How long the strike will last is anyone's guess, but one thing's for sure: If you're a working parent, you need to figure out where to send your child while school is not in session.

Here are some options for childcare during the strike. Check back often—we'll be updating this post as we get more informat...

Posted on October 11, 2019 at 9:27 AM by Laura Baginski

What exactly is an International Baccalaureate school? A primer.

By David Gregg

The Internation Baccalaureate is an internationally renowned continuum of educational programs based on best teaching practices and a commitment to developing internationally-minded global citizens. All IB programs help students see themselves as integrally linked to the world they are exploring through an inquiry-based curriculum that emphasizes real-world contexts for learning. 

In order to offer an IB Program, a school must complete an intensive 2-3 year applicatio...

Posted on October 10, 2019 at 2:25 PM

What's up with Universal PreK? Here's what we know.

Public preschool admissions, procedures and offerings have been an ever-changing process year after year. This year is no exception as CPS is once again in the midst of changes to their Chicago Early Learning programs (formerly known as Ready to Learn, Preschool for All and others).  

The newest change is a Universal PreK (UPK) component, but CPS is rolling it out in phases to further confuse and muddle the landscape.  

This latest initiative was announced by outgoing Mayor Rahm Ema...

Posted on September 05, 2019 at 9:54 AM by Chicago School GPS

Register now for NPN's Annual Preschool and Elementary School Fair!

Registration for NPN's annual School Fair is now open!

Come to the *only* Chicago school fair that brings together 100+ preschools and elementary schools under one roof! Neighborhood Parents Network has everything you need to answer all of your school-search questions. It's a one-stop shop to help you prepare your kids for success in the early years and beyond.

This year's fair features...

Reps from preschools and elementary schools all over the city, ready to answer all your ...

Posted on August 07, 2019 at 7:00 AM by Lauren Viera

Preschool vs. pre-k: What's the difference?

As summer nears, families across Chicago inevitably start to ask themselves if their child should go to preschool or pre-kindergarten. If they are currently enrolled in an early childhood program, they start to wonder if they need to find a pre-kindergarten program when their child turns three, leaving their current program even if they are happy there.

In a city full of early childhood options, it’s no surprise that families find themselves asking this question as they start to think ...

Posted on May 14, 2019 at 1:36 PM by Creative Scholars Preschool

CPS preschool options you can apply for now

As you are researching preschools for your little one and weighing your options, did you know that Chicago Public Schools offers many part-time and full-day, school-based and affordable preschool programs at select CPS schools across the city? Perhaps more importantly, if you thought you missed the preschool application boat for next fall, it’s not too late to apply for a seat in this program for the 2019-2020 school year.

It’s called Chicago Early Learning (CEL), formerly known as “Re...

Posted on April 29, 2019 at 10:00 AM by Chicago School GPS

What to expect from CPS notification letters

For Chicago parents who have applied for Chicago Public School (CPS) seats at Open Enrollment, Magnet, Magnet Cluster and Selective Enrollment Elementary Schools for the 2019-2020 school year, the countdown is underway for the CPS notification date. Let the nail-biting begin!

Notification letters for preK–eighth grade will be released on April 22. An email and a robocall will be sent to the contact information on the student’s online application file with directions on how to access th...

Posted on March 18, 2019 at 12:06 AM by Chicago School GPS

How to help your child get ready for kindergarten

Is your child starting kindergarten next year? Consider taking a proactive approach to ensuring he or she is ready to arrive at kindergarten and learn.

Evidence increasingly suggests that the areas most critical to young children’s long-term educational success are approaches to learning and self-regulation, language and literacy, math, and social and emotional development. While early childhood education is instrumental in supporting a child’s learning and development, family engageme...

Posted on March 11, 2019 at 5:00 PM by Maura Daly