Category: Navigating Chicago Schools

How to apply for CPS preschools

Preschool in Chicago is not required, but many families consider enrolling their children into a local preschool option when their child is 3 years old. To attend a CPS-based preschool, however, requires understanding the differences between the options.

If you’re thinking about CPS magnet schools for preschool next fall, the time to look into those programs is…now! Applications for the 2020-2021 school year for 3 magnet preschools are due December 13, 2019. If you are thinking about o...

Posted on October 23, 2019 at 10:40 AM by Chicago School GPS

How and when to apply to Chicago preschools and elementary schools

Photo: Pragyan Bezbaruah from Pexels

While Chicago is replete with hundreds of school choices ranging from public options (open enrollment, magnet, selective enrollment) to private religious and independent options, all schools will require some forethought in planning except one school into which you are automatically accepted and there is never a deadline: your assigned neighborhood Chicago Public School. Each Chicago address is guaranteed an assigned neighborhood elementary (K-8th g...

Posted on October 22, 2019 at 12:37 PM by Chicago School GPS

How to apply to a CPS school in 5 easy steps

Photo credit: Bruno Girin/Flickr

CPS application season is well underway! The Chicago Public Schools application deadline for the 2020-2021 school year is Friday, December 13, 2019. Students entering kindergarten through 8th grade may apply for open seats at schools across the city, with a limited number of pre-k options available as well. Learn about Universal Pre-K status.

In CPS, there are two main types of schools to which you can apply:


Magnet schools and lottery a...

Posted on October 22, 2019 at 8:49 AM by Chicago School GPS

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