Category: Navigating Chicago Schools

Introducing the NPN Preschool Roadshow!

Searching for the perfect preschool? Overwhelmed by your choices and the application process, including scheduling school tours? NPN is here to help with a unique opportunity for a private inside look at some of the city's finest preschools!  

The NPN Preschool Roadshow is a series of NPN-exclusive tours at preschools across the city, where attendees will get to meet with preschool directors, visit classrooms, observe teachers and current students, have all of your questions answered, ...

Posted on January 14, 2016 at 11:00 AM by Laura Baginski

Kids have the right to learn at their own speed


Children are born to learn. They are hardwired from birth to learn to use their bodies, to navigate the society they are born into, to manipulate the environment and to form relationships with those around them. They instinctively explore and play with every tool they can find to divine its purpose and function. Deep in the mind of every infant, toddler and school-age child is the profound knowledge that they must learn or perish.

However, s...

Posted on January 13, 2016 at 9:04 AM by Rob Huge

How to apply to a private school

We admit it, getting into a private school can be an overwhelming process. There are many details to keep your eyes on, such as the deadlines and requirements set by the various admissions departments of the schools to which you are applying. Most of the time, depending on the grade level your child will be entering, you will be applying to multiple schools . The best advice we can offer as you deal with applying to schools is to begin the process as early as you can. 


Admission d...

Posted on November 12, 2015 at 10:01 AM by Katy Buoscio

How to pick a Chicago preschool |

If your child is turning three within the next year, now is the time to look at preschool options. What an exciting (and potentially overwhelming) time! There are many qualities to consider when choosing the right fit for your family.


At some schools, space can be very limited so it is important to apply to multiple programs. The most significant deciding factor, and the easiest decision because it is a practical one is whether you need a full-day or half-day program.There are man...

Posted on October 14, 2015 at 11:01 AM by Mary Meyer School

Trending on NPN's discussion forum: up-and-coming schools


Let's say you can't afford the real estate surrounding Waters, Bell, Blaine and other star schools in the CPS universe. Hitching a ride on a rising-star school in a less-expensive neighborhood could have you sitting pretty in a few years when the school realizes its potential. 

But which are the up-and-coming schools in the CPS system? That's a matter for debate, and our members are hashing it out right now on our main discussion forum. Jump in on the conversation and have y...

Posted on September 03, 2015 at 12:45 PM by Laura Baginski

Quiz: Should you go to an NPN School Fair?


Neighborhood Parents Network does a lot of things for Chicago parents, but what really sets us apart is the work we do to help you find the right school for your child.

The most important school-choice events of the year? Our two annual school fairs: the South Side Preschool and Elementary School Fair on Sept. 19, and the Annual Preschool and Elementary School Fair on Oct. 18. At both fairs, you'll be able to talk with representatives from 100+ public and private schools, in...

Posted on August 27, 2015 at 1:20 PM by Laura Baginski

Waitlisted. Now what?

Rejuvenating your school search post admission decisions.

First things first- take a deep breath! Your child WILL be enrolled in school next fall. I promise.

You are on the waitlist of your top private or public school. What does that mean? I would recommend following up with the school directly to find out. Things to keep in mind:

Waitlist vs. Waitpool: A waitlist implies that there is a ranking. If it is a waitlist, can the school provide you with your child’s rank? A wai...

Posted on April 10, 2015 at 4:24 PM by Erin Woodhams

A Glimpse Into Arts-Integrated Preschool

Where emotional intelligence, playful movement and kindergarten readiness skip hand-in-hand!

It’s 8:30am, and our preschool students are joyfully climbing the stairs, past a view of clouds and sounds of chirping birds (all part of the multi-media experience at Bubbles Academy), up to their Tree House classroom. There, under the facilitation of caring teachers, they engage in child-directed play, circle time songs, stories and activities as a group before dividing to explore learning ce...

Posted on February 15, 2015 at 3:12 PM by Natalie Monterastelli

5 Tips from a School Admissions Director

For many families, the admissions process is daunting. Although most independent and private schools have one, all are not made equal. When parents ask me about the admissions process, I have lots of advice but mostly I try to get across that every school culture is different and every admissions director handles the process according to their specific school culture. Below are five take-aways for families in the admissions process.

1. The process and the school are one

Never separate t...

Posted on January 15, 2015 at 8:00 AM by Ancona School

Play-Based Preschool: A Farmer's Market Case Study

When the grass is green and flowers are blooming in the spring at Mary Meyer School, we celebrate by hosting a farmer’s market.  Our purposeful play curriculum has led us to this special day. In early spring and before the trees are budding, our Farmer-in-Residence works with our students to discuss worms and seeds and soil and planting.

How does play fit into farming and how did we learn?

·       We read books about farming, worms, fruits and vegetables.

·       We added soil ...

Posted on December 15, 2014 at 9:00 AM by Mary Meyer School