What to expect from CPS notification letters

Written by: Chicago School GPS

Waiting for CPS notification letters? Here's what to expect.

For Chicago parents who have applied for Chicago Public School seats at Open Enrollment, Magnet, Magnet Cluster and Selective Enrollment Elementary Schools for the 2018-2019 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 the afternoon of April 27. 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 the online notifications and how to accept an offer, if applicable. 

Are you a first-time CPS applicant, or just curious about the process? Here’s a quick run-down on what to expect from your notification(s):

Magnet, Magnet Cluster and Open Enrollment Lottery Applicants: Once results are available, online applicants at GoCPS will see a “View Application Status” button next to each student’s name on the Student Dashboard. The results screen will list all of the schools you applied for and next to each school’s name, an indication of whether your child was offered a seat or waitlisted. If waitlisted, there will be a number indicating your child’s waitlist number. It is possible to receive offers from more than one school, and it's also possible to be waitlisted at every school. If your child is on a waitlist that is not the general waitlist, this will be indicated as well (e.g., sibling, proximity, tier).  You can also click on “View & Print Notification Letter” to see the traditional CPS letter showing the same information.

Selective Enrollment Elementary School (SEES) Applicants: All SEES applicants who have completed the testing requirement for the program(s) they have applied to (Classical and/or Regional Gifted Center) will receive either ONE offer or no offers. No multiple offers are given to SEES applicants applying to early elementary grades. Thus, the GoCPS portal will include your child’s test score(s) and which, if any, SEES program to which your child has been offered a seat. It will also indicate if your child has not been offered a seat yet and additional information regarding subsequent acceptance rounds. You can click “View & Print Notification Letter” to see the traditional CPS letter showing the same information.

For all programs, your GoCPS portal will indicate a deadline by which you must accept or decline your child’s seat at any of the offered schools. This year’s deadline is May 11 for first-round offers, and the waitlist process opens on May 16. You should use this time to visit or re-visit those schools to help make or confirm your decision. Schools should post open house dates for accepted students and parents on the event calendar at the CPS website, go.cps.edu, or check each individual’s school website for more details.

For lottery-based (non-selective enrollment) schools, acceptance at one school does not remove your child’s name from the acceptance and/or waitlists at any of the other lottery-based schools. In other words, you may accept an offer you received and if you later receive an offer from a school where your child was waitlisted, you may accept that offer instead.

For those accepted to a SEES program, accepting your child’s seat at that program will remove your child’s name from the applicant list at all other SEES programs ranked on his/her application. If you decline an offered seat, your child’s name will remain on the applicant list(s) for all other schools ranked on their application. Accepting or declining a seat in a SEES program has no bearing on your child’s separate non-selective lottery application, if applicable. 

Bear in mind that after this initial notification period, waitlists will continue to move and offers will be given via phone and/or GoCPS (not mail) through the spring and into summer (and sometimes fall). It’s also important to note that when parents of waitlisted students are contacted, they may be given 24-48 hours (or as little as 2 hours in late summer) to accept or decline a seat. A second-round application process (End-of-Year Citywide Options Program) will also be held on a TBD date to fill any open seats at Magnet, Magnet Cluster and Open Enrollment schools. Please note that Selective Enrollment Schools are NOT typically part of this process.

Want more info? Visit go.cps.edu to learn more about CPS acceptance and notification and follow the CPS conversations on the NPN Discussion Forum. Plus, check out Virtual School Tours to help you make your final school decision.

Chicago School GPS helps you navigate the confusing school search process to find the best suited public and/or private schools in the Chicago area for your child. We continually explore all options to guide you to your school destination. Whether you are looking for general, gifted or special education guidance, use the expertise and experience of Chicago School GPS to make your school search journey an easier one. Visit us at chischoolgps.com or call 312-324-4774.

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Posted on March 13, 2016 at 12:21 AM