Remember those early days making friends with other parents at the park? Chatting away cheerfully while pushing your infant in the baby swing. Then, all of a sudden, the conversation takes a turn. Schools...Which ones are you thinking about? Classical? Gifted? Magnet Cluster? Private? Charter?! A whatawhat?! You smile while the panic sets in, realizing you have no idea what these terms mean. You clearly have fallen way behind all the other parents in Chicago. You rush home and spend the evening googling these terms and becoming even more confused as you try to sort out the CPS web site.
Well, you obviously are not alone, as judged by the attendance at two recent NPN Parent University panel discussions on school choice in Chicago. The panelists included people many of you would like to get alone at a cocktail party and drill. We had Bonnie Roelle, Director of Preschool For All & Tuition-Based Preschool Programs for CPS; Trudy Wallace, administrator for the CPS Office of Academic Enhancement; Jill Due, Admissions Director for the Catherine Cook School; and Maria Ippolito, an enrollment consultant for the Archdiocese of Chicago. We threw a lot of questions at them, and they handled them all with expert knowledge and need to know tips and advice. NPN members were able to get answers on everything from the role of faith in Catholic schools to how CPS handles siblings during the kindergarten admission process.
For those of you who couldn’t make it, my colleagues at the Chicago News Cooperative recorded the discussion. You can find 10 video clips here
featuring the panelists answering some of the most common questions. Check http://www.chicagonewscoop.org/metro/education/
regularly for other resources aimed at helping parents sort through the school process.
October 12, 2011 at 8:30 PM