What Now? Next Steps After CPS Notification Letters

Written by: Donna Bracey

Did the mailman deliver the mail on time today?  How long will it be before I get off work ?  I am so nervous that I can’t concentrate on anything.

These were the thoughts of several thousand parents the week of March 18th.  That is the day that CPS (Chicago Public Schools) began to mail acceptance letters for the 2013-2014 academic school year for selective enrollment  and magnet elementary school programs.  

Every spring, anxious parents wait for 2 letters from CPS; one for selective enrollment schools (schools that require testing) and another from magnet school (schools who determine their admission based on lottery).  Chicago is one of the few cities where parents must blindly pick schools for their children without knowing their child’s test scores.  The CPS admissions process begins in late March and can continue well into the following school year, sometimes past the first day of school.

So what can you do to ease the stress?

  • Be informed.  Check on your status.  Call the school every 2 to 3 weeks to find out how they are progressing on their waitlist calls.  You want them to know that you are a concerned parent but you DO NOT want to appear as a stalker.
  • Be prepared.  Check cpsoae.org to find out what is going on with CPS.  Sometimes there are additional lottery opportunities if schools have not filled all of their slots. 
  • Be flexible.  You may get an offer at a school that is not on the top of your list.  Take another school tour, take to parents, talk to the principal.  Sometimes your 3rd or 4th choice offer can be a good fit for your family.
  • Relax.  I know that is easier said than done.  You want your child to be confident and excited about his/her first day of school, not nervous.

Using the resources around you, NPN School Choice sessions, NPN blogs, online forums, and the CPS website, will help you to stay knowledgeable about the admissions process.  Knowing that you are not alone can ease some of the anxiety.

BONUS: Join us on April 4th for the NPN School Choice seminar, "After Notification Letters: What's Next?" for tips and advice. Click here to RSVP.

PREP, Primary Readiness Enrichment Program, is the only comprehensive program dedicated to preparing both preschoolers and their parents for the application, testing and enrollment process for public and private schools in the city of Chicago.  We have a 100% success rate for our students gaining admission into selective enrollment elementary schools. If you would like more information about PREP, please visit www.prepchicago.com or contact us at prepchicago@gmail.com or 312-834-7737.

Posted on May 07, 2012 at 6:55 PM