Ready, Set, Apply

October 4, 2008 at 11:46 pm 3 comments

It’s that time again.  Time for those who are seeking a school to tour, apply, and pray to the universe that things work in their favor.   The new CPS web site, though attractive, has proven a bit difficult to navigate initially.  I think it has improved overall, but it’s just hard to get used to – kind of like when Jewel rearranges the aisles and you initially hate it just on principal.

The page to get the forms for the lottery and the Gifted/Classical program is: http://www.cps.edu/Schools/Enroll_in_a_school/Choose/Application_process/Elementary_application/Pages/Applicationproceduresforelementary.aspx

A few lessons learned from last year:

-If there is a school you REALLY want your child in, submit the application in person and then follow up again.  And maybe again if you’re neurotic.  What can it hurt?  Last year a few people found out too late that their application was lost in the void of a school office.  And that is when the bureacracy speaks.  Nothing can be done for you.

-If there is a school you REALLY want your child in, call to confirm your lottery number ranking.  Consider calling CPS too to see what they tell you.  Results may differ.   Last year there was confusion among some schools about how to record the lottery rankings due to a new system that was in place.  Maybe the bugs will be worked out this year.  We were listed as 26 at a particular magnet school, but turns out we were really #5.  I think.  I never really believed anyone I talked to at some point.  They all were certain they were correct even though I was getting different answers.  Not that this will get you in, but its good to know how close you really are to getting in.  Or not.

-If you’ve got it in you, make it known to a school that you really want your child there.  I don’t know what techniques work or who they work for.  But rumor has it that CAN work.  The principal of a school has a few discretionary spots.  In many cases these are given to siblings but often the principal doesn’t have enough families known to them to allocate them all.  Or, some of the people who’ve been angling to get into a school end up bailing for a different school.  I personally don’t have it in me to butter up a principal unless I’m 100% certain I’d take the spot… but I suppose it can’t hurt to cover you bases.

-Consider bagging the whole lottery process and working with your neighborhood school to make it great.

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Entry filed under: Applying to schools. Tags: , .

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Rookie Sahm  |  October 7, 2008 at 10:45 pm

    Hey,

    I just wanted to thank you for starting this blog. It’s really fun to read your posts, as much as I am learning what I have been looking for all around the place in just one blog. My son is 3.5 and we still have a year to go, but you know, in a blink we’ll be there.

  • 2. Scooby_Snacks  |  October 8, 2008 at 4:26 pm

    The neighborhood school should not be an after thought. Assuming you dig your neighborhood and you plan to stay; a neighborhood school connects you to the community in a way that commuting to Lincoln Park could never accomplish. I know North side parents all assume the only the magnet schools are worthy of their kids – but at the very least give your local school a look – so many schools have turned the corner in the last couple of years. Your kids will thank you for the hours saved in commuting and in the friends they make with kids from their own neighborhood.

  • 3. TKM  |  November 13, 2008 at 6:10 pm

    Can someone please just tell me the best Gifted Centers/Classical Schools to select in order of preference on the application? It would save me hours of agony. I know that seems a bit lazy, but I am assuming I could benefit from CPS obsessed parents’ past research…. This is for Kindergarten and I live in Lincoln Park.

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