CPS Survey on the School Application Process

January 2, 2009 at 10:49 am 14 comments

The CPS Website has a survey up right now to solicit opinions on how to improve the school application process.  (See lower righthand corner of the site.)  http://www.cps.edu/Pages/home.aspx

I hate to get excited enough to think that they’ll make changes based on the suggestions, but it can’t hurt to vent it a little, can it?   Feel free to pilfer from what I wrote (submitted in 3 chunks to circumvent the 2000 character max.)  My complaints are mainly tactical in nature.  I haven’t had the brain time yet to think about possible changes to the entire process (such as applying to all schools via one form or online, preference for school admission based on where you live, limit to this plan of opening more “options” to prevent kids from leaving their neighborhood schools, etc.) 

The suggestions I submitted:

The current application process has a major flaw in that parents cannot be certain that their application is in the queue at a certain school.  Last year, some parents turned in applications in person only to later find out that they’d been lost/misplaced and were not included in the lottery for that school.   The offices at some schools are disorganized and can’t be trusted to handle the applications.  Applying should be done at a central level so parents can ascertain that they are on the list of the schools they are interested in.  Ideally, this could be checked online before the deadline so parents could confirm the status of their applications.  Also, the lottery results would ideally be posted online from a central source.


The current system is also inefficient in terms of the time that parents must spend touring schools with very limited enrollment.  Some of these schools (notably those that are the hardest to get into) give no or very few tours after the March notification date so parents must tour ALL these schools (in addition to other magnets, gifted, classical, neighborhood) before the notification date.  Many tours are 2 hours in length so it ends up being a waste of time for 95% of the schools you apply to since you don’t get in.  I feel that these schools should be required to give several tours in the weeks following the notification date so that parents can tour the schools AFTER they find out if their child has gotten in. 


The individual schools need to be better informed about the new lottery system results.  Last year some schools gave out numbers that didn’t match what CPS had in their system because the school didn’t understand the waiting list numbering system.  I had to make several phone calls to clarify, and I still wasn’t sure who was correct since each office assured me that they were correct although one gave me #5 and one gave me #29 as my son’s spot on the waiting list.  Parents need to have correct information to weigh their decisions.

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

Options for Knowledge Deadline – My Trip to the Post Office Got a Test Date. Ugh.

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