Moving kids mid-year

December 10, 2010 at 1:50 pm 4 comments

I got a question this morning from a Dad who has two daughters moving to Chicago to live with him very soon and is inquiring about how to get them in a school that’s not the neighborhood school.

In the past, I believe it would be a matter of calling around to see which schools have open spaces (meaning classes for both kids that are not at full capacity.)  Many principals of neighborhood schools (particularly those that are “up-and-coming” have been willing to take kids from outside the ‘hood during the middle of the year.  But I know that the rules are changing a bit and some principals may be reluctant or uncertain about whether they can take kids right now.  In theory, I assume their lottery lists have been exhausted and they *can* take kids if there’s room?  Or maybe they can do it “under the radar?”  I’m guessing the top magnet schools are under tighter scrutiny (and less likely to have empty spaces) but what do you think about other neighborhood schools?  (These could be neighborhood or magnet cluster.)  OR….. is it even worth calling a magnet school to see if someone has left and there’s space?  (One other thing I will add to the Dad… always get a second opinion regarding information you’re given from a CPS school office.)

Read on……. I’m eager to hear opinions.

My two daughters (grades 1 and 3) live in Phoenix with their mother. Through a number of things happening it has been decided that they will live with me starting in just a few weeks. I currently live in the neighborhood for Avondale elementary and I am buying a condo in the area for Chase elementary. Neither of those schools particularly appeal to me in terms of their test scores and academic status.

Do you know of any provisions for mid-year transfers into other schools besides your neighborhood school? Perhaps foolishly I called Alcott and asked about it and they said that I was only allowed to transfer into my neighborhood school. I have a PIN and will apply for schools next year, but it sounds from the writings on your blog that perhaps my chances are not great at getting in, and especially for two sisters to go to the same school.

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. RL Julia  |  December 10, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    Can’t say I know anything about Chase or Avondale – but have you visited and talked with the principal? Don’t judge a school by its test scores (or its levels of low income kids). I went to Chase’s website and it seemed like a perfectly good school to go to – lots of activities and test scores that were encouraging. While it might not be a first choice,/lottery school, it seemed like a perfectly decent place to at least visit. Avondale was a lot less promising (as it is on academic probation).

    Since he is in the neighborhood, this parent might check out (as in visit/call the principal – not just look at test scores and make a judgement on that) Murphy or Burley or Cleveland. Other than that- he’s right, short of being Michael Jordan’s son, I don’t think people get into the magnets mid-year.

    If none of these schools are good enough my only other thoughts are to go parochial (or charter). I’ve heard nice things about both St. Viators and the CICS Irving Park which are a little to the north. Concordia also has great afterschool programming if that is a need as well. Its also in the neighborhood.

    Best of luck to this guy.

  • 2. smp  |  December 10, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    Having a child still on the waitlist for a top neighborhood school – my understanding the policy is that the waitlists are in effect all year – in the past they were only in effect till June. I think Murphy is an upcoming school and worth checking into – just IMO.

  • 3. SW Side Jen  |  December 14, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    It’s definitely worth a shot. My son is in an RGC and they received 5 new students into the kindergarten class in October & November. I’m guessing it might be easier for open enrollment schools that are trying to maintain their enrollment. Also what about Charters?

  • 4. RL Julia  |  January 19, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    What ever became of this guy? Did you hear?

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