Fall 2015: Applying to Kindergarten / Elementary School
Kindergarten/Elementary application time here!
Welcome! After the long wait from infanthood, it is now time to being charting the waters of CPS elementary school.
Applying has never been easier, now that it’s all online.
You can apply for a PIN (needed for online enrollment) now. It will be mailed to your home within a week.
Applications will be accepted starting October 1st.
Details are here and the OAE site now covers almost everything you need to know, very well organized:
When entering Kindergarten (and older grades as well) you have several options:
Neighborhood schools (also includes Magnet Cluster school, which are just neighborhood schools) – these are schools that admit kids from the neighborhood that surrounds a school. Enrolling for your neighborhood school is easy: simple go to the school during late Spring to fill out the forms. If you don’t want to attend your own neighborhood school, you can apply to other neighborhood schools that have room to spare. This can only be done through the online application process. Not every school has space, so it’s wise to fine some ‘up-and-coming’ schools that are growing and have seats to fill. Or give your local school another look, with some other parents. Building up parent interest is often a great way to build community and create/uncover a good local school.
Gifted and Classical schools – these schools require a test for entry. For Kindergarten, the tests are given at the same time and kids are tested one-on-one. For older grades, the kids test in a large group and the gifted and classical tests are on different days. There is often debate about whether to apply early so your child gets and early test date (benefit: avoid blizzards, get it out of the way) or wait until the end of the application period to apply (benefit: kids may hit that magical reading breakthrough you’ve been waiting for.) The test scores are normed by age, so it shouldn’t really matter when you do the testing.
Magnet schools – these admit kids via a lottery process. People who live within 1.5 miles of a school get preference in a proximity lottery. Others are also admitted, based on Socio-Economic Tier.
One factor that can influence your chance of selection at a school is your Socio-Economic Tier. Your address determines your Tier (Tier 4, highest socio-economic level, Tier 1, lowest.) NOTE: the tiers for the current application process have not been update yet, so current Tier information may be out of date!!
These are explained here, very cleary by OAE:
From the Parent Dashboard after you have entered your PIN:
If you are applying to Selective Enrollment Elementary or High Schools, or any other high schools with admissions screenings, you will use a TWO-STEP process: (1) Schedule, THEN (2) Apply. BOTH of these steps must be completed by the December 11th deadline or your child will not be considered for the Selective Enrollment schools of your choice.