On April 3rd, 2017, thousands of students and their families found out if they gained admission to their top choice school, or any school for that matter. They received their child’s selective enrollment test score and corresponding offer and or how they faired on the neighborhood and magnet school lottery. For many, this ends months of anxiety as Chicago is one of the few cities where parents must blindly pick schools for their children without knowing how their child performed on the selective enrollment tests. For others, the anxiety continues as they are placed on waitlists or await second or third round offers. The CPS admissions process begins in early April and can continue throughout the summer, sometimes even past the first day of school. The uncertainty can be stressful. So what can you do to relieve the stress?
Congratulations if you received an offer in the first round. If you are unsure of the school and or need more information, now is the time to do some quick research. Use the resources around you, such as parent groups, online forums, and the CPS website to gain additional information that might help you make your decision.
If you were placed on a waitlist, 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. Schools work through the waitlist throughout the summer and sometimes into the first few weeks of school.
Make sure that the phone number that you listed on your child’s application is one that you answer. CPS telephone numbers all start with (773) 553-????. This is one call you do not want to miss! Discuss your options and have a plan. Often schools will call to offer your child a spot and ask for an immediate answer. Discuss your “what if” scenarios.
If you did not receive any offers check cps.edu/oae for additional school options. Sometimes there are new lottery opportunities if schools have not filled all of their slots. Follow this link for information on schools that are still considering students for the 2017-2018 school year. CPS suggests that you visit this page periodically, as it will be updated as information about additional seats becomes available.
You may get an offer at a school that is not on the top of your list. Take another school tour, talk to parents, talk to the principal. Sometimes your 3rd or 4th choice offer can actually be a good ,or even the best, fit for your family.
We know that is easier said than done. As we said before, this process takes time. If you applied for a non-entry grade (anything other than kindergarten or 1st) you will probably not get an offer in the first round. As families accept offers elsewhere, spaces open up and those calls come in during the second round. There is also a lot of movement on wait lists for magnet and neighborhood schools over the summer. Rest assured that there is a space for everyone.
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.
If you would like more information about PREP, please visit www.prepchicago.com
or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 312-834-7737.