This past weekend, I hosted an event called, 'Chicago Education Workshop: Making a Choice' with speaker, Christine Whitley. I was tipped off to contact her from a fellow parent at a nearby Starbucks. She gave a two hour comprehensive presentation on how CPS (Chicago Public Schools) accept and place students into neighborhood, magnet, gifted/classical and charter schools. I wasn't sure if I wanted to laugh or cry as I took in the information. Christine was frank, informative and I'd recommend the experience to any inquisitive parent.
So much was covered, I wish I could share in detail the entire workshop. I am going to highlight the good things and bad things that I learned. >>
- Post-workshop, the process of applying is somewhat simple
- Neighborhood schools guarantee acceptance for the whole family
- There's no need to tour schools prior to acceptance notifications
- Gifted debatably produces superior students, family involvement is key
- Kindergarten is a full-day, 7 hrs
- Magnet schools may mean lots of driving
- Sibling preference is still limited by openings
- Gifted/Classical testing is ridiculous
- We could possibly be accepted to 0 of the magnet schools we apply to via lottery
- Entire process starts over for high-school
So where does that leave us? I am really not sure! I'm going to go through the process of lottery and possibly the gifted/classical shenanigans and see what our options are. If odds are not looking good, I'll be very tempted to move North a couple blocks into the New Field school zone. Also, I have learned of a neat homeschool co-op that might be forming next year. So I am still considering that, as well as Classical Conversations, as viable options.
This is all just absolutely crazy.