Navigating Education: CPS Workshop

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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. >>


Good Things

  • 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

Bad Things

  • 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.