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Students who did not get a hoped for result this application season may still have a chance with the next step in the process: The Waitlist.  Both public and private schools can have much movement over the summer, and especially this year.
Need personalized help? Schedule a virtual CSG 30, 60 or 90 Min Initial Consultation!  

CPS Dates to Note
May 22- ES Decisions due
Jun 1- ES 2nd Rd Opens

Jun 5- ES 2nd Rd Closes
Jun 15- HS 2nd Rd Results
Jun 29- HS 2nd Rd Decisions
Jun 26- ES 2nd Rd Results
Jul 6- HS 2nd Rd Waitlists
Jul 8- ES 2nd Rd Decisions
Jul 13- ES 2nd Rd Waitlists

CSG'S CALENDAR
Normally Open House dates for Preschool through High School tours are listed, but visits have been cancelled in light of COVID-19.  We will monitor any change in status, so check back with us to see if any virtual events are listed and let us know of any we missed.  
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1st Round CPS Elementary Deadline 5/22

Decisions are due May 22; then waitlists open May 29

Parents who received offers from CPS for their child's magnet preschool (only Suder, Drummond and Inter-American), Choice Elementary (lottery based) and Selective Enrollment Elementary School (test-based) programs have until May 22 to return their decision for accepting or declining a school offer. Beyond automatic entry to one's neighborhood school, the 1st Round CPS Elementary applications are a way to expand options for families. A student could receive multiple offers for Choice (Magnet, Magnet Cluster & Open Enrollment) and a single offer for Selective Enrollment (Classical & Gifted) Elementary Schools. These are two separate applications and run independently, so you can get offers for both types of schools. All students have their assigned neighborhood school as an option any time of year with proof of residency.

First round cutoffs are only released for 7th grade Academic Centers and not for any other grade elementary programs.  Classical and Gifted programs do not have published cutoff scores.

Read helpful FAQs or visit the timelines & info at GoCPS.
Waitlists Decoded- Entry Year? Citywide?

CPS Tier waitlists only applicable for citywide entry years

After families return first round CPS elementary decisions by May 22, waitlists will open on May 29. Any spots that are turned down will go to students on waitlists. Depending on whether families have applied to "citywide" programs such as magnet and selective enrollment or whether families applied for a shot at a neighborhood school outside their own neighborhood (and what grades were applied for) families can be on different types of waitlists:
  • Applied to any grade of Open Enrollment or Magnet Cluster (Choice app)? Only have General Waitlist category
  • Applied to entry year of Magnet School (Choice)? Will have proximity and separate waitlists for Tiers 1, 2, 3 & 4.
  • Applied to entry year of Selective Enrollment (SEES)? Will have waitlists for Tiers 1, 2, 3 & 4.
  • Applied to non-entry year of Magnet and Selective Enrollment? Only have general waitlist
For CPS staff, there can be up to 2 spots available in the entry year (typically K) of a program and if more apply, a "Staff Waitlist" may also be offered.
For Magnet schools, if the number of siblings exceeds the number of spots available, there will be a sibling waitlist (rare).
Waitlist offers are valid for only 48 business hours, at which point if no answer is received, it is automatically turned down. After several cycles of waitlists are called, sometimes CPS Tier waitlists are consolidated into a general waitlist.
Remember- you can only accept one SEES and will not hear from others but for Choice, you can accept one and still hear from other lottery based schools later.  The waitlist process can extend well into the next school year (possibly until Feb).
CPS's 2nd Round- Who Should Jump In?

Families who missed the Dec application can apply R2 

Second round CPS applications offer up programs with unfilled seats and no waitlists. This is NOT for families waiting on movement for their 1st Round selections. After a list of schools is published with unfilled spots, the Elementary application will open June 1-5, and 2nd Round results will come on June 26.
While entry years spots for popular or well known Choice and SEES programs typically do not go to this 2nd Round application (formerly known as End of Year Citywide Options), sometimes less crowded or upper year spots can appear on the application, depending on openings.

Round 1 families should only enter Round 2 if they see a program they didn't originally include on their Round 1 application. You will maintain your Round 1 waitlists regardless. More details will be shared once Round 2 opens up on June 1.

Round 2 applications are online only, so if your child does not yet have a CPS Student ID, apply for one HERE by June 1 to be eligible.

Do NOT enter the 2nd Round Application if you are already on waitlists for your desired schools. Round 1 waitlists will continue through Feb 2021. Still confused? Contact Us to help you understand your school search options.
Tuition Based PreK Applications Open

Several CPS schools host 3 & 4 y.o. PK with tuition

For Fall 2020, families interested in Tuition Based CPS Preschools can apply via the TBPK process, but bear in mind that these programs do NOT guarantee space in the school's Kindergarten program.  They are typically most popular with families who want to send younger siblings to a preschool in the same school that older siblings attend. 

The following schools have TBPK for 2020-2021 and applications are open now, with selection criteria for entry HERE and a Handbook HERE. Tuition for all except Mayer is $15,275.
Alcott, Audubon, Disney II, Hamilton, Mayer (separate app, PK4 only, 7 hrs, due 5/23/20), Nettelhorst, Skinner West, South Loop

Other preschool programs housed in CPS Schools can be applied for via the Chicago Early Learning website (applications are not yet open for Fall 2020). Those programs also DO NOT guarantee spots for that school's kindergarten program.
 
Crowdsource to Learn About Schools

How do you navigate not seeing a school? Ask others!

It's hard to make a momentous choice for your child's future when you can't visit a school and get a "feel" for the environment.  If you have been offered a spot, typically schools may provide a virtual info & welcome session, but if that isn't enough, then ask experienced parents who have been in your shoes. While not a perfect alternative, blogs and forums such as Chicago School Options or the member-based NPN Discussion Forum allow you to pose questions and get knowledgeable responses from those with firsthand experience. 

Chicago School GPS has 30 Minute EXPRESS Phone consults as well that are perfect for weighing your options or getting a read on the likelihood of waitlist movement. Contact Us to schedule a consultation to ease your mind about your choices and next steps.
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