Category: Navigating Chicago Schools

What it's like to have 2 kids at different schools

Ever wonder what a “typical” day is like for a mom with two school-aged kids attending two different schools in two vastly different neighborhoods? We are a family in the South Loop, with a first-grader and preschooler. When our son received an offer to attend a highly-regarded CPS Selective Enrollment Elementary School on the far South Side last year, we were ecstatic about his opportunity but also had to give much consideration to how accepting that spot would turn our daily routine ups...

Posted on September 11, 2017 at 9:26 AM by Didi Lewis

Getting into Harvard doesn't need to start in preschool

Parenting a toddler can be hard enough without the pressures of finding that “perfect” school for your curious, inquisitive, rambunctious and eager little one. You’ve heard the rumors before: ”Get into the right school now so that your path to Harvard is assured. If you miss your window, you’ve missed your chance!” But is that really true? Is there even such a thing as a “golden ticket” to those coveted universities? Are we doomed to let go of those lofty dreams if we send our child to th...

Posted on August 28, 2017 at 9:19 AM by Chicago School GPS

How to handle back-to-school transitions & separation anxiety

As a kid, I loved buying supplies for the new school year, picking out my outfit for the first day and wondering what my new teacher would be like. Not all children feel the same way as I did (including my own) and many start feeling worried about the transition. Whether your child is starting school for the first time or is just one of those kids who struggles with new routines, here are some suggestions for how to make the back-to-school transition go a little more smoothly.

Talk abo...

Posted on August 14, 2017 at 9:09 AM by Julie Safranski

Focus on mistakes to help your child learn

If you are the parent of a child who is struggling with learning and/or attention and you are not getting support, answers or a plan of action from the school, you are not alone. Approximately 20% of school-aged children face some learning challenge during their academic careers. That’s 10 million children in the U.S. alone!

Many children, especially those without a diagnosis or clear-cut, identified challenge, are often not given the necessary support for their learning needs in the s...

Posted on August 08, 2017 at 1:18 PM by Heather Bragg

Play all day? That's exactly what your preschooler should be doing

“Play is often talked about is if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.” —Fred Rogers

As a parent, I always thought play is play. Sure, I knew kids learn through play—after all, that’s pretty much what preschoolers do all day—but it looked to me as if they were simply imitating what they saw adults doing, often turning recent experiences into play. When I was a child and my whole family got very ill wit...

Posted on May 18, 2017 at 1:31 PM by Annette Gendler

Want to make your community better? Consider your neighborhood school

Photo credit: Lucelia Ribeiro/Flickr

There is a lot of agreement on the NPN forum that Betsy DeVos is a worrisome choice to head up the U.S. Department of Education. No doubt she would continue her crusade to widely promote charters and tax-payer–funded vouchers for private and religious schools. But arguably the future of Chicago Public Schools will have more to do with how we act locally than what DeVos or some equally anti-public education secretary does. 

This January '16 Trib a...

Posted on March 15, 2017 at 10:29 AM by Kandie Alter

How to advocate for your special-needs child in CPS

Photo credit: US Department of Education/Flickr

 

As Chicago parents, we have many, many questions about our children’s education.

 

These questions start before our little ones are even born: Should I send my child to CPS, look at private schools, or move to the suburbs? What is my local school? Is it “good”?

 

Parents of diverse learners face many more questions as their children grow: How will my child get her needs met once she is in school? Is CPS up to the challeng...

Posted on March 14, 2017 at 12:32 PM by Carrie Shonk

What to expect from CPS notification letters | NPNparents.org

For Chicago parents who have applied for seats at Open Enrollment, Magnet, Magnet Cluster and Selective Enrollment Chicago Public Schools for the 2017-2018 school year, the countdown is underway for the CPS notification date. Let the nail-biting begin!

April 3, 2017 is the date to mark on your calendar. According to an updated notiifcation process on the CPS Office of Access and Enrollment’s website: Notification letters for elementary school will be released no later than April 3. Not...

Posted on March 14, 2017 at 12:06 AM by Didi Lewis

Help your kids love math, even if you don't | NPNparents.org

*SPONSORED BY MATHNASIUM*
 

Some people are simply math lovers. Many parents have a knack for numbers and can’t wait to share in the joys of fractions, decimals and differential equations with their kids. Others may recall their own struggles with math in school and dread the day their kids ask for help with math homework.

Whatever your personal feelings towards math, one thing is true: Math is a huge part of your child’s life in school and beyond, and YOU set the example when it c...

Posted on January 12, 2017 at 10:06 AM

Begin your child's literacy journey early | NPNparents.org

 

*SPONSORED BY SONNETS ACADEMY*
 

Confidence in the ability to communicate effectively empowers children to approach new milestones in social and emotional learning with ease. Similarly, children who love reading from the start approach lifelong learning eagerly and confidently. Language, communication and literacy development unfold simultaneously and benefit tremendously from a nurturing early learning environment—beginning in infancy and transitioning smoothly from toddlers to ...

Posted on January 05, 2017 at 1:19 PM