Category: Navigating Chicago Schools

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

How to apply to a CPS school in 5 easy steps | NPNparents.org

Photo credit: Bruno Girin/Flickr

CPS application season is well under way! The Chicago Public Schools application deadline for the 2017-2018 school year is Friday, December 9, 2016.  Students entering kindergarten through 8th grade may apply for open seats at schools across the city, with a limited number of pre-k options available as well (click here for the basics on CPS preschool). 

In CPS, there are two main types of schools to which you can apply:


Magnet schools and pr...

Posted on November 08, 2016 at 8:49 AM by Didi Lewis

You will find the right school for your child | NPNparents.org

Photo credit: crazybananas/Flickr

 

One of the things I both love and find infuriating about raising kids in the city of Chicago is school choice. I grew up in a small suburb outside of Boston and you simply went to the school that was assigned to your neighborhood—one of the three that were available. A few outliers went to one of the local Catholic schools, and even fewer attended the private boarding school down the road.

 

Raising, and educating, children in the city of Ch...

Posted on November 07, 2016 at 8:30 AM by Cate White

Why prekindergarten is key for child development | NPNparents.org

*SPONSORED BY SONNETS ACADEMY*
 

During years four and five, children thrive through creative exploration and the desire to gain new experiences. They are learning to be more self-reliant and are seeking independence. They approach each day with curiosity—looking to expand their understanding of the world around them. Their language and communication skills are expanding rapidly, and they find gratification in sharing their new thoughts and ideas with peers and adults.

Prekindergar...

Posted on October 20, 2016 at 9:29 AM

You went to NPN's School Fair. Now what? | NPNparents.org

 

You've had some time since the Annual Preschool & Elementary School Fair to decompress. Now what? Your search most likey will not stop now. Here are some additional steps you should consider. 

 

Use NPN's school directory and create a My Directory in your NPN account. You can customize your search, narrow it down, save a list and even take a look at where the schools are located on a Google map. This is the only comprehensive school directory in Chicago. Use it! 
Weren...

Posted on October 17, 2016 at 8:00 AM