Author - Laura Baginski

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New CPS school ratings are out. But what do they mean?

On Friday, Chicago Public Schools released a lot of new data. While CPS's continued enrollment slide made the biggest headlines (enrollment is linked to how much funding each district receives), the new school ratings are likely more important to parents, especially those in the thick of school search. Find out where your school—or the schools you're considering for your child next year—ranks here. 

My son's school's rating dropped from a 1+ to a 1. That's disappointing, for sure, but ...

Posted on October 29, 2018 at 11:27 AM by Laura Baginski

Let's hear your thoughts on CPS's plan of action regarding sexual abuse

A week ago, the Chicago Tribune broke a story about the lack of response, action and follow-through regarding sexual abuse at Chicago Public Schools. Since this report broke, CPS has taken steps to address the issue, including sending this plan of action to community-based organizations like NPN. 

We're sharing this here with you so you can be aware of CPS's plan, and to facilitate a discussion about protecting children from abuse. What do you think about this plan of action? Do you think ...

Posted on June 08, 2018 at 9:44 AM by Laura Baginski

5 tips for the Developmental Differences Resource Fair

On Sunday, March 11, Developmental Differences Resource Fair brings together service providers, school options and other resources in one place that focus on serving parents of children with developmental differences (developmental delays, sensory processing disorder, autism, ADHD, PDD-NOS, mixed receptive-expressive language disorder, Down syndrome and physical disabilities). Register now to reserve your spot for this free fair!

Here are our top 5 tips to be prepared for the fair:

...

Posted on March 07, 2018 at 11:29 AM by Laura Baginski

The most popular NPN blog posts and forum threads of 2017

And you thought 2016 was tumultuous. 

The twists and turns of 2017 nearly gave us whiplash, from the impressive academic growth at CPS to its CEO's demise, to, well, nearly everything that happened in the U.S. government this year. Through it all, NPN members led lively discussions on these topics and many others, while our blog represented parent voices on perennial issues such as mind-numbing school commutes to potty-training. 

Here are the top NPN blog posts and forum threads of ...

Posted on December 27, 2017 at 12:00 PM by Laura Baginski

The best Chicago street fests for families

Do Division photo courtesy of Rep3

Summer is nearly here! In Chicago, that means plenty of cheap or free to entertain your kids outside in the glorious sunshine, especially at our city's ubiquitous summer street fests. Some fests are more family-friendly than others, so which outdoor bashes are best for bringing the little ones?

Mommy Nearest writer Rene Ryan came up with a fantastic list of the top 8 Chicago summer festivals for families, and she covers neighborhoods all over the c...

Posted on May 04, 2017 at 1:14 PM by Laura Baginski

Write for the next Parent to Parent newsletter | NPNparents.org

Chicago winters can be challenging for little ones who want to play outside—and for parents trying to come up with activities to keep their kids busy! Luckily, the January issue of Parent to Parent is full of ideas for fun at-home activities and ways to beat the winter blues. If you haven't received the issue in your mailbox yet, you will very soon!

We're already working on collecting stories from our members for our next issue, which comes out in May. Contribute your personal parenting st...

Posted on January 13, 2017 at 4:37 PM by Laura Baginski

Exclusive discount for Sprouts Academy Preschool | NPNparents.org

 

*PARENT PERK BY SPROUTS ACADEMY*

Sprouts Academy Preschool has taken a very unique approach to education. It is here that children ages 2 to 6 years old learn how to engage in a healthy and responsible lifestyle through daily exposure to learning projects, natural living green alternatives, harvesting school-grown food for healthy cooking and eating, as well as by taking a socially responsible stance in their environment, both within the school as well as the community around them...

Posted on January 10, 2017 at 12:58 PM by Laura Baginski

Keep your kids active this winter! | NPNparents.org

 

*PARENT PERK BY LIL' KICKERS*
 

Step onto the field during any Lil' Kickers class and you will find it transformed into a world created just for your child. Our well-trained coaches will lead your child through 50 minutes of highly creative, high energy and age-appropriate activities.

Because Lil' Kickers is first and foremost a child development program, our focus is helping your child build strong physical, intellectual and emotional skills that will help them be successful on...

Posted on January 02, 2017 at 7:48 AM by Laura Baginski

The 10 most-read NPN forum threads of 2016 | NPNparents.org

However you feel about the events of 2016, you can't say it was boring. NPN members on our discussion forum certainly reflected the year's tensions, drama and uncertainties, posting questions and comments about everything from the presidential election to the CPS teachers' strike that wasn't to concerns about violence in their neighborhood.

But many of the most popular posts on our forums also highlight the perennial issues of being a parent in Chicago: Is my neighborhood school any go...

Posted on December 29, 2016 at 10:14 AM by Laura Baginski

The 5 most popular NPN blog posts of 2016 | NPNparents.org

The most popular posts on the NPN blog this year had nothing to do with the presidential election, Prince or Angelina and Brad's divorce. Instead, they revolved around classic issues parents have been dealing with for ages: caring for special-needs kids, preschool, teachers' strikes and generally just trying to make raising kids in Chicago a bit easier.

5. The 1 essential skill kids should learn in preschool: Their ABCs? Colors? Shapes? Nope, nope and nope.

4. Childcare during the C...

Posted on December 27, 2016 at 1:30 PM by Laura Baginski