Category: Navigating Chicago Schools

How working moms can get involved with their child's school

As a mom of a rambunctious 3½-year-old girl and super-active 6-year-old boy and working full-time as a partner in family law, I’m often told that I “do it all.” The seemingly praiseworthy concept, while flattering, in no way rids me of mother’s guilt that plagues many of us who work outside the home. At all hours of the day, thoughts of "What experience did I miss out on today?" will creep across my desk, like when my son tells me about a class celebration that I had to miss due to a clie...

Posted on November 14, 2017 at 9:05 AM by Katy Mickelson

Kindergarten readiness is the key to long-term success

Kindergarten is a pivotal year for kids and families. Leading up to the big send-off, many parents feel tremendous pressure and spend countless hours worrying about where their child will go to school, if they are making the best educational choices for their family and how they will juggle a new schedule. 

Meanwhile, kindergarten students transition from their early childhood environment—whether it’s a childcare center, preschool or at home—to a more structured approach to learning in...

Posted on October 24, 2017 at 12:02 PM by Maura Daly

How to apply for CPS preschools

If you’re thinking about CPS for preschool next fall, the time to look into those programs is…now! There are different options available, with programs housed in select public elementary schools across the city. Most have already begun providing tours and scheduling open houses. It’s always best to call each school you are interested in to get the details on how to apply and/or get on their waitlist; some programs have not yet determined the number of seats that will be open for next fall...

Posted on September 26, 2017 at 10:40 AM by Didi Lewis

You went to the NPN School Fair. What's next in your search?

 

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

 

NPN's Virtual School Tours are a great way to supplement what you learned at the School Fair, and check out the schools you didn't see at the fair. You can browse by map location, or choose to sort schools by type or grade—all from the comfort of your couch!
Use NPN's school directory an...

Posted on September 25, 2017 at 8:00 AM

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