Member only videos
*Note: This web series is available to NPN members only. Not a member? Learn about the many member benefits and join now.
CPS 101: Preschool Options
A quality preschool program can be magical for both the child and their family, but first you have to get in to one. In this first installment of a four-part series that helps parents navigate Chicago Public Schools, Grace Lee Sawin of Chicago School GPS and Elizabeth Knutson of NPN discuss preschool programs in CPS, including exceptions to preschool. Learn about the two different programs, tuition (if applicable) and how to apply. Recorded in November 2018.
CPS 101: Neighborhood, Magnet Cluster, Open Enrollment, and Magnet Schools
The idea of applying to public schools can be hard to grasp and the variety of options can be overwhelming, but NPN can get you through it. In this second installment of a four-part series that helps parents navigate Chicago Public Schools, Grace Lee Sawin of Chicago School GPS and Elizabeth Knutson of NPN explain it all in a way you can understand and remember. They discuss most elementary school programs beginning in kindergarten in great depth. Selective enrollment elementary schools that require testing for entry (gifted, classical) are covered in the video CPS 101: Selective Enrollment Elementary Schools. Recorded November 2018.
CPS 101: Understanding Tiers
You’ve heard about tiers, but you aren’t sure what they are, which one you’re in, and if you should care. In this last installment of a four-part series that helps parents navigate Chicago Public Schools, Grace Lee Sawin of Chicago School GPS tells you how to look up your tier and explains how tiers affect the lottery, acceptance and waitlist systems. Recorded in February 2019.
CPS 101: Selective Enrollment Elementary Schools
What are selective enrollment schools? What is the difference between a classical and gifted school? What is the test like? How do the lottery selection and waitlist systems work? In this third installment of a four-part series that helps parents navigate Chicago Public Schools, Grace Lee Sawin of Chicago School GPS and Elizabeth Knutson of NPN take a deep dive into this topic to answer common questions and share their personal experience with the testing process. Recorded December 2018.
Grace Lee Sawin, Chicago Schools GPS: Not being a native of Chicago, Grace Lee Sawin had no idea how daunting it would be to find a great school fit for her girls. She quickly discovered how confounding the process was. After years of research and a few different schools for her daughters, she founded Chicago School GPS to help other families successfully navigate the ever-changing Chicago school landscape, from preschool to high school.
Elizabeth Knutson, NPN: Elizabeth joined NPN as its Executive Director in August 2016 and is responsible for the long-term strategic direction and day-to-day management of the organization. She has spent 13 years in member-based non-profits, most recently as the Director of Marketing at the American Planning Association and, before that, as the Director of Marketing at the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago. Elizabeth lives in Ravenswood Manor with her husband and two daughters.