CPS- Application Time Approaching!

Written by: Donna Bracey

While some parents breath a sigh of relief that school is starting, others are anxiously biting their nails knowing that school selection time is also upon us.  Don’t worry- here are some guidelines on CPS preschool programs and their timelines.

There are 3 types of CPS preschool programs:  Magnet, Ready to Learn!, and Tuition-Based

Magnet Programs: 

CPS currently offers magnet preschool programs at 4 CPS schools:  Suder, Mayer, Drummond, and Inter-American.  These programs are controlled by CPS Office of Access and Enrollment, utilizing the Options for Knowledge process and application period that begins on October 1, 2013.  Visit their site for more information.

Suder, Mayer, and Drummond are all Montessori schools and the entry point for these programs is 3 years old.  Inter-American is a Spanish immersion school whose program begins at age 4.  Children applying for the Spanish immersion program must fill out a language questionnaire and will be screened for language proficiency.  For more information, call (773)553-2060.

Chicago Ready to Learn! (formerly Preschool for All):   

CPS has revamped its non-tuition based program formerly known as Preschool for All.  The new program is called Chicago: Ready to Learn!  There are two types of programs:  school based and community based.  CPS rolled out these changes effective April 3, 2013 with a very short application window.  There are some schools still accepting students for the 2013-2014 school year.  Application information is available here. For the 2014-2015 school year, applications are not available at this time- expect more details coming this early fall. For more information, please call (773)553-2010.

List of all of the Chicago:  Ready to Learn programs from 2013-2014 school year.

Tuition Based: 

CPS also offers a tuition based preschool program.  These programs are housed at 16 elementary schools.  Most tuition based programs are full day programs with hours generally from 8am to 5pm (this varies from school to school).  Children must be 3 by September 1st and fully potty trained in order to enter the program. 

Full day tuition for the 2014-2015 school year will be $12,220.  (Tuition for returning students will remain the same as the 2013-2014 year.)  Meals are not included in the cost.  A two-week, non-refundable deposit of $610 is due with the application.  Tuition payments will be billed on a monthly basis though the SMART system or you can pay it all up front and receive a two week discount.  Your deposit will only be returned if there is not a place for your child at the school or if the program is cancelled.  Applications will be accepted starting August 26, 2013 and admission is on a first come, first serve basis.  Check with each school because their admissions policies may vary.  For more information, call (773) 534-3846.

Note:  Only the Suder, Drummond, Mayer, and Inter-American magnet preschool programs guarantee automatic entry into the elementary school for kindergarten and beyond.  There is NO PREFERNCE for students who attend a Ready to Learn! or Tuition Based preschool program for elementary school. The open enrollment/magnet lottery and selective enrollment process will begin using the Options for Knowledge guidelines starting Oct. 1st. 

Have more questions on CPS and/or preschool & elementary school options?  Check out our Thursday, August 29th event with PREP Chicago (very limited spaces may be available- contact Jay@npnparents.org for details.)  Stay information with future School Choice events & the NPN School Fairs. Contact PREP Chicago to register for their enrichment programs or schedule a private parent consultation to get your school search questions answered.

Posted on August 23, 2013 at 10:16 PM