When I first heard the amazingly determined and insightful Wendy Katten of ILRYH utter those words about CPS enrollment–“Choice? Or chance?”–I realized that she was articulating in a very succinct way what many CPS parents have been thinking already.
Not a fan of Vegas, sorry.
CPS does have a breathtakingly diverse array of elementary school types. Almost too many. Here are some of the types that I’ve identified from their Options for Knowledge guide:
- Selective enrollment (test-in) Classical schools
- Selective enrollment (test-in) Regional Gifted Centers (RGC)
- Regional Gifted Centers (test-in) for English Language Learners (Spanish & Polish)
- Magnet schools where anyone from anywhere in the city can apply to a lottery for admission…sometimes.**
- Scholastic Academy Magnet
- World Language Magnet
- Arts & Technology Magnet
- Math, Science & Tech Magnet
- Math & Science Magnet
- Dual Language Immersion Magnet
- Literary & Writing Magnet
- Engineering Magnet
- Humanities & Arts Magnet
- International Baccalaureate (IB) Magnet
- Montessori Magnet
- Hybrid schools where an RGC or regular gifted (test-in) program is housed within the same building as a regular neighborhood or magnet school.
- Magnet Clusters, many take within area boundaries and allow applications from outside boundaries if open seats.
- Arts Magnet Cluster
- Arts & Technology Magnet Cluster
- Int’l Baccalaureate Magnet Cluster
- World Language Magnet Cluster
- Technology Magnet Cluster
- Tech & World Language Magnet Cluster
- Charter Schools, sometimes you can just apply, sometimes lottery.
- Contract Schools, sometimes you can just apply, sometimes lottery.
- Small Neighborhood Schools, sometimes you can just apply if you live in area, sometimes lottery.
- Regular Neighborhood Schools, have to take anyone that lives within boundaries.
**Stick with me here: some magnet schools only admit through (younger) sibling preference or lottery. Some take within area boundaries. Some have preference for area boundaries.
IN THEORY, all of this choice should be wonderful news for parents who do not want a “one size fits all” public education for their child/ren.
In practice, it is another story.
Continue to Part 2 of Know Your Context: CPS Access– Choice?