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Navigating Chicago Public School Enrollment: Your Path to Education

Enrolling your child in a Chicago Public School (CPS) is a pivotal step in their educational journey. With a commitment to providing quality education for children from birth to age 21, CPS offers a diverse array of programs and options to meet the needs of every student. Whether you're considering a neighborhood school or exploring specialized programs, this guide will help you understand the enrollment process and find the right fit for your child's education.

Exploring School Options

CPS recognizes the importance of choice and tailoring education to individual preferences. Chicago students have the option to attend their neighborhood school's general education program or apply to attend any eligible school within the city with available seats. The first step is to find a school that aligns with your child's needs and aspirations.

Enrolling in Your Chicago Public Schools Neighborhood School

For students in grades K-12, a guaranteed seat awaits in the general education program of their neighborhood school. A separate application is not required. Simply contact the school directly to initiate the enrollment process. It's worth noting that pre-K students do not have a guaranteed seat in their neighborhood school and should apply through the Chicago Early Learning website. Find Your Neighborhood School for GoCPS HERE.

Applying to Various CPS Schools with GoCPS

The GoCPS platform simplifies the process of applying to numerous CPS schools and programs using one online platform. Research your options, schedule admissions screenings, submit your application, and await your offers all through this user-friendly platform.

By Grade: Finding the Right Fit

GoCPS offers a diverse range of programs from pre-K through 12th grade, each designed to meet the unique needs of students at different stages of their academic journey.

  • Pre-K (Ages Birth – 5): GoCPS partners with the City of Chicago and other organizations to provide high-quality preschool and childcare programs. These programs lay the foundation for a lifelong passion for learning by working collaboratively with families and setting high expectations.  Apply to Pre-K HERE.
  • Elementary (Grades K – 8): Elementary schools focus on fostering social and cognitive skills. With over 470 elementary schools, CPS offers various program options to cater to students' academic interests.
  • High School (Grades 9 – 12): High schools offer rigorous curricula, extracurricular activities, and counseling resources to prepare students for success beyond graduation. More than 160 high schools offer diverse program options to cater to students' academic pursuits.

Enrollment Requirements

When enrolling a student in school for the first time, certain documentation is required. Make sure you have the necessary paperwork to facilitate the enrollment process.

GoCPS and Chicago Early Learning (CEL)

The GoCPS platform covers applications to all district and charter high schools, as well as district elementary schools. On the other hand, Chicago Early Learning (CEL) offers access to early childhood education options for children from prenatal to 5 years old.

Other Enrollment Pathways

CPS provides pathways for various scenarios:

  • Re-engagement to High School: Students who've become disengaged are encouraged to re-engage at their last school of enrollment. CPS offers options to explore available pathways for completing high school education.
  • Students in Temporary Living Situations (STLS): CPS assists students facing challenges due to temporary housing situations, ensuring they receive the education they deserve.
  • Virtual Academy: The Virtual Academy caters to students with medical conditions that benefit from a virtual learning environment.

Find the Right Fit

With a searchable map, you can explore different schools and find detailed information about programs, admissions requirements, extracurricular activities, support services, and school performance reports.

Additional Resources

CPS offers a range of resources, from back-to-school information to special education support, student health services, parent engagement opportunities, college credit options, career and technical education, student records, and services for newcomers and foreign students.

Navigating CPS enrollment is a dynamic journey that empowers you to choose the best educational path for your child. By understanding the available options, applying through appropriate channels, and leveraging the resources provided, you're setting the stage for a successful academic experience for your child in the vibrant city of Chicago.

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