Three Months To Pick A Magnet

The CPS magnet/choice system is incomprehensibly Byzantine to many Chicago parents -- how many kinds of magnet and choice schools are there? -- and frustrating and crazy-making to those few parents who try and find a good school for their child but get turned down over and over. 

Well, the cycle is starting up again, with CPS now accepting applications that are due DECEMBER 22nd.  Standard applications are now available, downloaded from the website at or by calling 773-553-2060. The Options for Knowledge
guide can also be downloaded from the website and will be available
shortly at any CPS school, Chicago public library, park district office
or aldermans office.

A partial list of the various types of choice schools:  magnet elementary schools and high schools, elementary magnet cluster schools, and high school magnet programs, open enrollment schools, and schools and programs for advanced students, including Regional Gifted Centers, Classical Schools, Academic Centers, Selective Enrollment High Schools, and International Baccalaureate programs.

Speaking of which, gifted and enriched programs at elementary
schools, selective enrollment high schools, and military academies
require a special application. The application for gifted and enriched
programs at elementary schools is available directly from those schools
or by calling 773-553-2060.

Filed under: Events & Deadlines


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  • Yes, it is a little overwhelming. This year my daughter is in 8th grade, and we are embarking on this rather intimidating, intricate process. We attended the high school fair on Saturday, and since I didn't go into it with any preconceived notions, I was not really surprised to see literally thousands of unaccompanied kids running around the hall. It was, however, a fantastic day for McDonald's and Connie's, each of which had food lines out the door.

    We did, at least, acquire the dozen or so applications needed to apply to about 14 schools. As pointed out, various programs require different applications. Just to clarify further: The selective enrollment high schools and most military academies require a separate,now scantron (don't know if this is new),"selective enrollment" application. This is separate and apart from the applications required for possible admittance to say, Lincoln Park, Morgan Park, the Chicago Ag School, etc., etc. Each of these three schools, as well as many of the others, seem to require completion of their OWN particular application.

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