Office of Access and Enrollment

Apply to Schools and Programs

The Office of Access and Enrollment manages the application, testing, selection and notification process for the following schools and programs.

Select a school for information on the application and selection process.

Preschool programs for three- and four-year-olds are available at many Chicago public schools.

There are four magnet preschool programs, at the following schools:

  • Drummond Montessori Magnet School (three- and four-year-old program)
  • Inter-American Magnet School (four-year-old program only)
  • Mayer Magnet School (three- and four-year-old program)
  • Suder Magnet School (three- and four-year-old program)

At these four schools ONLY, the preschool program feeds directly into kindergarten. (This means that preschool students enrolled in these schools do not have to submit an application in order to attend kindergarten at the school where they are enrolled.) For instructions on how to apply to the preschool programs at these four schools, see the information below:

  • The application period begins October 3, 2016, and ends December 9, 2016.
  • You have a choice of applying through the online application portal, or by using a paper application. (We recommend the online portal – it’s easier, faster, reduces chances for error, and provides email confirmation and online notification.)
  • There is no testing required for magnet schools ‐ students are selected via computerized lottery, in accordance with the tier system of the Chicago Public Schools.
  • Your child’s application notification letter will be released on April 3, 2017, to notify you whether or not your child received an offer from any of the schools to which you applied. If you apply ONLINE, your child’s letter will be accessible via the online portal. If you apply via PAPER application, your child’s letter will be mailed to your home on April 3, 2017 (note this is the date that the letter will be MAILED, not received.)

Next, see the step-by-step instructions below, for both the online process and the paper process, to apply to the four magnet preschool programs. Throughout the instructions, you will also find application tips ‐ just click the links!

ONLINE PROCESS:

Step 1:Starting October 3rd, go to the online portal, apply.cps.edu, and click “Apply Online” under Step 1. This will allow you to open your account, create your password, and request your Personal Identification Number (PIN), which will be mailed to your home.

Step 2:After you receive your PIN, and access the online portal, click the APPLY button for the Magnet, Magnet Cluster and Open Enrollment Schools to select the schools to which your child is applying. You can apply to up to three schools for three-year-olds and up to four schools for four-year-olds. (To apply to any other preschools, see the bottom of this page for more information.)

Step 3:After you successfully submit your application, the online portal will show the word “Completed” under the status for applying. You will also receive an email confirmation. If the online portal shows “Not Completed,” you have not successfully submitted your application.

PAPER PROCESS:

Step 1:Go to the home page for the Office of Access and Enrollment and click ‘Apply’ and ‘Paper Applications’ to download and print the Standard Elementary Schools application.

Step 2:Complete the application and rank the schools in order of your preference. You can apply to up to three schools for three-year-olds and up to four schools for four-year-olds. (To apply to any other preschools, see the bottom of this page for more information.) Be sure to sign the application.

Step 3 :Submit the application to the Office of Access and Enrollment. Paper applications can be mailed or hand-delivered only.

PRESCHOOL PROGRAMS AT ALL OTHER SCHOOLS:

To apply to the preschool program at any other Chicago public school, you will apply through the Chicago Early Learning application process, which takes place in the spring. For more information, visit chicagoearlylearning.org. For information on schools that offer tuition-based preschool programs, contact the Office of Early Childhood Education at 773-553-2010. Note that if your child is enrolled in a preschool program through the Chicago Early Learning process or the tuition-based preschool program, and you want him/her to remain in that school for kindergarten, you will need to submit an application for kindergarten the year before your child will start kindergarten. Students in these preschool programs DO NOT automatically continue into kindergarten.

Magnet Schools
Specialize in one particular area, such as math/science, Montessori, or Humanities. In most cases, magnet schools do not have neighborhood attendance boundaries. Seats are filled through the application and computerized lottery selection process.

Magnet Cluster Schools
A neighborhood school that specializes in one particular area of the curriculum, such as technology, world language, or fine and performing arts. Magnet cluster schools accept students who live within their neighborhood attendance boundary. Available seats for students who live outside of the boundary are filled through the application and computerized lottery selection process.

Open Enrollment Schools
A neighborhood school that does not specialize in a particular area of the curriculum. Open enrollment schools accept students who live within their neighborhood attendance boundary. Available seats for students who live outside of the boundary are filled through the application and computerized lottery selection process.

Selective Enrollment Elementary Schools
Consists of five types of schools/programs: Regional Gifted Centers, Regional Gifted Centers for English Learners, Classical Schools, the International Gifted Program, and Academic Centers. These schools are designed for academically advanced students and testing is required.

College and Career Academies
Students receive a college-preparatory curriculum and a career-focused education in different fields.

International Baccalaureate Schools
IB programs encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate, and lifelong learners.

Magnet High Schools and Programs
Magnet High Schools offer one or more specialty programs. They do not have neighborhood attendance boundaries (with the exception of Curie Metropolitan High School), and they accept students from throughout the city.

Military Academies
Military Academies prepare students for college and subsequent careers in a structured environment.

Selective Enrollment High Schools
Selective Enrollment High Schools provide academically advanced students with a challenging college preparatory experience. Each of the Selective Enrollment High Schools offers a rigorous curriculum with mainly honors and Advanced Placement (AP) courses.

A student entering a Chicago public school at the 10th, 11th, or 12th grade is considered to be a transfer student.

Each high school establishes its own guidelines and requirements for transfer students.

You will need to directly contact the school(s) in which you are interested for information on transfer opportunities.

Page Last Modified on Thursday, October 13, 2016