Determine your child's educational needs and objectives
How do you decide which school is right for your child? Only you know what is most important to your family—class size, test scores, school atmosphere, proximity to your home, before- and after-school programs, a specific academic focus, or other factors. In order to determine your child's educational needs, you and your family should:
- Consider your child's special talents, strengths and requirements. CPS offers a variety of programs that appeal to students' interests and talents.
- Ask, "what does he or she need to succeed?" It is the responsibility of all of us - parents, teachers, community members, and students - to work together to help every child succeed. Children benefit greatly from loving, supportive relationships at home and at school.
Become familiar with your neighborhood school
Every child residing in Chicago has a CPS neighborhood school. Each neighborhood school has an attendance boundary. Generally, all students who live within the attendance boundary may attend the school. To identify your neighborhood school, visit the school locator website.
- Visit the school to meet with the school principal and staff. Families who explore their education options at CPS may find that their neighborhood school is the best choice -- or that another neighborhood school has an interesting program open to students citywide.
- Talk to community groups that do fairs where you can learn more about a school.
- Get feedback from other parents, family, and friends.
Identify your top choices
You may also want to consider other schools based on your child's needs and objectives. Use this search to find a school by zip code, school name, type, performance rating, or program.
- Learn about the options beyond your neighborhood school by visiting the Schools section.
- Attend open house events. Chicago public schools hold open houses for prospective parents and students in the fall and winter, and some even offer them year-round.
- Evaluate and narrow your list of choices. Here are some tips on how to evaluate a school.