OAE To Ensure Equitable Access to School Choice 

Students to have a variety of academic options this fall

April 15, 2013

Students who may be affected by the consolidation of underutilized schools have until April 19 to apply to Options for Knowledge – a CPS program that provides numerous educational program choices to meet the needs, interests and skill levels of all students.


Every child who may be affected by the consolidation of underutilized schools has now been assigned to a better performing welcoming school. However, in order to ensure that they have access to as many school options as possible this fall, these students may also apply for enrollment at schools outside their welcoming school.


“This is in no way mandatory,” said Kathryn Ellis, Executive Director of the Office of Access & Enrollment (OAE), which oversees the Options for Knowledge program. “All welcoming schools present a positive option for educating students this fall, and many parents will be completely satisfied with that. But out of respect for those who may want to explore additional options, we have reopened the application process.”


The original deadline for applying to the Options for Knowledge program was December 14, 2012. The deadline of April 19, 2013 applies only to those students who may be affected by the consolidating of underutilized schools. These students were provided with an application, instructions, and a list of eligible schools as part of their transition packets, and can also access these materials by attending one of the ongoing community meetings. Application materials will also be available at Report Card Pickup Day on April 17.


Students who may be affected by the consolidation of underutilized schools may apply to any magnet cluster or open-enrollment school that has available seats. Once all applications have been submitted, a lottery will be held at each eligible school on a grade-by-grade basis. Parents will be notified of the status of their child’s application in mid-May.


“For every school their child applies to, parents will receive either an ‘offer’ status, meaning that they have been awarded a place at the school, or a ‘waitlisted’ status showing exactly where they fall on the school’s waitlist,” said Kathryn Ellis. “As registration begins and enrollment is assessed, students will be called by schools in waitlist order.”


Parents whose children do not receive placement through the Options for Knowledge lottery will have another opportunity to apply during CPS’ End of Year Options Process. Schools that still have open seats at that time will inform OAE of their availability, and the application process will once again reopen. Parents should expect this process to begin sometime in June.


For more information on the Options for Knowledge program, or to obtain an application, call OAE at (773) 553-2060.