November 16, 2011
Chicago Public Schools (CPS) today announced an initiative to move to a single application process for all CPS high schools starting next fall, a move that will make it easier for parents whose children are transitioning from elementary to high school in the fall of 2013. The announcement is a major step in the new leadership’s efforts to create a more transparent and streamlined system to improve school quality in every neighborhood and drive student achievement for every child. The initiative was approved at today’s monthly Board meeting.
Currently, there are five different application processes for incoming high school students: one each for magnet, selective enrollment/military, Career and Technical Education (CTE), International Baccalaureate (IB) and open enrollment high schools. In the interest of providing the best services and school options for parents, students and schools, CPS will design and implement a centralized enrollment and choice process that is parent-friendly, efficient, equitable, transparent and which meets the needs of all schools.
While many of CPS’s application and enrollment functions have been centralized in recent years, the bulk of CPS high schools accept students via a decentralized process that was cumbersome for parents. The new single application will be easier for parents and students to navigate while cutting away the bureaucracy and the burden of actually having to physically go to each and every individual school to pick up an application.
“I have been all over the city listening to parents and one of their frustrations is trying to navigate a bureaucratic system riddled with policies, procedures and applications while trying to find the best school for their child,” said CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard. “Our goal is to streamline and centralize the process in a sensible way to make it easier for students to access a wide variety of school options available citywide.”
Throughout the course of this school year, CPS staff and stakeholders will work with the Institute for Innovation in Public School Choice to create a set of policies and operations to create the application and the new process. The Institute for Innovation in Public School Choice has worked with New York, Boston and Denver on their transitions to student-centered enrollment process, and is currently working with several other districts.
Chicago Public Schools serves 405,000 students in 675 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.