FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, August 23, 2017
CPS Office of Communications
CHICAGO – As the next step in simplifying and equalizing the CPS high school application process, families can now activate students’ accounts in GoCPS, the district’s new system for applying to school, and see all the programs their children will be eligible to apply to for the 2018-19 school year.
The application process itself opens Oct. 2, the first date that students can submit applications to schools. At that time, families can use a single application hosted on GoCPS to apply to every district and charter high school, all district-run elementary schools and the four magnet pre-k programs.
“For years, Chicago families have expressed frustration over the highly complicated patchwork of high school applications, and we’re going to make it easier, more transparent and more equitable to get into high school,” said CPS Chief Education Officer Dr. Janice K. Jackson. “Whether it was finding out about eligibility too late or sorting through hundreds of separate applications and deadlines to individual high schools, families have long struggled with complicated barriers. GoCPS will address these concerns and make it easier for families to identify and apply to the programs that best meet the needs of their children.”
During the account activation phase of the new high school application process, families can research and prepare for applying to schools in October. Through the newly released activation features, families can:
Create a username and password;
Create their primary parent/guardian profile;
Create profiles for each high school student in their family;
View the programs their children are eligible to apply to;
Verify that student records are accurate, and request updates and corrections; and
“Favorite” top programs that they are interested in applying to in October.
Prior to GoCPS, high school applicants normally did not find out what programs they are eligible to apply to until the third week in September, which gave them only a few short weeks to research and choose programs before applications opened in October. Allowing 8th grade families to activate their accounts and view student program eligibility in August will significantly expand this important research window, as well as the window to verify student data records and request updates or changes that can affect eligibility. This will improve access and equity for families by reducing barriers to identifying and applying to schools throughout the city.
Families can begin creating their accounts by using the activation code that was sent home with current CPS students at the end of last school year. Activation codes are data security tools that ensure student records for current CPS students are matched to the right family account. If a family does not have a student’s activation code on hand, they can contact the Office of Access and Enrollment’s call center to have it reissued. The call center can be reached at 773-553-2060 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Activation codes will also be included with the eligibility letters that will be distributed to students at school in September.
Non-CPS students do not need an activation code to open their account, but they will be prompted to schedule NWEA MAP testing in order for CPS to determine their eligibility for programs.
On Oct. 2, when applications can be submitted, families can select the high school programs where students will apply, rank them in order of preference and submit a single application that covers all the high schools. Students will be matched to the highest ranked program on their application that they qualify for and that has available seats.
In March 2018, students will receive a single best offer to the non-selective enrollment program they match with; and if they are eligible, they will receive a separate offer to the selective enrollment program they match with. If a student does not match with any programs on their application, or does not apply to any programs at all, they are guaranteed a spot at their neighborhood school. Students do not have to apply to attend their neighborhood school, but they are strongly encouraged to select and rank them along with all other programs they are applying to.
GoCPS will also host the current process for applying to elementary schools to allow families to use a single application site for all their children, but the application, selection, and notification processes for elementary schools will not change.
To begin the account activation process and learn more about GoCPS, please visit www.go.cps.edu
NOTE: A movie file that includes footage of the new GoCPS features can be found at https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3kZ8RrQYt_fWnM5Mmh5bW9FUzQ/view?usp=sharing
Chicago Public Schools serves 381,000 students in 652 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.