Tag Archives: chicago schools

CPS 2016-2017 School Year Registration Begins Tomorrow!

IMG_1719-3

Don’t forget!!  Registration begins tomorrow and runs through December 11th.

If this is your first time enrolling you must request a PIN beginning tomorrow, Thursday, 10/1/15.

Go to the CPS website and follow the instructions: CPS 2016-2017 Registration

If you are applying to schools outside of your neighborhood, remember to apply early!

Also, if you are going for the tuition based preschool program it is wise to go into the school TOMORROW!  These programs tend to fill up the first day, possibly in the first hours of registration.  In my neighborhood school they said the admissions office will be packed the day of, so come early and come prepared with checkbook in hand!

Good luck!!

Enjoy Chicago,

Juliana

The Yeager Team: A Chicago Real Estate Family

We Live Here, We Work Here, We Are Raising Our Kids Here!
Residential Real Estate Sales | http://www.atproperties.com/agents/julianayeager | http://www.theyeagerteam.com

Applications for the CPS 2015-2016 school year due tomorrow!

IMG_1719-3.JPG
Don’t delay, apps are due tomorrow! For specific details and very useful information visit the Chicago School GPS website. Or you can click the link below for quick access.

Good luck everyone!!

Chicago School GPS CPS 2015-2016 application

Enjoy Chicago,

Juliana

The Yeager Team: A Chicago Real Estate Family

We Live Here, We Work Here, We Are Raising Our Kids Here!
Residential Real Estate Sales | http://www.atproperties.com/agents/julianayeager | http://www.theyeagerteam.com

Spotlight: Magnet Schools

UnknownWell we did it, we sold our condo!  That is a whole slew of posts on its own, and we’ll get to that later, however even though I have my ear to the ground in Real Estate I too have to pop into a few open houses now and again.  I bundled the kids and went out yesterday.  I struck up a conversation with another Chicago mom house hunting and we of course got onto the topic of schools.  I asked her if she were to buy in that particular neighborhood where would she send her child and she said the nearby magnet school would be the only option.  Since I’m still navigating the ins and outs of CPS I think we both thought our kids would simply test in and we would send them there.  We shared a laugh and stated we should keep giving our kids puzzles to prepare them.  I started to think about this and wondered ‘was testing in all we had to do to send our child to a magnet school’?  I needed answers.

I find the CPS website completely overwhelming and find that it is easier to talk to real people that have been through it.  A colleague of mine is a Chicago mom and an expert on CPS schools.  She has been through it herself, for her now college bound daughter and her 3rd grade son.   I’ll have a detailed interview with her in another post.  I asked her about her experience with magnets.  Her daughter got into a magnet school and to my surprise there is no testing at all. All it is a lottery system, yup you just submit an application and cross your fingers that your child gets in.  To my knowledge it is proximity to the school that is factored first, however to me there are still questions about the actual criteria CPS uses when selecting the children.  From my colleagues experience it is based on zip code and demographics for the neighborhood you live in.  For example, CPS could say ‘this school could use 6 kids from xx zip code and 4 from xx zip code’, however it is hard to know why.

If you apply and your child doesn’t get in, that doesn’t mean you have to give up either.  You can appeal the application and fight for your child.  It is a pain and you first have to submit a written appeal and if that doesn’t work you can schedule a hearing downtown and probably a lot of rigamarole, but it can be worth it, or at least try.

Magnet cluster schools will accept neighborhood kids first and then open the school to a lottery for kids that live out of the boundaries.

So if the best school in your current or potential neighborhood is a magnet school, you will want to have a fallback option just in case.  Many schools have open enrollment, however a lot of these schools have blossomed over the years and the open enrollment has since closed.  Check the schools websites for those options.

Also, check out one of my favorite Chicago mom blogger website for more answers to the many many questions we have about CPS. http://cpsobsessed.com/the-basics-of-cps/

So if you are house hunting keep schools in mind when you are looking.   Buying in a neighborhood with a school that is already established where you just send your kids there can make your life easier and less stressful, but this can drive up the price of homes as well.  Talk to your Realtor about these options, however if you don’t have one contact me for help on that front.

And remember…with a little legwork and navigating you can send your child to one of the many great public schools and continue to raise your kids in Chicago.

Juliana

The Yeager Team:  A Chicago Real Estate Family 

We Live here, We Work Here, We Are Raising Our Kids Here

Residential Real Estate Sales   |     http://www.atproperties.com/agents/julianayeager      |  http://www.theyeagerteam.com

States Best and Worst Schools Posted

Education Weekly just posted the quality rankings for each states K-12 education system.  The rankings are based on {taken directly from the education weekly website} “The online version of Quality Counts 2014 provides updated state scores and letter grades for chance for success, K-12 achievement, and school finance.” “….the {K-12 achievement} index analyzes results across three crucial dimensions: current state performance, improvements over time, and equity as measured by poverty-based achievement gaps. As a result, states are rewarded for raising scores over time and narrowing achievement gaps, as well as for posting high rankings for current levels of performance.”  For more details on the other categories check out the link and PDF pages.

Illinois ranks as follows

Chance for Success: 18th & B-

K-12 Achievement:  26th & C-

School Finance: 19th & C+

Enjoy Chicago,

Juliana

The Yeager Team:  A Chicago Real Estate Family 

We Live here, We Work Here, We Are Raising Our Kids Here

Residential Real Estate Sales   |     http://www.atproperties.com/agents/julianayeager      |  http://www.theyeagerteam.com

I’m Back…And it’s time to Act Now for 2014 Chicago School Enrollment!

After a maternity leave that felt like it went in the blink of an eye, I’m back to help my fellow Chicago families navigate raising our kids in this amazing city.

preschool

It has creeped up on us again and the time is now to schedule your school tours and begin applying for CPS or private school.  If you are like us and your child will be 3 by September 1, 2014 you can enroll him/her in pre-school.  There are many options with CPS if you decide to go that route.  There is the tuition based option (like our neighborhood school) or pre-school for all option like many of the schools surrounding us.  If you live in the boundary for your desired school applications are being accepted as of 10/1!!  If you are out of the area typically applications are being accepted as of January 6th 2014.

The tuition based program is going to run you $12,220 for the school year (minus meals which must be purchased separately or brought from home).  Your child must be completely potty trained to be applicable.  This is a full day program open from 7:30-5:30 where the bulk of the learning is from 8:45-1:30.  Your child doesn’t have to stay the entire time, but it is nice for working moms and dads.  Here is the link for an application: http://www.cps.edu/SiteCollectionDocuments/TuitionBasedApplication2014-15.pdf

The pre-school for all program enrollment begins in January 2014.  This is a state funded program, however as of last year they have instituted tuition on a sliding scale based on your household income.  For example if you are a family of 4 and make an annual household income of $100,000 your tuition is $427.27/month or $3956.23 for the school year (depending on how many days, I roughly based it off of 9.25 months).  It’s quite the discount compared to the tuition based program however it is only a 2 hour and 40 minute program 5 days a week.  Here is the link for an application: http://www.cps.edu/Schools/Enroll_in_a_school/Choose/Application_process/Pages/Applicationproceduresforpreschool.aspx

Click this link to see what your tuition/fee would be: http://www.cps.edu/Schools/EarlyChildhood/Pages/EarlyChildhoodCalculator.aspx

lThe third option is to go private.  We opted to go this route for this school year because there was an option with the Catholic School programs for kids under 3 years old.  I have to say that the ease of enrollment was a breeze and the program is wonderful.  They aren’t as cut-throat with their deadlines, especially if you are a parishioner of the Church.  Also, there are many Catholic schools throughout the city which give you plenty of options to find a school close to where you live.  We are leaning toward this route again next year.  For our school the program next year will run about $5700 3 days a week for 3 hours.  I also like that it isn’t as intense as a 5 day a week program.  This may not be for everyone, but I like the idea of easing my child into the school structure at a slower pace.  Check out your local church and school website to see if it is something you want to look into further.  Most schools are now accepting applications for the 2014-15 school year.

Of course there are many montessori school options out there as well.  I don’t have personal experience with these schools, but the one close to us in North Center has a Monday – Friday 1/2 day (8:30-11:30 @ $8110 and a full day option (8:30-3:15 @ $10,170).  This is a comparable option to weigh against the CPS tuition based program. http://www.chicagomontessori.org/tuition/

Enjoy Chicago,

Juliana

The Yeager Team:  A Chicago Real Estate Family Helping Chicagoans Move 

 

To PreSchool or Not to PreSchool

preschool

I follow a blog called CPSobsessed and the topic of pre-school was on the agenda.  Even though it is only March, now is the time to start researching the schools in your area where you may want to send your child for the 2014/15 school year.  CPS starts taking applications for children that will be 3 by September 1, 2014 in September of this year, 2013.  It is a daunting task since it is a whopping year in advance.  I feel like we are constantly living in the moment with our toddler that 2014 feels light years away, however we must dive in if this is the route you want to go.  Even the private schools have 9-12 month deadlines prior to the 2014 school year, so you should start looking at all your options.

What I loved in CPSobsessed recent post were the comments, all 111 of them!  It was really interesting to see what many parents and teachers thought about pre-school.  Many thought that it was a waste of money to send their child to a pricey pre-school, while the teachers could really see the difference in the child that went to a ‘good’ preschool vs. one that either didn’t go to preschool at all or just an average preschool.

If you are inclined to send your child to preschool but also need daycare, the tuition based CPS programs may be a great option, especially if you only have one child.  That program has a full day where 1/2 the day is devoted to preschool curriculum and the other 1/2 (roughly) is play based learning and care.  If you have 2 then you may be spending double duty for child care for the little one and the preschool aged child.  For us, we decided to ease our toddler into the schooling system, more so to get him used to the structure of school, socialization and the like.  I think our expectations are realistic rather than thinking he is going to become a world scholar at 3 due to preschool.  Both my husband and I went to nursery school and preschool, so it is something we want our children to have.

We have decided to go the Catholic school route for Sept. 2013 (transitions program for kids under 3 for 2 hours/day for 2 days/week), but I’m still researching our options for 2014 when he meets the 3 year old age and potty trained requirements.  I would love to put my tax dollars to work and get him into a public (aka free) preschool, however many CPS schools are eliminating the preschool program and/or becoming tuition based (apx $12,000/year for 5 full days a week).  I’m still not sure how the requirements work for the free preschool as there may be certain salary requirements in order to be applicable for the free preschool (ex: you can’t make more than $60k/year).  We should find out more on the CPS changes by the end of this month.  I’ll continue to update you on the schools in our area (Lakeview/North Center), but please comment on the schools in your area.

Check out this blog and come to your own conclusions on what route you want to go.  (http://cpsobsessed.com/2013/03/10/back-to-the-begining-a-pre-k-post/)

Enjoy Chicago,

Juliana

The Yeager Team:  A Chicago Real Estate Family Helping Chicagoans Move 

Toddlers and Babies and Toys OH MY!

So you’ve expanded your beautiful family, but do you now feel like the walls are closing in on you?  It is possible to move on to bigger and better things.  Sometimes we all drive around this gorgeous city and see the multi-million dollar homes and think ‘where do I fit in’…well if it is the single family you’re after but aren’t after the $1M+ price tag, there are other options available.

First, you want to consider your target location (or 2) that fits your families needs.  For many Chicago families schools tops the list when picking out a location.  We specialize on the North Side and the same schools always seem to top clients lists: Bell (North Center), Burley (West Lakeview), Blaine (Southport Corridor), Audubon (Roscoe Village), Drummond (Bucktown), Hawthorne (Lakeview) & Coonley (North Center).  All of these schools are great, but if your kids are really little and not ready for school for a couple of years, I would even consider some up and coming schools like Hamilton (West Lakeview), Waters (Ravenswood/Lincoln Square), Burr (Bucktown), Pritzker (Wicker Park), McPherson (Ravenswood) & Jahn (Roscoe Village).  The top schools are ranked 8-10 where the latter are around 5-6, however many of the 5-6 ranked schools also come with more affordable homes.  Furthermore, once your child is school age that 5-6 could be a 7-8 ranked school and with better schools come higher priced homes and that is both great for your child and your biggest investment, your home!

Take Audubon for example, just a few years ago it was ranked a 5 and now it is an 8.  It definitely helps that neighborhood families are sending their kids there, but if the right principle and neighborhood/parent support is in place it means great things for the school.

If you are dead set on a school like Bell or Burley and you want out of your current home there are many other creative options.

1. A large condo:  If you are renting or in a 1 or 2 bedroom and your family is expanding either by marriage and kids to follow or your kids are already in tow, a large condo is a great option!  The duplex down is a great choice as they usually have 3+ bedrooms, 2 baths and plenty of room to
roam.  This way if you are a budding family or already grown you will have room to continue growing and not feel like you are growing right out of your home.  You can find homes like this ranging, on average, from $350,000 – $599,000.

2. A Townhouse:  If you are already in a condo and ready to move on to something different a town home is a great stepping stone to get more space, less shared walls, attached garage and more outdoor space.  Association fees are typically lower in town home communities.  A typical large townhouse has 3+ bedrooms plus a den or rec area, attached garage and at least 2.5 bathrooms.  The average price range for townhouses in these school districts range from $500,000 – $750,000

3. Small Single Family:  Also known as the starter home, a small house may be a great option when looking to buy.  You may only get 2-3 bedrooms and 1+ bath, but you get land and a huge chunk of value is in the land.  The going rate for land in these areas starts at $350,000 which is the price of many condos!  You can always rehab and expand your home throughout the years, but getting in the location you want, a yard and no HOA fees are very appealing to many buyers.  The average price range for a small house can start at $350,000 and go upwards in the high $700,000s depending on location.

4. A Multi-Unit:  It  may seem unconventional, but a multi-unit or 2-flat may be a wise choice, especially with interest rates so low.  Think about it, you can buy a 2 unit building live in one unit and rent out the other.  The leased unit will probably pay for almost half of your mortgage.  Then when you have enough money saved you take over the whole building and convert it to a huge single family home.   If you find a bargain and want to start renovating it to your liking so you are happy living in it, consider a 203K Rehab Loan.  For example, if you purchase a 2-flat for $450,000 the 203K Rehab loan can factor in an additional $74,850 for renovations.  That way you can fix up the unit you plan on living in, duplex down the first floor and spruce up the rental unit to get top dollar.  If you ever watch Sarah’s House on HGTV you can see how much you can do with IKEA products which would be perfect for this type of this situation.  There is a lot of information on this so just give me a shout if you want more.Typical 2-flats range from $450,000 – $700,000 in these target areas.  However, converted 2-flats to single family homes can start at $900,000 on the very low end and head upwards to $1.3M – a huge investment opportunity for future resale.

5. An old house:  Often known as the rehab or handyman specials, these will require blood sweat and tears, but really pay off in the end.  If you can look past Grandma’s flower wallpaper, green/blue/red carpet, tiny outdated kitchen etc you can turn this old house into your dream home.  If you have the funds to do the reno, and you don’t want to have anyone else living on your property, then this may be the option for you.  Rehab loans cap in the low $400s for single families, so you will need your own personal funds or obtain a private loan from a private lender in order to fix up this kind of property.  An old house can run you anywhere from $350,000 – $600,000 on average, but the end result can put you into the high $800s and up depending on how extensive the rehab is.

Thinking about making or move, or want more information on some of the things I have discussed today, don’t hesitate to call or email.

Juliana

For your real estate needs and beyond look to your Chicago Real Estate Family, The Yeager Team, every time.