We chose the 100 top schools in Chicago to analyze, rank, and write about them. Our mission: to help you, the parent, determine where the best schools are located in the city.
One place to start: our Trust & Perform group, which has done invaluable work in compiling a list of the 100 best schools. Trust & Perform uses data, community feedback, and specialized research to determine the best schools.
They’ve done the hard work: original research, community meetings, focus groups, and interviews with parents, school staff, and students to rank the best schools. Their list is a great read because readers have a concrete idea of just what makes these schools shine. So use their list to help you determine where to send your child to school.
- Walk into a school and learn as much as you can: visits are optional for this assignment, but if you build in a visit to a park-and-rides tour, you’ll have a pretty good idea of what makes this or any school school a great place for your child.
- Expect to pay a little more: surveyors earn their pay. As they gather information and process it, they also collect every property owned by the school district, including cameras and other digital devices. Expect to pay for this extra inspection.
- Take lots of notes: While monitoring the schools with the Trust & Perform rating, head scout and district officials will survey all incoming applicants to double check information before sending them to a lottery for one of the coveted 500 slots open only to charters. In addition, every charter school will have an application process, which means a longer visit for applicants. Patience may be a virtue here: the applicant must wait for his or her files to be sorted, then be interviewed, then finally submitted for final approval before opening day.
5.Visit again: send applicants another set of audacious expectations: check in with charter applicants within two weeks of their deadline for public notice, and ask to see their transcripts and test scores. Follow up with those who didn’t succeed, or send them poems and drawings. You’ll be prepared for any meetings, and you’ll leave having heard some inspiring messages about your school and the students who call it home.
6.pring for a new job: if you’ve gotten your applicants from the city’s charter school review process, don’t forget to ask for their applications. You’ll probably receive constructive criticism, and even a verbal commitment from the staff to pursue employment with your school.
7.auge the interest: if you’re already involved in school operations, you may have already had contact with charter quality actors andtonight. But the charter review process often makes charter approval a social laboratory, too. What happens to a creative teenager when he or she has no theatre schools in town, and no money to buy a student drama program or scholarship for that student? The answer: You get involved. Whether you attain your goals is up to you, but remember: Your mission is a good one. There’s nothing wrong with that.