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Parents rejecting CPS 'welcoming schools' find waitlists

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Some students who currently attend CPS schools that are closing at the end of the year tried to enroll at another school -- but instead found a waitlist of more than 600.

Jeanette Taylor tried Thursday to enroll her child at Pritzker Elementary School, which offers gifted and fine arts programs, in Wicker Park.

"If we wanted to get on the waiting list, we could. We could put our names down but she has a list about that thick a list of over 600 names that are on the wait list," Jeanette Taylor said.

Taylor and other CPS parents did not sign up for the wait list. They hope to draw attention to what they say is an unfair system, and said they do not want their children to attend the welcoming schools designated by CPS.

"We have separate yet unequal schools in the city of Chicago. We don't have failing schools; we have a failing school system," Jitu Brown, Kenwood Oakland Community Organization, said.

"We are not going to these receiving schools regardless of the board's vote," Dasani Martinez, student, said.

Some local school council members and Pritzker parents say the success of their school took years to build and they are troubled by the options for the parents who came by Thursday.

"They should have signed up. I don't know why they didn't. All of them elected to not be on the waitlist," Sylvia Ramos, Pritzker LSC member, said.

"I feel for them. I feel for his kids and the fact that they have to go to another school and they could have gone their whole career at one school," Mitchell Hutton, Pritzker LSC vice president, said.

The parents who tried to enroll at Pritzker will visit other schools in the coming weeks, they said.

According to CPS, students affected by the closure and relocation can enroll in any neighborhood school/open enrollment and magnet cluster where seats are available, but have only a guaranteed spot at a designated school.

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