Between neighborhood schools, magnets, and selective enrollment, you practically need a PhD to understand the Chicago Public School system.
Luckily, we found a cheat sheet in parent educator Christine Whitley. The child and family therapist helps parents decode the confusing, ever-changing world of CPS. For a very reasonable $50 per hour, she meets families in her Ravenswood office to present facts and review choices — all with just the right amount of hand holding.
Whitley personalizes each appointment by creating a packet of info about your neighborhood school, as well as other options in line with your goals. She also coaches on standardized testing, the lottery system, and the application process.
Apart from one-on-ones, you can join a group workshop (there’s one in May about preschool). It’s a great way to make friends — or, should we say, study buddies.
For an appointment and workshop schedule, call 312-218-0329 or go to christinewhitley.tumblr.com.
What: Watch masses of the pretty, translucent sea creatures and discover how they live, hunt, and eat.
Why: Up-close views with none of the sting.
When: Fri.-May 28, 2012.
Where: Shedd Aquarium, 1200 S. Lake Shore Dr., at Roosevelt Dr. (312-939-2438). Free with Total Experience Pass, adults, $35; children, $26.
That’s Weird, Grandma
What: Barrel of Monkeys’s always-changing show based on writings by Chicago Public School students celebrates its tenth anniversary.
Why: Lots of giggles. Guaranteed.
When: Today, 7 & 9 p.m.
Where: The Neo-Futurarium, 5153 N. Ashland Ave., at Foster Ave. Tickets at 312-409-1954. Adults, $10; children (10 and under), $5.
K Grace Childcare Family Playdate
What: Craft, snack, and play in the company of prospective sitters.
Why: It’s a fun way to scope out your next date-night savior.
When: Thurs., 2-4 p.m.
Where: Bubbles Academy, 1504 N. Fremont St. R.S.V.P. (recommended) to 773-649-9149 or online at eventbrite.com. Admission is free.
Photo: Courtesy of Christine Whitley