Nearly 500 students mistakenly receive acceptance letters for coveted Chicago school

A day after parents, who wanted to get their children into one of the city's top magnet schools, got a letter saying their application had been approved, Chicago Public Schools had to call nearly 500 families to rescind the letter.

“Not only does this process take six months, but it’s still screwed up and it’s very disconcerting to me and I feel like I’ve been bamboozled,” said Farrah Davis.

On Monday, Davis got the approval letter she most wanted. But then on Tuesday, a CPS employee called her with the bad news, first checking to see if she had received the letter.

“Yea I got a letter saying I’m in, is there an open house that I need to be aware of,” Davis asked the CPS worker. “And they’re like no, we’re calling you to rescind the letter, there was a glitch in the system, and so we have to rescind the letter."

Davis said she was in shock and frustrated. Lasalle Language School was her first choice for the place to send her son, Cole, next fall when he will start first grade.

After getting the letter, Davis took pictures and sent it to friends and family to share the great news, only to have that hope dashed.

CPS confirmed she's not alone. As it turns out, 512 families got approval letters for transfer students wanting to attend Lasalle when only 16 should have gone out.

“I’m like did someone with political or financial background just cry and say why didn’t my kids get in this school, and then we automatically got bumped? I want a bigger answer than a technical glitch,” Davis said.

Cole has been attending kindergarten at Drummond Montessori, and his parents are very happy there, and so with the CPS snafu they say he will probably just stay there now. But she has this message for those responsible for this mess.

“The school process is an emotional process already and you’ve made it ten times worse for a person,” Davis said. “When does it end CPS?”

Chicago Public Schools have offered to help her and other families work through the process and find another school, but Davis points out the other good schools she had applied to also wait-listed her, so what more can be done?

FULL CPS STATEMENT: "Due to an error in assigning transfer students to LaSalle Magnet School, CPS inadvertently offered more seats to students than LaSalle had available. When the error was discovered, CPS immediately called and emailed all families that received an incorrect notification, and District staff is working with families individually to help identify alternate options for their children."