Your questions are always welcome - Please contact us!

How to enroll:  Please visit for enrollment information. 

What are the boundaries for the 3 neighborhoods – Clifton, CUF and Spring Grove Village - that allow my child to attend? – All streets in the three neighborhoods are within the final boundaries of CANS.  You can confirm that your address is within the boundaries here:

Where is CANS currently located? – CANS is now in our newly renovated location at 3711 Clifton Avenue. This building held the Clifton Elementary School for almost 100 years until that school closed. In 2005, the Clifton Cultural Arts Center (CCAC) signed a lease with CPS to use the building, which saved the building from charter school operation or auction.  

Are there enough children to sustain CANS? If there are too many children, will my child be excluded? – CPS is planning for CANS to operate in our permanent location with approximately 1-2 classrooms per grade. Current enrollment is on target for this projection. All KG-2nd grade children living within the CANS boundaries are eligible to enroll at the school at any time due to CANS’ status as a neighborhood public school.

What about people who move into the neighborhood with older children; will they be able to enroll? – Any child moving into the boundaries will be able to enroll and attend at any of the grade levels offered. The anticipated growth is one grade level per year (up to second grade in 2019-2020, up to 3rd grade in 2020-2021 etc.). 

I’ve heard something about a partnership with UC. Is that happening, and what would it involve?   UC and CPS have formalized the initial plans for partnership now, though the specific form of the partnership will emerge & grow over time. The partnership with UC will influence CANS’ learning model, provide classroom interns (aka student teachers) and provide other forms of teacher support, coordinate enrichment opportunities during school and outside of the school day, etc.  Read more about the partnership here.

What will the CANS learning model be? – After a vigorous exploration of community opinion and best practices Expeditionary Learning was chosen as the CANS learning model. As part of Vision 2020, CANS receives extra funds and training for our teachers to deploy this well tested curriculum that emphasizes a growth mindset, community-oriented thinking and real-world approach to problem solving. To find out more about Expeditionary Learning or EL, please read all about it here:

Who is the principal of CANS, and who are the teachers? Mr. James Zoller was hired as the CANS Principal in February of 2019.  Read about Mr. Zoller here.  Contact Mr. Zoller at

What are the hours for CANS? – CANS will operate from 8:00AM-2:30PM during school days. 

Will before-school and after-school care be available? After school care will be available for students KG-2nd grade. Please contact us for more information about these plans.  

How can we be sure that CPS will create a good, diverse neighborhood school? Based on 2010 Census data, Clifton, CUF, and Spring Grove Village all have socioeconomically diverse populations. The population of the school will likely mirror this diversity. And, indeed, CANS already includes children from a variety of cultural, racial, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Good schools require strong support and participation from parents and community members, and by all accounts, CANS is off to a great start in this regard. These features, combined with the potential for partnership with UC and other businesses and institutions in Uptown, will create a high-quality school serving a diverse population.

Why can’t Clifton-area kids just go to Fairview? Fairview is a city-wide magnet school, and the enrollment process has changed so that Clifton children do not get enrollment priority. The demand for seats at Fairview greatly exceeds the number of spaces available.  All of this has created a difficult situation for families who are forced to seek other quality education options.

Will the use of vouchers be impacted by CANS? Yes. New vouchers will likely not be available for those residing within the neighborhood school’s boundaries for the 2019-20 school year. This is because CANS is not rated as a “failing school,” the condition for voucher availability. Students living within the CANS boundaries will be eligible for a voucher only if the family income is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines ($49,200 for a family of 4). This is all determined by state law. 

What is the CANS Advisory Group, and how can I get involved? - The CANS Advisory Group and PTO is a group of volunteers committed to the new school’s success and shaping its initial direction. We are always looking for other community members to get involved. Reach out, and we will help connect you to the initiatives you want to contribute to. 

Questions? Please contact us.



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