Academic Center Admission by Tier

AC Admission 2016

I was able to get this info on Tier Admission for the ACs.

Interestingly, unlike the SE High Schools, Tier4 kids have a lower chance of admission than a Tier 1 kid, because SO MANY Tier 4 kids apply.  Over 3x as many Tier 4 kids apply as Tier 1 kids (2931 vs 853.)  Not sure why that is, although location may influence this.

Lane and Young are the most selective for all tiers.

So not like this is any surprise, but getting in an AC is much more difficult than getting in an SEHS.


July 3, 2016 at 9:22 pm 64 comments

Wahoo! 7th grade is over!


Just a brief moment of celebration that the long-awaited, stressful, angsty year of seventh grade is over for us.   Gaaaaahhhhhh it feels gooooood!

No more parent portal!  No more bugging about homework!  Time to cancel the subscription!

My kid learned the art of getting done what he needed to jussst keep the 90% for grade.  I suppose that is a valuable life skill.

MAP testing was literally within the final few days of school, interspersed with a Springfield field trip, class parties, and slumber party.  We survived.  Time to relax.

It was an interesting year, walking a balance of hovering over the grades and test scores and letting him navigate it himself.  We found a balance with me given “gentle reminders” and pointing out the current progress of grades.

Test prep was the 1 day TestaPalooza class, as I couldn’t rally commitment for a weekly class.

Ultimately the goal was to give him options.  We have Amundsen as our neighborhood school, a 2 minute walk away.  So that’s an option.  Exploring performing arts programs.  Lots of kids talk about Lane.  It’s hard to override the middle school talk about certain schools.  I feel there’s still a tipping point that is waiting to happen to get the kids on board for the neighborhood high schools.  I hope that point is very near.

OK, time for more wine.  It’s been a long journey.  Thanks to those of you who’ve been on it with me.  We’ll see what happens next year…


June 21, 2016 at 11:17 pm 27 comments

SEHS Principal Discretion 2016

Breakfast Club

PD letters are due to be mailed this Friday, May 13.

As a reminder, each SEHS principal can allocate 5% of their seat based on their discretion, using whatever criteria they like.

A student can apply to only one school for PD.  These supporting documents are not required, but recommended as part of the application:

  • A personal statement, written by the applicant, no more than 1,000 words
  • Up to three letters of recommendation
  • Copies of recent awards, achievements and honors

Below is the number of Principal Discretion seats at each Selective Enrollment school:

Lane: 58
Young: 22
Jones: 18
Lindblom: 16
Northside: 14
Brooks: 12
Payton: 12
Westinghouse: 10
King: 9
Hancock: 5
South Shore: 3

We’ve had very few readers report that their child got in via PD. One who did said that she allowed the child to write the essay themselves.  Anecdotally, I believe some of the school seem to give priority to siblings.  WY is always rumored to prioritize kids good at sports.  Rumor also has it that it helps to have listed the school first on your list.  I don’t know if principals actually have access to this information (I doubt it) but it probably sounds good in an essay.

Please share any information you have about students who gotten a spot via PD.  Thanks and good luck!

May 9, 2016 at 7:21 pm 65 comments

SEHS Admission by Tier 2016

SEHS Acceptance Rates 2016I

I got this information a few years ago, but figured it was e for an update.  This shows the # of applications and acceptances to each school by Tier.   I still need to get the # of applicants by tier, so I estimated that for now using the # of applications and the average # of applications by tier from 2013.  (Tier 4 kids apply to fewer schools than other tiers do.)

This shows that overall, Tier 4 kids are more likely to get an SEHS spot than the other tiers are.

You can also see the acceptance rate by Tier for each school (although this is distorted since students can apply for up to 6 schools.)  So while the Tier 4 acceptance rate looks like 17%, some of the applications were likely only putting Lane as a 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or 5th choice.

Overall, ~ 1/3 of the kids who apply are offered a spot at one of their choices.



April 26, 2016 at 8:49 pm 201 comments


Academic Center 3_26_2016.png

Post news about entry into AC and International Gifted Program here.

Please include:




For those who aren’t familiar with the Intl gifted programs, some info from CPS:

International Gifted Program
International Gifted Programs are offered at the following schools:
615 W. Kemper Pl.
24 W. Walton St.

The International Gifted Program is designed for students in grades 6-8. The program includes intensive study of English, French, social studies, laboratory science, mathematics, technology, arts, physical education, library science, and advanced research. The International Gifted Program is designed to allow intellectually able students to be schooled in their least restrictive environment and to mature at an accelerated pace.

The International Gifted Program is committed to cultivating independent and competent students who are well prepared for the most intensive high schools and IB Diploma Programs.

March 26, 2016 at 11:01 pm 456 comments

2016 NEIGHBORHOOD and MAGNET Elementary School Thread


Post your news, questions, opinions here about Neighborhood and Magnet elementary schools.

If you post about your letter/status, please include:


Waiting list #

Tier (if applicable)

And remember, this process goes on for a lonnnng time as schools move down the wait list.  Patience is a virtue, as hard as it may be.

March 26, 2016 at 9:55 pm 1,590 comments

2016 SEES GIFTED and CLASSICAL Elem Thread


National Teachers Academy


Share scores, questions, and knowledge here about gifted and classical programs. And remember, the process takes some time to work through the lists.   Please post: School Score Tier.

Remember, the process takes some time to work through.  SEES go through multiple rounds so it may take a couple months for initial offers to go out.  Some families get spots the week before school starts or even that first week if you’re willing to make a move.

In addition, several schools (Bell, Beaubien, Keller) add classes at the 1st grade Level (as does Decatur every other year.)

Letters are due to mail out on Monday, March 28th.


March 26, 2016 at 9:50 pm 1,211 comments

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  • No elementary letters reported in the mail today on CPSO. Taft AC has sent email acceptances. A nice transition to the modern era! 3 months ago

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