Fall 2017: Applying to Kindergarten / Elementary School

Coonley

Coonley Elementary + RGC

In the next couple weeks, the application season for Elementary School will begin.

While the high school application process is changing slightly, the Elementary process should still be largely the same.

So far, the CPS Access & Enrollment site doesn’t have the start date or end date of the application period open, but it should be ready soon.

http://cps.edu/AccessAndEnrollment/Pages/SEES.aspx

In a nutshell, the process will involve:

Request a PIN for the site

Once you have your PIN, sign up to schedule a test (if you’re interested in the gifted or classical test)

Select and rank the schools you want to apply to (this can be done up to the closing date)

For magnet schools (no testing needed,) apply online for up to 20 magnet or other open enrollment schools

Separately, get familiar with your neighborhood school to assess whether it’s a good option.  Your child can always attend that school at any point.  Being part of a neighborhood school has many benefits:  local friends (kids and parents,) walking to school, and being part of a local community.

 

 

 

 

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September 22, 2017 at 10:03 pm 134 comments

High School Application News – Fall 2017

Lakeview-1943

Lake View HS 1943

2018-2019 CPS High School Application News (guest post from Chicago School GPS)

We often tell families we meet with that “The only constant in CPS is to expect ‘change’ “.  This fall, there is a LOT of change in the 2018-2019 CPS high school application process.  The rumors of a “Single Application” for CPS high schools have come to fruition with the unveiling of GoCPS www.go.cps.edu .  GoCPS is essentially a consolidation of what was previously several disparate applications (magnet, military, IB, CTE, etc) into one form, with one offer of acceptance based on the highest ranked school (out of 20) for which your student qualifies. The ONE EXCEPTION is that the 11 Selective Enrollment schools (entrance test required & 900 pt system) will still be a separate application. So think of it as “Single Application Plus SEHS”.  In other words, your student can get up to two CPS high school offers next spring, as opposed to the multiple offers from different types of programs that were given in prior years.

CPS has planned for a “single application” for several years now but this year is finally pulling the trigger.  The reasons?  Mostly to promote equitability, transparency, and they say, “simplicity”.  Before there were students who could have conceivably been offered several IB schools, several magnet schools, several CTE programs, and one SEHS school.  But because a student can only enroll in one school, those other offers sat “unused” or were delayed in being available for others.

Will this change really make it more equitable, as it is designed to do?  Much speculation remains, especially since cities like Denver, New Orleans and New York City are all still working out their systems.  Read more insightful analysis here: http://www.generationallchicago.org/will-a-single-application-for-high-schools-help-expan-equity-in-chicago-public-schools/

The following steps are for 8th grade families (the guinea pigs in all this):

  1. Subscribe to updates at www.go.cps.edu
  2. Follow the prompts at http://go.cps.edu/how-to-apply/high-schools and choose if you are a CPS student or a non-CPS student (non-CPS students still need to register to take the CPS-administered NWEA MAP reading & math tests either in September or October.  It’s first come, first serve so register early! http://cps.edu/AccessAndEnrollment/Pages/NWEAnoncps.aspx )
  3. Online accounts can be Activated now so you can see your student’s eligibility for programs, etc. https://cps.schoolmint.net/signup
    1. CPS students should have received an Activation Code at the end of last school year or will get one when school starts;
    2. Non-CPS students do not need an Activation Code but may need MAP testing (see #2)
  4. Applications open on October 2nd
  5. Visit schools, open houses, research programs, etc
  6. Applications close on December 15th.
  7. Rank up to 20 non-selective schools, and rank up to 6 selective enrollment schools, for a maximum of 2 school offers.
  8. You may still need to attend info sessions, auditions, selective enrollment testing or submit supplemental materials after the application deadline.
  9. You will be matched to the highest non-selective school for which you qualify, and put on the waitlist for any schools you ranked higher, with 1st round notifications coming on March 15, 2018.
  10. If you applied to an SEHS school, you will also get a single offer for one of those schools.
  11. If you don’t want to accept your single offer (and/or your SEHS offer), then you can apply again during a second round which begins in May 2018.
  12. Supposedly by June 2018 you will be settled in a single school offer, with your neighborhood school as your fallback.

Want to learn more?

The 6th Annual Hidden Gems High School Fair will be on Sunday, Sept. 24 from 1-4p at Amundsen High School; http://www.chischoolgps.com/CSG_HS_Fair.html

“What’s on the Test? HS Edition” w/Test Prep Chicago will be on Thursday, Oct. 19 from 7-8:30pm.  Location TBD.  http://www.chischoolgps.com/CSG_HS_Testing.html

CPS Go Contact Info

 

September 4, 2017 at 8:55 am 82 comments

Coming Soon – New Posts for New School Year!

coming-soon-01

Well, I was just about to close up the place, when I go a couple volunteers to keep CPSObsessed going for another year.

A friend of mine who has an 8th grader (and a current high schooler) will be acting as CPSObsessed this year.   She’ll be assisted by our friends at Chicago GPS, the school consultants who run the Hidden Gems school fair each year (and already know a lot about the new application process.)  See their site here:

Chicago GPS

There will be a post coming soon that talks about the new application, then you can continue to use the blog as a place to share questions and answers.

My son will be starting high school on Tuesday.  sniff..sniff…  I really can’t believe it.  I’m still bracing for what will be our early morning schedule for 4 years.

So stay tuned.  More to come soon.

 

August 31, 2017 at 11:30 pm 5 comments

Elementary Magnet and Neighborhood School Letter Spring 2017

waters_elementary

 

In the spirit of information-sharing, please share the following if you get Magnet offers:

Tier
Grade child is entering

Also post your waiting list numbers, in the spirit of amusement.

 

March 30, 2017 at 1:02 pm 1,158 comments

Academic Center Letters Spring 2017

whitney-young

Starting the thread so people can share information and advice.  Will spruce it up later tonight after an Amundsen fundraiser (woo! woo!)

Parents will be emailed by Monday April 3 with their notifications.

 

March 30, 2017 at 1:00 pm 155 comments

RGC and Classical school Elementary “Letters” – Spring 2017

Babybrain

Emails will be arriving by Monday April 3 to inform parents of their scores and offers.

As a reminder, you can receive only 1 offer.  If you want a school that is higher on your list, you’d have to turn down an offer you get to be placed back in the pool.

Remember, the RGC and Classical schools go through several rounds of offers.  Many families don’t get placement until late spring, summer, or even the first week of school in the Fall.

CPS does not post cutoff scores for these programs, so in the spirit of crowd-sourcing, please (anonymously) share your information to help other families make choices.

Kindly post:

Tier
Score
School admitted to
Grade entering

And finally — the scores in no way are a perfect measure of your child’s intelligence.  Many many smart kids end up not testing well for a range of reason.   One of the smartest 4 year olds I knew didn’t test well at the age and was just accepted to Walter Payton high school.   Intelligence shows up in different ways and on different tests over time.  And as well all know, ALL our kids are above average anyhow.  🙂

Please post your information, questions, and moral support for other parents below…

March 30, 2017 at 12:59 pm 1,065 comments

A word on north side neighborhood high schools (guest post from Hawthorne principal)

High SchoolPrincipal Pietrini from Hawthorne Elementary contacted me about posting his thoughts on the neighborhood schools that are part of the Grow 47 initiate (lead by Alderman Pawar (also with support from Alderman O’Conner.)

Hawthorne will be hosting a get-together tonight where families can learn more about these 2 high schools.

Please pass on to families of 6, 7, and 8th graders who might be interested.   It was MOMENTUM that helps get the elementary schools going and that’s what it’ll take to have neighborhood schools that are embraced by local middle schools as a good choice.

Over the next two weeks, many 8th grade students in CPS will choose not to attend their neighborhood school. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined this being the case in any district. We don’t see that happening in as big of a way in our elementary schools. Parents, teachers, and leaders have over the years successfully branded their elementary school as being an essential part of the community, and they have committed to making that belief stay through community partnerships, fundraising, and building a positive picture in the community about what happens once those doors open for kids. But it hasn’t happened at CPS high schools for a variety of reasons, and for better or worse, we now have the great high school diaspora.

To be clear, I would never denigrate the wonderful opportunities at selective high schools. I used to work at a selective IB high school, and I have great confidence in many of the inspiring principals and teachers I know in those buildings. But if we never envisioned this challenge arising, and we believe that a school should be an anchor in the community, why have we come to believe that we can’t attend our neighborhood high schools? As a parent of two boys, my wish for my sons is that while they are at school they are engaged, they are taught to believe in themselves, they are given opportunities to explore, and that they have great teachers. We are wrong when we assume that neighborhood high schools don’t (or can’t) offer that experience.

The University of Chicago Consortium for School Research just did a very interesting study into the effects of selective enrollment schools vs. varying tiers of neighborhood schools. This was a fascinating report that I recommend you read, or at least read the coverage of this report in The Atlantic. Here is a brief selection:

“Attending a selective-enrollment school led to only a statistically insignificant bump in the ACT of half a point. The selective schools also seemed to have little or no effect on the likelihood of taking Advanced Placement classes, graduating from high school, or enrolling and staying in college….As long as the popular conception of a good school is based on a flawed measure, excellent schools that don’t screen students by test scores or real-estate prices won’t get the credit they deserve—and schools with such careful selection will get far too much credit.”

Great teachers, collaborative communities, and visionary leaders make the difference. Not enrollment criteria. We know it, and we should trust it. I hope that you will join me at the GROWCommunity event at Hawthorne tonight at 6:00 p.m. to learn more about my two favorite neighborhood high schools, Lake View and Amundsen. This event is open to the public, and will be a great first step in the grassroots idea of a community school.

Nathan Pietrini

Hawthorne Scholastic Academy | Principal

EVENT TONIGHT, TUESDAY MARCH 7 AT HAWTHORNE (FOR LAKE VIEW AND AMUNDSEN INFO)

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/an-evening-with-amundsen-and-lake-view-high-schools-tickets-32005777141

March 7, 2017 at 12:04 pm 7 comments

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