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

High School “Letters” Thread 2017

sehs-cutoff-scores-2017_18

Well, here we are on High School day eve.  And this time I am a participant.  I started CPSObsessed when my son was entering Kindergarten and we’re now at the end of that very long cycle, waiting to find out where he will be going to High School.  And importantly, where his friends and classmates will be going.  And whether he’ll be commuting.  And how early he’ll have to get up next year.  And what the high school experience might be like.

I’m much more relaxed than I thought I’d be at this point.  He’s got 3 good options, which includes a neighborhood school.  We didn’t cast the wide net I always advised others to do.

But you know, I’m the original obsesser, so it’s gonna be a lonnnnng 24 hours.

Thank you to everyone who’s ridden this long, interesting path from kindergarten to 8th grade with me.  I couldn’t have gotten here without having people to help hash out all the details of this unique school experience.

GOOD LUCK TO EVERYONE! (ESPECIALLY TO THE CPS.OAE SITE)

OFFICIAL INFO FROM CPS:

Notification Letters for the 2017-2018 School Year
Ninth Grade Applicants Notification letters for high school will be released on March 3, 2017.
Paper Applicants
Notification letters for applicants who applied via paper to ninth grade will be put in the U.S. mail to the home address on the student’s application, no later than 5 pm on March 3, 2017. If you do not receive your letter by March 9th, contact the Office of Access and Enrollment at 773-553-2060 or oae@cps.edu from a telephone number or email address on your application. At that time, OAE can arrange for you to pick up your letter in person or have it emailed to you.

Online Applicants
Notification letters for students who applied online to ninth grade will be posted to the online application site on March 3, 2017. The letters will be posted after school hours and before 11:59 pm. An email and a robocall has been sent to the contact information on the student’s online application file with the following directions on how to access the notification letters and how to accept an offer, if applicable. To access the letters on March 3rd, you will login to the online application site, apply.cps.edu. Under the Application Status for each program to which you applied, you will see a link titled View Letter.* Click the link to access the letter. If you received an offer, a Confirmation Form will be attached to the letter. You will need to print the Confirmation Form and submit it according to the directions on the Confirmation Form. If you have not already done so, we STRONGLY recommend that you visit the online application site, apply.cps.edu, as soon as possible, to ensure that you are able to access your account. If you cannot access your account, click the “Forgot Password” button on the site. If you are still unable to access your account, contact the Office of Access and Enrollment at 773-553-2060 or oae@cps.edu from a telephone number or email address on your application file. NOTE: After you receive your letters, please carefully and thoroughly read all information, including any Frequently Asked Questions that may be included. (Note that the only programs with FAQs are the CTE, IB, and Magnet Schools.)

The deadline to accept an offer is March 17, 2017, for CTE-College and Career Academies, International Baccalaureate High Schools, Magnet High Schools and Programs, Military Academies, and Selective Enrollment High Schools. * Please note that we do not provide a notification letter if you applied to Selective Enrollment schools but did not take the Selective Enrollment admissions exam, or if you applied to Military Academies but did not attend a Military Academy Information Session.

March 2, 2017 at 7:29 pm 429 comments

New: 1-Application Coming for High Schools

apply-now

In what will make things at least a little easier for high school applications, CPS is looking to create 1 high school application, reports WBEZ (an NPR affiliate.)

https://www.wbez.org/shows/wbez-news/chicago-plans-to-launch-a-single-application-for-all-public-high-schools/900bf2ce-b056-452f-97b9-1d58ca81a012

For now, the plan is to include the Selective, Military, Magnets, and (I assume) IBs and neighborhood programs on one form.

Interestingly, they say that when you apply, the school can then contact you about upcoming dates, etc.  Seems like a good idea.  I am hoping that doesn’t mean the school can look to see where you applied (a topic that seems to come up when we’ve discussed Principal Discretion.)

What seems to still be unknown is whether Charter schools would be included on this application.  I *think* each Charter group/company requires a separate application now, so that could make the Charter process more efficient as well.

I’ve always thought it was strange that Charter, which are still a part of our system, run separately in terms of application dates, processes, etc.   Potentially, this could help give all schools in the system a leg up in the “choice” process (I use that term loosely, given the constraints of our system.)

I assume that after the 1 application is filled out, families will still need to follow up with the other steps of scheduling a test or audition, etc.

January 23, 2017 at 12:33 pm 20 comments

Fall 2016: Applying to Kindergarten / Elementary School

school-kids

Time to apply Kindergarten!  (or other elementary grades.)

The application period runs from Oct 3 – December 9 2016 for the 2017/18 school year.  If your child will be 5 by

CPS Office of Access and Enrollment has a nice new site that has all the information you’ll need to apply to Selective Elem programs, Magnets, and Neighborhood schools with open enrollment.

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

In BIG news this year, notification letters will be posted ONLINE (instead of by mail) if you apply online.

Also, the selective elem schools will still offer early testing.  If your child tests between November 1st and November 17th, you will receive your child’s test scores before the application deadline.  (And this gives you some knowledge of their scores as input for choosing/ranking your schools.)

If you like a lot of detailed information in one place, I found this power point deck to be very comprehensive:

CPS Elem Application Details

The open house schedule for Gifted and Classical programs are here:

http://cps.edu/AccessAndEnrollment/Documents/SelectiveEnrollmentElementaryOpenHouses.pdf

 

 

 

 

 

October 2, 2016 at 10:52 pm 287 comments

Fall 2016: Applying to Academic Centers and Intl Gifted Program

ac-2016

As a quick review, Academic Centers are for 7-8th grade (apply in 6th grade.)  Entry into an AC guarantees you a high school spot in that school (and you can still apply to other schools for high school if you wish.) Students can earn up to 8 HS credits while in an AC.

International Gifted Programs are for grades 6-8 (apply in 5th grade.)  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.  Lincoln Elem has the only program right now.

Admission for ACs is based on 5th grade test scores and grades + an admission test taken during 6th grade.

2016 Open House Dates

Brooks Academic Center 250 E. 111th St.
November 12, 2016 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon

Kenwood Academic Center 5015 S. Blackstone Ave.
November 6, 2016 12:00 noon to 2:00 p.m.

Lane Tech Academic Center 2501 W. Addison St.
October 30, 2016 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Lincoln International Gifted Program 615 W. Kemper Pl.
November 9, 2016 9:00 a.m.

Lindblom Academic Center 6130 S. Wolcott St.
November 5, 2016 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Morgan Park Academic Center 1744 W. Pryor Ave.
November 5, 2016 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon.

Taft Academic Center 6530 W. Bryn Mawr Ave.
November 5, 2016 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Whitney Young Academic Center 211 S. Laflin St.
October 16, 2016 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon

October 2, 2016 at 10:15 pm 55 comments

High School Applications and Open Houses Fall 2016

kotter

Open house dates for SEHS schools have been posted below.  I’m working on adding other high schools and links to the list.  Feel free to let me know of any updates and I can add them here.

SE HIGH SCHOOLS

 Jones College Prep High School (SEHS)
606 S. State St.
SAT October 15, 2016 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
(last group admitted at 3 p.m.)

Whitney M. Young Magnet High School (SEHS)
211 S. Laflin St.
SUN October 16, 2016 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Hancock College Prep High School (SEHS)
4034 W. 56th St.
SUN October 23, 2016 9 a.m. to 12 noon

King College Prep High School (SEHS)
4445 S. Drexel Blvd.
SAT October 29, 2016 9 a.m. to 12 noon

Lane Tech High School (SEHS)
2501 W. Addison St.
SUN October 30, 2016 12 noon to 3 p.m.

Payton College Prep High School (SEHS)
1034 N. Wells Ave.
SAT November 5, 2016 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Westinghouse College Prep High School (SEHS)
3223 W. Franklin Blvd.
SAT November 5, 2016 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Lindblom Math & Science Academy (SEHS)
6130 S. Wolcott St.
SAT November 5, 2016 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Northside College Prep High School (SEHS)
5501 N. Kedzie Ave.
SUN November 6, 2016 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Brooks College Prep High School (SEHS)
250 E. 111th St.
SAT November 12, 2016 12 noon to 3 p.m.

South Shore International High School (SEHS) Not yet scheduled
1955 E. 75th St.
TBD

 

IB INFORMATION SESSION DATES

IB information sessions
List of IB programs here:

http://cpsoae.org/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=87448&type=d&termREC_ID=&pREC_ID=534189

MAGNET HIGH SCHOOLS/PROGRAMS

Magnet High Schools (High Schools with Magnet Programs follow)

Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences
3857 W. 111th St.

Clark Academic Preparatory High School
5101 W. Harrison St.

Curie Metropolitan High School
4959 S. Archer Ave.

Disney II High School
3900 N. Lawndale Ave.

RTC Medical Prep
2245 W. Jackson Blvd.

Von Steuben Metropolitan Science Center
5039 N. Kimball Ave.
Saturday, Nov 5, 2016 8 am Scholars Presentation& tour 10 & 11 am Magnet Science presentation and tour

 

Magnet Programs

Engineering – Harlan Community Academy High School
9652 S. Michigan Ave.

Lincoln Park High School
(“Magnet” programs include Performing Arts, Double Honors) – these programs have their own applications on the school web site
OPEN HOUSE SUN Oct 23 2:00 pm.
Simultaneous presentations on the 3 Magnet Programs at 2:45, 3:30, 4:15 (Perf Arts, Double Honors, IB)
http://lincolnparkhs.org/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=169933&type=d

 

PERFORMING ARTS PROGRAMS

Chi Arts (Chicago High School for the Arts) – apply online at the school site starting Oct 1
2714 W Augusta Blvd
http://www.chiarts.org/apply/process/
Open houses, must reserve a spot: www.chiarts.org/apply/ backstage_pass/ . These workshops are encouraged but not required for audition. Oct 15, Nov 5, Dec 10

Fine and Performing Arts – Senn High School – apply via CPS as a Magnet school, then register via Senn for an audition
5900 N. Glenwood Ave.
Students can apply to BOTH IB and Fine Arts at Senn but will be accepted into oney ONE program

Lincoln Park performing arts program
2001 N. Orchard St.
http://lincolnparkhs.org/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=169933&type=d

NEIGHBORHOOD HIGH SCHOOLS

Amundsen 5110 N Damen Ave Saturday, Nov 5, 2016 10am-1pm IB info session 10-11 am in the auditorium

Lake View 4015 N Ashland Ave  Saturday, Oct 29 2016 9am-12pm

 

 

September 18, 2016 at 2:16 pm 321 comments

Hidden Gems High School Fair Fall 2016

High school application is nigh.  I’ll be in the thick of it.   Wayyyy less stressed than I expected to be looking back 5 years or so.

Oct 3rd is the official start date of the high school application process.

In the spirit of the “cast a wide net” mantra of CPSObsessed here is info on the Chicago GPS Hidden Gems school fair.   Here you can meet staff from a wide range of Chicago high schools beyond the selective enrollments.

PRE-REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN
for Chicago School GPS’s  
“Hidden Gems” High School Fair

Sunday, September 25, 2016
1-4 p.m.

British School of Chicago, South Loop
161 W. 9th Street, Chicago

 

Admission is $25/family at the door. Receive $10 off via our online pre-registration discount. Pre-registration is not complete until payment is received.  
(Free vouchers are available for low-income families upon request via email).
We encourage you to bring your middle schooler so they can meet current high schoolers, learn essay writing tips & executive functioning strategies.

These are the public schools participating (as of 9/14) and there is also a range of private schools.   Link of schools here:  http://www.chischoolgps.com/CSG_HS_Fair_Participants.html

Alcott
Senn
Intrinsic (charter)
Von Stueben
Rickover
CICS (charter)
Disney II
ChiArts
Noble (charter)

A school fair is a great way to talk to a lot of schools in a short time.  It can be overwhelming, so if you attend with an 8th grader I’d suggest going in with a short list (ie public only, certain type of private, etc) rather than stopping at every single table.  ie, if you can’t afford the $26k/year tuition at the Chicago Academy of the Arts, keep your kid away from the table or they’ll get all excited about it from the brochure.

On the other hand, it’s encouraging to see the options that are out there.

If you’ve ever survived the extensive NPN elementary school fair, this’ll be a breeze.

 

Link to event is here:  http://www.chischoolgps.com/CSG_HS_Fair.html

Have fun and report back!

September 15, 2016 at 10:13 am 22 comments

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