Principal 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.
Hawthorne Scholastic Academy | Principal
EVENT TONIGHT, TUESDAY MARCH 7 AT HAWTHORNE (FOR LAKE VIEW AND AMUNDSEN INFO)
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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 email@example.com 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.
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
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
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
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