Gifted/Classical Schools (Magnets?) – Round 2 is about to begin

April 20, 2009 at 2:17 pm 45 comments

Parents had to notify schools by last Friday, April 17 as to whether they would take a spot in the test/lottery programs.

So…. that means that today the GEAP office (gifted/classical) and Magnet and popular neighborhood schools can now start working their way down their lists.

Gifted and classical programs will work their way down the list of test scores (2 lists, one for caucasians and one for non-caucasians.)Β  I’m sure now that gender isn’t accounted for – I saw the list of kids that got first offers for my son’s schools and of 28 kids there were only 9 boys.

The Magnet schools will start working their way down their waiting list.

In these cases, you will most likely get a call from GEAP or the school offering you a spot and you will have a few days to decide whether you want it or not.Β  If not, they keep going down the list.

Post here if you here anything from a school so others will know that movement is happening.Β  Good luck to everyone….

Entry filed under: Applying to schools. Tags: , , .

Humor in the CPS Directory Subjective Thoughts on Decatur

45 Comments Add your own

  • 1. another local  |  April 20, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    I called my CPS contact this morning…. they are making phone calls today to people who did not reply (positively or negatively) to their original letters. The goal is to have a revised list of openings and rankings sometime tomorrow.

    It sounds like calls will not begin any earlier than late tomorrow… more likely Wednesday though.

  • 2. cpsobsessed  |  April 21, 2009 at 7:08 am

    Thanks for the update! I love anyone who has a CPS contact!

  • 3. Peggy  |  April 21, 2009 at 11:15 am

    So, this is bizarre. We got a call last week saying we were called for a second round for Skinner North. When I called back yesterday morning, they told me the same thing Local Mom did. That they are not calling for second round until either late today or Wednesday. However, they were able to confirm that my child’s name was at the top of the call list for the second round. They kind of gave me the run around and finally just said they had no idea what had happened. We were not going to accept the spot anyways, so it didn’t matter all that much to me other than just confirming to me the total disorganization of CPS that I have observed over the past 10 years or so.

  • 4. cpsobsessed  |  April 21, 2009 at 11:55 am

    Ok, that is weird. In theory, once they start getting “no’s” the should be able to start calling – it makes more sense. It’s just disturbing that one person there wouldn’t know that another person called about it.

  • 5. dazedandconfused  |  April 21, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    peggy- i’m confused – you got a spot at skinner north- but did you send in the form rejecting? i know my friend who accepted at coonley got a call b/c they hadn’t received the form at GEAP [she mailed it] and they were confirming last week before they filled her spot. By chance they were doing the same with your spot?
    with notoriously bad chicago mail, I’m glad they at least called before giving spots away.

  • 6. NWside Mom  |  April 21, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    I did give up our spot at Edison and got a spot at Coonley, which would be a non-minority student (male). However, my understanding from the GEAP office is that they are not expecting a lot of people to decline Coonley, but it is hard to predict since they have no historical data.

  • 7. Katie  |  April 21, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    NWside Mom-
    this if for this year? you’ve already gotten a call? do you mind if ask the scores that got your son into Coonley? thanks. πŸ™‚
    congrats… I’ve only heard great things about the school.

  • 8. cpsobsessed  |  April 21, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    Regarding Coonley for Fall 2009, I was discussing the scores with another parent. I am *pretty* sure I know of someone who got in with a 139 but based on posts on NPN, I see kids who didn’t get spots in the first round with scores of 144 (2kids), 139, 132, 130 (race uncertain.) I still can’t believe a 144 wouldn’t get someone in. Based on scoring from last year, that would’ve gotten someone their first choice.

  • 9. NWside Mom  |  April 21, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    This is a spot for kindergarten next year. I was in touch with the GEAP office all of last week. I was really concerned about giving up my spot at Edison and taking a chance that I would not get a spot some where else, because our neighborhood school is not an option for us. My son’s score of 155 put at the top of the list for an open spot at Coonley.

  • 10. NWside Mom  |  April 21, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    This is a spot for kindergarten next year. I was in touch with the GEAP office all of last week. I was really concerned about giving up my spot at Edison and taking a chance that I would not get a spot some where else, because our neighborhood school is not an option for us. My son’s score of 155 put him at the top of the list for an open spot at Coonley.

  • 11. Katie  |  April 21, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    My son received a gifted score of 144 and classical score of >99.9%…i posted that somewhere earlier, so my kid is probably one that you’re talking about that didn’t get into our 1st choice (Coonley)…nor did he get into choice 2 or 3. frustrating! I called GEAP last week to ask some questions…left a message but never heard back. I’m not bitter, just wish there was another way to shake this all out. Not sure that there really is with the 2000+ students who apparently took the K test.
    I’m just hoping our neighborhood school will be a good fit for our son (since it looks like he’ll be going there.) For me it’s ideal, a one minute commute down the block! πŸ™‚ I’m not convinced it’s going to be great for my child. He’s been there for the past two years in preschool, so will be continuing on with many of his friends…that’s a plus. πŸ™‚
    I think I need to just realize that I’ll need to do a lot more with him at home and around the city…and spend that extra money to take some classes somewhere. ?? Just not always so easy when you don’t always have that extra cash…and when you’ve got two other little ones. πŸ™‚

  • 12. C  |  April 21, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    Any advice on this issue is appreciated:

    I applied to the classicals in October including Skinner but was only given consideration for Skinner West because I didn’t amend my application ( I never received an amended application and they have no record of who they actually sent it out to) in January distinguishing between Skinner North and West. I would like consideration for Skinner North as well but I spoke to them and they said it was too late to receive consideration. Is there anyone I can talk to about this? Shoud I just let it be or should I try to find out where the mishap occured? By the way, Ron Huberman will be coming by to speak with my boss about a new high school and alternative high schools in our community. It could be a wonderful opportunity for me to speak with him. I wonder if he has any insight or knowledge on the way GEAP is operating.

  • 13. cpsobsessed  |  April 21, 2009 at 5:07 pm

    I suspect that trying to make headway with CPS/GEAP about your missing amendment will be like banging your head against a wall. I just know that last year when some people found out that schools had lost their applications (magnet programs) the parents were basically out of luck.
    On the other hand, it could be a matter of just getting the right person on the phone. Overall, I’d say it couldn’t hurt to keep trying. What do you have to lose? At the very least, maybe they’ll realize that they need to be more conscientious next time they do this.

  • 14. Katie  |  April 21, 2009 at 5:35 pm

    Thanks NWside mom for sharing your info. Makes me realize that we probably will not be receiving a call in round 2 for a gifted school. I wish a percentage had been given along with the gifted score so we could at least realize how realistic our expectations for certain schools are. πŸ™‚
    Best of luck to your child!
    Thanks to everyone for all your helpful information on this blog.

  • 15. another local  |  April 21, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    I just called my CPS person again… she told me they aren’t starting yet and to call back Thursday. We were also a 144 that was not offered any gifted programs (only Skinner West, which we declined).

  • 16. Peggy  |  April 23, 2009 at 7:09 am

    oh, duh, so the mix up was on my end….i never looked at the original letter, my husband got it and called me with the results. Since we didn’t originally want Skinner, when I asked him if we got in (I meant anywhere, he meant our top choices) he said no….so, after reading through all these posts, I tracked down the letter in one of our many piles and there it was. So it must be they were trying to call to see why we didn’t respond?
    I know I shouldn’t be so quick to assume the board of ed is screwing up, but I have had enough experiences with them that *usually* is the case. However, my non-detailed husband does occasionally forget to tell me a thing or two!

  • 17. Diving In  |  April 23, 2009 at 8:23 am

    we got our call

  • 18. cpsobsessed  |  April 23, 2009 at 9:22 am

    D.I. – so you gonna take it?

  • 19. KS  |  April 23, 2009 at 9:32 am


    Just curious, which schools did you apply to? And you didn’t get into any GEAP schools? If this is the case, I would definitely call the GEAP office and get some clarification asap.

    My daughter received a “>99.9%” for Classical (non-minority) and she got into Decatur during the first round. It just seems unbelievable to me that you wouldn’t get into any GEAP schools (especially the Classical ones) with that score.

    Good luck! I really hope something works out for you!

  • 20. Katie  |  April 23, 2009 at 10:17 am

    KS- We did get into Pritzker (our 4th choice.) I guess I said that in a different thread. πŸ™‚ We didn’t accept there, just didn’t seem to be a good fit for several reasons. I realized after the fact that I shouldn’t have ranked it.
    I’m assuming a lot of kids got a score of >99.9%. We ranked Coonley, Decatur and Edison as 1,2 and 3. It sounds like 144 was a very common score and was not enough to get us into a gifted program. And obviously >99.9% isn’t enough for a classical school. πŸ˜‰
    I’m now just trying to figure out what to do to challenge my son next year in K at the neighborhood public school. he taught himself to read before he was 2 1/2…not ‘cat in the hat’…but the newspaper if i’d let him read it. not that he’d understand all that craziness in the news. …or maybe he would. πŸ˜‰ He just loves to learn.
    Seems that there has to be a lot of diffentiated instruction at the classical schools if top test scores aren’t the only determining factor for acceptance.
    This is probably a terrible thing to say, but sometimes a wonder if it would be a lot easier to have a ‘typically’ developing child. He’s so sweet and wonderful…and smart…and I worry so much that I haven’t done everything that I can for him.

  • 21. Katie  |  April 23, 2009 at 11:36 am

    Do you ask for someone specifically when you call the GEAP office? I’ve left messages twice…one last week and one today (so I guess i can’t count that since there’s still a chance they might call me back.) πŸ˜‰

  • 22. cpsobsessed  |  April 23, 2009 at 11:39 am

    Katie, I have had my best luck getting someone live – I would just keep calling constantly if I were you (what fun!)
    They seem to have changed staff this year though and somehow last year was easier to speak to someone.

  • 23. Katie  |  April 23, 2009 at 11:51 am

    Both times I have gotten someone live and they just take my name and number. And I’m not being a ‘difficult mom’…i think I’m being rather friendly when I call. πŸ™‚

  • 24. Mom  |  April 23, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    144 and 99.9 % and not accepted. I just find that hard to believe. I’m sure if you speak to a live person SOMEONE will be begging to have your son in their class. Mine got 139 and 77% (yes, merely, granted he had a 103 fever, but they didn’t know) and got in to our second choice. (yes, minority). BTW – went to the registration – at our table one boy was reading a Hardy Boys chapter book and another was doing long math (not columns). 4592 +687 =….. 7921-456=…. 5602 divided by 354 = . …. Yes, these were 4 or 5 year olds. My guy still refuses to read ‘Go Dog, Go” with me……..

  • 25. magnet non testing mom  |  April 23, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    Does anyone know if the magnets that don’t test are calling or sending letters for the second round yet?

  • 26. another local  |  April 24, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    So…. with a 144 and a 99.9%, we are going to Hawthorne.

    There was only one majority decline at Edison, and we didn’t get it…. and they said there we no majority declines at Coonley.

    We were offered Pritzker and I turned it down.

    This is just crazy, but not in a good way.

  • 27. Katie  |  April 24, 2009 at 10:25 pm

    Well, no one ever returned my calls, so I decided that my husband should give GEAP office a call this afternoon. He talked to several people and was on hold for a bit…then finally found out that said we should have gotten a call because our son had gotten into Decatur. I’m happy that he was accepted, but now I feel like I really know nothing about the school aside from it having top test scores. I’m feeling quite uneasy about the commute since i have 2 other kids that will have to go along for the ride also. I had kind of had my mind set on a gifted school as opposed to a classical. I’d be crazy not to accept, right? Is there anyone that can tell me about their experiences? I do know that if we’re not happy there, we can always return to our neighborhood school, Audubon.
    The only info I can find on NPN is parents frustrated that they couldn’t get tours and the administration was rude. I know there must be much more to the school than that…but not sure where to get the info. Need to give an answer by Monday afternoon. I guess I should have done a little better research before all of this.

  • 28. cpsobsessed  |  April 25, 2009 at 4:54 am

    Kaite – Oh my God! OK, first I hate that they responded to your husband after not calling you back (like OK, the DAD called – they must really mean business!)
    And second – so you guys were on the 2nd round for Decatur but nobody called you!?! That is nuts!
    One thing I find about NPN (if that is where you’re looking) and schools that don’t show up there much is that it can mean that the parents from those schools are generally content and are not on NPN discussing schools all the time, like those of us in “search mode.” I will write a little post about Decatur….

  • 29. ae  |  April 25, 2009 at 9:37 am

    I had my son tested for Northwestern’s Saturday Enrichment program and he scored a 99.9% on achievement as opposed to the 98% on the CPS test. It’s all such a freakin’ crapshoot and it sickens me!!! We got no call from any classical schools yet, but did get a call from O.A. Thorp (which has a gifted program within the school). We accepted at Hawthorne, but I’m not sure whether which is the better options. Frustrated and pissed that CPS doesn’t have a better program for all these kids. (P.S. I am a CPS teacher πŸ˜‰ )

  • 30. ML  |  April 25, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    We were offered a spot at South Loop RGC. Don’t know anyone from there, there’s also very little info about it and some unfavorable parent reviews on the net. The test scores don’t seem impressive but I was told they averaged the gifted scores with the neighborhood scores. Does anyone have any opinions or comments about South Loop. Got to reply by Monday. Any info would be of great help.

  • 31. another mommy  |  April 27, 2009 at 10:20 am

    My son didin’t get accepted into any gifted or classical schools. He received 99% on gifted, and 97% on classical test. He was accepted into Hawthorne so I am really happy (it is about 10min from our house, maybe less). Hello to all the new Hawthorne families! :o)

  • 32. ae  |  April 27, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    Got a call from Skinner West today. Now I totally don’t know what to do.

  • 33. cpsobsessed  |  April 27, 2009 at 10:37 pm

    Oh wow, so Skinner West vs Hawthorne? That is a tough one!

  • 34. cpsobsessed  |  April 27, 2009 at 10:39 pm

    One thing I like about Hawthorne is the ability to mix the kids up year to year, whereas Skinner (one class per grade, right?) is the same kids each year, more or less. That part kind of creeps me out. I talked to a kid from Bell (in high school now) who said it was no big deal – I just like the idea of some variety year by year.

  • 35. another local  |  April 28, 2009 at 6:41 am

    My thoughts on Skinner v. Hawthorne…we got into both (plus Pritzker)… And we’re going to Hawthorne. I think it’s the completely reliable choice. Skinner might be a tiny bit better, but it also might be quite a bit worse. My only concern is that it won’t be challenging enough, especially in reading, as she’s already doing chapter books…but if so, we’ll take the test again and hopefully get into Bell for first grade.

  • 36. Y  |  April 28, 2009 at 6:53 am

    Currently, Skinner West Classical has two classes per grade. Their current K class has three classrooms. The number of classrooms for future classes may change as the new building will also have a neighborhood program. We were offered Skinner West for 1st grade next year. We are wavering since we are outside of the busing boundaries. Currently, we are able to walk to our neighborhood school, which isn’t in the same league as GEAP schools in academics but offers other benefits.

  • 37. another mommy  |  April 28, 2009 at 8:54 am

    I think the Skinner vs Hawthorne debate is a no brainer. Hawthorne is a better choice. I spoke to my cousin who’s son attended Skinner. He is now a soph. at Whitney Young. Skinner is not one of the top schools it once was. 2 years ago, Skinner lost more than 80% of their experienced staff and the turnover has been substantial. Due to these changes and the acceptance of less qualified students, since the expansion, their rankings have dropped significantly. Hawthorne is probably a better choice.

  • 38. ae  |  April 28, 2009 at 9:32 am

    There are so many pros and cons to both that I don’t even know where to begin–and I have to make a decision by tomorrow! :/

  • 39. brenda  |  April 28, 2009 at 9:33 am

    Currently there’s one class per grade at Edison as well, and I really like it—the friendships that are formed by the time 8th grade rolls around are amazing and deep. Of course I guess it’s luck of the draw, if there’s an annoying kid in the class he/she is there for the duration, barring a move or something.

  • 40. SW Side Mom  |  April 28, 2009 at 5:02 pm

    Just curious if anyone reading here has heard about any movement with the SW side gifted schools. My majority son tested for Lenart and got a 135, but did not get in during the first round. We have not received a call for the second round, at least not yet. I am not even sure if we will send him there if he does get in, as we are very impressed with our neighborhood school (Sutherland) where is he currently registered for Kindergarten, but I was wondering if there are any SW side parents out there following this blog who has heard any scoop about Lenart. Thanks! πŸ™‚

  • 41. another mommy  |  April 29, 2009 at 11:47 am

    To SW side mom-

    So funny, I am from the Beverly area and lived in the Sutherland district (but went to a catholic school). I moved to the north side 8 years ago. Sutherland is an excellent school (good scores and nice racial diversity), a few of my friends growing up went there. If you live in Beverly, I would choose Sutherland. But…on the other hand, if you believe your child is really advanced he might get bored with being taught at his grade level, Lenart is a better bet. A good friend of mine’s daughter got into Lenart. She went to the open house and really liked what she heard. She said the teachers seemed like “experts” in their fields and the only thing lacking was an after school program. You have a tough decision, ultimately most people would want to be in your position. Good luck! :o)

  • 42. SW Side Mom  |  April 29, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    To another mommy –

    That is funny/small world! I actually was born and raised in Evanston and moved to Beverly w/ my husband (who is from Mt. Greeenwood) 6 years ago. I went to 12 years of public school and he went to 12 years of Catholic school, so we definately considered our neighborhood parish’s school. However, though many of our neighborhood friends are sending their children to our local Catholic school, we believe that Sutherland is the better school academically and feel that we can still give our son a good faith foundation at home.

    Anyway, I really appreciate your perspective. Thank you! Who knows if we’ll get a call from Lenart, but since I hear that if and when it happens we won’t have long to deicde if we want our son to take the spot, we are trying to find out as much as we can ahead of time. I do have a close neighborhood friend who has a child at Lenart and LOVES it. I also know a number of people whose children go to Sutherland and a very pleased too.

    Lastly, as you probably know there is another gift school in our neighborhood, Keller, but it doesn’t start until 1st grade. I also know a number of neighborhood friends whose children go there and they LOVE it too. So I am also torn, because if our son were to test into Keller next year for 1st grade we would almost definately send him there. This is in part because we like the location better than Lenart and because from what we have heard about Lenart vs. Keller, Keller seems like a better fit for our son (more “warm and fuzzy” some have described it to us). Which begs the question, what is the best option for Kindergarten for him and how much does it matter… In the end we may not even get a call, so time will tell. I do appreciate the fact that if and when we have a choice to make that it is not a bad position to be in! Thanks again for your feedback! πŸ™‚

  • 43. SW Side Mom  |  May 5, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    Just a brief update. I just spoke with Crystal Vance (Administrator of Student Selections at CPS). She told me when I spoke with her back in March after the GEAP letters had been sent out that if I checked back with her later on in the process, after there had been more movement, that she might be able to give me a better idea/narrow it down as to my son’s rank/chances of getting into Lenart. Anyway, today she said that they are still in the midst of the selection process and if she could she would call me back later today or tomorrow. She didn’t indicate what she might or might not be able to tell at that point. I know this isn’t much info, but still thought I would share. πŸ™‚

  • 44. PR  |  May 7, 2009 at 7:03 pm

    Question about magnets. My daughter is #10 on wait list for one currently (to enter 2nd grade). If I register her for another school does she get erased off the magnet school wait list?? This whole process is so complicated to me.

    Re test scores – Her classical score dropped from 96 to 71 – OMG. Gifted was about the same (127). It makes me regret the private school choice I made for her last year. (Sure, blame the school, mom). Miles away from gifted – so i’m crossing fingers for magnet.

  • 45. SW Side Mom  |  May 19, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    PR – I am pretty sure if you go ahead and register your daughter for another school that she will remain on the wait list and you will receive a call if and when a spot opens up for her. At least that is how I understand it for the RGC. I would assume that magnets work the same way, but I would double check w/ CPS administration to confirm.

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