Still a Chance to Get “The Call”

June 4, 2009 at 7:26 am 31 comments

From the comments showing up, it looks like Skinner West and other magnet schools are still calling about spots.  I think my son got a spot at Stone right around this time last year.

The schools need to wait to see if people drop out or change plans so the whole process takes a while.  I’m not quite sure what happens over the summer.  I think it’s all on hold based on how many people seem to get calls right at the begining of the school year.

So we’ve got a week and a half of school left.  Good luck to those still waiting for a call!

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Wow, CPS kicks butt… if you’re Asian Why you need to buy candy, go to auctions, and save Box Tops

31 Comments Add your own

  • 1. C  |  June 4, 2009 at 6:16 pm

    Just wanted to share the experience of the last day since I got the call for placement at Skinner West. It was left via voicemail yesterday at 4:40pm by Annette Daum who I assume is in charge of Classical school placements. I called and left a message twice this morning because she wanted confirmation by today at 5pm. The woman in charge of the placements was out all morning and didn’t return my call. So I called at 4pm today to speak with anyone I could find (I spoke to someone named Arlene) and she made a note on my son’s file indicating we will accept and also emailed Annette to let her know I called to accept. I was a bit worried that they wanted me to accept or decline by today yet I couldn’t get a hold of her. I will follow up tomorrow. At the very least, we know calls are still going out.

  • 2. Chris  |  June 6, 2009 at 7:49 am

    Yes..they’re still calling out for spots. We had a call yesterday friday and my son was offered a
    spot for Edison RGC for 1st grade. We totally forgot about him getting in but calls come unexpectedly sometimes.

  • 3. must decide  |  June 6, 2009 at 7:40 pm

    Quick! Solomon vs. Stone. The numbers are close. Any OPINIONS?

  • 4. cpsobsessed  |  June 6, 2009 at 7:52 pm

    Must –
    Wow, I have actually never heard of Solomon before but based on CPS.edu it looks very impressive. For a neighborhood school to have scores like that is fantastic. And it says they have accelerated math? I assume your neighbors are happy with it (and assume it’s your neighborhood school?)
    I loved Stone a lot from the tour and the couple people I know there are happy with it (although I wouldn’t say head over heels ecstatic, but pleased overall.)
    On the one hand you can always come back to your neighborhood school at any time.
    But all things considered, I think there’s something really nice and rewarding about attending your neighborhood school (or sometimes even any neighborhood school.) Parents really come together and since they all live close by there is a nice sense of community since the school is actually part of the community. And of course location is always good for neighborhood schools.
    My semi-informed advice would be to stay put if its your neighborhood school.

  • 5. Stonemom  |  June 7, 2009 at 9:49 am

    Solomon v. Stone-

    I know kids at both and the thing to keep in mind about Solomon is that it has only one class per grade. All things being equal I prefer mixing up the kids year to year.

    I don’t know where you live but the 2 schools are not far from each other – – – and even though Stone is a magnet it has a ‘neighborhood school’ feel to me. There are lots of people within walking distance or very close by (including us). We are in the same soccer leagues and baseball leagues- we see each other at the store etc.

    Good luck. Either choice would be great.

  • 6. must decide  |  June 7, 2009 at 11:02 am

    Thanks, great feedback. Anyone else have comment? Solomon is NOT our neighborhood school. Both are equal distance from home. Solomon is closer to sibling’s school and extracurriculars…. Mixing it up sounds interesting… Hey, Obsessed, is there any way to find out which highschools the 8th graders get selected for?

  • 7. cpsobsessed  |  June 7, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    This Solomon is so intriguing. So it’s a neighborhood school with one class per grade and you lotteried into it?
    I also think having a bigger mix of kids per grade is a nice benefit but I also place big importance on convenience.
    My son is in a class that will stay together until 8th grade, which doesn’t thrill me but they get mixed in with other K kids for art, music, gym, etc. I do know kids who’ve been through the one-class-per-grade and don’t feel it was a problem at all. They just feel they know those kids VERY well at the end of 8th grade.

    It seems like either school would give your child a very good chance to succeed through the years.
    People on the NPN message board have search for that info on high school admission with no luck. At one point there was info by high school (telling what % of kids in a high school came from certain elementary schools, but I don’t think that’s been online for a while.) I think your best bet is to call a school and ask, but it seems like they always kind of hem and haw without giving specifics (as in “yes, we’ve had kids attend the selective enrollment high schools.”)
    I would think that with either of those 2 schools your child would have a good chance at a top high school, assuming they applied themselves.

  • 8. curious  |  June 7, 2009 at 7:40 pm

    Question for the parent who heard from Skinner West last week, did you decline placement earlier at a different school? Is your child entering kinder or a different grade level?

    Does anyone have an idea about scores needed for the various schools on these later calls? Curious about both gifted and classical. Thanks!

  • 9. must decide  |  June 7, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    Re: Solomon – BTW demongraphics are heavy Asian (45%ish) to go with your earlier post…

  • 10. cpsobsessed  |  June 7, 2009 at 9:47 pm

    Regarding scores, only one I know of is a child who got into Decatur for 2nd grade with a 97% (minority.)
    I’d be curious to know about Skinner’s scores as well.

  • 11. cpsobsessed  |  June 7, 2009 at 9:54 pm

    Chris – wow, that is great! I’m sure it was put into motion by some family telling the school this past week that they’re leaving next year. I always wonder about the circumstances (but I’m just naturally nosy that way.) In any case, congratulations!

  • 12. South Side Mom  |  June 7, 2009 at 11:19 pm

    I think the lowest percentile for the Classical will be 97%. I know of one student who was called in the second round for a southside classical with a score of 97%. While another child with a score of 96% has NOT been called. The parents have been calling the principal and the principal has now said all slots are filled…

  • 13. C  |  June 7, 2009 at 11:55 pm

    To curious –
    my child is entering Kinder. Skinner was our first and only choice because all the other schools are too far away. We live in the near southwest side and our neighborhood schools don’t provide the best options in low-income immigarnt communities. We were set to go to a magnet (which I had mixed feelings about) a few miles away from us until we got the skinner west call. Considering the school options we have in our community, Skinner is a major opportunity for us and I am really thrilled by the diversity at Skinner.

  • 14. brenda  |  June 8, 2009 at 5:46 am

    Have you visited both? I did last year and highly preferred Stone’s facilities and atmosphere.

  • 15. congratulations  |  June 8, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    I am very excited for you getting into Skinner fo kinder. It is such a great opportunity offering diversity, a central location, great scores, and a new building! Do you know the lowest % score that has been accepted at this time?

    What magnet school were you considering? Also wondering if you considered any of the regional Gifted Programs?

    thanks

  • 16. C  |  June 8, 2009 at 10:09 pm

    Thank you!
    We were considering Saucedo and Gunsaulus and had decided on Saucedo. We were wait listed at Galileo and rejected by A. Jackson; I completey fogot to apply to Sheridan, which is only 3 miles away from us. I will apply there next year just in case but I am sure Skinner will do. I applied to Carnegie Edison and South Loop as well as Beasley ( I myself went to Beasley for 8 years and got into Young HS).
    My child (minority applicant) got a 95% on the classical test.
    I am excited about Skinner’s location as it is on the way to my school. So we are looking forward to the opportunity. I also have a much younger sister who already attends Skinner so my child will know someone at Skinner and I can arrange to drop off my son and sister in exchange for having them picked up and dropped off at home for me. I couldn’t have asked for a better deal!

  • 17. congratulations  |  June 9, 2009 at 10:22 am

    Thanks for sharing your information, new Skinner mom. Good for you and enjoy!

    Question to anyone else who might know. Students who were evaluated for both gifted and classical seem to be clearly stronger in one or the other. I thought students who are scoring in the upper 90 percentiles for either test would be able to score that high in both areas. Is the curriculum all that different between the two types of schools, both seem accelerated. Any insight, please share.

    thanks

  • 18. cpsobsessed  |  June 10, 2009 at 11:51 pm

    I don’t know if most students test much higher in one than another. I know plenty of kids who scored close on both tests. I would imagine there is some general correlation. The gifted test supposedly tests for logic comprehension so in theory a child who’s never been to preschool or had any type of “teaching” could excel at that test. But the classical test looks for pre-reading and pre-math skills and there are some kids who either develop these skills later or haven’t been exposed to them a ton when they take the test.
    Then there are kids who truly do excel at one area but not another.
    And for the test before Kindergarten, the kids are given both tests in a row. I would imagine that plenty of kids lose concentration by test #2.
    I even read about one mom who considered picking just the 1 test she thought her child would do better on to prevent test fatigue. Probably a good strategy if you think you can select your best option or if you know you don’t want a gifted or classical school.

  • 19. South Side Mom  |  June 11, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    My son attends a southside classical (he is now in 1st grade). When he was tested two years ago he was in the 90th percentile on the gifted test and the 99th on the classical test. He was offered a seat at a classical and a gifted school. I chose the classical program because I thought the gifted curriculum would drive him to hate school when he reached the upper grades. He had both tests in one day. I heard parents could petition to have the tests on two different days if they wanted.

  • 20. C  |  June 11, 2009 at 8:24 pm

    For whatever it indicates, my son did well on the classical portion of the test and did just above average on the gifted portion of the test (95% on classical and a score of 115 for gifted).
    I think he will do just fine in school. Developmentally, it would be interesting to know if test scores vary based on if a kid takes the test just soon after turning four or when they will soon be 5. Do those few months of age difference provide the “older” kids with added time to develop and learn? In other words, is there a noticeable difference in development within the 4th year of a child’s life and, if so, does the testing account for that.
    My son impresses me with his ability now more so than when he took the test in November. I’m sure many of you notice progress in your children within a few months time. What are your thoughts?

  • 21. curious  |  June 11, 2009 at 9:19 pm

    Thank you for sharing the information about the two tests.

    What about the gifted programming had you concerned that your son would hate school by the upper grades rather than the classical approach? They are both accelerated but how so different? Just trying to get a better understanding.

    Would anyone be willing to share what they know about the two types of programs, similarities, differences?

    Thanks

  • 22. cpsobsessed  |  June 11, 2009 at 10:31 pm

    C – they supposedly “grade” the test based on the child’s birth month, so age shouldn’t give an advantage. But I too saw a huge leap in my son’s early reading skills (I mean VERY early – like 2-3 letter words) a few months after the test (closer to age 5.) It’s a key time when a couple months can make a huge difference. So in theory, maybe it’s not older children who have the edge, but those who happen to advance even a couple months ahead of schedule. Which reminds me how crazy it is to test at this age for a program that runs until 8th grade!

  • 23. the heckler  |  June 11, 2009 at 10:38 pm

    About seeing where kids get into high schools, go to
    http://research.cps.k12.il.us/resweb/schoolqry
    enter the school you want, then go under “other” and there should be an “Elementary to High School Transition” report. Unfortunately, it looks like they stopped reporting this in 2005.

  • 24. South Side Mom  |  June 11, 2009 at 11:42 pm

    Curious,
    The gifted program teaches two years above grade level and the classical program teaches one year. I have heard in the upper grades at RGCs the children have several hours of homework per day, which leaves little time for leisure. I think leisure time is important given that the children function above grade level. I just didn’t want my child stressed out. I think he’s challenged MOST days in the classical program, but would have bocme frazzled as he got older.

  • 25. curious  |  June 12, 2009 at 11:44 am

    South Side Mom

    Thanks for sharing. These decisions are so hard to make and everyone sharing their thoughts, information and experiences here is so helpful!

  • 26. C  |  June 12, 2009 at 6:53 pm

    Heckler- thanks for the link; it provided some useful information.

    Speaking of high schools, Does anyone know what year the selective enrollment high schools began testing to get in or even when the grade school level began administering testing? I remember taking an exam a long while ago but I don’t remember if I took an entrance exam or a placement exam before I went to Young. Appreciate the help.

    Also, about how many freshman seats are available each year per selective enrollment high school (Young, Payton, Northside)?

  • 27. CPS parent  |  June 13, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    My child, caucasin, Scored 99.9% on both classical and gifted – twice. He was accepted to both Edison and Decatur. We choose Edison for K. My child was bored at Edison. It was to easy. Now at Decatur and a straight A student. The work is more challenging and while my child could probably take on a heavier load. It is challenging enough and there is still time to be a kid.

    Also, for what it is worth as of today there are two Edison 2nd grade spots and 1 Edison 4th grade spot that I know of for anyone looking . I know of 2 families who annonced they were leaving on Friday.

  • 28. the heckler  |  June 13, 2009 at 10:32 pm

    7th grade is the BIG year. Getting into a selective enrollment high school (14,000 applicants this year for 3,000 spots) is based on a 1000 point system. 300 for ISATs, 300 for grades, 300 for Sel. Enrollment Exam and 100 for attendance. Here is the site for the exact break down:

    http://www.selectiveenrollment.org/apps/news/show_news.jsp?REC_ID=79374&id=0&rn=7161793

    I foresee big problems as the amount of students qualified to take the exam increases in the years to come…

  • 29. the heckler  |  June 13, 2009 at 10:38 pm

    and here is the scores needed to get into those selective schools

    http://www.selectiveenrollment.org/about/competition.jsp?rn=3835727

  • 30. Two cents  |  June 15, 2009 at 4:35 pm

    I agree, “Heckler.”

    Don’t forget the average composite score is different for each racial group. White kids needed around 980 or up to get into Payton this year. Some hispanic and black kids got in on 940s and 950s. (I think this is good, actually- without the affirmative action these schools would be all white and Asian, and we all benefit from the diversity!) Many Northside students got in with extremely high scores, 990 and even perfect 1000s. Every year the composite score needed to get in has gone up! Why?
    Word on the street says private school parents are coming to CPS more and more for high school; both because of the tanking economy and because the top schools really are great. But for those who have put their time and energy into public education it’s infuriating to see those precious slots get nabbed by families that can afford private. I heard 40% of this fall’s freshman class at Northside went to private elementaries.

    Also, students with 5th percentile ISATs can take the SEHS test, but really, only 9th percentile kids get in- thus the huge number that applied. I think it gives families false hopes to allow students to take the test with less than 9th percentile scores.

  • 31. s.e. grad  |  July 22, 2009 at 7:25 pm

    PULLED FROM DISTRICT 299 BLOG:

    Selective Enrollment Scandal At CPS?

    Got this from the PURE list serve:

    This is your chance to speak out.

    I’m getting a lot of calls about Ron Huberman’s announcement (no doubt in response to the Tribune) that he is going to investigate the selective high school enrollment process.

    Reporters REALLY want to talk to a parent (or student) about their experiences. Please e-mail me or call 312-491-9101 if you are willing to talk about it.

    Red more here http://pureparents.org/index.php?blog/show/Its_about_time

    > CPS obsessed parents might have a story or two to share!

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