Post your news here, Part 2

March 27, 2010 at 2:40 pm 299 comments

UPDATE: According to one of our field reporters, Academic Center letters were mailed Monday night (March 29.)

Well, my loyal obessers, here’s the lowdown right now….

First of all 5,850 blog hits yesterday.  Thank you, my fellow crazies!  And thank you all for the kind words.  I’m glad to provide a place where people can share information and find out the scoop from other like-minded parents.
And yes, I decided to “out” myself for a recent Tribune article (I’m posting the link even though I look utterly pained in the photo – which I was since my son was being crazy after 30 min with the photographers.)  His long hair was a major photographic obstacle and I had to finally hold it out of his face.  Sigh..
And I swear, I did tell the reported that having a good neighborhood school as a back-up (as I do) is the best way to sleep well at night.,0,5712084.story

But, back to business!
So far, the Acceptance letters for the Gifted and Classical schools have gone out.  It sounds like the non-acceptance letters are starting to arrive too (nothing at my house yet.)  No one has reported on letters from the Academic Centers.

The Classical letters give a score and percentile.  The Gifted letters give a score but not a percentile (but you can call the testing office to get that percentile.)   The scores seem really high again this year, as they were last year (as compared to previous years when scores in the low 130’s was considered near the top of the heap.)

I’ll say it again, but keep in mind that there is a LOT of movement after this first round of offers.  Kids will leave classes for a range of reasons, parents will turn down spots, etc.  It’s far from over, so don’t despair.

Keep the posts coming.  We all love to hear what’s going on in other households….

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Gifted/Classical/Magnet Letters – Post Updates Here! Some good budget news

299 Comments Add your own

  • 1. 2ndtimearound  |  March 27, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    We received an acceptance letter today w/ a score but no percentile for the RGC and the opposite for the classical. When we tested 2 years ago, we had both details for both tests. Maybe I should call IIT and ask them. Any thoughts?

  • 2. CPSnewbie  |  March 27, 2010 at 2:52 pm


    If you’re testing to enter 1st grade and up I believe the scores are shown differently than for K.Most of the obsessors 🙂 here are looking to get into K. My son’s letter stated a gifted score, and the Classical was broken into two scores – a reading percentile and a math percentile. I called IIT to have them explain. They were very nice and reiterated that the gifted scores are NOT IQ scores. The number given correlates to a percentile which they will tell you if you want. The percentiles are based on a national norm.

  • 3. cpsobsessed  |  March 27, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    Thanks CPSnewbie!
    So your scores are for going into K?

  • 4. anxious  |  March 27, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    Repeat of comment in below post with addendum:

    Anyone have any thoughts on the chances of getting into South Loop’s gifted program w/ a score of 134 (tier 3)? Either our son gets in or we move to the suburbs.

    Also — anyone have any sense of when they will let us know about the next wave of admissions? Will they wait until after the acceptance deadline? What have they done in the past?

    I hate this.

  • 5. cpsobsessed  |  March 27, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    Yes, you have to wait for the deadline to pass. Then it takes a few days for them to regroup. Then they start contacting again (can’t recall if that round is by mail or phone.)
    At some point it is all done by phone and you have just a couple days to make your decision.

  • 6. SW Side Jen  |  March 27, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    So we’ve placed for K at Pritzker RGC for next year we also landed a spot through proximity lottery at Gunsaulus which I think we are going to give up. Still waiting to hear if my oldest is on the waiting list for Suder since my youngest landed a PreK spot there.

    Anyone have kids at Pritzker? I thought it would be a good fit for us because of transportation- but I haven’t heard much about it. I get the feeling from the other posters that maybe it is not as competitive to get into. Any feedback about Pritzker would be great! Thanks

  • 7. CPSnewbie  |  March 27, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    cspobsessed – I’m sorry, I guess I wasn’t clear. The gifted (numerical) score and the two percentile scores for Classical were listed on my letter because my son was testing to enter 1st grade. If you tested for K you get two numerical scores, one for gifted and one for classical. IIT will give you a percentile equivalent for those two numerical scores as well if you call.

  • 8. south loop mom  |  March 27, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    Just got the letter. Didn’t get into South Loop Gifted with a score of 141 (tier 4)..

  • 9. Christine  |  March 27, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    Anxious…is South Loop your neighborhood school?

  • 10. wondering  |  March 27, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    I have not yet gotten a letter from Skinner to see if my son got in (to one of the upper grades). Does anyone know if the kindergarten letters went out before the upper grades?

  • 11. Y  |  March 27, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    Has anyone ever confirmed that CPS uses the same test or scoring scale every year? A rejection of a child with a 141 from South Loop seems out of line with past years.

  • 12. Christine  |  March 27, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    Hi Y…Remember that it Tiering comes into play as well. They may be higher scores in your same tier.

  • 13. SS Mom, too  |  March 27, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    @ Wondering, I’m still waiting to hear about Skinner West 2nd grade. My neighbors received their non-acceptances today but nothing for me.

  • 14. akanji  |  March 27, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    Didn’t get into either Edison or Coonely with a 142. Called IIT and they said 142 = 99.7% which I thought was pretty good, but not good enough. Classical score of 138 = 98%.

    Does anyone have any suggestions on good alternatives (private school or montessori) for students that did 99%+ on the test but didn’t get a seat? I’m concerned a regular kindergarten may not be challenging enough.

  • 15. cpsmom  |  March 27, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    People have said it before, but just hold tight. There is bound to be some movement in the next few months. And usually, some schools are more popular than others, so if your child got a good score and you wanted a less popular school and you are in a lower tier, you probably have a shot.

  • 16. BeverlyMom  |  March 27, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    131 for son going into kindergarten – only school selected was Lenart, tier 4 – NO. Curious to see what acceptance scores have been for Lenart. Also, no letter yet on my current Kindergartner who is currently in a gifted school. Odd. Can’t imagine he dropped below even being worthy of rec’ving a letter, right?

  • 17. SS CPS Mom  |  March 27, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    I wonder if class sizes increase to 37, bus service is cut and Kindergarten goes to half day how many people will give up their spots. I’m not hoping for the cuts but they seem like they are going to happen and I’m pretty sure bus service is cut regardless if more money is found for the schools. My neice was accepted to Skinner West and my sister in law said if Kindergarten goes to half day she will turn down the spot.

  • 18. cpsobsessed  |  March 27, 2010 at 7:29 pm

    @Beverlymom, I think the acceptances for kids in spots above the entry grade will take longer. First they have to wait for families to give notice that they’re leaving (and some of those are families who are waiting on letters right now.) Only once they find that out can they start offering spots. So I’m guessing that one takes a longer, ya know?

  • 19. suburbsbound  |  March 27, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    First choice Edison. Score of 135 for gifted. Tier 4. Rejected. It seems the only way to get the sibs together is move to Park Ridge. It’s sad that after all the money pumped into the schools we’re left with options like this. I’m sure Duncan will have as great an effect on the nation’s schools as he’d had on Chicago’s. Anyone want to buy a house in extremely wealthy Jefferson Park?

  • 20. 60647 dad  |  March 27, 2010 at 9:17 pm

    Still nothing–I’m not holding my breath. Nine PK applications & a state in the red.

  • 21. telispeople  |  March 27, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    Can anyone offer any info on Skinner North? Our oldest child was just accepted into the program, but there seems to be almost no information about the school on the web. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  • 22. 2ndtimearound  |  March 27, 2010 at 9:53 pm

    Their website is Skinnernorthstars. I toured a while back. I thought the principal was great, as well as the classrooms and teachers. I also know a parent w/ a child in first grade who loves it. A great group of parents w/ great leadership that I’m sure will have more followers as the years go by. People have concerns about the neighborhood, but all the stuff is being torn down and rebuilt up. Pump it Up and the British School are right around the corner. It can only get better over there, right? Oh, and Fantasy Kingdom and the GIANT whole foods too.

  • 23. 2ndtimearound  |  March 27, 2010 at 9:54 pm

    also, skinner north is having a parent tour after spring break. see the website. good luck!

  • 24. khs  |  March 27, 2010 at 11:24 pm

    We live in Tier 4 and my son tested at 147 for classical. We ranked Decatur as 4th choice and that is the only classical we put down – didn’t get in. What scores did children get (Tier 4) who got into Decatur? I have a sense that 147 is a high score but there is no percentile listed so can’t tell.

  • 25. cpsobsessed  |  March 27, 2010 at 11:28 pm

    Wow, this is really crazy with the high scores not getting spots. I have to think it is related to the new Tier system.
    Someone named Steph posted in another comment area about 99th percentile on gifted and not getting in.
    Trying to find out what Tier that was….

  • 26. parent  |  March 27, 2010 at 11:43 pm

    khs – wow. 147 and not getting in. I was told 148 was 99.9%. Seems pretty strange. (We didn’t rank Decatur – it’s too far from us . . we are also Tier 4).

  • 27. CPSnewbie  |  March 27, 2010 at 11:52 pm

    I think 148 is a 99.9% on the gifted test. I know someone from tier 3 who got into Decatur with a 168.

  • 28. parent  |  March 28, 2010 at 12:50 am

    As mentioned on the other message string (the one with more than 300 posts), you can call the ITT Call Center and find out the percentile. 148 on the classical was the 99.9% – the call center representative was very helpful and thorough in explaining all of it, as well as what the range of scores actually was and how to interpret the test scores and percentiles. At the end of the day, I’m not sure how much that matters – either you get in or you don’t, but nonetheless I think it is helpful to speak to the test administrators if you want to know where your child’s score placed.

  • 29. Virgo Mama  |  March 28, 2010 at 8:43 am

    RGC 114, Classical 119. Rejected. We are Tier 2. Our first choice was Skinner West. What are the odds we’d get a call in a later round? I feel like the scores are very low compared to others. However, ds might be the youngest child tested this year. A couple of months has made a huge difference in his reading progress.

    Ds is a legacy and it’s sad he won’t be able to follow in dd’s path.

  • 30. KCK  |  March 28, 2010 at 9:06 am

    @Virgo Mama – I got a few friends also live in Tier 2 and only 2 of them got their letters yesterday. One of them scored RGC 127 & Classical 130 & the other (who’s b-day is in August) scored RGC 11x & Classical 12x, both got turned down.

    Actually the age of the child is the not the issue, as the OAE would give her the appropriate test material that is for her age, so the outcome would be the same as older kids!

  • 31. Christine  |  March 28, 2010 at 9:40 am

    #31 KCK, by your post…do you mean that the test material is really relevant by the exact age of the child? So if your child is 4 years and 6 months when they test, they get material that would be different than someone who is 5 years 1 month when testing if they are both testing for K and one has a later birthday than the other keeping them in preschool longer?

  • 32. KCK  |  March 28, 2010 at 9:44 am

    @Christine – you’re right, that’s how it works!

  • 33. cpsmom  |  March 28, 2010 at 9:49 am

    I don’t think they actually give different tests by age…I believe they adjust the scores by age.

  • 34. KCK  |  March 28, 2010 at 9:52 am

    btw, that’s what I heard from other parents! Please correct me if I’m wrong.

  • 35. Y  |  March 28, 2010 at 9:54 am

    The reps from OAE have said they give the same tests for kids going into the same grade. The scores are adjusted to account for differences in birthdays.

  • 36. KCK  |  March 28, 2010 at 9:59 am

    @cpsmom & Y, thanks for correcting me.

  • 37. LR  |  March 28, 2010 at 10:11 am

    I don’t have a child going into K this year (thank god), but the numbers make no sense to me. I don’t doubt that there are a lot of smart kids out there. However, being a former researcher, the sheer number of kids that are scoring 99% and above, doesn’t seem possible.

    Let’s assume for the sake of argument that 3,000 K’s tested for gifted/classical programs. And it looks like there are 12 schools, so roughly 400 spots? And it seems like all the K’s who got in are 99.5% and above. So 400/3,000 kids are 99.5% and above? Why is the distribution so off? I would expect it to be a little off because the test is self-selected – the people who take the test are people who think their child has a chance of getting in. So, I would expect that more than 1% of kids who took this particular test score 99th percentile plus. But, do you see what I am saying that it is nearly impossible that hundreds of kids out of 3,000 would score 99% and above? There is no reason to believe that the distribution of scores in Chicago should be a whole lot different than nationally. It seems like out of the 3,000 K’s who tested at least 500 are in the top 1-2%. That means that conservatively 17% of the K’s tested are being told they have scores in the top 1-2% of nationalized norms. Like I said – don’t doubt that there are lots of smart kids out there; but, I think something is flawed. I would not be shocked to see scores kind of flatten out a bit next year.

    I definitely think that is the case based on our experience. Last year when my daughter was applying to K, the scores were all ridiculous (many kids who scored 130’s and 140’s didn’t get in). This year, the scores for getting in are in the 120’s. Something ain’t right.

  • 38. S  |  March 28, 2010 at 10:15 am

    Seeing the scores posted that are same as or higher than ours reminds me what a crapshoot this whole process is.


    Gifted: 135
    Classical: 124

    not accepted

  • 39. S  |  March 28, 2010 at 10:31 am

    that’s Tier 2

  • 40. kna'smom  |  March 28, 2010 at 10:34 am

    @khs- that is a really high score. The fact that Decatur was ranked fourth is probably the reason why your child was not admitted. Unfortunately the ranking can work against you.

  • 41. Y  |  March 28, 2010 at 11:09 am

    @kna’s mom- Ranking a school lower should not work against you. It is only an indication of your preference for schools. Placement is determined only by the score and whether spots are available in the programs selected.

    In the recent past, the RGC and classical placements have not been influenced by the ranking. The ranking issue did affect entry into SE programs before this year.

  • 42. virgo mama  |  March 28, 2010 at 11:15 am

    I realize they adjust scores based on month of birth but I think the progress ds has made vs whatever adjustment may not be the same. Either way I’m just wondering how low they may go. We are tier 2 so I thought that might help us to get a call back to either skinner not decatur obviously.

  • 43. LR  |  March 28, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    My post above is confusing. An easier way to look at it, of an estimated 3,000 Kindergarteners who took the test, 1 in every 100 should be 99th percentile. So 99th percentile should equal roughly 30 kids (maybe a bit more, because the test is self selected). However, as far as I can tell, there are at least 400 of 3,000 Kindergarteners scoring at 99th percentile or higher????? I’m perplexed. How do you account for the difference between 30 and 400? Maybe S is right – maybe it is just a crapshoot.

  • 44. Christine  |  March 28, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    Thanks CPSMom and KCK. I had no idea they were adjusted.

  • 45. CPSnewbie  |  March 28, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    I think ranking in a sense does affect your chances because they go by the score, giving the highest scores their first choice. Most likely Decatur will fill up quickly. Then if they move down the list of scores if your child scored the same as someone else who ranked Decatur 2nd while you ranked it 4th, the other child might get it first. I’m not sure if this understanding is correct. cpsobsessed might be able to clarify since she seems to be on top of it all! Of course there is the tier factor as well. Honestly, I don’t know how they figure it out – there’s bound to be “mistakes. “

  • 46. DahliChi  |  March 28, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    Kids are ranked against national norms. We have to believe that the group of kids is basically self-selected ( by having motivated/educated parents) and would, as a group, score higher than a general population.

  • 47. CPSnewbie  |  March 28, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    When we think about 1 in every 100 kids being in the 99th% that is a figure which works across the entire population. The entire population of cps children was about 407,000 in 2008 (including high school). So it is much more likely that 400 kids out of say 30,000 would score in the 99th%. Plus, as stated above, the kids who test are there because they have motivated parents and so the results may be skewed.

  • 48. 2ndtimearound  |  March 28, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    Ok people, here is some clarification about testing and the different ages. 1. I do not know the test that IIT uses for the children. 2. I am a teacher and have administered and learned to administer different tests for children. 3. Here is an ex: of how tests can take into account a child’s age at the time of the test: There is an exam (NOT used for this purpose) called the Peabody (PPVT). It measures children’s expressive language (how much they understand). There is a formula that the administrator uses to calculate the child’s age on the day of the test (ex: 4 yrs 2 months) The child’s begins the test by pointing to the pictures they think correspond to the word that the test administer says. There is a ceiling for each group of words ( many tests have ceilings ( the # of errors a child has in a set before the administer stops the test)) When the child reaches his/her ceiling for the set, the exam is stopped and calculated. The child is given a RAW score. Usually this is determined by subtracting the # of errors from the total # of test questions. THEN, the score is CONVERTED to a score from the norm- referenced charts that corresponds to the child’s age. In the Peabody, the age increments are in 2 months (ex: 4 yrs 3 months – 4 yrs 4 months) This number is usually plotted on a bell curve where you are able to see where they are at (below average, average, above average, extremely above average) If you all remember the bell curve from math class, the curve is pretty big and allows for a lot of scores, with 100 being right in the middle of average. As you progress to the right of the curve, you have a smaller percentile of children with those scores. SO……….. back to the age issue. A young 4 year old can miss the same # of questions as an older 4 year old. They will have the same RAW score, but a different score for the end because their score will correspond to their age-related norm-referenced score. I hope this clears things up for some parents:)

  • 49. sickofcps  |  March 28, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    Is anyone going to address one of the main reasons why there are not enough slots for the children apllying to the gifted, magnet and classical schools? The problem is there ia a large number of students in these schools that don’t live in the City of Chicago. They come from the surrounding suburbs and even Indiana. Their parents lie and use addresses of their relatives that reside in Chicago to get these kids in. These kids take seats away from the children of taxpaying Chicago residents and CPS knows it and doesn’t do anything about it. I personally know quite a few children that attend these schools that don’t live in Chicago. When I tried to explain this to a high ranking CPS official, I was told that it is up to each principal to perform residency checks on each student. Do you think they even bother? I have written the Tribune and the Suntimes about this many times because this needs to be publicized. I don’t know about you all but I don’t want my taxes funding any suburbanites to go to our schools while I sit back and chew my fingernails waiting to see if my kids get accepted into a decent school. Believe me, it’s a bad feeling when the rejection letters start rolling in for your kids and you know that acceptance letters have arrived for the kids living in Calumet City, Illinois.

  • 50. Another CPS mom  |  March 28, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    @sick of CPS, my dc goes to a RGC and I don’t know of anyone who lives outisde of the city limits. Where are you getting your information? I find it hard to believe that a parent would drive their child from Calumet City or Indiana to Chicago and back everyday. It takes many parents over an hour commute time living INSIDE the city limits (and yes, I know for sure they live there) With an 8 am school start time, that is the kids and parents waking at 6 am to make it to homeroom on time.

    I think there are less parents who can afford private tuition these days, thus the upsurge in applications.

    No offense, but you sound paranoid.

  • 51. tommybabe  |  March 28, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    My son was rejected for the South Loop–had a 113. God…this is devastating news….

  • 52. two cents  |  March 28, 2010 at 6:34 pm

    S@sickofcps….as a parent of a childen in RGC and Magnet schools, none of their classmates are from out of the city…

  • 53. CPSmama  |  March 28, 2010 at 6:51 pm


    I know of 2 families who were booted out of a Classical school when they moved to a nearby suburb. It wasn’t that they started out living in the suburb, they moved there after the kids had been at the school for 5 years. And, they continued to own property in Chicago, but were told they’d have to start paying tuition (30k or voluntarily leave the CPS district.

    I’m sure that there are others who slip through and don’t get caught, but that percentage is very small.

    I live on NW side, near Niles West HS. Believe me, there are far more Chicago kids claiming suburban addresses than the other way around

  • 54. tom h  |  March 28, 2010 at 6:59 pm

    What does Tier 1, Tier 2, etc. mean? I have been searching and cannot figure it out.

  • 55. Y  |  March 28, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    @tom h – it’s the way 60% of the seats are distributed for RGC/Classical/SE and any general lottery seats for magnet schools. It’s a new system implemented this year. Link to OAE’s site below.

  • 56. moveIntoChicago  |  March 28, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    Thanks a lot for letting me get a lot of information from “Post your news here, Part 2”. I want to know where is “Post your news here, Part 1”? So I can get more.

  • 57. Wish I could move  |  March 28, 2010 at 8:57 pm


    Does anyone know what score typically gets you into Keller? We are in Tier IV. What kind of score would work?

  • 58. 60643 Mom  |  March 28, 2010 at 9:49 pm

    @Y–thanks for the link to the tier info.

    We won’t be doing the process until next year, but I am somewhat confused by the tier system. Does it mean (like I think it does) that we are tiered according to our neighborhood stats rather than our individual data/information? And does anyone know how to figure out which tier you are in, eg is all of 60643 in the same tier?

  • 59. 2ndtimearound  |  March 28, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    @60643 Mom

    There used to be info on the CPS website about the tiers and the classification used. It may have been under the Programs section, under Office of Academic enhancement. I thought I read that the tiers would only be used this year and then a new system would be implemented for next year. I could be wrong though. I did call the Office of Academic Enhancement w/ questions and they were polite and somewhat helpful. I did call during the December break, so maybe things were not as busy. I would not recommend calling now or in the next 2 – 3 weeks as they will be flooded w/ questions about lost letters, score interpretations, second round details, etc.

  • 60. cpsobsessed  |  March 28, 2010 at 10:32 pm

    Here is the place to calculate Tier:

    I’ve added it to the Links section on the lower right (which is called Blogroll for some odd reason….)
    Now I won’t have to spend 15 minutes every time I want to find it on the CPS web site. Jeez!

  • 61. Joan  |  March 29, 2010 at 8:22 am

    Nothing in my mail as yet, does that mean that the rejected letter is coming next.

  • 62. Adele  |  March 29, 2010 at 8:46 am

    Re: tiers —
    Google Roz Rossi of the Sun Times. She did a great piece explaining the tiers and included an interactive map.

    Re: the high number of very high scores —
    LR is onto something. What if people made a Freedom of Information Request to learn the actual scores and tiers of those who were made offers at the different schools? The names remain private.

    # 50 is not paranoid. —
    It is not at all uncommon for folks to use a relative’s city address so that their child can be enrolled in a desirable CPS school.

  • 63. Christine  |  March 29, 2010 at 9:19 am

    @sickofcps…I have to say that I too think more Chicago kids are utilizing the suburban schools than the other way around. I have relatives that teach in the burbs and several of their kids actually live in the City but use addresses of family in the burbs to go there. To top it off, they don’t even start school when the burbs start. Although they are enrolled and continue to be enrolled each year, they show up to their suburban schools on the same day that CPS starts theirs effectively missing 1 – 2 weeks of classes at the beginning of each year.

  • 64. FsPs  |  March 29, 2010 at 9:24 am

    Wow. The whole process is a mess.
    We are college educated (Masters degree) folks, living in a new (5 y/o) condo near UIC. Fortunately (I guess) our address puts us 1 block into Tier 1. As a reult, (it appears) our son got into Skinner North w/ a 130 classical, 131 gifted score. It sounds like had we lived a few blocks away this may not be the case. I’m happy that we got into a Classical school, but sadened by what a mess the whole system is. Wouldn’t it be nice if all schools were good schools?

  • 65. WickerParkDad  |  March 29, 2010 at 10:03 am

    Our son also just got into Pritzker Gifted (148). We live about 3 blocks from the school, and have lived in the neighborhood for over 10 years. Pritzker has been an outstanding fine arts school for several years, but there addition of a Gifted program, along with a Pre-K program, has attracted some incredible teachers, and raised a lot of parent awareness. Several of the pre-K parents have formed Friends of Pritzker, and they are raising money to revamp the playground area, and have been active in bringing in art and music programs for the kids.

    Although biased towards the ‘hood, this was the one and only school on our Gifted list.

  • 66. Wish I Could Move  |  March 29, 2010 at 10:09 am

    I just am shocked that many kids get these scores. I am glad they do, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t know how they do. My daughters go to a private school, reputedly one of the top private schools according to the Chicago Mag article in 2006, and they are creative and intelligent. But their scores on these tests….I can’t believe how low they are. They get excellent grades at their private school (our finding has dried up), but I guess it doesn’t translate to these tests.

  • 67. anxious  |  March 29, 2010 at 10:12 am

    Anybody get lottery letters from Murray or Ray yet?

  • 68. cpsobsessed  |  March 29, 2010 at 10:16 am

    I agree – the test scores this year and last year have been amazingly high. I called GEAP last year to ask if they’d changed the test or more kids tested or what, but of course they’ll reveal nothing about the test. It was a bit harder to gauge the gifted test last year since they didn’t include the percentile (and for some reason nobody thought to call about it!)

    In theory, the gifted test should be measuring pure reasoning/logic abilities without any influence from education. That is what testing people will say. Or course if this were true, there would be no bias for socio-economic factors, which we know there is.

    There are so many more types of intelligence than a test like this measures (and this is probably an abbreviated version of a true intelligence test.) Perhaps kids in top private schools are focusing more on things like creative writing, working in groups, delving into a subject that is of interest to them. These might not translate well onto the Classical test, etc but are certainly highly valuable skills to have!

  • 69. cpsobsessed  |  March 29, 2010 at 10:21 am

    Regarding the # of kid who score in the top 1%.
    A few things to keep in mind…. there are almost 30,000 Kindergarteners who enter CPS each year. Unbelievable.
    In theory, 300 of those kids are in the top 1% and would get a spot in a gifted/classical program.
    Of course many of those kids don’t test. But something like 5000+ do take the test/s.

    Many of the schools offer spots down to the 97% level or so.
    At that point you’re talking 900 kids, perhaps half of whom test.
    So that’s 450 kids in the top 3% which is way more than the number of spots.
    Even if they go down to 98%, that is probably 600 kids (assume 1/2 tested, so 300 kids net) who could rank at the top of those lists. And that’s close to the number of spots there are, I think.

  • 70. Y  |  March 29, 2010 at 10:24 am

    @Wish I Could Move – Don’t worry about their scores. It’s a single test on one day. If you are happy with your school and your children enjoy it, then it’s been a good fit for your family. The RGC and Classical programs are not for everyone. While they are typically great programs, the rigor or coursework can be overwhelming for some kids. Also, entry to SE schools may be more difficult from these programs since grades from RGC/CS programs are not weighted in the SE formula.

  • 71. RL Julia  |  March 29, 2010 at 10:25 am

    Any idea if there is a different timeline for 7th admission for Whitney Young or Taft?

  • 72. NWSideDad  |  March 29, 2010 at 11:02 am

    Thanks for all of the information. Lots of good info on this blog.

    Our daughter got into CoonleyRGC Kindergarten.

    Pre-K Gifted: 148
    Classical: 128

    We have her in a Montessori school in an effort to get her placed well.

    Coonley wasn’t our highest choice. Anybody have any feedback on this RGC?



  • 73. CPSnewbie  |  March 29, 2010 at 11:55 am

    Did anyone here get into Coonley or Edison 1st grade?

  • 74. cpsobsessed  |  March 29, 2010 at 12:29 pm


    Coonley is hosting a RGC tour on Thursday, April 8 at 9:30 am.
    The program is new but very solid and the neighborhood program is also very good and growing. Reviews from the tours last year were very positive and very few families left after the first year. The school will have a new principal next year (current Asst Principal.)

  • 75. MadEd  |  March 29, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    My husband had me pull away from the computer last night as I was fretting over not receiving the mail for two days…

    I want to thank CPSobsessed for this blog and all of those who have been posting questions, answers, clarifications, denials, and acceptances.

    Glad to report that we received a letter today from the OAE stating that our son has been accepted to Skinner North. This was our second choice, but in my head, I was thinking it should have been our first, so I’m feeling very lucky right now.

    RGC Score – 122
    Classical – 137

    We were also accepted to LaSalle II. Waitlisted at Franklin Fine Arts (no #), Sudor (#114), LaSalle Language (#147). No waitlist number indicated from Jackson Language, so I’m assuming the letter is a rejection. Still waiting to hear from Murray Language Academy.

  • 76. BeverlyMom  |  March 29, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    Thank goodness for CPS Obsessed and all her crazy minions (myself included). Without this blog, I’d feel very alone and may have taken to heart the recommendations of friends & family to get medicated, seek help, or breathe. Still waiting on letter for firstborn (#2 did not get into Lenart, our only pick – ANY LENART scores…anyone???). My 3 children are glued to Calliou while I stalk the mailman and obsess. I’ll make up for it at the arboreteum or zoo later this week. In the meantime, I’ll be making bigger holes in my socks from all the pacing….

  • 77. milleniummom  |  March 29, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    @BeverlyMom…. Still waiting for that letter too….Just so that you know you are not alone…

  • 78. Patiently waiting  |  March 29, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    FYI according to OEA the Academic Center letters have NOT been mailed out!! “They are still waiting for approval to mail the letters out.” The rep did was not able to provide a date the letters would be mailed out. I’m speechless!!!

  • 79. Ahh...the agony of the wait...  |  March 29, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    Still waiting for a letter, too….Sheeesh!

  • 80. HappyMommy  |  March 29, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    For #67 “anxious”, my son received an acceptance letter for Murray last week. We also applied to Ray and have heard nothing.

  • 81. milleniummom  |  March 29, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    No letter yet…..ughhhh!!!

  • 82. BeverlyMom  |  March 29, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    Another day – no letter. This is what I get for not going to church since 1998.

  • 83. Still nothing...  |  March 29, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    We also haven’t received our letter yet…this is horrible…but, I’m happy to know that I am not alone. 🙂

  • 84. ropamama  |  March 29, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    My letter carrier didn’t even deliver ANY mail today. I actually had opportunity to work at home today for another reason, and I seriously cannot believe we had NO mail delivered today. It is 5:20. You have got to be kidding me.

  • 85. LR  |  March 29, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    CPS obsessed – I do see what you are saying, that the self selection plays a bigger factor than you might think. However, I still think the K scores are off. As far as I can tell, there are almost 400 K spots (somebody earlier pointed out that there are 12 schools for K with a couple that take more than one class). But, just scanning the comments, I don’t see that any K’s got in with 97th percentile. In fact, it looks like there are several rejections for scores over 99th percentile. The 1st grade scores seem much more in line with what you would expect – statistically (even though last year, when my daughter tested, there was the same issue with K scores).

    I know there’s nothing either of us can do, because CPS doesn’t disclose anything. But, as a former research analyst, it drives me nuts when I can’t completely make sense of the numbers – especially when I don’t have access to those numbers. Wouldn’t you love to be the one who gets to analyze all this data? I would!

  • 86. disappointed  |  March 29, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    Have anybody received an acceptance letter for Keller 3rd grade? And what’s your child’s score? We were rejected – only choice. Disappointed. Thank you.

  • 87. Trick  |  March 29, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    NO letter today either! I applied to 2 gifted and 5 magnet school. Nothing na da. Went back to my mailbox to make sure. My husband gave me that “I can’t believe this” look – at me, because I am obsessed!!!!!

  • 88. etk  |  March 29, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    You have to apply to Beaubien’s neighborhood program. If your child was accepted into the Regional Gifted Program at Beaubien or any RGC for that matter it does not mean that any of your other kids (siblings) will be accepted to the Neighborhood program.
    You should contact the Principal of the school after you accept the slot and see if there is room for any sibs. There are no guarantees on getting accepted. The neighborhood program at Beaubien or Bell is VERY hard to get into. It is a top school not just because of the Gifted program there.

  • 89. disappointedmom  |  March 29, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    well….Got the GEAP scores back. My kid did not get into Decatur. I applied to eight different Magnet schools and so far 5 came back as rejection letters, or waitlisted. I can’t believe how bad my luck has been with cps.

  • 90. disappointedmom  |  March 29, 2010 at 6:42 pm

    By the way has anyone heard from Hawthorne yet?

  • 91. milleniummom  |  March 29, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    @disappointedmom: I heard from Hawthorne today. My son is waitlist # 287. Waiting to hear our about our RGC/Classical scores. So far nothing.

  • 92. jmom  |  March 29, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    Anybody get letters for anything other than k and 1st? I had two kids tested but I only received a letter for the one going into 1st grade.

  • 93. cpsobsessed  |  March 29, 2010 at 8:11 pm

    No mail here yet. My son did the gifted test for entry into 2nd grade.
    Just like last year when it NEVER showed up….

  • 94. SS Mom, too  |  March 29, 2010 at 8:23 pm

    How long should we wait before calling CPS about our letters? I know they say to wait 2 weeks but I think that’s too long.

  • 95. BevBound  |  March 29, 2010 at 8:26 pm

    @BeverlyMom: Would you turn to your CPS neighborhood school if the kids didn’t get into the selective schools? Are they good or not so much? Or maybe not a good fit?

  • 96. Stressed Out  |  March 29, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    I’m tired of waiting for a letter from OAE. I will be there tomorrow morning to get my letter. It’s bad enough that I have five waitlist or out right rejection (A. Jackon) letters from magnet schools. This is a joke and CPS needs to figure out a way of making this process easier.

  • 97. SW Side Mom  |  March 29, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    jmom – I have a Beverly neighborhood friend who has a child that got an acceptance letter for Keller for 2nd grade.

    Beverlymom- Hang in there! 🙂

  • 98. AIdan's mom  |  March 29, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    I got our letter for Hawthorne today – my son is on the wait list #54 for kindergarten. We got a letter from Disney Magnet early last week. My son got in there. We have to decide by April 16th but we are not sure what do to. Does anyone have any suggestions/input about Disney? He also tested for gifted. We got that letter on Saturday. He got a 116 Gifted and 105 Classical. He did not get into Coonley. So should we wait to see if he gets in there? Or accept Disney? A friend told me that once you accept a slot you can’t change it. Is that correct? We are still waiting to hear from other schools as well. Coonley was our only pick for gifted.

  • 99. moveIntoChicago  |  March 29, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    We are facing a tough choice, Beaubien or other schools in suburb. We want to know more about Beaubien. Before we send out our decision next week, we would like to take a tour of these 3 school. I hope more parent have this kind of request. Please contact Amy at 773-534-3500 ext. 83457. She is an coordinator of Beaubien RGC.

  • 100. sara  |  March 29, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    I am new to this, what does everyone mean by tier? my daughter was accepted to Coonley with a score of 149, but i have no idea what tiers people are talking about.

  • 101. anonymoose  |  March 29, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    @ #98 aidan’s mom – the advantage of Disney from my pov is the comprehensive gifted center w/ mandarin – this year there are 2 “gifted” classes at K so I imagine your son has a good chance.- there is also entry by sibling lottery if you have more then one.
    The parents I know at Disney are happy. If everyone I know who has an offer at Disney takes their spot it will be an amazing K next year.

  • 102. ropamama  |  March 29, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    Do the GEAP letters come from individual schools or from the OAE? I’m a little confused about this.

  • 103. disappointed  |  March 29, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    Has anybody received an acceptance letter for Keller 3rd grade? And what’s your child’s score? We were rejected – only choice. Disappointed. Thank you.

  • 104. BeverlyMom  |  March 29, 2010 at 9:01 pm

    @BevBound – We actually have a very good neighborhood school – Sutherland, which I would be happy to send a blissfully average child to attend. The problem comes when I have kids that are pretty bright, test top 2%, and could easily become the trouble makers if they’re not challenged. My oldest goes to Lenart and is thriving. I fear #2 will not get a 2nd or 3rd round pick based on all the high scores I’m seeing (he got a 131). I’ve got some back-ups I’m considering, but economically we’re not wealthy and to pay big bucks for a private kindergarten is probably not feasible. This is so stressful! My husband keeps reminding me it’s just kindergarten, but I tell him gifted kindergarten=selective enrollment high school = ivy league education. As a fireman, he reminds me that that is not always the formula for happiness, which should be our driving force. Stupid husband making sense again.

  • 105. CPSnewbie  |  March 29, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    AIdan’s mom

    Just so you know – my son tested to enter K last year and received a 146 gifted score and 98% for classical and was rejected for all of our choices (Coonley being our 1st choice.) We did not receive any offers during any of the following rounds. I believe the only second round place at Coonley was given to a child who scored a 150. I know it is different from year to year, and that the tier system can make a difference, but I thought I’d let you know. My friend’s daughter went to Disney K this year and absolutely loved it. I don’t know if that helps – just trying to give you some information since this whole process seems to be a bit of a crap shoot and confusing as well!

  • 106. Hortical  |  March 29, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    “blissfully average”…..a snob in the making. several of the people making comments are social climbers in the worst way–they would drive over your child to make sure their children got an extra smiley face on a spelling test. this is disgusting. that’s the new America, i guess: “i’m getting mine and i should be first in line.”

  • 107. Miasmom  |  March 29, 2010 at 10:09 pm

    Wow, Hortical, that’s a little harsh. We’re all just parents that want the best for our kids. I think all the parents involved in this chaotic process are just trying to figure out where they might stand. And we are hardly talking extra smiley faces, either. We’re talking 8 years of a top notch education. No one is wishing harm to other people’s children.

  • 108. BeverlyMom  |  March 29, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    @Hortical – I’m sorry to have offended you. I was actually quoting one of the teacher’s from a gifted school who described her own daughter as “blissfully average,” and meant it in a very positive way. I have a “blissfully average” 3rd son who is just as loved and important to me as his brothers. Many of these “gifted” children have a whole subset of issues that perhaps you have not even considered, including asperger’s, autism, and sensory issues. Throw some of these kids into a “regular” school and you’ll see why sometimes it’s a blessing to be “blissfully average.” I’d rather we accept this site for what it is, a place to obsess and speculate and direct disappointment at a public school system that chronically fails to deliver for its children than to begin attacking each others’ character and personal neurosis.

  • 109. Chathamgirly  |  March 29, 2010 at 11:28 pm

    RGC 126
    Classical 127

    We weren’t accepted to any GEAP schools. We have Beasley as our 1st choice, any chance we’ll get in on next round? According to the Sun Times, we are Tier 4 (Chatham), which seems moronic.

  • 110. Amy  |  March 30, 2010 at 1:55 am

    Here is the exact link for the interactive map to figure out what Tier group one belongs to.,CST-NWS-skuls24.article

    We are dead center at the border of Tier 3 and 4. I certainly don’t feel that we are well to do. I saw that Logan Square and many other neighborhoods are considered Tier 1; there are million dollar homes in many of the areas labeled Tier 1. The tier system really isn’t fair. I think that it would be more fair and transparent if families had to divulge their 1040W and be classed by the true tier that they belong to.

    @Hortical, that was extremely harsh. Everyone that is participating on this blog only wants what is best for their child. It is what every parent should want and demand. A good education and safety. I don’t think that is an unreasonable request especially considering the amount of money that we pay in property taxes. No one is gloating and there is absolutely not 1 person here who has not felt overwhelming anxiety, panic, and gloom these past few weeks.

    Many of us do not have the funds necessary to put our children into 8+ years of private school. That will eat into our college funds and savings. We’ve had ours in private ore-k for the past two years. And I can tell you that many sacrifices were made in order to do this. I know that there are also many who are upside down on their mortgages and can not simply move in order to provide a better education for their children.

    What are our alternatives other than to vie for a coveted seat in a CPS magnet or gifted program to ensure that our child receives the best. It is unfathomable for me that there are parents out there who do not fight for their children and do not look outside of their neighborhood schools. If every parent cared, participated, and fought, neighborhood schools would not be in the position that they are today. Money is not what fixes these issues, it’s all about being heard. Each school just needs a leader to speak up, inspire, organize, fund raise and lead. Unfortunately, many have given up.

    This blog has been a comfort and it has also been inspiring to me. I thank the OP for being our mentor, and for understanding and listening.

  • 111. Stressed Out  |  March 30, 2010 at 9:16 am

    I just left the OAE. My daughter did not get in with a classical score of 132. I’m in tier 4. Good luck everyone.

  • 112. Lakeviewmom  |  March 30, 2010 at 10:21 am

    Pritzker RGC K with a 144

  • 113. Tim  |  March 30, 2010 at 10:28 am

    No acceptances with 142 gifted/128 classical. Tier 4.

    List is:


    We’re #4 on Disney II waitlist.

    We’re also going to put a deposit on a private school tomorrow.

  • 114. very frustrated dad  |  March 30, 2010 at 10:38 am

    Well, I guess at this point we are officially COMPLETELY out of options… This really sucks. I suppose we have to seriously consider moving…

    We got rather high numbers for wait lists at Franklin (110), Newberry (53), LaSalle (56), Andrew Jackson (52), & Mark Sheridan (17)….

    I was told that neighborhood, and each tier maintain separate lists (so I guess total of 5 lists…). Thus, even 17 at Sheridan seems hopeless at this point. (The letters from Franklin and Andrew Jackson had no number, but you can just call schools to get wait list numbers. We live in Tier 3 (Q3 on the letter indeed means Tier 3).

    We also did not get in to South Loop (our son had score of 137 gifted, which is 99%), or Skinner West or Skinner North (our son had 121, or 92 %)….

    This is so sad…. We have only totally unacceptable neighborhood school, which is on academic probation (Smyth).

    Nice to know our property tax is totally wasted. Our neighborhood (UIC/Rush/Medical District) have a lot of children from people who work at the University and hospital, so it seems like we should have many dedicated parents with smart kids and it should be possible to get a good neighborhood school… But then, the system is set up to basically force people to leave neighborhood when their children cannot get any decent education….

  • 115. logan square parent  |  March 30, 2010 at 11:05 am

    This is in regards to the Tier system and a reply to what Amy wrote. The entire Logan Square neighborhood is not in Tier 3. Actually if you look at the way they split it up some parts are 1, 2 and 3. Yes there are a few million dollar homes but for the most part that is not the case. Our neighborhood school Darwin has a 93.7 % low income students. This is not a rich neighborhood. I understand that some are upset with the Tier system, it isn’t a perfect solution. I disagree that parents should have to divulge their income to get into these schools. I personally feel entering these programs should be soley based on the talent and the testing of the child. At the end of the day as another blogger wrote, we all want our children to have good and safe educations. I wish it were easier.

  • 116. Pauld  |  March 30, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    Hello Lakeview Mom.

    Can you confirm if you child was accepted at Pritzker RGC K with a 144?


  • 117. sickofcps  |  March 30, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    @another cps mom & others:
    I’m getting my information from personal knowlegde. One of my own relatives attended a RGC for a year before transferring to a school within the suburb that he lives in. Why, because his parents did not like to schools in their suburban community AND they both worked in Chicago so it was convienent for the them. I don’t know what neighborhood you live in but this is a common practice in the southside schools regardless of what type of school it is. Plus, I already stated having friends who have done this and not to mention the many friends that I have who are CPS teachers that talk about this. Furthermore, how exactly do you know that all of the children in the class live in Chicago? Parents will lie and cheat just like the newspaper article stated so don’t be naive. Do you actually think parents will tell you that they lied about their residency to get their kids into a good school? This practice is even more common in the top high schools. Do you remember last year when a big group of Whitney Young HS students were arrested in a downstate IL hotel for drinking after a state championship basketball game? Well a reporter Sarah Schulte from ABC 7 went on to report that a number of those students had given police home addresses outside of Chicago. Even Mayor Daley has been on the news acknowledging that this is a problem. Look it up and you will see. And even though you think that only a small number of kids fall through the cracks and get in, that small number is still too big for me.

  • 118. Amy  |  March 30, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    I’m freaking out!
    We are number 31 on the waitlist for our number 1 choice, Hawthorne. What do you think the likelihood will be that he gets in? I am hoping that a lot of parents turn down their spots if they get accepted at a gifted program.

  • 119. Stressed Out  |  March 30, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    Amy, did you get the letter from Hawthorne today?

  • 120. Ahh...the agony of the wait...  |  March 30, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    So it was a no for us, too. I called OAE, you can accept a spot at a lottery-based magnet school and even complete registration. If a spot opens up at a gifted/classical school for your child, you can switch. The principals are supposed to release your child to the gifted/classical school. If there’s an issue, academic enhancement will assist you in getting your child transferred.

  • 121. Amy  |  March 30, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    @ Logan Square parent. I had noticed that the bulk of Logan Square was in Tier 1, not Tier 3. Tier 1 symbolizes the lowest income. I was surprised to see that so many of the better neighborhoods in Logan Square were within that border.

    I personally think that the Gifted program should only be for those who are truly talented and gifted. I think that the tier system makes sense for the magnet program.

  • 122. Amy  |  March 30, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    @Stressed out.

    Yes! Just got in the mail a few minutes ago. Outside of my husband, you guys were the first that I wanted to share the news with. I am having an emotional affair with this site. 🙂

  • 123. 2ndtimearound  |  March 30, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    Our mail cam today and it was filled with school envelopes for both of my children. For my oldest, I have heard from 9 schools plus OAE. For my youngest I have heard from 4 schools and NOT OAE.. The oldest is entering 2nd and the youngest K. The older one definitely has pulled better waitlist #’s. Youngests lowest # is 87! So parents, if you don’t get the school you want this year, the competition will not be so tough next year. Good Luck.

  • 124. 2ndtimearound  |  March 30, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    I also forgot to mention, there was an interesting post on the District 299 blog yesterday or today. It is from a CPS principal trying to explain a little bit about about the news and budget and K funding. He attempts to explain how it works, if anyone is interested in reading it, since many of you parents have children entering Kindergarten.

  • 125. disappointedmom  |  March 30, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    I’m wondering if anyone has gotten into hawthorne who didn’t apply to the sibling lottery. So far it seems like I only have heard people from sibling lottery’s get accepted for Hawthorne. I’m hoping the fact that I didn’t get a letter today from them means that the next round that goes out will be acceptance letters. Since this is my last hope and 2nd choice school. I really wanted Disney II but that dream was swept away a week ago.

  • 126. Amy  |  March 30, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    @ disappointedmom, don’t lose hope! It’s all we’ve got!

    I am pretty sure that Hawthorne can not accept only those in the sibling lottery according to the new rules.

    Does anyone know for sure if principal discretion or picks are now completely eradicated? Some say yes, and some say no.

  • 127. disappointedmom  |  March 30, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    I made a desperate attempt and called Disney, it looks like no magnet schools have principals discretion any longer. 2009 -2010 was the last year for it.

  • 128. Wondering Mom  |  March 30, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    I was just wondering if there were any families here who have both parents working full-time?

    We are trying ot figure out how to make it work if our son goes to a school without after-care. He is going into K, so going home alone is not an option, and we do not have family in town. We still have waitlist letters coming in, but so far no GEAP schools with a RGC score of 141, Classical 120.

    Considering how early the school day ends, we may need to get creative! Just wondering what others have done….

  • 129. Miasmom  |  March 30, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    @disappointedmom, Hawthorne sent out all their acceptances last week, not just sibling. We were in proximity and got an impossible wait list #. I would call to see where you are on the list. Sorry! I know we were very disappointed too.

  • 130. MJS  |  March 30, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    Just received acceptance to Whitney Young academic center. I am VERY excited. We are leaving a spot at Keller RGC. Love Keller and appreciate them very much, my youngest child remains there. I haven’t seen the letter yet so I don’t know scores or tier. I will try and call my daughter later to find out.

  • 131. Amy  |  March 30, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    From CPS website.

    They made some key changes to the lottery system. This is scary. Apparently all siblings get admitted first. Then the rest is divided up between proximity and tier groups. If 40% of the siblings live in the proximity, the remaining slots are given to tier, not proximity.

    Only 40% of the available seats are given to top scorers, the remaining 60% by tier. It’s no wonder that some of those with top scores posted on here did not get accepted. That seems very unfair.

    Magnet schools

    The new procedure at the entry level for magnet schools is as follows:

    * All siblings will be admitted.
    * Up to, but not exceeding, 40% of remaining seats will filled through a proximity lottery.
    * The remaining seats will be filled through a socio-economic based lottery.

    Key changes:

    * No principal discretion for magnet schools.
    * A proximity lottery will be held for all magnet schools. Previously, proximity preference would only be given if the entire school was less than 30% proximity.

    Selective enrollment

    The new selective enrollment school procedure (elementary and high school) is as follows:

    * Up to 40% of the seats will be filled on the basis of pure rank order
    * The remaining seats will be assigned by rank order, by socio-economic groups.

    Key change:

    Students will receive only one offer from selective enrollment schools—they will be selected for the highest-ranked school on their application for which they qualify.

  • 132. sara  |  March 30, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    The new selective enrollment school procedure (elementary and high school) is as follows:

    * Up to 40% of the seats will be filled on the basis of pure rank order
    * The remaining seats will be assigned by rank order, by socio-economic groups.

    Key change:

    Students will receive only one offer from selective enrollment schools—they will be selected for the highest-ranked school on their application for which they qualify.

    what does for which they qualify mean?
    We had a high score but did not get into a first choice school. I just talked to someone at Coonley who said he has heard from people in the neighborhood who did not get in the the Gifted program and then others like myself who did but it was not a first choice.

  • 133. Ackie mom  |  March 30, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    @MJS – Congratulations and welcome to WYAC! My child attended Keller last year (loved it) and is now in the Academic Center and loving it also! You will not be disappointed.

  • 134. Patiently Waiting  |  March 30, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    MJS Congratulations!!! What tier are you in????

  • 135. CPS Graduate & Teacher  |  March 30, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    I’ve been following these comments for the last 3 weeks and it’s been an emotional rollercoaster! My husband and I thought we wanted our son to go to Decatur, but the more research we did, the more our doubts started to creep in on us. Even before we received the infamous CPS letter, we pretty much made up our minds that Decatur is a bit too stressful for a child.
    I’ve been a CPS teacher for the last 10 years and understand the need for better education without having to dig deep into our pockets for a private education. I applaud all the parents on this blog that support the CPS education system. We have to spread the word that it’s really not how much money is spent in the schools, but rather the family support the child gets at home.

  • 136. Anxious Dad  |  March 30, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    Thank you CPObsessed for giving us all an outlet and community to share our obsession regarding schools in Chicago.

    I am very grateful that our son got accepted to South Loop’s RGC. We are still waiting to hear from other schools, but there is a high probability that we will accept that slot at South Loop.

    I am interested in chatting with parents who have their child in the RGC at South Loop to understand your experience with the school. Please contact me at if you are open to sharing your thoughts.

  • 137. Trick  |  March 30, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    Finally received my letter – not accepted to Edison (119) or Decatur (107). Seems to be pretty low scores from what I have seen on here, BUT I know I have “gifted” child 🙂

    I have 5 applications to magnet schools but I haven’t heard a thing. Do the magnet schools send a letter even if you don’t get in or waitlisted? I find it odd that I haven’t received any word from the magnet schools.

    To Wondering Mom – I don’t know why CPS is not friendlier to working parents. We are in the same boat. It looks like we will be sending our son to the neighborhood school – Bridge. Drop off is at 8:15 and pickup at 2:00 for K. There is no after-school care 😦 We will have to get creative too.

    AND, anyone have any personal info on Bridge??? It is in the Dunning neighborhood school at Newland and Irving Park.

  • 138. jmom  |  March 30, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    @wondering mom…Chicago park district has a Park Kids program that CPS is in compliance with….meaning if your child takes the bus to school, the bus can drop him off at your local Park Kids program. Contact your local park for details. Also there are a number of private after care programs available depending on where you live.

  • 139. Tim  |  March 30, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    As noted, our daughter was no go to Edison/Coonley/Pritzker with 142 out of Tier 4.

    Her best friend got into Edison with 141, out of Tier 2, I think.

    Interesting data points, at least.

  • 140. LR  |  March 30, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    Re: Coonley. Coonley is an RGC, so living in the neighborhood has no bearing on getting into the gifted program there. 40% of spots go to highest scorers, and then the remaining 60% of spots get divided evenly among the highest scorers in each socioeconomic tier.

    Where things get screwy – and what I don’t understand is say my son, John Doe, is the next score in line when the first 40% of spots are being filled. Say 40% of spots in every school we selected is filled, but our 6th choice still has openings. Does John get our 6th choice because they fill the first 40% of spots up first? Or do they say, at his #1 school, there are still 4 Tier spots left, so give him his #1 school instead of his #6 school? I guess my question is: is it possible to get screwed out of a first choice by being near the bottom of the first 40% of spots? I’m just curious.

  • 141. cpsobsessed  |  March 30, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    @Sara and Amy-
    Yep, that is new this year. The neighborhood element doesn’t apply to the gifted/classical schools. But it is a new process for kids to get in based on test score ranking alone (iin the past there were 2 pools, based on race.)
    The fairness of it depends on your interpretation of “fair.” Some people believe that test score alone is the fair way to select, while others believe that kids should be compared only to those in their socioeconomic level. As it stands, CPS has decided to use both methods for selection.

  • 142. cpsobsessed  |  March 30, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    @wondering mom – we are a 2 parent working household, but just got lucky with before- and after-school programs.
    At a previous school, I worked with some parents to bring in a YMCA program. They will do it for as little as 12 kids, so it might be a possibility. Sometimes principals don’t realize the need or don’t have time to investigate it and just need a willing parent to take the lead. Other than that, you need to hire a sitter who can pick up and bring your child home.

  • 143. cpsobsessed  |  March 30, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    Gifted scores are in.
    132 (98th percentile.) Tier 3.

    For those curious, his previous scores were:
    127 (before K)
    124 (before 1st)
    132 (before 2nd)

    Not selected for any program. I don’t even recall what schools I put down since I was just doing the test for information purposes.
    I’m happy with this. Now when he complains about stuff being “too hard!” I’ll feel comfortable knowing it’s the lazy talking.

  • 144. beverlybrat60643  |  March 30, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    Sigh. this whole process is daunting and crazy!! We’re in tier 4 so we held off on Keller this year… Clissold Montessori in the fall.

  • 145. Confused Dad  |  March 30, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    Got our letter today from CPS that our son did not get in any of our choices.
    We applied for Whitney Young and Keller 7th Grade. My question is if Keller students accept spots at Whitney Young, might that free up a spot for us at Keller and how do we find that out?

  • 146. Rl Julia  |  March 30, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    O.K. Got the letter and son was accepted to Taft and Ogden. At the time we listed Taft as the first choice but since October, my son has changed his mind… is this allowed? Is there any way to apply to be on the Whitney Young waiting list?

    Also, he was accepted at Ogden. Does anyone know anything about Odgen for 7th and 8th grade? What about its high school? It has a nicer website than Taft but since you don’t go to school in its website, it doesn’t really mean much to the bottom line.

    Its nice to have choices.

    To wondering mom – we too are a two parent working household. When my son got to kindergarten, I took the money I had previously spent on daycare/pre-K and hired a babysitter (who I found two weeks after school started on Craig’s List). He went to half day Kindergarten (which actually turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to him) and we continued to not save any money on childcare. That being said, here it is seven years later and the same sitter is still with us and is an integral part of the family. She is like the aunt we don’t have in town and it has been money (that I didn’t feel like I could ever really afford) well spent.

    At the time the options were – go to the park district program (which in our neighborhood was somewhat gang infested and ill supervised), go to a babysitter’s house after school or have a babysitter come and take him home. He opted for the last.

  • 147. MJS  |  March 30, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    @Ackie mom, very glad to hear you have a positive experience. Is the workload at WYAC similar to Keller? Surely it can’t be worse? I will pick my daughter’s brain tonight to figure out who left Keller last year to go to WY 🙂

    @patiently waiting, we are in South Shore–a VERY diverse community. I think we are tier 1 or 2.
    SAI (exam score) of 135
    Total score of 847.4 (out of 900)
    Total point break down:
    292 for ISAT’s; 300 for grades; 255 for exam

    @various other parents with workload questions, I too worried that my child might struggle against peers at a RGC or that the workload would be too much. It can be managed. Keller is all about success of the child. They build them up, showing them they can excel. The first 2 years work on confidence in abilities they already have (or they wouldn’t have made it in the first place), while they gain skill in organization and personal responsibility. It isn’t for everybody but for my child, that stuck out as academically awkward at a regular school, she became suddenly ‘normal’ in a place where excelling is the inherent assumption.

  • 148. CPSlies  |  March 30, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    @AMY, my kids go to Hawthorne and sorry to say but #31 on the waiting list will probably not be accepted. What grade is your child going into? Very few kids leave Hawthorne as the families there believe it is a gift from heaven. I was lucky for all 3 of my kids to get accepted in the same year for different grades. But that was before this new process.

    TO EVERYONE: CS and RGC programs are not the only good programs out there! I recommend that next year, all CPS parents apply to Hawthorne-esp those going in for Kindergarten. The primary grades are not that rigorous but they offer so much of everything else. The upper grades are very well prepared for SE high schools. As a parent, I have experience with neighborhood schools, classical, magnet and AC. Out of them all, I am most happy with Hawthorne.

  • 149. MJS  |  March 30, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    @Confused Dad, Keller did have someone join last year for 5th grade so it may be possible. Obviously, they won’t know we are leaving until next week but definitely worth pursuing. Keller is a GREAT place!

  • 150. CPSnewbie  |  March 30, 2010 at 4:27 pm


    They give you your highest ranked school which has an available spot left. So after the 40% slots are filled John Doe’s #1 choice would be considered. If there are available spots according to his tier he gets that choice. If not, they look at his #2 choice for a spot in his tier and so on down his list. I’m not sure what they do when 1 spot is left where two applicants have the same score, the same tier. Maybe this is where exact age comes in.This is why they will never post scores online or make this process transparent.

  • 151. Confused Dad  |  March 30, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    @MJS Keller seemed great when we attended the open house. Thanks and good luck at Whitney Young.

  • 152. Philly Grrrl  |  March 30, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    Our family is moving back to Chicago in June. We flew to Chicago for the gifted and classical tests and haven’t received any notice yet. Applied to 27 schools in all, received about 7 rejections and got waitlisted for Thorp (#21) and Burley (#27) so far. Does anybody think we have a chance at either of those with those waitlist numbers? CPS needed a Chicago address so we gave them a friend’s, which may have been a Tier 4 address, which may have been a mistake, but we didn’t know about the Tier designation until afterwards. Philadelphia is very similar to Chicago, and my daughter got into an amazing charter school for Kindergarten by lottery with seemingly insurmountable odds, like 40 spaces and over 1,000 applicants. Very hard to leave her current school , so praying hard for something comparable. I appreciate this blog and all of you–thanks for agonizing with me! It’s been a huge help.

  • 153. CPSlies  |  March 30, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    @Rl Julia: my oldest attends Taft AC and he loves it. He is graduating this year. Many of his classmates got into Northside for high school. Compared to Whitney, Taft’s 8th grade is more like WY 7th grade. But some 7th graders at WY have difficulty adapting to the rigorous curriculum. Taft has a smoother transition. In 8th grade, they do get HS credit. They also have sports and other clubs. The only thing is that the HS is not selective enrollment but they do have a great IB program and AP courses. I would not be discouraged that your child got into Taft. Ask any AC kid and they will tell you how much fun they have and that the teachers are also very nurturing and caring. Sure it has its cons but what school doesn’t?

  • 154. CPSlies  |  March 30, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    @Rl Julia: your child may or may not be considered for WY if you decline Taft. There are no guarantees and you cannot change rank orders at this point. It depends on whether or not WY does a second round “draft”. In previous years, WY stated that they rarely go to their waiting list because they “over accept” students knowing some will decline.

  • 155. 2ndtimearound  |  March 30, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    I forgot to mention:

    While my son was testing on 2 dif dates this year, I struck up conversations w/ various parents and some of them were just testing their children to see what sort of score they might get. Many of them really liked their current public and private schools and most likely would not change schools if their child were to be accepted. Also, some of these parents had more than one child, so unless all children got in to the same school, they would not take a spot. So…….depending on if some of these kids got a spot, they might turn it down if it does not fit their family. Hope this helps some people put things into perspective.

  • 156. Rl Julia  |  March 30, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    CPS Newbie and CPSlies -thanks for the insights. I am now remembering that we put Taft first because we thought that WY would probably be a bad fit – in terms of pressure and workload and my son’s personality.

    To Philly Grrrl,
    I don’t know what grade your daughter is in but you might consider Murphy school on the Northwest side. If you live in the neighborhood, it will be your neighborhood school. My kids have been there since Kindergarten and we’ve all been quite happy.

  • 157. Amy  |  March 30, 2010 at 6:28 pm


    my son is entering kindergarten. I am holding on to hope that there may be 30 some kids who may have either been accepted into a gifted program, or another great school near them. I hope that those accepted aren’t all siblings. Not sure if they still plan to increase the class sizes to an outrageous 37, but this would make our chances greater too.

    Philly Grrrl
    Using my theory, the odd of your child getting into Thorp is truly great. we live within a few blocks and our wait list number is in the mid 30’s. we were in the proximity lottery and unfortunately for us, there were a great number of siblings that also lived in proximity.

    I also wanted to note that if they were going to use the socioeconomic tiers for gifted, it seems to me that 60% should have gone to top scorers and 40% to tier groups. I worry about those kids who had amazing scores who can’t get into a good school. fFrom my own personal experience and my husband’s, we weren’t challenged enough as kids and were bored out of our mind. We were both deemed daydreamers and acted out. Gifted programs weren’t readily available back then, our parents had to pay for them. By the time I reached high school, programs opened up. I tested into AP Calculus my Sophomore year. Too many years of fooling around caught up to me, and I was dropped from skipping class too often.

    Congrats to everyone who was accepted, and those who are waiting like me, my thoughts and prayers. The one good that will come out of this is that perhaps more and more parents will take and active role in their neighborhood schools and fight for their children.

  • 158. NoLongerWaiting  |  March 30, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    Finally word from Academic Centers! My daughter and her two friends all applied to Young and Kenwood. My daughter was accepted to Young with score of 879 and we are in Tier 2. Girl from Tier4 did not get in Young but was accepted to Kenwood with score of 813, other girl from Tier2 was accepted Young with score of 807. Kenwood is a great program and we wish we would have been able to choose once we saw whether she was accepted — like people did in previous years. This year they only gave out one spot per child, which makes sense but is still sad…

  • 159. Amy  |  March 30, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    I should have reread my post. My grammar is a mess. I meant to say that I think that Philly Grrl has a great chance of getting into Thorp.

  • 160. CPSgrad  |  March 30, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    Simply out of curiosity, what are the scores of kids who got into Whitney Young? My son did not and I’d like to see how far off he is. He got an 801, but I cannot find the “tier” number on the letter. Any tips?

  • 161. CPSgrad  |  March 30, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    What are some scores that got into WY? My son got an 801 but I cannot find the tier number on the letter. Any tips????

  • 162. CPSlies  |  March 30, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    @CPS grad…your tier is based on your address. you can find your tier by going to the OAE site and looking up your address. 801 is a great score nonetheless.

  • 163. CPSlies  |  March 30, 2010 at 7:02 pm

    @Amy: good luck with Hawthorne (and everywhere else!). If it works out, you will like it. The parents are very involved.

    @Rl Julia: I am sure you and your child will be happy at Taft should you decide to take the spot.

    @NoLongerWaiting: i know what you mean about having more choices like in years past. My child had 3 schools to choose from for the test in schools and it was nice knowing that we had those choices.

  • 164. Patiently waiting  |  March 30, 2010 at 7:05 pm

    CPS grad once you figure out your tier would you mind sharing it? My guess is you’re in tier4……

  • 165. NS Mom  |  March 30, 2010 at 8:40 pm

    Thanks to CPS Obsessed and all the contributors on this site. Your comments have been extremely interesting and informative. My pre-K daughter took the test. While she did not get into the schools where we applied, I am very proud of her and hopeful about her potential to succeed in school. Gifted 134 and Classical 125. Maybe we’ll look into the taking the test again next year . . . then again, maybe not. This whole CPS process is nuts.

  • 166. Detrot Boooy  |  March 30, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    Like Philly Grrrl, Detrot Boooy is going to move back Illinois. We have no tier ranking. We could send him to Bell, Edison or Beaubien some schools. Is it possible for kids to jump 1 or 2 grade in these kinds of school?

  • 167. Philly Grrrl  |  March 30, 2010 at 9:14 pm

    RI Julia and Amy, thanks for the encouragement. We will be moving to the North Side, but our neighborhood school is McPherson on Wolcott. Does anyone know anything about it?

  • 168. Amy  |  March 30, 2010 at 9:17 pm

    Has anyone heard of any negative feedback from Edison or been accepted?

  • 169. Christine  |  March 30, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    Congratulations to all those getting into your selections. Hang in there for those on the wait list and still awaiting their letters.

    I’ve been anxiously awaiting all of your updates, esp cpsobsessed. I’ve been checking constantly and my child doesn’t even apply until next year.

    It’ll be interesting to see what system they come up with next year. A friend of mine, who’s working for the Census, pointed out that because of some lawsuits, the 2010 census form doesn’t ask about household income. And that’s one of the factors utilized to come up with the tiers for admission this year. For those going into K this year, that didn’t get into their top selections, maybe things will be more favorable next year.

  • 170. CPSgrad  |  March 30, 2010 at 9:48 pm

    @ Patiently Waiting – I checked the map and yes we are in tier 4. Do you know if there is a legitimate wait list for WY’s Academic Center or do we have to realistically wait until 9th grade? I am so disappointed!

  • 171. CPSgrad  |  March 30, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    I love how CPS keeps saying that if we have any questions to call the OAE at 553-2060; I called there ALL day yesterday and only got a recording. What a sham!

  • 172. Patiently waiting  |  March 30, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    @CPSgrad – honestly I do not believe there is a realistic wait list. There are only so many slots for the WY AC program to begin with and let’s face it the #1 choice for the AC program is WY and not many kids are going to give up their slot. The picture was pretty clear from post #158. If a student in tier 4 got in Kenwood with a score of 813, then tier 4 WY students are probably scoring pretty high. This theory may or may not be true! I understand you’re disappointed; we haven’t received a letter to date! But know you have an extremely gifted child!

  • 173. CSPMom  |  March 30, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    Has anyone heard anything from Bell 1st grade? Of course we did not get in with RGC score of 114 (interestingly, or maybe not, this score down 20 points from last year’s).

  • 174. CPSnewbie  |  March 30, 2010 at 11:36 pm

    My child got into Bell 1st grade. We got the letter on Fri 26th.

  • 175. NatG  |  March 31, 2010 at 12:35 am

    just got our letter. we are Tier 3, got into Kenwood academic center. happy about it, because it is our neighborhood school.

  • 176. NatG  |  March 31, 2010 at 12:36 am

    forgot to mention that we go to 7th grade

  • 177. anonymoose  |  March 31, 2010 at 5:56 am

    @168 Amy – my kid got a spot at Edison K. letters arrived last Friday. kid scored 148 / tier 4.
    trying to decide between Edison and Disney – if anyone has input on that I wouldn’t mind hearing it

  • 178. RL Julia  |  March 31, 2010 at 6:59 am

    Philly Grrrl – I don’t know much about McPherson but have only heard nice things. I think it has a gifted program and is a nice solid place to go to school. I can’t encourage you enough to visit the school before you make a final decision about it not being a good fit. Physically, it is a lovely school in the middle of a large park.

    No longer waiting – Exactly, I was sort of hoping that he’d have a choice like in previous years.

    Patiently waiting – Actually we put Taft down first after two people (teachers who know our son) told us not to send our son to WYAC because they thought he’d burn out by 10th or 11th grade. That being said, I know a handful of kids at WYAC and they (and their parents) are all very happy there.

    While I would have liked to have had a choice (as others had in previous years – see above) and quite superficially the cache of getting in would have been nice. I still think that Taft is probably a better fit for him. Bottom line, it keeps him out of Thurgood Marshall Middle school which was ultimately the goal.

    We are in tier 3 and his score was 855

  • 179. Philly Grrrl  |  March 31, 2010 at 8:28 am

    RL Julia, thanks for the info, I appreciate it. This might not be a related topic, but there are so many knowledgeable people here I thought I would ask for some resources. I have a six-year-daughter with ADHD and Sensory Processing Disorder. Our current school in Philadelphia has provided her with an amazing team that has worked diligently and patiently with her. I just read that Special Education in CPS is a mess. She has no cognitive problems whatsoever, but needs OT and emotional support, as well as a sensory diet to keep her focused. I’ve been looking for parent groups or support groups, as well as information on how these schools provide for their kids with learning differences. Does anyone know anything about SPD, know parents of an SPD kid or have one themselves? I am terrified of navigating a new school system that has apparently failed kids with more serious needs than she has.

    Congratulations to all of you who have gotten your kids in where you wanted, and I commiserate with those of you who haven’t and are faced with tough decision the next few months! This has been such an exhausting process, I think we need a support group ourselves!!

  • 180. Christine  |  March 31, 2010 at 8:57 am

    Philly Grrrl, the only thing I know about SPD is what I read in the book Raising A Sensory Smart Child when I was preparing to bring my son home that’s adopted. Internationally adopted children can suffer from this in high numbers because of the “institutionalization” they expereince before they are united with their new families. Because of the sheer volume of the children in the places they reside, they don’t get the stimulation and attention they need to develop their senses. Have you read this book?

  • 181. jmom  |  March 31, 2010 at 9:02 am

    @Philly Girl…I am on the south side and belong to a support group-BeverlyAreaParentsForSpecialEducation. This is a yahoo group and it also meets regularly at a local park.

  • 182. Curt  |  March 31, 2010 at 9:31 am

    @anonymoose its best not to turn down a spot at edison.

  • 183. cpsmama  |  March 31, 2010 at 9:40 am

    @MJS: Had a child attend WYAC and stayed there for HS. The workload at WY is a significant increase over 6th grade work at gifted/classical schools. Many super smart kids struggle. There were a number of kids in my child’s class who failed Algebra in 7th grade. There is a “burnout” issue at being in the same school for 6 years.

    @RI Julia: Taft AC is really great. It is slightly less accelerated than WYAC (Taft AC grads end up with 6-7 HS credits compared to WYAC grads who have 8-9 by the end of 8th grade.) Have a child graduating from AC this year. Not staying for HS, though.

  • 184. Ackie mom  |  March 31, 2010 at 11:12 am

    @MJS: In response to your question (post #147), my child indicated that the workload increased at WYAC over Keller RGC, but indicated that the increase was better distributed among the courses. My child

    @Confused Dad: There were 3 students from Keller that entered WYAC for 7th grade last year. So, I would imagine that those spots open up for incoming students due to the acceptance deadline and the paperwork that has to be given to OAE and the school to be vacated.

  • 185. RL Julia  |  March 31, 2010 at 11:31 am

    Philly Grrrl –
    I don’t know a whole lot about SPED but you might e-mail Rod Estvan over at the District 299 or Catalyst blogs – he comments there a lot. He has a child with disabilities and works Access Living. He seems to know a lot about SPED at CPS. As with everything, I think one’s experience with SPED has a lot to do with the individual school and individual school’s counselor. I might look for a smaller school just because the likihood of everything being easier to manage might be higher but other than that, I don’t know.

  • 186. Ackie mom  |  March 31, 2010 at 11:37 am

    Oops! Sorry for the sentence dropoff, MJS. As I started to write: My child stated that although there is an increase in the workload, the challenge is good.
    You can be removed from the program if you are unable to keep pace with the coursework. The director will work with the family to place the student in a suitable school setting or perhaps the former school if it has a 7th/8th grade component.

  • 187. cpsobsessed  |  March 31, 2010 at 11:43 am

    @Philly Grrrl – I don’t know much about the SPED programs except that my son’s school has a fairly big one. Just from my initial observations, it seems pretty good – nice facilities, caring staff, good integration with other kids. I’m sure it is never enough, but I don’t know that it is as bad as the Trib made it sound the other day (although I’m sure certain kids with certain needs are not being addressed or falling through the cracks.)

    @anonymoose – I would take the Edison spot. If your child scored that high, I think the’re better off starting Kinder with like-minded kids. Edison is very hard to get into. You might not get another chance. Whereas I think because of the size if Disney, you could have another shot down the road. Disney has advantages due to its size, but I’ve heard that some kids don’t thrive well in the open environment. I would think the main advantage of disney is probably more options for things from “specials” to # of kids to after school stuff, etc due to the size. But at Edison you can be sure your child will hit the ground running.

  • 188. cpsobsessed  |  March 31, 2010 at 11:45 am

    Just have to add that my neighbor has 2 twins who attended Taft (one switched to a private school for 8th grade as a “better fit.”) They both just got into Northside College prep. Can you imagine? 2 kids?
    I lavished approval on the mom and she said very modestly that “it was all them.”
    Oh, to be so lucky to have super-motived kids…..

  • 189. cpsgrad  |  March 31, 2010 at 11:51 am

    @patiently waiting- thanks for your vote of confidence. My son will remain at his RGC until 8th grade as it stands. not a bad alternative considering what I’m reading here about the 6 year burn-out at WY. (Aesop’s sour grapes fable, right?)
    Now I’m freaking because I’m thinking he WON’T make it in for 9th grade to a SE high school. Now we have two more years to fret 😦
    Our local public high school is not an option and I am a huge proponent of public schools, so the private schools aren’t an option either.
    now I’m patiently waiting to here about YOUR letter.
    We are a sad, sad group….

  • 190. cpsgrad  |  March 31, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    Does anyone know why there is a wait list number provided for students that apply to the magnet schools but NOT the RGC’s and Academic Centers? I’d really like to know where we stand…

  • 191. Jennifer  |  March 31, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    Congrats to all who have received a placement!

    RE: #169–thanks for that info. We’re Tier 4, which still has me scratching my head. I’m in a SW-side neighborhood that has some nice rebuilds but is mostly blue-collar and city workers. I love it here, but we are not high-income people overall. I see some of the areas considered Tiers 1-3, and I just don’t get it.

    Fortunately, I am pleased with our neighborhood school and didn’t plan to take a spot if we got one. Well, to be clear, we’d have needed three spots–K, 2nd, 4th–and I only selected one school because I don’t want to separate the kids. Pie in the sky, right? LOL

    Regarding the 2010 census, I would like to see how it plays out, as I’ll be thinking about ACs soon.

  • 192. Y  |  March 31, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    @cpsgrad- I think it’s pretty hard to come up with a wait list at RGC/CS/AC programs. Since each student puts down multiple selections, it’s hard to know where each student stands relative to others who have been placed but may or may not have accepted their offer. For example, Student A can have a higher score than Student B and was placed at one of their lower choices. If Student A declines the first offer, they go back onto the list and will get offered something at a higher choice if a spot opens up before Student B at the same program. There is no way of knowing how many students are ahead of you.

  • 193. cpsobsessed  |  March 31, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    Good explanation, Y!

    I had a plan to tell all my neighbors to vastly under-report their income on the Census so we could look like Tier 1, but they didn’t ask for income on the short form!

    There’s been discussion about people providing tax info to prove their income….
    Socio-economic data takes a few other things into account as well as income. Also, I don’t know that I trust everyone to give the honest info. We already know that some people aren’t truthful about living in school boundaries. And of course there is no way that an underfunded district like CPS could manage that level of information. Unfortunately the census is all we’ve got for now.

  • 194. frustrated dad  |  March 31, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    @Philly Grrrl — We have a 5yr old with SPD. We’ve used private OT & PT for 18 mos. ($$) and are trying to get into kindergarden in a public school to avail ourselves of the CPS programs, which we’ve heard from other parents are great for kids with SPD. For what it’s worth, an informed friend in education has a child with SPD at Franklin Fine Arts and is pleased with what CPS offers.

  • 195. Worry Wart  |  March 31, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    Hi everyone,

    Tier 3-gifted 113;clasical 126 and no offer. I’m thankful for the non-acceptance. She’s definitely a bright kid so, admittedly, I was shocked at her gifted score. Especially since we have her in a top notch private preschool and we work with her at home on a regular basis. However, my husband and I don’t want the pressure on her or us of trying to keep up when it just isn’t a good fit. It’s for the best, right?

    Also we have a 2 year old to consider and with the new process of admitting sibling for magnet schools I’d rather fight for a good spot at a magnet school and keep my girls together. We’re #7 on Sheridan’s wait list. Nothing from Murray, Owen or neighborhood schools Ray or Kellogg.

  • 196. No Longer Waiting  |  March 31, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    @cpsgrad: My daughters dad just picked up the letter and it turns out she got into Limbloom. I’m very proud of her, although it would have been nice if she got into WY.

  • 197. Worry Wart  |  March 31, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    Oops. We’re #6 on Sheridan’s wait list.

  • 198. Wondering  |  March 31, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    Received a 113 Gifted score, what percentile is this? I called the IIT number on the letter and they said they weren’t releasing percentiles??

  • 199. Worry Wart  |  March 31, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    @Wondering. Not sure, unfortunately. Probably not very good seeing some of the other scores posted.

  • 200. Confused Dad  |  March 31, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    I hate to have to micromanage my kids grades, but it seems like the 1 B he has gotten in the last 2 years (end of the 5th grade year Social Studies grade) lost him 25 points and possibly a shot at Whitney Young. I guess I have to work for every point in 7th grade to get the 300 points that comes with the straight A’s.

  • 201. Wondering  |  March 31, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    Oh I should add that the IIT number told me that 113 was the lowest score to still be part of the Gifted applicant pool… does that mean it’s 90th percentile?

  • 202. Worry Wart  |  March 31, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    @Wondering. According to the letter enclosed with our score sheet, no one qualifies at all for gifted, second round or otherwise, with a score less than 115.

  • 203. Worry Wart  |  March 31, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    Not to make excuses but our daughter was going thru some growing pains at the time of her test. Still not sure she’s “gifted” but I wouldn’t be shocked if her classical score jumped significantly. Might test her again just to see. Again, more interested in trying to secure a spot at a good magnet school so my girls can stay together. Really hope Sheridan comes through.

  • 204. Wondering  |  March 31, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    @ Worry Wart, oh I see that now, you are right! Then 115 must be the 90th percentile… the OAE website says a child must be in the 90th percentile to even be considered for a gifted program. Thanks for the clarification!

  • 205. KateH  |  March 31, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    Philly Grrrl – My KDG son has SID. We moved from our play-based catholic school this year and it proved to be an excellent decision. While he did not qualify for any services (eval. by a team), the structured environment of the CPS school suits him. All kinds of behaviors have disappeared in the classroom. While I described sensory behaviors out of school, including struggling with homework (delayed fine motor – he retested as avg in CPS), CPS is only concerned w/classroom behavior. I evaluation team was excellent.

  • 206. cpsobsessed  |  March 31, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    @Confused Dad, yeah I think you gotta work every grade in 7th. did you see the Eric Zorn article I posted a week ago or so? If not, search for it here or on the Trib… he addressed that exact point in a wonderfully obsessive way.

  • 207. cpsobsessed  |  March 31, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    So the parents of kids entering high school seemed to think that the Tier system made it harder for Tier 4 kids in particular.
    Do you guys have a sense of that for elementary?
    I can’t tell…. I will say that the scores of the kids who got in are very high. And it does seem like some kids in Tier 4 with high scores did NOT get in.
    But then again that seems true every year!

    I think there will be shake out. I was looking at my son’s school and it is totally surrouned by Tier 3-4. How will they get any Tier 1-2 kids there, especially if they cut bussing?

  • 208. Confused Dad  |  March 31, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    @cpsobsessed, that was a great article. I found it after I posted. It provided some much needed laughs and truths.

  • 209. Amy  |  March 31, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    For me personally, I think that the new lottery system hurt us because it accepted all siblings first. This also cut into our chances at the proximity lottery as many of the siblings lived in the proximity.

    From what I have followed on the threads, it seems to me that there is a significant group of higher scoring kids in Tier 3 and 4 making it tougher to be one of those chosen into a gifted or classical program. Some of the Tier 1 kids that did get in had lower scores than the higher tiers. I just think that this tier system is highly inaccurate as I pointed out before. There are many wealthy families whose homes are in the lower tiers…many of those areas are gentrifying, but the base income of the majority of population are at extremely low. In this instance, it appears to be worthwhile to live in those tiers if you have an extremely gifted child.

    In terms of selective enrollment for high school where 100 spots were opened, I did see that the process is tough. They need recommendation letters, test scores and proof of community involvement and improvement to fight for their case.

    It would be interesting to see what happens next year. I had heard that some people thought that this new system was bias against races. I don’t see any winners as so many truly gifted did not get the spots that they deserve.

    I think that I messed up big time. I did not apply to any of our neighborhood schools. Is it too late? or do we just need to go in on registration day? There is a school that is not our neighborhood school but a few miles away in the same zip. It has open enrollment if any slots are open. did I totally screw up?

  • 210. CPSlies  |  March 31, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    #188 post by cspobsessed. i know those twins you speak of!! yeah they were lucky to both get into NS. i think Taft did a good job preparing quite a number of kids for NS as well as other SE high schools.

    my 6 year old also did not get into any schools for the 2010-11 school year. her classical score was slightly lower than the RGC which was the opposite when she tested 2 years ago. she is currently at hawthorne but i felt she needed to be tested. scores of 129 and 136 tier 3 got us nowhere for 2nd grade. i know spots are more scarce for that grade but i needed to know how she would fair. and seeing scores much higher than hers and not getting into KDG makes me feel less disappointed. it goes to show that what is meant to happen will happen. or not happen!

  • 211. CPSlies  |  March 31, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    @Amy: you can apply to your neighborhood school any time. even if you moved into a new neighborhood in the middle of the year, that school has to take you. you actually only have one neighborhood school based on your address. other schools close by probably won’t take you as they will say they are overcrowded.

  • 212. NoLongerWaiting  |  March 31, 2010 at 3:40 pm


    I encourage you to look at your neighborhood schools, some really are quite decent and I (mother of three) have big gripes when it comes to the accelerated programs for the elementary level with all the homework and lack of recess.
    We kept our oldest daughter in the neighborhood school (it is actually a magnet school, but has no advanced curriculum) until 6th grade even though we were repeatedly told that she was very bright. She spent her school days very comfortably at the top of her class, which has given her great confidence in her abilities. She also spent many blissfull afternoons getting her homework done easily and playing for the rest of the time. She sings and plays an instrument and has time to practice — no problem. She walked to school every day through 6th grade.
    Despite the slacking, she was just accepted to Young’s AC — she tested very high on the gifted test and we did absolutely nothing. I am very glad that she was accepted, but I am just as glad that I let her be a kid up until now. I guess, my point is that your kid will still be smart in 7th grade and the way the testing is designed at this point you don’t gain much of an advantage by cracking the whip so early.

  • 213. DahliChi  |  March 31, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    Philly Girl,

    My son went to McPherson pre-k for two years-which was excellent,

    but will exist next year as Head Start and possibly TBK.

    He is currently in K there.

    His teacher is excellent and while they don’t have a ‘gifted’ program, the school has given him extra (advanced) reading help and the teacher also lets him choose ‘special’ ( first grade) homework.

    I just let them know my son needed additional challenges and the school stepped up to the plate.

  • 214. LR  |  March 31, 2010 at 6:50 pm

    Hey, I wanted to tell all those K parents whose children got scores 115 or below to try again next year!!!! These tests are very unreliable – especially at such a young age. Last year my daughter got 97th percentile on the classical test, but her gifted test was nowhere near that. This year she got a 128 and got into Bell. I think it helped that she didn’t go in cold turkey like last year – I actually went against the advice that you “can’t prepare” for the gifted test and familiarized her with the kinds of questions that might be on the test.

    It’s interesting to see that CPS obsessed’s scores are so consistent over 3 years. I think that’s amazing. But, just to give people hope…ours was not even close to last year – it’s much higher. And I’m guessing that some of those scores from last year that were sky high, aren’t so sky high this year, based on the fact that we got our second choice with 128 (and our 1st choice was Coonley, which doesn’t start at 1st grade).

  • 215. Worry Wart  |  March 31, 2010 at 7:00 pm

    @LR. Thanks for the encouragement!!

  • 216. Worry Wart  |  March 31, 2010 at 7:05 pm

    In a few years my girls will be entering K and 3rd grade. Maybe I’ll have them both tested and see if they are lucky enough to get an offer AND at the same school. Greedy, I know! I have friends with kids at schools all over the city and I want no part of that.

  • 217. momx3  |  March 31, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    Finally got my GEAP letter (it was postmarked Monday 3/29!) and, as expected, it was not an acceptance. I was looking for a first grade slot at Bell (my older child is in the RGC there) but my sweet second child only ended up w/ a score of 114. Fortunately, Bell is also our neighborhood school, so we have a great back-up plan.

    My disappointment (sadness?) stems from having one in the “options program” and the other in the neighborhood program… In the not so distant future, I fear my second child (who is already very shy and insecure) will feel he is not as smart as his older sibling. Anyone have experience dealing with this concern?

  • 218. 2ndtimearound  |  March 31, 2010 at 7:43 pm


    Our oldest just tested in and our youngest did not. While I think she is bright, I def think the older one is more so. The younger one has a very different personality and is very much into art and music. In the future if she tests in, great, if not, we will encourage hr to do well in school, try to challenge her outside of school and give her opportunities to excel in her strengths. I’m sure your 2nd has some great strengths and qualities and maybe this gifted would not have been a good placement. I also hear that Bell has a good neighborhood program. Maybe if he/she is excelling, but not testing high enough or there are no spaces, possibly the teacher could arrange for special enrichment so that learning continues to be challenging. Lastly, more spots in the Options program open up in 4th grade I think due to increased class size, so maybe it will happen in the future.

  • 219. momx3  |  March 31, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    Thanks, 2ndtimearound. Everything you said made sense. And I’m actually quite confident in Bell’s neighborhood program for all my kids (In fact, a couple of years ago, I declined spots at Beaubien RGC and Coonley RGC for my oldest in favor of Bell’s neighborhood program before finally receiving/accepting an offer at the Bell RGC)… Nonetheless, I’m still disappointed. Sigh. I suppose that will wear off in a few days and it will be back to business as usual 🙂

  • 220. Ed  |  March 31, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    Several people have commented about percent ranking based on raw scores. I called CPS and they explained that the scores are normalized against the whole population so that 100 is the mean, and the standard deviation is 15, at least for the kids testing pre-K.

    This would mean that a score of 115, which I believe is the cut-off for gifted/classical acceptance, is a nationally rank of 84%. Here is a link in which you can put in your child’s score and get a national percent ranking:

    Please note: This does not mean a score of 115 was 84% higher than the other kids tested, as one can presume that most parents would not have a child of average or below average skill tested in the first place. However, to the many parents feeling blue after reading on this blog of so many scores above 130, please understand that scores this high are incredibly rare and any score above 100 is above average. My daughter scored a 109, which is around 73%, and I am quite proud of that result.

    The only reason I tested her in the first place is that her older sib is at Skinner North, and it would have been so much easier to have both children in the same school. Sigh. Luckily we received one acceptance for a good magnet program, so now we just have to contend with having 2 different schools. It’s unfortunate that we all go through such difficult choices.

  • 221. CPSgrad  |  April 1, 2010 at 7:39 am

    Congrats on your daughter’s acceptance to WY. Would you mind sharing her score and tier? I’m interested to see what the cut-off scores are since my son did not make it. 😦

  • 222. KS  |  April 1, 2010 at 7:49 am

    I tested both my kids this year. My dd got an acceptance at Edison for 1st grade. (tier3, 139 rgc score) and my ds got an acceptance at Skinner North for K (tier3, 142 rgc & 134 classical). My older dd is currently at Decatur and very happy there, but we would move her if we could get both kids in the same school.

    We will most likely give up the Edison spot, but I am still not sure what the best move is to get them in the same school. I could try for both at Skinner North. I am a bit worried if I give up the SN spot that my ds will be shut out. Any ideas. If you were me, what would you do?

  • 223. Worry Wart  |  April 1, 2010 at 7:52 am

    @Ed. Thanks for the perspective. Maybe having my kids at two different schools wont be as bad as I think. Logistically, I can’t wrap my mind around how I can be at two places at one time. Keep up with two calendars, bake sales, field trips, etc. I definitely don’t want to stop either one of them from reaching their potential at a gifted/classical school by being overly concerned with keeping them in the same school. Also, as momx3 was stating, I don’t want to explain why one is in a more advanced program than the other. I have enough parental guilt!

  • 224. jmom  |  April 1, 2010 at 8:30 am

    @KS I currently have 3 kids in 3 schools. Two at different RGC’s and one in a classical. The one in the classical is transferring to one of the RGC’s so next year I’ll only have two schools to contend with. It has not been as bad as it sounds dealing with 3 schools. Each child has been happy and with the buses taking my two to the RGC’s, I only had one bus stop and there drop off and pick up times were similar. I live near the classical so I drive there. I say do what you think is best for the kids. If I did it with 3, you can handle two.

  • 225. DahliChi  |  April 1, 2010 at 8:48 am

    My son scored a lot lower this year and he got in to an RSG for 1st grade, when he did not get in anywhere last year ( but I was more selctive last year)

    I am starting to suspect that it is easier to get in at a grade higher than K

    Also, does anyone know if the classical score for the 1st grade test is percentile. I understand from reading this site that it is a simple score for K this year.

  • 226. momx3  |  April 1, 2010 at 9:05 am

    Just spoke w/ IIT and wanted to share the information I received. According to IIT, despite what the CPS letter said, 115 is not a hard cut-off. As the shuffle occurs throughout the summer, CPS will apparently fill seats with the next highest score even if that means dipping below 115 — although he said 115/114 is pretty much as low as CPS ever needs to go. My child had a 114 and was described by IIT as being “on the cusp”. Of course, we only selected one program so I’m certain we’ll not get a call… but wanted to share what I heard for others on the so-called cusp. (Oh, and a score of 114 was described by IIT as the 82-84th percentile; he said a percentile range was more appropriate b/c of score clusters around the 115 mark). Good luck everyone.

  • 227. helicoptermom  |  April 1, 2010 at 9:27 am

    Anyone know of Lincoln IB program and what their program is like? How is Lincoln vs a RGC center like Beaubien or Bell?
    Any experience? Thanks.

  • 228. momx3  |  April 1, 2010 at 9:29 am

    One more thing, IIT told me that test scores can be quite variable for younger kids (pre-K, K, 1st, 2nd) — and that scores can go up or down quite a bit at this age if tested again. He said it’s not possible for a child to score higher than his/her potential, but is very possible to score below. He said that younger kids are more impacted by test day variables (distractions, nerves, etc.) so that scores can vary widely from year-to-year for the same kid. Thought I would share in case anyone was considering testing next year…

  • 229. Y  |  April 1, 2010 at 9:47 am

    Thanks momx3 for that insight, which may help explain our year-to-year scores. For the last two years on the RGC test, our DD’s score was within a point but then jumped over 30 points this year.

  • 230. CPSnewbie  |  April 1, 2010 at 9:55 am

    For everyone who tested for K and did not make it, there is always next year. I know the disappointment is huge but at least it is only K. I feel especially sorry for the high school students. That process is unreal, and the thought of it is scary!
    Last year my son received one of those scores that in past years would have easily given him a spot, but because thousands tested, and I only chose a few schools, he didn’t get picked in any rounds. (I hadn’t found cpsobsessed yet – had no clue what I was getting into!) But, my son retested this year and was accepted to RGC. I admit that this year of K has NOT been easy. At times the drama of getting him to K made me think I had a 15 year old instead of a 5 year old! I’ll be honest – he was bored, disruptive and it took forever to get him to do his “stupid, boring homework!” ( One page worksheet of identifying pictures with the correct letter sound – he was reading Harry Potter on his own.) I tried to work with his teacher but basically hit a brick wall. So, we supplemented at home, did our own science, math and art projects and read books suitable for him. Was it tiring, frustrating and at times infuriating? Absolutely! But it is one year, and it’s almost over. I guess I’m just sharing so that people don’t get too discouraged. As I say to my son, “You never know what will happen next – that’s what makes life interesting!” Maybe if we get enough smart, creative, motivated parents together who won’t accept mediocre school choices the neighborhood programs can improve. Hey, if I can’t stay an optimist, what am I teaching my son? 🙂

  • 231. MomtoAKJ  |  April 1, 2010 at 10:03 am

    Does anyone know anything about Thorp? My daughter got a spot there and I would like to find out more, talk to some parents, etc.

  • 232. Stressed Out  |  April 1, 2010 at 10:45 am

    @CPSnewbie – You bring very valid points. I’m very frustrated of not being able to get my daughter into a classical school even though her score is higher than others. But, my wife and I will have to do what your doing with your son. Make up our own science projects, enroll her in a language class in the area and do other things to keep her from falling behind.

    Just like you, I wish I had found cpsobseseed earlier. It would have helped me understand the difference in what a classical school looks for as opposed to a RGC. But, those are my own sour grapes and I truly wish everyone on this blog much success with their child’s academics.

  • 233. dave4118  |  April 1, 2010 at 11:30 am

    stresswed out,
    Try …it is a nice elementary science site that i just found out about. Many of the classical schools employ this particular method in their curriculum. It has sort of fun, but basic, games that introduce concepts to kids.

  • 234. Stressed Out  |  April 1, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    @dave4118 – Thanks for the website, I’ll look into this weekend.

  • 235. twinmom  |  April 1, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    Does anyone have information about Swift Specialty School? We got in through the proximity lottery, but I don’t know much about it. (Of the 20+ magnet schools we applied to, the only ones responding are the ones I didn’t get around to touring!) I’d love to hear from current parents or anyone with some information about the school.

  • 236. NoLongerWaiting  |  April 1, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    @CPSgrad. My daughter’s score was 879, but I know another kid who got in with an 806. On the other hand I also know a kid who did not get in with an 813. I believe those two live in tiers 3 and 4 respectively — we are in tier 2, I think, but our letter did not say.

  • 237. 60647 Dad  |  April 1, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    So we just got our first Pre-K letter–Drummond: Waitlist, 18. The letter was dated 3/22 and postmarked 3/30. We’re still waiting on responses from 8 other schools.

    So does Drummond know they’re not getting cut? Do any of you have any experience with Drummond PK? Do tiers impact PK?

    Any & all responses appreciated, it sounds like most of you have been around the block with CPS.

  • 238. BPR  |  April 1, 2010 at 8:48 pm

    Waitlist number 17 for Drummond 3-year old program.

    Does anyone have any idea whether the list moves for that age group?

  • 239. Southsideobsessed  |  April 1, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    Has anyone heard from Pershing East or Ray yet?

    My son also has SPD and ADHD. He tested for K and got a 121 gifted and a 109 classical. I’m happy with those scores but . . .
    During the testing process CPS would not make special accomodations for him because he did not have an IEP or a 504 plan. He attends a private preschool and although he has received private OT services and I brought a letter from his LCSW therapist, CPS would not accept it.
    I even called my local public school and attempted to at least get a 504 plan by the testing date. Silly me. The schools are so swamped that he still has not had his intial observation yet.
    I can’t help but wonder if my son would have scored higher if they had allowed him the accomodations that were recommended by his social worker? My understanding is that they give the gifted test first and the classical second. I fear that my son got distracted by the time the classical came around and blew the test.
    Yet still holding out that he will get into one of the magnet or good neighborhood and will try again next year with his 504/IEP in hand.
    To the Philly Girl – You might want to request in writing an evaluation oh . . . the first day of school.
    Also wanted to let parents know that I applied to a good number of Charter schools also. They can be tricky with their different applications and time frames but some of them are very good.

  • 240. ChicagoCPA  |  April 1, 2010 at 9:55 pm

    Forgive the double post, I had not realized that the current thread had moved…

    A question:
    If your child is already attending a GEAP school (School A) and you apply for testing to get into a different GEAP school next year (School B), when do you loose your seat at School A for next year. (Which I also assume is the point at which another parent can try to get your existing spot in School A next fall)

    A) When you apply for School B in December.
    B) When they mail you your acceptance for School B (even if you respond NO) in March.
    C) After you respond Yes to that letter in April.
    D) After you tell School A you are not attending next year.

    I am guessing C, that as long as I do not answer “YES I accept” in April, that I have no fear of loosing our existing placement in School A.

    I can foresee a game being played where each child keeps applying for the other child’s school until all three are in one building.

    However we may not do so simply to keep them in the same class with their existing friends for all 7 or 9 years. But is character building to have to make all new friends right?

  • 241. ChicagoCPA  |  April 1, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    for those who want the TIER map without the SunTime article

  • 242. ChicagoCPA  |  April 1, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    @24. khs
    My son got into Decatur with a classical score of 175.

    @19. suburbsbound
    I live in Jeff Park as well and wonder about getting all three kids into Decatur since it seems you need a score of 150+ to get in if you live in Tier 4. But we have thought about suburbs and decided we’d rather have three different GEAP schools than have the kids see their dad 1 hr less per day. Plus Beaubien is a LOT better than the neighborhoold school I went to (Belden) and I turned out okay… as one of the very few white kids there I only got beat up twice 🙂 Of course this was 40 years ago when there were not many other options if you did not have the money to live near a good school.

    @37. LR
    I suspect the conundrum centers on the fact that so many of the very top testers apply to the very top GEAP schools like Decatur. Since Decatur has only 12 spots (assuming they they only have K class) based solely on scoring and I suspect that there are many more 5 year olds reading at an advanced level than there have been in the past (meaning that the upper limit of 150 is not really true anymore) and if all of us applied to Decatur and only two of us bothered to comment on (there was one who got a 168), then…
    i.o.w. 100 may still be the calculated mean, but I suspect that there are a LOT of students scoring above the 100% mark of 150.

    @224. jmom
    Thanks… it is good to know that someone else out there is happily juggling three different GEAP schools.

    @230. CPSnewbie
    This is my fear… I have heard this story many times now (advanced 5 year olds having to sit thru K and being bored to disruptiveness) and I fear it for ourselves. Even if #2 and #3 are wind up just as advanced as #1, what if they just do not score well because… Our tactic was going to be home schooling if it became a problem.

    However, the whole reason we moved into the Beaubien school district before we had kids was that it was one of the top neighborhood schools in Chicago (if they did not get into a GEAP school), so if I can do as well as I did via Belden, I am sure my kids will do just fine via Beaubien. We have no plans to spend less time with any child that winds up in a neighborhood school, so they will get their education either way and I would think that somewhere along that way they will siderail into a GEAP school and wind up in the same place they would have been if they had started there from K.

  • 243. ChicagoCPA  |  April 1, 2010 at 10:46 pm

    One last question:
    Now that the de-segregation rule has been thrown out, is there still going to be bussing? It was my understanding that the mandate created the funds to pay for it. If the mandate no longer applies, who will pay for it? Perhaps the new CPS mandate of using all 4 tiers will do it, but did they provide the funds for bussing? Does anyone know 100% for sure?

  • 244. Proud CPS MOM  |  April 2, 2010 at 8:30 am

    I would encourage anyone who has not received notification from CPS to call or go down to the OAE office. We still have not received notification from CPS, however we received a welcome letter and meet and greet invite in the mail yesterday from one of the academic centers.

  • 245. New CPS Dad  |  April 2, 2010 at 8:53 am

    We have not received our CPS notifications as well. We applied to only magnet schools. I went down to the OAE office (let me tell you right now they do not spend much money on the OAE offices) and had them look up my daughters notifications. They did not give me any letters but did tell me her wait list numbers. Still not sure if they are correct. That little piece of paper will confirm the numbers given to meI have called the schools but all the clerks are on spring break and nothing can be done until next week. Parents have until April 16th to decide if they want to accept whatever schools they get into so no huge hurry at the moment. Just extremly frustrating.

  • 246. CPSlies  |  April 2, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    #244 Proud CPS mom:
    which AC? is it the one you and your child wanted?

  • 247. upsetmom  |  April 2, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    I cant believe CPS has done such a lousy job with sons application for the GIFTED program!! Apparently some one scanned our info and entered us in the classical program for a school we dont qualify… After our numerous efforts to get the kid a fair chance all the folks at CPS claim that they are investigating the matter. I am tired of the system and horrible luck.

  • 248. dazedandconfused  |  April 3, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    i’ve been away for a few days so now back on to fret over our decisions for school and would love some advice.

    now i’m the first to acknowledge that having good options is a blessing so hoping this doesn’t come off as obnoxious.

    My daughter currently goes to Skinner West K. The school has greats pros [amazing education and principal, new building] and a few cons for me. [cons are far from our home and I don’t get a community feeling there] She retested and got into Decatur. I’ll admit the suntimes rating has been shining in our eyes but the reality is… Decatur is the same distance from our house in the opposite direction which isn’t great for dropping off on the way to work but that’s manageable. My key concern is the path after Decatur since it only goes to 6th grade. can’t even believe i’m thinking that far in advance but this blog has made me a lunatic 🙂
    any input is greatly appreciated here or via email
    also wanted to remind everyone that this is an ongoing process. don’t despair yet. ALSO wanted to tell you that my daughter’s “gifted” school dropped significantly from last year. I don’t think she thinks that way so it’s probably more accurate this year than last.
    again- bowing to cpsobsessed for managing us and hold hands!!

  • 249. dave4118  |  April 3, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    we are similarly situated, our daughter just tested into skinner north for kindergarten…we are probably equal distances away from skinner north and decatur. our fallback option is our local school, with a comprehensive gifted program within the school. That comprehensive gifted starts at 1st grade…and ends after 6th…..dilemmas…do we enroll her in the local school knowing that she is better suited for a classical/advanbced education….will she be bored? when she enters 1st grade at the local school’s gifted…how far behind will she be compared to a child at skinner north. what do we do after 6th grade? the lack of a community feel at skinner north is also troublesome….but is that enough of a reason to walk away from it? i don’t think so.

  • 250. dazedandconfused  |  April 3, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    oops- that should have read that her gifted “score” dropped significantly.

    dave- i wish you all the best in your decision. that’s a tough one. i’m not sure what a comprehensive gifted program within a school is [i admit to alot of ignorance in this whole process but honestly think that’s how all schools should be]. My local school is Bell and she didn’t test into the gifted program there so that also sits out there as an option but after going through Skinner West this year I think she’d not do well in the neighborhood program there now. but had i started her there? who knows.

    as for the community feel being important? i’m torn. bell has tremendous parent participation and therefore raises a ton of money for extras. i wouldn’t underestimate the power of active parents. I just opened a gorgeous invitation to the Decatur fundraiser. looks like some social parent participation 🙂

    but i also am so impressed with the unbelieveable amount my daughter has learned at skinner west [which i’m sure is the same curriculum as skinner north]. I volunteer in the classroom about once a week for a whole day and continue to be amazed. The class is also wonderfully diverse [a huge plus to me]and just a really great group of kids.

    good luck with your decision!

  • 251. cpsobsessed  |  April 3, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    @dazedandcofused – So Skinner West will go up to 8th grade eventually? I would give serious consideration to staying there and think about talking to some other parents about brainstorming ways to increase the community feel. Sometimes it takes some good, social, leaders to make that stuff happen. If you feel it’s lacking, I bet other people do too.
    I have little knowledge of Sknner W (but keep hearing raves.) Decatur gets raves too, but I do hear that they are a bit “set in their ways” in the way they operate. (If you like that way, great… if not, too bad.) I do wonder if at the new school like Skinner W there is more room for parental input (assuming it’s even needed.) Is it 2 classes per grade or 1? Each year many new families will enter the school and there’s more families to help get social stuff going.
    I would worry about the stress of finding a 7th grade options would freak me out. And aside from that, they’re being uprooted from friends in 7th grade and then possibly again in 9th.

  • 252. cpsobsessed  |  April 3, 2010 at 8:47 pm

    @ChicagoCPS – I think the bussing will be part of what is announced in the budget, whenever that is announced. It costs CPS a fortune, so I wouldn’t be surprised if at least some of it is cut. And the deseg bit certainly makes a case for them to cut bussing to magnet schools.

  • 253. dazedandconfused  |  April 3, 2010 at 9:03 pm

    just for clarification-
    Skinner West currently and as far as i know has always been up to 8th grade. 2 classes in the gifted and they have a neighborhood program that will be added a grade at a time. Skinner West is actually the old school that was moved to Skinner North when they were constructing the new building at it’s current location [across the street from Whitney Young] When they were moving back a decision was made to keep the temporary housing of Skinner and called it Skinner North. Most of the teachers went to skinner west and so did the principal but i understand the staff at north is awesome.
    i think some of the problem is location- in that we have parents from everywhere [dare i say within chicago city limits] as far south as I am west- makes for difficult playdates.

    i’m inclined to stick with what i know since my daughter is doing so well there but will tour Decatur this week and see what vibe i get from there. Last year I went in to the tour of Skinner with 5% chance of going there vs Bell neighborhood and came out 95% skinner so we’ll see 🙂


  • 254. dazedandconfused  |  April 3, 2010 at 9:06 pm

    oops. skinner is a classical not gifted- all this talk has made me stupid

  • 255. cpsobsessed  |  April 3, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    Re Skinner, so when the new building was ready, everyone (all 9 grades) moved from the North location over to the new building and then North took in new students? (I know I should know this, but it’s been off my radar.) I don’t think I have the brain cells to process it…..

  • 256. Y  |  April 3, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    The original Skinner program was housed in a temporary facility on Ogden when their school was being re-built. Many of the students, faculty, and admin went back to the new building and the program became Skinner West. At the new building, CPS introduced a neighborhood program and started with, I think, KG and 1st only.

    CPS created a brand new program called Skinner North and moved it into the old Schiller school, which is a few blocks away from the temporary building. Skinner North started this year with KG-2 and is planned for KG-8. Some families from the original Skinner program switched to Skinner North since it was closer to them but most students are new to the classical system.

    We followed this too closely last year when we were offered spots at both Skinner programs. The CPS “school branding” game is annoying – LaSalle I and II, Disney I and II, Skinners…

    To make everything more confusing, CPS is housing Ogden temporarily in the building Skinner was using for the last two years while their new school is being built.

  • 257. Melba Viloria  |  April 3, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    My grandchild did not get in to South Loop School entering 2nd grade,, tested with a score of 151. Wandering as to the reason why she did not get accepted.

  • 258. Y  |  April 3, 2010 at 9:37 pm

    @Melba Viloria- That’s a very,very good score. You have to remember that your grandchild is trying to enter an existing class. If the class is currently full (28), then someone has to leave the program before a child can be offered a spot.

  • 259. cpsobsessed  |  April 3, 2010 at 9:49 pm

    Hey, an obsessive grandmother! I love it. I was going to write just what Y said. Totally depends how many kids leave that class and when. Some years there is more turnover than others.

    Well, the CPS “branding” bit seems to be working, since parents seemed eager for the Disney II, Lasalle II, etc spaces.

  • 260. Siblings  |  April 3, 2010 at 10:45 pm

    Am I the only one applying to get my children in the same magnet school …which is now impossible unless I send my 4th grader back to kindergarten. Why does CPS suddenly think all siblings are kindergartens? Now we are at the end of the wait list and the principal, who in the past had some say, can do nothing to help keep families together. Am I the only one outraged by NO spaces …not even one per grade being open to sibs?

  • 261. SW Side Jen  |  April 3, 2010 at 11:24 pm

    To the two parents on the waitlist at Drummond for PreK- I am 99.9 percent sure that we are going to give up spot number 9 on the list- we received a spot at Suder for our soon-to-be-3 year old and I am pretty sure we are going to take it.

    Good luck to everyone- we applied to like 20 magnets (for DS going into K) and have heard back from about half of those with only one seat, a few outright rejections, and the others waitlisted. I am much relieved that he placed in at Pritzker, which is where we plan to send him. I bet we are going to see a lot of movement with those lists since a lot of us did the same thing and applied to a bunch of magnet schools.

    I’m glad that we have some choice in the matter, but this whole process seems very archaic to me. What a huge waste of time and paper for parents and CPS employees alike.

  • 262. SK928  |  April 4, 2010 at 11:25 am

    My daughter was accepted for 4th grade at Skinner West. We’re Tier 4. Her scores were only 92 Math and 92 Reading. It seems surprising she got in given all of the high scores posted on this blog that did not get accepted and the fact that there are probably very few seats open in the 4th grade. Yes, CPS is a total mystery. What has the collective experience been on this? Is K the hardest time to get in? We tested for Kindergarten and she was not accepted into any programs.

    Interested if anyone has feedback on Skinner West. How has the introduction of the new Magnet program into the building affected the school?

    Also I noticed that Skinner test scores drop from elementary to middle school. Is this because the top students transfer into different programs for middle school? Any insight?

  • 263. unsure  |  April 4, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    Our child also tested into Skinner West entering 1st grade next year. Our understanding is that there are two kinder classes of Classical and one neighborhood kinder class. Does anyone know if there is another 1st grade Classical room opening or is the space one which became vacant?

    @dazedandconfused We also saw a drop in gifted score this year. Looked up ISAT scores too and noticed middle school had bit of a drop in scores, my thought was burnout?? Didn’t know what to make of that either. However the scores are still amazing. Do you think the lack of community feeling is due to a certian newness moving back to the new building and the addition of the neighborhood classes? Any information you can share about the school ,curriculum, after school etc would be greatly appreciated.

    Why no recess either, especially for the younger children?

    Does anyone know if there is an open house for new families between now and April 16th?

  • 264. Two cents  |  April 4, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    Hey, anyone accepted at EDISON RGC for any grade other than K?

  • 265. dazedandconfused  |  April 4, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    there are 2 classical classes and 1 neighborhood for kindergarten which will then move up each year. in this year’s K the one class has 30 the other has 28. this past month one moved out of the state so that second class now has 27. so right now there are AT LEAST 3 slots open for next year’s 1st grade class. [keep in mind there may be another depending on what we decide]

    as for the drop in gifted score- everyone i knew who took it also dropped. I think honestly that that K testing is VERY subjective since done individually and just asking some questions but the test for 1st is a written standardized so probably more accurate??i wasn’t surprised since she went in scattered and came out scattered [where with the classical test she said it was really easy]. also my kid doesn’t really think gifted.

    school- is gorgeous and new and clean and green [they don’t have refrigs inthe rooms b/c each class gets monitored on their use of electricity] The principal is great and really cares about the school. I don’t really love the support staff and haven’t felt the love back. I don’t think that newness is the reason for the lack of community- i truly think it’s because we all live so far apart. We had our daughter’s birthday party recently and met alot of the parents and they can’t be nicer. Really an impressive group of quality people. I think if I stay I need to start a social group. I have to remember that in preschool i felt disconnected until I organized a mom’s night out and that really did bring the class together.

    I also can’t stress enough how amazing the curriculum is. But I won’t say it’s a breeze. Each kid processes things at different speeds and while my child might spend 15 minutes a night on homework I do know of some kids spending an hour to hour and half each night. Where my neighborhood school was doing collages of things that start with the letter G – our kids were doingr esearch projects on their chosen type of bear, doing a speech about that bear and then making [in our case] a panda habitat. Sounds intense but the kids loved it. they do 4 big projects a year. they do book reports and journal. they are doing daily editing of paragraphs that even I have to look at twice to make sure are right.
    also the first couple of weeks they test the kids in reading and math to see where they are- then break the groups into 4 subclasses. so you may stay with one teacher for all the rest but switch for math and reading to the other. [next door] it’s brilliant in my opinion sincce the kids started at such vastly different starting points. i can say that volunteering in both classes the kids ahve leveld out and those who were not reading at all in september are reading at an alarming rate.

    after school- they have an after care program but it’s hard to get into and you have to do it early. but they do offer mad science/violin/acting/ballet [those are what i can think of right now] no recess bites- big time. they work around it sometimes by having kids play before school starts at 9:15 and alot of times the teacher says- the kids are nutty- off to the playground but that is NOT a daily occurence.

    as for scores in the middle school dropping off. i don’t know much about this but I would surmise it’s that alot of the top skinner kids end up going to the AE centers.

    con- the communication also bites. I got the calendar of events for march on march 23rd – right before spring break. not helpful. you would think with a new school there should have been smart boards in every room- there aren’t and that usage of the internet would be a given for communicating. i’m still getting these strange “calling post” calls [updtaes from the paretn association which costs 10 cents a call] sporadically and few people ever signed up for it. when an email blast should be seplease feel free to contact me if you have any further questions.

  • 266. unsure  |  April 4, 2010 at 7:42 pm

    dazedandconfused Wow thanks for all the information. Feel fortunate to have opportunity given few slots available. Love the way they differentiate for the various levels in reading and math! Impressive.
    Middle school transfers to different programs, makes sense when looking at the scores.
    Homework thanks for explaining have heard takes much time, sounds like varies from child to child. Enjoy hearing about projects since picturing lots of worksheets which are not as meaningful.
    Have heard communication an issue too.
    Lacking sense of community, can understand since students from all over the city. It seems as communities change and begin enrolling their children in the nieghborhood programs the level of community involvement shifts. Just making this statement based on personal observations, maybe this will happen as neighborhood portion grows. Sounds like you already had some success by planning a social outing.
    Thanks again for your input, good luck with your decision, and might be contacting you too.

  • 267. Y  |  April 5, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    CPS usually adds seats in RGC and CS classrooms at 4th grade. K-3 is typically set at 28 and 32 for 4-8.

  • 268. BEVdad  |  April 5, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    First time posting…thanks for the blog.

    We are frustrated at best with this mess. We fear that this new admissions policy has essentially said that my kids’ hard work is much less important than where they live. How can 60% of the weight be on wear you live??

    I fear that when my daughter tests for Young’s 7th grade program our Tier 4 Beverly address will disadvantage her. She is always at the top of her RGC class (97-103% grades last term), 99/98% ISAT…but it seems like it won’t be good enough.

    Her brother sought K admission this year — 132 Classical, 123 RGC — that was not good enough for Lenart or McDade.

    Maybe we should get this $4000 Roseland beauty — 11833 S Eggleston Chicago, IL 60628 — to increase our chances.

    But if this is the policy moving forward, I am not sure these schools will be the place to be. Someone scoring in the 55 percentile will not be prepared. How will the schools deal with these two student bodies? Scores will certainly suffer.

    Maybe Hinsdale, where all of the schools score well, should be our next stop.

  • 269. dazedandconfused  |  April 6, 2010 at 9:13 am

    BEVdad- i wouldn’t give up hope yet- those scores are good and may still get you a placement. 🙂

    and a general comment not directed towards anyone –
    i’m not defending the policy because it’s all screwy to me but the way i understand it – if your kid is in the top 40% that has NOTHING to do with your location. it’s after they take off the top 40% that they the tiers are taken into consideration and it’s 15% per tier. is that right?
    I’m probably one of the few people here who actually thinks giving opportunities to economically challenged kids is worht the screwy process. that kid who scores well i want getting a shot she might not get otherwise get. The families I am MOST sad for are those that live in my neighborhood who are renting to get their kids into so called “better” communities who are being penalized. but on the flip side of that [and i can tell you my neighbors feel this way] they would rather be living here and take the penalty since the neighborhood schools also are better.
    so there- i said it. let the flogging begin. but be gentle- i bruise easily.

  • 270. logan square parent  |  April 6, 2010 at 10:08 am

    Most parents just want a safe, sensible, and well-rounded education for their child. It is normal for many to feel stressed and worried during this time.
    I would prefer a great neighborhood school that had advanced classes for advanced learners. Our neighborhood school doesn’t offer anything close to that. Also,from my understanding and I could be wrong, they get most of their funding based on the amount of ESL students they have. Talk about screwey!
    I personally feel like the new CPS regulations albeit perfect are at least getting closer to offering more oppurtunies to all. I understand the frustration of parents who feel being in certain tiers is a hinderance to them. But if whatever teir you live in, after the initial top 40% you still have a 15% chance, I have not seen any scores, that were accepted from the 50%. If you get below a 115 you are not considered for the gifted or classical programs.
    All of this is maddening but in my mind no school situation is perfect. It is uplifting to see so many parents and family members care so much about the education of their child. All of these childred have a great educators in their home, and school is a small part of learning.
    Thank you for your post dazedandconfused.

  • 271. Worry Wart  |  April 6, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    Well said dazedandconfused and logan square parent! I have a child that didn’t get in either and I too believe my tier didn’t help matters. And it is frustrating-very much so. However, had she scored higher this wouldn’t be an issue in the first place and I certainly don’t resent or blame others who did get in-regardless of what tier, address, neighborhood, zip code, etc. they’re in. We all just want the best for our kids.

  • 272. twinmom  |  April 6, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    It’s my understanding that this current tier system is just in place for this year, and they’re working on something different for next year. Anyone know how they might be deciding things next year?

  • 273. RL Julia  |  April 6, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    The basic problem is that CPS isn’t able to provide a baseline decent education in every school which means there ends up being this huge competition for a decent education. I talked to one of the people at IIT about my son’s test scores and even he admitted (easy to do when you are not a direct employee of CPS) that there probably wasn’t too much of a difference between a kid who scored 97% on the 7th grade admissions exam and a kid who scored 99.5% in terms of potential, ability to learn or catch on etc…. but that in the end of it all, the kid who scored in the 97% might not be offered a spot in a school because there were so many applicants. So basically, both kids were deserving of the Gifted and Talented curriculum, both would probably excel but only one could be given the curricular opportunity and the other one would have to make due….

  • 274. RL Julia  |  April 6, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    Provided the above example was about gifted programming but the fact is that there are a number of schools were it might not be safe to send a kid or you might have a gifted kid who can’t accomodate being in a “regular” classroom (I’ve met them) and get depressed, bored, anxious and/or disruptive.

    The fact the CPS can get away with rationing education this way is pretty criminal.

  • 275. Trick  |  April 6, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    Well, I’m officially done with my “love affair” with CPS. I applied to 5 magnet schools – not one letter as to the status of my application! PLEASE – at least deny me. I have called CPS explaining the situation and they referred me to a direct number of the employee that could assist me. I left a voicemail, etc. etc. NOTHING. I have been very patient. I attempted to call again today with my work number – surely not trying to be pushy. I JUST WANT TO KNOW. Well, I really don’t want to know anymore because this school system is the LAST place I would put my son into. Sometimes everything happens for a reason! Thank you CPS for making the decision SO easy.

  • 276. KCK  |  April 6, 2010 at 8:48 pm

    @Trick – did you try calling the school directly?

  • 277. jeffrey1213  |  April 7, 2010 at 1:20 am

    We have also been very frustrated with CPS…we have not gotten any letters from any of the lottery schools in the mail. I plan to call tomorrow just to satisfy my own curiousity. Thankfully, our daughter was accepted at Peirce for K (although we had to find out in person!) and we are really impressed with their efforts to be a great neighborhood school and keep families in the ‘hood (we are a half block out of their district) rather than having families apply to other lottery schools farther away. Just not willing to drive all over creation for school, playdates, bday parties, etc. So much of what kids need can be offered at home and through other venues as several others have suggested. We are somewhat disappointed at not getting into Coonley (RGC 123, Classical 118–dreaded Tier 4) but are really happy with Peirce and trust that we will connect with a lot of other likeminded parents and can unite to provide the best for our kids and advocate for them. Realistically, how many of us were in gifted programs as kids? And we turned out just fine…although a bit obsessed clearly! We have sooo appreciated finding this blog and going through this process with all of you!!

  • 278. hpmom  |  April 7, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    FYI, for those who haven’t heard from the magnet schools, I called the OAE earlier this week, and the nice lady who answered the phone gave me the schools where my daughter was accepted (I had already received those letters) and told me we were waitlisted at all other schools. My daughter received magnet acceptance letters for Thorp, Pritzker and Newberry – she is #5 on the waitlist for LaSalle Language. I called LaSalle and the person who answered said that I can accept at one of those other schools if I want and call LaSalle in late May or early June to see if any spots have opened up and switch at that time if I want. She said it’s the parent’s prerogative to switch magnets if they want. So far, the people have been rather helpful and nice but I was SUGARY sweet when talking to all of them. 🙂

  • 279. how????  |  April 7, 2010 at 11:22 pm


    How is it even possible to get so many acceptance letters??? Many of these schools get so many applications and people apply to so many schools without a single acceptance letter… Is this for K or some other grades? I would think that the probability of getting so many acceptance letters and such a good position for LaSalle must be impossibly small… I guess you must be the luckiest parent in Chicago…. I wish we had such luck as we were all waitlisted at impossibly high number and we have no real option at gifted/classical or neighborhood schools….

  • 280. Another mommy  |  April 8, 2010 at 7:34 am


    It depends on how many schools you apply to, AND which ones you apply to. Popular magnets (Jackson, Disney, Hawthorne, LaSalle) get as many as 3000 applications in one year (I’ve heard as many as 4000). Less popular magnets receive less applications, therefore you have a better chance at getting in. Obviously, if you apply to many schools you “up” your chances of being accepted at one (or a couple). When I applied for my son last year, I applied to 28 schools (gifted and classical included). He got into Franklin Fine Arts, Burley, Hamilton, Skinner North, and Hawthorne. We picked Hawthorne. It was a good year for us. Hope this helps. Good luck.

  • 281. KS  |  April 8, 2010 at 8:07 am


    Just to make you feel better, this year I sent in 18 magnet applications and did both the RGC & Classical tests for my son. He was accepted at 1 school for K (Skinner North). We did the same thing for my daughter last year and her only accept for another GEAP school. Not once have we received a magnet accept via lottery.

    Don’t get me wrong, I am happy to at least have one option to consider. But I think these multiple accepts are more the exception than the rule. I guess some people are just lucky….but we are not one of them!

  • 282. hpmom  |  April 8, 2010 at 3:49 pm


    I think our chances were improved because I applied for a higher grade (4th); I also applied to 25 magnets. It probably cuts both ways once you get to the higher levels – you have fewer spaces available at the schools because most people don’t transfer their kids at higher grades, but then you also have fewer families apply to magnets for the exact same reasons.

  • 283. cpsmom  |  April 8, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    Last year we received acceptances to Disney, Hawthorne, Skinner North, Hamilton, Ravenswood, Courtney Lang, and then 3 weeks into the school year, Waters. We chose Hawthorne. After about the third acceptance, I had to stop telling my friends….so many of them didn’t get in anywhere and it was painful and frustrating to them.
    This year, we applied for our second child and due to the sibling policy, he got in at Hawthorne, and then he got in at Hamilton. They’ll both be staying at Hawthorne.
    But, I think it is actually more normal than not to actually receive NO acceptances anywhere. Only 20% of families get into even one school they apply to. So, I think you’ll hear a lot of families on this board and others like it stating where they got in, but many, many other families did not, and have either left the city or done private. Those families probably don’t care about CPS anymore, and aren’t “obsessed” anymore!

  • 284. jeffrey1213  |  April 8, 2010 at 11:37 pm

    I agree with @hpmom about calling OAE directly. Rather than calling the 6 lottery schools that we hadn’t heard from, I just called OAE this afternoon and a very helpful woman confirmed the acceptance and Peirce and then gave me the waitlist numbers for the remaining schools (ranging from #25 to #258). As the previous poster noted, so many of our friends haven’t gotten their child accepted anywhere so I am thrilled that we have Peirce. Still, I remain appalled at how horrible CPS has been about getting out letters re: lottery/magnet schools. To date, the only letter we received in the mail was from GEAP!

  • 285. sciencemom  |  April 9, 2010 at 12:51 am

    I have been reading “cpsobsessed” for a couple of weeks now as we have received nothing but a GEAP rejection letter and impossibly high wait list letters from 15 magnet schools. To be honest, I was surprised my child did not get placed in a GEAP school, but I have also been disappointed, but not surprised, that not a single magnet school has worked out. For those wondering, this is the norm.
    I have found reading this blog interesting, but what is getting frustrating to read in the last days is how many people are only considering moving out of Chicago or sending their children to private schools. I haven’t read anyone who is going to send their child to the neighborhood school because that is the only choice. Our neighborhood school is not that great, but it can only change and get better if people who care about it start sending their children to it. I also believe that if we all have the gifted children we believe we have, then ALL schools need children of all abilities. Children inspire each other, learn from each other and grow from each other. ALL children deserve a good education, not just the elite few or those lucky enough to win a lottery. CPS needs to address the needs at all schools and create a system that enables gifted children anywhere in the city to receive a challenging education. But, pulling all of those children into a few special schools does nothing for the majority of students, even those scoring above the 95% in GEAP testing that are not placed in gifted schools.
    I have plenty of concerns about my child’s entry into school next year at the neighborhood school. Will my child be safe? Will the teacher differentiate instruction to the children who need more challenging work? Will the teacher be working on such remedial skills that my child will become bored and complacent and grow to dislike school because it is “boring”? But, I have always believed that education does not end in the classroom or at school. Regardless of what school my child goes to, I will always provide stimulating and thought-provoking books, projects and experiences at home. That is my job.
    I think that if more people who believe in the best for their children would stop and consider how to make the neighborhood schools better for them, it would also make it better for so many other children and that is a real way to make change in CPS and the larger community.

  • 286. how???  |  April 9, 2010 at 7:11 am


    I do also wish I could send our child to a neighborhood school. I wish I could consider our neighborhood school as an option. I frankly think they should simply get rid of the whole manget/gifted/classical schools concept….

    However, our neighborhood school is currently on academic probation and their ISAT score indicates that only 3% of students meed/exceed state standard…. So, I cannot possibly consider a such school as an option, and frankly cannot blame any parents who choose not to enroll there and leave city or go private…. Sometimes the past reputation is too much to overcome, and I don’t want to make big gamble with my child who is very smart but also very sensitive and bit shy….

    I work at UIC and live in Little Italy neighborhood. There are many professors/doctors who works at UIC, Rush and other hospitals in the area. I liked the whole idea of living close to work, and I actually naively bought into the idea by the city of Chicago, which has a “master plan” to create “mixed income” neighborhood by removing public housing project. However, I just cannot see this whole “Roosevelt Square” experiment in our neighborhood would be successful when they don’t plan anything to have remotely reasonable school option for those people who are asked to pay “market” rate to create mixed and balanced neighborhood. Just like public housing, they also need to have “mixed” neighborhood school, but our choice is too horrible that I cannot possibly gamble with our son’s life…

    I have also been reading obsessively this website, and it seem that some of neighborhood schools in north side of city do seem to work. I also like the idea of having “gifted” or “advanced” classes within the school based actually on real performance in the classroom. It it totally crazy to determine child’s fate on 30-60 minute test at the age of 5…. It’s just our neighborhood has no such possibility….

    We do have a great school in our neighborhood (Andrew Jackson). If we turn this school to “neighborhood” school, I am sure the school would do just as well as they do now, given high concentration of kids from university/hospital professional who want to live close to work. I really wish we can simply get rid of the whole manget/gifted/classical schools, and put more money and resources into ensuring every neighborhood has a good school….

  • 287. Ann-Marie in Chicago  |  April 9, 2010 at 8:09 am

    Hello….been following this thread….thanks cpsobsessed! We got a letter from OAE office last week with an acceptance into Ogden for the 7th grade program. Just yesterday got a letter from WY with an acceptance for 7th grade. Rg.score 135, acd.cen score:850. I am confused on why one letter came from the OAE office and one came from the school. I have appreciated everyone’s updates and thought I would follow suite. We are going to go look at both schools today. Not sure how we are going to proceed.

  • 288. jeffrey1213  |  April 9, 2010 at 9:43 am


    Do you have any schools in your neighborhood that are just beyond your boundary area? We are in a similar situation to #286 and cannot fathom sending our daughter to a school that is so underperforming and where the principal does not want parental involvement (!), but we were only a 1/2 block out of the boundary area for Peirce and have “claimed” this as our neighborhood school. It is not a magnet school, it is also a neighborhood school. They, too, are invested in wanting to make sure that people remain in the city and want to keep people in the neighborhood and are taking steps to that end. Parental involvement has been huge there over the past few years and it shows. Just like with other schools in the city that are able to turnaround, it requires parental advocacy as well as a willing administration. All that to say, our daughter was accepted even though she is out of the boundary areas and I was definitely willing to advocate on her behalf if she had not been accepted b/c of the fact that we are only a 1/2 block away. If you have that option in your hood as well, I would encourage you to try that route if you don’t think that your actual neighborhood school will be up to par for your child. I absolutely agree with you that, as parents, we have to take a stand for our children and their future and try to be advocates. I also wish that people would commit to their neighborhoods. Honestly, on principle, we just couldn’t make the leap to send her to private school given how much we pay in property taxes; we also have no intention of fleeing the city. So, for us, Peirce has been our only real option and one that we are happy to accept. I wonder what would happen if the tea party movement focused on making all schools good school?! Good luck and know that you are not alone!

  • 289. sciencemom  |  April 9, 2010 at 10:55 pm

    #286 – I understand where you are coming from. Our neighborhood school is also on academic probation with very low test scores. My child is very bright, also sensitive and shy. I feel like I am going through the five stages of grief, but I am still waffling between depression and acceptance. Private education is not an option for our family. Other schools near us are either magnet schools or equally poor-performing. But, I am hopeful for our neighborhood school to improve because the parents in this area have gotten together to advocate for the students. Parents are demanding improvement. A new principal is in place and there is a plan for curriculum changes that should improve the quality of education that all the students are receiving. Parents have to stand up at each and every school. I hope that the parents in this neighborhood follow through on the work that has been done and continue to build this school. I hope that other parents in a similar position can begin to demand the same of their neighborhood schools so that CPS doesn’t leave any school behind. We, the parents of very bright and talented children, need to let CPS know that we want gifted and enrichment opportunities available at all CPS schools.

  • 290. Grimly Amused  |  April 11, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    @288: If tea partiers protested for better schools, it would be reported that better schools are primarily an obsession of racist white people worried about losing ground to minorities. Best to leave the tea partiers out of it.

  • 291. SmartBoy  |  April 14, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    My son was rejected from both gifted and classical but it looks as if he scored 98th percentile. If spots open in a school like Edison, will they lower the score required to get in?

    Also, any prediction how soon the magnet schools will begin sending 2nd chance spots to folks?

  • 292. Mom  |  April 15, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    #291 — The minimum score to get in is 115, but your 98th percentile is well above that. The reason your son didn’t get in is because there were too many kids in your tier who scored better. If they turn down their spots, they will go down your tier’s list in order of score until the open spots are filled. There is definitely a chance that a 98th percentile score could get called.

  • 293. Information gathering  |  April 21, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    In case someone is tallying the numbers:

    Gifted: 134
    Tier 3

    No acceptances for K.

  • 294. wondering  |  May 2, 2010 at 6:34 pm

    hey guys has anybody heard anything since the second round has begun

  • 295. Melissa  |  May 9, 2010 at 11:56 pm

    A little late in reply here, but just found your blog. My son attends Decatur Classical, though we tested without the Tier system (ugh, still trying to navigate this new mess… we start testing for our daughter this coming year, as our neighborhood school, Gale, is SO not an option!). I believe, in East Rogers Park, we are Tier 1 or 2… hard to find hard boundaries. Our son did NOT get into Pritzker or Skinner with a score of 165 or 99.9th percentile (which means he capped both tests) on both Gifted and Classical. We did not apply to Edison at that time because of it’s prior local. However, he DID obviously get into Decatur, first round. While Decatur was our first choice, we have always found it odd that he did not ‘get in’ to a Gifted program at all, even with scores identical to those that landed him a ‘first round’ pick for Classical.

    Just mentioning this to give a lil info to those above wondering about inconsistencies. They are not new to the Tier system, certainly! 😉

    Wishing you all luck… I would give anything for a neighborhood option at this point. One block further South would land us within New Field, which is at least considerable. Gale, not so much.

  • 296. Melissa  |  May 10, 2010 at 12:05 am

    CPS Mom, when we took the test in 2006, 165 was the Max Score. Not saying this could not have changed, but as a 99.9th percentile, 165 was ‘capping the test’. There was no higher score, at that point. From what I know, it has not changed. So a 168 is likely not possible. I have never met another Decaur child/parent with higher than 165, either. However, on the Gifted Test, the same score (actually I think it was slightly lower, it’s been a few yrs, but the percentile was still 99.9th) was not enough to get us in! Curious…

    ~Decatur Mom

  • 297. Y  |  May 10, 2010 at 12:50 am

    @ Melissa- For the past several years, you only get an offer to one program. Since Decatur was your first choice and your child had a high enough score to be offered a slot in the program, CPS would only offer you that slot. Years ago, CPS used to offer offer students slots in both RGC and Classical programs but that changed when the preference rankings were combined on the application forms.

  • 298. Melissa  |  May 10, 2010 at 2:44 am


    Wow. Skinner West allows parents to ENTER the classroom? Really? Cuz that is like TABOO at Decatur. Honestly…, if that is important to you (and it’s extremely frustrating to me to be DISallowed in my kids school for the most part… unless of course you are part of the PTA elite club, kid you not.. and by that I mean LITERALLY a PTA officer) I would consider sticking it out at Skinner West. Just a tidbit of info… 😉 Not that I am displeased with Decatur. We love it and feel very lucky. BUT there is NO creating a neighborhood school when ALL the kids come from all over the city. We DO live relatively close, in ERogers Park… but still. Not the easiest to arrange playdates and after school activities, etc. And the Principal is a piece of work. LOL. BUT the great teachers and Parental Involvement (outside the class that is) and SERIOUS fundraising capabilities are a plus. Think it over… I can answer questions… even though it’s past ‘accept’ dates. Good Luck!

  • 299. Melissa  |  May 10, 2010 at 2:55 am

    @Y. Thanks… I did know part of that… that they no longer (though I thought it was fall 2010 forward) offered you slots in more than one of your GEAP choices. But my son is in 2nd Grade, thus when he entered they indeed made offers and then allowed you to ‘choose’. I do know people, for example, that got both Edison and Decatur, etc. Man… having navigated this system was hard enough then… but at least we felt we knew the ‘rules’ lol. Now we have to ‘rel-earn’ them. Just looked at the Tier Maps, and how our little pocked of East Rogers Park is falling into a Tier 3 is BEYOND ME. Big time! Seriously? It’s all apt’s and condo’s!!! And 10yrs ago, it was ALL apts, period! We are just south of Howard, just west of Sheridan! UGH! Ah well… dd will get in where she get’s in or be homeschooled…

    Does ANYONE know of any plans to perhaps pull a Nettlehorst at Gale? Or how we can go about making that happen? Now that the Peeps in our ‘pocket’ here are having babies intead of just puppies, I would LOVE to join other parents to provide SOME local school option for our kids. But Gale, with it’s current scores, is not at all a true option. While I recognize my daughter is VERY different than my son (who is truly gifted, was reading at 2, chapter books by 3 on his own, literally reading now at almost 8 at a 10th grade level) and far more social, artistic, outgoing… the fear of having ZERO options terrifies me.

    When we did test for DS, we also applied to many lotteries… the ONLY acceptance we got for magnet or otherwise was Peirce. I hated turning it down then, but have heard some not so favorable things since then, like a child being hit by a teacher. Of course, we were not walking away from Decatur… but I fear that ‘luck’ won’t strike twice, I suppose.

    Does ANYONE know the answer as to whether Principals in GEAP schools are allowed to ‘select’ a percentage of their students personally? I just happen to see LOTS of sibling acceptances amongst LSC and PTA families. Could be total happenstance. Not sure. Is there ANY sibling prefernce given now, under the new system?

    TIA for ANY help trying to re-learn the new process! LOVE this blog!!! NPN was my only respite last time, and they are far less tolerant of ‘gifted’ children, haha! There, it’s like you have the plague if you use the word. Lol! 😉

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