If you’re still waiting for letters…

April 13, 2010 at 9:57 am 85 comments

If you still haven’t received notification from any schools, you can call the Office of Academic Enhancement at 773-553-2060.  They should be able to tell you your waiting list position on every school you applied to (not for gifted/classical.)

I don’t understand WHY if the information is all centralized, they don’t send out ONE letter per students like GEAP does. Well.  When I am in charge, that will change!

After the responses are collect by April 16, CPS will recalculate all the new openings and start on round 2 of contacting parents.  Keep in mind that there will STILL be more openings in many schools/classes before the end of the year and over the summer as people decide to move, get spots in other schools, etc.  It is a gradual process.

If you’re in a good spot on a waiting list (probably 10 top for sure, maybe even up to top 20 in certain schools) it could be worth staying on the radar of the admin and school clerk.  Nobody really knows what happens in the middle of July when the school buildings are hot, things are a bit more casual, and a space opens up.  Will the school clerk want to bid out that formal lottery list and start working her way down (knowing full well that many families will turn the spot down since they’ve landed elsewhere.)  *Might* it not be easier to just call that family who you know will say yes?  Hmmmm.

No idea if this is what happens, but just in case, it can’t hurt to stay visible. Those hot school buildings and fumes from the asbestos and lead paint might make people do crazy things…  🙂

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85 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jan  |  April 14, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    A few years ago my child was a fairly low number (can’t remember, maybe #16?) on a wait list for a magnet. The week after first round went out, I faxed the principal a letter saying how impressed I was about the school at the tour, and explicitly said that if they offered us a spot, we would accept it. I included all my contact information. Lo and behold, within 24 hours, the school clerk phoned me to offer us a spot, which we accepted. Basically, they know that a certain number of people turn down the invite to enroll, and they are interested in filling the spots. As you said, it’s easy to call someone you KNOW will accept the offer.

  • 2. anonymous  |  April 14, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    It still doesn’t make it fair, however. And I know that’s not what you are saying. You are not saying it’s fair, but that it happens.

    The example of the poster above is just one of MANY such examples I’ve heard over the years, living between two popular magnets (in proximity to both).

    Believe me, as the poster said above (although 16 IS pretty low and may have been called, anyway), it does happen. I know of others with much higher numbers who got the call.

    However I AM criticizing the system that may or may NOT be following the rules.

    I’m sorry. There is no excuse for a system that doesn’t do its job the way it is supposed to. As parents, we follow the rules. We teach our children to follow the rules. And then the rules are overlooked when it comes to those who are then going to TEACH our children the rules?

    I have a problem with that.

    Shy or less “pushy” parents don’t produce less-motivated, interested and intelligent children.

    This system has to change.

  • 3. Marrs96  |  April 14, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    We had a very low (very very low) # for Hawthorne 6th last year. No call. I am sure if we would have been more active there certainly would have been a spot for us.

  • 4. Worry Wart  |  April 14, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    After hearing such stories of persistance paying off and being new to this process, I called the GEAP office and Sheridan Magnet regarding their adherence to the waiting lists and was assured from both parties that all waiting lists are strictly adhered to after the disastrous audit of their admissions process last year.

    I certainly hope that holds true. I would hate to be passed up even though I’m #1 on Sheridan’s waiting list (in my tier) because I didn’t “express enough interest”(and I am definitely interested). I’m not above “expressing interest” but I don’t think I should feel as worried as I am about the consequences for not. My goodness, shoud I fax a letter or something, too? Just in case?

  • 5. cpsobsessed  |  April 14, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    I do wonder whether with all the new attention placed on “secret preference lists” if the schools will be more buttoned-up this year. The trouble is, I think it really varies school to school.
    From what I hear, there *may* actually be a certain date at which the schools are allowed to stop using the official list, but that’s never been confirmed.
    Compare that with a private Montessori school that called us a good 1.5 years after we applied as they went down their list. And we’d NEVER called them or anything. Love it!
    I too, am all about fair, but there’s no efficient way to work down those lists in the summer. The clerk calls family #1. They don’t return the call for a few days. Do they try again? Assume they don’t want it? What if there’s no answering machine? How long do they try? They finally reach familly #1 for a no. Start over with family #2. You KNOW for many of these magnets that people apply who live halfway across the city and wouldn’t actually attend. I don’t think you need to butter up the schools in any way (like we hear about for privates,) but I do think it makes sense to say “we didn’t get a placement that we like, and we still want your school. Here are all our contact numbers.” (Keeping in mind most school offices are like a black hole.)
    I do think if this whole process were centrally controlled, it would be more efficient and fair.

  • 6. Jan  |  April 14, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    I hope that the rules are now adhered to! It’s agree it’s more fair for everyone. I am all about following the rules but was operating in the days when schmoozing for a spot was absolutely essential, and in fact encouraged by some of the principals. They didn’t even try to hide it.

    For example, the former principal at LaSalle used to have all the hundreds of parents at the open houses write down their names, addresses, and names of their children on a list as they came in. I believe this was done to check back to see who bothered to show up at an open house once she was picking names from the wait lists, and I do mean picking. In addition, the principal would invite the top people from the wait list to a private open house tour of the school, and this is where each parent got a once-over to assess their occupation, education level, economic status, willingness to get involved in the school, etc. Offers for spots followed that tour. I guess I clean up well because my child got an offer but we gladly turned it down since the entire process was such a turnoff (and we had accepted at the other school anyway).

  • 7. Worry Wart  |  April 14, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    My rough draft is done. The final version will be ready to go out at the end of next week should we not hear anything. I can’t believe the person I’ve turned into as a result of this process.

  • 8. cpsobsessed  |  April 14, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    @Worry Wart, don’t sweat it. I think that saying you’re interested in a spot is a lot different than some of the shmoozing that goes on. I went to a Hawthorne LSC meeting to observe once (as a new LSC member at another school) and they laughed about how around this time of year, suddenly all these people start attending to show their *interest.*
    I’ve said this before, but I am OK with a principal having a few discretionary spots. CPS is so resource-poor. If a school can get someone who will really bring something that helps, I say go for it. But I do think that should be just a couple spots per year. And I’m not even sure I think it should apply to magnets, but I think it’s OK for neighborhood schools.

    When I did the phone interview with the Trib reporter we talked about shmoozing and she was sort of trying to get me to say I’d done it, but I reiterated that it’s just not my style.

    I should note, that I believe we got our son into private preschool by my ongoing inquiries and expressions of interest, done in a very low key way.

  • 9. Worry Wart  |  April 14, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    I’m gonna worry myself into a headache. I’m going out for some fresh air!

  • 10. cpsmom  |  April 14, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    At the Hawthorne fundraiser this year, a mom approached me because she wanted to put her name in with the principal (she was asking for help identifying who the principal was). This was a parent at another school, but the parent was panicked that her school’s quality would suffer due to teacher cuts and she knew Hawthorne raised enough money to insulate it from some of the cuts. I was really surprised by this, and at the same time, I really felt for the woman. I mean, you can’t blame a person for trying! I do think with the heightened “security” so to speak around admissions, there won’t be much, if any, special requests granted to people asserting their “interest” in a school, but who knows?

  • 11. Miasmom  |  April 14, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    We ended up calling as we still had 6 schools we never heard from. That seems like alot to me, but then again, this is my first year in this crazy process! Our waitlist numbers range from 5-565! 5 is at Inter-American, of course one I didn’t tour. Any feedback on their program anyone? Still holding out hope for a GEAP offer with 140/tier 3. Hang in there everybody!

  • 12. KS  |  April 15, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    Just faxed in my OAE Confirmation forms! My son is headed to Skinner North for kindergarten in the fall and my daughter is back in the mix for GEAP round 2 for 1st grade. (We declined her offer at Edison).

    Good luck to everyone with their decisions! Its a heart wrenching process for sure!

  • 13. dazedandconfused  |  April 15, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    still undecided so there is still a 1st grade slot either Skinner West or Decatur depending on what the bottom of my wine bottle tells me tonight!
    good luck everyone and remember there is a lot of movement coming!!

  • 14. anonymous  |  April 15, 2010 at 7:16 pm

    @miasmom We love, love, love Inter-American. Don’t know if you are referring to Pre-k or K. As with most schools, the don’t know if they are having a preschool or not next year next.

  • 15. Miasmom  |  April 15, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    Thanks for the feedback! #5 on wl for K. I have a friend who teaches in cps and heard some good feedback on Inter-American from her too. I so wish I would have toured it now.

  • 16. 2ndtimearound  |  April 16, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    mia’s mom

    we know a few fams that are also happy at inter-american. have you called the school to see if they are offering any tours in the near future?

  • 17. 1st Grade Classical  |  April 16, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    Please help me satisfy my own curiousity….my dd took the rgc and classical tests for 1st grade. Her classical scores were 99 for reading and 97 for math. These are the highest scores I have heard of from anyone I know (small sample size, I know). (FWIW, she was offered a spot at a RGC, which we turned down to try to get her placed in the same school as her brother.)

    I spoke to the OAE today and they implied that her chances for a second round placement at a classical school were “possible, but no guarantees.” Apparently OAE gave out scores of 99+ too, and my dd didn’t get these.

    So here’s my question….Do you know of anyone taking the classical test for 1st grade that received scores of 99+ on either math or reading?

  • 18. CPSnewbie  |  April 16, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    #17 !st Grade Classical

    My son received a 98 reading and a 99+ math for classical test for entering 1st grade. He was offered a spot at a RGC which we accepted. I don’t know if he would have gotten an offer for Decatur or Skinner West since they were further down our list.

    My guess is that the kids getting in have a 99 in both areas which would bump our children out. Personally I placed the RGC schools higher on my list because I thought that style of school would be a better fit for my son.

  • 19. dazedandconfused  |  April 16, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    my daughter took 1st grade classical. she got a 99 in reading 98 math. not sure what the plus sign was- and the form is in my husband’s office so can’t check.
    we accepted at decatur. she’s at skinner west so that slot will now open.
    fwiw- last year she got a 99.6% and did not get into decatur.

  • 20. cpsobsessed  |  April 16, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    @1st grade classical – yep, over the years, it has generally been that the kids who get into the classical schools (esp Decatur, it seems) have scores OVER 99%. I assume on both measures? I don’t think it is broken out every year, but I could be wrong about that.
    Now that Skinner has split into 2 schools, that opens more slots, so the scores could go lower. I would say it may be unlikely to get into a classical program scoring below 98%. But that may depend on your tier….

  • 21. 1st Grade Classical  |  April 16, 2010 at 9:18 pm

    The funny thing is that my daughter is currently a student in K at Decatur. And yes, last year her score was >99.9% for the classical test. I just assumed after a year at that top CPS school that her score would be good enough to get her into another classical school (Skinner North) so that I could get my two kids in the same school. Apparently not! I guess I shouldn’t complain, as she still has her spot at Decatur. Thanks all for indulging me!

  • 22. unsure  |  April 16, 2010 at 11:23 pm

    Classical test score of 99 reading and 98 math for our child offered an option for classical placement at Skinner West for 1st grade. We did not accept and will be staying at current school. Hope this helps someone out there trying to gain placement at Skinner West. This was our first choice on the GEAP application and has not been an easy decision. Hope we are making the right choice.

    To anyone who is still waiting on letters or placement hang in there. It is still likely to hear from schools in the coming months. As others have posted keep in touch with schools you are most interested in, who really knows how this process works. Thanks for all the input on this site. Do not know what we would do without it!

  • 23. RL Julia  |  April 17, 2010 at 8:10 am

    #21 There are a lot of kids with high scores out there and being in the system already doesn’t seem to mean anything.

    If anything, I wonder if the thinking is that your child is already “taken care of” since they are at a Classical or RGC already.

  • 24. twocents  |  April 17, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    So what I suspected to be true, is true. The CPS test is a pretty weak indicator of where your child really is. My DC scored in the 99.9th percentile in the gifted portion of the CPS test and got a coveted spot last year. This week DC was tested to attend Northwestern’s Center for Talent Development summer program (they dont accept CPS scores) HIs scores were very, um, average. 77th percentile, 85th percentile, 93rd percentile. Needless to say…not accepted for summer program! The sad truth is that will remain in the gifted program (with some truly gifted and other lucky kids) just for the challenge.

  • 25. cpsmom  |  April 18, 2010 at 9:00 am

    @two cents,
    I teach in the Northwestern Program. I wonder if maybe your kid just had an off day. I don’t know how the two tests (cps and NW) correlate, but I wouldn’t put too much stock in any test below 3rd or 4th grade.
    In the classes I taught, which were a week long, it became obvious by the end of the week that some of the kids were scary gifted and some probably just tested well. (meaning smart kids, but probably not gifted and by the time they reach 3rd/4th grade, other hard working kids will catch up to them) I had kids ranging from PreK to 3rd grade in different classes and at the PreK level, there were just a few that stood out as different from the rest….you know, the kid who talks about the continental shelf in depth at age 4!
    All the research on gifted ed says the same thing….that so many kids who are either perceived or tested as “gifted” before the age of 8-10 are not really gifted. They’ve just had a lot of advantages and test well.
    Enjoy the great school your kid got into, enjoy that he/she tests well, work hard and maybe try again for the NW test later on. Every thing I have heard from teacher friends in the rgc’s is that for the most part, rgc’s aren’t very different from classical schools….they tend to accelerate a LOT, and there is a little bit of in depth enrichment. So, maybe the tests are an indicator, but the actual instruction isn’t really tailored so much to truly gifted kids anyways….it probably doesn’t make a difference whether or not your child is truly gifted. Most kids from literacy and math rich homes would benefit from an rgc or classical program….yours will do well simply because you are an involved parent.

  • 26. dave4118  |  April 18, 2010 at 10:54 am

    Hi, our daughter tested weel enough for skinner north, and even tho we have some qualms about the commute and leaving behind our fine neighborhood school…we are plunging forward with skinner north(on a year-to-year basis). We also just found out that NW’s summer enrichment program doesn’t consider the CPS GEAP assessment so we are leaning away from that option for this summer. We think our daughter is figuring out that she will not be attending the neighborhood school, and we are worried that she will revolt….i.e.-tank another percieved assessment…lolol kids…they will drive you crazy.

  • 27. 2ndtimearound  |  April 19, 2010 at 1:50 pm


    Our child tested into a classical school2 years ago, which we turned down. He then went on to attend a school where he was not challenged sufficiently. We decided to look into northwestern’s ctd program for enrichment, since he attitude towards school was very negative. He tested consistently (if you look at his scores from cps 2 yrs ago and last fall). he has really enjoyed the program offerings. when bringing my child into test, i always say that these are researchers that want to know how 6 year olds are learning (or whatever age your child
    is). Then later, depending on if they qualified for the program, I will disclose that the examiners think my child has a unique way of thinking and may enjoy going to saturday classes. then i share the course descriptions and point out classes my child may be interested in. had the test at northwestern not gone well, it would have been no big deal. the exam is one on one and the examiner was very positive and friendly. i could hear part of the interactions and nothing seemed scary or difficult or inappropriate.
    just some feedback from another ctd parent whose child REALLY likes the program. hope this perspective is helpful.

  • 28. RL Julia  |  April 19, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    I believe that CTD used to have a portfolio option for younger kids. I guess they don’t any longer which is too bad. The testing is expensive.

    You might also check out the National Louis Center for Gifted which runs a lovely program that doesn’t require testing to get into – just a teacher recommendation. My kids went to both programs early on and liked them both. If anything, they (and I) preferred the National Louis programming since they got to take three classes instead of just one.

  • 29. BEVdad  |  April 19, 2010 at 6:10 pm


    Lenart RGC only got two acceptances into Young’s 7th grade program. I believe they usually get three times as many. Not sure if there were fewer students who tested or if this is a factor of the new admissions policy.

  • 30. New at this  |  April 19, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    Hi there,
    Wondered if anyone has heard anything about Belding?


  • 31. klem  |  April 19, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    @1st Grade Classical: Your child has an excellent test score, but that’s not the only factor involved here. Your tier and the fact that there were only a few openings for the first grade class at Skinner North are probably what caused her not to get a spot.

    However, she might get in the second round, though I am not sure how that works if she is at Decatur now. There is at least one child who will be leaving Skinner N next year, and I don’t think all the first graders accepted their offer of admission. (I am Skinner N parent too.)

  • 32. CPSlies  |  April 19, 2010 at 9:48 pm

    I know this year is a totally different story for waiting lists but I still want to share my story. All 3 of my kids applied to Hawthorne 2 years ago. They were all denied a space and were not even wait listed. Over the summer, they offered a space to only my oldest. I declined it because he already took a space at an Academic Center. But then I just happened to ask if there were spaces for K and 3rd. She gave me the K spot right away and about 4 weeks later, I called to check on the 3rd grade availability and they said to keep trying since they were full. 2 weeks before school started, I called again and they took my daughter into 3rd grade. All I did was ask. I did not share any info about myself or my kids. And, I did not know any parents there who could have had any influence.

    Someone else I know was given a number of 100+ on the list and somehow got in. They did not call in to ask or introduce themselves. It was just luck. I know this year things are being monitored so tightly but I think these type of chances are still possible.

    Also, I am aware that in years past, kids were accepted into Decatur with percentiles in the 80’s due to race. And there were a handful of 99.9’s that did not get in. I am a former Decatur parent so I have heard every story about scores, race, phone calls to the office, luck, mistakes, etc.

  • 33. the heckler  |  April 19, 2010 at 10:57 pm

    I heard of a family getting a call from LaSalle II today. Does that mean round 2 has started?

  • 34. Amy  |  April 20, 2010 at 6:43 am

    The wait begins, again. My son in on waitlist 30ish for our 2 top schools, Hawthorne and Thorp. Is that too high of a number to anticipate a spot in either? Any advice?
    I have started calling to check in. So bummed that his test scores, and my personal resume of fundraising work doesn’t make a difference. I’m not sure how long to wait or if I should go ahead and enroll him in private school.

  • 35. crios42  |  April 20, 2010 at 7:32 am

    I can’t speak for Thorp, but for Hawthorne, it will be difficult to get in past about #3, 4,5, if even then.

  • 36. CPJ  |  April 21, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    We received a call from LaSalle II yesterday and we were #27 on the waiting list. I have until tomorrow to confirm. However, I was really hoping for Jackson or Hawthorn in which we are under #10 for both. I think it depends on the school. Some schools have only recently sent letters to existing students to find out who will be returning.

  • 37. New CPS Dad  |  April 21, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    There are two list for magnet shools that I know of. Proximity list and General list. LaSalle has been calling from the General list but not the Proximity list.

  • 38. dre  |  April 21, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    @Amy: We were #8 on Thorp’s wait list and got a call this morning. I suggest calling the school and asking where you stand on the list. We had talked to them at a tour last week and were told that we were currently (then) #2 on the wait list.

  • 39. cms  |  April 21, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    My daughter was #24 on the proximity list at LaSalle II, and we got a call last Friday (April 16).

  • 40. cps mom  |  April 21, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    Are you taking the spot at Lasalle II? I wonder since it is a new school, is it the same as the original Lasalle.

  • 41. cms  |  April 21, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    Yes, we are taking the spot at LaSalle II. From what I understand, LaSalle II is supposed to emulate the original LaSalle. I never took a tour of LaSalle II during the application process, but I got a very good vibe just from going in there today to register.

  • 42. Worry Wart  |  April 21, 2010 at 7:02 pm

    We accepted an offer from Sheridan yesterday:)

  • 43. JD  |  April 21, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    congrats to everyone that received calls. has anyone trying to get into gifted or classical schools received calls yet?

  • 44. Miasmom  |  April 21, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    Called the GEAP office yesterday. They told me they won’t be contacting anyone for 2nd round until after the 24th.

  • 45. milleniummom  |  April 21, 2010 at 10:10 pm

    @Worry Wart. Just curious to know if you were waitlisted at Sheridan and if you don’t mind sharing what number were you? I am in the high 60s and wondering if I stand any chance at all….

  • 46. Worry Wart  |  April 22, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    @milleniummom. I was #1 on their waiting list. Although, on my initial letter, I was #6. I called GEAP and Sheridan to confirm (and make sure I got a consistent answer) and was told I was actually #1 because they had already taken the top 5 from their proximity and tiers waiting lists.

  • 47. Worry Wart  |  April 22, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    Let me add, that I was #1 for my tier. Sheridan, is running 5 waiting lists.

  • 48. Mona  |  April 22, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    Stone just called me and offered my child a spot for K. I have to decide by tomorrow! I am torn because she goes to a great Magnet school for Prek but I really liked Stone.

  • 49. Worry Wart  |  April 22, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    A PreK space automatically feed into K for magnets? That’s awesome. Good luck with your choice. And good luck to all those waiting for a 2nd round offer.

  • 50. milleniummom  |  April 22, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    @Worry Wart…Thank you for the info…I doubt if I have a chance at Sheridan this year but being the eternal optimist I am…I will wait for the phone to ring…..5 lists….UGH….

  • 51. JD  |  April 22, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    Question – do some magnet schools provide busing transportation? Is this a case-by-case basis? Do you have to live within the 1.5 to 6 mile boundary line?

  • 52. Worry Wart  |  April 22, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    Yes, most magnets provide transportation for elementary schools and you do have to live within the 1.5 to 6 mile boundary line. Some of the schools that do not provide transportation will offer CTA fare care or travel reimbursement. I found this info at:

  • 53. CPSinterested  |  April 22, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    Does anyone know if there is a centralized place where I can find the magnet/gifted/classical school open house or tour dates?

  • 54. cpsmom  |  April 22, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    Be aware that bus service may not be offered next year. It is a potential budget cut item. Tomorrow morning, we are supposed to find out some or all of the cuts.

  • 55. Mona  |  April 22, 2010 at 6:24 pm

    Yes at her current school the PreK automatically feeds into K. We turned down the spot at Stone. I liked it but we are happy at our current Magnet school and our other child goes there as well.

  • 56. Worry Wart  |  April 22, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    @ #53. Try the Office of Academic Enhancement’s website under events at http://www.cpsgifted.org/. There isn’t much posted now but I have found updated & useful info there in the past.

  • 57. CPSinterested  |  April 23, 2010 at 8:50 am

    Thanks Worry Wart.

  • 58. Also New at This  |  April 23, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    Hi New at This,

    My son was offered an out of proximity spot at Belding. We got the letter on Monday night. When I talked to the school they apologized for sending out the letter so late but said that CPS ran their lottery really late this year. They gave us until Monday for a decision and we accepted Wednesday.

    Hope that helps!

  • 59. CPSinterested  |  April 23, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    Hi new at this and also new at this, our neighborhood school is Belding. It’s not magnet or gifted, why are you interested in it? Is it because it’s still a pretty good school? I read in some site where parents with their kids in Belding gave quite good comments.

  • 60. Michelle Douglas  |  April 26, 2010 at 11:33 am

    My son has been accepted to Disney and Stone for first grade. Does anyone have feedback or suggestions on resources to help me make the decision? I have carefully reviewed all the test scores. I liked what I saw at Disney, was not able to tour at Stone. Please help!

  • 61. amy  |  April 26, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    Just got off the phone with our neighborhood magnet school of choice. we are in the 30’s for the proximity wait list. Apparently every sibling and proximity kindergartner took their spots. There isn’t a chance that he will get in. 😦

  • 62. cpsobsessed  |  April 26, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    @ Michelle Douglas – I toured Stone and really liked it a lot. My son actually got in and we turned it down for his gifted program, which is closer, but it killed me to turn down the spot! I think you have 2 really good options. I never saw Disney, but some people don’t like the open design of it. However they DO have the internal gifted program that I hear is very good, whereas at Stone I think they are teaching mainly to the average with differentiation being more teacher-driven (not an uncommon situation in CPS.) Honestly, I ‘d probably go for convenience/location. After school programs, etc. You’ve got 2 really good choices.

  • 63. cpsobsessed  |  April 26, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    @Amy, man, that is unbelieveable, but I guess not surprising. Of course the siblings stay. NOBODY turned down a proximity spot? I wonder how that will impact the enrollment of the usual neigbhorhood schools who are now losing some kids to that local magnet? I image that will all those other people like you who didn’t get in, there should be a good group of families at your regular neighborhood school. do you know how many proximity kids they took in?

  • 64. Also New at This  |  April 26, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    CPS Interested,

    I was committed to finding a school near my house (I am in the Reilly district) that has active, involved parents, low class sizes, and a nurturing environment for my son. Belding met all those requirements, and is also very diverse, another plus. A family in my church have had their children there for years and are quite pleased. I am also impressed with the principal. Although interim, she was at Belding before and her love for the school is evident. She maintains a commitment to keeping class sizes low despite CPS budget cuts by applying all available resources to additional teachers. I have nothing against magnet or gifted programs and we did apply for them also, but I felt my son would do best close to home in a more community feeling school. I think that the CPS application process taught us how important it is to know your child well and stay committed to your own intention for your child.

    Hope that helps.

  • 65. CPSinterested  |  April 26, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    Thanks also new! It makes me feel good that we have a good neighborhood school to go to if my daughter doesn’t get in any of the gifted or magnet schools. I read parent comments on different sites and everyone had good reviews for Belding. And it is close to our house too.

  • 66. cps mom  |  April 26, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    Congrats to thse who are still getting calls and have good neighborhood options. I guess I better wake up and smell the coffee. We were holding out hope that we would get a call from Hawthorne. But was told there has been absolutely no movement from the existing students in our grade level. Who could blame them for not leaving? This is our third year trying to get my son in a decent school.

  • 67. extremely frustrated  |  April 26, 2010 at 2:10 pm


    I suppose proximity has higher chance of families taking spots… Maybe you are talking about the same school, but we also called and was told that EVERYONE accepted at Andrew Jackson proximity K class… We also applied to Galileo proximity, very similar results. Only one family turned down the spot.

    It is also very difficult this year with all siblings getting into the schools. For example, I was told that out of 56 spots, 38 spots already went to sibling at Galileo! That left only 7 spots for proximity lottery entry for K.

    Our neighborhood school is terrible, and I cannot consider as an option. So, I have no option at all to send our child to K next year at this point…

    It’s really hard to believe that the City of Chicago and CPS is this stupid to completely neglect needs of entire neighborhood. Here in Little Italy area, City of Chicago was supposed to build “mixed-income” community after removing housing project. But, they has absolutely no plan for school. How is this possible???

    People are selling their house and move out of our neighborhood since we have no viable option for school. I am afraid that we might have to soon move out of this neighborhood as well if nothing happens….

  • 68. cps mom  |  April 26, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    Hmmm…makes me wonder how many of these sibling spots really go to siblings and not “cousins” or “friends”.

  • 69. KCK  |  April 26, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    Got a message from Mark Sheridan that my DC got a spot with waitlist #17, I believe that’s considered proximity lottery (1.4 mile away) or tier 4. We’ll turn it down for Skinner West.

  • 70. milleniummom  |  April 26, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    @KCK …Was #17 at Sheridan your initial waitlist number or did you move down?

  • 71. KCK  |  April 26, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    @milleniummom – that’s the initial waitlist number on the letter!

  • 72. HPMom  |  April 26, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    I’m sure this has been addressed before, but I’m sorry that I cannot find the answer. If I register my kid at one school, does that take her off the waiting lists at other schools? Or is CPS not that organized? I’m still hedging my bets at a magnet school that is much much closer to us, which hasn’t yet moved on the waiting list. Thanks for any insight.

  • 73. amy  |  April 26, 2010 at 9:14 pm

    I’ve broken down way too many times to count today. Can not even express how upset I am. My son scored 94% for Tier 3. Too low a score for our tier. I applied at 20 schools altogether and had mid to low 30’s for Thorp and Hawthorne. There is no way that any one would turn down their Hawthorne spots. I have called Thorp every Monday since April 16 to see if he moved up on the wait list. We live less than 6 blocks away. Apparently the majority of the siblings also lived in proximity, so there really was less than 10 open proximity slots. They said that they had opening via tier groups only, and this year they can only go by the list that is provided to them by the board. There is absolutely no strings that can be pulled, phone calls, calling in favors this year because of the public scrutiny due to the new changes and the scandal with high schools. Because I waited, there are no slots open at the private school that I had wanted to enroll him in. There is 1 open slot left at my second choice. I have no choice but to pay for private school. Our neighborhood school ranks a 7 out of 10 on greatschools.net, but there is no diversity. It is less than 6% non Hispanic. I want him to go to a diversified school.

  • 74. milleniummom  |  April 26, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    @KCK…thank you for responding… best

  • 75. Hawthorne mom  |  April 30, 2010 at 8:23 pm

    Amy, don’t give up hope. I thought Hawthorne wouldn’t go past the single digits in terms of waitlist, but apparently they have already started calling into the 20’s. You never know….

  • 76. HPMom  |  April 30, 2010 at 9:17 pm

    My daughter was originally #19 on the waitlist at Sheridan and they said they didn’t think they would get that high, in other words, it’s doubtful she’ll get in. Do you think yours got in at #17 b/c you’re in proximity and we’re not? I’m confused by the reported 5 waiting lists…Tx for any insight.

  • 77. KCK  |  April 30, 2010 at 10:34 pm

    @HPMom – we actually got the acceptance letter from Skinner before getting anything from MS, so I didn’t bother to call but I do believe my DC got in due to proximity lottery (1.4 miles away based on google map). I think a friend has a single digit waitlist number and she’s now #3 in tier 2.

  • 78. Mona  |  May 1, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    @Hawthorne mom,

    Where did you here they are in the 20s? When I called last week they said there was no movement on the waitlist at all. My child is in the 30s (I think) and the lady I spoke to basically told me it was impossible!

  • 79. Hawthorne mom  |  May 2, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    I saw on NPN that someone in the 20’s got called. Of course, they didn’t mention for which grade, but I just assumed K. I also don’t know if they are going off the general lottery or the proximity lottery. I was very surprised to hear anyone on any list get called past the single digits. But anyways, that was what was said on npn. I just was sort of hoping that some people waiting would have a shot.

  • 80. KCK  |  May 3, 2010 at 10:01 am

    @HPMom – Just found out a friend of mine with waitlist #16 but no offer in tier 2, while we got an offer with waitlist #17 in tier 4 (we’re both within the proximity). So I guess no proximity lottery for Sheridan?

  • 81. HPMom  |  May 3, 2010 at 9:22 pm

    Thanks for the notes about Sheridan. Apparently if someone drops in the same Tier as we are, she has a shot of getting in, but Tier 3 is purportedly not such a great tier to be in this year! 🙂

  • 82. puzzled about Sheridan  |  May 4, 2010 at 12:08 am

    I am very puzzled to read comments about Sheridan… I called the school before, and I was told that there are indeed 5 waiting list for this school. Specifically, I was told that each Tier gets 5 spots, while proximity takes 12 spots after sibling category took all the rest.

    So, #17 spots on proximity (or Tier 4?) gets in now (@#69 & #80 KGK), while someone who should also be in proximity at #16 spot don’t get in? (Maybe categorized as Tier 2?) On the other hand, HPMom wait list #19 (Tier3?) does not get in either. We are also Tier 3, and did not get in so far, but I was told that 5 families already said yes, so I guess we are out of luck…

    Such a mess! ..and looks like we are completely out of luck since we have not gotten in any gifted/classical schools even though out child scored 99.5% on gifted test, and all other magnet lotteries are much worse than Sheridan. Our neighborhood school (Smyth) is totally out of question. It is already doing miserably, but it was even featured in a news paper as being extremely overcrowded. (http://www.chicagojournal.com/News/04-28-2010/Here_come_bigger_class_sizes)


    Our proximity magnet school (Galileo) had grant total opening of 7 spots for proximity since 36 spots are taken by sibling, and out child is long way down in the waiting list, while we did even worse on the waiting list for Andrew Jackson proximity lottery. Of course, I was told that NOBODY turned down proximity spot at Andrew Jackson, so I guess it doesn’t make any difference if you are #1 on the list or much worse like us, I guess….

  • 83. HPmom  |  May 4, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    Sheridan is a puzzling one. My dd had a much better # there where she is not in proximity than she did with the local magnet where she clearly is in proximity. At Sheridan we were told it was unlikely that she’ll get in unless someone drops out over the summer.
    It does seem like siblings took a huge number of spots this year. I’m new to this, clearly, but is that usually the case?
    Good luck everyone; seems like many of us are in the same boat…

  • 84. puzzled about Sheridan  |  May 5, 2010 at 8:10 am

    Hi HPmom

    There is an entry at District 299 blog about sibling lottery. (There is a link to PDF file with data for sibling admission in the past.)


  • 85. ice maker parts whirlpool  |  May 8, 2014 at 2:26 am

    ice maker parts whirlpool

    If you’re still waiting for letters… | CPS Obsessed

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