So 2nd round letters are supposedly going out today (Friday May 7)

May 7, 2010 at 9:55 am 188 comments

A reader here (and one of the people who have been good enough to call the OEA office) says that the office claims that 2nd round letters will mail out today, followed up by a phone call to confirm.

Back to mailbox watching tomorrow.  Keep the updates coming….

I am still in a sad funk about the state of CPS.  I attended the LSC budget meeting at my neighborhood school where I am on the LSC and it was downright depressing.  The principal was calm, but clearly pissed off about the situation they’re being put in, in terms of making enrollment projections without any knowledge of what will happen in terms of funding.  Not CPS’ fault – they just have to proceed as best they can.  But to maintain teachers, the schools need to increase class sizes to 35, which is just nuts.  More ranting to come on that topic later.

Entry filed under: Applying to schools.

Really depressing being in CPS right now The cuts

188 Comments Add your own

  • 1. cps mom 5  |  May 7, 2010 at 10:01 am

    Good News. Since 2nd round letters are going out for the Gifted Programs, my hope is that many students currently enrolled in magnet schools get accepted and release the spots they currently have for those of us on the waiting lists. Maybe now we’ll start to see some movement.

  • 2. RL Julia  |  May 7, 2010 at 10:11 am

    Had our LSC meeting last night were we sadly passed the budget that cuts 6-9 positions, teaching and otherwise, many of whom showed up to the meeting. Could have slapped the teacher rep who had the nerve to complain about the huge class sizes and potential lack of a raise this year while an audience of her colleagues very jobs had quite possibly just been eliminated.

    Better yet, the word is that the entire system of bi-lingual support – apparently usually most schools get one state funding bi-lingual position has uniformly cut this position in half. So now there are some schools with .5 a position managing the bi-lingual education requirements of 1500 students (depending on the size of school). The hits just keep on coming!

  • 3. lakeview dad  |  May 7, 2010 at 10:17 am

    Does anyone know if letters will be going out with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer like last time, or is it just for those who get in somewhere in the second round?

  • 4. cpsobsessed  |  May 7, 2010 at 10:17 am

    Yeah, I do downplay it, but I believe the bilingual position was cut in half as was the tech position (which both mean that someone somewhere is losing a job -maybe the teachers at our school will get to pick up a part time position elsewhere, maybe not.)

  • 5. cpsobsessed  |  May 7, 2010 at 10:18 am

    @Lakeview Dad, they only send a letter/make a call if you got in somewhere.

  • 6. lakeview dad  |  May 7, 2010 at 10:26 am

    Thanks. I assume that people that get spots have a short window of time to accept or not. Is there an expected timeframe for deadline to accept a spot? How does this usually work?

  • 7. waiting  |  May 7, 2010 at 10:46 am

    @Lakeview Dad, the OAE will send out letters only if offered a seat for round #2. I am not sure how much time you’ll have to accept or decline should your child get a letter. I am sure the letter will say how much time, but you’ll need to decide fast. For magnet schools acceptance by phone call, you get 24 hours to accept or else the slot is given to the next child if you don’t respond. The past years of round #2 or #3 have been phone calls and not letters, so it’s all new to us. Good Luck, everyone!

  • 8. Marrs96  |  May 7, 2010 at 10:56 am

    We had a phone call this morning with second round information (Lindblom AC and Skinner West.)

    It completely changed our day, as we were planning on painting our kitchen to help sell our house so we could move to the NW side (from Hyde Park.) Now we can ignore the kitchen for the next 5 or so years.

    Now we have to decide between the two. Advice?

  • 9. RL Julia  |  May 7, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    I’d go with the Lindblom because then you have a fall back for high school. I am sure your child has an opinion or knows people at one school as well.

  • 10. Montessori mom  |  May 7, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    I vote that you keep your child in Skinner!

  • 11. Marrs96  |  May 7, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    Thanks for both comments.

    (Both would be new schools for my daughter, who is current @ Ray.)

  • 12. KCK  |  May 7, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    I was at the Skinner West open house last month and was told about 60-70% of the 8th graders would get into the SE HS.

  • 13. RL Julia  |  May 7, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    On the other hand, why leave Ray (for another K-8 school especially)? I heard it is a lovely school.

  • 14. mimimama  |  May 7, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    what grade is your child(ren) going into?

  • 15. Marrs96  |  May 7, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    Again thank you.

    Ray is only K-6. My daughter will be going into 7th.

    Honestly the HS thing only has us a bit worried.

    My wife should be finished with her PhD in two years and I should be finished with my Masters next summer, so we will have infinitely more flexibility to either move or afford a private HS.

  • 16. Marrs96  |  May 7, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    Actually I have mixed feelings about Ray. I think there are many very strong teachers and a great librarian, but its never felt like a neighborhood school should. (Although she’s only been there for 1 1/2 years as we took her out of her prior private school because she hated being there.) In retrospect switching schools right before the ISATs were administered was probably a mistake that caused the wait till the second round fiasco to happen for us.

  • 17. Miasmom  |  May 7, 2010 at 5:24 pm

    Nobody get too excited- at least not if you’re waiting for K news. Placed my weekly phone call to GEAP and was told the letters they were working on were probably for upper grades. Excuse me, I’m going to go bang my head against the wall for awhile.

    Waaaaaaaay past frustrated at this point…….

  • 18. Mimimama  |  May 7, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    I am with you Miasmom. This is crazy!!!

  • 19. parent  |  May 7, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    @ montessori mom
    Do you have a child/children at a Montessori school? Curious why you are encouraging a parent to take Skinner West offer? Skinner and montessori so different. Only asking because we are in a situation to decide between public montessori or skinner west and very conflicted.

  • 20. parent  |  May 7, 2010 at 10:36 pm

    Question to the parent who attended the Skinner West open house…if all the children have to test into Skinner does 60-70 percent accepted into Se high schools seem low to you? A little surprised it isn’t higher.

  • 21. Y  |  May 8, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    @parent – Students from Skinner may be at an disadvantage with the grade component of the SE entry scoring system. They might end up with lower scores due to their grades in a more challenging program.

  • 22. klem  |  May 8, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    @parent: Nope, it doesn’t seem low. Not all students want to go to an SE high school. Some aspire to go to a school like Lincoln Park with its emphasis on performing arts. Others will go to private or parochial school. And some just won’t qualify. But you will see that at every SE elementary school.

  • 23. Montessori mom  |  May 8, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    We stayed in Montessori up to kindergarten. Now we are at Galileo math and science academy.
    Lindbloom HS. is kind of rough to be honest. I know a student from Galileo that got into the Lindbloom academic center and loves it, especially the Mandarin language program. This particular student is only staying for the academic 7 and 8th grade. She wants to go elsewhere for high school. I just think Skinner is a good school in a great area with committed families. That is what is important to me. I will think about HS in 8th grade I am not rushing the process. I want my child to stay in a child centered atmosphere as long as possible. That is just my two cents.

  • 24. Pulaski IB Mom  |  May 8, 2010 at 7:53 pm

    Has anyone heard from Pulaski IB?
    Does anyone know of families interested in the new program at Pulaski? We were accepted for 2nd grade, I am looking for other families out there in blog world…

  • 25. EBD  |  May 9, 2010 at 6:58 am

    Question from someone going through this next year…how much does order of preference play into things? For example, if I put Edison #1 and Decatur #2, and my son doesn’t score high enough on the gifted test for Edison, but scores high enough on the Classical test for Decatur, is my #2 preference going to hurt his chances? Just trying to figure out how careful I have to be with order of preference.

  • 26. sfw  |  May 9, 2010 at 7:14 am

    Based on my experience first and second choice doesn’t matter. We ranked Edison 1 and Decatur 2 this year. My son, who starts kindergarten in Fall 2010, did great on classical test, not so great on gifted, and was accepted to Decatur in first round.
    After all this I am still completely clueless RE how the kindergarten tests work. I wonder if some kids do really well on both, and have their choice of Decatur & Edison.

  • 27. EBD  |  May 9, 2010 at 7:18 am

    @sfw – thanks for the first hand report.

  • 28. JD  |  May 9, 2010 at 11:35 am

    I think choice does matter, somewhat. If two kids have the same score in gifted, they will extend the offer to the child that ranked their gifted choice #1 over the child that ranked it #2. I also think they segregate the gifted choices from the classical choices. So for those that ranked Edison #1 and Decatur #2 (as I did), the child’s scores are kept separate from the gifted and from the classical pools. According to the very nice lady I talked to all information is placed in a software/program, and everything is generated based on some algorithm based on choice of ranking, score and (now) tier. I think score probably is weighted the highest in this algorithm (over choice); I also think (my opinion entirely) that the gifted and classical pools are kept separate from each other. My dc did great (but apparently not so great as others) on gifted (135) and no so great in classical (125) – and did not get an acceptance letter to any of our choices. The best strategy is for your kid to test high. I was glad to hear of the computer-generated offerrings. I had visions of little old ladies sitting around a table shuffling papers around, getting calls from principals (now out of the equation, I hope) and ranking kids all on their own. If it’s all based on a program – why is it taking so long to get letters out? Sorry, just getting impatient.

  • 29. EBD  |  May 9, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    @JD – thanks. I guess my quandry is around gifted vs. classical. Based on the descriptions, I would prefer my son attend a gifted school, but based on the testing we did at Northwestern CTD, I suspect he may test better for classical. I would hate to put him at a disadvantage purely based on ranking. If they do keep gifted & classical separate, this is not an issue.

  • 30. M.  |  May 10, 2010 at 3:40 am

    Just a tip here… for some reason, in our son’s classes at Decatur, EVERY year they lose a few students. In K, it was literally 5 students by October… so they had a class of 23!!! WHY DOES THE SCHOOL NOT *TRY* TO FILL THESE SPOTS??? This is an absolute mystery to me… But every subsequent year, there have been 2-3 students to leave within the first month or so of school.

    The only thing other parents and I can surmise is that they choose not to ACTIVELY fill the slots… but I DO know of an example FIRST hand (there are other rumors, but only citing my FIRST hand account here to be ‘safe’) that PERSISTENT wait-listed parents, who call the school, go to the school, hound the school… and perhaps make a good impression with the Principal (who is kind of a Jekyl and Hyde, I must say… very ingratiating at times, and at others… simply INTOLERABLE… but the teachers are for the most part amazing!) apparently get in. My first hand account is my neighbor from the next block… their child was at Skinner, hounded the school, finally got an Ocotober Opening… and viola, IN! JUST A TIP. Not sure why they are not actively FILLING those absolutely coveted spots… but if I were on the wait list, I would hound them to find out, for sure!

    HTH SOMEONE to get their kid in a decent school! Good luck! M.

  • 31. cps mom 5  |  May 10, 2010 at 7:00 am

    @ Montessori Mom. How do you like the teachers and atmosphere at Galileo? My son will be attending Galileo in the fall. Not my first choice but better than neighborhood school.

  • 32. Stressed Out  |  May 10, 2010 at 10:01 am

    I just got off the phone with OAE. The person verified that letters for everyone that was accepted for the second round gifted/classical went out Friday (7th). She also said that the letters went out for every grade, not just upper grades.

  • 33. Marrs96  |  May 10, 2010 at 10:32 am

    We received our letter on Saturday.

  • 34. Also Waiting  |  May 10, 2010 at 11:04 am

    Marrs96 – would you be comfortable sharing your DC’s scores? I’m still hoping to get a fix on where the thresholds are falling and OAE hasn’t been able to tell me.

  • 35. klem  |  May 10, 2010 at 11:33 am

    M: The same thing happened at our school. A couple of kids dropped out of K by October. A few were transportation related–they held out because they thought CPS might bus there kids. Then they pulled out when they saw it wasn’t going to happen. One or two were related to the amount of homework–parents decided it was too much.

    The principal said they dropped after the enrollment deadline–I guess there is a day when you turn in your enrollment to CPS and that becomes the final and official number. They don’t need to fill empty spots after that date.

    I also agree that all those spots should be filled. I know the kids might be a bit behind in terms of being evaluated, setting into a schedule, etc. But I think most would do just fine.

  • 36. Ann  |  May 10, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    @Marrs, could you share which school? TY

  • 37. Tim  |  May 10, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    In at Pritzker for K. 142, Tier 4.

    Anyone w/input on Pritzker?

    Not inclined to accept at the moment–probably will try our luck with 3rd rnd Coonley. Already enrolled at Ravenswood for the fall.

  • 38. Last Thought  |  May 10, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    @ Marrs96: I would recommend you check out Lindblom’s scores both City and State if you haven’t already, you will be pleasantly surprised. The school is absolutely phenomenal. It’s the best kept secret on the south side! If I remember correctly the principal was brought from Northside Prep specifically to get the program going. The feel of the school is just that, like Northside Prep. I toured the school and could not believe the opportunities available for the students. The classroom size is small, less than 20. Security is at a premium. The even nicer thing is that I believe it is only 1 of 2 or 3 6 year select enrollment schools. I would definitely tour the school before making a final decision I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

  • 39. Marrs96  |  May 10, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    Last Thought – We actually went on the tour which pushed it higher than Kenwood for us. (They gave the AC/HS tour together @ Kenwood and it was effectively useless (focusing on HS), too long & too loud.)

    We did a walk around Skinner (on Friday right after school as well.) Very nice, but still a grade school versus a big, lots of resources, HS so it was not much of a decision for my daughter to make.

    Scores – (Admittedly not great)
    Classical (mid90’s/low90’s) AC (low 700’s)

    We will be pushing her far more during the 7th grade. (Poor child.)

  • 40. budgets and cuts  |  May 10, 2010 at 5:16 pm

    Making a decision on a school without all the information on programming and class size is frustrating. Some schools are not going to go over 30 and are losing a language, while other schools will likely agree to go up to 35 in a class to avoid cutting any other teachers or programs. Class size, language, music, art, computers etc all weigh into ones decision. Anyone else feeling this way?

  • 41. KCK  |  May 10, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    @budges and cuts – I can’t agree with you more, hopefully we all made the right decision for our DC.

  • 42. Amy  |  May 11, 2010 at 8:27 am

    I got my child tested for classical but did not fill up skinner(north or west) as it was quite a ride from our home.But, he was not selected for decatur and geap office said, if I would have filled up skinner as my choise, he would have gotten in.
    I am very upset with myself for not marking skinneras my choice.
    Skinner Mom, can you please tell me a bit in detail about skinner, so that next year I fill it up asmy choice.

  • 43. Stressed Out  |  May 11, 2010 at 8:32 am

    @Amy – Would you mind sharing your child’s classical score and tier? This would help me decide if I have any hope of geeting my DD at Skinner. Thank you in advance.

  • 44. For a friend  |  May 11, 2010 at 9:20 am

    Any second round offers from Edison, Coonley or Decatur? My good friend is wondering if there is any glimmer or hope left, her child scored well on both gifted & classical, but in tier 4. TY

  • 45. JBO  |  May 11, 2010 at 10:43 am

    FYI-Just got a call from principal at Skinner North that my child was accepted in the 2nd round (still nothing from GEAP). Was surprised as his gifted score was significantly higher than classical. He had a classical score of 132.

  • 46. Stressed Out  |  May 11, 2010 at 10:45 am

    Received a call from the principal at Skinner North and OAE. My DD was accepted with a classical score of 132.

  • 47. For a friend  |  May 11, 2010 at 11:23 am

    @stressed out & JBO, are you both tier 4? Will you be accepting the spots? 132 was my friends score as well, trying to figure out the chances of another 132 acceptance. TY

  • 48. Jennifer  |  May 11, 2010 at 11:31 am

    Received VM from OAE that DD was accepted for second round at Pritzer (entering 4th grade). Score: 120. Tier 4.

    I was only considering a transfer if all three children were accepted at the same school, which was unlikely. So, we’ll be turning this down. This is a personal choice, as our neighborhood school is good. We’ll continue to supplement their educations with classes at The Center for Gifted-Worlds of Wisdom and Wonder and other places.

    Just thought the stats would be helpful for anyone keeping track.

    Good luck to all!

  • 49. Stressed Out  |  May 11, 2010 at 11:33 am

    @For a friend – Yes, I’m in tier 4. We will decide tonight, but we will most likely take it because we don’t have another option outside of going private.

  • 50. Curious  |  May 11, 2010 at 11:34 am

    Anyone receive a second round offer at Bell? If so, could you share grade, score and tier?? Thanks!

  • 51. For a friend  |  May 11, 2010 at 11:44 am

    thanks for the info and congrats – it must be such a relief!

  • 52. KCK  |  May 11, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    My friend’s DC got accepted to Skinner West for K with 130 in Tier 2 (she was told the cut off score for Skinner West is 130 on 2nd round).

  • 53. angstridden  |  May 11, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    Anyone hear anything in the second roundfrom K at South Loop?

  • 54. KS  |  May 11, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    Just got the call from OAE for the 2nd round. My dd (who will be going into 1st grade this fall) was offered a spot at Coonley. Her score was 139 in Tier 3. We are declining this offer. She is already at Decatur and we would only consider moving her if she gets into Skinner North, where my ds will be in K this fall. Unfortunately, I ranked Skinner North 5th or 6th on her application, so we will have a few more rounds to go to see if this is even an option. (Coonley was our 2nd choice, Edison was our 1st, which we turned down for the first round).

    I wish OAE had some kind of slight sibling priority, like the G&T programs do in NYC. It would certainly make maneuvering these programs an easier process for families.

  • 55. Miss-B  |  May 11, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    I got a call about my future Kindergartner this morning. I declined a seat at South Loop in the first round. Today we were offered a slot in Pritzker’s gifted K (we’re tier 4 and scored 142).

    Just this morning I went down and enrolled her twin brother and she at Ogden. Now I’m second guessing my choice. They’re preschoolers at Pritzker now and we like it there. But there’s no guarantee that I can get her brother into the neighborhood program.

    High School parents, how important is a Junior High IB program in getting into a selective High School? Ogden makes it a point to mention it in their literature. But I guess I don’t know what that really means.

  • 56. SSMomof2  |  May 11, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    Has anyone heard from Lenart, McDade, or Poe on the second round?

  • 57. SkinnerWestMom  |  May 11, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    Miss-B – I wish I could offer you my lottery neighborhood seat at Pritzker as my son will be attending Skinner West this fall. It’s important to have twins in the same school.

    KCK – My son must have just made it because he got a 131 and was able to get in during the first round at Skinner West.

    Amy – We love Skinner West! My daughter is in first grade there and the teachers and families are so nice and friendly! They also learn so much! The program is great! They switch classrooms for most of their classes, just like junior high. There is a lot of school work so if your child does go to school here, be prepared. Great school overall! Not to mention, the building is brand new and green!!!

  • 58. Worry Wart  |  May 11, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    One of the parents at my dd’s preschool got a call from Poe yesterday.

  • 59. Third time's a charm?  |  May 11, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    Talked to OAE. Kinder letters went out yesterday (5/10). 140 gifted/131 classical was still not enough to cross the threshold for Tier 4. Even OAE was surprised by that, although that’s not much consolation. The threshold for Tier 4 is apparently around 142/143. Enrollment will apparently continue into a third round, scheduled for late May/early June. Sigh.

  • 60. Stressed Out  |  May 11, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    @ Third time’s a charm? – What schools are you trying to get your child in?

  • 61. RL Julia  |  May 11, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    55 -Miss B,

    In answer to your questions about middle school and select high schools, I think it is more important that your children do well in school, do well on the ISATs and do well on the entrance exam then attend one school or another in terms of getting into a select high school.

    Since your children are only going to Kindergarten, I wouldn’t worry too much about high school quite yet. The entire system could be completely different by the time it becomes a relevant question.

    All of the schools you have mentioned have reputions as being lovely communities of people where your children will be safe and have the opportunity to make friends and learn lots of things some of which will be on the test and some of which might not. Enjoy kindergarten!

  • 62. Third time's a charm?  |  May 11, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    @StressedOut: We ranked Skinner West, Pritzker, Coonley, Edison and Skinner North.

  • 63. milleniummom  |  May 11, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    slight diversion from the current thread but have any of you who’ve written in to say you’ve accepted the offer in the second round of a gifted program dropped out of a current magnet registration? just curious since we’re waitlisted in two different magnet schools and i’m hoping that your good fortune trickles down to those of us teetering on the edge of insanity….

  • 64. Miss-B  |  May 11, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    Thanks Julia, that was very kind. I talked to my kid’s preschool teacher today to have her explain what an IB program is. Now I think I get it. She’s a 1980’s graduate of Lincoln Park HS and also stressed the unpredictable trends in CPS schools in the short term. She was also nice enough to make it seem like she’d like to have us both stay at Pritzker. But the real possibility that I might end up schlepping one kid to Wicker Park and the other to Old Town for half day Kindergarten make me wary.

    We just figured out that we were newly included in the Ogden attendance area a few months ago. I still feel like we don’t know a whole lot about the school, so hearing you call it a lovely community goes a long way with me. If the experience is as positive as the one we have had at Pritzker I’ll be delighted.

  • 65. Miss-B  |  May 11, 2010 at 5:07 pm


    We declined a spot at Newberry, if that helps. Back when our neighborhood school was Peabody we applied to twelve magnet schools. I got a call from Suder the other day too, where we were wait listed #75.

    Good luck. I have my fingers crossed for you and a half-dozen of my friends now.

  • 66. milleniummom  |  May 11, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    @Miss-B Thanks. You’ve helped lift my spirits up. We’re waitlisted at Mark Sheridan and Franklin and so far it doesn’t look good. I hope there’s some light at the end of the tunnel. The waiting is killing me…

  • 67. JD  |  May 11, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    @54 KS – can I ask your rationale in your rankin? If I understand, you declined Edison (1st round), declined Coonley (2nd round) and ranked Skinner North 5th or 6th, but your DD is already in Decatur and your DS will be in Skinner North. Did I get that right? I will be going through the same agony next year (if my DD does not get in this year), and her big bro is already in a gifted school.

  • 68. To worry wart  |  May 11, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    What tier are you in and what was your child’s percentile/score if you don’t mind me asking?

  • 69. skinnerhopeful  |  May 11, 2010 at 7:36 pm

    Has anyone gotten a second round letter for Skinner West upper grades? 4th grade and above?

  • 70. Dan  |  May 11, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    @ Miss-B

    Do you know (as much as one can “know” right now) if Pritzker gifted kindergarten will be half day next year? I am waiting to hear back from them on that question. My son is registered to start there in the fall, and I’m very happy with what I’ve seen but half-day has me anxious- particularly since it seems most other gifted/classical K’s seem to be trying to stay full-day.


  • 71. Miss-B  |  May 11, 2010 at 8:02 pm


    From what I’ve heard (mostly talk among the other parents) it seems very likely that Pritzker is going to have half-day Kindergarten next year. This morning the preschool teacher mentioned that there may be additional slots available in the neighborhood program due to the half-day schedule. But don’t give up hope. It’s always possible that something could change that over the summer. That’s what I keep telling myself, anyway.

  • 72. Montessori mom  |  May 11, 2010 at 8:04 pm

    to cps mom 5
    my daughters experience at Galileo has been a good one.
    She has a 1st grade teacher (Ms. D. ) who is wonderful and child centered. Our first grade experience has been great. My daughter feels secure and supported by her teacher and her friends.
    I love early grade science teacher ms. economou. I am telling you, you will not find one better.
    I just heard that kindergarten was going to a half day program which is a real setback. As on teacher said to me ..we might as well go back to the 1950’s. It is a sad state of affairs with CPS right now. with that said Galileo is still trying to keep the small class sizes but I am not sure if they can do it .
    Again with all said Galileo is a solid Math and Science Magnet school.

  • 73. Mom  |  May 11, 2010 at 9:14 pm

    Need some advice. We are fortunate to have the following options, but, not sure what to do — Hawthorne or Edison gifted? Thanks in advance for any input.

  • 74. KS  |  May 11, 2010 at 9:36 pm

    @JD- Yep, you got it right! I found the ranking process very difficult, but I *tried* to rank them based on where my kids would be able to land in the same school. Knowing my son, I knew he would do better on the gifted test and he did (142 vs 134 for classical test). So for my daughter, I ranked the gifted schools highest by our preference (so Edison, Coonley, Pritzker, and then I put the other classical schools, Skinner West, Skinner North and finally Bell). And for my son, I ranked Decatur first and then the same order for Gifted and Classical schools (minus Bell, of course). I thought I had this all figured out!

    Of course, what I know now is that apparently lots of kids test better on the gifted test, especially for K. So it turns out his classical score is what got him placed. And yes, I could have turned down Skinner North and hoped for a second round spot, but I didn’t think his classical score would be high enough for Decatur, so it still would have been two different schools (most likely). Perhaps if our nabe school was a good backup, that might have been my plan, but its not. Skinner North is a much better option for him.

    In the end, I am glad that both of my kids have a spot in a GEAP school, at all. And if we have to manage two schools, we can handle it. But for the following year, I would retest them both for the classical test and rank one school only. Hope you have better luck!

  • 75. Mom of two  |  May 11, 2010 at 9:49 pm

    @KS (54) –

    I’m in a similar situation now, with an older child in a gifted program and the younger just accepted in 2nd round for Decatur 1st grade next year. I’m wondering if I’m crazy not to take the Decatur spot, keep him in his current school, and possibly retry next year to get him into his older sib’s gifted program? We really had him tested mostly to try to get into the gifted program (thus making life easier for us as a family) and also to be sure we weren’t neglecting an incredible mind. His classical scores weren’t up to the level of most of the Decatur scores I’ve seen – 94 math and 99 reading.

    Any insights, since you have a child in his same year at Decatur? Our neighborhood school is a reasonably good one, with good parental involvement and a lot of strong community connections. I’m torn.


  • 76. JBO  |  May 11, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    @ For a friend-we will most likely be turning down the Skinner North spot. Honestly, we don’t know much about the school at all. Our child has an older sibling at another GEAP school. We are going to press our luck for the possibility of getting both into the same school for this coming school year or even the next. Good luck to your friend.

  • 77. Declining our spot  |  May 11, 2010 at 10:42 pm

    We received a call from Skinner West today . . .not totally sure why since we turned down a higher ranked school previously, but I guess that’s the computer system. Anyways, we are declining the K spot, as is a friend of mine who also turned down a higher ranked school previously. So, for those of you still waiting, there will be at least 2 more K spots available at Skinner West for Round 3.

  • 78. wondering  |  May 11, 2010 at 11:35 pm

    @ Declining our spot
    Wondering why you and your friend are declining your spots at Skinner? Is it due to proximity or other reasons? Just curious and would appreciate any insight into your decision. Thanks!

  • 79. Declining our spot  |  May 12, 2010 at 12:02 am

    @wondering. We are both at a private school and are very happy there, and have decided not to switch. So it’s nothing about Skinner at all; to the contrary, I have heard very good things.

  • 80. cps mom 5  |  May 12, 2010 at 7:06 am

    Thanks Montessori mom for the scoop on Galileo. Although I’d like both of my sons to go to the same school only one got called from the waiting list. I am still hopeful that the other will get called otherwise we’ll just have to go in through sibling next year.

    For those who have received calls from OAE, how much time did they give you to decline or accept a spot?

  • 81. Pulaski IB Mom  |  May 12, 2010 at 7:26 am

    Seeking Information on the IB program at Pulaski.
    They are taking applications for the second round of the lottery.
    I know kindergarten has a tremendous waitlist but 1, 2 and 3rd grade still have some openings.
    I personally feel that the school is going to do well with the Principal Pat Bacceleri. He was the principal who brought South Loop to where it is today. In my opinion I think South Loop School was run much better when he was the principal. He gave parents a voice in the school and made them feel part of the process and I think that is why the transition was so successful at SL. I am hoping he can do the same for the Pulaski IB program in Bucktown.
    My child is going to start in 2nd grade at Pulaski IB and I was wondering if any other parents are seeking this school out.
    Thanks in advance!

  • 82. Edison Mom  |  May 12, 2010 at 8:22 am

    @ Mom, I don’t think you can go wrong with either Hawthorne or Edison. Both seem like well rounded programs with great test scores and involved parents. No language at Hawthorne, limited afterschool activities at Edison. Do you feel your child would benefit more working a grade or 2 ahead? If so, I would go with Edison. Do you have other younger children? Then I would go with Hawthorne. Good luck with your decision.

  • 83. Stressed Out  |  May 12, 2010 at 8:31 am

    @ cps mom 5 – OAE told me they needed the form back by Monday the 17th or we would lose our spot.

  • 84. Worry Wart  |  May 12, 2010 at 9:52 am

    @68. My DD wasn’t offered a seat at a gifted/classical school but another parent at our preschool was. Unfortunately, I don’t remember the scores or tier. I will get the numbers this afternoon if I run into the parent.

  • 85. Worry Wart  |  May 12, 2010 at 9:56 am

    @68. I’m in tier 3 with 113/gifted and 126/classical. We’re off to Sheridan for K this Fall.

  • 86. twocents  |  May 12, 2010 at 10:24 am

    @Mom #73 – Edison is amazing. All 8th graders accepted into SEHS this year. Two recesses (important for wiggle worms), gym twice a week, great science program, art, various levels of reading groups. It is tough in terms of homework and expectations (as all SE schools probably are).

  • 87. SkinnerWestMom  |  May 12, 2010 at 10:41 am

    @Declining our spot
    Can you give us your test score and the tier you are in? Thanks. I have some friends that are still waiting to get into Skinner West…………………………….

  • 88. Declining our spot  |  May 12, 2010 at 10:53 am

    DD got a 148, and we are tier 4. But I wouldn’t put too much into this because I know the cutoff for even the first round was lower. For whatever reason, the computer doesn’t seem to have processed our decline properly, so it gave us another school in Round 2 (she got into Skinner North in Round 1). I’ve heard that if you call, sometimes the GEAP office is revealing what the cutoffs are.

  • 89. Working mom  |  May 12, 2010 at 11:22 am

    My ds is on the wait list at Lasalle Language (his number is less than 15). Wondering what other parents are doing for before and aftercare since this is not available at Lasalle…just in case we get lucky and get a call…

  • 90. Miss-B  |  May 12, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    @Declining our Spot

    By responding to your letter and declining you are automatically entered into the second round lottery. If you had failed to return the form letter to the OAE they wouldn’t have included you in round two. This is how they explained it to me. I guess it’s common to decline the first offer in hopes that the second round will get you a slot at your school of choice.

  • 91. Declining our spot  |  May 12, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    @Miss B – thanks so much, although (perhaps not surprisingly) that’s the complete opposite of what they told me. I purposedly returned it right away because they said they wouldn’t give our spot to someone else unless they had the decline letter back. Guess I’ll call before doing anything on this letter.

  • 92. wondering  |  May 12, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    @91 Declining our spot….so are you off to Skinner North??? if i may ask is it for KG? i am praying my dd gets in we have not gotten a call for the second round although she got a 132 and others in this blog got in to skinner north with a 132 im praying she gets a call or some people say no and she gets offered something in round 3 🙂

  • 93. wondering  |  May 12, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    @91 decling…will you be going to skinner north??? we waited to hear something this second round but didnt… my dd got a 132 and still ahsnt gotten a call… others in this blog got a call in the second round for skinner at 132 😦 for us…were praying someone says no and maybe just maybe we get a call we cant afford catholic school anymore and they only leottery she won went 1/2 day

  • 94. Declining our spot  |  May 12, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    @wondering – we are not going to Skinner North, West, or any GEAP school next year (for K). Decided to stay at our private school which we love. We turned down Skinner North in Round 1, so presumably someone got our spot in Round 2. Good luck – hopefully you will get in on Round 3:)

  • 95. KS  |  May 12, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    @Mom of two- My daughter is very happy at Decatur! Your post actually surprises me. I think its a lovely environment for my child. The teachers really understand that advanced learners are still just kids. I don’t feel like they are overly pressured with homework or stress, which was exactly what I was looking for in K. They are all about setting up good habits and getting the kids to feel comfortable in school. Granted, all of the children this year came in reading, so they start ahead of where other K classes do, but I feel like this was a really successful year from my daughter. And I am thrilled with how well she has made the transition. Perhaps you caught them on a bad day?

  • 96. KS  |  May 12, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    @Mom of two – Whoops! I got emailed another post cpsobsessed post on Decatur from last year and responded to it here! Sorry!

    Anyway, my dd is very happy at Decatur (obviously!). They ONLY reason I wold consider moving her is for my own personal convenience of having two kids at the same school. It really is a lovely small school. The only downsides (for me, at least) are that is only goes thru 6th grade and its far from my house. It has a very active PTO and parent community.

    I would have to say you need to go with your gut. Where would she be happier? Is she bored in school? Would leaving her friends be difficult? How’s the commute/bus? There’s probably not a perfect choice, but we just do the best we can! Good luck!

  • 97. Mayfair Dad  |  May 12, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    Any news to share about Round Two high school scores? I’d love to know what the breakdown is per school, per tier.

    Round One scores were published on Catalyst, but I have not seen scores for Round Two. Let me know if you’ve seen anything.

  • 98. CPSmama  |  May 12, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    Round 2 scores are posted on CPS selective enrollment site. Here is the link:

    They don’t tell the number of students selected, just the score cut-offs for each tier.

  • 99. CPSMom  |  May 12, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    Mayfair Dad, could you post the Catalyst link?

  • 100. Hawthorne mom  |  May 12, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    Does anyone have info on the scores for elementary schools? I never wanted to believe there would be a big difference between the high scorers in tier 3 and 4 and the scorers of 1 and 2, but wow, those are some very significant differences.

  • 101. wondering  |  May 12, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    does anybody know when the third round will begin?? anybody doing this for the second time around what are the chances after second round???

  • 102. Where's Lindblom  |  May 12, 2010 at 7:23 pm

    CPS forgot to include the scores of Lindblom which has an AC and SE HS…

  • 103. momx3  |  May 12, 2010 at 7:34 pm

    @ wondering (101) This my second time. Two years ago, for my oldest child, we turned down RGC offers in both the first and second rounds and were finally offered our first choice (which we accepted) in round three… Admittedly a risky move but we had a good neighborhood option to fall back on. This year, it certainly seems there will be openings to fill after round two (in this thread alone there are several who mentioned turning down second round offers).

  • 104. CPS Mom  |  May 12, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    @wondering – 2nd time around here & waiting on 3rd round picks for kindergarten. 1st child got in to RGC on 3rd round. Stay the course!

  • 105. Mom of two  |  May 12, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    @KS –

    Thanks so much. I think we will go with our gut on this one, but am holding out to talk with our kid’s current teacher as well, since she sees him in the class with the others.

  • 106. wondering  |  May 12, 2010 at 9:06 pm

    wow you guys are amazing and gutsy…….so their is hope and a light at the endof the tunnel im hoping for skinner north at 132 ppl got in at second round with this and im praying for my dd to get in with this…. all my prayer are with everyone

  • 107. Y  |  May 12, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    @wondering – We declined two offers last year for CS programs and were finally offered a spot at a RGC. We are fortunate to have a good neighborhood school as our backup.

  • 108. Melissa  |  May 12, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    There is chatter of all Kindergarden programs going to half day. Anyone aware of a stance or additional information for the classical and RG prgms?

  • 109. twocents  |  May 13, 2010 at 10:32 am

    At the last LSC meeting at our RGC the principal said that the gifted KDGs would remain full day.

  • 110. Tim  |  May 13, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    FYI, we turned down Pritzker today, so there’s another slot for Rnd 3.

    Edison, Coonley, or bust. OK, not bust–Ravenswood seems like a pretty neat school.

    Pritzker gifted coord didn’t seem to know if they would have full day K. Suggested they might not. Seemed strange that they hadn’t figured out their stance on it.

  • 111. cpsobsessed  |  May 13, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    Coming up for air after some big work projects were due….

    I’m so glad that everyone is sharing their information. As I’ve said, “knowledge is power.” (Good way to justify my nosiness.)

    I just heard today that it sounds like gifted Kinder will be HALF DAY(unless parents want to pay for it.) I believe that this is an OEA decision, not one that each school makes. Hopefully if this is the case, the schools will inform parents soon. Post any info if you get it.

    At this point it’s hard to know what information is reliable since we keep hearing such different things. That is the beauty of a giant bureaucracy!

  • 112. To obssesed  |  May 13, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    Just as a poster stated above I was told by my principal that gifted and classical k would be fullday. OAE will be picking up the other half. Where did u hear half day.

  • 113. cpsnewbie  |  May 13, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    I went to register my child for Bell 1st grade last Thursday and I believe all the slots were filled, so unlikely to find any openings in later rounds. Unless of course someone drops out during the summer. Just putting it up here in case someone is waiting.

  • 114. curious  |  May 13, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    @ (113) cpsnewbie… Thanks for the info. It’s hard to believe Bell had 100% acceptance during first round, but so far I haven’t heard of a single second round Bell offer and your post seems to confirm the class is full! Anyone out there with different info?

  • 115. cpsnewbie  |  May 13, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    @ 114 curious…I met other parents whose kids had gifted scores in the 140’s for K last year and didn’t get in at all, in any rounds. So, they placed Bell high on their list for a better chance to get their child in an RGC for 1st grade. One mom told me that after last years experience there was no way they were going to turn down their Bell spot for a chance at Coonley or Edison 1st grade. Actually, I have to admit I’m impressed with how gutsy people on here are with turning down spots. Last year my child received a 146 and didn’t get a single offer in any round. I would have snapped up whatever I was offered! Although I didn’t have a really good backup in place. It was also based on the racial decree instead of the tier based system though, so maybe that influences people’s decision to take a chance. Anyway, if I hear anything else about spots at Bell I’ll post here.

  • 116. klem  |  May 13, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    I think we may be seeing more turn downs because the busing is so up in the air. Also the new sib policy at magnet schools makes that a more attractive option for those with more than one.

  • 117. Mom  |  May 13, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    @ Declining our spot — Given your DD’s high classical score, just wondering what your DD scored on the gifted portion of the test in comparison and whether that factored into your decision to keep her at your private school. We are at a good private school but think that when our child takes the test next year, he will probably score higher on gifted than classical given he is not yet reading. He is, however, showing advanced aptitude for logical thinking. I am speculating that a good private school like ours would be just as good as or better than a classical school at teaching someone who is academically advanced in the sense of what is tested on the classical test. But I am worried that the privates might not be as good at helping a child who is gifted in the sense of what the gifted test looks for as a school devoted exclusively to gifted kids. Or does it not matter and privates exist that are good for gifted kids too? Any insight would be appreciated.

  • 118. curious  |  May 13, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    Thanks again, cpsnewbie. FYI — I think Bell is a great school. I have one currently in Bell’s RGC and one that I was hoping to get in for first grade but who didn’t make it round one. My surprise that there seem to be no round two openings is certainly not based on the quality of the school (we’ve had a very positive experience). I think you’ll really like it…

  • 119. cpsnewbie  |  May 13, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    @118 curious…Glad to hear you like it. I really got a great vibe there when I went on the tour and feel like it is the best fit for my child. I was thrilled when OAE offred us the spot. Hopefully he’ll be as excited as I am!

  • 120. Pulaski IB Mom  |  May 13, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    Pulaski IB program will have 2 full day kinder classes and each classroom will have 29 students. Columbia college community art program will stay as the after school program. Building is going under a major renovation this summer. Music, Art and a new Spanish language program will be intact for the IB program. IF you live in Bucktown, Wicker Park, Ukrainian Village or parts of Logan Square you should check to see if you can get in through the neighborhood option. They take all neighborhood kids! IB will be kindergarten through 3rd grade and then they will add a grade every year. The Pulaski IB program will lift the whole school even though it is starting in the lower grades.

  • 121. LR  |  May 13, 2010 at 9:30 pm

    113 cpsnewbie: I also have a first grader going into Bell and I too was surprised last week at registration. It seemed like a full house. I was trying to peek at other people’s numbers to see how high they went and the highest I saw was 24, but there could have easily been 4 that I didn’t see. We are really excited about it, and for our daughter, despite parting with a private school we love. See you next year!

  • 122. Declining our spot  |  May 13, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    @Mom 117- My dd also scored in the 99% on the gifted portion, and we would have also turned down a gifted school as well in order to keep her at her private school. Her particular school is very adept at creating individualized learning programs for all ability levels and for different styles of learning. Having said that, I don’t necessarily know if my dd is truly “gifted,” and certainly she is not so advanced that she needs some highly specialized program. But I think everyone needs to think carefully about their options and decide what they think is best for their child. For us, a key factor was that our daughter is doing extremely well at her current school, is very happy, and loves learning, so we didn’t think there was much of a chance that we would be switching to a better situation. Hope that helped, and good luck with whatever you decide.

  • 123. 2ndtimearound  |  May 13, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    I read today that South Loop is planning on charging $2500 per child for fill day kinder next year. The principal said it was all or nothing and that it would not be fair for some to pay and not others. The money was also being requested by July 1st. I know a family at SL, so I will have to confirm this story w/ them. Any other schools that have decided to ask families to pay for full day K yet?

  • 124. SL Mom  |  May 14, 2010 at 7:59 am

    @2ndtime around, my child is at South Loop Kindergarten next year and I’m also interested in what other schools are doing. I definitely want full-day Kindergarten for my child and given the dire budget situation, contributing to the South Loop school, is a lot better and cheaper than my options if K was half-day.

    A couple of corrections though. They are asking for $2,000 from each family (it is a change). The “all or nothing” means that either all the neighborhood programs are full-day or none. The decision about whether a particular child gets full-day K will NOT be based on whether their family contributed.

  • 125. Mom  |  May 14, 2010 at 8:15 am

    @Declining our spot — Thanks. Our private school sounds similar to yours. I guess we will see how it all shakes out next year. I’ve read enough to know that there are kids who don’t do well on GEAP but truly need specialized gifted schools. And I’ve also read about plenty of kids who do well on GEAP but don’t need specialized schools. We think ours would probably be fine either way but time will tell.

  • 126. Hawthorne mom  |  May 14, 2010 at 8:38 am

    Just curious, the parents who are choosing private schools over rgc’s or classical schools, which privates are you at? I have been guessing which school(s) but thought it might be interesting to know which private schools differentiate so well!

  • 127. Declining our spot  |  May 14, 2010 at 10:58 am

    @hawthorne mom – our daughter attends the British School. I think it’s pretty well known that they do a tremendous job of differentiated and individualized learning there. That was one of the main reasons we chose the school.

  • 128. SkinnerWestMom  |  May 14, 2010 at 11:22 am

    British School is also over $22,000 a year. I don’t think many families can afford that (for 13 years) in this economy. If you can, that’s great! With that tuition, I sure hope they provide plenty of individualized learning and attention.

  • 129. EDB  |  May 14, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    And from what I read, British School does not offer scholarships at all. Unfortunately, as wonderful as the school sounds (and it does sound wonderful) for us this can not be an option.

  • 130. Declining our spot  |  May 14, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    @SkinnerWestMom and EDB – I hope this discussion doesn’t turn into a negative one directed towards people who pay private school tuition. I was asked what school my child attends, and I answered. Recognizing that there are families for whom private schools are not an option, we immediately both called and returned the GEAP letter declining our spot the day we received it so that someone else who is waiting could get our spot. And FWIW, Britsh School DOES give scholarships – just not directly. Due to its for-profit status, it is prohiibited under the tax code from giving scholarships directly, but it partners with outside agencies such as Boys and Girls Club to provide financial aid. Admittedly, there is not enough financial aid (at any of the private schools) to make it affordable for the number of families who would otherwise be interested, so there is still much room for improvement – something many of us parents have been dilligently working on.

  • 131. EDB  |  May 14, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    @Declining our spot – I’m sorry if my comment came across as negative toward you. I really think British School sounds great. I would love to have that option, but don’t. I absolutely respect your decision to send your child to private. I think it can be a great choice. I appreciate your quick response to open the spot you had gotten to others who may need it.
    Again, I did not mean to offend you in any way. Also, thanks for the clarification on BS and scholarships. I had looked into the school since I liked what I had heard about it, but was disappointed to see that it didn’t look like they had scholarships.
    I’m glad you have a school that’s a good fit for your kids.

  • 132. Mom  |  May 14, 2010 at 9:53 pm

    To be sure, British School is not an optiion for the middle class, but in case you do not already know, many private schools are —vitrtually every private other than British offers financial aid. So, if you think your child is not getting the best education possible due to overcrowding, or whatever, apply to Latin, Parker, City Day, Catherine Cook, Sacred Heart, etc., etc. They want their schools to look less like a U if plotted on a graph and more balanced. Every child should recieve a good education.

  • 133. Hawthorne mom  |  May 14, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    @declining our spot,
    Would you be willing to talk further about how the British School differentiates and individualizes instruction? I know what our school does, and what I have heard other schools do, and would be interested to know more specifically how British meets this need. Thanks.

  • 134. BellMom  |  May 14, 2010 at 11:41 pm

    Our child went to the British school for 4 years and left last year for Bell RGC. With 2 children we were not able financially to maintain them both at the school although we also absolutely loved it. Like most private school it is able to better teach because the ratio teacher/student much lower than public. No brainer that 1:8 is more effective learning than 1:30 or even as suggested 1:35!! The curriculum is VERY well structured. Reading and writing start at 3 with weekly 1-on-1 reading time with the teacher on leveled books. Spelling journal at K. There is differentiation on every subject. French starts at Pre-K, Spanish at 1st grade then Latin in 3rd grade is added. School run much longer – 7 hours/day for 180 days per year compared with 5 hours/day for 170 days for CPS. Many after school activities at no additional cost…
    A note on the tuition, although it is higher than other private schools, it does NOT ask for any additional money through auction, fundraising…
    Bell is also an excellent school and after a year it has exceeded our expectations as a public school. For those we will get into Bell you will love it and the curriculum is fantastic. Lots of learning but also creative and thinking homework and projects.

  • 135. Declining our spot  |  May 15, 2010 at 12:24 am

    @hawthorne mom – would be happy to discuss with you and share whatever information you are looking for. If you send me your email, I’ll contact you.

  • 136. Hawthorne mom  |  May 15, 2010 at 8:26 am

    Sure, but would rather not post my email online here. CPSobsessed, will you send my email to Declining our Spot? Thanks!

  • 137. TMom  |  May 15, 2010 at 10:34 pm

    Has anyone ever sent their twins to separate schools and have it workout OK for the kids?

  • 138. wondering  |  May 16, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    hey guys any body know when the third round begins

  • 139. HPMom  |  May 16, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    I’m wondering if you are in the same situation as I am. I have twins (supposedly) entering K next year. I’d love to hear about your experiences with CPS on this issue…Let me know if you want to email further. Thanks.

  • 140. TMom  |  May 16, 2010 at 9:18 pm


    Yes, I would like to hear if you are having any success getting your twins into the same school under the lottery system. We have had no luck and OAE does not care! Have you considered splitting them up?

  • 141. HPMom  |  May 16, 2010 at 11:08 pm

    Yes OAE is rather intractable on the subject. Can you email me to discuss further?
    Hope to hear from you.

  • 142. Hawthorne mom  |  May 17, 2010 at 7:39 am

    I have a friend who got her twins into two schools (both twins got in). She wrote in large letters at the top of all her apps, Twin Of _____. Not sure it helped, but it sure can’t hurt.

  • 143. cps mom 5  |  May 17, 2010 at 8:23 am

    @ HP Mom and TMom
    OAE doesn’t really care. I have twins that are going to be in 3rd grade next year. I have been trying since K lotteries to get them in the same school with no success since. The older they get, the harder it becomes because less students move around. Now we are trying to just get one child in a decent school and then we can go through sibling lottery next year. One got in this year at Lasalle II but because the other’s number was much higher, he was not admitted so we had to let that spot go. We are starting to regret the decision to not accept that one spot and hold out for some movement this summer.

  • 144. HPMom  |  May 17, 2010 at 9:07 am

    @Hawthorne mom & cps mom5,
    Thanks for your notes. Hawthorne mom–did you friend get her twins in this year? I’ve heard sometimes twins get in easily…but this year seems esp. hard. Cps mom 5–wow your experience sounds tough. Were principals not willing to use discretion at all for yours?

  • 145. Hawthorne mom  |  May 17, 2010 at 9:25 am

    Yes, it was this past year. If it was me, and I had twins, if I had the means (which we don’t, but some people do!), I’d just move (suburb or good cps neighborhood school). Or, I think Hamilton is pretty good at taking most applicants, and that is a decent option.

  • 146. KS  |  May 17, 2010 at 10:40 am

    Though I don’t have twins (my kids are one year apart), I can sympathize with the difficulty in maneuvering the OAE programs. I wish that CPS would take the queue from NYC’s Dept of Education. They did a thorough study of their G&T programs in 2007 and the recommendations/changes that came out of that process were very helpful for families.

  • 147. JB  |  May 17, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    Interesting information regarding New York. You would hope that CPS would be familiar with what other districts are doing, but have you ever called OAE and made them aware of what New York is doing regarding siblings? It just makes sense. My oldest is in one of the GEAP schools, but unfortunately his sibling (who scored in the 99.7th percentile and to be honest, better then his sibling is not getting into the same school.) It really makes it tough to explain to both of them.

  • 148. KS  |  May 17, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    JB- I have mentioned it on several of my phone conversations with OAE during the past couple of months, but I don’t feel as though I have ever found a receptive ear there. If you (or anyone!) knows of some one reasonable there, please pass this information along!!! It makes me feel as though we are once again earning our reputation as the Second City.

  • 149. 2ndtimearound  |  May 17, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    I just wanted to comment on someone’s inquiry about the British School. We have no personal experience, but my child was taking a class at Northwestern and during a parent seminar, some parents and a presenter were discussing differentiation and what different schools and districts were doing/how they were approaching it. One mother of a 1st grader was frustrated because she met with the Head of the Lower School to talk about her child and how his needs were/were not being met. She pointed asked him to explain how they were differentiating he child’s instruction. The Head responded that they really don’t differentiate because they are too busy and they just say they do. So……….just something I heard from a British School mom (who was frustrated because she is paying A LOT of money to get her child what she perceived to be the bes and most appropriate education )
    If anyone wants to know what their current school or prospective future school does, ask then specifically how they differentiate, to explain what methods they use, etc. Educate yourself first by reading up on differentiated instruction methods, so that you can understand their responses.

  • 150. somos americanos  |  May 17, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    Visit — it’s a quick and easy way to urge your legislators to stop thinking about elections and start making good legislation that levels funding for education.

  • 151. British School Mom  |  May 17, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    @149 – Just was reading this post and would be happy to specifically explain how my child’s learning is differentiated at British School. Each child has their own reading books – they are all on different “stages”. They each get individual reading time several days/ week with the teachers, and their progress is noted in a daily journal. Books are assigned not only by level, but also by interest in subject matter, fiction/non-fiction, straight reading vs. “play/script” type format, etc. Once per week the kids get homework – with each homework assignment, there are suggested modifications given the child’s level. On occasion, children get different homework assignments depending on their progress. On in-class work, the children work at their own level – if they are learning about how a plant grows, some children draw pictures, some write a few words, others write complete sentences. Starting in Kindergarten, the teachers focus on working with each child based upon their preferred way of learning – visual, kinesthetic, or auditory. These are just some simple examples. I’m very surprised at the experience you relayed from the mom in your child’s class at Northwestern, and actually wonder if you are correct that she was talking about the British School – particularly since there is no Head of the Lower School (they don’t use that terminology at all; rather there are various “keystages”). But I certainly agree that prospective parents of any school ask specific questions to ensure that they understand what services will or will not be provided, and think that one of the best ways to find out about a school is to talk to current parents, and not just the admissions office or marketing materials.

  • 152. American School Dad  |  May 17, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    Wow, there are a lot of British School parents on this thread.
    So, is it the consensus that the British School is the best private school in Chicago for gifted kids?

  • 153. cpsobsessed  |  May 17, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    Just chiming on on the private school topic….
    I don’t know that anyone can say there is a “best” school for any specific type of kid. I would bet/hope/assume that many of the private schools in that price range do a very good job of differentiating, given their lower ratios. I know that not EVERY private school does, as they actually have FEWER resource to differentiate in some cases (for instance kids with learning disabilities are usually better served in CPS.) I’ve heard of some decent privates that end up telling parents that they need to teach to the average to be most efficient and that kids at either end of the spectrum might be better served elsewhere.

    But from what I’ve read about the British School, there is a certain style of teaching/learning that might not suit every kid. Some gifted kids might flourish in Montessori, other in British, others in a mix. As people have said above, you gotta check it out for yourself and your kid. I loved what I’ve read on the British school site (not that I could afford it) but I can’t see it being a good fit for my slacker goof-off son.

  • 154. EDB  |  May 17, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    Just want to thank all the posters for the information and various opinions. I’ve found this discussion re: privates to be very interesting.

  • 155. 2ndtimearound  |  May 17, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    @ # 151
    Not trying to stir up any trouble, nor was I implying that B.S. was the best, just relaying a mother’s frustration and surprise (at thinking that the school would be able to help her child, who is way advanced in reading and other academic areas). I agree with obsessed that you have to find the right fit for your child and that it is helpful to do your homework. The other difficult thing is, sometimes you choose a school and then later, as your child is developing and growing, you realize it is not a good match, even though the school may be good overall, or that for that particular year, the teacher was not able to best meet your child’s needs.

  • 156. Another British School mom  |  May 17, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    This is a really interesting conversation. Here is my experience with the private schools. At 4 my child was reading fluently, very verbal and fascinated my numbers. To be completely honest, I thought all the private schools were going to want him when we applied for JK. What actually happened – rejected everywhere. Sacred Heart and Latin told us that they didn’t think they would be good fits, and that a CPS gifted school might be better. Sacred Heart was the most honest, they told us that many of the private schools are looking for a group of similar smart kids who are easy to teach. They like the kids in the class to be pretty much on the same level – smart but not gifted. That year British School had added a class and had space available so we went to look at it, and really loved what we saw and what they claimed they could do re differentiation. And it has been really really great. From day 1 he was challenged, engaged and given just the right level of work and he has thrived. But I don’t doubt that a parent of a truly gifted child might be frusterated — I think my kid is very smart, precocious and will probably even out with the rest of his class eventually. He is the kind of child the British School is great with. But the gifted mind is truly something different I think, and I don’t know how one would best educate that kind of child. British School probably comes close, but the woman who heads the foundation program is inflexible and not as open to parents as one would like, so the story above does ring true to me. The school really works for kids who are ready to move ahead starting at 3 because they are allowed to advance at their own pace with just the right amount of challenge to keep them engaged but not overwhelm them. And I believe they really do differentiate – to me the proof is my goofy, unfocused smart but not as smart as his brother second child. He has the same teacher for JK as my oldest did and is given completely different work, is taught in a completely different way and is equally happy, engaged and thriving. Just my experience with 1 school….

  • 157. twocents  |  May 18, 2010 at 8:42 am

    Isn’t this blog ‘CPS obsessed’? When did it flip to ‘private school obsessed’?

  • 158. Amy  |  May 18, 2010 at 8:49 am

    @skinner west mom…thanks for yr positive reply.I will surely fill up skinner next year but the question is west or north..whichone is better?Also do they have bus service,anyways wedont even know if any cpsschools will have any bus service at all.
    Do they tell us if our child s on waiting list for a particular school?

  • 159. Amy  |  May 18, 2010 at 8:53 am

    can anyone tell me what was the cut off for decatur this year for kinderG.This way I will know ,whether i shud keep hopes or not.

  • 160. Hawthorne mom  |  May 18, 2010 at 10:23 am

    I was particularly interested in how schools differentiate, BS included because one, I am a teacher and I like to hear how others do it. And two, I like to see how my kids’ school compares. It sounds like Hawthorne does at least some of what BS does, though not all, probably due to large class sizes. It was reassuring to me to hear that given the class sizes, our teachers are doing a lot of differentiation in comparison to privates that do the same.
    I would love to visit and talk in depth with BS and may try to arrange to visit/observe in order to gather ideas on how to manage differentiation for when I return to the classroom.

  • 161. Stressed Out  |  May 18, 2010 at 10:41 am

    @Amy (159) – Academic Enhancement told me last week that Decatur has filled all of their kindergarten spots.

  • 162. anonymous  |  May 18, 2010 at 11:01 am

    Hawthorne mom …. wish you were a Lincoln teacher! I’d be thrilled to have you!

    My dc starts there in the fall and I am still unclear as to what cuts might be happening there. Anyone hear anything about Lincoln, or is this board mostly for gifted and magnets?

  • 163. SkinnerWestMom  |  May 18, 2010 at 11:07 am

    Both Skinner North and Skinner West are good in their own way. I wouldn’t say one is better than the other. But many people perceive that Skinner North is the better school because it is strictly a Classical school and that since Skinner West now has the neighboorhood program, the scores will be brought down. I don’t think this will be the case, but since this is the first year for the neighborhood program, we will have to see.

    For the Classical program at both schools, there is no waiting list. It is strictly by score (along with the tier factor). For the neighborhood program at Skinner West, it will be by lottery (if you don’t live in the neighborhood) and you will get a number for the waiting list.

    Classical Schools. Transportation is provided to students who reside more than 1.5 miles from the school and within the boundaries identified below:

    School North Boundary South Boundary
    Skinner North Foster (5200 N) Cermak Road (2200 S)
    Skinner West Fullerton (2400 N) Pershing Rd (3900 S)

    Skinner West says that as far as transportation, they are still not sure if it will be available in September. But for now, there still is transportation unless they are told otherwise.

  • 164. wondering  |  May 18, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    hey guys does anybody know when the third round begins?

  • 165. JD  |  May 18, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    has anyone heard if edison K is full?

  • 166. wondering  |  May 18, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    has anyone heard if skinner north is full?

  • 167. frustrated dad  |  May 18, 2010 at 9:55 pm


    I was told by OAE that yesterday was last day to turn in acceptance for 2nd round for gifted/classical program. Supposedly, 3rd round calls will start by next week. I don’t know if the same apply to magnet programs….

  • 168. wondering  |  May 19, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    wow thats great if they start 3rd round this quick it took 2 weeks to start the 2nd round calls……anybody know if skinner n has any spots left…how about hawthorn how far have they gone on the waiting list

  • 169. JB  |  May 19, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    There will be at least one spot open at Skinner North, tier 4

  • 170. wondering  |  May 20, 2010 at 10:11 am

    @169 JB did you turn down a spot, juct curious?

  • 171. cpsteacher  |  May 20, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    My son scored a 123/94% on the gifted testing does he have a chance?

  • 172. CPS Mom  |  May 20, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    @CPS teacher – I would say no based on the ridiculously high scores I’ve been seeing & hearing. I say that with envy, but don’t begrudge any of the kids their spots & scores. It seems that spots bottom out once you’re under the top 3% across the board. Tier and school choice may impact odds, so I’m pulling for you.

  • 173. cpsteacher  |  May 20, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    Thanks, I have a back plan. I enrolled him at Hamilton. Seems like a good school and better than my neighborhood school Jamison.

  • 174. milleniummom  |  May 20, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    anyone here who is waitlisted at franklin arts center?

  • 175. JBO  |  May 21, 2010 at 12:37 am

    @170 wondering-Yes, we turned down Skinner North mostly due to location (we are out of bussing range).

  • 176. E's mom  |  May 21, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    @174–we are waitlisted for K (#10, tier 4) in the general lottery. I talked to the office a week or two ago and was told they have only called from the proximity wait list.

  • 177. milleniummom  |  May 23, 2010 at 10:56 pm

    @E’s mom: thanks. i was wondering since my son’s wait listed there and there seems to be no movement at all.

  • 178. Former British School Mom  |  May 25, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    I wanted to weigh in on the British School discussion. I have two kids who are now in middle school who attended the British School for many years. The first child has a very high IQ and a lazy, disorganized streak. The younger child is bright, but not gifted, and is very motivated and organized. I found that British School did a much better job with my younger child than my older. She really benefited from the accelerated work.

    The differentiation at British School favors children who are ready to read early and fit in well in a traditional classroom environment. Girls, in my experience, do a lot better at British School than do boys.

    We ultimately left the British School because of tuition. When we started at the school, the tuition seemed manageable, but it went up much quicker than inflation. If you think that you are stretching to afford tuition the first year, you will be dying by the 5th.

  • 179. weary  |  May 25, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    FYI – today our child got into Coonley thrid round. She had a 144, tier 4. We have to let them know by Friday, and will likely decline.

  • 180. Tim  |  May 25, 2010 at 10:42 pm

    @179: Could you tell me what grade? Our daughter is at 142, tier 4, and we’re waiting to see about a K slot at Coonley.


  • 181. Tim  |  May 26, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    Never mind–no dice on Coonley. We’ll see about Rnd 4, I suppose.

  • 182. weary  |  May 27, 2010 at 12:29 am

    Our spot was for K, and we are declining tomorrow. Hopefully you will get the spot with your 142, good luck! Our older one is at CICS Irving Park and we are very happy there – guaranteed siblings, longer school day and year, K is not going to 35, and overall there seems to be less negative effects of the budget crisis. It’s a great option for us.

  • 183. Tim  |  May 27, 2010 at 7:52 am

    Thanks, weary. We are weary as well.

    I am glad you’re taking another slot!

  • 184. No Dice  |  May 27, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    We have a daughter going into K and are hoping for Coonley GIfted as well. Funny enough, she also has a 144 for Tier 4 and we are still waiting. Anyone know how they decide order when they have identical scores, rank, and preference order?

  • 185. weary  |  May 28, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    Not sure how they do that, did you rank Coonley first? I believe we did.

  • 186. No Dice  |  June 4, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    Found out from OAE about the same score situation.. apparently there are fractions on each score that they don’t report in the letters. They said there were multiple people in each tier with the same score, but different decimals. So, unfortunately, a same score may seem like you are next but you may still have several people in front of you.

  • 187. N's mom  |  June 8, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    My son will go to k next year. I am totally new to cps system. I have been reading this website for couple months. Thanks to everyone who posted all information here. Now I got some idea how to apply school this fall. I still have some questions. I appreciate if you can help me out. I live near south side. I think I will have skinner west to be my first choice. Maybe south loop to be may second choice instead of skinner north. Skinner north is bew school, I don’t know anything about it. Does anyone tell me what different between skinner west and south loop? What is your school choice if you live in south loop or near south side? Thanks.

  • 188. shivani  |  July 9, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    @ SkinnerWestMom – I am a south loop mom and my son will be going to skinner west this fall. Looking for some info on school bus etc. if u dont mind, can you email me at

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