Let the Applications Begin! Woo hoo!

October 1, 2010 at 10:43 am 81 comments

I woke up with much anticipation today, eager to see what new information or procedures might be on the cpsmagnet.org for the selective enrollment and “standard” school application.  I am not disappointed.  It’s interesting.

There are 2 applications:  One for the selective enrollment elem schools (gifted/classical/academic centers) and one for what they’re calling the standard schools, meaning the lottery spots in magnet and neighborhood schools (and the oddly-named magnet cluster schools which are neighborhood schools.)

The gifted/classical paper form looks the same as in the past.

The standard school application is where it gets interesting.  Oh, CPS does not disappoint.  Remember the uncertainly we’ve had about the 20 school limit?  There are 20 boxes in which to write a school number (and do not let your letters touch the sides of the box! All caps btw!)

There are also boxes to enter sibling information (3 siblings, 3 boxes each.)  It doesn’t say how the sibling information benefits you.  Does it give you some priority in a lottery?  Or I suppose if you are applying to a magnet school with sibling priority maybe you need this form? In any case, the form says “If you do not already have  child already enrolled in a school to which you are applying, you can use the sibling boxes to apply to additional schools.”  Yeah!  So some people can benefit from applying to 12 extra schools!  Maybe this works out?   People with siblings in a magnet school get one benefit, the rest of the public gets to apply to extra schools?  I don’t know… it just struck me as funny and ripe with potential for complaints.

This list of schools says that if a school doesn’t have a code, it means they aren’t accepting kids outside the area, but I see Nettelhorst, Burley, and Blaine on there.  I suppose it’s worth a longshot to apply to these?  I know someone who’s kid was offered a 1st grade spot at Blaine this year so it does happen.

I have my PIN so I can theoretically try the Selective Enrollment elementary school application online.  I’m curious about it, but I tend to like to wait until later in the enrollment period to sign up so my child would get tested later (when he’s way smarter – ha ha.)

If you find anything else interesting in the materials or you call OAE and get any other information, feel free to post it.  I’m sure others would like to hear any updates or what CPS is saying on the phone today.

GO TO: cpsmagnet.org and click on Apply

UPDATE: If you read the comments on this post, you’ll see that one family had their application returned because they used the 3 extra sibling spaces to choose additional schools.  Apparently CPS rejected that and requested that they fill it out with only 20 schools.   Very unclear wording!

Entry filed under: Applying to schools. Tags: .

Grade Scales Hube sticking it out *for now*

81 Comments Add your own

  • 1. cps mom 5  |  October 1, 2010 at 10:50 am

    I am not looking forward to this process again. But I do agree with you on submitting the form as close to the deadline as possible. We weren’t tested until February.

  • 2. Paul  |  October 1, 2010 at 11:25 am

    Yes, it’s interesting. I initially felt confused about the sibling part, but after I looked at it a second time I thought I figured it out. If you’ve got a child already enrolled in one of the school’s you’re applying to, then you enter that school codes on the bottom right along with the sibling information. If you don’t have a child already enrolled in the school, then you just use those four boxes to apply to four more schools. It looks like the 20-school limit is in full effect.

  • 3. Mayfair Dad  |  October 1, 2010 at 11:36 am

    Since there is no competitive advantage to be gained by early submission, I am inclined to wait until after the October Board of Ed meeting to find out what the Blue Ribbon Commission has to say about SE high schools. Not expecting any radical changes (one never knows) but it might impact our choices if grading scale is harmonized retroactively or tier scores/percentages get tinkered with somehow. Am I crazy? Be nice 🙂

  • 4. Chopin?  |  October 1, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    Maybe I’m foolish to believe them, but I decided to go ahead and submit my SE application today and not wait to get a later test date. I’m tired of obsessing about getting the application in. I’m releived to have it done. Now I just have to narrow to 20 schools for the Magnet/Neighborhood application. Ugh. There has to be a better way.

  • 5. Chopin?  |  October 1, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    It also looks like there is no prioritization of the 20 schools. Does this mean the lotteries are being run independently and that it could conceivably happen that someone gets a spot in more than one school?
    Also, in the school listings, there are indications for some of the schools with codes that they are only accpeting applications for certain grades. Bell does not indicate that they will accept any non-neighborhood in that listing & doesn’t offer a code there (though there is one on the codes list). I’m not sure what to make of that.

  • 6. Paul  |  October 1, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    @ Chopin? Yes, there is no prioritization of the 20 schools for the standard application. And, yes the lotteries are run independently and people do get spots in more than one school. And, on the flip side, at the same time there are people that don’t get into any schools through the lottery.

    Bell probably anticipates filling their classes with neighborhood kids and so they may not be participating in the lottery.

  • 7. cpsobsessed  |  October 1, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    Revision, I don’t see Bell on there. I swear I did this morning!
    I imagine that these schools that are difficult to get into for Kindergarten tend to have some spots in older grades that they may want to fill so they need to be included on the list.

  • 8. Chopin?  |  October 1, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    cpsobsessed – You aren’t imagining things. Bell was there this morning. I have a printout 🙂

  • 9. Chopin?  |  October 1, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    Thanks Paul. Appreciate the clarification.
    I should also report that while it still isn’t our first choice, some of the posters here helped me decide that Chopin is not a school to be ruled out. Their test scores have made remarkable improvements and are actually quite impressive now.

  • 10. cpsobsessed  |  October 1, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    Ha, no way! So I’m not crazy! Wonder if any other schools will “disappear” along the way.

  • 11. cpsobsessed  |  October 1, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    I also saw that someone on NPN pointed out that there is no box for Proximity on the application for magnet schools (standard school appl.) We this on the old ones? Does CPS somehow determine that you are in the proximity area?

  • 12. mom  |  October 1, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    last year’s application had check boxes for the type of lottery (general, sibliing or proximity).

  • 13. Paul  |  October 1, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    I’m guessing that they are using the home address to group applicants into all the various lottery bucket categories. So, they’ll have buckets for proximity and each of the tiers. That, combined with the sibling boxes would mean that you don’t need those check boxes for general, sibling, or proximity.

  • 14. Christine D  |  October 1, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    I’m with #4 on this as well. My pin hasn’t arrived yet. I don’t know how I missed the part where I could request one sooner than the other day since I check the website frequently. But I’m going to apply sooner rather than later. Scores are normalized by age so I’m hoping that my 4 year and 4 month old will be do well for that group instead of testing when he’s 4 years and 7 months. Plus I might just chew my arm off if I have to wait that long.

  • 15. Beryl  |  October 2, 2010 at 8:53 am

    When is CPS going to clamp down on the “Easy A’s” schools?

    We all know them: Hawthorne, Burley and the other schools that cheat by quietly lowering their academic standards. They award an “A” to students who only score a 90, not the higher 93 required by CPS. This has gone on for years and represents the worst sort of cheating – the kind that rewards students who have not actually earned an “A”, and teaches them that academic dishonesty is the way to get ahead.

    These schools ought to be ashamed. At minimum, they ought to know that the rest of CPS parents look at these schools, and their students, and label them cheaters.

  • 16. Nonie  |  October 2, 2010 at 9:29 am

    SEriously? So a kid who gets a 90 at a legitimate school, earns a B and loses 25 points on the 900 point SEHS admission scale?

    Based on last year’s rank numbers, they are out of the running for Northside and Payton, maybe even Young. Hope they live in tier 1.

  • 17. cps mom  |  October 2, 2010 at 11:26 am

    This has been ongoing discussion/concern in posts under “grade scale” and “selective enrollment”. CPS does not require a 93. That’s the whole thing, schools are all over the board on this and it has really just come to lght after last years SE process.

  • 18. karen  |  October 2, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    …so I just got back from the CPS School Fair – what a zoo! One thing that struck me as goofy was the gifted/talented school sex imbalance. The teacher from Skinner I spoke with said that she has a 2:1 girl:boy ratio. This doesn’t surprise me, given that 4 year old girls are much more comfortable sitting quietly in one place and paying attention than 4 year old boys (I have one of each, and while some of this is certainly individual personality, there’s a clear sex difference too!) I am somewhat disappointed that the selective enrollment schools don’t have some way to balance out the boy/girl ratio.

    The other thing that stuck me was the lack of prioritization for the magnet schools – seems rather silly, since as parents we clearly *do* have a preference! (And I imagine most parents are not particularly interested in driving their children clear across town if a school near their neighborhood is good).

    Anyway, it’s all a crapshoot. I’m looking forward to having my applications in (will wait for my PIN and do it online I think — I feel like that’s less prone to screw-ups) and not thinking about it for a few months. Why oh why does my neighborhood school have to be *so* bad?

  • 19. Christine  |  October 2, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    Interesting about Skinner. At Skinner North and Decatur, the gender imbalance is the other direction! My daughter’s Kindergarten class has 19 boys and 11 girls. We have a friend at Decatur and there are only 9 girls in her class.

    The selection for SEES schools is based on test score ranking so I’m not sure how they could balance out the gender.

  • 20. RL Julia  |  October 2, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    Glad to hear you are considering Chopin after all. May you be pleasantly surprised.

    As for the proximity stuff- they probably will just geocode all the addresses – that way no one makes a “mistake” on whether or not they are part of the proximity lottery or not.

  • 21. Albany Park Mom  |  October 2, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    OK, maybe this is a stupid question. I am new to this–my daughter will be in kinder next fall. I am trying to open the standard application on the cps site and I keep getting a page stating that the application date has passed. Where do I find the standard application so I can start this crazy process? Thanks!

  • 22. cpsobsessed  |  October 2, 2010 at 5:17 pm

    @21: Here is the link (cpsmagnet.org click on Apply)
    Good luck! If you’re new to us, I’d love to hear your reactions to the whole thing. 🙂


  • 23. newtocpsmom  |  October 2, 2010 at 9:45 pm

    this is to Karen. My daughter is in K at Skinner W and the boys far out number the girls. Out of 32 students, 8 girls.

  • 24. Chi Mom  |  October 3, 2010 at 5:17 pm

    Chopin is the big rage this year among so many parents I speak with. I could not in good conscience send any child there with those test scores and that principal …

  • 25. Aaron  |  October 3, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    It wouldn’t suprise me or anyone else for that matter if Chopin is put on the list of potential school closings next year. CPS can’t justify keeping a school that large open with an enrollment of 300.

  • 26. LR  |  October 3, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    I don’t know what is up with Bell. When I asked about Kindergarten applications last week, the first question the lady in the office asked was whether I have a sibling. So for sure there is a sibling waiting list. But, I don’t know how they are handling non-sibling applicants.

  • 27. Amy  |  October 4, 2010 at 2:45 am

    Trying this again. I’m nervous as it seems that 1st graders will have less open slots. Will all of you choose to fill out the form online or mail it in? I just submitted my pin request.

    I have to admit that it is a relief that we do not need to fill out 20 applications with self addressed envelopes this year.

  • 28. Paul  |  October 4, 2010 at 7:25 am

    @LR, my understanding is that Bell generally has no open slots in Kindergarten for non-neighborhood/non-sibling families. I’m guessing that’s why the office lady asked whether you have a sibling.

  • 29. Chopin?  |  October 4, 2010 at 9:23 am

    Chi mom – what do you mean about Chopin’s test scores? The latest (non ELL) scores are pretty impressive. 91% 3rd-8th combined composite meets & 51.1% 3-8 composite exceeds. Better than some of the schools that always get mentioned here. Can you clarify?
    Chopin was listed as a “Promising School” in the latest Chicago Magizine survery.
    I’m not 100% sold on the, but you seem to have strong negative opinions on the matter.

  • 30. NW Side mom  |  October 4, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    I just printed out the application and am wondering about the sibling section. My son is in an Options program in a neighborhood school that is on the list. So, for my daughter entering K can I put her brother’s CPS id # down since technically he does attend that school, but did not get in through a random lottery–does she get preference?

  • 31. beth  |  October 4, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    I put my Chopin comment which talks about my daughter’s experience there on New Magnet Application Process–Limit 20 post (based on my previous one). My point was only that like any school there’s good and bad at Chopin. I don’t know what Chi_mom’s experience was . . .

  • 32. Chopin?  |  October 4, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    Thanks Beth.

  • 33. Paul  |  October 4, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    NW Side Mom, Yes, that’s my understanding of how the sibling lottery works. If you’ve got a child in the school (regardless of how they got in), you can apply for the sibling lottery.

  • 34. Albany Park Mom  |  October 4, 2010 at 8:50 pm

    Another newbie questions–is it better to do the app on line or snail mail? Thoughts on the chances of it getting lost??

  • 35. cpsobsessed  |  October 5, 2010 at 1:03 am

    @34 – I haven’t done so yet (and my stakes are low, actually non-existent since I don’t want to change schools) but I would say I’d probably go with the online application.
    Using the post office is yet another public institution to deal with.
    With paper, you still need a human to process it once it arrives which adds another step for possible error.

    Has anyone tried the online application? If so, what does the email confirmation look like? Does it list the schools you selected?

    Ultimately, if there is a glitch and you realize it after the lottery numbers are drawn, there is little recourse. But it’s nice to know they have your application on file.

  • 36. Paul  |  October 5, 2010 at 8:16 am

    I tried the online application. The e-mail confirmation looks like this:

    “Dear Paul:
    Thank you for creating an account with the 2011-2012 Options for Knowledge online application process. This email will confirm that your child’s application has been received. The application will require approximately 7-14 days to process. If testing is required for the school/program for which your child applied, you will receive a letter to notify you if he/she is eligible for testing and, if applicable, the date, time, and location of the scheduled test.
    If you have any questions, please contact the Office of Academic Enhancement at (773) 553-2060.”

    After I submitted the application it gave me a page to print that listed all the schools in rank order. So, you could use that if they made some mistake.

  • 37. Chopin?  |  October 5, 2010 at 8:52 am

    There is not an online application for Standard Elementary (Magnet & Neighborhood), only Gifted & Classical. I submited the GEAP app online, it was very easy & provided a confirmation as Paul noted above.
    I have printed, but not completed the paper Standard Elementary application. Still trying to narrow the list to the right 20. 20 sounds like so many, but there are currently 23 schools on our list accepting applications. Which to knock off? those that everyone applies to so we have a miniscule chance, or those that don’t rank quite as high, but we have a better chance at. We’re going to have to tour before we make our decisions.

  • 38. to NW Side mom  |  October 5, 2010 at 10:41 am

    I would go ahead and try it because it couldn’t hurt but the ‘official’ rule has always been that siblings don’t get preference for Classical/Gifted programs.

    But . . .the number of siblings I know of and the stories I’ve heard tell otherwise. Huge donations by families the year sibling is applying etc (with sibling #2 then needing tutoring to keep up).

  • 39. Paul  |  October 5, 2010 at 11:26 am

    @ to NW Side mom, I think NW Side mom is applying for the magnet cluster or open enrollment program and not the classical/gifted program. So her child would get into the sibling lottery because her other child already attends that school’s gifted program. It’s very confusing.

    So, the child she’s applying for would not get into the sibling lottery for the gifted or classical program because that’s not allowed, but the child would get into the sibling lotter for the magnet cluster or open enrollment program. Does that make sense?

  • 40. Gifted siblings  |  October 5, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    Most families at Edison with more than one child, seem to have their children in different schools. Even with large donations, begging, pleading, volunteering, etc…whoever scores the highest gets in (if they’re in the right teir). The rumor about preference for sibs is bogus. I would jump through every loop possible to get my kids in the same school, but without the scores, it isn’t going to happen.

  • 41. klm  |  October 5, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    #40 –you’re absolutely correct about Edison. Only 1 of my Edison child’s classmates has a sibling at the school. I know one Edison parent that has 4 different kids at 4 different schools! Parents at the school frequently talk about how great it would be for their kids to be at the same school (because it so rarely happens), but it all comes down to test scores and admissions formulas. Period. Also, it’s widely known (per LSC meetings, etc.) that the current principal has expressly put in her employment contract a clause the precludes her from ever personally selecting a student. Accordingly, no “gift”, pressure from an Alderman, call from the Mayor’s Office,etc. affects enrollment decisions, at least at Edison –I’m sure of this. I can’t begin to tell you the H*ll that would rain down from Edison parents (many of whom are lawyers and journalists) if this were to ever happen.

  • 42. Jill  |  October 5, 2010 at 9:45 pm

    Can anyone post a screenshot of what the application looks like?

  • 43. Chopin?  |  October 6, 2010 at 9:32 am

    Jill, I’ve completed the application, so I can’t access it now, but it is a very simple form requesting basic student age/gender/ethnicity information and address info.
    The application lists all the SEE schools that are available based on the information you entered, with radio buttons to select priority order.

  • 44. cpsobsessed  |  October 6, 2010 at 10:22 am

    btw, I see that one of the top searches bringing people to the blog here is “CPS grading scale.” Not sure if that is all you guys or whether there are a lot of other parents out there looking for information about it.
    I think CPS.edu needs to hire a search engine optimization person….I often come up higher than they do – and I’m not even trying. 🙂

  • 45. Pulaski Watcher  |  October 6, 2010 at 10:29 am

    Pulaski is an under-the-radar school to consider this year. New staff, new Principal (the one the took South Loop from nothing to the top), a $3.5 million renovation and a great neighborhood (Bucktown).

  • 46. Where to Apply  |  October 6, 2010 at 10:56 am

    @ Pulaski Watcher – Ssshhhhhhhhhh, Pulaski is my secret 🙂
    Just kidding. I think it will be interesting to see how the move to IB affects the test scores and demographics.

  • 47. NW Side mom  |  October 6, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    To clarify, I am talking about a gifted program that is housed in a neighborhood school. I know my daughter gets no advantage with entry to the gifted program — she only gets in on her own merit. I am talking about the sibling lottery in the neighborhood school. I was not clear how the sibling thing applies when entry to the school was through testing for the older child.

  • 48. Angie  |  October 6, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    Question about the magnet sibling process. If one child gets into the magnet kindergarten this year, will his little brother get a sibling treatment if he applies for a spot in an older grade, a few years from now? The little one is special needs and won’t be ready for mainstreaming by kindergarten age. I would like to apply when he is 8 or 9. Is this possible?

  • 49. Vic  |  October 7, 2010 at 7:11 pm

    My son was lucky enough to get into Blaine 2 yrs ago via lottery. Now I have to apply for his sister to get in. I just don’t know if I should even list other schools as alternates. I HATE the idea of having to take them to separate schools. I’ve heard that in the past, Blaine’s principal has accepted siblings, but with CPS these days, anything goes. Should I apply to other schools, just to be safe? Or will she automatically get in next year? HELP!!!!

  • 50. Hawthorne mom  |  October 7, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    Vic, apply other places. Why risk your daughter having nowhere acceptable to attend? Hopefully she gets in and you don’t have the headache of two different schools. But if she doesn’t get it, are you willing to send her to your neighborhood school? And since Kindergarten is the entry year, you may never get as good of a shot anywhere. It doesn’t hurt to apply and you don’t have to accept a spot if you get it.

  • 51. silvia  |  October 7, 2010 at 11:14 pm

    I am in process of completing the magnet school application. Does anyone know where I can find the school codes?
    Am I losing it this early in the process? Help!

  • 52. KCKmom  |  October 8, 2010 at 8:19 am

    @ silvia – here’s the link (page 36 – 38):


  • 53. RL Julia  |  October 8, 2010 at 9:42 am

    Vic – not to sound too trite but I know some other families at Blaine- volunteering for Friends of Blaine this year wouldn’t hurt any.

  • 54. 32nd street Mom  |  October 8, 2010 at 9:58 am

    #3 Mayfair Dad: no you are not crazy. But anyone who submits a SE HS app before the Blue Ribbon Committee changes is taking a chance. They’ve pretty much promised that they’re gonna make some changes.
    When you have all the final criteria (except for your child’s entrance exam score, that’s a blind call) then you can rank your choices wisely.

  • 55. mom  |  October 8, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    I’m confused about the open enrollment vs magnet cluster. Nettlehorst, burley, and blaine do have codes, but they are not on the open enrollement list that is on the cps website. what’s the difference. I thought that basically neighborhood and magnet cluster schools were the same with just one extra teacher


  • 56. Paul  |  October 9, 2010 at 9:15 am

    Magnet clusters have some type of focus, like Literature and Writing or Fine and Performing Arts, and they receive extra funding (teachers) for it. The open enrollment schools don’t have that subject-type focus.

  • 57. two cents  |  October 9, 2010 at 9:18 am

    I have a question, cpsobsessed. Last fall/winter you gave suggested sites for workbooks etc for test prep. If I understood correctly you used them with your son. Did it make a difference?? I have one in RGC and one that needs a little coaching to get in for a middle year, is it worth the investment, in your exlperience? I’m sure others bought the darn workbooks, any luck out there?

  • 58. sciencemom  |  October 10, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    Pulaski is FANTASTIC! I can’t tell you how excited we are by the changes and the progress that is being made there. The new IB program is a wonderful, inquiry-based approach to learning that definitely stimulates children to think about learning on the grander scale. But, if the nitty-gritty of education is what you care about, then the Kindergartners do 2 pages of homework every day: one math, one writing. One month into school they have learned all the upper and lower case letters. There is a library in the Kindergarten classroom, as well as the larger school library (brand new with updated non-fiction books and new computer center). The students have enrichment of gym, music, art, Spanish and Library every week, starting in Kindergarten. The children are challenged and nurtured to learn. I guess the biggest challenge is just getting your kid in, because this school is really moving up fast. The principal is great and he knows how to turn a school around VERY quickly. It has already begun in a big way at Pulaski.

  • 59. cpsobsessed  |  October 12, 2010 at 10:50 am

    @Vic: It’s free.. I’d apply just to have some possible backups. I believe Blaine has typically gotten siblings in – most schools seem to find a way to do it, BUT if for some odd reason a lot of new people moved into the neighborhood, they would get first priority. It can’t hurt to have something else lined up.

  • 60. lauren  |  October 12, 2010 at 10:50 pm

    “magnet cluster” is a CPS marketing ploy.

    dig down at the schools to which the term is applied and find out for yourself what it means. some schools just use the extra position as a dumping ground for tenured teachers who have been unsuccessful in the classroom but cannot be fired.

    since the budget cuts, “cluster” schools that may have had an extra teacher for the “cluster” subject area have lost it. the cps marketing machine has made no adjustment to their advertising for “magnet cluster” schools that lost positions to budget cuts.

  • 61. Paul  |  October 13, 2010 at 9:02 am

    I agree about terms like “magnet cluster” being a marketing ploy, and I’d broaden that criticism to include regular magnet schools. These terms may have meant something at one time, but they don’t seem to make sense anymore. Who is the magnet school trying to attract that a magnet cluster is not trying to attract?

    A year or so ago, CPS started dropping the magnet cluster terms in some places. On the CPS Web site, for example, magnet cluster schools are referred to as neighborhood schools.

    A rethinking of the school labels would be nice, but the sticking point would be if schools would lose any teacher positions once they are relabeled. A fine and performing arts magnet cluster school, for example, woudn’t want to lose their music teacher just because the school’s label was dropped.

  • 62. Kim  |  October 14, 2010 at 10:31 am

    Can anyone provide some insight/recommendations into how best to rank the gifted/classical schools? What happens if you rank a gifted school #1 and a classical school #2 and your child scores below the cutoff for gifted but above the cutoff for classical? Would this hurt his chances of getting into the classical because you only ranked it #2, not #1?

  • 63. two cents  |  October 14, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    Put the one you absolutely want first. I’ve heard (probably somewhere on this website) of many families not being selected despite a good score because they ranked the school 2nd or 3rd. If you think your brilliant child really has a chance at getting in to say Decatur or Edison….generally, because of the volume of applicants, only the folks who list it as #1 are the ones to get in.

  • 64. Mom  |  October 14, 2010 at 7:46 pm

    @62 I don’t think it matters, although I confess to not being positive about it. The reason I say that is because the way it supposedly works is CPS puts the scores in order for each class of schools. So, say, you rank Edison 1st and Decatur 2nd. They put your child’s gifted score into order (and according to Tier). They go down the list and fill the spots with whomever has the highest scores. Say your child’s gifted score isn’t great. Well, he doesn’t get an offer for Edison. But, meanwhile, they have put the scores in order for classical too. You’ve ranked Decatur 2nd, but weren’t given an offer for Edison, your first choice. Turns out, your child did much better at classical and is at the top of the list of classical scores. They can’t place you at Edison, but you qualify for Decatur. So, I agree that you should rank first whichever of the two you would really prefer assuming your child tested into both. But, I don’t think it matters if it ends up he/she tests higher on classical or gifted. You will not place into your first choice, but your high score will still qualify you for your second, if this makes any sense.

  • 65. Noel  |  October 18, 2010 at 10:06 am

    So I just had our Standard Elementary application returned for my son because we applied to too many schools. We used the sibling boxes to apply to an additional 3 schools as the application clearly states that you can.It specifically says that if you do not already have a child in CPS that you can use the sibling boxes for additional choices. Am I crazy? It says that, right?

    I called to clarify and the guy on the phone didn’t seem to know what he was talking about and stated that it was poorly worded. Yea…um very poorly worded. I told him they were going to have a LOT of problems with this then because clearly other people are reading it the way I did.

  • 66. cpsobsessed  |  October 19, 2010 at 4:49 am

    @Noel – wow, that is unbelievable! I clearly understood it as allowing 3 extra choices. As usual, I think the most frustrating part is the feeling that even the people at the main office don’t seem to know what the policy is.

  • 67. cps Mom  |  October 19, 2010 at 9:26 am

    Paul #61 – My understanding is that the designation of magnet or cluster magnet makes a big difference in the way a school is funded. A performing arts school for example will get money to do that but CPS cannot afford to have that type of program in every school. Whether these funding guidelines are still adhered to now with budget cuts, I can’t be certain. Whether this is fair or not I’m not sure either. But I agree that putting more funding into some schools does inhibit the growth of a neighborhood school.

  • 68. Ray  |  October 19, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    Noel, how many schools did you apply to? I just downloaded the app and agree that the language could be more clear, but I did read that you can only apply to up to 20.

  • 69. cpsobsessed  |  October 20, 2010 at 10:43 am

    I was reading the paper appliaction in the Options for Knowledge guide and i guess what it means is that 20 is the max, so if you need the sibling spots, you get less than 20 (or maybe those count as part of your 20?)

  • 70. Mayfair Dad  |  October 20, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    Did anybody else see this? On the CPSOAE website, under Blue Ribbon Panel Recommendations:

    “…Please note that, pending Board of Education approval of the revised Magnet and Selective Enrollment Admissions Policy, your current tier is subject to change. Once the new policy is approved, updated information will be provided at http://www.cpsoae.org to allow you to check your tier. All updates regarding the draft admissions policy will be provided at http://www.cpsoae.org.”

    Holy smokes, does this mean they are tinkering with the Tier assignments? Would updated census data be available this soon? Am I paranoid and in dire need of medication? (probably).

  • 71. Mommie  |  October 21, 2010 at 8:19 am

    Yesterday, to my surprise, I received my child’s testing date for the gifted/classical test. It”s in two weeks!!!! I thought I had two months to continue to work with her, now it two weeks. CPS stated the tested will be in January/February. Wow. The only good part about it, we can get it done without wondering several more months. Have anyone else received a test date.

  • 72. test date  |  October 21, 2010 at 9:11 am


    The same thing happened to me when I tested my youngest. She got a date for November while her sister was tested in February. I called when I got the notice and IIT did say that I had the option of changing the date. I was especially worried because my daughter wasn’t even 4 1/2 yet. But then they explained that they assess based on age per month so that what was expected of her at 4 1/2 would be less than an almost 5 1/2 year old tested in February.

  • 73. cpsmom5  |  October 21, 2010 at 11:19 am

    This is exactly why I am not submitting my application until a week before the deadline. It would not be in my child’s best interest to test this early. Besides, I’m sure CPS will change the process between now and then casuing more stress.

  • 74. mc  |  October 21, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    cps obsessed – were you serious about your comment ?: “I have my PIN so I can theoretically try the Selective Enrollment elementary school application online. I’m curious about it, but I tend to like to wait until later in the enrollment period to sign up so my child would get tested later (when he’s way smarter – ha ha.)”

    We are scheduled for Nov 2nd – and I am a little nerious about the early testing date — My son just turned 5 , so I thought by testing him earlier he would have a better advanged, b/c he will be one of the older ones come later. I do notice that he is learning so quickly now that it makes me hesitate.

  • 75. cpsobsessed  |  October 21, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    Yikes, whenever I start reading “were you serious about your comment” I think “what they heck did I SAY!?”

    Don’t be nervous.. the test is absolutely based on the child’s actual age. My personal impression is that perhaps between age 4-5 kids sort of make a jump from being utterly clueless about putting together short words (I’m talking 2 letters) to it kicking in. I think if your son is 5, it’s probably just fine. I think if I had a chld who just turned 4 I might want to wait.

    I know plenty of people who tested early and got good results.

    Lately I am moving a bit in favor of testing earlier. As several people have pointed out, you aren’t dealing with the weather and all that mess that makes things generall more unpleasant in Jan/Feb. I remember testing in January and we were bundled up and the test room was broiling. Life is just easier now (and moods possibly better.) I think you will be just fine! If you say he’s learning quickly now, it is likely a good time to test.

    The ONE benefit of testing in Jan/Feb is that you don’t have to wait so stinking long to get your results after your child takes the test!

  • 76. parent  |  October 23, 2010 at 9:45 pm

    re#52 I’m not sure that volunteering for a Friends of Org is a help this year as from what we understand there will be no principal selection- at least not for any magnet school this year. Also I have been trying to find out if sibling lottery is for year of entry-ie kindergarden or 1st year of preschool – only and seems that that is the case- has anyone heard differently??

  • 77. smp  |  October 25, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    Anyone know if the new magnet policy will be voted on at this weeks School Board meeting? Thanks.

  • 78. smp  |  October 25, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    I spoke to someone at OAE – the Board is not going to vote on the policy now till the November meeting. It will be amazing if they can get it done before the application period closes.

  • 79. curious  |  October 27, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    I noticed there is an academic center proposal for Lane on its website.Anyone know anything about this?

  • 80. lauren  |  November 4, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    Re: OAE Tier Changes:

    1. As of now, the tiers will include data on the performance of the applicant’s attendance area school.

    2. Merit based admissions to SEHS will be cut from 40% to 30%. Now 70% of the SEHS seats will go to applicants based on their performance within their socioeconomic tier and only 30% on an applicant’s academic merit.

    3. No statement on why some schools get away with dropping their “A” to 90%, while other schools maintain the CPS standard of 93% for an “A”. (note that Hawthorne’s principal is on the BRC and likely had a hand in this since that school has long had a lower grading standard).

    Re: Magnet Cluster designation: As of September, the local Literature and Writing school lost its L&W. CPS still represents the school as a L&W Magnet Cluster.

    Mediocrity continues to prevail at CPS.

  • 81. cps Mom  |  November 4, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    Our school found out that there is no CPS standard of 93 – that’s a loophole that some schools figured out early on. Very disappointing that grades were not addressed.

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