March 19, 2011 at 11:33 am 1,569 comments

Elementary Letters (Magnet/SEES/Academic Centers) have mailed from OAE as of Friday evening March 18.

Second round SE High School letters will mail Monday March 21.

Well ladies and gentlemen (and bugs,) it looks like the OAE fulfilled their promise of mailing something last week, as we have a reporting of an Academic Center letter arriving (to a lucky person who’s mail carrier comes so EARLY!)

Feel free to share your information here.  If possible, include Tier, grades/scores (for AC) and any other interesting notes/info that come included in your letter that people might be of interest to people.

I’ve been through the angst and I know many other parents who have as well, and somehow it all works out.  And then you can start worrying about high school…..

Entry filed under: Applying to schools. Tags: , , , , .

Rahm’s Education Advisory Team High School 2nd Round Letters

1,569 Comments Add your own

  • 1. EJ  |  March 19, 2011 at 11:44 am

    My heart just skipped a thousand beats. Nerves!! Oy! Will keep you posted

  • 2. AC  |  March 19, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    My friends son just got AC acceptance letter but I didn’t get magnet lottery letter. Maybe only AC letters arriving today for some and everybody else will get theirs on Monday.

  • 3. Dana  |  March 19, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    I just got a letter in the mail about a new magnet school and an application for it. I am really hoping that doesn’t mean we didn’t get accepted anywhere else and are being told to apply to this school. This is so stressful. The new school is called STEM Magnet in University Village. I hope Monday brings better things…

  • 4. Stressed by CPS  |  March 19, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    Dana, were you waiting for a SEES letter or AC? (or both) from what I have been reading and as AC posted above, its seems only AC letters have been received today.

  • 5. cps Mom  |  March 19, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    Any 2nd round high school letters yet?

  • 6. Alejandro  |  March 19, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    Do all the AC rejection and acceptance letters look the same or do the AC acceptance letters look bigger?

  • 7. Alejandro  |  March 19, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    I got my letter today and got accepted into Kenwood Academy! Should I accept it or decline it?

  • 8. parent  |  March 19, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    Got a letter from CPS, only to open it and find an application for STEM Magnet Academy. How confusing, I did not request the application. In fact, I already applied. Do I send in the application again? Hmmm.

  • 9. Caryn  |  March 19, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    I raced home from the park just now after my husband called to tell me that a letter came from CPS. Just opened it to find an application for a new magnet school…you have got to be kidding!!!!

  • 10. cpsobsessed  |  March 19, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    It sounds like perhaps anyone who applied to a magnet school is getting the STEM application in the mail so I don’t think it means anything. I probably wouldn’t re-submit.

  • 11. cps Mom  |  March 19, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    Alejandro – only you can answer that. Someone said there will not likely be round 2 at Whitney. Lane is not finalized – but looks like a go. Sounds like a lot of people applying there. If you took a chance for a round 2 somewhere else or at Lane would you be unhappy just staying at your current school if it doesn’t work out?

    Be happy to be the “windshield” with choices.

    But please, accept something and put your mind at ease.

  • 12. cpsobsessed  |  March 19, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    While you’re waiting, here’s a post about the application/waiting process that’s fun to read:

  • 13. JBL  |  March 19, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    No letter for us today. Ugh

  • 14. cpsobsessed  |  March 19, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    Also wanted to post Junior’s funny post:


    09:35am: No sign of mailman.

    09:56am: Yep, I’m here waitin’…

    09:59am: Uh-huh…

    10:11am: Figures he’d be late!

    10:12am: Prob late on purpose! Ha-ha. OAE havin a good laugh, too!

    10:15am: Got sight of him in my binocs! Next block over!

    10:16am: Geez, could u move any slower?

    10:20am: Crossing over onto our block!!

    10:21am: He’s like all smilin’ and whistlin’. A**h***!

    10:21am: OMG, he stopped to talk to the dog walker. WTF could be so important?

    10:24am: Three houses away!

    10:25am: Two!! — Holy $#&@! I can’t believe it — just pee’d my pants!

    10:25am: My neighbor subscribes to Forbes??? What kind of &^$#@ reads Forbes?? No time 2 change pants. Goin’ outside…

    10:38am: Uh-BIG problem. Hands me bunch of catalogs. Looks @ me like ‘what letter’? I know he’s holdin back–must have his own kid applying!! He looks down at my pants and I lose it. Go postal and beat him silly. Help. Still no letter!

    11:14am: They say he’s going to be OK. Hopefully he won’t remember what happened when he wakes up!! This wouldn’t affect admissions, would it?

    11:15am: @cpsobssesed: Which one of your genius kids can tell me how to clean the blood off my sidewalk???

    11:15am: Gotta calm down. No mail til Monday! Argghhh.

    11:21am: Called OAE. They’re closed Saturdays! Lazy $#@*&^.

    11:23am: Uhh… the blood stain? Anyone? Don’t they teach that stuff in RGC? No letter yet.

    11:29am: Yep. Anyone get a letter?

  • 15. Alejandro  |  March 19, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    I think I might decline Kenwood and hopefully I will get a round 2 letter from Taft!!! Keeping my fingers crossed!

  • 16. Jill  |  March 19, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    Accept letter to IG program at Lincoln received. Tier 1, 874.4/900

  • 17. Jill  |  March 19, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    I meant Tier 4 😉

  • 18. D**N Tier 4  |  March 19, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    Last year we were Tier 3. This year Tier 4. My kid got 1 737.7 (I guess those last 15 answers weren’t C) and no admissions. That would have gotten her into Taft and Ogden last year. Hopefully Round II will open things up.

  • 19. No go  |  March 19, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    Reject for wyac. 793. Tier 3.

  • 20. smp  |  March 19, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    No mail for me today – waiting on magnets for 1st grade.

  • 21. snowball's chance  |  March 19, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    I received the STEM application too — and did NOT apply to any magnet schools. (Although I had my first grader tested for seemingly non-existent RGC 2nd grade spots.) OAE must have sent the letter to everyone….

  • 22. not what kid wants  |  March 19, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    147 RGC/AC tier 4 … no offers
    889.5 tier 4 …offer to Ogden.

    Good luck everybody. if you want Ogden, you can have our seat. It’s just too far away.

  • 23. Momto4  |  March 19, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    Accept letter to Lincoln IG – tier 3 814.4 /900

  • 24. mom2  |  March 19, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    For those of you that got the AC letters (acceptance or rejection), did you also get the information on how you can keep your spot and still apply for Lane AC? Just curious.

  • 25. Junior  |  March 19, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    accept WYAC tier 3 825

  • 26. jes  |  March 19, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    I am guessing that bc of the Lane Tech twist that CPS is dealing with the AC applicants first.

  • 27. Ronni  |  March 19, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    Alejandro: I have a friend whose daughter goes to kenwood and loves it. She has done well in the AC there. The school has lots of programs for kids to become involved in. Have you visited the school?

    Mom2: there is a form enclosed in the letter that let’s you re-rank your choices. If Lane does not become an AC, then they will keep your original choices.

  • 28. got the letter  |  March 19, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    Tier 4, 876 points, socre of 142. Accepted to Lincoln IG, will decline only because we plan to stay in our RGC for now. Just reporting numbers….

  • 29. Ohreally  |  March 19, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    Acceptance, WY AC, 846, tier 4. And yes, AC letters included re-ranking form.

  • 30. @#22  |  March 19, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    Are you saying you got a RGC letter? No one has reported any RGC scores yet…

  • 31. bad news for us  |  March 19, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    Can anyone shed more light on the reranking for the ACs? My child did not get into WYAC (813; tier 4). At the WYAC open house I recall the principal saying that WY accepts 10 percent more than the AC can take because so few people decline and that there are no second round offers at WY. Obviously the possibility of Lane Tech throws a monkey wrench into all of this. So what does this mean for the reranking? Is it better to rank Lane over WY now, especially givne the principal’s comments at the open house? Anyone else thinking about this?

  • 32. bad news for us  |  March 19, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    @24 – the AC letter clearly states that you can hold your spot at an AC if you were accepted, while trying for a different AC. The letter made me think you can reapply to every AC for second round admissions (or first round in the case of Lane). Anyone read that differently?

  • 33. Ronni  |  March 19, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    On a totally different note, did anybody hear what happened to the 25 kids that got placed at nccp, wy, wp and jones. I heard that the kids at nccp are failing. If that is true, this is a miserable failure for cps. I am not a teacher or in education, but I could have told you these kids were underprepated to deal with the rigors of the ” best” schools in the city. They should have started preparing these bright, but underserved kids years ago. Maybe when they showed promise in 3rd grade, but not now. It’s like taking a kid that might go to community college and placing them at Harvard. If these kids really are failing, what do they do now? What about their self-esteem? Do they go back to their neighborhood school?

    If anyone knows, please enlighten me.

  • 34. PIKA  |  March 19, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    accepted by WY AC TIER 3 875.9

  • 35. to Ronni  |  March 19, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    My neice attends WY. She said the NCLB kids were smart but stick out because of their behavior and the way they dress. She said the NCLB students all hang out together and as far as she knew (but wasn’t sure) she didn’t think any of them were failing

  • 36. hat  |  March 19, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    @22: I too am interested to know if you got a separate RGC letter? My thought right now is that since you applied to the AC/IB program too, maybe they just included all your results?

  • 37. Alejandro  |  March 19, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    @Ronni can you tell me more information about the Kenwood Academy Academic Center? My parents are very unsure if I should go to Kenwood, because I live 20 minutes away from Kenwood, Kenwood is 80% black, and its a neighberrhood high school in the ghetto area. Can you give me more info that might convince my parents? Thank you in advance Ronni and everybody else that reply’s.

  • 38. Alejandro  |  March 19, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    Will Taft Academic Center accept a kid in 7th grade that got 742.4 points in total?

  • 39. What???  |  March 19, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    37. Alejandro “ghetto area” Kenwood is located in Hyde Park, hardly a ghetto area. Or do you thing that any area populated with black is a “ghetto area”?

  • 40. IB&RGC Mom  |  March 19, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    Got accepted to Taft. 768.3 tier 4.

  • 41. IB&RGC Mom  |  March 19, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    You can accept your offer and re-rank your choices. If it comes down to your original offer vs a new offer you will have to chose which offer to pick at that time.

  • 42. Mike  |  March 19, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    #37 I’m sorry your parents told you Kenwood Academy, which is in Hyde Park, is in the Ghetto. Did they also tell you that the University of Chicago is in the same neighborhood.

  • 43. Stressed by CPS  |  March 19, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    #40. Will you accept the Taft spot or keep your child in IB/RGC? Sorry I don’t remember which of your kids is in which program or what grade.

    #31.From my experience, it is true that WY over accepts and barely any kids gives up their spot so no, they don’t go to their waiting list or do a round 2. But if Lane AC opens up -which I know it will-it might change the game significantly for all of the other AC’s. Lane already has an open house for the AC next Sunday. Which then give students 4 days to decide if they want to rerank their choices.

  • 44. to Alejandro  |  March 19, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    You can get in with a 742 if you live in tier 1, 2, or 3. Or…you could wait for round 2 because you are close to the tier 4 cut off of 750. Kenwood is NOT in the ghetto. It is located in a diverse area called Hyde Park. It is near President Obama’s Chicago home and has a prestigious private school in the neighborhood–Uof C’s lab school. Actually most of the great SE schools people are trying to attend are in less desireable neighborhoods and Kenwood is actually located in a decent area near lots of public transportation like Metra.

  • 45. Ronni  |  March 19, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    Kenwood is in Hyde park, which is one of the most diverse neighborhoods in Chicago. It is a great neighborhood for restaurants and museums.

    The school offers many AP programs and clubs. I believe about 23. If that is not enough of a challenge, the school has strong alliances with U of Chicago for further enrichment. The lady who runs the 7-8 grade program is very nice. Before turning the slot down you should give her a call.

    Yes. The regular school is less challenging, but other than language, lunch and a few electives you rarely interact with the regular student body. The girl I know who goes there states there have been few, if any disturbances since she has been there (2 years).

    I think 20 minutes is not too far to travel for a safe and challenging environment.

  • 46. Stressed by CPS  |  March 19, 2011 at 6:45 pm

    Alejandro, you would be surprised to know that Taft which is probably not even 5% black is more “ghetto”. (Not my choice of word but that’s the term that was used.) No offense to those who have kids there. I had a kid in the AC there and the high school kids were pretty rude and ignorant around adults. It is a predominantly white school in a very nice neighborhood (tier 4) but that doesn’t mean they don’t have issues.

  • 47. Ronni  |  March 19, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    I asked about the nclb kids, I spoke to former admin at nscp, who states they are not doing well there. Is it lack of support?

    How does your neice know who they are? Does she just assume b/c a few kids wear their clothes differently.

    I know a boy who attends an ivy league school after being a straight A student at Whitney young. He father is a partner at a top chicago law firm. The boy is a concert pianist, who chose to wear saggy pants. I think we can’t stereotype people by the way they dress.

  • 48. sfw  |  March 19, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    Who are the NCLB kids?

  • 49. IB&RGC Mom  |  March 19, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    It is my RGC daughter and since she is not that happy at her RGC we will accept and apply for Lane. Crossing our fingers it works out, she was heart broken she didn’t get into WYAC. I told her she should be proud that she did get into Taft without any test prep, etc. And I think the high school credits will benefit her where ever she decides to go for high school. Thanks for asking!

    Anyone know how many kids Taft takes for 7th grade?

  • 50. to Ronni  |  March 19, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    Q: How does your neice know who they are? Does she just assume b/c a few kids wear their clothes differently.

    A lot of it has to do with their behavior but she said they were smart. They are a bit more boisterous than the other students if that helps.

  • 51. anonomous  |  March 19, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    Ronni – Just from an observing point of view – it is apparent that some kids are struggling. Whitney is the only school that has both regular and honors classes as the other 3 have all honors. From that perspective, they do “stand out” in the group (not by the way kids dress). Some kids are trying very hard and do want to succeed. They are required to take additional tutoring in addition to their classes – quite a load for a teenager especially if they are unaccustomed to the projects and homework load. I’m going to speculate that they are graded differently and will make it through if they stay the course. The teachers have been very good about taking on the challenge and do see that they can make a difference for a kid.

    Do I think it was a good idea? Not really. As all kids progress, they will remain at the bottom academically. The kids seem to be much more stressed these days. I think CPS could have done much better for these kids than stick them in the most highly competitive highest achieving high schools in Chicago. There are so many CPS programs where a disadvantaged child can hit the ground running and succeed.

  • 52. @#48  |  March 19, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    The NCLB kids are the students cps accepted to the SE HS who didn’t even take the test. WY, NS, Peyton and Jones had to each take 25 kids from the worst performing elementary schools across the city because it looked like there was less diversity because of the change to tiers. All the schools received extra money to help support the kids, perhaps maybe for tutors…I can’t believe that EVERY NCLB student ad NS is failing and maybe NS wants them out before they take the PSAE. Maybe they didn’t offer enough support.

  • 53. sfw  |  March 19, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    RE NCLB kids, Have there been any news stories on this?

  • 54. Stressed by CPS  |  March 19, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    In previous years Taft has had about 100-120 7th graders. And Taft is a great option for AC…not the best for HS. And my son is thrilled to have earned 6 HS credits upon graduation. Sure WY offers more but Taft is Taft and WY is WY. They are not to be compared. If she accepts the spot and does not get into Lane AC, just keep yourself involved and on top of things. If you are coming from an RGC that has a lot of parental involvement, going to Taft will be a big change as not many parents get involved nor does the school really ask for it. They ask some..usually the same ones all the time. And make sure you are always communicating with the teachers and administration. They do tend to try to sway your child and the parents into staying at Taft for HS and will almost stop at nothing to make sure they don’t lose you.

    My child enjoyed it very much. I was on the fence. I loved some things, hated others. But you know us CPS parents, we will never be satisfied! Although, my child is now at a SEHS and we LOVE LOVE LOVE it! He was also sad he didn’t get into WYAC but when it came to choosing high schools, he ranked it last and was no longer attracted to it. So your daughter might have the same feeling later and she will be very happy with the cards that have been dealt to her.

  • 55. Alejandro  |  March 19, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    Thank you everybody!! That really helped I need some advice right now, Should I accept Kenwood? or reject it and hope that I get accepted into Taft? Here is the info. I put Kenwood as my third choice and I put Taft as my second choice. I am currently a seventh grader and I got a total of 742.4. And I don’t see the problem with going to Kenwood but my parents are kinda racist so yeah……

  • 56. Stressed by CPS  |  March 19, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    Alejandro, what if you decline Kenwood and don’t get accepted into Taft? I am not sure how 2nd rounds go with AC’s and now with the proposed AC at Lane but if you don’t get your 1st or 2nd choice, later where will that leave you? Are you at a k-6 school? Or will you just have to grin and bear it and stay at your current school if you are in a k-8 school? If you are closer to Kenwood, then you should accept the spot. If you are only 20 minutes from there, I would think you are pretty far from Taft. Maybe you and your parents should speak to your school counselor for advice.

  • 57. Alejandro  |  March 19, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    Okay that was what I was planning on doing but I kind of want to get some different opinions from other people. And I am in a k-8 school. I live 20 minutes from Kenwood and 12 minutes from Taft.

  • 58. Stressed by CPS  |  March 19, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    Alejandro…good luck to you either way. They are both really good AC’s. It should depend on what each school can offer you as a student. My child was accepted into both (back then you were offered spots at all schools that you qualified for) but we chose Taft because Kenwood was really far for us. We just put it down just in case. Maybe you can try for Lane AC?

  • 59. Alejandro  |  March 19, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    I don’t think so because Lane AC is only open for prospective 7th graders.

  • 60. What???  |  March 19, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    55. Alejandro – Now I understand. Good for you that despite your parents you have an open mind. It will serve you well in life because you can’t judge a book by it’s cover. Do you have a school counselor or teacher you trust? If so, go to them for help to explore your options. Keep in mind the useful facts provided by #56 Stressed by CPS. Good luck to you.

  • 61. Alejandro  |  March 19, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    Thank you @60 I will talk to my counselor after Academic Bowl Practice

  • 62. Stressed by CPS  |  March 19, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    Alejandro…I was under the impression that you were a 6th grader looking to attend an AC for 7th grade, no?

  • 63. Alejandro  |  March 19, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    Oh no. I am a 7th grader looking to get into an academic center for 8th grade sorry for not being more clear about myself.

  • 64. to Alejandro  |  March 19, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    Oh–I din’t know you were a 7th grader. I am not sure that academic centers accept 8th graders or if they do it would be very few openings because generally people don’t transfer. I am glad you have a more open mind than your parents you will make the world a better place. Like everyone suggests you should speak with the school counselor. Good Luck!

  • 65. EJ  |  March 19, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    New to the whole CPS thing. Waiting to hear about SEES for my 4 yr old for kindergarten. Nerves have set it. Question. Is it possible for her to get accepted into her 2nd or 3rd choice but not into her 1st choice?

  • 66. to EJ  |  March 19, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    Yes that’s why they have you rank your choices.

  • 67. IB&RGC Mom  |  March 19, 2011 at 10:09 pm

    Stressed, thanks so much. I appreciate your input. I showed her the trib where it ranked the top 100 middle schools in IL and Taft was number 8 or 9. That made her feel better. I also went on Taft’s site so she could see photos, course info, etc. I know she will have her work cut out for her in 7th, but we will be just fine. The RGC had a lot of parental involvement, but I have to admit that as someone who works well over 40 hours a week and has a 2nd grader in another school I have not always been the most involved. I try to keep track of things on the parent portal and check with her if I see something wrong on there.

    Unless she gets into lane we will prepare in the summer to get ahead on some of the curriculum to help keep up the A’s once she starts and then look into test prep so that she can eventually transfer to an SE. Not that we will let on to Taft that that is our intent. 😉

    Alejandro, I would guess the number of spots in 8th grade in any AC are few and far between since most of the spots are taken in the entry grade. I would ask your parents if they could take you to visit Kenwood. Since the high schools are going to look at your 7th grade scores the hard part will be behind you next year and going to any AC and earning high school credits would be great. Though you need to make sure you and your family were comfortable with the choice.

    Congrats to you for being so involved in figuring out the best options for you and your education. Keep up that attitude and you will go far!

    I think Taft offers shadow days which I told my daughter I would set up now that she is in, maybe Kenwood does too.

    Good luck!

  • 68. IB&RGC Mom  |  March 19, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    Good luck EJ. Yes you will get into the first choice that she qualifies for. There are some that start at 1st grade. My daughter didn’t get into an RGC in K, but she did in 1st. So if it doesn’t work out this year try again. The beauty of it is that once you are in you are in. You won’t have to worry about it again for a while! Good luck.

  • 69. EJ  |  March 19, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    Thanks IB&RGC Mom. Will see what lies in store this week. Hoping for the best and willing to accept whatever it becomes. Would love a break from paying for private school for a change 🙂

  • 70. Stressed by CPS  |  March 19, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    IB&RGC Mom: It is a shame that Taft is not a great HS option for some. And even though there were some things at Taft that didn’t sit well for me, I really do think it benefitted my child and as long as he was happy then that’s all I could ask for. They do a good job keeping the AC kids from getting into trouble and even though I mentioned some HS were rude around adults, they don’t mess with the little ones! And yes, they rank among the top 10 middle schools in the state! I just think they need to revamp their program-get a new coordinator (she’s nice but is stuck in another time frame), they should stop talking trash about other schools to make themselves look better (every school has their strengths and weaknesses but why trash talk to parents about “the others”), and they should invest more in the HS as they do the AC to make it more appealing for the kids to stay there if that’s their main goal. But anyway, she will have a unique experience. I don’t want to say too much to make anybody second guess their decision about Taft because like I said, all schools have good and bad.

  • 71. IB&RGC Mom  |  March 19, 2011 at 10:57 pm

    Thanks Stressed. There is good and bad with all schools and we have dealt with it in her RGC. She has some absolutely wonderful teachers, and has learned so much, and then there is this one teacher that I can’t wait to get her away from (she would have to have her all the way through 8th). The overall community of the school is wonderful, and the PTA is amazing, but the kids got into cliques pretty early on. Don’t get me wrong overall it is a fabulous school, just time to move on. I know she will be able to handle Taft and make the best of it and I am really happy that getting these credits in now will open her up to take some additional electives once she moves on for high school.

  • 72. Alejandro  |  March 19, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    Did anyone else get into Kenwood?

  • 73. Alejandro  |  March 19, 2011 at 11:00 pm

    Does anyone by any chance know if Kenwood AC offers shadow days? or open houses for people that got accepted there?

  • 74. coco  |  March 20, 2011 at 7:55 am

    What have you all heard/ do you know about the Ogden International Gifted program?

  • 75. Pablo  |  March 20, 2011 at 9:44 am

    Does anyone know what the minimum score is to get into WY? My child scored 828 and didn’t get in.

  • 76. Momto4  |  March 20, 2011 at 10:19 am

    I’d love some insight about Lincoln’s IG program if anyone has it.

  • 77. 6th grade mom  |  March 20, 2011 at 10:25 am

    Accepted at WYAC, tier 2, total score 855.

    @75-the minimum score will be different depending on tier. The cps.aoe website has the cut offs from last year for the first round. There should be more movement this time on the second round if Lane is approved as 90 extra spots will open up.

  • 78. 6th grade mom  |  March 20, 2011 at 10:29 am

    To clarify my prior comment, don’t know how many of the extra 90 spots will be at WY but I imagine some Northsiders will choose Lane over WY, opening some second round spots at WY.

    As I’m on the Northside and Lane would be much closer for us I’d like my kid to at least look at Lane, but so far he’s just interested in WY.

  • 79. Educate  |  March 20, 2011 at 11:09 am

    No letters for my 2 daughters waiting on gifted schools… hurry up Monday !!

  • 80. dad of 7th grader  |  March 20, 2011 at 11:15 am

    Received 2 offer letters yesterday for Taft AC and Ogden IB for our current 7th grader. Tough call for us. Would just be for 8th grade only and is it worth it to us vs staying put for a year. Hmmm…

  • 81. dad of 7th grader  |  March 20, 2011 at 11:17 am

    Also bummed that it doesn’t appear that there will be an 8th grade class at the Lane Tech AC in the fall.

  • 82. Alejandro  |  March 20, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    Will WY AC have a round 2?

  • 83. Pablo  |  March 20, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    @77 – Thanks. I guess I would prefer Lane Tech too {so close to our house!} but my youngster has her heart set on WY.

  • 84. cpsobsessed  |  March 20, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    @Alejandro… it seems like most people seem to think that WYAC will not have a second round (at least for 7th grade entry.)

    Are you sure about the distance to the 2 schools (Kenwood and Taft?) I looked them up and they seem so far apart from each other. Both seem to have similar academic scores. Taft is a VERY big school, just something to keep in mind.

    I don’t know anything about Kenwood personally, but I see some good reviews on (and several kids have commented about the race ratio being fine.)

    I’m not sure of your chances of getting into Taft in second round for 8th grade, but I’ll see what I can find out.

    I think they both sound like good choices. Personally I’d go with the close one, but that’s just me because I don’t like to travel far for school/work. On the other hand, if you are worried that your parents might not have positive feelings about the friends you make at Kenwood, that might be a reason that Taft could be better. Although maybe if they meet friends you make in the academic center it will help to open their minds a little….

    You should be really proud of yourself to have gotten into an Academic Center and for figuring out this whole process. Many adults can’t even handle it! Please keep us posted.

  • 85. RL Julia  |  March 20, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    Stressed –
    My son is at Taft and having a good year there. The school isn’t really demanding in terms of parent participation but the teachers are really great about using the parent portal and are very accessible via e-mail and etc… I have found the administration to be pretty easy to reach and very enthusiastic.

    Taft is a high school, my son reports that the teacher are firm but really nice and enthusiastic. The kids (even if they are rude to adults) are all really friendly – he says that the high school kids are nice to him and are helpful – but that the administration is a bit rule happy and crabby – i.e. the security guards don’t really say hi to you, you can be asked to leave the library if you are talking to your friends too loudly and boy do they love the uniform code. I have found the school easy to deal with and I think that the lack of immediate accessibility to my son and his business has been helpful to me as a parent – he is in 7th grade – he should be learning how to navigate some these systems using me as back up when stuff doesn’t work out etc… Overall, its been a good experience. They do love the rules there – and overall I can’t say I am too unhappy about that. They have a zero tolerance policy about cyber-bullying and I know that at least one kid was returned to their “home” school this year in the 7th grade.

    Lots of Taft kids go to the SEHS’s (or try) and lots of kids stay – and are perfectly happy. One parent I met recently whose daughter went from Taft to Northside commented that if she had stayed at Taft she would have been at the top of her class at school. At Northside, she is merely in the middle of the pack – something to think about. Last year, Taft admitted about 225 7th graders.

    So far we really like Taft -its rigorous without being a pressure cooker. My son gets a lot of homework but is hardly burning out. Its a pretty “normal” school experience – hard to find in Chicago. Plus graduating with eight HS credits is pretty nice as well. It might not be the best high school in the world, but it is far from the worst as well – for us, its a better option than the neighborhood high school academically and socially.

  • 86. Alejandro  |  March 20, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    I will keep everybody posted on my situation. I am going to talk to my school counselor but she might be pretty bias. I am a pretty good student (all A’s) but when I talked to my principal about leaving she got really angry. I will keep everybody posted and thank you for all your advice and support I really appreciate it. My parents are going to take me to go look at Kenwood this Saturday. And telling them that U of C and the lab school is there made them relax a little.

  • 87. Alejandro  |  March 20, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    The fact that I told them that it is a silver medal school made them a little more open minded.

  • 88. cps Mom  |  March 20, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    That is a very good point. I know that my old elementary school literally met with the parents of good students to try and get them to stay. They will NOT be unbiased.

    The other thing, don’t count on 2nd rounds especially for 8th grade. I have heard that many of the selective 9th grade HS’s will not have 2nd rounds – we’ll see if anybody comes back with anything.

    If you decide that you don’t want Kenwood, be prepared that you may need to stay at your current school. If you’re OK with that then no problem. If you do go to Kenwood, you don’t have to worry about high school as much. I’m sure that if you contacted the school and asked for a shadow day they would be happy to accommodate someone who is already accepted. I know that our HS does offer shadow days. Best of luck to you and check out all your options carefully with your parents.

  • 89. taft  |  March 20, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    Two of our neighborhood kids went to Taft AC for eighth grade this school year. So apparently there are openings.

    Can anyone tell me about Ogden.

  • 90. Curious  |  March 20, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    Can you apply for principal discretion at the ACs or is that just for SE highschools?

  • 91. RL Julia  |  March 20, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    I don’t know much about Ogden except that it is relatively new and that kids from Ogden elementary go there – or at least have the option and that it is IB – it is pretty well regarded as a good small school. I think that if you have a child who is a good fit for the IB program and interested in going to a small school where they will get a lot more autonomy and attention – but not necessarily have a lot of clubs or sports teams and those sorts of activities (I think there are some but not as many as there at larger schools). I’d imagine it would be a great place for the more self directed kid who didn’t mind starting a club if that was what they were interested in or perhaps the kid who just does better in a smaller place or who wasn’t going to be heartbroken if there weren’t ten different sports to play.

  • 92. Stressed by CPS  |  March 20, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    RL Julia…what 8 HS credits will your child get from Taft? I agree a lot with what you said. It has its good and bad as all schools do. I also understand the big fish, small pond thing and vice versa. All in all, I liked it, didn’t love it but since my child was happy, that’s all I could ask for. I think it was just very different from where my son came from and very different from where he is now and that’s why I have made a few comments that sounded as if I didn’t like it at all. But the truth is, I thought it was a great experience for my child and it wasn’t overly stressing for him.

  • 93. IB&RGC Mom  |  March 20, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    Also, Stressed or RL Julia, can you tell me if the AC school day is 7:30-2:25 like the high school kids? It is almost an hour longer then my daughter goes to school now and I am happy about that. The short days at CPS is probably my biggest grievance with them. Also, what are the sports/extra circular activities that the 7th and 8th graders take part of.

    I took my daughter to drive by there today as it is really not that far and it is a very cute neighborhood. I have only really seen it from the on ramp to the Kennedy.

  • 94. Credits  |  March 20, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    I just wanted to give everyone the heads up about the credits. Some of the credits earned in some of the ACs don’t transfer over to the SE high schools. A friend of mine let me know about this. I am not sure if the credits from certain ACs don’t trasfer to certain SE high schools but all of you should check to be on the safe side. IIf you find out anything please post the info or if anyone already knows please share. I would investigate but a little ways off from having to decide about ACs. AND…as we all know with CPS by the time my third grader gets to this point CPS could change things.

  • 95. Stressed by CPS  |  March 20, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    #93. The neighborhood is fine. The school day is the same as the HS. Everything they do mimicks the HS as far as Thursday report card day pick ups vs. Wednesdays for elementary school. They also have their own homecoming dance the same day as the HS but in a separate gym. Sports available depend on if there is a parent or teacher willing to coach which I never saw a problem with both years. For girls they have co-ed flag football, volleyball, basketball, and softball. They also have a robots and rockets club. And they can join any HS club like math club, ethnic clubs, etc. Some may have restrictions, not sure. From experience, I know the AC kids have a really early lunch but since they leave home so early to take the bus, it doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing. It’s just an adjustment for some. They also must enter the school as soon as they arrive. No hanging out outside which was a great thing for me.

  • 96. Stressed by CPS  |  March 20, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    #94…my child attended Taft AC and according to their pamphlet, you could earn 5 credits. But it was really 6 because the 7th grade Computer Tech class was a HS class. When RL Julia said 8, I was wondering if something had been added since my son left (which was just last June) or if there was something I missed. He is now at Lane and ALL of his 6 credits have been accepted. They do earn the Algebra credit upon passing the required CPS Algebra exam whereas other schols like magnet, nighborhood, or RGC do not earn the credit but are still able to take Geometry their Freshman year. Again, assuming they also pass the CPS Algrebra exam. (Other subjects do not require a citywide exam to move on.) If you got a D or F in Algebra in 8th grade OR do not pass what is called the EXIT exam, (even with an A, B, or C in the class) the child will have to repeat Algebra freshman year.

  • 97. Stressed by CPS  |  March 20, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    I am not sure how other SEES work as far as credit from AC’s go and just to add…if your child does not pass the EXIT Algebra exam, they do have one chance to retake it over the summer and then they can be reprogrammed into Geometry their freshman year if they pass.

  • 98. Maureen  |  March 20, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    I am also very interested in Ogden for my daughter (a rising 2nd grader). We did apply there, but we are not in the neighborhood boundary so we’ll be a lottery selection. I like the IB opportunity for her as she gets older, the International focus, the small-ness of the school. She is a gymnast so doesn’t really require school related sports and I think that Ogden seems like a happy medium between the magnets schools (where she goes now) and the gifted programs. I don’t really want to sign up for 2 hours of homework a night, but I also want a more rigorous program than she has now. Fingers are crossed for Ogden for us!

    Does anyone know if the lotteries for neighborhood schools are done by Tier or is it a general lottery?

  • 99. Jill Martensen  |  March 20, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    I did a “trial run” this year with my Decatur 5th grader. Took the IG test so I could see her composite score- IF she was in 6th grade this year, she would have qualified for Tier 3 cut offs to all AC’s except WY. She missed that one by only a few points so who knows what a year will bring?
    I’m now more relaxed about next years testing and am HOPING for a spot in the new Lane Tech AC!

    I highly recommend some practice testing if you are committed to CPS schools. It gives the kids a more relaxed feel about testing in general and helps the parents learn what to expect from the results and chose school rankings accordingly. I may be crazy but I’m an OCD project manager at heart and this is how I deal with all of this! LOL
    Good luck everyone. More letters tomorrow, I’ll be checking back for the good news.

  • 100. No go  |  March 20, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    @99. Where did you see the cut off scores? Have they been published?

  • 101. cpsobsessed  |  March 20, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    @99 Jill,

    Ok, I had to do some digging to get familiar with the International Gifted programs.
    Here’s the link if anyone is interested.

    So is the test for this different than the RGC gifted test? Why does it not say on the description page what is required for admission?! Honestly, for someone who doesn’t know how CPS works, it’s hard to even really that any testing is needed for these programs. Anyhow, I’m just curious. So you took a test that is similar to one she will take next year?
    Good news about the scores!

  • 102. cpsobsessed  |  March 20, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    @100: Here is a link to what I think are last year’s AC and IG scores:

  • 103. Educate  |  March 20, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    Question is there busing for Classical schools and 6.7.8 IB programs … who live further than 6 miles from school. I always thought it was only RGC who offered busing further than the 6 mile boundary from school ?

  • 104. To educate  |  March 20, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    I know there is busing for Classical schools but I am not sure about the IB programs.

  • 105. Patty  |  March 20, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    @Aljandro, If I were you, I would accept. Kenwood AC is a high performing school, excellent teachers, various activities and in a great neighborhood!

    To everyone that have received applications for the new STEM Magnet school, I would definitely fill out the application and mail it in. My prediction is that new magnet school will be one of the top elementary schools in Chicago. I believe that it will follow Andrew Jackson and Skinner Classical of high test score. The parents that advocated for that school are motivated parents from UIC Village.

  • 106. Patty  |  March 20, 2011 at 10:56 pm

    @Educate, yes there is bus service for Classical and RGC students. To my knowledge, no bus service is provided to IB students, at any grade level.

  • 107. Patty  |  March 20, 2011 at 11:10 pm

    @Maureen, the neighborhood lottery for Ogden aren’t based on the Tier system. Ogden is an excellent choice. I am a big fan of their new high school program. I hope you hear some good news soon.

  • 108. Patty  |  March 20, 2011 at 11:41 pm

    Alejandro, I want to add also that Kenwood AC is very diverse with Asian, African American and Caucasian students.

    Kenwood AC is housed in a completely seperate school building than the high school.

    Kenwood High School isnt as diverse as their AC. Mainly African American and Asian students. However the high school seem to be good based off of the comments on Additionally, Kenwood has a University of Chicago Magnet program for any AC students that are not selected for a SEHS and for honor students. I suggest you to vist both schools and shadow at both, so that you can make the best decision for yourself.

  • 109. Brian  |  March 20, 2011 at 11:47 pm

    My son was accepted to Lindbloms AC program, can anyone tell me if they know anything about their program.

  • 110. Lindblom Principal  |  March 21, 2011 at 7:11 am

    I’m the principal at Lindblom and am happy to talk to you about the program: 773.535.9310
    Alan Mather

  • 111. K D  |  March 21, 2011 at 8:22 am

    CPS told me they will not publish SEES cutoff scores by Tier because of privacy concerns. The groups in each category (rank/tiers) would be small (< 10 members).

    For the Lincoln & Ogden IGP programs, have we determined that there is a separate IGP test for 5th graders?

  • 112. rp mom  |  March 21, 2011 at 8:46 am

    @KD – do they publish them for the students selected by rank? not tier/rank?

  • 113. Maureen  |  March 21, 2011 at 8:48 am

    @111 – I am very curious about this too. I’ve been looking and cannot find anything online.

  • 114. K D  |  March 21, 2011 at 9:11 am


    Unfortunately, the privacy standards require that the group be larger than 10 people. The rank group is probably only 8 kids (30% x 28 entering Kindergarteners) plus 5 kids for each tier.

    CPSObsessed is the only resource I know of to get a sense of the scores you need for each school. I hope everyone will be comfortable sharing their scores/tiers here to inform us all and to provide some accountability for the administrators.

  • 115. Maureen  |  March 21, 2011 at 9:19 am

    Thanks KD.

    I am more interested in know if there IS a test for 5th graders…I can’t even find that anywhere. I’ll just assume a relatively high score is necessary for admission, but I can’t find anywhere that says what is required for admission. Is it just grades/ISAT’s and then selected by lottery? Do the kids take the same test kids applying for AC’s take?

  • 116. Mayfair Dad  |  March 21, 2011 at 9:20 am

    @ 74 Coco:

    My son will be graduating from the Ogden IG (formerly IB Prep) program this Spring, and headed to Lincoln Park IB next Fall. We are big fans of this program; several families from our neighborhood with younger children have followed our lead and had their kids tested into Ogden. As RL Julia pointed out, the school is on the smallish side and does not offer alot in terms of clubs and sports. However, they offer wonderful travel programs – my son is headed to France in a few weeks – so that was a big plus for us. If your child needs more rigor and challenge than they are receiving at the neighborhood school, this is a great choice. Plus they will be in the brand new building next year, very nice. Ken Staral and his team d a great job, my son has met dedicated teachers he will remember the rest of his life. Also: IG kids automatic seat at the Ogden International High School.

  • 117. Maureen  |  March 21, 2011 at 9:25 am

    Thanks Coco! That is great to hear. Did you son go to Ogden for 6-7-8th or for more than that?

    I have applied my daughter to the lottery since we’re outside of the attendance boundary (we are in the West Loop) so I’m hoping for a lucky ticket in to the 2nd grade. I’m just not even sure there are any/many spots open for non-neighborhood kids.

    If she doesn’t get in, is the IG program starting in 6th grade a “test in” program or is it still based on the attendance boundary?

  • 118. Jennifer  |  March 21, 2011 at 9:26 am

    Great info about Ogden, thanks!

  • 119. Mayfair Dad  |  March 21, 2011 at 9:29 am

    @ 117:

    IG Program is a test-in program for 6th grade open to students citywide. Not sure how the new tier system/magnet school rules apply since my son was accpeted prior to the new system. I would assume the process is similar to ACs or SEHS.

  • 120. Maureen  |  March 21, 2011 at 9:33 am

    Thanks Mayfair Dad. My daughter is a good student and a good test taker so that may be an easier path for us than the lottery. She is currently in a magnet that is considered a “great” school but she’s bored and I’m unhappy with several things there so I’d like to not wait until 6th grade to make a change. I do believe her current magnet is a great option for some kids, it’s just not a great fit for her.

    Anyone know if there will be more students accepted once they move to the new building or will the school size stay the same?

  • 121. RL Julia  |  March 21, 2011 at 9:46 am

    I am not sure where I got the number eight from so it is probably wrong. Seemed like a nice bonus to the program but not on my radar as particularly important. The schedule at Taft is 7:30 – 2:30 which is great – since they often (but irratically) get half days (schedule C’s) on Wednesdays. The downside is getting my 12 year old on the bus at 6:20 every morning. He eats lunch at 10:00 but since he ate breakfast at 6:00, it works out.

    Stressed – totally agree with your comments @70 about what Taft could do to give itself some more props. It acts like it is second best so everyone treats it that way to a large degree.

    IR& RGC mom – I am sure my son would be happy to talk to your daughter on the phone about Taft if you that would help.

    You can also take her along to sign up for the electives (art and language) the counselors are all nice. btw – I wouldn’t recommend the drama class – its been a disappointment (at least according to my son)-although very little is required. Art has a lot of homework but is a better class (according to my son). Don’t know anything about music.

  • 122. kcc  |  March 21, 2011 at 9:50 am

    Just spoke to oae, letters for sees were mailed out on friday! Let’s hope we get some letters today!!

  • 123. rp mom  |  March 21, 2011 at 9:53 am

    I have no idea how am supposed to concentrate at work today … I am a bundle of nerves!!

    If SEES were mailed Friday, I wonder about the magnet/neighborhood letters…

  • 124. cpsobsessed  |  March 21, 2011 at 9:54 am

    Here is a link to Ogden Intl: (no test info though. I left a message.. will see if I can follow up.)

    @Mayfair Dad, so Mayfair Son had the Ogden HS as a backup?

  • 125. cpsobsessed  |  March 21, 2011 at 9:59 am

    Well today was the first time I called OAE and couldn’t get a live person, so everyone must be in a frenzy waiting.

  • 126. Proud AC mom  |  March 21, 2011 at 10:04 am

    @109. Brian my daughter currently attends Lindblom Academic Center and I couldn’t be more pleased. I would be happy to discuss the program with you.

  • 127. Irving Park mom  |  March 21, 2011 at 10:05 am

    Looks like the letters ARE on the way…

    The CPS OAE website now has the following banner text on the home page:

    “Notification letters for Selective Enrollment Elementary Schools and Standard Elementary Schools were mailed on the evening of Friday, March 18th.

    “Letters for students selected for a school in the second round for Selective Enrollment High Schools will be mailed on March 21st.

    “Information regarding Principal Discretion, cutoff scores for the first round of selection for Selective Enrollment High Schools, and applications for new schools can be found on this website under NEWS.

  • 128. Proud AC mom  |  March 21, 2011 at 10:08 am

    FYI Just spoke with the OEA the 2011-2012 AC cut off scores will be published tomorrow under “News”

  • 129. Irving Park mom  |  March 21, 2011 at 10:10 am

    I just posted this under the Lane Tech topic, but will cross-post here for AC content:

    Update regarding Lane Tech AC (may or may not be “news” to some readers here):

    Tribune article 3/20/11
    “Accelerated middle schoolers can now apply to Lane Tech –
    CPS board to vote on academic center program Wednesday”,0,7633048.story

  • 130. sam  |  March 21, 2011 at 10:20 am

    Kenwood High school is like 95% black but it is in a nice area of hyde park. I see no diversity at all so if thats important to you, look carefully. Academically I dont know how great the AC is but I have a step son who goes there and is a senior and all I can say is Im not impressed at all. He can barely write a college application essay and has no clue what applying to college entails as a senior in his final semester. That may be the parents fault and his own fault, but it seriously made me question the school.I vowed when my son is old enough He WILL NOT go there.Just my opinion.

  • 131. sam  |  March 21, 2011 at 10:25 am

    Oh, before I get called racist, I am Black also and diversity is important to me. 🙂

  • 132. kcc  |  March 21, 2011 at 10:39 am

    Someone posted on Npn that their friend received a letter from a magnet school today.

  • 133. sam  |  March 21, 2011 at 10:52 am

    what is Npn?

  • 134. Confused  |  March 21, 2011 at 10:57 am

    Can anyone explain why the cutoff scores for Whitney Young AC would be lower than for the Whitney Young high school? They haven’t published this year’s AC cutoffs yet, but judging by last year’s cutoffs and this year’s reports, that pattern seems to hold.

    Is it a different scale on the entrance exam?

  • 135. kcc  |  March 21, 2011 at 11:01 am

    northside parents network

  • 136. cpsobsessed  |  March 21, 2011 at 11:01 am

    @133: NPN is the Neighhood Parents Network, a Chicago group with a website at

    They have a message board that has some school-related posts. There is a $40 fee to join, but there are other benefits as well: Elementary School Fair each year, an online book they publish with Chicago Elem schools listed (including private) and parent events. I also find the message board useful for finding plumbers, babysitters, etc. It’s great for nanny referrels. The membership base is among parents of babies/young kids for the most part, but it can be a great way to share info and meet other parents if you have a baby/toddler.

  • 137. kcc  |  March 21, 2011 at 11:03 am

    sorry, it is neighborhood parents network

  • 138. tobintouch  |  March 21, 2011 at 11:05 am

    Got my letter for my Kindergartner – waitlisted on all 9 magnets (!?!). Didn’t get into any RCG (score 111) or Classical (90th percentile on both).

  • 139. dette  |  March 21, 2011 at 11:08 am

    @138: if u dont mind, what tier? im still waiting too my heart is beating!

  • 140. cpsobsessed  |  March 21, 2011 at 11:09 am

    @138: Ergh. Did it give you a waitlist number for the magnets?
    Also, was there a percentile for both RGC and Classical?
    And they both came in one letter?

    Sorry, gotta get details!! 🙂

  • 141. tobintouch  |  March 21, 2011 at 11:09 am

    Oops, sorry – tier 4

  • 142. kcc  |  March 21, 2011 at 11:09 am

    to be in touch, did you apply for 1st grade?

  • 143. tobintouch  |  March 21, 2011 at 11:11 am

    Yes, there were wait list numbers – the lowest was 26 (Stone) and the highest was 216 (Disney II). There were two letters one for magnets and one for SEES. There was only a score given for RCGs – on the back of the letter it said that 115 is the cutoff score.

  • 144. tobintouch  |  March 21, 2011 at 11:12 am

    This was for Kindergarten.

  • 145. rp mom  |  March 21, 2011 at 11:13 am

    @tobintouch – that’s a pretty good number for Stone, no? I seem to remenber from the tour that if you were under 30 on the waitlist, you had a chance of getting in.

  • 146. cpsobsessed  |  March 21, 2011 at 11:14 am

    @143: Just FYI, we were waitlisted at Stone at around #26 or so a few years ago (before Tiers). And we got in early June. I never really know if that waitlist number if for your Tier or overall. I remember calling Stone and CPS several times and getting a different answer from each, repeatedly.

  • 147. rp mom  |  March 21, 2011 at 11:19 am

    @tobintouch – did you apply to any neighborhood schools? If so, was there anything in the letter indicating the results?

  • 148. tobintouch  |  March 21, 2011 at 11:24 am

    @147 I didn’t apply to any neightborhood schools. Half-day Kindergarten is not an option for us.

  • 149. tobintouch  |  March 21, 2011 at 11:33 am

    @145 and @146 – this gives me hope, so thank you both. This was definitely not what I was expecting, so now I am readjusting to the idea that my anxiety will just be prolonged…We have back-ups with a couple charter schools, so somehow it will work out.

  • 150. rp mom  |  March 21, 2011 at 11:33 am

    tobintouch brings up a good point. Has CPS said anything about full-day vs. half-day Kindergarten for the 2011-2012 school year?

  • 151. ugh  |  March 21, 2011 at 11:37 am

    Mailman just came, but nothing from CPS. So I guess all the letters didn’t make it today…

  • 152. mom  |  March 21, 2011 at 11:40 am

    applied 13 magnets and got into one
    RG score 122
    classical reading 92 math 98

  • 153. dazed and confused  |  March 21, 2011 at 11:42 am

    DOn’t remember what number but I wanted to comment on the question about bussing for classical. My daughter went to Skinner West last year and was out of the bussing range. She goes to Decatur now and is within the bussing range. It’s my understanding all RGC are elgible for bussing but Classical has to be in a certain distance. I also wouldn’t count on bussing since it’s an easy thing to cut from the budgets.
    Also a note- don’t get discouraged in this first round!! There will be ALOT of movement as people get and give up slots.
    good luck for those waiting- I remember how stressed out I was last year at this time. I’m still waiting but more from a mildly curious standpoint this year since I’m not looking to move.

  • 154. kcc  |  March 21, 2011 at 11:46 am

    @152 did you get in to a classical school? the scores look good.

  • 155. mom  |  March 21, 2011 at 11:47 am

    didn’t get into a classical or rgc.

    Don’t you have to be in the 99% to get into a classical?

  • 156. mom  |  March 21, 2011 at 11:48 am

    Is the RGC score considered you IQ?

  • 157. anonymous  |  March 21, 2011 at 11:49 am

    @134 Re WYAC – I imagine that the WY Academic Center is tougher to get into than the high school because there are fewer spots. As you probably know, the magic number for admission to WY’s AC depends on which tear you are in. From what I’ve heard from friends whose kids did get in – and they are all Tier 4 – you needed at least 850/900 points to be admitted. The cutoff scores for the other tiers were lower, but I do not know what they were.
    You can look on the OAE website to see last year’s cutoff scores for all the ACs.

  • 158. Jennifer  |  March 21, 2011 at 11:50 am

    Debating whether to send my husband home at lunch to check the mail!

    With regard to neighborhood schools, if we move in the summer can we still apply for the school we become zoned for or is it a gamble at that point? Ogden and Alcott are the two we’re interested in if today’s mail isn’t as hoped.

  • 159. RL Julia  |  March 21, 2011 at 11:51 am

    Confused @ 134 – I imagine the the scale for AC acceptances v. HS acceptances for WY has to do with the number of kids who apply and their overall test scores. Same scale – just fewer kids interested therefore test scores are lower overall. I have no idea if this is an overall reflection of the difficulty of the exam or more about the smaller application pool.

  • 160. cps Mom  |  March 21, 2011 at 11:52 am

    158 – your neighborhood school has to take you at any time. They cannot close admissions.

  • 161. snowball's chance  |  March 21, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    @ 156 — No, not an IQ score… something like a school aptitude or ability score… although I suppose, theoretically, there should be some rough correlation… Others might have more info.

  • 162. tk  |  March 21, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    mail just came… schools for my son (6th grade next year)…

    Audubon – offered
    Newberry – wait list
    Alcott – wait list
    Blaine – wait list
    Ogden – apparently screwed this one up and put in the HS code, not elementary

  • 163. Letter  |  March 21, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    My friend called to let me know she has a classical acceptance letter & a letter for acceptance to a neighborhood school for which she doesn’t live in the boundaries.

  • 164. Maureen  |  March 21, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    @162 – tk

    I have some friends with kids at Audobon…they are happy there so hopefully that is a good option for you.

    I hope that I didn’t do the same thing with Ogden’s code…that stinks! 😦

    Also — for reference sake — when my daughter applied for Kindergarten in 2009 she was wait-listed everywhere at first. I had actually planned to just keep her in her private school and then apply her again for 1st grade, but she was offered a spot at LaSalle II on July 31st and we accepted. She was #57 on the waiting list for that school, not proximity. This was before Tier’s though so I’m not sure how that will affect things.

  • 165. HSObsessed  |  March 21, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    My child is at LIncoln, not at the IG program, but if you post specific questions I might be able to help. They seem to take about 15 kids from outside Lincoln each year. The IG kids are in their own “academic group” for the four core subjects but are mixed together with the Lincoln neighborhood kids for everything else. I believe there is bussing and they do take a separate entrance exam. Lincoln has lots of sports and afterschool activities like chorus, theater, science club, debate, yearbook, etc. Very active band program, with four levels of band plus a percussion ensemble.

  • 166. ackie mom  |  March 21, 2011 at 12:23 pm


    The tests for the academic centers and the selective enrollment high schools are different. The AC test is an aptitude test or test to measure giftedness. The SE test is more of a classical test or comprehension test.

  • 167. sleeplessmom  |  March 21, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    got mail…waitlisted on all:

    sheridan 48
    jackson 53
    galileo 36
    newberry 165
    skinner 201

    feel discouraged 😦 did not get our classical letter yet..does anyone know if that comes separately…thanks to everyone for all the comments and information…have become very knowledgeable about this process … hoping round 2 gives us a spot

  • 168. mom  |  March 21, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    It is a separate letter. We got both letters today

  • 169. tobintouch  |  March 21, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    @167 I’m right there with you – we applied to 9 and got waitlisted on all.

  • 170. Jenny  |  March 21, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    We received our letters today for the Montessori preschools. My 4 year old was waitlisted in the 100’s but my 3 year old was waitlisted at #8 for Suder and #15 for Mayer. I have a couple questions maybe you all can help me out with.

    1. What really are the waitlist chances? #8 & #15 seem like pretty good numbers but I don’t know.

    2. With the new sibling rule, if my younger boy gets into one of the magnet schools then my older boy is automatically in, correct??

    Anyone have any info?


  • 171. Christine  |  March 21, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    @167, What Skinner did you apply to since your’e 201 on the skinner list.

  • 172. tobintouch  |  March 21, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    Does anyone know when the new STEM magnet school will be holding its lottery? The applications are due April 15, so I would assume it would occur soon after that.

  • 173. Maureen  |  March 21, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    @ tobintouch — I will try to find out tonight. The “community meeting” is in our building and I am planning to attend. I’ll report back to the group on what I find out.

  • 174. Albany Park Mom  |  March 21, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    My husband got our mail
    In at Coonley RGC our first choice.
    Score 144
    Tier 3

  • 175. S  |  March 21, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    No RGC or Classical acceptances
    RGC 135
    Classical 87% reading and 88% math

  • 176. tobintouch  |  March 21, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    Just called OAE, they said the lottery for the STEM magnet elementary has no set date – up to several weeks after 4/15. I think I just have to sit back and ride the rollercoaster out now. Nothing to be done.

  • 177. sleeplessmom  |  March 21, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    @ 171 we applied to skinner west

  • 178. tk  |  March 21, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    @164 Maureen

    Thanks for the info about Audubon and the wait lists. He’s in the teens at Alcott and Blaine and something like 38th at Newberry. We’ll accept Audubon and see what happens. This was just a back-up plan as his heart’s desire is to go to the new ChicagoQuest charter school. We’ll have to wait another month to find out about that one.

  • 179. ackie dad  |  March 21, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    They should use the AC test which measures logic/appitude for the SEHS test. I wonder why they don’t. Wouldn’t that solve the problem of so many perfect scores? How about using the logic/apptitude test instead of grades or add it to the process. My son did not take any test prep for the entrance test and did just fine. He doesn’t struggle like some kids who got higher scores but prepped for it. I’m not a fan of test prepping for that reason. If they belong at WYAC they will do fine and will enjoy their experience because they are confident they can do the work.

    Regarding Lane’s new program: I haven’t heard any discussions on how they plan to blend 90 12/13-year-olds with four thousand high schoolers. I know I was somewhat worried about my 12- year old son attending school with two thousand high schoolers. WYAC has years of experience and it turned out not to be an issue but Lane doesn’t. Has any CPS official talked about any of these issues. I’m bringing this up because I was so excited when my son was accepted to a new gifted program that I just jumped at it and didn’t ask the right questions. I still feel guilty that I wasted four years of his life in an enviornment that was chaotic. The established magnet school he ended up at was so much better than the “:gifted school”. I wish all of you luck as I too wait for a letter.

    NS Tier 4 dad

  • 180. Christine  |  March 21, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    @177, Skinner West is a classical school. So your RGC and Classical are on the same letter for K. So you’d be getting a letter for magent. And another letter for RGC/Classical. But only 2 letters total.

  • 181. sleeplessmom  |  March 21, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    @ 180 i received only one letter today which was for the magnet that includes Skinner West since Skinner West has a magnet lottery component to its admission policy…. in the application process we also applied to Skinner through the RCG/Classical application and my daughter took the test at IIT which from the info you provided I should still receive that one letter right? Thanks for the help

  • 182. Happy Momo  |  March 21, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    Got our letter today.

    Twin Kindergarten applications
    Applied to 13 schools
    Offered LaSalle for one and the other twin is wait listed at number 2 for LaSalle
    Wait listed at all other schools

    Preschool application for my 3yr old
    Offered at Suder & Mayer Wait listed at Drummond

  • 183. dette  |  March 21, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    if dont mind can we pls post tiers?

  • 184. Christine  |  March 21, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    @181, yes I’m sorry. I misunderstood. You should be getting a separate letter for RGC/Classical.

  • 185. Carrie  |  March 21, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    RGC score- 142

    Classical score – Reading- 99.9 Math – 83

    Accepted at Skinner West

    Wait listed at nearly all of our magnet choices.

  • 186. CA  |  March 21, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    Accepted at Edison for kindergarten. Score 148, tier 3.

  • 187. Christine  |  March 21, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    @185, what tier are you?

  • 188. DoneWcps  |  March 21, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    dette 183 – posting tiers will only make you mad when you realize the discrepancies.

  • 189. FYI  |  March 21, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    Letters came
    Kindergarten Entry


    RGC 125

    Classical: Reading-96% Math-98%

    Applied to Edison and Deactur
    Accepted at neither.
    Waitlisted with high numbers at the magnets

    Time to move to the suburbs!

  • 190. Brigitte  |  March 21, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    I just got the letter for my two sons. One of them didn’t get into any of the four pre-schools. The other one is wait listed for LaSalle, seat number 4. My question is: Are there two wait list’s? I think it mentioned something about a proximity waiting list, as well as a regular wait list. We are not in proximity of the school and if that list has 50 kids on it, we have no chance. Can anyone clarify?

  • 191. Confused  |  March 21, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    @166. ackie mom

    Thank you. That helps explain. My daughter scored a perfect 300 for her ISATs but only 225/300 for the AC test. It seemed like a big discrepancy, so I think the AC test scoring must be intended to differentiate between the smart and super-smart, unlike the ISAT-type tests.

  • 192. SE Mom of 2  |  March 21, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    @179, ackie dad: Yes Lane & CPS addressed those issues. Lane will have an area on 4th floor for AC students, they will have different start/end times than the HS students and the teachersfor AC students have to be trained specially for the age group. I agree that WY does the AC thing quite well, but I don’t think it will be too difficult to replicate the program at Lane

  • 193. JM  |  March 21, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    Waitlisted at all magnets (#3 at LaSalle Language Academy)
    RCG score: 118
    Classical scores: 99 (reading), 98 (math)
    Got into Skinner North
    Tier 4
    Anybody have feedback about Skinner North? LaSalle language?

  • 194. Sad but still hopeful  |  March 21, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    Got my letter today – we are in tier 3

    DS got gifted test score 130
    classical 85% math 86% reading

    no acceptances….

  • 195. Sad but still hopeful  |  March 21, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    Got SEES letter today – we are in tier 3

    DS gifted test score 130
    classical 85% math 86% reading

    no acceptances….

  • 196. kcc  |  March 21, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    JM congratualtions! did you apply for kindergarten or Ist grade?

  • 197. Carrie  |  March 21, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    @187- we are tier 3

  • 198. Mama Mia  |  March 21, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    Got results today! My son took the kindergarten test (just for our information purposes–he would definitely go to Beaubien, our neighborhood school, for half-day K next year and will try for its RGC next fall).

    We are Tier 4. He scored a 142, with an 86% in Reading and a 99% in Math and did NOT get into Edison.

    His older sibling is in the Beaubien RGC and we hope to get him into there as well. Good luck, everyone!

  • 199. anon mom  |  March 21, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    @Jenny (170)
    Can’t speak to Drummond, but I don’t think I’d count on Suder at #8. Lots of siblings (maybe 1/4 of the spots) and fewer than 40 spots per age group. 8 3-year-olds is almost an entire class worth.

    For future reference, siblings are admitted the following year, and I don’t know if it’s automatic outside of a normal entrance year (which would be age 3 at a Montessori).

  • 200. Marrs96  |  March 21, 2011 at 1:53 pm


    My daughter is currently in the Lindblom AC program and we have found it to be exceptional.

    Principal Mather is well loved both inside the school and within the CPS (plus he rides a mean unicycle.) The teaching staff for the AC is vital and really interested in seeing the students achieve.
    (Personally they have asked a lot of my daughter, but also provided her the necessary supports (tutoring, etc.) that she does not want from her mother or me.)

    If you would like further information please let me know. (You can use my name plus if you want to email me.)

  • 201. Kelly  |  March 21, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    @193: We’ve been very happy with Skinner North. Great teachers and administration. The level of academic rigor takes some getting used to, but I hear that’s true for all of the SE schools. They have an open house March 30.

  • 202. karet  |  March 21, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    Got into Skinner North for kindergarten (our 2nd choice, after Decatur)
    reading: 99.7% math 98%

    (waitlisted for magnets: Thorp and Disney II)

  • 203. MG  |  March 21, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    Got into Skinner North.

    92 for reading, 99 for math.
    133 on gifted test
    Tier 3

  • 204. Natalie  |  March 21, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    So, DS is waitlisted at #4 for Mayer, and I don’t know if I should be hopeful or not. Any thoughts? This is for the 3 year olds. Tier 3, not in district.

  • 205. Educate  |  March 21, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    No acceptances tier 4
    kindger scored 111
    5th grader scored 125
    wait list for both @ Sheridan
    sad ….

  • 206. No SEES for us  |  March 21, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    Got both letters today, we’re tier 3.

    RGC: 114
    classical: reading 89%, math 85%

    No acceptances


    IN at Newberry

    Waitlisted Lasalle: 3

    The other waitlist numbers are too high to even bother.

  • 207. got another letter  |  March 21, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    score of 142. Tier 4…no RGC for 6th grade on first round

  • 208. sleeplessmom  |  March 21, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    concerned or more like paranoid but did everyone get their 2 letters today…i only got the magnet one but no classical….maybe the mailman saw me stalking him and took it with him … haa haaa … being hopeful and more like wanting to know how my daughter tested after so many months of waiting…any comments helpful…thanks and congrats to all those accepted 🙂

  • 209. karet  |  March 21, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    @Kelly: Where can I find info about the Skinner North open house? I can’t find anything on the website. Thanks!!

  • 210. badgergirl  |  March 21, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    Son got into South Loop (1st choice) for first grade, RGC score 138.Now have to decide between Old St. Mary’s and CPS.

  • 211. diane  |  March 21, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    We have some good waitlist nos. (e.g. several under 25 and a no. 1 for Skinner West) for kids entering 1st and 3rd.

    Curious whether you think our odds are good for getting in?

  • 212. badgergirl  |  March 21, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    Forgot to add — we are Tier 3.

  • 213. hat  |  March 21, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    For 1st grade
    RGC: 118
    Classical: Didn’t want to make her go twice. DUMB move.
    Tier 3

    Would love to hear from 1st Grade Bell acceptance parents

  • 214. AK  |  March 21, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    Son #1
    Applied to Kindergarten
    RGC: 142
    Classical: reading 96%, math 93%
    Tier 2

    Got in at Skinner West (1st Choice)

    Wait Listed at 20 magnets (#5 Disney, #3 Mitchell, #33 Newberry)

    Son #2
    Applied for pre-school
    Wait listed #4 Suder, #47 Drummond

  • 215. mom  |  March 21, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    For kindergarten, tier 2, 160 got into Coonley.

    We also got into four neighborhood schools, but not the one we wanted (we applied broadly to relatively nearby schools). So we’ll be turning down spots at Pierce, McPherson, Chappell and Agassiz, it that helps anyone.

    We sort of weren’t expecting a gifted acceptance, so trying to get our heads around whether it will be good for our son and our family. All advice appreciated!

  • 216. Maureen  |  March 21, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    @Diane — your chances are very good for Skinner West if you’re #1 on the list. Good luck!!

  • 217. morgan park mom  |  March 21, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    No letter today . . . talked to other Moms in neighborhood and they received a letter regarding their RGC scores. Hmm. How does that work?

  • 218. MailMan Stalker  |  March 21, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    OK I am officially stalking our mail carrier LOL! Congrats to all that have been accepted.

  • 219. dette  |  March 21, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    my baby boy got into Edison 1st choice!

  • 220. southsideobsessed  |  March 21, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    Just wanted to get thoughts of how people felt the process this year went as oppossed to previous years.
    I personally liked one application being completed and sent to the board as oppossed to the individual schools. Last year my son was rejected from the ONLY school that he qualified for proximity allegedly because they never received his application. With the process being centralized this year, he was accepted into that same school this year. I think this centralized process also cuts down on people who use multiple addresses to influence their chances for proximity. Any thoughts?

  • 221. south side mom  |  March 21, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    Received email today from Skinner North principal re: open house, so I called school and they confirmed that my child got in (#1 choice)!!! Tier 1. Will post scores when I get home to open mail.

  • 222. DoneWcps  |  March 21, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    210. badgergirl – If you go to St Pat’s you will pay $, but you know what you are getting. CPS will only get worse — sure hope Rahm can work things out. CPS is one big mess with no money.

  • 223. dette  |  March 21, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    any info about Edison K? their website is lacking.

  • 224. ackie dad  |  March 21, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    # 192

    Thanks, but with whom will they be taking their elective classes with? It’s beginning to sound like it’s just going to be a Jr High within a school. If so, why give up the High School spots?

  • 225. Czechmom  |  March 21, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    Our mailman comes around 4pm, I hope we get at least one letter today

  • 226. Ben  |  March 21, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    Congrats to all who made it to the school of their choice!! I’m still waiting for my SEES letter (for kindergarten). I got the magnet school letter today, but that’s not the one I was waiting for. I would like to know if she gets to join one of her two brothers at school (one is at Decatur and one is at Skinner North). I would like to avoid three separate schools, if at all possible. How frustrating to have to wait, at least, one more day.

  • 227. mom2  |  March 21, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    @DoneWcps – I strongly disagree. If good families stay in CPS and more and more sign on up, it will get better and better. Put some work into it at your child’s school and get others involved and watch the magic. It can happen, and there can be set backs, but it can happen. It takes effort and a positive attitude. If good families leave CPS (such as your attitude), it WILL just get worse and worse.

  • 228. Re: Edison KDG  |  March 21, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    Dette you will LOVE the teacher and curriculum in the KDG class at Edison. It is a nice school in a newer facility. Do a site search and you will get more info. Congrats! BTW – what was your son’s tier and score?

  • 229. Momof3  |  March 21, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    We got into Stone for K, but do love our neighborhood school. Any advice?

  • 230. E's dad  |  March 21, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    For first grade RGC – 129, tier 4. Accepted at Coonley. Currently at Pritzker RGC, and happy, but location issues. Currently on the fence. So there will be a 1st grade spot open at one of the two. Good luck to all.

  • 231. Mom  |  March 21, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    @219 – dette, can you please let us know your sons scores if it is ok with you.

  • 232. cpsobsessed  |  March 21, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    @223: Edison is very well regarded. It has traditionally take the highest scoring kids on the northside (although Coonley is getting some now) for K. In the past, the school has been known for being homework heavy, but not sure about K. Basically they set very high standards, which is great for many kids. I never thought my son could handle it (not that he got in.)

  • 233. cpsobsessed  |  March 21, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    @229: someone on here had posted about being very happy with stone until the older grades. I think being in a neighborhood school is really great – being close to friends and school parents.
    If you really like your local school, I’d tour Stone and say you’d need to have your socks knocked off to make the switch.
    Unless you live near Stone… that could be a different story. (But I’m big on living near school, so I’m a little biased.)

  • 234. LoganSquareMom  |  March 21, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    Daughter accepted at Lasalle kinder Tier 2. Waitlisted everywhere else.
    Hawthorne #22
    Thorpe O.A.# 6
    Hamilton #19
    Burley #624 HA!
    Needless to say I’m happy.

  • 235. mom2  |  March 21, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    @ackie dad – I’m confused a bit. What is the school that you found was better than the “gifted school”? What is the “gifted school” that wasn’t so good? Is or was your son at WY’s AC or ??? Is that the good school or the not so good school in your opinion?

    Re Lane’s AC, I think if Lane can manage to run a wonderful high school with 4000 students (and they do), they should do a wonderful job with an academic center. It is not going to just be a junior high within the building. They have been working on this for several years. If you have questions, they plan to have an open house on Sunday (assuming the AC is approved by the board this week). You should come and find out all their plans for yourself.
    (By the way, I personally would have preferred that they not have this AC at Lane because I have another one that still has to go through the SE process and I hate to lose high school spots, too – even if it is only 90!)

  • 236. DoneWcps  |  March 21, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    227 mom2 – The parent involvement can only go so far. We are curerntly at a neightborhood magnet school – tier 4 which is a really good school. BUTyYou must abe aware of the high school SE nightmare, no budget, new mayor, etc. CPS will only get worse. We are off to private hs. Good luck to all.

  • 237. northsidemom  |  March 21, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    RGC: 147, tier 4; accepted to Coonley

    Good luck everyone…this waiting process was making me crazy! I hope you all hear good news soon.

  • 238. TwinMom  |  March 21, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    Got all of our letters (4!) of them today. Thankfully, our neighborhood school is good enough (Audubon) that we’ll be going there next year unless there’s some movement on the RGC lists.

    We are Tier 3 and have twins entering kindergarten next year.

    Twin #1:
    RGC: 144 accepted at Pritzker our 6th choice (we will decline)
    Classical: 88 Reading 98 Math no acceptances

    Twin #2:
    RGC: 140 no acceptances
    Classical: 88 Reading 99 Math no acceptances

    We were offered a slot at Newberry with one twin (and are #1 on the waitlist for the other), but will very likely decline those as well as we’ve decided that we want to stay closer to home.

    I’m just relieved that the decision-making process was an easy one. I’d really feared that one twin would get into our first choice and the other would not…and then we’d have all sorts of dilemmas to worry about.

  • 239. Brian  |  March 21, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    Does anybody know if you can check out catholic schools test grades by any chance. I think I am giving up on this public school education. Also if people have any suggestions for schools on the far south side of Chicago.

  • 240. Brian  |  March 21, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    I forgot to put elementary 1st and 3rd grade

  • 241. Nope  |  March 21, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    239 Brian – You can call the school. They may or may not give you that info. That is the beauty of private schools. They don’t have to tell the public anything. Good Luck.

  • 242. Rogers Park Mom  |  March 21, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    I am at this very moment stalking the mail carrier! For whatever reason–perhaps a bribe from someone more connected?–he decided to deliver to the other tiers in the apartment building before mine! Shakes fist at sky!

  • 243. Pauld  |  March 21, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    Hello all.

    We have been obssessed about the CPS obsessed website. Thanks all for your insightful (and sometimes humorous) comments.

    My daughter is not eligible for gifted programs. She was waitlisted at Galileo (4), Hawthorne (33) and Ward, J (7).

    First, does anybody have any opinions about Galileo and Ward, J?

    Next, is 33 a good waitlist number for Hawthorne? Or should I stop obsessing about that as a possibility?

    Thanks for the sanity check.

  • 244. Pauld  |  March 21, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    Btw, our daughter is entering first grade. Thanks in advance for any feedback to my questions above.

  • 245. SS Dad  |  March 21, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    Got Keller 1st Grade. RGC score 129. Tier 4. Any other Keller people out there?

  • 246. Wondering  |  March 21, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    242 Rogers park mom – Do you have more than 1 tier in your building? How can that be?

  • 247. Chris  |  March 21, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    @190. Brigitte
    The proximity waitlist will not affect you. They accept a certain # of students from each tier. So, when a spot becomes available in your tier’s waitlist at the school, your child will move up. I think you stand a good chance at #4.

  • 248. dette  |  March 21, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    tier 1 148, edison for K

  • 249. mom2  |  March 21, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    263 DoneWithcps – I do hear you and feel that same feeling from time to time. I do secretly wish that someone would open up a new non-sectarian high school on the north side of the city that charges about 1/4 to 1/2 of what most private high schools charge. They don’t have to have all that Latin or Parker or British School have to offer. It would be a great alternative for some parents that could never afford the private offerings available now, and have to stick with CPS or move right now. Anyone?

  • 250. Plop plop fizz fizz  |  March 21, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    149 1st grade, Keller.

  • 251. Jen  |  March 21, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    Tier 1 135 for K, didn’t get any RGCs but only applied to Coonley and Edison. Also got the standard letter today.

  • 252. CharterPossible?  |  March 21, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    249 – mom2 – That is a great idea. Some of the catholic schools would fit your criteria. You don’t have to be catholic to go there. Hopefully, the charter schools will get better & better & play a big role in Chicago. Moving is not in the cards. Most of us are city employees and who wants to sell their house now??

  • 253. Mandy  |  March 21, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    tier 3
    RGC 144
    South loop

    waitlisted at all the magnets

  • 254. Jen  |  March 21, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    Oops, I should have said Tier 4.

  • 255. cps Mom  |  March 21, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    243- Ward J got 8 kids into Jones this year (more than any other school). Never heard of it till then. They have outstanding results.

  • 256. Alejandro  |  March 21, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    I talked to my conselour and she said that she is not sure if WY AC and if Taft AC will have a second round for 7th graders. Does anyone know if WY AC and if Taft AC will have a second round for 7th graders? I also got a total of 742.4 points that might help out.

  • 257. Alejandro  |  March 21, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    Please reply ASAP! I need to talk about this with my counselor again tomorrow

  • 258. angie  |  March 21, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    @badgergirl My son is currently in the RGC for SLS. We are loving it. He is in K. He is doing great. His teacher is amazing and handling all the kids beautifully. The school is very parent oriented. Lots of volunteering and fundraising. They have a great afterschool program (not too expensive). Please don’t write it off. They are doing best they can. GL!

  • 259. Rogers Park Mom of a Lucky Kid  |  March 21, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    Sorry, I meant apartment tiers not census tiers! 🙂 We’re all in Tier 2 in this building. So, letter arrived, no Gifted/Classical (not a surprise) but, when your kid’s name means lucky, you end up with 6 (!) offers–Stone, Burr, McPherson, Ravenswood, Hamilton, and Peirce! We’re even in the realm of possibility with Waters (#11) and Jackson Language (#6.) Holy smokes! I have to go back to my spreadsheet and open house notes, but any initial feedback from this wonderful group of commenters…? We’re pretty jazzed about Stone since it’s close, diverse, and has nice test scores. It will be challenging for my little guy, but it won’t leave him behind. I also know some moms with kids there, and they have been very happy with the Stone experience. Hope whatever we decide it opens up some possibilities for everyone else!

  • 260. maggie  |  March 21, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    tier 3
    gifted 135 – no acceptance at edison

    anyone have any opinions on Peirce in Andersonville?

  • 261. Stone mom  |  March 21, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    I am the one that was ‘happy’ with Stone until the upper grades. But in retrospect, while I still think it is better than our West Rogers Park neighborhood school, I would not feel comfortable recommending it to anyone who has other viable options.

    Some things to think about.

    1) there will be over 30 kids in your k class
    2) recess stops after 2nd grade and they will not budge on this issue
    3) there is no cafeteria so lunch is in the room at your desk. So your kid with no recess doesn’t even get to burn energy walking to the cafeteria.

    Good things about Stone. Until this year I felt like my kid was ‘safe’ there. For the most part the student body is made up of a good group of diverse kids from the far north side of the City (Ravenswood Manor is about as far south as it goes) so you do get the ‘neighborhood’ feel. There is a new playground. There is an onsite tuition based after school program and year round fee based tap and judo programs.

  • 262. LR  |  March 21, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    239 Brian – The Catholic Schools take the Terra Nova test, so that’s what you will be asking for. Don’t know much about the south side, except my sister-in-law used to live in Evergreen and they went to Most Holy Redeemer.

  • 263. Another Rogers Park Mom!!!  |  March 21, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    @242, I am giving the sky the fist as well! WTF??? It’s 4pm and still NO MAIL in East Rogers Park??? Are you on Fargo, lol?

    I am going about as nuts as can be. Gale is NOT an option, thus… we have no ‘backup’. I am relatively certain my dd (as we do not front-load or prep) is unlikely to have made it into our #1, Decatur… only because my son already attends, and I know the odds are almost nill that we’ll get that lucky twice. I had no doubt ds would get in, as he’d been reading well since 2.5yrs. Argh.

    We did 20 magnets, and maxed the SEES app, as well. And knowing there is a very real possibility we will get nothing is infuriating!

    DS got a 99.9th% with a 165 in 2007 for Decatur, and he only got one backup offer, which was Peirce… hence my fear.

    Please come, dammit!

  • 264. mom2  |  March 21, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    @252 charter possible – I know you don’t have to be catholic to go to catholic school, and some are supposed to be pretty good. But I know many people that would not be comfortable sending their kids to school where they must take religion classes for a religion that the family does not practice – Atheist, Unitarian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, etc. Even some Protestant families would prefer non-sectarian over Catholic.
    First wish is for CPS to get better and better. Maybe Rahm has the answer. Second wish is for my less expensive non-sectarian private school on the north side of the city.

  • 265. Maureen  |  March 21, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    So I got the magnets/open enrollment sheet back, but not the SEES scores. We applied to 8 magnet/open enrollment schools and did not get into any of them. We are #4 on the Waiting List at Suder and very high numbers everywhere else so none seem like a viable possibility.

    For Ogden, incidentally my first choice, it says “Not Eligible”. I don’t know why though….

  • 266. Adreana  |  March 21, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    Does anyone know anything about Solomon? Small school. Great Test Scores is all I know. The only school my daughter was accepted to. ….

  • 267. Another Rogers Park Mom!!!  |  March 21, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    @242!!! WOW!!! Can I have one of your slots, when you choose, lol! Seriously, what an insane amount of offers, along with several good wait-list positions. What an amazing thing, to be able to choose from such stellar schools! CONGRATS!!!

  • 268. Adreana  |  March 21, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    If you are 29 on a waiting list does that mean throw in the towel???

  • 269. Christine  |  March 21, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    No offers. RGC: 135. Classical: Reading 94%, Math 88%. Tier 4. Wait listed at AJLA 223

  • 270. Another Rogers Park Mom!!!  |  March 21, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    @Christine, sorry… what is AJLA?

  • 271. Nancy  |  March 21, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    Pre-K RG score 142 – tier 4. Didn’t get in anywhere.

  • 272. angie  |  March 21, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    @Another Rogers Park Mom!!! Andrew Jackson Language Academy

    I’m actually surprised they are sending out waiting list letters. Last year, it was “sorry, your kid did not get in” letters.

  • 273. Czechmom  |  March 21, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    Tier 4

    RGC score 126

    Classical 99.9% reading, 86% math

    Got offer for Skinner North, our like 6th? choice

    Please share any experiences with the school, also where do the kids go, after the 4th grade???

  • 274. Jennifer  |  March 21, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    Mom2 I completely agree with you. It’s not a case of you can go even if you’re not catholic, some of us don’t want our children in a religious school period.

  • 275. Another Rogers Park Mom!!!  |  March 21, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    @Angie, lol! Thanks! You’d think growing up in CPS, having a son at Decatur (ie: having been thru this hell of testing/admissions before) and now trying to get #2 into a school, I would know that! Thanks for replying! 🙂

  • 276. Hawthorne mom  |  March 21, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    #243, I’d say unless you are in the single digits for Hawthorne, it is pretty much impossible to get in. Especially with all the siblings (they usually take up 30-50% of spots), then the other 5 lotteries, proximity and the 4 tiers. So, you could be #33 on any of those 5 lists. But Galileo and Ward are good numbers. Good luck!

    And best of luck to my other Rogers Park families! Our family had 7 offers for our oldest child and 3 for our second…..people can and do get in multiple places.

  • 277. Another Rogers Park Mom!!!  |  March 21, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    @M2 and Jennifer (#274), I am with you! My also-Jewish friend sent me info for a Catholic Rogers Park Elementary… I just cannot see sending my wee Jew to Catholic school! I was kind of surprised that a fellow Jewish family suggested it, it seemed rather like a no-brainer to me that it’s an inappropriate choice for a Pagan-Jewish family!

  • 278. Christine  |  March 21, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    #193 — my daughter is at Skinner North and we love it. I would be glad to talk to you about it.

  • 279. irving park mom  |  March 21, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    CPS OAE just posted a FAQ on their website under “News”, with some useful information:

  • 280. Christine  |  March 21, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    Oh and p.s. for those of you whose children were accepted at Skinner North: If you didn’t get an email from Principal Netterstrom today you will also be getting a phone call tomorrow. The prospective parents Open House is on March 30 at 1:30. Our website isn’t that great, so I don’t think it’s on there.

  • 281. david  |  March 21, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    i applied online for the selective enrollment, and cant remember what schools i listed first. Does anyone know if OAE will provide me with that information.

    I got one letter today for mcdade and was accepted.

  • 282. tiered-over  |  March 21, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    to #174 @Albany Park Mom – which grade did you get accepted into? K?
    You got in with 144 into Coonley (but, alas, we did not).

  • 283. Patty  |  March 21, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    @Another Rogers Park Mom!!!, AJLA is Andrew Jackson Language Academy.

    @david, I don’t not believe that the OAE will relase that information. McDade is a top classical school and it is a very good school. It has a small-family feel to it.

  • 284. avondalemom  |  March 21, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    Kindergarten applications.

    Tier 2 (I think)

    ZERO acceptances out of 20 Options for Knowledge schools. #4 on waitlist for Thorp, in high 200’s to 300’s for most schools.

    Has anyone else had ZERO acceptances?

    RGC: No acceptances, score of 127

    Does anyone think we have a remote shot at getting into a RGC with this score?

    Grateful for any thoughts you care to share.


  • 285. Disappointed  |  March 21, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    143 / Tier 4

  • 286. Patty  |  March 21, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    @SS Dad- My child is in the seventh grade at Keller Regional Gifted Center! She has been there since 1st grade. It is a great small school with a lot of actvities and their test scores are always high. The environment is stimulating and supportive. We have a high parent participative group. The kids go on at least two outdoor camping trips (5th & 7th grade) before they graduate. Additionally, he eighth graders tend to go off to SE/Magnet high schools. I think you will love the school as much as I do.

  • 287. Jeff Park Dad  |  March 21, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    Hi all!

    Just received our two letters – no luck with RGC or Classical. But our 5.5 year old boy is on the waiting list for

    Drummond 12
    Hawthorne 43 (not likely, right?)
    Mayer 15
    Newberry (46)
    Suder (34)
    Thorp (7)
    Franklin (31)

    What do you think our chances are with these numbers?

    Thanks in advance.

  • 288. Maureen  |  March 21, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    @284 — We applied to 8 schools on the standard elem application (a mix of magnet and open enrollment neighborhood schools) and got 0 accepts. Wait listed at 7 schools (high numbers except for Suder) and it says “not eligible” for Ogden. Have no idea why as it was on the list of open enrollment schools…it’s not there anymore so maybe they changed the policy?

  • 289. Patty  |  March 21, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    @Dissappointed, you should submit an application to the new STEM Magnet school that will open in UIC Village this fall. They are still accepting applications for k-3rd grades. No testing is required and you can get the application from OAE New Magnet Schools website and mail it in to CPS asap. The UIC area is very nice safe and attractive. The STEM school will be a top school in the coming years (mark my words)! UIC Village already boast two top magnet schools in Chicago, Andrew Jackson Language Academy and Skinner North. The parents that lobbied for the STEM school are motivated and very active in their kids education. I strongly suggest you to submit an application to the school.

  • 290. Mom to two plus one coming  |  March 21, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    We got our letter – and are in East Rogers Park.

    Offers – Peirce, Newberry
    Waitlist under 20 – Stone, Disney, Hawthorne, Inter-American

    I have no idea if the waitlists will move, but I’m encouraged that we may have some options coming…

  • 291. Maureen  |  March 21, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    Patty — do you know what language they will be teaching at STEM? I sent in the application for my daughter but am curious about learning more about it. I am not so sure about being a bleeding edge mover…she would be in the 2nd grade.

  • 292. Patty  |  March 21, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    @287/288, I think you should really apply to the new STEM Magnet School in UIC Village. It is a good area and the school will be one of the top in coming years. No testing is required. CPS New magnet school program website. They still have openings and admission letters will mail out next month.

  • 293. rgcmom  |  March 21, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    @ dette: My son is currently in K at Edison and loves it. Happy to talk to you about it offline…

  • 294. crazed  |  March 21, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    Ugh!!! If my daughter is #5 for Andrew Jackson… you think she will get in? Oh and #4 at Drummond. Does anyone have a prefer one over the other if we have to choose? Thanks!

  • 295. Another Rogers Park Mom!!!  |  March 21, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    Okay, 3 offers from magnets:

    No SEES offers, with 139 Tier 2

    REALLY GOOD Waitlist numbers on several; as you can see we did not just try for the ‘great schools’ but went with ‘decent’ for a better shot at something, ANYTHING better than Gale, and I think the strategy worked in our favor!!!

    Waitlisted at:
    #2 Budlong
    #3 Trumbull
    #9 Swift
    #11 Stone
    #15 Chappell
    #16 Hawthorne (anyone know how our chances will be for Stone or Hawthorne?)
    #25 Belding
    #26 Waters

    and 8 more ‘waitlists’ at other schools with #’s btwn 37 and 270 (Blaine).

    Relieved we have something for K and will for certain retest for 1st!!!

  • 296. cpsobsessed  |  March 21, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    Looking at the scores for the AC from last year, I suspect yours are not quite high enough for WY, but probably are for Taft. But it just depends how many students are leaving for next year and how many are in line in front of you (scoring higher.)
    I tried called the Office of Academic Enhancement ( has the number) and Taft directly but could not get through to either one. Perhaps your counselor could help you find out?
    Turning down a spot at Kenwood has some risk that you may have to stay put at your current school. If you’re OK with that, it’s probably worth the chance if you really want Taft.

  • 297. Twins2KFall2011  |  March 21, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    We received our bundle of letters from CPS today.
    We live South. Idk what Tier I’m in, please advise.
    I have twins (m/f), and 1 child already in 1st Gr. @ an RGC which was our 1st choice – and our first choice for the twins as well, of course.
    Our results:
    DS NOT accepted to our first choice. 134
    DD ACCEPTED to our first choice: 142
    BOTH offered to A.Jackson = YAY!!!!!!
    Wait listed to LaSalle (DS128/DD341)
    Wait listed to Sheridan (DS 32/DD14)

    So… now, we have our eldest at his RGC. We have an acceptance for only 1 of our twins to this same school. The other child, an offer to A. Jackson; not a bad offer by any means. How do I explain this to the child who wants so desperately to be in the same school with his older brother???? :’-(

    Mail arrived by 11:30 am.

  • 298. Patty  |  March 21, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    @287/288-Also Agassiz Elem in Lincoln Park still have openings. You guys should submit an application to this school as well. Agassiz offers good test scores, diverse school environment, openings in all grades, a fine arts component, before and after school program (7:00am-6:00pm for working adults), all children receive Arabic language instruction. Maybe this could be an option as well. This is a small school about 300 students.

    Another school in LP that has openings and test score are ok are Prescott. I don’t know much about the school but they have openings still available as well. This is a small school

    For southside parents, Bret Harte (across the street from Science Museum & Industry) still has openings in all grades. Their test scores are high and they offer a lot of activities and fine arts programs for their students, a diverse student body, Spanish for all students. Small school only grades k-6 grades are offered.

    All three of these schools are open enrollment programs within a neighborhood school. This means that students from outside the attendance area can still apply.

    Additionally for Southside parents, Beasley Academic Center has openings in their math/science magnet program( sorry gifted program is full). Plenty of activities, good test scores, before/after school care til 6pm. This is a rather large school, so something to consider.

  • 299. David  |  March 21, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    Hi, my son is currently a 5th grader entering 6th grade. Currently at a montessori school.
    Waitlisted on all schools.

    Listed OGDEN as HS instead of elementary.
    not eligible—–

    Would love to hear about Hawthorne upper grades, and any thoughts on transferring to 6th grade.

  • 300. Disappointed  |  March 21, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    Patty, Agassiz has a very long waitlist.

  • 301. magnet mom  |  March 21, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    I must be really lucky. My going-to-kindergarden in the fall girl not only got into a gifted school, but she was offered a spot at Franklin, #2 on the wait list at LaSalle, and #1 on the wait list at Disney. I need to speak with the principal of Franklin to see if they can challenge her there next year (as she has an older brother there in 2nd grade now) otherwise we have some tough choices. Luck is on our side.

  • 302. timidd  |  March 21, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    For my soon-to-be-Kindergartener:
    Tier 3, RGC 136, Reading 84, Math 72
    Scored too low in Math for Classical schools.

    Offered: Carnegie & Mark Sheridan.
    Waitlisted: Galileo (49), Jackson (28), LaSalle (226), Murray (108) and Newberry (106).
    For my almost-6th-grader (currently at Mark Sheridan):
    Tier 3, RGC 135, Reading 98, Math 88, IGC 777

    Offered: Ogden IG
    Waitlisted: Galileo (14), Jackson (91), LaSalle (53), Murray (30) and Newberry (19).

    No chance of them being at the same school unless I keep the older one at Mark Sheridan. It’s a very good school but I hate to pass up what Ogden IG may have to offer.

  • 303. cpsobsessed  |  March 21, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    Also, Quest, the new charter school is still taking applications for 6th and 7th grade. I had a good talk with the director today… will post in a day or 2.

  • 304. IB&RGC Mom  |  March 21, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    @297 – I am wondering if it may be good for their individual identities to have them at separate schools? Not sure if that is as big of a deal for m/f twins. Don’t know much about twins. Just trying to see if there may be an upside to this.

    Does the RGC have a neighborhood program as well at the school? Maybe she can get in that way as they will often take siblings. They just won’t be in the same class.

    Hope things work out.

  • 305. Unsure  |  March 21, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    Can anyone give me info on South Lopp RGC first grade? Teacher, curriculum etc. Thank you!

  • 306. CK  |  March 21, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    my son scored 138 on RGC application (which if i interpret the back page correctly is above 98th %) and did not get a spot anywhere. is something strange happening here or is it just too few seats to go around?

  • 307. Patty  |  March 21, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    Twins2KFall2011-You should be honest with you oldest child. The chances of your oldest getting into Andrew Jackson Language Academy are slim to none (more like none). . People will not turn that school down, I’m sorry. Just keep her in her RGC for now.

    As for you twins getting into AJLA, I think you are blessed. That is a fabolous school!!! My little nephew attend and he is in the 5th grade and love it. The only down fall is that they don’t offer a lot of sports program/after school activities. However, a lot of the kids go to the Chicago Park District for after school care. So I think you should be extremely happy!

  • 308. DreamCPSgifted4daugther  |  March 21, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    136 in Tier 3 >>>> RCG spot
    144 in Tier 4 >>>> No RGC spot

    What are the scores that will get you in a RGC if you are Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3, Tier 4?

  • 309. Maureen  |  March 21, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    Thanks for the advice Patty! We live in the West Loop/Near West Side area so LP schools are not a great location for us. Skinner West has been my first choice, but I’m getting cold feet re: the homework since my daughter is also a gymnast and has practice 4 nights a week. I’m not sure she could do both well….and we haven’t gotten her SEES letter yet so I don’t know if it is even an option for the Classical program. She’d be an entering 2nd grader so not many spots will be open anyway.

    I did apply her to the neighborhood program for Skinner as a backup (we miss the neighborhood boundary by 2 blocks) and she is #85 on the waiting list so I don’t really think that is happening.

    I sent the STEM application in last week so we’ll see about that, I’ve inquired at a private school and am touring on Thursday and if all that fails, she is already at a highly regarded magnet so I guess we can stay there and try again next year….but I don’t want to and more importantly neither does she. Maybe I’ll home school her! {that would probably be a disaster….}

  • 310. Patty  |  March 21, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    @Unsure-accept South Loop RGC offer, you will not be disappointed. Trust me. South Loop test scores are high 95%-99% and the school has so many after school activities! Plus they offer a summer day camp program for all grades. The school is phenomenal! Spanish is offered to all gifted students (k-8), curriculum is rigorous, educational field trips, various ethinic cultural experiences, and the students usually get offers to SE high schools. So many different ethnic backgrounds and the teachers are great. The parents really adore the principal. She has brought the school to a highly sought after school. They also offer before and after school care until 6pm. If you decline them, you will miss out and won’t be able to get another chance to enroll.

  • 311. DreamCPSgifted4daugther  |  March 21, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    @306 – what tier are you in? If you are in tier 4 that score is not high enough.

  • 312. Patty  |  March 21, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    @CK-no something funny isn’t going on, this is just the way the wacky CPS system works. I don’t know where you live but the STEM Magnet School still has openings(West Loop), Lincoln Park has two school with openings (Prescott/Agassiz) and Harte/Beasley (southside) magnet programs still has openings. If you still want your child in a CPS schools with decent test scores etc, you should check these schools out tonight and submit the applications tomorrow bc the seats will go fast. They will annouce offers net month. Good Luck!

  • 313. Vic  |  March 21, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    Daughter got into Blaine for Kindergarten! Having her brother in the gifted first grade class there probably had something to do with it. Now both kids can be together at the same school come September. Keeping fingers crossed for a full-day kindergarten!

  • 314. Disappointed  |  March 21, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    Patty, Agassiz is on a long waitlist for K. Are you talking about K?

  • 315. Patty  |  March 21, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    @Timmid, Carneige Gifted program is excellent! I worked there for two years and the gifted program is rigorous and challenging. Sheridan is a good school also. So you have a tough choice to make.

    I also would NOT pass up Ogden International School. The program is well regarded and parents/students love the school.

  • 316. Elizabeth  |  March 21, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    This note is for Bridgette @190. My daughter was also wait listed at Lasalle, we are also not in the proximity area, and we were ALSO given the spot #4. What tier were you? We are tier 4.

    If we are different tiers, does that mean that each school has up to 6 waiting list (1 for each tier + proximity + sibling)? I’m confused.

  • 317. Unsure  |  March 21, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    @Patty, thank you for your reply. What about the overcrowding?

  • 318. Patty  |  March 21, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    @Disappointed, I am sorry their website say a different story. Well how about the other schools? I don’t know what else to do.

  • 319. Disappointed  |  March 21, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    Elizabeth, yes, they have up to six waiting lists.

  • 320. vivian  |  March 21, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    UGH! Monday and there is no mail!

  • 321. ssmom  |  March 21, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    @ssdad- I have 2 kids at Keller and we absolutely love it. It’s the best thing to happen to us. I say that because I have another child at Lenart and I don’t like it there at all. Btw the one at Lenart scored a 130- 98th perc. and did not get a seat at Keller, but I know that the upper grades are more difficult because no one wants to leave.

  • 322. Patty  |  March 21, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    @Timidd, also I wanted to add that Carnegie has a lot activities to offer its students. Plus, before and after school care til 6pm. Also the Principal is VERY involved.

  • 323. Patty  |  March 21, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    @303. cpsobsessed -When are the acceptance letters going out for Quest Academy? My friend submitting an application.

  • 324. Twins2KFall2011  |  March 21, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    Oh, I’m not removing my eldest child (already in a great RGC) from his school to try to get into AJLA. That’s not a consideration. He’s staying where he is. He’s on A Honor Roll and doing just fine.

    His younger sister (one of the twins) was also accepted to this RGC, but her twin wasn’t accepted.

    The very happy upside to this is they were both offered spots at AJLA. I literally shouted to the heavens for this blessing. I am VERY thankful for such a great opportunity. 2 of my nieces attended AJLA, and then attended St. Ignatius for H.S.

    My challenge is this: do I send my daughter to the same RGC as her older brother? or do I send her to AJLA w/her twin brother?
    Either way, it’s a good problem to have.

    How do I figure out our Tier?

  • 325. ssmom  |  March 21, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    anybody with AC scores? I didn’t apply but they gave us one anyway – 805.9. I was just wondering what scores got in where.

  • 326. Patty  |  March 21, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    @Unsure, Carnegie gifted program isn’t overcrowded. I worked there from (2008-Dec. 2010) and I beleive that your child will be challenged in the gifted program. On the other hand, Sheridan does have a lot of students in its classes but still manage to do well on standardized tests. You have to realize that the majority of cps schools are overcrowded. But carnegie gifted classes are about 25 students. You really should call or go up to Carnegie and ask to speak with the Principal. She is extremely nice and would talk to you. I never seen a more professional staff. I seen the principal stay late (many nights) just to work with students. How often do you see that happen? Plus one thing to keep in mind about Carnegie is that it has a neighborhood component as well and has students from high to low incomes. Not neccessarily a bad thing. The school works well and they a parental involvement. I would consider both Sheridan and Carnegie. You have a tough decision to make. It just depends on what is best for your child needs.

  • 327. Patty  |  March 21, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    Twins2KFall2011 -I would keep the twins at AJLA. AJLA is very challenging and has high test scores (just as RGC).

  • 328. rp mom  |  March 21, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    133 Tier 2 – no offers

    In @ Peirce, all others wait listed above 75…looks like Peirce or private for us….

  • 329. Twins2KFall2011  |  March 21, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    Found our Tier! (4) which seems absurd.

  • 330. private school never looked better  |  March 21, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    IIT advice: have your kids the day after Labor Day, and let them watch lots and lots of tv.
    My low media kids have late summer birthdays and according to test results, one is barely normal, and the other only slightly above average. According to teacher feedback, and in one child’s case, independent testing, both are knocking it out of the park. I am happy to have my shorties at a school with recess, gym, art, music, diversity and classmates with parents that care, and lucky to be able to afford it, but yeesh. If Boo Bear is barely normal, then CPS schools ought to be in better shape (i.e. “Sit Stay Read’ shouldn’t have a waiting list). What gives?

  • 331. Jennifer  |  March 21, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    No (2nd grade) offer for us.

    No tier since we are outside the city, but scored 122 for RGC and 93/67 for Classical. I’m not surprised on the Classical since she said she couldn’t hear all the questions and they said they couldn’t repeat them, and I knew RGC was a long shot. I’m still disappointed, not in my daughter, just that it didn’t work out.

    We’re still considering Alcott/Ogden/South Loop as possible neighborhoods to move to so we may still jump on the CPS crazy train!

    Congrats to all that received their offers today!

  • 332. Jill Martensen  |  March 21, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    Actually the AC test is the same as the gifted test only adding your ISAT and prior year’s grades to it to give a composite number.

    If you look on the letters it says RGC/AC/IG programs then gives you scores etc.

  • 333. Twins2KFall2011  |  March 21, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    Thanks Patty, twins are currently in pre-k.They will enter Kindergarten in the Fall.

  • 334. David  |  March 21, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    Help, any Hawthorne Parents out there?

    Son is #4 on waitlist for the 6th grade entering

    class. Need thoughts about transferring from a

    montessori to Hawthorne. Any information

    shared would be great. Ive read mixed reviews,

    however they score high in the ISATs, but

    wondered if academically challenged.

    Waitlisted for
    BURLEY (17)
    OGDEN (not eligible) applied for the HS.

  • 335. Patty  |  March 21, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    @ Unsure, I am sorry I got the schools mixed up. South Loop upper grades are overcrowded but only bc SLS doesn’t have the space. I heard through the grapevine that South Loop School will get the original Jones College Prep Building (once JCP move into their new bldg in 2013). I still would not pass up South Loop School. You should schedule a tour of the building and speak with the principal, I think you will be presently surprised.

  • 336. RGC entry points by tier  |  March 21, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    Collecting information from above posts on RGCs:

    Tier 2 – 133 – no (@328)
    Tier 2 – 139 – no (@295)

    Tier 3 – 130 – no – (@194)
    Tier 3 – 135 – no (@260)
    Tier 3 – 136 – yes (@302)
    Tier 3 – 144 – yes (@174)
    Tier 3 – 144 – yes (@253)

    Tier 4 – 111 – no (@205)
    Tier 4 – 134 – no (@297/329)
    Tier 4 – 135 – no (@268 and @ 251)
    Tier 4 – 142 – yes (@297/329)
    Tier 4 – 144 – no (@308)

  • 337. unbelievable  |  March 21, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    RGC: 134
    Tier 4
    no offers (applied to Pritzker and Edison)

    did not test for classical schools

    magnet – offered Thorpe. all others wait list (lowest #33 @ Franklin)

    I should be happy to have anything but am just so amazed that scoring above the 98th percentile is not good enough. Does anyone know if spots ever open up in round 2?

  • 338. SmilingAnyway  |  March 21, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    Our letter shows that the seat number for Galileo is 36,the same as yours,is that weired?

    By the way,does skinner has magnet program?

    sheridan 48
    jackson 53
    galileo 36
    newberry 165
    skinner 201

  • 339. mom of 5  |  March 21, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    Tier 4 8th grader accepted Whitney Young with perfect 900.

    Tier 4 6th grader accepted to Lindblom with 806.9
    I am a bit concerned about sending son into Lindblom’s neighborhood — any one able to reassure me? We live in the Beverly area.

  • 340. momof2  |  March 21, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    Twins for K (tier 4)

    For SEES,
    Twin 1: Accepted to Edison 148 gifted / 95 reading, 97 math
    Twin 2: No accceptances 126 gifted / 96 reading, 94 math

    For lottery schools,
    Both twins got in to Hawthorne and Disney
    Waitlisted at 5 others (too far down to consider)

    Two Questions;
    1) Any chance that my Twin 2 will get into Edison later in the process?
    2) There are separate acceptance forms for SEES and standard app schools. Does this mean that w can accept one school from each category and then wait to see what else happens as wait lists move?

    In other words, can I accept Edison and Hawthorne for Twin 1, Hawthorne for Twin 2 and see if Twin 2 can somehow get into Edison at some point?

    Gets so complicated with two. Thanks!!

  • 341. RGC entry points by tier  |  March 21, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    Collecting information from above posts on RGCs:
    Tier 2 – 133 – no (@328)
    Tier 2 – 139 – no (@295)
    Tier 3 – 130 – no – (@194)
    Tier 3 – 135 – no (@260)
    Tier 3 – 136 – yes (@302)
    Tier 3 – 144 – yes (@174)
    Tier 3 – 144 – yes (@253)
    Tier 4 – 111 – no (@205)
    Tier 4 – 134 – no (@297/329)
    Tier 4 – 135 – no (@268 and @ 251)
    Tier 4 – 142 – yes (@297/329)
    Tier 4 – 143 – no (@285)
    Tier 4 – 144 – no (@308)

  • 342. Simply Obsessed  |  March 21, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    I’m happy my daughter fot into McDade read:95 math:85 Although I don’t know much about the school, I’m happy she was chosen!

    Is anyone familiar with McDade? The neighborhood? Also, if I accept does that cast her out of the 2nd round selections?

  • 343. Patty  |  March 21, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    @ Unsure, I am sorry I got the schools mixed up. South Loop upper grades are overcrowded but only bc SLS doesn’t have the space. I heard through the grapevine that South Loop School will get the original Jones College Prep Building (once JCP move into their new bldg in 2013). I still would not pass up South Loop School. You should schedule a tour of the building and speak with the principal, I think you will be pleasantly surprised. South Loop has about 577 students housed in two seperate buildings. Both schools are attractive.

  • 344. RGC entry points by tier  |  March 21, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    Collecting information from above posts on RGCs:


    Tier 2 – 133 – no (@328)
    Tier 2 – 139 – no (@295)

    Tier 3 – 130 – no (@194)
    Tier 3 – 135 – no (@260)
    Tier 3 – 136 – yes (@302)
    Tier 3 – 144 – yes (@174)
    Tier 3 – 144 – yes (@253)

    Tier 4 – 111 – no (@205)
    Tier 4 – 128 – no (@340 twin 1)
    Tier 4 – 134 – no (@297/329)
    Tier 4 – 135 – no (@268 and @ 251)
    Tier 4 – 142 – yes (@297/329)
    Tier 4 – 144 – no (@308)
    Tier 4 – 148 -yes (@340 twin 2)

  • 345. Twins2KFall2011  |  March 21, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    Nice data collection, “RGC entry points by tier”

    Momof2, we are very much in the same boat.
    No, you cannot accept 2 schools. I wouldn’t even advise it for fear it would negate the options (crazy thinking? Idk, maybe) but on the flipside of the letters it does say that if we don’t claim the seat, we forfeit it. That’s when the 2nd round begins, I suppose. Don’t risk it.

    I KNOW the choice isn’t easy but we are both lucky enough to have great options to choose from.

  • 346. Hawthorne mom  |  March 21, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    #334, if he gets in, son will definitely be challenged, no worries about that. But, at #4, for 6th grade, I wouldn’t hold my breath. There are 5 different waitlists (proximity and then the 4 tiers) and while people do move over the summer, I doubt 20 families will (5 lists times waitlist #4).
    I am an educator and think the instruction and the students at Hawthorne are very, very good. (the kind of good you read about in education journals but rarely ever see even in the best suburban schools) You can’t go wrong. Crossing fingers for you.

  • 347. 337  |  March 21, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    Tier 3 142. Accepted to South Loop. We will decline. We have been thrilled with Burr and plan to stay there for K.

  • 348. sad mom  |  March 21, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    did not get into any schools.

    tier 3

    RGS = 143.
    89% reading/99% math

  • 349. Patty  |  March 21, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    342. Simply Obsessed -McDade Classical (k-6 grades only) is an outstanding school! The neighborhood is safe and clean. The building is a one story structure with only one class per grade. The principal and parents are ALL involved. The students perform well on ISATs and have consistently scored in the 95-100% percentile. I wouldn’t pass up McDade. French, Art, Music, Library, Technology, Gym are taught weekly. Recess and educational field trips are included. The school is small (only 190 students) and intimate with an family-like feel to it. There is an active parent club. The only thing that might concern you if you are a working parent is that they don’t a have after school program. I assume that students that need after care might go to the Park District or a private after school program. I am not sure, you will need to look into it. Most of the kids go on to other Magnet/AC or private schools for 7-8 grades.

  • 350. Christine  |  March 21, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    @343, You mean the lower grades for SLES are overcrowded. The upper grades are fine with space. Correct?

  • 351. Patty  |  March 21, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    @348-I am sorry to hear about your sad news. STEM Magnet school is still accepting applications for their new school in UIC Village. Maybe you should submit an application tomorrow. I am not sure where you live in the city but this can be an option.

  • 352. Alejandro  |  March 21, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    Does this mean anything? 2 days ago I got an acceptance letter from Kenwood AC but today I got a letter from CPS OAE saying that I did not get accepted into any of the SEES that I applied for. I applied for AC’s, RGC, and Lincoln.

  • 353. Unsure  |  March 21, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    @Patty, thanks for the info on South Loop.

  • 354. RGC entry points by tier  |  March 21, 2011 at 6:41 pm


    Tier 2 – 131 – no (NPN forum_threads/41522)
    Tier 2 – 133 – no (@328)
    Tier 2 – 139 – no (@295)

    Tier 3 – 130 – no (@194)
    Tier 3 – 135 – no (@260)
    Tier 3 – 136 – yes (@302)
    Tier 3 – 140 – no (NPN forum_threads/41522)
    Tier 3 – 142 – yes (@337)
    Tier 3 – 143 – no (@348)
    Tier 3 – 144 – yes (@174)
    Tier 3 – 144 – yes (@253)
    Tier 3 – 144 – yes (NPN forum_threads/41522)

    Tier 4 – 111 – no (@205)
    Tier 4 – 128 – no (@340 twin 1)
    Tier 4 – 134 – no (@297/329)
    Tier 4 – 135 – no (@268 and @ 251)
    Tier 4 – 142 – no (NPN forum_threads/41522)
    Tier 4 – 142 – yes (@297/329)
    Tier 4 – 144 – no (@308)
    Tier 4 – 148 -yes (@340 twin 2)

  • 355. Patty  |  March 21, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    @Christine, yes. However South Loop is still an excellent school. Great test scores, diversity, plentiful activities and sports, before and after school care, summer day camp, great principal and parental involvement…the list just goes on and on.

  • 356. David  |  March 21, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    @346 Hawthorne Mom

    Thank you so much….

    I had no idea there were 5 waitlists. My son has a love of learning and would love a challenging school. Just checked my tier.
    current 5th grader.

    TIER 1 — HAWTHORNE #4 —— waitlist.


  • 357. momof2  |  March 21, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    Thanks, Twins2KFall2011. I think I will send a note to OAE just to make sure, but what you say is reasonable.

    Following up on my original comment (@340), this process still baffles me as I consider the results, because for my twins, I thought that Twin 2 (the one that didn’t get in to any SEES) would get in and that the other may not. My sample set of two has me completely baffled at this whole testing process. Any thoughts?

  • 358. Stressed by CPS  |  March 21, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    #334 David: Adding to Hawthorne mom’s earlier post, I think Hawthorne has a wonderful program. The upper grades are very challenged and do very well on ISATS. Not that the lower grades don’t, I just think the upper grade scores are much more solid across the board. The 8th graders that I know get accepted to all the best SEHS and/or IB programs. And not only does the school score high, the community of families is like no other. I have a child who transferred into a primary grade and we have been very happy. It has proved to be a well rounded school and the prinipal and asst. principal are excellent.

    Good luck to those on Hawthorne’s wait list and congrats to those who got in.

  • 359. sleeplessmom  |  March 21, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    @ 338 smilingaway…it seems from some info here that the schools have various wait lists depending on the tiers and various other lottery categories…what tier are you? we are tier 3 i believe we are a few yards short on the proximity lottery for Galileo…did you get any acceptances…can anyone else here confirm that the schools have various waitlists? Thanks

  • 360. Alejandro  |  March 21, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    Does this mean anything? 2 days ago I got an acceptance letter from Kenwood AC but today I got a letter from CPS OAE saying that I did not get accepted into any of the SEES that I applied for. I applied for AC’s, RGC, and IG

  • 361. Psap  |  March 21, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    Keep in mind that STEM is science technology engineering and math so parents need to be very interested in these focus areas for their child/ren.

  • 362. sleeplessmom  |  March 21, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    @338 smilingaway…it seems from some info here that the schools have various wait lists depending on the tiers and various other lottery categories…what tier are you? we are tier 3 i believe we are a few yards short on the proximity lottery for Galileo…did you get any acceptances…can anyone else here confirm that the schools have various waitlists? Thanks

  • 363. McDade Parent  |  March 21, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    @281 David
    @342 Simply Obsessed.

    Congratulations on getting McDade. We’re happy with McDade and I haven’t heard anyone unhapy with it.

    Here are several positives:
    + Increased diversity last year with kids from Asia, Europe & Africa,
    + Quiet safe neighborhood of Chatham – traffic congestion can be tough.
    + Really nice private park and playgrounds for the kids (1 playground for small kids).
    + No big kids – only goes up to 6th.
    + Sensitive, well behaved kids. Its amazing how often we see the upper grades helping the lower grades.
    + Scores have crept up to RGC levels. Ranked #8 in the state. Good trend on % of kids exceeding standards.
    + New Science program with a real scientist on staff.

    Hope its not too far for you to be involved with after school and PTA.

    Let me know if you want more info.

  • 364. kate  |  March 21, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    RGC = 142 – no accepts, tier 3
    Classical 90 Read’g/93 Math – no accepts

    Accepted at Peirce (currently there for PK)
    Waitlisted at numerous magnets, neighborhood schools. Played out as I had expected.
    We will continue to enjoy the Peirce community & walk to school ….
    Best of luck to all!

  • 365. parent  |  March 21, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    I am curious if waiting list is per grade or for the entire school?

  • 366. RGC entry points by tier  |  March 21, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    Tier 2 – 131 – no (NPN forum_threads/41522)
    Tier 2 – 133 – no (@328)
    Tier 2 – 139 – no (@295)

    Tier 3 – 130 – no (@194)
    Tier 3 – 135 – no (@260)
    Tier 3 – 136 – yes (@302)
    Tier 3 – 140 – no (NPN forum_threads/41522)
    Tier 3 – 142 – yes (@347) – CORRECTED, SORRY
    Tier 3 – 142 – no (@364)
    Tier 3 – 143 – no (@348)
    Tier 3 – 144 – yes (@174)
    Tier 3 – 144 – yes (@253)
    Tier 3 – 144 – yes (NPN forum_threads/41522)

    Tier 4 – 111 – no (@205)
    Tier 4 – 128 – no (@340 twin 1)
    Tier 4 – 134 – no (@297/329)
    Tier 4 – 135 – no (@268 and @ 251)
    Tier 4 – 142 – no (NPN forum_threads/41522)
    Tier 4 – 142 – yes (@297/329)
    Tier 4 – 144 – no (@308)
    Tier 4 – 148 -yes (@340 twin 2)

  • 367. Patty  |  March 21, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    @mom of 5- Lindblo is a rigorous school despite the neighborhood. Recently the principal was on cps obssessed and he stated that none of their kids were ever harmed in or outside of their school. Lindblom is gorgeous on the inside, kind of like Emerald City. lol! Two of my friends kids attend Lindblom and they are doing fine and nothing has ever happened to them. The kids there are there for educational purposes and thats it. I also live in Beverly as do my friends, so I don’t think you should be worried about the area. Additionally, Lindblom has shuttle buses to and from its school icluding before and after school hours included.

  • 368. Alejandro  |  March 21, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    Does this mean anything? 2 days ago I got an acceptance letter from Kenwood AC but today I got a letter from CPS OAE saying that I did not get accepted into any of the SEES that I applied for. I applied for AC’s, RGC, and International Gifted

  • 369. Special Issue  |  March 21, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    324. Twins2KFall2011- As the mother of twins I felt obligated to respond. Only a member of the club (parent of twins) can truly understand. People think because their children are born close together (9 myh, 18 mth) they know but they don’t. Those children are not at the same develpmenatl stage at the same time. Search your heart and the knowledge you have as the mother of those twins. Are they ready to be seperated or will it kill their spirit?. It’s a hard call. My twins were seperated for about 3 monthe in Kindergarten. They both became anti-social and distant. Their grades were high but they refused to interact with other children. I insisted they they be reunited. They flourished. They didn’t have to be with each other constantly but had to be able to see each other.
    As they grew older, that change. They were seperated in 6th graded and adjusted just fine. Long story short, it can be very detrimental if you seperate them too soon, but it could be very detrimental if they never learn to function individually (twin cousin experience). I also asked myslf should I deny one twin an opportunity if the other twin was not offered the same opportunity. I didn’t feel that would be fair. Twins or not , they are two seperate bein on two seperat life paths. Good luck. .

  • 370. Paul  |  March 21, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    Agassiz received 341 applications for about 40 Kindergarten slots this year, so it’s technically full. But, the waitlist does move somewhat as some parents accept slots at other schools.

  • 371. Lucky with a chance!  |  March 21, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    Any Lasalle Parents out there?!

    Received Letter today for Kindergarden:

    Lasalle Accepted
    Lasalle II Accepted
    Franklin 8
    Andrew Jackson 29
    skinner 323

    Thoughts on Lasalle Schools…what are the odds of waitinglists of 8 and 29?

  • 372. D's mom  |  March 21, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    How can I found out my tier/
    Did not get any school?
    RGC 136 Is it still possible to get a spot in 2nd or third round?
    Reading 94 Math 90
    Franklin waitlisted 35 Do you think we can get in?

  • 373. Jill Martensen  |  March 21, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    Alejandro and others,
    The first letter is for ACs only the second was for all others. Confirmed by Decatur parents who got the same conflicting letters. Ahhh, CPS at it’s finest.

    As far as I know, with the exception of AC kids applying to the new Lane Tech AC, if you accept an offer you will be taken out of second round selection for gifted or classical.

  • 374. ConfusedParent  |  March 21, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    We’re really confused. Here’s our info:
    Tier 2

    Wait listed @
    Andrew Jackson (19)
    Galileo (41)
    Franklin (11)
    Sheridan (49)

    I really don’t know what to think. Does anyone think we have a chance??

    Our neighborhood school is Smyth and does not generally get good reviews. Opinions??

    We sent in our application to STEM and are somewhat hopeful but concerned about getting in there either!

    Please help clear up my confusion…do we have any chance on the wait list realistically?!?

    Thanks for the support.

  • 375. RGC entry points by tier  |  March 21, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    @374, I don’t mean to sound harsh, but I don’t think your chances are great.

    I think you would actually be at least #72 since there is a list for each tier (and possible a proximity list)

  • 376. northwest side mom  |  March 21, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    We got into Courtenay, Peirce and Prussing for first grade. Waitlisted #1 at Belding, #6 at Disney, #10 at Audobon and #17 at Nettelhorst – others are all over 35 so I think they are out. No RGC or Classical acceptances.

    Anyone have any opinions on Courtenay vs Peirce vs Prussing? Thanks!

  • 377. RGC entry points by tier  |  March 21, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    @374, I meant to say I was using Andrew Jackson as an example.

    You’d be around number 44 or so for Franklin, again not taking into account proximity list if it exists.

  • 378. WestSidePops  |  March 21, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    Tier: 3
    RGC: 141
    Reading: 91%
    Math: 97%

    No gifted/classical accepts
    Waitlisted for 19 magnets (even ones we didn’t like)

    We’re pretty happy with the test results… the lack of an acceptance letter is a bummer though.

  • 379. Vi  |  March 21, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    Oh my gosh, I still haven’t gotten my AC letter yet!

  • 380. LSq  |  March 21, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    Tier: 3
    RGC: 142
    No to Coonley and Edison

  • 381. ConfusedParent  |  March 21, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    @377 Thanks. Can you please elaborate a little more?

    How come 44 for Franklin, what does the Tier mean exactly?

    Also, I believe we are in the proximity for Galileo and Andrew Jackson, within 1.5 miles of both.

    Additional thoughts?

  • 382. LR  |  March 21, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    133. Tier 3. Did not get a K spot at Coonley.

    What’s interesting is last year, for first grade, my daughter got into Bell with less. I have to pose the same question I did last year…why are so many of the Kindergarten scores so high? 133 is 98th to 99th percentile, right? But based on the numbers I see above, way more than 1-2% of the kids who take this test are scoring at the 130 and above level. Yes, you would expect it to be somewhat higher, because the test is self-selected. But not by THAT much. I am calling tomorrow with questions. I want to know if they keep statistics on kids who take the test before kindergarten and again before 1st grade and I want to know if there is a drop off in scores (particularly in the 130-150 range). And if so, how do they explain that? For instance, all the kids that are getting 140’s before Kindergarten, but not getting in, are they still scoring that high the following year? My guess is no, since my daughter got into Bell with a 128 before 1st grade. And last year we were not hearing of hardly any first grade scores that were astronomically high (150-160). But many of the K scores were. Why? Why? Why? I used to be a quantitative analyst and am frustrated by the fact that I can’t make sense of the scores.

  • 383. RGC entry points by tier  |  March 21, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    Tier 2 – 131 – no (NPN forum_threads/41522)
    Tier 2 – 133 – no (@328)
    Tier 2 – 139 – no (@295)

    Tier 3 – 130 – no (@194)
    Tier 3 – 135 – no (@260)
    Tier 3 – 136 – yes (@302)
    Tier 3 – 140 – no (NPN forum_threads/41522)
    Tier 3 – 141 – no (@378)
    Tier 3 – 142 – yes (@347) – CORRECTED, SORRY
    Tier 3 – 142 – no (@364)
    Tier 3 – 142 – no (380)
    Tier 3 – 143 – no (@348)
    Tier 3 – 144 – yes (@174)
    Tier 3 – 144 – yes (@253)
    Tier 3 – 144 – yes (NPN forum_threads/41522)

    Tier 4 – 111 – no (@205)
    Tier 4 – 128 – no (@340 twin 1)
    Tier 4 – 134 – no (@297/329)
    Tier 4 – 135 – no (@268 and @ 251)
    Tier 4 – 142 – no (NPN forum_threads/41522)
    Tier 4 – 142 – yes (School unknown) (@297/329)
    Tier 4 – 144 – no (@308)
    Tier 4 – 148 -yes (Edison) (@340 twin 2)

  • 384. EJ  |  March 21, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    daughter going into kindergarten got accepted into A Jackson and Courtenay, waitlisted on everything else. No luck with RGC or Classical. Lenart was our first choice.
    RGC – 126
    Classical 89 reading 72 math
    i didn’t want her to go into classical. RGC was what I really wanted. Bummed but AJLA has very high scores so I’m guessing I should be happy? anyone have experience with AJLA and if it’s really a good school??

  • 385. RGC entry points by tier  |  March 21, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    Everyone, please post your tier number along with any other information. We want to keep CPS accountable!

  • 386. D's mom  |  March 21, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    @385 How can I found my tier? I know my tier from last year information. The old link is not working now. Is any new link I can check? Thanks

  • 387. lsm  |  March 21, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    I see some of you got letters about pre-k. Do all preschool acceptance letters come from CPS? I was under the impression each individual school sent out letters. I’ve heard nothing yet. Thanks.

  • 388. NW Side mom  |  March 21, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    Tier: 3
    RGC: 139
    No acceptance from Coonley

    We did get #6 on Coonley neighborhood waitlist–our only reasonable number. Hoping this comes through since her brother is in the Options program there.

  • 389. Patty  |  March 21, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    @Mom of 5 – This is the message the principal of Lindblom left yesterday “I’m the principal at Lindblom and am happy to talk to you about the program: 773.535.9310
    Alan Mather”.

    You should call him and ask some question, I hope this helps.

  • 390. EJ  |  March 21, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    i checked and we’re tier 4…not sure what that means. can anyone pls explain? is that based on race and household income or where we live?
    is there a chance we could still get into an RGC with a 126 score?? Oy vay!

  • 391. cps Mom  |  March 21, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    340 and others asking about chances of getting into a magnet – further up someone posted an OAE link explaining that you can accept a magnet or neighborhood school and stay in the pool. The wait lists will be used by the schools all summer. You can even accept more than one school from different programs (SEES and magnet). You can accept the offer and then do your research and decide.

    So – sounds like hope for those that didn’t get anything. Also if you are #4 on the list I assume that you need to wait for 4 families in your tier to turn down the offer – so not necessarily 20 families.

    We attended AJLA all 9 years. Excellent program – lots of homework and challenging. My son studied Japanese. We have very fond memories and he was well prepared for HS. I don’t personally know about having twins but can tell you that AJLA has a policy of keeping them in separate classes – if that makes a difference.

  • 392. RGC entry points by tier  |  March 21, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    @386 – here you go!

  • 393. VL  |  March 21, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    144 Tier 3 accepted to pritzker

    Accepted to LaSalle 2

  • 394. rp mom  |  March 21, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    @364 – we too were accepted at Peirce, from what I understand they accepted all applicants for Kindergarten. You sound like you’re happy with the outcome, admittedly I don’t know much about Peirce. Can you shed light on your experiences thus far?

  • 395. Mitchell  |  March 21, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    Is Peirce a strong school for 7th & 8th grade? I previously made a visit to see about it for fourth grade for my child. The teacher did nothing to encourage us to come to the school (versus private) and told us there would be 4 students that required extra attention in a class of 26. any thoughts?

  • 396. D's mom  |  March 21, 2011 at 8:00 pm

    @386 thanks!

  • 397. Patty  |  March 21, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    Andrew Jackson Language Academy is an excellent school. As I said before, my nephew attends currently and is in the 5th grade now. They offer five foreign languages, two classes per grade, limit activities/sports, international school environment, advanced science and math program for 7 & 8th grades, no before and after school care but some parents utilize the Park District after school program, educational field trips and guest speakers, excellent principal and teachers, great parents clubs and participation, kids usually end up at the top magnet/selective enrollment high schools in Chicago

  • 398. Help me figure out waitlists  |  March 21, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    How do wait lists work for maget schools?

    Say if I have number 20 for Stone.

  • 399. Patty  |  March 21, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    @EJ, Andrew Jackson Language Academy is an excellent school. As I said before, my nephew attends currently and is in the 5th grade now. They offer five foreign languages, two classes per grade, limit activities/sports, international school environment, advanced science and math program for 7 & 8th grades, no before and after school care but some parents utilize the Park District after school program, educational field trips and guest speakers, excellent principal and teachers, great parents clubs and participation, kids usually end up at the top magnet/selective enrollment high schools in Chicago

  • 400. david  |  March 21, 2011 at 8:08 pm

    #366, MCdade parent. I found some data that did not show any increase in diversity? I’m wondering if this new process for enrollment, will create a more diverse population.

    Here is the link where i found data.

  • 401. becca  |  March 21, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    we were accepted at peirce only. anyone have any feedback about peirce? otherwise we’re looking at private school.

  • 402. Another Rogers Park Mom!!!  |  March 21, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    Wait??? My dd got a 139 RGC score and NO offer in Tier 2, but people in Tier 3 are getting offers with 133? WTF?

    This is where the Tier thing really pisses me off… go back to straight scores, it’s the only ‘fair’ way!!!

  • 403. tracking the numbers  |  March 21, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    RGC by Tier-
    Hi. That’s very useful information that you’re tabulating. Is it all for the K/1st grade though or some Academic Center. Since ACs also look at 5th grade performance — having that in the mix can muddy the waters.

  • 404. D's mom  |  March 21, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    Tier 3 136 no offer

  • 405. Patty  |  March 21, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    @David- I looked at your data and McDade isn’t 52% white so I think this information is incorrect.

  • 406. K vs 1st G  |  March 21, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    @382. LR | March 21, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    My kid scored 148 last year for K and was offered Edison 1st round, this year he scored 125 for 1st grade w/ no offers so it does seem like the scores aren’t directly comparable even if the scale is apparently the same. see also

    230. E’s dad | March 21, 2011 at 2:42 pm
    For first grade RGC – 129, tier 4. Accepted at Coonley. Currently at Pritzker RGC, and happy, but location issues. Currently on the fence. So there will be a 1st grade spot open at one of the two. Good luck to all.

    I doubt anyone will get into K at Coonley this year at 129 never mind a first round offer.

  • 407. david  |  March 21, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    @ patty on my link, 52% was for the state.the link breaks down, school, district, and state. its on the left side

  • 408. macK  |  March 21, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    @340: 1) doubt it. not Edison for tier 4.
    2. You can only accept one school.

  • 409. Lakeview Mom  |  March 21, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    Tier: 4
    RGC: >160

    Accepted to Coonley but totally was not expecting these results and not sure what we will do. Does anyone have any info about before/after care at Coonley? Thanks!

  • 410. macK  |  March 21, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    @273 czechmom: Skinner North will go to 8th grade. Next year it will only go to 4th, but they add a grade every year.

    My DD has gone to Skinner North for two years, and we are very happy there. We like how she has progressed academically, and we like the social/emotional development work they do there. DD loves school.

  • 411. Maureen  |  March 21, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    I went to the STEM Magnet Academy Community Meeting tonight. Here are the highlights:

    Applications Due by 4/15
    Lottery Results will be made public around the 1st Week of May

    Lottery will be conducted the standard magnet fashion (40% proximity/60% from Tiers)

    School will accept K-3rd grade for first year
    Will likely be 2 classrooms per grade
    Kindergarten will likely be full day
    Will have World Language option, language not yet selected

    No principal selected yet
    No curriculum set yet, but will likely closely follow the national STEM standards

    The CPS rep at the meeting was Margo De Lay and she can be reached at

    The attendance at the meeting was about 25 people and very diverse. Good group of parents with great questions. Most seemed to be parents of Kindergarten students, so those looking for slots for upper grades may have a good chance.

  • 412. sleeplessmom  |  March 21, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    thanks Maureen for the info on the STEM

  • 413. NW Side mom  |  March 21, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    @410 I can’t speak to the before care at Coonley, but it is available. Their after school program is great. There are many opportunities for different activities like chess, music, martial arts and sports. The after school program is run by the Neighborhood Boys and Girls Club and many of the extra activities are run by area organizations. For instance the Old Town School of Music offers piano and guitar, Lilll Street is doing an art class this quarter, Midnight Circus does a class and there is also Mad Science and Lego Robotics. My son loves after school as much the regular school day.

  • 414. @342 349  |  March 21, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    McDade does have an informal after school program. The principal, Mr. Coleman, is great and let’s kid stay til 4 if needed.

  • 415. EDB  |  March 21, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    Tier 2
    RCG – 156
    Classical Reading 99.6/Math 94

    Accepted at Edison (1st Choice).

    Waitlisted at all 20 Magnets/Neighborhoods we applied to – lowest Waitlist #27.

    Has anyone seen any Decatur acceptances? Wondering what the scores were for that.

  • 416. Christine  |  March 21, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    #383, it’s helpful to see the tally. I should point out, we only applied to 2 schools: 1 classical and 1 RGC. If I had expanded our schools maybe we would have had an offer. I’m happy with his scores and hopefully he’ll get an offer in a later round.

  • 417. Dad  |  March 21, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    I put together a survey on google spreadsheets. Feel free to enter your data here and I will publish the data once every couple of days.

    Also there’s a nice summary after you enter your info

    Together we can crack the code of CPS gifted acceptance!

  • 418. Christine  |  March 21, 2011 at 8:35 pm

    How do you find out what your wiatlist number is for the RGC and Classical schools if you didn’t get a first round offer? Is it supposed to be on the sheet, if we’ll even remotely have a chance or do we have to call OAE?

  • 419. @409  |  March 21, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    Congrats! I think that is perfect!

  • 420. TwinMom  |  March 21, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    Whomever is collecting these scores by tier: doesn’t it really matter which school a person applied to? I mean, my daughter was accepted into an RGC from Tier 3, but only into her third choice RGC — that school might have been first choice for someone else, KWIM?

    And by the way, my twins’ scores (listed above at post 238) were apparently not included in your round-up, unless I’m not seeing them.

  • 421. Hawthorne mom  |  March 21, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    #402, is it possible that you only listed a few schools? Someone in a higher tier could be getting into a less popular rgc with a lower score, or it could be that depending how you ranked them, that hurt your chances, even with a higher score.

  • 422. lin Dao  |  March 21, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    @193: Skinner North for sure if your child is already reading and has strong math skills. Pulled my child out of LaSalle after 1st grade because the school just cannot/do not want to cater to advance learners. My son was bored there.

  • 423. Maggie  |  March 21, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    Do anyone have information on Beasley Gifted Center program?

  • 424. McDade Parent  |  March 21, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    David- That McDade 2010 data doesn’t include the 2010 entering class. Maybe they did a census at ISAT time in March 2010.

    I’ll search for the CPS document I saw last year that showed that the entering class went from 98% Black in 2009 to 80% Black in 2010. I think I found the link on this site last year.

    I like the fact that you’re researching and focusing on data. That’s the way to go.

    McDade attracts parents from Hyde Park. My son’s class has 3 PhD’s among the parents and 4 Univ of Chgo alumni.

    A number cruncher like you would be welcome and you’d fit right in.

  • 425. anonymous  |  March 21, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    @382. LR – As a partial answer to your question about scores – my child scored 145 on K RGC exam and did not get a spot, but the following year scored 148 and is attending RGC 1st grade. So, some do score fairly consistently. Also, the test for K is one-on-one, so not surprisingly, there are going to be different results. The group test introduces so many factors which could result in lower scores that I was honestly surprised that my child’s did not drop.

  • 426. macK  |  March 21, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    @418 : You don’t get a wait list number for SEES. You can call OAE and sometimes they will give you some indication of where you are at (but sometimes not). There are second and third round letters that go out.

  • 427. Maggie  |  March 21, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    @414-I don’t consider 4pm an after school program. Most parents needed after care til 6pm bc they don’t get off until 4-5pm. I know South Loop/Agassiz and some other schools offer an after school care til 6pm.

  • 428. EDB  |  March 21, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    @417 – I filled out the spreadsheet, but not sure it will show the right thing. Our son was accepted at his first choice (RGC), so we don’t know if his scores would have gotten him into a Classical school or not. I entered his scores & N, but not sure if that was right.

  • 429. Maggie  |  March 21, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    Do anyone here have any information on Beasley’s gifted program?

  • 430. Working mom  |  March 21, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    Soon to be 1st grader accepted to Beasley. #9waitlist at Pulaski, #23 Alcott, #32 Pritzker.

    Test scores were poor and I’m so sad b/c he does so well in school and grasps new concepts easily. I work with him at home but husband says I need to spend more time with him.

    RGC: 93. Classical: Reading 86, Math 29!!!
    Tier: not certain but guess is 3.
    I can’t understand the HUGE discrepancy between reading and math score. Any thoughts.

    NOT accepted to any Classical or RGC school.

  • 431. Maggie  |  March 21, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    @Working Mom- Do you have any information on Beasley gifted program; curriculum, activities, after school care etc??? Please my son was accepted to their 1st grade gifted class and I just want to learn more about the school.

  • 432. Maggie  |  March 21, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    Do anyone know any information about Beasley gifted program??? I work during the day and it is hard for me to call the school during the day. I am just curious.

  • 433. Help me figure out waitlists  |  March 21, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    @417 – great idea! You forgot to list the option of a score of 143

  • 434. Twins2KFall2011  |  March 21, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    @ Special Issue (369), thank you!!! They are currently in the same pre-k class and have been for 2 years.
    We have mentioned the possibility of them attending separate schools, just in case, recently. My twin son is my biggest concern. He was just diagnosed w/ADHD and the was having a bad day on his testing day. The woman even came to us and said, “All he talked about was eating, he’s VERY hungry. He asked me if I could bring him some food.”
    OMG!!!! We knew, right then and there that his chances were probably not going to be too good. But we kept our hope. Shame on me for not buying him a Happy Meal prior to the appt.

    His RGC: 134 Classical: 98, 72
    Her RGC: 142

    In the tabulations from “RGC entry points by tier”, my children are:
    Tier 4 – 142 – yes (@297/329) aka Twin A
    Tier 4 – 134 – no (@297/329) aka Twin B

  • 435. sad mom  |  March 21, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    hi 417 Dad – i tried to enter data into your spreadsheet but it is missing my son’s score – 143 as an option for the RGC score. 142, 144 but no 143.

  • 436. S  |  March 21, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    I posted above @175 but without my Tier . . Tier 4.
    No RGC or Classical
    RGC 135
    Classical 87% reading and 88% math

  • 437. dette  |  March 21, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    if anybody wants Franklin, Im giving up our spot for edison (K).

  • 438. SS Dad  |  March 21, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    @430 Working Mom:

    I’m not sure if I understood your post.

    Was your child accepted into Beasely? or, are you talking about two different children?

  • 439. SS Dad  |  March 21, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    @417 Dad — very slick spreadsheet on Google Docs.

    – You don’t want to collect Tier?
    – For the 1st question Grade, do you want “Current grade” or the grade that they’re testing for?

  • 440. Dad  |  March 21, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    I fixed the form to allow the tier, sorry about that.

    Also added 143 as I missed that number!

  • 441. Maggie  |  March 21, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    Do anyone here have information on Beasley gifted program??? Please help me OR if you know anyone who’s child attend now, would help me.

  • 442. adad  |  March 21, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    That survey link is great. What about also including the number of your choice at which you were accepted? Like coonley, RGC 175, 1st choice…:)

  • 443. wandrerr  |  March 21, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    @364 Kate – If you’re still following this, could you give me your thoughts on Perice? We are in the same boat as you.

    Thanks so much –

  • 444. SS Dad  |  March 21, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    @250 Plop plop fizz fizz

    Are you going to confirm at Keller?

  • 445. EDB  |  March 21, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    @440 (Dad). Love the spreadsheet. I populated it before you made the changes. Should I re-enter, or leave it without tier? (156, tier 2)

  • 446. Dad  |  March 21, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    156, tier 2 i fixed your data.

    btw if anyone wants to see the raw data here it is:

  • 447. Pablo  |  March 21, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    @ Alejandro- My youngster scored an 828 and didn’t get in. I know someone else that scored a 835 and did.
    Hope this helps.

  • 448. david  |  March 21, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    @ mcdade parent. Thanks for the information. Do you deal with afterschool care, and/or know parents who do. What options are available?

  • 449. Working mom  |  March 21, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    @SS Dad: yes, my son was accepted to Beasley for 1st grade ( lottery). No offers for classical or RGC.

    @Maggie: sorry, I don’t know much about Beasley’s gifted program.

    I realize magnet spots are hard to get so I am wondering if I should consider taking Beasley?

  • 450. Confused Mom  |  March 21, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    Can anyone clarify the magnet sibling policy for me? My daughter was accepted to Disney Magnet… I was under the impression that siblings would be put into a sibling pool lottery. Now I am reading that this policy changed? I am confused, does anyone know about this new policy?

  • 451. Another Rogers Park Mom!!!  |  March 21, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    @Hawthorne Mom, no… lol, we maxed the schools!!! Both on RCG/Classical and Magnet. 6 SEES schools and 20 Magnet/Neighborhood.

    Hence my confusion. We applied to Skinner, Decatur, Coonley, Edison, etc. We have a son at Decatur, so btdt. Hence, the confusion. Granted this child entering K is ‘the other kind of high scorer’ ie: Higher Gifted, Lower Classical. Ds was the opposite. He was a 165 on Classical (test scores seem to have ‘flipped positions’ in the past 4yrs).

  • 452. ugh  |  March 21, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    Retester scored a humble 106 RGC, 74% reading, 75% math. Pales incomparison to previous year’s test: 128 RGC, 95% reading, 95% math.

  • 453. E's Dad  |  March 21, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    @382: As referenced by @406, my child scored 129 (98% percentile) as an incoming first grader and was offered a RGC spot first round. Last year, she scored 99.4% (according to IIT on the phone, I think the score was around 139) and was not offered a spot until 4th round. I do not believe you can directly compare scores between the first 2 years (K and 1.) I would guess there are less children testing for 1st grade, but not so many less to justify the difference in acceptance level scores. If you check the threads from last year, you’ll see more of the same. Intelligence tests of children at these early ages are not as accurate as at later ages. If you look at the scores I posted, and those that @406 posted, those score differences by standard deviations, and the fact that the kids flip flopped in rank order from one year to the next would be an astounding set of changes for adults. You can call it good test day/bad test day, or poor testing, or whatever you want, but there does seem to be a pattern of higher scores for K.

  • 454. Patty  |  March 21, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    @Maggie- Beasley is a rather large school (1200 students) but its gifted program is a good one. Scores are consistently good. Beasley also offers TONS of activities/sports including; dance, violin, choir, industrial arts, art, music, swimming (the school has an in house swimming pool!), basketball, cheerleading, flag football, golf program, tennis, track etc. Additionally, the gifted students are looped with the same classroom teacher for two years. So the teacher becomes familiar with each student. Also, gifted students are taught Spanish begining in the 2nd grade. The school has a huge gymnasium, art room, music room, 2 or 3 technology labs, two science labs and library. Beasley offers an after school program until 6pm (at an affordable cost). However, I am not familiar with the principal, administration or parental involvement. I hope this helps!

  • 455. KCK  |  March 21, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    Any Franklin parents here? Can you tell me something about the curriculum/teachers there? How do you/your child like it? Thanks.

  • 456. Chicago Gawker  |  March 21, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    To those who asked about Pierce: Many young families who moved into the neighborhood during the housing boom have chosen to send their kids to Pierce, and It has an active parent group that does fundraiser nights at Andersonville bars etc. The upper grade students at the school are not as academically strong, but that is changing each year as the younger kids move up. There are involved parents there interested in education, and if I was offered a spot, I’d grab it.

  • 457. SS Dad  |  March 21, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    @448 David- The after school options are limited. Right now, we use 3 days of afterschool programs: Tue – Book Club, Wed – Mad Science and Thu – Chess. They are all provided by outside vendors.

    I looked at Francis Parker’s website and suggested we try to recreate their afterschool menu of programs. I’ve talked with Little Kickers and Language Stars.

    Im trying to figure out the interest level. Actually, it seems to work better to just let the vendors market on their own. I am surprised that no one has put this together before.

    Also, as mentioned before, these programs only take you to about 4pm.
    And, if your kids use the bus transportation, the after school programs are not an option. The buses leave at about 3pm.

    I hear Rahm’s going to focus on this issue.

  • 458. ronni  |  March 21, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    @ssdad. The 149 keller acceptance is mine. (both my husband and I are on this site) Yes, we will confirm. We have another kid at Keller and LOVE it!!!

  • 459. Patty  |  March 21, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    @Maggie & Working Mom (449)- Beasley is a rather large school (1200 students) but its gifted program is a good one. Scores are consistently good. Beasley also offers TONS of activities/sports including; dance, violin, choir, industrial arts, art, music, swimming (the school has an in house swimming pool!), basketball, cheerleading, flag football, golf program, tennis, track etc. Additionally, the gifted students are looped with the same classroom teacher for two years. So the teacher becomes familiar with each student. Also, gifted students are taught Spanish begining in the 2nd grade. The school has a huge gymnasium, art room, music room, 2 or 3 technology labs, two science labs and library. Beasley offers an after school program until 6pm (at an affordable cost). However, I am not familiar with the principal, administration or parental involvement. I hope this helps!

    P.S. -I think that you two should go visit this school and talk to the administration and principal to find out more. The gifted program is challenging and rigorous. I have a close friend who’s daughter is in 8th grade right now in Beasley gifted program and was accepted to Whitney Young Magnet H.S for this fall. She is satisfied with the school. I have heard mixed reviews about their magnet program though but Beasley good test score can’t be disputed. Plus everything the school offers. I would check it out to learn more before August arrives. I hope this helps.

  • 460. Annoymous  |  March 21, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    My kid got accepted into Kenwood Academy Academic Center. But it’s in Hyde Park and other parents are telling me that it is a ghetto area. I have never been to Hyde Park before and I don’t know much about Kenwood Academy. Any comments that will reassure me about sending my kid to Kenwood Academy Academic Center thanks!

  • 461. CPS Mom  |  March 21, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    For kindergarten spot:

    Tier 4


    Wait Listed (50+ not listed):
    Chopin (2)
    Nettelhorst (6)
    Franklin (22)

    RGC: 144 (accepted at South Loop)
    Classical: 96% read, 92% math (no acceptances)

  • 462. SS Dad  |  March 21, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    @449 – Working Mom

    If you want the Beasely RGC, maybe you should take the Beasely lotter spot to get in that environment. I remember Beasely having really motivated teachers and administrators a few years ago. It could still be a good environment. I haven’t kept up with the school lately.

    Good luck.

  • 463. unexpected offer  |  March 21, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    Tier 3
    RGC: 132 (no offers)
    Reading: >99.9 Math: 96
    Offer from Decatur

    Anyone have any insight/experience at Decatur? We were not expecting this and have not prepared for this possiblity. We’re very pro-arts and it seems like Decatur is very academic and light on the arts…I’d love some insider info if you have it. TIA!

  • 464. Simply Obsessed  |  March 21, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    @ McDade Parent. Thank you so much for the very informative response and I would love to hear more about McDade. What grade did your child begin at McDade?

  • 465. Lakeview  |  March 21, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    Coonley kindergarten offer with score of 148 in tier 4.

  • 466. Another Rogers Park Mom!!!  |  March 21, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    @ Chicago Gawker!!! THANK you for the info on Peirce! We toured it for my ds (who’s at Decatur) 4yrs ago, and when he got into Decatur and I had to pass up Peirce it was really tough. I really liked it! We got a spot now for DD and I am THRILLED! Still hopeful we have an opportunity to also consider Stone (#11 on List), or get a second/third round RGC with a 139, but will be more than happy with Peirce. Thanks for reassuring me it has not changed in 4yrs! 😉

  • 467. Chicago Gawker  |  March 21, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    If you want an email of a current parent let me know. We have a neighborhood yahoogroup with Pierce parents on it.

  • 468. Ingrid R  |  March 21, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    Here’s our full list for Options for Knowledge. No acceptances, hoping for La Salle 2

    Courtenay 3
    Thorp, O 41
    Disney 101
    Disney II 213
    Franklin 97
    La Salle 130
    La Salle II 11
    Stone 46

  • 469. McDade Parent  |  March 21, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    @464 Simply Obsessed.

    We started McDade at Kindergarten. Are you coming in at Kindergarten or a higher grade?

  • 470. Patty  |  March 21, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    @Working mom, I’m am not sure where you live or work but if you need a good academic environment and need after school care til 6pm, I would strongly consider Beasley. My friend also has a son in their 2nd grade math/science magnet program and she says that she is satisfied with the educational atomosphere there. Her daughter in the 8th grade gifted program did really well in that program. I suggest you to at least check out the school. But just understand that it is a large school so there is a mix of students. I still believe that they do a great job with keeping test scores consistently good/high and with offering so many activities for the kids.

  • 471. northwest side mom  |  March 21, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    SO many of you seem to love Peirce – we were accepted there for first grade but Courtenay looks really good too and we were also accepted there….

    Anyone out there have thoughts on if Peirce is better than Courtenay or vice versa??

  • 472. Chicago Gawker  |  March 21, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    Remember people, the gifted CPS test is NOT an IQ test!

  • 473. Patty  |  March 21, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    @460- Hyde Park is a beautiful place. Very diverse neighborhood with the University of Chicago just down the street. I would not call the neighborhood ghetto or the AC. I am not sure how people that never been or lived there could judge an area or people but I find it offensive and mean. Kenwood AC is actually a great one. It is housed in a seperate building from the H.S. The teachers are good, the kids that attend the AC is diverse, and the principal leads the AC well. I think you should judge the school yourself by visiting the school and speaking the teachers. That way you would see Hyde Park for yourself while learning about their program.

  • 474. Twins2KFall2011  |  March 21, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    Some more info…
    Tier 4 retester scored RGC 107 = no acceptance. Previously (accepted into RGC for Kindergarten Fall 2009) scored 139.

    More specific info about Tier 4 – 142 – yes (@297/329)
    School: Lenart

  • 475. Stressed by CPS  |  March 21, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    #460. Kenwood AC has excellent reviews. Hyde Park is not the ghetto. Obama lives in Hyde park. But I’m saying it is a good area because of him. It always was. The HS is a neighborhood school which I don’t know that much about but there have been tons of comments on this thread about the great things Kenwood AC has to offer. And I have previously researched their AC and found it to offer a lot. My child was also accepted there but we chose for a closer AC which was already far enough.

  • 476. goodtobeobsessed  |  March 21, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    30 pt. drop in RGC score from kindergarten to 1st – not even in the running this year. ): 110 RGS tier 4.

  • 477. KATG  |  March 21, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    I have one Decatur graduate (now at Whitney Young) and one child still currently at Decatur. We love Decatur and have been very happy there for many years. They have a wonderful art teacher that the school has for 30 weeks and the children also take tap dance. In addition, students have classes in Latin, music, physical education, computer, and have daily recess. While academics are important at this school it has much to offer in other areas too. Several field trips are taken to see plays and many times throughout the year there are in school performances. The school website is new and full of information, I would encourage you to check it out.

  • 478. BuenaParkMom  |  March 21, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    @460 – I would not call Hyde Park “ghetto”. I live on the North side of town and generally think of it as the Lincoln Park of the South Side but with the feel of a college town. It is a generally diverse community with very nice people tending to have a high level of education. I worked south of Kenwood Academy, basically between it and the University of Chicago, but the kids I ran into after school in the area always seemed very polite to me. I think you should visit the school and neighborhood. And if you happen to be Alejandro’s parent, I think you have a wonderful child. I have been following his clear anguish regarding this decision. It is impressive that he clearly wants the best education possible. I think that is a rare thing in a seventh grader and only hope that my son will be so motivated when he is that age. I would encourage him to go to the best school possible and I wish him the best.

  • 479. Stressed by CPS  |  March 21, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    #463 unexpected offer: Decatur is not an artsy school but has a lot to offer. They participate in many academic events and the school hosts many school events for parents and kids to come together as a community. The school is small, but has a beautiful science lab. I have to say that my child who attended there was taught above grade level but I didn’t feel that they were that well rounded overall because I felt the kids are trained just to be good test takers. That isn’t everything. But all in all, it was a great experience, I would not pass it up. I know the whole no 7th/8th grade thing can be hard but the kids have many options for when that time comes.

    People would sell their right arm to get their kids into Decatur so be proud, and good luck! Parents are very involved and the kids are in a safe environment where everyone is ready to learn.

  • 480. Paul  |  March 21, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    Another test score drop from K to 1st here. This year, for the 1st grade test, son scored a 116 on the gifted test, and for the classical: 86 in Reading and 64 in Math. Last year, for the K test, he scored 125 on the gifted and the 91 percentile for the classical. Oddly enough, he’s very strong in math, so it may have been a bad testing day or bad timing with his academic development. We have a fantastic neighborhood school, so no worries.

  • 481. Finally a letter!  |  March 21, 2011 at 10:07 pm

    I would like to hear some feedback about Edison. My son was admitted there for Kindergarten and was also given a spot at Lasalle Language Academy….

  • 482. Relieved mom  |  March 21, 2011 at 10:08 pm

    My daughter was accepted to Edison. Her score is 149 and we live in Tier 4.

  • 483. cps Mom  |  March 21, 2011 at 10:08 pm

    @430 – sounds like a slip on the math. I wouldn’t be concerned about it – at such a young age, testing can be a real crap shoot. I remember when I took my son to Decatur for testing – it did not go well. I was crushed that he was not considered “gifted”. He was, however, oblivious and all smiles. We are blessed in many ways – he went to a great school and is doing very well, totally on track. He tries hard and succeeds in more abstract ways. He has never been a “color in the lines” kind of a kid – more of a fill the page with color. They find their niche.

  • 484. Patty  |  March 21, 2011 at 10:09 pm

    478. BuenaParkMom- Yes, I would say Hyde Park is similar to Lincoln Park, just on the near southside of Chicago. I loved it there when I lived there. I now live in Beverly but frequent Hyde Park often for their diverse eateries/shops, museums/U of Chicago etc. The area is filled with high priced townhomes, condos, mansions etc. Parking is hard to find unless you pay the meters. I don’t understand how someone could call Hyde Park ghetto when it clearly isn’t. The area is extremely diverse and offers so much. Please check out the neighborhood before stating such an untrue statement. As for Kenwood AC, I know it is a great diverse AC and one of the top in the State.

  • 485. Maggie  |  March 21, 2011 at 10:12 pm

    Thanks for the info about Beasley gifted program! I will accepted and appreciate the after school info.

  • 486. Chicago mom of 3  |  March 21, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    Tier 2 Child 4 1/2
    RGC: 132 (no offers)
    Reading: 99.8 Math: 90
    Offer from Skinner West
    Relieved to get something for kindergarten. Whew!

  • 487. Simply Obsessed  |  March 21, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    @469. McDade Parent. Yes, my daughter is coming for Kindergarten.

  • 488. Working Mom  |  March 21, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    @Patty and @SS Dad: Thank you both for your responses. I had no idea Beasley was so large (1200) !! Maybe a little scary for a 1st grader, Yikes!! I will contact Beasley and set up a visit. The principal ‘s name is Dr. Tweedle, I think. Beasley’s test scores are similar to the scores at my son’s existing school, but sounds like Beasley has more extracurricular activities.

    I’m still in a “daze” about the classical math score = 29%. I will just have to get over it I guess.
    Good luck to everyone.

  • 489. Hawthorne mom  |  March 21, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    As to drop in test scores, isn’t the 1st grade test given in a group? That would account for large differences, depending on how well a child responds to the written, group format.

  • 490. South Side Mom  |  March 21, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    No RGC/Classical acceptances for K. Tier 4: RGC 110; Classical: 86% Reading 67% Math.

    Obviously, our DD widely missed the mark on these, but I wasn’t thrilled with the options available….the only one I could really see her at was Poe. Not thrilled with Lenart’s 7.30 am expected school arrival time (per the principal at the open house).

    No acceptances to magnets/neighborhoods, including Kellogg (well #80 on the waitlist. Ha!)

    We are in Beverly, in Barnard. The closest we came with waitlists is #2 at Grissom, on the SE side, scores quite high, and #5 at Suder, which is quite far for us. Also waitlisted at Vanderpoel #24, and Ray #28 but I’m not holding my breath on those.

    Sigh. Disappointed, but ok with it. We’ll try again next year for Keller, I suppose. And Sutherland too. But, again, not holding my breath.

  • 491. Working Mom  |  March 21, 2011 at 10:26 pm

    @Paul and @CPS Mom: As you both have experienced, it’s not uncommon for the test scores to drop from K – 1, especially since the children are still so young. Hahaha@crapshoot.

  • 492. Psap  |  March 21, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    I am looking for a reasonableness check. My daughter was 130th on the wait list for Andrew Jackson Language Academy even though we were told we were proximity. It seems very strange that there would be up to 130 first graders applying within a 1.5 mile radius. Does this sound reasonable? Thanks for any/all thougths!

  • 493. South Side Mom  |  March 21, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    Forgot to say, on the other magnets, got #43 at Franklin, #30 at AJLA, and #55 on Sheridan. Not taking those seriously, though. (Tier 4, recall)

  • 494. Stressed by CPS  |  March 21, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    It’s funny reading everyone’s posts about the competition and spots available, scores. etc. I say funny because when I had a child at Decatur, they sent out a letter to the parents seeking students to fill spots. They asked us parents if we knew anyone who would be interested in testing thier child for that grade. This of course was when the testing was done at the school itself. But nowadays, it’s like a total madhouse and we will never again see Decatur or even these popular magnets schools looking for kids by way of asking parents to help fill spots.

  • 495. magnet school mom  |  March 21, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    @455 KCK- my son is at Franklin 2 years now. We love it and he loves it. It’s a small school and everyone knows everyone. All the staff look out for the kids. He was at a gifted school for Kindergarden and I hated it and he was too stressed so we pulled him. Now, he’s thriving and enjoys going to school where as the first year he would fake being sick to avoid school.

  • 496. Twins2KFall2011  |  March 21, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    It seems like our 1st Grader retesters aren’t responding well to this group test. That’s SO interesting!

    @ South Side Mom – Lenart’s start time is 7:45, earliest drop off is 7:30 am.

  • 497. Maggie  |  March 21, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    @Southside Mom, I can’t believe you didn’t get a slot anywhere, including at a magnet schools. That is so shocking to me. What are you planning to do?

  • 498. frustrated  |  March 21, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    Can someone please tell me why tier 2 is bad for wait listed magnets?

  • 499. South Side Mom  |  March 21, 2011 at 10:41 pm

    #496, At the open house I attended, the principal explicitly stated that they want the students in school at 7.30. Actually, the phrase she used was “we expect them to be here at 7.30 for breakfast and to get settled in so that instruction can start at 7.45.”

  • 500. South Side Mom  |  March 21, 2011 at 10:47 pm

    @497, Are you being facetious? If so, this isn’t the forum for it. I was honest about my daughter’s scores widely missing the mark.

    The magnets are indeed a crapshoot. I would assume that I would be in the proximity lottery for Vanderpoel, but with our position, I’m not expecting anything.

    We are still waiting to hear back from Academy For Global Citizenship, but that’s on 47th and Cicero, so also far (but oddly popular in Beverly). Otherwise we will choose a local Catholic school. There are several good options in the area, but I would have preferred one of the public schools.

  • 501. magnet school mom  |  March 21, 2011 at 10:49 pm

    I forgot this earlier
    Tier 4- 144 offer at Pritzker
    classical: 96 reading, 91 math- no offers

  • 502. Tiering Up  |  March 21, 2011 at 10:55 pm

    We received an acceptance to Coonley RGC with a 148 score. Can someone explain to me the tiering system? I don’t see a tier score on my paperwork. Guess it doesn’t matter, but everyone else seems to know their tier… is it just tied to zip code? Do I need this info now that letters are out? Thanks…

  • 503. Twins2KFall2011  |  March 21, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    499. South Side Mom:
    Yes, that’s correct, instruction time is scheduled to start at 7:45 am = start time. The 7:30 entrance time isn’t as bad as it reads. Getting our children to school with enough time to settle in a little bit and chat with friends is the least we can do for them to ensure they do well, as we expect them to do.

    This is such an exhaustive process but well worth it when our kids are attending some of the best schools in IL.

    Good luck next year with Keller and/or Sutherland!

    GOOD LUCK EVERYONE! It’s been good. Thanks CPS Obsessed, as usual. 🙂 I LOVE your blogsite. You helped me in 2008/2009 and again now. Bless you.

  • 504. Question  |  March 21, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    Is anyone familar with the 2nd round selections? How does it work? Is it mandatory to decline an offered school to get a possible pick in round 2?

  • 505. Twins2KFall2011  |  March 21, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    AGC still hasn’t found a future site which is a major upset, considering the popularity it has gained. That’s a downside to the Charter option, they have to find their own way. It begs the question, “now what?”

    Tiering Up: here you go…

  • 506. Jenni Fry  |  March 21, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    Currently in South Loop RGC for kindergarten.

    Offer from Skinner West Classical for 1st Grade.

    Tier 4, Reading 99; Math 97

  • 507. covimom  |  March 21, 2011 at 11:08 pm

    1st time applying to SEES for Kindergarten. Are there really any spots left after 1st-round (4/1/11 deadline) for Decatur & Edison RGC? We want to manage our expectations since we recv’d no acceptances. Tier 4, 99% reading, 94% math, 133 RGC. What is the likelihood of getting an acceptance in later rounds for these 2 schools? Have seen alot of RGC acceptance scores on this blog, but only a few with Decatur. What “% number” for reading & math have gotten accepted into Decatur? Thx for your insights!

  • 508. CLC  |  March 21, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    Tier 2, Kindergarten

    RGC: 148
    Classical: Reading: 99.9 Math: 71

    Offer from Coonley. Thrilled!

  • 509. @460, @Alejandro  |  March 21, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    Your friends are ignorant. Chicago does not stop at Congress Parkway. They sound like those shopping carts where the wheels lock if you get too far away from the store. There are wonderful neighborhoods on the southside, including Hyde Park, Kenwood, Chatham, Beverly, Morgan Park, Ashburn, Mt. Greenwood, among others. Here’s a little secret…they even have Starbucks on the down there! Last I checked the top two K/1-8 grade schools (Keller and Lenart…(sorry Decatur stops at 6 and the 7th and 8th grade ISATs are a bear!)) in the state are down there. But don’t tell too many people…your friends might flock to our neighborhoods and drive up our modest housing prices.

  • 510. Jennifer  |  March 21, 2011 at 11:16 pm

    Wow I’m surprised at how upset I am over not getting any offers for my daughter. I can’t help but wonder if things would have been different if I’d had her tested for K. Feeling like I’ve let her down right now.

    I don’t think her scores put her in any kind of standing for a late offer, anyone have any idea how many 2nd grade spots, if any, could open up over the summer?

  • 511. Maggie  |  March 21, 2011 at 11:24 pm

    @500 Southside Mom, I really wasn’t trying to be mean. I were just shocked that you listed so many schools and got into none. I thought that the more schools you list the greater your chances were at getting into a school. I apologize if you took it the wrong way.

  • 512. mommyreetothree  |  March 21, 2011 at 11:27 pm

    @365 — did you get an answer?

  • 513. cpsobsessed  |  March 21, 2011 at 11:28 pm

    @510 Jennifer: You haven’t let her down! It sounds like you’ve done a ton of research to find a good option, even willing to locate near a good school. That is very committed.

    The number of spots really varies. It just depends on people’s personal situations changing. It seems like there are typically 1-2 spots that open in the RGC/Classical schools in each grade each year as people move away, switch schools, etc. Unfotunately those spots usually go to really high-scoring kids.

  • 514. mommyreetothree  |  March 21, 2011 at 11:28 pm

    LOVE you 509.

  • 515. Decatur Truths  |  March 21, 2011 at 11:30 pm

    #463 Unexpected Offer: Decatur Mom here. I will tell you this: Coming from an artsy-focused Early Childhood program with a ‘truly gifted’ child, has Decatur HONESTLY met all of our hopes and expectations? Um, no. Are we ‘happy enough’? Yes. There is NO real community feel for many of the parents outside of the PTA inner circle, which is extremely hard to break into. It is very cliqueish the past couple of years in particular. Futher, they ABSOLUTELY TEACH TO THE TEST!!! It is not a ’rounded, critical thinking focused’ educational experience in my opionion. But, with so few viable options on the North Side, it is one of the better choices. I would say think long and hard about what you want for your child in the long term… are you happy with their current environment? Would Decatur be ‘enough’ long term with the little arts they offer, the lack of lunchroom and real recess time (26 minutes a day TOTAL for lunch and ‘recess’. TOTAL!!!), which translates into little play time for the under 4th grade kids who need an energy release. Yes, there is one play a year. Yes, there is tap and I do like that… but the arts are underwhelming, as is the Support of the Administration.

    There is NO consideration for the individual child. NONE. If your child is stressed by a particular teachers tactics (there is a brutally cruel 2nd grade teacher whom we encounterd last year who’s been giving several like-students a very hard time this year, so it’s not just ‘my kid’) even though they are only 7yrs old, the principal will outright say ‘it’s a stressful school’. And I’m talking the teacher essentially emotionally abusing kids. If your family has non-sectarian religious holidays and you take them off, you will be grilled as to why they’ve missed ‘too much school’ for said holidays. Nevermind if they have a serious illness or two in the schoolyear, you will also be grilled by the Social Worker regarding that, even with doctors notes. I think it’s funding-related, but the reality is, it’s my kid, I am an at-home mom, wtf??? If she’s sick, she’s sick! WE don’t send our sick kids to school thank you! There is little emotional support, and the social life leaves A LOT to be desired; the work load precluded play dates during the week in our experience (our daughter is 3rd grade and often does homework from 7-9pm or later! Sometimes even longer! I’ve heard it’s less in the other 3rd grade, though). There is little help with makeup work and such if they are absent.

    It’s a great school in many ways, and there is a core of great people… but it’s hard to ‘find your way in’ and it is even more difficult to be accepted by the Lincoln Park Elite who run the show.

    If you are truly more focused are ‘heart, head and hands’ as I suspect, you may want to rethink whether the lack of consideration for the WHOLE child is what you will be okay with accepting Decatur.

  • 516. confussed  |  March 21, 2011 at 11:33 pm

    @mama mia how do you like beaubien rgc? how is thier program? what work do they do ciriculum wise? hoow does ur child like it? my dd got in but she is at skinner west and were not sure about shifting her as i dont know about the program. any insight anybody

  • 517. Another Rogers Park Mom!!!  |  March 21, 2011 at 11:35 pm

    @Chicago Gawker, I’d LOVE an email of a Peirce family/organization! Thanks so much! See you in the fall! 🙂

  • 518. Plop plop fizz fizz  |  March 21, 2011 at 11:35 pm

    @Jennifer. We feel your pain. It’s a slim crap shoot. We got a call in May last year for one of three slots that opened up in 4th grade at our desired RGC. People move out of state. Kids do change schools. Hang on.

  • 519. Patty  |  March 21, 2011 at 11:37 pm

    @509, Thank You!!!

  • 520. cpsobsessed  |  March 21, 2011 at 11:39 pm

    @507 Covimom: I think there’s usually a small number of spots that open up at Edison/Decatur, but the entry scores still tend to be pretty high.
    I don’t know if they’ve done this reading/match breakout before so it’s hard to tell what scores are needed. In the past I think they gave 1 percentile.

  • 521. Coonley questions  |  March 21, 2011 at 11:39 pm

    After reading 515, I’m wondering if any of those negatives are also true for Coonley gifted. Specifically, is there a lot of homework in the gifted program? I’m going on the tour Thursday, but wondered if anyone has good/negative experiences to share.

  • 522. cpsobsessed  |  March 21, 2011 at 11:41 pm


    The question is whether the wait list number is for your Tier/proximity/etc or the whole grade.

    Based on the duplicate numbers given out for one school, it appears that there are several waiting lists per school. So if you got #25 at school A, you need someone in your Tier/proximity/etc group to drop out to bump you up a spot.

    That’s why people are saying if you are #10, you may actually be #40 (#10 x 4 Tier lists.)

  • 523. mommyreetothree  |  March 21, 2011 at 11:42 pm

    @Chicago Gawker @Another Rogers Park Mom – the *NEW* parents involved at Peirce are amazing and fiercely passionate at improving the school and making it top notch. My kids attend kindergarten there and their teachers are AMAZING! Go to for more information about what is going on in this great school.

  • 524. mommyreetothree  |  March 21, 2011 at 11:43 pm

    Is the SIBLING wait list for the entire school or per grade?

  • 525. Random Name  |  March 21, 2011 at 11:45 pm

    My daughter: gifted 115. reading 98, math 94 (grade 1). sadly no offers:(

    Her gifted score is 20+ lower than my expectation because:
    1. she got 130+ last year.
    2. she told me all the questions in the test were easy.
    3. she got 99%+ in other IQ tests

    She took the test on Jan 8th as the first group (red cards). The starting time was heavily delayed and the test only lasted 40 minutes. My daughter said some questions are skipped. I wonder whether those skipped questions are marked as “wrong answers”. If anyone (grade 1, Jan 8th) has similar experience, please share your feeling. Thank you!

  • 526. mommyreetothree  |  March 21, 2011 at 11:45 pm

    Ouch! regarding Decatur Truths.

  • 527. cpsobsessed  |  March 21, 2011 at 11:46 pm

    COONLEY: There is an informal before-school drop-off program starting at 8:30. I think you can drop off earlier for a fee. At 8:30 kids either hang out on the playground or inside during winter. It can be a little nerve-wracking for a Kindergarten kid to be on their own on the playground for 30 min.
    After school program is very cheap and goes until 6pm. Lots of classes/activities to sign up for as well.

    Homework is not extreme at all.

  • 528. baboyjan  |  March 21, 2011 at 11:47 pm

    Can someone tell me anything about Prtizker’s RG program- pros and cons.
    Incoming 3rd grader: RGC 126
    Classical: R-90 M-99
    Don’t know where to look for tier ranking but we live in Lincoln School district.
    Acceptance to Pritzker. First two choices were Skinner North and Bell.
    Incoming kindergartener:
    RGC 117
    Claasical: R-90 M-99
    No acceptances yet.

  • 529. kate  |  March 21, 2011 at 11:50 pm

    Re: inquiries on Peirce
    * 8 Nat’l Board Cert. Teachers – committed and dedicated professionals. Many who send/(t) their own DC to Peirce
    *Golden Apple Music Teacher
    *Currently implementing an IB program (MYP) for 6-8th grade.
    *Middle School Model of classes and responsibility – 6-8th grade bock scheduling, providing 70 min. of classes on altern’tg days. Phys Ed./Health everyother day.
    *IB second language is Spanish
    *Principal is working to extend the IB to the Primary Years
    *Consistently has ranked in the top 100 schools, and that was before all the “bar parties” (Thank you Chicago Gawker @456)
    *strengthening upper grade ISAT scores as the school is impacted by the changes in the neighborhood. 2010 7th gr. ISATS in Science, 95% meets/exceeds.

    Peirce is working hard to educate all its students & I’m looking forward to supporting this neighborhood school.

  • 530. LR  |  March 21, 2011 at 11:51 pm

    Regarding test score drops from K to 1st, the testing format should not make a difference OVERALL. At least in regards to what I am referring to which is the DISTRIBUTION of scores. As far as I know, a 130 is 98th percentile, no matter what grade you are testing for. Roughly, that means 2% of kids should be scoring 130 or above. For K, we have way more than 2% scoring that. And for 1st, the distribution seems more normal. It was the same story last year. And in BOTH cases subjects are self-selecting, so if that were a factor, you would expect both sets of scores to be inflated. I suspect the Kindergarten test is methodologically flawed.

    Hey, whoever is keeping track of the scores above…it would be interesting to do a case study. If we can get 50 or more K’s who repeat the test next year…I would love to see what happens to scores. I am willing to help with analysis.

  • 531. kate  |  March 21, 2011 at 11:51 pm

    make that “block” scheduling. : )

  • 532. mommyreetothree  |  March 21, 2011 at 11:55 pm

    @Kate — thank you for the great stats on Peirce. It is an AMAZING neighborhood school that I am proud to be part of.

    If you received an acceptance from Peirce, take it. You won’t regret it.

  • 533. cpsobsessed  |  March 21, 2011 at 11:56 pm

    @LR: Maybe Kindergarten skims off a lot of the top-scoring kids who take spots at Edison, Coonley, Decatur, etc (I’m listing north side schools since I know those better.) Those kids probably don’t test again before 1st grade.

    I doubt CPS will reveal any info on the scores like you want. I think your best bet is calling during slow season (summer) when you can get someone off guard and chatty on the phone. Sometimes they’ll talk openly about their observations. Other times they won’t say a word.

    I do know that people have experiences 20+ point swings between K and 1st in either direction, probably due to the kids’ age and test-day anomolies.

  • 534. citydweller  |  March 22, 2011 at 12:17 am

    My child was accepted to Sheridan. Does anyone have any 1st hand experience at this school? I’m concerned about the 8am start, especially given the distance from our home, but it seems like a solid school otherwise.

    (Also accepted at Burr, but don’t think it’s a realistic option at this point.)

    We are also #8 on the wait list (tier 3, I believe) at Hawthorne. It seems promising, but I’m not getting my hopes up.

    Much higher #s on most of the other waitlists.

    Neighborhood school is Pritzker and I hear good things, but am not sold yet.

    (rgc 123
    classical 66 / reading 98 math
    not accepted anywhere)

    A lot to think about!

  • 535. confussed  |  March 22, 2011 at 12:50 am

    Does anybody know about the beaubien rgc program. detaails please…..

  • 536. Brian  |  March 22, 2011 at 12:59 am

    @500 Southside Mom can you makeany good catholic schools suggestions in beverly

  • 537. Brian  |  March 22, 2011 at 1:00 am

    Its for elementary. Thank You

  • 538. Hi  |  March 22, 2011 at 1:15 am

    @515. Decatur Truths Wow. Unfortunate as it is, I have to say felt so good to read someone echo the same thoughts. I second it, all of it. I always felt guilty thinking it though because I knew we were supposed to feel “lucky” to be there. Thank you Decatur Truths! Also..I concur…about one of the teachers. My kid, very sweet kid just needed a bit more help, was often publicly shamed and put on display or left out in the hallway as punishment, so condescending. It was a horrible year. Horrible… I feel bad for putting my kid who is still a KID through that. 😦
    Thank you Decatur Truths for having the courage to put your side out there. There are others like you. Me! Thank you!!!!

  • 539. Decatur Truths  |  March 22, 2011 at 1:24 am

    @538 I know that teacher and we had the SAME problems. PUBLIC admonishment and humiliation of a CHILD. Just awful. My heart totally goes out to you! I will say we have Sharping for 3rd and it’s a 10-fold improvment in that regard… so hang in there.

    Sorry to hear I’m not the only one. We should chat… 😉 I just don’t think everyone needs to hear the standard ‘rah rah Decatur’ we rock song and dance. There is A LOT of negative about a school that ONLY cares about the ISAT scores. Too much. Yes, it’s better than our neighborhood school by far… anything would be, lol. But it is far, far, far from ideal for even ‘truly gifted’ students!

  • 540. vch in albany park  |  March 22, 2011 at 1:35 am

    Tier 1 Kindergarden

    RGC: 134
    Classical: 93 reading, 85 math

    offer from Coonley

  • 541. Another Rogers Park Mom!!!  |  March 22, 2011 at 1:40 am

    This Tier thing is really infuriating!!! It’s really hard to watch kids with significantly lower scores get your #1 or #2 choice while you get NO offers from a RGC or Classical. Utter craptastic.

  • 542. Decatur Truths  |  March 22, 2011 at 2:09 am

    There are some objective views about Decatur on this thread on CPSobsessed as well:

    I will say there is ONE thing incorrect that is repeated on this thread: Classical and Gifted BOTH teach 1-2 years ahead. Decatur is typically 2 in Math and Reading in our experience, but not always. I want to clarify a few things: Our LSC is amazing, our Fundraising is INCREDIBLE, there are teachers there SO PHENOMENAL they make me cry… but there is definitly something lacking in the Social atmosphere, the ‘support’ atmosphere, and the Administration… If you know going in, eyes wide open, then… well, you have an idea not to expect perfection. You WILL NOT be ‘volunteering in the classroom’ at Decatur; you will barely ever set foot past the office during school hours. This is fact. Your children may or may not be the right fit. In our case, our daughter ‘needs Decatur’ as there is not a more viable option for her intellect. That may sound obnoxious, but it is the right place for her at this time. Would it be for my son? Probably not so much. He is not a rote learner… he’s far more critical. I do wish it offered more in terms of ‘individual child’. But again, it is one of the far better CPS options available on the North side.

  • 543. Jennifer  |  March 22, 2011 at 2:30 am

    Thanks everyone. I can’t help but feel like I should have done more research for K than just fleeing to the suburbs in fear. We picked a top rated suburban school and still ended up having her bored out of her mind because she’s ahead of all her classmates.

    Does anyone have suggestions for neighborhood schools that can provide a more challenging environment? I have Ogden, Alcott and South Loop and possibly Audubon on my radar right now.

  • 544. robin  |  March 22, 2011 at 2:42 am

    RGC 144
    Tier 4
    Offer at South Loop

  • 545. Another Rogers Park Mom!!!  |  March 22, 2011 at 2:54 am

    Jennifer: Hawthorne, Stone, Nettlehorst, Bell, Beubien, Burley, Belding, Burr, Peirce, LaSalle/LaSalle II are others, just off the top of my head, to look at depending on “Neighborhood School’ or RGC potential after she attends the Neighborhood School. The few you listed are EXCELLENT, and I would also consider looking perhaps in Sauganash/NorthWest side towards Park Ridge. Many excellent schools! 😉

  • 546. robin  |  March 22, 2011 at 3:29 am

    anyone know what percentile a RCC score of 144 is? Just curious . . .

  • 547. Jennifer  |  March 22, 2011 at 4:56 am


  • 548. OMG  |  March 22, 2011 at 5:43 am

    @ Decatur Truths

    Were you talking about Decatur or Lenart??? It sounds exactly the same. What a privilege to be there! Nary a foot past the security desk. And no support from the admin…it’s there way or the highway. I’ve even heard from several parents how the principal goes off on kids who get accepted into WYAC and dare leave her fine establishment. Rather than encourage and congratulate them, she tells them what a big mistake it is and how kids are unhappy there and wish they had never left.

  • 549. J  |  March 22, 2011 at 5:51 am

    Anyone out there have a kindergartener accepted into Beaubien for first grade? Any information about Beaubien in general?

  • 550. wandrerr  |  March 22, 2011 at 5:55 am

    @471 northwest side mom – I toured both Peirce and Courtenay. Courtenay is a very small school with fewer resources. Peirce has a lot more – bigger playground, multiple computer labs, etc. Courtenay also has a very early start and end school time. I want to say something like 8am-1:45? Something in there? So you have to make sure the school hours work for you. But I got a good vibe there in terms of education, it’s just very small.

  • 551. NW side dad  |  March 22, 2011 at 6:12 am

    @549 — I have anecdotally heard very good things about Beaubien. A daughter of a friend of ours was accepted into the gifted program for first grade last year and they love it. Another friend of ours sent her kids there (it’s the neighborhood school) and the experience from all I’ve heard has been very positive.

  • 552. Czechmom  |  March 22, 2011 at 6:41 am

    Can anyone elaborate on Skinner North to such a depth as no. 515 Decatour Truths did on Decatour? Thank you. Our daughter got in and would like to hear if it resembles Decatour, so if it is a little more rounded.

  • 553. ChicagoGawker  |  March 22, 2011 at 7:13 am

    @515 and @538 Thank you for your frank talk about the social, administrative, as well as the academic realities at your school. Unfortunately, due to the scarcity mentality most of us have about ‘good’ schools, we are all too focused on the brass ring of admission, and there is too little evaluation and discussion about the culture at the coveted schools. I was amazed, when my kid was at an RGC, that the parents uncritically accepted some really crappy practices and would never speak up or complain. Let’s not fall for anything, just because we are grateful our kid got in .

  • 554. Jill Martensen  |  March 22, 2011 at 7:14 am

    @515 Decatur Truths and others

    I hope you came to me for help! I am ALWAYS with you!!! I know what you are talking about and have advised parents on how to “take the bull by the horns” as I did last year with our “play fiasco”!

    All schools have their issues. Overall I can tell you that I preferred Decatur to my child’s experiences at Edison, but that’s just my experience. I know others who prefer Edison’s feel.

    I am not sure what “teaching to the test” means though. Our curriculum is a Liberal Arts curriculum and we teach basics, while yes those basics are on the test, it’s just the difference between a classical and gifted education. Remember those basics on the test, our kids learned two years ago, and therefor probably have not looked at that information unless it spiraled up through the curriculum. A gifted school will offer more critical thinking and problem solving in the lower grades. At Decatur we don’t do that until upper grades. If you can hang in there, I know you will be thrilled with the upper grade experience.

    AGAIN, COME TO ME IF YOU NEED HELP!!!! I was elected by you and take on anything you have issue with. (you know I love a good fight LOL) Also, just a reminder, Principal Evaluation surveys will be done at Report Card pick up on April 14th. That’s always a good place to voice your concerns. I read them all, give a overview to the LSC, and then make sure all are documented in the final evaluation that goes to our principal and her bosses.

    I cannot attest to non-secular holidays, I’m more non-sequitur, haha. But I have witnessed noon time prayers (facing east) in our building for students, and know we have many Jewish families. I have never heard this complaint before. Let’s talk.
    You know where to find me.

    PS. Why am I the only ass on here without a cool moniker? The only one I could think of was “tattoo mom” but you’d all know that was me too! LOL

  • 555. Jill Martensen  |  March 22, 2011 at 7:47 am

    PS. Thanks for saying our LSC is amazing…you didn’t have to do that just because you know I’m on here. LOL

  • 556. cps Mom  |  March 22, 2011 at 7:53 am

    492 – Jackson has gotten over 300 applications for each upper grade in the past, probably more now. Applying at 1st grade is difficult due to very limited space available. Also, don’t think that they go by tier/neighborhood to fill 5 or 6 spaces.

  • 557. different perspective  |  March 22, 2011 at 7:54 am

    It seems from these comments that there is a huge need for more ACCELERATED programs — probably that need is the greatest on the northside from the schools that people have been commenting on. Wouldn’t it be great to say goodbye when you’re at an accelerated school that does not have a proper regard for children & then march your kid to another great school?

  • 558. david  |  March 22, 2011 at 8:01 am

    northside.. i’m by midway, and i rarely hear anyone mention any schools near me. i think the north/central part of the city has more then enough

  • 559. Stressed by CPS  |  March 22, 2011 at 8:01 am

    @Decatur Truths and other Decatur parents or ones who wanted insight: I posted earlier about the school and wanted to say a lot of what you did but did not want to make it seem that bad! lol. But yes, teaching to the test could not be a more perfect choice of words. My child left the school with book smarts…memorizing facts for tests, and was given large amounts of sugar in forms of candy, gum, etc. in order to “stay awake” and prepared for testing or other competitions. But rarely did they teach things to build up common sense or real world situatuons/connections. Thank goodness I taught that at home as best as I could. The admin-not a fan of. But I did like the events they had and competitions they were a part of.

    No school is great. Everyone has good and bad to say about where their kids are but yes, it all depends on the child and their personality. Decatur has a structure but unfortunately there is little room for going outside of that at times. Homework in 3rd grade was the worst. I work full time and we didn’t really start until I got home and we would postpone dinner a lot just to finish. OR stay up until 10.

    I think the kids and parents make the school what it is. The admin is not the most supportive. Cliques are everywhere but I found the parents really great once you get to know them. Some do act as those their kid is the smartest thing ever when in reality, a lot of kids who test well get in but not all of them can handle the actual work load. I always felt that it was great seeing them listed as #1 all the time (but sometimes just ahead of #2 by like 2 tenths of a point) but is that all? Same with Northside College Prep. You rank #1 for ISATS but what else can you do? AND the best comment made by Decatur truths was that there is no regard for the individual child. WOW, have we talked before?!

  • 560. babyboyjan  |  March 22, 2011 at 8:13 am

    @Jennifer, no neighborhood schools will really address the needs of your gifted child. I’ve even asked the principal at LIncoln Elementary. He suggested that I get him tested, which I did. However, if your child is advance in reading, schools do a much better job at differentiating than if your child is advance in math (like mine). There is NO differentiating in math at LaSalle or at Lincoln. My son is now enrolled at the Chicago Virtual Charter School. Kids there can accelerate in math and language arts. My son is doing math one grade above his peers, but he also has a classmate doing math that’s 3 grades ahead. He’s finally being challenged since starting CPS. He’s n 2nd grade now. FYI, the curriculum is from

  • 561. BB mom  |  March 22, 2011 at 8:14 am

    My child is in the options program at Beaubien, and we are really happy with it. The teachers are fantastic, and my somewhat-shy daughter has never once asked why she doesn’t go to our neighborhood school with her friends. She just adores her classmates, her teachers, the school overall. I do have my issues with the school — Principal seems to be running on fumes, but still probably won’t retire for several more years (hence, no recess because he isn’t willing to make any real changes), school day ends at 1:45, PTO is less efficient than I’d like, etc.. Still, I enjoy that the options program is within a larger, more diverse school (kids from various cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds, kids with and without disabilities, etc.). In the past Beaubien has done a meeting and tour at the school for prospective parents. Current parents give the tours, so you can ask more questions. The Options program coordinator (also the 7-8 grade science teacher) is just wonderful, very helpful as well.

  • 562. Kelly  |  March 22, 2011 at 8:14 am

    @552: My twins are in kindergarten at Skinner North, and I couldn’t love it more. NOTHING like some of what we’re hearing about Decatur (and Lenart?).

    I volunteer in one of the kindergarten classes one afternoon a week, and there are many other volunteer opportunities for parents who want to be involved (helping with drop-off/pick-up times, in the library, in the lunchroom, etc.). The principal is great — very approachable, very honest, doesn’t ever sugarcoat his answers, but also very positive. Both of the kindergarten teachers are phenomenal, as are all of the administration. We have 504 plans for my kids, and getting them set up was a very positive process.

    And I’m AMAZED every day by the things my kids are learning. They say it’s a first-grade curriculum, but it seems more advanced than that to me. And all of the kids seem to be doing a great job. It isn’t too much or too stressful — it’s just what these kids need and thrive on. The kids have PE (2x), Spanish (2x), music, art, and library weekly.

    School hours are 9:15 to 3:00, but drop-off starts at 8:15, and there are after-school programs (for a fee) until 5:45.

    My daughters simply love the school, as do my husband and I. It has been a great experience for us. We live outside of the bus zone, so we have to drive a ways to get there each day, but it’s worth it to be involved in such a wonderful environment.

  • 563. lottery loser  |  March 22, 2011 at 8:19 am

    I applied for several kindergarten magnet and elementary spots, and you should all be thankful if you got low waitlist numbers. I’m not sure how this statistically could happen with a true lottery, but we got in the 100-500 range for every one! The lowest waitlist we got was 121 from a list of about 10 schools.

  • 564. southsider  |  March 22, 2011 at 8:30 am

    Applying for Kindergarten

    RGC 142
    Tier 2
    Offer at South Loop – Planning to Accept

    Wait Listed:
    Murray (63)
    Sheridan (70)
    Jackson (78)
    Ray (290)
    Skinner (414)

    Question: How does the sibling system work for RGC programs? That is, if my second child scores well on the test in a couple of years, will he have a reasonable chance to get into South Loop since his older brother will be there? Or, does the sibling lottery only apply to magnets?

  • 565. westsidemom  |  March 22, 2011 at 8:35 am

    Tier 2
    Classical: 92 Reading 98 Math

    Acceptance to Skinner West

    Waitlisted at all magnets, #47 at AJLA

    Anyone a current parent at Skinner West who would like to weigh in on their thoughts? We went to the open house in the fall (the ONE open house they offered) and it was a disorganized zoo! There was one person from the administration who bothered to show up to address parents and then 100’s of parents toured the school with current parents as tour guides. Our particular guide could not answer hardly any questions! Needless to say, I was NOT impressed. Maybe if your child is a student, you’re treated better and less like cattle?

  • 566. cps Mom  |  March 22, 2011 at 8:36 am

    @542 brings up a good point. You can accept or disagree with many of the teaching methods of a school and even work around them at home but being excluded from parental participation would head my list of school “bads”. I walked my son into school every day until grade 5, was able to greet teachers and other parents in the foyer area, able to get progress updates at any time by checking in with the office etc. It made a difference to my son that I was around and made a presence. Parental involvement was welcome and I took advantage of that as much as I could. I did not always agree with all teachers but they were completely available to discuss any problems. Public humiliation would not go far at our school – the principal would take action plus there were parents around in various capacities (especially in the younger grades) that would squelch this.

  • 567. dazed and confused  |  March 22, 2011 at 8:48 am

    Wow. As someone new to Decatur this year I’d like to weigh in on my pros and cons for someone considering the school.
    Background first- K – my child scored 99.6% [then it was only one score] did not get into Decatur but did into Skinner West. I think she had an amazing experience there and I think it’s an incredible school. Since we were out of the bus range and school started so late it was not the most convenient school for our schedule. She took the test again and scored 99.8% and was offered a spot at Decatur. It was an agonizing choice [don’t get me wrong humbled to have a choice] The day before we had to decide we went to a PTA/LSC meeting to see if I could stand what I expected to be uberparents. I couldn’t have been more pleasantly surprised.
    Cons- they have no lunch room, no gym. the school is physically TINY. compared to Skinner West- brand spanking new huge- that was a tough transition. they have to walk to the JCC next door for full gym. not a bad thing just odd.
    it’s test focused. it is. thankfully my kid LOVES tests. no 7/8 grade- our biggest concern.
    Access to classroom is extremely limited. That’s true. Skinner West I volunteered in the classroom a full day every week. [at 30 kindergarteners they could use all the help they could get]
    Pros- Astoundingly LESS homework than she had at Skinner West. recess everyday- even if it’s short they have it. library once a week [i volunteer for library for kindergarten & 1st so do get access]; art once a week which i think is funded by PTA, music, tap, latin [which frankly i thought was not practical but my kid loves it] and offer afterschool options of spanish and chinese, before school chess, girls on the run. not sure what else because i’m lazy… and she has 25 kids in her class. [that was a fluke though i think 28 is the highest]. The communication is unbelievable- something I will say was sorely lacking at Skinner West but I know is getting better. One of the factors I looked at was fundraising. I HATE fundraising but when they were talking about cutting everythign last year and 38 kids in a class I wanted a school that I knew had a well oiled machine. Limited access- I know I had that as a con which it is- but it’s also a pro. the school feels safe. it’s so small everyone knows where everyone is at all times. it’s kinda creepy but since we’re kinda anxious former NYer parents we liked that aspect.
    As for the teacher issue- I haven’t encountered it yet since our teacher is DREAMY but I can understand that concern since I’ll be all over that if it happens.
    sorry to be long winded but just felt like a positive note about Decatur not from the LSC was warranted. I’m happy to talk about Skinner West or Decatur more via email.
    btw- we retested just in case Decatur wasn’t a good fit. 99/99 accepted to Skinner West for 2nd grade. So more likely than not that space will go to the second round.
    good luck everyone.

  • 568. Kelly  |  March 22, 2011 at 8:57 am

    If anyone wants more info about Skinner North from my perspective, feel free to email me:

  • 569. avondalemom  |  March 22, 2011 at 8:59 am

    Hi. RE tiers, proximity, wait lists: I had a good conversation with a person at Disney 2 yesterday, where my kindergarten-aged daughter is #21 on the list. Here’s what I found out: there are several wait lists, yes. The way they pull from the lists, at least at Disney 2, is to replace kids in the same category. That is, if someone has a proximity slot & turns it down, they pull the next person from the proximity waiting list. If someone from the Tier 1 list turns the slot down, they pull from that waiting list. We’re likely on the proximity list and “nobody ever gives up slots on the proximity list” for Disney 2. As someone who is in the 100-300 slot range on most of the 20 schools we applied to, & who got in at none, I find this particularly difficult to take, as it seems that for many schools the long list functions as a status symbol for the school and little else: “Yes, we had a wait list of over 700. We’re that selective.” I see nobody at OAE using this as a rationale for increasing the number of SEES or the quality of schools overall.

  • 570. snowball's chance  |  March 22, 2011 at 9:00 am

    No second grade offer for my middle child — about the same score as last year (115) — but we will happily stay with our neighborhood school (Bell — where my oldest is in the RGC).

    @ 543 Jennifer — In my experience, very few spots (if any) open after 1st grade; except that many (maybe all?) RGC classes increase from 28 to 30-31 students between 3rd and 4th grade. I believe the few offers made before the 4th grade increase are often done later in the process, and the scores I’ve been told about seem to be at least in the 140’s (for Bell and Coonley anyway — I don’t have much knowledge outside of those two schools). As far as neighborhood schools, we have been pleased with Bell. If you want more info, let me know.

  • 571. Confused  |  March 22, 2011 at 9:04 am

    Be careful with Blaine, I had my kids there for several years and moved both of them because they were getting straight A’s with no effort. my kid said the only reason why they do so well on test score is because they study the material since day 1 when school starts.

  • 572. snowball's chance  |  March 22, 2011 at 9:07 am

    @ 564 — There is absolutely no sibling preference whatsoever for any RGC or Classical program. Doesn’t matter how high your sibling scores — his/her chance is based on the scores and preferences for that particular year.

  • 573. cps experienced mom  |  March 22, 2011 at 9:08 am

    My kids has friends at several cps schools. his friends from beaubien and blaine got into lane, taft and lakeview.
    his friends from lincoln and bell got into northside, payton and withney.
    hope this gives you an idea

  • 574. Mayfair Dad  |  March 22, 2011 at 9:29 am

    @ 554 Tattoo Mom:

    Love your contribution to the board, and the courage to use your real identity. I respect LSC members and LSC protocol, which leads me to wonder if you might be unwittingly non-compliant with the Open Meetings Act, particularly if you know or suspect a few of your fellow LSC members are on the board. Corresponding or having conversations with other LSC members outside of a publicly announced meeting is forbidden. For your own peace of mind, I’d check with your CPS liaison to get a ruling on blogging. Just my 2-cents worth.

  • 575. Jill Martensen  |  March 22, 2011 at 9:32 am

    I think that truthfully all schools are what you make of them. I am often surprised to hear about parents who think the school is cliquish, when they haven’t ever taken advantage of opportunities provided to get to know the PTA or other parent leaders at the school.

    I can tell you, it’s not that they (we?) are cliquish, it’s just that in social situations you tend to drift toward those who have had shared experiences and you are comfortable with. The PTA board members do a lot of “behind the scenes” work at each others homes that makes them close, and more often than not, involves wine! LOL. So they have plenty to rehash and laugh about when they get a chance to relax. I’m sorry if anyone feels put off by that. I can assure you that isn’t the intent.

    The PTA nomination committee is looking for people for next year’s board. I would encourage all to throw their name in the hat.

    PS. As far as I know…none of the current or past several years board members live anywhere near Lincoln Park.
    PSS. dazed and confused- you crack me up! XO

  • 576. bagg  |  March 22, 2011 at 9:33 am

    Can y’all please clarify statements of “teaching 1 or 2 grades above level”?

    For example all 7th graders are learning topics below. Is this one or two grades above?:

    * algebra (not pre-algebra, using McDougal Littell Algebra 1 book)
    * french revolution with 10 pages typed report with presentation

  • 577. jsut a mom  |  March 22, 2011 at 9:34 am

    @481 Our dc has been at Edison for a few years, and we are very happy with the school overall.

    PROS: Differentiated classes for reading and math, this is the biggest plus IMO. Wonderful K teacher. Parents welcome and encouraged to volunteer. Recess 2x a day, PE 2x a week, art 2x a week, French 2x a week and science 3x a week. Beautiful newer building. Energetic principal and good communication. The one time we had a problem the administration replied quickly to our concerns.

    CONS small outdoor play area, ( I have yet to hear a kid complain about it though). Only a few afterschool programs that end early (before 4 pm) Strict 1st grade teacher who gives lots and lots of homework.

    Do they teach to the test? Probably. But considering 12 students last year were accepted to Northside, and others to Payton, Lincoln IB etc. we are ok with that.

  • 578. NW Side mom  |  March 22, 2011 at 9:35 am

    @541 I agree the tier thing is very annoying. I have seen several RGC scores that are lower than my daughters and they got a spot at our first choice simply because they are are in a lower tier. My address may be in Tier 3, but our socio-economic situation is not much different from a family in tier 1 or 2. Our address is only one block away from being tier 2.

    Now I am faced with waiting for a spot to open up on one of the waiting lists or send her to catholic school, which would be a financial strain on our family.

  • 579. cps experienced mom  |  March 22, 2011 at 9:38 am

    i had my kid at Blaine and the teaching was at a level below. he moved to lincoln IB and the teaching there became 2 levels above. in 7th grade he was using the same books as withney freshman. he noticed the same books being used during the 7th grade open house. same math and science book. i highly recommend Lincoln Elementary. I highly recommend to stay away from Blaine. they teach for the tests.

  • 580. Jo  |  March 22, 2011 at 9:39 am

    No acceptance to classical or RGC schools. A bunch of crap. My husband took my child to the testing site and saw parents doing workbooks with their 4 or 5 year old child. Comical. Let’s just teach to the test and call our child gifted. Give me a break! I have yet to meet any of these truly gifted children. Where are they? I asked a kid who attends Edison…what is your favorite school subject or class and he said gym and art. His mom has to push so hard everyday that their relationship is not that of a loving child and parent.

    We all want the best for our children, but at what cost? Where they hate to learn and despise school? I pushed my oldest in 7th grade to get all A’s and when she got a B told her I wasn’t happy with that. Then the final push at the end of school where she received all A’s and one B. Then the pressure of the tests and then the admissions test. Ugh! It’s insane! So I refuse to do that with my 5 year old to get into these supposed great schools. It is time that we DEMAND the same opportunities for all kids at all of our schools and that means our neighborhood schools! If my child was accepted to a gifted or classical school, I would probably have turned it down. To put that kind of pressure on a child in K is crazy. And if I see one more science project done by a parent!
    My daughter did get into Peirce and Thorpe. Thorpe has a gifted Math program maybe science too. I have a friend who’s kids attended and did great there. Both went to Northside Prep and one is currently in Pharmacy school at UIC.

    Good luck everyone…sorry for the rant!

  • 581. Decatur Truths  |  March 22, 2011 at 9:44 am

    I think it’s clear from my posts I am NOT an LSC member. LOL! And no, Jill… I did not ‘say the LSC is amazing’ just because you are on here. I would say it if not.

    I am relatively certain that blogging as a parent with other non-identified parents is not a violation of the LSC policies. Futher, this is anonymous opinion-stating, not ‘corresponding’ or ‘meeting with’.

    Also to clarify the Homework thing: K and 1st is a breeze. Increase is relatively expected for 2nd. 3rd (with our teacher) has been more than we anticipated this year; not undoable, but still a LOT for an 8yro little girl at times. It’s not difficult or beyond her scope or ability, just at times overly-time-consuming for an already-exhausted child. How can they perform their best if they get home at 3:30, relax for 2 hours (which I think is reasonable after a 6 hour day), do dinner, bath, and then homework while both parents are home to distract the 3yro (lol!) from disrupting his sisters work… and said homework keeps them up until (on occassion, certainly not every night) 10pm? That is a real issue at times. Just one aspect.

    All in all, I’ve not pulled my child… but I DO think there is room for improvement, beginning with some of the things mentioned. And for the record, I’m a stay-at-home mom, at pickup everyday. The PTA is still hard to ‘break into’. I’ve volunteered for countless events and never been called back for ONE! EVER! I’ve filled out the pink sheet every year, no emails. Yes, I know I can attend the meetings (hard to do with 2 kids and a hubby that works; my 3yro is not eligible for the free-child-care) and offer more help in person, but I know of many parents also ‘not taken up on their offers’ that have similar complaints. Just worthy of mention.

  • 582. Lincoln's 8th grade  |  March 22, 2011 at 9:44 am

    I highly recommend Lincoln Elementary. We have friends at other gifted programs and the results at lincoln speak for themselves. and they DO NOT teach to the tests. THEY DO NOT purchase the test materials like Blaine does.

    f. Of the 32 IB students that qualified and took the SEHS exam (one student opted not to take the exam), 31 were offered a SEHS seat;

    g. Of the 30 non-IG students that qualified and took the SEHS exam, 11 were offered a SEHS seat;

    h. 27 students received their first choice, 8 received their 2nd choice, 2 received their 3rd choice, 4 received their 4th choice, 0 received their 5th choice, and 0 received their 6th choice;

    i. 14 students were offered seats at Walter Payton College Prep;

    j. 8 students were offered seats at Northside College Prep;

    k. 7 students were offered seats at Whitney Young Magnet HS;

    l. 10 students were offered seats at Lane Tech College Prep;

    m. 2 student was offered a seat at Jones College Prep;

    n. 1 student was offered a seat at Lindblom College Prep.

  • 583. South Loop Mommy  |  March 22, 2011 at 9:46 am

    Tier 3
    RGC Score 141

    Hoping for second round pick to South Loop

  • 584. cpsobsessed  |  March 22, 2011 at 9:46 am


    Has any one of the many parents who got a spot at Pierce called about an open house? I would think that if they gave out so many spots they’d be having a big open house for all those people, but a friend of mine reports that she called and they informed her that all open houses are done but a parent could walk her through the building but with no chance to talk to principal/teachers. Does anyone have any different news on this?

  • 585. Hawthorne mom  |  March 22, 2011 at 9:48 am

    Bagg, sounds like a year ahead to me. I believe most schools have their high achieving 8th graders doing algebra now. So 7th would be a year ahead. But what is “grade level” is kind of in flux now…..due to nclb, there is a huge push to teach things earlier and earlier (not particularly a good thing).

  • 586. @580  |  March 22, 2011 at 9:49 am

    i hear ya. i tested my daughter for the past 3 years and nothing. my 13 yr is headed for HS. went to Lincoln and loved it, had the best experience. my daughter is at waters and also loves it. we have friends at edison and decatur; my kid at waters seems to be a lot happier 🙂 at the end of the day, this might not matter when they go off to college, that’s what’s important.

  • 587. Another Rogers Park Mom!!!  |  March 22, 2011 at 9:52 am

    @578 NW side mom:
    I’ve seen kids from OUR Tier get into schools ON OUR LIST of choices with a score 7 points lower!!! Then there is the actual Tier-relatives: Skinner West (yes, we applied), Tier 1, 122!!! WTF? My child has a 139, Tier 2, NO offers? ARGH! Shocked that ANYONE with a lesser than 130 score would get a RGC. That never happened in years past. Ever!!!

    Hi JillyBean! 😉 I could spill… but Ima not gonna. Haha!

    Info for Decatur, privately. Hth!

  • 588. 13284  |  March 22, 2011 at 9:59 am

    Grade: Kindergarten
    Tier: 2
    RGC Score: 135
    Classical Reading Score/Math Score: 79/47

    Acceptance from RGC or Classical schools: none
    Acceptance (offered) from other CPS schools: Disney, Ravenswood, and Peirce
    Waitlisted schools: Agassiz (#283), Alcott (#162), Stone (#89), Audubon (#193), Pritzker (#42), Beaubien (#129), Blaine (#159), Burley (#545), and Coonley (#163)

    Congrats to those who have been accepted into the schools they were hoping for!

  • 589. Another Rogers Park Mom!!!  |  March 22, 2011 at 10:00 am

    @580 Jo? Really? You’ve never seen a truly gifted child? Here you go! Want to meet my son? Let’s see: we do NOT ‘do workbooks’, test prep, ‘working with’, strategy, etc. We do NOT prepare. Our son read ON HIS OWN (back in 2002 before ‘Your Baby Can Read’ LOL) at age 2.5yrs. FULLY. Like could read the newspaper, read. Was reading unabridged Pinocchio at age 3. Was truly numbering at 9mos old, which was 7.5 mos adjusted as he’s a 34wks preemie. Could count to 100 before he could walk. And not just ‘count’ but count objects; hence the ‘true numbering’. Wrote his first 200 page book (with full proper punctuation; again not taught, just absorbed) about his Baby-Sister-to-be, called ‘Eva the Deva’ when he was 3.5yrs old. How do you figure ‘none of the kids in these schools are truly gifted’? Really?

    My daughter is not reading, and thus did not get into a Classical, and with a RGC score of 139 on a BAD day (overcoming pneumonia) did not get an offer at an RGC either. She is still in the 99.+% and will likely not get a 2nd or 3rd round offer, even in Tier 2. The kids who get these slots? Yes, SOME are ‘front-loaded’. Indeed. I also agree it’s obnoxious, as we want EACH of our kids to have the right fit for THEM. However, to insinuate that NONE of our children truly deserve their spots is misinformed and frankly, absurd.

    My son ‘capped the tests’ for Classical at 99.9th % and a score of 165, and scored 99th % for gifted. There are MANY ‘truly gifted’ children in CPS, both in and outside of GEEP/SEES/RGC.

    Sour Grapes much?

  • 590. cpsobsessed  |  March 22, 2011 at 10:02 am

    @541 etc Regarding Tiers with lower scores:
    As devil’s advocate, I’ll suggest that maybe when the Tier 1 parents see that Tier 4 kids score so much higher they feel it’s craptastic that socio-economic status clearly gives kids an edge that for many, is out of their grasp. If there were no Tier system and it was all based on rank, the smartest kids from Tier 1 would never stand a chance to get into the top schools and it just perpetuates inequality. Tier 3-4 kids (who tend to score higher) get to use that advantage with the 30% of spots given out by rank alone.

    But I think we can all agree.. more spots are needed for kids of all Tiers….

  • 591. macK  |  March 22, 2011 at 10:06 am

    @552 czechmom:

    Keep in mind that no school is perfect for everyone. Every school has its blemishes–and Skinner North is not for everyone.

    We like it because our DD is more challenged in her classes than she would be at non-accelerated school. Could she move at an even faster pace? Probably, but what she’s doing is fine.

    They have Spanish, They do science and social studies units, and the teaching of these units is pretty good. Lots of experiments and hands-on. The same with math.

    The school is pretty small right now, and that gives it a very nice atmosphere. Everyone knows they have to pull together because we are all in this together. So no child is banished to the hallway. (Don’t know if that happens at Decatur, but it doesn’t happen here.) And there is a lot of emphasis on speaking to the students politely and with respect.

    They do a lot of activities to bolster self-esteem and confidence. There is a lot of public speaking to develop that skill.

    Both kindergarten teachers are amazing. My DD is now in 1st grade and adores her teacher.

    Cons: We are a small, new school and are still figuring things out. We don’t have the resources of other more established schools, but that will happen.

    There is homework. There are projects and book reports. At first, it can be overwhelming. But by this time of the year, everyone has figured it out, and you just do it.

    There seems to be a lot of emphasis on test prep–at least for 3rd graders this year, our first class to take the ISATs. It’s my only real complaint about the school. Too much prep and too much pressure on the kids. But I will live with it.

    Again, Skinner N isn’t perfect, and it isn’t for everyone. But if you are looking for your child to be challenged in a supportive atmosphere, this might be the place for them.

    Any q’s? People can email me at

  • 592. Lucky with a chance!  |  March 22, 2011 at 10:08 am

    Any Lasalle Parents out there?!
    Received Letter today for Kindergarden:
    Lasalle Accepted
    Lasalle II Accepted

    Thoughts on Lasalle Schools??!!

  • 593. worried mom  |  March 22, 2011 at 10:28 am

    Anyone have any opinion on sabin? My child was offered a spot there and wait listed everywhere else. Tier 1.

  • 594. adad  |  March 22, 2011 at 10:28 am

    587. Another Rogers Park Mom!!!
    A 139 is and RGC score and will not get you into Skinner West because that is a Classical school. The person who got in with a 122 probably had a high score on the Classical test. (Those are the % scores that are usually in the upper 90’s for admittance.). Also, this has been debated before, but I believe that how you rank can effect your results. The highest scores get their first choice so some schools fill more quickly because they are the most popular. If there are two children with a 139 but one places Pritzger as their 2nd choice and the other has it as their 6th, I believe it goes to the child who it ranked 2nd. I could be wrong – please others jump in if I am! That said, I do understand your frustration because it happened to our family at K with the former policy. But, even though K was hell to get through, my child is now in 1st at an RGC and the wait was worth it because I feel they ended up at a place more suited to them.

  • 595. BBmomtoo  |  March 22, 2011 at 10:30 am

    @543/331Jennifer – Both my children got into their RGC on second & third runs, at grades higher than K, and with lowish RGC scores (in the 120’s if I recall) so depending on which RGCs you ranked, your daughter might still find a slot.

    @549 – my kids are at Beaubien – we’ve been quite happy with the school for them. I don’t think either of them are really “gifted” but just smart and needed to be around other kids who could keep them on their toes. So it’s worked well. If you get a chance, meet with Amy Jeffers, the Options coordinator and upper grade science teacher . . . she’s really great at both the administrative role and with the kids (and parents).

    Cons – no recess. I am really hopeful this will change city-wide soon. Latin as a foreign language – which I’m sure is very valuable but I don’t think as valuable as a currently spoken foreign language would be.

    Pros – all of the homeroom teachers have been very supportive, including watching for social issues and helping us & one of our kids find ways to address those well. I think their classes are well suited for their abilities. One of the kids has what seems to be a lot of homework, but I think it’s more a difficulty with his lack of ability to focus! So when he applies himself, it doesn’t take all afternoon, and when he doesn’t . . . Art class 1-2x per week, gym 1-2x per week, music only 1x per week. Computer lab 2x per week.

    It’s a big school – 1200 kids I think – but only 30 per grade in the Options program (and the K-2nd grade use a connected annex building so they have a smaller school feel for homeroom). The mix of neighborhood & Options is good for sharing resources (art, music, gym teachers, PTO sponsored activities). But the building is daunting at first!

    Good luck with deciding.

  • 596. rp mom  |  March 22, 2011 at 10:41 am

    @ all current and considering PEIRCE parents (@Kate, @Mommyreetothree, @ChicagoGawker, @Another Rogers Park Mom –

    My husband and I work full-time and the late start time would be an issue for us. Does anyone have details or experience with any before school options and/or have feedback on the YMCA after school?

  • 597. Jill Martensen  |  March 22, 2011 at 10:41 am

    @ Decatur Truths…
    Come to Disco for Decatur and I’ll buy ya a drink! LOL

  • 598. Brigitte  |  March 22, 2011 at 10:42 am

    @ 247 Chris. Thank you. I’m just learning about the tier’s. I guess we are tier 1 or 2. Thanks for the information!

  • 599. ChicagoGawker  |  March 22, 2011 at 10:45 am

    @589 You and 580 are both upset at not getting the school offers you want, but for different reasons. She apologized in advance for her rant. Can’t you leave it at that with out trotting out how highly qualified your kids are? She said where are these truly gifted kids. She didn’t say there aren’t any. And BTW, as you already know, most kids applying are not as highly gifted as yours, and I think that was her point. And also BTW, it was possible in years past to get offers to RGC with a score below 130, mine did.

  • 600. babyboyjan  |  March 22, 2011 at 10:48 am

    Does anyone have an toughts on Pritzker RGC program?

  • 601. cpsobsessed  |  March 22, 2011 at 10:49 am

    Where is JUNIOR btw?!?

  • 602. Tattoo Mom (JM)  |  March 22, 2011 at 10:53 am

    OMG, please don’t say JUNIOR is at Decaur! LOL

    PS. Notice the use of my new moniker!

  • 603. Mauree3770  |  March 22, 2011 at 10:56 am

    I have a daughter in 1st grade at LaSalle II and several friends with kids at LaSalle. Feel free to email any questions offlist at with my above username +

  • 604. prof.gfr  |  March 22, 2011 at 11:02 am

    I empathize with all the parents who didn’t get into their schools of choice. We have waitlist numbers that range from the absurd (#64 at Ravenswood) to the ultra absurd (#624 at Blaine). We toured 14 of 19 friggin’ schools to which we applied and didn’t get into any of them!!! We both work full-time and it was A LOT of work, but was also very revealing and helped peel back layers of myths and assumptions to reveal some pretty awesome things.

    On the RGC/Classical front, our daughter tested very well and is in the 96th-98th percentiles for RGC and Classical. Unfortunately that means she didn’t get into any of our choices. Sigh.

    Aside from the disappointment, my wife and I think it’s important to focus on the positive take-aways:

    1. Our 4.5yo daughter is obviously doing very well educationally. 96-98th percentile may not be “gifted” by CPS standards, but it reassures what we already knew – she’s smart, resourceful, likes learning, and can succeed if given the opportunity. It’s important to remember that not getting into a gifted program doesn’t mean your child is broken, the result of your parental failures, etc… It just means there’s not enough slots and/or not enough *obviously* great options, frustrating as that may be.

    2. We have no choice but to go to our neighborhood school, Waters, which it turns out is doing quite well. And here’s where we get to the *not-obvious* options — at least not initially obvious to us. It took school tours at 14 other schools (SE, Magnet, etc) for us to go back and visit our neighborhood school with the newfound perspective to say that it is doing really good (still-improving, but moving in the right direction). I’d say that from a “whole child” perspective, Waters is awesome, the community is great, the facilities/resources are amazing, and the teachers seem quite good and very energetic. Our biggest concern is the level of academics for someone as hungry to learn as our daughter, and that may require some extra effort on our part.

    3. Which gets me to the third take-away: CPS is broken, but there’s an amazing community of parents, activists, teachers, and concerned community members who are working to make it better. Rather than console ourselves that we are lucky enough to live in a good neighborhood school district (and we do feel fortunate), we are going to throw ourselves into the work of making it a GREAT district. So cheers to JUNIOR (where are you?). His post last week about giving a long hard look at your neighborhood school was inspiring and paralleled our experience (and yes, I recognize that for a lot of people the local school is NOT an option…but for many of us it is).

    It’s so easy to feel like we participate in our school communities by “bonding” virtually over the frustration of this process on cpsobsessed. That’s a great first step, but we also need to organize and get active. So please get involved – visit and become part of the solution to extend lunch and recess time. Talk to your kids teachers. Join your PTO, LSC, etc. As disappointed as we were to not get into our “choice” schools, we’ve been so energized by all the positive, grassroots change that we’ve seen in this process. Cheers to all the awesome parent tour leaders, dedicated teachers, and hard-working staff at most of the schools we toured. We look forward to being part of the solution to better schools for our children and for the next generation of parents who have to endure this frustrating, but oddly energizing process.

    So take heart, and our deepest empathy to everyone else out there. I understand that not everyone has the good fortune to attend their local school, but our comparative research has heartened us to go for it. All that research has also emboldened us to know the difference between balanced literacy, differentiated learning, Writing Workshop, Basal Readers, Everyday Math, Trailblazers, etc… This knowledge is important because it gives us the power to be more informed and engaged in the evolving and improving curriculum at our local school.

    Knowledge is power, but it’s wasted if we don’t actively use it by getting involved.

  • 605. Carrie  |  March 22, 2011 at 11:02 am

    An parents have feedback on Skinner West? Called to see if they had a tour or open house scheduled. Nothing as of now… Are the tested in students taught in a separate program from the neighborhood/magnet program or are all the classes combined?

  • 606. CPSmomof3  |  March 22, 2011 at 11:02 am

    I think there are more comments here than we generated over on the SEHS thread! Bravo!

    Lucky With a chance…have 3 kids at LaSalle, been there 9 years. As many have pointed out, there is no perfect school, and not every school is right for every kid. But I LOVE LaSalle….dedicated teachers and staff, very involved PTA, awesome parents, lots of enrichment opportunities (sports, clubs, after school activities). My kids aren’t gifted but they are sufficiently challenged, and my 8th grader is taking algebra at Robert Morris College on Thursday mornings through the school (and loves it). PLUS my 8th grader is headed to Spain next week to spend 2 weeks with her Spanish class as an exchange student, something she has prepared for and anticipated since Kindergarten when she started learning Spanish 5 days a week. You can certainly find families who are unhappy with LaSalle and many opt to leave, but I am a happy parent.

    I wish I could post the HS placements for our graduating class but they have not yet been made public, to my knowledge. Anecdotally, I think our SEHS placement numbers are about the same as Lincoln”s posted earlier…so very, very good. Hope this helps. Congrats!

  • 607. @580 and 589  |  March 22, 2011 at 11:03 am

    @ 580, I’m with you all the way …

    @589 PLEASE!!!! and she did say “sorry for the rant” I hope your kid is well balanced and all around gifted. how is he/she doing socially, i bet also gifted!?
    wow! you have a gifted child! congrats! LOL

  • 608. Been There  |  March 22, 2011 at 11:05 am

    I feel sorry for all you parents and the CPS nonsense, tiers, etc. While this is bad, the system is bad, and if nothing changes when your kid reaches high school, it will be more of the same. Good luck to all. Let’s get vouchers and get going!

  • 609. Waters  |  March 22, 2011 at 11:10 am

    @604 We have a 1st grader at Waters and we love it! we live in Lincoln Square. Yes, she could be more challenge and the teacher has the kids in different groups for math and reading according to their level. in reading she has four different groups. She attended two years at Blaine and a week before school started Blaine told me that they didnt have a spot for her. I was devastated. Maybe it was because I removed my other child from Blaine? Anyway, we love Waters. both of my kids are completely different. Waters works for her but wouldnt for my other kid. thats the reason why he’s not there and im tired of stressing over this.
    i went through the SE process this year and it was very stressful. worst experience.

  • 610. Thatsme  |  March 22, 2011 at 11:12 am

    My kid got accepted into Disney Magnet. Anyone have experiences (good or bad) with this school? The test scores seem to indicate it is a good school.

  • 611. encouragement  |  March 22, 2011 at 11:12 am

    I have had kids at a Catholic School, a neighborhood program, Bell’s RGC, Decatur and Edison… in high school. I have had my share of heart aches with this whole process… was bad enough 10 years ago but it has gotten considerably worse. After reading this blog, I really want to cry that our city has not gotten it right. I also want to encourage those of you who are reading this blog to not get discouraged by your child not getting a spot in K or for that matter in 1st grade at the RGC you wanted….often times spots open up down the road in 3rd or 4th grade and if you keep testing, there may be a possibility at that time. Yes, it is a true hassle to find a decent K program that can handle your above average child but they are out there and if you wish to stay in the city, you may have to go with one you can live with for a few years until things work out….we spent some time at a few programs (both neighborhood and local Catholic schools) until they each tested in later on down the road. I can remember feeling early on that my child was mediocre because CPS told me so by their stupid test, and looking back, I regret ever letting our school system dictate what I know about my kids. I hope what CPS discovers is that they need more accelerated programs across all of CPS–kids are just smarter nowadays. IMO, that is all a gifted and classical program really is–an accelerated option, and truth be told, there are more kids in the system than programs available. Good luck to everyone in this process…..

  • 612. confussed  |  March 22, 2011 at 11:16 am

    @cps obsessed what do you know about beaubien? i value your information esp this site. we are at skinner north and love it but were surprised with the beubien offer any thoughts……

  • 613. Lucky with a chance!  |  March 22, 2011 at 11:20 am

    @606 CPSmomof3 thank you for your reply!…Do you happen to have any more details on what type of after school/enrichment programs they offer for younger students like Kinder…times and such?

  • 614. Another Rogers Park Mom!!!  |  March 22, 2011 at 11:22 am

    @Chicago Gawker, I’m sorry but my child IS at the #1 choice we selected… he’s a Decatur student since K. So no, I’m not upset. I’m perfectly happy with our 3 offers and the reality we have 6 excellent wait-list positions including Stone and Hawthorne. I’m really fine with the ‘right fit for MY child’. Would it be easier to have them both @ the same school? Obviously. But it’s not in the cards. Regardless, with a score of 139 and Tier 2, my incoming K is not even out of the running for a round 2 offer from a RGC potentially. However, Peirce was our second choice with our Decatur student (were accepted there with both kids) and we will happily send our dd there. It’s start and end times coordinate perfectly with our Decatur times, so it’s really ideal.

    Regarding the PP and her ‘I’ve not met one’ comments about TRULY gifted children, paleeze. Apologizing in advance while ranting about the schools she ‘wouldn’t have accepted anyway’ not offering her child a spot is a bit of a mixed message in the minimum.

  • 615. cpsobsessed  |  March 22, 2011 at 11:23 am

    @612 Confussed: I have heard only very good things about Beaubien (other than lack of recess. Boo.) However Skinner North sure sounds good too.
    I’m guessing the main difference is that Beaubien is “up and running” so you have that advantage versus SNorth which is still getting off the ground (although I kind of like being in at that formation point in a school.)
    If you have a younger child, probably better chance of getting 2 in one school at Beaubien? (assuming they have room in the neighborhoohood program.)
    I think you have 2 good options. Location/hours could be the deciding factor….. Congrats!

  • 616. Another Rogers Park Mom!!!  |  March 22, 2011 at 11:24 am

    LOL! @ Jill, what is “Junior”, I want the scoop! (It’s Mel… obviously, haha!)

  • 617. Lucky with a chance!  |  March 22, 2011 at 11:25 am

    @603 I tried your username @gmail..but it got bounced back?

  • 618. South Side Mom  |  March 22, 2011 at 11:26 am

    #536 Brian, We live in Beverly and our daughter currently attends the preK program at St. Bernadette’s Academy in Evergreen Park. I’m happy with it (it’s modeled on Ancona Academy in Hyde Park, they are doing K math at the 4 year level), but we are also considering St. Barnabas, since they offer Spanish and Project Match and are very close to our house. Another option is Christ the King, which, I have heard around the neighborhood, sends a lot of kids to Keller RGC. If you’re really far west, Queen of Martyrs also seems to be okay, but I have not really researched it much.

    I am really regretting not buying a house in the Sutherland district. We are literally across the street from the boundary.

  • 619. prof.gfr  |  March 22, 2011 at 11:27 am

    @609 – thanks for your encouraging words about Waters.

    @610 – We’ve learned that test scores can be both very informative and blindingly misleading. I’ve visited Disney and would really really encourage you to visit before making a decision there. It’s a great school for certain kids, but the architecture of the place demands a very distinctive learning environment. In a nutshell, it is a HUGE school with 6 pods of 30 kids per grade. The grade-pods all share a common area and have partitioned areas around the common area. In other words, it’s a rather loud environment and can be distracting for children who have a hard time focusing.

    It is also a Fine Arts and Technology cluster school, so they emphasize some very interesting teaching philosophies. But so do other schools, albeit in different ways. They also have an in-house gifted class per grade, but it was unclear to me how those children were selected. If we’d gotten in I was going to do more indepth research but it didn’t seem quite right for our daughter bc of the size of the school. But we know others who love it.

    The test scores should never be your only indicator of where to go, especially with a school as distinctive as Disney in terms of its architecture and teaching philosophy. Definitely worth a visit before making your decision, if you haven’t already.

  • 620. cps Mom  |  March 22, 2011 at 11:28 am

    prof.gfr – that was awesome. Thank-you! Now if that could only be translated to high school.

  • 621. CPSmomof3  |  March 22, 2011 at 11:32 am

    Hi Lucky With a Chance! Regarding after school.enrichment at LaSalle for kinder, admittedly it is slim-to-none until at least second and maybe third grade. Perhaps someone with younger children there can comment. I do know that many of these younger kids (and older ones too) use after school programming at The Menomonee Club (Google it!), which is literally right around the corner. Staff from Menomonee actually walk to LLA to escort students. They have an after school fun club with games, art, free play and also many structured classes (tumbling, cooking, sports). So that might be an option!

  • 622. Another Rogers Park Mom!!!  |  March 22, 2011 at 11:32 am

    @604 Prof gfr, great post. I highly commend your views and your decisions, and wish we were in a position to do the same with our neighborhood school, Gale. Unfortunately, as you said… SO not an option! We applied to Waters and have a low wait-list number and would be happy-enough with it for certain. However, we got Peirce which we will be more than pleased with (as well as two other offers). I just wish there was a ‘grassroots movement’ in Rogers Park, considering the failing school we have to contend with. There are a very few involved parents, but so very few it’s disheartening. I am a product of CPS/Options for Knowledge/Morgan Park 7-8th grade, etc… and do believe in public education whole-heartedly. However, when faced with ‘worst case’ and a District that ignores NCLB regarding failing-for-more-than-8-yrs schools and allowing you ‘choice’ for a better school, it becomes not just ‘Choice schools’ but DESPERATE for anything but what you are ‘assigned to’ in East Rogers Park… ie: Gale.

  • 623. Thatsme  |  March 22, 2011 at 11:40 am

    @619. Thanks for the response. Test scores of a school are a jumping off point for us but not the only factor for consideration. We researched the pod system and talked with friends who are educators as well. The learning environment is the big concern. I have been told that the child will either love it or hate it. We are planning on the open house scheduled tomorrow so hopefully it will put us closer to a decision. I’m just looking to see if there are any other issues I have missed in evaluating this school.

  • 624. Maureen3770  |  March 22, 2011 at 11:40 am

    oops….forgot the ‘n’

    whooops! no RGC for me!!!

  • 625. Lasalle 2 Mom  |  March 22, 2011 at 11:41 am

    2nd grader transferred to LASALLE 2 this year.
    As a parent, I love Lasalle 2. The school has a wonderful language program. It is a mirror of Andrew Jackson( but more liberal) and the original Lasalle. The languages are taken very seriously and the instruction is everyday. Because of the World Language program the school has an international focus which reminds me of an IB program. So many schools seem to skip the Social Studies and focus on Math and Reading but the Lasalle II curriculum is well rounded. The school also manages to squeeze in recess!
    The PTO listens to what the children and parents want for enrichment. The After School Enrichment program literally grows every semester. They just added on a running and upper elementary cooking class.
    Parent involvement is high at Lasalle and so is fundraising.
    The children, parents, and administration are always looking at ways to enhance the school inside and out.
    My daughter was not thrilled about transferring to a new school but now she has embraced Lasalle II and is looking forward to next year!
    Another plus , Lasalle II is an AMPS school . go to for more info on AMPS managed schools.

  • 626. RL Julia  |  March 22, 2011 at 11:44 am

    Kudos to all you guys for applying to and hence considering so many different schools. Its nice to see the application pool getting bigger. Don’t forget to visit your neighborhood school before writing it off completely ! Congrats to all of you, I am sure that things will work out in the end.

  • 627. yet another RP mom  |  March 22, 2011 at 11:45 am

    Have a question….if I accept the school we were offered, will we be taken off the waitlists of others? Or can we accept, sit on it and later say no if a better offer comes? Thanks!

  • 628. Another Rogers Park Mom!!!  |  March 22, 2011 at 11:46 am


    Um, wow yourself. No, actually… most truly-gifted children are a year to two behind socially, development-wise. Precisely WHY there are children who ‘get in’ to these slots who will do fine, and also children who ‘get in’ to these slots who DESPERATELY need them. Truly gifted children do better amongst their peers and fellow ‘odd guy outs’. This is just reality, and why our child is at Decatur… though in many ways I’d say it’s not a perfect situation, it is better for him to be with other kids ‘like him’.

    Do you have any idea the BURDEN that comes with ‘true giftedness’? This is not something to brag about, it’s a very real and enormous responsibility for both the child and parent. Their tiny brains understand so much at a young age their emotions are utterly incapable of processing. This is also reality. I am frankly very pleased that my younger daughter is far more ‘regular’. I also believe in prodigies in other ways, giftedness in other areas… obviously in this regard we are speaking of academic. Get over yourself; unless you have a gifted child, and by your post and hair-flip I’d say it’s obvious you do not, you don’t walk our path… and it’s not easy-breezy cake-walks and ‘instant CHOICE school admissions’. It’s a complex, highly-variable situation with often no-perfect solutions… including the social development of some children with ‘big brains’. There are higher incidents of Tourettes, ADHD, Learning Disabilities, Processing Disorders, Austistic/Aspbergers spectrum, SENSORY issues (we also contend with), etc. Enlighten yourself. It’s far more than a TOP SLOT, it’s a long road of finding the right path for your individual child in a system of gifted schools that has no resources to help the child do just that.

  • 629. tk  |  March 22, 2011 at 11:50 am

    Just curious… did everyone who listed Ogden get “Ogden HS – not eligible” on their letter? I thought I just messed up the code, but I think I saw that others got this as well. I was kicking myself for messing that up… but maybe it wasn’t me after all.

    Also, does anyone one know anything about Audubon, particularly the upper grades?


  • 630. westsidemom  |  March 22, 2011 at 11:54 am

    #605 — Carrie, my son was accepted to Skinner West. I talked to a former Skinner West parent today and would be happy to share with you what she told me. I went to the website yesterday and had to dig deep, but found a principal’s report to the LSC as of last week that said there was going to be a new parent open house on March 31. You can email me and I can tell you what I know. kindramorelock at yahoo

  • 631. Maureen3770  |  March 22, 2011 at 11:59 am

    tk — Yes, I got a “Not Eligible” for Ogden as well. But mine didn’t say HS on it. I’m disappointed because it was really my first choice. I sent a message to OAE asking about it.

  • 632. still waiting  |  March 22, 2011 at 11:59 am

    Stalked the mail carrier till she came today, but still no CPS letter. The office won’t let us pick up a copy until FRIDAY. Anyone else still waiting?

  • 633. Czechmom  |  March 22, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    thank you to all that have shared info about Skinner North. All the comments were very enlightening. We are out of the bus range, so it would be twice a day on the expressway, in traffic hours. Neither my or my husbands work takes us that way, at those hours. I was fearing that scenario. Having a 1 year old also, who knows what school he will end up in, in 4 years.

    I would really like to see, that the school that our girl goes to, is as well rounded as possible. Like every parent out there, right? Our girl LOVES to read (won’t put the books down while getting dressed, brushing teeth, will attempt to read in the bed in a pitch dark room) loves to write, now learning cursive by her own choice, is bilingual and exhibits strong interest in other languages, is very outgoing, loves sports and music. The only thing she wont seek out to do on her own is math.

    Reading the Skinner North website, and the Kindergarten information, it sounds like an academically rigorous environment, but also from your comments sounds like they do pay attention and nurture the whole child, not just the academics. If all that is truth, apart from the driving inconvenience, sounds like a dream come truth? 🙂

    We only got our SEES letter, no Magnet school letter yesterday. Did that happen to anyone?

  • 634. Yes I Know  |  March 22, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    628. Another Rogers Park Mom!!! — Always another side to the issue. Good luck to you.

  • 635. Paul  |  March 22, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    I commend prof.gfr at post #604. That’s a great list of take-aways, and I hope that more people adopt your perspective and point of view regardless of how their school application process shakes out.

  • 636. Ben  |  March 22, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    @632 – Still no CPS letter here either.

  • 637. momoftwo  |  March 22, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    Someone asked earlier, and I did not see any response…Does anyone have an experience and thoughts about the Pritzker RGC program?

  • 638. Happy Momo  |  March 22, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    Any LaSalle parents with feedback on the school?

  • 639. cps Mom  |  March 22, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    627 see the link at 279 – useful info for everyone. You can accept offers and still stay in the pool for your wait list notifications. Accept what you have and then take the time to figure it out or hold out for something else. Nothing to lose.

  • 640. adad  |  March 22, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    @627 – from the cps website

    “Will my child remain on the waitlist of the other magnet/magnet cluster/open enrollment schools if we accept a seat at a magnet/magnet cluster/open enrollment school or a Selective Enrollment Elementary School?

    Yes. Accepting an offer from a magnet, magnet cluster, or open enrollment school does not eliminate you from the waitlist at a magnet, magnet cluster or open enrollment school, or remove you from the selection pool for Selective Enrollment Elementary Schools. Therefore, if you accept a seat from a school where your child received an offer, it is possible to receive an offer later on from a school where your child is on the waitlist (schools may continue to use the waiting list to fill available seats through the summer, if necessary), or from a Selective Enrollment School. Should this happen, you may decline the seat that you originally accepted, if you wish, and accept the second offer instead.

    Note — if you accept an offer from a Selective Enrollment Elementary School, your child is removed from the pool of students being considered for subsequent selection rounds for the SEES (but not from waitlists for magnet, magnet cluster, or open enrollment schools).”

  • 641. Carrie  |  March 22, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    so I take it that we can accept an offer both from an SEES AND an open enrollment school. Just clarifying.

  • 642. adad  |  March 22, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    @641 Carrie
    Do you mean you want to sign up for two spots at the same time, one open enrollment AND one SEES? Or, do you want to accept one while waiting to hear about a seat in the other program? I’m not the expert on this but I’m not sure if you can hold two spots at once.

  • 643. Maureen  |  March 22, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    For anyone that was at the STEM meeting last night, this is the point I was trying to make regarding the acceptance process:

    **Excerpted from comment 640 above**
    Note — if you accept an offer from a Selective Enrollment Elementary School, your child is removed from the pool of students being considered for subsequent selection rounds for the SEES (but not from waitlists for magnet, magnet cluster, or open enrollment schools).”

  • 644. hat  |  March 22, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    Has anyone posted about Bell RGC for 1st grade? ??

    And nice guy with spreadsheet can you fix it so we can see results without entering anything, since I already entered info once, but want to see new tallys?

  • 645. HPMom  |  March 22, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    In our experience, once you enroll in a school in order to save your spot, all of the schools eventually find out. There is some system they all consult. In other words, I don’t think you can actually enroll at two schools and/or remain on waiting lists at other schools once you have enrolled your child at one school. At least, this scenario happened to us. Is this the case for most people?

    Also, I live in Hyde Park near Kenwood AC–while it is not the most exciting neighborhood at night (a good thing or a bad thing depending on your desire for nightlife), it is a lovely place to raise children. 🙂

  • 646. 1st grade mom  |  March 22, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    There is no perfect school, but there are schools that will fit your child better than others. Even if your child gets into your top choice school, plan to test again next year. The testing application deadline is so early that you won’t know for sure whether the school you picked for K is a good long-term fit–your student will still be getting used to a new environment, getting used to homework, etc. Spots are far fewer for 1st grade, but they exist, and if you do get an offer, you’ll have an alternative in hand in case 1st choice turned out to be wrong choice.

  • 647. macK  |  March 22, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    Carrie @641: You can accept only ONE school. You can remain on wait lists, but you can only accept one.

  • 648. macK  |  March 22, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    CPS has a computer system that only allows you to accept one school.

  • 649. Junior  |  March 22, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    @604. prof.gfr
    Great post!!! Sounds like Waters is a great neighborhood option.


    Sorry I don’t have much time to participate more in the ongoing discussions. I hope you’ll forgive me if I repost my original post from the prior thread here. I think it generated a lot of good discussion about important issues, and I think it’s actually more timely in this current thread when many folks are facing rejection letters.

    (Also, here is the study referenced in the original post below: along with some good discussion of it: )

    An Open Letter to the Obsessive-Compulsive SEES Applicants –

    Dear Mom and Dad,

    Please stop checking this site incessantly. The “refresh” button on your browser is not going to yield any more insight into Junior’s future academic outlook or his prospects for a happy life — nor will the OAE acceptance/rejection letter you anxiously await. Perhaps you have placed entirely too much stock in getting your child into a selective enrollment school or even a magnet school. But seriously, I doubt that Junior will be much better off in that school.

    While there are many neighborhood schools in CPS that are not good places for kids, I think that most people underestimate and undervalue the decent plain old vanilla neighborhood schools that are available to many. As long as a school can provide a safe and positive environment, I believe that Junior will be able to reach his full potential.

    How do I know that? I’ll give you at least two good reasons.

    1. There was a large study (published by U of C economics department) a few years ago that looked at a large population of students who entered the Chicago magnet school lottery. It then tracked how those who made it into magnet schools compared academically (test scores) to those who did not. Well, by and large, the magnet school population scored about the same as the neighborhood school population. It seems clear to me that the determining factor in Junior’s success is the fact that he lives in a household that has taken the active step of seeking out educational options for him, despite the fact that those actual options may make scant difference.

    2. I was once Junior. I attended a plain old vanilla Chicago neighborhood public school in the 1970s. I’m sure I could have attended a gifted program, but I’m certain my immigrant parents had no idea that this was even an option for me. But, my parents did value education and I did go to school intent on learning. And that was enough. Even attending an average school, I had no problem hitting the 99 percentile in test scores all the way through high school. Did my schools hold me back? I don’t see any evidence of that.

    So, what were the other effects of attending a neighborhood school? Well, I got to walk to school everyday, had a strong after-school social life with neighborhood kids, and gained valuable perspectives and relationships with kids from all walks of life (bussing began while I was in school and brought a diverse population into our school). Yeah, Junior might actually like going to a neighborhood school.

    So, are you thinking that your choices are SEES, magnet, private school or suburbs? Maybe you will think again. Have you been inside your neighborhood school? Have you looked into neighborhood schools in other neighborhoods that may have capacity? Do you really want to put your home up for sale in this real estate market?

    If you’re in a fairly safe neighborhood, then I think you owe it to yourself to check out your neighborhood school. Is it a good place? Is it in need of a little help? What would you change about it and can you be a part of that change?

    Our neighborhoods and their schools could benefit from more parental involvement. The reward is a great city to live in and wonderful exposure to the variety of life that only the city can offer. If you find yourself with a rejection letter in the next few days, please consider the hopeful step of enrolling in your neighborhood school.

    With Love,

  • 650. Paul  |  March 22, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    I believe there’s a difference between acceptance and enrollment. During this process you may accept a selective enrollment spot and a magnet spot as you decide where to attend, but you can only ultimately enroll in one school.

  • 651. Carrie  |  March 22, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    Thank you Paul. That is what I was wondering.

  • 652. cpsobsessed  |  March 22, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    @650 Paul is correct. You can only be ENROLLED in one CPS school at a time.

    But I can’t recall… how long after the RGC/Class/Magnet offers go out do they ask you to actually enroll?

  • 653. macK  |  March 22, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    I’m not sure there is any difference between acceptance and enrollment. But I do know that eventually those acceptance letters get entered into the CPS computer system, and it will only allow you to enter one school.

    If by enrollment, you mean when school starts in the fall, I don’t think that’s true. I have seen the system up close, and they enter those acceptances into the computer fairly quickly–like as soon as they receive them.

  • 654. cpsobsessed  |  March 22, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    I think the key is that if you have accepted a school offer and you get another one (ie. accepts RGC/Class/Magnet/Neighborhood) and you get a new offer you want instead, you should notify CPS that you want to switch.
    Just be sure to cover your bases. One story, but I know of a family that didn’t get into the school they wanted to switch to because of confusion. Never hurts to double check with CPS!

  • 655. Another Rogers Park Mom!!!  |  March 22, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    Junior, GREAT POST!!! I fully believe that if EVERY Chicago Parent took an active role in their child’s education and added their resources to their neighborhood school, the schools would be all the better for it. I really think the SEES schools face a social issue with the busing and no-community aspect.

    I really wish our neighborhood school was a safe option. Unfortunately it’s been a failing school for a decade, and continues to decline… drastically. It is surrounded by 5 Police Cams, blinking away… and is in a gang-stronghold so severe I won’t let my Decatur student catch the bus there, much less attend. However, we are VERY happy with our daughters offer from Peirce, a ‘neighborhood school’. 😉

    Good luck to all!

  • 656. LR  |  March 22, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    @580, 604, 628 and others: I just wanted to put my two cents in on giftedness. For starters, getting into/not getting into an SE CPS Elementary does not determine giftedness. Remember, SO many children are getting qualifying scores that they cannot accommodate, many at the 98th percentile and above.

    Also, I kind of understand what 580 is saying. And let me preface this by saying that I have an options kid at Bell and a son who just scored 133 that got rejected from Coonley. Don’t get me wrong, my kids are very bright. HOWEVER, they are not the seriously scary gifted kid that lives next to my parents in Glenview. He helped repair my father’s lawnmower at 5 years of age. He is now going on 10 years old and in his free time he has built several “cars” that he drives up and down their street. His parents taught at MIT before they moved here. He attends some math and science academy in Des Plaines (even though the Glenview public schools are very good). Anyhow, not to be insulting, but there is a serious difference between my bright and doing-stuff-way-ahead-of-schedule kids and this child. I would call my kids bright, but not necessarily “gifted.” I don’t think true “giftedness” can be measured by the test they give. It’s so much more complex than that.

    That being said, I have always said that CPS needs to find a way to accommodate the high scoring kids who don’t get into their very few SE schools. It would be nice if there were more neighborhood schools that gave kids the opportunity to “walk up” a grade for certain subjects. Anyhow…wishful thinking, right?

  • 657. macK  |  March 22, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    cpsobsessed@654: Yes, you can switch schools. But one student can not be assigned to two schools at the same time.

  • 658. Another Rogers Park Mom!!!  |  March 22, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    @656… thank you for that ‘understanding’. I have ‘that kid’. Scary kid. The one that comes with a degree of emotional difficulties because at 3 he could understand concepts of permanence that his emotional self could not rationalize. There is a vast difference btwn social smart, gifted, truly gifted, etc… I have the ‘truly gifted’, identified far before CPS and far before age 4. The one that also comes with Sensory issues, and a tic disorder. It’s not all fun and games, it can be a very complicated and heart-wrenching path at times. I appreciate your post. 😉 And yes, CPS assessment alone will NOT totally ID ‘truly gifted’ children. It is a good starting point at times, however… many kids ‘balance out’. Mine has reached the point where I need an interpreter for our Math homework, lol! Okay, not the homework per se, though I do have a Math LD… but the discussions of algorithms with his Computer Scientist father (and PhD Computer Scientist grandfather from U of C at that) utterly perplex and confound me… I cannot always understand my own child. That is not ‘a gift’… it’s often a hurdle. And this is another ‘identified gifted in 4th grade by the then-new CPS Options programs in the 70’s’ Mother.

    Kids on the playground used to call my son ‘that little baby freak who can read and spell’. This was at our summer home at Abby Springs in Lake Geneva. It was hurtful to me and his father… mind you our child knew not what they meant at the time… but there are also mother’s who ‘judge’ and assume you are front-loading, flash-card pushing, crazy NYC wanna-be’s as well. It’s not all roses. It’s a challenge at best, and not one I would choose necessarily, though I would not change my boy for the world. He is my world; but his world is far more complex than it SHOULD be for any little boy.

  • 659. Help me figure out waitlists  |  March 22, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    What is it taking in general in Tier 4 to get in:
    – RGC?
    – Classical?

    I see many Tier 3 acceptances listed where are all the Tier 4 people?

  • 660. northwest side mom  |  March 22, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    @550 wandrerr thank you for your thoughts on Courtenay and Peirce!

    I have heard so much about Peirce, anyone here today who knows anything about Courtenay?

  • 661. Another Rogers Park Mom!!!  |  March 22, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    One more thing:

    TRUE “Giftedness’ is as much a Learning Disability as any other LD. That is the ‘truth of giftedness’ nobody wants to hear, much less talk about. Their way of processing is often way, way off-center… any really good LD teacher will tell you that ‘truly gifted’ children are in need of as much Special Ed as any other Special Ed child, if not more.

  • 662. NW Side mom  |  March 22, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    In regard to acceptance vs. enrollment, if I remember correctly when you accept at a SEES school you have to fill out the enrollment form.

  • 663. Jefferson Park 13  |  March 22, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    Hello my daughter got into kindergarten at O.A. Thorp Scholastic Academy scored 116 recived no SESS schools

    Is thorp a great school or a gang banger school?

  • 664. Czechmom  |  March 22, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    we are tier 4

    RGC 126 no offer
    Classical 99.9% reading, 86% math, offer for Skinner North

  • 665. Hawthorne mom  |  March 22, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    Junior, just curious, and maybe you’ve said this before….which plain old vanilla neighborhood school did/do your own children go to and which neighborhood high school do or will they attend? What are you doing for your neighborhood school right now?
    I’d be more inclined to lend weight to your words if I knew you were putting your money where your mouth is.

  • 666. uptown mom  |  March 22, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    @660, my husband toured Courtenay a few months ago – we e-mailed the school and they set something up. And I think I remember getting an e-mail that there would be a tour coming up. I’d call to see about touring if you are considering it.

    My understanding is that the benefits are that it’s a small school with small classes. The negatives are that there aren’t a lot of extras, including before/after care, and the facilities are older.

  • 667. Portage Mom  |  March 22, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    Thorp is a highly regarded magnet school. My one friend has her daughter going there and has been trying to get her son in at Thorp. He is at Portage right now but I think with the sibling lottery he should make it in for the 4th grade. Thorp was my second pick after Disney II. We are wait listed at 55 unfortunately. You don’t hear as much press about Thorp but look at their scorecard, it’s pretty good. I know a number of friends would love to get into Thorp. Congratulations

  • 668. northwest side mom  |  March 22, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    @666, thank you!

    There is actually a tour this Friday so we are definitely going to see for ourselves. I love the small classes but if there really is no after school care at all that is going to be a deal breaker for us, we both work full time and don’t have any other options. I am hoping they partner with someplace and we can figure something out!

  • 669. edb  |  March 22, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    Haven’t seen much on Decatur acceptances. What’s it taking to get in there this year?

  • 670. SS Dad  |  March 22, 2011 at 2:10 pm


    I ask for your help understanding the parental involvement and interactions with the staff:

    Parents: What do you think of the LSC and PTA?
    Any upcoming meetings that we could visit? The website doesn’t say.

    Staff: I haven’t heard any compliments about the principal or staff. What’s your opinion?

    Thanks much in advance.

  • 671. anonymous  |  March 22, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    I’ve heard of one Decatur acceptance for K, Tier 2, but no idea on scores…

  • 672. MG  |  March 22, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    Can someone explain how busing works for RGC/classical? If you are within the boundaries for busing, does your child get picked up at your neighborhood school? Or does it depend on where kids are coming from? Also, how much time are these kids spending on the bus each way? Thanks in advance for any insight…

  • 673. LR  |  March 22, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    658 – my heart goes out to you. I don’t know what I would do in your case. I have no advice, except that having seen what my daughter does in a CPS first grade options program, it sounds like even the options prog. is not really going to be worth your child’s time. It’s even taught a little below the level my daughter is at now, maybe just because she is one of the oldest. But having seen where they end up in 8th grade, it’s very comparable to the level of education I got in an “honors” program in Glenview in the 80’s. I know the kid next door to my parents is functioning at a level that’s so far beyond any kid his age (I think he’s on track to finish calculus in 8th grade). I just don’t think CPS can accommodate that kind of giftedness. Good luck!

  • 674. Patty  |  March 22, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    @Robin, you and your child will enjoy South Loop Gifted program. It is one of the BEST!

  • 675. Lisa  |  March 22, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    Tier 3
    RGC 128
    Classical 90% read 99% math
    No Acceptances

  • 676. HisMom  |  March 22, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    658 – I hear you. My son also was a early reader, high school vocabulary, etc. This does not help on the playground! We were in the local grocery store when he was 3 and he was reading signs. An old lady was yelling at me “because her kids were not able to do that”. Whatever. He has done well in the CPS neightborhood magnet IB program. But we live in tier 4, and he is off to private school which he chose becuase he feels he will fit in there. Missed Lane by 2 points. Life goes on.

  • 677. HisMom  |  March 22, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    I hear you 658. My son also was a early reader, high school vocabulary, etc. This does not help on the playground! We were in the local grocery store when he was 3 and he was reading signs. An old lady was yelling at me “because her kids were not able to do that”. Whatever. He has done well in the CPS neightborhood magnet IB program. But we live in tier 4, and he is off to private school which he chose becuase he feels he will fit in there. Missed Lane by 2 points. Life goes on.

  • 678. just a mom  |  March 22, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    @668 You might ask them abut Ravenswood – they have an excellent afterschool program and it is a block away from Courteney. Maybe you could ask another parent or 8th grader to walk your child over each day?

  • 679. northwest side mom  |  March 22, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    @678, I will definitely ask them about that – maybe they already have some connection with them? There is just no way we are the only people in this situation so SOMEONE must know something! (i hope:))

  • 680. dette  |  March 22, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    Ia anyone going to attend Edison’s Kindergarten classroom on March 30th? It’s for prospective parents. I’d love to go but cant make it . I will have to wait until the official open house in Sept.
    I hope anyone who goes will post back.

  • 681. Junior  |  March 22, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    @665. Hawthorne mom

    I got involved with my neighborhood school before my kid enrolled. At the time of enrollment, that school was changed to a magnet. My child’s class is mostly kids remaining from the neighborhood program. The teachers there are largely from the prior neighborhood program. And this is part of my point — now that it has a “magnet” label, it is very in demand. The teachers are extremely good, and the scores are up — but as I argue, I think that’s due predominantly to demographic changes of students, not because teachers who were there before were suddently transformed with their new “magnet” label.

    Since you asked, my wife and I have both been heavily involved in PTO, Friends, LSC, you name it. In more ways than I have time to list.

    And if you read my post carefully, you’ll see I never implied to anyone that they should choose a neighborhood school over a magnet or SE. If you can get that option, that’s fine. But, as you can see from the Trail of Tiers on this board, many don’t have that choice. I know that some of them would be well served in a neighborhood school.

  • 682. edb  |  March 22, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    @dette, where did you find information about the Edison Kindergarten classroom? We got an acceptance yesterday, but I havent’ seen any other information.

  • 683. dette  |  March 22, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    @682: A parent from Edison called me this morning to my surprise just a day after getting our acceptance.Call the school for more details.

  • 684. Momto4  |  March 22, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    Thanks @582. My children currently attend Alcott and we have been thrilled. My daughter will be attending Lincoln IG next year and your post makes me realize even more that this is the right choice for her. For what it’s worth 16 out of 40 students at Alcott got into SEHS for next year. I think she needs more and while we are giving up Alcott High School as our fall back, I believe this opens up many doors. Do you know if students leave Lincoln IG for any of the academic centers in 7th grade?

  • 685. just a mom  |  March 22, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    @ dette,
    Edison, in years past at least, has had an orientation over the summer (usually 3 days) for incoming kinders, so you won’t have to wait until September to see the school.

  • 686. Hawthorne mom  |  March 22, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    Junior, thanks for the reply. I can take you seriously since you have “walked the walk”. I worked with my neighborhood school for a long time and it was a negative experience. (I spent several years helping there, with my baby in the sling and my 18 month old in tow at the beginning) I think it is important for people to realize that a lot of effort isn’t the only thing needed to turn a neighborhood school around. Without a cooperative and relational principal, no school will attract a higher achieving population. This was the biggest problem in our case, and in several other failed turnaround efforts of other schools around the city. I think my point is, it is not nearly as easy as you make it sound… takes years and years of long hours of work and by many people to truly make a school “good enough”. I am glad though that you took the time with your school and glad things worked out for you.

  • 687. Keller Mom  |  March 22, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    My son is in 2nd Grade at Keller RGC–it is fantastic. if you get an acceptance there, by all means, take it!

  • 688. Maureen  |  March 22, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    OGDEN —

    I got this reply from the OAE office regarding Ogden:

    “As indicated in the Options for Knowledge guide (p. 27), Ogden only accepts applicants for grades 6-8.

    Should you have additional questions, or if I can be of further service, please don’t hesitate to contact me.”

    If it were just me, I would think that I read it wrong or made a mistake, but I can’t believe that all of us would have messed up the same thing. Ogden WAS on the list for ELEM Open Enrollment schools and it is not anymore. Maybe they messed up?

  • 689. A Tad Confused  |  March 22, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    Please help… Can anyone elaborate on the elementary 2nd round process? Do I lose my chance in the 2nd round if I accept my offer?

  • 690. Tattoomom (JM)  |  March 22, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    I do not know of any other Decatur LSC members that post here so I think I’m safe with the OMA. Really it has to be 3 or more members talking about LSC related information to violate that… If only testing fell under the juristiction of individual schools!!!

    Also I know many people with kids all over CPS and have never heard a bad word about any of the gifted/classical schools and only some trivial complaints about a few neighborhood programs. I would agree that parents help make a school more palitable… Case and point Nettlehorst and Waters! Those are some go getters that really changed the face of those schools.

  • 691. cps Mom  |  March 22, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    @689 – there is no 2nd round. The schools will go down the waiting lists to fill open spaces. This process will go on potentially through the summer. Some have called August even September. You can accept an offer and decline it later if you get something better.

  • 692. SS Dad  |  March 22, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    @687 Keller Mom

    How’s the Homework load? types of work? I haven’t been able to find it on the website.

    Thanks for the recommendation.

  • 693. A Tad Confused  |  March 22, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    @691 Thank you cps Mom!

  • 694. tk  |  March 22, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    @688 Maureen

    I’m so confused about Ogden now! Where did you find the guide on the website? I couldn’t find it, so I just googled Options for Knowledge Guide and found one listed as the 2011-12 guide (but we all know that this might not be the most current version) that had this…

    GRADES 6-8
    1250 W. Erie St. 60622
    (773) 534-0866
    • International Gifted Program, grades 6-8
    (Testing required – apply online or use
    SEES application)
    • International Baccalaureate Middle Years
    Programme, grades 6-8 – use
    STANDARD application

    I was applying for 6th grade for my son, so the second part of that should have applied to him, right? So confused!

  • 695. tk  |  March 22, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    Re: Ogden…. just for reference, this is the guide I found…

  • 696. Tattoo Mom (JM)  |  March 22, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    I was at the prelim meetings with OAE officials and Lane. They do have a plan worked out as far as keeping the 7/8th graders as separated from the 4000+ HSer’s as possible. They just can’t release details until CPS officially votes tomorrow. I can tell you that I am comfortable with their plans and will test my second child for the LT AC over WY AC next year. She’s a different type of learner than is her brother at WY AC. So I am hoping to be part of the second class at the LT AC! She needs that engineering department. LOL

    Very exciting. Keep your fingers crossed for tomorrow’s vote. (Even if it doesn’t pass tomorrow, they will rework the plan and put it up again in April…there’s time still.)

  • 697. Maureen  |  March 22, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    tk — I would send a message or call OAE to find out the problem. Maybe you can appeal. It sounds to me like they messed something up or the original version of the guide because a lot of people had the same issue. They may have corrected the guide but I find it hard to believe that several of us would have made the exact same “mistake”.

  • 698. got into hawthorne  |  March 22, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    Hi, all. Two questions about Hawthorne:

    Could someone tell me more about the PTA there? I have heard mixed reviews, ranging from stellar and inclusive to cliquish and elitist.

    Also, is there enough differentiation in the lower grades (beginning in K) to ensure that high ability students do not get bored?


  • 699. babyboyjan  |  March 22, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    PRITZKER is holding an open house this Saturday from 11 – 1pm for all those interested. I was told current class size is 24, but it could go up to 28. There’s one teacher but they get many college students as volunteers in the classroom. Pritzker is one of the very few CPS with both a RGC and magnet program (in fine arts) so kids in the RGC will have the added bonus of an excellent fine arts education as well as an accelerated academic program.

    I would love to hear from current Pritzker parents.

  • 700. cpsobsessed  |  March 22, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    @689 A Tad Confused: While there is not a formal 2nd round, there is usally an initial cut-off date when people need to accept their offers or not, then there is a big contact after that which functions like a second round..

    After that it starts getting more loose and random.

  • 701. Lincoln IG  |  March 22, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    @684 momto4
    LINCOLN is great … this is how the 8th grade class ended this year ….
    highly recommend Lincoln Elementary. We have friends at other gifted programs and the results at lincoln speak for themselves. and they DO NOT teach to the tests. THEY DO NOT purchase the test materials like Blaine does.

    f. Of the 32 IB students that qualified and took the SEHS exam (one student opted not to take the exam), 31 were offered a SEHS seat;

    g. Of the 30 non-IG students that qualified and took the SEHS exam, 11 were offered a SEHS seat;

    h. 27 students received their first choice, 8 received their 2nd choice, 2 received their 3rd choice, 4 received their 4th choice, 0 received their 5th choice, and 0 received their 6th choice;

    i. 14 students were offered seats at Walter Payton College Prep;

    j. 8 students were offered seats at Northside College Prep;

    k. 7 students were offered seats at Whitney Young Magnet HS;

    l. 10 students were offered seats at Lane Tech College Prep;

    m. 2 student was offered a seat at Jones College Prep;

    n. 1 student was offered a seat at Lindblom College Prep.

  • 702. Lincoln IG  |  March 22, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    @684. Momto4
    yes, a few kids who arrived Lincoln IB in 6th grade left to attend AC in 7th. only a few did.

  • 703. cpsobsessed  |  March 22, 2011 at 5:02 pm


    Just one quick thing I’ll interject about PTAs/PTOs:
    I used to subscribe to an email on the topic, and they had an article about the issues faced by existing versus new members:

    Existing members: Why do we have to do everything? Nobody else wants to help?

    New parents: Why are they so cliquey? It’s hard to break in and they never talk to me or call me back!

    Apparently it’s a common challenge. It takes a unique leader/personality to bridge the gap well – making new people feel welcomed while still enjoying existing friendships and being efficient. Having been involved in school groups I know both sides. Both have to make some effort and extend an olive branch a bit.

    So just saying, sometimes what comes across as cliquey is how the mom described it above… just hard to break out of the current way of doing things. But PTA burnout is big (CPS can drain you!) My son’s school has been successful by breaking things into small committees so new people don’t get lost in the shuffle.

  • 704. david  |  March 22, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    got an letter for open house at mcdade, but no other notices from schools. I wonder its a bad sign? Is it possible that acceptance letters were sent before rejection?

  • 705. Roisin  |  March 22, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    I am new to this process, and totally lost…

    I applied to a bunch of different open enrollment schools (for K) in my neighborhood, waitlisted at all excpt Dever.

    My son’s RGC score is 139

    Classical score: Reading 87 Math 97

    I am in Tier 4 (whatever that means?!?)

    Will there be a second round of RGC acceptances? Should I accept at Dever? Does that hurt my chances of my son getting accepted anywhere else? Does this Principal discretion thing apply to elemantary schools?

    Thanks Much anyone who can comment!

  • 706. ...  |  March 22, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    @704 David
    a few years ago when we applied we never received a letter. we ended up going downtown to pick it up. it wasnt good news.

  • 707. @695 re Hawthorne  |  March 22, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    My friend has a son in 2nd grade at Hawthorne and says there is a unfriendly stay-at-home-mom mafia of neighborhood moms. They run the school. My friend has a ton of friends and never feels this way about other groups, so I believe it to be true.

  • 708. Stressed by CPS  |  March 22, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    #698 Got into Hawthorne: The PTA is exactly how you heard. Stellar and cliquish. But I don’t mind the cliques so much because all schools have them. And some of the parents who do clique either live close to another or have older kids together and happen to have younger kids in the same grade or close in age so they are familiar with one another. But once you get to know almost everyone there, you will like them. It took time for me as a parent to fit in but it’s more important that my child fits in.

    Hawthorne is wonderful. My experience as a parent has been great. Not all may agree but it’s what you make of it. My child is so happy there. The admin is stellar which makes the PTA stellar. Actually there is probably too much parent involvement which makes the ones who don’t have as much time probably happy that someone will take care of what needs to be taken care of.

    The lower grades, to me, are not “advanced”. But they do have a high concentration on writing which is great. Also they do a lot of real world connection projects based on their current lessons. The kids are always involved in showcases which allows each child to be involved and shows equality within their peers…not just one kid as the star. Although not all of the classwork or homework seems that hard, they are always doing something hands on or discussing in groups so I don’t see how any child can get bored. I have not seen differentiation in the class but the teachers are aware of each child’s strengths and weaknesses and they might give certain tasks to certain kids so that they are always flourishing. But I have not seen kids getting different homework or anything like that. If my child does not get a lot of homework, I do have them work on worksheets at home that are either the same grade or one above just to keep the brain flowing at home.

    The upper grades are much more advanced. The ISATS scores are very high and the 8th graders are accepted into all the top high schools. Scores aren’t everything, but there is just a sense I feel with the older kids. They are very talented, independent, intellegent, respectful, and show they just want to succeed.

    There are so many things going on in that school that if you have a chance to attend, you will meet wonderful people. There seems to be a lot of wealth running around the school but no one has ever made me feel less than them. If you don’t open yourself to people, you will feel shut out. But give it a chance and you will see how much the parents do around there. But again, it should be about your child, not how the PTA is.

    I do have some cons but they are so minor and the pros are so strong that I just disregard them most of the time. But if you wanted my opinion on cons, let me know.

  • 709. ...  |  March 22, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    705. Roisin
    no second round
    no principal discretion
    for grammar

  • 710. cpsobsessed  |  March 22, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    @707: that’s funny, my ex-babysitter who went to Hawthorne told me her mom called them the Wrigleyville Moms. Not sure it’s the same bunch or not. But hey, if they get things done….
    we had a group like that at my son’s private preschool. So hard to break in. Most were nice when you got to know them, but were definitely a pack that was hard to like.

  • 711. cpsobsessed  |  March 22, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    @705 Roisin:
    Yes, you should accept Dever. You could still get a spot at an RGC if other kids turn down spaces. They will work down the list ranked by score to fill the class.
    Accepting Dever will not hurt your chances at RGC since Dever is a neighborhood school. 2 different pools.
    No princ discretion.

  • 712. got into hawthorne  |  March 22, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    Thanks, @708 Stressed by CPS. Your thoughts on Hawthorne are really helpful.

    If I could ask you one more question about the curriculum, the reason I ask is because I have twins, both of which were accepted to Hawthorne but only one of which was accepted to Edison. Both of them were in the 98% percentile for the classical test and read level 2/3 books with ease. I’m leaning toward sending both to Hawthorne because I feel that it’s important for them to be together (given that they’re twins and knowing their unique personalities). However, I want both to have plenty of opportunity to be challenged.

    What do you and/or others think?

  • 713. Another Rogers Park Mom!!!  |  March 22, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    His Mom and @LR, thank you! It’s nice to know there are people who’ve seen it and experienced it. We (another parent of a similar boy who I met on NPN during our GEEP testing rounds, now known as SEES) were discussing it on NPN back prior to K, after scores and placements came out; we were hit HARD by a few parents who did not ‘get’ what we were so excited to finally discuss what we’d prior not been able to with another parent who’s BTDT. Just really acusatory remarks, ‘LOL’s” and such. She and both have our sons at Decatur now, and they are both doing very well in many regards, but it’s far from ideal for many kids in terms of challenge. We are satisified for now. We will reevaluate after this year again. Thanks again for ‘back up’. It’s nice to know we’re not alone in getting the difference and what that can mean for a very, very small person… socially and academically as well as emotionally. 😉

  • 714. Patty  |  March 22, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    705. Roisin -I think you should take the offer at Dever. Dever has excellent test scores and offer a lot of different activities to the students. arrange a tour and ask questions regarding the curriculum etc. I would suggest you toIf you get into another school, it won’t hurt you chances at all. You can always accept and decline at anytime.

  • 715. CPS Classical Schools  |  March 22, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    @ All parents who applied for CPS Classical Schools. I’m having an issue. How does a child score 98% reading and 94% math and not be accepted into a school?? Does our being in “tier 4” make the difference? Also how do you all know when and if you are wait listed? Who do you call to find that out? Lastly, is it worth waiting on a second round? Or even contacting the schools?

  • 716. Patty  |  March 22, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    701. Lincoln IG – Thanks for the SEHS info. I wish more schools would post how many students were accepted into SE high schools and which high schools they were accepted to. This would help parents to better determine which schools to apply to. The schools wouldn’t have to publish the students’ names but just the numbers and high school statistics.

    I sometimes get fustrated with many CPS schools websites because they often lack information such as curriculum, after and before care, and programs offered. I don’t know why CPS schools aren’t required to keep their school websites up-to-date.

  • 717. stressed mom  |  March 22, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    What is the tier? I don’t see anything on my letter referencing a tier.

  • 718. Stressed by CPS  |  March 22, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    #712 Maybe I’m the wrong one to answer that because I am infamous for having my kids at different places. I have 2 now at Hawthorne, one in primary, one in intermediate. I chose to have them together because the other options were just ok. They also scored well on test before Hawthorne but you know how that goes.

    I do know a parent who also has 2 kids there. One got into Decatur, the other Eedison. The family opted to keep them together at Hawthorne. No, they are not twins but I think convenience, scheduling, etc. play important factors other than how a school ranks or what programs are offered. Maybe you should make a list of comparisons based on distance if you driving them or is they are bussed, how do the pick up and drop off time affect your family. Also, include pros and cons based on what you have read but maybe also what you have seen if you have attended open houses. I guess it also depends on if your twins need each other. Hey, I know some do better together, some don’t. But your twins will always be in a different class at Hawthorne. Oh I just remembered I also have a friend who does have one at Hawthorne and one at Edison. Again, not twins but from what I understand, they are both in the school that fits them best. So my answers are not really helping becauase if I were you, I’d so be on the fence, too! But I don’t know your kids so if you think they will do better as a team, it might just be easier for them to be together. If you had to choose Edison over a low performing school then there is no contest. But Hawthorne is very well rounded.

    In the past when given different options for my kids, making lists has helped. But it is really your gut feeling that will get you through this. Feel free to email me.

  • 719. Patty  |  March 22, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    715. CPS Classical Schools – What has happened to you has occured many times before. Your Tier plays a role in the admission process but also the schools you selected. If you only chose two schools out of the five classical schools. then lowered your chances at getting into a classical school. I wouldn’t suggest you contacting the schools because it will be a waist of your time. If you have questions, you should contact CPS central office at (773) 553-2060. This number is for gifted/classical and selective schools. You can also ask your questions over the internet now and CPS will respond back you but I would either call or go down there.

  • 720. Roisin  |  March 22, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    Thanks so much…

    So if I accept at Dever, I could still potentailly at a later date get a call from Farnsworth (my earliest wait list number at 16) If this is the case, why wouldn’t I accept?

    I am gathering from all the posts that being in Tier 4 with my son’s scores there is little hope of getting into a RGC? (139)

  • 721. mack  |  March 22, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    CPS Class schools @ 715. What classical schools did you apply to? Decatur probably requires 98% or 99% in both areas for most tiers. Skinner West or North probably less, but not that much less.

    Depending on where you applied, it’s possible your child will get accepted in a 2nd or 3rd round.

  • 722. tk  |  March 22, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    Maureen… at first I did think it was just my mistake, but when I saw others here (you and I believe I saw another) post that you had gotten “not eligible” for Ogden as well, it seemed like something was up. I just sent a note to the OAE. I’ll post if I get any kind of answer!

  • 723. dette  |  March 22, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    EDISON and anyone with PTA/LSC/volunteering experience:

    Can any current parents plse comment on being part of the PTA/LSC as well as volunteering in homeroom, when for some who work full time, this may not always be feasible? I want to be as involved as possible but am worried that opportunities only exist during school hours. Are there opportunities one can do at home or in the evenings to help out? This is my first time as a parent of a kindergartner so its all new to me. I already feel very badly that I can’t attend their prospective parents’ event next week. My husband is trying to take off work so he can watch my twins (19 months) while I attend but I don’t see it happening. Although for the most part I am a stay at home mom, ((I work weekends) finding someone to babysit my twins while I volunteer at my kindergartners homeroom is not easy. Anyone in same boat, advice? Thank you.

  • 724. Hawthorne mom  |  March 22, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    To the mom who asked about Hawthorne…..we love it there. No school is perfect, certainly not Hawthorne, but the good parts so far outweigh the negatives.
    Cons: large class sizes, too far from us (we are in Rogers Park)
    Pros: great instruction (I am a teacher and am hyper observant about instructional methodology and delivery and have actually used my time volunteering in the classroom in the past to inform my own practice…..the teachers are at the top of their game)
    -great after school programming (10-20 free and tuition based options)
    -stellar writing program (Lucy Calkins, considered the best of the best in the nation right now)
    -awesome fundraising (think 300-500K……even if the PTA were snobby, which hasn’t been my experience, who cares if they can help that kind of money?! When other schools will be forced to cut multiple positions, that hardworking PTA is making it happen, saving teachers that will help differentiate for my kid….I love them)
    -most competent principal I know
    -loving teachers
    -awesome test scores, good percentage get into SE HS

    Yes, your advanced reader will be challenged. Kids often have a very high independent reading level but a lower instructional level (I am a reading teacher). In 1st grade, the two classes divide up by ability into 4 different reading groups. I can tell you that many kids read several grade levels ahead, so your child won’t be alone. I have a daughter who got into a classical school and we turned it down for Hawthorne. We haven’t regretted it. She was easily reading at a 2nd grade level at the start of K, and now in 1st, will whip through a 5th grade level book of about 300 pages in one day. They’ve definitely helped her. And it works too for my more average kid….he’s thriving too.

    Again, no place is perfect and there are many really great schools….Hawthorne is just one of them. If you have more than one child, it is really nice to know you’ll have a guaranteed spot for your second or third child and they can all go to the same school. The craziness of multiple drop offs and fundraisers and events is something to really think through. Hope this is helpful to you.

  • 725. Pritzker Mom  |  March 22, 2011 at 8:00 pm

    @699 babyboyjan… My DD attends Pritzker RGC and my DS attends Edison. My DD loves Pritzker and loves loves loves Ms. Wilson. Pritzker is that rare 1/3 neighborhood kids, 1/3 fine arts magnet and 1/3 RGC kids. The (common) principal, Dr. Reese, has a lot to juggle. She has done an admirable job. Pritzker is an example of what a school should be with kids exposed to diversity and academics. My DD is exposed to music, drama, arts and Spanish. Ms. Wilson keeps the parents well informed with what was accomplished the previous week and what will be accomplished for the coming week via K Chronicles that she distributes early in the week. I have never been so informed with a kid’s progress as I have been with hers. Sometimes communication with my DS’s teachers have been lacking at times. By the way, last year she received RGC score of 135 (Tier 4). She did not get into Edison, but in November we received a call for 1 (out of 5) open slots at Pritzker. We are trying to get her into Edison to be with her big bro. We still have not received our letter. Our issue with Pritzker is the location and the late start. In a perfect world, I’d like to transport Pritzker into Edison’s old location. We have to juggle bus pickups and after school activities.

  • 726. South Side Mom  |  March 22, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    OK, finally got the letters.
    Accepted to Skinner North, #1 choice.
    Tier 1 / RGC 134 / Classical 86 (Rdg) 95 (Math)
    Also offered spot at Vanderpoel.
    Waitlisted 6 for Hawthorne and 4 for Franklin.
    Also offered spot at 2 charters. Will accept Skinner North.

  • 727. CPS Classical Schools  |  March 22, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    @719 Patty and 721 Mack, thanks for the response. I know for sure I applied for at least three classical schools (McDade, Poe, and Skinner), I can’t remember the others. I’m still leaning towards contacting the principles. I did contact CPS today. I ended up leaving a vmail message and sending an email. Their phones were tied up all day. I was on hold for over 15 minutes.

    Does any one have any other info about wait lists? The CPS letter was not clear on that. In fact, my letter did not mention that at all. How do people know about classical school wait lists?

  • 728. New Agassiz Mom  |  March 22, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    Relieved and excited….

    Received an offer to our first choice, Agassiz. A great neighborhood school that offers a rigorous, yet balanced academic program with a small, community feel.

    Also, received a kindergarten spot in the South Loop RGC (Tier 4, score of 144). However, we are choosing Agassiz over this RGC spot – Agassiz just “feels” like the best spot for our curious five-year old who loves school and loves learning!

  • 729. babyboyjan  |  March 22, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    @Pritzker Mom,
    Thank you for the insights. I read some criticism about the high turn over rate of teachers. Did that happen while your child was there?

  • 730. the heckler  |  March 22, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    @727, wait list numbers are only given for magnets, not RGC or Classicals or that is how it was done in the past…

  • 731. tigerdad  |  March 22, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    Got two letters yesterday. one from magnet and one from gifted and classic. My daughter got accepted by Keller RGC for grade 1. score 134, reading 99, math 99. Applied for 9 magnets, all are on waiting list. We are tier 4.

  • 732. CPS Classical Schools  |  March 22, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    @31 Tigerdad, I don’t understand how your daughter would do so well and still be on a wait list for magnet schools? I don’t get it. I’m also Tier 4. My daughter was 98% reading and 94% math and so far we haven’t been accepted at any classical. Hopefully in the next round or two.

    I’m seriously thinking about using someone elses address next year. Its frustrating to see that my child did better than many of the parents who have posted here but we probably didn’t get in because of where we live.

  • 733. got into hawthorne  |  March 22, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    Thanks, @724 Hawthorne Mom and @ 718 Stressed by CPS. I appreciate both of your comments.

    Hawthorne Mom, it is especially reassuring to hear about the wonderful experience that you are having there. Another parent commented that while Hawthorne is excellent, its curriculum is not necessarily “accelerated,” and that comment sidetracked me a bit. To hear that your very bright children are thriving in the Hawthorne environment makes me very optimistic as well. Thank you for taking time to reply!

  • 734. Dad  |  March 22, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    Reminder we’re gathering survey data here:

    If anyone wants to see the survey data results you can click here:

    (For excel geeks you can also download the data, and do any analysis you want)

    I’ll put together some pivot tables near the end of the week. Right now there’s still less than 100 responses. It would be good to get some more data before doing the analysis.

  • 735. david  |  March 22, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    @ CPS Classical, Can you clairfy what you mean when you its because where you live. I dont get how that factors in?

  • 736. Pritzker Mom  |  March 22, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    My DD only started last November. If there were high teacher turnovers, I wasn’t aware of it. I was a bit surprised at the 5 open slots so late in the year. Fortunately, it worked out well. If she does not get into Edison, she will be very happy to stay on at Pritzker. We’ll be fine either way.

  • 737. Stressed by CPS  |  March 22, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    @Hawthorne mom… I am also a Hawthorne mom from RP! Well, we are a little outside RP boundaries but RP is my home. I wanted to thank you for mentioning split reading classes. I cannot believe I forgot that! Hello!!!

    So to the mom of twins, yes, the reading groups are divided based on tests done early in the school year. Math can also be split up if certain kids need extra assistance or need more challenge. (more like a breakout group.) I don’t know why I was thinking all kids were doing the same work. Actually, based on a meeting I had with a reading teacher, she says the groups are doing the same work as far as text and work books but some groups are working at a faster pace and other groups may need to have the teacher pay more attention to the kids and make sure they are grasping the lesson. I always ask which teacher is the higher reading group so I know where my child stands. One year, one child was in the middle group and they said because she isn’t very independent. Her DIEBLES (assesment test) scores were through the roof but I do know what they mean about being independent. She needs structure and someone to remind her of what needs to be done. But the following year, she was placed in the accelerated group.

    I stated that there wasn’t any difference in work because my mind blanked out for a second and I forgot about reading groups. In my child’s reading group everyone gets the same work (to my knowledge) but I forgot that there are other groups!

  • 738. ronni  |  March 22, 2011 at 8:44 pm


    I love Keller RGC!!! When I first applied to the RGCs I thought good ISATS equated to a good school. After two years I was ready to run away from that RGC.

    Enter Keller….after transferring my child to Keller, I found a great enivronment for my child to blossom. The school is family focused. The staff and principal are friendly and very approachable. By the end of the first month, the principal, Latonya McDade will know the name of your child and all of their siblings (even if they don’t attend the school). There are a wide variety of afterschool activities (bowling, band, yoga, chess, etc) for the kids to choose from. Parental involvement is encouraged.

    Of course, to rank in the top 2 schools in Illinois, there is a focus on ISATs. Though, I don’t think more than most other schools. There is a lot of homework, but my child doesn’t complain. Maybe it’s the recess twice daily.

  • 739. shan  |  March 22, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    Any Agassiz parents on, specifically prek and k pros/cons??? TIA

  • 740. Maureen  |  March 22, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    to CPS Classical Schools | –>admissions Magnet vs. SEES

    The score a child receives on the RGC & Classical test has nothing to do with the Magnet selection process.

    –RGC & Classical school admit students based on test score, ranking and Tier.
    –Magnet schools admit students by lottery (generally 40% from proximity and 60% from non-proximity/tiers).

    These 2 processes have nothing to do with each other so the scores received, either high or low, have nothing to do with the magnet acceptance or wait list numbers. I’m sure many of the magnet schools would be thrilled to get a high scoring kid, but they don’t admit based on that so they likely don’t even know if a child took the test or not.

  • 741. david  |  March 22, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    thanks for the survey data.

  • 742. Hawthorne mom  |  March 22, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    @737, nice to meet you, in the virtual world!

  • 743. Stressed by CPS  |  March 22, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    ABOUT HAWTHORNE…I also commented previously that to me, the primary grades aren’t as advanced as I’d like it to be. I said that mainly because when another one of my kids was at a classical school, the work was much harder, more homework, more projects, etc. when I compare grade to grade, school to school. So that vast difference makes me think the way I do but that does not mean Hawthorne is not up to speed with the primary grades. It was just from my previous experience with a different school. But it was a classical school and they just do things differently. Not necessarily better, just different.

  • 744. McDade Parent  |  March 22, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    @ 704 david – when is the McDade Open House? The current parents didn’t hear about it. I guess we’re not the audience. Let us know if you have any other questions.

  • 745. dette  |  March 22, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    I wonder if CPS could provide the data analysis as well, if that would make it easier for some? Or maybe its only shared with those within CPS administration but as a public school system it should be available to all.

  • 746. david  |  March 22, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    @ mcdade parent,
    its next week, and says new student open house

  • 747. Paul  |  March 22, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    Yes, I’m an Agassiz parent with a son in K and daughter in pre-k. It’s a great school, dedicated teachers, strong parent group, great administration. It’s done a lot over the last several years to improve its outreach and fundraising, and to attract more families to the school. I suggest taking a tour. If your child has just been selected through the lottery, there’s a tour March 28th at 9:30am.

  • 748. tk  |  March 22, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    @739 shan

    I’m an Agassiz mom… but I’m not sure how much help I will be. This is our first year there and my daughter is in 3rd grade. I will say that she absolutely loves it there. She especially loves the performing arts aspect of the school. I love the feel of the place, it just has a warm, neighborhood feel, if you know what I mean.

  • 749. shan  |  March 22, 2011 at 9:00 pm


    Ive heard great things about it and happy that we were accepted for K. Was wondering the difference between prek classes for my youngest?

  • 750. shan  |  March 22, 2011 at 9:02 pm


    Thanks!! We are excited to be in. I got the same warm, neighborhood feeling about it when we toured!!!

  • 751. SS Dad  |  March 22, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    @731 tigerdad.

    Congratulations on getting accepted at Keller! We got it too. Do you plan to accept? There’s another poster here (ronni) who was accepted. We’d have 3 of 28 of the next 1st grade class here in this post. Maybe we could do a playdate with the kids at Keller’s playground one weekend. It would be nice for the kids to know some of their classmates before starting.

  • 752. ananymous  |  March 22, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    to CPS Classical Schools

    Honestly, last year my child received a 97% reading and 99% math and did not get into the Classical school we had listed. If someone turns down a spot you could get a chance to go. It changes every year. Unfortunately there are a lot of bright kids and only a few spots.

  • 753. Coonley Truths?  |  March 22, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    Any Coonley RGC moms or dads out there? Our daughter got in K, and we’re looking for some first-hand inside info. For instance, any opinions re. the environment for the kids, whether it’s nurturing or more sink-or-swim, whether the teaching seems geared “to the test” or independent thinking, the quality of the teachers and admin. In short, whether you’re happy with the school so far (understanding that the RGC is only a few years old) and any pros or cons.

  • 754. Paul  |  March 22, 2011 at 9:10 pm


    Congrats on getting accepted to K. Agassiz has two pre-k classes: tuition-based pre-k (full-day) and preschool for all (half-day). Both teachers have great reputations and the parents I’ve talked to love the programs. Both preschools have waitlists for next year.

  • 755. adad  |  March 22, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    Thanks for the great info spreadsheet. just curious, why do some of the listings have RGC acceptance and Classical acceptance marked “Y” when it’s not possible to get both? I just skimmed the stats but it was something I noticed.

  • 756. macK  |  March 22, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    cps classical school @ 727: They don’t have wait lists for SEES. They have “rounds.” Once acceptance letters are back from Round 1, they will figure out which classes still have space and then send out another round of acceptances. They keep doing this until all the spaces are filled. Sometimes they make phone calls instead of sending letters.

    Calling the school principal is a total waste of time. They have no say over who gets into their school.

    Your child has a good score–they may get in yet. At Skinner North, they were adding new students through November.

  • 757. hat  |  March 22, 2011 at 9:39 pm


    Find someone in your child’s class that also has younger siblings. Do a swap where you watch each other’s kids while the other volunteers at the school.

  • 758. Lenart  |  March 22, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    Could someone please share impressions or experiences with me about Lenart?

  • 759. tigerdad  |  March 22, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    @751 SSDad
    The playdate is a wonderful idea. Maybe it is easier to reach me at my email: I will frequently check this thread, too. Getting excited!

  • 760. Bev Dad  |  March 22, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    @ssdad, tigerdad, and ronni:
    Just got the letter my son was accepted to Keller for first grade! That makes 4 of 28! We’ve heard great things…looking forward to it.

  • 761. got into hawthorne  |  March 22, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    @737, 743 Thanks for clarifying, Stressed by CPS. That’s very helpful, and I think that the differentiated reading and math groups are a big positive! Big picture, everything I’m reading confirms that Hawthorne is an excellent option.

  • 762. abcde  |  March 22, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    My son didn’t make it into POE or MCDADE for 1st grade (tier 4). Is there any point in holding out hope with a score of 96 (Reading) and 97 (Math)?

  • 763. Maybe-next-year  |  March 22, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    @Bev Dad, ssdad, tigerdad, and ronni:
    Lucky you!! May I ask what your kid’s score was? Was this for 1st grade, tier 4? We have two older kids at Keller and are extremely happy with the school.

  • 764. goodtobeobsessed  |  March 22, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    @758 – Love the education my son is getting at Lenart, but I’d still give my right arm to have him at Keller where there is more recess, emphasis on extracurricular activities, and a more parent-friendly environment. It’s not something too overt, but I get the feeling that Lenart likes how it’s doing things, thankyouverymuch, and doesn’t appreciate a lot of parent input. Though given it’s one of the top 3 schools in the state, perhaps they’re on to something?

  • 765. Dad  |  March 22, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    @699 , 725
    My son is also in Pritzker’s RGC K. I pretty much agree with 725.
    Specific points:
    -The kindergarten teacher has really done well. She welcomes volunteers. She communicates the class progress so much better than any of my teachers ever did!
    -I was initially a bit hesitant about how well the combination neighborhood-arts-magnet-cluster/RGC would work, but I think they balance it well. (I think South Loop does a great job with this too, but no direct experience.) The benefits of arts cluster designation carry over to the RGC kids too, so they get art/music, and are welcome to participate in the school theater production. Spanish twice a week.
    -It’s not huge, with ~600 kids. Our home school is twice that size. But it’s not tiny either. The upper levels are literally on the upper level of the school, so my personal fears of 8th graders crushing my 5 year-old have not been realized.
    -I think the school encourages a student’s character- I’ve been very impressed by nice little things the 7th and 8th graders do, very different from what I see in those aged kids walking home from my neighborhood school.
    -Granted, we’re only getting through kindergarten, so my perspective is limited, but these posts about super strict teachers, ridiculous homework/projects, stressed out kids, etc, at other schools do not sound anything like Pritzker. We were on the edge of holding out last spring in hopes of a classical offer in the next round, and at this point I’m glad we chose to accept. My experience this year is of a teacher willing to differentiate, and a principal who wants that to be the norm.
    -I like the other parents. I think it’s kind of telling that you don’t see so many Pritzker parents posting here or on NPN. They don’t seem to be quite so obsessed! But that doesn’t mean they aren’t involved. The Friends group is doing great things, bringing the Science Lab back from the dead, getting a new playground, and getting word out.
    -I would not read too much into the school performance meets/exceeds. Schools like Pritzker with mixed missions can’t report out performance for RGC separate from neighborhood. And the school overall is like 70% low income, so it’s tricky comparing numbers to Bell or Beaubien, let alone classicals or Edison. Key is that the trend is definitely toward improvement, and the school admin is very motivated to keep that trend going.
    Hope that helps!

  • 766. CPS Classical Schools  |  March 22, 2011 at 10:29 pm

    @735 David, what I am referring to is that because of the tier system whereby so many students from each tier is accepted, it appears that students in other tiers are accepted with lower scores. And if chances are increased by indicating a different tiered zip code, I wonder if its not worthwhile.

  • 767. hkm  |  March 22, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    My daughter is in K at Hawthorne now and it has been a very good experience. She tested well, but didn’t get a gifted offer last year. There are plenty of other bright kids in her class and I like the fact that there is a range of skill levels within the classroom. She truly loves her teachers and hasn’t been bored at all. I imagine she might have been pushed harder in other programs that emphasize working a grade level or more ahead, but that’s not my top priority at this point. She’s learned a great deal and loves school.

    Regarding the PTA, I have no complaints and have been impressed by their dedication and enthusiasm for the school – they are a big part of its ongoing success. There have been plenty of opportunities to participate and I haven’t felt unwelcome. I think most schools have a core group on the PTA and it can initially be difficult to find your niche, but it gets easier over time. We have met a number of families that we would like to get to know better and the biggest obstacle so far has been finding the time. It seems to be a bit easier to get to know people if you can pick up your kids and mingle on the playground after school or during other activities. If you work full time and the kids take the bus, it might take longer and a bit more effort to build the connections. One final point, I like the fact that there are two large classes for each grade because that also means there’s a broad range of families.

    p.s. last year they called people on the waitlist into July & August and made it at least to the mid-teens.

  • 768. CPS Classical Schools  |  March 22, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    @740 Maureen, yes thank you. That is the exact reason I did not apply to magnet schools. Honestly, my neighborhood school performs better than many magnet schools do.

  • 769. CPS Classical Schools  |  March 22, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    @762 we are in the same boat. My child scored nearly the same (98 reading and 94 math), we live in tier 4 and also choose McDade and Poe. I do hope they both get in though. I did give CPS a call to ask the same question. I’ll post their response.

  • 770. Maureen  |  March 22, 2011 at 10:42 pm

    @ CPS Classical Schools — I agree…yes, it’s a lottery but I can’t help but being disappointed {personally offended!} in the results. We have not fared well in the lottery each time we’ve tried, but unfortunately our neighborhood school is not an option so we’re at the mercy of CPS (our neighborhood is bad/on probation, but they are trying to bring it up). Happy to be in the magnet we’re in, but also want to keep options open so we’ll likely do the lottery again. It is a tedious process though!

    Good luck!

  • 771. CPS Classical Schools  |  March 22, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    @Maureen, you are not alone. I really feel offended as well. I understand that this is a process, a competition of some sorts, some have to win and some have to lose but you teach and tell your children to do well and good things will come as a result…they do well and its left in the hands of others. Something is not right about this.

    On another note, are the RGC scores and Classical school scores at all related. Is it possible to do really well on one and really poorly on the other?

  • 772. abcde  |  March 22, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    @769: Thanks in advance for posting CPS’ response. Chances are probably slim though. I assume Poe and McDade only have a couple of spots open for first grade since they started with a Kindergarten class. If not, we’ll stay at Sutherland and try again next year.

  • 773. CPS Classical Schools  |  March 22, 2011 at 10:57 pm

    @772 abcde, Sutherland is my neighborhood school too. My daughter will be in the 1st grade there next year (if she doesn’t get into the others). I’m sure they only have a few spots for the first grade and Sutherland is great (it does better than most magnet) so I’m disappointed but….

  • 774. Keller mom  |  March 22, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    @692-The Homework at Keller is manageable. I don’t find it to be excessive. i actuay think it’s more reasonable than the classical school my son attended for Kindergarten. My son is definitely doing work well above his grade level and is challenged. He absolutely loves going to school. The school is small and close knit and there is a lot of parent involvement. The principal and staff are excellent.

  • 775. Maureen  |  March 22, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    @771 — yes, that seems to be somewhat common. Not knowing what is on the tests, it’s hard to say why kids tend to do better on one or the other. I was surprised that my daughter did better on the RGC test than the Classical as I would have thought it would be the other way around. It’s all a cr@pshoot anyway…there are far more applicants than slots so even with very high scores many kids do not get any offers.

    I really wonder what is on those tests though…it’s the best kept secret in Chicago!

  • 776. CPS Classical Schools  |  March 22, 2011 at 11:08 pm

    @775–humph….that seems strange to me. I would expect some slight variance but I’m going to call IIT and ask. I have a friend whose child barely got 50% on the RGC test and did in the 90% for the classical. I know the test are different but it is almost like two different people took them.

    You are right CPS keeps those test on the lock-down. They are totally the best kept secret in the city!!

  • 777. Patty  |  March 22, 2011 at 11:13 pm

    720. Roisin – My friend got an acceptance for Skinner Noth two days ago for her soon to be Kindergartener. Well if you have already left a message for CPS, then yes contact the school. I am just concerned for you because I know few people that will turn down Poe/McDade/or Skinner. I really hope you get a slot somewhere.

  • 778. abcde  |  March 22, 2011 at 11:20 pm

    @773 – CPS Classical Schools: Now I have to ask: which room is your daughter in? My son is in 103.

  • 779. Another Rogers Park Mom!!!  |  March 22, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    Only bringing this up as nobody is talking about it… I myself had forgotten until today (was wondering why we got 3 offers and 6 potentially viable Waitlists from Magnets/OES).

    What is the ‘advantage’ given to those with a failing school? I know that we read that because for instance, Gale (our Neighborhood School) is failing, we were given Preference in the Lotteries. What % of Preference? Are those children selected first, then open pool? Anyone with any inclination as to how they go about this, and whether it affects how quickly your child moved up the Waitlists?


  • 780. Patty  |  March 22, 2011 at 11:25 pm

    @758. Lenart – My experience with Lenart is that it is more of a straight forward type of school. I wouldn’t say that it is a nuturing environment for younger students. However, it is good in academics, diverse student body, outdoor education for seventh graders and a few activities but not a lot. I also don’t think Lenart has a after school program til 6pm. My child attended Lenart for Kindergarten and I pulled her out to attend Keller for first grade-seventh. She is doing well at Keller and Keller is more intimate and a family-like atomosphere. I suggest you visit Lenart and if you want your child in more after school activities maybe seek out a Park District near your home or private services. Lenart is a good school but it has a more straight-forward environment feel.

  • 781. Working mom  |  March 22, 2011 at 11:26 pm

    If I accept the 1st grade offer we received from a magnet school (lottery) will my child be at risk of losing his spot for 1st grade at his existing school where he is currently in K? I don’t want to jeopardize his current school seat if I decide later to pass on the magnet school offer?

  • 782. Patty  |  March 22, 2011 at 11:28 pm

    @726. South Side Mom-Congrats on Skinner North!!! My friend daughter were accepted to Skinner for their Kindergarten program this fall. I hope you will enjoy the experience.

  • 783. Patty  |  March 22, 2011 at 11:31 pm

    @Working mom- You won’t lose the seat at your current school, even if you accept the magnet school offer, until you physically transfer her/him out of the current school.

  • 784. Maureen  |  March 22, 2011 at 11:32 pm

    Sutherland seems like a great school. I would just enroll there and not look back unless it really isn’t a good fit. School choices are hard enough…not enough options, too many options…it’s enough to make us obsessed! ha ha

  • 785. JP  |  March 22, 2011 at 11:44 pm

    To all the parents griping about the tiers. Get over it. Most of the people who are griping your kid’s scores are good but they are on the borderline of what is acceptable and you also have to remember a 138 may get you into Pritzker(no offense) but chances are it won’t get you into Edison. Also that may have been the difference of one question. if they scored below 98% in classical its an okay grade but they never would have gotten into the top classical schools.
    And to say that you will cheat about what tier you are in because the system is unfair seems, well kind of stupid.
    It would be different if you were they only person that this was happening to but as you can see by all the comments on this site, you’re not alone. I am also in tier 4 my daughter scored higher than her brother who is already in RGC at Coonley and she didn’t get in. But I am not worried that she is so brilliant that she will get bored, it’s kindergarten.
    If your kid gets so bored by the slightest lack of challenge in everyday life, how are they ever going to hold a full-time job?
    Challenge them at home or better yet get them a good book.
    Don’t worry your child is still smart but that isn’t being taken away from them because they didn’t get in to RGC or Classical.
    And stop blogging about the special problems of your over brilliant child, it’s grating just like those people who complain about never being able to gain weight.

  • 786. Another Rogers Park Mom!!!  |  March 22, 2011 at 11:49 pm

    @771/773, CPS Classical Schools:

    You are doing great in Beverly with Sutherland! I graduated from there in 1986 myself, and while I live in Rogers Park now… I really wish we’d bought in Beverly and avoided all this. My sister’s son is now at Sutherland and it’s so easy for them not to go thru all this mayhem!

    As to your question about relation on the test. NO, I do not think they are much related, in that now with 2 children I had one max-out (cap) the Classical Test in 2007 at 99.9th% (scores were ‘flipped’ back then, so a 165 Classical and an 88% Gifted) and do ‘not so well’ on Gifted. This year, our Daughter is the polar-opposite of her big brother. 139 Gifted (so 99%), with a 88% Math and 72% Reading. She did not have a great test day, recovering from Pneumonia, however we did not expect her to ‘hit’ the Classical marks as her interests are elsewhere By the same token, her big bro had a ‘shoddy’ Gifted test day and a great Classical Test day; his Classical was on a Tuesday late-afternoon/evening at 6pm, and his Gifted was the very next morning at 8am (7:30 arrival for a not-a-morning-person child! lol!!!). I think there is a ‘bit of their differences in score’ in those particular circumstances, however… MOST of it is in their ‘styles of learning’. My son is VERY linear, number and letter and reading obsessed since before age 1. My daughter is ‘Puzzle Girl’. Could really care less about books as she’d prefer to be read TO, haha… but could play Blockus ALL DAY long and thensome. Not at ALL a “Rote Learner”, far more artistic and a ‘critical thinker’. My son is ALL common sense and has a few issues with ‘critical thinking’, even as a Decatur kid! I think they both did very well for their ‘style’ of learning, and in that regard, think CPS is doing something right with their testing!

    Hth a bit!

  • 787. babyboyjan  |  March 22, 2011 at 11:50 pm

    @765, thank you.

  • 788. TwinMom  |  March 23, 2011 at 12:04 am

    @779 / ANOTHER ROGERS PARK MOM: I would love to know more about that “strength of neighborhood school” factor, too — how did they calculate it and how much did it factor into the acceptances.

    I don’t remember — does that “strength of neighborhood school” factor into the SEES acceptances, too? I don’t believe it should (if your child needs an accelerated education, the strength of your neighborhood school should only come into play if the neighborhood school has a gifted component to it).

    The reason I’m curious (other than just being curious) is that I’ve read (here and elsewhere) about two other kids from our same tier with the same score getting into our first-ranked school (and we didn’t) — I suppose that could be due to something else (like our 144 was somehow a “lower” 144 than someone else’s? Do they do “144.1” “144.2,”?? or perhaps they were trying to balance boys & girls in the classroom?), but I wonder whether it could be because our neighborhood school is Audubon (which I’m assuming they consider a pretty good neighborhood option). I have no problem trying to get diversity through the Tier system (even though it sucks to know your children were passed over), but the “strength of neighborhood school” shouldn’t factor into the SEES decision at all, IMO, unless your neighborhood school also has a gifted/classical component. It doesn’t, does it?

  • 789. TwinMom  |  March 23, 2011 at 12:06 am

    by “It doesn’t, does it?” I meant “strength of neighborhood school doesn’t factor into RGC/Classical acceptances, does it?”

    Must. read. posts. before. posting!

  • 790. Another Rogers Park Mom!!!  |  March 23, 2011 at 12:09 am

    I don’t think it does for SEES at all?

  • 791. Peirce Beaubien  |  March 23, 2011 at 1:13 am

    My daughter (1st grade) and son (PK) both attend/ed Peirce school. Every teacher we have had interactions with have been very helpful and go out of their way for the children. The teachers we have had are well rounded, attentive and eager to teach. Check out the teacher blogs on the Peirce web site. My kids love the school. There is great parent involvement (and neighborhood involvement). Extracurricular activities for PK include an optional (parent paid) Spanish or Mandarin/Chinese class which my son took. My daughter was in an after school drama class that she loved. We are very excited about the new IB program. Upper grades seemed to be very conscientious and disciplined from my interactions with them in hallways and from volunteering to help with the history fair and book sales. The school is clean, new, and well maintained. Nice playground. Children go outside daily. If you visit the school you can get a great feel for the environment. Principal is flexible on ‘change’, but doesn’t always ‘play well with parents’. I guess you can’t have everything! But, it’s a truly wonderful school.

    That said, my daughter tested into the Beaubien options program last year. (We would have stayed at Peirce if the IB program was ‘confirmed’ at that time.) I gush about her teacher. She has been teaching for 19 years and is as happy and passionate as someone fresh out of college. The children love her and it shows. My 1st grade daughter is learning at a 2nd grade level and thriving! The options program is in a new, separate wing from the neighborhood school.

    Plenty of outside family activities offered. No recess is a downfall. However my daughter doesn’t do well in noisy, unstructured environments, so it doesn’t bother her. There is a park right across the street. School hours are 7:50-1:45.

  • 792. cpsobsessed  |  March 23, 2011 at 2:31 am

    I believe that this is factored into determining your tier, not at the individual level.

    I also believe that on the RGC test, there are a few subscores that we never see that help rank kids within their overall score. In the past 2 years, 144 has seemed to be a common number (well, common HIGH number) and I suspect that within that score kids are ranked by certain sub scores.

  • 793. Tattoo Mom (JM)  |  March 23, 2011 at 7:17 am

    Dear CPS Obsessed-
    I just wanted to say THANK YOU for setting up this place where we are allowed to be nervous, neurotic, overbearingly excited parents and not feel alone. I wish I had known about you sooner!

    This process brings out the best and worst in us all as we fight for our children’s education and it’s nice to be among like minded or even opposite minded people to hear all sides of the issues. It’s a great source of information in a game where the rules seem to change by the day…. I am officially obsessed!

    Thanks so much,

  • 794. tigerdad  |  March 23, 2011 at 7:21 am

    @ssdad, Bev Dad, and ronni:

    It’s great to get in Keller. Looking forward to a playdate before the school starts. Here is my email again:

  • 795. cpsobsessed  |  March 23, 2011 at 7:53 am

    @793 Tattoo Mom: Thanks! I’m so glad everyone is sharing info. I’m so glad that everyone is freely sharing information. I think it empowers us as parents. I can’t believe we have almost 100 kids entered in the test score sheet (and thanks to the dad for doing that!)
    It’s incredible how much knowledge it seems to take to navigate this system. I feel like I know a lot but it’s like the more I learn, the more I realize how many “information holes” there in the system.

    I am looking into getting a message board set up, as I think there is a need for people to post their own questions, events, etc. So if my brain can figure it out, that will be coming soon.

    And everyone, don’t forget… next year when you are all settled in your new schools, come back here to help the new parents figure our their options!

  • 796. Tattoo Mom (JM)  |  March 23, 2011 at 7:59 am

    I will have a child in the process next year, so you know I’ll be here! LOL

  • 797. Welcome  |  March 23, 2011 at 8:10 am

    @ssdad, Bev Dad, ronni, and tigerdad: Congratulations of becoming a Keller parent. It’s an amazing environment for children to grow. You will not be disappointed. Keller is holding it’s annual Easter Breakfast on April 9. It’s fundraiser sponsored by the PTA run by the 8th grade parents. There are activities for the kids and an opportunity to take a photo with the Easter Bunny.You are welcome to come. This will give you the opportunity to get a feel for the school & meet some of our dedicated Keller family. I’ll verify the details details (time, cost) before posting.

  • 798. Bev Dad  |  March 23, 2011 at 8:31 am

    Thanks…we’ll try to make it!

  • 799. CPS Classical Schools  |  March 23, 2011 at 8:48 am

    @778, abcde–we aren’t at Sutherland yet. She’s at Emmmanual Christian this year. If none of this works out we will be there next year though.

  • 800. CPS Classical Schools  |  March 23, 2011 at 8:54 am

    @785, JP
    WHAT??!!! Your post made no sense. The assumptions that you made were so off base. I don’t see anyone “blogging about speacial problems over their brilliant children”. I see concerned parents noting very valid issues. If your child wasn’t accepted, life will go on, of course it has to. But you don’t have the right to determine what someone says or doesn’t say. Why are you here?

  • 801. Disney or Hawthorne?  |  March 23, 2011 at 8:56 am

    We feel very lucky that our daughter was offered a spot at Disney and Hawthorne for K. Our daughter currently goes to the tuition-based pre-K at Disney, and we love the school, teachers, kids, etc. (And, Disney is walking distance to our home.)

    Does anyone have strong feelings one way or another toward either school?

    This is a great forum. Thank you to everyone for contributing such helpful insight.

  • 802. TwinMom  |  March 23, 2011 at 8:59 am

    cpsobsessed: that sub-score thing is kind of what I figured (either that or they choose based on boy/girl balance somehow). Yeah, I’ve seen a lot of 144s this year (and yet no other 140s, which is what her twin scored….does he get a prize for that? 😉 ).

    These are the kind of questions that I know would stump OAE if I called (though I could probably call IIT and ask)….but it’s so much easier to post here. 🙂 Thanks, cpsobsessed!

  • 803. bagg  |  March 23, 2011 at 9:00 am

    @795 cpsobsessed, offer still stands to have my friend contact cherrie sanchez, former executive director of NPN, who single handedly brought NPN into the technology world and made NPN to what it is today (from a paltry 250 to 4,500 members). She set up the first discussion board at NPN.

    But do please, keep this site free with no membership.

  • 804. cpsobsessed  |  March 23, 2011 at 9:06 am

    @802: Twin mom: Boy/Girl is definitely not considered, as many of the gifted/classical classes have really skewed one way or another!

    @803: Thanks – let me see what I can figure out for free. Cherrie did do great things over there! Right now I’m getting my ideas and tips about WordPress (the site I use here for blogging) based on my son’s visits to blogs about Club Penguin and Poptripica. I assume these blogs are run by kids (!) and they are light years ahead of me! I’m on the verge of emailing a 10yo to get some pointers!
    Totally want to keep it free though.

  • 805. cpsobsessed  |  March 23, 2011 at 9:08 am

    On an unrelated note, (and mini rant) I have messages/emails in to 3 different CPS-related places/people with no response.
    Sometimes I feel like any cps voicemail/email just goes into a black hole……

  • 806. Kelly  |  March 23, 2011 at 9:10 am

    I would guess they don’t do any boy/girl balancing when making offers. Both of my daughters’ classes are boy-heavy, and I’ve heard that the same is true in at least one other SE school. I’m curious as to why that is — why are more boys than girls getting into these slots? (Or are they?) Is the testing environment somehow skewed to be boy-friendly? (Not intentionally, I’m sure, if it is.) I’ve had conversations with another mom of an SE girl, and we both thought that we were extremely lucky to have outgoing, confident girls who love to show off what they know. I’m sure that was a benefit to them when they took their tests. Does anyone have any insight into the boy/girl split at SE schools?

  • 807. tigerdad  |  March 23, 2011 at 9:18 am

    @797. Welcome,

    Thanks! We’ll try to make it too!

    @798. Bev Dad, looking forward to meet you and other 1st grade families.

  • 808. tigerdad  |  March 23, 2011 at 9:36 am

    245. SS Dad, did you get accepted by both RGC and Classic? I saw you answered “yes” to both in the survey spread sheet. We only get accepted by Keller and in the same mail they don’t even mention the classic. Are we expecting a separate mail from classic, either rejection (we are so used to this LOL) or acceptance? Anyway, we already sent back the confirmation letter to Keller yesterday. Just curious.

  • 809. hkm  |  March 23, 2011 at 9:40 am

    801 – We really like Hawthorne, but if you’re happy with Disney and already have a strong community there, I’m not sure it would be worth the switch. I also think being able to walk to school is a huge plus. Good luck with the decision, I don’t think you can go wrong.

  • 810. SS Dad  |  March 23, 2011 at 9:47 am


    tigerdad Bev Dad, & ronni

    Do you want to get the kids together before the 4/1 decision date?
    If so, my wife suggested the Oak Lawn Childrens Museum. We’re available Sunday (3/27) afternoon. We’re open to other times & locations.

    It would be great if some existing Keller parents could come. Just one hour of information sharing would help us a lot. We’d also like for the kids to get to know each other. We’ve attended Keller Open Houses in the past, but now its “for real.”

    tigerdad-I’ll send you an e-mail now.

  • 811. Lenart  |  March 23, 2011 at 10:04 am

    764. goodtobeobsessed – Thank you!

    I would appreciate any other additional comments, insights, impressions, especially about the SIPAAA I found at:

  • 812. Hawthorne Waitlisted  |  March 23, 2011 at 10:19 am

    Our child is #8 on the Hawthorne waitlist (non-proximity, Tier 3). Does this really mean we are #40 if there are five different waitlists (proximity plus four different tiers)? If so, is it hopeless?

  • 813. Hawthorne Waitlisted  |  March 23, 2011 at 10:20 am

    Oh, and this is for entry into Second Grade.

  • 814. ssmom  |  March 23, 2011 at 10:36 am

    @758Lenart- I’ve been a Lenart parent for a number of years. The school will give your child a good academic background. They added recess back after having none for years. The school will not give you the “warm and fuzzies.” The admin can be quite cold and tactless There are not many activities offered before 4th grade. They have changed a little bit in allowing parental involvement. Given a choice, I choose Keller hands down because of the warm environment that goes along with the rigorous curriculum. All of that being said, I would not turn down a seat at Lenart.

  • 815. timidd  |  March 23, 2011 at 10:54 am


    My daughter is in 5th grade at Mark Sheridan, and has been there since K. We applied to 15 schools that year and were accepted into Sheridan and one other.

    I did not know much about the school, but applied because of the scores, diversity, and location.

    I was impressed when I called to find out more about the school and, unlike many other schools at the time, they said I could come anytime during school hours and someone would give me a tour and answer my questions.

    I was concerned because back in my day, Bridgeport was not known to be an area that welcomed diversity, to put it mildly. But Sheridan has been around a long time, and is an excellent school offering academic rigor along with a well-rounded education in general.

    I’ve had probs with a teacher or two over the years, but those teachers are no longer there. I have found the administration to be very good partners in my child’s education, and I feel they listen to my concerns. My girl is gifted but not perfect, lol!

    It can feel a bit weird initially because a lot of the kids live in the area and know one another’s families or are related! Recently they added a phenomenal garden area, and there are lots of opportunities for parent participation.

    There are not a lot of field trips, and there are some afterschool programs offered now, but nothing that goes till 6, and nothing that’s every day – many of the kids go to the Boys & Girls Club, or Chicago Park District for aftercare.

    The 8am start was an adjustment for us too, but given our overall experience with the school I feel it’s worth it. My daughter has been accepted to Ogden and of course she does not want to leave Sheridan! I would not hesistate to recommend the school.

  • 816. timidd  |  March 23, 2011 at 10:57 am

    @Patty or others…

    I assume that if my older child leaves Sheridan, her sister will lose the spot she got thru the sibling lottery. Does anyone know what happens then? Would the younger child be put at the end of the Sheridan wait list?

    Also I’ve heard people say if we accept a RGC offer, we could also accept a magnet school offer without conflict until we decide for sure? Please confirm or clarify.

  • 817. CPS Classical Schools  |  March 23, 2011 at 11:13 am

    @805 cpsobsessed, I have a call and email into CPS as well. Last year they were exteremely good and answer and returning calls. I assumed that this year would be the same.

  • 818. LaSalle II question - less spots now??  |  March 23, 2011 at 11:15 am

    From today’s Suntimes:

    Andersen will be swallowed up by LaSalle Magnet II, and all its kids will be guaranteed LaSalle II seats, Mazany said.

  • 819. Appu  |  March 23, 2011 at 11:17 am

    I did not receive mail for kindergarten, but my older kid who applied for 7th grade received her acceptance mail. Not sure if that mail is missing or my little one got rejected?

  • 820. TwinMom  |  March 23, 2011 at 11:19 am

    @806 / Kelly: I wonder whether (though this is based on my HUGE sample size of 2 😉 ) the boy-dominance is because the testers seem to know a bit more about how to deal with “typical” boy test-taking problems than typical “girl” test-taking problems. My son, for example — like many stereotypical boys — loses focus and doesn’t want to answer questions any more after about 10 minutes. The test-giver apparently brought out play-doh for him to play with, took a break from testing, and then went back into it. I would GUESS (and again, it’s just a guess) that the “shy/quiet/self-doubting girl” syndrome might be a little harder to ‘deal” with in the testing environment? Eh – I’m probably projecting here (I find my daughter’s more complex personality “issues” much harder to deal with than my son’s “simpler” ones. But I’d love to know how the testers deal with the types of test-taking issues that more girls face than boys. My gut tells me they may be harder to work around.

  • 821. timidd  |  March 23, 2011 at 11:21 am


    For the 6th – 8th grade at Ogden, you had to be sure to put down the International Gifted Program codes on the SEES application. Ogden and Lincoln are the only ones offering this. It looks like from the posts lots of people put down the high school by mistake?

  • 822. Appu  |  March 23, 2011 at 11:25 am

    Are there anyone like us who did not receive mail?

  • 823. Pritzker Mom  |  March 23, 2011 at 11:30 am

    We have not received any letters yet either! We live on the NW side, you would think getting snail mail from downtown to the NW side shouldn’t take more than a couple of days. Here’s hoping we get something today.

  • 824. MM  |  March 23, 2011 at 11:32 am

    no mail here either. I will not be responsible for what I do to our mail carrier if he brings me more cataloges and bills today!!!

  • 825. Czechmom  |  March 23, 2011 at 11:33 am

    Received SEES letter but no Magnet letter

  • 826. angie  |  March 23, 2011 at 11:36 am

    My son’s RGC K class is 9 boys vs. 18 girls. I don’t think gender plays a role on who gets in. The sad part is I didn’t even know this until I got his class picture the other day. 🙂

  • 827. ....  |  March 23, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    Last year we never recieved the letter. we ended up going downstown to pick it up from CPS office. it wasnt good news.

  • 828. still, STILL waiting  |  March 23, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    We just got our mail with no CPS letter AGAIN. I’m trying to stay positive but going a little nuts. We are on the far NW side, but still…

  • 829. Jeff Park Dad  |  March 23, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    Hi all,

    Our son is on the wait list for 1st grade at Thorp at #7. Is this considered a low number? Has anyone had their kid go to Thorp with such a wait list number in recent years?


  • 830. JP  |  March 23, 2011 at 12:36 pm


    You’re right, it was very short of me and I should have gone to sleep earlier. I do think that the testing has created a competitiveness that is gotten out of hand. I actually had someone say to me about their own child ‘I thought he was smart, but I guess he’s not’ because this smart kid did not get in to RGC. And this person is not insensitive just caught up in all this.

    My only point is that there is no perfect system, before kids didn’t get in because they were not in a minority group now it’s because of the tier they live in. Or it’s because they had a cold, didn’t eat breakfast, didn’t take a nap, didn’t have a nice test-giver the day of testing. These are all valid and I guess this is the place if you want to vent or brag.

    I like this website for the data and posts like @Junior and @prof. gfr and it’s a little like the fascination of watching a car accident or a fire. Sometimes you want to walk away but can’t:)

  • 831. Unequal gifted ability due to tier structure  |  March 23, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    Does anyone worry that their high scoring Tier 4 child (150-160) will be held back by those getting gifted spots from Tiers 1 – 3? Seeing numbers as low as 134 and 144.

  • 832. ssmom  |  March 23, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    130 is 98% 134 and 134 are not low. Remember why the tier system is there. While it is not perfect, it gives an admissions advantage to those students that are not as advantaged in life. if these students score 134 and 144 they deserve the spots because theoretically, they have had had less to work with to get them there.

  • 833. ssmom  |  March 23, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    I meant 134 and 144….sorry

  • 834. cpsobsessed  |  March 23, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    @831: I think the thing to keep in mind is that tier system is selecting the top kids (in theory the smartest kids) from each Tier. We can assume that scores are higher by Tier (or they wouldn’t use this system). So there is some socioeconomic advantage that improves test score. But if the test is measuring raw intelligence, the kids should all have the mental ability to absorb everything they’re taught in the gifted program.
    Yes, there will be some kids who can read like adults and some who can barely put 3 letters together (as the RGC test does NOT measure reading/math skills.) My son had a class who I think all had similar scores, but the reading range was huge. In regular and in gifted classes (the way they are in chicago) there is always going to be a wide range of abilities and hopefully the teachers address it artfully — giving the top kids more challenges, while getting other kids caught up. I think when you’re pulling the top kids from each Tier, they can all handle working a grade ahead with a few months of catching up.
    134 is still something like top 2-3%. 144 is def top 1-2%.

  • 835. ronni  |  March 23, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    @ tigerdad, bevdad and ssdad:

    Awesome!! I would love to meet and have the kids get together. I will email to set up time and date. As I am a current parent, I might be able to answer some questions you have.

  • 836. @831  |  March 23, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    No, you’re the only one who thinks another child’s performance would have a direct impact on your child’s performance. If you don’t value the diversity presented by this system, you should home-school or go to private school.

  • 837. Unequal gifted ability due to tier structure  |  March 23, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    We all know people getting into sees schools because they happen to live in Tier 4/Tier 2 by odd gerrymandering – with household incomes more than the average “rich” (ha) Tier 4 people.

  • 838. Unequal gifted ability due to tier structure  |  March 23, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    I meant

    We all know people getting into sees schools because they happen to live in Tier 3/Tier 2 by odd gerrymandering – with household incomes more than the average “rich” (ha) Tier 4 people

  • 839. @838  |  March 23, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    kids don’t just “get in” to sees merely by wherever they happen to live. If you check the back of the sees letter, any score above 80th percentile (classical) and above 115 (RGC) are considered good candidates for these programs. Inherent in your tone is that only Tier 4 kids deserve to be in sees. You’re ignorant and need help.

  • 840. Unequal gifted ability due to tier structure  |  March 23, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    No, same thing for children in any tier. The difference between 160 and 140 is huge.

  • 841. New Keller Mom  |  March 23, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    SS Dad/tigerdad/Bev Dad/ ronni,

    My son was just accepted to 1st grade at Keller. Currently he is in K at Poe (@abcde, so a 1st grade spot will come open at Poe). I would love to meet some current parents and new parents from Keller. If you all do not mind, please email me with details regarding your play date.

    Also I just spoke with the office at Keller and they are having a PTA hosted Easter Bunny Breakfast on April 9, 2011 from 8:30 to 11:00 am. No tours will be given but you will be able to meet with currect parents and staff. The cost is $6 for adults and $4 for kids over 2 yrs of age. Hope to see you all there.

  • 842. unsure mama  |  March 23, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    For the data guy:

    tier 3, RCG score 150
    offered a spot at Edison, which was our first pick on RCG schools.
    And, it’s a boy.

  • 843. Kelly  |  March 23, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    One of the teachers at my daughters’ classical school told me that you see a wider range of abilities in a “gifted” classroom than you do in a regular classroom — that’s going to happen wherever you go. Like cpsobsessed says, some kids in our kindergarten could barely read at the beginning of the year, while others were quite advanced. Most fall somewhere in the middle. That’s par for the course, and hopefully you’ll have teachers who know how to give each child work at their own level. Overall, I think this kind of diversity in the classroom is a good thing for all of the kids, not a negative.

  • 844. smp  |  March 23, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    where can you find retention rates for schools? I think that may give some insight to the waitlist numbers. my son was #3 waitlist at a neighborhood school last year and we never go the call.

  • 845. question  |  March 23, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    Would any of you not send your child to mcdade because of its lack of diversity?

  • 846. Notobsessingthisyear  |  March 23, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    #844. Wouldn’t it be nice if CPS were transparent with waitlists? It’d be fantastic to know (I have two friends with low numbers right now) where your child stands day-by-day. In the past, I had a friend with a number in the 30s get into a very popular magnet in June. At that fall’s open house, the principal said it was an “off” year and they unexpectedly reached up to #22 in the waitlist.

    I kept my mouth shut, but that really concerned me. However, that was several years ago. I think things really are a little more transparent now. That’s why I think it’s great that people are public with their numbers — for public accountability’s sake.

    Wow. #3. That would be terribly disappointing.

    FYI. Google CPS research. There’s a site with a lot of information. Don’t know if they have retention rates, though.

  • 847. HSObsessed  |  March 23, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    Sorry to be a downer as I’m sure Keller is a really great school, but am I the only one who finds it strange that a public school would host an Easter Bunny Breakfast? Most public schools stay far away from any religious-based holidays. Not to get off topic, but really, this surprises me.

    Unrelated, but it occurred to me that it may be a LONG time before CPS can put into place an Internet-based system for notification of acceptances, since mailing a letter to a physical address is one way of checking to make sure that an applicant has some kind of actual connection to that house/apartment for purposes of determining tier. The second step is showing utility bills or something similar at the time of registering the child at the school. Argh. Might be a while before mail carriers are safe from being stalked this time of year…

  • 848. PublicSkGrl  |  March 23, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    I am the parent of a recent Northside College Prep Grad who attended Bell’s neighborhood program. While she qualified for gifted enrollment at other schools, she was not accepted into Bell’s, so I chose to move into the neighborhood to qualify for the neighborhood program. They do an excellent job of accommodating accelerated kids. I am not a pressure type parent and as an Early Childhood Educator, I strongly prefer the Constructivist approach as opposed to a strong academic curriculum. This is reflected in my 4.5 yo scores. She did not qualify for Classical (Reading 77, Math 95) but scored 135 for RGC, for which she was not accepted. She was offered a spot at Budlong and waitlisted as follows: Beaubien 5, Pritzker 24, Stone 43 (a block away), and Newberry 63. Ugh!! Does anyone know anything about Budlong? I am looking for warm teachers with a focus on process and critical thinking. For now, I am not worried about her learning to read, that’s my job! If this doesn’t work out, we’re moving.

  • 849. dette  |  March 23, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    @845 re mcdade yes, their lack of diversity deterred me from even listing them on my app-they are over 80 % black- I am non-white .. but that bothers me: Same thing with Poe

  • 850. SS Dad  |  March 23, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    New Keller Mom / tigerdad / Bev Dad / ronni

    Wow, we have 5 Keller 1st graders here!

    I’ll drop my anonymity like the rest of you. Here’s my e-mail address: Please write.

    Ronni brings both the new parent and the existing parent perspective.

    Thanks to cpsobsessed for helping our kids prepare for a new school!

  • 851. LaSalleParent  |  March 23, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    OK. My K is in at LaSalle for the fall only due to sibling lottery. This is the first year at Lasalle for my 5th grader and so far we like the school. The distance stinks due to living in Hyde Park. I have put the older sibling in the lottery for the past 3 years and last year she was number 7 on the waitlist (the smallest waitlist number) for LaSalle and we got a call in the end of August for the 5th grade. Here is what I got back from CPS…

    Jackson 117
    Murray 133 (I live 5 blocks from the school)
    Ray 105
    Franklin 95
    Galileo 78
    Hawthorne 202
    Nettelhorst 23
    Ogden -must have used the HS code bc not eligible
    Sheridan 15
    Skinner 489
    Drummond 114

    If she did not have a sibling at LaSalle she would have just been on the waitlist. Our neighborhood school has a CPS rating of an F. It just seems like they really need to have a better system.

  • 852. @831  |  March 23, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    Just a reminder, these RGC scores are NOT IQ scores. When it comes to IQ there IS a big difference between 130 and 160. But the CPS test is a quick, unevenly given test for 4 and 5 yr olds, not a full battery of psychological testing. While they do get a glimpse of a child’s capabilities, it is just a glimpse. When my lowly Tier 3 child took the test for K he was 4 yrs 3 months old and refused to read out loud to the tester. Yet, he still managed to score a lowly 145 while refusing to answer some of the questions. These scores are just numbers. Keep in mind, the RGC’s are not really gifted programs, they are accelerated. If your child is really that high above the others in his class you might want to look at schooling elsewhere if you can afford it, and leave the RGC spot for someone else who will appreciate it and not be as concerned with lowering the classroom standards. It is attitudes like the one above that hinder true educational reform and leave all parents who are trying to advocate for their gifted child, being grouped unfairly as a “bunch of elitists.”

  • 853. ackie dad  |  March 23, 2011 at 2:09 pm


    Maybe you’re not aware that many CPS’s hold church services on Sundays in gyms and theatres. They have had these arrangements for years. Why would Saturday, April 9th be a problem if Sunday’s aren’t?

  • 854. dette  |  March 23, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    @852 :amen, well said!

  • 855. Kelly  |  March 23, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    @HSObsessed: I had the same thought. I’m fairly sure an Easter Bunny Brunch wouldn’t fly at our school. A Celebrate Spring Brunch, sure. Keller parents, I’m curious — has there been any controversy over such a thing? Or is it just part of your school’s tradition?

    @PublicSkGrl: I know you’re not implying that kids who read early necessarily have high-pressure parents, but just to throw in my two cents: I’m as far as you get from a high-pressure parent, and my kids were reading before kindergarten wholly of their own volition. There’s no pressure at all in our house, but we support their interests and achievements.

    @angie & TwinMom: Interesting! I guess there are different boy/girl results wherever you go. Is it too late to add gender to the data-collection spreadsheet? I’d be curious to see whether any patterns emerge concerning scores/offers between boys and girls. –another twin mom! 🙂

  • 856. Skinner North it is!  |  March 23, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    @cpsobsessed, because of this blog, I have been very behind with housework and cooking. I’m also so much richer on important information, that I woun’t be able to obtain any other way.
    THANK YOU!!!!!!!

  • 857. answer  |  March 23, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    @849: REALLY! I suppose to you culture only exists in schools where blacks are the minority!

  • 858. dette  |  March 23, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    @856:LOL So true about the housework this blog is great. I am beating my stepson’s record for being on facebook but its all in the name of education.Type away.

    Where are all the Edison people?

  • 859. GB  |  March 23, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    Appu, we’re on far NW side and also still waiting for letters. CPS told us today to give it until Friday, then call again and they’ll email the results or we can go pick them up.

  • 860. edb  |  March 23, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    @831 – If it makes you feel any better, I don’t think 150-160 scores from Tier 4 are being shut out of any RCGs. I have a Tier 4 friend whose child got into Edison with a 148.

  • 861. dette  |  March 23, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    Let’s not misconstrue what my point was,which is that although I am myself Black, I prefer to send my child to schools here it is more diverse. 80 % Black is not diverse, thats just a fact not an opinion.

  • 862. edb  |  March 23, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    @dette – newly accepted Edison here too…Boy. Good friend’s daugther also got in.

  • 863. New Keller Mom  |  March 23, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    @HSObessed/Kelly: I will be new to Keller so I am unsure if this is a yearly tradition. However I do not find a problem with the PTA hosting a Easter Bunny Breakfast on a Saturday. There are many other issues I am sure we can find with CPS.

  • 864. question  |  March 23, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    @849 ,I WISH IT WAS 80%..ITS MORE LIEK 98

  • 865. karet  |  March 23, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    The tiers do make a difference, and it’s useful to have message boards like this one to compare scores. My DS didn’t get in to Decatur with reading: 99.7 and math: 98 (tier 4) and I have not yet seen any score posted higher than that on any message board, but I have seen some lower scores of people that got in (from tier 3).
    He got in to Skinner North and will go there, and I’m happy with that (neither school is close to our house, – we live in Jefferson Park – but we are in the busing boundary for SN sot that helps).
    I just want to point out that very high scoring kids don’t always get their first choice.

  • 866. Appu  |  March 23, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    Thank you GB and others who are updating me. I will wait until friday and call CPS.

  • 867. CPS dad  |  March 23, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    Karet, I agree, that stings. I know several people in a similar tier 4 situation, getting slapped in the face watching much lower scores getting first round offers.

    CPS should set income guidelines and make parents prove it if they want socio-economic diversity. What galls me are the upper income people living in non-tier 4 areas.

  • 868. Skinner North mom  |  March 23, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    @ karet: Eh, if you ask me, he’s better off this way! Skinner North is a much better school. 😉 /ducks, runs

  • 869. edb  |  March 23, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    I live in Tier 2, and suppose I’m considered upper income (though it certainly doesn’t feel like it). Living where we do has plenty of downside, let us have this one positive (kidding, sort of).
    Please keep in mind that often (not always) the nieghborhood schools in Tier 1 and Tier 2 are considerably worse than those in Tier 4.
    FWIW, my kid did get in Edison, but based on score I don’t think Tier played into the offer.

  • 870. dette  |  March 23, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    along with what @869 edb said, its my son’s score that earned him his spot first, and it irritates me how some with elitist attitudes here seem to assume those who got in from lower tiers don’t deserve it, that it had nothing to do with their child. I am tier 1, by the way, and I wonder why I don’t see many from my tier posting…

  • 871. Skinner North it is!  |  March 23, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    @865 karet… We are also in Jeff Park and our girl will be going to Skinner North, kindergarten. Will u be going to the open house next Wed? We wlll be there.

  • 872. RL Julia  |  March 23, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    @841, 847 & 853 – Not to be a complete killjoy but not everyone is Christian or wants to celebrate Christian holidays at a non-secretarian, public, school sponsored event. Would you think it normal and o.k. if the school was sponsoring a Diwali celebration? How about a Purim fair or an Eid potluck, how about an ethical humanist or agnostic talent show?

    Maybe, maybe not- you might be curious, but you also might not feel super-welcomed because it wasn’t your culture or beliefs.

    Lots of CPS’s spaces are RENTED to churches, its entirely different if the school (PTO or otherwise) is sponsoring the event.

  • 873. MarketingMom  |  March 23, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    I don’t understand how they could have given out wait lists for anything other than K. Many schools, including our magnet have not even asked existing students if they plan to attend in 2011-2012! many students leave magnets for SE schools too.

  • 874. Welcome  |  March 23, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    For goodness sake! Let it go people. An invitation was extended to new Keller parents to come and scope out the atmosphere and people their children will be with next year. No one trying to convert or influence anyone. Anyone is free to come or not to come. We have a wonderful, nurturing, & positive environment. Feel free to keep your negative thoughts/comments to yourself.

  • 875. Hawthorne mom  |  March 23, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    Since this blog was mentioned on the district 299 website, please be aware that particular site is full of people who troll around looking to pick fights. I believe the post about tier 4 people worried their kids will be pulled down by tier one kids is from a troll. It doesn’t sound real or like anything anyone has ever posted here. People from d299 blog will come visit this site now that it has been mentioned there and will cause trouble here. Ignore the trolls.

  • 876. uptown mom  |  March 23, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    @869 – I’m with you. At this point I think our family would trade our condo and experience with neighborhood violence in tier 2 for a condo in a safer tier 4 neighborhood. And my son scored high enough that I don’t think he took any tier 3 or 4 spots. I’m not saying the system is perfect, but at least for our tier 2 neighborhood the negatives are currently not worth the increased chance of getting into a SEES school.

  • 877. focus on your own kid!!  |  March 23, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    @rl Julia

    ” Not to be a complete killjoy but not everyone is Christian…non-secretarian, public, school sponsored event. Would you think it normal and o.k… sponsoring a Diwali celebration…an ethical humanist or agnostic talent show?”

    Actually, I think it would be great!! Maybe if we stopped focusing on our differences and on our similarities maybe this world would be in better shape.

    Does your child attend this school? If not, then you don’t know. Maybe this place is a cultural haven or not.

    From what I understood from the previous posts, this is sponsored by the parents, so it is what the parents want. How many schools actually listen and respond to the parents? From the above post, not many. So let us applaud and work with this school, instead of berating it.

  • 878. karet  |  March 23, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    @871: yes, we’ll be at the open house! happy to hear from someone in our neighborhood!

  • 879. Tattoo Mom (JM)  |  March 23, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    My daughter was told in K at Decatur that she could not show her St. Brighid’s cross for show and tell because it was religious…PAGAN GODDESS is religious? Whatever. She is named Brighid was devastated.
    I’m sure the Easter Bunny Breakfast will be fun and Jesus will not be in attendance! LOL Go Keller!

  • 880. ChicagoGawker  |  March 23, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    Yeah, I call bs on some of these. Is someone trying to get us to say we want to be only with Tier 4 people of the same race we are? Sorry, not true.

  • 881. CPSstill  |  March 23, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    847 — Someday maybe. Last year I sent US mail to my son’s 7th grade class at a CPS magnet. The addresses were supplied by a reliable source (and used by the scholl). Approximately 1/3 came back. Makes you wonder who really lives in the city (or not)

  • 882. Tattoo Mom (JM)  |  March 23, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    That’s one of the things I love about these types of schools even with an imperfect selection process…they are trying to keep diversity. It’s a rainbow world and it’s about time someone (yes US) is raising a generation that will embrace it!

  • 883. cpsobsessed  |  March 23, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    I remember when I toured Hawthorne and Stone and Decatur several years back I swear it looked like they had a perfect (even) balance of White/Black/Asian/Hispanic by boy/girl. Apparently this was impossible since spots were given out by White/Non-White at the time.

    I wish it were easier to make it happen. And of course wish there were a better way to make the Tiers accurate.

    I didn’t even alert anyone to a troll who posted on an old thread remarking that we’re all idiots/bad parents for not moving to the suburbs.

  • 884. Question on transparency in later rounds  |  March 23, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    I understand individual schools maintain the waiting lists.

    Question – How does CPS ensure these are administered within the rules? What keeps a principal from picking and choosing and possibly taking kickback money?

    Thank you for your replies.

  • 885. dette  |  March 23, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    We have close friends and family living in Morton Grove and Skokie, where at one time were considered a suburban oasis as far as good schools. However, things have changed even there, as they tell us sadly-they too are experiencing violence and a not so perfect existence anymore. I think they said it had something to do with gentrification.So don’t flee for the burbs quite yet…

  • 886. @ 872  |  March 23, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    @RL Julia,

    Sorry but you are being a killjoy. This is obviously an event that is held outside of school times and is not about religion. Also, last I checked, the Easter Bunny was not at the rood or resurrection. We should applaude the Keller community for their initiative in getting together. It sounds like a wonderful place…I kinda wish we lived down there. And from the sound of things, I think they would welcome the opportunity for a feast of purim. I wonder about your thoughts on the pagan ritual of Halloween being allowed to happen during school hours??

  • 887. Annette  |  March 23, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    Trying to decide if I should accept to Keller! Daughter got in for first grade but is at a greaat private school. Need to talk to a current parent ASAP!

  • 888. GAB  |  March 23, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    Any Skinner West prospective parents here? According to the person I spoke to in the office, they’re having an open house March 31 at 1:30.

    Would love to hear perspectives from current S.W. Classical parents. What you like and don’t like.

  • 889. GAB  |  March 23, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    @887/Annette We are also trying to decide between gifted in private. DH thinks we should stick with private. It is tempting to think about banking the tuition…

  • 890. abcde  |  March 23, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    @841 – New Keller Mom
    Congrats on securing a spot at Keller! We were not so lucky this year but have kids in upper grades there. We love the school.
    Thanks for “opening up” a seat at Poe and wish us luck for the second round. Were you happy with Poe?

  • 891. TransportaionQuestion  |  March 23, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    I’ve called AJLA and CPS and both have conflicting testimony about transportation services.
    The school says the bus will pick up 5.9 miles away from students home address.
    CPS says if student resides more than 6 miles away from school then they are not eligible for transportation.
    And then CPS site also mentions that transporation is provided for children with IEP’s stating they require service.
    HELLO, that’s ALL different info.
    Can someone help me understand this. Thanks!!!!

  • 892. TransportationQuestion  |  March 23, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    And I don’t believe it’s 5.9 miles from our address, is it possible it’s 6 miles away from school? Do they pick us up at a school in that area?

  • 893. cpsobsessed  |  March 23, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    @889 GAB: It takes a lot of disciple to bank the tuition! I can’t image what we’re doing with the 8K we spent a year for preschool! I should be donating more to CPS each year, for sure.

    If your child tested gifted, I would ask the private how they will accomodate. Private schools often do not do well at catering to kids who are below/above grade leve (while you’d think they would due to class size/price.) But each is different. Just see if they seem to have a plan and are committed to it.
    Also compare curriculum and style of teaching to see if it’s worth paying for private (no rights or wrongs, just which feels more suited to your child.)

  • 894. Kellerparent  |  March 23, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    Annette, Don’t think twice about it. My daughter is in Level 1 @ Keller and it is fantastic. Best of all, she loves it! I couldn’t ask for anything more.

    (Please leave your email address if you want me to contact you with more info)

  • 895. cpsobsessed  |  March 23, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    @892: You would be picked up at a nearby school if you live within the 5.9 mile radius. If you are borderline or EIP, best to call and check (if you can figure out how.)

  • 896. Tattoo Mom (JM)  |  March 23, 2011 at 4:41 pm


  • 897. dette  |  March 23, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    time for a new thread for lane 🙂

  • 898. cpsobsessed  |  March 23, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    Congrats to all who pushed for the Lane Tech AC!
    (I may be cursing you in several years when the school is impossible for my slacker boy to get in for high school though….)

  • 899. Annette  |  March 23, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    Please contact me Kellerparent at Thank you I need to talk. My contract at the private school will be “non-refundable” Friday!

  • 900. cpsobsessed  |  March 23, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    @884: I’m not sure if the school are administering the lists any more.
    In the past, some principals had the understanding that after a certain date, they could “go off the list.” CPS sort of stopped keeping track at some point. The lists become unproductive as you move down, so it’s easier to fill a spot with a parent who comes in and expresses interest.
    I don’t know how it will work this year. CPS is unclear to the schools on a lot of policies so some principals take liberties and I suspect others don’t.

  • 901. Annette  |  March 23, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    GAB, I know the decision for private education is a big one. My kids are at a top-notch school but the tuition is pricey. My son will have to stay there but to split them up is weighing on me!

  • 902. david  |  March 23, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    so, i called cps, and was told that mcdade was my 6th choice, and that is the only acceptance i got. She told me you can not be accepted at more then one school, i felt that was incorrect

  • 903. Alejandro  |  March 23, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    Okay so I talked to my conselour today and she said that she is not sure if I can get into Taft Academic Center for 2nd round she said something about a cut off score. What is a cutoff score, because my total points was 742.4 and I still got into Kenwood I will give everybody the link to check out the Taft AC cutoff score. I want everybodys honest opinion do u think I could get into Taft for 2nd round? I got a total of 742.4 points and i am in 7th grade.

  • 904. Alejandro  |  March 23, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    LInk for cutoff scores is

  • 905. CPS Classical Schools  |  March 23, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    @890, abcde
    My dear Sutherland parent….I want to take the spot at Poe!!! 🙂 LOL, I’m just kidding. I really do hope we both land, otherwise I’ll see you on 101st.

    But seriously, that is the same question I had for Keller Mom, how was your experience at Poe? And if you were a former/current McDade parent, how did you like it? I’m the product of an HBCU so the diversity issue is one that has really never occured to me.

  • 906. GAB  |  March 23, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    Annette – totally get that. We are planning #2 and I feel like this needs to be sustainable financially for both. I have crunched the numbers but don’t have crystal ball to know what tuition will look like in HS…And want to let our LO be settled and be able to just focus and experience school.

  • 907. abcde  |  March 23, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    @905, CPS Classical Schools
    LOL… you’ll probably get it if there’s only one spot. We ranked Poe only third on the application (after Keller and Lenart) but who knows what scores they are requiring.
    Have you heard back from CPS?

  • 908. GAB  |  March 23, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    @893 cpsobsessed. Just seeing your comment re. asking how privates accomodate those on either end of the spectrum. Thanks, agree that will speak volumes. Thanks for tossing that out.

  • 909. Annette  |  March 23, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    GAB, that’s all I want is to focus on my child’s education without worrying about how much tuition is going to go up each year! I have three children and I wonder “how” all the time. So far we have managed. At our kids school the high school tuition is over $20,000! My kids are in lower school! But I will say this, they are in a great environment, have had some wonderful teachers and the curriculum has been awesome! I could not ask for anything more. However, I am seriously considering this offer from a (FREE) Keller.

  • 910. CPS Classical Schools  |  March 23, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    @907, I have not heard from them. I’m sure they have been swamped. Tomorrow I’m headed over there to drop off my older daughter’s acceptance form for Lindblom’s AC. If I have the opportunity, I’ll corner someone and ask my many questions.

  • 911. GAB  |  March 23, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    $20K is sobering. It is. Saw your email above…hope you don’t mind if I email you a question offline…

  • 912. Alejandro  |  March 23, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    Okay so I talked to my conselour today and she said that she is not sure if I can get into Taft Academic Center for 2nd round she said something about a cut off score. What is a cutoff score, because my total points was 742.4 and I still got into Kenwood I will give everybody the link to check out the Taft AC cutoff score. I want everybodys honest opinion do u think I could get into Taft for 2nd round? I got a total of 742.4 points and i am in 7th grade.

  • 913. A Witch in Rogers Park  |  March 23, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    @886, actually… HALLOWEEN is NOT a ‘pagan ritual’. The PAGAN Ritual observed on Halloween is called Samhain (Sow-en). It is the “New Years Eve’ of the Wheel of the Year, and it the same religious observation essentially as Dio de los Muertos, ie: Day of the Dead. It is a time to remember and acknowledge our ancestors with reverence, and a time when the ‘veil’ btwn the worlds is at it’s thinnest, allowing us to briefly commune with our beloved dead.

    And the Easter Bunny IS Pagan. So are easter eggs, and most other ‘easterly’ symbols. Also based on Ostara/Eostara/Oestre and the Jewish holiday of Purim ala Esther.

    Frankly so is Santa Claus Pagan… he is based upon Father Winter, or the ‘Holly King’. The Christmas Tree? Based on Pagan Ritual. The ‘Yule Log”. Well, the Pagan holiday is indeed Yule. You do the math…

    In fact, there is not a single secular holiday that does not encompass Pagan rituals and traditions. NOT ONE!

    What do YOU say to that? “Religious’ in fact applies to religions other than Christianity… just fyi. I’m very religious… as a Witch.

  • 914. Beverlyite  |  March 23, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    Annette. I assume from your local and that there is a HS, that your kids are at MPA? If so… I’d think twice about leaving. It’s an incredibly solid education, with many advantages… not to say Keller does not have some of the same advantages, but the networking of being a Parker/Latin/Morgan Park Academy alum has it’s priveledges.

    MPA has a more well-rounded education than many of the SEES schools imho.

    No, not ALL! But more so than many… I’ve not toured Keller in years (though I did attend in 4th and 5th grade when CPS first introduced the OPTIONS programs). I liked it, but that was nearly 30yrs ago. My mom sent me back to Sutherland, ultimately… it did not meet their expectations, but again, that was the trial phase.

    Before you ask, no… I did not go to MPA, I went to Sutherland and Morgan Park HS’s International Studies 7/8th grade program and HS. But I know my friends that transferred to MPA (some with scholarships) had much better college choices with similar GPA’s and better job offers after college. I had a job offer from a person after college that assumed when my app stated under Education Morgan Park High School that I meant MPA. It was HIS mistake, but when he found out it was in fact MPHS he recinded the offer. Lol!!! Apparently I went from ‘overqualified’ to ‘underqualified’ that quickly! Just something to think about. It’s a fabulous school, and if this stress on the North side keeps up (where Private pre-K tuition often FAR exceeds 20k and makes MPA look like a total Bargain!) we may just move back there!

    Best of luck to you! 😉

  • 915. vi  |  March 23, 2011 at 8:00 pm

    I still haven’t gotten my academic center letter yet!

  • 916. ssmom  |  March 23, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    Diversity Issue- While 2 of my children currently attend Keller, they attended Poe for kindergarten. It was a different cultural experience but only in that that there was a cultural education. African American history was not limited to February. It was interwoven into the curriculum. I don’t regret their time there. I only took them out because I was interested in them being at an RGC instead of a classical school because their oldest sibling was at an RGC. At Keller, the student body is more diverse so it is a totally different experience. Don’t look at lack of diversity as a negative. My children learned a sense of cultural pride about African Americans that they cannot get elsewhere.

  • 917. tmom  |  March 23, 2011 at 8:08 pm

    @Easter Bunny Breakfast debaters-There is no Easter bunny in the bible so it is not a religious celebration

  • 918. New Keller Mom  |  March 23, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    @890-abcde. I love Poe. The K teacher is fantastic. The parents in our class got along great. The K teacher made learning fun for the kids. Very tough decision to move him. The K teacher also made herself available via phone, text, and email 7 days a week. Keller was my only choice on the SEES application. If he didn’t get in there he would still be at Poe.

  • 919. RL Julia  |  March 23, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    874 and 877, 879- Got no problems with Halloween. It seems to be a pretty universal holiday -at least not the way it is celebrate it now – thanks RP witch.

    I also have no problems with parents getting together and I applaud the action. However, parents are capable of getting together over other non-religious ways – which is the only way that is inclusive of everyone- regardless of belief. Earth Day People! How about new parent tea.

    Tattoo mom: I think kids should be able to talk about their religious items in ways that are respectful to religious difference in the classroom. As in: this is my St. Bridget’s medal. I was named for her. She did these cool things.Etc… I am sorry that your daughter was not allowed to share. That is quite sad (I am not being sarcastic here).

    I do however have a problem with the idea/assumption that Christian holidays are “for everyone” because Christianity is the majority religion – These holidays aren’t for everyone and since the last time I checked, they were associated with Christian celebrations, they either assume or require a subscription to a set of beliefs that is uniquely Christian and that set of beliefs have no place in a public school setting.

    Don’t get me wrong – I actually like celebrating all sorts of holidays – I just don’t think that people realize how exclusive they can be to people who have different views and traditions and etc… and I am quite sick of people telling me that religious symbols either aren’t religious or “belong to everyone” – they are and they don’t.

    On that note, one of my favorite memories is of a co-workers who informed me that the star of David necklace she was wearing wasn’t an exclusively Jewish symbol but in fact represented her personal love of King David (and an affirmation of her commitment to Christianity). Well, maybe it had great personal and alternative meaning to her – but to 99% of the rest of the world – ummm still a major Jewish symbol.

  • 920. New Keller Mom  |  March 23, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    @916-SS Mom. Please tell me you will be at the Easter Bunny Breakfast on April 9. I would love to hear more about the different experiences at Poe and Keller. Poe was our first choice only because Keller does not have a Kindergarden class. I have enjoyed POE this year. (There is room for improvement with the PTA. That was going to be my focus next year until I received the letter for Keller). If you are going to be there please look for me, Kathern Williams, and my son Kendall.

  • 921. Stressed by CPS  |  March 23, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    ALEJANDRO: you scored well enough to get into Taft but since you are in 7th grade, there may not be an opening for Taft’s 8th grade OR if there is, their cut off scores will be much different. If there are any spots for 8th grade, it is probably only 5 or less (guessing) so there might have been 8th graders accepted with higher scores. Sorry! You are doing a great job even finding this blog and being very open with your story. But I think most of us think you should take the Kenwood spot and be very proud that you were accepted.

  • 922. IB&RGC Mom  |  March 23, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    Alejandro, what tier are you in? That may play a big part of it.

    Maybe you could call Taft directly and see if they know how many 8th grade openings there will be and what the cut off score is for the first round offers for 8th. Explain to them your situation and see if they have any advice (because we have to remember your counselor may not be the most impartial since it means a smart kid will be leaving their school). The cut off scores listed on CPS’s website are only the first round offers. Scores can and probably do go lower then what is on the list when they get into second rounds and so on. I worry more about there not being too many openings at that grade level.

    Good luck. We are all hoping for the best for you.

  • 923. Kelly  |  March 23, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    @RL Julia: I completely agree. Couldn’t have said it better.

  • 924. bunny lover  |  March 23, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    Enough about the Keller easter breakfast. Can we please get back to the point of the blog? I’m pretty sure most people are more interested in advice on how to maneuver CPS and this ridiculous selection/enrollment process than whether or not the bunny makes an appearance at a public school.

  • 925. Stressed by CPS  |  March 23, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    #924 Bunny Lover, if there was a “like” button on here like on Facebook, I would have clicked on it for your comment!

  • 926. @ 925  |  March 23, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    Amen (in a non-religious kinda way).

  • 927. magnet mom  |  March 23, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    Wow this thread is like cpsobsessed on steroids.
    From what I understand as stated directly from the cps guy that runs the lottery ata meeting that the magnet wait lists are no longer used officially after the start day of school. Many schools stick to their lists because it is the only sane thing to do. Not sure about the sees or about how it is handled this year or last as there is no longer any kind of principal selection what so ever at magnets.
    Surely one could just ask the principals outright what the policy is this year.
    I think the scuttlebutt on this thread about tiers and scores is silly- who is anyone to ask if some other kid deserved their spot at an see school or to assume a lower tier child “took” their spot. It’s hard to believe people are talking about other people’s kids.

  • 928. McDade Parent  |  March 23, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    @902 david

    McDade must be located far from you. I don’t think you can receive acceptances from more than one SEES school at a time. You can probably get a SEES school and a lottery school at the same time, but then you’ll have to commit to one.

    Maybe you’ll get what you want in the later rounds. I am amazed at how many people who aren’t going to accept their spots for many different reasons.

    I think a lot of people will be happy after a few rounds.

  • 929. Skinner North it is!  |  March 23, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    does anyone here have one child in a classical school and another one in a neighborhood or magnet CPS school? I did not go to schools in USA, I’m not familiar with school curriculum here. Do the classical schools just teach a grade or two above level, but pretty much the same material that a regular school teaches? Can anyone make a comparison from their own experience, please?

  • 930. Stressed by CPS  |  March 23, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    Classical schools teach at a faster pace, hence by the time the school year gets into the 2nd semeter, for example, they are already studying things that are usually taught at the next grade level. That’s one side to it. I’ll let other parents chime in more.

  • 931. dette  |  March 23, 2011 at 10:08 pm

    The Easter bunny posts are cracking me up (no pun intended, LOL). We needed that humor, thanks.

  • 932. lsm  |  March 23, 2011 at 10:37 pm

    Unless the Easter Bunny applied to CPS and we know his test scores what Tier he is in, can we drop it?

  • 933. Silly Billy  |  March 23, 2011 at 11:19 pm

    Our preschooler tested just above 98th percentile for the RGC with a score of 131 in tier 4 did not get into Coonley. We love her current school so we are happy to keep her there.. Still what can you say about a city whose public school system does not support even the top 2% of it most talented kids? What will happen to all of those bright kids who do not have good neighborhood schools and can not afford a private school? It seems to me there should be more options for these kids. It is just a shame.

  • 934. bagg  |  March 23, 2011 at 11:34 pm

    Does anyone know about the allocation of slots for IEP at the academic centers? is it similar to the process for SEHS?

  • 935. K Dad  |  March 24, 2011 at 12:08 am

    SEES Letter…
    Score 144
    Tier 4
    Accepted at South Loop
    Reading 96%, Math 76%.

    We ranked South Loop first, and Skinner, second (scores weren’t high enough for classical school consideration).

    Magnet Letter…
    Wait-listed at Jackson, Murray, Ray, Sheridan, Skinner, and Suder, with monster numbers (ranging from 49-336).

    We are deciding between South Loop and Old St. Mary’s. Any thoughts on the two are welcomed.

    Even though it worked out for us, I can’t help but think what horrible system we have when these tests and lotteries are the only chance at a good, public education. With parents who care enough (crazy enough?) to paprticipate on this discussion board, I am sure your kids will flourish wherever they land.
    Good luck to all.

  • 936. Happy Decatur Mom  |  March 24, 2011 at 12:58 am

    I have a daughter who started as a kindergarten at Decatur this year. Thus far we have been very happy with the school. I can honestly say that I have felt very welcomed by the other families from day one. The teachers have been wonderful! While it’s true that there is a bit of a Fort Knox like feeling about having parents in the building, it doesn’t really bother me. The building is small, and I’m unavailable most days of the week anyway. My daughter is thriving at Decatur~ both academically and socially. One of the things that I really appreciated at the beginning of the year was seeing first hand how sweet and protective the big kids are of the little ones. It made it a lot easier to put my baby on her first school bus! So while it’s a structured rigorous place, there is warmth. It may not be a good fit for everyone, but I’ve found it to be a great fit for us. Just thought I’d share my experience.
    PS I don’t live in Lincoln Park, & both my husband and I have had careers in the Arts.

  • 937. pamina  |  March 24, 2011 at 5:41 am

    This is our first year in the CPS system. My daughter was accepted into South Loop RGC. I haven’t read much here about the school and have a seen a few mixed reviews online. Can anybody please offer some insight based on experience?

  • 938. det3mom  |  March 24, 2011 at 6:43 am

    Classical v. magnet, my two cents: I have children in classical and magnet. My observation is that the classical kids have a faster pace. Depending on the child and teacher, we have to really stay on top of making sure that the classical children digested everything that happened that day because it is easy to fall behind. We spent 20-40 min on homework in K plus quarterly projects, 1-2 hours in 1st and 2nd. My kids are not fidgety and can sit through class and through homework so I would evaluate the personality of each child and where they fit, assuming you are lucky enough to have a choice. My kids in classical were offered only those spots (no magnet and our neighborhood school is failing) so we had to make the best of what was offered. My child in a magnet, similarly, only had the one offer, is also doing great. I find the work is a good pace for the child and will end up at the same place as the others. The main difference is the pace during the school day not so much how much they know or whether they can think by 8th grade. It is hard to swallow, because the test is so secret, but I have come to believe that it did do a good job at picking out kids who are suited for the faster pace, again, simply in terms of personality not intelligence. For what it is worth, I have also noted a difference in my child who scored in the 99th v. the child in the 96th in terms of the ease with which each completes homework. I am in favor of keeping the test secret so parents do not teach to the test. Although, I completely understand the desperation of getting into a school when your neighborhood school is awful.

    As to various comments about whether children were able to read for the classical test … The classical test is still a mystery to me but I can tell you that in the classical K I’ve seen, anywhere from 1/3 to 1/2 of the class is not reading at entry. Same for our magnet K. In both programs, the kids are put in appropriate reading sections and everyone is reading by the end of the year. Early readers face their own challenges (often comprehension is low and they dont get inferences in the material even though they can “read” the words) and early reading is not a good benchmark of future talent. Similarly, reluctant readers can really take off whenever it finally clicks for them.

    On trying to navigate the system of applying to ACs/SEHS with an IEP. I do not have personal experience with this but watched someone else go through it last year. It is impossible to get a straight answer from HQ. My sense is that IEPs are not put in a separate pool. They run the regular selection process and then get lucky when they hit the percentage of IEPs for each school. But, if you are diligent about pursuing this, and pointing out the legal requirements, and the school you have in mind has not hit its percentage there may be some opportunities.

  • 939. Tattoo Mom (JM)  |  March 24, 2011 at 7:10 am

    RE: IEPs…

    From what I’ve been told, there are no “set asides” for kids with IEPs. They take the same entry test with accommodations specified in the IEP, (such as extra time etc) but are in the same pool as everyone else. The IEP should make the testing process a level playing field for the child so there is really no need. As to how the schools meets required numbers in special needs students…I have no idea. I’m sure it’s not magically happening, but I’ve been told there are no “set aside spots”. LOL

    The one who could best answer this question is Dr. Angela Washington in the OAE office. She handles all IEP testing.

  • 940. Tattoo Mom (JM)  |  March 24, 2011 at 7:13 am

    PS. Can you tell me about the HS process for IEPs please.

  • 941. cps Mom  |  March 24, 2011 at 7:32 am

    IEP applications are held and evaluated separate from the others. You still need the scores but tiers are not necessarily part of the equation. There is a “recommended” % – something like 10% for schools – some schools abide by that and others don’t. When a school like Payton or Northside say that they have 5% IEP population, it’s because 5% of the IEP applicants scored high enough to make it.

  • 942. cps Mom  |  March 24, 2011 at 7:35 am

    Oh – and to add to the above, there are a lot of high scoring and profoundly gifted IEP students so they are not necessarily getting an “advantage”

  • 943. cps Mom  |  March 24, 2011 at 7:38 am

    @941 – should say of the total applicants that scored high enough to make it, 5% were IEP. I still need to wake up.

  • 944. Lenart-Response  |  March 24, 2011 at 9:09 am

    @ Lenart:
    The curriculum is what would be expected for a top rated school. K’s receive homework daily, except for Friday. Recess is back and their K teacher is a sweetie.
    Many parents feel a need to have their youngsters involved in after-school programs but this is not available by the school for the primary grades. Some sneer at this, frankly, I’m happy about it. Children that young don’t NEED to be so busy after school.

    This year, 20 – 8th grade students were accepted into their 1st choice HS. Others are going to 2nd choice schools.

    Administration at all schools have a tough job.

    No, parents are not allowed to roam the halls at their leisure. Reason: security. Plain and simple. But imagine how disruptive it would be to have any parent “visit” to talk and hang out during instruction time?

    There is no dress code. The program is accelerated by 1-2 years, depending on your child’s ability.

    Bus transportation provided and picks up at your neighborhood school.

    It is truly a great school full of promise.

    I’ve recognized the group of people who are displeased are those who attempt to transfer their children to schools with a larger white population, but always say it’s due to the “unwelcomed” feeling. I beg to differ. The experience is what you make of it, anywhere you go.

    Congratulations being accepted!

  • 945. Annette  |  March 24, 2011 at 9:32 am

    BEVERLYITE: Thank you! I really needed have know idea how crazy this week has been for me. First of all, I would have never thought in a million years that Keller would come calling LOL! My daughter scored very high last year but did not receive one offer so off she went to MPA with her big brother. I wanted to make sure that it wasn’t some kind of fluke so I tested her again and she scored even higher. SO many people are telling me to leave for the free education. I am trying not to get caught up in all of the hype and think things out. I think Keller is an awesome school and NO other school would have caused me this stress. I just want to make the right decision for all. Having extra money would be fine but it’s not the main focus. Thanks again!

  • 946. Current RGC South Loop Parent  |  March 24, 2011 at 9:35 am

    I currently have a child in the South Loop RGC and have been very happy with the program. The teacher is great – great communications, great with the kids. The homework / daily reading is a challenge for our family as we have another child and we both work full time. With that being said – we get it done. The school environment is good with a very involved and committed community of parents. There are pros and cons (as you would find at any school) but we are very happy with the South Loop Community. Most of my “school” frustrations lie with CPS rather than the actual school. One great benefit for South Loop is the after school program. They bus kindergartens to main building for after school programming until 6 p.m. They have art, dance, yoga, science and orgami classes to name a few. Students are required to wear uniforms (a plus in this mommy’s book). Finally, in regards to the overcrowding issue – it is a real issue. The kindergarten is house in the Early Childhood Center at 19th and Federal which originally house 5 preschool classrooms (also a great program). They have three neighborhood kindergarten classes (in addition to the RGC) as compared to one 7th grade class and one 8th grade neighborhood class so eventually they will be out of space. I have not heard that the Jones building will be used but there has been a lot of discussion with moving upper grades to National Teachers Academy at Cermac (right off Chinatown Redline stop) since that building is underutilized – I understand currently less than 200 students attend and it can house 900. An expanison may not happen in 2011-2012 but they will absolutely outgrow space by 2012-2013.

  • 947. dette  |  March 24, 2011 at 9:36 am

    Can any current Edison parents please chime in regarding any afterschool, before school care, extracurriculars, teachers, and general ambience of the school, particularly kindergarten? I have looked at the website and it is not very useful at all, somewhat outdated. Thanks in advance for any feedback, positive or negative.

  • 948. angie  |  March 24, 2011 at 9:52 am

    @pamina and other future SL parents: Congrats! SL is a wonderful school and I think your child will enjoy it.

    The kids get a packet of homework on Monday, due on Friday. They get a list of 8 spelling words as well. They have spelling tests every Friday. They have special projects during the year (Young Authors, they created their own neighborhood, and the last one was a book about themselves). They get recess everyday (indoor or outdoor, depending on the weather). They have gym, art, music, library and Spanish (one special class each day). They do have a cafe where they go and eat.

    School starts a 8:45 and ends a 2:30, this if for K only. The rest of the school starts at 9:00 and ends at 2:45. They do have an afterschool program that is fantastic.

    That is all I got at the moment. But if you have more questions, let me know. =)

  • 949. Skinner North it is!  |  March 24, 2011 at 9:53 am

    @cpsobsessed.. if this sounds ridiculous, please disregard it, would it be possible to somehow make separate threads for each SEES, since there are only few of them and people seem to ask for specific info from parents of current students. For those accepted or considering acceptance, it might be an efficient way to get the information they are searching for. Thank you…

  • 950. D' mom  |  March 24, 2011 at 10:16 am

    @pamina and other future SL parents :Can you share yorr kids’s score and tier if you feel comfortable? I would like to know if we still have hope to get in . Thanks,

  • 951. cpsobsessed  |  March 24, 2011 at 10:48 am

    @949: I think it’s a great idea… just can’t seem to figure it out where/how to put it. WordPress is fairly limited/clunky, which is why I want to add the message board feature.
    I’m experimenting. If the site looks wierd for a while, that will be why!

  • 952. MarketingMom  |  March 24, 2011 at 10:53 am

    @812 Hawthorne Waitlisted

    Stay positive. You were waitlisted #8. I was waitlisted #7 last year and got a call in late-June. We also applied for a higher grade and lived in non-proximity.

    We were worried at first because the higher the grade, there is usually less movement. But remember that many families move, children get accepted at SEES or private and decide not to return.

    The schools will not know who is planning to leave until the dust settles. Since they have no clue who is planning to leave/stay, my thought is that they give everyone in the upper grades a wait list number. Keep following up as it does make a difference.

  • 953. question  |  March 24, 2011 at 10:58 am

    Im moving to the burbs! Hello Naperville

  • 954. Emom  |  March 24, 2011 at 11:00 am

    Our daughter is at Edsion, and for the most part, we’ve been really happy with the school. There is a lack of afterschool (and before school) programs. The school day starts pretty early though (and Edsion has one of the longer school days compared to other CPS schools), so the before school is not an issue for us. I drop her off around 7:45 am, with plenty of time to make it to work. There are after school activities, if you will, but not really after school care. The only last until 3:30 or so, and include classes like chess, Girls on the Run, Art etc. Also in house music lessons at an additional cost. There has been a lot of talk about establishing a more comprehensive afterschool program, but for the time being we use a program at another CPS school.

    We have had minimal issues with the teachers. The K teacher is a sweetheart. The first grade teacher is strict and gives a lot of homework (but still managable, IMO) Second grade teacher is almost a complete opposite, laid back, less homework, has the kids keep a daily journal. The principal is receptive and energetic. FWIW, we have never thought the homework is too much. There will be some days with a lot of work, others with none at all. The kids NEVER get homework on the weekends, unless there is a big project, like the science fair, or they have missed a school day. I love that the weekends are homework free!

    Parents are welcome to volunteer in the classrooms, help with fundraising (it is constant) go on fieldtrips etc. The overall tone of the school is a bit on the serious side, but they do have fun. The 7th graders have a rock band, for example. The PTO has family dances and activities througout the year. The kinders and first graders have 7th and 8th grader “buddies” There are several field trip throughout the year. The kindergarten kids will have a end of the year talent show which is the cutest thing in the world.

    Our experiences have been positive. Feel free to post your email if you have oher questions. I’m sure I’m forgetting some stuff too. And congratulations!

  • 955. Art Mom  |  March 24, 2011 at 11:30 am

    Our son scored 124 on the SEES test- he scored 91 for Reading & 90 for Math on the Classical test. We are in Tier 4 so it looks like his scores won’t land him a spot in any of the SEES schools next year for K. We’re waitlisted for the following schools:

    Skinner (neighborhood) 373
    Hawthorne 204
    Ogden- Not eligable (ugh!)
    Sheridan 20
    Jackson 139
    Franklin 149
    Murray 109
    Pulaski 140
    LaSalle 124
    LaSalle II 147

    Our neighborhood school is Ray. My problem with Ray is that it does not have an art teacher. Both my husband and I are artists and also have careers in the arts so this does not sit well. Do schools ever cut math teachers?

    Can anyone offer feedback about Sheridan & does the school have recess? Sadly we couldn’t make the open house last fall. During a recent drive-by, I was surprised to see that the school didn’t have an outdoor playground and had absolutely no curb-side appeal. The school is practically under a highway exit ramp. I realize that sounds petty but geeze. If this is what a top magnet school looks like in CPS, what are the worst of the worst schools like? Our kids deserve better.

  • 956. MM  |  March 24, 2011 at 11:46 am

    We still didn’t get letters in today’s mail. I called the OAE and gave them a piece of my mind about how unfair snail mail notification was and the need for something online in future and the person I talked to said to make a formal comment in their comment form. I did and got a specific (not generic) response only a few minutes later that was copied to others (possibly higher ups at OAE). If anyone else is still waiting or waited longer than Monday this week, please make the same comment on the comment form and maybe they will improve parent notification next year!

  • 957. parents looking for Before and After schol  |  March 24, 2011 at 11:50 am

    Waters is a neighborhood school in Lincoln Square. My daughter has been there for the past two years and we love it. tons of parent participation, new cafeteria, drama class, music and computer are incorportated in the curriculum. aslo ecology. they just receive a grant to add a salad bar to the cafeteria? before school program is great and ran by school. after school program in ran by the lakeview YMCA (at Waters) but they also have tons of other activities. they have before school spanish ran by Instituto Cervantes. we love the school. they have recess and gym.

  • 958. Skinner North it is!  |  March 24, 2011 at 11:52 am

    @956 we did not get the Magnet letter, but did get the SEES. What did they tell you to do? Someone mentioned they will email or has to be picked up in person? Should I go down there tomorrow, or call an it will be emailed? Thank you…

  • 959. Letter  |  March 24, 2011 at 11:52 am

    956. MM
    a few years ago we just went downtown and asked for a copy of the letter and they gave it us. it wasnt good news.

  • 960. cpsobsessed  |  March 24, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    @956: Is that the comment form on the OAE site (

  • 961. pamina  |  March 24, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    RGC was 138. I put SL as my first choice strategically after being told to forget any North side schools since we are entering at 2nd grade and would be competing for scarce spots. I don’t know my tier, but would describe my neighborhood as a mix of trendy and sketchy.

    FYI, my child described the gifted test in detail to me. The First part was associating the correct picture with its description, which included increasingly complex vocabulary and the second part dealth primarily with visual puzzles often focusing on pattern recognition and sequencing. Our old school district used the Cogat for gifted entrance and she described that test as similiar to the first part for CPS. In her old gifted program they did a lot with analogies, syllogisms, and logic problems. None of which she said appeared on the CPS test.

    She described the Classical reading test as a basic reading comprehension test. The math consisted primarily of complex story problems requiring multiple steps, including mutiplication and division as well as some geometry that she had learned in school. Her math score 98 was exactly the same as her performance on Map tests in our last school district. However, her reading score 90% was 7-9 percentage points lower than her performance over the last two years of standardized tests. Who knows?

    She told me that many problems involved audio directions, they skipped more problems than they completed, and that all children were given as much time as needed to complete the problems. They did not move on until all kids were finished. Lastly she told me that her pencil’s eraser did not work and she couldn’t get another one since they only had enough for each kid. She was distressed about this. Overall she described the gifted test as “fun.”

    Hope this is helpful.

  • 962. SS Dad  |  March 24, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    @760 Bev Dad

    A few of the incoming Keller families are planning to get together this weekend. Interested?

  • 963. tk  |  March 24, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    questions regarding registering while waiting for news from other schools…

    My son was offered a seat in a neighborhood/magnet cluster school that we would like to accept. I know we have until 4/1 to do that and will get that done. I figured we would have some time before we needed to actually register. At least that was my hope, as my son is awaiting news from the charter school lottery as well. The charter school is his first choice and we plan to turn down the other seat if he is accepted there. Today we received a packet from the neighborhood school with registration information. The letter states that registration is scheduled for 4/6… before the charter school lottery.

    First of all… is registering the same as enrolling? Or will there be further paperwork down the road to fully enroll him? If we fully register with this school on 4/6, what procedures do we take to unregister if he gets the spot he wants in the charter school?

  • 964. cpsobsessed  |  March 24, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    @958: According to the new FAQ document on, you can pick up letters starting tomorrow (Fri 3/25) but they won’t give info on the phone (nor, I assume via email.)

  • 965. MM  |  March 24, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    Yes, the comment form on their website. BTW: cpsobsessed thank you so much for this site! It really helps those of us who have no clue about any of this!

    They said I can call starting at 9am tomorrow and they will email results to me or I can go downtown to pick up a copy.

  • 966. cpsobsessed  |  March 24, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    @965: You are welcome! I love seeing everyone sharing info!!

    Wow, I can’t believe they’ll email it. That is awesome! I wonder if they only use the email you supplied on the form (if you did). Seems weird they’d just email it out if you give them an address… not much different than saying it on phone, but whatever. More convenient! Keep us posted. 2 years ago my letter never showed up either.

  • 967. South Loop Parent  |  March 24, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    @935 and 937. I have a child @ SL RGC. It’s an undiscovered gem in the CPS system. Huge parental involvement without being cliquey and the volunteer system is organized and inclusive.
    Amazing after school opportunities beyond just the afterschool program. There is cheerleading, chess club, knitting club, yoga, tae kwon do, Indian dance, etc.
    Unlike how other schools have been described on this board, the administration and teachers are open, honest and caring. They truly but the kids’ interests first.
    Overcrowding/future location is an issue but the school is heavily on CPS’ radar and there are great options, including the NTA building.
    As for Old St. Mary’s, I once did a tour there and found it very underwhelming. Low diversity, little academic rigour and lots of attitude for a school that really has yet to establish itself. This is just my opinion though, as I can see how some may like it. Their new building is a plus, of course.
    Hope that helps.

  • 968. Skinner North it is!  |  March 24, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    @965, so all it takes is to call them after 9am, and ask them to email it?

  • 969. D' mom  |  March 24, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    Thanks pamina. This is very helpful.

  • 970. Old St. Mary's  |  March 24, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    I have friends with a 2nd and 5th grader at Old St. Mary’s. It is an okay school, but does not seem academically rigorous. If you have a spot at South Loop, I would take it. If you’re unhappy, you can always apply for other options next year or move to OSM then…I just don’t think that it compares in any way to SL. Very very different approaches.

  • 971. Old St Mary's Part 2  |  March 24, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    I agree with #970. If you got into SL, take it. A gifted child would be bored at OSM.

  • 972. South Loop Parent #2  |  March 24, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    And don’t discount the neighborhood program at South Loop. It’s almost as advanced curriculum-wise as the RGC and has huge support from community families.

  • 973. Old St. Mary's  |  March 24, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    Yes…I agree with Old St Mary’s Part 2 — an academically advanced/gifted child would be bored bored bored at OSM. I actually was having a school conversation with the mother of the girls I know there and she said that they have had some kids transfer in from other schools because their former schools were too hard.

    So my advice would be to take the spot at South Loop. You may not get that chance again, but the reverse is not likely true — you can probably transfer to OSM at an upper grade if you want to.

    Good luck with whatever you decide!

  • 974. GB  |  March 24, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    Still no letters from anywhere! Anyone else in the same situation??? Appu?

  • 975. Hawthorne mom  |  March 24, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    @tk, charter schools don’t really communicate with the rest of CPS and vice versa. The lotteries are completely separate and I doubt there is a single person at CPS who truly knows the names of any child on a Charter school lottery list. Take the spot at the school you got into and if your first choice is the charter, wait to see if they call you. You can accept it then. You won’t eliminate your child from the charter lottery.
    Fwiw, when my oldest was applying, we did apply to one charter as a back up plan. They called us no less than a half a dozen times asking us to reconsider after we’d already said no because we got into a school we strongly preferred. So, no conflict.

  • 976. cps Mom  |  March 24, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    @961 Pamina – what a sweetheart! What better insight than through the eyes of those taking the test. Make sure you thank your daughter for the truly valuable info that she has shared.

  • 977. Appu  |  March 24, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    Even I did not receive any SEES mail or from schools. I guess my kid did not get good score, since I did not receive from school as well. But anyway I will go to CPS office tomorrow.

  • 978. Smarties  |  March 24, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    applied for 2nd grade
    RGC 135
    Reading 96% Math 98%
    was not selected for any school
    Has anyone got accepted into 2nd grade for either a RGC or classical school?

  • 979. dette  |  March 24, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    @954 eMOM:thank you so much for your response, that was very helpful.I can’t wait for Sept.! BTW, which CPS school do you utilize for after school program? My email is
    I appreciate it.

  • 980. notsosmart  |  March 24, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    Your child has awesome scores. Sorry for no acceptances.
    I am awaiting for scores for my son for 2nd grade. No letter yet.
    Will let you know asap.

  • 981. mommyM  |  March 24, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    RGC 101
    Reading 91%
    Math 87%

    Got into Poe Classical

    Wait listed for other schools, best was 26 for Jacskson

  • 982. Tier?  |  March 24, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    #981mommyM and #978 Smarties –

    What is your tier? Thank you.

  • 983. IB&RGC Mom  |  March 24, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    To those who have not received any mail (@974 and 977), I had the same thing happen 2 years ago. I had bought a house in November and sent out the applications after that with my new address. I didn’t move in right till a couple months later (had a lot of work to do first) and didn’t change my address at my daughters current CPS school right away either. Well turns out it really doesn’t matter what address you put on the application, they are looking at the address in the system and they cannot change it, only the school they are currently enrolled in could. I was able to call (it may have been well past when letters went out as I was much less obsessed back then) and explain to them what happened after I figured it out talking to the closest magnet school that I was hoping for. She didn’t get in there, but she did get into a wonderful IB school so lucky for me it all worked out in the end.

    Hopefully it is just some address/ mail mix up and I really hope it ends up being good news. I feel so bad for the people that have posted that had to go downtown just to find out bad news.

  • 984. Current RGC South Loop Parent  |  March 24, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    We do have friends at Old Mary’s who love it. One clear advantage that they have is the class size. South Loop RGC exceeds the 28 student max. This year K’s class had 30. Kids can move during the year where previous years if kids didn’t show in the Fall those spots would remain unfilled. Something to consider. I also understand from OM friends that curriculum is more flexible – sometimes I am concerned that South Loop and other CPS schools are teaching for the tests versus encouraging the creativity of students and joy of learning.

  • 985. IB&RGC Mom  |  March 24, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    Also for those of you wait listed with no acceptances – Firsly, I am so sorry. I know how stressful it is only wanting to do the best for your kids. Secondly it really can go either way. For the really popular schools that are rather small there probably isn’t a great chance, but I have had one daughter that was not accepted at any magnet, RGC, or Classical schools and ended up getting a call from Disney right after I enrolled in a neighborhood option. She wasn’t even on the wait list for Disney. My second daughter went through the same thing. She didn’t get accepted to any of the magnets (or RGC’s) and then Sabin was calling their entire wait list to fill seats. I think she was around 100. So these are the schools they ended up going for their K year and they both moved and settled in to other schools in 1st where they have been since.

    I really hope everything works out.

  • 986. confused  |  March 24, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    got letter, last choice was MCDade, and i got in. being white, im not sure what to do.

  • 987. Current RGC South Loop Parent  |  March 24, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    We also have a friend at Daystar (in the South Loop) who chose Daystar over the South Loop. More creative, caring, nuturing environment and two teachers for 24 students in Kindergarten (as compared to South Loop’s RCG Kindergarten class of 30). As you can probably tell – class numbers bother me but that’s a trade off for public education.

  • 988. cpsobsessed  |  March 24, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    @986L Confused. Looks like McDade is 98% black, 37% low income, outstanding test scores. Sounds like your child would be in good hands/good company at the school (although I personally know nothing about the place.)
    Sounds like it’s worth a visit. Might it feel odd for your child to be one of the few white kids? Probably initially. But there are just a couple black kids in many of the mostly white city and suburban schools and they seem to cope just fine (or I don’t think anyone questions their comfort level.) I suspect you’d be with many like-minded parents who just happen to be a different shade. Check the place out and see how it feels…

  • 989. re second grade  |  March 24, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    My experience is that the test scores seem to go down dramatically for those who did not get in K. DC scored 128 RGc, then 118, then 106!! Reading 98%, 88%, 75% on consecutive years tests. Math 98%, 69%, 76% consecutive years tests. My ‘gifted’ child scored the same each year +/- 2 pts. (149/147/149).

  • 990. southloophappy  |  March 24, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    To potential South Loopers:
    I have a child at South Loop RGC. I am very happy with the program there considering it’s a hybrid school (neighborhood and RGC in one building), plus it’s a relatively new RGC . Any of my complaints I do have go to CPS, not South Loop, which brings me to my next point:
    The overcrowding is going to be huge in a few years since they have been adding an additional neighborhood class each year for the past 6 years. The BEAUTIFUL CPS campus known at NTA at 22nd Street and Clark which was built less than 10 years ago for millions of (our tax) dollars is at about 25% capacity. How’s that for effective planning by CPS execs? There are overcrowded schools all over the city and they construct a state-of-the art facility in an area (housing projects) that city planners knew was going to be razed by the city. If they were running a private-sector business they’d be OUT of business, but instead they’re running our schools!!!
    I am getting off track….So, current families at South Loop said NO WAY to sending their students (grades 6-8) to the NTA area because of its undesirable location and current student body (project kids).
    So, where are they going to locate these students once the school has exhausted every inch of space for instruction and NTA is not an option?
    Maybe the current Jones Prep building (which will be vacant once the new building is complete) would make a great South Loop junior high.
    All I have to say is:don’t be too concerned. The current CPS Director of Planning and Demographics (i.e., a huge decision-maker on Clark St.) has his children enrolled at South Loop. So as long as they are enrolled there I wouldn’t be too worried since his children are directly affected by any decisions made regarding South Loop.
    In short, if you have a spot at SL, take it and don’t look back. It’s not the best RGC but it’s up and coming….

  • 991. southloophappy  |  March 24, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    One more thing I omitted in the above post: in order to relieve overcrowding at South Loop, CPS had developed a plan where the South Loop junior high students would occupy half of the NTA campus. That plan did not fly with South Loop parents so CPS pulled the plan but have come up with nothing to remedy the overcrowding at South Loop. Maybe they’re just wishing it away…

  • 992. Stressed by CPS  |  March 24, 2011 at 3:31 pm


    I spoke with the Taft admissions person today because I know her. This what she had to say regarding 8th grade acceptance into the AC:

    “We do have openings this year in 8th grade … about 10 of them. We have invited more than that to accept … but you never know how it will work out … Last year we did go to round 3. Now – Kenwood is down at the University of Chicago – 55th and the Lake … great school and option but REALLY far from here. Sorry I don’t have better answers …. we have no idea how many will accept.”

    Follow your heart when you decide. there are obviously openings but because they have no idea how things will go afterthe April 1st deadline, 2nd or 3rd rounds are not guaranteed. But if you accept Kenwood, you are going to be out of the running for Taft and if you decline Kenwood and still don’t get into Taft, you will have to stay put for 8th grade. Hope this helps!

  • 993. cpsobsessed  |  March 24, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    @992: that was great that you could check on that! tough choice for him.

    Alejandro, also, the cutoff scores are for entry into 7th grade and don’t really apply for your year. It is probably straight score, so there could be kids ahead of you (the 10+ who got offers already but possibly a few more as well.)

  • 994. IB&RGC Mom  |  March 24, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    And Alejandro, have your parents visited Kenwood? You should really get them over there (hopefully even during school hours) to see for themselves. Have them set up an appointment. I don’t know much about the school, but that is what I would do before ruling it out.

    It sounds like there is only a slim chance of getting into Taft, but you have to decide if it is a chance you want to take.

    If you do accept Kenwood, it would only be for 1 year before you are off to high school and you will get some high school credits out of the way giving you more freedom to earn more honors or AP credits in high school or even just being able to take more electives that you are interested in.

    If you decline Kenwood, you may have a chance to be in the running for a one of only a few spots at Taft and if that doesn’t work off will otherwise be staying where you are currently. Are you happy there? I don’t think you have said too much about your current school.

  • 995. tk  |  March 24, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    @975. Hawthorne mom

    Thank you for the information! I’ll go ahead and register him there and then wait to see what happens with the charter school lottery!

  • 996. Simply Obsessed  |  March 24, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    @949 and cpsobsessed. I think that is an awesome idea!! If it’s possible, separate threads for the schools would rock!

  • 997. SLoop Dad  |  March 24, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    @southloophappy. The children of CPS’ Director of Planning and Demographics are now in Oak Park.

  • 998. Smarties  |  March 24, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    @982. Tier?
    No tier
    outside of chicago

  • 999. anonymous  |  March 24, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    Just wanted to through it out there that we had to go downtown to get a copy of our letter last year (It finally came 3 weeks after everyone else’s.) It was good news! Our child was originally accepted at Pritzger. We turned down mostly because of location. Several weeks later we got a call for Edison! So… you never know.

  • 1000. SLoop Dad  |  March 24, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    The NTA plan was oppossed by SOME but not all South Loop parents. I, for one, welcomed the idea. Fabulous facility.

  • 1001. Alejandro  |  March 24, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    Thank you stressed by cps you have helped me out a lot.

  • 1002. Ed K mom  |  March 24, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    @dette, We are currently in K at Edison. The Irving Park YMCA has an afterschool program we use. Were able to get Edison on their bus route since it worked with a route they had to Peterson, but only 2 kids in the class (plus one a couple of days a week) participate. Please check out their program: Their policy is they need 5 kids per school, so more kids using the program would improve the odds they keep Edison on the route!

  • 1003. GAB  |  March 24, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    Is there a chance that Alejandro could request/appeal for principal’s discretion? I ask the question just because I saw in the news somewhere in the news that the principals discretionary period has opened up…

  • 1004. GAB  |  March 24, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    Like others Alejandro, I have heard really awesome things about Kenwood

  • 1005. Alejandro  |  March 24, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    and CPS obsessed i just replied to your email.

  • 1006. McDade parent  |  March 24, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    @986 confused

    I’m not sure how to advise you. There was another similar post.

    Most people I know are honored and happy to get McDade.

    Good luck.

  • 1007. IB&RGC Mom  |  March 24, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    CPSobessed – I thought it was a great idea that someone posted earlier to break up the posts a bit, maybe you can do it by the same regions that CPS does.

    North – Near North/West/Central – South – Far South.

  • 1008. just amom  |  March 24, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    anyone heard of round 2 letters for SEHS?

  • 1009. Nina  |  March 24, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    Does anyone know how the final classical score is computed? Are the Reading and Math scores added and do they come up with a composite score? My child scored a 96 for Reading and 95 for Math. We are in Tier 3. Does my child stand a chance to get into a school like Skinner North. I saw people getting acceptances with similar totals. Does anyone know?

  • 1010. Beverlyite  |  March 24, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    @Anette, you are VERY welcome! I have to say, one thing you will NEVER find at MPA is ‘teaching to the test’, which unfortunately you absolutely find in CPS RGC and SEES schools. Have kids in CPS SEES schools, and there is NO creative learning imho. I took my child out of a really good private to go to ‘the hot #1 Classical’ on the far North side, and not sure that in the long run it was truly the best choice for the child. Were we happy in K? Totally. In first? Yes. 2nd? Um, no. 3rd? A little better, but still… not as much as I’d like. To do it over, I’m unsure I would forgo the private school for a Classical. Jmho!

  • 1011. Another CPS parent  |  March 24, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    Hi all CPS obsessed parents!

    Cpsobsessed, thank you very much for having this blog, it really helps to navigate the overly complicated system.

    Our neighbourhood school in Lincoln Elementary and we are on the waiting list at Disney with very low single digits number for Kindergarten. I guess we have a good chance to be accpeted.
    Could please parents share your feedback on those two schools? would you choose one over over and why?

    Some more specific questions regarding Disney:
    – they do provide busing, right?
    – is K a full-day or half-day?
    – after school care?
    – do they have a world language and when to they start to teach it?

    Thank you all for feedback!

  • 1012. Alejandro  |  March 24, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    1011 you will find this website very useful this website should answer your questions.

  • 1013. Alejandro  |  March 24, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    Stressed by CPS could you maybe pull some strings and tell her about my situation to see what she thinks my chances may be?
    Thanks in advance

  • 1014. GB  |  March 24, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    @985 Thanks for encouraging words. No address mix up, since we’ve gotten previous CPS correspondence without any trouble… We’ve lived in the same place for 8 years now, so no address change either. It is so very strange not to get ANY letters, since we applied for RCG’s, Classical, Magnets, and language gifted program at Greely. You’d think at least one of them would come! Did we just get lost in the system? Perhaps our daughter’s name got skipped by the computer and no letters were printed. I want to believe it was a machine error and not human incompetence… Hubby going downtown tomorrow morning, just so we know and can finally see our options on the table and make some decisions… Don’t we have until April 1 to accept or decline (that is IF we even get offers)?

  • 1015. Another CPS parent  |  March 24, 2011 at 5:53 pm


    Thank for the web site address – got some info, unfortunately link for Early Childhood is broken!
    I’ll try to come to school for a visit – hopefully it will be relatively easy to schedule one. I imagine all magnet schools are swamped with phone calls and requests now.

  • 1016. IB&RGC Mom  |  March 24, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    @1011 – It has been quite a few years since my daughter went to Disney, but overall it was a pretty good experience for her. They provide busing between 1.5 miles and 6 miles. I know back then they bussed more kids then any other school in Chicago so it is kind of hectic. It is a large school (I believe around 1600 kids). I don’t recall what the after school options were there, but when your child takes the bus they can usually get dropped off at a park district on the bus route that has a park kids program. I had called there and they gave me 2 options for my bus route. The K was a full day, but I don’t remember what a full day was there. I am sure you can find that info as they used to publish it in the big elementary schools book and I believe everything that was in there should be online. Being so closed to the lake they had kids coming in from all over and I really liked the diversity.

    I did have a couple of gripes – the buses were overly crowded and I wish there was more order on the bus, but I think eventually they added a second route that picked up at my stop. The school does have a gifted program for their more advanced student which is great. My daughter got 100 on the test (from what she told me it was really easy), but they had so many hundreds that they took the best readers. My daughter wasn’t the best reader at that time so didn’t get it. The next year she transferred to go to an RGC.

    One post did mention visiting there as they do have 5 or 6 pods in each large classroom. In K it was fine, but if your child is easily distracted I think that could be an issue in future years. The principle seemed sharp and tough. She reminded us of our Catholic school principles.

    My assumption is it must be moving in the right direction since they modeled Disny II after it. I definitely suggest visiting if you have a chance as with a low single digit number I think you have a really good chance of getting in.

    Hopefully someone can give you feedback on Lincoln. If it is a good option one big benefit to going to the neighborhood school is that your child will have friends close by. That has been the biggest challenge I have had with my kids going to the schools they do.

  • 1017. Jennifer  |  March 24, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    Thanks to everyone who left suggestions, Bell is also going on my list and I’m looking at some of the other suggestions.

    I’m actually thinking about calling OAE and asking about Skinner West – it seems several parents leave in the early years because of location/hours which wouldn’t be an issue for us.

    South Loop in the meantime seems like it may be one of the best options of neighborhood schools for us. Ironically it would have been our neighborhood school if we had not fled to the suburbs 2 years ago.

    It’s funny how everyone assumes the suburbs will be better. I can’t stress how much we regret doing that.

    Re: gifted children and social development, we’ve had terrible problems with this even though my daughter isn’t technically gifted. She simply prefers the company of adults and has struggled terribly with this.

    Pamina my daughter also had the same issue with the classical test and the audio, but since they were both testing for 2nd grade I think they may have tested together.

  • 1018. Question on transparency in later rounds  |  March 24, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    @998 and at least one other poster say they don’t live in the city yet they are reporting classical / gifted scores.

    How can that be?

  • 1019. Smarties  |  March 24, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    You can apply to and test for gifted/classical schools without living in the city of chicago. But you have to move into chicago by June I of that year to enroll.

  • 1020. Question on transparency in later rounds  |  March 24, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    Oh, thanks, @1019

    Can you get offers prior to moving to Chicago? I’m wondering how that is managed with the tier system.

  • 1021. Another CPS parent  |  March 24, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    IB&RGC Mom,

    Thank you very much for your feedback, I appreciate it.
    Very good point regarding the neighborhood school. I had the same issue growing up – I didn’t go to my neighbourhood elementary school and other kids in class were much closer to each other because they used to hang out together after school. I kind of felt left out sometimes. Totally forgot about that, since it was more than 20 years ago!.
    Looks like both schools are very good one and have their own pros/cons, so it will be a tough choice. But it definitely feels great to have options!

    #1018 – I had the same question!

  • 1022. Jennifer  |  March 24, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    You also don’t get the benefit of a tier I don’t think, you go to the bottom of the pile if you don’t score in the top ranking. At least that was my understanding as an out of city parent myself. And you do have to live in the city and show the required proof by registration.

  • 1023. Jennifer  |  March 24, 2011 at 6:51 pm

    I think it may be allowed because these are the only public gifted/classical schools in the area. Suburban school districts don’t have them and as I’ve discovered, can’t always accommodate the children in the standard schools.

  • 1024. Question on transparency in later rounds  |  March 24, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    I think this is huge news to most people – that non-city dwellers take space in city schools. Wow.

  • 1025. macK  |  March 24, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    Nina@1009: My guess is that score will be competitive for Skinner North. You may hear something in subsequent rounds. We took on new people thru November.

  • 1026. Jennifer  |  March 24, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    Not really – non-city dwellers can apply to the schools but can only take the place if they become city dwellers. If you move to the suburbs in August your child can attend their school too without question. It works both ways.

    A big problem for people moving to the city with kids already of school age is that they can only enroll their child in a neighborhood school unless they have enough notice to arrange testing and can get themselves to the city for the required dates. If you move part way through the year your child is definitely out of the running for those schools for that year. Not everyone can afford to move to a neighborhood that has a decent enough school.

  • 1027. snowball's chance  |  March 24, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    @ Notsosmart, smarties and Jennifer — So far I have only heard of one 2nd grade offer (Pritzker) but I don’t know the child’s score (and wouldn’t feel comfortable asking). Also, as I mentioned in an earlier post, RGC class sizes increase for 4th grade (28 to 31 students). Also, while my first grader’s scores stayed remarkably consistent, I have heard of at least one child whose score increased dramatically resulting in a 3rd grade RGC offer. From my perspective, it doesn’t hurt to continue testing a child whose in the ballpark. After all, if nothing else, a little extra practice with standardized tests can’t hurt a kid in CPS!

  • 1028. StillNot@CPS  |  March 24, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    @611 — and others who posted words of encouragement… THANK YOU! We have tried for two years with the gifted test with no placement. Last year DC scored in top 2%, but no acceptances. This year he did not do as well, and we do not expect any acceptances given the high scores of other test takers.

    DC has been flagged as gifted from the time he was two by all of his teachers and other educators, as well as just regular people. He is and has been very advanced in math, logic, reasoning, etc. but is more “normal” in reading, though he’s a highly verbal and articularte kid. He builds and fixes all kinds of things you wouldn’t expect of a five-year-old. I was impressed with a number of the things the gifted classes seemed to be doing and really hoped for an acceptance.

    FWIW, he did not respond well to the testing environment this year, which I heard is not that unusual for kindergarteners. But, our chances are slimmer than ever, and we are hoping that our private school will accommodate, as they have identified him as gifted all along. They have great intentions, but so far haven’t really known what to do with him.

    Given our very high expectations, I was pretty disappointed with this process. We are at a good school with an outstanding track record of getting kids into high-performing high schools, so it’s not too horrible.

    Anyway, thanks for the much-needed encouragement! We may keep trying, though DC asked to never go back again. He said that in the room he was “mad, sad and bored.” Guess he’s just not the testing type…

  • 1029. Stressed by CPS  |  March 24, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    ALEJANDRO: I am not friends with the admissions director at Taft, I just know her because my child attended there and we run into each other once in awhile. But I did tell her all about you based on what I read and I don’t think she has scores or cut offs available and even if she did she probably can’t share them with me. But I will tell her that you are interested and that if spots are still open after the deadline that maybe she could see how far you are from “waiting list” if there is such a thing for AC. Her job is mainly to work with kids who are chosen through CPS and she handles questions and helps with enrolling. But I don’t think she has a final say so on admissions. I will just keep her aware and check in with her. sound good?

  • 1030. Jennifer  |  March 24, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    @1027 that’s the first 2nd grade offer I’ve heard of too. Someone else said earlier too that the 3rd and 4th grade classes expand slightly so we may get some luck next year.

    If we don’t manage to find an affordable way into one of the better neighborhood schools this year perhaps we’ll just wait another year and plod on with our current school. I think moving her 3 times would be more detrimental than keeping her in the school that isn’t able to challenge her for another year.

  • 1031. Bev Dad  |  March 24, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    @Incoming Keller parents:
    Found out this morning ‘ronni’ is an old friend. I was filled in about Sunday and we’ll try to make it. Thanks for the invite.

  • 1032. still, STILL waiting  |  March 24, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    I also called CPS today because we didn’t receive our SEES letter. (I really wanted to avoid going downtown only to hear that they’d lost my child’s application or some such mess.) The CPS woman checked my email address (had to match the one on the application) and said she would put in the request to have the letter emailed tomorrow. She did let me know that they would probably NOT be emailing letters first thing in the morning, so I should give them at least until afternoon before calling to follow up. At which point, I suppose, it would be too late to go into the office to get a printed letter! Guess I’ll be making the trip in the morning after all…

    @999: Thank you! It’s so nice to hear about your happy ending!

  • 1033. Done Waiting  |  March 24, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    My child has an IEP. Through the testing for classical and gifted, she was given testing accommodations that were written in her IEP. There were no set number nor percentage set aside to be accepted to the selective schools based a percentage of IEP students. The score was ranked amongst the other children. So having an IEP for elementary level only helps the child during testing if accommodations such as longer time or redirecting the child to focus during testing were written in the IEP. Not all IEP children have written testing accommodations. An example is if it is a child with only speech therapy for articulation of a certain letter is to take a test that is a written and non-verbal test, there would likely not be any testing accommodations speech was not involved. I agree with Tattoo Mom in that Angela Washington at the Office of Academic Enhancement is the person to speak to in regards to any further questions. Angela was wonderful through walking me through the nerve-wrecking process of testing an IEP child.

    My child is at Decatur Classical school. Because of the small number of students there, the various therapists are at the school only once a week. It makes it difficult to catch up with them if a meeting is needed to be set up. It’s a minor inconvenience as the various therapists can be reached by phone or even email if needed. Our neighborhood school is much larger in number of students so the various therapists were more readily available onsite as there are more students requiring services given the larger population as a whole.

    After being at Decatur with a child with an IEP, I have been satisfied with the services provided. Though my child has an IEP, she has adjusted well to the school. Her classroom teacher is involved with her needs and calls in any services as needed. I was concerned that Decatur might be too rigorous and that she would miss too much classroom time and fall behind given her IEP services needed. This has not been the case so far. She makes up the missed work later either in free time during school hours or at home.

    I don’t know how testing for academic center or high school works for IEP students. I guess I’ll find out when time comes.

  • 1034. Stressed by CPS  |  March 24, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    #1033. My child who had a 504 at Decatur was also very well taken care of. Mrs. F rocks! ! And so does Angela Washington at OAE. Anyoneelse who needs answers regarding IEP’s and 504’s, please call Mrs. Washington at OAE. She has been there for many years and is very helpful.

  • 1035. mom of 5  |  March 24, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    @758 LENART
    2 years ago my oldest applied for Whitney Young AC and didn’t get in. He was accepted to Lenart though. We moved him from our parochial school because he was bored and unchallenged there. It was a great move for him. He excelled and blossomed under the tough academic expectations. He has more friends now than he did at the previous school where he thinks they thought he was too “brainy”.

    I am surprised at how few parents actually get involved at the Lenart Parent Club meetings. I have met a few of his classmates’ parents at his basketball games and at the fundraiser. Some of the grades seem to have parents better “bonded” though.

    Science and Math teachers in junior high are strong. There is a lot of homework, but I can’t speak for the lower grades. In 7th grade, I was proof reading and helping him time manage, but he is much more self driven in 8th grade. He got a 900 on the SEHS application, and I don’t think he would have had he stayed at the old school.

  • 1036. Stressed by CPS  |  March 24, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    AGAIN to #1033…from experience (don’t know what has changed) Decatur kids were tested at the school for the AC’s and RGC’s. Mrs. Washington proctored the testing for those students with special needs. That would be good to hear if that is still going on there like that. She really made things more comfortable for those kids.

  • 1037. Teacher Mom  |  March 24, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    @ 1028 StillNot@CPS

    As a CPS elementary teacher and CPS parent, I urge you to look beyond gifted/classical schools as the only CPS option for your son. Our children are at a neighborhood school (albeit, not OUR neighborhood school – we got a spot via the lottery) and thriving. Our oldest is only five, but it is our second year at the school and he is advanced and LOVES school – he’s learning and his love of school and enthusiasm for learning new things are most important to us. He did test into an RGC this year, but we value a more well-rounded environment and feel confident that his current school can meet his needs. So, I suggest you visit other schools and broaden your list – you never know where you could find a great fit for your son. Speak with the principal and get a feel for the teachers in talking to parents, as well as the principal – it is great teachers that really make up a school and students’ experiences.

    Perhaps the new STEM Magnet School would be great for your little guy who loves to build and take things apart. Applications for grades K-3 are being accepted through April 15th for spots for the 2011-2012 school year:

    Good Luck!

  • 1038. stressed mom  |  March 24, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    Please…can anyone help me? My daughter got accepted to Drummond but is waitlisted at Andrew Jackson Language Academy at #2. Does anyone have an opinion on which school to choose? Thank you!

  • 1039. Teacher Mom  |  March 24, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    @1038 —

    You don’t have to choose now. Submit your acceptance to Drummond by the April 1st deadline. Then, if your daughter gets off the wait list for Andrew Jackson you can, at that time, choose to enroll at Andrew Jackson and forfeit your spot at Drummond.

    Since many schools are doing tours and open houses right now after the acceptance letters, you may want to consider visiting both schools now since you are so low on the Andrew Jackson wait list.

    Two different, but very good, options. Congrats!

  • 1040. lincoln vs disney  |  March 24, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    I will pick lincoln over disney in a heart beat. Son graduating this year. All kids in IB got into SEHS. Pick lincoln. Principal is awesome.

  • 1041. well...  |  March 24, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    There is no right answer. What grade is your daughter? Where do you live? What type of academic approach are you looking for? Are you committed to Montessori? After school needs? etc.

    A number 2 on the wait list is fairly assured to get in.

  • 1042. StillNot@CPS  |  March 24, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    @1037 Teacher Mom. Thanks for the suggestion. I hadn’t really considered the new STEM magnet because of distance. But, I think it’s probably worth exploring.

  • 1043. 2nd grade  |  March 24, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    Someone was asking about 2nd grade acceptance letters… son was offered a spot at Skinner West. Honestly, I do not know what Tier we are in, but he was 99th percentile in reading and math. He is at South Loop now, so we are trying to decide what to do as his sibling was accepted at SL.So far our experience at South Loop has not matched our expectations for what we thought “gifted education” was. South Loop is basically an accelerated program.

  • 1044. In Limbo  |  March 24, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    Any ideas what the chance tier 2, waitlist 12 for Hawthorne would be? Also any feedback about Peirce would be appreciated.

  • 1045. GAB  |  March 24, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    @1043, can you describe what you mean re. the shortfall: “South Loop has not matched our expectations for what we thought “gifted education” was. South Loop is basically an accelerated program.”?

  • 1046. crazed  |  March 24, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    @ 1039 & 1041….She is going into kindergarten. We can actually walk to Drummond but I’m not sure if I am committed to Montessori. I’ve always wanted her to go to Drummond because to me it seemed like everyone wanted to send their kids there. Plus she was always waitlisted there for preschool in the hundreds! Ugh…then in talking to some friends they said AJLA is amazing! I’m making myself crazy! Thanks for your help.

  • 1047. Smarties  |  March 25, 2011 at 12:19 am

    @1043. 2nd grade

    Did you apply to any regional gifted centers?

  • 1048. Tattoo Mom (JM)  |  March 25, 2011 at 7:30 am

    I have been told that you can send your acceptance for Kenwood to the OAE and fill out the Amended Application Form and send that in too. DO NOT REGISTER AT ANY SCHOOL IF YOU STILL WANT OPTIONS, ONLY WORK WITH THE OAE…
    Then after re-ranking deadlines, the OAE will send out new selections and you will get to chose from Kenwood and another acceptance should you receive one.

    This year only, because of Lane opening, you will get to hold a spot while applying for another one.

    Call the OAE if you have questions about what I’ve said and hang in there. You seem like a very bright, mature young man, and I know you’ll thrive no matter where you land! Good Luck.

  • 1049. ...  |  March 25, 2011 at 7:33 am

    1011. Another CPS parent

    I would pick Lincoln over Disney. Had very nice experience with Lincoln. besisdes you would get the benefits of knowing other kids in the neighborhood. i love Lincoln. All of the IB class got accepted into SE for HS this year.

  • 1050. Alejandro  |  March 25, 2011 at 7:53 am

    Thanks anywaya stressed by CPS I know that you are trying your best to help me but before I make up my mind I am going to the informational meeting at Kenwood Academy AC on the 30th

  • 1051. HSObsessed  |  March 25, 2011 at 8:02 am

    1011- — I also highly recommend Lincoln. Well-established school, strong academics that stay strong all the way through the middle grades, principal and staff that work well with each other, incredible band program, nice families, lots of opportunities to be involved, and the fact that you can walk to school. The music and band program are very strong. There is a nice laid-back feel to the school in that recess and PE are valued, there is a deliberate attempt to NOT stress kids out or over-emphasize standardized tests. Some negatives: Half-day kindergarten, no before or after-school care, French and art programs leave much to be desired, and difficulty for working parents to participate in the PTA and LSC. Re: the half day kindergarten: Many people take spots at magnet schools (like DIsney!) to take advantage of the full day K, or keep their kids in private school for K, and then switch to Lincoln for 1st-8th. Good luck in your decision!

  • 1052. for undecided parents  |  March 25, 2011 at 8:06 am

    Before i made my decision to move my kid from Blaine to Lincoln and compared both schools and looked at the CPS website and checked out where 8th graders from each school ended up in HS. it made my decision much easier. i compared beaubien, hawthorne, blaine and lincoln. lincoln had the best success story for 8th graders going into HS. I believe these reports can be found on the CPS website.

  • 1053. cps Mom  |  March 25, 2011 at 8:13 am

    @1033 – when you fill out an application for a selective enrollment school there is a space to indicate that you have an IEP or a 504. You must also submit a copy of your plan. These applications are handled separately from the rest and in the case of an IEP in a separate pool. Schools are asked to admit a certain percentage but it is not mandatory or required by law. Usually the IEP student percentage at any given school mirrors the number of IEP students that qualify based upon score. Some schools will reach out and admit more IEP students that are close to cut-off scores. An example would be a gifted child that scores off the charts but may have gotten b’s in school because of writing difficulties. Probably the only advantage over a non-IEP student would be that this group of applicants are not separated by tier.

  • 1054. southside parent  |  March 25, 2011 at 8:32 am

    did anyone try to get into AGC

  • 1055. cps Mom  |  March 25, 2011 at 8:43 am

    #604 prof.gfr speaks very optimistically about his “take aways” from this process. I can quickly state what mine are.

    My child is now a Freshman so I went through this process 10 years ago. I have to say that I am astounded by the many school names that I am hearing in this thread that are sought after and considered not only acceptable but exceptional places of learning. Many of these programs either didn’t exist 10 years ago or quite frankly were just not an option that any prudent parent would consider. CPS has made huge progress.

    I see families from all over the city talk about diversity, strength in knowledge, preparing for college, hands on involvement in the school, working with the neighborhood – the list goes on. Gotta say – I’m in awe.

    Does this mean we should stop obsessing about CPS – NEVER! We need our new mayor to step in and insure that these opportunities are available to every child. No one should be left out in the cold. Moving or private school is not an option for everyone nor should it be an only “out” for those who are able. At a bare minimum every child should have an alternative to a local school that is failing, decrepit, or unsafe.

    Congratulations to all who received a reasonable option. Good luck to those still searching – there is still time.

  • 1056. pleasantly suprised  |  March 25, 2011 at 8:48 am

    Hi to all, I have become obsessed with this site since I learned about it. LOL. My daughter was accepted into Skinner North . We are tier 2. 89%reading, 97%math. We were also offered Hawthorne but wait listed on 16 others. Does anyone know how many SEES application there were for Kindergarten and how many spots were available? Just wondering because it seems that there are many with higher scores that did not get accepted.

  • 1057. mom2  |  March 25, 2011 at 8:49 am

    @1055 cps Mom – now we need to do the same thing at the high school level. Everyone get started!

  • 1058. Emom  |  March 25, 2011 at 9:20 am

    @1052 How do you find out where each school’s 8th graders were accepted for HS? Is this published somewhere? TY

  • 1059. RB3  |  March 25, 2011 at 9:27 am

    @1056 – My son was accepted at Skinner North as well with 93% reading and 95% math. We are also tier 2. I am so thankful we were accepted. So many others do have higher scores. We are waitlisted on 20 magnets and our neighbborhood school is not an option.

  • 1060. .....  |  March 25, 2011 at 9:48 am

    @1058. Emom

    let me look it up and i’ll post the link. i looked for it a couple years ago when i was trying to decide to take my kid out of Blaine. Blaine studies to the test/ISATs and i didnt like that.

  • 1061. GB  |  March 25, 2011 at 10:10 am

    Got into the gifted bi-lingual program at Horace Greeley. Does anyone know anything about the school???

  • 1062. cpsobsessed  |  March 25, 2011 at 10:34 am

    Fro those following ALEJANDRO’S situation, I got ahold of OAE today and they said they cannot provide info on someone’s ranking when there are only 10 spots, as it gets down to the small sample size issue.

    @STRESSED BY CPS: I suggested that he keep in touch with Taft over the summer – sometimes that works, not sure about ACs though. I had an impossible time navigating the school’s phone system. Do you have any idea how he can more easily reach the AC coordinator?

  • 1063. tk  |  March 25, 2011 at 11:39 am


    Here’s the response I just received regarding the “not eligible” those of us who put down Ogden received…

    Thank you for your inquiry.

    At the start of the selection process, Ogden notified our office that they did not have any spaces available to accommodate students from outside of their attendance area.

    I apologize for any inconvenience.

    If you are still seeking options for September, please be aware that our office offers a second application process in May, called the End-of-Year Citywide Options Program, which consists of magnet and magnet cluster schools that still have space available. This process begins May 2nd and applications will be available on our website,, or by mail upon request from our office.  We are also opening a new magnet school in September, the STEM Magnet Academy, focusing on science, technology, engineering and math.  A special application process for this school, 1522 W. Fillmore Street, is taking place now, until April 15th.  Applications are available on our website, via the link below:

    Should you have additional questions, or if I can be of any other service, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

  • 1064. SS Dad  |  March 25, 2011 at 11:50 am

    @1031 Bev Dad

    It will be good to see you at local museum on Sunday 3/27 afternoon.

    We should have a good turnout (maybe 6 incoming families).

  • 1065. Done Waiting  |  March 25, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    @1036, Angela Washington was the proctor for my child’s test and it was done at a public school not far from Whitney Young. I forget the name of it, but she was not test at IIT. It is good to know she is involved in the high grade testing such as for AC and RGC.

    @1053, we are tier 4 and when speaking to Angela last year she did not indicate that the IEP students were in a separate category. She said the only advantage is the testing accommodations. She did say the tier groups went into play for my kid when we tested last year. Maybe things have changed for this year. It is interesting to know that schools are asked to admit a certain percentage but it is not mandatory or required by law. I wonder if there is any way to find out which schools do this sort of thing and which do not.

  • 1066. @1054  |  March 25, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    If you mean Academy for Global Citizenship Charter, we applied. Lottery was yesterday, haven’t heard anything yet, but we got into Skinner North so will be accepting there.

  • 1067. Czechmom  |  March 25, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    CPS has messed up our magnet school application. They send it back because it was missing a signature, I signed, mailed back, got a confirmation that it was received. A weeek later i got a call from a very pleasant lady, double checking one school code, and she informed me, that the application was complete and ready to be put into the system. Now there is no trace of it. We can appeal starting April 18th, or just stick with the offer from Skinner North. I’m posting this, so people know what kind of stuff can happen. If our girl did not get into any SEES school, I would be a real basket case right now.
    While SN seems like a great choice for your girl, there is a part of me that is wishing that this incident has not happened and I have gotten a magnet school letter and maybe had an extra choice or two of other schools.

  • 1068. Roisin  |  March 25, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    Does anyone have information on “school choice”? Our home school has not been meeting their AYP and apparently CPS must offer two other options under No Child Left Beind Laws…

  • 1069. cpsobsessed  |  March 25, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    @1068: Roisin
    I’d sort of looked into that several years ago when my neighborhood school (now much sought after) was looking like a no-way school. I think if you can get them to give you an option, it’s not going to be magnets etc. It would probably be a decent neighborhood school that had space. Which still might be a better deal. But then why don’t entire schools demand that CPS find them spaces? Just to make a point. Would be interesting….

  • 1070. Another Rogers Park Mom!!!  |  March 25, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    @1044 IN LIMBO: We are also ‘offered’ at Peirce and likely to accept, along with a #11 Waitlist at Stone and #16 at Hawthorne. ;)Also Tier 2. Peirce is doing an open house at 9am on the 30th. Hope to see you there! I am really loving what I hear about Peirce ‘these days’ as it was our backup for ds who is at Decatur. Dd tested at 139 for RGC, no offers yet… but holding out a bit of hope for Coonley or Edison. Not positive I’d take the spot over Peirce at this point, however. Peirce is a new RGC and is the ‘new Nettlehorst’ and is rising quickly as a superstar neighborhood option if you get a coveted spot! Good luck!

  • 1071. Another Rogers Park Mom!!!  |  March 25, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    @1044 IN LIMBO: We are also ‘offered’ at Peirce and likely to accept, along with a #11 Waitlist at Stone and #16 at Hawthorne. ;)Also Tier 2. Peirce is doing an open house at 9am on the 30th. Hope to see you there! I am really loving what I hear about Peirce ‘these days’ as it was our backup for ds who is at Decatur. Dd tested at 139 for RGC, no offers yet… but holding out a bit of hope for Coonley or Edison. Not positive I’d take the spot over Peirce at this point, however. Peirce is a new IB and is the ‘new Nettlehorst’ and is rising quickly as a superstar neighborhood option if you get a coveted spot! Good luck!

  • 1072. Another Rogers Park Mom!!!  |  March 25, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    Sorry about double post, was trying to correct and as you can see, one version says Peirce is a new RGC (NOT TRUE) and the other is that Peirce is a new IB (YES true). Sorry about that! 🙂

  • 1073. Another Rogers Park Mom!!!  |  March 25, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    @Roisin, we’d retainted an attorney in FULL intention of excercising our rights under NCLB which Chicago apparently thinks they can ignore due to ‘overcrowding’. Um, not gonna happen. We were luckily offered 3 spots, so will not move forward, but I’d fight it… they are likely to make you want to ‘go away’ by giving you some options. 😉 Our neighborhood school is Gale, which is a ‘no way’ school imho as well. Good luck!

  • 1074. Jennifer  |  March 25, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    @cpsobsessed if the parents of an entire school cared enough to demand better spots the school probably wouldn’t be failing to start with.

  • 1075. Roisin  |  March 25, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    From what I can gather the school is supposed to send a letter to all of the enrolled students offering school choice when the school fails to meet AYP two years. I can verify this with the state, but I have been bouncing around CPS voicemails for the last two days trying to get information on starting this process. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if it actually worked and I could get my son into the school that is 3 blocks away (that does meet AYP and has outstanding ISAT numbers). Doubtful, but worth a shot….

  • 1076. Skinner West Mom  |  March 25, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    Unfortunately my thoughts of South Loop are negative ones. Don’t get me wrong, both my daughter and son attended pre-K there and had a great experience (teachers are great!) as both tested in to Skinner West, but for the 4 years that we were there, the principal never once said hi to me. I feel if you are the principal of a school you should be saying hi to everyone in the hallway, not just a select few. (Never have had this problem at Skinner West.)

    A couple of years ago, my daughter (Kdg at the time) was taking the bus from Skinner to South Loop for the after school program. I was concerned since she was only 5 and had to get off the bus and be responsible enough to make sure she gets into the building so I asked if she could have a cell phone to call me when she got in the building. They said absolutely NOT and that they would call when she got there everyday. So one my day my husband calls me in a panick and asks me where our daughter was (because I was picking her up from school for doctors appt). I said right here standing next to me. He told me South Loop called and said our daughter got to the school ok. Let me say I had a few choice words with the lady (admin) in the office the next day. She later admitted that she never knew if my daughter got to the school ok. She said that she would just call if she saw the bus come by and that I would have to call her ahead of time to let her know that my daughter wasn’t coming so that she wouldn’t call me when the bus came by. Ok does that make sense?????? Let’s just say my daughter was able to have a cell phone after that.

    I have also see a lot of rough housing and teasing and taunting on the playground in the morning (to the point where kids were crying) and I have called the office a few times and they insist on staff being out there even though I don’t see anyone, at least no one clearly marked as staff or volunteer.

    I know a lot kids that attend South Loop (that love it!) and a lot of kids that have left (because it wasn’t to their parents’ expectations). As far as Pre-K (branch building), we had a wonderful experience, but I am not sure I would want my child at the main building (1st-8th).

  • 1077. cpsobsessed  |  March 25, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    @1074 Jennifer: Very good point.

    Just FYI, to anyone reading all the way down here, I attended an awards ceremony last night honoring 10 chicago parents who have made a difference in education. They each got up to speak and it was so inspirtational. A neighbor friend of mine was honored for helping draw parents to our local school as well as parents with limited means/English skills who have done amazing things locally with kids and parents.

    Terri Mazany (acting CPS CEO) also spoke. He’s a warm and engaging guy and talked about how the role of parents is the most important and described a year his son struggled in school and how he had to work side by side to get his son caught up. The challenge is how to replicate that in the schools if parents can’t/don’t do it themselves.

    I also met Wendy Katten from the Raise Your Hand group.!/group.php?gid=117581168258426
    Just reminder that you can follow them on Facebook to see what their efforts are (currently helping schools explore the chance of expanding their hours so they can have longer lunch and recess.)

    All in all, an evening of inspiration and socializing where everyone wanted to talk about school. I was in heaven.

  • 1078. cpsobsessed  |  March 25, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    @1067 Czechmom:
    That is realllly frustrating. I’m so glad you have a decent option, but it’s just not fair. I wonder what can be done to prevent it?

  • 1079. HSObsessed  |  March 25, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    @1058 — Below are the instructions where you can look up official stats on where a CPS elementary’s 8th graders enrolled in CPS high schools (it does not track anyone who goes to private HS or leaves the CPS system). However, keep in mind that the data is five years old, so many schools’ current situation may be different, if the school has been on the upswing for a while.

    Go to the website below, then School and Citywide Reports, then School Profiles, enter school name and click on it, go to Other tab, and the report is High School Enrollment Report.

  • 1080. IB&RGC Mom  |  March 25, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    cpsobsessed, that sounds like an amazing event. I hope that one year they honor you because having a place for parents to go to find out exactly how CPS works makes a difference in a lot of peoples life. I remember having to figure it out CPS on my own 7 or 8 years ago and I just wish there was a site like this back then.

  • 1081. southside parent  |  March 25, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    AGC did have the lotto last night. 18 slots open. Based on the website, they have 2 classrooms per grade, and 25 students per class. So they really had 50 slots.
    The other 32 slots taken were from siblings.
    Seems kind of a high number of siblings. They are at 3rd grade right now, so out of about 200 students, there were 32 siblings.

    I dont know about that. I heard from parents there, and this message board, that beverly parents are getting there kids in?

    either way, sounds like the chicago way is occurring everywhere. 🙂

  • 1082. rp mom  |  March 25, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    Agree with the comments on Peirce. We attended an open house yesterday and I was plesantly surprised. They have a middle years IB programme and are working towards the K-5 accreditation as well. We were given a spot and we’re leaning towards accepting. I’ve heard they’ve offered a spot to all who were interested during the past three lotteries.

    After care is on-site @ the school, they just need to offer before care and I’m sold.

  • 1083. cpsobsessed  |  March 25, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    Information on Charter School Academy for Global Citizenship (AGC:)

  • 1084. Siblings - did anyone score?  |  March 25, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    I was wondering how families did with getting older or younger siblings into the gifted or classical program with their sibling. Mine crashed and burned. So badly, I hope she does not need ‘special’ services. I’d love to hear your sibling story.

  • 1085. southsideparent  |  March 25, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    i know parents who have kids at school and love it.

  • 1086. angie  |  March 25, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    Re: South Loop RGC – Does anyone know where I can find progress reports for just the RGC? All the reports I find for South Loop are for the entire school. I am curious how the RGC portion does overall. TIA!

  • 1087. cpsobsessed  |  March 25, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    @1086: Angie, Stupidly, CPS does not report that info. Grr. Same for Bell, Beaubien. Maybe take a look at how those 2 schools compare to South Loop?

    @1084: Siblings: I don’t have a younger one, but based on my son’s gifted class and other people I’ve known, the success rate is oddly low at getting another kid into the same program. I’ve seen younger siblings test into a classical or maybe another gifted program, but the odds seem odly slim of getting in 2 in a row. Over time through testing and shifting, I’ve seen people end up with 2 in one program. Don’t think any of the siblings in our class (which was a lot) tested into our program.

  • 1088. Alejandro  |  March 25, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    For anyone following up on my situation Jennifer Hey-Lewis (Director of Kenwood AC) sent my mom an email about an informational meeting next week. My mom and I will be attending the meeting after it I will make up my mind and post my final decision here on the blog.

  • 1089. IB&RGC Mom  |  March 25, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    @1084, is the older sibling in a gifted or classical or were you trying to get them into a magnet?

    I have kids at 2 different schools because my little one did not test high enough to get into the RGC that my older one goes to, but I would be surprised if it was magnet because from my understanding even though they changed the selection criteria siblings almost get an automatic in!

    I know with the old criteria they would take up to 40% (I believe) from the sibling lottery which wasn’t really a lottery as they had only had to hold them once or twice and I think the school it was for was Hawthorne. But this year I thought the siblings were an automatic this year (and last) if there was space in the magnets.

  • 1090. angie  |  March 25, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    @cpsobsessed – well that is dumb. I think parents looking at those programs want to know how they compare to each other.

    @alejandro – Good luck!

  • 1091. IB&RGC Mom  |  March 25, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    Alejandro, I am glad your mom is keeping an open mind and going. Hopefully you will both like it, or at least you will both be able to make a better decision based on seeing it first hand.

    One thing they mentioned at Taft, which I am assuming would be similar for other AC’s, is that because you are getting high school credit early you end up with all of your graduation requirements met once you finish your junior year. They do not allow you to graduate early, but you would be able to take AP classes which can get you college credit and hopefully save you some money when it is time for you to move on to college.

    Good luck. Make sure to let us know how it works out.

  • 1092. Another Rogers Park Mom!!!  |  March 25, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    @1084 Siblings; No my dd did not get into the Classical with her big brother… but we did not expect her to. She is an utterly different kind of child. She scored in the 99th% (at least) on the RGC and will perhaps get a 2nd or 3rd round RGC offer, perhaps not. Regardless, it’s only K. And I’m not that thrilled with Decatur as it is.

  • 1093. Decatur Truths  |  March 25, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    @1087 and @1089… What I’d like to know, considering there is allegedly ‘no principal discretion’ at this point (nor in the past several years) for elementary: How is is that EVERY Single PTA Officer with multiple kids has them all in Decatur? Hmmm? What ARE the odds that these parents get multiple, sometimes 3 kids into Decatur, which has precisely 28 seats per year for K? And yes, these kids are all getting ‘in’ in K, not first or later, typically.

    I mean, I can name 5 or 6 PTA/LSC families with multiple kids, some 3 or more in Decatur!!!. Is some of that likely? Highly not, but possible… yes. ALL of these PTA mom’s? Gimme a break. SOMEONE is getting these kids in; they may ‘meet the scores’ but I find it shocking that our newest PTA mom has one is 2nd and a new Kinder now, too. Um, yah. And that is off the top of my head, but yes… easily up to 10 families.

  • 1094. Mcdade NO  |  March 25, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    I declined my seat for mcdade, hope to get a 2nd round offer.
    Whoever is #1 on waitlist will be happy.

  • 1095. mom2  |  March 25, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    @cps obsessed – I agree with you that CPS should be separately tracking the statistics for schools that have gifted centers inside neighborhood schools. It is impossible to tell if the neighborhood school is good or not, along with not being able to adequately look at the RGC program for comparisons.
    I know Bell has a good neighborhood program now, but when we were looking in the past, the stats were always inflated because they included the RGC kids in all the school stats. No way to really tell what was what.

  • 1096. McDade Parent  |  March 25, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    @1094 McDade NO

    I know you strugled with the decision. You will make someone else very happy in the next round. FYI, there is no Easter Bunny celebration at McDade.

  • 1097. Beverly Mom  |  March 25, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    @1081, I’m confused…..are you saying that parents from Beverly who apply to/send their children to AGC on 47th and Cicero are manipulating the system aka “the Chicago way”?

    According to the AGC website, they encourage local people to apply, but they do not have a proximity lottery as they are a charter school. However, the sibling preference is in place at every magnet school, so indeed, the slots for K are not what is represented by the number of classes in a particular school. In other words, we have no idea how many slots are at most of the lottery schools because of the sibling preference rule.

    The real complaint I think you might have is that if your child is the oldest in your family or an only child, it lessens their chances of getting into a lottery school because they would not qualify for sibling preference. And I agree, that’s annoying, but what we need are more good neighborhood schools (IMHO 60-70% meeting expectations on the ISAT is not all that great.)

  • 1098. Stressed by CPS  |  March 25, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    #1093 Decatur Truths. I am a former parent of Dectaur. Some years ago, testing was done in the school and I know for a fact that siblings would get preference. I had a younger child who did not get in and at the time, I was not really involved in the school and I felt like if I had been, the techers who were doing the testing would know me better and possibly admit my child. I started getting involved because I had the same thoughts as you have. But the following year, testing was done by OAE and the school lost control of that. BUT I totally agree. I mean, I am not saying these siblings aren’t scoring high but when you see the amount of sibs there, you just question it. I’m not accusing anyone about anything, I’m just pointing out that it can be something people may wonder about.

    When my first child was there, all the previous years had testing done in house and I noticed the sibling popuation was much, much greater. But they did have the control at the school level. I continued to work had as a parent volunteer but my other kid never got in even when the scores were in the 90th percentile. (I was also on the board of PTA/LSC but it didn’t work for me.) And I wouldn’t dare ask the principal for a “favor”. She didn’t have much of a fondness for me although I never gave her any reason to feel that way.

    I was upset at first because having the 2 of them together would have been great but because I had a few negative thoughts about other parts of the school. I got over it. I don’t know how things were at RGC’s or other classical schools but that is my Decatur story.

  • 1099. snowball's chance  |  March 25, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    @1084 — My older child is in a RGC — and my younger did not test into any program (scored around 115 both times tested). I was definitely bummed last year — partly because my kids attend the same school and I was worried the chid who was not in the “options” program would feel bad. So far, that has not been an issue. And our strong neighborhood program has been a good fit. Good luck and try not to let these tests define your kids for you!

  • 1100. southside parent  |  March 25, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    @1097, i am saying that there are slots reserved for the preferred.
    At AGC, there were 18 slots open, yet the website states they have 50 slots.
    So 32 slot were taking,by siblings.
    Does that sounds like a bit too much?

    THis school is new, and they need some backing, so of course it would make sense to allow a few heavy hitters from beverly who can help the school..
    cmon now, where you been….
    this si the southside, madigan owns this.
    he had his boy become alderman with no fundraiser or promoting.
    the chicago way..

  • 1101. cpsobsessed  |  March 25, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    @1100 Southside Parent:
    Based on my conversation with the Quest charter woman, I’m thinking that after initial offers, the charters *may* have a little more leeway with admission than regular CPS schools. BUT, they also have a harder time recruiting when they open. CPS doesn’t post their info or post job openings for their teacher spots. So they have to get out the word of mouth. I get the sense that the first couple years for a charter, it is basically first come first serve. So if a group of neighbors wants to “take over” a charter from the start, I think it would be pretty easy. And then the sibling thing kicks in and there you go.
    I think that’s gone on at CICS Irving Park. My friend reports that all the neighbors decided to use it as a local school and they all got in because it wasn’t that popular yet. But it won’t last, as word gets out, they won’t that that easy in any more (an easy in that was open to anyone.)
    The Quest woman claims that even her own kids have no preference (but if the school doesn’t fill to capacity, it surely wouldn’t be an issue.)
    So with Quest, opening for 6th and 7th grade this Fall, it could be a great opportunity for a group of parents who want their kids to go to middle school and possibly high school together to move in and help build that school. As the Quest lady points out, they don’t really have contol over WHO that is. I suppose they can work their connections and local community which may be what happened in AGC.
    Honestly, at many schools, siblings often take half the spots. 32 is a little high, but some years there are just flukes like that. But I know nothing about the school/neighborhood so I’m just speculating…..

  • 1102. 6th grade mom  |  March 25, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    1084- we are in a sibling mess. My oldest (my 6th grader) is at a magnet school. My middle kid is at an RGC. My youngest will enter K next year. He really, really bombed the test and doesn’t qualify by a long shot to even be considered for RGC or classical. My oldest got into his first choice AC and will be leaving his magnet school and I just confirmed w/ the school’s office clerk that since he is, the youngest does not have sibling preference and it is basically as if he didn’t apply since we applied for the sibling lottery, not the general lottery. And my little dude got in nowhere else. It hasn’t been a good day.

    I’ve been around CPS long enough to know that much can change over the summer (we did apply to 18 schools on the standard app. in case this happened and he has SOME good wait list #’s). So, it isn’t hopeless, but sort of disconcerting that right now he has no choices other than our neighborhood school, not an option I’m at all happy with. Just as disconcerting to find out we’re totally out of the running for the magnet. Luckily my little guy isn’t too upset, he is excited to go to any elementary school and doesn’t seem to care that we have no idea which one yet.

    From my experience, no matter how many kids you have, each application process is just as stressful as the last! Always an unexpected turn. But so far, we’ve been really happy with the kids’ schools, so as long as we have the energy we’ll stick with this system despite all the absurdity.

  • 1103. Not a perfect system  |  March 25, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    I understand that these past two weeks have been very stressful for many parents. From my personal experience, these gifted tests scores are arbitrary and performance can be based on many different factors. Studies show that you can not measure true “giftedness” until they are 8 or 9 years old.

    I have a 7 year who did not get spot as K, scored 20 pts higher in 1st grader test- was offered a spot for every program, and 2nd grader did not get a spot. Is she gifted? I would say that she is very bright.

    Her sister scored above 98% (tier 4) and was not offered a spot until 3rd or 4th round in Kindergarten.

    We declined the spot for our oldest at that time because we wanted the kids to be at the same school. They are still together and we very happy with their current school.

    I’m ok with tier system because CPS is trying to give everyone a chance at the coveted schools. It is not a perfect system but they are trying to be fair. I know that there is a possibility that one tier gets in with 135 vs. 145? Isn’t that both over 95%.

    Let’s put everything in perspective, if parents are involved with their children and their schools- their children will most likely succeed.

  • 1104. Question on transparency in later rounds  |  March 25, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    Decatur Truths 1093 –

    The Chicago Inspector General should look into the fact that principals DO have and freely use their own “discretion” (um, favoritism) in allowing favorites in both sees and magnet schools. Everyone in CPS knows about it and counts on it for their own kids.

  • 1105. Alejandro  |  March 25, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    It seems like a lot of people are following up on my situation maybe CPS Obsessed could make a post about me so it wont take up much space on this post.

  • 1106. Stressed by CPS  |  March 25, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    Lane’s AC website has posted their curriculum. Very interesting! Differs slightly from Taft and WY. Offers H Biology in 7th grade and H Chemistry in 8th. wow.

  • 1107. Roisin  |  March 25, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    @1073 another Rogers Park Mom, I would be so grateful if I could pick your brain. You can e-mail me at I am trying to get someone at CPS to discuss my NCLB rights, but I just keep getting transfered to voicemail with no return phone calls.

    Thanks so much, Roisin

  • 1108. Decatur Mom  |  March 25, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    @1093 Decatur Truths-You are starting to sound a little bitter. Before making such a strong accusation, I would want to make sure that I had my facts straight. It is completely false that “EVERY single PTA/LSC officer with multiple kids has them at Decatur.” There are several members of the PTA at Decatur that have kids at multiple schools. I would also suggest that because it is so difficult to get multiple kids into the same SEES school that those parents that do are some of the most likely to be active in the PTA as the vast majority of families have children in multiple schools (and therefore have to spread out their time.) I also wonder why if you soooo wholeheartedly believe your theory that you haven’t joined the PTA to improve your chances of having 2 at the school.

  • 1109. vi  |  March 25, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    accepted to whitney young, tier 2, 870

  • 1110. DecaturPTA Member  |  March 25, 2011 at 11:08 pm

    Hey Decatur Truths, I am on the Decatur PTA and my youngest just did NOT get into Decatur. I went through my first year at Decatur and thought, wow, I feel so out of touch, and I feel like I am out of the loop, so I joined the PTA. I work 50+ hours a week, and i have a non-school age child, but I make it work. It was my decision to make it work.
    Also to say that these children just got in because their parents work hard at the school is dismissive of these children’s abilities and really just sour grapes.
    One of the other PTA members has kids in THREE DIFFERENT SCHOOLS, but we needed what she had to offer, so she did it. Another homeschools her son who did not get into Decatur.
    I have several friend who have multiple children in there & are NOT active in the PTA/LSC.
    Is Decatur perfect, no? what is? Is my experience perfect? no.
    Do I wish like heck you were right & being on the PTA Board guaranteed me a seat for my youngest. Hell yes!
    If lit were that simple, we would NEVER have to ask for a volunteer- or try to fill a vacancy.
    Has it occurred to you that they are involved because they have multiple kids at one school?
    I support your desire to share your experience, but if you don’t like it–only you can change it.
    I proactively work on making things better for me & my kid.

    If you are unhappy, do something to change it.
    Life is what you make it.

  • 1111. Done Waiting  |  March 25, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    I agree with Decatur Mom in that parents that are active in the PTA can do so because more than one child is in the school. I admire those parents who can participate in any school PTA when they can and have another child in another SEES school or neighborhood school. I know at least 4 parents who do not have siblings at Decatur and are all active in the PTA or LSC.

    I can see why some people think that devoting more time into the school can lead to helping siblings get into the school. The test score does make a difference. In fact, now tier makes more of a difference than participating in PTA or LSC.

    I am an example of having more than one child at Decatur and not at all active in the PTA nor LSC due to my full-time work.

  • 1112. Stressed by CPS  |  March 25, 2011 at 11:59 pm

    ALL eligilble 6th graders who did not test for an AC CAN NOW DO SO!! From OAE:

    All sixth grade students who did not apply to Academic Centers during the regular application process may submit an application at this time. Testing will be held on Friday, April 1st at Lane Tech. This is the only available test date.

    Students who applied and tested for a Regional Gifted Center or International Gifted Program, but not an Academic Center, do not need to retest. These students will only need to submit the application for the Lane Tech Academic Center. The application deadline is April 1st.

    Students who have already applied and tested for an Academic Center may not retest. These students will only need to submit the amended Lane Tech application that they received with their notification letter.

    To register for the April 1st test, interested students must call the Office of Academic Enhancement at (773) 553-2508, from 9 am to 5 pm. Calls will not be taken after 2 pm on Thursday. WALK-INS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.

    **Check the OAE website for the rest of the story!

  • 1113. Stressed by CPS  |  March 26, 2011 at 12:04 am


    NEW AC TESTING DATE. (not for those who already took the test for an AC.)

    The minimum requirements for testing apply. Students must have minimum scores on their previous year’s ISAT (or another accepted standardized test) at the 70th percentile in both reading comprehension and total math (or, for students with an IEP/504 Plan, a minimum of 70% in either reading comprehension or total math and 60% in the other subject). Acceptable standardized tests outside of the ISAT are listed on our website (see Programs/Selective Enrollment Elementary Schools/Acceptable Standardized Tests).

    Students who have an IEP or 504 Plan must fax the IEP or 504 to the Office of Academic Enhancement (773-553-2061) by end of day on Wednesday, March 30th to ensure that appropriate accommodations for testing are provided.

    Testers will be required to bring all supportive documents to the test site: (1) ISAT/standardized test scores from the 2009-2010 school year, and (2) the final report card from the 2009-2010 school year. WITHOUT THESE DOCUMENTS, STUDENTS WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO TEST.

    **good job to the parents who expressed their feelings about this at the Lane AC open forum or who emailed OAE.

  • 1114. Stressed by CPS  |  March 26, 2011 at 12:25 am

    Sorry it’s past midnight and I’m kinda sleepy so I think new testing date only applies if you want to apply to Lane Tech AC-not to Whiney or Taft or Lindblom, etc. The app for Lane’s AC is also on the website.

  • 1115. Tattoo Mom (JM)  |  March 26, 2011 at 7:15 am

    @Decatur Truths-

    WOW. I am utterly insulted. I have two children at Decatur myself. Had three but moved one to Edison at 4th grade to hedge my bets for a 7/8 spot. So I supposed you’re including me in your accusation.

    It’s one thing to talk about what the school is or isn’t doing to meet your educational expectations, but when you start accusing people of fraud…that’s over the line.

    I WISH that Principal’s had something to do with getting into the SEES schools but they don’t…send out the lawyers, call in the guards, do whatever you wish to confirm this. IT IS FACT that the OAE handles all testing and selection of students for SEES programs. If you knew our principal at all, you would know she follows the rules- almost to a fault at times. She would never do anything that would put her own job in jeopardy, even if she could. WHICH SHE DOESN’T.

    Seriously, why so mean?

  • 1116. notsosmart  |  March 26, 2011 at 7:38 am

    Regarding second grade admission, my kid got a 125 RGC and 96/96 for reading and math. Tier 4. No offers. I guess it’s okay and he’ll stay in his very overcrowded neighborhood school (34 kids!) More opportunity to make friends, right?

  • 1117. Tattoo Mom (JM)  |  March 26, 2011 at 7:51 am

    @notsosmart. I’d say your child is BRILLIANT. Hang in there.

    I think there will be lots of movement on the Decatur list at least. My principal told me that some of the kids admitted on this first round are from so far south they are almost in Indiana…. LOL. With no transportation offered outside the 6 mile range, I’m sure some of them will turn down spots. Second round is coming….

  • 1118. BBmomtoo  |  March 26, 2011 at 8:33 am

    @1116 notsosmart – I agree with Tattoo Mom – your child is very smart. I was pleasantly surprised twice now with second round offers for my kids, so don’t give up.

    @1084 – Siblings – we had some tough decisions with second & third round choices – declined a very good classical for the younger child because we thought it would be too tough to have them at different schools and ended up being lucky enough to get an offer for him at the same school as our older attends. So it can sometimes work – with luck and patience (it’s early in the selection process still).

    @1086 Angie/@1058 EMom – I would think that the directors of the specialty programs inside a neighborhood school would have the statistics you’re after. It’s in their best interest to know and share how well their students are doing! So it’s worth a phone call. But it should also be publicly shared information on the web site.

  • 1119. Shutthe"F"up  |  March 26, 2011 at 9:46 am

    Decatur Truths… You obviously weren’t at the school the year the 2 fundraiser chairs kids did not get in siblings! They were working all day setting up the biggest event and money maker for the school when both got calls from home telling them the news. They took a few minutes to collect themselves and then continued to work the rest of the day/night.
    These people do things for the school because that is just who they are…. Why don’t you lay off the bitterness and join in.
    The view is always different from the “cheap seats”!

  • 1120. Tattoo Mom (JM)  |  March 26, 2011 at 9:54 am

    I was one of those 2!!!!!

    It was heartbreaking, but I knew not to expect anything…. It worked out for my child who got a later round offer, but not for my co-chair.

    That was one of the longest days of my life. Thanks for reminding me…lol

  • 1121. ANOTHER WAITLIST QUESTION  |  March 26, 2011 at 9:54 am

    My child didn’t score high enough to get into Coonley RGC, but we are considering the neighborhood program. We are lucky to have a top 5 number on the waitlist, so we figure we have a good chance at getting a call. When I asked the principal what he thought my odds were, he replied (more or less), “Well, I have 8 siblings to get in, so your number isn’t really that high.” Can RGC/neighborhood programs offer siblings preference? (BTW, I totally support sibling preference as a mom of multiple kids, but shouldn’t they include those siblings in the waitlist?) So, if I was 4, I’m now 12, which means my hopes have dwindled considerably. Also, can someone explain whether my waitlist numbers (for all schools exept Coonley I suppose) take into consideration the sibling lottery, the proximity lottery, etc., etc.? TIA!

  • 1122. IB&RGC Mom  |  March 26, 2011 at 10:14 am

    I believe I have read in different posts that there are separate waiting lists. Sibling, and then one for each of the 4 tier’s. Do they do the proximity still? If so that would make 6 waiting lists!

  • 1123. dazed and confused  |  March 26, 2011 at 10:52 am

    sign me up for that PTA position if it meant me getting my second in! HA! If that were the case I wouldn’t be sick a year a head of time for this second kid of mine.
    How about giving some weight to same genetics, same crazy “i love to do worksheets while mom & dad eat dinner at o’donovan’s and have a beer”, same “I like to sit next to my sister and pretend to do my homework too” and is ABLE to the homework.
    But by ALL means keep bashing Decatur- that only makes fewer people want to go there and gives my second a better chance!! thanks!
    in all seriousness- i’ve offered it before- i’m happy to talk to anyone about SKinner West or Decatur and my pros and cons for both- they both have them. i think you can figure out who I am and I am NOT on the PTA but am trying to be active at the school because I have that luxury of being a SAHM [although if anyone wants to hire me as in my former lawyer capacity email me :)]

  • 1124. 6th grade mom  |  March 26, 2011 at 11:21 am

    1121-Sorry to give bad news but I doubt Coonley will call any non-siblings for spaces at the neighborhood program. The program has become dramatically more popular with local kids over the past couple of years and last year they did not even get in all the siblings who wanted a spot until December. The school was not accepting applications from non-siblings for the younger grades but I guess could take someone if they had space. I’m not sure if sibling preference at open enrollment schools is written into the policy as it is for magnets but it isn’t forbidden either and every principal of open enrollment schools I’ve talked to lets sibs in first if there is extra room after neighborhood kids are taken. This sibling preference is just for the neighborhood component, not the RGC component and many of the sibs wanting a spot in the neighborhood program are sibs of RGC’ kids (the rest are sibs of kids who enrolled in the neighborhood program before it became so popular).

    Does anyone know for sure whether there are 6 waitlists or only 2 (proximity or general) for the magnets? We have a waitlist # in the high 300’s for Wildwood and it is hard to believe THAT many tier 2 kids applied to that school.

  • 1125. Stressed by CPS  |  March 26, 2011 at 11:57 am

    I chimed in earlier about Decatur and the siblings. I don’t see anyone bashing me here like the “other” post but I want to clarify that since OAE took over, I do believe siblings are getting in their own…scores and also luck of the draw as far as tier and previously race. It is just a coincidence and luck of course that there are sibs. But in the past, before OAE took over…YES there was a sibling preference. BUT the sibling would still have to meet the criteria based on scores/percentages. I know this for a fact because it was told to me by an inside source. But at that time, there was nothing wrong with that. All schools like to look out for their current families to keep them together as best they can. They would not take a low scoring sib just to make the parents happy. But if the sib scored 95%, let’s say, and some random kid scored 96% percent and they had to choose between the 2, I am sure they would choose the sibling. But again, this was many, many, many years ago.

    It is great when the same family of children are such high acheivers and good test takers. Like I said, I was also a very active parent and my child scored above the 90th percentile and did not get in. And I do know of a lot of active parents who have been through the same thing. I also know of NON active parents who have multiple children there and other SEES. But I can understand how some people may think there is some type of conspiracy but there really isn’t.

  • 1126. cpsobsessed  |  March 26, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    @1121: That doesn’t make sense to me. Are you sure he was clear that you ARE a sibling family?
    At Coonley, for neighborhood, there should be only a sibling wait list. All neighborhoods kids are in, no wait list needed.
    And I believe they don’t have an out-of-hood wait list (I think you told me that?) Which makes sense due to the neighborhood demand.

    So my guess right now is that they have to see how many neighborhood kids enroll, then they work down the sibling list, then the out-of-neighborhood list. Problem same at Bell and Beaubien?

    So his comment about another wait list doesn’t make sense to me…..

  • 1127. ANOTHER WAITLIST QUESTION  |  March 26, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    CPS obsessed, we are neigher in the neighborhood nor do we have a child at Coonley. We are just the holder of a high number on the waitlist. I’m just confused about why there are so many non-waitlist people ahead of us.

  • 1128. ANOTHER WAITLIST QUESTION  |  March 26, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    CPS obsessed, we are neither in the neighborhood nor do we have a child at Coonley. We are just the holder of a high number on the waitlist. I’m just confused about why there are so many non-waitlist people ahead of us.

  • 1129. cpsobsessed  |  March 26, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    Ohhh, sorry, I thought you were someone else!
    Ok, I get it now.
    Well, I believe that typically Bell, Beaubien, South Loop, and Coonley (and any other schools with Gifted + Neighborhood programs) will go through siblings first (last year not all got in) and THEN move to the out-of-neighborhood list.
    I don’t think Bell even takes out-of-hood applications at this point and Coonley is still in growing mode so they may still be figuring it out.
    So there IS a sibling list and then a out-of-hood list, I’m guessing, which is what the principal implied.
    You never know….it just depends how many kids from the neighborhood sign up and how many siblings take spots. Last year some ended up going to other schools for misc reasons. It’s not impossible, but probably unlikely to get an out of neighborhood spot there, as it is at many fast-growing elem schools these days.
    I think it’s great that Pierce is opening up to so many kids if they have the room….

  • 1130. Another Rogers Park Mom!!!  |  March 26, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    Good Morning all. Speaking of PEIRCE, how is it that they can ‘open up to all interested families’ anyway? I toured the school for my ds 4ish years ago (he is at Decatur, and was offered the spot at Peirce but we declined at that time). However, dd has an offer from Peirce and yes, we will attend the Open House March 30th (9am for those interested, no RSVP required). However, that is the day before acceptences are due and thus… I’d like a little more info. I’ve heard it’s great, etc, and we are very interested! But HOW do they accomodate ALL THESE KIDS??? Is it a high- number of turned-down offers (such as kids getting into RGC or Classical 1st/2nd/3rd round, etc) that allows this, or do they really have (as JM Tattoo Mom told me) 5 Kindergartens? Anyone with info here would be really appreciated, as I have to say, that many kids concerns me… 😉

    Also, as a Decatur Mom: Have I been suspect of the numerical probabilities of SO MANY families having 2nd/3rd kids at Decatur? Yah, I’d be lying to say it does not at times appear a bit fishy. I also happen to have neighbors that live directly behind me who ‘begged their daughter into a mid-September opening’. However, that was when my ds was ENTERING K @ Decatur, so that child was entering 2nd grade. I don’t know when Principal Discretion ended for Elementary (my kids are 4yrs apart, so I had a lagtime of ‘being in the loop’ so to speak, and frankly… will only ((if even at Decatur for instance)) be together in the typical Classical for 2 yrs (dd K, ds 4th grade) at most so it was not THAT important to us to have them together, as we’ve survived preschool thus far, right? LOL! ) I DO know that my b-in-law is a prominent attorney who was on the Olymics 2016 committee and was point-blank-told by Daley’s *advisors* (not by Daley himself, to my knowledge; and he’s a friend of the family, Daley… friend of dh’s mom since childhood, they grew up together, so it’s more than political pull) that if we got the Olympics and he would agree to move his family back to city from Wilmette, he would get all four of their kids into LaSalle. Again, this was a couple years ago, but I will tell you my mother-in-law had a FIT!!! LOL! She knew it would a) look bad and b) how hard we’d recently worked and stressed to get ds into Decatur, etc. He was point-blank told by M-i-l not happening, if she had to call Rich herself. As another attorney, I think she was being protective of b-i-l’s career, as well as her own ties, etc. She is not one to call in favors, which is really refreshing. My point is, it did make my teeth gnash, that it would be ‘that easy’ for them… but again, not sure when the principal discretion ended.

    I am somewhat a PTA ‘newcomer’ having chaired my first event solo this year, no committee… Yes, it can be hard to break into Decatur’s PTA. Not with people like JM, above. She is pure awesomeness and like me, very tell it like it is. But there are a few people on the newer PTA who are very non-friendly. Like, look right thru you on the playground or even at your own event at school non-friendly. So I can see what Decatur Truths is referring to, in one respect; however, I also know that we were approached by JM Tatoo Mom IMMEDIATELY on our first pre-school-tour and embraced. So I think it can be both experiences depending on when you are there, etc.

    And do I think Decatur is perfection, um, no. Is is the best offered for ‘kids like mine’ right now in the city limits? Totally. I think you truly have to look ahead, because let’s face it… K and 1st are always gonna be a cakewalk for most kids. But beyond, yes… it gets a bit tough. Not the work, but the project load. It’s a lot of parental committment. Just something to think about when you tour… don’t talk just about K and 1st but really look at 2nd and 3rd and 4th, too! See if it’s really a good fit!

    My dd did not get a Decatur offer, in fact she did really well on the Gifted test, rather than the Classical. I totally predicted that. She is ‘puzzle girl’. Totally a different thinker. My ds was numbers, letters and books. Rote learner. Do I think dd could handle the work? Yes. Is she even in the running? No. But she could conceivably get a 2nd round offer from a RGC and then it will be a tough call between Peirce and that RGC. I love the IB program, and that Peirce is gunning to have it certified for K-4th as well… I think Peirce is going to be the next Nettlehorst/Ogden and it’s nice to know we finally have something like that brewing up on the far North side! I’m pretty hooked on the idea already; let’s just hope they meet those expectations when tour, lol!

    Good luck, all!

  • 1131. cpsobsessed  |  March 26, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    @1130: I was just talking with someone who teaches at Pierce and it sounds like things are really booming over there. They do have 5 Kinder classes. I think they took that many last year. I’d ask how many 1st grade classes there are, just to see what the attrition is and how big the school it getting.
    The person I talked to said the main “downside” or personality trait of the school it that it IS a big school. It just gives a certain vibe to the place (may seem more chaotic at time perhaps?) and it’s just a bigger school for the principal to manage. I’d talk to some current parents if you can to see how the bigness might impact the school vibe.
    I know a family who sent a kid there for K 2 years ago and it was still in “growing mode” then and I got the sense the parents were trying to work with the admin to raise the bar a little for the Kindergarten. A LOT can happen in 2 years at fast-growing schools though. I think as long as the parent group is cohesive and is working with the admin in some respect, it’s likely to succeed.

  • 1132. Another Rogers Park Mom!!!  |  March 26, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    Does anyone know what happened with ARMSTRONG? Apparently the same thing as OGDEN, ie: NOT ELIGIBLE? Is this likely the same reason, too full to take out of neighborhood kids? Just wondering, been meaning to ask. Let me know if anyone else got that with the Armstrong slot of the magnet letter. TIA!

  • 1133. What makes a Decatur kid?  |  March 26, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    I have to ask, since there are so many Decatur parents checking this board out right now, rather than talk about your your opinions of the school itself, can you list the qualities of a child that would likely be able to succeed at Decatur from K through 6? For example, based on the comments I’ve read thus far, my guess is that lazy, creative or very sensitive/delicate might not be among the descriptors.

  • 1134. In Limbo  |  March 26, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    #1132…is Armstrong your neighborhood school, I believe somewhere on that letter it says not eligible if it’s already your neighborhood school. Thanks for the advice on Peirce too! I’ve gotten strong positive feedback about Peirce, I just wish they had before care and it would seal the deal for me.

  • 1135. Another Rogers Park Mom!!!  |  March 26, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    @CpsObsessed, thank you!!! I’m pretty sure a Peirce mom offered to talk above, but darned if I can find it in 1200 posts, haha! Wow, they really DO have 5 K’s. That seems so insane to me! Like, Naperville, 😉 Or New Trier, the Elementary version! That is a lot of kids. Coming from Decatur, where everyone knows your face (Admin, etc) that will take getting used to.

    Yes, re: how much can happen in 2yrs at a booming school; ds was offered a spot at Nettlehorst and I was 100% no-way going to even consider it. I did not trust the jump in scores from one year to the next (again, this would have been in 2007 I think?) Little did I know… LOL!

    Hopeful about the IB program, and I LOVE the website’s devotion to the ‘whole child’. That is something I find missing in the GEEP/SEES schools somewhat and I am happy to find it in theory; hopefully Peirce also puts it into practice!


  • 1136. publicsklgirl  |  March 26, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    I live a block away from Stone but my dd is wait listed #45. She did not qualify for Classicals and was not offered a RGC spot. She was offered a spot at Budlong and is wait listed at #5 for Beaubien (out of neighborhood). Armstrong is my neighborhood school but I don’t know ANYTHING about it. Please, any words of advice out there? I really want a program that offers diversity and a strong community. Also, my little one is an organic learner so we want to avoid teaching to test. Words of advice would be appreciated.

    Congrats to those of you who have received solid offers!

  • 1137. Tattoo Mom (JM)  |  March 26, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    Thanks ARPM (adore you sister).

    What makes a Decatur kid?? Good question!
    The classical education is based on a three part system. The early grades they are learning facts, training the mind for advanced study. The middle grades they learn to think through arguments, and in the upper grades they learn to express themselves. It is a fast paced environment that doesn’t leave a lot of room for differentiated teaching in my opinion, so you need a real go getter, with a competitive streak. LOL

  • 1138. Another Rogers Park Mom!!!  |  March 26, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    @1134, no… our Neighborhood School is Gale. Ugh. Yah, a total ‘not gonna happen’ school. They have a tiny ‘friends of’ group going now, but it’s feeble at best. Hopefully something will take off soon enough because it’s been failing far, far too long. Like a decade or more… and steadily declining! Ugh.

    @1133: hard to say… but perhaps my concerns about the ‘whole child’ are because I DO have a sensitive ds. So yes, in that regard, it can at times be a far from perfect fit… He’s a late-bloomer socially/emotionally, always has been… as is often typical with kids so far ahead academically.

    I would say based on the differences btwn my two kids: ds (Decatur student) is very linear, eager reader (was reading at 2, chapter books by 3); we put him in Waldorf for Early Childhood to ‘develop his other side’, in that he would sit in a corner and read ALL DAY if permitted, and every toy (lego, playsilk, block, etc) became a letter or a number! Everything! Waldorf was a strategy to help him socially, which worked beautifully (though they could not have accomodated him beyond preschool), as they do not allow books whatsoever. It’s all creative play, arts, outdoor play, gardening, etc. He still goes for the ‘balance’ every summer for camp. He is very bright, but not necessarily the most ‘critical thinker’. He is somewhat artistic, loves to draw and write stories. He has found a ‘niche’ with some like-children that ‘get him’. The work is at times tedious and repetitive (worksheets; test prep), at others perplexing for me (I have a Math LD), though not for my hubby. ALOT OF PROJECTS. 8yrs old and they are doing I’d say a good 6 big projects, seemingly about one every 4-6wks at this point. Poster boards, reports, research, oral presentation, etc. So you have to be able to commit certainly. I’d say that ds was very ‘Classical’ in knowing how to read early, doing math early, etc… I’d say Classical is ‘what you know’ and Gifted is ‘what you can learn’, in that respect. Ds just knew A LOT. LOL. He retained everything, like a true bookworm, and forgets nothing. He can be hard to focus, though, at times…

    DD who did the ‘flip’ of her big bro, scoring 99th%+ on Gifted test, but sort of bombing the Classical (ds bomed the Gifted, capped the Classical), is a puzzle fanatic. She can play blokus ALL DAY every day. She is far more social, however. Did not need ‘that nudge’ to become social, always has been. She is shockingly good at math and numbering for a girl of barely 5, but has NO INTEREST IN READING!!!! NONE!!! She wants to be read-to. Period. CAN she read? Yes, some. Totally Sight words and CVS words, etc. Knows her whole alphabet and has for at least 2yrs, but is impatient with putting the ‘strings of letters together’. It’s not that she cannot, it’s that she WILL not. Math she seems to find fun, however. She is a more critical thinker, asks more complex questions and seems better equiped to understand variables than her bro was at this age. Her bro was very black and white, cut and dry. No in btwn. None. He is rote, she is creative. He is linear, she is outside-the-lines.

    That is just my personal experience, obviously… but I could have predicted the outcome of their tests pretty much to the score, and in fact… totally did! I had no expectations of my dd getting an SEES offer; I really did not. I was surprised that she cooperated enough to score a 139, as she is incredibly stubborn, lol. She point-blank told the Proctor “I’m not going with you unless I can do PUZZLES. Harumph!”. Ds was arguing with the proctor because one of the questions was ‘dog. cat. bone’ ; which relate to each other. Apparently the proper (“proper”) answer was dog to bone. However, ds was miffed… a) he was at age 4 obsessed with cats and b) was completely disagreeing, saying dogs also like to chase cats, not just find bones. LOL! And apparently he did not back down, because he bitched about it from IIT to Rogers Park and thensome. LOL!

    I am sure there are teacher parents who have a more proper way of differentiating, but this is what I see in my two; I know neither is less or more smart than the other, just that they have very different brains that process very differently. I am sure dd will be just as happy at Peirce (or Kilmer or McPherson, though I am sure Peirce is the front runner of our 3 offers based on scores alone; in fact, I’d say location wise, McPherson is out, as well. That leaves Kilmer to look at, and ONLY because it’s only a few blocks from home am I making myself double check it out) as ds is at Decatur. Will we possibly get a 2nd round Gifted offer? Yes. Will we absolutely take it? No. I’d say alot would have to disuade me from Peirce, even sight-unseen-in-4-yrs. I like what is happening over there, and what is to come with the IB… and I think it appears that the school could grow to accomodate my dd beautifully. She likely may need a bit more work to keep her busy in the long-run, but the IB program can possibly provide that. I did love Coonley, though. Lol.

    I look forward to other’s replies on this topic!

  • 1139. BuenaParkMom  |  March 26, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    Does anyone know how CPS determines the attendance school boundaries? I have been looking at a map and it strikes me that many of the boundaries are extremely jagged and well, just odd. Some of them really don’t make much sense to me and seem a bit gerrymandered to be honest. For example, I live less than a mile from Lakeview High School but for some odd reason my “neighborhood” high school is Senn?. I would have to drive past Lakeview and Amundenson to get to Senn, so WTF? My child is not in school yet, but it just really surprised me.
    Also, where can one go to determine that their neighborhood school is officially “failing”?

  • 1140. SEES questions  |  March 26, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    We’re trying to decide whether to send our son to Coonley. It seems like we can give it a year to see if its a good fit and then get into a neighborhood program for 1st if it isn’t. But if he learns 1st grade work during K, how does it work if someone leaves a gifted program? Or moves to the suburbs? Just trying to get our heads around how this could all play out. Also wondered if anyone has changed tracks for their child (like leaving gifted) and what happened and why they made that choice. Is there someone in CPS who is a good person to answer these types of questions?

  • 1141. Hawthorne mom  |  March 26, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    Armstrong was seriously overcrowded for a long time. The new principal came in and stopped taking anyone from out of the boundaries. A new school, West Ridge was built and opened to help relieve the overcrowding at both Armstrong and Boone.
    Armstrong’s scores aren’t bad (in the 80’s), but right now, it isn’t a popular school.

  • 1142. A Blessing in Disguise  |  March 26, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    Thank you for this blog. I was initially upset that my child, who scored over 97%, did not get in anywhere as she is clearly very bright. The posts that let everyone know the downside of these schools have led me to believe that our rejection letter may have been a blessing in disguise. I cannot imagine sending my child to a school with a 26 minute combined lunch and recess. There is also something very suspect about a school not letting parents visit or volunteer. The post about the teacher at Decatur humiliating the children who got the wrong answer and putting them out in the hall was heartbreaking. I hope that teacher becomes the target of a savvy reporter’s quest for a good news story. What price are we asking our children to pay to attend these “top” schools. Is it taking away their ability to be children?

    It’s unfortunate that the dreadful real estate market has forced so many of us into situations where we have to stay in neighborhoods with poor performing schools. Otherwise, I suspect many of us would have fled to better school districts away from the inequality of education that is perpetuated by CPS.

  • 1143. Jennifer  |  March 26, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    @Another Rogers Park Mom I feel like I am reading about my own child listening to you talk about your son. She is exactly the same in almost every way, with the exception that she doesn’t score well on tests of course! She spent most of her K year reading books in a corner by herself while her classmates learnt the alphabet. Then comes home and reads more books!

  • 1144. Hawthorne mom  |  March 26, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    It has sounded to me, that there may be an idea coming across….that gifted and classical schools are the only schools that teach to the test. That one particular classical school has a problem with unkind teachers. That they are the only ones with an extremely short or non-existent recess time. (not picking on you,1142….I’ve heard these complaints from many parents outside this blog too, and besides, the complaints are valid)
    ALL schools teach to the test. Some do it in less obvious ways, some do it more or less than others, but they ALL teach to the test. And when the law finally passes through the legislature tying teacher pay and hiring/firing directly to test scores, it will get massively worse. But they ALL teach to the test. Do you have any idea how many schools teach minute amounts of science and social studies, or none at all? I’ll never forget asking a teacher at our neighborhood school how she and the other 3rd grade teachers improved the reading scores so significantly in one year (from around 40% meeting to 60% meeting….not great, but very significant). Her response? “I taught reading and math all day long. We simply scrapped everything else”. Yep. Really. She really said that. And while I wish that was indicative of this one bad school, it isn’t the first or the last I’ve heard it.
    Very few schools get recess at all, some get 10-20 minutes. My kids’ school, while we love it, gives kindergarteners about that much. It is not enough.
    And, unfortunately, all schools have a few unkind, abusive teachers or those who otherwise mistreat kids or parents. I keep holding my breath, waiting to see it at our school….and while I haven’t yet, and I desperately want to believe it doesn’t exist, I am not naive enough anymore to really think I won’t see it sometime in the next 7 years. (and I won’t get started on the god-awful things I have heard and seen other teachers do over the years I’ve been teaching)
    I am not a parent at a gifted or classical school. I can understand the worry parents have at not getting in where they’d hoped. I also understand the worry over “will my child be challenged”, especially after seeing firsthand just how low and how deep the gaps go for most Chicago children.
    So, all that to say, I don’t know what the answer is. I am working to accept that if a school meets 75% of my children’s needs, that’s good enough. If any adult in the school is deliberately mean to either child…..that’s another story. We had that happen in our first preschool, and would have stayed if the staff member had apologized to our son. But since that didn’t happen, we left. And I worry a lot about what I’ll do if something like that happens again.

  • 1145. magnet parent  |  March 26, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    I’m confused about how schools that are supposed to be moving two grades ahead can teach to a test- when the test is supposedly two years behind if that is the case. Seems like a conundrum to me. How is it possible for gifted and classical schools to do both? Are they not really that far ahead. It would seem to me if they are as accelerated as parents say that the material would be in the rear view mirror and testing would not really be an issue in the first place. Can anyone explain how this works if they really believe these schools are teaching to the Isats?

  • 1146. Beverly Mom  |  March 26, 2011 at 11:35 pm

    @1100 and 1101…..are you serious? You think that a group of “heavy hitters” from Beverly are/have taken over ACG or other charters? I really doubt that is the case.

    First of all, it is quite a haul from Beverly over to 47th and Cicero where AGC is located, so while it may seem like a popular option here in Beverly, it’s not exactly an easy commute. I only know of one actual parent with a student there. I’m not sure what the percentage of students there that live in Beverly, but on the tour, the school officials indicated that most of their students come from the surrounding neighborhoods near Midway.

    Plus, the majority of people I know that were interested in AGC (a group of maybe 5 or 6 local moms), have either only children like me or their incoming kindergartner is the oldest in the family….so no sibling preference there or anywhere else for that matter.

    I would also like to add that not all of us Beverly residents are wealthy and/or have good neighborhood school options. Our neighborhood school is Barnard, which received only 50% of available performance points from CPS last year. It is also Track E, which does not work out for our family in terms of childcare. The only magnet school nearby is Vanderpoel, which is quite small, and hence we are on the waiting list, even living within the proximity zone.

    I would just like to point out that for those of us not in the Clissold or Sutherland districts, options are mighty slim indeed. And in a lottery situation, we are not any more ‘heavy hitters’ than people from any other neighborhood on the south side.

    The reality is that the south side has a disproportionate number of failing schools. I reiterate that what we need are better neighborhood school options on the ENTIRE south side, not just a handful of schools in Beverly and Hyde Park.

    I think your real complaint isn’t about Beverly residents, but rather over sibling preference, and the fact that AGC seems to have filled the majority of their slots with siblings, instead of a set amount, say 30%. But that’s their prerogative…they are a charter/contract school. At least they gave out a number, unlike the rest of the magnets.

  • 1147. Stressed by CPS  |  March 27, 2011 at 12:29 am

    #1145. My opinion is that the kids at schools who are supposedly learning at an accelerated pace, do well on the tests because they have already learned and are familiar with the material. So the tests seem easier to them as they have already covered it. In some cases, schools have not taught thier class the matieral on the ISATS so the kids are guessing on the answers and in turn don’t score as well.

  • 1148. cpsobsessed  |  March 27, 2011 at 4:33 am

    @1145: Re. Teaching to the Test
    This is my opinion/understanding of what it means (Not sure if I’m right.)
    The CPS curriculum is basically geared to “the test” (ISATS) since the district has a lot riding on these scores. So to me, a school like Decatur is, in essence, doing about the best a school can do of teaching the CPS curriculum. They (and other schools that people feel are “test-focused” focus on the key areas of the curriculum, probably more so, those that are on the ISATs, perhaps spending less time on things like science and social studies. It doesn’t have to mean that they are prepping kids for the current year ISATs, I think it just means they stick closer in with the test/curriculum subjects. On the other hand, my neighborhood school has an ecology program and is a Fine Arts Magnet Cluster school and promotes multi-culturalism, so they are weaving other topics/activities into the classroom during the year.
    Another example is that the ISATs include science only 2 years (maybe 3rd and 7th?) A school that is test oriented would make sure that in those years, science got attention and the science taught was geared to the curriculum/test topics. Science might get minimal attention the other years since it’s not on the test.

    I know that under Huberman, the pressure to raise test scores was intense, almost oppressive. That’s the downside of the focus on ISATs for performance, is that the kids end up with a school experience that is maybe less fun/engaging and more strictly curriculum-based to make sure the test scores are met. In the ideal world, a school would teach in a “whole child” way and still get the scores.

  • 1149. Rahm?  |  March 27, 2011 at 7:20 am

    Where to we think Rahm’s kids will go to school? As much as I am happy he’ll be our new mayor, I did chide him for not committing to CPS. I’d love to see him walk the walk, so to speak and send his kids to a neighborhood school.

  • 1150. MammaMia  |  March 27, 2011 at 10:05 am

    @516 Sorry for the delay. Just saw your post. My older child LOVES Beaubien. The teachers are great. The kids are great. The material is challenging and sometimes fun. The administration, not so much. Immovable. Teachers and staff are so scared to death of losing their jobs if they tick off the administration–you can imagine the kind of behavior that leads to. There are virtually NO afterschool programs, so if you are a working parent, tough luck. You better figure out who can pick up your kid at 1:45 p.m. And parental involvement? Forget about it. The only parents who seem to care about the school are the Options parents. they come to LSC and PTO meetings, they volunteer their butts off. As to the PTO and the school, they claim they want you, but the powers that be only want you to do what they want you to do. No room for new ideas. They want robots to stand in place. Unless you can somehow give money to the school, that is. If you kiss enough butt in the school you can get your kid slid into the Options program later, in about 2nd or 3rd grade, without having to be “next” on the wait list. So my advice for those whose kids do not get in right away, get them into the neighborhood school, volunteer for the PTO (hell, if you can try to be its President or chair a committee), kiss butt, push in October and your little angel will leapfrog over 10-20 kids who are waiting but whose parents were not savvy enough to put in the time. If you can play the game and stay low in the foxhole, then this might be the school for your family.You will need to work hard to make playdates happen. I do not live close to the school so we all have to work to get our kids together. A couple of the families in our class live near the school so my kid goes over afterschool every so often. But it takes coordination and a willingness to make it happen. Fortunately, lots of the families are of like minds. Only you can decide if this sounds better than Skinner.

  • 1151. Yikes!  |  March 27, 2011 at 10:26 am

    @1150 — that sounds dreadful!

  • 1152. Tattoo Mom (JM)  |  March 27, 2011 at 10:40 am

    I want to dispel the myth that Decatur doesn’t have anything but core test-driven subjects.

    From K-6 all our kids get Science in a Science Lab w/experiments, Computer instruction in a Computer Lab, Art w/ Go Get Your Smock, Music Theory, Latin, Tap dancing, and PE. It’s pretty well rounded but probably not as much as some Arts or Science magnets.

    There are also creative teaching ideas done in the classrooms in all areas. SS teachers have the kids made brochures on American History as if you were selling the “New America” to travelers or Indian Territory maps so you could trade with your neighboring villages, and tons of creative book reports, dressing up as your character, making a doll of your character out a 2 liter bottle, mobiles, kites etc.

    I have seem a surprising amount of creativity in a school I had thought would be fairly rigid. All our teachers are “gifted certified” and take lots of PD on new theories and teaching strategies for keeping kids engaged in the classroom.

    Just a few things off the top off my (somewhat hung over due to our school fundraiser last night) head to let you know there is some fun being had a Decatur.

  • 1153. TwinMom  |  March 27, 2011 at 11:09 am

    I realized this morning that we had our tier wrong (and not in a good way), so if it matters to the person compiling the spreadsheet, there’s an error. We’d posted previously that we were tier 3, but we’re tier 4. Sigh.

  • 1154. @516 Beaubien school  |  March 27, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    Beaubien is our neighborhood school, but since our daughter got into a SEES, she will not be going there. Our niece goes there and we also went to the open house. As much as I wish we could send our girl there, block and half away from our house, I really do not like the school.
    While taking the tour during the open house, our group of prospective parents passed by the principal, that was standing in the hallway. He absolutely did not acknowledge anyone, starred at us with an arrogant look, without saying hello, or a single word. That really ticked me off. Comparing it to the tour of Decatur and Edison, where the principals greeted us and spoke to us for at least half hour each.
    Also, two kids form the Gifted classrooms went with us on the tour of Beaubien, and we asked them how they like the program. The boy who was 7th grader said, he does not like it much, because for example when they get a new kid transferred to their class, who has not had Latin at their old school, the whole classroom has to go to the beginning of their books, so the new kid can catch up.
    Our curious and very social niece is in the neighborhood program and hates school. Does not have any neighborhood friends. Parental involvement is very low, except the Gifted kids parents. I believe the last year the whole school raised as much money as Edison did. But Edison has under 300 students, Beaubien has over 1000. Supposedly PTO meetings are scheduled on purpose on weekday mornings, so not too many parents are able to show up. It appears to me, that the principal likes to run the show his own way. The school used to be about #16 on the best school list. Has been falling steadily till it hit #47 last year. I really wish my girl can grow up in the neighborhood and have local friends. Unfortunately, that wont happen.

  • 1155. magnet mom  |  March 27, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    Hi back @1148 and 1152 thanks!
    isats test science in 4th grade and seventh.
    Just wait cpsobsessed -I think those will be some fun posts up the road!
    Glad to hear you feel so good about Decatur. It must be a relief to see these things happening at school.
    We’re such a non tester family- though I think it’s fine and really essential for most CPS families- unbelieveably the isats were our first brush with the testing world.
    I think each CPS school curriculum is aligned with Illinois stands but each has their own micro curriculum almost. I’m really interested in how the STEM school will integrate the magic of STEM thought and practice with what will be an inevitable pressure to show results quickly on the isats. Hope the STEM will be a chance for some of the parents on this thread to find another option this year!

  • 1156. BBMom too  |  March 27, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    @516 and @1154 – re: Beaubien – another perspective
    We have two kids in the options program at BB. For a fact, when the older one transferred in at an older grade there was no going back in their Latin books to help him catch up! So take what a 7th grader says with a grain of salt.

    I haven’t had much contact with upper administration and don’t know about the neighborhood program, but have really appreciated the teachers in the Options side and their personalized care for the kids. And I think it’s the teachers and their attitudes that eventually make the most difference for students.

    I would really really like them to have recess, and this is good evidence of the principal’s stubbornness and unwillingness to budge (from what I hear it’s his call).

    It does take work to have playdates with the other students – up to you whether that’s important enough to do or not. My kids generally play with their neighbohood friends after school but we sometimes have group playdates with their school friends at parks etc.

  • 1157. wow  |  March 27, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    My kid was just accepted for Beaubien Options and from reading the last couple posts, I better think harder about sending him over.
    Sounds depressing over there.

  • 1158. DecaturTruths  |  March 27, 2011 at 6:04 pm,_sparks_curb_of_principal_power

    Not sure why everyone is so aghast that I’d suggest principle discretion in play at Decatur considering it’s been but a year since the kabash

  • 1159. Question on transparency in later rounds  |  March 27, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    DecaturTruths – most people DO believe you and have no faith that the wait lists will be managed properly once out of centralized hands. Please keep providing information, we appreciate it.

  • 1160. NW side mom  |  March 27, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    Like a lot of other people we did not get a K spot anywhere and we are waiting to see what opens up. My ds did pretty good on the RGC test (139, tier 3) but did not get a spot at Coonley or Edison, our top choices. I did not put Pritzker on the list, but based on what I have been reading it looks like her score might have secured her a space. We are panicking without a K spot for the fall and trying to figure out what to do–our neighborhood school (Haugan) is not an option.

    Does anyone know if you can call the OAE and try for a K spot that was not on your original application? Or is this just a far-fetched fantasy that could not possibly work out?

  • 1161. how to make it happen  |  March 27, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    reading about so many kids that scored so well, qualified for RGC or Classical, but there just were not enough spots for them…. what can be done to persuade CPS to open more RGC and Classical schools? Does anybody know what it takes? I would like to help to make it happen…

  • 1162. Totally Confused  |  March 27, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    I have two sons. A 1st grader attending Newberry in Lincoln park and my youngest has been accepted to Lenart for kindergarten, and Newberry. I have heard many positive things about Lenart, but they have all seemed to be “academic” comments. Can anyone…someone….parents, siblings, hear-sayers, tell me the nitty gritty pertaining Lenart. I did hear that they are strict, and have a no tolerance policy but my main concern is how are they social-emotionally? I was told parent involvement is not allowed, after school programs are not available, and children are made into robots. Can someone please help me out. Friday April 1st is our big deadline….

  • 1163. Done Waiting  |  March 27, 2011 at 11:30 pm

    @1133, I am trying to think how to respond to your guess that “lazy, creative or very sensitive/delicate might not be among the descriptors” of what might make a Decatur kid. I don’t think there is a stereotypical kid that fits any school type child. I have two kids at Decatur who are very different learners. I figured if it didn’t work out for either, they would be pulled back into the neighborhood school or lottery into a magnet school. I have not found the need to do so thus far. They are still in the primary grades so technically have not made it through the 6th grade, but I don’t see any signs that would indicate that they wouldn’t make it.

    Child A is a quick learner who is creative (loves to draw and thrives on cartooning) but lazy (unmotivated). Other characteristics are inquisitiveness, thinking outside the box, and daydreamer. If a spark of curiosity goes off, the learning is quick. If it’s repetitiveness such as remote multiplication or addition, it would be a challenge. Of course, even at a regular school, repetitiveness such as math will be there. We always remind him to refocus and not daydream. The teachers are great in communicating any issues by a phone call or email away. I am fortunate not to experience any child humiliation as mentioned previously. Child B is a hard-worker who is sensitive. Because of the sensitivity, it can go both ways. Results due to perseverance to please teachers and parents work well for me. Sensitivity to the point where tears come quickly due to frustrations of unable to grasp material quickly is rather painful, but yet it’s part of growing up and learning from falling down and getting back up eventually. Repetitiveness for perfection helps in this case. I guess I got all of the items listed on your list as what would not make a Decatur kid mixed amongst two kids. So, far grades are majority A’s and a few B’s. Lazy quick learner vs. hard-working slower learner can both give the similar results as long as they work at it. We are working on improving day by day.

    Projects are present, and I expect it. Do I like it? Not really, but it is what it is, and we get through with it. I don’t complain as the end result is that the projects get done anyways. I don’t expect the teachers in any school to spoon-feed the material in the class. Of course, higher expectations are always a bonus. We have the kids study at home to keep up and fine tune what they have learned in class. I think we would have done so if they were in any other school.

    No school is perfect and no child is perfect. Decatur and my kids are both not perfect. I try to understand their strengths and weaknesses and make the best of what I have. There is room for improvement in any person, child, or school system.

    I am an example of having gone through Chicago Public School in a neighborhood school and magnet high school. I may have gone further if attempted into the selective schools, but I may not have. I would never know, but I do know that home environment with strong emphasis in education helps in addition to keeping well-rounded in outside activities such as music and sports.

    I do worry about the future in terms of where the kids will attend up for 7th and 8th grade and high school. I’ll deal with it when it comes. If worse comes to worse and they both end up in neighborhood schools, I think they will be okay as long as they learn to always keep learning and to treat others how they themselves want to be treated.

  • 1164. monika  |  March 28, 2011 at 12:04 am

    Has anyone had very different scores for the classical and RGC?
    My daughter got 140 for RGC, and 86 (math) and 38 (reading) for classical.

    We’re keeping our fingers crossed for a RGC anyway, so far we haven’t gotten in.

  • 1165. BBMom too  |  March 28, 2011 at 6:51 am

    @1157 – I didn’t mean to sound negative about Beaubien –

    We have been very happy with the Options program there. I think the person posting earlier had more exposure to the neighborhood side of things, and a couple of her points just aren’t necessarily truth. I don’t think PTO meetings are scheduled on purpose to keep parents from attending. And when I have had time to volunteer to help out, they have been eager to let me help. There is great communication – an excellent newsletter each month, ability to call or email the teachers, flyers sent home in the kids’ folders etc.

    Since the Options program is somehwat separate from the neighborhood, it has more of a small community feel for the kids, even while their assemblies, talent shows, Scholastic Book Fair, and field days have the larger school feel.

    And the times when we have had a concern, I found that the teachers were already working to address it, and helpful in giving feedback to us about how or children were doing with that concern.

  • 1166. Tattoo Mom (JM)  |  March 28, 2011 at 7:11 am

    Decatur Truths everyone is aghast because you made a pretty strong accusation about people’s motives for working for their child’s school… plus fraud.

    Decatur has not had principal input since CPS took over testing 5 years ago. I’m not sure if it’s because Ms. K was a new first time principal or we just don’t have any movement on our list from pretty early on in the process but she has NEVER hand picked a student at our school. Ask her, she’s very proud of that fact.

    It takes everything away from the children when you say that mommy got them in. It’s hurtful whether you meant it to be or not.

    I wish you would contact me so we can talk through some of these issues. I can help smooth the way so you can get more involved and be happier. I really hope that your Decatur student is happy, but if she wasn’t…I’m sure you would be making a change. Come on…grab the olive branch sister and let’s get you drinking the Decatur Kool-Aid. LOL

  • 1167. pins-n-needles  |  March 28, 2011 at 8:27 am

    Do you think the following score/tier combos have a chance at 2nd or 3rd round gifted spots, three mom friends are wondering!

    Tier 2 139
    Tier 3 143
    Tier 4 143

  • 1168. Looking for info  |  March 28, 2011 at 9:14 am

    I have skimmed the posts (all 1167 of them!!) and don’t think I’ve seen any mention of admission to Bell’s RGC — anyone out there and, if so, scores/tiers?? Thanks…

  • 1169. cpsobsessed  |  March 28, 2011 at 11:02 am

    @1167: I think those are certainly possibilities for a later round.
    For some reason 144 has been a weird cutoff that a lot of kids seem to achieve so depending on the school, it may or may not be what is needed. But you never know!

  • 1170. cpsobsessed  |  March 28, 2011 at 11:06 am

    @1161: Regarding opening new Classical/Gifted: For these I also thing a good bet is trying to get a program within a school going, like Coonley did. Neighbors and politicians convinced CPS that a new RGC would benefit the school and the north side (despite the fact that the Bell RGC is about 4 blocks away.)
    If there is a good school with low enrollment, adding a classical or gifted center can be a win=win in that it adds students and gives people more options.
    I’m not sure what the incentive was with Skinner west. I think the city just decided to build a new Skinner classical school, then the neighbors demands to get in on the nice new building as well, so it houses both programs.

  • 1171. cpsobsessed  |  March 28, 2011 at 11:08 am

    Another question would be: if there are so many high scoring kids not getting gifted/classical spots, what can the neighborhood schools do to raise the bar on the curriculum to make sure kids are challenged to the extent of their abilities?

  • 1172. prof.gfr  |  March 28, 2011 at 11:10 am


    I’d like to make a plea to all the parents frantically surfing the 1,000+ comments here for information about their school of choice. If you haven’t already done so, please visit your school of choice. If you can’t visit before the April 1 deadline, please visit it as soon as possible so that, if you are underwhelmed by your choice, you may release that spot to someone else.

    I know it’s hard to find time to visit a ton of schools before applying (my wife and I work very stressful full-time jobs, so I can empathize) but we visited 14 out of 25 schools to which we applied. As my comment above indicates (#604!), those tours were absolutely key to making the right choice for us (or in our case, for making our non-choice since we didn’t get in anywhere but our neighborhood school which we realized was not only good but great…for us). I cannot emphasize enough how each school is different and how different kids will do well at different places. For our kid, I would have turned down slots at places some of you are craving after visiting those places in person. For each family it will be different.

    Recognizing that we can’t all tour every school to which we apply, I hope that everyone will at least visit the school at which you are accepting a HIGHLY COVETED SPOT. It is only fair to your child and to other kids on the extensive wait lists to accept a spot based on actual research rather than hearsay, statistics, and blog comments. If you can, please do ground-level research.

    Strategies for visiting a school (even on short notice like this week, before the April 1 deadline). First of all, make the sacrifice, if you haven’t already: call in sick at work, take a vacation day, do what you have to do but try to make it to the school.

    1. Call the school – most will accommodate a visit because of the craziness of the lotteries. Phone numbers are on their websites.

    2. Do a formal tour – many are still on-going. Check their websites.

    3. Visit a PTA or LSC meeting. Most schools post their PTA or LSC meetings on their websites and they must be open to the public (I did this at several schools that had stopped giving tours and it was VERY eye-opening: Hello Hawthorne! Your LSC is amazing and I wish we’d gotten a higher pick there!)

    4. Go to a public event at the school (a play, a sport event etc…). Most schools post public events on their websites. It’s a great way to get a sense of how the parents, kids, and staff interact.

    5. At least drive by and visit the school (you’d be shocked, but I know people who don’t even know what the exterior of their school picks look like!)

    Any ground-level research is valuable and it allows you to see the school WITH YOUR OWN EYES, which are the eyes you should trust the most beyond all the admittedly great, but oftentimes biased info on blogs, school ranking sites, etc… At least you know your own biases!

    Anyways, I do not mean to offend all of you out there who have obviously done their research, but I have recently talked with lots of people who don’t seem to have done their research. I just want to remind people that it is possible and is very important to visit your school of choice before taking that spot!

    Happy hunting!

  • 1173. Tattoo Mom (JM)  |  March 28, 2011 at 11:20 am

    Skinner was promised a new building 10 years before they actually got it. It was all done at the same time that they were expanded to include a 7th/8th grade. The reason the neighborhood got to use it as well, is because they used TIF money to build it.
    30% neighborhood was always in the plan, they just didn’t advertise that little tidbit.

  • 1174. cpsobsessed  |  March 28, 2011 at 11:26 am

    One random thought I had about Pierce having 5 Kinder classes, is why can’t they have at least one class for kids who can work at an accelerated level? And/or one for kids who need to get caught up? I know that is the old-fashioned “tracking” concept that is out of favor, but one of the benefits of having so many K kids under one roof is that there should be more kids working at the same level. Instead of each teacher having to re-invent the wheel, why not group by class? Or at least during reading/math center time?

  • 1175. MM  |  March 28, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    Cpsobsessed: I think I’m officially the last person in Chicago to get results. (do I win a prize?) Were supposed to be emailed last Fri but apparently I misspelt the email address I’ve had for the last 15 years…

    Anyway, my son did very well (esp as he only just turned 4 when tested) but not well enough for this year:

    Gifted: 144
    Classical: 94 reading/88 math
    Tier 4
    no offers. We only applied to Edison & Decatur as we are close to them.

  • 1176. chicago mom  |  March 28, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    1175 MM –

    Scores are weighted by age, so there is no doing “well for his age” in my understanding.

  • 1177. NW Side mom  |  March 28, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    1175–if your son just turned 4 when tested, will he be five by Sept. 1 for the start of K?

  • 1178. SL or Jackson  |  March 28, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    Accepted by both Jackson and South loop
    Any information would be appreciate for comparison.
    Also, how advanced is South Loop?

  • 1179. MM  |  March 28, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    Yes, thanks 1176, I do know it’s weighted for age – stupid comment from me. Just trying to feel better about him doing so well but not getting into anything!!

    1177: he has a late birthday and we got one of the first testing dates but he’s going to K for sure (I have 2 more younger than him at home)!

  • 1180. sfw  |  March 28, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    @1164 radically different scores on gifted and classical seem to be fairly common. Last year my Tier 2 K son scored in 99th percentile for classical, while his score on the gifted portion was too low to qualify. I’ve spoken with other parents who have had similar results. Some of us wonder if they give the classical test first, but who knows!

  • 1181. Tattoo Mom (JM)  |  March 28, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    The classical test is an achievement test based on what is already known.

    The gifted test is more an IQ type test with problem solving questions.

    It is possible to not do well on gifted even though the classical score is high. True gifted testing shouldn’t even be done until a child is at least 9 years old. There is really no such thing as a “false positive”on that type of test, but you can get a “false negative” on those in younger children from what I’ve been told by a friend who is a psychologist that specializes in gifted kids.

  • 1182. proud mom  |  March 28, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    Hi. My daughter is 5 yrs old, and received her scores this past wk; 128 for the RGC and for the Classical school she received a 94 in reading and 74 in math(we’re working on math, not a strong point). She did receive an offer letter to Beasley RGC, I accepted the offer, as im familiar with the school. However now I hear a few things about the school, one of the most important being they no longer offer after school programs! this is a big deal for me! Im new to this whole process, is there only one offer letter sent from the schools I selected? Meaning that she only qualified for one, or should I be expecting more? Should I not of accepted, and waited? I was so excited, I didnt think twice!! I honestly dont remember the way I ranked the schools I applied for so I dont recall where Beasley ranked among my selections…Is it too late to change?

  • 1183. parent  |  March 28, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    Seems this thread has become a bit unproductive. My experience is that The Regional Gifted Program tends to bring out the worst in people.

  • 1184. pleasantly suprised  |  March 28, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    @1182. My daughter was accepted into Skinner North which is a classical school and Hawthorne which is a magnet school. I accepted the offer to Skinner but have since learned that Hawthorne is also a wonderful and coveted school. I am now confused and like you, am wondering if I made the correct choice. Does anyone have any input or advice? Thanks.

  • 1185. Northside Mom  |  March 28, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    I would take Hawthorne over Skinner North. Hawthorne is one of the best schools in the state.

  • 1186. Researching Parent  |  March 28, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    @1172. Reading a blog, reading parents’ thoughts on schools and researching school’s test scores provides more information rather than just touring a school. It does not mean that we are ill informed or that we choose to not look at the school. Using this forum is an additional means of gleaning information. It would be foolish for any parent to not visit a school and to use this as the only source of information. I mean no offense but I rather enjoy this blog. I am an adult and I think I can discern fact from fiction. To be honest I toured 3 schools and went to the CPS open house at Malcom X. We chose 9 schools and got accepted into 1. Should I have toured more? Maybe. Yes, I did take a tour of the school offering placement. I applaud you for touring 14 schools of your 25 school selections. At the end of the day, a tour given by administrators paints a certain picture but it not is not a complete picture. Test scores, blogs, and parent input make it more complete for me.

  • 1187. babyboyjan  |  March 28, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    Skinner North. Principal is awesome and communicates with the parents. The parents are down-to-earth. Hawthorne moms have a reputation for being a snobby bunch. If your child tested into Skinner, s/he is obviously smart so why would you place him/her at a school that teaches to the middle? H will not teach anything above grade level so your child might be bored and unchallenged.

  • 1188. Stressed by CPS  |  March 28, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    #1184-which is more convenient? Which school hours fit your family life? If your child is going to be bussed, how ling will they spend travelling to either/or? You may have heard some Hawthorne moms are stuck up but do you really think there isn’t a school that doesn’t have a bunch of stuck up parents? I’ve been reading posts here and it seems a lot of schools have thier bunch but they don’t control the school nor should they be a deciding factor in your child’s education. Wherever you go there will be nice people and not so nice people. Last I checked Hawthorne’s middle school tests scores were above Skinner’s but that isn’t really the true test of a school. Have you toured both schools? I can only advise you to go with your gut feeling. BTW my kids have been in 7 schools between them all and each school had their fair share of wonderful parents as well as ones you would rather not interact with. But each school brought something to the table in educating my child. I don’t know Skinner’s percentage of kids who get into SEHS, but I know Hawthorne has a large number of them going to the top 5 SEHS, among other great programs, many of them with perfect scores.

  • 1189. Stressed by CPS  |  March 28, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    ADDING to #1184: you may want to also consider class size between the 2 schools and extra curricular activities. I don’t know much about Skinner but I did hear they have a great principal. But I know the same is true for Hawthorne. Hard decision but lots of things to weigh. Good luck!

  • 1190. TwinMom  |  March 28, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    1188: I don’t think Skinner North has any middle school test scores yet (the highest grade right now is 3rd or 4th), so what scores are you referring to? I’m not even sure I’ve seen scores from the first class of 3rd graders yet —

  • 1191. IB&RGC Mom  |  March 28, 2011 at 11:24 pm

    Great questions Stressed.

    @1184 I just want to add one thing. Something to think about is if you have any other kids (or are planning to) that will be school age before your daughter graduates. If you enroll your daughter at Hawthorne, any siblings are almost guaranteed a spot. If you stick with Skinner I am assuming you will have to be lucky enough to have your child test in, be in the right tier, or who knows what the criteria will be at that time to be able to get your other children into the same school. Often that doesn’t happen. I am speaking from experience because I have a two children in 2 different schools because the second did not test into the school her older sister attends. Of course we are just happy to have or kids in 2 good CPS schools, the logistics can be difficult.

    Some friends of our family have daughters at Hawthorne and they are extremely smart. I had heard from my mom one time about what they were learning and was amazed as they are the same age as my daughters. I do not know much about Skinner, but it sounds like a good dilemma to have!

    Either way, a spot will open up at one of these schools that will make someone on a waiting list very happy. Good luck.

  • 1192. Peirce Mom  |  March 28, 2011 at 11:29 pm

    My daughter is in K at Peirce and we have been very happy there. Aftercare is through the Lakeview Y program and they come into the school–pick up by 5:45 pm. Sadly, there is no before care and that is not likely to change (other than if you opt for the breakfast which begins at 8:15 am). My husband who does most of the drop offs in the am made a point of getting to know some of the other parents and occasionally will leave our daughter in the care of another parent if he has to get to work earlier. In the colder months, kids are allowed in the bldg by 8:40 and that has helped.

    The school does not feel big or overwhelming…likely due to the layout of the bldg. There are 5 kindergarten classes this year (one of which is an ESL class) and the 5th class was added on the 21st day of school so that class size is now 26. There are currently three 1st grade classes, but the principal indicated that a 4th will almost surely be added.; not sure about a 5th. It will likely depend on the numbers (if kids leave for RCG or SEES).

    We did test for RCG this year, but were not accepted.. and had already decided that we would decline regardless. We are thrilled with our “neighborhood gem” and the IB program has sealed the deal for us. No more testing for us…well, not until HS anyway!

    The parent community has been fabulous and it is exciting to have gotten in at the ground level to something that looks destined to take off and become an even greater school.

    Good luck to everyone!

  • 1193. Peirce Mom  |  March 28, 2011 at 11:31 pm

    Sorry, I should clarify that the aftercare program is on site and that you pick up your child from Peirce by 5:45 pm

  • 1194. Stressed by CPS  |  March 29, 2011 at 7:09 am

    #1190-sorry i just saw “skinner” on the list of scores not really thinking there was a north and west but then again i’m not sure if they group both locations together or not. i apologize for not being more knowledgable about that part.

  • 1195. Hawthorne mom  |  March 29, 2011 at 7:30 am

    1184, We, too, had offers at SN and Hawthorne. Obviously, we ended up at Hawthorne and we do really love it, but I kind of think you have two excellent choices. We chose Hawthorne because it was closer to us (not by much), which meant we qualified for bussing which we needed. We also felt it was important for our family not to send our kids to two different schools. (and knew our younger child was not going to test in to SN the following year). And we liked the feel of the school a lot. Still, whether you can change your choice now or not I don’t know, I’ll bet you will end up loving SN. I have a few friends there and they are very, very happy. Kind of a win-win for you. Congrats!

  • 1196. CA  |  March 29, 2011 at 9:00 am

    #1160 Last year my son was offered a spot at Pritzker (by phone) a week or two after the letters went out. We didn’t apply there (and didn’t take the spot), but it shows they did pull from all kids with high enough scores. I’d call OAE.

  • 1197. hawthorne question?  |  March 29, 2011 at 9:19 am

    Does Hawthorne offer an after school program? On the school website, it looks like they offer several activities throughout the year, but I didn’t see a formal after school program. Also, I am a firm believer that kids need plenty of recess and PE class (all work and no play…). Any insight on after school, recess, and gym time at Hawthorne would be very helpful. Thanks!

  • 1198. Gifted at Disney  |  March 29, 2011 at 9:25 am

    My son did not test into any of the selective enrollment schools, but we were offered a spot at Disney magnet for K. It was not really on our radar. I talked to a couple of parents who have kids in gifted classes at Disney, and they have nothing but good things to say about the school. We are taking a tour tomorrow and really hoping that we like it. Any parents with kids at Disney with thoughts on the school?

  • 1199. Hawthorne mom  |  March 29, 2011 at 9:42 am

    Hawthorne offers a ton of after school classes, but no formal before or after school program. There is a church, just kitty corner to the school that provides before and after care though. While housed in a church, it is not a religious program. The providers will walk the kids to and from school.
    Kids, at least in the younger grades, get recess. I believe it works out to only be about 10-15 minutes a day. Better than nothing, but still too short. I am hopeful that this will change via the legislature and the move to require ALL Illinois schools to provide recess. Also, given that the new teacher’s contract that is coming up next spring, there is a lot of talk about a longer school day and I would hope that would help. PE is once a week, though I think Kindergarten might have it twice. Kids also have a total of 6-7 “specials” each week….that includes art, gym, music, technology, and library. Upper grades used to have a foreign language, but that was lost in budget cuts last year. The PTA supplied about 150K to pay for staff salaries, so much less was cut than the money we actually lost, and the kindergarten parents helped make up the difference so we could have full time aides. But budget cuts are expected again. I believe CPS is 700 million in debt, so I would expect every school will have more staff loss this year.
    Hope that helps.

  • 1200. hawthorne question?  |  March 29, 2011 at 9:55 am

    @1199 – Incredibly helpful! Great insight on Hawthorne.

  • 1201. abcde  |  March 29, 2011 at 10:45 am

    You won’t find any test scores for Skinner North until the fall as third grade is currently their highest class and those kids just took the ISAT. Scores are NOT combined with Skinner West.
    My son was at Skinner North in second grade last year. It is a great school (although homework was intense!) and we would have stayed had he not tested into the same RCG that his sister attends.

  • 1202. Pritzker after school care  |  March 29, 2011 at 10:54 am

    Would appreciate information on the quality of the JCC before and after school program at Pritzker.

  • 1203. Pritzker question  |  March 29, 2011 at 11:06 am

    My daughter (4th grade) was accepted to Pritzker and I would like to know what other parents have experienced with the school. I have not heard/read much about this school. Right know she is attending a not so good neighborhood school. I have another child that was not accepted and my son who will be attending pre-k at the neighborhood school. I am not sure if I should have them attending different schools or if I should try to apply next year. I guess my question is if Pritzker a very good school and great environment to make it worth the hassle of separating them and having them in different school schedules.

  • 1204. Pritzker after school care  |  March 29, 2011 at 11:12 am

    @1203 – gifted or magnet program at Pritzker?

  • 1205. Pritzker question  |  March 29, 2011 at 11:15 am

    @1204 – Gifted program.
    I did visit the school and it seems like a very good school with great programs but I would like an opinion from another parent.

  • 1206. @1201 abcde  |  March 29, 2011 at 11:50 am

    can you please elaborate more on the homework load at Skinner? Our daughter got accepted to their Kindergarten. I have no homework experience yet:-)

  • 1207. LuluBell  |  March 29, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    My children both go to Pritzker and love it. The fine arts program is a hidden gem, actually – a booming arts program in an artsy neighborhood. Parents have raised over 100,000 fro many sources to transform the school’s playground and renovate the science lab, and the playground rehab will begin this spring!

    Some parents who don’t know the school seem to look down their nose at it because it has a neighborhood magnet cluster school and a gifted program in ONE school – but this is one of its great strengths. Rich fine arts offerings, some exceptional teachers, and a great options program. We lucked into the fine arts program a couple years ago, and are happy we did. My children love it. We have many friends in the options program and they also have great things to say.

    In general, I find the attitude at Pritzker is “ask not what your school can do for you, ask what YOU can do for your school” and I like this. We are working to make a great school even better, and its happening!

  • 1208. cpsobsessed  |  March 29, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    First, lucky choice!
    I wouldn’t put too much weight on the PTA Mafia (as they’ve been called.) I think one of the main benefits of Hawthorne is a massive amount of parent power. Skinner will probably get there, but to me the differences (other than location/hours/after school care) are:

    Hawthorne is an established/well oiled machine. Can’t beat that.

    Skinner will let you be assured that your child is always working above grade level with lot of other kids who are the same.

    Depending on your situation, (you both work, etc) one might be a better fit than the other. If one parent doesn’t work and wants to be involved, Skinner could be a cool place to make a difference. If your child is really into learning and seems to need challenges, Skinner might make sense.

    Sounds like you can’t go wrong either way.

  • 1209. CPSConfused  |  March 29, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    My daughter (looking for 1st grade spot) scored 99/97 and didn’t get into one school. Wondering if it is because we live in Lincoln Park?

  • 1210. Alejandro  |  March 29, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    Hello obsessed parents and kids!
    If any of you guys are a bit anxious of finding out your kids grades a week early you can go to Then click the student section. Go down the list until you find the check my grades. Then click that and you will be taken to a page click the link and then type in your username and password (First Class Username and Password).

  • 1211. Pleasantly surprised  |  March 29, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    Thank you all for your great input on Skinner vs Harwhorne. I will be attending both open houses tomorrow and Thursday and hopefully I will make my decision. I am now better informed as to what to ask during the open houses. Thanks!

  • 1212. Looking at my options  |  March 29, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    Does anyone know anything about Brickton Montessori? My daughter scored in the 98th percentile and did not get in anywhere!

  • 1213. Relieved  |  March 29, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    Just attended Lenart open house, as my daughter was accepted into Lenart for K. Was concerned after reading many of the Lenart posts, but I am now confident that she will do very well there. I recommend like everyone else has recommended visit the school before making your decision on April 1st. We are accepting.

  • 1214. @1212  |  March 29, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    my friends two daughters attend Brickton, they are 8 and 6. They are very well rounded girls. I have not hear her complain about anything yet.

  • 1215. abcde  |  March 29, 2011 at 7:49 pm

    @1206: You had asked about the homework load at Skinner North:

    They would get a homework package on Monday that was due on Friday. Homework took about 2 hours every night (for 2nd grade) and you usually had to work on a project over the weekend. The projects were very time-consuming and required a lot of parental involvement. I know many parents complained about that. Maybe things have changed a little now. Also, I do not know what Kindergarten is like.

  • 1216. cpsobsessed  |  March 29, 2011 at 8:08 pm

    @1210: Thanks Alejandro. What did you think of Kenwood?

  • 1217. @abcde  |  March 29, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    wow! 2 hrs every day and a project every weekend? Principals at Decatour and Edison did tell us, that homework is intense. So I guess Skinner is about the same?

    SN parents, are your kids able to have any free time or take any other classes, music, sport etc?

    Can anyone share how much homework in the Kindergarten?

  • 1218. Another Rogers Park mom!  |  March 29, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    In a word: no!!! My son is still doing homework and it’s 9:15!!! He is 9!!! We have yet to be able to do non-weekend sports etc, with his Decatur schedule! In K there was time, but full day K in itself was exhausting fir a 5yro! I know lots of parents still do afterschool stuff (outside of school based programs), but my kid is not ‘pushed’ and wants to go home after some afterschool playground play!

  • 1219. Alejandro  |  March 29, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    @cpsobsessed i am going to go visit kenwood 2morrow i will keep you posted.

  • 1220. macK  |  March 30, 2011 at 9:41 am

    @1217: My DD is in first grade at Skinner N. She does not spend 2 hours a night on homework. Nor do any of the older kids we know.

    The amount of homework varies each week, but my guess is DD spends about 30 to 45 minutes a night on it. It is usually done well in advance of turn in on Friday–most of the time she is done by Wednesday.

    There are quarterly projects and monthly book reports. We try to get a little done each weekend or on days off from school. The book report takes about 1.5 hours for her to complete. The projects can be quite intense–but are manageable if you work on it a bit each week.

    My DD goes to after care (which is good for getting homework done) and takes music lessons on school nights. We have a full schedule of outside activities on the weekend. I know kids at Skinner N who do other activities on school nights.

    DD has a friend who goes to Decatur and seems to have the same amount of homework/projects. Different emphasis, but about the same amount of time commitment.

    It is a bit overwhelming at first, but most families get the hang of it over time. However, if you don’t want to do homework or projects, Skinner N is definitely not the place for you.

  • 1221. @macK  |  March 30, 2011 at 11:00 am

    thanks for sharing your experience!!! Your post made me feel very optimistic 🙂 So far our girl loves doing homework, the little that her preschool gives her or just what we give her on our own. She would rather do homework, then go to sleep:-) I was just fearing that 2 hours or so a day in the K might really be overwhelming.
    I’m so much looking forward to the open house at Skinner in a couple of hours!

  • 1222. two cents  |  March 30, 2011 at 11:06 am

    The homework a RGC can be unbelievable (in excess of 2 hours). IF we studied all of the vocabulary words, language, spelling words…. Thankfully, so far, DS continues to get A’s and B’s without studying that stuff. Projects, you can’t avoid. Some of the parents are a bit OCD, and study every bit of info that comes home and don’t believe their child can absorb it in the class or already know it. We slack for now, so that so can participate in sports and other activities. Also so parents are not ‘o