2nd round Elem and High School Principal Discretion Updates

April 6, 2011 at 10:09 am 235 comments

I just got an email from OAE (I highly recommend their Contact Us page) that says that notification dates will be:

Lane Tech – Mailed week of April 11

2nd round SEES Prek – 3rd grade  – Mailed week of April 15th

2nd round SEES grades 4-7 – Mailed week of April 22

(Does this refer to current grade?  They don’t list 8th grade and I’m wondering when Alejandro will find out about Taft 2nd round for enterting 8th grade.)

Does anyone know when the PD letters mail?

Feel free to post info, news, and questions here.

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235 Comments Add your own

  • 1. 6th grade mom  |  April 6, 2011 at 10:35 am

    I’ll comment first.

    Yes, the grade levels they are referring to are the current grades so that’s why they don’t list 8th for the elementary programs (since those kids can’t apply to those programs).

    The magnet/open enrollment program second round has already started but no luck here so far for my littlest one who is applying for K. I thought I had good wait list #’s for a few neighborhood schools but called today and two weren’t sure they’d take ANY out of neighborhood kids. So, sort of panicked that he won’t have any options other than our neighborhood school, Haugan. My little dude totally bombed the SEES tests so we do not have to hold our breath there.

    I also wanted to comment that being in tier 2 for the lottery based schools has been no great shakes for us compared to three years ago when my kids were considered white as opposed to minority. We do have a low waitlist # for Hawthorne, a popular, affluent school, (but that doesn’t help us if we don’t get in) but for Disney, which is much more economically diverse, our waitlist # is really high. My other kids got into Disney easily. This year we got in nowhere for my youngest. I always thought, under the old system, that my kids could have gotten in to these school more easily if we were a different color but now believe that is not the case.

  • 2. northwest side mom  |  April 6, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    6th grade mom – does that mean that your older kids are no longer at Disney? If so, can I ask why you moved them? (we are on the waitlist and hoping to get a spot for 1st grade)

    If you are still at Disney then your K child should have gotten in automatically with the sibling preference, no? If not, OH NO because I thought that was pretty much set now…

  • 3. 6th grade mom  |  April 6, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    To clarify, my older kids got into Disney but didn’t end up going there. If they were there then sibling preference would apply.

  • 4. Curious  |  April 6, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    All PD notification letters go out in 04-15-11. Good luck to all.

  • 5. Charter School Question  |  April 7, 2011 at 7:41 am

    Does anyone know if you accept a slot at a charter school (in this case, the Chicago Virtual Charter School) for next fall, does that have any impact on your current school situation or impact the waiting lists for Magnets/SEES schools?

    Trying to have Plan B in place without jeopardizing Plan A.

  • 6. NMAMom  |  April 7, 2011 at 8:44 am

    Are you a current family at CVCS? If so, wait until the end of the month to re-register. Based on the posted dates, you should have a better sense by the end of the month. If you are not a current CVCS family, then I don’t think you are set in stone, the lottery isn’t until May.

  • 7. Ellis  |  April 7, 2011 at 8:49 am

    The Trouble with ‘Innovation’ in Schools

    Good read…

  • 8. Charter School Question  |  April 7, 2011 at 9:03 am

    @NMAMom — we are not a current CVCS family…I was just wondering if the 2 programs would cancel one another out. Are the connected in any way? Are you a current CVCS family? If so, are you pleased with it?

  • 9. Another Rogers Park Mom!  |  April 7, 2011 at 10:42 am

    Wait, I thought the CVCS was a homeschooling tool, not an actual brick and mortar school? Why did I think that? Am I insane, lol?

  • 10. Another Rogers Park Mom!  |  April 7, 2011 at 10:47 am

    Okay, I see now there is a weekly attendance thing. Where do the kids go downtown? Is there really limited spaces, considering the kids are mostly taught at home? TIA, sorry to be so out of the loop on that one; I’d not be a very good homeschooler, lol… so never looked into it beyond the title and my assumptions!

  • 11. cpsobsessed  |  April 7, 2011 at 10:47 am

    Wow, I’m pleading ignorance too. I swear, you need a PhD in CPS to navigate this process.

    I had no idea about Chicago Virtual Charter School.

    Truthfully, I still don’t! Is it a home school curriculum?

    @6NMAMom: The beauty of charter schools is that their lists operate separately from the rest of CPS, so you can go ahead and accept gifted/classical/magnet/neighborhood schools and still be on the charter lists.

  • 12. cpsobsessed  |  April 7, 2011 at 10:51 am

    Interesting. It’s cool that Chicago offers CVSC, but odd I swear they never use the words “home-schooling” on the site, nor can I determine WHERE the kids meet once a week for their socialization.

  • 13. cpsobsessed  |  April 7, 2011 at 10:52 am

    @7 Ellis: I read the article on the train. It was interesting. What did you think? I don’t know if I fully agreed with some of the thoughts on innovation. Are charter schools really considered innovative? I don’t know…. Definitely interesting points given the new Quest school, charters, etc. Thanks for the link.

  • 14. Charter School Question  |  April 7, 2011 at 11:04 am

    It is mostly a ‘virtual’ school but the kids do go in once a week for 3 hours. They have a teacher and a “class” so there is that aspect that is similar. They meet at the Merit School of Music in the West Loop area. I hadn’t ever heard of it either, but some friends have kids in the program and told me about it. The computer, textbooks and class materials are provided. Since it is a “public” option, they have funding for those things just like a regular school.

    Right now, they are allowing people to apply. They can only accept 599 students in the K-8 program so if they have more than that apply, they will conduct a lottery. It is considered a Charter school so won’t have an impact on any CPS application and/or waiting list (I called this morning). I put in an application…not my first choice but is definitely a good backup option if none of our other choices pan out.

    Hope that helps!

  • 15. HSObsessed  |  April 7, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    @7 re: linked column —

    He covers a lot in there, but he does touch on one of my pet peeves: That arts and other initiatives for children are only considered valuable because they help increase math and language test scores. It comes up most often when someone advocating funding for school music programs emphasizes that music training improves spatial abilities and overall math skills. That’s fine to mention if it helps improve chances of keeping music in the schools, but why can’t we talk about how music is just inherently joyful and valuable in life? And this same argument can be made about visual arts classes (like the video class he mentions in his column) as well as recess and physical ed.

    Not to go off on a tangent.

  • 16. HSObsessed  |  April 7, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    @12 – I think they don’t use the word “home schooling” because that bring connotations of a parent serving as the teacher, and teaching the child lessons from written materials, in a traditional way. It looks like the CVCS student has all lessons taught via interactive modules, like the sample ones they provide (very cool and fun, I thought). A parent/guardian would probably still be needed to make sure the kid is “on track” in completing the modules and attending the weekly get-together, though.

  • 17. nmamom  |  April 7, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    @ Charter School Question. Yes, I am a parent.

    There has been a lot of discussion since I have last been on. This is just a little about CVCS. The CVCS curriculum is excellent. A very big difference is the role of the parent, who is the student’s Learning Coach. Students attend at least one day a week at Merit (the location of CVCS’ Learning Center) for their brick and mortar traditional class – – sometimes more, depending on special services and tutoring. The students also attend at least one webcast type class (these class sessions vary depending on the academic need). The students all sign on virtually from various locations and meet the teacher for the webcast class. The kids use microphones and other electronic tools to communicate/interact. CVCS students study one-on-one with the learning coach, in traditional brick/mortar class, and webcast/virtual class every week – – attendance is required for all the sessions. These various components are connected/tracked to the student’s core studies/progression. In this day and age of technology, the various methods of CVCS work well together. It is not for everyone and in no way does it replace traditional school. It is just an out of the box option for families.

  • 18. 3rd round in the mail  |  April 7, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    SE letter arrived today to westinghouse. That was our 6th choice.

  • 19. Charter School Question  |  April 7, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    Thanks for your insight, nmamom. How long have you had kids at CVCS? What grades?

  • 20. Christine  |  April 7, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    Sounds like Chicago Virtual Charter School needs its own post!

  • 21. wandrerr  |  April 7, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    Re: 2nd round SEES letters for Elem
    Question – does everyone who hasn’t been selected so far get a 2nd round letter from OAE or do only people who get selected get a letter?

  • 22. NW side mom  |  April 7, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    @21–I emailed OAE this afternoon with the very same question, here is their answer: You will only receive a letter in a subsequent selection round if your child is receiving an offer.

  • 23. Jennifer  |  April 7, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    I saw some info on CVCS too, but kind of dismissed it as being simply homeschool, which it sounds like it isn’t. I’m interested to know if they have any provision for advanced students. Perhaps I should give them a call.

  • 24. ChrisinRP  |  April 8, 2011 at 12:16 am

    My daughter just got into Newberry today 2nd round (we had 7 on the wait list) and I accepted, and from what I’ve seen so far it seems like a really good place. Any feedback? We are 9 on Hawthorne’s waitlist, and it is slightly easier as far as time spent getting there, but I keep hearing things that give me the impression that the culture there is more geared towards the upper crusty set. If Hawthorne calls do you think I should jump? Is Newberry as good as it seems? Anyone?

  • 25. wandrerr  |  April 8, 2011 at 5:24 am

    @22 Thanks so much. So for rounds 3 and 4, it would be another letter? I’m asking because we have a vacation coming up and don’t want to miss a potential letter. I’m hoping they send an email or call as well.

  • 26. Christine  |  April 8, 2011 at 7:50 am

    @cpsobsessed and by the way, I am totally using that for my classes now! “PhD in CPS!”

  • 27. SDS03  |  April 8, 2011 at 9:46 am

    @ChrisinRP we are in at Newberry as well, we got offerred with the first letters and basically accepted the next day. Went on a tour and was definitely impressed. Parents seem very involved and active. The location and hours are less than ideal for us. I don’t love that there is little in the way of foreign language/arts. We just got the call from LaSalle yesterday so now we have to make a decision.

    FYI, I have a friend who is #2 and #3 (twins) on the list at Hawthorne and she was NOT given encouraging news when she checked in earlier this week 😦

  • 28. cpsobsessed  |  April 8, 2011 at 9:51 am

    I know someone who got into Hawthorne for K (out of neighborhood, Tier 3) with a surprising number last year (maybe in the teens?) It’s unlikely, but you just never know how things will pan out. I’d bet that this year more people applied since the application was centralized. They might move down the list more than in the past if people who live far away got top spots. You just never know. A few years ago a friend was #4 on the Caucasian list and never got called (that’s back when they probably worked “off the list” in the summer) but each year really differs.

    Wow, Newberry and LasSalle… tough choice!

  • 29. SDS03  |  April 8, 2011 at 10:28 am

    @cps obsessed, I KNOW! I’m beyond thrilled and a little freaked out. DD didn’t do great on the gifted test, did great, but not awesome on the classical test, so no offers. But since I have a younger child, it may be a blessing after all.

    I was actually about to email you, we have ‘accepted’ our Newberry offer. But LaSalle told us we have to ‘accept’ their offer as well within 48hrs, and then come to the orientation and THEN decide if we want to register. My latest assumption is that since ‘acceptances’ are simply handwritten sheets of paper managed by individual schools, that there is no way for them to know who is accepted where. What you can’t do is be REGISTERED at more than one CPS school. Can you confirm this?

    Ironically, LaSalle’s first orientation is the same day as Newberry’s registration, April 28th. Gah!

  • 30. cpsobsessed  |  April 8, 2011 at 10:33 am

    @29: It’s my understanding that you could likely “accept” both and they wouldn’t know it but you can only register for one school. I can’t see how either school would know about the other one, so you *should* be safe.
    But…. with the centralized process this year, is it possible that once you accept, a school enters you into a central system somehow? I hate to say with 100% confidence that you can accept at both.
    Maybe ask the schools (non-chalantly) “if I accept, will you let CPS know for me?” and see if they act like they’ll be entering that info anywhere other than their own paper list…..
    I feel 99% sure you’ll be fine. CPS always throws curveballs though….

  • 31. SDS03  |  April 8, 2011 at 11:37 am

    @cpsobssesed, thanks, I’m totally with you on being 99% sure ;). LaSalle is actually who told us we could accept both, but since so much about this year is new, I’ve just been a little uneasy. I guess we’ll find out soon.

  • 32. ChrisinRP  |  April 8, 2011 at 11:51 am

    Thanks for the feedback sds03! I guess I won’t be holding my breath for Hawthorne, but I think Newberry might be a better fit for us anyway. Really looking forward to visiting the school and taking a good look. So nice to hear back on my first post, mostly I’ve just been lurking here but I’ll try and contribute to the conversation where I can.

  • 33. SDS03  |  April 8, 2011 at 11:55 am

    @ChrisinRP no problem, feel free to reach out to me directly if you have any specific questions about Newberry, I have a good friend with kids there and one of the current moms came to the tour and gave out her card. sdskinner03@gmail.com

  • 34. CVCS mom  |  April 8, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    I pulled my son out of a very popular north side magnet school b/c it was not academically rigorous enough for him. He’s in 2nd grade at CVCS. He loves the curriculum, is very challenged and did better on the options test this year than when he went to the magnet school. CVCS actually has a large number of kids in the lower grades who are very advances. My son is doing 3 rd grade math, but he has a friend doing 5 th grade math in 2nd grade. They will advance a student in LA and math as long as s/he scores high on the fall Scantron test and after teacher evaluation. My son was advanced to 3 rd grade math 48 hrs after i emailed the teacher about the issue. His 2nd grade teacher is so warm and responsive. Class sizes are small( 10-15). The curriculum material is amazing. And yes, they have Advance Learners classes from 3rd grade. My son if he stays will be placed in a class with a teacher who specializes in gifted kids. He got into RGC this year with a 15 point improvement over last year and will be attending the RGC he got into. He is sad to leave CVCS b/c he really liked everything about the school. He’ll be going to a brick and mortar school b/c he needs to improve his social skills.

  • 35. CVCS mom  |  April 8, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    Please excuse my
    grammatical errors!

  • 36. LR  |  April 9, 2011 at 3:13 am

    Our neighbors have 3 boys in the CVCS. I know they are happy with it and have been there for several years. Their oldest is now in 7th grade and I think they are kind of scratching their heads wondering what to do for high school. One thing I have noticed is that the mom and the extended family they live with put lots of effort into working with each of the boys. I think it is a good option, but I do think that as a parent you have to be willing to be very involved on a daily basis. I would consider it at least a part time job, maybe full time depending on how many kids you have.

  • 37. for what its worth  |  April 9, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    cps obsessed, I was trying to find on your site if anybody last year did get second round letters for Decatur, Edison or Coonley.
    But I couldn’t find any posts like that.Where should I look?

  • 38. Grace  |  April 10, 2011 at 10:13 am

    Interesting article on NYC school.

  • 39. CPSmama  |  April 13, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    Lane’s AC cutoff scores are up on OAE website. They are about 60 pts higher than Taft’s scores and about 25 pts below WY’s scores in each Tier & Rank. Here is the link:

    Click to access Lane%20Academic%20Center%20Cutoff%20Scores.pdf

  • 40. Pablo  |  April 13, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    Just got acceptance letter to Lane Tech AC program. I was on here recently bitchin’ and complainin’ about the unfair tier system [if we’d lived half block south or east we’d have gotten into WY] and now I feel a little unsettled. What to do? It’s a little unnerving to know that if you leave the school you are at and things don’t work out at Lane you probably can’t go back.

  • 41. Stressed by CPS  |  April 13, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    #40 Pablo, I don’t rememeber what school you would be leaving. Is it a magnet or SEES?

  • 42. Pablo  |  April 14, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    @41 – It’s a neighborhood school. We decided to go for it. My youngster is ready for the challenge and things are kinda going downhill at the school she’s at now, especially for the upper grades.

  • 43. Rogers Park Mama!  |  April 14, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    Congrats Pablo!!! Good luck @ Lane!

  • 44. momorama  |  April 15, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    37. for what its worth
    Yesterday students in Bell’s gifted program were asked to fill out a paper stating whether or not they were returning so I’d guess they will have an idea soon if there are any open spots for new students.

  • 45. Stressed by CPS  |  April 16, 2011 at 10:32 am

    Congrats to your daughter, Pablo! I have a high schooler at Lane and honestly LOVE it there and I hope the AC will be as successful.

  • 46. momof3boys  |  April 16, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    My son got into Lane via PD!! yay! I honestly did not think he would have a chance so I registered him at Lincoln Park HH. So now I guess I will have to unregister him Monday. I am somewhat sad because I really like Lincoln Park HS…

    His original scores were 658, Tier 2. Bombed the SE test 😦

  • 47. cpsobsessed  |  April 16, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    @46: Momof3boys, ok on behalf of all of us, I have to ask….. what was your angle in the PD letter? Was it basically all about high performance except the SE test? Or did you have other factors (sports, talent, hardship, etc.) I think we’re all dying to know what makes a principal take notice. (if you don’t mind sharing…)

  • 48. cpsobsessed  |  April 16, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    @Pablo, congrats for you daughter! Be sure to let us know how it goes…

  • 49. momof3boys  |  April 16, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    i dont really know how he got picked because what he wrote about sort of deviated from the topic academically. he only wrote about a page. he wrote about overcoming a hardship (his birth), his somewhat athletic talent, and the fact that he is a good student. also, there was a miscalculation with his grades because it wasnt corrected in the system. but that would have only given him 25 points. so who knows… he has an older sibling at lane but i dont think that has much weight cuz im sure there were many with siblings who didnt get in…

  • 50. momof3boys  |  April 17, 2011 at 9:29 am

    here is the essay… i obviously took out some parts….

    Please consider me….., as a candidate for admissions. Although my ISAT scores and SE exam results may not be strong, I am more than capable of doing the work at Lane Tech. Please consider my application of Principal Discretion based on the following: Ability to overcome hardship, Unique Skills, and Extenuating Circumstances.
    Ability to Over Come Hardship
    I was born 11 weeks premature. I spent 12 weeks in the NICU. During my first weeks of life, I was on an oscillating oxygen machine. I had undergone many procedures to help me. I was a fighter and even though there was a point where the doctors thought I only had a 20% chance of making it, I pulled through and survived. Such perseverance indicated at an early age that I am a survivor and a fighter.
    In third grade, I was diagnosed with ADHD. I struggled with focusing and school work. … The point of this is that even though I have struggled with ADHD, I am a really hard working student who puts all my efforts into my studies. While I am not a stellar test taker, I am the type of student who will work diligently and thoroughly. I am not only the Class of 2015, but in actuality the class of 2019. That is the year that I am striving for and I believe that Lane Tech will be able to provide me with the skills, knowledge to be successful and graduate with a degree in 2019….

    Unique Skills: Swimming
    Although I have been accepted at a number of schools for their Honors/Double Honors/IB programs, I would really like to attend Lane Tech. My brother is currently a sophomore at Lane Tech. He is member of the Varsity Swim Team and recently broke a Lane Tech Swimming Record this year. I am also a swimmer and would like to continue the tradition and swim for Lane Tech. I want to be part of that tradition and I know that Lane Tech will allow me to pursue swimming and academics at the same time…

    Extenuating Circumstances:
    The grades that were used to determine my score for my overall 7th grade core were wrong. The principal sent in the paperwork that was approved to change the grade. As it stands right now, the grades that were used to calculate are Reading (A), Math (C), Science (B), and Social Science (B). However, the correct grades should be Reading (A), Math (B), Science (B), and Social Science (B). That would make the total points to 250, not the 225 that was used. My ISAT points were 230 and the SE test points were 209. The total score should have been 689.

    In summary I believe that I the kind of student who would succeed at Lane Tech. I am studious, conscientious, and ambitious. I believe that my work in 7th and 8th grades is an indication that I have the ability to excel at Lane Tech. Even though I have had medical problems early on in life and the ADHD that arose from it, I am still able to maintain excellent grades.
    Please consider my application for admission based on my merit and not solely on my test scores. While my total score seems low, I believe that I am more than capable of succeeding at Lane Tech. My Explore Test Composite is a… I have made progress throughout elementary school, even more significant in 7th and 8th grades. Attached are my test scores, ISAT and EXPLORE, and my 7th grade grades and 8th grade grades. Also, included are letters of recommendation from my 8th grade teachers and coaches, as well as, awards and certificates for your review.

  • 51. cps Mom  |  April 17, 2011 at 10:21 am

    This is a wonderful story. So glad that your son took the initiative to pull it all together and apply. Especially happy for your success. I’ve read of others throwing their hands in the air because they have no political connections. My understanding is that Lane has an excellent IEP program so this looks good.

    Thank you for sharing your personal experience. I hope this helps others.

  • 52. Lane Alumni  |  April 17, 2011 at 10:35 am

    I truely believe that all SEHS should have a Sibling Rule. Local & Charter High Schools have the sibling rule. Why have 2 siblings at 2 different schools. This rule would benefit all families,that are faced with a difficult decision when one kid doesnt get accepted. My other point is,do principal’s REALLY read all the PD letters? Or do they have someone else do the evaluation for them? Honestly,I find it hard to believe that Lane’s Principal Ms.LoBosco would have time on her schedule to read 700 plus PD letters. When she has a school with 4,000 plus students and staff to manage. Let’s not forget the process with the Lane AC, that she was dealing with at the time of the PD process. I hope CPS considers adding the sibling rule to the SEHS process SOON, so that it would benefit all families with multiple children that want to go to the same high school.

  • 53. cps Mom  |  April 17, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    They go through every application. The assistant principal would also help with this. I’m guessing that some may be weeded out simply by not following instructions etc. This is the only discretion available now and the school wants to take full advantage.

  • 54. momof3byos  |  April 17, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    @cps mom. thanks. we have no politcal connections either and know no one. i basically accepted the fact that my ds was going to LPHS. I also had a talk with him about it. We were in damage control mode and i wanted to make sure the my ds was on the same page. he was actually getting excited about going to LP and chose his courses…

    it was hard to console a friend whose child didnt not get in through the PD process. i didnt really know what to say because i didnt do anything more than she did. infact we submitted way less- only the app, 3 letters of recomendations, 1 8.5X11 page of picures of awards, a few certificates. she submitted about and 1inch worth of materials and wanted to know what she did wrong. i have no idea. oh well…

  • 55. IB&RGC Mom  |  April 17, 2011 at 11:52 pm

    momof3boys – Congrats and thank you for sharing the essay with everyone. I have a 6th grader so I have been thinking a lot about high school and will remember this if it comes down to high school discretion. I am happy your son had a couple of good options at the end of it all! You should be happy with his success.

  • 56. Waiting  |  April 18, 2011 at 10:09 am

    Just spoke to OAE and second round offers for Kindergarten went out on Friday – looks like they will hit the mail today. YIKES – second round drama here we come.

  • 57. Jennifer  |  April 18, 2011 at 10:36 am

    Mom of 3 I liked your son’s letter, I thought he did a good job of getting to the point and showed that he wants to go far. I would be proud to read that if my daughter had written it.

    Re: siblings, perhaps they need to put siblings at the top of the tier lists, but I don’t know if it’s right to automatically give them admission if their scores don’t merit it. I’m lucky though in that my kids won’t ever be in the same school so obviously I’m not in the same circumstance as many. It’s hard to say if I would feel the same if I were!

    Really crossing my fingers for a letter today. OAE told me there aren’t any 2nd grade spots available at Bell as of now so we’re down to Pritzker or Edison.

  • 58. waitingmom  |  April 18, 2011 at 11:20 am

    Do PD picks for SEHS have to be done by tier or does the principal have the choice to pick whoever she wants from whatever tier? I am very confused about how the picks are being done. I know PD applicants who had high scores and great letters and got declined, all in tier 4 for Lane.

  • 59. abcde  |  April 18, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    My son got into Poe Classical for 1st grade(Reading 96%, Math 97%) and I’m thrilled! So, in the fall we’ll have 2 at Keller, 1 at Poe and 2 at Sutherland.
    Good luck to everyone who’s still waiting to hear from OAE or magnet schools.

  • 60. Jennifer  |  April 18, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    Congrats abcde!

  • 61. harderthanithought  |  April 18, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    Hi, all…

    My son’s scores were 94% math, 99% reading, and 139 for the gifted test for Kindergarden. He didn’t get into any selective enrollment schools, even on this second pass.

    Sigh. Can anyone offer me any notes of encouragement or illumination via past experiences? Try as I may, I just can’t get behind my neighborhood school. Yet, this is our only option.

    The whole thing is making me a little crazy. I’d love some perspective.

    – HTIT

  • 62. Response to htit  |  April 18, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    HTIT, what schools did you apply to? I heard rumors that those scores got kids into some of the sees, but not the top ones last year. I’m hoping for a second round myself with similar scores….. I applied to all the schools in the city, but am tier 4.

  • 63. harderthanithought  |  April 18, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    Thanks so much for writing. Can you let me know how you know what tier you are in? Oh! This is too much for Kindergarden!

    We applied to:


  • 64. Response to htit  |  April 18, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    The tier calculator tools are on the Cps oae website. Good luck! It might be a long summer. Don’t give up on the magnet schools. There are some great ones with “gifted” kids, and it seems the waitlists are moving. In some ways they might be better than certain gifted schools. Your neighborhood school may surprise you too!

  • 65. harderthanithought  |  April 18, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    At the risk of looking dim (clearly, the gifted part is not coming from me), I only see a calculator for census track and for high school. Is there one for Elementary? Thank you, thank you!

  • 66. New Keller Mom  |  April 18, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    @abcde. What grades will your Keller kids be in in the fall?

  • 67. TwinMom  |  April 18, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    @harderthanIthought: if you look over to the side of this webpage, there is a list of links under “blogroll” and one of them is “tier calculator.” That will take you to the OAE website. The first step of calculating your tier is to figure out your census tract…but then that page explains how to get from there to tier.

  • 68. momof3boys  |  April 18, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    @ IB&RGC Mom & Jennifer- thanks. my ds is a great writer(terrible in math) i did shed a tear while reading it. i was worried that it seemed to short but it was to the point so i didnt even try to have him amend and more content.
    @ waitingmom- i thought that the tiers and scores didnt matter in the pd process

  • 69. Waiting  |  April 18, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    @ harderthanithought – I know several students that got calls in August for the RGC that my son attends. Don’t give up hope. There are still over four months until school…SMILE

  • 70. harderthanithought  |  April 18, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    I really thank you all for your wisdom and perspective!

  • 71. Pritzker gifted program  |  April 18, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    Today received letter offering a K spot
    Tier 4

  • 72. abcde  |  April 18, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    @66. New Keller Mom
    My daughter will be in L6 and my son in L4 in the fall.

  • 73. South Loop Bound  |  April 18, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    Tier 3, 141
    Accepted 2nd Round for South Loop

  • 74. Another Rogers Park Mama!  |  April 18, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    Offer for Coonley rgc tier 2, 139!!!!!! omg now what? Coonley or Peirce? So happy to have this choice!!!

  • 75. cpsobsessed  |  April 18, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    No way! Great news! Have you toured coonley?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 76. Jennifer  |  April 18, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    No second round offer for us. I guess we are staying in the burbs after all.

  • 77. Another Rogers Park Mama!  |  April 18, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    @ cpsobsessed, no!!! I must now, lol! Really excited, one @ Decartur and one @ Coonley is pretty awesome! I really loved Peirce though! Any Coonley info appreciated!!!

  • 78. cpsobsessed  |  April 18, 2011 at 10:47 pm

    @momof3boys: Thanks for sharing the letter. That’s very insightful. I agree that he did a very nice job. I think as a parent it would have been hard not to micromanage the writing, but I think letting him lay out the facts in his own words was the way to go.

    It really is hard to understand how the admin can weed through that many PD application. It seems insurmountable to read through them all.

    My understanding is that Tier doesn’t matter for PD, but I thought that test scores might factor in (child who just missed a cutoff but excels in other areas?) I suppose each principal may select students based on different priorities. Oh, to know the true inner workings…..

  • 79. momof3boys  |  April 19, 2011 at 7:02 am

    @cpsobsessed thanks! it was hard to pull back but it was a touching letter. i didnt actually think he knew all the facts of his first months of life, and i esp didnt think he was listening at this one open house we when to, which is where he got that whole 2019 bit…

    @Another Rogers Park Mama!, Pritzker gifted program & abcde: Congrats! How exciting! I know when we came home from the museum Sat and saw the 2 envelopes in the mailbox, my son was screaming outside like we had won the $300 milllion lottery(dropping down to his knees and all!)! wish i had the camera ready… lol…

  • 80. No news  |  April 19, 2011 at 8:50 am

    I’m now hoping for a round 3. To you lucky ones who received a round 2 k spot, when do you need to let CPS know by?

  • 81. WestSidePops  |  April 19, 2011 at 9:07 am

    Second round response due no later than April 26th at 5pm.

  • 82. RavenswoodMom  |  April 19, 2011 at 9:27 am

    My son got offered a 2nd round 1st grade spot at Beaubien RGC. Can anyone provide any insights on that program?

  • 83. another NW Mom  |  April 19, 2011 at 9:44 am

    Beaubien Options programs is excellent. My neighbor’s son goes there and they like the program. I’ve read here and on NPN the Options program is great. The big issue about Beaubien is no recess and the early start time as well as kids getting out at 1:45.

    I have also heard the principal is probably not the best. My neighbor didn’t know the principal for a a year and a half after his son started attending the school. He’s seen him in the school many times but I guess the principal doesn’t go out of his way to introduce himself to parents. A poster said she attended a tour of the school and the principal was standing in the hall and made not attempt to introduce himself to the parents on the tour. I have to say that would be an issue for me. That being said, I’ve heard the teachers in the Options program are wonderful.

  • 84. Sleepless's mom  |  April 19, 2011 at 10:47 am

    Accepted 2nd Round for Lenart. Finally we have school. Our waitlist # is too big to get any spot.
    We are so happy and worry. Both of us work in downtown. We live around 7 miles from school. We don’t have any other family lived around. Where do your kids go for after school program if both of you work? Any good after school program around south loop? How does the bus work? Can they drop your kids around south loop? It will be very helpful if you have any information about Lenart. Thanks,

  • 85. Art Mom  |  April 19, 2011 at 11:28 am

    Our son was offered a second round spot for Carnegie’s RGC. He scored 123 (if I recall correctly) and we’re Tier 4. Any opinions on the school, parent support and pricipal would be appreciated. This is the one school that we don’t know anyone attending so we’re looking for an insider’s scoop. Thanks in advance!

  • 86. Esmom  |  April 19, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    My friend lives in the Beaubien attendance area and is less than enthusiastic about the administration, which seems in line with the comments above about the principal. She says any questions she’s asked or concerns she’s raised have been dismissed. She ended up choosing private school for her two kids.

  • 87. confused  |  April 19, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    How does it work if you have accepted an offer at a gifted or classical program (by mailing the form that was sent with the letter offering spot back to OAE) and then receive an offer from a neighborhood school (from waitlist)? Does the neighborhood school communicate with the SEES, with “downtown”? Is it possible to say “yes” to both? Until what time?

  • 88. another NW Mom  |  April 19, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    You can accept the SEES offer and if a spot at a neighborhood school opens up then you can choose that spot. If you’ve already registered for SEES then you would have to unregister there and register at the neighborhood school. I think you can theoretically accept at both places until it comes time for registration and then you need to decide.

  • 89. Dear confused  |  April 19, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    To confused and others in similar good situations, please choose soon and let OAE and schools know so spots will free up for those of us who are still waiting. Thank you!

  • 90. @RavenswoodMom  |  April 19, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    I posted previously about Beaubien. We toured the school and unlike other schools we toured, the principal did not attend the presentation, he also did not acknowledge us (group of parents at the open house) when passing us in the hallway. From other parents of students I heard he schedules PTA meetings in the am. so not too many parents can attend. Last year the school called us to offer us a preschool spot, and gave us 4! hours to make our decision.

    Two kids from the Options program were our guides and when we asked them, how they like the program, one of them answered he does not like that when a new kid that never had Latin joins the class, they have to go back to the beginning of the books. Then, another poster here said, that was not the case for her son, who joined the class later. Go figure. Different classroom, different rules?

    Our easy going, social and curious niece attends the neighborhood program and does not like school.

    I suggest you tour the school, ask to meet the principal and have your questions ready.

  • 91. Principals  |  April 19, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    This is so frustrating to read about mediocre principals at these gifted schools. I’ve also been hearing some negative comments about pritzker’s. It’s like we get so worked up about getting our kids into these gifted schools, but then are left to wonder whether we should send them there due to bad administration. I’m thinking that a great neighborhood school with solid administrators and teachers may in some ways be better.

  • 92. northwest side mom  |  April 19, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    I agree – while we did not accepted for any gifted schools, we did accept our spot at Disney 1 for first grade and I am really concerned about all the negative comments I have heard about the principal there.

    A negative atmosphere and lack of support for teachers and parents is so damaging….the one thing I think will help this at Disney is the fact that there are floor directors for all grades and I think we will be dealing far more with them than with the principal herself if we do need to go beyond working with our teachers. Both floor directors I met were kind, seemed very caring and both returned phone calls and emails very quickly.

    I just hope I am right that we can get past what so many people seem to think about the principal! (I have not met her myself but she was not exactly warm at the Open House)

  • 93. Pritzker principal  |  April 19, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    @91 Principals –

    I’ve heard Dr. Albert-Reese (Pritzker principal) is an amazing person and principal, ready to take on “downtown” when needed.

    Maybe central office and other are demonizing her for her willingness to do that.

  • 94. LLA Mom  |  April 19, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    My son applied for PD at Jones. We still have not received a yay or nay. Wondering if I should call the OAE or Jones? Any suggestions?

  • 95. another NW Mom  |  April 19, 2011 at 4:55 pm


    I’ve only heard negative comments about the principal at Beaubien. I don’t think it was always this way. A few years ago Beaubien was ranked very well and I believe the principal was more on the ball. I had heard he was competing with Bell back then. I’m not sure what happened but year over year results have been declining.

    I still think it is an excellent school in particular if you’re child will be in the Options program. I also get the sense that the new mayor will not tolerate principals especially ones who have RGC’s in the school not performing.

  • 96. AMom  |  April 19, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    I would say that every principal could have negative comments and positive comments said about them. Not everyone is going to like everyone’s vision, method of communicating, their leadership style etc.

    Everyone needs to be aware of the mob mentality that can happen when parents talk 🙂

  • 97. accepted at an SEES can we still get rnd II RGC?  |  April 19, 2011 at 8:35 pm

    Pardon this question (because it’s possble it’s been asked 10 different ways thus far and I’m just too dense to interpret the answers!), but if we accepted a classical offer would we get a round II letter? If not (and if we really wanted to) what would we have to do…go back and turn down the original offer? Or is it like the other schools where you’re never taken off the waitlist?

  • 98. Beaubien  |  April 19, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    I agree with AMom, that every principal and also a teacher will be liked/loved by some and not so liked/loved by other parents. Yet, I’m still waiting for parents of Beaubien students to chime in, with their positive comments about the principal or the school itself.
    Once the positive comments start coming in, I will be the first one to take another long look at the school and enroll our daughter in, since we live block and half away from the school. I would like her to have that kind of childhood, walking to the neighborhood school and have neighborhood friends. Like my husband and his siblings had 40 years ago.

    Beaubien was rated no. 16 or 19 in 2006 by Chicago Magazine. Last year it was rated no. 47. I have lived in Jeff Park for 12 years. My husband has lived her for 40+ years. The demographics has changed very much. Large amount of non English speakers have bought/rented in the neighborhood. Parents of most of them are not involved with the school. Also many parents faked residency in the neighborhood and got their kids into the school. They are not involved, because they do not live in the neighborhood and perhaps don’t want it to become knows, because theoretically they would have to move their kids.

    The school itself has about 1000+ students. Out of that only about 270+ are the Options students. The gifted kids can’t make up for the ISAT scores of the kids in the neighborhood program.

    I would absolutely love to send my daughter to the school, but she will be bored to death learning about the letter A the first week of the Kindergarten. She reads the neighborhood press. Unfortunately from our niece’s experiences, the teachers do not differentiate and do not give the kids work according to their abilities.

  • 99. cpsobsessed  |  April 19, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    @97 Accepted: If you accepted a classical offer, you won’t receive any 2nd round offers. Once you accept, you’re out of the pool for gifted/classical.
    You could still get an offer for a magnet or neighborhood school that you applied to though.
    I don’t believe there’s any way to go back and un-accept (although it’s probably worth a call to OAE to find out….) But you’d have missed the 2nd round and would now have to go back on the list, assuming they let you do it. If you find out anything, let us know what they say.

  • 100. nothappy  |  April 20, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    We did not accept a seat from Beaubien because we too were very unimpressed with the principal. During the new student orientation just last month, he came across as condescending and for the most part, a bully. He did not seem to be open to new ideas. I can’t imagine the Options teachers would be too happy with him as their leader. We weren’t too pleased with the Options coordinator who also fails to communicate on follow up questions. She failed miserably in our book for follow up on critical issues that were important to our family. We decided against Beaubien because we weren’t convinced that we would have any sense of what was going on – certainly we wouldn’t have any info from the principal or the options coordinator. It was a negative and frustrating experience.

  • 101. Beaubien  |  April 21, 2011 at 11:13 am

    Our experience with the Options coordinator at Beaubien has been the same. She was very erratic and not to the point. Important questions did not get answered.

  • 102. Not a perfect system  |  April 21, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    We declined an options offer to Beaubien. We had a negative experience with the past options coordinator- who we had to report to CPS. We were offered many different option schools and she kept pressuring us to take Beaubien. We did not care for the Principal as well.
    We are happy we made this choice.

  • 103. Alejandro  |  April 21, 2011 at 11:54 pm

    Still waiting for that 2nd round letter to Taft………….

  • 104. Another Rogers Park Mama!!!  |  April 22, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    Alejandro, I am pretty sure that Round 2 HS/AC went out a while ago; perhaps Round 3? I wish you luck!

  • 105. Alejandro  |  April 22, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    @Another Rogers Park Mama!!! If you visit the cps office of academic enhancement website you will see that 2nd round AC letters are mailed the week of April 22

  • 106. Another Rogers Park Mama!!!  |  April 22, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    I apologize, I do not have a 7th grader; I mixed up the dates with PD letters! GOOD LUCK!!!

  • 107. Alejandro  |  April 22, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    It’s all good @106 and thank you I hope i get in

  • 108. BB round 2  |  April 23, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    For those who got a round 2 offer at Beaubien, what were your scores? Thanks in advance.

  • 109. preK vs 1stG  |  April 23, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    My child got a 2nd round offer for Beaubien. 1st Grade, Score 125, Tier4. fwiw we are not accepting.

  • 110. Alejandro  |  April 23, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    @cpsobsessed if I don’t get into Taft do you think I should appeal the appeal process is now open here is the link http://www.cpsoae.org/forms/appeal_form/index.jsp

  • 111. cpsobsessed  |  April 23, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    Alejandro, I’m not familiar with this process, but it sounds like its different than the high school principal discretion process.
    It sounds like you can appeal if you think something was handled unfairly or didn’t work right. If you think that, by all means appeal! If not, perhaps you could write a letter to the AC administrator? As we’ve told you, you’re a very motivated young guy and I think if a school knew your interest in their center, perhaps it might help your chances if a spot comes open (even later in the school year.) Not sure it will help, but it probably can’t hurt to let them know that you’re very interested and that you’d take the spot at any time.

    From OAE: The Magnet and Selective Enrollment appeal process gives parents the opportunity to appeal the outcome of applications to magnet schools, magnet cluster schools, open enrollment schools, selective enrollment high schools, and selective enrollment elementary schools, based on evidence that a process within the application system was not implemented according to CPS policy, or that a decision-maker failed to follow CPS policy.

  • 112. @Ravenswood Mom 2  |  April 24, 2011 at 7:00 am

    Hello. My son is in the Options program at Beaubien and loves it. I have had neutral experiences with the prinicipal but very positive ones with other parents, teachers, and the staff in general. I’ve found the teachers in the Options program to be intelligent, responsive, and dedicated. My son has friends in both Options and neighborhood program. We do not live in the neigborhood and both my husband and I work. We have not found it hard to be involved at the school. PTO meetings rotate Friday mornings and Monday evenings. LSC meetings happen monthly on Tuesday evenings.
    The biggest factor for us though is how happy our son is. The curriculum has been appropriate challenging for him with many opportunities to showcase creativity. He seems to be learning much from the social diversity of the school as well. We came from a much smaller private school with every amenity and had so many reservations about making the switch. I’m very glad we did!
    Good luck to you in making your decision.

  • 113. CityMom  |  April 24, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    I know I’m a bit late chiming in here, but we got an offer in the mail for Pritzker for 2nd grade. Not sure when it came as we were out of town for Spring Break, but we are going to accept. I’ll have to drive it downtown tomorrow as they are due in the OAE office by Tuesday.

    This was our 2nd choice, but we had already kind of decided that what we put as our first choice (Skinner West) was probably not a good fit after all so we are happy with this option. Still may go private, but we are both pleased with this option.

  • 114. Q for city mom  |  April 25, 2011 at 9:32 am

    CityMom – why not just fax it? You’re scaring me! Do I need to take our acceptance downtown??

  • 115. CityMom  |  April 25, 2011 at 10:30 am

    I didn’t see the fax option last night, but I did fax it this morning. I just remember the application forms could not be faxed so I assumed this was the same. I sent it this a.m. and will verify they have it by 5pm tomorrow. Not a great idea to send these things out over spring break!

  • 116. beaubien two  |  April 25, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    We have 2 kids in the options program at Beaubien, and while we LOVE the teachers (with the exception of a few) the principal is closed off to new ideas, and does not encourage/ welcome the involvement of parents. The school could/ should be a gem. It is a shame because some of the upper grade teachers (math and social studies in particular) are tremendous.

  • 117. Jennifer  |  April 26, 2011 at 9:23 am

    Citymom congrats! Can I ask what score your child had? We were also hoping for a 2nd grade Pritzker spot. I mailed in the registration forms for our current suburban school this morning as I’ve pretty much given up hope of a place by now.

  • 118. now what  |  April 26, 2011 at 10:36 am

    So, thought we had this decision all set, but just got a call from Lasalle II and have only 24 hours to decide. Anyone have opinion of Lasalle II or currently have children there?

  • 119. edb  |  April 26, 2011 at 11:22 am

    @now what – LaSalle II vs. what other choice? I’ve heard great things about the school, but what are we comparing against?

  • 120. Second round academic centers  |  April 26, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    Has anyone received anything yet? ? I know personally of at least one high scoring student choosing Lane over Whitney so I would think there would be some movement.

    If you do get a second round offer would you mind posting your tier and score.

  • 121. harderthanithought  |  April 26, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    I’m curious to hear if any incoming kindergarten parents are getting any phone calls from selective enrollment schools. I know the second round of letters went out. We’re now holding our breath for any other openings.

  • 122. dreamer  |  April 26, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    @121 I think I read that 2nd round offers weren’t due to be accepted until today so given it will take OAE a few days to process that, my guess is 3rd round (if there are any) won’t be until a few days from now.

  • 123. Second round academic centers  |  April 26, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    Well I talked to OAE today and actually received a lot of information about second round for academic centers.

    There was no second round for Whitney.

    The second round scores for Taft (and others) were apparently higher than the first round cut offs. I don’t know if this is because of the ability to re-rank or not.

    They said that offers were being given to fill particular slots that opened up. For instance, there were 6 tier 4 offers at Taft.

    So its looking as if my kid who would have been initially accepted Round 1, if we had included all of the AC’s, still has no offers.

  • 124. NWS parent  |  April 27, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    Anyone on here from ChiArts? Chicago High School for the Performing Arts?

  • 125. Jonesing  |  April 27, 2011 at 2:38 pm


    Jones is expelling students for drug violations. So, I’m wondering if these are permanent expulsions from Jones and if so, does that open a seat? If so, how can a student apply to take that seat? Anyone know?

  • 126. KIKI  |  April 27, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    This just goes to show,dont think less about the SE high school in your area. Parents getting all crazy about getting their kids in the top ones and their having just as many problems. Like I said before, It’s all in what your child decides to do with their education no matter what school they attend.

  • 127. newNewberry Mom  |  April 27, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    My daughter was offered a kindergarten slot at Newberry about 2 weeks ago (we were number 6 on the wait list). We visited the school, talked with some parents and left with a really good impression. After much discussion (distance not convenient and research on the Everyday Math curriculum) we decided to accept. We were also disappointed about their limited arts and language core curriculum but we are happy to know that they offer after schools programs in Spanish and arts. We’ll be at the registration session tomorrow afternoon. It would be great to meet fellow incoming Newberry parents.

  • 128. wow  |  April 27, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    125: I love your opportunistic outlook. Honestly, you’re smart to think that these expulsions may open up a couple seats.
    126: Yes, all SEHSs have problems: drugs, drinking, cheating. With that said, these are teenagers who are navigating their worlds and like it or not, these issues are part of growing up. I don’t think anyone would claim that SEHS are bastions of goody-goody kids. But I would stress that these schools are much safer and not permeated by drugs, sex and violence as some neighborhood high schools are.

  • 129. IB&RGC Mom  |  April 27, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    @128 great reply. When I first read @125 I thought how sad it is that we are hoping that a drug problem in the school may open up an opportunity for our kids to attend, but it is true that those problems are often times (maybe not always?) way worse in our neighborhood schools. I would take a seat opened up that way over my neighborhood high school any day.

    @125 call the school and try to speak with the principle to see if they are opening those spots. Good luck.

  • 130. KIKI  |  April 27, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    No, I was just saying, you see parents stating that they got accepted into this SE high school but turned it down to get their kids into one of the top ones and then get dissappointed when their child did not get into that one. I was trying to say the same thing #128. Any SE high school should be good enough. Stop looking down at all the other SE SCHOOLS.

  • 131. cps Mom  |  April 27, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    I know for a fact that no one has been “expelled” from Jones for drugs. There are kids that have been “suspended”. There are no openings due to expulsion. The article was a bit confusing about the whole expulsion thing. I’m surprised to see a write up like that. The school has been very above board making it known that they take these violations seriously. At the same time they understand as @128 suggests, these are kids making their way and not always using the best judgment. Remember, these are high performing kids soon to be in college – not unlike any of your children.

  • 132. KIKI  |  April 27, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    Excuse me, I hoped you are not suggesting that I have a dumb kid. My daughter will be in a selective enrollment high school next year first round pick. I am sorry if you all took my words wrong. I was trying to put in a good word for all the other selective enrollment schools that seem to be getting knocked down because they are not WY, NP, or WP. I was simply trying to say to look at all selective enrollment schools as good schools.

  • 133. cps Mom  |  April 27, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    Did I say something to imply that you have a “dumb kid”? My comment was general and not directed specifically to your post.

  • 134. NWS Parent  |  April 28, 2011 at 9:24 am

    I would be happy to see that CPS takes drug violations seriously with expulsion. I think the zero tolerance policy is a good one. In regards to all of these people thinking that one selective enrollment school is better than another, give me a break. I went to Walter Payton and was not impressed. Felt like a prison and I didn’t enjoy seeing all of the dead plants in their lab either. In addition, their Physics experiment that they were doing, my child did in 6th grade. So you have all different levels of children at these schools and certainly not little Einsteins. Just my opinion.

  • 135. cps Mom  |  April 28, 2011 at 10:04 am

    Zero tolerance policy and expulsion (kicking a kid out of a school) are 2 different things. Legally, a student cannot be kicked out of any CPS school for drugs. Zero tolerance has to do with consequences for various actions. There are consequences for drug offenses, bullying etc that are not expulsion. These consequences are also defined by CPS. The school may also have their own polices such as detention, loss of privileges etc.

  • 136. NWS Parent  |  April 28, 2011 at 10:21 am

    Yes, they have a book of these policies that they hand out every year at every CPS school. And it is very hard to expel these kids who are constant behavioral problems. I’m sure Dr. Powers of Jones has it under control.

  • 137. anonymous  |  April 28, 2011 at 11:09 am

    Got a 2nd round acceptance to Lane Tech’s AC yesterday for my son. Tier 4. I can’t remember his score any more, but I want to say it was around 815. Anyone else have movement from Lane Tech?

  • 138. Mom2  |  April 28, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    @137 – congratulations! We love the school.

  • 139. Beaubien Parent  |  April 29, 2011 at 1:11 am

    Beaubien Parent here. My child is in the Options program at Beaubien. What can I say? The program itself is excellent except for the lack of recess and the principle. I have to say that it p*sses me off when people say that won’t even consider sending their kids to Beaubien unless they start seeing some positive comments on these kind of boards. Especially for those of you in the neighborhood, NOTHING WILL CHANGE UNLESS YOU MAKE IT HAPPEN!! Haven’t we all said this time and again? Doesn’t almost everybody b*tch about how the neighborhood schools have got to get better? Yet, a lot of people are copping out here. Honestly, the obstacles in Beaubien are nothing compared to what most CPS parents have to deal with. You think that there were any positive comments about Nettlehorst anywhere before the parents got in there and did something? They had a hell of a lot more to deal with than the people of Jefferson Park. Yes, the principle has turned into a total tool in the the last couple of years. Its true, I won’t deny it. Its like he has senior-itis. Its time for him to retire and he just won’t go. So…get your behinds on the LSC and get rid of him! Call your alderman, start a neighborhood parent group (outside of the PTO) and STAND UP for your own neighborhood. Jeez. Yes, the PTO needs some shaking up: same people running it year after year. So…get your butts on the PTO and do something about it. It wouldn’t take much, hardly anybody votes. You could show up at the PTO election on May 17th with about 20 friends and take it over. The recess thing…we need NEW NEIGHBORHOOD PARENTS to take this issue on. There is a contingent of parents at the school who have a “been there done that” kind of attitude in that they tried years ago to implement changes, saw that fail, and have given up. But that is not a reason to completely give up on what is a fine school with the potential to be stellar. (BTW, the principle does NOT set the PTO meeting times. Those are made by the PTO members. They actually alternate day and evening so that more parents can attend). Come on people, this is nuts. Fight for your school…fight for your own damn community. Jeez.

  • 140. wandrerr  |  April 29, 2011 at 5:14 am

    @139 – I like your style. We need a like button. 🙂 I’ve heard that myself at other schools when I ask questions: “We tried that here and it didn’t work” or “We tried that here and no one was interested”. But, from the other end, I think sometimes it does feel like you’re just trying to push a brick wall that won’t budge. Frustrating, either way.

  • 141. another NW Mom  |  April 29, 2011 at 7:14 am

    @Beaubien Parent

    I agree with everything you said. Beaubien is a very good school except for the principal. The school was doing very well until the principal decided to coast his last few years. Unlike other schools it’s not like a complete turn around is needed. There’s a lot that works at Beaubien.

    I also think with the new mayor coming in will help shake things up at Beaubien. Afterall when you’re a principal at a school that has an RGC, you need to be able to perform and that’s not what’s happening here. What might have been more difficult in the past might actually be possible now given the new mayor’s stand on performance of principals at CPS.

  • 142. depresseddady  |  April 29, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    Anybody knows when STEM release acceptance notice? My kid has not received any offer till now.

  • 143. Transfer Mom  |  April 29, 2011 at 11:33 pm

    I just found this site tonight and wish I had found it earlier. My daughter is coming in from out of state and has her heart set on Lane Tech for her Sophomore year.
    Her testing has all been 99-98 percentile, AP classes, great attendance and involved in extra-curriculars, but GPA is a low B. What is the process for selecting transfer students and what criteria are they looking for? No one I’ve talked to is offering any words of optimism or encouragement. It seems like if you didn’t start out in a Chicago school then you’re out of luck.
    I’m feeling like one of the uncool kids just reading this as I don’t understand even the lingo. At her old school the only requirement for transferring in was to live in the school district and be in good standing.
    If she doesn’t get in to Lane Tech, where would she go to high school? We’re in the Logan Square neighborhood. Thank you for your help.

  • 144. IB&RGC Mom  |  April 30, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    Transfer mom did you apply already? Applications for the following school year are always due in mid-december of the year before. I don’t know if that is different for people who are just moving into the city. Hopefully they do handle this differently, but maybe someone who knows more can post.

    I would suggest calling the school directly or the OAE (office of academic enhancement). The OAE number is (773) 553-2060. She sounds like a great candidate for Lane. They base entrance into the selective enrollment schools on a 900 point scale. 300 points for their grades in Math, Social Science, Science, and Reading from the previous year. Each A is worth 75 points, each B is worth 50, and I think the C’s are worth 25 – but anyone can correct me if I am wrong. 300 points are for the ISAT’s or other standardized test from the previous year, and 300 points for the entrance exam. They also have cut off scores that are based on tiers which you can find more info on the OAE website which is http://cpsmagnet.org/index.jsp.

    You can find your neighborhood school here…

    I just looked up my old logan square address and it is Schurz. Unfortunately it is not a good school. Many of Chicago’s neighborhood high schools are not – unfortunately. Schurz is my school where I am now even though I am several miles away. My daughters are in 2nd and 6th grade now so for my 6th grader high school has been on my mind because she will not attend Schurz.

    If you cannot get her in to a SE (selective enrollment high school) you may want to consider private school for at least her sophmore year and try again for her junior year. Though I really suggest tyring to call the principle at Lane and seeing what she says about the situation. Your daugher sounds like someone they would like to have attend. Good luck!

  • 145. momorama  |  April 30, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    @143 Transfer Mom

    You can find your neighborhood high school using this website.

  • 146. cpsobsessed  |  May 1, 2011 at 10:43 am

    @144, great advice. I have no idea what happens to kids transferring in after freshman year. Certainly, the system does not seem well-suited to them.
    I wonder if there is a principal discretion process for Soph+ years that could help?

    I also wonder if some of the HS charters might be easier to get into? CICS Northtown perhaps?

    @TransferMom, keep us posted if you can. I’m curious to see if there is any opportunity to get her into a good school?

  • 147. another NW Mom  |  May 1, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    Now that my daughter is set for K-8, I’m now wondering about high school. Schurz is our neighborhood high school. The only good thing I can say about the school is the building is beautiful and is an architectural landmark but that’s it.

    There seems to be quite a few choices and options for K-8 but if your child doesn’t get into a selective enrollment high school, your choices are not even acceptable since many of the local high schools are on probation.

    I guess I wonder how do you turn around a high school?

  • 148. Transfer Mom  |  May 1, 2011 at 11:42 pm

    Transfer applications were due on Friday. You can find the admissions information on the Lane website. She was not asked to take an entrance exam so perhaps there is a different scoring system. Thank you so much for the responses. There isn’t much information out there for families in our situation. The admissions person at Lane has been very nice and we’re hopeful that she is admitted. I’ll definitely keep everyone updated!

  • 149. Jennifer  |  May 2, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    Transfer Mom you are lucky, there is no such process for the selective elementary schools. Gifted elementary age children moving to the city have to simply wait it out in their neighborhood school if they don’t test in during January selection, and then they have to hope a place is even available.

  • 150. NWS parent  |  May 2, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    @147. Great question and one that I have talked about with parents from the same area. Schurz does have an absolutely amazing library. Very historic. I did visit the state of the art automobile area/program. Fantastic teacher and the kids who really want in it have to have the grades. The business school you will earn 12 college credit hours upon graduation as well and have to have the grades to get in. The 4th floor, I think, is dedicated to the huge music program there. Teacher lives down the street from me. Don’t know him personally, he is a graduate of the school as well. Last years, graduating class was a little over 2300. Wow! Per a security guard there, it is always a handful of kids who cause the trouble. I went to the open house last fall. I wanted to see what my taxes were paying for. Kids seemed nice who were there and helpful. I think you have to start the process of change when your kids are young like yours and get a group of parents together and go see the principal and maybe LSC members. I really don’t know exactly, but why are the test scores so low? Recently, I looked at Von Steuben in the 50’s roughly, Welles H.S. below 20 I believe. Dunbar H.S. way south, 10% reading, 8% science, and 4% math. Ugh!!! I go to that Great Schools website and look at these local schools and the numbers are shocking! Has it been done at the high school level to take back a school and get the test scores up in these local high schools? Not so far that I can tell. Perhaps Lakeview can be a test case since they are investing some money in their math and science area. This is really a good question and I’m sure the solution is not an easy one especially when dealing with the Chicago School board/CPS.

  • 151. Stressed by CPS  |  May 2, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    Some SEHS do take transfer students sophomore year only, if space is available. No testing is required but they have to come from a rigorous school, have zero discipline problems, good grades, and good attendance. Each school varies with space available. So if you go to WY for example, but are moving to the Northside of the city, you can apply to transfer to Lane, for example, if space is available. Then I suppose the principal or other admin makes the decision.

  • 152. Stressed by CPS  |  May 2, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    ADDING to #151 comment, I think sometimes they will take junior transfers, too. Depends on what school and space. Also, letters of recommendation are required.

  • 153. Alejandro  |  May 2, 2011 at 8:08 pm

    Have AC round 2 letters gone out yet?

  • 154. another NW Mom  |  May 2, 2011 at 9:02 pm


    Good for you that you toured the school and saw some things that work. That’s really good to know. I also went onto GreatSchools.net to see ratings of local high schools and Lakeview was my glimmer of hope. I also think Lincoln Park Highschool isn’t bad either. That said, the rest of the schools ratings are terrible. I say to myself that years ago this was true of the elementary schools and now look at all the success stories. Perhaps the same thing that was done with the local elementary schools can be done with the high schools. When you talk about making a difference in life what better way than to be involved in turning around a school and the impact it has on so many students, students who don’t have the opportunity to simply move to a better school district.

    I believe CPS’s way to deal with failing high schools is charter schools. I’m not opposed to them but I feel that by opening up more charter high schools, we’ve declared defeat when it comes to neighborhood high schools in the city. Perhaps what is really needed is involved parents who have a vision of the school they would be proud to send their children and skip the whole selective enrollment high school craziness.

    I believe with the new mayor, there’s more hope in trying to turn around a high school and why not try it with Schurz? NWS parent are you interested in improving Shurz? I think the project might be very interesting as well as rewarding. I also figure by the time my daughter is ready for high school perhaps Schurz will be an option.

  • 155. IB&RGC Mom  |  May 2, 2011 at 10:35 pm

    I think that is a great idea. I am obsessed with preparing my girls for the future to get into Selective Enrollment High Schools and I don’t think I would have even attended an open house at Schurz. I will go next year to check it out and see the school for myself. Maybe we can do something to at least make small steps to turn it around. Even if our kids do not end up there. It should be a good option for all the kids in the neighborhoods that feed into it.

    I don’t know much about the North Side High School Initiative Group, but I know CPSobsessed did do a post about the group. We should see if what they are doing is working and see what we can do for Schurz. We should also speak to our aldermen. While I am pretty sure my girls will score high, I don’t know that they will score the near perfect scores they need being in what is considered a tier 4 neighborhood to get into one of the SE high schools and we need other options to fall back on.

  • 156. cps Mom  |  May 3, 2011 at 7:49 am

    @155 I admire your efforts. Now is the time to do something because once your kids get to 7th or 8th grade its too late to work with a school on a turnaround. Thanks to you and other parents like you we may finally be headed in the right direction.

  • 157. another NW Mom  |  May 3, 2011 at 11:34 am

    I agree with IB&RCG mom, I know my daughter is smart but the bar keeps getting higher to get into any of the Selective Enrollment Highschools. I think it makes sense to work on improving the local high school. I did check out the North Side High School Initiative group. They are also on Facebook. I think the intent is to improve Lake View High School and get the parents groups involved in turning it around.

    I get the sense that CPS reached out to different parents groups of schools that are feeders for Lakeview Highschool. I would definitely like to meet with this group to see their progress so far. Is anyone else interested?

  • 158. cpsobsessed  |  May 3, 2011 at 11:44 am

    The North Side High School Initiative is group is basically some parents in the Lake View zone who are focused on that school right now. BUT, they are eager to include parents from other HS zones who want to share info/resources (or even bring in parents who want to lobby for a new SE high school on the north side — or whatever else makes sense.) CPS/the city will be more responsive when more parents are working together to make demands. Also, it doesn’t make sense for each high school to re-create the wheel.
    They already have made some inroads with CPS, but have been waiting for the new mayor and education team to fall into place to figure out their next steps.

    I think the best course of action might be to get a group together from another neighborhood high school who might want to meet with them to see how to begin.

    I know their first steps were to start to meet the high school admin and to attend LSC meetings and to show support. I think this is a great first step. I know from our neighborhood school that admin is more receptive if you come in positively, looking to support the school and possibly bring resources (rather than implying that you want to come in an “fix” the school. — I know, despite the dismal ratings of some of these schools, nobody wants to be told their doing a terrible job.)

    I plan to get involved with whatever my neighborhood high school is, but I’ll likely be moving in the next year so I’m going to wait to see where we end up (likely Amundson, possibly Lake View.) Efforts need to start several years before anyone plans to send their kids there, I’m guessing.

    It feels like a big undertaking to shift a high school. I hope it can be done. I think Lincoln Park is probably a good role model to follow.

  • 159. another NW Mom  |  May 3, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    Thanks cpsobsessed for your input. I would rather work with the North Side High School Initiative group and pool resources so we can improve our neighborhood high schools. I know 7 years from now, it’s only going to get harder to get into the selective enrollment high schools so it’s a good idea to start now to see if our local high school will be a viable option.

    I think the time is now to focus on working together to improve local high schools. I would love if my child could go to the local high school rather than have a lengthy commute getting to school every day.

    What was encouraging for me hearing about Shurz is there is a lot to like about the school and there are gems within the school that most parents wouldn’t even know about such as extensive music resources.

  • 160. anonymous  |  May 3, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    I am contemplating the Lane Tech AC for my child, but have a lot of reservations about it the school primarily because of its size. Is there anyone who has a child enrolled at Lane that would be willing to talk candidly to me off the list about the pros and cons of the school?

  • 161. Stressed by CPS  |  May 4, 2011 at 7:48 am

    #160. I would like to chat if you want. cpsblogger@yahoo.com. I have a child at Lane now and the school is great.

  • 162. mindboggled  |  May 4, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    For those out there (like me) hoping for a third round offer at a selective enrollment elementary school, I just called OAE and was told that they are doing “calculations” to determine whether there will be any third round offers. Also, we were 12th on the non-proximity, non-sibling (which they are referring to as the “general”) wait list for kindergarten at a magnet school and have moved up to 6th on that list. So there does appear to be some movement on these lists.

  • 163. harderthanithought  |  May 4, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    @mindboggled: Thanks so much for posting. Just wanted to let you guys know that I was #100 on Hamilton’s wait list, and I got a call yesterday with offering for a spot.

  • 164. Curious  |  May 4, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    @ Transfer Mom. ..The odds of getting into Lane Tech for the 2011-12 school year is a longshot, the odds are against you. You might want to look into Westinghouse College Prep, http://www.newwestinghouse.org

  • 165. momof 3boys  |  May 4, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    im not sure about this but i think that the most sehs nad charters do not accept transfers beyond soph yr. lane and northtown for sure dont.

  • 166. Help  |  May 4, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    Is anyone familar with Kershaw Magnet (IB) school? If so, what have you heard and how is the curriculm?

  • 167. NW Side mom  |  May 5, 2011 at 9:33 am

    We got an offer from Hamilton yesterday too, #135 on the waitlist. Without a spot anywhere I think we will take it ans see what else comes our way this summer.

  • 168. Alejandro  |  May 5, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    Have round 2 letters gone out yet? and do they still go out even if you did not get an offer?

  • 169. cpsobsessed  |  May 5, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    @Alejandro: If you don’t get an offer, you won’t hear anything more, unfortunately. I believe 2nd round AC letters have gone out already. If a spot opens up between now and school, you would probably get a phone call and need to get back to them pretty quickly with a response. good luck.

  • 170. Alejandro  |  May 5, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    oh thanks cpsobsessed

  • 171. Alejandro  |  May 5, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    and what was up with that guy posting up those mean things

  • 172. Pulaski offer  |  May 5, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    We just got a k offer at Pulaski. We were 25th on the waitlist, but are declining because we are going to Burr!

  • 173. cpsobsessed  |  May 5, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    @171, don’t know – I deleted them although some of the comments were funny. If my 8yo son wasn’t at school I might be suspicious…

  • 174. Alejandro  |  May 5, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    i got to read some of them and it made me feel a little sad but whatever though he is probably some lowlife

  • 175. NWS Parent  |  May 5, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    @154. Thanks for your comments. What a project that would be but look what happened at Nettlehorst with a small group of parents. Anything is possible with a dedicated group of parents who has Schurz H.S. as your high school. I looked at the 100 year year book which was Schurz anniversary last year. The kids did an amazing job on it. And they showed the history through pictures and what a change. I think they even had horseback riding back then too. Demographics have changed considerably, but when I spoke with these kids at the open house, they really conveyed to me their pride in their high school and their achievements. I know of great kids who didn’t get into a selective enrollment h.s. and this is where they are going. It’s not a bunch of bad kids. I did really like the finance program and the addition of Chinese to their languages. The principal was in the process of hiring a teacher for that. I did convey to the principal that he must go out into the neighborhoods and talk to parents through perhaps community organizations to dispel this constant bad rap. I’m the type of person to listen to this stuff, but I’m also one to just go see for myself and not take anyone’s word for it. The principal relatively new seems open and willing to talk. It’s worth a shot. I would love to just send my child down the street to school!

  • 176. Neighbor  |  May 5, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    On the subject of improving local general high schools, does anyone here have experience with or knowledge about Morgan Park HS on the far southside? What needs to improve? Would you send your child there? Why? Why not? Thanks!

  • 177. Jennifer  |  May 6, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    @mindboggled thanks for the update on 3rd round SEES, we just went under contract on a property out here in our suburb after being passed over at 2nd round so I’m actually secretly hoping we won’t get a 3rd round offer now!

  • 178. Pritzker offer  |  May 6, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    Just received pritzker k offer 142 tier 3, must decide by 5/11.

  • 179. hmom  |  May 6, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    Just saw this article in the New York Times about how their high school selection process works – “Lost in the School Choice Maze” – http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/08/nyregion/in-applying-for-high-school-some-8th-graders-find-a-maze.html?_r=1&partner=rss&emc=rss&src=ig. Wow is it complicated!

  • 180. parent  |  May 6, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    seems there are a few, although not many, options left worth checking out:


  • 181. CONCERNED PARENT  |  May 7, 2011 at 9:13 am

    Most of the elementary schools on that list are good schools in good standing if you look up their scorecard on CPS, but those High Schools, I dont think so.

  • 182. cps Mom  |  May 7, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    @179 – interesting article. Made me want to cry. Doesn’t sound too dissimilar to Chicago except more organized. It does sound like they’ve given up on the neighborhood high school altogether (described as dumping grounds). This is one area with the potential to part company. Interesting stats – over 70,000 applicants in a separate pool from selective enrollment. I like the idea of SE based upon merit and all other programs pooled together for options. It seems fairer than basing enrollment upon where you live. 10% left out with the possibility of round 2 acceptance. I wonder what that % would be in Chicago if we could track it based upon our system.

    @180 – good post. Big help for those still needing to place their kids. I agree with 181 – some great elementary options, but I did not see any HS potential except maybe Senn IB. The high school options in Chicago still need a lot of work. I know of some parents very concerned now that Lane has given up space to AC and not as assessable to tier 4. The system needs to change. It will be interesting to see how this plays out with new admin.

  • 183. wandrerr  |  May 7, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    @182 – I agree about Senn IB. I honestly don’t know what Senn is like now – my oldest is just entering K, but while touring Peirce they had a lot of positive things to say about Senn, and how the school is trying to turn around. Peirce hopes to be a feeder school to Senn IB and they’re sort of going through the IB process together and indicated that the school is headed in a good direction. Like I said, I’ve never toured, but it could mean good things for the future if the principal is willing to change things and the IB program at Senn becomes a standing out point..

  • 184. Still Waiting  |  May 7, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    I saw one posting for a 3rd round offer to Pritzger for K. Has anyone gotten a 3rd round offer to South Loop or Coonley? If so, do you mind sharing your score and tier? Thanks!!!

  • 185. Parent question  |  May 7, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    Coonley v Alcott? Seeking your comments on which is preferable curriculum-wise all other things being equal (for us – location, after school classes, etc)

  • 186. adam  |  May 9, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    Does anyone have test scores for KG students that got offers for Pritzker, Coonley or Edison? We are Tier 3 and have not gotten an offer with a 142.

  • 187. cpsobsessed  |  May 9, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    @186: Read up to post #178. Someone says they got Pritzker for Tier 3 with a 142. there are supposedly sub-scores that can differentiate, but I would give OAE a call to find out.

    If you do a search on this page for those school names, you can find some info. Typically Pritzker scores are lower for entry than those of Coonley and Edison, so assuming you applied to Pritzker it sounds like that might be a chance… Of course if you accept it, you won’t get called for Coonley or Edison if those open, which could be possible. Seems like a good score to me. 🙂

  • 188. adam  |  May 9, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    Yeah, I saw the post on 178. According to OAE, nobody in Tier 3 should get an offer with the same score without everybody with the same score and same tier getting an offer. Oh well…CPS…go figure.

  • 189. Jennifer  |  May 9, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    So they should leave one spot unfilled because they don’t have two? That’s not fair either.

  • 190. CoonleyParent  |  May 9, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    @185, my daughter is now in 3rd grade as part of the first Coonley Options class. Whether you are looking neighborhood or options this is an amazing school and there are so many after school activities–indeed they are taking them all the way to the end of the school year, which doesn’t happen at most schools I know of. Go and visit, you will see for yourself. Between my 2 kids we have experience 3 CPS magnet schools and there is something truly special happening at Coonley.

  • 191. South Side Mom  |  May 9, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    fyi, have received calls from Thorpe and Hawthorne, declined due to already having accepted at Skinner North.

  • 192. NW Side mom  |  May 9, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    #191–Can I ask what tier you are in? We had a decent number at Thorpe, but when I called to check about a spot the person said all the spots in tier 3 were filled and not to expect a call from them.

  • 193. South Side Mom  |  May 9, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    @NW Side mom –
    We are Tier 1. We were waitlisted 26 for Thorpe and 6 for Hawthorne. Received the call from Thorpe one or two weeks agao, and the call from Hawthorne today.

  • 194. NW Side mom  |  May 9, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    South Side Mom–Thanks for the info. Still hoping for a magnet or RGC for my dd.

  • 195. NW Side mom  |  May 9, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    Has anyone ever appealed their tier with OAE? We are a small pocket that is tier 3 with tier 2 and 1 a block north and west. Our dd’s score was a 139, which based on info posted here would have gotten us an offer at an RGC if we were in a lower tier. Just curious if this is worth pursuing.

  • 196. cps Mom  |  May 9, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    @195 – I’d say not a chance on this. Some tier 4 people live across the street from tier 1. Also the tiers were changed this year to reflect a factor related to your neighborhood school which may also have an impact.

    I wonder if anyone knows if there are talks of changing the tier system?

  • 197. NW Side mom  |  May 9, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    Actually our neighborhood school is why I am asking. Our neighborhood school is not acceptable and has not met their AYP for three years. They are not on probation yet, but if their scores do not get better this year they will be up for restructuring.

    I guess I had hoped that our school would help us argue the case for a lower tier, but I understand there has to be a dividing line between tiers and some may be across the street from each other. Oh well, we will hope for a call this summer.

  • 198. Franklin magnet school?  |  May 10, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    Has anyone heard of any calls from Franklin? My child has a #2 waitlist position and still no call. That is our only low number.

  • 199. Another Rogers Park Mama!  |  May 10, 2011 at 11:42 pm

    @NW Side mom: your neighborhood school is already factored into your tier; for instance our neighborhood school is beyond probation and has been in school restructuring level 9, and has been failIng for 12 years. How Gale is still open is beyond me as none of the other Rogers Park schools are anywhere near this bad… Including several schools that I am certain would be considered outright unacceptable to most on this list; in fact Gale is so bad we applied out of sheer desperation to several of these prior-thought non-options just in case we receIved no GEEP or magnet offers (which, initially, we did not). Our school has a 3rd grade reading ‘meets or exceeds’ of 26%!!! My point is, there are lesser schools and outright failing schools. My assumption would be, that if your neighborhood school is not yet on probation, well… Then it is far from what cps would consider an unacceptable choice; therefor you would have no advantage regarding either Tier or lottery preference, which families with truly failing schools receive.

    Because of these ‘preferences’ and our Tier (2), we did get 3 initial neighborhood school options, as well as 6 lottery waitlist positions under #16, including #’s 2, 3, 6, 9, 11 and 16. That said, we’ve only been called from the #9 position school, which we declined. My understanding is
    these waists for neighborhood schools get called over the summer-ish mores, as the schools just sent out the return commitment forms in mid-April-ish, and that of course Nhood openings wl appear as magnets and GEEP filter through their offers/declines as well.

    Fwiw, two of our original offers were “unacceptable” to most cpsobsessed parents; those schools were McPherson and Kilmer. Our
    only good offer thus far was Peirce, and we also declined Swift.

    We are lucky to have received a Round 2 offer from Coonley. However… Had Coonley and Peirce not come calling, our child would have been at a school likely on par with your unacceptable neighborhood option… And that school would have been a lottery “pick” I am sure you’d never have applied for; in the end, when your school is truly FAILING, unacceptable takes on a whole new meaning, and what was once “not good enough”, is suddenly a welcome and preferable “choice”.

  • 200. another NW Mom  |  May 11, 2011 at 11:16 am

    I would call the school to check on your wait list number. I registered recently and spoke to a parent who nearly lost her spot. Somehow they had the wrong phone number. If she hadn’t called the school told her she would have lost the spot. I think when you have such a low wait list number it’s a good idea to call and check.
    My wait list number was 5 and the school told me to call back mid April to find out progress. I wasn’t planning on waiting that long and had planned on calling by the end of the first week in April. Luckily I didn’t have to and got called the first day after acceptance letters were due.

  • 201. Franklin magnet school?  |  May 11, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    Another NW Mom, thanks, good information!

  • 202. mindboggled  |  May 11, 2011 at 11:17 pm

    @192. These schools seem to give out different information to each person who calls. We are also in tier 3 and are now (supposedly) number 6 on Thorpe’s general wait list. But the person I spoke to said nothing about all of the tier 3 spots being filled. Instead she suggested that we might get a call over the summer. Do you know what wait list number they are saying you are now in?

  • 203. NW Side mom  |  May 12, 2011 at 9:12 am

    @202–I have not called Thorpe back since the information I got made it sound like we did not have a chance of getting a call. I guess I better follow up.

  • 204. NW Side mom  |  May 12, 2011 at 10:13 am

    @202 I just called Thorpe and we are now #8 on the list–still tier 3 list. I was told there is one spot open right now and they are waiting for a call back to accept.

  • 205. another NW Mom  |  May 12, 2011 at 10:21 am

    @NW Side mom

    I would keep calling the school to find out progress in the wait list. There is a lot of movement on the wait list during the summer. There are still parents looking for better offers from other schools and as the wait lists move at other schools, spots free up at other schools.

    When I called the school initially and gave my wait list number the school said they didn’t think my chances were very good and to call back mid April yet I received a call right after acceptance letters were due. My point is every year is different and it can’t hurt to keep checking.

    I spoke to parents at registration for kindergarten and a couple of parents received offers during the summer and one received an offer 2 weeks before school started. Don’t give up hope and just keep checking with the school no matter what they say. That’s what I would have done had I not gotten the offer. They may have gotten tired of me calling all the time but I wouldn’t have cared, I would have kept calling anyway.

    There was a nice lady that talked to me for a while regarding the wait list at Thorp and she encouraged me to keep checking. I called again and the person who I spoke with was less helpful. I guess it depends on who picks up the phone to answer questions.

  • 206. harderthanithought  |  May 12, 2011 at 10:24 am

    Is there any wisdom to calling the selective enrollment schools to see what kind of movement there will be? Dying over here.

  • 207. NW Side mom  |  May 12, 2011 at 11:00 am

    @206–I would call the OAE about the SEES. I called a few weeks ago and they were able to tell me how many spots were still open in our tier at our first choice.

  • 208. South Side Mom  |  May 12, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    Just received call for a spot from AGC (Academy for Global Citizenship), which we will decline. We were # 2 on the waitlist for the charter.

  • 209. 6th grade mom  |  May 13, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    We got a call today for Hawthorne for kindergarten. Our original wait list # was 3 and we are tier 2 non-proximity. We will be accepting.

  • 210. working mom  |  May 13, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    Just received call from Pulaski IB, 1st grade ( from wait list). Any thoughts? Ive heard mixed reviews.

  • 211. parent  |  May 14, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    I visited Pulaski, went on the school tour, and spoke with many parents from the neighborhood. I really like what they are doing with this school and believe that the program has matured, and they are currently producing good results with the kids. I really think you should contact Sara Harris at info@friendsofpulaski.org

    She can answer any questions you may have about the program and the AMAZING Principle 🙂 We did not get an offer from Pulaski but I would have accepted if we had, and was planning to move into the neighborhood if we did not get any offers. The IB program produces great results, what I saw on the tour was great work coming from the kids. The environment was very nice, and the people were open and friendly. There are a lot of very involved parents that really believe in this school. I would just head over there and check it out for yourself. You won’t be disappointed.

  • 212. working mom  |  May 15, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    @ #211 Parent: Thank you for your feedback.. I have to accept or decline by tomorrow.

  • 213. stillwaiting  |  May 17, 2011 at 10:48 pm

    What is the deadline for elementary enrollment? If we enroll our son at a RGC, will he be taken out of the waitlists at other magnet schools?

  • 214. another NW Mom  |  May 18, 2011 at 10:15 am


    There is no deadline. You can enroll your son at an RGC or any other school and if you get a better offer then you cancel your enrollment and enroll at the new school. This happens throughout the summer and just before school starts and even after school starts.

    Enrolling does not affect your status on the wait list. You cannot be enrolled at two schools but you can be enrolled in one and that would have no impact on the wait lists. That’s how sometimes spots open up, a child gets a better offer and declines the spot opening it up for someone else.

  • 215. CPS Selection Still Fixed?  |  May 19, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    Our daughter tested for RGC schools back last year and scored a 142. We thought we wouldn’t have much of an issue getting into one of the schools we selected but we called OAE jus to make sure. We talked with a Trudy Wallace at the school. We were told not to worry and that looking at our application that Pritzker was our best shot.

    When we didn’t get an offer in the last round we called back up the OAE and again were directed to Trudy Wallace. Trudy said that she remembered our last conversation but that it didn’t appear that Pritzker was on the application but since she remembered it being there that she would file the adjustment. She also promised to get back to us and let us know what our chances of getting in during the third round would be.

    After weeks of not hearing from her, we called back. This time Trudy was apologetic. She didn’t remember telling me that she would call me back. But she did say that she ran into a snag when trying to fix her mistake. And that she couldn’t adjust the application to put the schools back on that she remembered seeing there the first time.

    So I have large issues with OAE. How was our application changed the first time. How come the problem can’t be fixed even when senior people in the organization see the mistake. And why are we trusting our kids to people that are unable to return phone calls.

  • 216. cpsobsessed  |  May 19, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    @215: That stinks, indeed. I think the key is that if you didn’t actually put Pritzker, there was no guarantee of anyone revising it for you. I’m surprised she offered to amend it as I didn’t think that was allowed. Obviously if she said she was going to do it, she should have done it though.
    We applied online for the schools this time, didn’t we? Now I can’t recall if the confirmation email said which schools were selected? I think with anything in CPS, getting something on paper and having something in writing from CPS is key, when possible.
    Every year there are a few snags like this – applications just disappearing, etc. I have never heard of anyone getting recourse on it.
    Clearly one of the frustrating elements of the bureacracy of CPS. Thanks for sharing the story.
    In the past, Pritzker hasn’t always had a full K class for some reason. I would check to see if there are still spots (and check when school starts to see if something can be worked out.) And have the person you speak to send you an email or something in writing stating their intentions.

  • 217. Jennifer  |  May 19, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    There were second round 2nd grade Pritzker spots available this year, so there would probably be some next year if you decided to test again.

    I also asked about changing our application since I had listed my choices thinking my daughter had more of a shot at classical when in fact she did much better on the gifted. I think they need to consider allowing us to apply with the scores in hand rather than the way it currently is. It would surely save so much time and effort if parents knew what chance their child really had at getting into a school – ie if your child has a really bad test day focusing on your magnet/open application instead of taking places on the OAE list and vice versa.

  • 218. cpsobsessed  |  May 19, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    @Jennifer: You’re right! It seems so obvious when you lay it out like that — why not test first, then tour and rank after that? Just another of the crazy parts of the system.

  • 219. CPS Selection Still Fixed?  |  May 19, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    That is the thing. Pritzker was our first choice on our application. That remained to be true through our first conversation with OAE. But now we are not on the list…and it doesn’t seem to matter that the “Top RGC Official” at the OAE remembers us listing Pritzker, and remembers conversations where she told us that Pritzker was our best shot.

    I know everyone says to expect corruption…but this is getting to be very upsetting.

  • 220. @219  |  May 19, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    Did Pritzker show up as a “Not Selected” school on your original letter from OAE with your child’s scores? Or do you have a copy of your original application? I would probably file an appeal with OAE, especially if you have either one of these pieces of documentation. Its really easy to do via the CPS OAE website.


    The deadline for appeals is May 31st. Good luck!

  • 221. adam  |  May 19, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    May 19, 2011
    We tried the appeals process. You get a form letter back. We are so tired of being run around and told ten different stories from OAE and it doesn’t matter if you have someone in the organization that is saying that they made a mistake…it doesn’t matter. OAE has scheduled a meeting on Monday to decide if they can do anything about their mistake. Letter being sent to administrators:

    Chicago Public Schools – Office of Superintendent
    Attn: Terry Mazany
    125 S Clark St
    Chicago IL 60603

    Dear Terry Mazany,

    Our daughter tested for RGC schools back last year and scored a 142. We thought we wouldn’t have much of an issue getting into one of the schools we selected since this put her into the top 0.2% and everything we read said that she should get an offer. After the first round and no offer we called OAE jus to make sure our mail wasn‘t lost. We talked with a Trudy Wallace, who we were told was “in charge of the selection process.”. We were told by Trudy not to worry and that looking at our application that Pritzker was our best shot, but that Edison was tough and that she wasn’t sure about our third choice.

    We didn’t get an offer in the second round. Someone we know, that also is in Tier 3 with a 142, got an offer to Pritzker we called back up the OAE and again were directed to Trudy Wallace. Trudy said that she remembered our last conversation but that it didn’t appear that Pritzker was on the application. But, since Trudy remembered our conversation and remembered Pritzker being there the last time we talked that she would file the adjustment. She also promised to get back to us and let us know what our chances of getting in during the third round would be. I was seriously worried at this point…it really scared me that anyone could make adjustments. How could someone have adjusted our application in the first place? How come we weren’t notified that the application had been changed?

    After weeks of not hearing from her, we called back. This time Trudy was apologetic. She didn’t remember telling me that she would call me back. But she did say that she ran into a snag when trying to fix her mistake. I asked “What mistake?” and then she got scared. Trudy stopped talking about anything and would only transfer me Brian Pool who is “in charge of the selection process.” Brian is the second person that we are talking with who is in charge of the process. And only Mr. Pool’s voicemail would be available. I left a message, but Brian did not return my phone call. After six calls to his office I finally got in touch with him.

    Brian looked at our application, but didn’t see the same information that Trudy did. He didn’t see Pritzker in our selections. He said that he had talked with Trudy about this, and that Trudy had tried to fix the error, but that there was no process that would allow for it to be fixed. I asked “What error?” He said he would have to talk with Trudy. He also said that he couldn’t find any notes that Trudy made; and, that he found it odd that after the extensive conversations that he had with Trudy about this specific issue that there would be no notes in the system. Brian said he would follow-up with Trudy but offered no resolution.

    I have serious concerns with OAE. How was our application changed the first time? What mistake is Trudy talking about? How come the problem can’t be fixed even when senior people in the organization see the mistake?

    We need this resolved and need to find out what is going on. We will need to move out of town if we are unable to get our daughter into an appropriate school for which she should have gotten an offer weeks ago.

    Kind Regards,

    Adam Faust
    2336 N Damen Ave #2S
    Chicago IL 60647

    Cc. Abigayil Joseph
    Dr. Joenil Albert-Reese
    Brian Pool
    Trudy Walace
    Mary Richardson-Lowry
    Clare Munana
    Mayor’s Office
    Scott Waguespack
    Jean-Claude Brizard

  • 222. response to Adam/Putting in the Fix  |  May 20, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    Adam, do you have a copy of your application? Do you remember applying to Pritzker? If you have a copy or the email confirmation sent when you applied electronically, I would be sure to bring it to the meeting or send it in advance. If you did not actually apply to Pritzker, you are probably out of luck. I must say a few words in defense of OAE. I have dealt with them on a number of occasions and have had a completely different experience. I have found them to be responsive, competent, and helpful. They are understaffed and are dealing with budget issues and concerned parents calling constantly. While this process is very frustrating due to the lack of spots, it really is not the people in OAE’s fault, it is the lack of funding. You should go to the Raise Your Hand Rally on Tuesday to protest the cuts. I must note that I am “not connected,” I am just a regular mom who calls a lot about her kids. I also may be naive, but do not think that they are “putting in the fix” anymore.

  • 223. Jennifer  |  May 21, 2011 at 3:54 am

    I also don’t think this is any kind of corrupt action, if anything I think the fear of being called out for doing something corrupt if they fix their earlier error and put you in Pritzker is what is stopping them from sorting it out.

    I hope for your sake that a place becomes available in the coming months. I’m certain that they’re not going to just add another spot since they have teacher/pupil ratios to adhere to, but maybe they’ll allow you to go to the top of the list at a few schools.

  • 224. To adam/142 pritzker issue  |  May 24, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    Please let us know know what happened at Monday’s meeting about your daughter. I’m sure many of us are curious.

  • 225. Adam  |  May 26, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    I take it back…(see post 221.) After getting in touch with the right people at OAE…they did correct the mistake. We are very excited. Thanks to the staff at OAE for the prompt action.

  • 226. Transfer Mom  |  June 1, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    Just got our letter today. Due to larger than expected budget cuts Lane is losing staff and will not be accepting any transfer students.
    Now we need to come up with a Plan B.

  • 227. still waiting  |  June 1, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    Has anyone heard from any of the SEES in the past week or so? I think this is probably round 4. Is anyone planning to give up a K spot? If so, please post school, grade, tier, and score (if willing).

  • 228. Southside mom,  |  June 1, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    Got a call today for Mark Sheridan for sixth grade. We just registered for new middle school at Noble Street. Now I’m torn!

  • 229. Hawthorne mom  |  June 1, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    Transfer mom, that is interesting. Lane must be planning for the worst case scenario, since as far as I’ve heard, none of the schools have their budgets yet. (in direct violation of the contractual obligation the BOE has with the CTU to let staff know if they will stay on by June 1)

  • 230. momof3boys  |  June 2, 2011 at 11:52 pm

    I didn’t like Nobel….the schools were not diverse enough for me.

  • 231. Academic Center Round 4?  |  June 7, 2011 at 11:08 am

    My child was just accepted into 7th grade at Taft yesterday. It must be Round 4 by this point but they finally got to her score, which would have earned her a spot in an other tier than Tier 4.

  • 232. Alejandro  |  June 11, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    Acceptance letter into Harlan academic center any more info on the school?

  • 233. Another Rogers Park Mama!  |  August 24, 2011 at 11:37 pm

    Just got an offer at Stone.. Already registered at Coonley! What to do, what to do!!!

  • 234. cpsobsessed  |  August 24, 2011 at 11:39 pm

    Coonley neighborhood or options?
    And how “advanced” do you feel your child is? (As objectively as you can say…..)

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 235. ジョージアルマーニ  |  November 30, 2013 at 12:42 am

    ヴィトン 財布 レディース ジョージアルマーニ http://wangtongkd.omegacivil2013.com/

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