High School Letters – still going out

May 19, 2011 at 2:29 pm 71 comments

Well, despite the word from CPS that there would not be second or third rounds, a parent has just informed me that her daughter got and offer to Jones in a third round and the letter implied that there could be a fourth round.

So I guess it ain’t over till it’s over!

Just FYI, this child is turning down Jones to stay at Lincoln Park for Double Honors and Performing Arts.

If you hear of anyone else getting later letters or offers, let us know!

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71 Comments Add your own

  • 1. cps Mom  |  May 19, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    Did she check her post mark. Jones closed admissions weeks ago.

  • 2. cps Mom  |  May 19, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    They announced actually after round 2 that all spaceswere filled. They may be looking to fill a few spots subsequently turned down. I wonder if its possible to elaborate a bit further on the wording of a possible 4th round – have more openings been created? I also wonder if some of the larger programs like Lane or Whitney are looking to fill spots that have been later turned down – there may then be some openings on a larger scale.

    Jones did announce that they’ve finished admissions so I’m wondering.

  • 3. cpsobsessed  |  May 19, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    She says letter is dated 5/16/11!

  • 4. cpsobsessed  |  May 19, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    click on letter to enlarge if you’re curious what these things look like….

  • 5. cps Mom  |  May 19, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    Thanks – great opportunity for someone.

  • 6. CityMom  |  May 19, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    Just wanted to add that my daughter got into 2nd grade at the new STEM Academy (last week) as well as Pritzker RGC (2nd round), but we’ll be turning both down now as she was just offered a spot at the private school we were wait-listed at.

    So there will be 2nd grade spots open at both those schools after tomorrow! I hope one of you gets them!

  • 7. Mayfair Dad  |  May 19, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    The madness continues!

  • 8. Adam  |  May 19, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    Nothing is surprising with CPS/OAE. They tell you one thing and then do the exact opposite with no explanation at all. Trudy Wallace at OAE recently told us she was going to fix a problem that she created with our application…but then decided against doing so just before the third round. Letter to CPS:

    May 19, 2011

    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

  • 9. Chicago Gawker-  |  May 19, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    Oh, man. So much of all this is sheer luck, even if your kid scores high. Sorry @9.

  • 10. Chicago Gawker-  |  May 19, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    I meant: Sorry @8, enough to make anyone scream!

  • 11. momof4  |  May 19, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    Well, this is sad.
    My child was just informed that her summer high school orientation has been reduced drastically. Here’s an excerpt from her e-mail:
    “Unfortunately, due to recent budget cuts by the Chicago Board of Education to the Freshman Connection Program, we are only able to offer a one week, 5 day program of Freshman Connection and not the original 11 day, three week program that we advertised. However, we are committed to making these five days a beneficial and meaningful experience for our class of 2015. We regret the inconveniences that this may cause your family, but wanted to let you know as soon as possible so that you can make other arrangements.”

  • 12. just asking  |  May 19, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    I wonder if budgets are forcing SE schools to add more students to the freshman class size. @11 – which school? Last year there were cut backs with Freshman connection as well.

  • 13. Hawthorne mom  |  May 20, 2011 at 6:10 am

    I *think* preschool for all funding is in process of being cut too, based on what a neighbor told me. She tried to enroll her son in our local school’s head start collaborative.(a program that combines headstart and preschool for all funds) For several years, they were allowing kids in who did not qualify for the low income guidelines. They told her this week that they wouldn’t know until September if there would be a spot for her son (even with his IEP) and while no one explained things well to her, it appears to be due to budget cuts. Stinks because they’ve been telling her for more than a year now that her son had a virtually guaranteed spot due to the IEP and now suddenly she’s out of luck.
    I am curious to know if other schools are telling people don’t have spots for them in their programs.

  • 14. momof4  |  May 20, 2011 at 6:39 am

    The school is Northside College Prep. But I would think that all SEHS will be affected. Do all high school’s have orientation programs for incoming freshman?

  • 15. northside  |  May 20, 2011 at 7:54 am

    #14 – more CPS nonsense. Not all schools offer freshman orientation or anything else. More inequality.

  • 16. cps Mom  |  May 20, 2011 at 8:50 am

    @14 last year Lincoln Park was forced to drop freshman connection altogether, Jones went from 5 weeks to 3 weeks, I believe Lane had 4 weeks (uncertain about that). So, it did vary from school to school. I know Jones is very high on the program and would like to keep it. It seems to me that some budget cuts have just been made which may explain additional offers.

  • 17. Mayfair Dad  |  May 20, 2011 at 11:41 am

    Since 1998, The Washington Post’s Jay Mathews has ranked Washington-area public high schools using the Challenge Index, his measure of how effectively a school prepares its students for college. In 2011, the Washington Post expanded its research to high schools across the United States. The national list is being published now for the first time by The Washington Post – it is called The High School Challenge.

    The formula is simple: Divide the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate or other college-level tests a school gave in 2010 by the number of graduating seniors. While not a measure of the overall quality of the school, the rating can reveal the level of a high school’s commitment to preparing average students for college. Here’s how the top Chicago high schools fared:

    # 77 – Walter Payton College Prep
    # 101 – Jones College Prep
    # 164 – Lincoln Park High School
    # 257 – Whitney Young Magnet High School
    # 727- Morgan Park High School
    # 773 – Lane Tech College Prep

    Northside not listed? This seems awfully suspicious to me. The full version is at washingtonpost.com /highschoolchallenge.

  • 18. RL Julia  |  May 20, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    O.K. call me grinch but if you are smart enough to get into an SEHS in the first place, why on earth would you need THREE (or more) WEEKS to “get prepared for high school” (in CPS’s words). Of all the things that are being cut in the school budget, this is one I don’t feel too bad about.

    Adam – I looked the address up from your letter – it seems like your “home” school is Pulaski which isn’t such a bad a school. While frustrating, disappointing and certainly agonizing, I am not certain if you need to move out of the city quite yet. It is only Kindergarten…

  • 19. RL Julia  |  May 20, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    All those bells,whistles and tests are one thing but I would really love to get some statistics on how many kids from SEHS’s get into a college, go to college and are in college one or two year’s later – or how many are on academic probation after a year. That would give a better idea of if the education was on target.

    While I’d like to think that the SEHS’s are largely exempt from undereducating their students, I recently heard a horror story of a top ten (in their class) student from what I thought of as a unspectacular but not terrible CPS high school flunking out of college (despite numerous interventions on the college’s part) simply because they were completely underprepared. The college will not be accepting kids from this school any longer.

  • 20. Adam  |  May 20, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    I am sure that Pulaski is going to get better than it has been doing in the past, but I simply don’t want to go to a school that is “getting better.” I want to put our daughter into a school that is already great. And if she tested into one of these great schools and nobody in the administration can explain why she was pulled out of the line…then we need to scream foul.

    This morning I finally got a call from one of the OAE execs that is actually “in charge of the process.” I am hopeful that the right questions are going to be asked on Monday and they can fix their error that pulled our kid out of the line. I just hope this didn’t happen to a bunch of other people that didn’t notice the problem. I just wish it didn’t take writing that angry of a letter to have someone at OAE finally perk up and respond. I really was very nice and professional for the last two months when I talked with OAE.

  • 21. cps Mom  |  May 20, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    RLJ – Freshman connection is an excellent program because the kids take actual courses – law, math, English Lit, photography, bowling etc in a bit of a laid back way. The students learn how to navigate the school and classrooms in the allotted 4 minutes and very importantly, make new friends (there may be only 1 or 2 kids from the same school going to HS together). It allows the kids to hit the ground running when they start back up in September since it is a major adjustment from 8th grade to HS. It optimizes performance levels. At this age, it is often difficult to schedule a child for the summer since they are too old for many camps and it channels their energy into something productive and fun.

    I agree that this is a nice “perk” in this time of budget crunching but the idea would be to expand the program to all HS’s as opposed to cutting it back. It’s a relatively new program and they just started offering it to LP (maybe others?) before they had to cut it back. It’s really a good thing that I hope they can afford soon.

  • 22. Albany Park Mom  |  May 20, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    @Mayfair Dad. That’s very strange. Newsweek does a ranking using the same calculation and Northside came in at #70, the highest in the state. You’ll be happy to know that Lincoln Park was second at #95. 🙂

  • 23. Mayfair Dad  |  May 20, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    @ Albany Park Mom: I’ve noticed the national press rankings tend to treat LPHS more favorably than the local press rankings. I guess it depends on what is being measured and who is doing the measuring. I hope my son measures up next year or he will feel my size 10.5 shoes (I’ve been measured!) on his tender slacker butt.

    Happy Rapture everybody! See you on the other side.

  • 24. CPS grad  |  May 21, 2011 at 12:27 am

    —RL Julia—– I went to a CPS high school in the early 90’s long before the mayor took over, and when the schools were much worse. My high school was a magnet, but not selective enrollment (at the time the only SE schools were Lane, Whitney, Kenwood, and Lincoln Park IB). Of a graduating class of just under 300, 35 kids went to UIUC — and we all graduated. One student from my HS even made the “Bronze Tablet” at UIUC (top 3% in the college). Other of former classmates of mine went to schools like U of Chicago, USC, Northwestern, UIC, NIU, DePaul, Loyola, to name just a few. A few kids were accepted to MIT and Ivy leagues, but for financial reasons, many chose to stay closer to home. Several of my high school classmates have PhDs and many more have master’s degrees. We were well prepared for college.

    I can’t say for sure, but I am pretty confident that the kids that go to SE now are pretty prepared for college considering that the schools have improved tremendously and that more middle class families have chosen to do try CPS compared to when I went.

  • 25. CPS grad  |  May 21, 2011 at 12:46 am

    @Mayfair Dad. I teach at a top 10 high school in the state (not CPS). I know that the students who go to this school are well prepared for college. Many return and say college is easier than high school was.

    I would just like to say that just because a class is “AP” doesn’t mean that it prepares someone for college. A few yeas ago the College Board even had to audit the AP curriculum at every school in the country since so many misused the “AP” trademark. They called everything “AP” just to make it sound more rigorous. Similarly, a student can never take an AP and be well prepared for college. What is important is the rigor of the course. Where I teach we have tons of AP classes, but we also have many classes that are not AP and are more rigorous than AP.

    I don’t know why so many people think that you have to take AP classes to be prepared for college. The AP is a BRAND, and while the College Board is technically a “non-for profit” there is a lot of criticism out there that that status is violated. As parents push for more AP classes in their schools, those kids have to take more “fee based” AP tests.

  • 26. LLA Mom  |  May 21, 2011 at 7:34 am

    What was the child’s score that was offered a third round spot at Jones? Just curious….

  • 27. cps Mom  |  May 21, 2011 at 9:08 am

    Isn’t AP a college level class where you earn actual college credit? The test that is taken to receive credit is a national test administered at a certain time of the year. I’m sure that the level of the class can vary from school to school and that some high school courses can be more difficult than college level courses but I do know that AP classes at a SE school are at a level more advanced than the honors classes given by these schools. I don’t understand the comment that AP is branding and being misused. Wouldn’t the AP test weed out these “low level” classes disguised as AP? The point of an AP class, as MD puts it, is for the student to work and study at college level even though it may be a struggle for many. It is all about preparing for college.

    I do agree about college bound kids. At Jones about 95% go on to college – the 5% not going usually because of financial reasons and the need to work. Of those, I assume the majority stick it out or go on for advanced degrees.

  • 28. copyeditor  |  May 21, 2011 at 11:29 am

    The AP program is a brand of the College Board; they sell the test and the curriculum. The original idea was that high schools could offer their top students college-level classes and college credit using it. Then, the rating services like US News started ranking schools based on how many students took AP classes, the thought being that these would be kids who were so well prepared in their first three years that they could do college-level work. Instead, the schools started putting everyone in AP classes to boost their rankings, even though most of the students do poorly on the AP test. The class is graded, so your grade in the AP class may be different from your score on the AP exam.

    As for college attendance and graduation rates, those are not well tracked anywhere. So many people tell me that the high school in their suburb is so super-duper excellent that 98% of the graduates finish college in four years, which is just an outright falsehood. (None of these students take up a five-year program like pharmacy or nursing?) The high schools tend to lose track of their students after graduation, so all they can really report on is the plans that their seniors have before graduation. Even UIUC manages to graduate only about 80% of its students in five years; it’s closer to 50% at UIC.

    It would be fascinating to have data about college success, and my guess is that will be the next stage in education evaluation. There are a lot of interesting questions being raised about what is happening on college campuses.

  • 29. Grace  |  May 22, 2011 at 8:17 am

    I know it’s off topic, sorry, but if you are interested in the goings on in Indiana schools and Gov. Mitch Daniels’ reforms, here’s a link to an interesting NY Times story.


  • 30. Grace  |  May 22, 2011 at 8:55 am

    BTW, also just saw that CTU is hosting a forum on recess : ) next week. Everyone is welcome. Teachers, parents, students, and community. (Kid Power!)

    Recess in the Schools Forum
    Jenner Elementary School
    1119 N Cleveland Ave
    Chicago, IL 60610

    Wednesday, May 25th, 2011 — 6:00-8:00 PM

  • 31. Grace  |  May 22, 2011 at 9:12 am

    @ Mayfair Dad … Jay Mathews’ rankings don’t consider the students’ AP test scores — which probably are a good indication of the courses’ effectiveness. I heard that a number of selective colleges don’t give credit for even top scores.

  • 32. Mama Pickles  |  May 22, 2011 at 9:52 am

    @Hawthorne Mom
    Yes, Preschool for All has been eliminated from the budget. My son is a special education student in a Preschool for All classroom. Last week Monday his teacher told me we would need to hold an IEP to place him in a self-contained special education classroom for the fall. NOT HAPPENING! My son is on the autism spectrum and has social/emotional delays. Cognitively his teacher said he is leaps and bounds beyond his peers and should be tested for gifted programs in the fall. With social/emotional being his only delays, how can placing him in a special education classroom help him? I am frantically searching for a preschool that will take him. He needs to be with typical peers so he can learn how to interact with people. His teacher told me if she were in my shoes she would hire a lawyer.

    I really don’t think there will be any last minute saving of the PFA program. My friend is an administrator in CPS and she said a lot PFA teachers were told to interview with other schools if they would like to remain a teacher with CPS. I wrote a 2 page letter to Mayor Emanuel and my husband is hand delivering it to him when the mayor comes to my husband’s fire house today. I also plan on writing a letter to Mazany and Brizard. I doubt it will do any good, but you never know.

  • 33. lsm  |  May 22, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    Regarding Preschool for All: our neighborhood school (Blaine) is taking applications for a tuition-based half day option since it looks like PFA funding won’t come through, especially for higher income districts. I’m assuming some other schools will offer such an option as well. It is $4000 per kid for a five day a week, 2-1/2 hour program.

  • 34. Hawthorne mom  |  May 22, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    So, is PFA cut or in danger of being cut? Those are two different things. Has the funding been cut for some schools already with the possibility of more? (which is what it sounds like)
    I have a number of friends who are enrolled for a PFA program this fall and so far, their schools are saying nothing. Two friends have been told their PFA or Headstart collaborative (which combines PFA and Headstart funding) no longer have spots for their kids. But others, their schools have said nothing. Will they wait until the summer to tell them there is no program….do the schools even know what is going on?
    Can I just say I hate it that CPS waits until the last minute with everything?!!!!

  • 35. Hawthorne mom  |  May 22, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    #32, do you feel comfortable telling us what school?

  • 36. cpsobsessed  |  May 22, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    FYI, the score for Jones for the original poster was:
    852, Tier 4

  • 37. Mama Pickles  |  May 22, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    @Hawthorne Mom: From my understanding PFA has been eliminated. There is a very slight chance it will be restored, but the teacher told me they are $30 million short for PFA. My son’s teacher told me about the elimination because flat out asked her last Monday. She told me to keep it quiet until tomorrow when it becomes public knowledge. I would guess that means some sort of official notice will be given to all schools tomorrow. I don’t feel comfortable sharing the school at this time because I was asked to keep it quiet, but it is on the southwest side. I think HeadStart is staying because it is a federal program if I’m not mistaken.

  • 38. Gayfair Dad  |  May 22, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    PFA folks, please start a new thread. Stay on topic, please. Discipline.
    “High School Letters – still going out”. Really?

  • 39. cpsobsessed  |  May 22, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    Good idea GFDad, I will start a new post for PFA!

  • 40. Mama Pickles  |  May 22, 2011 at 11:11 pm

    My deepest apologies Daddy. It’s not my blog to start a new topic on though…..

  • 41. cps Mom  |  May 23, 2011 at 11:39 am

    Regarding AP classes

    I can see that some schools might call everything “AP”, that not all students pass the test, that not all colleges accept the credit for AP (just like they don’t accept credits transferred over from other colleges). Speaking for selective enrollment high schools – the level of an AP class is more difficult than the other classes they offer. Since many of their classes are at honors level, I am going to guess that AP classes are challenging and thereby beneficial. The schools want to encourage all students, not just the top 10% of the top 10% in the city to challenge themselves and take classes that will be a reach for many. If this also happens to boost their rating on some magazine list then I’m all in favor of any branding that will encourage and motivate higher level learning.

    AP classes do prepare kids for college and they are extremely motivating for kids. I would certainly challenge the comment that they are ineffective, as described in multiple posts above.

  • 42. HSObsessed  |  May 23, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    @19 RLJulia and others about CPS stats on HS enrollment — they are publicly available on the REA website, with latest data from 2009 graduates. They don’t show how many are on track after one year in college, but they do have raw numbers about how many seniors from each high school enroll in any college, and what percent of graduates enroll. Here are the top five in each category:

    Percentage of graduates enrolled in college:
    Brooks 87%
    Northside 86%
    Lindblom 84%
    Young 84%
    Chicago Agr 83%

    Sheer number of graduates enrolled in college:
    Lane 724
    Young 394
    Curie 332
    LP 309
    Taft 289

  • 43. Esmom  |  May 23, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    Funny that you mention CPS college readiness because I just had this discussion (in a different context) this morning. A fellow parent at my kids’ old CPS school is a professor at Northwestern and last year he told me that he was asked to be part of a special committee to help support CPS kids entering Northwestern because for a number of years prior they had consistently been woefully unprepared.

    He didn’t say whether those new students were from SE high schools or not — and I didn’t think to ask — just that it was a program for new students coming out of CPS, and that the school had no other, similar issues with kids coming from other large public school systems such as NYC.

    I have no idea if that program/committee is still in place at Northwestern or if it ever really got off the ground. I just remember feeling discouraged at the very thought.

  • 44. Curious  |  May 23, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    We got a 3rd round offer from Westinghouse College Prep. We took a tour today and really liked, what the school is offering .My daughter loved the school and is going to attend. We are going to unregister at LPHS.

  • 45. Hawthorne mom  |  May 23, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    I wonder, how do kids even get into a school like Northwestern if they aren’t prepared well? I would venture to guess that one must have an ACT of close to 30 to even have a shot….I would love to know more about that. Was it that they couldn’t write? Or was it all subject areas? You’d think that the ACT or SAT scores would mean a prepared kid, but maybe not?
    #43, maybe your friend can tell you more about that. I’d love to know!

  • 46. Grace  |  May 24, 2011 at 7:54 am

    Hi Esmom,

    Me too! I’d love to know more about what Northwestern considers college-readiness. Thanks.

  • 47. Grace  |  May 24, 2011 at 9:03 am

    Regarding the AP rankings — here is a FAQs by Jay Matthews that explains things nicely, I thought.

  • 48. Grace  |  May 24, 2011 at 9:36 am

    This is a related aside, I think, an insightful and hilarious talk by Sir Kenneth Robinson on public education. Thought-provoking and worth a few minutes.

    (click on the video)

  • 49. cps Mom  |  May 24, 2011 at 9:42 am

    Grace – thanks for that article. It does sum up nicely. AP and IB are all about preparing for college and it’s not just the very top student that’s going to college.

    The same analogy can be applied to 7th and 8th graders preparing for HS. An elementary school that offers Algebra, biology, foreign language is preparing their kids for HS at a higher level. That student may not pass the city algebra exam, not receive credit and/or go to a school that does not accept the credit but that class does help them prepare for HS. It’s not about the credit. Does it say something about how well a school prepares students for HS if 10% or 50% or 100% of the students can take algebra? I would say so.

  • 50. Esmom  |  May 24, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    To #45 and #46…”I wonder, how do kids even get into a school like Northwestern if they aren’t prepared well?”

    My initial sentiment exactly. But my professor friend said for some reason, that with this group of kids, while their test scores were good enough for acceptance somehow everything fell apart for them once they entered the college environment. Writing was one of the factors he mentioned, along with vague references to overall discipline and study skills.

    I wish I had more specific info and wished I had asked more questions at the time. Our conversation mostly involved how the ideal solution would be to identify the issues before the students reached college so that his role and the committee would ultimately become unnecessary.This was a couple years ago and I have since lost touch with him since we left the school and neighborhood. But his story always stuck with me…he was genuinely alarmed and frustrated and seemed committed to doing whatever he could to support those kids.

  • 51. cps Mom  |  May 24, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    @44 congrats on the offer to Westinghouse. Sounds like an excellent opportunity. I think it would be helpful to those with 7th and 8th graders to hear more about your experience once your daughter starts. How did the tour impress you and what were the main reasons for your choice?

  • 52. Grace  |  May 25, 2011 at 7:25 am

    I agree cps mom, it’s great to have Algebra. It is about giving the kids a great start.

  • 53. Curious  |  May 25, 2011 at 11:08 am

    @51…I believe Westinghouse College Prep is a hidden “Gem”. We were very impressed with the rigorous courses that the school offers. Plus they have 4 yrs. of Spanish or Mandarin. They have lots of extracurricular programs for the students. We talked to the admissions counselor ‘Ms.Smith’. She gave us a tour of the school and answered everyone of our questions regarding the school and the academic program. The school is climbing up the ranks among the SEHS, I would recommend that all 7th & 8th grade students and parents,attend the Open House in the fall & apply. Because it’s going to be hard to get into this school in a couple of years. Dont let the neighborhood be a factor in making your decision. As we as parents would travel anywhere in the city for the best possible education for our kids. GWCP has kids from Northside/Southside/Westside/Lakefront attending the school now. Checkout the school’s website http://www.newwestinghouse.org

  • 54. Another Rogers Park Mama!  |  May 27, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    @cps grad: I graduated from an SEHS in 1990, Morgan Park… Attended it’s 7th & 8th in 1984/85, 1985/86… It was one of the first 3 SEHS programs in the city; just FYI you are missing one! 😉

  • 55. Another Rogers Park Mama!  |  May 27, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    @MamaPickles; we just got word TODAY that our dd’s Preschool, Cherry Preschool in Evanston has two preK openings for fall! Highly recommend for your ds!!!

  • 56. RL Julia  |  May 30, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    I know that CPS graduates often get a “second read” at some colleges in the admissions process – giving them a slight advantage.

    I have a good friend who works at such a college who noted that often the CPS kids really struggle- some are academically under-prepared, some are just not ready for college and in a number of cases, the family’s of the student are not ready or able to let them go – in that they are constantly being called home to help out in one way or another and this doesn’t allow them adequate time to study or to make new friends etc…

  • 57. chi mom  |  May 31, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    Has anyone heard when ISAT information may be coming out? I expect the first scores will be available soon due to summer school.

  • 58. too chi mom  |  June 1, 2011 at 1:01 am

    The SAT10’s (ISAT not fully scored) are supposed to be out this week but to date no one has recieved them!

  • 59. Transfer Mom  |  June 1, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    We just received our letter that due to larger than expected budget cuts Lane is losing staff and will not be accepting transfer students.
    We need to come up with a Plan B.

    Coming in from a blue ribbon, top 10 ranked state high school in IN. High GPA with honors level math and science, very high testing, extra-curricular and has musical talent. We’re in Logan Square, Any suggestions? Is there an appeals process? Lane Tech was the only high school we knew of for our area that would be a good fit for her. We had a prior suggestion of Westinghouse so I’ll look into that.
    Thank you in advance!

  • 60. cpsobsessed  |  June 1, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    Oh man, I am sorry Transfer Mom. You made a good effort on your daughter’s behalf. I would certainly check out Westinghouse.

  • 61. curious  |  June 1, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    @59 Transfer mom….Lane Tech took in alot less kids than in years past. But call Westinghouse College Prep and ask for the school counselor Ms.Smith or checkout the schools website http://www.newwestinghouse.org

  • 62. kiki  |  June 1, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    I just found out the grading system at Brooks.

    f=74 below

    Do most of the SEHS have this same grading system, and if not, when colleges look at grades, do they look at schools with this type of grading system different. I’m trying to understand since some schools for example a 90 is A, do they take into account that the grading system is different and adjust.

  • 63. HSObsessed  |  June 1, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    kiki, there was just a push this past school year to standardize the grading scale for all schools, 90-100, 80-90, etc. across the board. However, I sort of lost track of where we are with that. I the standardization will take effect next year.

  • 64. cps Mom  |  June 1, 2011 at 8:08 pm

    The “standardization” is still very much up in the air. Colleges consider the school but not necessarily the grade scale.

  • 65. mom2  |  June 1, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    @62 – a large group of parents really pushed Lane to change its grading scale for next year (along with the LSC and a majority of teachers) and they were successful.. Lane’s current grading scale is just as you describe for Brooks and it greatly hurts students. One bad test or project can make it impossible to move up to an A in a given class.

    While a college may look at a particular school and might keep their grading scale in mind, when it comes to applying for scholarships and things like that, they simply ask for your GPA and with scales like 95=A, a student may never meet the GPA requirements to even apply for a scholarship. I am thrilled that Lane woke up and decided to put the kids first and follow in the path of Northside and Payton starting next year.

  • 66. mommy  |  June 2, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    @ Another Rogers Park Mama
    Thanks for reminding me of Morgan Park. Now that you mention it, I remember that it was SE. –I acutally know a few kids from there.

  • 67. Mayfair Dad  |  June 3, 2011 at 9:08 am

    Standardizing grades across CPS is low-hanging fruit, and JC Brizzard would be wise to implement this quickly, especially in a year when most of the headlines will be bad news.

    I read today where he is not happy with the mandatory breakfast, and will push to improve food quality and also allow students to opt out with a note from the parents. Another smart move.

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