Ready, Set, Apply – 2012/2013 School Year

October 4, 2011 at 7:20 am 91 comments

The application period is now open for signing up for the lotteries for magnet schools + neighborhood schools (where you are outside the zone) and to test for gifted and classical elementary programs, International IB/Gifted programs (middle school at Lincoln and Ogden,) Academic Centers (7-8th grade,) and selective enrollment high schools. The application period ends December 16.  Yes, I have actually stood in line at the post office that day.  Don’t procrastinate!

The official Options for Knowledge Guide is now ready online and should soon be available at libraries and some schools. This document has improved every year and if you have the stamina to get through it, it’s a great resource and it has all the official “rules.”  In my initial scroll-through, it looks easy to read and has a ton of information spelled out very well.  Of course to a new parent unfamiliar with all these terms, it can probably seem overwhelming.  And would they please rename the “Magnet Cluster” designation? So confusing.  A magnet that’s not really a magnet.

CPS also has this handy explanation of the selection and tier process:

This year the applications can be done either online at or via paper application from the booklet in the first link above.

If you plan to apply online, you need to first sign up to get a PIN number which can take a few days, so factor that into account.

As with anything CPS-related (or any giant organization) it is always ideal to have some kind of paper confirmation to prove that you’ve applied and that they have your application on file.  Errors seem less common these days with the online system, but do everything you can to create a paper trail.  And to you new parents, back in the older days (i.e. 2 years ago) you had to apply to every non-selective school individually.  Luckily CPS has embraced the Internet.  Yay!

When is the best time to apply?  For lottery spots, any time is fine since it’s all random.  Just don’t wait until the last minute in case of snow/cold/forgetfulness.

When is the best time to apply for a Selective Enrollment test?   I’d say somewhere in the middle of the application period.   Some parents of young kids prefer to wait until the end of the test period so their child can learn more before the gifted/classical tests.  Supposedly, the tests are scored based on your child’s actual birthdate so it shouldn’t give you an edge to test later, just like kids with earlier birthdays don’t have an advantage.  If your child just turned 4 in August, it can probably help to wait for them to mature a little more before sending them off into a room with a stranger to take a test. 

However I’ve also heard of parents who prefer to sign up for the test early, to get it over with or to avoid the horrible and unpredictable weather of January and February (the final testing months.)  Trust me, you don’t want to take a 5 year old out at 8am in a blizzard to take a test.

For Selective Enrollment High Schools, well, I am still learning about that.  I believe the tests are administered in groups in the spring so it doesn’t matter when you sign up.   Is that correct?

Entry filed under: Applying to schools.

South Loop Regional Gifted Center has stopped taking new students Find a School – Awesome Map!

91 Comments Add your own

  • 1. MarketingMom  |  October 4, 2011 at 9:23 am

    You might wish to submit your gifted application later, since CPS has been known to open new schools/programs along the way. Wspecially with South Loop being closed, they might decide to open a new program elsewhere and this might change your order of ranking.

  • 2. Davis  |  October 4, 2011 at 10:12 am

    Has CPS released the testing dates for the s.e. high schoos?

  • 3. cps Mom  |  October 4, 2011 at 10:21 am

    The SE testing has traditionally been done throughout January. In the past, the application asks if there is a date/dates that you cannot take the exam. For example, the catholic schools test falls on the same day as one of the SE test dates. There are typically 1 or 2 December dates available as well. Some try to request the last possible date to prepare. I found that December is probably too early because it is helpful to study over holiday break. Beyond that, with end of quarter looming in January and a full class load there is not much extra time to study and anytime that month is probably good. Our test was on January 9 – worked out perfect, got it over with and had time to study.

  • 4. cps Mom  |  October 4, 2011 at 10:23 am

    sorry – to add, in #3 I was referring to high school.

  • 5. James  |  October 4, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    The SE HS testing dates are 12/10, 12/17, 1/14, 1/21, and 1/28. On the application, you fill in those dates on which you cannot test. It also asks you if you are taking the Catholic school test and gives you an option to test on a Sunday (1/29) if you prefer not to test on a Saturday for religious reasons. Finally, you select your preferred test location — Brooks, King, Lane Tech, or Whitney Young.

  • 6. James  |  October 4, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    Actually, I now see that the non-Saturday test option is a Friday (1/27).

  • 7. Curious  |  October 4, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    We don’t have to worry, about the SEHS testing this year. As we were finally done with it last winter. But I’m here to give out a few pointers to the madness that occurs with the SEHS process. My daughter is having a blast at Westinghouse College Prep. Very good high school to those that have not heard of it. Checkout their website

  • 8. CPSDepressed  |  October 4, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    Is there an easy guide to this? Does the CPS Options Guide tell you what you need to know about high school? And should I expect/receive any help from my kid’s school with this?

    I feel so sorry for the kids whose parents aren’t with-it enough to be on top of this, and those kids need a good high school the most.

  • 9. HSObsessed  |  October 4, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    @8 – Your K-8 school may have a counselor that helps the kids through the process. My child is in 7th gr this year and so I’ll be attending a workshop this week at her school where high school reps give presentations, then we’re told about the steps needed to be taken for the high school admissions process, including SE high schools and others.

  • 10. cps Mom  |  October 4, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    @8 – looks like they’ve finally cleaned up the application process – (1) for SEHS (1) for magnets (1) for IB. You apply and receive test and interview dates. The process just happens and your counselor should provide guidance/advice. Few things worth mentioning:
    – don’t go in blind, explore all the options and apply to many – you may change your mind later about preferences
    – study and plan for the SE test, choose date to suit your childs strength
    – There is a private school exam (in December?). It’s a single test for schools like Latin, Parker, boarding schools – make sure you talk to your counselor about this
    – There is a separate catholic schools test – in prior years it was given on one date in January. They want you to pick the school up front and take the test there (this may very well change). Again check with the counselor.

    Schools that require 8th grade grades, essays or letters of recommendation will let you know.

  • 11. Meagan  |  October 4, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    I am starting this process of figuring out kindergartens. I have my list of 20 schools but I would like to dwindle it down by looking at the schools that have a full day kindergarten vs. a half day. Is there a list of this anywhere? I have taken to checking each schools website – but even the websites don’t easily share this info either. M next step is to call each school and just ask the office. Please share a link to this list if there is one “out there”. Thanks!
    There are just so many things to look at when applying to the schools!

  • 12. anonymous  |  October 5, 2011 at 5:57 am

    Many half day kindergartens in the city got bumped up to full day this year, after the school year started. No one knows where the money came from to fund this, but it magically appeared. Schools got called asking if they wanted full day either the first of second day of school this year. The only half day programs left are ones in schools with severe overcrowding and absolutely nowhere to put the extra classrooms.

  • 13. CityMom  |  October 5, 2011 at 6:54 am

    My daughter is in 2nd grade and she seriously asked me last night where she would go to high school. I really don’t know what prompted it, but she’s on a gymnastics team with some older kids and I guess they must have been talking about it.

    For what it’s worth, there are 2 girls on her team that go to Jones and they love it. They are great kids too!

  • 14. DaddyofZane  |  October 5, 2011 at 7:17 am

    @Meagan – in the Options for Knowledge guide the schools with full-day kindergarten have a (K) next to their listing.

    As for your neighborhood school, if it’s not in the Options for Knowledge guide then you’ll need to call, I suspect.

  • 15. Daddy  |  October 5, 2011 at 8:32 am

    I’m a new parent applying to K schools and as I understand it, the magnets, magnet clusters and open enrollment work like this:

    The firsts to get accepted are siblings
    Then, 40% within the proximity of 1.5 miles
    Whatever is left is divided equally within the 4 tiers

    Am I understanding this correctly?

    So, my questions is, the neighborhood kids of magnet clusters and open enrollment don’t have any preference? If so, what percentage of neighborhood kids gets in before the lottery process kicks in?

    Can’t find an answer to this question anywhere!!! Any comments/suggestions/ideas will be greatly appreciated!

  • 16. CPSDepressed  |  October 5, 2011 at 8:48 am

    The magnet clusters are schools that are/were underenrolled with neighborhood children, so they promoted themselves with special programs in order to attract families from out of the neighborhood. The way they work is this: families in the attendance area are automatically admitted. (Attendance area boundaries are not necessarily the same as 1.5 miles; you can look them up.) Then, if there are open seats, they go first to siblings, then to lottery. I don’t know if the tiers come into play or not.

    CPSO is right: magnet cluster is a misnomer. Think of them as neighborhood schools that raffle off leftover slots.

  • 17. RL Julia  |  October 5, 2011 at 10:30 am

    I bet that the magnet cluster will be done away with in the next few years – that being said there are some really solid schools to be found in that group (and elsewhere for that matter).

    One thing to note about applying to the neighborhood school/magnet cluster- neighborhood schools have an obligation to their neighborhood’s children first. Thes kids can rightfully enroll in that school at anytime (and do!). Because of this uncertainty it seems to be becoming more and more common that children are offered places in neighborhood schools very late in the season (July, August, September) .Thus, if you really want your kid to be in a certain school you will be best served by keeping an open mind to the possiblity of a last minute or mid-year admission. Obviously, every parent would like to have this type of decision locked up by June, the reality seems that the parent willing to move a kid the second week of school or mid-year might have a slightly better chance of getting their kid (or kids) into the school of their choice.

    Last year, my neighborhood elementary school (part of a magnet cluster) received about 200 applications mostly for Kindergarten of which the school felt comfortable committing to about two slots for -this is because the school has no real idea what the kindergarten enrollment is going to be until the first day of school (this year 40 kids in various grades showed up unannounced). Thus, if you were really interested in getting into my neighborhood school the strategy would be to apply, get on the waiting list and then call during the summer and into September and see if there are slots available. From what I can tell, if you are really determined to get into a particular school, this is probably what it takes.

    For the neighborhood school, you also might actually have better luck with a non-kindergarten admission because fewer people are applying and the schools have a little bit better idea of how big or small the existing class is.

    Additionally, some schools might actually be looking for students in certain grades so that they don’t lose a position or know that they are going to get a position/open an additional classroom.

  • 18. HSObsessed  |  October 5, 2011 at 11:02 am

    So I finally got a chance to look through the whole Options for Knowledge guide and the updated CPS website. Wow, lots of info, and nicely laid out. Yes, it’s still hard to sort through all the info, but it’s (mostly) all there.

    Two things that need improvement: There’s no permanent cross-posting of (the main cps site) and (the options site). If someone Googles cps, they’ll land on and then never get directed to the options site, even if they go under “find a school” or “enroll in a school”. (Currently, the CPS site is featuring the options stuff as a special posting, but there needs to be better permanent “signage”.)

    Second, I find it crazy that the Options For Knowledge guide makes no mention at all of charters or contract schools, and at this point there are more than 100 of them. They are public schools, paid for by taxpayer money, and non-test in. The OFK guide has the feel of a comprehensive, bible-like booklet that contains “everything you need to know” about school options in Chicago, and yet by failing to even mention charters/contracts, it’s not complete. And then, when parents realize that fact, they may wonder what other options are not included, that are being hidden away from them, because they’re not “in the know”?

    I realize that charters must do their own marketing/recruiting, which is probably why the OFK guide doesn’t give them much space, but it’s doing a complete disservice to the Chicago public to refuse to even mention them as another area to explore.

    (I’m going to send these points directly to CPS as well as posting here.)

  • 19. cpsobsessed  |  October 5, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    Wow, you are so right HSO! It’s funny because you’re stating the obvious, but it ends up being so easy to overlook the obvious.
    They’re on the CPS web site, right?! So why not include the information in the booklet?

    CPS has always been kind of weird that way. I remember way back when I thought it was weird that a neighborhood school wouldn’t be recommending certain kids for gifted/classical testing. But bodies=money so schools don’t want to recommend that a kid try to leave the school. It’s just not done.

  • 20. CPSDepressed  |  October 5, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    The other reason the neighborhood schools don’t want to recommend kids for gifted/classical testing is that they want to keep the kids with high test scores. In the upper grades, they don’t like to talk about Academic Centers for the same reason.

  • 21. HSObsessed  |  October 5, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    Yup, I think it’s probably partially due to the (valid) reason that charters and contract schools are left to do their own recruiting and marketing. However, I’m sure part of it is just a turf thing, and CPS doesn’t want to encourage motivated parents to take their kids to the charter/contract schools. They would be encouraging the so-called “skimming” that is so often decried at neighborhood schools.

  • 22. Mayfair Dad  |  October 5, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    @ 8 & others:

    Remember to apply to high schools outside of the SEHS process. You will need to visit the individual school’s websites to become familiar with each school’s process. Some high schools you might wish to consider:

    Lincoln Park High School (IB, Double Honors & Performing Arts)
    Von Steuben High School (Scholars Program)
    Ogden International High School
    Mary Louise Alcott High School for the Humanities
    Taft High School (IB Program)
    Agriculture Magnet High School – south side

    There are others, I am aware of these schools. You should have a back-up plan outside of the SEHS competitive craziness.

  • 23. mom2  |  October 5, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    And for some of you, at least those of you within the school boundaries, you might really want to consider Lakeview High School. I understand they have a new principal starting new programs and they have a large group of parents that are really trying to turn the school around in a hurry. Great neighborhood helps.

  • 24. anonymous  |  October 5, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    RE: full day Kindergarten. The options for knowledge book is outdated and incorrect.The first week of school, more funding appeared and many schools that were designated half day kindergarten in August did a very last minute switch to full day kindergarten. I know this because this happened at my school where I am currently teaching. We were half day kindergarten until the 3rd week of school and then became full day. The options book does not have correct information for every school because of the last minute change. 99% of parents would have no idea that full day was offered to schools that used to be full day. Some schools took the funding and became full day, some did not because of space or other logistical issues that made it impossible. But either way, the full day/half day information is not correct.

  • 25. cps Grad  |  October 5, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    @18- There is a permanent link between the CPS and OAE websites, but it is really hard to find. On the CPS.Edu website click “About CPS” on the top navigation bar, then DEPARTMENTS. This gives an alphabetical listing of all CPS departments. Academic Enhancement is the first listing. Click that link, and it brings you to a page with a link to the OAE website.

    Not exactly the most user friendly link… but it does exist.

  • 26. Christine  |  October 5, 2011 at 11:24 pm

    Contract and Charter Schools are not included in the Options for Knowledge Guide because they are not part of the OFK schools — you can’t apply for them with the standard elem application or the sees application. Non-Open-Enrollment Neighborhood Schools aren’t in there, either.

  • 27. cpsobsessed  |  October 5, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    Hm, that is a good point about neighborhood non-open schools not being included in the booklet either.
    But… Given that the charters are basically lottery, it seems fair to mention them….

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 28. Jen  |  October 6, 2011 at 8:57 am

    My neighborhood school, Hayt Elementary, is not listed in the OFK guide…is this a mistake or are some schools not listed for a reason?

  • 29. Jen  |  October 6, 2011 at 8:59 am

    I just saw the other comment about “non-open elementary schools”…which leads me to believe that Hayt must be one of those. Why are some open and some not open?

  • 30. CPSDepressed  |  October 6, 2011 at 9:06 am

    I suspect the non-open ones are overcrowded and thus can’t take kids from outside the attendance area as they are overwhelmed with kids in it. Is that the case with Hayt?

  • 31. cpsobsessed  |  October 6, 2011 at 9:14 am

    The “non-open” schools are the neighborhood (also magnet cluster) schools that will expect to be full from the neighborhood so they don’t that any other kids.
    They tend to be really full in the lower grades but if you want a spot in an upper grade it may be worth going in to inquire.
    I thnik Bell probably isn’t on the open list (other than gifted.) Same with Coonley. Probably Blaine and Burley and Edgebrook and other fully enrolled schools…..

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 32. bagg  |  October 6, 2011 at 10:36 am

    For those living in the far north side, FYI new Montessori High School possibly to open in 2013. Here is some info:

    BTW, love the montessori video. Clearly and succinctly explains montessori.

  • 33. anonymous  |  October 6, 2011 at 10:40 am

    I heard a rumor that last year that when Options parents (non-neighborhood) were looking to get younger siblings into Bell’s K (for this year) that there were no spots, and that CPS told the principal that if there were spots they had to go to NCLB kids only. I’m assuming this hasn’t changed for the upcoming year. Bell has almost 1000 students.

  • 34. CuriousGirl  |  October 6, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    I apologize if I submit this question as slightly off topic, but is the Office of Academic Enhancement no longer in existence? Was this office folded into another department, and if so, what does this mean?

  • 35. JKR  |  October 6, 2011 at 12:53 pm their website is still up and running…

  • 36. cps Mom  |  October 6, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    @27 – Interesting about charters. There seems to be a major change this year not present last year. I only glanced over OFK (so please correct me if I’m wrong 😉 ) but looks like IB and magnet will be offered in order of preference. In prior years you could apply to many and get accepted by all if qualified. Maybe no charters because they are still lottery basis with possibilities for multiple offers? What do you think?

    I believe NY has a preference ranking for Charters. Might be a good idea here too. Individual schools with their own application is tough to navigate. Noble even requires that you apply to each school – maybe a way of weeding out those not really interested?

  • 37. Meagan  |  October 6, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    I just applied for the kindergarten sees online and Bell and Beaubien were not options on the application list yet I believe they are options on Options For knowledge Guide and they are listed on the sees open House list. Am I missing something? I submitted the application without listing both those schools then sent an email inquiring why they were not listed. Am I missing something? Are they not options for kindergarten? Thanks for help. Your answers to my kindergarten question were helpful.

  • 38. cpsobsessed  |  October 6, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    Bell and beaubien both begin in 1st grade.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 39. Waitingmom  |  October 8, 2011 at 8:21 am

    Can anyone give thoughts on Edgebrook, Wildwood and Norwood Park schools? Thanks

  • 40. NW Side  |  October 9, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    @39 Waitingmom – you could check for info on those schools.

  • 41. Edgebrook fan  |  October 11, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    I can speak about Edgebrook.
    Edgebrook is a good school. We’re tremendously overcrowded, but an addition under construction currently and slated to be open next fall will alleviate some of our problems.
    We’ve been losing some 7th and 8th graders to Taft AC, but a new plan is underway to retain these kids in the future.
    Our leafy, peaceful neighborhood has everything you could possibly want. Even in this market, houses sell fast. And you couldn’t ask for nicer neighbors. I wouldn’t say Edgebrook is utopia, but it’s pretty darn close.

  • 42. Curious  |  October 12, 2011 at 11:53 am

    Has anyone had any experience regarding the military academies? Is it strictly for those who are interesting in the military or do they provide engineering options too? I have a student interested in engineering (jumps between electrical and computer). Is Lane Tech probably the strongest school for a student with an engineering bent? Lane certainly has a rich course selection.

  • 43. Edgebrook?  |  October 12, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    Oh jesus, take one look at dying downtown Edgebrook and you’ll see that it definitely isn’t a utopia. Even the toy store open for 30+ years gave it up. It is utopia for close-minded white catholics who haven’t left the neighborhood since birth. Post #41 must be written by one of the desperate realtors specializing in Edgebrook. Please.

  • 44. momof3boys  |  October 12, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    i would never send my kid to Alcott High School for the Humanities. It is a horrible school filled with unachieveing kids and gang bangers… My DH has to arrest a kid from there who was plotting to make a bomb…. He asked the kid about the school and the child said that no one gives a “bleep” about the kids and they dont care. DH felt horrible for the kid because despite his problems he really seemed like he just wanted them to care…

  • 45. cpsobsessed  |  October 12, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    That sounds fishy, frankly. Gang bangers are taking the time to fill out school lottery forms? I have no idea about the composition of Alcott but my sense is that the “worst” kids are in the neighborhood schools because it requires the least effort.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 46. HSObsessed  |  October 12, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    @42, I think the military academies are definitely worth a look, and they’re PSAE results are very competitive, especially given that they’ve only been operating a few years. Even though there’s no military commitment in the end for graduates, the schools get military funding support, so they have tons of extras. For a kid who’s interested in science/engineering, you should also look into von Steuben and DeVry, although DeVry still is only for juniors and seniors.

  • 47. HSObsessed  |  October 12, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    ^^^ correction: “… and THEIR PSAE results …”

  • 48. West Rogers Park Mom  |  October 12, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    to #43 – – Seriously ? ? ? Bitter much . . .

    That being said I did hear that this years 8th grade class went from 2 classes to 1 large class because they lost so many kids to Taft AC. Look at any rankings and Edgebrook is always way up there.

  • 49. Curious  |  October 13, 2011 at 10:32 am

    Does anyone know, where I can obtain the Options for knowledge guide booklet? I’ve gone to a couple of libraries and they haven’t received them yet.

  • 50. cpsobsessed  |  October 13, 2011 at 10:42 am

    I tried at sultzer library last night too and no luck. I think at this point you have to print it or wait….

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 51. Curious  |  October 13, 2011 at 11:23 am

    The options for knowledge guide booklets are usually out by this time of the year. Beginning to look like a cost cutting move by CPS?

  • 52. cpsobsessed  |  October 13, 2011 at 11:26 am

    The librarian at sultzer said the printing was running late, but she too speculated the desire to move the booklet online.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 53. Randall Leurquin  |  October 14, 2011 at 6:31 am

    Another great resource is which includes information on other options not really mentioned here like the College and Career Academies, AVID, Military academies and more

  • 54. lawmom  |  October 14, 2011 at 11:04 am

    Some of you might already know this, but the North Side Parents Network is having their school fair tomorrow. Over 100 public and private preschools and elementary schools will be represented. It is a great way to get questions answered and find out the options. Here is the link:

  • 55. cpsobsessed  |  October 14, 2011 at 11:05 am

    Thanks for the reminder. I’ll be at a table there talking to parents so stop by if you’re there!

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 56. Pre-School Question  |  October 15, 2011 at 11:51 am

    Hi. I’ve heard there are CPS preschools where you get in at preschool level and then stay in through 8th grade. One is a language school. Does anyone know about this?

  • 57. Rosel  |  October 15, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    Along with the schools mentioned by #23, #24, don’t forget about Kenwood. Either at 7th or 9th grade. Great principal, real AP classes, real sports, art, and music. And the only school that still has college bridge– your child can take college courses at the U of Chicago, tuition free.

  • 58. susan  |  October 15, 2011 at 7:52 pm


  • 59. Open K space at Belding as of 10-17  |  October 17, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    According to an NPN post, Belding has a spot open right now for a kindergarten student. Contact the principal.

  • 60. Edgebrook info  |  October 18, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    I also live in Edgebrook (and am not a realtor!). It’s a fantastic community with great schools, among the best neighborhood schools in the city. Which restaurants we have downtown actually has nothing to do with the schools or, really, with the community overall.

    My daughter started going to Wildwood this year, and we have been really happy with the teachers, administration, after-school options and the school community. The new principal, starting her second year, is phenomenal. Unfortunately, the secret seems to be out, as the non-neighborhood spots are minimal. I didn’t think Edgebrook took any out-of-neighborhood kids, since it’s not a magnet.

  • 61. Downtown Dad  |  October 18, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    @60 – Most neighborhood schools do take some non-neighborhood kids and maintain a waitlist of such children.

  • 62. Jennifer  |  October 19, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    I’m really torn about whether to submit my now 2nd grader for testing again this year. We bought a house in our suburban village this summer, but it’s not intended as a permanent home, and my concerns about her missing out on everything a gifted/classical school could provide her haven’t gone away. I have her first parent-teacher conference of the year this week so perhaps that will help me decide.

  • 63. IB&RGC Mom  |  October 19, 2011 at 10:27 pm

    I also think Edgebrook is a lovely neighborhood. I don’t live there, but my daughter goes to Wildwood and I love the school. It is a small school where the teachers seem to care, the principle is wonderful, the PTA is very involved, and it you get a great community feel there.

  • 64. IB&RGC Mom  |  October 19, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    Also, Edgebrook School does take in kids that are not in the boundries when they have room. But since they have become so popular I don’t know how often they have room. I have no doubt people move there to have there kids attend a great neighborhood school. I have a friend who has her daughter there and does not live in the attendence boundry. She is very happy with the school.

  • 65. marty  |  October 20, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    my kindergarten son goes to a “gifted school” do i have to test him to get into the gifted class or will the teacher bring it to my attention if she believes he has a chance of getting in to the gifted class next year for 1st grade??

  • 66. IB&RGC Mom  |  October 20, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    Marty you have to apply and have him tested. Good luck. Applications are due mid December. You can request a pin to apply online at the CPS OAE site.

  • 67. cpsobsessed  |  October 20, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    Some schools have their own gifted track so you’d have to ask about that and how kids are selected, but if and actual Region Gifted Center you need to test, as mentioned above.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 68. Future CPS Kinder Mom  |  October 20, 2011 at 11:22 pm

    Pre-School Question – I don’t believe that anyone answered your question yet. Yes, it is my understanding that there are four CPS schools where the entrance year is preschool. In these schools if your child gets into the preschool they may stay through 8th grade. These schools are Inter-American (dual language immersion English/Spanish). I believe their entrance year is Preschool/4 year olds. The other three are the three CPS Montessori schools: Oscar Mayer, Drummond and Suder (I think the last is Suder). Their entrance year is preschool/3 year olds. I believe that Oscar Mayer also has attendance boundaries but that the others do not. Double check my info but I believe that this (or most of it) is correct. I am sure someone will correct me if it is not! Also, you can apply to these schools to see if you can lottery in at an older age but you have the best chance at the entrance year as that is when the most spots are available.

  • 69. nonplussed  |  October 21, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    My son attends a Regional Gifted Center school but he is only in Kindergarten. He is very bright & can read well already I am wondering should I apply for him to go to the same school he is in now but to get into the options program or will he automatically be put into it as he can read & write very well & his teacher has already told me he is doing exceptionally well.

  • 70. edb  |  October 24, 2011 at 10:08 am

    @69 – your son will not be moved into the gifted program automatically. You will have to apply and his scores will have to qualify him for a spot. Unfortunately, his current school performance will have no bearing on whether or not he gets a spot.

  • 71. David  |  October 24, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    Any Lane AC parents that can give information or input on their student’s homework and extracurricular activites?
    Are you happy with Lane AC choice?
    Is it what you expected? vs other SE?

  • 72. mom2  |  October 24, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    I am not a Lane AC parent, but I do have a high school student at Lane. I can tell you that each 7th grader at Lane was given a high school student as their mentor. These high school students went through an application process including recommendations from teachers in order to be selected as a mentor. They meet with their assigned 7th grader every week and they had special events in the summer and during the school year together. So, I do know that there has been that sort of interaction with the high school students.

  • 73. LTACer  |  October 24, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    Hi! I’m a LTAC (Lane Tech Academic Center) 7th grader! I have tons and tons of homework, but I had a lot at my old school, so it’s not so bad. The extracurricular activities are awesome! There are so many choices! I’m in drama club, which hasn’t really started up much yet, but I have friends in other sports. The girls’ tennis team placed second in the city! We’re also allowed to make our own clubs. I am extremely happy with my choice to switch. I love the enviroment, the friends, pretty much everything except the homework! It’s kind of what I expected, but in many ways a lot better. All of the teachers, community and everything is so wonderful! I would definetly recommend it. The only thing is that you have to be really dedicated and willing to work. I love LTAC, and look forward to high school at Lane!

  • 74. LTACer's Mom  |  October 24, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    DD has been quite happy at LTAC, so much so she had to jump in to comment herself. (That’s what happens when they start reading over your shoulder!) DD does average about 3 hours of homework a night but is really engaged with what she’s been learning. The curriculm is good mix of content, process and critical thinking. The school seems really excited to have the kids. DD has appreciated her relationship with her mentor. The LTAC kids also have their own lunchroom. And the administration has to try to provide the extracurriculars for which there has been sufficient interest. In addition to tennis, they’ve offered cross countr, flag football (and several other sports. (You check out their webpage for a full listing.) LTAC also has their own student council, science olympiad team and math team, among other activities. Thus far, the experience has been everything we hoped.

  • 75. cpsobsessed  |  October 24, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    Thanks for the input on LTAC. Very valuable. Personally, I think the students need to unionize….
    That 3 hours a day sounds oppressive to me! And no extra pay! 🙂
    I’m impressed with any student who can work that hard. That is real dedication.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 76. LTACer's Mom  |  October 25, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    Don’t give the kids any idea about unionizing–they might very well do it! 🙂 Unfortunately, it seems like 3 hours a day isn’t unusual for the many of the stronger 7th/8th grade schools/programs. LTACer does work hard and we’re so thankful that she has a such a good academic opportunity. We just wish all the kids did–and we parents didn’t have to work quite so hard to make the system work for our kids. Thanks for putting up the blog and creating a place where we can share information. It’s an invaluable resource.

    (And thanks for praising LTACer’s dedication. She’ll appreciate it!)

  • 77. Mom2son  |  October 25, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    @73 Awwhh…Thank You so much for your input. I feel your enthusiasm!
    LTACer Mom:What elementary school did she attend, since she had heavy homework load? Was there an interest in other ACs? Is she involoved with sports/clubs?

  • 78. LTACer's Mom  |  October 25, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    @77 LTACer came from a coveted RGC. We (meaning my husband and I) considered WYAC but quickly ruled it out as the commute would have been too long for her to have much time for friends and other activities. She dances ballet, writes, has begun taking acting classes and is in Drama Club. Hope that helps. . .

  • 79. RL Julia  |  October 25, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    Went to Whitney Young AC open house this weekend – curriculum the exact same as Lanes. School is half the size of Lane, lots of clubs, lots of work – a high energy feel to the place. Given the location, I expect Lane will be giving WY a run for their money on northside students in no time at all. Taft AC is different – different curriculum – although students get lots of HS credits. Taft AC students take gym 2-3 times a week (v. 4-5) -depending on the semester and an Art 2-3 times a week. Language is taken everyday and computers – so there are a greater number of core classes and kids don’t have to choose between language, art and computers. School has a strict uniform code and it doesn’t seem like many of ACkies are eager to stay at Taft for HS if they can go to an SEHS.

  • 80. B. Lou  |  October 26, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    Does anybody understand how the personal choice ranking weighs on the SEHS application? I recall someone on a related post guessing that he might have missed a call for a school he qualified for because of how he ranked it on the order of preference, but it wasn’t clear why . Thanks, B.Lou

  • 81. cps Mom  |  October 26, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    @80 – for high schools there is no call. You will get a letter of acceptance to the highest ranked school that your child qualifies for. If there is no acceptance they will tell you so in the letter and then your name goes into a pool for second round (if there is one). You have 6 school choices, place them in order of preference. Ranking will not disqualify your child from a school as it has in the past. If you do not receive a letter (around end of Feb) and others have, contact CPS.

  • 82. Angie  |  October 26, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    I went to Ogden International high school open house today.

    Of note: there’s no more lottery to get in. Ogden Elementary students will be accepted by default, and the rest of the seats will be filled based on the 900 point maximum system:

    -300 points for the personal interview with the admission team;
    -300 points for 7th grade final grades;
    -300 points for 7th grade ISAT scores, with minimum stanine of 5 in both math and reading required.

    The principal estimated that about 60-65% of the current elementary school students will stay for high school, so the remaining spaces are up for grabs.

  • 83. rosel  |  October 27, 2011 at 9:38 am

    To posters #80 and #81. You must put the schools in your own personal preferred order. You are not going to get into more than one school. Example of wrong thing to do: Say you would really like Payton the best, but think your point total might not cut it, so you rank Lane, which you like 2nd best first and Payton second. Even if it turns out that your point total would have gotten you into Payton, you will have already been taken by Lane so you are not in the running for Payton anymore. Whereas, if you had put Payton first and did not get it, you would still be in the running for Lane. This does not mean you have to put the school that more people prefer first, just that you should follow your own preference, and include all schools that you would be willing to attend.

  • 84. Jennifer  |  November 15, 2011 at 10:26 am

    Looks like we’re back in the game after being called into school last week to discuss our daughter and being told they think that they now think she’s gifted, but that they can’t do anything to help in school beyond the math/reading enrichment she’s already getting. Oh and that we need to get her into those $400 weekend classes at NWU, because that’s what I pay my Lake County taxes for…

  • 85. luisa vereivalu  |  February 4, 2012 at 6:35 am

    i would like to join the british army force.

  • 86. luisa vereivalu  |  February 4, 2012 at 6:37 am

    would like to join the forces.

  • 87. Sally  |  October 23, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    Well, i have a question concerning my nephew… he is a white male that wants to go to Northside College Prepatory High school, he has 576/900 without his selective enrollment test and lives in tier four. if he gets a perfect 300 on his S.Enrollment he will still be six points off, but if he uses my address which is in tier two, and if he gets a perfect 300 on his selective enrollment test he will be sixteen points away from EXCEEDING the needed points. I know from what I heard this i wrong, but can this help my Nephew, and how can we carry out the fake address, please no mean answers, just be honest but helping, thank you.

  • 88. HS Mom  |  October 23, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    @87 Sally – Good luck to your nephew. Sounds like he’s doing great and will have many options. The only advice I would offer is (1) don’t assume that he will score a perfect 300 on the exam (2) explore thoroughly all your options, don’t just go for rank (3) Is getting into Northside Prep worth the gymnastics of trading addresses or could another school – Young, Jones, Lane or the host of IB, STEM or Scholars programs out there work as well possibly even better. Look at their college placements, social community and feel, teachers and programming and the opportunity to be more recognized and at home with a particular school setting etc. There are so many great options now, you may find that it’s not really necessary to play with the application.

  • 89. OutsideLookingIn  |  October 23, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    @87 – I know you are just trying to help someone you love get what he wants but think carefully about what kind of lesson you would be teaching your nephew. Can you get away with it? Possibly. Should you do it? No. I totally understand the temptation and I’m not judging you. Good luck to ypur nephew.

  • 90. RL Julia  |  October 24, 2012 at 9:49 am

    Sally, rather than offering to cheat the system for him (even if the system is “wrong”), I think it might be a more interesting (and perhaps less stressful for you) to have a conversation to find out what exactly it is that makes your nephew so enamored of Northside in the first place Then take him around to some of the open houses of other schools. I found with my own son, that he had biases against schools that were based on a whole lot of nothing – and that even when I took him to a school that he vowed he’d never go to in a million years (because it is the one closest to our house??), he had to admit it was a pretty cool place and in fact, he probably could be happy there. Then remind your nephew that life is what you make of it! My awesome friend Lily didn’t get into North Side and ended up a Lane Tech (her fourth choice!). She was really upset at first but made the best of it, made lots of great friends, captained the cross country team, was co-valedictorian of her graduating class and started Harvard this fall. Would have this happened to her if she had gone to North side? Who knows. The point is – life is often what you make of it. I am sure that there is another SEHS/IB etc… out there that your nephew gain admissions to without lying about his address.

  • 91. none  |  October 24, 2012 at 2:40 pm


    I just want to reiterate with others about exploring other school options, rather than helping him to conspire. I know it is tempting, especially others have successfully done it too… However, he might regret it later on – doubts might creep in and begin question his own ability.. My nephew attended Lane (his second choice), and he enjoyed it tremendously. At first, he was disappointed and depressed thinking that he wasnt good enough for NS, but his experience at Lane changed all that. Attending Lane indicated that his future does not end with his rejection from NS. He later got acceptance letter from Northwestern, but decided to attend Iowa because of long distance and scholarship offer. Good luck to your nephew!

What do you think?

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed




Blog Stats

  • 6,163,504 hits

%d bloggers like this: