High School Letters POST NEWS HERE: Part 1

February 21, 2012 at 9:34 pm 563 comments

Ok guys, you can start the ball rolling with news about high school admissions here.

Please keep in mind that the best way for people to learn about the requirements for admission is for parents to openly share information (anonymously) on scores and other pertinent achievements (or lack of) that their child has made.  Please don’t jump on anyone for bragging.  The kids who DO get into the SE schools are going to be some kick-ass achievers.

And please, no comments about “your child is so luck to be in Tier 1 because they got in with a low score.”  That kid overcame some good odds to make it in, most likely.

In the spirit of “knowledge is power,” let’s share information without fear of judgement.

Based on info posted here, some letters have mailed out on Monday, but there may be 18,000 going out.  Does that even make sense that 18,000 kids applied?  I think each grade has about 28K students (still boggles my mind!!!) but I guess there are the private school kids too.

Good luck to everyone.  I can’t imagine the weird sensation of waiting for the letter.  I remember it from Kindergarten only the stakes are so different for high school.

Entry filed under: High school.

Making Neighborhood High Schools a Viable Option – How? ISAT Testing

563 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Future CPS Kinder Mom  |  February 21, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    I think if I were a parent waiting on a high school SE letter this week, I wouldn’t be able to sleep until it arrived! Best of luck to all of your children!

  • 2. IB&RGC Mom  |  February 21, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    I second that. Good luck to all! I will have to go through this next year!

  • 3. Michelle  |  February 21, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    It sort of feels as if you are awaiting a prestigious college letter!!

  • 4. CityMom  |  February 21, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    Good luck everyone…may the force be with you!

  • 5. pantherparent  |  February 21, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    Just returned from the Northside LSC meeting. The principal said that they have not yet received the letters to mail. So to me that means the earliest they go out is Wednesday. At least from Northside proper. He also mentioned that the incoming freshman class will be 270.

  • 6. Michelle  |  February 21, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    Aren’t the letters mailed from central office?

  • 7. HS Mom  |  February 21, 2012 at 11:16 pm

    @6 The school also sends a packet to accepted students. Usually it arrives after the letter from the central office.

    Best of luck to all. I look forward to hearing about all your school choices.

  • 8. mumof2  |  February 22, 2012 at 12:09 am

    Good luck to all those waiting. This year I am not part of it, but I spent the past two years with my daughter, and then my son waiting nervously waiting for the mail to arrive. Enjoying a year off before my daughter starts on the college process. Time goes too quickly.

  • 9. Esmom  |  February 22, 2012 at 7:25 am

    Yes, best of luck to all. And deep breaths! And yes plenty of kids from private schools apply, according to our old CPS counselor. She said many parents see the SEHSs as a very viable option, made all that more attractive by the fact that they have no tuition.

  • 10. cpsobsessed  |  February 22, 2012 at 8:04 am

    Somehow I forget this every year — so do you parents who are waiting for letters have a good sense of the chances of getting in to your child’s top choices?

    Or is the admissions test the wildcard in the 900 points?

    I suppose the Tier change has also made it more uncertain?

    But with all those applications, I have to imagine that some families know it’s a long shot, some feel pretty certain about it (maybe not the exact school, but that their child will get in somewhere.)

  • 11. Gwen  |  February 22, 2012 at 9:04 am

    The admissions test (1/3 of the total score) is the wildcard. There’s a nifty “points calculator” tool on the OAE website that let’s you put in your child’s ISAT scores, 7th Grade grades and your tier, and then it gives you a minimum score they would need on the SE Test to get into each of the schools (based on last year’s data).

    So obviously, you have a good idea of where you are going into the test, but the fact that the test is shrouded in mystery makes it even more stressful (imho). For me, my child wants to go to Northside, has a perfect score going into the test, but the reality is that Northside is so competitive, that she may end up going to a different school. However, unless she totally bombed the test, I’m confident she can get into another SE school.

  • 12. 7thgradesurvivor  |  February 22, 2012 at 10:12 am

    @5 is 270 at Northside a large class, small class, average size class? Anyone know what incoming classes should look like at the other SEHS schools? If they accept 270 at Northside I wonder how many offers they make?

  • 13. pantherparent  |  February 22, 2012 at 10:18 am

    @12 Principal Rodgers at Northside said the school strives to have overall enrollment at 1,080, so 270 falls at dead average.

    Also, last year, we received the Northside acceptance letter well before the one from central office, but I have no idea if that’s the norm.

  • 14. SEHS hopeful  |  February 22, 2012 at 10:22 am

    I am so nervous and we are anxiously awaiting the mail! My son got all As in 7th grade and 98 and 99th percentiles in the ISAT but did just average in the catholic school and ISEE tests. We are fortunate to be in Tier 2 so I am almost certain that we can get in somewhere. The SE test score is making me nervous though.

  • 15. Last year at this time I was an obsessed 8th grade parent...  |  February 22, 2012 at 10:33 am

    The admissions test is indeed a wild card, and you learn its results at the same time you get the OAE letter (crazily!) – really something (among many things) that should be changed for sanity’s sake in this process. The “point calculator” based on last year’s data will be particularly suspect due to tier shift this year…although I’m not ready to wager whether Tier 4 cutoffs for the top schools will go up (as they’ve been trending up) or down (due to “old tier 3” lower scores watering down the tier 4) or up (due to the possibility that some of the tier shift – e.g., parts of Lakeview, Bucktown and Roscoe Village from 3 to 4, represented a shift up from places that really already had high tier 4 “traits” even if they the vagaries of adjusting the census lucked them into tier 3.)

    There are other wild cards that might not be truly wild – the diligent could find the data if they look hard enough, but if you don’t think to look, it’s wild enough. For example, Payton has this weird inverted “python swallowed a pig” headcount where the class of ‘2014 is about 150 kids while the remaining classes are closer to 250! This is a cyclical pattern that was explained to me as a result of over- enrollment in the school’s first year followed by an overcorrection in the second. Not an issue for this new class, should be about 225; but similar patterns could apply to other schools.

    If I make any predictions, it will be that there will be a lot of unhappy campers from the “old tier 3” who were bumped into 4, like the lady in the Trib article from the other day. Thinking they had a 20 point spread to play with, they might have skimped on some preparation, put NSCP & Payton as 1 and 2 choices (a tactical “nondiversification” error for tier 4, since the cutoffs are indistinguishable) and Young and Jones as 3 and 4, only to find that they get into their 5th choice, probably Lane or Westinghouse. Expect more marches at Rahm’s doorstep.

    It would be nice if the CPS ever got around to publishing some the correlation between ISAT and SE test (I’d bet it’s virtually 99% the same, so #14 above should have nothing to worry about, and why the SEHS Test is essentially a waste of time and stress)

  • 16. RL Julia  |  February 22, 2012 at 10:41 am

    Ditto Gwen’s comments. Feel like the admissions process to the academic centers and/or elementary schools is a lot more hit or miss.

  • 17. pantherparent  |  February 22, 2012 at 10:45 am

    @15 I think it’s important to note that ranking Northside # 1 and Payton # 2 is not an “error” and will not hurt a student’s chance of getting in their # 3 choice, in this case, Whitney Young.

    There is a common misconception that someone who ranks Whitney # 1 has a better chance than somone who ranks Whitney # 3. That is simply not the case.

    CPS ranks every student by score, then looks at choice # 1. If there is room, they get in, if not, they look at # 2, then # 3 and so on until they get to a school with openings.

  • 18. Last year at this time I was an obsessed 8th grade parent...  |  February 22, 2012 at 10:51 am

    Also, having been there…I’m certain no letters were mailed out Monday (a federal holiday) and I’d be very surprised if letters actually depart CPS before Friday. I could be wrong, but by now i’ve learned to interpret CPS-speak of “notification letters will be mailed the week of Feb, 20” to mean “the last possible second 11:59:59 PM Friday February 24” Not that my saying this will prevent anyone from leaving a pile of cans by the door so they hear the postman the instant he comes, but take it from someone with a lost week of productivity last year 🙂

  • 19. CuriousGirl  |  February 22, 2012 at 10:54 am

    I’ve often wondered about the need for the SEHS admissions test. According to two of my kids who attend Northside now, they theorize that the test is just like the ISAT but administered in a neutral place so no one can help them (ie no teacher assistance, etc.)
    Honestly, I feel for parents who are awaiting word on high schools. It’s such an incredibly nervous time. I wish you all boatloads of luck.

  • 20. Mia  |  February 22, 2012 at 10:59 am

    For sure no letters Monday, and certainly when I spoke to them they never said for sure that letters had been mailed already, only that they were going out this week, and one person said, every day this week. Did someone actually get confirmation that letters actually went out?

    My daughter thought the SE test was similar to the ISATs in the math and reading comprehension questions, but she said the grammar and vocabulary sections differed from the ISATs.

  • 21. PTA Southside Mom  |  February 22, 2012 at 11:03 am

    Are letters for Academic Centers going out also?

  • 22. Don't Panic  |  February 22, 2012 at 11:05 am

    I don’t know what to think about my son’s chances. He said he thought the entrance exam was pretty easy and he did score 99 ISATs on Reading and Math. But then he scored 94 on the Catholic School test. Just have to wait and see. Good luck to all here waiting.

  • 23. Mia  |  February 22, 2012 at 11:12 am

    Sent an email about 10 minutes ago to OAE – here’s their response (very prompt by the way):

    Dear Mia:
    Thank you for your inquiry. No – the notification letters have not yet been mailed. They are expected to be mailed by the end of the week.
    If you have additional questions, or if I can be of any other service, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
    Karen Burroughs Hannsberry
    ommunications Manager
    Office of Academic Enhancement
    (773) 553-2105

  • 24. Mayfair Dad  |  February 22, 2012 at 11:15 am

    Take a deep breath everybody…and good luck.

  • 25. Don't Panic  |  February 22, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Thanks for the update, Mia. No reason to stalk the postal carrier until Saturday, I guess.

  • 26. pantherparent  |  February 22, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Last year, my son who is now a freshman at Northside, came out of the SE test saying the only hard part was vocabulary. He then proceeded to ask me about 3 of the words and what they meant. He was wrong on all 3! You can imagine the thoughts that went through my head….he was sitting on 597 and he blew it! Well those must have been the only 3 questions he got wrong because he ended up getting 99 (300 points) and into Northside.

    Most kids I have spoken with said the SE test was “easy”. If your kid aced the ISATs, he/she will most likely ace the SE test.

  • 27. CPSDepressed  |  February 22, 2012 at 11:19 am

    My son said that the SEHS exam was easier than the ISATs and the Catholic School exam. He got into the Catholic school he applied to, but we don’t know his score yet. He’s waiting to see if he gets into Payton (highly unlikely, as he had a B last year) before committing.

  • 28. Mia  |  February 22, 2012 at 11:23 am

    Panther Parent: That’s funny – and good to hear.

    We are so focused on getting into Northside (my daughter’s 1st choice) that I forget to ask those of you with kids already at these schools – how is it working out? Are you happy with the choice you made?

  • 29. pantherparent  |  February 22, 2012 at 11:27 am

    @25 Mia’s post echoes last year where the OAE letters went out AFTER the school sent letters. As I said, the earliest Northside’s go out is today. Not sure about the others. So maybe you can take one day off from stalking.

  • 30. pantherparent  |  February 22, 2012 at 11:37 am

    @28 Mia
    Northside is everything it’s cracked up to be and I think most of that can be attributed to Principal Rodgers and the teachers. Even the longer school day changes have been addressed in a very creative way which I think will maintain the “Northside experience”.

  • 31. Anita  |  February 22, 2012 at 11:38 am

    @Panther Parent: We have one child at Northside and one child at Lane. We are very happy with both options. The really nice thing about lane is that EVERY class doesn’t have to be honors. If your kid is great at English, but only average at math, she can take AP English and regular math. Plus both schools are easy to get to for us. The ability to get to and from school easily makes a huge difference in the level of exhaustion felt by all!

    BTW last year at this time, we were waiting for the letters too. Lincoln Park came first (on Saturday) the Selective Enrollment came the following Tuesday, and the others for Von and Lakeview, and the Charters trickled in afterwards. BTW, my son, who got into Lane and Lincoln Park right away, did not initially get into Von, Lakeview, or any of the charters, but eventually got letters of acceptance to all of those.

  • 32. Mia  |  February 22, 2012 at 11:43 am

    Thanks to both Panther Parent and Anita for the info. Good to hear on all counts. My daughter really, really wants to go to Northside, so I’m crossing my fingers (toes, etc.).

    Can you clarify the letters for me? When you say the SE letters came – do you mean the one from OAE (CPS) or the one from the school itself?


  • 33. Anita  |  February 22, 2012 at 11:47 am

    The one letter from OAE came first. The school packet came a couple days later.

  • 34. northside parent  |  February 22, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    I have a sophomore and senior at Northside…..not sure what everything it is cracked up to be means. I think the experience at Northside depends on each kid, and also, the teachers they get for their classes. They have a huge disparity between teachers across all of the departments and so sometimes there is a feeling that this kid got a good teacher and this kid didn’t. This is true at all of the schools, but I guess I would have expected something more from Northside, which is 100% block schedule (unlike Payton) and is also ranked #1 in the city–maybe my expectations were too high coming in. Having said that,–my kids have done very well there, but I don’t think Northisde is the Utopia some make it out to be…..just saying.

  • 35. pantherparent  |  February 22, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    @34 northside parent
    Your point is well taken. My son has been told similar things like “this class is good if you get this teacher but bad if you get that teacher”. But so far the school has met our expectations which is all we could ask.

  • 36. Anon37  |  February 22, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    34 — 35 its free

  • 37. HS Mom  |  February 22, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    For anyone panicking about SE test – please note that everyone that thinks the SE test was easy or as easy as the ISAT is going to or looking at Northside/Payton. The test is easy for a small % and average for the rest of the population. Testing in the 90’s or probably even 80’s OK for the other SE schools. It is the B’s that bring down scores.

  • 38. Mia  |  February 22, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    Received a follow-up email from OAE that says:

    When letters have been mailed, the website will be updated.

    Maybe they have been getting a lot of calls . . .

  • 39. northside parent  |  February 22, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    To Anon 37–so because Northside is free (which btw, it isn’t free–look at your property tax bill), I can’t have higher expectations of the #1 school in Chicago? Sorry, but when a SE school gets bragging rights then in my opinion, it is fair game to challenge it. They only take kids who tested in…..so in some ways,my kids have helped them be the school they are, and I just want my kids to get what they hope for by going to Northside. That’s all. Is it a good school? Of course it is…..Could it be better? Yes, it some ways it could be….that is all I am saying to the original question from Mia. Would we choose it again? Possibly…. Your comment of “it’s free” concerns me…..because it is not.

  • 40. pantherparent  |  February 22, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    Since it looks like no letters have gone out yet, let me bring up something which may interest only me but has direct bearing on this discussion.

    How does CPS rank students that have identical overall scores?

    For example, let’s say 50 students have 865 points but only one spot is left at Whitney Young. Who gets in? It would be based on rank, but how is one student with 865 ranked above another student with 865?

    I addressed this question this morning to the aforementioned Karen Burroughs Hannsberry and she got back to me in about 15 minutes. (Brizard, give this woman a raise!!) Her answer as follows:

    “As you might imagine, when testing so many students, we have numerous students who achieve the same number of total points. To differentiate between these students, tiebreakers are used that include the core percentile on the entrance exam, and the individual sections of the entrance exam (e.g., reading comprehension, vocabulary, etc.). This allows us to rank the students with identical total points from top to bottom.”

    I responded by asking her for a more detailed explanation, and she got back to me in less than 15 minutes again. (Rahm, give this woman a raise!!)

    “The order of the tiebreaker is the following:

    Core total
    Reading comprehension
    Language arts
    Date of birth”

    There you have it. I’m not sure if on Date of Birth older or younger is better but I’ll let you know. Again, not sure if anyone had thought (or cared) about this but thought I’d share.

  • 41. Mia  |  February 22, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    Very interesting data (and that Karen is fast – isn’t she!)

  • 42. ChicagoGawker  |  February 22, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    What does ‘core total’ include? Select questions on the test deemed especially important?

    @34 you referred to ‘block scheduling’ at Northside in contrast to WP. What is block scheduling?


  • 43. northside parent  |  February 22, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    Block scheduling is similar to college where classes are longer in length and meet less frequently. The classes usually meet for 100 minutes–usually Mondays and Thursdays or Tuesdays and Fridays; Wednesday is the day for Colloquium. The schedule will be tweaked a bit with the extended day but that is what the block schedule is at Northside. WP has a combination of block schedule and a traditional schedule. WY and Lane are 100% traditional and Jones is adopting the block next year (so I was told).

  • 44. Last year at this time I was an obsessed 8th grade parent...  |  February 22, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    Payton is going all block next year as part of its extension “tweaks”; seminar days (the equivalent to what we called in college “leisure courses”) will meet every 9th day (instead of the way it is now, “weekly unless it’s a short week” – which means they can get skipped for five weeks in a row in Feb/March)

  • 45. JKR  |  February 22, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    I believe that Lindblom also has block scheduling.

  • 46. pantherparent  |  February 22, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    @42 ChicagoGawker
    My understanding of “core total” referred to as “core percentile” in her first response is the total national percentile on the entrance exam. So a student with 98 percentile on the entrance exam is ranked higher than a student with 97 percentile (if both have the same number of overall points).

    If both had 98, they would then look at math percentile, then reading percentile, on down the list until the tie is broken.

  • 47. waitingforthemail  |  February 22, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    Just talked to Crystal at OAE, and she said letters are being mailed every day this week (except Mondady) for SEHS – anxiously awaiting, as many of you are…

    Question – does anyone know how many freshman seats are available at each of the SEHS? I remember seeing a chart online about a year ago – from what I remember, Whitney was appx 300, Payton 150, Lane 1000…? If 18,000 kids apply for 3,000 spots, I’m thinking it’s more like 2,000 spots for the schools in the City/Northside? So, appx. 11% acceptance…?

  • 48. pantherparent  |  February 22, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    Northside is 270. That came directly from the principal at the LSC meeting yesterday.

  • 49. Mia  |  February 22, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    @47 – Clearly they are giving out mixed answers to the letter situation . . . for my own sanity (what’s left of it) I think I’m going to assume Friday and be pleasantly (?) surprised if anything arrives before next week.

  • 50. Last year at this time I was an obsessed 8th grade parent...  |  February 22, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    They also posted first-round cutoff scores on the OAE website Feb 24th last year (the week the letters were actually dropping in the boxes.) Eager to see those….

  • 51. Mia  |  February 22, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    It will be very interesting to see how the tier changes affected the cutoffs.

  • 52. Vlajos  |  February 22, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    Isn’t Northside the best public HS in the state let alone Chicago?

  • 53. Mia  |  February 22, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    Yes, it is (according to the latest rankings).

  • 54. ChicagoGawker  |  February 22, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    So the higher scorer in math, is the winner among those with identical scores? This is curious. I would argue that the stronger reading comprehension and language arts score is a better indicator of success across the entire spectrum of HS subjects. But maybe that’s because my kid is not as strong in math 🙂

  • 55. Last year at this time I was an obsessed 8th grade parent...  |  February 22, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    Depends on the metric (and the definition of public): I’m thinking IMSA, New Trier, etc. might have dibs on that – based on test scores, college placement, Natl Merit Scholarships…

  • 56. Michelle  |  February 22, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    An Op Ed piece that I recently had published in the Inside Booster newspaper;


    Who should be making the selection?

    It’s a stressful time for students and parents alike. The applicants are many, the slots are few and the competition is fierce. Many kids don’t stand a chance.

    My daughter was fortunate enough to test into a regional gifted center (RGC) in first grade. I held great hope that a superior education would help her make her way to a top Chicago High School.

    When that time came, I started off as a mom with a plan. I assumed the top SE schools had equal playing fields. There is a fine SE school 2 blocks from our home and I was certain my daughter would go there. It seemed to make the most sense to me. Why travel when you don’t have to? Who wouldn’t want to roll out of bed and be in your classroom within an hour? While it isn’t number one in the city, it is highly rated and certainly, this school was “good enough.”

    Little did I know, I was about to get an education I had never expected.

    Let the tours begin.

    We started with a well respected downtown institution, 6.3 miles from our north side home. The lines wrapped around the block and current students greeted small groups of hopefuls to eagerly sell their school. The band played on the sidewalk and drama students performed in costume. It was a “fun” sell.

    After a quick overview in the auditorium where a few famous alumni were mentioned to ignite us, we hit the hallways with our student guides. It wasn’t particularly colorful or terribly inviting. The crowds were thick and it was hard to comprehend much of anything as we were herded from class to class and urged to ask questions. It was overwhelming and hard to grasp anything at that point as you couldn’t hear yourself think.

    The one thing I truly knew for sure when we left? It was a long way home.

    I then realized, my research must go well beyond brick and mortar and a quick 20 minute tour. It was important to ask questions of friends, teachers and acquaintances, to Google, to delve into curriculum. It wasn’t about my daughter being a good fit for the school; it was about the school being a good fit for her.

    When the second tour came around, I thought I had it all figured out, an old pro. I was prepared, or so I thought.

    Enter a big, bright, shiny new school, 3.8 miles from home. No downtown, no el, a short drive or bus ride. Excited student tour guides awaited and leisurely walked us about the stunning building. Artwork worthy of a gallery floated in the hallways and you felt more like you were at a contemporary art museum than a high school. The academic reputation was also excellent and the location, a bit more palatable.

    Wide eyed and wowed, I could see my daughter here. My “closest to home” comfort theory blew up in my face. Yes, it was likely the hardest SE school to gain acceptance to, but I sure could dream for her. In truth, it was the school of my dreams, one I would have chosen for myself if I had been given the opportunity all those years ago. While I could see she was equally impressed, I also knew she wasn’t finished exploring just yet.

    Next on the list, my original pick, .6 miles from home. In awe of its architectural beauty, not to mention its proximity to our home, I was sure it would win us over. While not on the “top 3” in terms of ratings, the school is highly rated none the less.

    While my innate appreciation for all things vintage wanted to fall in love, school number 2 lingered in my mind. Smaller, slicker, brighter, and it suddenly seemed not so far away. Yes, it was an extra 3 miles but that no longer mattered to me. What I thought was most important in the beginning transitioned into what would best fit my daughter’s needs, ideal location, or not.

    The final school was one with a highly respected International Baccalaureate (IB) program, 3.4 miles away. I had researched it heavily but was prepared not to like it after an initial visit. Their academic focus was the strongest I had seen, the frills, the least. No fancy artwork worthy of a gallery, no happy birthday wrapped lockers, no lunch on a well manicured lawn.

    Simply stark brown walls and cold, hard academia. Surely, it would not be a good fit for my extremely artistic child, or so I thought.

    Our second visit was by invitation. She was selected to attend a more in depth tour, based on her prior years test scores. We visited classrooms and met with the teachers, many whom might have been mistaken for college professors. They were overflowing with passion for their curriculum and it was palpable. Somehow, they made up for the lack of eye appeal.

    While my daughter did not light up as she did at the bright, shiny, new school, I could see a spark in her that went much deeper. It was if she matured 5 years on that day. The hard work and 3 hours of homework a night did not turn her off, it intrigued her. It seemed the most challenging school of all, yet she was ready, even excited, to take it on.

    In the end, I made a list of the various highlights and we talked about it extensively. Could she give up the artistic hobbies she loved so deeply? Not to mention the many close friends whom she had spent the past 8 years with while attending the RGC School?

    More work, less time, fewer parties and academic pressures she had never experienced. Was this really how she wanted to spend the next 4 years?

    Indeed, it very well could be.

    When the last tour was done, all my preconceived notions vanished. Suddenly, my expectations for my daughter’s new school went beyond a convenient location.

    After a great deal of discussion, it occurred to me; this was about her and what she wanted, not about what I wanted for her.

    I am grateful that she has been given such dynamic academic options. I know that her completion in any of the aforementioned schools will enrich her abilities and take her to places beyond my wildest childhood imagination.

    As parents, we always want better for our children. I am proud of her hard work over the years and I know she will continue to elicit that pride. I will hold her hand and grow with her as she travels her new path, one textbook at a time.

    While I might not be able to tutor her, I will be the best cheering squad she could ever hope for.

    Many might flock to the suburbs seeking higher education but as Chicagoans, it is truly in our own back yards. While some may say it’s the luck of the draw, I believe it is preparation meeting opportunity on both the parent and child’s part.

    Just because we live in a major metropolis, doesn’t mean our kids can’t dream and dream big. In the end, it is up to us to teach our children well.

  • 57. HS Mom  |  February 22, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    Anyone notice that applicants – 18,000? Last year there were approximately 15,000 year before 13,000 at the height of the recession. Is there any indicator yet that we need more SE schools or some creative way to give all these qualified kids “selective education”.

  • 58. Last year at this time I was an obsessed 8th grade parent...  |  February 22, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    That was a nice piece, even more fun for it’s guessing-game qualities: WY, NCP, Lane, Lincoln IB! Am I right?

    It’s kind of coincidental…seeing how this was going to be a barren week for acceptance letters, I was thinking about writing my “take”, one year later.

    Payton was a clear preference due solely to its location (why a girl would want to be out in the hinterlands instead of down the street from the Art Institute [dad talking] or Pinkberry and Watertower [girl talking] eludes me.) Also believed (still do) that NCPs #1 ranking in years past would be dislodged thanks to the tier system: pre-tier, NCP was able to cherry-pick diversity due to a combination of greater distance from the socioeconomically disadvanted students, and the abundance of soon-to-be Tier 4 racial minorities on the north side. Post-tier-era, NCP is having to dip lower to fill its quotas for Tier 1 and 2. The other contender was Lincoln IB, with which I, certified geek father, was enthralled , and to this day, have some misgivings that we were not able to fend off the brand mentality that is so pervasive to the SEHS choice. For those who are awaiting letters, the IB came (to us) a week earlier than (in order) the school’s letter, and then the CPS letter, bringing up the rear.

    The daughter loves Payton so far this first year. She has made good friends, far more and more quickly than in elementary school, which is a huge consideration when placing an academically-inclined girl into a school. Academically, I am acutely aware (and I think she is vaguely aware) that this..is..a..public…school, and a CPS one, to boot. There is no way I can be convinced that she’s being pushed the way that she’d be in a true I.B. program like LPHS’s (which is a CPS school as well, but “answers to a higher authority” regarding curriculum, in theory, at least, and from what little I’ve seen, in practice.)

  • 59. Anon999  |  February 22, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    The Tier 4 kids I know who are freshman at Lincoln Park LOVE IT!! They are all in DH not IB. These are all students who came from an IB grammar school. I can’t think of 1 who went for the IB program at any hs in Chicago.

  • 60. tytyo8  |  February 22, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    Brooks also went to a block schedule this year too.

  • 61. jc  |  February 22, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    #58 “Academically, I am acutely aware (and I think she is vaguely aware) that this..is..a..public…school, and a CPS one, to boot. There is no way I can be convinced that she’s being pushed the way that she’d be in a true I.B. program like LPHS’s (which is a CPS school as well, but “answers to a higher authority” regarding curriculum, in theory, at least, and from what little I’ve seen, in practice.)”

    Sorry for my ignorance. Are you saying academically, LPHS’s IB is more academically challenging than Walter Payton’s? If so, for the other WP/LPHS parents, Is this an opinion shared by other parents as well? Thank you!

  • 62. mom2  |  February 22, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    @Michelle – I liked your piece. Reminds me of when we did tours a few years ago. While I loved NSCP, my child actually ended up enthralled with Lane and couldn’t imagine any place that was a better fit and we continue to love Lane. However, with my second child not doing quite as well in school, I actually find your comments frustrating knowing that we most likely won’t have all these options in our future. Great for those that have the ability, but for others, just a feeling of aggravation.

  • 63. CPS parent  |  February 22, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    LP IB is the most academically challenging high school in the city. Public, private, Catholic, you name it. The faculty is dazzling. The program is creative, rigorous, deep and heavy on critical thinking/writing. It’s a fully-fleshed humanities program – the opposite of an AP focused curriculum. Did I mention that the faculty is dazzling?

    Last year, my child chose Payton over IB, largely because so many friends were going there (from her CPS non-RGC/non-magnet/non-IB neighborhood elementary) She wanted to start high school with some friendly faces. She has been very happy, has made many new friends, and has been challenged academically (particularly in the Physics/Geometry track). A couple of her former classmates are in the LP/IB program and they are happy too, though they have much less free time. I think we made the right choice for our kid. I would have loved to see her at IB, but I’m just really happy that she’s loving high school. Especially after the obscene process these kids went through to get there.

    Carefully listen to your kids. Intuitively, they may have a better handle on what they need than you do.

    FYI – take a look at the gender disparity creeping up in the SEHS enrollments. Payton’s freshman class this year is only 39% male.

  • 64. Last year at this time I was an obsessed 8th grade parent...  |  February 22, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    JC – it’s a purely personal observation I’m making based on (a) going through the LPHS IB application process and interviews/tours last year, (b) anecdotal stories from the very, very few families I know who are or were IB (many of them foreign expats, btw), (c) what I learned when I researched – use the term lightly – what was then this mysterious “international” bacc program, and (d) 5 months with a kid at an SEHS. (a) can be dismissed as informative because, like for many films, the 3 minute trailers are more polished and exciting than the movie. (b) is well, anecdotal and you’re probably asking for data and proof, (c) was mostly wikipedia and the IB website, and (d) is, well, a 14 year old girl whose opinions about Pinkberry are more probitive than about pedagogy.

    Here’s what I can say for certain – she doesn’t have 3 hours of homework a night, whereas this seems to be the mode every time someone talks about IB. The words “rigor” and “intense” invariably arise in the same conversation when talking about IB.

    I can say that she’s taking physics, and although they don’t use a textbook, there is a “recommended” one for supplement, and a little more than halfway through the year, they are covering a topic that roughly a fifth of the way into the text. I don’t know LPHS (not sure IB freshmen take physics.)

    Looking at the LPHS website, it looks like in Geometry, Payton might be a little farther along.

    While going through the tours, I was in awe of the teachers – they were entirely reminiscent of what you’d find at a top-notch liberal arts college. Which lead me to wonder, how is one accredited to teach IB? As CPS teachers, they’re allowed by contract to become incompetent and apathetic, but I’m not sure they couldn’t be reassigned out of IB…so maybe that’s why they seemed so good.

    I’ll give up looking for concretes – because the thing is, how “good” a school and what it accomplishes is very dependent – maybe entirely — on the preparation of the students before they enter the door. It is likely (who knows…LPHS can be extremely secretive, and IB is immune to the tiers and all that) that students going into the top SEHS are better prepared. And this is the only reason they wind up at the top of the charts when things like PSAE scores are tabulated. And it is this kind of statistic that becomes a positive feedback loop: I know lots of kids who were accepted into both IB and SEHS, and given that choice, not a single one opted for IB. And not a single one chose the SEHS over IB because they thought the SEHS was “harder” or “more challenging” – in fact, they (my small sample) thought the SEHS was not only “better”, but easier.

    It’s hard to use data – info from LPHS pretty cleverly spanned the last 20 years – and so half of that time was before the SEHS existed – but it was very impressive in terms of Ivy placements, National Merit, etc.

  • 65. Last year at this time I was an obsessed 8th grade parent...  |  February 22, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    Re: the 39% male – I’m willing to bet this is true at NCP and probably many of the other SEHS as well; and it’s not that different from the last 4 years – give or take about 40%. Not sure what they did pre-Tier days (about six years ago, I heard, anecdotally, per usual, that without tinkering, the schools would have been completely populated by Asian girls)

    This particular lack of diversity seems to be completely unaddressed, and it most certainly comes from the heavy weighting on grades, which I suspect that in 7th grade, boys-will-be-boys and they goof off (or are discriminated against subtly by the female majority of teachers.)

  • 66. Chris  |  February 22, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    “about six years ago, I heard, anecdotally, per usual, that without tinkering, the schools would have been completely populated by Asian girls”

    Recognizing it was mainly in jest, 6 years ago, there were just barely enough Asian students of *both* sexes to fill Payton, NS and Young. So, demonstrably false. Also, total enrollment at P+NS+WY this year is slightly higer than total HS enrollment of Asians (obv not counting any id’ing as multi-racial).

    “discriminated against subtly by the female majority of teachers”

    Big near accusation there. Might play out in writing-heavy classes (and not b/c of perceptible sex-based discrim, rather a “writes like me” thing that affects virtually *everyone* and the greater likelihood that girls “write like” women bc, well, they are), but otherwise is hard to imagine.

  • 67. Michelle  |  February 22, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    @58..close….Jones was first….we were actually out of town for Payton’s open house. Her picks are NSP, WP, and LT. I am fairly certain she will be accepted into LP IB and likely, one of her top 3 pics..Then, she will have some thinking to do. Glad to hear there’s not 3 hrs of homework at LP but that’s what THEY told us. Perhaps they are preparing everyone, just in case…gonna be a fun week of waiting!

  • 68. Gwen  |  February 22, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    So, I’m confused, are they going out all week (as I was told and as someone else posted above) or going out at the end of the week? I hate the waiting!

  • 69. mil mom  |  February 22, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    I wonder if the gender imbalance has something to do with 7th grade being espeically bad puberty wise for males. Certainly it isn’t a great year to expect anyone to be perfect. I love my 7th grader dearly but his personality, study habits etc. are not at their best this year to put it mildly. He has changed dramatically over the last year. He is at an AC where he will stay for HS, so thankfully does not HAVE to be perfect this year, otherwise we would all be in trouble. I personally remember 7th grade being the very worst year of my life too, mostly due to hormonal misery, but it seems like now most girls are going through the dramatic changes a couple of years earlier and maybe would be on average becoming human again by age 13? On the otherhand, maybe this is just part of the larger trend for girls to enroll in college in higher numbers and just generally be better students all along.

    Best of luck to all awaiting letters this week, hope they actually mailed some today.

  • 70. Future CPS Kinder Mom  |  February 22, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    Maybe something to do with what is addressed in the book Boys Adrift The Five Factors Driving the Growing Epidemic of Unmotivated Boys and Underachieving Young?

  • 71. HS Mom  |  February 22, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    As an FYI prior to tiers the admissions process was race based and sex based. Theoretically accepting an equal number of black/hispanic/white/asians and boy/girl. Tier 4 is the new “white girl”. Girls had to score higher to get in and the small % of Asians had greater chances for the number of seats allotted.

  • 72. CPS parent  |  February 22, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    @65 – the male enrollment at Payton has ranged from 43% to the current 39% over the past 4 years. Not a huge statistical change, but a trend that cannot be addressed by the current SEHS admissions policy. The potential behavioral impact of gender disparity was addressed in an article worth checking out (esp. if you’ve got girls). Note that the article addresses college campuses but the pressures cited could easily translate to high school campuses:


  • 73. HSObsessed  |  February 22, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    @ MIchelle, I also loved your op-ed piece. I spoke with the mother of a freshman LP IBer lately, and she said the work load isn’t bad if your kid is organized. She also raved about the international mix of kids: Many foreign-born or first-generation American kids, which brings interesting perspectives and variety.

  • 74. lawmom  |  February 22, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    I agree with #58 above. My husband and I both picked IB as first choice for our daughter. The students there were by far the most impressive, accomplished and sophisticated. I was less impressed with the students elsewhere. Daughter also was admitted to U of C Lab school but decided Whitney Young was her place. Yes, lots of folks coming out of private school decide to move into SEHS or IB because of greater curriculum options and tuition may play a part. For us, greater diversity of curriculum and student body is a plus — it is more like the real world.

    Daughter is happy with Whitney Young, but have to say the academic center kids have an edge there because they can take more AP classes and are on the “fast track” from 7th grade. My daughter feels a bit slighted by the lack of options for advanced placement coming into the program since she came in from private school and this takes some convincing with the administration. However, she is in all honors and certainly can load up with AP courses if she wants.Bottom line though, I think IB Lincoln Park is the best program that CPS has to offer and is the model on a national level for other IB programs.

    We are Tier 4 and daughter had one “B”, perfect entrance exam scores and a 94 math and 99 verbal on 7th grade standardized test.

  • 75. Chicago Gawker  |  February 22, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    I would like to next see an op-ed piece which chronicles the drama of the multitude;those who are highly doubtful to virtually certain their average achieving 8th grade son will NOT get one of their top 3 picks.

  • 76. Michelle  |  February 22, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    @75….why not write it?

  • 77. Chicago Gawker  |  February 22, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    @76 because I have no personal experience with those circumstances,but suspect such an op-ed would speak to many and perhaps provide info to them about what are their options. I hope it would be published in the Tribune and create pressure on CPS. Anyone?

  • 78. Gayfair Dad  |  February 22, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    @77 Tribune in bed with CPS

  • 79. Jen  |  February 22, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    Interesting info on LPHS and the IB program, thanks everyone. It appears that as with the public gifted elementary schools, CPS is the only public school district in Illinois that offers IB.

  • 80. Michelle  |  February 22, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    @77, I know plenty of people who could write that op ed but won’t.. Hell, I will be hesitant to call one of my closest friends when I get the news as hers likely will not be so bright. . It’s pretty sad.

  • 81. Jewel  |  February 22, 2012 at 11:34 pm

    Okay, I’m REALLY nervous now. My son didn’t have the best of grades and ACED the ISAT and I’m sure he did the same for the SE. Anybody know of a child like that who got in with super high test scores but very average (very averaged) grades?

    oooooh I’m sooooooo nervous.

  • 82. HSObsessed  |  February 22, 2012 at 11:46 pm

    Jewel, if you don’t already know about the calculator linked below, you can plug in various scenarios to get an idea of your son’s outlook, although it’s based on last year’s data and will not likely be the exact same this year. Hoping for good news for your son!


  • 83. Tabby Cat Mom  |  February 23, 2012 at 12:32 am

    @74, thanks for sharing. So it’s an urban legend that if your Tier 4 child gets a single “B,” s/he is out of the running for the top schools?

  • 84. Last year at this time I was an obsessed 8th grade parent...  |  February 23, 2012 at 12:48 am

    @66 – Yes, it was in jest, but thanks for the equations. Actually, at the time, the person who was jesting (a tutor of Korean descent, who was running her own little precursor to SelectivePrep at the time) was referring only to NCP and WP, so currently, the 3,871 Asians in CPS high school could indeed overwhelm the 1,960 seats at those two schools. But she was demonstrably wrong about the girls only: they’d have to let in 25 lucky boys.

    Anyway…someone else brought this up, the 39% boys at Payton, and it’s totally something that ordinarily would fall into the catgeory of” things I could not care less about”, since I have a girl there and think it would be awesome if they just expelled all the guys and turned the place into a combination convent – slash – physics academy. But then … it really is a kind of dramatic imbalance. It could happen by chance – but the probability that the percent of boys in a class of 247 is less than 40% is less than 1/1000. So something’s up.

    What’s probably the things that’s “up” is the maturity differences between 12 year old girls and boys. Someone who took more than the zero classes I took in child development can back me up here, but anyone who’s chaperoned a 7th grade field trip is unlikely to claim that the playing field is level when it comes to fidgeting, breaking the rules and keeping quiet.

    The ISATs do show some gender differences – the way they’re reported doesn’t give averages by gender but does give the % exceeding standards and in reading, girls rule with 18.4% compared to 12.9%, math (yes, Barbie, math) with 22.2% compared to 21.2%. In science, boys regain some cred, with 13.5% to 11.2%. I still think it’s grades.

    For purposes of comparison, I googled around to find the gender breaks at the top two NYC selective enrollment schools, Bronx Science and Stuyvesant, and there the ratios are flipflopped, but closer together, at 55% and 57% male, respectively. As we know, NYC uses only a single (mostly aptitude) test for its admissions.

    Here in Chicago, it is all the more surprising that the girls are a majority at these top schools, considering the fact that, in my experience, they have higher tear numbers. (Sorry, could’t resist…and somebody tell that Chris guy that this was joke before he quotes me and corrects my spelling.)

  • 85. Last year at this time I was an obsessed 8th grade parent...  |  February 23, 2012 at 1:09 am

    @83 – What’s important to note is that when we think of “one B” we’re usually thinking of a grade for a quarter. (at least I do) What’s considered in the points total is the final grade for the year (so you can get 3 A’s and “one B” in math and still have an A at the end of the year (2 A’s and 2 B’s … I don’t know which way they round?)

    Also, the only grades that matter are math, science, reading and social studies. Get all the B’s you want in foreign languages and art!

    BUT…it is true, one final B in the considered subjects allows you to have, with 99%ile scores on the tests, a maximum point total of 875, which is below the Tier 4 minimum for NCP and Payton. The other schools you can salvage one final B. Two B’s, and you fall below minimums at the next two schools.

  • 86. Esmom  |  February 23, 2012 at 8:38 am

    “I would like to next see an op-ed piece which chronicles the drama of the multitude;those who are highly doubtful to virtually certain their average achieving 8th grade son will NOT get one of their top 3 picks.”

    Yes. While Michelle’s piece was very well-written, I couldn’t help but think that two out of three kids who go through this process will see that dream slip right out of their grasp when the letters come. The city needs more options for a quality high school education. But I know I’m preaching to the choir here…

  • 87. HS Mom  |  February 23, 2012 at 9:33 am

    @56 Michelle – nice write up, I enjoyed your observations. Something to mention about Jones, the building is not large enough to host the thousands that come to these open houses so they try to bring something to the line (which does move quickly). A comment to anyone attending open houses in the future, make sure you talk to the teachers, get a feel for what they are about and have to offer. Look at the curriculum. You can really tell a lot about the school when you have an understanding of what will happen in the classroom and how importantly your child will be treated.

    As posted above, so many come looking at a dream that will likely not be reality. It’s actually heartbreaking. How can we create the enthusiasm of @56 for everyone? Along those lines, my neighbor went to a presentation at Senn IB and came back excited about that. I would also like to mention that his charter school works with them to test prep (they do Seletive Prep too), fills out applications and directs kids to programs that they could qualify for. They get together as a class and work on computer applications and get direction/recommendations from the teachers.

  • 88. Anon6666  |  February 23, 2012 at 9:40 am

    81 – I know someone with worse grades (didn’t do much homework ever), but aced the ISAT and SE test. He is in the Alpha program at Lane. Was also offered a spot at Loyola last year, which was hard to get as a CPS grad.

  • 89. Gwen  |  February 23, 2012 at 10:16 am

    My daughter’s friend just did a “shadow” day at Senn IB and loved it! She comes from a very small exclusive private school and a family that can probably afford any school she wants to go to, but she’s currently ranking it as second to Jones, which I think is a very positive sign, I’m going to have to check it out soon.

  • 90. northie  |  February 23, 2012 at 10:19 am

    There was a time when this blog was filled with parents (and occasionally teachers) who would discuss, share, agree and disagree on a very local, personal and intellectual level. I miss the days of getting ideas, opinions and information without all the “anonymous” and “anon” comments. There are now people, who I believe, just like to “hear” themselves speak and offer no real constructive ideas. Unless you plan on filing a lawsuit because the 14th Amendment has been violated, can we stop posting such drivel and then using the next 20 comments on debating it? I feel like I’m reading the comments from a Yahoo article. I think it’s time for me to check out for awhile. Good luck to all who are waiting for letters, for both high school and elementary. I’m sure someone here will have some snarky thing to say about this post too. Knock yourselves out…

  • 91. northie  |  February 23, 2012 at 10:21 am

    Sorry – meant to post the above somewhere else. I can’t even keep track anymore…

  • 92. pantherparent  |  February 23, 2012 at 11:05 am

    Just wanted to close the loop on @40 about tie breaking procedures for ranking of students. This is right from the great Karen Hansberry at CPS.

    “Regarding the date of birth, an older student would be ranked above a younger student. Please note, however, that the tiebreaking procedures related to subject areas are sufficient to create a ranked list of students that have the same score; the date of birth tiebreaker has not yet been needed.”

  • 93. Last year at this time I was an obsessed 8th grade parent...  |  February 23, 2012 at 11:15 am

    ,.. and if it comes down to conjoined twins, well…

  • 94. Last year at this time I was an obsessed 8th grade parent...  |  February 23, 2012 at 11:23 am

    I guess that comment was a bit Yahoo-y.

    So just to delve into that @40-@92 loop, do they do all that “stuff” before they come up with the point cutoff? Or are there people who look down at their points and say, “hey mine is equal to the minimum for school such and such but I didn’t get in”. I know this is really interesting trivia – and it’s refreshing to see someone at CPS willing to provide detail.

    I just wish they’d publish the components of the tier calculations (and maybe the new cutoffs since they supposedly are just licking 18,000 envelopes now)

  • 95. Don't Panic  |  February 23, 2012 at 11:30 am

    Do rejection letters go out at the same time or do they only send a letter if you have an acceptance?

  • 96. Last year at this time I was an obsessed 8th grade parent...  |  February 23, 2012 at 11:47 am

    95 – last year, at least, CPS letters went to every applicant (it’s only a “rejection letter” if you get into none of your 6 choices.) The one school you get into sends out acceptance letters only. And for the most part, from what i could tell, the schools usually got their letters out first by as much as a week.

  • 97. junior  |  February 23, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    @84 said
    “but anyone who’s chaperoned a 7th grade field trip is unlikely to claim that the playing field is level when it comes to fidgeting, breaking the rules and keeping quiet.”

    Seriously? We’re using fidgeting, breaking rules and keeping quiet as benchmarks for maturity and qualification for selective enrollment? I think the problem is that the educational environments don’t match the normal development of boys, not that boys don’t match the educational environments.

    How about CPS compliance with the state law for daily PE? That would be a good step to help align our school environment with kids’ needs (particularly boys).

    Geez, I wish my daughter was a bit louder and broke a few more rules — the fidgeting she is quite good at and can keep up with the best boy fidgeters.

  • 98. Northwest-side Mom  |  February 23, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    I’d been wondering what CPS does about all the students who obtain the same SE scores, so I appreciated seeing the Hansberry breakdown of ranking. Just seems like new developments and existing criteria are always another negative from where we stand. I really hope that the birthdate tiebreaker doesn’t get used! We’re Tier 4 and my son has an August bd. Since birthdate, like race, is not within a student’s control, I really resent the inclusion of this as a criteria. Sigh.

  • 99. Mom  |  February 23, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    @98 — Birthdate is the equivalent of a coin flip.

  • 100. sen  |  February 23, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    Why is it hard to get into Loyola as a CPS grad? You mean the High School, not the University correct. Thanks

  • 101. anonymous  |  February 23, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    I would think that birthdate would be used in the reverse manner as it is with the SEES test result rankings. The younger student is ranked ahead because they have achieved the same score at a younger age.

  • 102. HSObsessed  |  February 23, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    @99 – Not really a coin flip, which is random. Earlier birthdate favors those with earlier birthdays.

  • 103. HS Mom  |  February 23, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    How does everyone know that Chris is a guy? 😉
    Chris, you have my attention, I enjoy your posts.

  • 104. Northwest-side Mom  |  February 23, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    @97 I totally agree that CPS needs to align the environment more to kids needs, not the reverse.

    @101 This makes sense, so you’d think this would be the case. Unfortunately, I think CPS just assumes that a younger student is less mature, thus less capable. Definately not true in my son’s case.

  • 105. Gwen  |  February 23, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    @101, I was thinking the same thing, that it was the opposite approach of the SEES rankings.

  • 106. Mom  |  February 23, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    @102 — it is random when you were born. Similarly, in a coin toss someone is assigned heads and someone gets tails, although only one will be favored. You have no control over how the coin turns up, just as you have no control over when you were born.

  • 107. waitingforthemail  |  February 23, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    Hi, everyone!

    Earlier, I asked if anyone had stats on available freshman seats for next year at the SEHS in City/Northside. I ended up calling each of them directly, and here’s what I’ve found:

    Payton: 220
    Jones: 200
    Lane: 1,000
    NCP: 270 (per the earlier post)
    Whitney: 400

    This totals 2,090; given 18,000+ applicants, the chances of getting into these schools is a little better than 1 in 10. Note, each school stated that these numbers are approximate (they can vary based on number of transfer students).

    Also, one of the admissions directors I spoke with said that the letters have not been mailed yet – she said she will be notified by OAE when they go out, and as of today, they haven’t. The hope is that they’ll be mailed tomorrow.

  • 108. MomToo  |  February 23, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    100 senn – It is hard to get into Loyola Academy or St. Ignatius as a CPS grad because they take catholic grammar schools grads first — city then suburbs. If any space is left and you are brilliant or maybe have a brilliant sibling attending, you might get in.

  • 109. junior  |  February 23, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    Oooh, but birthdate can also be a tie. I prefer rock, paper, scissors to coin flip — get the kids in the same room and let em sweat it out! I’d pay to see that!

    Good, old rock — nothing beats rock…

  • 110. Last year at this time I was an obsessed 8th grade parent...  |  February 23, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    @106 – Using birthdates is not random, because say in one year, they picked the earlier birthdate, and in the next year, they picked the later birthdate. You’d be able to tell which criteria they used, because the first class would be (slightly) older than the second. However, if they flipped coins, and in the first year selected the “heads”, and in the second year, selected the “tails”, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between the two classes.

    But anyway….they never have used birthdates (and I’m sure that helpful Hansberry could say whether they even come close to having to.) Or how many ties at these boundaries they have to break.

    It’s curious to me why there’s only discussion about the last, never used criterion — no one cares that math has a higher preference than reading?

  • 111. SEHS hopeful  |  February 23, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    @107 – thanks for the info! I guess we will have to wait another day. 😦

  • 112. JKR  |  February 23, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    #107waitingforthemail: you left out 4 schools that many of the 18,000 kids applied to. I don’t know the freshman seats available for Lindblom, Westinghouse, Brooks, and King, but they do figure in the total. 30% of the total seats awarded are for rank alone and then each remaining applicant is vying against the rest of other the kids within his/her own tier who want to go to the same school (s).
    In other words, by using the previous two year’s cut off scores as a clue, one’s chances are greatly affected by which tier one is in and which schools one chose; One’s chances are hard to determine because we don’t know the tier breakdown of the 18000 applicants or which schools they chose.
    Obviously my kid’s chances of getting into 3 of the schools is zero, because we could only put down 6 of the 9.

  • 113. ChicagoGawker  |  February 23, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    @110, see my post @54 above regarding using the math score as the tie breaker. I would be interested to hear OAS’ rationale for selecting Math, if they have one.

  • 114. 7th grade/ lower end Tier 4 mom  |  February 23, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    CPSobsessed- maybe you can do a new post on Saturday when maybe the letters will start trickling in . . .

    I am so not looking forward to things this time next year . . .

  • 115. waitingforthemail  |  February 23, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    @112, You are correct – as I noted, I was only listing the schools that were located closer to my area (I had noted this in my post as City/North). My point was centered on the % opportunity at these schools relative to the total 18,000+ applicant pool. I am sadly, very fully aware of the tier situation as well – quite a challenging year for many for sure.

  • 116. chicago mom  |  February 23, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    Has anyone received HS letters yet? They said they were mailed.

  • 117. Last year at this time I was an obsessed 8th grade parent...  |  February 23, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    113 – oops, I missed that one, amid all the discussion about birth-dates. It’s possible that the reason is that there’s just a wider variation in the math scores, making it a cleaner tier breaker (i.e., less likely to have to resort to the other ones.) Or not. As far as which is more important, reading or math, I wouldn’t want to start that flame war. Rock paper scissors has now become my preferred tie breaker.

  • 118. cpsobsessed  |  February 23, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    Yep, I’ll start a new thread when the first letter is sighted.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 119. CPSDepressed  |  February 23, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    My kid got into Loyola as a CPS student. They do favor siblings, Catholic school students, and people with Jesuit connections (e.g., parent who graduated from a Jesuit school), but they are upfront about it, and they will take other kids – like mine!

    We’re waiting for the CPS results, but I think we’re going to do Loyola for a few reasons. I like that there’s a strong sense of community there and that the curriculum includes a discussion of moral and theological issues, which a lot of high school kids want to talk about. It’s not for everyone, of course. It’s a strong college prep program, but it is also well-rounded. And while it’s not as diverse as a typical CPS school, there is more ethnic, religious, and economic diversity than you might expect.

    Finally, I am in favor of a long school day and higher standards, so I am putting (lots, yikes!) of my money toward them. Loyola has a school day that is just shy of 7.5 hours, and yet, the kids manage to do their homework and participate in clubs. Also, the sports teams are exactly what you would expect from a big Catholic school – highly competitive. There is a dress and grooming code, and I’m okay with that. It is good for kids to learn that there are standards you have to meet in certain settings.

    (As an aside, I am stunned that people are using the dress code to tear down Noble Street. Seriously? A 16-year-old won’t tie his shoes, and this is a good thing? Good luck in the work force, buddy! My guess is that the average Chicago voter either can’t see what the fuss is or thinks all schools should enforce a dress code. This is unlikely to be a winning issue for CTU. The fine is odd, yes, but the dress code is reasonable.)

    Who knows, my kid may still end up in CPS, depending on where he is accepted and his whims and our finances. He really liked Lane Tech, which is similar to Loyola in that it has a big, diverse student body, is focused on academics but not obsessed with them, and has a huge array of clubs and teams. Not everyone has North Side as a first choice!

    I have serious concerns about the future of CPS, though. The first is that the city and state are broke, so budget cuts are going to make things worse before they get better. That’s not good for any kid. The second is that there will most likely be labor trouble this year, which will interfere with kids’ educations and create a really bad climate in the schools.

  • 120. Michelle  |  February 23, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    No letter today!

  • 121. Janet  |  February 23, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    @ 107 Remember that there are more than those 5 SE schools you just listed changing the numbers a bit. We also shouldn’t let these #’s bother us so much due to the fact some of the kids will choose to go to an IB or private school. I have gone thru this, am going thru it now, and will again in a couple of years. This process is different from 2 yrs ago, and will most likely change before i go thru it again. I am also new to this site and appreciate reading all your posts. The info is much needed and the comments show me that I am not alone in my frustraions. Good luck to all of our children!

  • 122. waitingforthemail  |  February 23, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    @121, thanks for your post. Definitely know there are other options – my son was accepted to Loyola and we are strongly considering it (totally agree with everything you have said, @119). I think it is key to manage expectations, especially with the schools where demand is highest.

  • 123. cpsobsessed  |  February 23, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    Is this Loyola the one in the suburbs? Or is there one in the city? I’m out of the loop on Catholic schools.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 124. ChicagoGawker  |  February 23, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    Loyola Academy is in Wilmette, St. Ignatius College Prep is in the city on Roosevelt Rd. Both are Jesuit run (an order of rather liberal, progressive Catholic priests known for being highlyeducated themselves and providing HS rigorous education) CPS Depressed, I wish your son the best at Loyola, if he goes. Please let us know how it goes next year. Specifically would like to hear how “North Shore-y’ the kids are.

  • 125. cpsobsessed  |  February 23, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    How do the kids get to wilmette and back everyday? Lordy, that is a long drive.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 126. ChicagoGawker  |  February 23, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    Car pools.

  • 127. Esmom  |  February 23, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    Lots of city kids also make the trek to Notre Dame in Niles. In fact I heard that right now their student population has shifted to more city kids than local ones.

    The long commute apparently isn’t a deterrent, and when you think about it I imagine the commute to Whitney Young from the North Side is no picnic either.

  • 128. cpsobsessed  |  February 23, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    Yeah, I guess many kids are making a 45 min commute each way to high school on public transportation. Ugh, that depresses me.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 129. Michelle  |  February 23, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    Commute=depressing for sure! I’m praying for rolling out of bed and in the classroom in an hour.

  • 130. darwin  |  February 23, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    when are high school notification letters coming out?

  • 131. ackie letters  |  February 23, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    A psoter on another thread said 7th garde letters are mailed when the elementary school letters go out…

  • 132. Jewel  |  February 23, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    My daughter received an acceptance from the Military Academy today!. We are pretty excited about that. Still waiting for SE, though.

  • 133. cpsobsessed  |  February 23, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    Jewel, that’s great! Can you share your impressions about the military academy?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 134. HS Mom  |  February 23, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    CPSD – congratulations, very exciting news. I agree with everything you said. It really amazes me how every improvement to raise the bar is met with such scrutiny that it festers into anger detrimental to the kids. Yes, agreed, I see orchestrated protest against stringent rules designed to create and maintain a more successful college prep high school and prepare kids for a real future yet I don’t see anyone asking to leave.

    So it’s downhill from here, great options, good luck with everything!

  • 135. Jewel  |  February 23, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    Sure!! I was very impressed by the school…. I like the structure and overall personality of the school. My daughter is in desperate need of organizational skills and self discipline so this will be a great fit for her….. They offer an okay curriculum. Not the most rigorous one but they ensure that they will be college ready by senior year….. She has other schools that she has applied to and we are still waiting for those. But this was my first choice FOR HER.

  • 136. local  |  February 23, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    What are your kids’ aspirations for college at this point? Do they connect their HS choice with their college goals? How fine-tuned are their college aims at this point — considering that one’s high school career is what gets one into college?

  • 137. local  |  February 23, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    “It’s curious to me why there’s only discussion about the last, never used criterion — no one cares that math has a higher preference than reading?”

    Perhaps math equalizes the contest for ELLs in it.

  • 138. local  |  February 23, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    I was just thinking: What it there is a CPS teachers’ strike in fall? I’d hate for CPS HS students to loose those weeks of learning in school and prep for the testing.

  • 139. chicago mom  |  February 23, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    Someone needs to look into busting people who rent apartments in tier 1 and tier 2 to get here kids into SE HS. CPS should audit people who changed there addresses a few months before applications are due.

  • 140. mom  |  February 23, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    Parents considering Loyola—are you northsiders? Why doesn’t anyone consider Gordon? Just don’t understand why we don’t have a strong Catholic option in this neighborhood. I hear/hope it is getting a bit stronger & enrollment is up. I would also agree–
    an hour commute public or private just sounds like too much stress for all.

  • 141. Michelle  |  February 23, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    I know a kid who was just “accepted” to Gordon. He is getting mostly D’s, has many unexcused absences and is lucky if he will make it out of 8th grade, Oh, and did I mention fights in school and getting high and drinking? But he was “accepted” so something tells me a bit about the criteria for this school….it’s all about the cash, clearly.

  • 142. Steff  |  February 23, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    My son was accepted into Mount Carmel and registration was today! I am trying to buy time to hear from selected enrollment that is taking so long.

  • 143. Chicago Gawker  |  February 23, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    @141, that’s a bit much to assume on the basis of one student’s admission. Gordon could have made an exception for the admission of this student. Gordon awards financial aid and has need blind admissions, so clearly it’s not all about the cash.

    @140 Loyola does draw mostly from northsiders, and it has always had a stronger academic rep. than Gordon. I know I’m not driving my kid all the way to to Wilmette…..

  • 144. mom  |  February 23, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    @143–I’m with you!

    @141—The kid is an issue I get that, but do you really think the
    parent community chuckling at his “acceptance” is helping the situation?

  • 145. Michelle  |  February 23, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    No, I am sure its not helping the situation and I probably should have not posted that.

    I guess it just made me question the schools admission criteria and I should not have said it out loud.

    I know nothing at all about the schools academics.

  • 146. mom  |  February 23, 2012 at 11:40 pm

    I would agree with you that. Hey not everyone is bound for Northside Prep & probably someone thinks Lakeview or Amundsen will swallow him up & worsen the current situation. Gotta give someone a little credit on that decision.

  • 147. Lakeview Dad  |  February 24, 2012 at 2:14 am

    The wait is killing us. Our SEHS choices are 1) NCP, 2) Payton, 3) Whitney Young and 4) Lane. We also had interview at LPIB and tested at Ignatius and have standing offer there. Great to have that — its sooo alot of money though. We passed on interview at Ogden, too far away and not quite all together as a school yet in our view. Best of luck to all. Maybe we hear tomorrow??

  • 148. Gwen  |  February 24, 2012 at 2:54 am

    It is brutal waiting, isn’t it? You try not to think about it, but it’s always there in the back of your mind. I hope tomorrow as well, but somehow I think Saturday at the earliest, more likely Monday.

    We ranked them: (1) NCP (2) Payton (3)Jones (4) Whitney (5) Lane. Didn’t do LPIB or the Catholic schools, so all of our eggs are in the SEHS basket.

  • 149. Esmom  |  February 24, 2012 at 8:02 am

    Loyola and Gordon tech aren’t even in the same league. And Loyola is much more expensive. I know a few families who’d like to send their kids there because the dads went there (back when it was all-boys) but just cannot afford the tuition.

  • 150. CPSDepressed  |  February 24, 2012 at 8:12 am

    Loyola is almost half city kids, and most of them take Metra and Pace buses to get there. We figured that door to door, it was the same amount of time as the commute to Whitney Young – and less than to Westinghouse!

    Fenwick and Notre Dame are almost half city kids, too. I think it’s the same for Illiana and the Catholic high schools in the South Suburbs.

    Gordon Tech has been in transition for a long time. At one point, it was close to closing (when they were talking about renting space to CPS). They’ve had a lot of principal turnover, too. I’ve heard that there are a lot of ideas on the table to revive the place, so it will be good to watch.

  • 151. 8th grade mom  |  February 24, 2012 at 9:29 am

    Waiting anxiously. We just learned that we were rezoned from Tier 2 to Tier 3. Annoyingly, the next block over, which actually has a slightly higher income than our block, remained Tier 2. They are in a different, larger census tract that spreads over some other neighborhoods that are less well off; ours is a smaller census tract focused only in our immediate area.

  • 152. xCPS  |  February 24, 2012 at 9:33 am

    141 – Some of the catholic schools will take a chance — say 1 semester. They will help both with tutoring and financial, if necessary. If you blow it, you will be gone at end of semester. Some kids will straighten out and accept the offer. All kids are different and some thrive in different environments. We went from CPS grammar school to catholic and don’t regret it. We don’t worry about teacher strikes, overcrowded classrooms, lack of classes, etc. My worries are classmates smoking cigs and chewing tobacco at Jeff Park station, but that won’t keep me up at night. Good luck all.

  • 153. MazeDaze  |  February 24, 2012 at 9:35 am

    Northside seems to be the popular first choice. My child chose Lane as her first choice – – which seems to be the lower end choice for many on this board. Is there a particular reputation/obstacle that Lane has overcome for that to change?

  • 154. snowDay  |  February 24, 2012 at 9:38 am

    153 – Lane is a really good school. If your child gets, in KUDOS!!!For some, the cache of a NS or Payton is enough. Think about the stress of NS. Do you really want that for your kid? This is hs, not Harvard.

  • 155. Gwen  |  February 24, 2012 at 9:48 am

    I love Lane and think it’s a great school. We put NS first because (1) it’s closer to our house, very easy commute and (2) my daughter liked the smaller overall size and the relative “newness” of the NS facility. We know many kids who go to Lane and everyone of them loves it and is thriving there.

  • 156. HSObsessed  |  February 24, 2012 at 9:51 am

    @153 – I think many people go strictly by test scores, and NS/WP are currently about equal, and highest in the city. Also, Lane is truly very large, and some worry that their kid would get lost or overlooked in that environment. So for those reasons, many people rank Lane lower. But Lane has great academics and an incredibly active community, and I agree it’s a fantastic opportunity to any kid who gets an offer. Good luck to your daughter!

  • 157. mom  |  February 24, 2012 at 10:00 am

    xCPS—what catholic are you at?

    Oh I am watching Gordon & so it every other parent I know with young kids.

  • 158. mom  |  February 24, 2012 at 10:02 am

    What are the academic requirements to get into Ignatius or Loyola?

  • 159. B  |  February 24, 2012 at 10:07 am

    @139 brings up interesting point about parents renting apartments in lower tiers to give their kids an advantage for SEHS. Is this true or just an “urban myth?”
    Best of luck to all who are waiting to get letters.

  • 160. CPSDepressed  |  February 24, 2012 at 10:09 am

    There are no fixed requirements for the Catholic schools. They look at grades (both 7th and 8th grade), standardized test scores, and admission test scores. Loyola also had two essays, one on the admissions test and one that was sent in with the application. They did not ask for a teacher recommendation, but the school counselor had to send in a statement about any disciplinary issues along with the test scores.

    On top of that, there is the priority for siblings, Catholic school students, and those with family connections to the school or the religious order. And, uh, basketball or football prowess.

    It’s not nearly as objective as the SEHS system (tier games aside), but we liked that it looked at kids as people and not seventh grade report cards.

  • 161. 8th grade mom  |  February 24, 2012 at 10:11 am

    @159 – My child tells me that the parents of a student in their class has rented an apartment in a Tier 1 neighborhood. However, I don’t always trust 8th graders as reliable reporters, so I can’t guarantee the truth here.

  • 162. MazeDaze  |  February 24, 2012 at 10:14 am

    She actually had the grades and ISAT scores to apply to NS and possibly get in- – but the pressure was a concern. We were not sure it was a fit in the long run. The kids sort of have to be perfect to apply, and we wondered if that standard might be be a lot of pressure to keep up all four years. Most seem to have Lane at five, so it makes me wonder. We felt like Lane could offer that standard too, but the net was there if other options/adjustments were needed – – due to size and number of class offerings. A bit of second guessing…

  • 163. mom2  |  February 24, 2012 at 10:19 am

    For those of you that may have put Lane down as a choice other than number one, but your child ends up at Lane, I want to tell you ahead of time that they WILL be very happy there. I believe Lane is currently ranked 7th in the state for PSAE scores, so academic standards are very high and even the regular level classes are rigorous.

    I know some people only look at test scores or school ranking and think that they would be happier at NSCP or Payton, but the reality of what I have seen from kids that ended up at Lane is that they couldn’t be happier now. I know some kids that cried for days when they didn’t get into one of the other “top” SE schools, but then they started going to Lane and they smile and laugh at how silly they were to be that upset and talk only about how much they love their school and wouldn’t want to change a thing.

    One big advantage to Lane’s size is that the choices for friends and activities is amazing. We know of a few kids at the smaller schools that enjoy the school, the teachers and the education they are receiving, but they are struggling to find friends that match their personalities. The choices are limited and some of them have expressed some regrets of not picking Lane for social reasons (or more sports opportunities) alone.

    So, if that happens to your child, please do share! Be proud and brag!

  • 164. CPSDepressed  |  February 24, 2012 at 10:21 am

    Like I said, my kid put Lane first. He wasn’t going to get in at North Side or Payton, thanks to that B, but he had a shot at Jones or Whitney Young depending on how the admissions test went. However, we thought the atmosphere at Lane suited his personality and interests best.

  • 165. cpsobsessed  |  February 24, 2012 at 10:22 am

    I was wondering how the kids feel when they don’t get their top choice. That’s gotta be hard for 8th graders, no? Even though we, as parents, can feel certain that “it will all work out.”

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 166. 8th grade mom  |  February 24, 2012 at 10:30 am

    @165 – we made a big effort to make sure our child was comfortable with several schools so he wouldn’t get his heart broken if he didn’t get in his #1. He’d be thrilled at any of his choices from #1 to #3. We may have an issue if it gets down to 4 or 5, but he’s even made some positive comments about them. At one point, on one of the tours (for what ended up his #4) , he told me he felt like I was pushing the school on him as I pointed out the cool things in that school. I told him I wasn’t pushing any particular school; I was just committed to getting him to realize any one of his choices were great schools.

  • 167. Gwen  |  February 24, 2012 at 10:33 am

    We did the same, and I’m not going to say she won’t be sad if she doesn’t get her first pick, but she’s very comfortable with all of the choices on her list, though she now regrets putting WY ahead of Lane, she was very turned off by their open house (which I didn’t attend, her dad did). She thought the principal and the overall presentation were a little too “over the top”, at least that was what she had written on her Pros/Cons list. (My husband liked it though.)

  • 168. HS Mom  |  February 24, 2012 at 10:35 am

    Just to add to this discussion. Friends that got into Lane could not be happier. A close friend that was “traumatized” because she did not get one of her first choices and wound up at Lane is very happy. For her it’s more of a commute but what she is discovering is (1) the choice of friends (as mentioned above) and (2) the choice of classes – she is very artistic and has the option of taking AP photography etc.

  • 169. Esmom  |  February 24, 2012 at 10:38 am

    As for renting apartments in other tiers, how would that even work? Unless they change their address with their elementary school wouldn’t CPS notice a discrepancy between the student’s address on their transcript vs. the fake address they presumably would use for applications?

    In any case it seems like a huge hassle…not to mention I don’t think I could live with the dishonesty. What kind of message does that send to your kid, especially at such an impressionable age?

  • 170. Mom  |  February 24, 2012 at 10:39 am

    @110 — I don’t understand the distinction you are trying to draw. In the example you use, there will always be differences between the classes if you look at the particular distinction used to break the tie. With birthday, there may be more kids who are older (or younger, depending on which is preferred) in the class. But, similarly, with the coin-flip example, there will be more “heads” or “tails” kids in the class. It may not be “visible” to the naked eye (but neither is birthday, really), but it is still there. (Imagine if they had to wear “H” or “T” on their shirts; then you could see there is a difference in the classes.) In any event, the point is that birthday, like being assigned heads or tails, is not something within a child’s control, unlike their score on math, reading, etc. A particular family may feel it is unfair depending on their own child’s birthday, but that same family might find it equally unfair that their child was assigned “tails” when “heads” was preferred. In addition, I’m pretty sure CPS could never conduct a coin flip without someone crying foul about the “fairness” of their procedures. With birthday, it is what it is, and no one has to worry about what happens behind the closed doors. Finally, birthday is commonly used as a final tiebreaker in other contexts (like hiring eligibility lists for police officer), and the courts have upheld it as fair time and again.

  • 171. NWP  |  February 24, 2012 at 10:40 am

    Just an FYI for families who have kids in private grammar schools…if you are considering an SEHS you can pay for your child to take the ISAT which I heard is easier than the Terra Nova. My child last year scored 95s on the the Terra Nova and we then had him take the ISATS and he scored a 99 and 97. We submitted the ISAT scores to increase our chances of getting into WY or Payton. The phone number to have your child test for the ISAt was 553-2320. I believe the name of the office was Research, Evaluation, and Accountability. I think the name changed but the number should be the same. I hope this helps.

  • 172. anonymous  |  February 24, 2012 at 10:42 am

    I’m with you; discipline paves the way for learning. Have to have it to get anything accomplished. And Noble St. schools have accomplished good things from all I’ve read. But the concern is that Noble’s disciplinary fees really hurt low income students who already have a struggle ahead.

    Also, if a kid fails a course, say, algebra, s/he must take it again in the summer, but s/he has to pay another big fee to do so.

    Many low income families can’t afford to pay, and the kid has to leave Noble.

    Some have noticed a pretty high attrition rate at Noble, and wonder that a fee-based discipline code is the reason for it? They wonder if it is a way to cull students who might bring test scores down.

    From what I’ve read, those same critics would rather that Noble find a way to work with kids to improve their situation and outcomes.

    If I remember, the amount of fees collected totaled over $300,000 a year and went to pay for staff whose job was to enforce the discipline code — does anyone think that is kind of an odd arrangement? In the public and Catholic schools, I never heard of anyone who enforced discipline earning a buck from the kids.

    Btw, I couldn’t bribe my way out of kneeling on my knuckles in the corner.

  • 173. snow2  |  February 24, 2012 at 10:53 am

    172. Yes, some of the catholic schools charge $5 for out of uniform violations (no belt, no socks, slippers as shoes, etc.), littering fines (leaving your shredded paper all over the classroom), cell phone use during the school day, etc. Those fine do exist and teach kids a lesson (unless the parent pays them).

  • 174. Last year at this time I was an obsessed 8th grade parent...  |  February 24, 2012 at 11:03 am

    @170 – The same thing you’re saying about birthdate could just as well be said about race or sex or parental income – you (the one being selected) have “no choice” about what those things are either. But the system (the one making the selection) has plenty of choice — in advance of the contest — about how he might bias his choices in the tiebreaker. Hence, not random, and not something that both sides of the equation are likely to accept. Imagine if CPS said race was the tiebreaker, and said, “no problem, it’s random because you can’t control what race you are.”

    Forget about coins for a second, and say that instead of using actual birthdate, for the each of the kids tied, they roll a 365-sided die, and call that the “tie-breaker birthdate”. To avoid closed doors, they even let you roll the die and submit that fake date along with the application.

    I think the main point (and this is an angels-on-a-pin topic by now) is that, just as the math score is used as a tie breaker, representing a slight preference to have better math skills over reading, the birthdate tiebreaker represents a slight (infinitesimal) preference to have older kids in the SEHS.

  • 175. waitingforthemail  |  February 24, 2012 at 11:05 am

    A few comments re: Lane… I, too, know of many kids who are currently attending Lane and really enjoy it. For example, a freshman super-athlete – he’s playing multiple sports and thriving. Another example, a shy, quiet sophomore girl – same thing, she is very happy.

    That said, last night, I heard from a parent (who has a son in Lane’s current freshman class) that when they had an orientation/parent meeting at the start of this school year, so many parents showed up and the Lane administration was not prepared – they actually had to send the parents home and reschedule for another night with a bigger venue. Apparently, the Lane administration was not prepared for so many parents choosing to be involved (this was apparently different from recent past there).

    On the one hand, this is a good sign – that many parents want to be involved. On the other hand, I do wonder about the administration’s preparedness (I felt like their open house was not well-organized).

  • 176. Mom  |  February 24, 2012 at 11:08 am

    @174 — Every “preference” is, well, a preference. Yes, birthday “prefers” older kids over younger (or younger over older, as the case may be). And math prefers those better at math. You have to have a preference because you have to prefer one kid over the other in order to assign a slot. That said, there are some “preferences” that are illegal — e.g., race. There are others that are not — math, birthday. Again, the difference between math and birthday is that one is within the kids’ control and the other is not. Sure there are other ways they could do the “outside of your control” tiebreaker (dice, coin toss, what have you). But they don’t have to, and it’s not unfair to anyone to do in the manner they’ve chosen.

  • 177. Debi  |  February 24, 2012 at 11:09 am

    The people changing there address go to private schools. CPS have no record of there address. I know for a fact this is done. Private schools need kids to get into payton and north side do they look like they have exceptional teaching. Totally illegal.

  • 178. HS Mom  |  February 24, 2012 at 11:16 am

    I think it’s kind of interesting that non-CPS schools can take multiple tests and then choose the best score.

  • 179. ChicagoGawker  |  February 24, 2012 at 11:20 am

    @171, Very valuable info! Thanks for posting. I always wondered about the comparability of ISAT v Terra Nova and IOWA.

    @176, Yes, every preference is a preference, but shouldn’t the selecting preference be an indicator of how well the student will perform in HS? I maintain that reading comprehension is a better indicator of how well an 8th grader will do in a variety of subjects than math, since it is critical for understanding science, social studies, you name it.

  • 180. Chicago mom  |  February 24, 2012 at 11:20 am

    It is totally not fair that non cps students have 2 shots at 30 percent of the point system. I went to blue ribbon meeting this summer at lane tech and brought up that point. No one cared. The system is a mess. What is this all teaching our kids? Very upsetting. Good luck to all. Keep telling your kids you make your education not only a school.

  • 181. Last year at this time I was an obsessed 8th grade parent...  |  February 24, 2012 at 11:21 am

    @176 – I’m not sure you’ll get universal agreement that age discrimination (which this is, even within the span of a year) is not as unfair as race (and age discrimination is illegal, just in fewer situations than race.)

    Actually, and I think some posters above echoed this, if they used birthdate as a tiebreaker, they should pick the younger kid, because if he tied the older kid, he would have demonstrated a higher aptitude and potential.

    Plus, not sure when they say birthdate, they just mean the month and day, or include the year as well. Kids who’ve skipped a grade or two, tying their older peer, are probably more likely to benefit from an advanced curriculum, no?

  • 182. waitingforthemail  |  February 24, 2012 at 11:21 am

    Many non-CPS schools also have higher grading scales (ie. 93-100 for an “A”). Is it still 90-100 for an “A” in CPS grammar schools?

  • 183. 79Friday  |  February 24, 2012 at 11:22 am

    177 — 178 It’s amazing in a disturbing way the stuff adults will do to get kids into these schools. Some planning years ago would have helped avoid all this.

  • 184. ExTeach  |  February 24, 2012 at 11:23 am

    182 where have you been? CPS grading is all over the place. That is another bone of contention with SEHS applications and 7th grade grades.

  • 185. Mom  |  February 24, 2012 at 11:25 am

    @179 — I have no opinion on math vs. reading as selection method. I was simply using that as an example of a preference. My point pertains exclusively to the final “outside their control” tiebreaker. None of these — birthday, coin flip, dice roll, etc. — will provide any indication of how well an 8th grader will do in HS. (Unless we believe older kids will perform better, or are more mature, etc., which I’m sure lots would debate.)

  • 186. cpsobsessed  |  February 24, 2012 at 11:26 am

    The grading issue is more squishy in the private schools too versus CPS which is now very quant-based. Especially when I think aby a montessori school, which doesn’t issue grades throughout school. They have to assign grades for 7th grade so the kids can apply to high school but my sense is that it would be a totally subjective rating.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 187. NWP  |  February 24, 2012 at 11:27 am


    You can pay for a CPS or non CPS student to take any of the test. ISAT’s are rumored to be easier and my son’s score reflect that they were. May not be the case for everyone.

  • 188. Mom  |  February 24, 2012 at 11:27 am

    @181 — age discrimination is not illegal in the way you think. There is a law that makes it illegal to treat those 40 and older differently in employment. That does not apply here. If it did apply, it would support choosing the older kid over the younger.

  • 189. Esmom  |  February 24, 2012 at 11:33 am

    @177 that pains me so far beyond anything about this whole stressful process. (Although now I recall past allegations of fraud…for example, wasn’t Michael Jordan’s son called out for attending WY even though he lived in the suburbs?)

    I know fraud/corruption is everywhere but this somehow feels especially egregious to me.

  • 190. Last year at this time I was an obsessed 8th grade parent...  |  February 24, 2012 at 11:35 am

    @180 – yes, I think that’s one of those many details CPS could correct by saying that anyone, not just private schoolers, should be able to take the alternative tests. But that would create a hullabaloo about “too many tests” and who’d pay for them…
    I said this last year – I’ll say it again — it would be “better” to base admissions on a single, fairly proctored, examination (with LOTS of hard questions so there won’t be any ties!); eliminate the very cheatable ISATS from the equation, eliminate the gender-biased and wackily inconsistent 7th grades from the equation. By “better”:, I mean more consistent and more fair and more likely to place students who will benefit from and contribute to the accelerated curriculum that should be offered at SEHS.

    A single test can be overly stressful, and therefore less indicative of ability, so “ideally”, there might be a series of tests over time, but not sure how this would work logistically.

  • 191. CPSDepressed  |  February 24, 2012 at 11:55 am

    The Jordan children used their mother’s address; the parents were divorced and she lived in the city, so that was perfectly legal. However, the SEHS schools do not take transfers, so it was their ending up at Whitney Young that was fishy.

  • 192. HS Mom  |  February 24, 2012 at 11:56 am

    @187 – I don’t understand what you are saying. A CPS student can pay to re-take the ISAT or they can pay to take the Terra Nova and use that instead? This is not something that is made known. All the prep and pressure is about a do-or-die ISAT in 7th grade.

    Clearly there is an advantage to being able to take the better of 2 tests regardless of the degree of difficulty. Bad test day, you have another chance. Blow the second test, you still have the first. Less pressure. I know personally of a top straight A student that made a mistake in the bubbles on one portion of the ISAT and it made a big difference in her options.

  • 193. ChicagoGawker  |  February 24, 2012 at 11:56 am

    @178 Non cps schools are not giving mutiple tests, individual parents can choose to pay for their child to take the ISAT so that they are measured by the same yardstick that CPS kids are measured. Can’t see how this is unfair. BTW, this is not common practice by non-CPS parents to my knowledge; never heard of it before now…and my kid’s private doesn’t even mention it and probably doesn’t even know about it.

  • 194. Katie  |  February 24, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    anyone have a letter yet

  • 195. ChicagoGawker  |  February 24, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    Agreed that a requirement for private school kids to have only their ISAT scores considered, if taken, would be fair. No submitting the best of multiple tests.

  • 196. Katie  |  February 24, 2012 at 12:04 pm


  • 197. HS Mom  |  February 24, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    if you are considering an SEHS you can pay for your child to take the ISAT which I heard is easier than the Terra Nova. My child last year scored 95s on the the Terra Nova and we then had him take the ISATS and he scored a 99 and 97. We submitted the ISAT scores to increase our chances of getting into WY or Payton

    @193 – my take from this is that you can pay to take a second test and then submit your best score. How is it not unfair that private schools get 2 chances? The same yardstick would be that CPS kids could take the second (harder??) test and choose between the 2.

  • 198. NWP  |  February 24, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    I never said “retake.” It is not a widely used practice by the private school parents because most parents and schools are unaware of it. I only know because I have a family member who works at a SEHS.

  • 199. CPSDepressed  |  February 24, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    Interesting. Several Catholic-school parents have told me that they are convinced that CPS is making the ISAT easier in 7th grade to give the Catholic and private school kids a disadvantage for the SEHS.

  • 200. Esmom  |  February 24, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    @191, yes. And the Jordan case was/is admittedly atypical, different from run-of-the-mill address fraud by the average Joe. And in a case like that, questions could always be put to rest with the PD option. I’ve lost track, though, of how big a rold PD plays anymore in the SEHS process.

  • 201. KeepHopeAlive  |  February 24, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    No SEHS letter yet here. 😦
    BTW, SEHS DO take transfers after freshman year. I know that for a fact. However, it appears that it is always the *well-connected* families that get those spots.

  • 202. Jkr  |  February 24, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    Some se high schools take transfer students and some do not.

  • 203. NWP  |  February 24, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    Yes, SEHS do take in transfers.

  • 204. 8th grade mom  |  February 24, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    @199 – given that the ISAT is a statewide tests, and most of the rest of hte state doesn’t have this crazy high school admissions thing, not sure how CPS could manage that.

    Also, our friends with kids in catholic schools told us about how supportive the school was to help their 7th grader get straight As – doing this such as allowing them to retake tests they didn’t do well on until they got an A. Whereas my kid had teachers in 7th grade who were brutal; in certain subjects he worked harder than he had in previous years and still got lower grades.

    I’m not bringing these examples up to say it’s more or less fair for one group or the other – the whole system is unfair for all of them.

  • 205. CPSDepressed  |  February 24, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    Well, yes, it is a horrible system, and the kids who need a good education the most are the kids who are the most screwed by it. It’s just wrong.

  • 206. G.M.  |  February 24, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    so disappointing,just got a denial letter at Lincoln IB,did not disclose though what was her final grade,7th grade A’s,Terra Nova reading is 99,but math is only 91,wonder how she did at SE test…….

  • 207. 8th grade mom  |  February 24, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    We just got the acceptance letter from Lincoln Park IB. No sight of the SEHS letter.

  • 208. ChicagoGawker  |  February 24, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    P.S. At our private you don’t even get your standardized test results until the end of June, so no way we could game the system.

    Alot of catholic parish schools don’t send them home until May.

  • 209. Gwen  |  February 24, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    So, I just received an email from the earlier mentioned Karen at OAE/CPS who responded to my inquiry of 2 days ago (so I didn’t get the fast response the rest of you did) and she said:

    “As of this writing (11:30am today) the International Baccalaureate High Schools and Military Academies letters have been mailed.”

    I then asked when the SE High School letters would go out, and she responded nearly immediately:

    “Unfortunately, at this point, I do not know exactly which program will be mailed next.”

  • 210. Gwen  |  February 24, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    Does this mean they may not go out this week????

  • 211. HS Mom  |  February 24, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    @208 – so this optional paid for ISAT test is taken after the end of June? After a 7th grader has finished the grade completely and can study and can prep an additional 3 or 4 months or more?

  • 212. Gwen  |  February 24, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    HS Mom- I think so. I was in line at one of the open houses this fall talking to some parents with kids at Parker, and they had taken the Stanford test, not liked the results, and were taking the ISATs in November or December of 2011 – so that is really much later!

  • 213. Last year at this time I was an obsessed 8th grade parent...  |  February 24, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    209 (or anyone) – if you don’t mind being a pest, you could call around at the individual SEHS and see if they’ve been greenlighted to mail letters. They tend to get those out the door before CPS…but I have to agree with @18 way above that in CPS-speak, “this week” really means “next week”

  • 214. Debi  |  February 24, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    Yes it was taken in oct 6 months after CPS took I says they get to pick which score to use. Not fair

  • 215. NWP  |  February 24, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    I am not sure what the time frame is but I would call the CPS OAE number and they should be able to help you. I do not want to give you the wrong info.

  • 216. Alejandro  |  February 24, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    So when are the SEHS letters going to be mailed out? Have IB letters already gone out yet? I’m a 14 year old anxiously awaiting for my letter.

  • 217. HS Mom  |  February 24, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    Wow – this is craziness. @190 – I’m with you. One or a series of the same test to everyone. @205 totally agree, this is a horrible system

  • 218. Gwen  |  February 24, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    Just called OAE. Guy I spoke to (who didn’t seem very sure of what he was saying) said they are still working on the other letters, and they may not go out today. Can someone else please check? I don’t think he was very sure of what he was saying -and still no response from Karen at OAE on my follow-up email to her.

    I DO NOT like CPS-speak!!!!!

  • 219. NWP  |  February 24, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    I just got off the phone with a Linda Abdul and shed informed me that Cps now has students who are interested in applying take the exam in the Fall of eighth grade and then if they are eligible they can take the SEHS exam. She also stated there may be a fee for doing this. We took the ISAT thru National Louis and submitted it to the office listed below. We paid $75 for the exam. Linda stated if there is a fee it will be less than 75. I wish I would have known..I could have saved some money. I think it is unfair that they can test during their 8th grade but then again it is CPS. Things that do not make sense are the norm. For any other info call to have specific questions answered although you will only hear her reading from a script!

    Phone: 773-553-2430

  • 220. cpsmama  |  February 24, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    Tomorrow is technically the end of the week-maybe CPS is working on Saturday :^)

    ON the issue of transfers to SEHSs- I have personal knowledge of students who have trasnsferred into all of the top 5 SEHSs (yes- even NSCP which may no longer take transfers, but did in the past) Kids leave SEHSs and SEHSs are allowed to admit transfers to keep their numbers where they need to be for staffing. OAE must approve all transfers, but each school has its own transfer application and requirements. It is definitely less regulated than
    principal discretion.

  • 221. Last year at this time I was an obsessed 8th grade parent...  |  February 24, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    still working?! omg……maybe they finally are having to use birthdate tiebreakers!!!!!!

    seriously…I know 18,000 sounds like a big number, but this should be a pretty routinized and tested process and all the data has been in since the last scantron test (? end of Jan – + a few weeks to throw out bad questions) and when the tier numbers were posted (begin of Feb) I work with calculations with ten times the number of records like this every day. When we’re scratching our heads at the days before the deadline, it means there a bugs in the system and mangled data. Yipes.

  • 222. Gwen  |  February 24, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    Well, didn’t someone post something about the caliber of people working in the central office???

  • 223. 7thgradesurvivor  |  February 24, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    @206. I’m so sorry. Can you check with LP to see if there is a waitlist? Given earlier posts sounds like there are kids who opt SEHS over LPIB? Also, this is pure conjecture but I’m wondering if they also look at feeding school’s track record of sending kids to LPIB? @207 congrats. Do you have any idea about your elem schools track record?

  • 224. MazeDaze  |  February 24, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    The tier info wasn’t available until after the deadline, maybe this has created some difficulties.

  • 225. SEHS hopeful  |  February 24, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    We got our LPIB letter today! My son got in. We are so relieved. We had acceptances to two Noble charter schools that were going to be our backup. But now we can breathe easier. We also got a letter from LP double honors today. Now we are just waiting for the SE letter. I don’t know what we are going to do though. We might just choose LPIB.

  • 226. 8th grade mom  |  February 24, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    @223 – I don’t know about our elem school’s track record with LPIB. The LPIB process includes an in-person interview, and a writing test. I do like it in that those elements give them some opportunity to look at something besides the test scores.

    If my son gets in to Payton, he might pick that over LPIB.

  • 227. pantherparent  |  February 24, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    When my son first started at our neighborhood CPS elementary school about 7 years ago, the grading scale for an “A” was 94-100. Although the principal believed in that scale, he moved it to 90-100 for an “A” because he did not want to jeopardize a 7th grade student’s chances for selective enrollment high school.

    I also have spoken to a principal at another school who flat out told me that he forbade some teachers from giving anything lower than an “A” to certain prime 7th grade students. By that he meant he would not allow one teacher, who may have a vendetta against a kid, to harm his/her future my giving that student a “B”. I commended him for that.

    And since I started the post about tiebreakers, even though it has been mentioned a couple of times, it bears repeating. The date of birth tiebreaker has NEVER been used. I understand that we have moved into a philosophical argument, but just wanted to bring it back to reality.

  • 228. cpsmomx5  |  February 24, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    It is a shame that the selection approach is so warped. Hard to know where to begin with my laundry list sermon to the choir. Worst, however, is the fact that there is no consistent CPS grading scale. Our magnet school 7th grade teachers were merciless, and the Principal even more so. I tried and tried to have CPS consider points per percentage for grades. In other words an 89 percent equals 89 points NOT 50. Too logical for CPS, though.

  • 229. RL Julia  |  February 24, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    Both my kids were really not interested in Lane as a school (its too big, I believe was their issue). Dragged them to the open houses (for the AC and for high school) and both emerged converted – thinking that Lane would be a great place to go to (high) school. I think people look at the size and the lower test scores (because of the size) and come to negative conclusions but to me it seemed like a fantastic place to go to school. Son ranked it third (NCP, WY, Lane, Jones, Payton, Westinghouse) and daughter second (WY, Lane, Taft).

  • 230. Lakeview Dad  |  February 24, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    Just received an acceptance for LPIB… 2 letters, one from CPS the other from Lincoln Park. Whew. Now waiting like everyone else for SEHS…

  • 231. Angie  |  February 24, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    227. pantherparent: “And since I started the post about tiebreakers, even though it has been mentioned a couple of times, it bears repeating. The date of birth tiebreaker has NEVER been used.”

    But the tiers have just been changed, and it seems that now there are more Tier 4 kids than ever before, competing for the same number of SE seats. I wouldn’t be surprised if they have to use more tiebreakers this year.

  • 232. cpsmomx5  |  February 24, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    Received our LP Double Honors acceptance (NOT IB) today directly from Lincoln Park. It actually beat the CPS letter. Nice. Anyone have anything to share about the HH program there? We’re not too sold on it yet…

    @230 My Payton JR had grammar school classmates that opted for LPIB rather than a SEHS. We have heard nothing but good things about it. Congrats!

  • 233. Gwen  |  February 24, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    Congrats to everyone hearing good things from the IB programs. Do we have any updates on when the SE letters will go out? I think I need to resign myself to the fact that they won’t mail them until next week 😦

  • 234. cpskool  |  February 24, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    Just received Taft IB offer and LP Double Honors today in mail. Check your mailboxes ladies and gentlemen!!!

  • 235. HS Mom  |  February 24, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    Gwen and others – it also depends on your mail delivery. We got our letter on a Saturday when they went out Friday. Others had them drifting in all the next week.

    @231 and don’t forget about all those 99 ISAT scores out there now. Could definitely have to resort to b-day.

  • 236. Parkerparent  |  February 24, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    CPS does NOT allow CPS students to retake the ISATs. It offers CPS students who missed the ISATs and private students without 7th grade scores to be tested in the fall. This year they used the Stanford test, not the ISAT. It’s harder than the ISAT, and is the same test used in 6th and 8th grade at Parker.

  • 237. 7th grade/ lower end Tier 4 mom  |  February 24, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    @236: CPS does NOT allow CPS students to retake the ISATs

    So then why is it OK for non-CPS students to take multiple tests and pick and choose? I know for a FACT of at least one student who did not even qualify for SE because of a low ISAT. That student was allowed to take another test and was eventually accepted into a program.

    What would be so wrong with giving CPS students a slight advantage in the admissions process? Who remembers when 100 points was based on attendance? What about giving a few extra points to CPS students. After all the private schools give preference to legacies and people already in the system. Why can’t CPS?

  • 238. HS Mom  |  February 24, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    @226 – thanks for adding clarity to the CPS students being allowed to take the test in the fall. At our school, make-up for missed ISAT days due to illness, etc was given during or around the test days. I guess if someone was out of the country or some other extraneous circumstances they might need to take the test differently. For the most part, 7th graders must take the ISAT in March and live with that score. Hardly the same as taking one test in March? harder? deciding whether or not you want to live with that score and then having the option to take a 7th grade test in 8th grade. With both results in hand, you can then decide which you want to submit.

  • 239. HS Mom  |  February 24, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    sorry #238 is to 236

  • 240. Lee  |  February 24, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    This is ridiculous. I just spoke with OAE and they have said they will be going out “next week,” to which I replied that they had promised the same this week. The gentleman then informed me that “they would be working late tonight” to try to get many of them out. For us, if the SE letters are going out next week, it really puts us in jeopardy — we have been accepted to The Latin School, and depending upon what happens at SE, we are strongly considering accepting (and have to do so by Monday)… Like most of you, we have been waiting on pins and needles, rushing to the mailbox each day.

  • 241. hopingforthebest  |  February 24, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    @237… Our tax dollars are in part being used to fund public schools. Tax dollars coming from a current CPS student’s family should not be worth more than the same tax dollars coming from a non-CPS student’s family. I do not believe there should be extra points given just based on current CPS status.

  • 242. cpsobsessed  |  February 24, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    I hate that the privates insist on a commitment before the SE letters go out. It has often been the same with the elem schools and even preK, I think.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 243. Lee  |  February 24, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    @242 — it is incredibly frustrating. Trying to hold off on The Latin School commitment as long as possible in the hopes that Payton or Northside comes through.

  • 244. cpsobsessed  |  February 24, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    Do you have to give latin $ to hold the spot, I assume?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 245. cpsmomx5  |  February 24, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Long night of rock, paper, scissors at OAE?? They’re probably going to get paid overtime for not getting their work done in a timely fashion. I thought they said this was all handed by a computer program… Are they struggling to lick the envelopes shut?

  • 246. CPSDepressed  |  February 24, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    Loyola doesn’t need a check until March 20, which is really nice. It gives us some time to see what happens with CPS and to get our finances in order.

  • 247. ard  |  February 24, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    @245 thanks for making me laugh. i haven’t done that since this process started.

  • 248. James  |  February 24, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    This delay is is frustrating. St. Ignatius expects a response by March 2nd, next Friday. It boggles the mind how inefficient and bungling OAE is with this. What conceivable excuse could there be for the delays? Do they simply not care the bind that this puts kids in, not to mention the continued anxiety waiting for letters that don’t go out when repeatedly promised?

    As for whether current CPS student should get an edge in high school admissions, that is, frankly, absurd. I live in the city, just like you. But, unlike you, I didn’t get lucky with an elementary school lottery nine years ago. So I have been paying to fund CPS for all those years without being able to take advantage of our public schools. And now you seriously think that you should get an edge for high school admissions? Are you joking? If anything, I should get the advantage since, in some ways, it’s now my turn to reap some benefit from all the tax dollars I’ve been paying into the system and not using.

    And I have never heard of anyone gaming the system and subjecting their kid to multiple standardized tests, looking to pick the best one to submit to CPS. Our private elementary school administers the Iowa test in the spring of 7th grade, and that’s all that gets submitted by the school to CPS when high school rolls around. Are there parents out there who try to have their kid take multiple tests? I suppose, but it has to be less than a handful of dishonest parents and cannot seriously be considered a widespread abuse.

  • 249. CPSDepressed  |  February 24, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    @248: see what fun you missed out on when you didn’t get lucky with elementary school? The lack of communication – about anything – is par for the course. We’ve learned to roll with it, but our friends who sent their kids to Catholic school are all going insane because this is new to them. All I can say is: it’s Friday, it’s after 5:00 on the east coast, and so it is time for a drink!

  • 250. pantherparent  |  February 24, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    @153 Maze Daze
    High school choices are about fit, not scores. I know a kid who scored 897 last year and chose Lane and couldn’t be happier. Some parents, more than kids, will look at scores and automatically put Northside and Payton 1 and 2. To me that is unfair to the student. If your child chose Lane, there was a reason.

    @109 Appreciate the Simpsons reference. Poor predictible Bart. Always goes rock.

  • 251. Lee  |  February 24, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    @244 yes indeed, there is a deposit. I have not looked closely at the form yet (was planning to submit on Monday at the 11th hour if the CPS letter doesn’t arrive), but it definitely indicates that a fee is part of the commitment!

  • 252. James  |  February 24, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    @249: Excellent idea!

  • 253. cpsobsessed  |  February 24, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    Yes, I would have bet good money that nobody would have a letter today. Tomorrow is a possibility.
    This happens every single time.

    Have that drink and let’s see what tomorrow hold.

    And please. No more arguing about giving CPS students priority. It’s never going to happen.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 254. HS Mom  |  February 24, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    @248 – take a look at some of the prior posts. Now I know why a private school friend did not get ISAT results until way later. Couldn’t understand why she didn’t know.

    What is absurd is that the option exists, that it is not given to everyone and that everyone does not take the same test in the same relative time frame.

  • 255. Lee  |  February 24, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    @250, Yes, agree that high school choices are about “fit” as much as anything, but suppose I disagree that the choice is left in my child’s hands… After all, the adult vantage point on high school is quite different than the child’s — they are not seeing “the big picture” in most cases, and I see that as my job. Whatever we choose will definitely be collaborative. I want my child to be surrounded by the highest scoring and academically-driven classmates, who also want to have a great social experience, and in that order. I’d rather help my child see the benefits of choosing a high school with a 28-29 ACT score and more NMS than select the one with a 23 score just because his friends are going there, more clubs are offered, he may “fit in” more immediately…

  • 256. Michelle  |  February 24, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    Letter arrived, got in LP IB!!! No SE letter yet!

  • 257. 7thgradesurvivor  |  February 24, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    Daughter got LPIB acceptance from CPS and LPIB. I will now exhale.

  • 258. cpsobsessed  |  February 24, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    Yay for LPIB! Little will these kids know their parents are all virtual obsessors together….

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 259. cpskool  |  February 24, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    Anyone out there who has a kid in Taft IB or LP Double honors? What do you think?? Thanks!

  • 260. k  |  February 24, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    My daughter received her offer letter from Ogden IB today…still waiting for SEHS. We were impressed with Ogden at their open house, but are nervous that they are not established enough yet since the HS has only been in operation for a few years. Does anyone have any thoughts or info about Odgen’s IB program? Thanks!

  • 261. CPS Teacher  |  February 24, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    Letters are ready to go out at the schools, but CPS had not given the go ahead as of late last night.

  • 262. anonymouseteacher  |  February 24, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    For all the folks wondering how CPS can’t figure out how to send out letters out on time: I teach for CPS and when I use the mandated communication system of “First Class” email, I cannot backspace. Ever. So, really, truly, it is shocking, shocking I say if CPS does anything correctly, on time or in a reasonable way. Every single program, system, anything is screwed up in amazing ways. Nothing works right. It is completely predictable that things would be late. Again. This is Chicago Public Schools. Or at least that has been my experience with every thing, not exaggerating, that I’ve ever used that CPS has chosen.
    I hope everyone gets their letters soon. Good luck. I don’t envy you.

  • 263. motherofhschildren  |  February 24, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    #255 @Lee…I understand the dilema you are going through. I was in the same position last year, I was also waiting on NE prep school decisions that don’t come out until March 10th. You will find that you may have to pay the deposit. Read the contract carefuly, the deposit will be non-refundable, but there will be a date on the contract that you can still pull out of the contract without being liable for the balance of the tuition. It would be so much easier if everything came out at the same time. Just consider yourself lucky that your child has got into an excellent school what ever happens. As a slight disclaimer not everyone who applies to private schools has the money to go there, many are helped out by very generous FA rewards.

  • 264. Janet  |  February 24, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    Thanks to all who had posted about IB letters in mail. I kept checking and my son got his acceptance from LPIB and Curie IB. I’m relieved because I wasn’t sure how I was going to pay for Mt. Carmel even with partial scholarship. We are still waiting on SE letter but am thankful we have the IB letter right now.

  • 265. Janet  |  February 24, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    Does anyone know when the pre- ib (or whatever they are calling program now)letters go out for entering 6th graders?

  • 266. Esmom  |  February 24, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    @262, I believe you based on what our CPS teachers told me over the years. Which makes all the good things happening in CPS all that more miraculous, because not one single thing about the system is easy or user-friendly. Some days I used to marvel that any learning happened at all. Which, of course, it did, thanks to all the dedicated teachers who make it happen.

  • 267. Lakeview Dad  |  February 24, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    @260 – one thing we heard about Ogden is that they are an IB ‘candidate’ program. Not sure what that means. But we interpreted that as meaning that it wasn’t a fully formed IB program – yet. Anyone else have a similar impression?

  • 268. Lakeview Dad  |  February 24, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    BTW, We took the tour at Ogden 2 years ago. Seems like it may be a great option in a few more years. As it is, it’s a good option to have.

  • 269. Christine  |  February 24, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    Two questions:

    1) Does anyone apply to Alcott HS?


    2) Doesn’t the 18,000 applicants for SE include elementary, academic center and high school?

  • 270. Chicago Gawker  |  February 24, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    @248 James, I think our kids must be at the same school-IOWA test gave it away. I’m not a 8th grade parent but I can’t imagine our school recommending multiple testing to parents, would be completely against their values.

    I think the only way it would be fair for non CPS kids to submit ISATs is to take them in the Spring of 7th instead of the IOWAs or Terra Novas. But even if someone did take the ISAT in Fall of 8th grade, the results would be normed to 8th graders, not 7th graders, which would perhaps reduce or eliminate any advantage.

  • 271. Stressed Parent  |  February 24, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    Alcott High School received over 700 applications for 85 spots.

  • 272. Debi  |  February 24, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    Ogden is a great option. They are having open house Monday the 5th. 9-11.

  • 273. Northwest-side Mom  |  February 24, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    Got LPIB acceptance letters from OAE and LP today. Nothing from SEHS yet. Son will do a shadow day at LPIB. More info is better, right? I’m really impressed by the fact that LPIB seems to want to help families make a well-informed decision. However, if son ends up there, I won’t be excited about the long commute! For us though, the commute to almost all the schools is rotten. Good luck to everyone!

  • 274. clueless  |  February 24, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    What schools have academic centers—is this the 7th/8th grade program? Then are you guaranteed a spot @ that school for high school. What is the IB program & how does it differ from the SE schools program. Sorry I know this is basic…just starting to learn about it all.

  • 275. 8th grade preppy  |  February 24, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    @ 274
    The big schools that have academic centers are Kenwood Academy, Whintey Young, Lindbloom, Harlan High school, Taft, Morgan Park. This is from the cps website but i am an eighth grader waiting for high school letters, but i am at Kenwood’s AC and i can say for sure that anybody concidering going can be sure of a reliable high school choice. Mathamaically, Kenwood does not look that good because the entire high school is not selective enrollement. As an eighth grader, i find the classes challenging and everyone there very nice.
    When i first got there, i was worried about the high schoolers and how they would treat me, but most of them have the attitude: “Awww. I remember when i was your age”, whether or not they had been a preppy (ac student) I am taking all freshman classes except for one elective and a language. The language is level two and i am taking geometry. I have a friend at Whitney AC and she likes it alot, although she does have a problem geometry teacher.
    The IB program garentees that you can go to a college abroad free if you have dual citizenship or if your parents are citizens in another country. It is also a rigorous program and very advanced. Im not sure about the IB stuff i said, its just what i remember learning a few years ago.
    I hope i helped!

  • 276. Alejandro  |  February 24, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    I got accepted into Lincoln Park IB and Double Honors! 🙂 When will the SEHS letters go out?

  • 277. HS Mom  |  February 24, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    Great work Alejandro. Perseverance prevails.

  • 278. Lakeview Dad  |  February 24, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    @274 – Lane Tech also has a new Academic center as of last year.

  • 279. Sonali  |  February 24, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    I go to the same school as Alejandro 🙂
    I got into Lincoln Park IB, Senn IB, Taft IB, and Amundsen IB. I really want my selective enrollment letter to come tomorrow! Has anyone received their cps letters?

  • 280. 8th grade preppy  |  February 24, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    Nope. Waiting with you guys.

  • 281. Fourbsbadforme  |  February 24, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    Did anyone get into LPDH with four b’s? I know they have a points system too… My letter hasn’t came yet.

    I’m scared for this week. CPS is so mean. They keep delaying my freaking letter! And now that even more neighborhoods are tier 4, I’m scared. I really really really really want to go to lane, but I have a 497/600 right now…

  • 282. Concerned Parent  |  February 24, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    My son also received acceptances to LPIB and Taft IB today. But I was not too happy to read about the recent incident at LPHS. Could someone offer a perspective on this? I would like to think that this is anomalous and atypical of LPHS but it does raise a red flag about how safe the school is. Is this an isolated incident or does LPHS have a recent history of having an unsafe learning environment?

    Here is a link to the Chicago news article:

  • 283. Uniformity  |  February 24, 2012 at 11:11 pm

    I read post #228 and agree wholeheartedly. So…CPS says we are ALL going on same schedule (which may be Track E), CPS says that we will ALL have 7.5 hours of schools–starting at 8am and ending at 3:30pm (I’m sure a few schools will have a slightly different start/end time). For elementary schools and the low stakes test ALL schools will take NWEA so schools using SCANTRON will have a change. There is all this new, mandated uniformity BUT cps can’t make the grading scale uniform…it’s mind boggling & truly sad!!!

  • 284. Steff  |  February 24, 2012 at 11:12 pm

    So stressful waiting but at least we got a letter of acceptance from Lincoln Park double Honors, Curie’s IB, and South Shore International IB program . He also was accepted into Mount Carmel, but no letter from Selected Enrollment!

  • 285. cpsobsessed  |  February 24, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    Uniformity — great point! It’s almost comical when you point it out like that.
    Sadly comical.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 286. Stressed by CPS  |  February 24, 2012 at 11:22 pm

    @281-A friend of mine teaches at LPHS. She says most kids who apply for their double honors program get in because they don’t get as many applicants as SEHS. I can’t guarantee that you will get in but if you have 80% or higher on the ISATS, there is a great chance even with 4 B’s. Good luck.

  • 287. Lakeview Dad  |  February 25, 2012 at 12:27 am

    @282 – the news article is unsettling, isn’t it? More broadly for us is the question of how much of the IB and HH academic culture extend into the whole school? Our understanding is that IB and Double Honors makes up around a quarter of the school enrollment. Are these programs islands in the school, or the core where the school is headed? Unclear.

  • 288. cpsobsessed  |  February 25, 2012 at 12:35 am

    I’m wondering if the extra time to send the letters has something to do with the re-Tiering requiring some re-jiggering somehow. Again, I think the north side schools will be highly skewed to Tier 3 and 4 students applying and far fewer Tier 1-2 due to geography. Perhaps the minimum scores of the Tier 1 kids are lower than anticipated?

    Or it could just be that they’re running behind as they seem to do every year.

  • 289. 8th grade mom  |  February 25, 2012 at 9:07 am

    Question for those who got Lincoln Park letters – we got 3. One from CPS saying my son got in to IB, one from Lincoln Park saying he got in to IB, and one from Lincoln Park saying something about “Double Honors to IB”

    Any idea what that means?

  • 290. HS Mom  |  February 25, 2012 at 10:13 am

    @281 – They may also be sending letters in waves meaning that as kids reject offers (and they will) they send out additional offers. I would consider it a positive sign that you did not get a rejection letter. So – have fun this weekend and once you have all your information in hand (positive and negative) you can figure out a go plan with your parents.

  • 291. RPtier2to3  |  February 25, 2012 at 10:13 am

    @282, I’m not an LP parent (yet) but I did go to the website after the incident was reported and saw the thoughtful letter to the community posted by the principal and his immediate holding of a community meeting. What I’ve heard is that this was very much an isolated incident. I’ve heard amazing things about this principal and I feel that if my child attends LPHS she will be safe.

  • 292. HS Mom  |  February 25, 2012 at 10:17 am

    @289 – DH to IB is a relatively new program that they have. The student takes all DH classes (some DH students take a mix of H/DH classes) and then has the option at the end of the year to take an online course and enter IB if they can and want to do it. I guess if you got in to both programs you have that choice.

    The IB process is different this year. When we had our interview for IB we knew what our offer would be.

  • 293. HS Mom  |  February 25, 2012 at 10:21 am

    @283 – Excellent point. What is the problem with uniformity?

  • 294. Velma  |  February 25, 2012 at 10:38 am

    @ 270 Chicago Gawker and 248 James – I would encourage you not to overstate your school’s values. Your school seeks to support local Catholic high schools by maximizing the number of their graduates who ultimately attend those Catholic high schools. Also, graduates from your school are financially in a position to meet the Parent Commitment which subsidizes tuition for less economically advantaged Catholic grade school graduates. Other schools work much harder to help their graduates end up with a spot at a SEES/IB program.

  • 295. anonymouseteacher  |  February 25, 2012 at 10:50 am

    I always have to wonder how much money people have to make in order to pay for Catholic school, elementary or high school. I’ve looked at tuitions before and for my family, it would be as much as our mortgage payment. Even with two working parents, there is no possible way we could begin to afford that even if we wanted to. How do people save for college too and retirement? Isn’t St. Ben’s around 13K a year?

  • 296. 8th grade mom  |  February 25, 2012 at 10:56 am

    @292. Thanks, that’s what I was thinking it was. We are just totally confused why we got two different letters. One says “congratulations for being accepted in the IB program” and provides information about how to shadow, etc. The one that talks about DH to IB has a form to fill out to accept the slot. The IB program one didn’t include such a form. So I’m wondering if he’s really only accepted in to the DH to IB. I guess we have to wait to Monday to call.

  • 297. another cps mommzer  |  February 25, 2012 at 11:09 am

    My kid gets ISATs each year, but the school also gives the Iowas. The scores on ISATs are always way above the scores on the Iowas. We get the Iowas to see where our kiddo is really. We use the ISATs for the CPS games. Our school also focuses in on the Iowa scores for discussions about the student’s performance.

  • 298. Velma  |  February 25, 2012 at 11:47 am

    @295 – St Ben’s is app. $9,000, Gordon Tech is app. $8,200, Notre Dame Boys is app. $9,300, St Pat’s is app. $8,900, Loyola is app. $13,125, St Ignatius is app. $14,300 and Fenwick is app. $12,150. None of these figures. include fees and required contributions.

  • 299. ChicagoGawker  |  February 25, 2012 at 11:58 am

    Not sure why you felt you had to do a smackdown Velma. Where’d that cynicism come from? BTW, 20% of us get FA, and most are Catholic, so already have a preference for a Catholic HS, maybe that explains why supposedly “Other schools work much harder to help their graduates end up with a spot at a SEES/IB program.” Would that be your school you are referring to?

  • 300. Sonali  |  February 25, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    @289 8th grade mom, the letter from LP IB is regarding shadow days and more of a confirmation letter. I didn’t apply to DH so I don’t know what that letter mean, but I assume the same.

  • 301. Northwest-side Mom  |  February 25, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    I was just re-reading the OAE letter regarding our son’s LPIB acceptance. Under instructions about how to accept an offer:
    “4. If you currently reside outside of Chicago, you must show proof of Chicago residency by July 1, 2012 or your offer will be revoked.”

    Consider me very dense that I didn’t realize this before, but wow do I think it’s unfair that non-Chicago residents can avoid being penalized by the Tier system used on Chicago applicants. What system does CPS use for suburban applicants? Is it a 600 point system? Argh.

  • 302. cpsobsessed  |  February 25, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    If you are out of the city I believe you have it tougher in that you are only eligible for the ranked spots and not the tier spots.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 303. cpsobsessed  |  February 25, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    I’m putting out feelers about a southside parent. I like that idea.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 304. Sonali  |  February 25, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    I think that only applies to divorced parents because I know some kids that have one parent living in the city and one in the suburbs and they are going to live with the one in suburbs for high school or vice versa.

  • 305. ChicagoGawker  |  February 25, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Velma, unlike some private independents, at Catholic schools there is no “required contribution” over and above tuition and fees. Donations are appreciated, but not required. Some Catholic parish schools do have a volunteer hours commitment that parents are charged for if they never show up at the school.

  • 306. James  |  February 25, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    @294 —

    Honestly have no idea what you mean. The elementary school isn’t Catholic; it’s a private nonsectarian school. Virtually all of its graduates attend CPS high schools. Only a handful of its graduates even apply to Catholic schools and even fewer attend. So it does nothing at all to “support” Catholic schools or to “maximize” the number of it graduates who attend Catholic schools. Quite the opposite. But my point was that it doesn’t cheat and give 7th graders two standardized tests and then pick and choose which to report to CPS. There’s one test (the Iowas) that gets reported to CPS. Period.

    Also, we’ve learned that 8 of the 9 8th grade kids who applied to LPIB were accepted. Interestingly, and consistent with past years, that program is considered a backup for all those 8 kids. Once the SE acceptances come in, the vast majority of kids will choose to go to one of the SE schools. Still, given the SE competition, it’s nice to have IB as a backup.

  • 307. RPtier2to3  |  February 25, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    @296 look closely there is a form to complete for IB acceptance, which is different than the DH acceptance form.

  • 308. Northwest-side Mom  |  February 25, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    @302. Thanks for the reply–I hope you’re correct. Ok, I’m taking a deep breath now. 🙂 I wonder if I can find this info on the CPS website? Guess I could always call and ask, although I imagine phone lines will be pretty busy for the next few weeks…

    Also, a Big Thank You to you for creating and maintaining this site, especially in light of all the other life stuff you’ve been dealing with. It’s been such a valuable source of information for me, as I know it is for many other parents. Cheers to you!

  • 309. RPtier2to3  |  February 25, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    FRESHMEN ADMISSIONS for September 2012
    @ 287 from LPHS website:Lincoln Park is both a neighborhood high school with attendance boundaries and also a school with magnet programs (International Baccalaureate Program, Double Honors/Advanced Placement Program, Performing Arts Program). The magnet programs admit students from outside the neighborhood attendance area. Approximately three-fourths of the 2300 students enrolled in the school entered through one of the three magnet programs. Last year Lincoln Park received 5161 applications to the Magnet Programs.

  • 310. ChicagoGawker  |  February 25, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    James, ok my guess was wrong! But the 2 schools are similar in that they are not encouraging multiple testing.

    Question: What is the reason the majority of students at your school will reject LP IB? I am mystified as to why so many accepted turn it down.

  • 311. Mom  |  February 25, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    I just got an acceptance letter. My son got accepted to Chicago Agricultural of Sciences magnet high school and Kelly IB program. No news from the Selective Enrollments highs schools, yet. I guess that I will have to wait till Monday.

  • 312. Jewel  |  February 25, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    Is that “Chaz”? Congrats on your acceptance.

  • 313. HS Mom  |  February 25, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    @311 Please tell us more about Kelly IB. There seem to be so many inquires about good schools on the south side.

  • 314. dad  |  February 25, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    The ISATs are NOT used for the 7th grade score. Rather, a very small number of questions from the Stanford test (SAT-10) are used to compute the math and reading score and you have no idea what questions they are. I would much rather my 7th grader was taking Terra Novas this year than the SAT-10 and I am saying that after years of Catholic school.

  • 315. James  |  February 25, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    @310 ChicagoGawker —

    I think there are three reasons kids consider IB to be a backup. First, they and their parents like the more traditional academic path offered at the SEs, particularly at the tops SEs. At Payton and Northide, for example, all classes are at the Honors or AP level and the choices and options are quite rich. The IB program is more restrictive and kids have fewer choices and electives. Second, I think the kids like the fact that, at the SEs, the entire student body is basically on the same path in that every kid went though the rigorous application process and is highly motivated and college bound. At LP, that is definitely not the case. And even in the IB program, lots of kids are admitted and many of them wash out of it after freshman or sophomore year. Also (and admittedly this is a little shallow) some of the SE facilities (Payton, Northside, Jones) are really beautiful, new, and eye-catching.

    Third, and this may be an issue more from the parents’ perspective, there frankly are concerns about LP High School itself and the atmosphere at that school. Put bluntly, kids are not sexually assaulted by other students at 2:30 in the afternoon in school stairways at the SEs. Yes, that was an extreme incident, but I know that LP has more problems like that than other schools. The school has had disruptions because of fights and I know of at least three incidents this year in which ambulances were called to the school to take out kids who were having bad reactions to drugs they ingested at school. And to save some folks the time, yes, I am well aware that drugs are at every school (including the top SEs) and, yes, I know I live in an urban environment, not a suburb. But the fact of the matter is that LP has more of those disruptions and safety issues than the SEs. If you have the choice, it isn’t irrational to me to choose the SE and avoid that sometimes questionable atmosphere.

    Having said all that, let me say that I like the LP IB program. Its open house was impressive and its teachers seem great. But given the great choices with some the SE schools, it remains a backup for many kids.

  • 316. ChicagoGawker  |  February 25, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    @314″The ISATs are NOT used for the 7th grade score.” Rather, a very small number of questions from the Stanford test (SAT-10) are used ” What is your source on this if I may be so bold? Doesn’t CPS tell you your nonCPS kid can come and take “The ISAT”?

  • 317. Waiting...  |  February 25, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    For those of you accepted into the IB program, was your child’s point total 590 or above?

  • 318. Parkerparent  |  February 25, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    All I know is that my kid didnt have 7th grade scores and CPS administered the Stanford this school year. It was a shorter test, but she got the exact same reading/math scores on this test as she did on the longer Stanford that she took later. CPS doesn’t say they offer the ISAT for these kids; they say they offer “limited testing.”

  • 319. 8th grade mom  |  February 25, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    @317 – yes.

  • 320. Lakeview Dad  |  February 25, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    @317 – We had 594 pts going in for LPIB.

  • 321. justanotherchicagoparent  |  February 25, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    The nationally normed part of the ISAT is an abbreviated form of the Stanford 10. Thirty questions from reading , Thirty questions from math.These sections are used to determine the National Percentile Ranking. Not sure if this helps any.

  • 322. RPtier2to3  |  February 25, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    I think kids some kids reject LPIB in favor of SEHS b/c of the cache of some SEHS, and the newness of the buildings, and the reputation (not sure correct) that LPIB has more hw. I’ve never heard anyone reject it b/c of safety concerns. I’d like to hear from someone who actually has a student there as to whether or not there are safety concerns. The parents’ comments way above about the caliber of the LPIB staff and depth of the program and learning are truly a testament to what i have heard is a gem. I’ve also heard great things about the newish principal. I do know a child in the program that chose it over Payton.

  • 323. Concerned parent  |  February 25, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    @287 Thanks for sharing my concerns. @291 Thanks for the words of reassurance. Having a good principal makes a world a difference for the school. Glad to hear that the school has responded immediately to what took place. That’s a good sign. I do want to think that this is an isolated incident since the IB programme seems to hold such promise at LP.

    Also, FYI, my son received an acceptance letter from a Magnet program as well: Von Steuben’s Scholars Program.

    So the one letter that is puts me on pins and needles has still yet to come. Please hurry Selective Enrollment! I want to get my life back….

  • 324. CPSDepressed  |  February 25, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    About Catholic HS tuition: St. Ignatius has a mandatory parental contribution on top of the tuition. As far as I know, the other schools do not. Some of the Catholic schools offer academic scholarships to those who do well on the entrance exam. All of them have some financial aid, with priority going to Catholic families. In addition, many students receive scholarships from other programs like Boys Hope/Girls Hope, Big Shoulders Fund, or their parishes. Not everyone is paying the full tuition, nor is everyone expected to.

    We talked long and hard about this here. We know that we’re going to have to make some changes in our budget to accommodate the tuition bills, but we decided that it was worth it for our family.

  • 325. Michelle  |  February 25, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    My daughter was at a 595 when she applied.

    To those speaking of tuition, there are people paying 25,000 a year for preschool!

  • 326. Mom  |  February 25, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    @313- I applied for the IB program at Kelly because I live outside the area. The reason that I applied at Kelly its because of the close distance from my home and its ISAT scores. My son’s home school is Gage Park and I was really hoping my son will get accepted anywhere besides his home school. But my first choice was CHSAS for its ISAT scores and diversity. I do not know much about the IB program I am just starting to learn a little bit about it. But the major decision will be made on Monday when I get the SE letter. I am hoping my son gets accepted to Whitney Young or Lindblom. This two SE schools will be able to compete with the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences.
    @312- Thank you!

  • 327. James  |  February 25, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    @322 —

    Different experiences, I guess. I know several parents who have serious concerns about safety/disruptions issues at LP, and they rejected IB for those very reasons. The new principal is good, and he has made some noticeable improvements in the physical facility. But this crime did occur on his watch and, however quickly the school has responded, it still happened and it still deeply affects the school community. I know two families who sent their kids to IB. They like the program quite a bit, but they continue to have serious concerns about the school, to the point where one family is considering moving their kid.

    I don’t know a single kid who accepted SE over LPIB because of “cache.” I know several smart thoughtful kids who made that choice for the perfectly rational reasons I outlined above. Maybe some parents like the top SEs because of this alleged “cache,” but I don’t happen to know any.

  • 328. Jen  |  February 25, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    @301 I don’t know how it works for SEHS, but for SEES applicants from outside Chicago there is no tier assigned for the entry level grades, they have to either score in the top 30% or apply to a school that still has spaces after all the tier waiting lists are used. If they apply in a later grade there is no tier assignment for anyone.

    The only public gifted schools in the state are in CPS. If you have a gifted child like we do this is your only option that doesn’t involve either homeschooling or remortgaging.

  • 329. Chicago Gawker  |  February 25, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    CPSDepressed, there is no expected amount for the mandatory contribution, correct? So a family could give $50 and there would be no repercussions.

  • 330. oscar  |  February 25, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    how many kids with ieps are accepted at se high schools.

  • 331. CPSDepressed  |  February 25, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    @329, I’m not sure. When we did the open house, they quoted a suggested donation, and I think it was about $1500-$2000. I was a little freaked by that. I don’t know if there are repercussions for not making the donation – maybe you need to make it to get siblings in.

  • 332. KCK  |  February 25, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    CPS just posted the ‘Overview of IB High School Selection Process 2012-2013’ on its website:


  • 333. SPED parent  |  February 25, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    We just got a rejection from LP DH which has my curiousity piqued as to what or how high their admission standards were this year?! My child had one B in seventh grade final grades and 90, 91 and 89 on seventh grade ISAT in science, math and reading respectively.

    He does have an IEP which gives him three periods a week of in class reading/writing team teaching and double time testing (his disability is clearly a reading/writing issue, he follows the same grading scale as the rest of the children) and I wonder if LP wants to avoid having the sped teachers in the classroom?

    He obviously qualified for SE test and took and put lane as a first choice it seems given a rejection from LP DH its the longest of long shots for SE.

    This whole process is very interesting to me because i have three children; two who test extremely well as in 99% in everything (oldest is in 10th grade at NSCP, youngest is only in 4th) and get straight A’s across the board. Yet if anyone were to ask me who is my smartest, most intellectual child is it would be the one with the IEP who gets mostly A’s and B here and there and scores in the low 90’s high 80’s on standardized testing. I mean seriously this is a kid who rode his bike to home depot and made a snow maker for our backyard, which by the way is wicked cool! Such a shame, at least Notre Dame will have a heck of a kid next school year.

  • 334. Mom2  |  February 25, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    I have to agree with James. My child was accepted at LPIB and Lane. We selected Lane because we knew all kids at Lane were SE level kids, the elective opportunities were greater and if some of the honors and AP classes were difficult, there was a regular level option without leaving the school or dropping out of the program. Safety was a concern, too, but it wasn’t enough of one to keep us away had Lane not been offered.
    I agree that the teachers in the ib program seemed wonderful. The amount of homework sounded terrifying, but it might have been exaggerated in order to weed out some kids.

  • 335. James  |  February 25, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    @332 KCK —

    Very interesting. Thanks for posting the link. I guess I was wrong earlier. If a kid really did need 590 out of 600 points to interview at LP IB, then a single 7th grade B would knock him or her out. Seems too bad, and it represents a significant change from a couple years ago, when LP IB was a place where kid who got a B or even two could still get accepted and be successful.

    Certainly doesn’t bode well for the SEs. I’m guessing the Tier 4 cutoffs will be astoundingly high this year. Sigh…

  • 336. James  |  February 25, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    And I don’t want to overstate the safety/disruptions issues at LP. I was asked why kids at our elementary school consider it a backup to the SEs. There are a few factors, as I explained. One of those factors is the safety/disruption issue. It’s real. Is it a deal breaker? Not necessarily. But it’s something to be seriously considered and factored into any options you have, I would think.

  • 337. CPSeducator/parent  |  February 25, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    Lovely parents:

    As a fellow parent, and a veteran employee at LPHS, I have read many of the past 100 comments with some amusement and a bit of dismay. I can clarify some of the issues that were raised with respect to the admissions process, the dual letters, in addition to the the safety and facility concerns that were in the news a couple of weeks ago.
    To address the “letter” issue/confusions:
    CPS centralized the IB application process this year. Before this year, it was done in-house, and each school with an IB program had its own local application. Now CPS has created the terms and criteria for application on a points-system, similar to the SE schools. Anyone applying to the IB program had to apply through the central office, and central office made the determinations for who was selected for the interview process.
    Meanwhile, the HH (Double Honors) program continues to be a local magnet program offered at the school, and that application process has not been centralized. Same for the fine arts programs. This process is under local control, so parents were encouraged to apply to both programs if they wanted to have LPHS as an option. There is a HH-IB option which originally was created for students who did not meet the academic criteria for IB by our local admissions, but it kept the door open for a student to apply to IB after freshman (or sophomore) year. This year, if your child was not selected for IB, but applied to HH and was accepted, you got one letter. If you applied to both programs, you might have received two letters — since one is coming from downtown and one is coming directly from LPHS. Confusing, isn’t it? After a student’s freshman or sophomore year, any student in HH who would like to apply to IB, has this option, and the decision will be made locally by the IB coordinator.
    As for the attrition rates: after the first year and second years, there is an average of about 10% of the class of IB students who choose not to continue with the IB program. It is either not a good fit, or the student simply wants different academic options. They stay at LPHS and continue in the HH program. Not all of students who choose to leave the IB program do so because they “wash out” academically. Some students are just not ready for or enjoy the rigor of the IB program, which has a heavy homework load that most students did not have in their elementary schools.
    As for the safety issues:
    LPHS has changed a great deal over the past dozen years. It is now mostly a magnet school, with students coming from all over the city. However, it is still a neighborhood school, and about 25% of the student body lives in the “attendance area”. By law, all students who reside in the attendance area have a right to attend LPHS. The good part about this is that as a result we have the most diverse school in the city, both racially and socioeconomically. Many of our students and staff appreciate this diversity, as it is lacking in the SE schools, which by design, are more homogenous. The bad part is that we inevitably inherit a few students who bring problems into the school, and once in a great while an incident takes place in which the public gets only one version of an incident. I think I heard through the students about 25 different versions of the story via Facebook. It was an unfortunate incident, the particulars of which I do not have direct knowledge of, and am thus unable to comment. I can tell you, that like most situations your child encounters in school, there is much more to the story than what you heard on the news. Our students were very upset because they have a lot of pride in LPHS and felt that the media jumped on a story that was salicious and scandalous while at the same time we often are ignored for our many educational achievements. It is my hope that many of you perusing the comment boards consider this if you are considering LPHS.
    Indeed, our facilities are OLD. The original school building dates back to 1899, and despite several million dollars in renovations over the past year, we cannot change the basic architecture of the school. Some students like it because it is more “traditional”, and others hate it because it’s “old”. What can I say?
    I would encourage those parents who received an invitation to the IB program to take the opportunity of the “shadow” day — it is an opportunity to ask questions and really see the school up close. There will also be an opportunity to come in for a presentation for students admitted to the HH/performing arts programs.
    Finally, I just want to add that the quality of the education within an old building with a broad mix of students is due to the efforts of many experienced dedicated and hard-working teachers, and that is something you don’t always find everywhere you go in CPS.
    The principal is in his second year at LPHS, and thus far the parents and students really like him. Some teachers have their criticisms (we’re a picky bunch), but overall, I believe he is looking out for the best interests of the students and the school overall. Should you end up choosing LPHS, I can assure you that it is a safe, high-quality school that your child will have a positive experience in.

  • 338. Esmom  |  February 25, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    @333, I’m a sped parent, too, so I’m observing this process from that unique vantage point. Your son sounds amazing and, if his Chicago choices don’t pan out, you are correct when you say Notre Dame’s gain is indeed CPS’s loss.

  • 339. Jewel  |  February 25, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    Well said!!!!!

  • 340. James  |  February 25, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    @337 Lovely CPS educator —

    I appreciate your perspective. The fact, however, is that four students were indicted for sexual assault. The state’s attorney doesn’t indict unless he or she believes evidence exists to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a serious crime was committed. So I don’t think this can be characterized as a he said – she said incident. At least according to the government, it’s a crime. And, frankly, if that doesn’t raise at least some concerns about the school where that occurred, it’s hard for me to imagine what would.

  • 341. James  |  February 25, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    One last point. The attrition rate for LP IB is higher than 10%. Two years ago, it was over 15%. Maybe “wash out” wasn’t the right term. So what is the term for kids who don’t like the program and decide to drop back to an easier track?

  • 342. Fourbsbadforme  |  February 25, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    Rejected from LPDH. Sigh. I had 97 and a 99 on isats. I’m pretty scared for my future. Half my school safety net just broke. I need that Von acceptance. Lane’s where I really want to be though…

  • 343. HS Mom  |  February 25, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    @326Mom – Thanks for your info. Looks like IB programs at some better neighborhood schools may offer a valuable option. You have some nice choices, good luck with SE

    @333Sped mom – scores/grades sound good hope you don’t have problems. Our SE school has a “resource room” so that IEP kids have a period everyday to address any special learning issues or just get organized/do homework. There are very few classroom aids for IEP. Other schools have this as well.

    @337 – lots of good info here, thanks. Any further thoughts on IEP in @333? Also, I think it was quite unexpected for students with 1 B and perfect scores (575) to find out that they are not eligible for IB. Are those students completely ineligible if they did not submit an application for DH?

  • 344. HS Mom  |  February 25, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    @337 – one more question. Is there a waiting list? Could students with high scores and B’s still have consideration after receiving a rejection letter. What is the cut off for DH and should a family continue to pursue a position if they are close?

  • 345. Don  |  February 25, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    There is no one school that is the best at everything. Having had 2 at LP and one at Payton, I can say that if your child is into music, Payton is shockingly weak in that area. No orchestra to speak of, and a music department consisting of a nasty unsupportive band teacher who leads many kids to quit after a year, and a snarky choral teacher. Great school otherwise, but go to LP or WY or Kenwood or the suburbs or just about anywhere else for music.

  • 346. Tim  |  February 25, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    @345 Don,

    I completely agree about Payton’s music offerings. A great school overall, but the Music Department is a joke. Maybe the new principal will change that.

  • 347. Lindblom Principal  |  February 25, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    Hi, all,
    Well, it appears that letters did not go out last week. Sigh. Here’s hoping for Monday.
    As soon as we hear that letters have been mailed, we’ll have it on our website. In addition, I’ll Tweet it @PrincipalMather.
    Patience, I hear, is a virtue!

    Oh, and to answer an earlier question, we plan to bring in ~160 new freshmen; the others will come from our Academic Center.

  • 348. M  |  February 25, 2012 at 6:08 pm


    My daughter had 600 pts going in to LPIB.
    Received an acceptance letter yesterday.

    Still waiting for the SE letter. Payton 1st choice WY 2nd.

  • 349. M  |  February 25, 2012 at 6:16 pm


    Ugh! My daughter is accepted into the LPIB, but Payton is her first choice (if accepted…!), however after reading your post on the poor state of it’s music department I am thrown back into doubt! She loves music! I would really apreciate more information in this area!

  • 350. M  |  February 25, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    My daughter would like to swim in HS.
    Does anyone have anything to share on the Lincoln Park or Payton swimteams?

  • 351. Waiting...  |  February 25, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    @333 – Your son sounds awesome. I know I’m stating the obvious, but this whole system is nauseating. Surely, there should be options for kids who are great students but just don’t get straight A’s. No wonder this whole process makes parents neurotic (myself included.)

  • 352. Jewel  |  February 25, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    *fingers crossed* for Lindblom

  • 353. CPSeducator/parent  |  February 25, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    Oh my! I didn’t think there would be so many replies following a recent post — but since I have a moment, I would like to be helpful (and not “snarky”, so I won’t respond to any comments regarding my post, but will try to answer any questions)
    #343/344 HS Mom — with respect to the IEP admission situation, I would recommend that rather than the parent (#333) contact the admissions office directly, perhaps since the student has an IEP and (hopefully) an advocate who can speak to the student’s ability within the context of his current elementary school could call the admissions office and inquire about the decision making process regarding the student. Sometimes you can get better information that way and maybe (hopefully) have a decision re-reviewed.
    As for further applications to the DH program, I believe the deadline has passed, and unfortunately, not everyone employed the strategy of applying to both programs.
    I heard that the criteria for admission to IB this year did change (and clearly became much more selective), but it wasn’t LPHS that determined the cutoff scores and grades for the selection process, it was downtown. As for a waiting list, I really don’t know if there will be one or not — but that’s a good question!
    In my experiences in CPS, both as a parent and an educator, I believe it never hurts to call and ask questions. Sometimes you get an unexpectedly positive result, and the only thing you lose is a little bit of time if you are starting from “no”.
    #345/349: The music program at LP, by the way, is amazing. The choral groups, band, and orchestra are really good. And yes, I have no point of reference because I don’t work in other high schools, but they win a lot of competitions and the program is very large.
    #350, I know that LP has a decent swim team and a water polo team, which a lot of swimmers also join after the swim season. I don’t know their record, but the students seem to enjoy the program.

  • 354. darwin  |  February 25, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    when are selective enrollement and magnet hs notifcation letters coming out i havent gotten a clear answer?

  • 355. Concerned parent  |  February 25, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    @354 no one knows when the selective enrollment letters will be sent exactly. they should have came out last week. many of us are expecting them this coming week (as early as Monday if they were mailed Fri or today = Sat). The IB and Magnet school letters have been mailed out since many of us have received them yesterday and today. Hope you receive good news soon!

  • 356. mama2boys  |  February 25, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    i don’t see much about SENN IB here — my son was accepted there. They have the highest rate of IB diplomas 2nd only to LPHB. Does anyone have a child in SENN IB and if so what are you thoughts? Thank you.

  • 357. ChiTown take 2  |  February 25, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    Lincoln Park is OK and Payton is a swim co-op (no pool and they co-op with Jones to swim). Lane and NSCP are top for girls in City champs. Whitney Young and Curie for boys with Lane and NSCP following.

  • 358. cps student  |  February 25, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    Hello, I’m an eighth grader currently attending Jackson Elementary. I’m just as anxious as all the parents on here about High School Admissions. I recieved a couple offers yesterday from Lincoln Park Double Honors to IB and Ogden IB. I also recieved an offer from St. Ignatius. Now, it appears that all we’re waiting for are the SE results. In my opinion the tier system is especially unfair. I know they want to have the income diversity, but i thought we were being judged on our scores, not our neighborhood. Not to say the lower Tier kids didn’t work EXTREMELY hard in school but it’s just really unfair to kids that practically ace the SE exam but then has a huge disadvantage due to where they live. In addition, report card grades shouldn’t be a component in the admissions process. It may be easier to achieve all As at the less rigorous elementary schools whereas at Decatur or Skinner it’s incredibly difficult.

    For SE, I put Jones, WY, Payton, Lane, NS. I feel confident about my scores and I just might get into Jones or WY, but with cps you never know…

    Good luck to all!

  • 359. mama2boys  |  February 25, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    @CPS EDUCATOR PARENT the IB acceptance letter states LP will not have a 2nd round, however other IB schools may.

  • 360. chicago mom  |  February 25, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    Does anyone have any feedback on Ogden?

  • 361. Sonali  |  February 25, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    My friend said Ogden was really impressive. I know a sophmore there and she thinks its just average. I also have a friend that is a sophomore at LPIB and she is quitting it next year. She says it has no math and science focus what so ever. She says the amount of homework is overwhelming and she can’t do anything besides schoolwork if she wants to keep up her grades.

  • 362. chicago mom  |  February 25, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    Thanks for Ogden response. It seems great. I dont know anyone who actually attends HS . It is a fairly new program .

  • 363. mama2boys  |  February 25, 2012 at 11:10 pm

    To my knowledge, SE letters have not been mailed out yet. Magnet, IB and Lincoln Park have.

  • 364. Stressed by CPS  |  February 25, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    @358 I enjoyed reading your comment. I especially agree with the comment you made about grades. Straight A’s from low performing schools cannot compare to straight A’s from more rigorous schools especially when a school is teaching above the current grade level and some schools may be behind. Tiers are also unfair to me because I may live in tier 3 but my actual status in regards to their breakdown feels more like tier 2. I can see why they do it, I just don’t think the tier you live in actually matches the criteria they base it upon. I almost rented an apartment (to actually live in) in a tier 4 neighborhood. But in no way is my income as high as they say it falls under. And just becasue you live in a certain neighborhood, that does not mean you do or do not use English as your first language or have a college degree or not.

  • 365. Fourbsbadforme  |  February 25, 2012 at 11:51 pm

    I find it unfair that my grades are considered bad. I’m currently taking algebra and high school literature. However, kids in the lower classes are getting easier work, and in turn, better grades. I find it unfair that because I enjoy an academic challenge that I am penalized. I ho

  • 366. Fourbsbadforme  |  February 25, 2012 at 11:54 pm

    pe my magnet school letter is an acceptance one, and hope to get a spot at a selectI’ve enrollment school, namely lane.

  • 367. student  |  February 25, 2012 at 11:56 pm

    358 – I’m a Jones student from Jackson. I hope to see you there!

    I agree with you and 365 the tiers don’t seem to make sense to me either. I had friends with high scores that didn’t make it to Jones but they did get something else that they wound up liking a lot.

  • 368. Steff  |  February 26, 2012 at 1:04 am

    Does anyone have information on Curie’s or South Shore Infernational College Prep IB program? Also, it’s obvious when I was told that selective enrollment letters had gone out last week when I called, they were not telling the truth. Now parents are stressed with the wait when some schools from other places want an answer by the first of March. Of course they don’t care.

  • 369. Alcott anybody?  |  February 26, 2012 at 9:26 am

    Has anyone heard from Alcott?

  • 370. Sonali  |  February 26, 2012 at 10:34 am

    367-I really really really wanna go to Jones! What was your score out of 900 that got you in? I had a 594 out of 600, but I’m nervous about how I did on the SEE.

  • 371. de  |  February 26, 2012 at 11:12 am

    @350 When I want to know about a high school sports program, I go the the IHSA website, => Sports and Activities => Whatever the sport is => Past State Series (since 1996).

    Looking at the last five years, it appears Payton makes the St. Ignatius Sectional every year but Lincoln Park only made it once.

    Young does a little better than Payton.

    I didn’t see any CPS swimmers place in the state finals.

  • 372. student  |  February 26, 2012 at 11:33 am

    Sonali – I had a B and 99’s for ISAT (575) so you are in a better position than me. My SE exam was 93 total score something like 857.

    Good luck guys!

  • 373. Esmom  |  February 26, 2012 at 11:48 am

    Speaking as a former high school swimmer, who has kids aspiring to be the same, the city has never produced a swimming powerhouse. It’s mostly suburban public high schools who dominate, with a few private school exceptions like Fenwick (boys) and Loyola (girls).

  • 374. Joe Blow  |  February 26, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    Here is a very interesting article on NYC’s Stuyvesant High School’s lack of diversity from a black students point of view. What’s even more interesting is the readers’ comments on the article.


  • 375. M  |  February 26, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    I would like to know the honest to goodness truth on the homework-load at LPIB and Payton.
    Students and parents, is there any time left for sport, clubs, friends and/or extracurricular activities and still make good grades?

  • 376. CPS momma  |  February 26, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    Don’t forget, racial diversity in the SE schools is a major goal of CPS.

  • 377. Sped Mom  |  February 26, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    311. Mom | Mom, What attracted your student to the Ag School? What would lead him or her to turn it down, and why. We might be looking at the Ag School as an option in a couple of years.

  • 378. Sped Mom  |  February 26, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    333 SPED parent:

    “Such a shame, at least Notre Dame will have a heck of a kid next school year.”

    How will Notre Dame support his special needs? How does this work in a Catholic school? Thanks!

  • 379. TwinMom  |  February 26, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    @374/Joe Blow: thanks for that link; very interesting article and comments (it always amazes me how articulate the NYT comments are when compared to just about anywhere else on the internet, this site excluded, of course :)).

    The commenter who said that Rudi was much like many of the white and Asian kids at Stuy — went to the ‘best’ schools, had parents who pushed education, took a test prep course — hit the nail on the head, in my book. Racial diversity is nice and all, but if those kids are otherwise the same except for the skin color, that’s not very diverse, is it?

    And It just seems so crazy to me that some people see the small black population at meritocracies like Stuyvesant and wonder why the black population is so small (or assume it’s because they’re not capable). If the schools in NYC in predominantly black neighborhoods have the same issues that ours have….well, it’s no wonder that so few are applying, let alone attending test prep courses from a young age, let alone showing up to the exam with a decent night’s sleep and a full stomach. The whole thing just turns MY stomach.

  • 380. CPSDepressed  |  February 26, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    @378, a lot depends on what the special need is. As we know, special ed at CPS leaves something to be desired. Many of the Catholic high schools can accommodate some special ed issues. I have relatives who went from Hyde Park Day to Catholic high schools. Depending on your child’s situation, Catholic school could work, so if you’re interested, talk to the school about it.

  • 381. anonymous  |  February 26, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    375 —

    I can speak to WP’s homework load. It is heavy b/c of the course load.

    What I didn’t know when we listed order of preference — NSCP and WP require all their students take 7 courses each yea, for a total of 28 credits toward graduation.

    But the Illinois State Board of Ed requires 6 courses for a total of 24 credits to graduate.

    WY (and perhaps the other s.e.s?) allow a student to take 7 courses if they have a 3.5 GPA, but it doesn’t mandate that all students take 7 courses.

    So if your son loves football, at WY he can take 6 courses that semester and not go crazy keeping up with the homework.

    WY also has two different start and end times, just to help kids create a schedule that accommodates academics and extracurricullars.

    WY has it right, imho. CPS will interfere with this with its push to the long day / year, as I hear that it will mandate that ALL h.s. students take 7 courses. So keep your ears open on this.

    Back to WP — it is stressful but what makes it all do-able is that the current schedule includes seminar days on Thursdays from 8 to 11:30 am.

    Seminars are led by teachers, which give the students a wonderful opportunity to connect with their teachers and form really nice relationships with some bright people.

    Seminars also give kids a chance to relax and explore a topic they enjoy simply for the fun of learning.

    Kids also connect with a cohort of other students, which is important b/c kids commute from across the city and it is not easy to make close friends.

    I feel that WP realizes seminars are vital to making the school culture friendlier than a typical commuter school’s culture normally is.

    WP kids, like other s.e. schools, come from more than 100 different elementary schools and student commutes of 45 minutes one way are not at all unusual.

    Of course, the long-day push will change WP’s schedule, too. CPS can’t make the kids take 8 courses, so they are MANDATING extra curricullars and tutoring.

    Hope that helps.

  • 382. CPS Parent  |  February 26, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    m@ 375 – My son is at Payton He does math team three to four days a week after school, tutors students once week after school and is involved with a service project. Homework for him is about 2 hours per day. He’s currently taking 3 AP classes and one other college level class which is a pretty heavy load. His GPA is 4.0. So yes, high achieving academics and extra-curriculars are definitively possible at Payton. His entrance score was 900 which may be a factor I suppose but there were about 30 of those in his class of 250 so not that unusual.

  • 383. James  |  February 26, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    @374 —

    Very interesting article. Thanks for posting it. It actually puts a human face on some of the earlier discussions around here and elsewhere about moving to a system that makes no attempt to preserve racial or socioeconomic diversity at the SEs and just admits students by test score. To me, the most astounding thing about the article is that the school is 73% Asian and 24% white. That isn’t diverse in any remotely meaningful sense of the term. For me, even as an anxious Tier 4 dad, I wouldn’t want that for any of our public schools. As flawed as the tier system is, it does manage, so far, to maintain at least some semblance of diversity in our top schools.

  • 384. Don  |  February 26, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    Payton does not have a pool. Neither does Jones. They cobble together a practice schedule from Truman, Moody, etc. Not practicing for water polo, just going to meets. Bunch of CPS schools have broken or empty pools. Try the suburbs. Or WY, Kenwood, etc

    I think Payton’s weakness is music a big issue and not sure that they care.

  • 385. North Center Mom  |  February 26, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    Jones will have a pool in the new building scheduled to open in the 2013-14 school year.

  • 386. darwin  |  February 26, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    so did anyone get magnet high school notification letters just curious?

  • 387. Cpskool  |  February 26, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    Yes we received Von Steuben scholars acceptance on saturday.

  • 388. cpsobsessed  |  February 26, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    Von stueben is magnet but with stanine requirements?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 389. darwin  |  February 26, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    congrats! i didnt get a magnet notifcation letter on saturday but a career academy letter.

  • 390. Alejandro  |  February 26, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    Should we be expecting SEHS letters to be in our mailboxes Tuesday? I was talking to a friend of mine and she said that If we don’t get letters by Wednesday that we can go downtown to their offices and get them.

  • 391. HS Mom  |  February 26, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    @383 James – I am calling a truce on this tier thing because it seems to me that the thinking is now directed toward tiers = diversity and rank = segregation. I don’t think its that cut and dry otherwise the issue of diversity would be resolved by now. My question or concern is that in order to “maintain some semblance of diversity” we have developed a system that is in my opinion more than slightly imperfect, it’s seriously flawed. We have issues of consistency in grades (grade scales, computation of grades) and tests. Pressure on teachers to hand out A’s. Tier calculations in question. Addresses in question.

    Questioning the tier system should not be construed as being anti-diversity. I am not anti-diversity and I don’t believe that others that post here are either. The kids posting above (we don’t know what race they are) are concerned about working hard, doing a great job and not realizing the reward.

    I would love to see after 4 years of the tier system a diverse enough population along with the best scoring students for that population. Please, would love to be proved wrong about my doubts.

  • 392. Cpskool  |  February 26, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    Thanks Darwin. Von Steuben has two different lotteries. Scholars requires stanine 7 and essay. Science program stanine 5 no essay. Heard that they give all applicants in the scholars lottery an offer so we applied as a backup to the SEs. Still waiting!!

  • 393. Sunny  |  February 26, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    #333 In the fall, the office of Academic enhancement informed me that students applying for H.S. who have an IEP are placed in a separate pool – basically they compete with other students with an IEP for a spot at a SE HS – not sure if they do this by Tier & quota (like minimum number of spots going to students with IEP). I didn’t ask for details. This is for H.S. only. If you suspect your child was rejected because the school was not willing to make an accomodation, now might be time to see an advocate. I do know of students with IEPs who scored perfect 900s a couple years back, so no guarantees that being in a separate pool would have made a difference since some with IEPs are able to be very successful with the apppriate testing accomodations (something you should really look into before your child takes the ACT/SAT – this needs to be in the IEP early in H.S. or the SAT/ACT/College Board may not honor the requested accomodations). Also, if a child has an IEP, CPS flexes what is acceptable in terms of ISAT scores. The total minimum score is the same (for math/language), but those with IEP can have a score below the minimum in one ISAT subject as long as the score in the other makes up for the other. Those without an IEP must score a minimum in each subject. Even if you send your child to private H.S., be sure to get the right testing accomodations in place on day one. Good luck!

  • 394. Confused  |  February 26, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    Just wondering if anyone else had this experience?

    Last Monday was a school holiday. I got a call from a CPS number and a man asked about my child’s application to the Chicago Technology Academy, a charter h.s. But we hadn’t applied there and I told him we are not interested.

    I asked how the caller had gotten our number and where he worked.

    He said he worked in Human Resources at CPS. I said I thought you would be involved in benefits and employment policies, not recruiting for a charter h.s. Then he said he had a full-time and a part-time job with CPS. I asked him to explain that, but he had gotten tired of the questions by then and hung up.

    Then we got a call this Saturday saying my child had been accepted at the charter school.

    Don’t charters have to run lotteries?

  • 395. anonymouseteacher  |  February 26, 2012 at 11:53 pm

    There was a poster a while back that mentioned that some charters gain access to kids’ test scores and purposely try to recruit higher performing kids. Kids who never applied to them. If this is the case, it would be a complete violation of privacy and CPS or its employees were using confidential student data illegally. Your experience sounds vaguely familiar to that story.

  • 396. Jen  |  February 27, 2012 at 12:25 am

    There’s an interesting documentary about Stuyvesant, it’s about the student president elections but it offers a very interesting insight into the race aspect too.

  • 397. Finally?  |  February 27, 2012 at 9:47 am

    Talked to Crystal at OAE this morning, and she says SEHS letters are going out this morning.

  • 398. JKR  |  February 27, 2012 at 10:18 am

    Office of Academic Enhancement website explains this year’s selection process for IB programs. For Lincoln Park IB, student had to have 590 or above to qualify. http://cpsmagnet.org/apps/news/show_news.jsp?REC_ID=235100&id=0

  • 399. ChicagoGawker  |  February 27, 2012 at 10:20 am

    @394 run, don’t walk with this info to District 299, Catalyst, chicago news cooperative, Ben Javorsky at The Reader or SOME media outlet. That is ridiculous and should be exposed.

  • 400. SPED parent  |  February 27, 2012 at 10:26 am

    #378, The Catholic and even some independent private schools have the ability to provide students with certain services necessary or provided for in a students IEP. I’m on the far NW side of the city feeder high school is Taft thus it seemed obvious for me to start with Notre Dame and I was pleasantly surprised how willingly they are to work with boys with IEP’s to provide for the services he would get if he went to Taft. For us, Taft just isn’t up to snuff yet. Five or six more years perhaps but right now today notsomuch. I happen to have a good friend who teaches there and while she thinks the school has improved dramatically there is still major behavior issues, lots of fighting and deviant behaviors that since we are fortunate enough to be able to avoid we should avoid, sort of the old adage why take the highest calculated risk when we have options that allow us to take smaller risks.

    Notre Dame has a resource room, SPED teacher and has quite a few students with IEP’s we were assured all of our son’s needs as described in his IEP would be honored. Moreover, he will be given one period a day in the resource room which is actually more than any public school in the city would offer him at this point. During such a crucial transition period such as elementary to high school i find this to be invaluable service offered by a school who has by law no obligation to do so.

    I’m entirely confident my son will find a way to excel academically despite all odds he has thus far, he’s made steady improvements since he started in the system at an early childhood special ed pre-k at age 2 1/2. And we as his parents will just continue to play the cards we are dealt to the best of our ability.

  • 401. cpsmama  |  February 27, 2012 at 10:58 am

    @397- That is consistent with OAE website banner which says SEHS letters will be mailed this morning. (Finally)


  • 402. Mia  |  February 27, 2012 at 11:22 am

    I can’t believe they’re really finally being mailed!

  • 403. AlsoAnonymous  |  February 27, 2012 at 11:27 am

    #399. Seriously. I wish #394 would. I’ve had it up to here with Charter schools draining our system of money. Hiring part-time people to recruit students? Imagine that money going to our schools instead.

    This whole system is a farce.

  • 404. High school options  |  February 27, 2012 at 11:56 am

    My gosh – it is just so awful that a school would call and offer a kid a seat. They obviously got your name from someplace. Ever consider that your school might be giving out names in an effort to get all their kids placed? I know ours does.

  • 405. Jewel  |  February 27, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    Good Luck to everyone tomorrow!!!!

  • 406. AlsoAnonymous  |  February 27, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    @404 There’s no transparency in this system. That is my issue. There’s no transparency on wait lists. There’s no transparency in lotteries. If a school needs to fill a spot, there should be a centralized place for everyone to know there is a spot open. If kids need a “place,” it should be clear where those places are.

    I don’t have to deal with it as my child is in a neighborhood school, but I don’t want to see waste … because my child is in a neighborhood school.

    Why should someone have a tax-paid job virtually recruiting people for a school? I’d like to know more about that. I would.

    Perhaps if I knew the context I’d be okay with it. But, I would like to know the context. That’s all.

  • 407. Lakeview Dad  |  February 27, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    Just saw the ‘ticker’ message on the CPS OAE website says letters are being mailed this morning 2/27. Question is: is it true? I guess we’ll see tomorrow or Wed.

  • 408. cpsobsessed  |  February 27, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    I think when they update the ticker with an actual date it’s usually valid.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 409. Don't Panic  |  February 27, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    Is it time to change this site to USPSobsessed now that they are in the mail? Good luck to all who are waiting.

  • 410. Lakeview Dad  |  February 27, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    I wonder if they’ll be posting the cutoff scores soon. I assume they will.

  • 411. Mom  |  February 27, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    @377– I applied to Ag because of its diversity and ISAT scores. Compared to other magnet high schools Ag seems to be doing better and it is also 20 min from where I live. Ag also double’s Kelly high school ISAT scores even though my son got accepted there for the IB program and it is closer to home I would definitely choose Ag for my son. But I am waiting for the Se letter to come in so that I can make my final decision. I believe that an SE school will probably be my top choice for my son. I use this website to check out the schools ISAT scores. I hope that it can be of use. I checked it with the CPS website and it seems to be very accurate. http://www.schooldigger.com/
    @342- thank you.

  • 412. cpsobsessed  |  February 27, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    Let me know when the cutoffs are posted. I have a chart with 2010 and 2011 and I’ll update that.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 413. anon  |  February 27, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    According to this article Jones Prep is not introducing seminars.I know they were trying, but everything came down to the budget.Now it seems as if they are just offering tutoring or ACT Prep classes with the extra time. I would of preferred seminars.

    Does anyone know what Whitney Young,Lane Tech or Lincoln Park are doing with the extra time?

  • 414. chicago mom  |  February 27, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    Did all SE HS letters go out? How many spots are there really for SE HS?

  • 415. SPED parent  |  February 27, 2012 at 4:28 pm


    According to a close friend who teaches at Lane, they are using the time for clubs and the like, the are moving division which is currently daily first thing in the morning to Friday only during 2.5 (between 2nd and 3rd). They are requiring all juniors to take ACT prep during one of the five week sessions but otherwise they will be able to pick and choose what they want to do. But there will not be additional instructional time as of now. I personally think the longer school day should have been an individual school choice or for schools not meeting standards. I hardly think the selective enrollment schools need additional time.

  • 416. Mia  |  February 27, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    It’s hard to imagine that 18,000 letters were mailed ”this morning” but hey -it’s cps – so who knows?

  • 417. Mia  |  February 27, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    For those who have been through this before: So is this statement from OAE the green light that the SEHS need to send out their own letters? Or do they have to wait a little longer to send them out?


  • 418. HS Mom  |  February 27, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    @413 – regarding the article/Jones. First of all, Jones or any other HS is not adding 90 minutes (the article states that Jones is adding 90 minutes to the current 6 hour CPS day). The current day at Jones is 6.9 hours adding a little more than 1/2 hour.

    Jones is going to a block schedule meaning there will be 8 blocks of time over 2 days for 7 classes and an academic lab. The academic lab for interventions, test prep, college knowledge – is something they already have and believe me, you want it. With a block schedule the 5th day of the week (which, with CPS days off and admin days are not many) is used for these seminars and what is called a Colloquium day. Jones has not decided on the format for the 5th day yet (as far as I know).

    This is a very exciting time to be part of the Jones community.

  • 419. Sonali  |  February 27, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    @418, are you a Jones parent? If you are, how many points did your child need to get in? I have 594 out of 600 and I really really really want to go to Jones.

  • 420. anon  |  February 27, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    @ 418 I kind of skimmed over the time I do realize only 36 minutes being added.I thought when Dr Powers showed the schedule it just rotated periods on Friday every other week . It looked as if the schedule read A,B,A,B,A one week then B,A,B.A,B,the next week.I hope you are right about the fifth day.Fingers crossed.

    @415 thanks for that info.Clubs sounds like a great choice for high achieving children to spend their extra time.I also think it should have been an individual school choice.I still have one future high school-er to go. So definitely how these schools use that time is going to make a big impact on my child’s choice.

  • 421. Esmom  |  February 27, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    @413, Whitney Young is protesting the longer day. A petition was circulating a week or two ago.

  • 422. anon  |  February 27, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    Mia I do believe it gives them the go ahead so you should expect the letters simultaneously or a few days apart.Good luck!!!!

    Sonali that sounds like a high enough score to get you into Jones.Most students if they do well on the ISATs do well on the SE test. Good Luck and after you get your letter you will soon be able to relax again.

  • 423. Sonali  |  February 27, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    @Anon, thank you very much!

    However, did any other students feel like the SE test was pretty tough?

    If you go onto cpsmagnet.org, the banner says that letters were sent out today. So expect them tomorrow or weds! 🙂

  • 424. steff  |  February 27, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    Talk about sloooooow! So when they told me on the phone that they mailed out the letters last week, they were not beng honest! I wonder is it really true that they mailed out all of those letters this morning. It’s crazy; expecially when you have offers at other places but you do not want to rush your decision. My son wants to attend Jones. Does anyone know about Curie’s IB program or South Shore’s IB program?

  • 425. momma mia  |  February 27, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    Groan. How much time in class will my kid have to do ACT prep? Any rule of thumb with the SE and other elite high schools in CPS?

  • 426. HS Mom  |  February 27, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    Sonali – I totally echo what 422 says. My son had a pretty good score but it’s impossible to compare without tiers and final SE exam numbers. You have done a fabulous job, right now no need to think differently. Please make sure that you tell us tomorrow which SE school you get into. I will be very interested in hearing about it. You are a very good “thinker” and would fit in well at Jones and at many other schools I’m sure.

    @420 I have seen a couple options – also one with a 5th day of 7 classes. Since my son will be a junior, I am so happy to have dedicated time for test prep. This way he can still take AP and not have to worry about after school classes. Seminars would be nice – maybe once a month or something not sure that I would want to invest that much time once a week. Of course, as you say, let’s keep our fingers crossed for a budget for SOMETHING out of the routine.

  • 427. Sonali  |  February 27, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    @426, thank you so much! That is so nice 🙂 I’ve really been doubting myself. I’m a tier 3 kid, so it does make it a little harder. How does your son like Jones?

  • 428. HS Mom  |  February 27, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    @423 – my son thought the SE test was harder than the ISAT and he did close to the same just a little lower. Again – don’t sweat it.

  • 429. Sonali  |  February 27, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    @428, great! I’m glad I’m not the only one.

  • 430. HS Mom  |  February 27, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    Sonali – we are writing at the same time. Once you find out about Jones, I’ll have him tell you directly any insider information. It’s a great fit for him.

  • 431. Sonali  |  February 27, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    Ok thank you very much!

  • 432. Stressed by CPS  |  February 27, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    I know they usually send acceptance letters one day and rejections the next day. But I don’t know if that is the case again this year.

  • 433. chicago mom  |  February 27, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    Did anyone confirm if all letters were mailed to all SEHS applicants.

  • 434. Sonali  |  February 27, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    @433, yes, I believe all letters were sent today.

  • 435. tyty  |  February 27, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    They have the cut off scores. If you go into the site (www.cpsoae.org)and press show all over to the right, the list will come up and you will see cut off scores for 2011-2012.

    They also have the scores for the IB program for each school.

  • 436. Waiting...  |  February 27, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    Sonali – my son also thought the entrance exam was tough.

  • 437. Fourbsbadforme  |  February 27, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    I don’t mean to sound like the worlds biggest jerk ever, but I found the exam pretty easy. I finished every section and double checked them, and even got in a restroom run during the reading portion. It was kind of an odd test though. The math wasn’t actually to solve the problem, but more of which method would correctly solve it.

    And belligerent… Sounds like such a pretty word. It’s not. It had me duped( another word on the test, but I knew what that one meant :))

    Good luck to all!!!!! (including myself… Think lane!!!)

    The only thing I

  • 438. chicago mom  |  February 27, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    My son is a great test taker and was totally exhausted after test. He said it was not like the ISATs at all. It really scares me !

  • 439. CuriousGirl  |  February 27, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    435 – Thank you! It was difficult to find the new cutoff scores (under news on oae) but yes they are posted. Tier 4 for Northside looks exactly the same as last year, which is all that I’m familiar with.

    Good luck to everyone tomorrow.

  • 440. Tim  |  February 27, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    @435, Those cut off scores are for last year. Still waiting on this year’s breakdown.

  • 441. de  |  February 27, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    @435 and @439 – 2011-2012 is this school year. We want to see the scores for the 2012-2013 school year. I don’t think they have been posted yet. The scores for 2011-2012 have been posted for a year.

  • 442. CPS Mom  |  February 27, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    @435 & 439: I think the the test scores for 2011-12 are from last year for this current school year, and this year’s scores will say 2012-13. (I discovered this last year when I thought the 2010-11 scores were the most current. It doesn’t help that OAE posts scores in a couple of different places, without updating the information at all places.) Good luck, all!

  • 443. James  |  February 27, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    The cutoff scores for this year have not been posted yet.

  • 444. Sonali  |  February 27, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    @437, wow I haven’t met one person that thought it was easy. I finished all sections, but I actually took my time so I didn’t get time to check my answers. @436 &438, I feel a little better now, I guess I’ll just have to cross my fingers and hope for the best!

  • 445. Katie  |  February 27, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    cpsmagnet.org says that all selective enrollment letters were mailed this morning! Yay, and good luck to everyone!

  • 446. 8th grade mom  |  February 27, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    Has anyone done the shadow day at Lincoln Park IB? My son wants to know if the parent is in the room with them, or waits somewhere else.

  • 447. momof3boys  |  February 27, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    there was a Whitney Young freshman at the state final. HE is AMAZING!

    WY and Lane Tech are the 2 biggest swim teams. Northside is third. Taft is fourth.

  • 448. Michelle  |  February 27, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    My daughter said the math was hard, there were things she had never covered and she is in a RGC class! She said the rest was easy. I guess most of us will know our SE’s tomorrow, this is exciting!

  • 449. KeepHopeAlive  |  February 27, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    Any parent that gets a phone call from CPS offices trying to recruit your child to a charter school should IMMEDIATELY get the person’s name, number, and position. That is against confidentiality laws and the private companies (otherwise known as charter schools) have no right to have access to our children’s private information. Shame on CPS for spending central office resources on recruiting our students to charter schools. If Rahm and Brizard and all the other buffoons that run CPS think that the charter schools are so wonderful, then let them do their own recruiting.

  • 450. Janet  |  February 27, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    @446. I am there with my son tomorrow, if you are not already there I will let you know

  • 451. Gwen  |  February 27, 2012 at 11:57 pm

    From the Trib online edition:

    Acceptance letters delayed
    By Noreen S. Ahmed-Ullah, Chicago Tribune reporter
    5:46 p.m. CST, February 27, 2012
    CPS acceptance letters for selective enrollment high schools were sent out this morning.
    CPS officials said the letters were initially expected to go out on Friday, but they were delayed awaiting final approval.

    Hmmmm – wonder what delayed the “final approval”?

  • 452. Chicago mom  |  February 28, 2012 at 12:01 am

    Does everyone get a letter if they applied?

  • 453. IB&RGC Mom  |  February 28, 2012 at 12:17 am

    @448, I am actually surprised to hear that because I thought the math teacher at the RGC was amazing. Good luck. I hope she gets her first choice!

    I can’t wait for everyone to start posting once they receive their letters. I am anxiously awaiting with you all in support as I will be going through this next year.

    I am reading all posts with specific school info to help me help my daughter rank the schools she wants next year, but I constantly change the order in my head. I have been to a few open houses this year and will try to make them all next year.

    To the kids on here (Sonali, 4b’s, and all the rest), good luck. I hope you all end up a high school that you will be happy at and thrive. Make sure to post your acceptances. We are rooting for you!!

    Nice work with LP Alejandro. Things are definitely working out for you this year.

    To all of those with acceptances from LPIB you should be very proud. It sounds like the criteria to get in was harder (since you had to have the points) then last year.

    Good luck to all. Hopefully the agony of waiting will be over in the next day or so.

  • 454. Rose  |  February 28, 2012 at 7:47 am

    Music program worth noting: from ABC/7:Kenwood Academy Bands are comprised of Concert, Jazz, Saxophone Quarter, Brass Quintet, Flute Ensemble, Jazz Combo and the newly revived Marching Band (known as “Marching Broncos”). These skillful groups of young people learn how they can actively engage in the world of classical, contemporary, gospel and jazz music. For more than thirty years, Kenwood’s music department has been at the pinnacle of musical excellence producing great musicians such as Ray “The Weeper” Fuller, Jazz Guitarist. The dynamics of this strong program has led to Honors Superior and Superior ratings during annual competitions for nearly all of that time. Reaching such accolades has earned them the position of “Ambassadors of Instrumental Music Excellence” for Kenwood Academy, as well as but also for the Chicago Public Schools.

  • 455. 8th grade mom  |  February 28, 2012 at 8:49 am

    @450, Thanks Janet! Our day isn’t until Thursday. I have to work so it will be my husband going. Our 8th grader is afraid his dad will embarass him. 🙂

  • 456. Wondering  |  February 28, 2012 at 8:55 am

    Last night a neightborhood student was telling everyone he got into NS. How would he know that already?????

  • 457. Gwen  |  February 28, 2012 at 8:59 am

    I can’t imagine it could be through anything official . . .

  • 458. Jewel  |  February 28, 2012 at 9:15 am

    U can’t believe that everything will be official? You KNOW some of these students will get in because they know someone. It’s NOT fair but it happens. He MAY be right. Please let us know when it IS official……..

    On another note being on the Southside I only applied to Lindblom….. Im extremely nervous today…… My son aced the ISAT feels pretty good about SE test but grades aren’t nearly as high as you guys kids. Anyone applied for Lindblom??? *exhales* this is too much pressure.

    Good luck everyone.

  • 459. 8th grade mom  |  February 28, 2012 at 9:26 am

    FWIW, my child spent an hour or so thinking he’d gotten in his first choice SE the other day by accident. The letters from LP came (one from downtown, and one from LP). My husband handed him the letters and said “these have good news!” My son didn’t read them, just assumed what was in them – and that one from “CPS” was the SE letter. It was only later we realized what he thought, and meanwhile he’d told a few people. Overanxious 14 year olds might be victims of wishful thinking. (He’d be mortified that I’m telling this story.)

  • 460. justanotherchicagoparent  |  February 28, 2012 at 9:45 am

    It seems every year the letters are delayed. I know they were the first year I was waiting for one, by at least a week and a half.Of course it was the first time tiers were used. I am expecting the same to happen to me next year.Only thing that appears to stay the same is they “seem” to arrive in the hands of 8th graders right before ISAT’s putting more pressure on the 7th graders who watch the whole process.

  • 461. SEHS hopeful  |  February 28, 2012 at 9:45 am

    I will be stalking the mailman today! That is, I will make my husband stalk the mailman today since he is at home. 🙂

    @459 – that sounds like something my son would do!

  • 462. Michelle  |  February 28, 2012 at 9:52 am

    Wow!! Who’s on first?!?! I just changed my doc appt from 11 to 10 so I can rush home for the mail!!! My daughter also reported a classmate said he got into LT yesterday,
    but I think it’s wishful thinking on his part. It’s clear no letters have been received.

  • 463. justanotherchicagoparent  |  February 28, 2012 at 9:55 am

    Maybe if they called CPS late in the day they were allowed to know because letters had gone out????

  • 464. Last year at this time I was an obsessed 8th grade parent...  |  February 28, 2012 at 10:17 am

    My postman just delivered…but I’m just reliving last year’s thrills vicariously.

    Actually, if my experience from last year is any indicator, we with early deliveries were screwed, and wouldn’t have gotten letters until tomorrow….that is, if OAE truly sent everything yesterday morning.

  • 465. Mia  |  February 28, 2012 at 10:17 am

    They don’t tell you over the phone. Even if you don’t get a letter, you have to go in person to get the copy of the letter (per their rules on their website).

  • 466. tytyo8  |  February 28, 2012 at 10:19 am

    Dumb me guess I really didnt pay attention at the date about the cut off scores, sorry, but wondering it’s so late, are they really changing from last year? Maybe that’s why they still have that one up.

  • 467. cpskool  |  February 28, 2012 at 10:29 am

    Sorry, NO letter yet. Just wondering, is wrong to steam open the letter and then reseal because I said we would wait? Haha!!

  • 468. justanotherchicagoparent  |  February 28, 2012 at 10:31 am

    Mia Thanks for that info good to know for next year.

  • 469. justanotherchicagoparent  |  February 28, 2012 at 10:33 am

    @ 468 lol that same conversation goes on every year…You used to be able to rip the address window a little to reveal the school name that your child was accepted to..

  • 470. Mia  |  February 28, 2012 at 10:34 am

    You’re welcome (I’m getting a little obsessive myself as we wait – reading everything on the OAE site!).

    Oh – and all of you 7th grade parents – remember as ISATs are next week, the first 30 questions on math and reading comprehension ae what count for the Selective Enrollment score – so make sure your kids pay extra attention to those 2 areas next week!

  • 471. cpsobsessed  |  February 28, 2012 at 10:38 am

    What can be the rationale for only using the first 30 questions on each? Why not the full score?
    And so how do you find out your score that is used for the SE 900 points?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 472. Mia  |  February 28, 2012 at 10:48 am

    The percentile ranking is the “nationally normed” part of the ISAT – also known as the SAT10. It is how they are able to give you a “national percentile ranking (NPR)”.

    When you get the ISAT results back in the fall, you will have an overall score and also a percentile ranking. The percentile ranking is what is used in the 900 point calculation.

  • 473. mom  |  February 28, 2012 at 10:49 am

    Are you sure it’s only the FIRST 30 questions (SAT-10) or are they mixed throughout the test?

  • 474. Mia  |  February 28, 2012 at 11:01 am

    I just sent my friend a pdf of my daugther’s isat results page from last year, and if I could attach it here i would – but it states clearly:

    The NPR score is based on student perfomance on the first 30 items in session 1 in each content area. These items represent and abbreviated version of the Stanford 10 (SAT 10). The SAT10 is a nationally norm-referenced assessment productd by our test contractor. The overall ISAT scale scores and performance levels for each content area above are based on student performance on the entire ISAT test.

    I didn’t know this when my daughter took the test last year, but I think it’s good information to know!

  • 475. Mia  |  February 28, 2012 at 11:04 am

    Sorry for the typos!

  • 476. 7thgradesurvivor  |  February 28, 2012 at 11:07 am

    Back to high school offerings, anybody have impressions on quality of art programs offered at SEHS and IB programs? I know Northside as Arts Cubed, which people seem to regard highly, any impressions of other schools?

  • 477. Classof2013mom  |  February 28, 2012 at 11:13 am

    I am trembling as I read this. I have a 7th grader, and am so anxious. I just learned that my neighborhood as been “upgraded” to a 4. What a joke. I share a tier with the Gold Coast? Impossible!!

  • 478. cpsobsessed  |  February 28, 2012 at 11:19 am

    My friends are complaining about scrolling down this post.
    As soon as the first SE letter sighting is reported, I’ll start a new one!

  • 479. Michelle  |  February 28, 2012 at 11:29 am

    Funny. As I was scrolling down on my iPad, I was thinking that!!

  • 480. Alejandro  |  February 28, 2012 at 11:30 am

    Have any SEHS letters been sighted?

  • 481. Joel  |  February 28, 2012 at 11:32 am

    You can also just click on the “Recent Comments” on the right side of the page when you enter and it will take you down to the latest comments, thus negating your need for excessive thumbing down the page 🙂

  • 482. de  |  February 28, 2012 at 11:37 am

    My daughter got a letter from Whitney Young and a letter from OAE.

  • 483. SEHS hopeful  |  February 28, 2012 at 11:37 am

    Yay! First sighting! Congratulations to you and your daughter!

  • 484. Mia  |  February 28, 2012 at 11:40 am

    Woo hoo! Congratulations!

  • 485. Last year at this time I was an obsessed 8th grade parent...  |  February 28, 2012 at 11:46 am

    Awesome! The tradition (over two years that I’ve visited) is to say score, tier, maybe what number it was preference ranked… (‘tho obviously not everyone feels comfortable with that detail disclosure)

  • 486. Mia  |  February 28, 2012 at 11:49 am

    That would be interesting to see, I’ll certainly share when we get ours!

  • 487. Don't Panic  |  February 28, 2012 at 11:56 am

    I so want to take off work early and get the mail! Son is after school until 4:00 today too. I don’t think I’ll be able to concentrate much today.

  • 488. de  |  February 28, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    @485 I wouldn’t want to buck the tradition… We’re in Tier 1. She had 595 out of 600. I don’t know what she got on the entrance exam because we’re letting her open the letter. Whitney Young was her first choice.

  • 489. Michelle  |  February 28, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    Sitting at doc getting orencia infusion watching this thread. And no, it’s not wrong to steam open a letter. I’m stopping to buy her roses on way home, just in case!!

  • 490. Last year at this time I was an obsessed 8th grade parent...  |  February 28, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    Wonder what the New York Times column “The Ethicist” says about steaming letters? I’d say it’s a bad idea because the steaming is intended to mislead the recipient into thinking the letter wasn’t opened. Go all in and rip the sucker open, or leave it be.

  • 491. anonymous  |  February 28, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    Someone said that the entrance exam had been re-written. Could they explain?

  • 492. Michelle  |  February 28, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    Thanks 490!! And I am stopping for roses!! And a very berry sundae for mom!!

  • 493. nameless  |  February 28, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    Letter just arrived – my daughter got 895 out of 900. We’re in Tier 4, and she did NOT get into Payton, her first choice. She got into Whitney, her second choice. Last year in Tier 4 the range (after the top 30% Rank) was 889-895. Don’t mean to frighten anyone, but this says to me that the #s were much higher this year.

  • 494. cpsobsessed  |  February 28, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    895 and second choice. Unbelievable.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 495. Mia  |  February 28, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    Can you repost this in the new post set up for results – she has a part 2 that everyone is writing in.

    And I’m sorry for the Payton part, but Whitney is still a great, great choice. You are correct – the cut offs must be much higher this year!

  • 496. mom  |  February 28, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    #476 Lane and WYHS have excellent fine arts departments. Lane offers band an orchestra as a class starting with beginning–through honors. It is graded and everyday. Lane also offers an art concentration. Lane does not have a great dance department–only one teacher teaching ballroom. WYHS does have a good dance program.

  • 497. anonymous  |  February 28, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    Does anyone remember which post described how CPS determines tie breakers? I can’t find it anymore.

  • 498. tytyo8  |  February 28, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    Just got email from CPS, new cut off scores will be up by the end of the week

  • 499. Michelle  |  February 28, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    Raced home, opted against the roses just in case. And of course, today, we have the LATE mailman!!!!!!!!!!

  • 500. Janet  |  February 28, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    Rushed home after shadow day at LPIB to let you know that the parents walk all over the school with your child bouncing from class to class every few minutes. A lot of walking and a lot of stairs so wear comfy shoes.
    Finally mailman arrived, my son got accepted into Payton. The weight has been lifted. Oh and letter from Payton arrived also, so both at same time.

  • 501. Michelle  |  February 28, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    Congrats 500, your lucky number!! Still awaiting mail What was your impression on LPIB?

  • 502. Janet  |  February 28, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    I really liked the classes and the way the teachers interact with the students. I didnot like the dirty halls, walls, and the way the freshman building looked like a prison with hardly anything on hallway walls besides dirt. The main school building is a maze but am sure the kids get use to it. The music we heard both instruments and singing were also amazing.

  • 503. oh no!  |  February 28, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    OMG, you took the work “prison” right out of my mouth. This is one of my fears for sure. I don’t think high school should feel like a prison. Not really excited about the 19 year old seniors either.

  • 504. Michelle  |  February 28, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    Letter came and my daughter is upset. She had her heart set on Northside and many of her friends got in. She got 894 out of 900 points and was offered Lane.

  • 505. cpsobsessed  |  February 28, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    Michelle – is she at a gifted or classical program? If she has several friends who got into nscp, that is a smart little group of friends!

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 506. Anonymous  |  February 28, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    This breaks my heart. Our some of these schools really worth this?

  • 507. Michelle  |  February 28, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    She is in gifted, top school. Her friend got in NS with a 595 so she was literally 1 point away. Many of her classmates made it. I sooo wish this was not as important to her as it is and it is hard trying to console her. We will apply for principals discretion. It sucks when 6 points away from perfect just isn’t enough.

  • 508. Jewel  |  February 28, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    Well, we didn’t get into any. *exhales*……………… Haven’t had the heart to tell him yet……. Wait listed on other schools like 500….. Just deny me, for Christ’s sake!!!!!!!

    But congrats to everyone else!!!!! In two years I’ll try again with my daughter……… *exhales again*

  • 509. KeepHopeAlive  |  February 28, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    Got both letters (CPS and Jones)today:
    Jones–Tier 4–900 points–1st choice
    I find it odd, though, that this same student did NOT get into Ignatius.

  • 510. Michelle  |  February 28, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    509, hard to find any rhyme or reason but am working on helping mine accept and ultimately, be happy. There are MANY kids who won’t get into a SE school at all so I really want her to know how lucky she is. Our “tier” likely did not help (4) but such is life. I am simply grateful she got into a good school, period.

  • 511. RL Julia  |  February 28, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    509 – its a random process. Son got into Northside but didn’t manage to score an interview at LPIB.

  • 512. Janet  |  February 28, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    Jewel, I am so sorry to hear that, will you try for principals discretion? I really think you should.

    Michelle, if you go for principals discretion don’t you have to reject all other offers? If so, is it really worth it?

  • 513. cpsobsessed  |  February 28, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    As someone else mentioned, you can try for a “transfer” once the school year has begun. Of course switching schools midway through freshman year or later isn”the anyone’s idea of fun. But it could be worth pursuing.

    I am amazed that the kids who get these high scores. Or even close to the high scores. Very impressive.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 514. mom  |  February 28, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    I’m confused. Do the students have to get 800 or more to get into the schools?

  • 515. new freshman mother  |  February 28, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    @curious how did your kids like northside prep was it racist or rude kids to much to handle im a 13 year catholic school kid thats use to bad kids getting kicked out asap

  • 516. new freshman mother  |  February 28, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    509 keep hope alive so did mine didnt get in ignatius and now accepted to northside prep we are in tier 1 she scored 810.. but now i got all these catholic schools on my butt for admission i was really pushing for nazareth but we also got guerin and a host of all girl schools.. hummm .. dont know but if she can get into northside i really wonder why latin and frances parker turned her down.. maybe its our socioeconomic tier

  • 517. HS Mom  |  February 28, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    Jewel – so sorry to hear. Lindblom may have round 2. Those waiting lists do move…… What is your plan B?

  • 518. 8th grade mom  |  February 28, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    Thanks for the description of the shadow day, Janet.

    My son also got in Payton. He’s torn, might choose LPIB. We’ll see.

  • 519. Jewel  |  February 28, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    HS mom, thanks. Unfortunately I can’t wait for round 2 for risk of losing other spots……. He had offers to others , but they were only “just in case”…….. Well, I guess this is the case……….so my plan B………..choose from the other 3 schools he had offers to…….. And make the best of a not so good situation. ……….

  • 520. Janet  |  February 28, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    You are welcome. Im sure your son will be happy with either choice

  • 521. steff  |  February 28, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    No one replied to my post. Maybe I posted it in the wrong place. My son didn’t get into Jones but was accepted into King. He also got into Lincoln Parks double honors and Curie’s IB program. Does anyone have any feeback on Curie, King or Lincoln Park’s Double honors. I really need the feedback. He also got into Mount Carmel high school on a partial scholorship.

  • 522. Michelle  |  February 28, 2012 at 9:28 pm


    You can choose principals discretion without losing your current offer. I would never do it otherwise…..a bird in the hand, I always say…

    I think my girl is most upset as many of her closest friends got into NS (some with the exact same score as hers except they were in a lower tier) and she will miss them. I wish it was like when I went to school, we all went to the same place. The system is totally unfair.

    I feel even worse when I think of all the kids who don’t have a snowballs chance…kids who have no choice but to go to schools who are failing out of the system and closing down. Those kids are the ones I really feel sorry for. I do not fault CPS for closing schools down and I certainly hope they put the money and resources into bettering their replacements.

    It is truly the luck of the draw as we are seeing with all these high scoring kids. The worst part is they feel BAD when they should be proud. I keep telling my girl that, over and over again. No matter what, I am so very proud of her and I know, she will be proud of herself too when the sting lets up a little.

    It’s hard to be 13.


  • 523. Michelle  |  February 28, 2012 at 9:34 pm


    Did you research or visit the schools? It is a good start. I wrote a lengthy Op Ed piece for a newspaper which I posted above (@56) It really is important to delve into the schools to help find the best fit for your child, especially when you have more than one choice. What might be a perfect school for one kid might be not be so good for another.

    Do all the homework you can so you can make the most well informed decision possible.


  • 524. southie  |  February 28, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    521. steff |

    I just met a recent grad from King who is now a freshman in college, has received warnings about her low academic performance, took about five AP tests and scored 1 on each, and had a 12 ACT in writing. I have no idea if that profile is the norm for King graduates. But, there you go.

  • 525. steff  |  February 28, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    Thanks for the feedback about King! He has other options: Lincoln Park Double Honors and Curie’s IB program. I here they rank two

  • 526. cpsobsessed  |  February 28, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    I have heard good things about LP double honors and curie. I agree , worth checking out to sense the school vibe.
    Plus location differences.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 527. steff  |  February 28, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    thanks! I didn’t do much research on King because we were hoping that he got into Jones but didn’t. I will do research on Lincoln park’s double honors and Curie’s ib program. I pretty much know about the other schools that he was accepted into.

  • 528. tytyo8  |  February 29, 2012 at 8:05 am

    Do we have any people accepted into Brooks, Lindbloom, and King. Dont get give up on the these schools just because they are south of the border.

  • 529. Janet  |  February 29, 2012 at 8:05 am

    Michelle- I wish you all the luck. i hope your daughter gets in, please keep us posted.

  • 530. RL Julia  |  February 29, 2012 at 8:05 am

    Steff- have a friend whose son is at Curie and she has been impressed to the point of sending her other two kids there (to the AC program) without really looking at other schools. Looks like they also have a television station at school -what’s there not to like about that! I’d go check it out for sure – and when you do be sure to post your impressions!

  • 531. tytyo8  |  February 29, 2012 at 8:08 am

    For principal discretion, unless they changed from last year, you do have to turn down all other offers.

  • 532. KeepHopeAlive  |  February 29, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    Anyone interested in Brooks SEHS on the southside???

  • 533. Parkerparent  |  February 29, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    The tier system is not perfect, but at least it’s a thoughtful attempt, based on a number of factors, to level the playing field. There will never be a system that’s fully equitable. Some schools give out more A’s, almost all CPS schools teach to the test (most privates do NO test prep, and don’t really care how their students perform on the standardized tests), some parents give false addresses to raise their kids’ chances of getting in to the preferred schools, other kids have parents who don’t even know the SEHS exist. The fact is that ALL kids, even those who are perfectly average, deserve good schools. And even high-scoring students are better off in an environment where they are learning alongside kids of multiple abilities. I don’t have the answer, but I think some of you out there need to look at the bigger picture.
    BTW: My kid has been in CPS and in private school, and I serve on my neighborhood LSC.

  • 534. southie  |  February 29, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    My family is interested in ss SEHS, such as Brooks, but as white students, we are looking for schools with racial diversity at least 25-30 percent in each of the the three majority races in Chicago: black, Latino and white. So a school where our white students would be an extreme minority is not an option. The diversity mix is very important to us, which is why we like Jones. (Good luck with that, right?)

  • 535. tytyo8  |  February 29, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    I understand that but if white students do not try schools like Brooks, King, Lindbloom, and Westinghouse, how are they ever going to be racially diverse.

  • 536. tytyo8  |  February 29, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    My daughter attends Brooks, and yes blacks are the majority, but I think they have a good diverse of other students too. They have alot of latin kids bused in to the school and yes there are other races too. I think people look at the building and think it houses alot of students, but remember, it use to be an all boys school so the class sizes are small, which I think is a plus. They just added to the school so they are adding additional things and classes for the students to take. So try and take a closer look at Brooks. I really wish people would do shadow days at all the “southside” SEHS. I think they would have a new outlook on them.

  • 537. anonymous  |  February 29, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    I didn’t know there was busing for Brooks. Is ther busing for Lindbloom, King, Kennedy?

    There is no busing for Jones, WY, WP, NS, Lane, right?

    Anyone hear of Michelle Clark s.e.h.s.?

  • 538. steff  |  February 29, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    My son got into King and curie’s ib program and mount carmel. He doesn’t want to go to mount carmel. I really don’t know much about king but I don’t think they made ayp three years in a row. I really need to here from a student doing well at king, a parent’s response or a teacher from king! Anyone! They have an open house next week but I have to let mount carmel know by tomorrow or friday and i have to pay a fee that is non refundable!!! Curie’s ib is great and I heard intense! They are number 2 in the IB program!!! Please give plenty of feedback. Not much responses from these schools or posts

  • 539. anonymous  |  February 29, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    Heard this about WP — highest scoring class ever.
    The range for students admitted on rank was 898 to 900.
    897 begins tier 4 admission.
    Heard of students who didn’t get in WP with a 895.

  • 540. steff  |  February 29, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    Thanks RL Julia for your response about Curie! WE are torn between curie and king. I was also impressed with mount carmel

  • 541. steff  |  February 29, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    There was a letter stating that you do not have to turn down your choice for principal discretion.That is only if you opt for the second round of choices and then there is still no guarantee that you will get into the school of your choice

  • 542. anonymouseteacher  |  February 29, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    #538, don’t stress about AYP. Every high school, by 2014, including NSCP and New Trier will not make AYP. At this point, the standard to meet it is nearly 100%. No school on earth can get 100% of all kids passing state tests. I can’t say much about either King or Curie (other than Curie having a decent ballet program), though.

  • 543. steff  |  February 29, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    Thanks for the feedback 542anonymouseteacher! I so appreciate it.

  • 544. justsaying  |  February 29, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    I think everyone is blaming the wrong person/thing. The problem is not the CPS, the Tier system, poverty, race, work ethic, scores, etc. Blame the GANGS. Instead of fighting the people who are either to improve the system or get a better education, let’s get together and get rid of the GANGS. Then, there may not be a need for the tier system because everyone would feel safe to send their kids to the neighborhood schools. And then Selective Enrollment can then become actually selective based on actual achievement not some crazy formula.

  • 545. New-ish  |  March 1, 2012 at 12:27 am

    Steff: If you’re debating between King and Curie IB, figure out which program better suits your child in terms of interests, fellow students, activities, King AP scores, ACT scores at both, culture, diversity, and equipment/resources at the schools, plus location. Ditto for Mount Carmel (why does he not favor that school?). Soon all this will be behind your family because you’ll have a decision. Then the effort to make it work well for him will begin.

  • 546. steff  |  March 1, 2012 at 12:37 am

    He does not favor Mount Carmel only because it’s all boys. Mount Carmel is the best for location, academics, sports, activities etc.!! He can walk from where we live! He shadowed last year and didn’t have a problem with it. I think it’s peers discussion or pressure from peers. He said he wanted to attend King now! He has to catch the bus for King and can walk to school at Mount Carmel. My mom thinks he should also attend Mount Carmel because of all of the above reason. The problem is will he not perform because of this???

  • 547. ezzymed98@hotmail.com  |  March 1, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    does anyone know what was the cut off score for Westinghouse? tier 3 and tier 1?

  • 548. realityhitskidshard  |  March 1, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    New Freshman Mother can be happy with her child’s overall score of 810 and NSP. I on the other hand will be paying 40,000 because my child scored an 870, but we live in the wrong tier. Sad state of affairs all of this is. Teach your child to work hard and they get a slap in the face.

  • 549. cpsobsessed  |  March 1, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    @548: Really, the only choices are NSCP or a $40K per year private school? No other schools than those 2 are acceptable for your child? That score in Tier 4 earns admission to several SE high schools, but clearly does not come close to that of NSCP as many kids in Tier 4 and other tiers outperform an 870.
    I’m also curious which school has $40K tuition. I just read on Facebook that Parker and Latin are the most expensive in the city and they are around $31k. Just curious what the absolute most is.

  • 550. realityhitskidshard  |  March 1, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    I’ve done my homework. Headed to the suburbs to leave the politics behind. Didn’t even want NSP. Jones would have been great. Taft IB doesn’t impress, nor did Lane’s Alpha. Typical city politics. I’m out; should have known I was, before I started all of this.

  • 551. cpsobsessed  |  March 1, 2012 at 7:43 pm

    Yeah, I think if there is just one acceptable school in the city, it’s not worth trying. Even the kids with the highest scores don’t know for sure which of the top high schools they will end up in, so the odds of getting in that 1 school are fairly slim.

  • 552. steff  |  March 1, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    made the decision to register my son in mount carmel. Will still attend king’s open house and accept enrollment to be sure. He can walk to mount carmel and will have to catch the bus for king.

  • 553. new freshman mother  |  March 1, 2012 at 11:52 pm

    **Comment deleted for Jerry Springer content**

  • 554. Gwen  |  March 2, 2012 at 12:04 am

    @553 – i don’t normally get aggravated with posts – but yours is truly offensive. As someone whose daughter is going to be a freshman at northside, please, please don’t send your daughter if she in any way shares your bigoted views of other people’s ethnic backgrounds.

  • 555. Jewel  |  March 2, 2012 at 8:12 am

    I see ignorance comes in all races!!!!!!!! These posts are uplifting and positive, so can someone please delete this. IF you are Asian then you are insulting them by your comment giving me and others an opinion of you that I didnt have before. I surely hope your daughter isn’t like you…… I could say a LOT but it would only show MORE ignorance and I’m not going to give you the satisfaction. Sometimes people say things to get a reaction… It’s not what they say. It’s how we react to it. With that being said, DELETE!!!!!!!!!

  • 556. Gwen  |  March 2, 2012 at 10:03 am

    Okay – glad you deleted the “original” 553 post – but you left mine in saying how offensive it was, with no reference it makes no sense, perhaps you should delete mine as well! Thanks.

  • 557. cpsobsessed  |  March 2, 2012 at 10:16 am

    Ok, I was wondering if deleting that would throw everything off. Thanks for letting me know.

    If someone sees a stupid post like that, just ignore it and email cpsobsessed.com so I can get it down quickly. I zonked out last night early (2 days of reading all the posts has left me mentally fried.)

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 558. Looking for the wisdom of those who have been there  |  March 2, 2012 at 10:30 am

    Open question to all the parents whose kids were disappointed by the outcome of this process: How did you explain the rationale of the selection process? In particular, did you go into an explanation of how the tiering system works and why it is set up the way it is?

  • 559. new freshman mother  |  March 2, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    actually i could care less if they deleted or kept it.. but i stand firm.. and so does my daughter. futhermore im not asain. im black so i know exactly how ghetto kids act. my daughter does not want to be around them point blank. im just saying the truth.. unlike some of the other parents on here.. hummm.. let me quote from a parent on here.. “oh my child was not accepted into their choice of northside or payton but was to brooks so i think i will keep my child at frances parker.” or better yet.. ” my child was accepted into king so we are going to send them to a catholic school” both statements are racist im just the only one to come out and say that my daughter doesnt want to be around ghetto kids.. if you dont like it then delete it again.. better yet get over it.. chicago is still segregated. and will always be.
    anywho and to jewel and gwen maybe you need to go back to school and see how the children act toward each other and your view on kids might change. either way my mixed daughter will choose who her friends will be at northside IF she even goes there. but i can surely tell you she is like me and does not like ghetto people

  • 560. new freshman mother  |  March 2, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    and if i got the statements mixed up sorry but king and brooks are black schools ..oh yeah i did see something like that posted on another blog and the parent of a white student said yes her child goes to a mainly black school but the school is slowly changing.. y dont you call those other parents posts racist. ???????
    whatever, brushing that off.. anywho i hope all the children of the future freshman class of 2012-2013 have fun make lots of friends and most of all enjoy their freshman year because 4 years will go by before you know it

  • 561. Chris  |  March 2, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    ““oh my child was not accepted into their choice of northside or payton but was to brooks so i think i will keep my child at frances parker.” or better yet.. ” my child was accepted into king so we are going to send them to a catholic school” both statements are racist”

    Um, could be that they don’t feel the commute is worth it. And, yes, I realize that that could just be a pretext for actual racism, but if I had a kid who already attended a private school that was reasonably close to home, and the “only” CPS alternative involved a ~60 minutes each way commute, I wouldn’t want ’em going for that reason alone.

    Question of course is–why even include those schools on the preference list then?

  • 562. new freshman mother  |  March 2, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    you know what chris good question very good question cause i didnt include them and commuting to me is nothing im used to it.. and so i my children but i highly doubt it was all about the commute.. not one school on my list included a school that i wouldnt actually take an offer from….

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