2012 Elem Magnet and Lottery Letters – Post News Here!

March 23, 2012 at 6:35 pm 1,357 comments

Well, wonders will never cease today.  I trashed talked them all week in term of the mail date, but CPS says that they started mailing elementary Gifted/Classical and Magnet letters today.  I’m trying to find out if this include Academic Centers.

Post your news here, along with your Tier and child’s score so we can figure out the cut-offs, as these are not posed the way the cutoffs are for the Academic Centers and High Schools.

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

Rahm announces new IB high schools and programs to open 2012 Gifted/Classical Letters – Post News Here!

1,357 Comments Add your own

  • 1. pk  |  March 23, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    Thnk you fo this blog/info…I. just discovered you, thinking I was all alone being obsessed with cps :))

  • 2. RGCFAN  |  March 23, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    it does include ACs. Believe me, i am exceedingly obsessed with WYAC and very anxious about the letters. I pray i get in.

  • 3. kristenerichardson  |  March 23, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    Will the letter contain both scores and school offer for Gifted?

  • 4. cpsobsessed  |  March 23, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    The past couple years the letter has had both the test score/s and the admission info.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 5. masondixie  |  March 23, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    We applied listed 4 schools including Kenwood. I don’t have a lot of background. Would you say this is a great school? The school is not SEHS so what do kids do after 8th grade?

  • 6. Gale is NOT an option...  |  March 23, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    Slightly confused…I know the magnets and open enrollment (or magnet clusters) are in a separate letter. Was this letter mailed as well? Omg…I can hardly believe it. I have lost 3 pounds this week waiting for this letter. Supposed to go out of town for a baby shower tomorrow morning through Sunday. I might have to be late. 🙂

  • 7. cpsobsessed  |  March 23, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    Keep in mind that CPS said they “started” mailing today (friday) so we should see some show up saturday.
    The magnet and gifted/classical have typically been separate letters.

    Oh, also report your tier and waiting list number for magnets.

    Fun times!

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 8. citymom  |  March 23, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    Great website! Appreciate the info. Ive been looking in my mailbox all week waiting anxiously. My daughter has always been told she was gifted and in preschool the principal suggested she get tested. However, the day of the test she was out so quickly. ???? Wondering how my little gal did. Good luck everyone

  • 9. Vera  |  March 23, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    I’m waiting as well and hope to find out sooner than later. Typically in the past, were there more than one schools listed under the admission info?

  • 10. iwantmyradio1  |  March 24, 2012 at 8:18 am

    Yikes – not sure I’m ready for another disappointment.

  • 11. wy mom  |  March 24, 2012 at 8:44 am

    CPS mailed out 1/2 of the letters yesterday and they plan on mailing the other 1/2 today. Waiting frantically 4 the postman….

  • 12. KCK  |  March 24, 2012 at 8:52 am

    @11, are the letters included classical/gifted/magnet/magnet cluster and AC? Thanks.

  • 13. Christine  |  March 24, 2012 at 8:54 am

    To all the newbie parents joining us here: May the odd ever be in your favor!

    So here’s how it works: If you sent in a Regular and SEES application then you will get two letters. One will be for magnet/magnet cluster/neighborhood schools. The other will be SEES schools.

    (1) Magnet/Magnet Cluster/Neighborhood Schools. This letter will list all the schools to which you applied and will indicate if your child has been accepted or wait listed. It is possible to be accepted to more than one. If they’re wait listed you will get a wait list number. You get a few weeks to make up your mind. A word about wait lists later….

    (2) SEES. The Selective Enrollment letter will include your child’s gifted and classical scores as well as an explanation/key to those scores. The letter will also indicate which SEES school your child has been assigned to based on your rankings and his/her score, if any. There are no wait lists.

    A word about wait lists: Remember that for magnet schools there are actually five wait lists: a proximity list and one for each of the tiers. So if you are given #3 as your wait list number that’s actually not a straight-up 3. You are #3 of whichever wait list you’re on.

    Good luck everyone!

    Christine Whitley

  • 14. WPM  |  March 24, 2012 at 8:56 am

    How did you guys find out they were mailing them already? Did you call? Thanks!

  • 15. cpsobsessed  |  March 24, 2012 at 8:58 am

    CPS tweeted the mailing information yesterday (and I’m pleased to say that I got an email from CPS saying “we thought your readers might like to know…..”

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 16. cpsobsessed  |  March 24, 2012 at 8:59 am

    @ChiPubSchools Twitter account: Mailing of magnet & gifted elementary school letters starting today; they will all be out by the end of the day tomorrow.

    That is the twitter address if anyone wants it.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 17. WPM  |  March 24, 2012 at 9:02 am

    Nice cpsobsessed! Way to have some clout!

  • 18. Lakeview Dad  |  March 24, 2012 at 11:23 am

    I’m not holding my breath on this one. I’ll believe it when I see it. (the letter, that is.)

  • 19. Lakeview Dad  |  March 24, 2012 at 11:29 am

    @13 – refresh my memory please. Does the SEES letter offer multiple acceptances for all schools applied to, or is it one offer by ranked choices like the SEHS letter?

  • 20. karen  |  March 24, 2012 at 11:44 am

    I am number one on drummond for proximity. do i have a shot?

  • 21. WPM  |  March 24, 2012 at 11:48 am

    @20. I think u have a great shot. I think most #1 get in. How many schools did you apply to?

  • 22. cpsobsessed  |  March 24, 2012 at 11:54 am

    I agree – great shot at drummond. One proximity kids will take a gifted or classical spot….

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 23. karen  |  March 24, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    but they don’t have classical/gifted for PK3 — man, dare to dream.
    i applied to three (which was all that i could apply to).
    we’re 491 at mayer
    35 at suder

  • 24. MP  |  March 24, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    Nothing in today’s mail.

  • 25. KCK  |  March 24, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    Mailman came, nothing from CPS.

  • 26. Ash L  |  March 24, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    I received our magnet/open enrollment letter today.Waitlisted above #50 at Murphy, Pulaski, Drummond and Goethe. Tier 3. I’m hoping for better results from the SEES letter.

  • 27. aville mama  |  March 24, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    We got our magnet/open letter today. Into Pierce and Lasalle 2. Waitlist 10 at Swift. Ridiculously high numbers at everything else. Anyone have feedback on Lasalle 2- it would be a huge hike for us. Still awaiting RCG/Classical…

  • 28. Christine Whitley  |  March 24, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    For SEES elementary you get one offer, whichever school your child’s score was high enough to get them into, based on your rankings. Now you can always refuse the offer and hold out for a better offer but that’s very risky. Once you’ve refused a SEES school you’re off the list for that school.

    The process is different for AC’s.

  • 29. Christine Whitley  |  March 24, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    Aville mama: there’s a waitlist at Swift??? Wow. Good to hear actually. I would like Swift to be the next Peirce.

  • 30. Kourtney  |  March 24, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    We are on the preschool lists-
    Suder- 40
    Drummond- 37
    Mayer- 408
    Do we have any chance?

  • 31. cpsobsessed  |  March 24, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    Well, for fun I appled to magnets this year. 14 in all.
    Best spot, Galileo #8. Worst spot Jackson #184.
    We are not in any proximity for a magnet.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 32. cpsobsessed  |  March 24, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    Kourtney, I think given the popularity of those programs, you probably are not likely to get a spot. Hopefully I am wrong about that, but I’d probably be formulating a backup plan…

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 33. smp  |  March 24, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    Applied to Disney II for my twins for 2nd grade:
    Waitlist numbers #31 and #32. Probably no chance…..

  • 34. CPSDistressed  |  March 24, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    Applied to 13 magnet or open enrollment schools. Best number on the waitlist is 50 proximity for Disney II and 63 Tier 4 for Hawthorne. Worst 737 for Blaine!!! We’ll see what the SEES letter says, otherwise it looks like we’ll be paying taxes to CPS and for private school. Someone needs to start advocating for a voucher system. At least we like her private school and have an option, even though we don’t have the money to pay for it.

  • 35. mom  |  March 24, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    when cps says mailed out, it means sitting in mailroom all weekend.

  • 36. ProudPapa  |  March 24, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    Received our magnets/open enrollment letter today. No test scores, no word on the SEES or RGC schools. We applied for 11 schools and are wait listed on each of them. Our best spot is #14 at Agassiz and #17 at Inter-American. #42 at Hawthorne. Anyone have any thoughts on the general quality of Agassiz and Inter-American? Any chance we might get in to either of them given our spot on the wait list?

  • 37. Kourtney  |  March 24, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    Thanks. I figured. I knew Drummond would be out, but Suder would be our first choice anyway. I’m hoping people get placed elsewhere. We’ve already signed her up in a neighborhood preschool, but we loved Suder’s program. At least its just preschool! I am not looking forward to the Kindergarden process.

  • 38. Stephanie  |  March 24, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    We only applied to Hawthorne in terms of magnets. My future SK’er is 135 (proximity), and my future 1st Grader is 269. I am assuming that these numbers mean Hawthorne is not an option. Anyone have any sense of how deep Hawthorne typically goes into the waitlist?

  • 39. Waiting for letter  |  March 24, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    #38, Hawthorne goes very low, probably not even to 10.

  • 40. Hadley  |  March 24, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    Doesn’t look like our daughter will be attending a magnet. Here’s the results for the 3 we tried: LaSalle II-121, Disney II-201, Drummond-134. We’re in Tier 1, within proximity of Disney II. Not holding my breath for the SE schools.

  • 41. goingtogermany0693  |  March 24, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    FYI, I heard of a Hawthorne family who will likely be moving at the end of the school year. One child entering 4th and the other 1st.

  • 42. citydweller  |  March 24, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    We were #8 on the K waitlist for our tier at Hawthorne last year and never got a call.

  • 43. Christine Whitley  |  March 24, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    Child A is in 1st grade currently. Her lowest waitlist # was #29 at Hawthorne. We’re happy where she is so I’m not worried.

    Child B is only 2 so we applied for the PK3 programs.

    Suder 41
    Drummond 63
    Mayer 542

    We are Tier 4

  • 44. Mom  |  March 24, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    We got into Hawthorne for K b/c we have another child there already. We also hedged our bets and received an offer from Hamilton. Wait lists were Ravenswood (8) and Waters (15) and Disney I & II were 116 and 134 in tier 4.

  • 45. kikiandkyle  |  March 24, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    We got our magnet/open letter today for 3rd grade admission from out of district.

    Offered Peirce and Hamilton, on the general waitlist with #6 for Alcott, #10 for Nettelhorst, #13 for Blaine, then in the 20s, 30s and 50s for the rest, #67 for Disney was the highest.

    Hamilton looks interesting, I’ll be going to the open house on April 1st. But I’m not sure we’re comfortable taking her out of her current school if it’s not for a gifted school.

  • 46. ben sanchez  |  March 24, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    We are in tier #2 and got #19 on the waiting list for the school of our choice. Do we have a realistic shot of getting an offer from that school or not?

  • 47. cpsobsessed  |  March 24, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    Ben, depends what the school is…

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 48. ben  |  March 24, 2012 at 2:14 pm


  • 49. cpsobsessed  |  March 24, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    For franklin I’d say maybe possible but you should def make other plans. #19 could come in the summer or even right before school.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 50. ben  |  March 24, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    ok thanks for the info.

  • 51. Logan Square Mama  |  March 24, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    Twins tier3 for PK3, Suder #73, Mayer 376, offered 2 spots Drummond. We accepted and paid deposit for great private Montessori school so we have some thinking to do…

  • 52. Mom23  |  March 24, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    Applied to 14 schools for my twins for K. Best numbers are 2 and 3 for Tier 3 at Stone. Not sure what to make of that.

    Worst numbers were for Hamilton, Disney II and Drummond (410 & 411)

  • 53. CPSTeacher  |  March 24, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    Offered Peirce. Wait-listed for the other 8. Lowest being #6 and highest #521.

  • 54. Mom2S  |  March 24, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    Tier 4, PreK

    Drummond #123
    Mayer #210

    Good thing we like our private preschool!

  • 55. cpsobsessed  |  March 24, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    For all the interest in the montessori programs, I never hear anything about them! I assume people have heard good feedback?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 56. david  |  March 24, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    got a 5th grader, going into 6th grade
    lowest waitlist is #6 @
    Lasalle II

  • 57. Leigh  |  March 24, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    Into Pierce and #11 for Coonley (a sib in the RGC). In past years 11 might have gotten us somewhere–this year, not likely.

  • 58. jmg  |  March 24, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    Curious about Blaine with its 700+ on general waitlist.
    Does Blaine have many (or any?) out-of-neighborhood seats? Do they even make offers this early or do they wait to see what neighborhood enrollment will be?

    @36 proudpapa – fwiw I know two OoN families at Agassiz who are happy there. 14 seems like a reasonable # assuming you are applying for K. IAMS fills at preK so there are likely just a few spaces available at K – they also have more than 1 waitlist.

  • 59. Chicago Mama  |  March 24, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    Got my magnet letter today – K in @ Disney II with sibs, in tier 4. Still waiting for sees letter (not hopeful). @smp, I don’t know anyone leaving in the current 1st class. 3 new kids this year.

  • 60. Old Irving PK mom  |  March 24, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    Applied to PK4 . . .

    Inter-American, 15, Tier 4-English
    Mayer, 38
    Suder, 262
    Drummond, 339

    For those with questions about the Suder waitlist, we were in the 30s for Suder PK3 last year, and never got a call. My neighbor was in the low 20s, and was admitted in September, after school started.

    Anyone know whether we have a realistic shot at Inter-American? I’m not sure how many slots they have, and how many people will decline . . .(We are in a fantastic TBPK program, and it would cause me great pain to pull him out of there for Inter-American . . . but we have to hedge our bets for K . . . .)

  • 61. Kourtney  |  March 24, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    Thanks, Old Irving PK mom. I was afraid of that, but its nice to have a realistic idea of what’s possible.

  • 62. Waiting for letter  |  March 24, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    Ben, Franklin didn’t go higher than 6 last year. Not sure if this year is tougher or easier.

  • 63. BuenaParkMom  |  March 24, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    Inter-American has 2 Pre-K classes with a total of 50 spots. They want half native Spanish speakers and half native English speakers due to the bi-lingual immersion nature of the program. For kindergarten I know that they have not had an open spot in the last 4 years because the Pre-K children are automatically in for kindergarten. I would think you would need an extremely low number on the waitlist for the Pre-K level to get in, especially as a native English speaker.

    I was surprised to receive our letter today, but not surprised at the results. We applied for Pre-K, age 3. We were bumped up from tier 2 to 3 this year with the new census.
    Suder – tier 3, waitlist #12
    Drummond – tier 4, waitlist #4
    Mayer – general (apparently they don’t have a tier list, just sibling, proximity, and general), waitlist #482

    Munchkin will be going to the Lycée (please stop throwing rotten tomatoes at me, I still am working on improving the 46th ward schools) so I am very happy. Also, now I can say to my husband, “see no choice, didn’t get in anywhere else”. Even though it was my top choice for Buena Park Munchkin and let’s face it the momma’s have a way of getting what they want for their Munchkins anyway :).

  • 64. Waiting for letter  |  March 24, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    63, wondering how you can be in two different tiers?

  • 65. BuenaParkMom  |  March 24, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    You can’t, we were tier 2 last year, but this year with the revision to the tiers, we are now in tier 3.

  • 66. Waiting for letter  |  March 24, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    Oh, okay, above you listed tier 3 for Suder and tier 4 for Drummond and I was confused.

  • 67. BuenaParkMom  |  March 24, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    Ha! That was a typo. Along with the apostrophe in momma’s. 🙂

  • 68. Edgewatermomof3  |  March 24, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    We got our magnet letter today too. We applied for K and 1st grade. We got offered at Disney, and wait list #4 at Stone for K, and no offer for 1st grader (best offer is #75 @ Hawthorne, and #156 @ Disney) what are the chances of my 1st grader getting into Disney with such high waiting list number? We’re waiting for SEES, but I’m already very confused. Chances of them both getting an offer on SEES is impossible 😦 Should I send them both to different schools next year then hope next wear we can get them into same school, or should we just give up and move to suburbs? I don’t want to live in the suburbs 😥

  • 69. CpsUnless  |  March 24, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    Offer at Peirce
    Franklin #7, Stone #27, McPherson #17
    LaSalle #440 & Blaine #713
    Others in the 100 & 200’s
    No SEES letters today?

  • 70. Albany Park Parent  |  March 24, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    Got the magnet letter for our twins, no SES yet. Tier 2.

    Offers at Peirce and Prescott. #3/4 in the Tier 2 waitlist at Newberry. #10/11 in the general waitlist at Waters. Nothing else looks close.

    Any sense on whether a general 10/11 would be good enough to get us in at Waters? That would be very convenient to us, and I’ve heard good things.

  • 71. cpsobsessed  |  March 24, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    Waters is a possibility as they’ve expanded to 3 K classes.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 72. WPM  |  March 24, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    My daughter was accepted to Hawthorne for kindergarten. Any input from current parents?

    Also…how was daughter not accepted to Columbus when she already goes there and will have a sibling there? Why does it say general on the waitlist next to Columbus? Shouldnt it say sibling?

  • 73. Waiting for letter  |  March 24, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    72, Columbus is a neighborhood school, not a magnet, so they have just one list. I think.

  • 74. WestSidePops  |  March 24, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    We received our Magnet letter today. Applied to 1st grade… no acceptances. I guess we’ll have to see what RGC/Classical letter brings.

    Burr 3
    Coonley 6

    Proximity schools (hard to believe so many kids w/in 1.5 miles)
    Jackson 130
    Galileo 159
    STEM 215

    @Kourtney: Suder made it to at least #26 last May/June for K and we passed.

  • 75. L D  |  March 24, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    Offered@ Hamilton
    Tier 3 waitlist with numbers ranging from 3-924

  • 76. parent  |  March 24, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    @72, You’ll LOVE Hawthorne. Full time aides in both K classrooms, extra teachers to reduce class sizes for reading and writing. Awesome teachers, assuming they don’t all leave for better suburban jobs and we won’t know who is staying or not for a while. Terrific parents. Tons of fundraising. You’ll get notices about contributing practically everyday of the entire year, but you give what you can and ignore the rest. Heavy on test prep, but all of CPS is like this and it will get much more intense now that this fall teacher ratings are tied to test scores throughout the system.
    You got lucky with Hawthorne. Welcome!

  • 77. kiki h.  |  March 24, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    Got into STEM on the sibling list for 1st grade!

    We’re #383 for Jackson. I suppose someone must get in there, right? Now to decide once and for all whether to pull our son from his current RGC. Took our daughter out last year and she’s been very happy and learning a lot. But it’s hard to let go of the notion that if so many people want their kids in RGC, it must be great.

  • 78. Citymom  |  March 24, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    We applied to 12 schools for kindergarten, here are the best numbers:
    Burr waitlist general #1
    Franklin waitlist proximity #8
    Nettelhorst waitlist proximity #2
    Lasalle waitlist proximity #8

    We are in Mayer district, but Lasalle is our first choice, thoughts on if we could get spot at #8?

  • 79. McGraw  |  March 24, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    We’re in Tier 2, got the magnet letter today. Daughter got into Agassiz and is #4 at Audubon. Ranked in the 30s for a few schools and everything else is in the 200s and up.

    What do you think our chance for Audubon is? That school would work better for our family, so I’ve got my fingers crossed.

  • 80. Mom  |  March 24, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    We were #3 for Audubon two years ago and did not get a call. The lists are unpredictable, especially for neighborhood schools that may be swamped by kids within their boundaries and unable to take any outside their area. We were #16 at Hawthorne and got the call in mid-August.

  • 81. Journeytolove  |  March 24, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    Received Magnet letter today. No Gifted/Classical yet…Hopefully Monday!

    Tier 4, starting Kindergarten this fall.

    Newberry – Offered
    DisneyII – #57
    Drummond – #389
    Franklin – #40
    LaSalle – #32
    Jackson – #159

  • 82. curious  |  March 24, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    Looking for kindergarten.

    Offered spot at Prescott

    General waitlist for: Mayer (547), Jahn (10), Nettlehorst (13), Waters (189), Burley (667), Alcott (293), Burr (79), Coonley -(not rgc) (370), Drummond (131), Hamilton (96), Agassiz (280), Blaine (18).

    Stone – proximity (95); Hawthorne – tier 4 (25

    Why does Nettlehorst have a proximity lottery, since it’s a neighborhood school isn’t it just sibling and general? Anyone know if 13 in the general lottery has a shot to get in at Nettlehorst?

  • 83. WPM  |  March 24, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    @76. Thanks so much. What time does school start?

  • 84. Albany Park Parent  |  March 24, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    I mentioned the #3/4 in the Newberry Tier 2 list earlier. I guess I shouldn’t just assume that’s good enough, even though it looks low. Any thoughts? I would guess Newberry spots would be fairly contested.

  • 85. 1st grade  |  March 24, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    Magnet letter for a 1st grade:

    Blaine – #9
    Wildwood – #19

    The rest of the schools between #36 – #369

    Waiting to see if we get an offer for RGC at Bell or Beaubien.

  • 86. sfw  |  March 24, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    We got into Peirce for first grade. Does Peirce require uniforms, and do they have busing?

  • 87. @ WPM  |  March 24, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    Due to the full day schedule mostly all schools will be in session from 8am-3:30pm. A school may be able to pick 8:15am because in a newspaper article is stated that no elementary school dismissals would be after 3:45pm. I am not sure if any schools would opt to start before 8am so you may want to call the school and find out.

  • 88. 1st grade  |  March 24, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    @27 friend’s son is a 3rd grader at Lasalle2 and he is very happy, so is she. They do not offer busing, but she gets some money from CPS for driving him every day.

  • 89. Charles  |  March 24, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    For K – Tier 3

    Offered – Farnsworth
    Waitlist – Chappell – 14, Disney I – 16, La Salle II – 18, Goethe – 18, Newberry – 34

    Proximity Disney II – 48

    worst is Hawthorne – 316.

    Not too shabby.

  • 90. Christine  |  March 24, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    sfw @sfw Peirce does require uniforms (blue pants or skirt, white shirt). No busing since its a neighborhood school.

  • 91. Jg  |  March 24, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    Got our magnet letter for K Tier 4.
    Wildwood – general 255
    Edgebrook- general 99
    Hawthorne- Tier 4 328
    Disney 2- proximity 143
    Lasalle- tier 4 382
    Honestly do I have any chance anywhere? Hopefully SEES will bring something better!

  • 92. hey cpso  |  March 24, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    Maybe you should make a second post for SEES and let this thread just be magnet/neighborhood. Once the SEES news starts coming in it will be difficult trying to figure out cut-offs for SEES if magnet posts keep popping up. Just a thought…

  • 93. cpsobsessed  |  March 24, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    Ya know, it’s really like drawing a poker hand with the lotteries. Amazing how some people get several close -in spots while others get almost all in the hundreds.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 94. cpsobsessed  |  March 24, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    Mm, good idea. Thanks!!

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 95. ericwfrost  |  March 24, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    Had an offer at Burr, looks like a great school and worth considering, but our neighborhood school Ogden has some better scores. Low on wait list for STEM, LaSalle II and Galileo.

    Still hoping to get a SES letter accepting her into Skinner North where her big sister and a few other neighborhood kids attend!

    We had a half hour or so to kill coming back from ice skating lessons for the girls and actually stopped and visited the Ogden playground and peeked in the windows, very nice new facility.

  • 96. liz  |  March 24, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    Got in nowhere for K. Nowhere, nowhere, nowhere.

    Hamilton–3 (holding my breath, this was one of my first choices
    Alcott–5 Never going to happen!
    LaSalle– 6/Tier 3
    Disney– 36

    Everything else was stratospheric… I am so incredibly sad about this. I will hope against hope that Hamilton will come through. I don’t have a lot of hope for SEES.

  • 97. Terry  |  March 24, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    Tier 2
    Waitlisted at all six magnet schools
    Murray tier 2 waitlist #26

    What do you think are my chances of any

  • 98. Waiting for letter  |  March 24, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    96, you’ll get in Hamilton and probably Alcott (no tiers).

  • 99. liz  |  March 24, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    Thanks… i need all the encouragement I can get!

  • 100. db  |  March 24, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    @96 – liz — based on our experience from last year, you’ll get a call from Hamilton and Alcott. A friend of ours got a call from LaSalle that had a low number like yours as well last year. So I don’t think you’ve got a bad situation there.

    We’re at Hamilton and it’s great!

  • 101. liz  |  March 24, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    That’s great to hear. I have always had a good feeling about Hamilton and have planned to apply since my daughter was little. I am feeling a little more hopeful…. three weeks of nail-biting ahead!

  • 102. Linda  |  March 24, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    We are waitlisted for Disney II and Wilwood. Does anyone know how many kids are put on the waiting lists?

  • 103. Christine  |  March 24, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    @102 Linda: All of them that didn’t get in. You are randomly assigned a wait list number.

  • 104. Anon2901  |  March 24, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    Tier 4, applied for 1st grade to 10 schools (magnet & open enrollment neighborhood) and got waitlisted at all of them. Low numbers at Edgebrook – 6, Solomon – 12, Blaine – 18. Numbers for all the magnets are in the hundreds.

    I wonder what are the chances for Edgebrook but I probably shouldn’t hold my breath since it is a small school and fairly overcrowded the way I hear.

    Just thinking out loud: for my daughter to get in, it would actually require for the six above us in the list plus the ones that got offers to refuse the open spots. That is a lot of refusals in order for her to have a 1st grade spot…

  • 105. J4C  |  March 24, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    O. Thorpe – 72 waitlist
    Hawthorne – 82 waitlist
    Tier 4, K
    Any hope? Thanks 😦

  • 106. kstaigs  |  March 24, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    We got our letter today for our soon to be kindergartner. We got one offer from O A Thorpe (I assume it is proximity, as we live less than 2 miles away). Does anyone have any experience with Thorpe? We applied to 20 magnets as well as 6 sees and 2 charters. Our neighborhood school is really bad, so we wanted to cover all bases. Our best wait list numbers are Prussing-42, Stone-59, Courtenay-64. From the previous posts, I am assuming my 102 at Hawthorne is not going to happen?? Still waiting for the sees and charters, but I am thrilled to have a yes from a top 30 ranked K-8.

  • 107. kstaigs  |  March 24, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    Oh, we are tier 3, by the way…

  • 108. Kim  |  March 24, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    Offered at peirce. Did they accept everone again this year? We were 11 at swift. 20 at stone. 24 at laslle II and 26 at courtenay on general list. I thought they were considered magnet. Anyone with any thoughts on our positions at stone and courtenay? We are tier 3. All other spots were high double and triple digits. Including blaine at 902!!

  • 109. Christine  |  March 24, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    I see a lot of posters on here asking “My wait list number is x what are my chances of getting in?”

    That’s such a hard question to answer! Like I said above, for magnet schools there are separate wait lists for proximity and each of the 4 tiers. So your chances depend on how many people who got an offer and how many people with wait list numbers higher than yours make a different choice. That varies WIDELY from school to school!

    At your more popular schools like Hawthorne and LaSalle there is very little wait list movement. People who get in there hardly ever turn it down. So even if you get #5 or #6 on the wait list….you might not get a call.

    If you’re #6 for Peirce, say, or Prescott then your chances are probably pretty good.

    Also — remember that this is just the beginning of a summer-long process! People move, decide to go private, accept SEES offers, get better offers….it is not unheard of for someone high up on the wait list to get a call in September when school’s already started!

    Hang in there, everyone! And be thankful that you’re getting ONE letter with all your schools listed. It used to be that you got a separate letter from every school to which you applied!

    If you have twins check to make sure your wait list numbers are adjacent!! If they aren’t, call the school and get the issue resolved!

  • 110. Wondering  |  March 24, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    Waiting for AC letter. It did not come today.

  • 111. J4C  |  March 24, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    Thanks Christine. I guess we are just asking for input based on others experiences in the past. Somehow it gives us a little flicker of hope 😉

  • 112. ericwfrost  |  March 24, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    I opened the letter and instantly assumed it was SEES schools on the left as I saw Skinner, and lottery schools on the right because I saw Lasalle I and 2.

    Was curious that 1. there was only one SKINNER, not Skinner North and Skinner West, my older daughter goes to Skinner North and we have a friend’s daughter attending Skinner West. 2. There was a waitlist score for all schools. I remember two years ago when my daughter was ultimately invited to Skinner North just two mos. before school started, we had seen no wait list, just that she had “qualified”.

    It was in conversation with my wife who was coming back from a showing that she told me these are all magnet/lottery, none SEES. I guess what still confused me was seeing SKINNER on there. I guess the new Skinner West school has extra capacity and people outside the neighborhood can apply, I had no idea.

    So, still eagerly awaiting another letter. Kid was in testing for 35 minutes, is that a good sign? People say so, but I’m skeptical.


  • 113. curious  |  March 24, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    Just checked on the oae website and there are only two lotteries for the magnet cluster schools: general and sibling. The proximity lottery is only used for magnet schools (and only for entry years, usually kindergarten but earlier for the montessori schools). At least, this helps to narrow down the competition!

  • 114. school vouchers  |  March 24, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    The good news is that this year, the letter tells you which waitlist you are on (last time I asked, there were 4 wait lists, general, sibling, proximity, and socioeconomic status independent of tier). Our letters all say general — anybody else have their wait lists marked with anything else?

    We didn’t even get a wait list number at drummond for anyone, K got 53 Mayer/151 Suder, 2nd grader got 33 Mayer/5 Suder, 4th grader got 13 Mayer/48 Suder. Almost certainly not getting in to any of these, given multiple wait lists. Did not get Selective Enrollment letters yet, which might be bad sign.

  • 115. cpsobsessed  |  March 24, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    Haven’t heard of anyone getting a SEES letter today yet, so don’t read anything into that.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 116. Nina Xoomsai (@mintwaster)  |  March 24, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    PreK, Tier 1

    Suder – offered
    Mayer – general – 249
    Drummond – tier 1 – 17

  • 117. Erin H  |  March 24, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    Got our magnet/neighborhood letter. No SEES. Offered at Prescott and Agassiz

    Best wait list numbers: Franklin 10 tier 4, Coonley 18 general, Disney 26, LaSalle II 30
    Everything else is over 50

    Can anyone take an educated guess at our chances of getting a call from Franklin at #10?

  • 118. jmg  |  March 24, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    @108 Kim – My son was #11 on the proximity list at Stone 2 years ago – we never got an offer. I wondered if being on the proximity list vs tier 4 might be a disadvantage depending on the mechanics of the lottery.

  • 119. Waiting for letter  |  March 24, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    117, unfortunately, only a very very very slim chance of getting in Franklin with #10.

  • 120. cpsobsessed  |  March 24, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    I think you have a good point about the proximity list being tougher. Who’s gonna turn down a good nearby magnet?
    In the tier groups, you have people from all over the city, some of whom have no idea where stone is nor are they remotely close to it.
    I think the central app process made it easier to apply to schools you’d never actually go to.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 121. MamaK  |  March 24, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    K acceptance to Prescott
    3-waitlist Newberry Tier 1
    85-Disney Tier 1
    highest is 791 at Drummond general…ha ha!

    I have been to Prescott in an unofficial manner and know a few people with older children there as well as some Pre-K. Love that the school is small, does anyone know approx class sizes for K?
    I guess i’ll find out soon!

  • 122. Ali  |  March 24, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    We are #1 for Stone on the waiting list. The next best number is STEM #3 (Tier 3). Stone is very far from us. Is there a high chance for STEM? How is it compared to Stone?
    Comments are appreciated.

  • 123. kstaigs  |  March 24, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    As a parent who applied to a lot of schools, many of which are miles from my house (I capped my list at 9 miles away), I can assure you, I didn’t apply to any school I would “never actually go to”. Perhaps some parents did, but I researched for years before forming my list, and have weighed the benefits vs drawbacks of sending my daughter to a better school farther away. None of our wait lists are proximity, all are either general or tier 3, does anyone know why you get placed on a general vs a tiered list?

  • 124. Waiting for letter  |  March 24, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    123, schools that have general lists are not magnet.

  • 125. Lakeview Dad  |  March 24, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    Reporting in with our magnet schools letter for Kindergarten…
    Looking at long odds: wait listed at Audobon, general, #211; Hawthorne, proximity, #142; Blaine, general, #597!; and Coonley neighborhood, general, #324. Will see what the SEES letter brings, otherwise we’re with Catholic for now. Good luck all.

  • 126. cpsobsessed  |  March 24, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    Hm, mine are all magnets and they all say “general.” Oh, I guess it’s because my son is going into 4th grade and they don’t use tiers.
    Tiers are only for the entry grade.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 127. Ken Tenbroecl  |  March 24, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    I think the schools I am talking about are neighborhood schools–the terminology confuses me–but one son is wait listed at # 9 general for Sutherland. Another is wait listed at # 4 for Sutherland and # 4 for Clissold (both general). Does any know how likely or unlikely it is that my sons will be able to get a seat?

  • 128. Jen Larson  |  March 24, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    We were accepted at Von Linne. Does anybody know anything about this school? Also wait list #4 Tier 3 at LaSalle. I’m not sure if that is even high enough for that one!

  • 129. Lana  |  March 24, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    K, tier 3

    Pierce – offered
    Waters – 13
    Stone – 19
    Thorp – 27
    Disney II – 36
    Disney – 99

    Any thoughts on our chances for Waters or any of the magnets?

  • 130. Waiting patiently....again  |  March 24, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    @127 I think it depends on the grade the child is entering. We were waited listed AA
    #4 for Clissold and ineligible for Sutherland for kindergarten. I assume because it’s a neighborhood school that does not require an application-according to the letter from CPS

  • 131. kstaigs  |  March 24, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    Huh, I must have had Blaine in the wrong list, I had it in my research as magnet, but you are right, it is not. Makes sense!

  • 132. jad  |  March 24, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    Agassiz is a great school, IMO. Re:Hawthorne: last year they got at least to #26 on the wait list (proximity) because that was our number and they tried to call me the week before school started. That might mean nothing for this year, but that was last year. if you really want a school you should keep in touch with them over the summer and keep tabs on where they are in the wait list.

  • 133. Erin H  |  March 24, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    @121 MamaK Kindergarten class sizes at Prescott this year are 23 and 29, at least 2 adults in the class, and usually 3.

  • 134. lakeview mom  |  March 24, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    hi. for PK3 we were waitlisted at Suder – Tier 4 – #15. should we have any hope? i had a great feelign about Suder (our waitlist numbers for Drummond was 66 and Mayer 128).

  • 135. Gunnery Sgt Hartman  |  March 24, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    Lasalle tier 4. #368
    Hawthorne proximity #134

    Not too worried, since we are already in the Burley general attendance area, but looking forward to seeing the gifted scores.

  • 136. kiki h.  |  March 24, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    @122, I don’t know anything about Stone, but my 3rd grader has been very happy at STEM. The younger grade parents I’ve spoken to love it, as do their children. They really keep the kids engaged and excited about learning. It being a new school, the culture is fairly undeveloped, but it’s getting there.

    You probably have a pretty good chance of getting in. If you register at Stone, STEM will still call you when your number comes up, I believe.

  • 137. Terry  |  March 24, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    Does anyone know how far Murray draws down on their waitlist?

    We are 26 for a tier 2

  • 138. xine  |  March 24, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Offered at Pierce, K
    Hawthorne, tier 3 #44, I was excited, but after reading the posts, no longer think it is possible
    Stone, my only proximity, #167
    Courtenay, general, #35
    Hamilton, #61

    The other 9 have my K in the 149 to 810 spots….nice

  • 139. kiki h.  |  March 24, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    Maybe to give some idea of the possibilities, my daughter got into 4 schools on the 3rd grade waiting list last summer.

    LaSalle II 2–Got a call in early July
    Stem 7–Got in late July
    Suder 29–Got in late August
    Galileo 55–Got in 1st week of school

    Didn’t get calls from:
    Jackson 116
    LaSalle 10
    Drummond 4
    Pritzker 22
    Franklin 78

    My son was over 50 on the kindergarten wait lists for all the same schools, and we never got a single call.

  • 140. Hopeful mom  |  March 24, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    We got in to Newberry. Does anyone have any feedback ? Is this a good school? Do they have an after school program?
    Any comments appreciated!!!!

  • 141. WPM  |  March 24, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    @140 . My neighbor has wo kids there and they love it. Very science and math oriented I think.

  • 142. MamaK  |  March 24, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    @133-thanks. are you a current parent of a student? Those are pretty decent numbers on class sizes, by CPS standards, wonder if they will be higher this year?

  • 143. jaqueminot  |  March 24, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    Offered for Burr.
    Waitlist for the others. The two I’m just going to be hopeful for because really who knows are both Tier 4 – Galileo (#24) and STEM #30. STEM is the one I really, really wanted. Sure wish they would let us rank them too. That may be a level of complexity they can’t handle but sure would be nice.

  • 144. another logan mama  |  March 24, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    Anyone have any experience or insight on PK4 magnet waitlists? Am I correct in assuming that I need a 4 year-old spot, so I would need currently enrolled 3 year-olds to leave? I have twins, and our numbers are:
    Mayer – 9 and 10
    Suder – 16 and 17
    Drummond – 392 and 393

    I know there’s no chance at Drummond (last year we were 8 and 9 and never got called) but the others seem maybe promising? Any idea of how far down the PK4 wait list has gone at Mayer or Suder in the past? Thanks!

  • 145. Wrigleyville Mom  |  March 24, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    Applied for K, Tier 4:

    Accepted: Peirce and Prescott.
    Hamilton – 2
    Stone – 5
    STEM – 8
    Disney I – 45 (proximity)
    Chappell – 62
    Newberry – 83
    Hawthorne – 93 (proximity)
    Blaine – 942 (!!)

  • 146. JPmom  |  March 24, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    For 1st grade:

    Edgebrook 3

    2 questions: Given that the school is already crowded, is there a chance of getting in? And am I correct in assuming that if child1 gets in, it doesn’t help child2’s chances of getting in since Edgebrook is not a magnet? TIA for any feedback!

  • 147. JeanneToo  |  March 24, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    My daughter got into the only school we applied to – Inter-American, PK4. We are in proximity, and was told that they only get a handful of proximity kids applying each year, so they all get in.

    I’ve already registered my daughter for our neighborhood school’s tuition-based preschool (and put down a deposit). I am undecided between the two – if I say “yes” to Inter-American, are they going to know and will I lose my TBPK spot? Or, as I suspect, are they not that coordinated? I would like to have more time to decide, especially since I don’t know yet whether my daughter was accepted into the AM or PM program at Inter-American, and I don’t know whether the longer school day will translate to a slightly longer day at Inter-American (it is considered a Preschool For All program). I don’t need a full-day program, but more than 2.5 hours would help. Anyone know the answers to any of these questions? Thanks!

  • 148. Mom434  |  March 24, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    In at Hawthorne for K, proximity. We never toured it because we figured we’d never get in. Does anyone know if we’ll be able to tour before the acceptance deadline on 4/13? Also, what makes it such a great school? How do they deal with the huge classes?

  • 149. WPM  |  March 24, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    @148 We are in Hawthrne for K also. Post 76 was helpful for me. Glad to know there will be a teachers aid. Are u planning on accepting?

  • 150. WestTownMom  |  March 24, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    For Another Logan Mama – you said you were 8&9 last year at drummond and never got a call, what was your tier?

    We are number 9 tier 2, and just wondering if we have a chance.

  • 151. Mom434  |  March 24, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    Thanks 149, just saw that. By some insane stroke of luck we also got wait list 10 for Blaine. Yes, fully expecting to get hit by a bus or struck by lightning tomorrow. No idea if that wait list moves, but if it did and Blaine class sizes were smaller (anyone know?) that’d be food for thought. But yes, planning on accepting at Hawthorne.

  • 152. NAMom  |  March 24, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    K Tier 3

    Pierce: offered
    Jackson: wait list #4
    Solomon: wait list #8
    Hawthorne wait list #21

    Jackson is far from us, but partner works downtown and could easily take our daughter in the morning if she gets in. Does anyone have any feedback re: getting in at #4 (Tier 3) or feelings about the school beyond how good it looks on paper?

  • 153. R's Dad  |  March 24, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    K Tier 3. No offers. The best wait list, Hawthorne 13 & Talcott 15. The worst, Audubon 601 & Drummond 721.

    We’ll see with SEES.

  • 154. allys  |  March 24, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    @137 — Last year, my child (for K) was on the wait list in the high 40’s in the proximity lottery for Murray and got a call the week before school started. I would guess they don’t get quite that high on the list for the tier’s, but you probably have a good chance.

  • 155. RUMC Mom  |  March 24, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    Got our letter today, going to K (tier 3):

    Galileo – offered
    Agassiz – wait listed general 16
    Pritzker – wait listed general 18
    Hawthorne – wait listed tier 3: 37
    Newberry – wait listed tier 3: 47
    Sheridan – wait listed tier 3: 10
    Nettelhorst – waitlisted general 17
    Wait listed others in the low 50’s all the way to 808 for Drummond

    I remember that Galileo was a pretty good school a while ago, does anyone have children who currently attend? Is it still a good school?

  • 156. RL Julia  |  March 24, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    I know for the neighborhood schools, you might not get an offer until the beginning of the school year because the school’s don’t know how many neighborhood kids are going to show up so they don’t start calling people for the waiting lists until then. If you are open to a last minute choice and can be flexible, working the phones up through the first weeks of school you might be pleasantly surprised.

  • 157. Portage Mom  |  March 24, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    @106 Congratulations on getting into Thorp. That was my second ranked school. My daughter doesn’t attend that school but my neighbor has two kids at Thorp and love the school. There is a gifted program within Thorp and there is much to like about that school. My daughter diddn’t have a prayer getting in there with a wait list number 77.

    I also echo comments from earlier posts that each year is different regarding how far they get in the wait list for each school. My daughter was accepted off the wait list at Disney II and our number was 5, tier 4. When I called the office, they told me in previous years, there was very little movement off the wait list.

    Based on last year’s results for Disney II, I believe a parent did get a call during the summer for a spot and wait list number was 12. I also know someone who was on the proximity wait list and her number was 6 and she was offered a spot.

  • 158. Amy  |  March 24, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    We’re so new to all of this and so confused! Just found this site and I’m very excited to have someone help me navigate it all! Thanks for that! I’m wondering if you can help me know if I should be hopeful at all. I totally don’t understand the tier system! We applied for PK3 at Suder and were wait listed #10 in Tier 1. What does that mean? Any hope?

  • 159. kstaigs  |  March 24, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    @157 Thank you so much, we are thrilled to have gotten into Thorp, and it is such an affirmation to hear a positive review first hand. This site has been such a life boat to me today as I try to process this news…sharing the experience with people who understand and can offer help and advice is a HUGE deal! I now feel like I can put aside our poor wait list numbers and just rejoice in having a safe, positive environment waiting for us in the fall. Although, of course, the SEES news awaits….I toured Edison and it was like walking around in smart kid heaven.

  • 160. Terry  |  March 24, 2012 at 11:00 pm

    #154 thanks for the response……we will wait but until then we will take the acceptance from the local charter school…..and see what happens.

  • 161. Waitingmom  |  March 24, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    We are number 1 on sibling wait list for wildwood entering second grade and I am hoping that gives me a good shot. The school is great and I love the IB program. What my kids have learned in just one year there blows my mind. They were in a locally identified gifted program at a school near me and were not learning much at all.

    Anyone have an experience with a sibling wait list in second grade?

  • 162. Chicago Mama  |  March 24, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    I know people who love Thorp and people who hate it (and all are neighbors), so it likely depends on your expectations and your child. My neighbor who dislikes it has issues with the lack of recess and feels the accelerated curriculum doesn’t challenge her child’s ability.

  • 163. Future CPS Kinder Mom  |  March 24, 2012 at 11:05 pm

    Applied to 20 schools for the lottery and five SEES.

    Offers From:
    – LaSalle II (Tier 4 / Outside Proximity)
    – Agassiz
    – Peirce

    Lowest Wait List Numbers:
    – Stone / 7 (Tier 4 / Outside Proximity)
    – Hamilton / 12
    – Disney / 59 (Tier 4 / Outside Proximity)
    – Hawthorne / 60 (Tier 4 / Outside Proximity)

    Highest Wait List Number:
    – Burley / 779
    – Audubon / 510

    Now torn between LaSalle II and Agassiz!

  • 164. skinnernorthmom  |  March 24, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    You’ll probably get into LaSalle. I pulled my child out after 2 years b/c the academics was not very advance, the principal is not very responsive to parents and teachers in the upper grades are not great. I kept in touch with some parents and many kids have left since K. I have a friend who pulled her daughter out during the school year to place her daughter at Mayer b/c her younger kids had such an amazing experience at Mayer. None of the parents who pulled their kids out regretted it. The school scored well because they prep the students for the test. Take a second look at Oscar Mayer. I would suggest that you sit in on 2nd or 3 rd grade classes at the schools you are interested in to get a really good sense of what they are teaching, how good the teachers are and what the curriculum is like.

  • 165. a's momma  |  March 24, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    for K, NO OFFER!
    blaine, general, 442
    burr, general, 150
    coonley, general, 61
    thorp, tier 4, 78
    audubon, general, 319
    disney 2, proximity, 94
    murphy, general, 82
    now waiting, waiting, waiting…

  • 166. kstaigs  |  March 24, 2012 at 11:41 pm

    @162 Was the child who wasn’t being challenged in the gifted program at Thorp? That is a real fear for me, and the reason I am still holding out hope for SEES.

  • 167. waitingmom  |  March 24, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    @162 Many kids are leaving Thorp in the upper grades. The primary grade teachers in the gifted track are excellent but by 5th grade they are not being challeged. I agree with a previous poster – you will hear about people that love the school and people that have been very unhappy. There will be a new principal next year so not sure what that will bring!

  • 168. kstaigs  |  March 25, 2012 at 12:06 am

    @167 and 162 Wow. Well, I suppose the same can be said for any school, or any…anything, really. People have different opinions. I am so thankful for direct feedback, thanks. I am glad to hear a positive review of the primary gifted teachers, and yes, I knew that the principal is leaving, so who knows what the future holds?

  • 169. another logan mama  |  March 25, 2012 at 12:06 am

    @150 westtownmom – we were tier 3 last year (8 and 9 on waitlist at drummond, never got a call)

  • 170. EmilyS  |  March 25, 2012 at 12:44 am

    Anyone have any thoughts on Peirce? Got an offer but not our first choice…

  • 171. Charles  |  March 25, 2012 at 7:14 am

    So, anyone know if La Salle II @ #18 is doable?

  • 172. 8th grade mom  |  March 25, 2012 at 7:53 am

    Another Thorp family. I am generally positive about the school. My two kids have both been in the gifted program, and as someone said, the teachers up through 5th grade have been amazing. I’ve been less thrilled with the middle school years, but my 8th grader just got in to Payton from there, so they are doing something right.

    We may move the younger child out in middle school if we don’t see changes under the new principal (and maybe even if we do, because it’s not necessarily convenient for us.)

    It’s also changing a lot in the younger years, with more parental groups forming and more advocacy, so it could be a very different school by the time the incoming kindergartners reach those upper grades. If I had a kindergartner, I’d be happy starting them there, and watching what happens and keeping my options open.

  • 173. WPM  |  March 25, 2012 at 8:03 am

    @18. I would say its doable but they probably won’t let you know until late summer. This process is crazy.

  • 174. WPM  |  March 25, 2012 at 8:05 am

    Sorry… I mean @171 for my previous comment.

  • 175. Citymom  |  March 25, 2012 at 8:07 am

    @164. skinnernorthmom – I am surprised on the feedback from Lasalle. I have only heard good things about the school (except the large class sizes), so now I am really confused! I do like Oscar Mayer from what I have seen, we have toured it twice. My only concern is if my son will fit into the Montessori method, although we are leaning towards Mayer because we have had heard so many wonderful things about their program. Thanks for the feedback.

    Also, I meant to list Nettelhorst as general #2 (not proximity).

  • 176. HSObsessed  |  March 25, 2012 at 8:27 am

    Good article on CPS in Crain’s. Lots of CPSO “regulars” spotted in the article. It says that more than 12,000 applicants this year are competing for 1,200 SE elementary spots. At the high schools, Taft IB program got 2,800 applications this year, up from 1,200 last year (doesn’t specify the number of spots available). Big profile of South Loop elementary, including that the parent community is now “looking for a new neighborhood high school” from CPS? Huh. I knew they were pushing for a neighborhood set-aside after the new Jones facility opens, but I don’t think that’s gone anywhere.


  • 177. wandrerr  |  March 25, 2012 at 8:36 am

    @146 and !04 – particularly 146, I think you’ve got a shot. I know Edgebrook school is expanding and the expansion is set to open this Fall. I toured the school this year – from what I remember, there will be 2 classes per grade, but that the majority of the slots will be filled with neighborhood kids. They said they have called the low wait list numbers from out of district, but a lot of times these parents pass when they realize how far west the school is. Realize, if you do get a call, it may be very late in summer or even the first week of school.

  • 178. HS Mom  |  March 25, 2012 at 9:08 am

    @152 – If you get an offer from Jackson, grab it. Well worth the commute.

  • 179. BucktownBryan  |  March 25, 2012 at 9:09 am

    Offered at Mitchell…

    Wait list #4 Burr, #6 Burley, #7 Columbus, #66 Mayer, #67 Lasalle II… everthing else between 100-700.

    Curious as to why we were put in Drummonds general waitlist when we live less than 1.5 miles away… can you appeal a mistake like this?

    As far as waitlists, most interested in Burley, as its a great school… do they ever admit general waitlist kids??

  • 180. lt246  |  March 25, 2012 at 9:16 am

    We’re #5 on the Hawthorne waitlist, tier 3. I’m wondering if there is just one set of waitlist numbers, or if there’s a #5 for proximity, a #5 for sibling etc? Can anyone guess our chances?

  • 181. curious  |  March 25, 2012 at 9:18 am

    @179, my understanding is the proximity lottery only applies to entry level grades. I don’t know what grade you applied for but the entry level at Drummond is PreK 3.

  • 182. BucktownBryan  |  March 25, 2012 at 9:23 am

    @181, we applied to Grade K.

  • 183. Cas  |  March 25, 2012 at 9:39 am

    What’s the story about the principal at Hawthorne? Why did she leave and do they have a new one yet?

  • 184. HS Mom  |  March 25, 2012 at 9:41 am

    @176 HSO – interesting article. Surprised to see elite privates go up during a recession.

    One thing the article did not emphasize enough is that many neighborhood schools, in addition to the 3 mentioned, are viable options.

  • 185. Cas  |  March 25, 2012 at 9:43 am

    Neighborhood school is Nettelhorst. Waitlisted with high numbers at Disney, Hawthorne, LaSalle and Blaine for kindergarten. So likely going to Nettlehorst. Why do I feel like Tom Cruise in Risky Business: “looks like it’s university of Illinois.” Nettelhorst is a good school, yes?!

  • 186. CA  |  March 25, 2012 at 9:52 am

    @183 She moved up in the CPS system — became deputy chief of the O’Hare network. The LSC is in the process of finding her replacement.

    @180 If you applied to K there wouldn’t be a wait list for sibs, they would have all gotten in first, but there would be for proxs and tiers. For other grades, siblings would be first in line on one wait list.

    @151 Take the Hawthorne spot over Blaine. (Although we left Blaine before the new principal came in and I hear everyone likes him…)

  • 187. Mom  |  March 25, 2012 at 9:54 am

    The Hawthorne principal was promoted within CPS. Not all that surprising since she was fantastic. I think the same thing happened with Audubon’s principal. Hawthorne is actively searching for a replacement, but potential candidates have not been formally presented yet. The former vice principal is serving as the interim principal until a replacement is named and hopefully they can attract someone great.

  • 188. SW Side Momma  |  March 25, 2012 at 9:59 am

    2 offers, one for Ward and one for Pritzker (sibling is in RGC ) waitlisted high numbers everywhere else. We’ll have to see what SEES letter says, we were pulling for RGC at Pritzker, as we are really happy there, but if testing sends him to Skinner West, we will have a decision to make. I would be fine if he is in the Fine Arts program at Pritzker too.

  • 189. Bookworm  |  March 25, 2012 at 10:28 am

    Danger far more gossipy then my usual comments…Long term school families we know at Gallileo have loved it less since the very long term principal passed away a few years ago. Internal tensions over raising the bar have not been comfortable for our Galileo friends with graduate kids at Se high schools and sibs still there. Most are trying like mad to get their kids into an ac early and not stay the whole way to 7th or 8th if they can help it where as before they were ok with the older sibs staying the whole time. Some internal tensions between parent factions. Fundraising is a little in the dark ages for a sought after magnet. They could use some great creative thinking parents to help ease the factions and take the school to the next level I think. Especially in terms of fund raising considering Jackson is a short walk down the street and in another world fund wise. Could be great for a positive builder type parent but ask question to find if it is the one for you if you have other juicy choices.

  • 190. Bookworm  |  March 25, 2012 at 10:29 am

    oops- that was@ the mom asking specifically about Gallileo

  • 191. BuenaParkMom  |  March 25, 2012 at 10:37 am

    Interesting to see that Disney now has a proximity wait list with fairly high numbers. In previous years, pretty much everyone in the proximity was getting in. I wonder if they’ll move through that waitlist this year or not.

  • 192. Public or Private  |  March 25, 2012 at 10:50 am

    @#38/39, someone on NPN posted that their kid got into Hawthorne last year with a #26 on the proximity wait list.

    Our results:
    In at Disney (proximity), though we’ll probably be turning down the spot

    #1 on Hawthorne proximity list

    #493 on Alcott wait list

  • 193. Portage Mom  |  March 25, 2012 at 10:52 am

    @179 I don’t have personal experience but from comments posted here from past lotteries, I seem to remember that Drummond is one of the few schools where the entry level grade is not Kindergarten but Pre-K. I believe that may be the reason why you’re in the general lottery vs proximity. Can anyone confirm this?

  • 194. beth  |  March 25, 2012 at 11:00 am

    In at Disney I.
    #15 at hawthorne
    #3 at Lasalle
    #14 at ravenswood
    #10 at Bateman

    Everything else well over 100. Rented in Bell’s nieghborhood as a back-up, but will have a hard time buying in the nieghborhood. Have a 8 month old as well, so I’m not sure what I should do… How is Disney I?

  • 195. Albany Park Parent  |  March 25, 2012 at 11:05 am

    re: 179’s comment about proximity distance

    I’m also wondering whether anyone has appealed the general vs. proximity queue. Even measuring “taxicab distance” instead of “as the crow flies,” we’re 1.4 mi from Waters, but were put in the general queue. We should be in the proximity queue, right?

    At the same time, we’re #10 in the general queue. I’m not sure if getting involved here would make any difference, or possibly even make things worse.

  • 196. KS  |  March 25, 2012 at 11:12 am

    195- Waters is a neighborhood school, not a magnet school, so they do not have a proximity lottery. Only true magnets (like the LaSalles or the Disneys) with 100% lottery admission have proximity lotteries.

  • 197. RGCFAN  |  March 25, 2012 at 11:19 am


    I got straight A’s, 92 and 98, and i finished the test and checked it over. However I’m in tier 4. (may possibly be tier 3 but highly unlikely).
    What are my chances of getting in to the WYAC?

  • 198. RGCFAN  |  March 25, 2012 at 11:21 am

    One more question. Are the ACs going to do waiting lists this year?

  • 199. Albany Park Parent  |  March 25, 2012 at 11:36 am

    @196 – Thanks for clarifying, KS. My mistake.

  • 200. Rahm's plea to middle class parents  |  March 25, 2012 at 11:38 am


  • 201. diane  |  March 25, 2012 at 11:43 am

    Offered a spot at STEM for 2nd Grade, sibling list! Have a 3rd Grader there now and it’s a great program.

  • 202. ProudPapa  |  March 25, 2012 at 11:49 am

    Anyone able to comment on Bateman? My son will be starting kindergarten in the fall and it’s our neighborhood school. Good? Bad? We’re wait listed everywhere we would have preferred with no #’s higher than #14 at Agassiz. If it came down to the choice between Agassiz and Bateman which would you choose? Agassiz has higher scores in 3 of 5 categories but that means Bateman in higher in the other 2.

  • 203. Principal mass exodus?  |  March 25, 2012 at 11:49 am

    Is there a larger than usual exodus of principals?

    Alcott (maybe because Lincoln will be taking Alcott over?)

  • 204. One thing parents should remember  |  March 25, 2012 at 11:50 am

    There’s a post above where a parent has a RGC at Pritzker child and sib was accepted to neighborhood part. Remember parents with kids in two different schools that schools will have the same start time 8am (or nearly the same start time) and the logistics of getting two kids to two different schools is going to be difficult. I would imagine that traffic will be a little worse as well. So parent above if sib doesn’t get into RGC and gets in Skinner West, I hope you can be two places at once.

  • 205. KCK  |  March 25, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    Kids attend RGC are qualified for busing no matter where they live in the city while Classical schools have boundaries for busing. If one kid attends RGC and the other in a Classical school/magent/neighborhood, I don’t really see it’s a big problem. The other thing I would concern is report card pick-up, LSC meetings, field trips and so. HTH.

  • 206. Cpskool  |  March 25, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    @203 add Thorp Scholastic Academy. The pricipal there is leaving to!

  • 207. Cpskool  |  March 25, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    And Taft hs. He is leaving too… I think they are all fed up with cps.

  • 208. 8th grade mom  |  March 25, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    @203 – Thorp principal is leaving too.

  • 209. jmg  |  March 25, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    @203 +Edison. Maybe there are changes coming for principals that make retiring now attractive?

  • 210. CPS Mom  |  March 25, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    I understand CPS is implementing some changes to benefits policies for non-union employees (which includes principals) effective July 1. That and “full school day” changes may be quite an incentive to get while the gettin’ is good.

  • 211. anonymouseteacher  |  March 25, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    CPS is expected to have to replace up to 150 principals this fall and up to 20% or more of teachers. There are incentives to retire. CPS wants to unload its top earners and staff either are retiring or leaving for better systems.

  • 212. Retiring Principals  |  March 25, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    Thanks, everyone! I heard a rumor about the principal of my child’s school pssoibly retiring & now you guys have just let me know the reason. I still hope it is just a rumor…

  • 213. Very concerned dad  |  March 25, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    Received letter yesterday. My daughter was accepted into STEM, Hamilton, Columbus, LaSalle and Chappell. Will not take any of the seats since we moved and are in a great neighborhood school.

  • 214. PortageParent  |  March 25, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    I think a lot of the retiring has to do with the possibility that sick days may no longer be cashed out at retirement in the future. That’s just what I have heard from staff at my kids school, I don’t have the hard facts.

    The problem with so many principals retiring at once is that there seems to be more retiring than there are available in the principal pool that LSCs have access to.

  • 215. RL Julia  |  March 25, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    Didn’t Audubon’s principal get a central office job earlier this year? I think a lot of principals are of retirement age and why not go – the past few years have been really difficult – and principals by definition are caught squarely in the middle of the chaos. For the past few years schools have consistently been told to much more with much less, this school year, in my opinion has brought in a new low in terms of the type and disrespectful feel of the communication between the teachers /principals and the central office. Why stay starts being a better question?

  • 216. WPM  |  March 25, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    I know for a fact that principals are leaving because they are taking away their sick day money. Some would loose thousands if they don’t retire.

  • 217. Nakia Morgan  |  March 25, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    For K,

    Murray- 58
    Disney- 192
    A. Jackson-44
    Ray- #2 (sibling list)

    The most dissapointing news is that I was waitlisted in the sibling category for RAY! I can’t believe it, this is the first year that this has happened since I’ve been a parent there.

    What are my chances of getting in at #2 on the sibling tier? Other parents/teachers at the school have told me that I should be fine but I’m really nervous, I have no other options and the neighborhood school is OUT!

  • 218. @#217  |  March 25, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    Last year my son was #2 on the sibling list for a different magnet and we got a call in mid August that he could be with his brother. I wouldn’t sweat it! People leave for all sorts of reasons. It just may take a while for you to get the call. I stopped calling the school in July & gave up hope AND then lo and behold! I got the call 😉

  • 219. Just Curious  |  March 25, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    does anyone know how they calculate the available seats for magnet clusters? How do they know how many seats to fill if all neighborhood kids don’t register before the lottery begins? Or do they just hold a certain percentage?

  • 220. Liz  |  March 25, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    Very concerned dad– are you serious? That’s amazing!

  • 221. Cas  |  March 25, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    How many kindergarten classrooms are at Disney I??

  • 222. jmg  |  March 25, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    @221 Seven or so – it is a large school.
    they have a comprehensive gifted program that is probably the best deal in the city. daily mandarin classes with a awesome native speaker, great facilities, no fundraising pressure.

  • 223. wandrerr  |  March 25, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    @221 – I forgot, but it was significant – something like 6 or 7?

  • 224. Magnet mom  |  March 25, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    CPS obsessed can clarify I think, but I believe that cps extended the retirement bonus for early retirement of principals to this year also and then will not offer it up again and that is why many admins are choosing to bail.

    At Franklin, there is only one K class this year and I know of at least 6 siblings taking up almost a 3rd of that class.

  • 225. cfg  |  March 25, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    @221 – 7 classes (1 gifted, 1 ELL, 5 regular classes)

    @194 or anyone looking at Disney – Great school. Large, yes, and your child will have friends from all over the city. The pod classroom may seem overwhelming to a new parent but the kids adjust. The teachers in a pod will work together. For instance, if a teacher has success in a particular subject matter, that teacher helps the other teachers. The success of the pod rides depends on all the teachers in that pod. They use MAPS testing at least 3 times a year (I think) to evaluate the students throughout the year. They have a great library, music,and art. I was hesitant with Disney but my kid loves it. I’m particular impressed with Disney’s academic success paired with it’s 60% low income population. The principal is strict but I guess with a student population of 1,600, she maintains order. The principal is very knowledgeable about getting resources for the school. Go to Disney’s website for tour information for prospective parents. Downside is if you are looking to have a close parental community, it’s more difficult here given the size and lack of school boundaries. I personally have found a great group of determined parents at the place.

  • 226. efrainmartinez  |  March 25, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    We applied to 20 kindergarten schools and got offeres from Peirce and Thorp and waitlisted # 2 on Burr; the rest were like #34 on LaSalle and #732 on Drummond.

    We are very excited about Peirce and Thorp; we know Thorp has higher scores but Peirce seems like a friendlier place.

    We would love some inside info about any of these schools! Thank you!

  • 227. wandrerr  |  March 25, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    @226 – where do you live and would it be reallistic to get your child to either or both schools every day? Thorp is really far west, while Peirce is East. Peirce does not have busing. Peirce does have before/after care though. Thorp has a gifted program if your child meets the criteria. I don’t know if any of that helps, but it’s stuff to consider.

  • 228. efrainmartinez  |  March 25, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    Very useful indeed @227. We live 5 minutes away from Peirce and about 26 minutes away from Thorp. I mean, we can always move but we like Edgewater. We just want to make sure Peirce is the right one for us! Does anyone has specific details about Peirce? Why their scores went down last year? Why IB is only for the middle grades and not the entire school? Are there plenty of assemblies?

    Thanks again!

  • 229. Todd Pytel  |  March 25, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    @228 – The IB is only for grades 6-8 because Peirce offers IB’s Middle Years Program (MYP), which is for grades 6-10. Peirce’s MYP is partnered with Senn High School’s MYP for the 9-10 component as well as the 11th-12th grade Diploma Program. The IB’s program for younger grades is the Primary Years Program (PYP). There are only a handful of PYP programs in the city at the moment. I would guess that the district would like to expand those at some point in the future, but I don’t know of any specific plans at this time.

  • 230. Emmie  |  March 25, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    Edison RGC – Principal is retiring – over due she disconnected years ago.
    Beaubien – Principal is retiring
    Oriole Park – Principal is applying elsewhere rumored to be Beaubian
    Oriole Park Asst Princ. is going to Audubon
    Portage Park Elem – Principal is retiring
    Hawthorne – Principal left promoted
    Thorp – Principal is retiring
    Taft – Principal is retiring, hired a female, her name escapes me

    Anyone know of any more?

  • 231. Lasalle II parent  |  March 25, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    To City Mom,

    I am a 3rd grade parent at Lasalle II . My daughter loves LL2.
    Trust me there is NO exodus of families leaving the school.
    The school has a rigorous curriculum, the administration is already ahead of the game in implementing CORE STANDARDS. We have leveled reading and writing programs for more advanced kids and many other great programs. In someways the school has a feel of an IB curriculum because of the language program and all that comes with it such as learning about other cultures, etc.
    The parents are very active on the LSC and PTO. We have a solid afterschool program with JCC that is very popular, seasonally new offerings too!
    Wellness and education is big at the school. Parents and staff open to ways of getting the kids outside recess is never an issue at this school, it is a given!
    Lasalle II is connected to the Wicker Park – Bucktown- West town community. The school gets tons of support from businesses and Alderman. People who do not have kids support the school because they believe in it.
    Class sizes at the school are at the minimum for Magnet schools. 28 per classroom for lower grades and 30 for upper grades. This is what all Magnets are required to have unless they are a Neighborhood school with a magnet cluster.
    The only down side and I do mean ONLY is that CPS changed the game on Lasalle II by adding upper grades to fast to the school. Lasalle was forced to take the upper grades of Anderson school that was fazed out. In doing so some knuckle head kids filled the 7 and 8th grade classrooms. Hopefully by the end of 2013 these kids will have graduated and Lasalle II wont have to deal with these kids anymore.
    As I said earlier, we love Lasalle II . My daughter will be wearing Purple and Blue at her graduation!

  • 232. No letters yet  |  March 25, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    I have not received any letters yet. I feel like CPS is quietly punishing me for applying elsewhere.j/k. I have a child at Decatur and we are ready to leave… but where do you go to from there. I applied to most gift and classical for 5th grade and all the top lottery schools. We are also tier 4. I really want to get my child into a school for 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th. But not sure where my child would receive a comparable education. We do not want to go to Edison GRC so that is not an option. I do not like the neighborhood. Where would you go from Decatur if given a choice and why?

  • 233. wandrerr  |  March 25, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    @226 – The principal at Peirce wants to bring in the IB PYP program and is working towards it. I’m not sure how long this process will take and/or if it will be approved.

  • 234. Monkey man  |  March 25, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    @232. What neighborhood is Edison in?

  • 235. JPmom  |  March 25, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    @177, thanks for the response. I’ll be curious as to where on the waitlist kid#2 lands (for K). We’re happy with our neighborhood school, but Edgebrook isn’t that far from us and we have friends there so I thought I’d try applying.
    @234, Edison RGC is in Albany Park.
    GL everyone!

  • 236. Ivana  |  March 25, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    So, dose anyone know if La Salle #4 on waiting list tier 4 is doable ? Thank you 😀

  • 237. LS lady  |  March 25, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    @230 – The principal at Mitchell just left on Wednesday too.

  • 238. CuriousGirl  |  March 25, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    For those interested in Edgebrook, it is not what it used to be. Not that long ago, the students worked at least one year ahead. Now the kids work at grade level, or below. Most classes are very overcrowded, and many students leave for Taft AC in 7th grade. I don’t think new bricks and mortar will change the level of rigor there as the principal lacks vision. With all this said, Edgebrook families and children are amazing. It is truly a tight-knit community. The annual fundraiser last night raised tens of thousands and several hundred parents attended.

  • 239. anonyy  |  March 25, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    @232 – Why aren’t you interested in Edison RG? What are the pros and cons of Decatur v. Edison RG? Thank you.

  • 240. Working mom  |  March 25, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    @237 – “The principal at Mitchell just left Wednesday”

    Well that is sad news! Any idea why? He was so invested in Mitchell and worked tirelessly for that school community. He’s too young to retire…well, at least he looks too young. What a loss…

    I heard a “rumor” that the principal at McDade Classical on the south side is leaving too.

  • 241. CurryMom  |  March 25, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    Offered at LaSalle.
    Proximity #38 at Jackson.
    Any comments on LaSalle? I’ve heard it is great but has very big classes. Are there aids?

  • 242. PortageParent  |  March 25, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    232- why in the world would you not consider Edison RGC just because it is in Albany Park?

    There are quite a few parents who moved their kids to ERGC from Deccatur, when their younger kids got into ERGC for K. Notably, I dont know anyone who would move from ERGC to Decatur (regardless of the top out at 6th grade).

  • 243. No letters yet  |  March 25, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    I already had a child at Edison RG and I was not happy with the curriculum, it was not challenging enough. I do not like the neighborhood – to much gun fire happening and there is a man who stands on the street corner trying to recruit the kids from APMA into gangs. APMA shares the building with Edison RG. I also do not like having to explain to my child why an 8th grader at school (APMA) is having a baby. Edison and APMA share the same hallways so the children do see each other at times. Though there is a dual bell system so they do change classes at different times.

    Decatur only goes to 6th grade the is the negative. We do not have a gym or a lunch room. It is a very small school and a very tight community. There is a lot of parent involvement. The same goes for Edison. Very involved parents, but a real lack of leadership there by the Principal. Which is why her leaving is a good thing.

    At Decatur your child must find a spot at another school after 6th grade. So there are 30 Decatur kids looks for spots for 7th grade competing with all the other children for Whitney, Lane IB, Taft IB etc. My child is in a double class so there will be 60 children graduating looking for a spot after 6th grade the competition is going to be tough that year with 60 Decatur kids looking for a spot. My older child did not get into the schools we had hoped so he is attending a suburban school now and we commute. If my younger child does not either we may just move to the suburbs.

    Also, Edison’s K – teacher Mrs. Wienstein is retiring this year. That is a great loss for the school.

  • 244. CurryMom  |  March 25, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    Also – anyone bus to LaSalle or another magnet? The website says it offers the bus for kids over 1.5 miles away, which is a great perk if the timing works out.

  • 245. Monkey man  |  March 25, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    Does anyone know if Hawthorne provides bussing?

  • 246. PortageParent  |  March 25, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    232 – Forgot to answer your question about where to go after Decatur…first, why not just stay till 6th and apply for academic centers for 7/8th? I’m just curious.

    But, to answer your question, I would say that Edison and Beaubien are the most logical choices. Edison, because the upper grade curriculum and teachers are amazing (in particular the science & social studies guys) and Beauben because they have a stellar math teacher and teach Latin like Decatur. However, the Latin teacher is literally a menace to children. Just recently she literally threw a chair at a student. She is insane and the current admin covers up her nonsense for indeterminate reasons. Hopefully, a new principal will fire her swiftly.

  • 247. Very concerned dad  |  March 25, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    Liz, I can’t believe that we got that many offers. Well at least it’s five seats that will go to other children.

  • 248. Portage Mom  |  March 25, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    The reason as to why so many principals are retiring at the end of this year has to do with benefit changes, specifically the pension formula. The revised formula for the pension is not as generous so a lot of the principals are retiring after this year . Another poster mentioned there will be a limit to the number of sick days that can be carried over. All these changes have many principals leaving.

  • 249. PortageParent  |  March 25, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    No Letters Yet – I have 2 children at Edison and have never seen anything like what you described above. Never. No pregnant girls, no gun shots. There is no man on the corner recruiting for gangs. It’s like you’re talking about a different school.

    I also find it hard to believe that the curriculum at Decatur is more challenging than ERGC. Especially in the upper grades. My 5th grader is dissecting a frog this year, which is something most kids won’t do till 7/8th grade. The lower grades have real differentiation, compared to other schools. Not simply the whole class working one or two grades ahead. The kids go to different teachers for reading and math. In 1st grade, kids go to the K, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade rooms for reading. Same for math.

    Anyway, I hope you find the right fit for your children somewhere. School decisions are always tough.

  • 250. FUNKID  |  March 25, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    Has anyone received SEES letter? Offer from gifted or classical schools?

  • 251. Alb Parker  |  March 25, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    @249 – I agree re:Edison. I don’t have a child there, but I can see the building from my front porch and have lived there for close to 10 years now. There are numerous parents (whether from APMA, ERGC, or Hibbard across the street I don’t know) all along Sawyer and Ainslie at 7am every morning. The kids (from all 3 schools) are as orderly and well-behaved as I could expect typical kids to be.

    The neighborhood isn’t as gentrified as the ones you apparently prefer, but I don’t see any of the disorder you describe.

  • 252. 1901nlpw  |  March 25, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    Here’s a little info on CPS bussing.
    (My daughter rides the bus to Pritzker RGC, and we’ve dealt with just about every bus issue imaginable. )

    CPS picks up and drops off only at CPS schools & a handful of other locations.

    If you accept a spot at a school where you will need bussing, make sure you go to the school before the beginning of June to register and request bussing. You will not automatically be given bus service because of the distance to the school.

    You also will not automatically be assigned to the school closest to your home. In some cases, the folks at the school office will only be able to assign you to your neighborhood school. Get the gray stop change request form while you’re at the office in case you’re assigned an inconvenient school need to change your stop.

    That said, I believe you are entitled to have your stop be the school closest to your home. The folks at CPS Transportation were very helpful when we were assigned to a school over a half mile away when we’re two blocks from a magnet school that was already a bus stop for our school.

    I would expect bussing to be a bit of a nightmare next year. Most busses do two routes, one with an early start school and one with a late start school. With all the schools starting at the same time, I don’t know what they’re going to do.

  • 253. jmg  |  March 25, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    @232 NLY – You might consider the International Gifted program at Lincoln Elementary. It only runs 6-8 but it would get you out of Decatur before 6 and hedge your bets in case your kid doesn’t get a AC spot.

    cons – I hear it can be difficult socially for OoN kids, also there are wild animals in that neighborhood : P

  • 254. AW  |  March 25, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    @232 Bell RGC? My son is in the 4th grade RGC class right now, and one student left mid-year so I imagine there is one spot to fill??

  • 255. jef park  |  March 25, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    Tier 4 entering kindergarten:

    North River

    Magnet schools:
    Stone: 15
    Disney: 53
    Thorp: 108 (prox)
    Disney II: 414
    Hawthorne: 384

    Murphy: 24
    Jahn: 75
    Coonley: 126
    everything else is well over 100

    I am hoping we get a call for Stone and I wish Thorp will call, but I know they won’t. I rather be less than a mile away from the school vs. 7 miles…

    And to chime in about Disney:
    I went there for grammar school. Granted, I graduated in 1994 – many years ago but I can speak to the pod system. It works for some kids and it doesn’t for others. There are a lot of kids and adults in one space. If your child has a hard time focusing, it will be a hard set up for them. If not, it is actually a great set up. Tons of friends, lots of preforming arts options… In my case I did very well at Disney as a child and my sister did not. The pods distracted her too much. Also, she kind of got lost in the system. She struggled more in school than I did and it was easy for her to get lost with that many kids. So, my mom pulled her out when she was in 6th grad and she went to the neighborhood school instead. I can’t speak for the current structure in regards to a child that is struggling – but I would imagine the Pod system would be the same.

  • 256. PortageParent  |  March 25, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    No Letter Yet – Sorry, I just can’t let this go. Yes, Mrs. Weinstein is retiring, but that is a reflection on CPS policy (or just because she is has been teaching forever and is ready to go enjoy her life), not Edison.

  • 257. david  |  March 25, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    i applied at ogden, but it was not on listed. Did anyone apply there? is it maybe on the selective enrollment paper?

  • 258. FUNKID  |  March 25, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    Does anyone know if there is a spot in 4th grade at Edison or Lenart?

  • 259. kikiandkyle  |  March 25, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    I’m wondering if No Letter Yet has their older child in one of the private suburban schools, otherwise I’m not sure how they could be attending a suburban school if they live in the city.

    If the RGCs aren’t challenging enough you’ll have to go private. There aren’t any public surburban schools that can provide what a gifted child needs.

  • 260. FUNKID  |  March 25, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    I wonder what’s the homework load, teacher, curriculum and after school activities at Skinner Classical like…

  • 261. P Van Duesen  |  March 25, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    Anyone know the school of Marvin Camras? My son has been offered a seat at this school but it is so new that I can not find much information online, anyone know about their programs and/or faculty?

  • 262. Jenny  |  March 25, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    For Kindergarten

    Suder wait list #1 Sibling
    Stone wait list #11 tier 4
    All the others well over 100

    We were wait listed at #8 tier 4 for PK3 at Suder last year and got the call two weeks after school started that we were in. Now his older sibling is the one wait listed for K this year. So far we are extremely happy at Suder. I just wanted to try for a few options maybe closer to our home (it’s a haul!) but ultimately I am not sure we would go somewhere else.

  • 263. M.S.  |  March 25, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    Applied for all three kids for the first time this year- entering pK3 to 2nd grade. The oldest is @ Disney, so the K student was accepted on the sibling list. If no SEES offers come our way, that’s where we’ll stay- tier 2 waitlist numbers are all over the board. Best shot for entering K student otherwise is #16 @ A Jackson. Disney has been great so far- turned down a spot @ STEM to get there. Lots of testing, though.

    PreK 3 is #68 at Suder, #11 @ Drummond for Tier 2. General waitlist @ Mayer, #41. Really hoping that my pre-K tuition days are over.

    We got in #52 @ Disney in May last year.

    K- #

  • 264. Burr mom  |  March 25, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    To 226, my children have gone to Burr for the past 3 years. We love it! The new principal is fantastic, as are the teachers and the new assistant principal. The school has a very advanced curriculum that challenges all of the kids – in a good way. K and up students take Japanese 4 times a week, and have drama, art, computers, and music once a week. There are tons of after school activities – garden club, art club, fit club, band etc., and competitive sports for the older kids. Many of the parents are also very involved and have the opportunity to attend monthly “coffees” with the principal to discuss what is happening at school and ways to improve this already solid school.

  • 265. No letters either!  |  March 25, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    @249 (Portage Park mom) – My child is also at Decatur and I left Edison RG to go to Decatur. I also live in PP. There was a pregnant girl there when your child would of been in 2nd grade, mine in 1st. I am not sure about now. Were you there for 2nd?

    Also, on everyblock there was a discussion about some man trying to recruit, they are trying to catch him via video tape now. This was a recent post on EB so I am sure you can find it. If you search gangs everyblock albany park Edison it came up for me.

    I would not send my child back to ERG. I don’t think the teachers are all that great in the earlier grades. My child was not challenged and they were frustrated because they did not know what to do with my child academically. It is not until the upper grades that they get better. Even so my child has allergies and had a bad reaction that was ignored back then. Even though my child’s face was like a balloon and eyes were swollen shut. Ignorance, once is enough for me. I also think it is just to congested with Hibbard, APMA and EGRC, then add the college traffic. I also do not care for the neighborhood search that on everyblock too. I do enjoy the great food on Kedzie though. No place is safe anymore though. A 7th grader at PP Elementary threatened to kill the whole school recently and has been expelled. Then the gun shots fired by the school. You have to be careful everywhere!

    I applied to Beaubien, Bell RG, Skinner, Hawthorne, Blaine, Edgebrook, Disney II, Nettelherst and just about every other top magnet school. But I really want to get away from Latin so Beaubien would not be my first choice. My child wants to learn a conversational language. We are fine to stay at Decatur until 6th but there will be 60 children exiting at the same time rather than 30 (there are 3 double classes at Decatur) so competition will be tough.Classes graduating in 2013 and 2014 are both double classes.

    @232 did you apply to Bell? Our children must be in the same grade. We really are hoping for Bell.

  • 266. No letters either!  |  March 25, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    Also, Parent involvement at both schools is high – which is great for both schools. Also, I really never understood the Decatur VS Edison competition. Edison parents are always so bent out of shape when compared to Decatur. But Decatur parents are happy to support Edison and many do send their children there for 7th and 8th grade. Perhaps that is why Edison scores better on the ISATs for those years. I am not sure statistically how many Decatur kids go there for the upper grades. Both are really good schools and I know many of our families have a child at both schools so really they would be the best people to ask when making a comparison. It is a matter of preference.

  • 267. Amy  |  March 25, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    @262, Jenny… please help me understand. We’re so new to all of this and trying to understand the whole tier system. I’ve been looking everywhere to try to find an answer to my question and haven’t been able to yet. We got a wait list number of 10 in tier 1 for Suder PK3. Do you think we should be hopeful about that? And is there a greater likelihood of getting in based on tiers? I just don’t understand what they mean.

  • 268. No letters either!  |  March 25, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    @256 Mrs. Weinstein should of retired when my child was in K. While I liked her as a person, I did not care for her teaching style either. I recall a boy from my child’s class who could not sit still in their chair so Mrs. W took the chair away and made them stand all day!

    @259 I just figured out who that parent is, I missed them saying a suburban school; Divorced parents. I am considering that for HS too. My child’s father has residence in the Adli Stevenson school district. Which is a great school! But not sure I would want my child driving to school every day at 16, or that I would want to drive them and pick them up every day for 2 years either. Easier to just move!

  • 269. M.S.  |  March 25, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    Looks like I was wrong. If K does not join her sib @ Disney, her best shot is #4 @ Franklin, Tier 2. #16 @ A. Jackson is second-best shot.

    Still stalking the letter carrier for SEES results tomorrow.

    (posted as M.S. above)

  • 270. Les  |  March 25, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    So disappointed. Applied to 8 magnet schools for kindergarten for my twins and didn’t get accepted anywhere. We’re >20 on the waitlist for Coonley and Disney, but it looks grim. May need to relocate after 20 years in Chitown 😦

  • 271. lakeview mom  |  March 25, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    This is for K, tier 4:

    Disney – offered

    Hawthorne – 183, proximity

    Audubon – 75, general
    Hamilton – 134, general
    Burley – 527, general
    Blaine – 550, general

    Lincoln – ineligible – what does that mean??? Lincoln is a neighborhood school but anyone can apply – just like the other schools listed above.

  • 272. kfb  |  March 25, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    Got waitlist spot #3 for 3rd grade at Hawthorne. Have toured a few years ago but not recently. Seems to be a great school. Really wondering what our chances are. Would take the spot if it was offered, even so younger sibling got a waitlist spot >100. 2 different schools would be a pain, but #3 is probably still a long shot anyway….

    Is bussing automatically offered and approved for new students living within the boundaries? Thanks.

  • 273. Angie  |  March 25, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    @271. lakeview mom: Lincoln is overcrowded, so it probably means that they are not accepting students living out of boundaries.

  • 274. Jenny  |  March 25, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    At Amy, 267, yes I definitely think you have a shot!!! That is if you are prepared to take it after the school year starts. My understanding is that they take from the sibling pool first, then move on to alternating between proximaty, tier 1, tier 2, tier 3, and tier 4. Does that make sense? Anyone else have anything to add or argue to that?

    I really think you have a good shot, they were still adding new kids even after us last year. You can always call the office periodically and check in (and make sure they know you really want a spot!). Good luck!

  • 275. lakeview mom  |  March 25, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    @ 273 – Interesting, thanks for the info. I didn’t realize a school could tell CPS to remove them from the lottery system. I wonder what the qualifications are for that.

  • 276. Sayonara CPS  |  March 25, 2012 at 10:59 pm


    Accepted at Peirce.

    Best wait list # is LaSalle at 25/tier 3, followed by Newberry at 28/tier 3, Disney at 40/proximity, and Blaine at 50/general. Not looking great for any of these.

    Everything else is above 50: Stone/81/tier 3; Franklin/96/tier 3; Ravenswood/126/general; Waters/150/general; Nettelhorst/224.general; Hawthorne/323/tier 3; Coonley/485/general; Audobon/528/general; Burley/663/general

    Fortunately, we got in to our first choice private, and plan to go even if we get a good SEES result (not that I’m holding my breath).

  • 277. PortageParent  |  March 25, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    265 – No Letters either – I can’t find it on everyblock. If you have minute could you give a link, please? Thanks!

  • 278. Future CPS Kinder Mom  |  March 25, 2012 at 11:56 pm

    276 – You might actually have a good shot at Disney. The school is so large that they make a lot of wait list calls and a wait list number of 40 within proximity at that school does not sound like such a long shot to me. I believe that for at least the past year or two they were able to make an offer to everyone who applied from within proximity, including the entire proximity wait list. If I am wrong I am sure someone will correct me. 🙂 If you really like Disney and would consider passing on the private to have your child attend there you might want to call the school and ask what they think your chances are.

  • 279. Brent  |  March 26, 2012 at 12:00 am

    Offered K at Disney, but moving to Audubon district this summer. Have heard great things about both schools — leaning toward sticking with neighborhood option in Audubon. Am I nuts to pass up Disney?

  • 280. Chicago Mama  |  March 26, 2012 at 12:18 am

    @166 – yes, neighbors child in gifted track at Thorp.

  • 281. WRP Mom  |  March 26, 2012 at 6:37 am

    @265 No Letters Either-I agree with jmg.If you can stick it out 1 more year, I would seriously look into the International Gifted programs at Lincoln and Ogden which are for grades 6-8 (and at Ogden you are automatically accepted in their high school). Food for thought.

  • 282. abc123  |  March 26, 2012 at 8:26 am

    @279 Brent
    No. You are not nuts to pass up Disney. If Audubon will be your neighborhood school you are wise to stay with that, and lucky to have a nice option for your child.

  • 283. Rogers Park mom  |  March 26, 2012 at 8:40 am

    Hi – #29 general at Courtenay. While it doesn’t seem to be too bad of a spot for a general waitlist, I know Courtenay is extremely small, so the wait list might not move much. Is anyone familiar with the Courtenay waitlists from previous years?

  • 284. Rogers Park mom  |  March 26, 2012 at 8:40 am

    Sorry, forgot to add that I am Tier 3, but I don’t think that matters for the general waitlist!

  • 285. klm  |  March 26, 2012 at 8:50 am

    @279 Brent

    No, you may not be nuts, but are you 100% certain that you’ll be living at the same place for 9 years? Are there younger siblings currently or in the works? If so, you’ll have to stay even longer. With Disney, you can live/move anywhere in Chicago (there’s something to be said about just having this knowledge/freedom in terms of not feeling ‘stuck’) and have the continuity of the same school for your child –that’s the biggest advantage of magnets.

    The fact is, if you ended up not liking Disney, you can just leave at any time and enroll at Audubon whenever you want, per CPS rules.

    However, if you pass up on Disney, you’ll almost certainly never have that option again.

    Obviously, you know all this, but sometimes it helps when other people reiterate the facts.

    Your kid luckily has 2 great options, either way, so s/he’ll be fine. Best of luck!

  • 286. Another Buena Park Mom  |  March 26, 2012 at 8:57 am

    Tier 3, for Kindergarten:

    Offers at: Disney, Pierce & Prescott

    Waitlist under 30:
    Jahn 5
    McPherson 13
    Courtenay 16
    Greeley 21
    Ravenswood 29

    5 schools in 40s (including Stone 43, Franklin 43, LaSalle 49)

    5 schools over 100 (including Newberry 178)

    Highest is Burley at 516

    We will most likely take the Disney spot.

  • 287. cpsobsessed  |  March 26, 2012 at 9:01 am

    Regarding removing from the lottery, I think if a school expects to fill all slots within neoghborhood they are exempt. Such as Bell.
    But some schools (such as coonley) have lots of space in the upper grades but none in lower so I think they remain in the lottery.
    Actually, I’m surprised edgebrook was on the list. Didn’t someone mention getting on the list there?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 288. Right Said Fred  |  March 26, 2012 at 9:29 am

    Man, did anyone get a Burley waitlist number under #200?

  • 289. Monkey man  |  March 26, 2012 at 9:37 am

    @288. We are wait listed #62

  • 290. Salena  |  March 26, 2012 at 9:43 am

    Well it finally came.

    We are in a tier 3. Wait listed at all the magnets we liked.
    Only ones that seem even kind of possible are:
    Lasalle II # 5
    Jahn # 2

    Any feedback on these 2 schools is greatly appreciated. 5 and 2 seem like good numbers. I guess.

  • 291. Rogers Park mom  |  March 26, 2012 at 9:55 am

    #290 – You will get into Jahn at #2. I recommend visiting them. The principal is very nice and the assistant principal is a whirlwind. He is unbelievable. He was specifically hired by the principal to help her turn Jahn into a top school. He is setting up associations with various organizations all over the city and he has been extremely successful. The tour I went to was extremely positive and there were neighborhood families visiting and being very forthwright with their questions. Some even admitted that two years ago they wouldn’t have considered Jahn, but the positive press on the school had been so much that they couldn’t resist visiting and seeing what the fuss was about. By the time I left several families had gotten together and were planning with the asst. principal on how they could open a tution based kindergarten there. Exremely positive…exactly why you want to get in now. The princpal and asst principal want to replicate what was done at Nettlehorst and they are off to a great start. We were waitlisted 98 at Jahn (tier 3), so I am doubtful we will get in.

  • 292. JC  |  March 26, 2012 at 10:00 am

    I don’t know this for certain, but I don’t believe a school can unilaterally decide to remove themselves from the lottery. I thought that only schools that were under official “controlled enrollment” status – as determined by the CPS Office of Demographics and approved by the board (e.g., Bell) could do that.

  • 293. Right Said Fred  |  March 26, 2012 at 10:00 am

    @289 Monkey, you’re doing well – I’m seeing 773,663,527, 516 and 667 just by scanning this.

  • 294. AnxiousParent  |  March 26, 2012 at 10:02 am

    Tier 2

    Vanderpoel 8
    Disney 207

  • 295. Public or Private  |  March 26, 2012 at 10:04 am

    @274 and 267: This is how they move down the waitlists. There are separate waitlists for sibling, proximity, and Tiers 1 to 4. If, say, a proximity family turns down the spot, then the school moves to #1 on the proximity waitlist, then #2 on that same list, and so on, until it’s filled. Likewise, if a Tier 1 family turns down their spot, the school goes to the Tier 1 waitlist. There is no actual order of preference. It really depends on who is turning down admission.

  • 296. Anon2901  |  March 26, 2012 at 10:18 am

    @288: Our waitlist no. for Burley is 54, but I hold no hope of getting in with such a high number.
    In fact I believe my child might have a better chance at Edgebrook with no 6, than at Burley with 54. But then again, Edgebrook’s waitlist movement was almost nonexistent on previous years.

  • 297. DC  |  March 26, 2012 at 10:21 am

    Our twins received an offer at Disney, high wait list numbers everywhere else. Still waiting on Classical/Gifted, although with twins getting both into the same school might be like drawing an inside straight.

    This sets up an interesting Disney vs. Peirce (our neighborhood school) choice for us. The twins are in Tuition-based preschool at Disney, so they have friends there. But what do others think

  • 298. Christine  |  March 26, 2012 at 10:28 am

    @DC there are two sets of twins in 1st grade at Skinner North, so you never know!

  • 299. BucktownBryan  |  March 26, 2012 at 10:36 am

    @288, my daughter got #6 on Burley in the General pool. Not sure if that’s even good enough

  • 300. CatholicSchoolGirl?  |  March 26, 2012 at 10:40 am

    I am so intrigued by how the “computer”, “randomly” selects and assigns children to schools. We too applied to 20 schools – we are in TIER 3, the LOWEST waitlist number is at BLAINE – 52, the highest is Nettlehorst at 761!!! The 2nd lowest is 127 at Wildwood, from there my numbers are between 167 – 298.

    I am absolutely befuddled, how one child receives, three or four offers, with additional waitlist numbers under 50, and another child receives zero offers and waitlist numbers all above 50.???

    Luckily, we choose to apply to and place a deposit at an excellent parochial school. Seeing that we are still paying $10,000 in property taxes each year, surely the karma police will have my back when my kids get into Walter Payton or Northside College Prep for high school….right?

  • 301. Right Said Fred  |  March 26, 2012 at 10:43 am

    From what I’ve heard from teachers who work at Burley, the school isn’t planning on taking anyone from out of the neighborhood this year for K if the neighborhhood attendance boundary projections are correct.

  • 302. Another Hawthorne Mommy  |  March 26, 2012 at 10:46 am

    @272- I believe bussing is automatically offered at Hawthorne. We receive a letter every year asking if we want to participate. My older son attends and his younger brother was accepted into kindergarten (found out Saturday). We live about a mile from Hawthorne. My older son has a “scattered” brain. I was always so afraid of him leaving something behind, or (gasp!) getting on the wrong bus! lol My husband’s job is flexible so we are luckly to be able to do this. I hope you get the spot! 🙂

  • 303. Waiting patiently....again  |  March 26, 2012 at 10:47 am

    Just got off the phone with OEA SEES letters are going out today

  • 304. P VanDuesen  |  March 26, 2012 at 10:52 am

    Anyone know the school of Marvin Camras? My son has been offered a seat at this school but it is so new that I can not find much information

  • 305. AC  |  March 26, 2012 at 11:00 am

    Thank you cpsobsessed. It was great to discover your blog as it has assisted with my own obsession in dissecting CPS’ many webs. Received letter on Saturday.

    In tier 1, Kindergarten:

    offered – Newberry

    wait listed – LaSalle II #4, LaSalle #9, Franklin #24 STEM 34 and Disney #58 Jackson #76

    Do you think we have a chance at LaSalle and LaSalle II??

  • 306. just an observer this year  |  March 26, 2012 at 11:08 am

    @300 – I find that mind boggling as well. How can one child get offers at 3 schools and low wait numbers at additional schools and other children not get in anywhere and only have wait listed numbers above 100. Statistically doesn’t seem possible

  • 307. cpsobsessed  |  March 26, 2012 at 11:11 am

    It’s just a game of chance. Sometime you hit the full house, other times you get garbage.

    I think there should be some priority system though where parents can get only a couple top spots to choose from…..

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 308. DC  |  March 26, 2012 at 11:16 am

    As a parent of Kindergarteners (twins) who hasn’t been in the system before, what does the SEES letter look like? Do you get gifted and classical scores as well as selection info? In the same letter? Is there a percentile rank along with the scores?

    Say Twin A (who scores well in both the classical and gifted parts) gets into Decatur and Twin B (who does not test as well on the classical) gets into Coonley. Not wanting to split up the twins, could Twin B accept Coonley and hope Twin A gets in after turning down Decatur? Can you simultaneously accept a SEES and a magnet school?

  • 309. kate  |  March 26, 2012 at 11:17 am

    @170/226/297 re: Peirce
    Peirce School is holding its Spring Open House on Tues. 3/27 @ 9:15.
    A presentation in the gym by teacher/admin & parents, followed by a building tour with current parents.

    Please consider joining us. RSVP to: 773.534.2440

  • 310. edb  |  March 26, 2012 at 11:20 am

    @308 – last year the SEES letter showed both Gifted score (single number, top seems to be 160), and two percentiles for Classical (one for Reading one for Math). If accepted, you are told the ONE school you were accepted to. There are no wait lists & no indication if you were qualified for other seats, just an accptance to the highest ranked school for which your student qualified for.

  • 311. MamaK  |  March 26, 2012 at 11:22 am

    if you dont get into a SEES school do you still get a letter?

  • 312. edb  |  March 26, 2012 at 11:22 am

    @308 – sorry didn’t answer your follow up questions. It’s my understanding that you could have twin B accept Coonley and hope, but from what I saw last year, second round options are few and far between, even for high scoring students. That would be taking quite a risk.
    Yes, you can accept both a SEES and a magnet, but you would make other waiting parents very happy if you could make a choice and turn down any multiple offers.

  • 313. edb  |  March 26, 2012 at 11:24 am

    @311 – you will get a letter with scores regardless of whether or not you receive an acceptance.

  • 314. 8th grade mom  |  March 26, 2012 at 11:43 am

    @307 – Surely CPS could find some math wizard who would figure out an algorithm that could hand out wait list spots randomly, but still make sure that everyone got a spot somewhere. Obviously you’d have to have a pretty broad base of schools to make that work; maybe something like you’d be guaranteed a spot as long as you are willing to apply to at least 10 schools (or 15, or whatever the magic number would be.) If you make it to one of them, you don’t get a spot somewhere else. If you don’t make it in to any of them, you are higher up on the waiting list.

    There’s got to be a better way.

  • 315. MarketingMom  |  March 26, 2012 at 11:47 am

    Sounds like you have a pretty good chance with a waitlist #3 at Hawthorne. We got a call over the summer for a 3rd grade slot and we were #6. The notes just came home last week asking parents to confirm if their child will or will not be coming back. So chances are they waitlisted everyone in grades 1-8 until they get the responses from families back. Be sure to call the office every so often to check-up on the numbers. I did the same and believe that sometimes the squeaky wheels get the grease.

  • 316. kikiandkyle  |  March 26, 2012 at 11:57 am

    I have to agree, every year we see so many parents getting no offers while others get several, some even having great neighborhood options already in place.

  • 317. JNR Zuzu  |  March 26, 2012 at 11:59 am

    @290 You’re odds are very good. My twins were both offered K at LaSalle II. We are also in Tier 3 & we will be declining the offer.

  • 318. Charles  |  March 26, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    @316 I guess they good thing to remember is that those with multiple offers can only accept one, so those spots open up for others.

  • 319. RUMC Mom  |  March 26, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    189. Bookworm,

    Thanks for the info. I have lots to think about. I am an active parent that would benefit any school that my son attends. I’m creative with great fundraising ideas too. Maybe it’s a good match.

  • 320. Help  |  March 26, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    Hi Everyone:

    Can anyone give me some insight into the Options program at Beaubien? I never got a chance to tour the school and I was curious as to whether or not it is a well regarded program. How advanced is the curriculum? How does it compare to Edison or Bell? I know they do not have recess. Does anyone have a child there who could tell me how that affects them?

  • 321. moe friedman  |  March 26, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    Tier 3 for Kindergarten
    Got into Thorp
    Burley: #2
    Courtenay: #40something
    and >50 for the other 14 we applier to

  • 322. MayfairAM  |  March 26, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    Disney II: prox. 169 / tier 4

    love to think we might get a call in September….hmmmm

  • 323. Thorp parent  |  March 26, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    Another Thorp parent here – our daughter has had a really great experience this year in kindergarten. My daughter is reading, learning spelling words and having fun. There are definitely some communication issues with the administration but hopefully with a new principal next year things will greatly improve! The parent community really seems to be coming together as well.

  • 324. jlbcbs  |  March 26, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    To the parents who feel the lottery was not fair to them, I do understand. But what you must understand is most of the schools I have seen listed here are some of the more popular ones. Blane, Nettelhorst, La Salle 1 and 2, Disney 1 and 2, Hawthorne, etc. Huge number of people are trying to get in there. That will decrease your odds. We did apply to a few of those, but also to the lesser known ones that still have good programs. Chappell, Goethe, Franklin, etc. We felt the odds were in our favor with these schools. With the numbers we got, it did turn out that way. Also, I have noticed some people here only did 6 or 10 schools. You had 20 slots, fill it out. Increase your odds.

  • 325. HSObsessed  |  March 26, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    Re: busing: I think busing is still offered at magnet schools if you’re 1.5 miles to 6.5 miles from the school. Less or more, no bus. This is measured via on-street routing, not as the crow flies. Also, it’s usually not door to door service, but instead you have to bring your child to the nearest CPS school for pick up and drop off.

    Re: neighborhood schools v. a magnet school: If your nabe school is an option, my advice would be to go with it (like the posters trying to decide between Disney v. Peirce or Audubon). Don’t undervalue the luxury of walking your child to and from school a few minutes away v. having them ride a bus or you drive them to a distant school. The cost of gas, the headaches of traffic, the time your child has to spend on the bus, are all real costs to factor in. Of course, if your neighborhood school is not an option that’s a different story.

  • 326. IB&RGC Mom  |  March 26, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    @246 She threw a chair at a student? Has she finally totally lost it. We left Beaubien for an AC and she was one reasons. How is she still there after that? I have heard so many horror stories about her it is crazy. Surviving 4th grade was hard, but then having 1 class bring you down year after year wasn’t much better.

  • 327. jlbcbs  |  March 26, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    Sorry, meant to type Farnsworth, not Franklin.

  • 328. CatholicSchoolGirl?  |  March 26, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    @324 – I absolutely agree that you should use up all of the slots, we certainly did – but even in doing so, my odds were no better than those who selected just three schools – my waitlist numbers are laughable.

    What baffles me, is how the computer can randomly ALLOW and assign one student three offers, while another child receives ZERO offers. I don’t believe that the “computer” was biased toward me or my kid in anyway, I just think that the system in place is absolutely absurd and needs an overhaul like everything else.

  • 329. No skin in the game this year  |  March 26, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    @328, I think most people agree. And I bet if the “random” system was audited big problems would be found with it.

  • 330. jmg  |  March 26, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    @328 – you had the same odds as everyone else – random means some will hit the jackpot while others are sol. there will be plenty of shuffling between now and Labor day.

  • 331. Another Hawthorne Mommy  |  March 26, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    #324 hit the nail on the head. In 2009, I applied my oldest to kindergarten (at ~20 schools). That yr, he placed into 5 schools! We immediately got into Hamilton (which was on the chopping block at that time), Burley, Hawthorne and Franklin. We accepted Hawthorne (because he does have a younger sibling), and over the summer got a call from Skinner north (but declined it). We were really lucky. You really have to keep your options open and consder schools you wouldn’t have thought of.

  • 332. confused mom of sad sibling  |  March 26, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    Please help me understand:
    I am a mom of a student currently enrolled in an elementary magnet school. We applied to the same school for his younger brother and indicated he was a sibling. We were then waitlisted as a sibling at that magnet school. When I look at the OAE website, the policy is stated as follows:
    Applicants who are siblings of students who are currently enrolled and will continue to be enrolled in the 2012-2013 school year are given preference.
    40% of seats remaining after siblings have been accommodated are allocated for applicants for the entry-grade level who live within a 1.5 mile radius of the school (magnet schools with an attendance boundary do not have a proximity procedure).
    Seats remaining after siblings and proximity applicants have been accommodated are filled by computerized lottery and in accordance with the tier system, where applicable.
    Doesn’t that mean that all siblings should get in first… therefore, there shouldn’t be a sibling lottery? What am I missing here?

  • 333. CPSDistressed  |  March 26, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    I think this entire system needs to be audited or investigated by the Federal Government. (Along with the Accessor’s Office who claims houses are worth more than double the market value.)

  • 334. No skin in the game this year  |  March 26, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    @332 – I think it it means that there are more siblings than spaces.

  • 335. jlbcbs  |  March 26, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    @328. Agreed. If the system could take into account all slots open, not just treat each school as its own island, and pair them with your choices, you may have better odds. There would be more parents with offers, and less parents with multiple offers.

    Although I can’t help thinking that it all shakes out to even in the end (September). With all the declining, moving, etc. that happens.

  • 336. Chris  |  March 26, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    “@332 – I think it it means that there are more siblings than spaces.”

    Or bad coding. Call, asap, because if you don’t the answer is will remain what it is now: “no”.

  • 337. confused mom of sad sibling  |  March 26, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    but would that mean that no non-siblings got in?

    I am pretty sure the school accepted some number of siblings and then non-siblings through a general lottery.

    And the way I read the rules, the school has to:
    1) accept all siblings (unless of course there are more siblings than places)
    2) take the remaining open spots and conduct the proximity/general lotteries.
    Is that right? Or can a school limit sibliing spots in favor of spots for proximity or the general lotter?

  • 338. No letters either!  |  March 26, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    Got the letters! Guess I should change my name now. 🙂

    Wait listed – general – for 5th grade at:

    Hawthorne #2
    Norwood Park #3
    Edgebrook #12
    Blaine #12
    Drummond #37
    Disney II #60 – general but I live in proximity?
    Franklin #108
    LaSalle #129
    Jackson #136

    My child is currently at Decatur …. chances of getting in and would you make the jump? Decatur only goes to 6th grade. This would give him a school to stay at until 8th. Thoughts?

  • 339. STEMmom  |  March 26, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    My son was offered a 2nd grade spot at STEM. I currently have a 3rd grader at STEM and absolutely love the school.

  • 340. RUMC Mom  |  March 26, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    How do the waitlists break down percentage wise? Can someone explain the difference between proximity, general, and tiers?

  • 341. Waitingmom  |  March 26, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    Not sure if my original post made it on here

    2nd grade
    #1 on sibling list at Wildwood
    #12 on general lottery at Norwood, although I think I should be proximity.

    Crossing my fingers as wildwood is what I want. Love everything about that school from the principal down. Hoping my wait list spot gives is a shot!

  • 342. Chatty Cathy  |  March 26, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    I have children @Beaubien. I believe that recess is on the schedule for next year and am very excited about that. I don’t think the school is as great as it could be. Now that the principal is leaving, I’m hoping there are vast improvements. As far as academics, I think it varies year to year based on the teacher you get. Most are fabulous and challenging but some should have retired (or been fired) long ago. Again, hoping a new principal brings fresh ideas to take the school to the next level. And cleans house too! I can’t speak of the other schools and how they compare.

  • 343. whatsound4  |  March 26, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    Can anyone tell me if Blaine accepts out of neighborhood siblings? And am I crazy for considering moving my 2nd grader from South Loop RGC to Blaine?

  • 344. SR  |  March 26, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Rogers Park Mom -last year we were in the mid-20s for Courtenay and got a call to see if we were interested mid-summer. We already had a spot by then, so I don’t know how far down the list they accepted students. But it seems like you have a decent shot.

  • 345. Another Hawthorne Mommy  |  March 26, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    I thought the sibling rule only applied to incoming kindergarteners that already have a sibling in another grade at the same school. I could be wrong. Of course, it is harder to get a sibling in at another grade level besides kindergarten because most kids tend to stay put.

  • 346. Another Hawthorne Mommy  |  March 26, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    @343- I believe siblings must live in the same household to be eligible.

  • 347. whatsound4  |  March 26, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    SEES letter just arrived! No offers for us, but offered Blaine and Courtenay in the Magnet and Lottery letter, so feeling fortunate. Good luck to all, and for those without offers, don’t panic! Much happens in the next many months. Most everyone gets an offer somewhere (often multiple), but it sometimes takes an agonizingly long time if not offered on the first try.

  • 348. ZanesDad  |  March 26, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    Applied for K, Tier 3. Waitlisted for everything. Highest spots were:

    Murphy – 4
    McPherson – 14
    Chappell – 19
    Farnsworth – 21
    Thorp – 51 (Tier)

    Everything else was 90 or higher, including Disney and Disney II. I had thought we were in proximity for Disney II, but when my SO took the tour they looked up our address and said we weren’t. Of course on the letter today, we’re in the proximity queue.

  • 349. CA  |  March 26, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    @272 We got #3 on the sibling wait list for Hawthorne for 3rd grade, so there is another list ahead of you (don’t know how many others, if any, are after us on the sib list).

  • 350. PortageParent  |  March 26, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    326 – IB&RGCmom – Yes. She really has lost her mind. There is a girl in that same class who she calls “cappucino”, as a nickname. The girl is of mid eastern descent. Seriously. Its just so inappropriate and, possibly, racist. I really hope for Beaubien’s sake that they get a great new principal (not the AP). They should be better than they are.

    338- No Letters Either – Could you post a link to that everyblock about Edison/Albany area, please? I couldn’t find it.

    To answer your question – Yes. I think making the jump to Hawthorne would be well worth it. Looks like you have a shot with a #2 waitlist!

  • 351. Dayna Schmidt (@DaynaSuzanne)  |  March 26, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    Ran home at lunch to grab my letter after watching this thread all morning. Entered for PK4:

    Inter-American #60 tier 3 English
    Drummond #32 general
    Suder #203 general
    Mayer #231 general

    Should I not hold my breath this year? And how do I have ‘general’ when others are in tiers for the same schools?

  • 352. Marlese  |  March 26, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    Serious problem–received magnet letter, but it’s not the schools we applied for! It has my daughter’s name as well as mine and our address, but that’s not our list. We had 16 schools, this list has 20. 7 of our schools were on the list, but 9 were not. That means there were 13 schools on the list we didn’t apply to. We got an offer at two schools we didn’t apply to: Hamilton, and McPherson. Hamilton seems decent, so we’ll probably put her there, but where are my schools? She’s in preK at Disney, which was our first choice, but it’s not on this list. We applied electronically last October. WTF? I’ve called CPS who says a supervisor will look into it and call me (yeah right,) and I’ve got an email in to the address they have at the bottom of the letter. What happened and what can I do?

  • 353. Hopeful Mom!  |  March 26, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    opps! referring my own post # 338 we are tier 4! I guess makes a difference so adding that information. Reposting info below –

    Wait listed – Tier 4, general – for 5th grade at:

    Hawthorne #2
    Norwood Park #3
    Edgebrook #12
    Blaine #12
    Drummond #37
    Disney II #60 – general but I live in proximity?
    Franklin #108
    LaSalle #129
    Jackson #136

    My child is currently at Decatur …. chances of getting in and would you make the jump? Decatur only goes to 6th grade. This would give him a school to stay at until 8th. Thoughts?

    Also, I called about Disney II since we live so close and I am waiting for a return call about proximity.

  • 354. IB&RGC Mom  |  March 26, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    @350, agreed. I can’t believe she has gotten worse. I didn’t think it was possible. I bet she leaves with the Principal – possibly on her own.

    Beaubien is a wonderful school with Amazing teachers who will hopefully get the recognition they deserve.

  • 355. A Parent Considering Homeschooling  |  March 26, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    Still no letter. We did get our gifted/ classical letter though.

  • 356. ZanesDad  |  March 26, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    @Hopeful Mom, No Letters Either: There is only a general lottery (i.e., no proximity, no tiers) for admittance to magnet schools for grades above entry level.

    @Waitingmom: Norwood is a neighborhood school. They have only a general lottery.

  • 357. Kelly  |  March 26, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    My daughter was offered Drummond for PK3 and will be accepting. My older son currently goes to our neighborhood school for PK and will go there for Kindergarten, as he didn’t get in anywhere else. Will my son be eligible for the sibling preference at Drummond when he is applying for 1st grade for 2013/2014? The sibling preference rule doesn’t say that the incoming student has to be the younger sibling to get the benefit, although I realize that’s typically the way it actually happens. Can’t seem to find a definitive answer to this question anywhere (and honestly never expected the good fortune of my daughter getting into Drummond anyway). Thanks.

  • 358. liz  |  March 26, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    @352 Marlese– was Hamilton on your list? What will you do if they find your application and you didn’t get in anywhere?

  • 359. Hopeful Mom!  |  March 26, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    @352 we are missing one school we applied to – Wildwood. But sounds like yours is a complete mix up.

    @Portage Park mom, I will look for the link again. Sorry I should of posted it last night but was not sure if posting outside links was okay. On my phone so I can not do it now.

  • 360. Marlese  |  March 26, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    358–Marlese– was Hamilton on your list? What will you do if they find your application and you didn’t get in anywhere?

    Liz–Hamilton was not on my list. If the find the application and we didn’t get in anywhere, I’d probably puke.

    Interesting follow-up–I just got a call from Brennemann, another school we didn’t apply to, offering my daughter a spot. How is that possible before the April 13 cut-off?

    Something has gone very wrong here. Is this whole lottery thing a sham?

  • 361. IB&RGC Mom  |  March 26, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    So the reason I started reading this thread is because my nephew did not get accepted anywhere for K. He is in tier 3 and lowest wait list number was Disney II at number 10. I believe he would be proximity for that school. Reading this I am hopeful he gets in at a later time.

    Is there a wait list for every tier or does everyone go into general if they don’t qualify for sibling or proximity?

  • 362. liz  |  March 26, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    Marlese– Wow. I of course am dying to get into Hamilton so I’m pretty jealous here. Maybe you should go to Brenneman, LOL. I have no idea what’s up with your application!

  • 363. Rogers Park Mom  |  March 26, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    @352 Mariese – My app wasn’t nearly the mess yours was, but we had a problem along the same lines. They left off a school that we applied to, Ravenswood. We received an offer at Peirce that we will accept, and since it is closer, we wouldn’t do Ravenswood anyways, but my husband still wants to call because he thinks if there is a fundamental problem, they need to address it. How do you ensure the system is fair then? My understanding is, if we were somehow ineligible for Ravenswood, it should have said that, not just drop it off the list entirely. I had a printout of my original application and it was definitely on there.

    @344 SR – thank you for the response!! It would be a hard decision. Courtenay’s scores have declined a bit and we do have an offer from Peirce. One school is large and the other is small…so many choices. We also have an waiting list spot at Stone in the 20’s for tier 3. Not super hopeful about that, but out of the 3 it would be my first choice.

    Right now, just looking forward to the open house at Peirce tomorrow? Anyone else going?!

  • 364. Marlese  |  March 26, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    Liz–Hamilton was not on my radar before, but I’ve been researching it like crazy since we got the letter, and think it’s a very sweet school and am impressed with their new principal and innovations. I’ll be registering my daughter this week in case CPS finds another way to trip us up. A bird (or school) in hand, is better than two in the bush (wait list). But you can have our Brenneman spot!

  • 365. Hopeful Mom! (aka No Letters Either)  |  March 26, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    @ 356. ZanesDad – sorry new to all of this and do not quite understand the process…. so for magnet if a child is #2 they literally are #2 and the tiers do not come into play after entry level? I really am leaning towards Hawthorne. So that is excellent news!

    Tier 4 we have no offers from classical and gifted. Applied to Bell, Coonley, Skinner, Beaubien – My child currently attends Decatur so that is why we did not select that and already attended Edison. So those were not choices for us. I am sure they are snubbing us for wanting to change because we have already been blessed twice!

  • 366. Another Hawthorne Mommy  |  March 26, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    @ Marlese- Did you print out the list of schools that you applied to? I believe that was an option with the online form this year. I would go up there in person to straighten that out. Go to OAC (office of academic enhancement) and raise some hell. That is not fair!

  • 367. Happy at Hamilton  |  March 26, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    I’m a Hamilton parent, we didn’t get a call last year until June from the waitlist and so happy about the choice we made. My dd’s teacher does an incredible job differentiating since she’s got kids at such a huge range of abilities. Excellent principal, teachers, after school programs, art, music, multi-cultural studies, beautiful new gym, library, new garden and very involved parents. We attended this year’s fundraiser and were totally blown away by the support from the parents, the local businesses and the number of teachers at the event. Really, really impressive.

  • 368. liz  |  March 26, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    @Marlese– I don’t blame you but i’s hard not to be bitter– we are #3 on the waitlist at Hamilton and I’m really hoping.

  • 369. Marlese  |  March 26, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    366–I did not have that option when I did my magnet application. I did for the selective enrollment, and did print that one out. That should have been my first clue that something was not right. It’s very difficult to prove that something does NOT exist, however, and CPS could say that if those are the schools I got, then those must be the ones I applied for. I really can’t prove otherwise.

  • 370. Marlese  |  March 26, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    #3 you’ll get in for sure! (knock on wood). Then we’ll be BFFs and our kids will have playdates and we’ll get cappucino’s together before putting in some time at the school garden. Thank you Liz and “Happy At Hamilton” for making me see what a hidden gem serendipity has brought. As the initial shock of the mix-up wears off, I’m seeing how truly lucky we are.

  • 371. liz  |  March 26, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    Sounds good to me, Marlese. I sure hope you’re right!

  • 372. BillG  |  March 26, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    Just got SEES letter…got a spot at Skinner North…daughter is currently in pre-K at Inter-American. We have to see…our 2 year old would be guaranteed at Inter-American if we stayed and turned down Skinner North…but Skinner is so different from Inter-American.

    Would you send your child to Skinner?

  • 373. Christine  |  March 26, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    People who are fairly sure that they live in proximity and yet have “general” coded on their letters:

    CPS has their own super-secret software for determining proximity. So if you’re 1.4 miles away, you might not be proximity by their calculations.

    Also, there are some circumstances under which a proximity lottery might not be done at all. If the current population of the school > 50% of any given race, they won’t do a proximity lottery.

    ^Someone correct this if I am mistaken on the details….I’m on my phone and can’t look it up right now. ^

  • 374. peggy  |  March 26, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    no lottery schools but got a 142 on the gifted with no offer i dont know what this number means and is this a high enough number to get us into a round 2 gifted school offer thanks and any info would be great !

  • 375. SW Side Momma  |  March 26, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    @204, thanks for your concern, as of yet it is a non-issue. If my future kindergartner places into Skinner West, I will send both off on the bus happily to their respective schools.

  • 376. Public or Private  |  March 26, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    Marlese, there was definitely a printout for the magnet applications. What a terrible mix-up. This Kafka-esque system needs fixing.

    Re: the fairness of some people getting multiple offers, I agree that it’s not fair. Don’t forget that the proximity lottery definitely affects your results. We’re in proximity for two schools — we got into one, and we got a #1 waitlist number for the other one. If you live in, say, a certain part of Lincoln Park, you could have Lincoln as your neighborhood school and still be in proximity for LaSalle and Newberry.

  • 377. Wondering  |  March 26, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    Did anyone get waitlisted for STEM (K) last year? We are #17 on their list…any thoughts on how far they drill down on their lists.

  • 378. liz  |  March 26, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    @372 Bill G– I have a son at Skinner north and I love it. That said, I wish I had chosen one of the lottery schools he got into for kindergrten instead, so I wouldn’t have to be frantically trying to find a place for my daughter right now! So I’d go with IA.

  • 379. Jacque  |  March 26, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    For Kinderg – no offers, no SEES –

    lowest below 100

    Burley – 28
    Coonley – 42
    Disney – 63

    I wonder if there are any chances at those schools?
    Does anyone like Chappell? That is our neighborhood school and will probably be our only choice.

  • 380. efrainmartinez  |  March 26, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    Yes to Peirce’s open house tomorrow! So looking forward to see what Peirce has to offer!

  • 381. ProudPapa  |  March 26, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    Just wanted to bump my previous question… anyone have any direct experience with Bateman starting in kindergarten? Good school? Bad school? Somewhere in between? Thanks in advance.

  • 382. PK4 Mom  |  March 26, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    I got wait list 4 for English at InterAmerican. We are Tier 4. Does anyone know from last year if they got this far on the Tier 4 English list? I think they have 12 lists (2 each for Sibling, Proximity, plus each of the four tiers). Mind Boggling!

  • 383. Joe  |  March 26, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    Prek 4 general wait list #24 at Drummond.

    Do we have a chance?

  • 384. JG  |  March 26, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    Marlese-You will love Hamilton.
    It’s our neighborhood school and I didn’t even bother applying anywhere else.

    My DS will be in K in the fall, so I am sure I’ll see you around!

    And, Liz…Hope to meet you too!!!!!

  • 385. Edgewater K Mom  |  March 26, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    Here’s my numbers for the K lottery and my intererpertation of my odds. Any comments from those who’ve been there done that on whether I guessed right would be appreciated!

    Got an offer at Peirce

    Neighborhood – likely?
    Swift – 7
    Chappell – 10
    Hamilton – 110

    Neighborhood – not gonna happen…
    Greeley 82
    Ravenswood 115
    Waters 233
    Burley 724

    Magnet – keeping my fingers crossed…
    Stone – proximity 24

    Magnet – not gonna happen…
    InterAmerican – general 278
    Hawthorne – Tier Four 394

    Editorial comments
    1) Maybe we see the weird phenonmenon of some people getting four offers and others getting none with all triple digit wait list numbers for the same reason that if we used word of mouth to assess the likelihood of winning at the casino we’d all quit our day jobs and spend every waking moment at the blackjack table. In other words, maybe it’s just more interesting to report really extreme results. Like “I won $10,000!” is more interesting than “I set my limit at betting $500 and came home $50 ahead”.

    2) I wish there was some reward for effort built into the system. Like you get extra lottery chances for every hour of research you do about schools before you apply or for every time you juggle your work schedule to attend open houses DURING THE DAY! It may be petty but I am bitter when I read posts that say “I got into Hawhorne, should I accept? I don’t know anything about the school” ARRGGHHH!

  • 386. Kelly  |  March 26, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    Any chance for these magnets to get to these numbers on the tier 4 wait list for Kindergarten? Not even close, right?

    Franklin 61
    Jackson 74
    Thorp 89
    LaSalle II 99

  • 387. DC  |  March 26, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    Entering 2nd grade: Best option is wait list #6 at Hawthorne.

    Currently at Beaubien in neighborhood program because sibling is in Options program at Beaubien, and we wanted them in the same school.

    How likely is it that he’ll get an offer from Hawthorne? And, is it worth it to move from Beaubien neighborhood to Hawthorne?

  • 388. Sil  |  March 26, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    Tier 2 out of district

    Child 1
    LaSalle II – 5
    Thorp – 20
    Drummond – 38
    LaSalle – 41
    Galileo – 56

    Child 2
    Drummond – 4
    Disney – 29
    Hawthorne – 23

    Any chance for Lasalle II – 5 or Drummond – 4?

  • 389. chicagodads  |  March 26, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    @382 you will almost for sure get an offer from IAMS. In previous years families as high as 50 on the waitlist got a call, though later in the year. It is mind-boggling, but that is partly due to the dual-language nature of the school.

  • 390. AnxiousDad  |  March 26, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    My daughter is #1 on the tier 3 wait list for Drummond, not sure what this means. I am new to this, can someone please help me interpret this. Thanks in advance.

  • 391. Joe  |  March 26, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    what grade?

  • 392. AnxiousDad  |  March 26, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    @Joe… for Pre-K… not sure if she has a shot or not… she is #46 for Suder

  • 393. liz  |  March 26, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    So… I am already planning my campaign to get into Hamilton off the wait list. Do wait list calls come from the academic office or from the schools themselves? IN other words, whom do I stalk?

  • 394. EastPilsenMom  |  March 26, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    Researching schools for my soon to be Kindergartener was a part-time job. Just got my letter and he’s is on the wait list for the following…
    STEM 82, A.JACKSON 80, Galileo 9, and Sheridan 102. I’m hopeful that we’ll get a call from Galileo. Parents of students at Galileo, I’d love some feedback. Also I think my neighborhood school is Walsh. Has anyone heard anything about that school? I also entered him into lottery for Namaste Charter. Feedback on any of these schools would be appreciated!

  • 395. CPS Depressed  |  March 26, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    Entering K
    Currently at great private school we can’t afford
    Neighborhood school-Gale
    Tier 3
    Applied to 20, plus SEES. Accepted at only Peirce. High numbers elsewhere.

    From what I am reading, it sounds like a lot of us have been accepted at Peirce. Someone mentioned that they accepted everyone? Is that true?
    How about all of us dedicated CPS obsessed parents ban together and enroll at Peirce, then we make the school better than ever by being CPS-Peirce-Obsessed parents.
    See you at the open house tomorrow.

  • 396. anonymouseteacher  |  March 26, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    @395, there is already a very substantial parent group committed to Peirce. I think you may like it there. It is a decent school.

  • 397. cpsobsessed  |  March 26, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    I think last year pierce no longer took everybody, but seems they are still taking a lot due to their size.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 398. Curious Mom  |  March 26, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    Applying for 2nd grade.
    Wait listed (all general)
    Franklin 15
    LaSalle II 28
    LaSalle 82
    Jackson 52
    Suder 58

    We’re happy at our current magnet and would probably only have left for Jackson, but that Franklin number seems like it might be possible? Anyone have any idea if 15 is a possibility for Franklin’s 2nd grade? And any feedback on the school in general?

  • 399. Hopeful Mom! (aka No Letters Either)  |  March 26, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    Does anyone know what language they study at Hawthorne? or Norwood Park? Thanks In Advanced!

  • 400. RitaB  |  March 26, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    We were accepted to Disney, Hamilton and Prescott for kindergarten. Wait list #26 Drummond, #41 proximity Hawthorne and the rest are all over 50 so I don’t expect to get a call. We also got accepted to St. Bens. Now I am so confused. We also got our SEES letter. Our son was in scored 140 for the RGC we got accepted to Beasley which is too far. I am not even sure why we applied.

  • 401. Farley  |  March 26, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    I’m having a tough time deciding between Hawthorne and a small private catholic school. Can anyone offer me any sort of advice? It’s not fair to keep either spot for too long.

  • 402. Smp  |  March 26, 2012 at 7:25 pm


    We are at Franklin and will be going to 2nd grade next year- one child moved to the burbs in feb and I know of another family planning to move over the summer so I think for 2nd grade for next year there should be at least two openings. Good luck!

  • 403. Lisa  |  March 26, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    Tier 4 for K
    offered Franklin

  • 404. cpsobsessed  |  March 26, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    Re waitlists:
    In the past, these are handled by the schools who do the calling.
    They must go down the list all the way through the summer.

    The gray area I see is how many tries they make to call and how long they wait for a response. I think this is where being a squeaky wheel might help…..
    Maybe, maybe not. Can’t hurt.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 405. Megan  |  March 26, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    2nd grade:

    LaSalle: 15
    Burley: 7
    Hamilton: 18
    Hawthorne: 19

    Any chance anywhere as a 2nd grader??

  • 406. Persia  |  March 26, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    We have a magnet offer from STEM and an offer from Skinner west classical as our first choice for kindergarten. STEM seams to have a new and modern program. Is it unwise to go with STEM instead of Skinner?
    How is Skinner west vs Skinner north?
    I appreciate any comments.

  • 407. Logan Square  |  March 26, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    Not too impressed with my daughters letters, we did not get into any schools. Our local school is Chase which is not an option. Any thoughts on her chances at the following schools. She also has Down Syndrome not sure if that could help her get into some blended programs?
    Burr 68
    Pritzker 33
    Goether 58
    LaSalle 80
    Hawthorne 72 (tier 2)
    The rest are in the 100’s and go up to 723.

  • 408. Rogers Park Mom  |  March 26, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    @ 395 – CPS Depressed – We are north east Rogers Park (also Gale or maybe Jordan, who knows, neither one is acceptable in my book…). I am with you on everybody heading to Peirce. I am looking forward to the open house tomorrow. We also were not accepted anywhere else, but have a few wait list numbers in the 20’s, just low enough to tease but in reality probably not go anywhere…sigh…. See you tomorrow!

  • 409. Nancy  |  March 26, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    Tier 4 For 5th Grade

    Wait list # 3 for Coonley
    Wait list # 13 for Blaine
    Wait list #14 for Disney

    Thoughts on our chances?

  • 410. moe friedman  |  March 26, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    Dilemma scenario. We got into Thorp for K and live 11 blocks away. But are #2(General) on Burley wait list. So what are our odds of getting into Burley(probably pretty good)? It doesn’t seem that much better than Thorp and a 5 mile commute. Should probably stick with Thorp. WWYD?

  • 411. Kat P.  |  March 26, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    I finally got my letters on the mail today. My son scored for Kindergarten at 98 for RGC and his scores for Classical are reading 92% and math 80%. I am very disappointed at the score because I know how bright he is! He had surgery three weeks before his test and then he got a terrible infection that affected his movement (therefore his writing) as well as his hearing. I tried to switch the dates but they were unable to offer us a different testing date. Should I call and try to get this under consideration? Also, I do not remember anything about the primary language of my child, is this taken under consideration?

    We were waitlisted on tier 4 at:
    Disney II. 8
    Hawthorne 117
    Jackson. 177
    LaSalle. 406
    Disney. 348

    All the other schools that we applied for, have also placed us on a wait list under “general” but wih very high numbers. With the exception of Boone 3, Goudy 39, Burr 25, Camras 22, Audubon 54 and Blaine 43. Our highest number is 513 at Drummond.

    Oh gosh! I already feel better after typing this! 🙂

  • 412. Hopeful Mom! (aka No Letters Either)  |  March 26, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    @315. MarketingMom thanks for the undate! We are #2 for 5th for Hawthorne. What languages do they study there? If we get in a 5th grade spot will open up at Decatur.

    @320. Help my friend’s child left Edison, went to Oriole and is not at Beaubien Options and loves it! Very happy compared to the other schools. The curriculum she said is more advanced.

  • 413. chicago parent  |  March 26, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    Does anyone have any feedback re: Mayer? I have heard mixed reviews… we are #5 on the waiting list, so who knows if it’s even an option…?

  • 414. SW Side Momma  |  March 26, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    @EastPilsenMom I have heard good things about both Galileo and Namaste. We’re in Brighton Park, wish we had more options close by!

  • 415. cpsobsessed  |  March 26, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    Agh, got my son’s gifted test results (he’s in 3rd grade now.). 121. He seems to be regressing to the mean.
    In the words of MayfairDad I guess I will be riding his butt on the homework for the next few years.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 416. confuse mom  |  March 26, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    Does anyone know how to read the score for gifted regional?

    classical -score reading 91%
    math -score 47%
    gifted score dont know how they read it ?
    it says 91
    but i know my son is gifted because he goes to northwestern center for talent school.

  • 417. confuse mom  |  March 26, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    please someone explain to me how the gifted test score is read?

  • 418. cps mom  |  March 26, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    @357 – according to the current CPS policy, sibling lottery applies to all grades, so in 2014 if there is an opening in 1st grade your child would have first dibs as a sibling.

    @ 390 – I believe this means that if a tier 3 child does not accept their spot, you would get the offer.

    For both of you, Drummond is an amazing school – we’ve had children there for 7 years. The Montessori curriculum is nurturing and rigorous.

  • 419. Chicago Parent  |  March 26, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    For the parents asking about Chappell, its definitely one to watch.
    Have been there, and have been very pleased. A no-brainer on PreK, a perfect scenario for your little guy or girl: plenty to learn and plenty of play and outside time. Kindergarten great too. Great things to come from this on the move principal.
    Just watch!

  • 420. arghh  |  March 26, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    I can’t help but wonder if there is a flaw in the CPS lottery computer program. Someone on the SEES blog posted:
    got wait listed #10 tier 4 @ hawthorn
    # 15 tier @ disney
    and got into prescott, newberry and mayer!!
    while some here are posoting waitlist numbers that are all very high. We have no acceptances (Tier 4 – 1st grade) yet our waitlist numbers are largely in the 30’s, 50’s and 100’s. The mathematical probability of an outcome like the one above is SOOOOOO LOW given the number of applicants. I wish CPS had to make the computer program open to scrutiny before they run it!!

  • 421. L D  |  March 26, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    Marlese, JG and Liz
    See you in the fall! You’re making a great choice. My son is in first grade and loves it there. Afterschool karate, mad science, young rembrants, sports and chess are programs he’s joined there but the list of afterschool choices goes on and on. Can’t wait for my daughter to start kindergarten in the fall.

  • 422. Marlese  |  March 26, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    @420–there’s definitely a glitch this year, and CPS is not admitting–yet. I’ve talked to several parents now that had schools dropped from their list without explanation. Our results had 13 schools we didn’t even apply to, which means the schools we wanted were whittled down to 7. A co-worker’s friend had 4 offers from top notch schools and extremely low wait list numbers–and she’s not the only one I’ve heard of. I’ve got emails and phone calls in to CPS, but no response yet.

    My daughter didn’t get any offers on SEES even though she tested 97% for classical and 140 for gifted. Tough crowd. No wait list listed either. Is that normal not see the wait list, or is my SEES as screwed up as my magnet?

  • 423. yuntong  |  March 26, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    Can anyone explain how the tier /waitlist system work for Magnet schools? We are Tier 4 and #2 waitlist for Hawthorne (K).

    Does it mean that we are behind Proximity, all other tiers? If it is the case, how deep into the waitlist for the other tiers before we could get a call? Thank you so much for any insights!!!

  • 424. Ivana  |  March 26, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    for KG

    Lasalle # 4 – tier 4
    Thorp # 40 – proximity list

    Any chances ? Also I appraciate any comments abouth both schools.

  • 425. CPStressed  |  March 26, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    @406, congrats! Skinner North & STEM were my top choices. STEM is the mayor’s pet project, it’s got all top of the line tech (so I hear) and a great principal. Unfortunately no test results to compare to Skinner yet, but I bet it does well.

    K – Tier 4

    Offered Lasall II, but will pass for acceptance to Edison RGC.

    Waitlisted (1) for Sabin, (15) for Blaine, and (34) for STEM

  • 426. Dfer  |  March 26, 2012 at 11:11 pm

    My daughter is #1 on Tier 3 wait list at Drummond…the others were in the 50’s and hundreds so no chance there. Have no idea if there is the slightest chance. Comments appreciated on what you think my chances are.

  • 427. Persia  |  March 26, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    @425, Thank you for your comment!
    It seems you would rank Skinner North higher than West. Do you have any specific comment regarding that?

  • 428. Sus  |  March 26, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    For Kindergarten we have offers from Hamilton and Pritzker.
    I am so torn on what to accept. Reading lots of good about Hamilton but not much about Pritzker. Any parents out there of either?

  • 429. Jackie  |  March 26, 2012 at 11:30 pm


    We are wait listed at A. Jackson #4. How can two people be waited listed for the same spot?

  • 430. Jackie  |  March 26, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    We are T2

    Are there wait lists for each Tier?

  • 431. cps teacher  |  March 26, 2012 at 11:41 pm

    if i wasnt a teacher who was forced to live in chicago…i think i would leave this city asap..THIS is insanity! insanity! poor parent waiting for wait lists…..i would just find some peaceful little suburb and get a descent …and calm education…..no school is worth this much competition…i think it could ultimately harm a child…and this tier stuff? I have seen kids living in wealthy areas of chicago with 4 bunkbeds in their kitchen?? so geography is not a good way to make a tier?? it has to be w2’s!! sorry for the ramble but this is nuts!

  • 432. Kat P.  |  March 26, 2012 at 11:42 pm

    Any answers for 411??? Thanks!

  • 433. Future CPS Kinder Mom  |  March 26, 2012 at 11:49 pm

    428 – I am assuming you mean Pritzker’s neighborhood program. If it were me, I’d pick Hamilton. Lots of energy there and great things happening. And also an in-house comprehensive gifted program. I toured Pritzker for the RGC and was told that the neighborhood program there is still up and coming. That being said, they do seem to have a fantastic arts program and what a beautiful auditorium! That’s just me though……I also live much nearer to Hamilton. Not sure where you live.

  • 434. Future CPS Kinder Mom  |  March 26, 2012 at 11:53 pm

    409 – If you are referring to Disney (and not Disney II) then I would say your chances with a wait list number of 14 are very very good.

  • 435. cps teacher  |  March 26, 2012 at 11:59 pm

    I know this is an old argument but people!!! This tier system is insane? I used to live in Bridgeport at Halsted…if you live on one side of 35th you are tier 2 and the other tier 3? This is insane….insane….both sides of the street have old apartments and the people living their are poor poor? i know most of you are well with in the “rich” tier….but this has got to stop! i pray to god CPS will reform itself….i hate to see parents treat the child’s education like a stock trade? this is sad sad!!! i dont blame you! but this is sad!

  • 436. Kat P.  |  March 27, 2012 at 12:04 am

    I have to agree with you!! We are tier 4 because we live in a nice neighborhood, but cps is not taking under consideration the fact that we live with my parents because I had to stop working. My husband, who has a job as an accountant cannot afford to take our family else where, we are in a dilema of paying rent or paying for helth insurance!
    Yes, this is insanity, but what else can we do?? We cannot afford private education, so this is our shot at a decent education for our son.

    ^^also, please if you have any replies for message 411, they will be greatly appreciated!^^

  • 437. Sarah  |  March 27, 2012 at 12:08 am

    PK4, Twins:

    Inter-American, 21 & 22, Tier 4 English
    Suder, 181 & 182
    Drummond, 330 & 331
    Mayer, 269 & 270

    Can anyone offer any insight into their chances for Inter-American?
    Thank you!

  • 438. Cas  |  March 27, 2012 at 12:33 am

    Waitlisted at 63 for Disney 1 kindergarten, proximity. What do you think are chances we will get a call? Any insight from previous years? Is this too far down on the wait list?

  • 439. JS  |  March 27, 2012 at 8:14 am

    @422, we definitely thought there was a glitch in the system. According to our magnet letter, we didn’t use one of our slots and supposedly applied to Beaubien for K (which we didn’t.)

    Maybe I should call OAE today?

  • 440. Marlese  |  March 27, 2012 at 8:23 am

    Even if your glitch doesn’t pose a huge problem for you, I think it’s important for CPS to know this happening. If people don’t speak up, CPS remains ignorant of the flaws in their system and can’t fix them.

  • 441. Jackie  |  March 27, 2012 at 8:24 am

    Is this a correct analysis:

    A. Jackson: K: Tier 2 – Wait listed #4

    approx. 60 kids get in, assume 15 from each tier.

    In order for us to get in, 4 of the 15 kids offered a spot in tier 2, must reject the offer?

  • 442. Audubon?  |  March 27, 2012 at 8:25 am

    Low wait list number for Audubon.

    Would like comments on the friendliness of the school. Is it as cliquey as I’ve heard?

  • 443. CPStressed  |  March 27, 2012 at 8:29 am

    @427 Persia,

    I toured Skinner North twice, and I did not tour Skinner West, so I can’t fairly compare them… I really like Skinner North because it’s a small school with a great atmosphere, and an energetic dedicated principal. My opinion is that being a smaller school with no neighborhood contingent is better, and I predict we will see the test scores and stats for this school being very high when it’s around long enough to be published.

  • 444. Ph.D.Mom  |  March 27, 2012 at 8:32 am

    Pritzker’s neighborhood program is indeed up and coming, in a excellent way, not in a “not good enough for my child” way. I think, in fact, it has already arrived. The friends of P group is doing a major library renovation, the auditorium and science lab are recently redone, as is the playground, and arts opportunities are like no where else in the city. I have signed both my children up and have nothing but praise for the kindergarten teachers. And the class size in the Fine Arts program kindergarten classes was 22 this year. My child got offered a fine selective enrollment school last year, and we chose to keep him at Pritzker, where he has thrived. Go see the school and talk to some parents, or visit http://www.friendsofpritkzer.org.

  • 445. STEM parent  |  March 27, 2012 at 8:39 am

    @441 Jackie: Your analysis is not quite accurate. Historically about 50% (~30) of all seats are taken by siblings at Jackson, the number can of course vary every year. The remaining 50% (~30) would be split into 40% proximity (~12, no tier applies), and the remaining 60% (~18) would be split among the 4 tiers (~4.5 per tier).

  • 446. jef park  |  March 27, 2012 at 8:50 am

    After being highly frustrated yesterday – today I feel much better. I have a plan. Are other people feeling similar? Can we share some of the plans? It might give some of us insights to movement and maybe others ideas that they haven’t thought about.
    My DD got an offer to Pierce (as did everyone else!) and is wait list for Stone (15 T4) and Disney (53 T4) and Thorp (108 Prox). The plan is to enroll at Pierce, even though it’s 7 miles away and wait to see if any of the above three call. I prefer Stone (7 miles) over Disney (7.5 miles) and Thorp (1 mile) over the other two – but that is not that likely.
    Oh, and she got ok scores on the gifted, but she will not be offered anything in follow up rounds.

  • 447. PatientCPSMom  |  March 27, 2012 at 9:10 am

    Tier 2

    offered Salazar (where we’re at PreK)

    Waitlisted Proximity
    Newberry and LaSalle 18
    LaSalle II 59
    Franklin 45

    Waitlisted Tier 2
    Disney II 3
    Hawthorne 4
    Jackson 110

    Waitlisted General
    Inter-American 231
    Drummond 743
    Mayer 130

    Neighborhood school Jenner

  • 448. Skinmom  |  March 27, 2012 at 9:18 am

    Congrats everyone! I have friends with children at Hamilton, Blaine and Disney II who are leaving for private school.

    I don’t understand why anyone would consider Disney! It’s important to remember that neighborhood programs play a HUGE role in the school. The teacher turnover rate there is crazy due to that evil principal. Pulaski is in chaos due to being in the “initial” stage of implementing an IB program. Inter-American is 80% Hispanic and lacks diversity.

    @408 I agree re:Gale and Jordan. A former teacher from Jordan (currently at Hamilton) babysat for us several times. I’ve heard HORRIFIC stories about the Principal at Jordan and although they have terrific teachers, too much time is spent on behavior issues.

    There is always next year. It amazes me how long the waiting list is at Blaine. This is the perfect example of what happens to a school when the demographics change. Blaine use to be an average CPS school until the neighborhood changed.

    Some other decent neighborhood schools are Jahn, Bell, Newberry , Franklin, and Burley. Has anyone looked at these?

  • 449. Right Said Fred  |  March 27, 2012 at 9:22 am

    #431 If you really are a CPS Teacher, I hope you’re not teaching English…

  • 450. Skinmom  |  March 27, 2012 at 9:29 am

    I agree that there is a problem with the tier system. It makes zero sense. Chicago is extremely diverse. One could easily be on welfare barely making it and fall under Tier 4. They need to look at income.

    Otherwise, it might make sense to rent an apartment in Tier one;)

  • 451. nonplussed  |  March 27, 2012 at 9:37 am

    Slightly off the point but if you have a complaint about an principal or Assistant principal who can you report it to?

  • 452. cpsmom  |  March 27, 2012 at 9:46 am

    @426 – probably pretty good chances. If one tier 3 doesn’t take their offered spot, you’d be the next call. It probably wouldn’t hurt to call or email to let them know you will take the spot if offered. I believe parents have 2 weeks to accept or decline. Drummond is on Spring break until April 9. It is a fantastic school, our 2 children have gone there for 7 years.

    Good luck to everyone!

  • 453. epicyclist  |  March 27, 2012 at 9:49 am

    @324 (jlbcbs)–You mentioned Farnsworth as an example of a lesser-known school with a good program. Farnsworth is our neighborhood school and I never considered it as an option…until we got our letter yesterday showing we are waitlisted everywhere. Doh!

    In revisiting data on the school, it appears that it’s under Academic Early Warning, but the scores themselves aren’t all that bad…and now they are in the process of looking for a new principal, following the death of Dr. Wells. Would be curious to hear your thoughts about the school. Thanks.

  • 454. JG  |  March 27, 2012 at 10:04 am

    RE: 448 Skinmom

    The chance of someone getting into 4 of the 5 schools you list is slim to none in the lottery. Burley and Bell in particular are vastly overcrowded.

    “Some other decent neighborhood schools are Jahn, Bell, Newberry , Franklin, and Burley. Has anyone looked at these?”

  • 455. lalaland  |  March 27, 2012 at 10:05 am

    I agree with Skinmom… I thought about getting an apartment in Englewood just so I can get into a good school. I am in Tier 4 and feel like I don’t belong in it. I am a single mom and this is madness.

  • 456. 456  |  March 27, 2012 at 10:16 am

    Most of the comments I see have been regarding the flow for Tier 3 adn Tier 4. We are in Tier 1 and am wondering if there tends to be more or less movement within this tier at schools like Suder, Drummond, Galileo (the only schools where we have numbers for my 3 and 5 year olds that are under 100. Anyone have any insight?

  • 457. Dfer  |  March 27, 2012 at 10:18 am

    @452-CPSmom Good idea to call Drummond, is there a specific person you recommend me speaking to? Should I just leave a message for the principal if possible or is there someone else? Appreciate the info.

  • 458. jlbcbs  |  March 27, 2012 at 10:26 am

    @453 (epicyclist) – Where did you see that Farnsworth is under Academic Early Warning? We haven’t seen that. Yes, they are looking for a new principal. I toured the school in the fall and liked it. It wasn’t our first choice, but it is much better than our neighborhood school, Scammon. It is Track E as well, in case that makes a difference to you.

    Overall, I think it is a good little school. It has a very tight knit parent community, strong involvement and PTA. They are working on adding more rigor to the curriculum, use centers for differentiation in instruction, and do very little “seat work”. They also “walk” students up to higher grades for reading and math so they are learning at their level. The teachers are ready for new challenges according to the acting principal. They implement technology into the curriculum, and have laptop carts and Elmo projectors. They have good diversity for a neighborhood school, and integrate special needs students into regular classrooms when possible. They have the free after-school all stars program, and sports starting in 5th. They built a garden in one of the courtyards, and teachers are able to take students out to learn with white boards. They have a full-time music teacher. As you saw, their scores are quite good for a neighborhood school. We plan on accepting there.

  • 459. Bewildered  |  March 27, 2012 at 10:32 am

    My son had no offers for the classical and regional gifted centers, however he did get an offer from Murray Magnet School in Hyde Park. Does anyone have any information good or bad on this school?

  • 460. Mia  |  March 27, 2012 at 10:34 am

    @451 – apparently you report it to the “network” they are in. I’ve left two messages at my network (O’Hare) to file a complaint about my principal – but haven’t heard back yet.

  • 461. cpsobsessed  |  March 27, 2012 at 10:38 am

    @451 – reporting info to the lsc chair (or any member) is another course of action. They are the ones who renew the contract or not.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 462. Mia  |  March 27, 2012 at 10:42 am

    The LSC at my school is part of the problem. 🙂

  • 463. murrayparent  |  March 27, 2012 at 10:47 am

    @ 459
    My child goes to Murray Language Academy and I call it the diamond in the rough. Nobody knows about the school but it is a wonderful school. Everyone is so nice, the teachers seem to REALLY care about the students and their learning. They offer many afterschool activities. They also offer, art, library, gym, during the week recess every day, so don’t rule it out as I know down in Hyde Park parents are trying HARD to get their kids into Murray.

  • 464. rfg  |  March 27, 2012 at 10:50 am

    @448 Skinmom – Disney is actually a great school. Did you have your kid(s) enrolled there? My experience with the school has been nothing but wonderful. Yes, the principal is not warm and fuzzy but I truly think that she has been instrumental in getting that school to where it is today. She runs a tight ship and seems to go by the book. It is a large school so order needs to be maintained. When I first met her, I was hoping for some friendliness, but I see how much my child has grown academically and the see the other happy kids there and I’m willing to sacrifice having a friendly principal. She does her job quite well I think. Disney is a really good magnet school with a great diverse student population and programs.

  • 465. Sarah  |  March 27, 2012 at 10:51 am

    @351: I think the reason you’re in the “general” queue for Suder, Drummond, & Mayer is because the entry level there is PK3. The PK3 kids there get put into Tier waiting lists. Your child, going into PK4, is above entry level so just gets a “general” queue. I had the exact same terminology on my letters for my PK4 twins (@437). For Inter-American, PK4 is the entry level so the queue is listed by Tier.

  • 466. PTA Southside Mom  |  March 27, 2012 at 10:52 am

    My daughter bombed the test it seems. Is there any recourse for the Academic Centers?

  • 467. cpsmom  |  March 27, 2012 at 10:58 am

    @426 – just call the office & ask who to speak to. They are probably being bombarded with calls, and I would wait until after spring break as they won’t have the final acceptance numbers for 2 weeks. Also, people drop out throughout the summer and into fall, so keep in touch periodically.

    Good luck!!

  • 468. Skinmom  |  March 27, 2012 at 10:58 am

    Farnsworth has 38% students exceeding state standards if that helps. The reason for academic warning would be for not making AYP. Looking at the trend in scores, this makes sense because there were big drops in meeting or exceeding standards vs an upward trend. A new principal makes sense in this case.

    Drummond- I personally LOVE this school and had my children start here in preK until my son was accepted into a gifted program. My daughter attends private school bc we felt this was the best fit for her. Drummond has a wonderful principal, wonderful children, an incredible amount of parent involvement and an overall very impressive program.

    I would call the principal and or make a time to introduce yourself. He’s very approachable.

    Murray is comparable to Blaine and Bell (neighborhood program) re: scores. The only complaint I would have are the large class sizes. Then again, Bell has large class sizes. Good school.

  • 469. cpsobsessed  |  March 27, 2012 at 11:01 am

    I think I was told that a good school may not keep making AYP. At some point diminishing returns happen and there’s only so much more you can raise scores each year….

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 470. hb  |  March 27, 2012 at 11:02 am

    1,000,000 at Mayer (might as well be)
    #25 @ Drummond — Tier 4. Any shot?

    thanks for all you do!

  • 471. Audubon?  |  March 27, 2012 at 11:06 am

    Skinmom, do you work at CPS? Wondering how you know something about almost every school mentioned? What a great resource!

  • 472. NorthsideDad  |  March 27, 2012 at 11:14 am

    @470: Is 1,000,000 at Mayer your waitlist number? 1 million waitlist number, how could it be?

  • 473. hb  |  March 27, 2012 at 11:16 am

    sorry — bad joke. we’re around 200 @ Mayer

  • 474. MarketingMom  |  March 27, 2012 at 11:26 am

    You were asking if there is foreign language at Hawthorne and the answer is no. If there was one thing I would change at Hawthorne, it would be the addition of foreign language. As one of the top two highest scoring non-classical/gifted public schools in the city, the foreign language component is the main difference between A.Jackson and Hawthorne. With that said, there are on-site before and after school language courses that you can pay and register your child to attend such as Spanish and Mandarin Chinese.

  • 475. Skinmom  |  March 27, 2012 at 11:28 am

    @464 we did extensive research on schools, Disney included. I know people who have pulled their kids out of there due to the neighborhood program and the lack of a challenging curriculum. In the lower grades, they use a reading program called StoryTown (one fit for all) vs novel studies in order to better differentiate. One friend became very close with the teacher who advised her to look at schools with curriculums that would be more challenging and have less behavior issues that take away from instructional time. The teacher also gave a “true” picture of what goes on behind the scenes. I don’t think you will find a single teacher there who is happy. They all dress like secretaries in heels bc that is what Dr. Hagstrom requires. This may work for some people but not for the people that I know who wanted a school that is built on collaboration (including the principal) with parent involvement, experienced teachers (not constant turnover) and a challenging curriculum.

    I get a lot of information re: various schools due to having one child in CPS and another in private. I also have a large network of friends who have children at different schools. Education seems to be the trending topic amongst us these days. The competition is so fierce and stressful. My children should be able to be kids. Not feel the stress of test scores, getting into a top high school etc.

  • 476. Hopeful Mom!  |  March 27, 2012 at 11:31 am

    @474 I called this morning and they said with the hire of the new principal one of their goals is to bring back language. They had Spanish but I guess the principal removed it from the curriculum. For Jackson we are number #136 LOL! Who runs the after school language program? TIA!

  • 477. Audubon?  |  March 27, 2012 at 11:49 am

    Skinmom – what do you know about Audubon? Thanks in advance …

  • 478. Skinmom  |  March 27, 2012 at 11:52 am

    @471 I will take your allegation as a compliment because I think we all know that someone working for CPS would not have all of this information nor would they waste their time posting.

    My husband and I make education a priority. As do our circle of friends. I have spent countless hours researching and reaching out to people to gather as much information about CPS schools in order to ensure my children receive a top notch education. As for test scores, there is a CPS Elementary and Preschool directory printed each year that details and measures the difference between every schools’ average student growth on the ISAT, students meeting or exceeding state standards along with past year trends.

    The information is all out there. As for AYP, the better schools continue to meet AYP. Struggling schools may go years without meeting AYP and years with being on Academic warning. If zero progress is made (each year), the principal is usually replaced. There are many factors that play a role including politics.

  • 479. Audubon?  |  March 27, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Skinmom, I did mean it as a compliment and thought maybe you did work for CPS and are trying to be helpful to us CPS navigators – and I realize all the info is out there but you have the inside scoop – which teachers are miserable, which parents are miserable, for example.

  • 480. rfg  |  March 27, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    @475 – Can you please elaborate on the “neighborhood program” you speak of and what is the “true” picture of the school. Don’t beat around the bush since you’ve brought it up. I don’t think dressing up in business/business casual is unheard of in a school environment. I’ve seen teachers and administrators wear suits and pantsuits, but nothing of the “secretary” outfits that you speak of. I’ve attended the LSC meetings and when you hear Dr. Hagstrom speak, you will understand the issues that are on her plate. She does not shy away from getting things done. Unless, you’ve attended an LSC meeting, dealt or spoken with the principal, your comments about Disney should be more carefully worded. I didn’t know innuendo, inferences, and second hand information substitute for truth. To anyone considering Disney, go the school, don’t just read second, third hand information.

  • 481. Skinmom  |  March 27, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    Audubon has had huge dips in Reading and Math scores. Only 94% of students are promoted from 3rd grade (CPS average is 92%). Students exceeding state standards for the highest grade enrolled is 14%.

    Again, this is a neighborhood school and it might be beneficial to speak to other parents with children who attend Audubon along with asking if you could visit various classrooms to get a feel for the environment. In the past, I have reached out to teachers who have welcomed me into their classroom. Do you have any friends w kids there?

  • 482. Audubon?  |  March 27, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    Thanks, Skinmom. I know a few families people and they’re in love with the school. But they socialize with each other and spend much time at school. I will not have time for that as single working mom.

  • 483. MamaK  |  March 27, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    any chance at Alcott with a 17 on the waitlist? Does Alcott typically move?
    Any chance at STEM with 26 on the list?
    Any feedback from last years movement would be great!

  • 484. peggy  |  March 27, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    ok got a 142 on gifted test called and was told that that number showed she scored better than 99% of all the kids tested ,,, i dont know why we didnt get an offer from a gifted school .. and does anyone know how round 2 offers work april 11th?with the gifted schools

  • 485. NAMom  |  March 27, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    @ 178. Thanks for your comments re: Jackson. We are hoping for some good luck re. the wait list.

    @ 429 Jackie. We are in Tier 3. There is a different wait list for each tier. Kind of a crazy system!

  • 486. City gifted mom  |  March 27, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    484, what tier? what schools did you apply to?

    In general – 142 in Tier 4, probably not. Lower tier, maybe.

  • 487. crazed  |  March 27, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    So to get into a regional gifted center you need a score of?????

    And the “regional gifted center/Academic Center/ International gifted Program score is ?????? my son is (5-8)

    I have been searching for hours and can not seem to find answers to either!

  • 488. Bewildered  |  March 27, 2012 at 12:44 pm


    Thanks for the info, my Husband and I will definitely consider Murray Language Academy.

  • 489. City gifted mom  |  March 27, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    487 Crazed what tier are you in? What schools did you apply to? Youve got to take all that into account in figuring entry chances. There are not hard fast rules but everyone can chime in and give you educated guesses.

  • 490. Christine  |  March 27, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    @487 crazed — that’s not really how the scores work. It’s not like you have to get a certain score and if you do, you’re in. And there are different selection processes for SEES schools and Academic Centers.

    For elementary schools (SEES) The kids who are tested are all ranked in score order from highest to lowest. Kids are ranked on two different lists: a citywide list and a tier list.

    The first 30% of the seats are given to the top-ranked kids from the city-wide list. The basically just go down the list giving the top-scoring kids in the city their first choice until a certain school is full, then the next kid gets their 2nd choice and so on.

    The remaining 70% of the seats are given to the top-scoring kids from the tier lists and they are divided equally across the 4 tiers. So even if your child doesn’t score high enough in the city-wide bucket to get one of those first 30% seats, they get a 2nd chance from within their tier. They might not be the highest ranking in the city but they’re highest ranking in their tier, get it?

    So raw score doesn’t matter as much as where they fall in the ranking and which schools you ranked.

  • 491. epicyclist  |  March 27, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    @458 jlbcbs: I found the info re: Academic Early Warning for Farnsworth here:


    Thanks for sharing your input–it’s very encouraging. I just left a message for the main office to request a visit or tour, and even though they are on break right now (which I didn’t know), someone just left me a message saying that they’d be happy to accommodate me & other parents who have also recently requested a tour. I was impressed with the fast response…getting increasingly excited to visit the school myself soon.

    Thanks again!

  • 492. peggy  |  March 27, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    thank you cristine very helpful .. we are tier 4 and applied to edison and one more close to our house in lincoln square my hubby did it and not sure what other school it was .. we didnt want to bus her around

  • 493. crazed  |  March 27, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    Christine…thank you for the reply ..it is super helpful … i guess i am the type that needs it spelled out … i am going a little bit crazy with it all .

    so we are tier 1…. and we got into our 4th choice?!?!?! Skinner north.

    my son was 99th for reading and math and scored 131.. still not sure what the score of (5-8) is .

    So you will never really know were they fall in the ranks for sure . you just kind of guesstimate from the score and your tier.. i think get it .

  • 494. Mom  |  March 27, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    Applying for K. Tier 3. Got letter today. No offers from magnets/lotteries. Best wait list 15 at Sheridan (a hike for us), most >50.

  • 495. Skinmom  |  March 27, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    @460 be persistent. Schools use to be divided into “areas” but recently those areas have been changed to “networks”. Ohare would have been area 1. There is a person who is head of each network. I could be wrong but I think yours is Isabel Mesa-Collins? My sister-in-law has a child at Edison (Ohare network) and she (Isabel Mesa-Collins) spoke at one of their LSC meetings. Check to make sure or call downtown. What school is it?

  • 496. Ivana  |  March 27, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    Anyone from tier 4 KG will be giving out spot in LaSalle school? We are number 4 on waiting list – tier 4 and can’t wait any longer :[

  • 497. Amy  |  March 27, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    @456. We’re also in Tier 1… we are #10 on the PreK3 waiting list at Suder. Will let you know if we hear anything. *Fingers crossed*.

  • 498. AllAboard  |  March 27, 2012 at 1:38 pm


    (5-8) is not a score! That line is in the template of the standard letter and it is for Regional Gifted Centers for children in grades between 5-8. Is there a number after the colon? It is probably blank, so that line does not pertain to your child. The first and second line are for you (K-4)

  • 499. crazed  |  March 27, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    ahhh , thanks allaboard . i guess i was really looking at that right .

  • 500. Edgebrook family  |  March 27, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    Very disappointed. Was hoping and praying that our daughter who has been reading since age 3 would get a SEES offer like her brother and she didn’t. and from her low score will not get a later one either.

    Not loving our neighborhoods school Edgebrook. It is mediocre and has small-town mentality parents. And they bus the kids to what I think isn’t a safe location for after school! The Y on Touhy where there is also housing and the men hanging around look one step away from being child molesters to me.

  • 501. DisneyDad  |  March 27, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    @475 @480
    Current Disney Parent (Non Gifted Class)
    As someone who is there every day for drop off in the morning, Parent/Teacher nights, LSC meetings (when Work schedule allows) I can only share “my own” experience with CPS that ended with our child attending Disney 1
    We have a dreadful neighborhood school and wanted to stay in the city because this is our home and we want it to be our child’s home also. So we did what everyone here has done or is thinking of doing in the near future, we panicked, researched, and toured. We talked to friends with kids in other CPS schools, some gifted, some classical & some just in neighborhood schools (albeit “good” neighborhood schools). We looked at Private Catholic Schools on the North side. We spent FAR too much time reading comments on this blog and others like it. Then we tested and hoped for the best, we didn’t prep, we didn’t cram. What’s the point of that, it will only get your child into a school that they may not be able to handle in the long run.
    Well after much waiting and pretty much coming to terms with packing it in and moving to the suburbs we got an acceptance letter to Disney and then we really started researching. And you know what we found? We found that despite Disney’s “neighborhood program” coupled with a 66+% Low income population they are still able to pull numbers reviling schools half their size, in “good” neighborhoods (read: Rich & White). They must be doing something right, right?
    The school
    It’s a very diverse group of students but one thing I learned quickly was this, almost every kid that is at Disney is there because someone in their life made an effort to get them into that school because they want something better for them, maybe it’s a single mom, partnered couple or grandparent but in my experience someone in their life cares about their education and doesn’t take that lightly. My child has many “neighborhood” friends (read; Black) and she doesn’t know the difference between a “gifted”,”magnet” or “neighborhood” smile or hug or playground bully. That’s the stuff we (the parents) interject into these types of discussions. She doesn’t care what tier her friends are from or if she’s “neighborhood”. She loves her school, all her teachers (so far) and the friends she’s made at Disney.
    Look this is my experience, Hagstrom is very businesslike, she may not seem friendly but she knows her school, What works in her school & how to FUND it all. She is a total professional on school related matters. (Mr. Norcross and the other Floor supervisors are like a mini principals in their own right. You will never deal with her anyway)
    I see how she can be off-putting, but not EVIL. I don’t need a hug from my kid’s principal, no one needs to rub my back and tell me everything is going to be OK. As for the teacher being unhappy haven’t seen it. I’m sure people get stressed out it’s a big school with that comes lots of issues. Teachers aren’t super human smile machines, watching 2 kids is tiring, I can’t imagine 27. But it’s a job and if you don’t like the workplace, your boss, the pay or the people you should be servicing (the kids) leave.
    My child is happy at Disney & I hope yours will be also

    If you got a letter from Disney tour it, ask questions.
    Get off the internet and go Find out for yourself.
    If you are set on reading a bunch of second hand info on blogs, just make sure to check under that bridge for trolls first.

  • 502. moving  |  March 27, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    @500edgebrook family

    Edgebrook school is ranked high at CPS, has a perfect 10 score on greatschools.org, and Ive heard such great things… was thinking about moving to Edgebrook this summer actually – please tell me more! By all accounts you have a fantastic neighborhood school – compared to so many others.

  • 503. Public or Private  |  March 27, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    @423, there is no priority among the different waitlists. For you to get the call from Hawthorne, two Tier 4 families have to turn down their spots. Basically, they fill the spots with students who are in the same category. So if a proximity family turns down their spot, the school will start going down the proximity waitlist, and so on.

  • 504. HS Mom  |  March 27, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    @501 Very well written. Don’t fall for the self appointed school “critics”. Just to add, the principal at our elementary school was very “no nonsense”. Has since retired but she was fantastic, very structured environment conducive to the solid eduction that they provided.

  • 505. Public or Private  |  March 27, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    For those considering doing some real research on Disney (1), there’s an open house on April 10 @ 9 a.m.

  • 506. Edgebrook family  |  March 27, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    @502moving, I just looked at greatschools and this comment sums it up for me. Have had lots of exposure to the parent base and the kids and this seems spot-on.

    This from greatschools ——–

    Excellent curriculm but issues with parents and bullying from students concern me greatly. Also school lacks programming to deal with above stated problems. Overly obsessed and concerned with ISAT testing . Strange enviornment. Great presure to donate money to fund for science lab, fund for teachers, PTA etc. Elitist campus community that parents create and some school personal buy into. Do you drive the right kind of car? Are you a single parent? Where do you live? Do you live in the neighborhood? God forbid you have a special needs child or the child is ‘different’ in any way.

  • 507. Skinmom  |  March 27, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    @480 I base my decision on many factors, including friends who have had negative experiences with a school. If you would like to talk facts, then we can do that too. Most people on here are looking for more than statistics. Fact- Disney has only 18% of students exceeding state standards. This is a red flag for me. Fact- Disney has a high turnover rate of teachers. Fact- Disney uses StoryTown for their reading series (one size fits all) vs novel studies which offer students choice while providing differentiation.

    What do I mean by a neighborhood program? I’m not beating around the bush because everyone on here knows what a neighborhood program is. If you look at the demographics of the neighborhood you will see a high percentage of low income families. In turn, 70% of students at Disney are low income. Many come from households where education is not a priority. The result is classrooms full of students on staggering levels.

    It’s preference. I prefer my child to be in a class with students that are on similar academic levels. I also insist that my child be challenged with an authentic curriculum that stimulates growth. I am not a fan of reading series and/or basis. I feel that providing students with a choice, including a variety of genres, ultimately opens the door to a wealth of fabulous literature. Children learn to read because they love reading, not because they are assigned specific pages in their reading textbook. This also enables children to make real connections (text to self, text to text, text to world). Maybe this sounds crazy but I feel that these big publishing companies ie. Hartcourt, Pearson etc. are just another extension of corporatization.

    It goes back to the saying….Those who can, teach. Those who cannot pass laws about teaching.

  • 508. FormerCPSGrad  |  March 27, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    Any parents whose kids go to STEM …

    My kid got into STEM for Kindergarten (Tier 2) — not sure what to do as he’s currently at a private school now that just won the National Blue Ribbon for schools.

    Please tell me your thoughts on STEM as there aren’t any test data available? Likes/Dislikes? Comparable to Skinner Classical?

  • 509. moving  |  March 27, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    Thank you Edgebrookfamily.
    Appreciate the insight from someone within. My nightmare school situation seems to keep getting bleaker by the day. Does anyone on the Northside of Chicago actually like their neighborhood school? I guess Im lucky my lease is up in 2 months as I have the freedom to move, and cant imagine if I couldnt sell a house right now and felt stuck.

  • 510. Edgebrook family  |  March 27, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    @509 Moving, I feel like you, I want to move terribly. We can’t.

    How about Sauganash or Wildwood?

  • 511. hrf  |  March 27, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    Skinmom – you are just wrong.

    Disney had 40% of students exceeding standards last year.

    Anyone can look up scores on research.cps.k12.il.us website.

    Reminder to all – do your own research of schools – don’t rely on anonymous strangers on the internet to teach you about schools.

  • 512. BucktownBryan  |  March 27, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    Son is #9 on Drummond Proximity Wait List for PreK.

    Anyone know how deep this has gone in the past?

  • 513. cpsmom  |  March 27, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    @ 512- The issue with Drummond is that it is a very small school. There are only 36 incoming 3 year olds, and very few incoming 4 or 5 year olds every year. Of the 36 incoming, 40% are reserved for siblings, so that leaves about 21 spots for proximity and tiers 1-4, assuming all 40% go to siblings. So odds are not great in any area. Montessori is such a lovely method for urban education, I wish there was funding to switch more CPS schools to this model.

  • 514. Logan  |  March 27, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    Anyone sending their kids to Chase? We applied to 17 schools and the best outcome was 17th on the waitlist at Pritzker. I guess we put the random in lottery.

  • 515. Skinmom  |  March 27, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    @501 a good principal in my mind promotes unity, collaboration and has a terrific rapport with his/her staff. Did you forget the huge dispute earlier in the year re: the longer day? Hagstrom threatened teachers to vote for a longer day. Finally, one of the few veteran teachers (Mr.Drase, amazing teacher) spoke out in opposition to Hagstrom, expressing the importance of unity. Her comment sums everything up.

    The last thing I want to do is cause divisiveness at Disney,” Hagstrom said. “I’m trying to show (teachers) that they’re not going against the union if they vote yes. I’m hopeful teachers will see this as the right thing to do.”

    Take a look at the teacher reviews. It’s obvious which ones were filled out by her minions.


  • 516. CrazyMo  |  March 27, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    All: Definitely read ALL skinmom’s post prior to deciding to go with what she says.

  • 517. Marlese  |  March 27, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    Skinmom–Disney doesn’t have a “neighborhood” program or neighborhood boundaries. It’s 100% magnet, so the local neighborhood (which is actually pretty white and spendy) isn’t really reflected in the shcool population. They do have their own internal gifted program, but the regular magnet program is still made up entirely of children who applied to the school. Our daughter is in PreK at Disney and we love it. We deal with “mini principal” Mr. Norcross who is responsive, available and helpful. The older children at the school are respectful and seem to be do amazing things. The preschool curriculum is stellar with math, differentiated reading, Chinese and Spanish. They take amazing field trips. Her teachers are wonderful and also responsive and available. We’ve had high turnover with the teaching assistants, but that’s because they only hire fully licensed teachers who are overqualified and understandably will leave for their own class. I feel like they take my preschoolers education more seriously than some other schools that seem to think that learning REALLY begins at kinder, or even first grade. I work full time but have still gotten to know many of the parents and feel like there’s definitely a community despite it being a “commuter” school. I’m not trying to bash Skinmom, who is just trying to help, but do feel the need to defend what has been nothing but a wonderful, nurturing, and inclusive school for us.

  • 518. mom2  |  March 27, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    @moving – “Does anyone on the Northside of Chicago actually like their neighborhood school?” – Have you been reading the posts on this blog? Parents are fighting to get into some north side neighborhood schools – Burley, Hamilton, Nettlehorst, Blaine, etc.

  • 519. LaSalleParent  |  March 27, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    @164 Skinnernorthmom. Not sure why you are bashing Lasalle. I have 2 kids at the school and we are very happy. We know people that have pulled children from skinner north to go back to Lasalle. . Maybe the school was not a fit for you. Lasalle is a laguage school and it is very fitting to have a principal that is from France. Lasalle’s 8th graders get as many selective enrollment spots as the gifted and the classical programs.

    @78 City Mom and
    @241Curry Mom

    Congratualtions on getting in to LaSalle. You will love it. If you are a parent with future children and want them at the same school the Magnet’s are the way to go. We have been so happy with Lasalle and still have one other child to go in 2 years. The parents I know that have kids at 2 diffent classical or gifted schools say it is challanging and that is something you do not need to worry about with the Magnets. If you get into any good Magnet school you need to take it.

    I read these posts and see how many parents do not get into any
    schools and the neighborhood school is not an option. I don’t think we should be complaining about the principal and the teachers. No school is perfect.

  • 520. FormerCPSGrad  |  March 27, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    Can anyone tell me about STEM? Like it / Don’t like it … Challenging?

  • 521. Mom of 2  |  March 27, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    Disney is definitely doing a lot better than it was just 3 years ago. They didn’t make AYP in reading or math that year (can’t remember which one). That’s why I crossed it off my list. Too bad because we live close by.

  • 522. Chris  |  March 27, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    “Children learn to read because they love reading, not because they are assigned specific pages in their reading textbook. This also enables children to make real connections (text to self, text to text, text to world).”

    Connections. The fricking bane of our kid’s existence. *only* thing he struggles with.

    As you say, they learn to read bc they like it, not bc they write down “connections”.

  • 523. Chris  |  March 27, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    ““Does anyone on the Northside of Chicago actually like their neighborhood school?” – Have you been reading the posts on this blog? Parents are fighting to get into some north side neighborhood schools – Burley, Hamilton, Nettlehorst, Blaine, etc.”

    Coonley, Bell, etc, etc. Seriously.

  • 524. Skinmom  |  March 27, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    I could be wrong and am happy to admit I made a mistake. I was under the impression that children in the area had priority at Disney bc Brennerman (tiny school) is the neighborhood school(title I). Students attending a title I school designated as “in need of improvement” have the right to attend a higher performing school in the district. Disney receives title 1 funding and maybe I was wrong to assume, but I attributed this to the % of low income families.

  • 525. HellasMom  |  March 27, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    DD applied for 1st grade, tier 4.

    No offers.

    Best Waitlist Numbers (general for all):
    Blaine #8
    Hawthorne #40
    Nettelhorst #98
    Disney #136

    I somehow expected to get into Disney considering we live one block from the school. However, after speaking with someone at CPS yesterday, I was told that the proximity lottery only applies to “entrance” grades, i.e. kindergarten.

    I was not aware that proximity did not count for any other grade besides kindergarten.

    Did anyone else know this? I feel like CPS did not make anyone aware of this, and feel as though I did my research.

    Does anyone think we have a chance at Blaine??

    Good luck to all!!!

  • 526. LastYr  |  March 27, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    edgebrook bashing? See for yourself. Edgebrook School is OK, so is Wildwood IB. The main problems with Edgebrook and Wildwood is the “teach to the test mentality”. The kids work really hard, the teachers are mostly ok but SEHS is a problems — otherwise TAFT.. Yikes

  • 527. Tamra  |  March 27, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    skinmom equals troll

    BTW..you are not likely doing your school any favors with your posts here. Hopefully you do not represent the parent culture at your school.

    Of course, I’d never make any assumptions. If i was interested in Skinner I would go and tour and research etc

  • 528. Curious too  |  March 27, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    Anyone receive Stone offers? What tier? Isn’t it a decent sized school? Haven’t seen too many of those…

  • 529. Jacque  |  March 27, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    Anyone planning on Chappell? Or have any insight to that school? (Kindergarten)

  • 530. Angie  |  March 27, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    @515. Skinmom: “@501 a good principal in my mind promotes unity, collaboration and has a terrific rapport with his/her staff. Did you forget the huge dispute earlier in the year re: the longer day? Hagstrom threatened teachers to vote for a longer day.”

    So you are bashing Disney because the principal went against the CTU wishes and supported the longer school day? That explains your attempts to steer the students away from it.

    Everyone: please talk to the actual parents at the school you’re considering before believing the internet gossip.

  • 531. jlbcbs  |  March 27, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    @529 (Jacque) We are 14 on the wait list at Chappell for K, and have a friend who got an offer at Chappell for K. We would probably take it over our current offer. I toured it in the fall and was very impressed. The principal has been there for 5 years, and is focused on raising the rigor in the curriculum and putting more emphasis on science. He is actively recruiting students of parents who are truly engaged in their children’s education. They have a new addition to the building and may get TIF funding for improvements. They offer algebra in 8th grade, which not all schools have. They use everyday math and focus on problem solving. For reading the focus heavily on comprehension and match abilities to books. They have Spanish, music, library and gym as specials, and they plan to add art next year. There are computers in the classrooms, a PC computer lab, plus a laptop cart that is used daily. They have a few smart boards, elmo projectors and and alpha smarts cart. There is a lot of teacher collaboration, and they meet daily. They have a resource room for staff development and literacy with a library of leveled readers. They have good diversity in the student population as well. I think they are on their way to becoming a great neighborhood school.

  • 532. rfg  |  March 27, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    @507 Skinmom- Re: Longer Day and Dr. Hagstrom. Again, maybe you should GO to Disney and attend the LSC meetings not just read stuff from a website. I attended the longer day LSC meeting at Disney. Dr. Hagstrom made her position clear that she wanted a longer (although I am opposed to 7.5 hrs.) but she made it clear the teachers ultimately have the decision. I never once overheard her threaten teachers. Don’t quite get the threatening message that you speak of. From my viewpoint, she was a principal stating her desire for a longer day. Nothing more. Nothing less.

    Regarding the neighborhood element in the school (lower income from your interpretation). I like teaching my kid that the world is made up of many different people from different backgrounds and economic means seeking to be educated. From my experience, Disney’s environment has been very nurturing and academically challenging. Get out and visit the campus when the kids are out. I just don’t get how you can preach about this school when you have not stepped foot on the campus or dealt with the teachers.

  • 533. kiki h.  |  March 27, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    @520, here’s a c&p of my post on the other thread:

    I don’t know much about Skinner West, but STEM does a very good job of differentiating and challenging all the children in each class. There is a floating teacher for each grade level to help with groups. All the parents I’ve spoken with say their kids love STEM, and my own child feels the same way, which makes me happy. The amount of homework is reasonable. It hardly ever seems like busywork, which was a problem at the RGC my kids attended.

    STEM is still developing a parent culture, but it’s definitely headed in the right direction. PTO is in the works, lots of fun out-of-school get togethers, etc. Kids are challenged, we LOVE the reading program there. Arts are not overlooked, despite the science/tech focus. I was also pretty impressed that my third grader taught me Power Point, thanks to the wonderful tech teacher. The only real drawback we’ve experienced is the tiny playground.

  • 534. cpsobsessed  |  March 27, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    As input for amundsen, I’d looked at chappell’s scores (chappell is a key feeder to amundsen) and considering the school has been sort of low profile, the scores looked very good.
    I know the winnemac neighbor people speak highly of the place. Def worth checking out.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 535. DisneyDad  |  March 27, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    I can speak to this, I was at the LSC RE: the longer day

    CPS asked for a longer day, Hagstrom didnt just decide that Disney kids should have a longer day and that Disney Teachers should suck it up and deal with it. The Mayor did THAT. She works for CPS, CPS is her boss they gave the schools marching orders and said get it done. Did you want her to sit and wait for September to figure it all out? She is being proactive, trying to figure out what this means for all of us. Teachers included. No one at that meeting wanted our teachers to work longer for no pay, but the Mayor said make it work and IMO that was all she was doing.
    I think she has done a great job at Disney and continues to work on improving the school, she has a strong vision for the school and where it needs to be. You cant lead and listen to everyone about everything, If you are the boss you take what you are given and try to make it work. Should she have defied the order and sided with the teachers? I’m sure they would have help her carry out her box on her last day after she was fired. Then who wins, the school, the kids or the new principal that CPS appoints (who follows orders and get the longer day sorted out).

    Look bottom line- Picking a school for your kid is SCARY, I’ve been there but please speak about things you know something about when giving advise to others. This whole process is hard enough without scaring people away from a GREAT SCHOOL because they have a high low income, “neighborhood” population, you know what in the future just say Black we do all know what you mean wink wink

    To anyone holding a Disney 1 acceptance letter, please go and have a look. It’s big, its scary, the principal is not a good listener but lives and bleeds Disney. She has a great staff that gets things done and funds things like After school all-stars (Extended in length at Disney this year.) Make up your own mind, and remember if you dont like K you can always retest for a Classical or RGC next year
    after your child has reaped the benefits of a full day Kindergarten, after school all stars ,walking reading. And the GREAT GREAT teachers (We love you Mrs. Peña-Shives) ETC ETC ETC

    I can believe you made me defend Hagstrom, I dont like her personality (i cant see us sharing a couple of pints) but I respect her and the job she does for our daughter.

  • 536. Ivana  |  March 27, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    @ # 519 LaSalleParent. Do you know if we have any chance for KG Lasalle school – tier 4 – waiting list # 4, Thank you so much

  • 537. NotWaters  |  March 27, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    hi everyone – I checked in with Waters this afternoon and learned that for the last two years that they have not even gone to the wait list because they get so many neighborhood kids. I was bummed, but appreciated the honesty.

  • 538. Kat P.  |  March 27, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    Does any one know about Coonley’s wait list?? My son is 3 at tier 4.
    And what about Disney II? We are 8 at T4.

    Also are there any parents from these schools, that can provide some insight?

    And last question, after the placement is done for Decatur and Edison, how do they go on calling the other students? Down to what number-score?

  • 539. Kat P.  |  March 27, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    Sorry, we are 3 at Coonley’s general wait list?

  • 540. cpsobsessed  |  March 27, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    For coonley I saw today that there are at least 9 siblings on a wait list. They usually take until about 3 days before school starts to approve the siblings (waiting to see neighborhood enrollment) so I think the odds there are slim unless you’d take a spot after school begins.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 541. Monkey man  |  March 27, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    Has anyone ever considered Chopin elementary? It’s a great place with high test scores and small class sizes. Really a hidden gem. I know they would love to take on more kids next year.

  • 542. Kat P.  |  March 27, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    Thaks so much! Does anyone know about Disney II?
    And also about q 538??

  • 543. cpsobsessed  |  March 27, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    I interveiwed the disney 2 principal on the phone last week about the longer day. I am a sucker for a smart, well spoken, strategic principal and she really blew me away. They are currently on the 7.5 day but it’s been thought out and experimented with for this year so they’ll be in good shape for next year.
    I’ve never been there, but she really sounds like someone impressive.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 544. Kat P.  |  March 27, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    Thank you so much!

  • 545. STEMparent  |  March 27, 2012 at 7:31 pm


    We had a choice between Skinner West Classical and STEM last year for our son. We ultimately chose STEM since he has a younger brother and we did not want to be worried about his school again in a few years. (Our neighborhood school is absolutely NOT an option…)

    He has been extremely happy at STEM, and we are generally happy with the school. We did like Skinner as well when we visited there last year. So, I guess you cannot go wrong one way or the other?

  • 546. Jackie  |  March 27, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    This is a BS system. A score of 136 – 160 represents the 99th percentile. This test is 10 minute long.

    There should be a lottery for kids who score above a certain number, perhaps 130 (98th percent) for these gifted schools.

  • 547. Portage Mom  |  March 27, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    Kat P – I’m a parent of a kindergartner at Disney II. Regarding the wait list, please keep in mind every year is different. We were on the wait list at 5 for T4. When I called the office, they didn’t give me encouraging news. That being said, my daughter got in and I remember talking to another K parent and her wait list number was 12 and she received the call during the summer, so you just never know.

    I feel very blessed to have my daughter attending the school. They have an on site after care program which is very reasonable at $60 per week. The longer day for my daughter was no problem. They gave the K class two recess periods per day, music 4 days a week and gym 4 days a week. They already had an extended day for the core subjects so they added time to the specials (gym and music).

    I love their literacy program and how they assess where each child is in their reading ability. The assessment is very thorough. I attended a Parent Academy to learn about STEP Assessment. I was impressed.

    They also offer Tai Kwon Do. language classes, chess, drama, art and a whole slew of classes after school for a fee. What’s great is the instructors come to the school and you don’t have to worry about taking your child somewhere for classes.

    The principal has vision for Disney II and she definitely wants to make the school one of the best if not THE best in the city.

    If you have any further questions, perhaps we can talk offline.

  • 548. Persia  |  March 27, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    @545 STEMparent, Thank you for the response!
    If your son had no siblings, by the information you have now, would you still pick up STEM vs SW?

  • 549. dv  |  March 27, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    for potential stem parents out there here is my take,

    as a stem parent, 2 things stick out for me.
    1st, the teachers. I constantly am impressed with there dedication and involvement in my child’s education. It is amazing to see PE, Science, Engineering collaborate on topics and spread the topics the kids are learning throughout a regular school day. These teachers are approachable, young, fun, and energetic.

    2nd, the parents. I am a parent of another child in a regular neighborhood school, and I always felt many parents only looked at school as a place to stick your kid, but what i found at STEM was that many parents thought of school as an extension of what you are teaching your child at home. I see so many parents who are active in there child’s life, and its great being surround by a caring group of parents.

  • 550. jlbcbs  |  March 27, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    @541 I definitely was considering Chopin because of their test scores. I called in the fall and scheduled an appointment to tour the school with the principal. When I got there, I sat and waited for 15 minutes, then the principal came out and said “Why are you here?”. I told her that I had scheduled and appointment to tour the school with her. She told me that she didn’t have time to take me around, and no one else did either. She ended up getting a student to show me around. The girl was charming, but the tour was basically useless. There was no way she could answer most of the questions I had. A big waste of my time, and I took them off my list. If they really want to attract kids from out of the neighborhood, they need to be more respectful of the interested parents.

  • 551. Working mom  |  March 27, 2012 at 8:24 pm


    My child is enrolled at STEM and has learned a great deal this school year. I’m also very happy with the school as a whole. Differentiated instruction and the teachers are great. Lots of specials (science lab, tech lab, engineering lab, music, art, gym, recess and a new library!) So, the children transition from homeroom to other classes daily. This could be an issue if a child has difficulty transitioning throughout the day. The Principal was the former AP at Skinner North last year and she sets the academic and behavior bar pretty high, IMO. There isn’t any test data available to compare with other schools, however, the 3rd graders just finished their ISATs. STEM would be a great choice.

  • 552. LaSalleParent  |  March 27, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    @536 Ivana

    I have a K student this year and they had 1 spot open first day of class and were calling on the list. Last year there were like 30 spots out of 64 that went to siblings. I will try to find out what the ratio was for the fall K class on the sibling numbers.

  • 553. Kat P.  |  March 27, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    Thanks so much Portage Mom!!! Your reply has my hopes up 🙂 , Disney II is one our top choices, we are also in the Portage Park area and we tried our local school for pre-k, we definitely do not want our son going there.

    It is very nice to hear a current parent’s feedback. Hopefully, we will be seeing each other next year!

    Let me know how we can get in contact. Thanks!

  • 554. efrainmartinez  |  March 27, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    We went to Peirce’s open house today and were super impressed! Perhaps they are not the highest scoring school in the world but they definitely seem to be a nurturing place for our kid. Classes are small and so well-behaved! The buildings are so clean and the atmosphere was just amazing. We feel 100% confident that our kid is going there.

    Anyone here went to the open house today? Any impressions?

  • 555. Portage Mom  |  March 27, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    Kat P – I would contact Disney II’s office and make sure your contact information is correct. I remember talking to a mom last year who almost missed getting into Disney II because somehow they had the wrong phone number. If she hadn’t called the office trying to find out information on the wait list she would have missed getting into Disney II.

    Best of luck to you. I know this whole process is stressful. I remember being on pins and needles waiting for the call. Luckily I received the call the Monday after all acceptances to schools from parents were due.

    If you want to talk further about the school here is my email: rc2758@yahoo.com

  • 556. Sudermom  |  March 27, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    Not sure if anyone has mentioned the principal at Suder has also left and they are currently searching for her replacement. She was also offered a position higher up in CPS.

  • 557. cpsobsessed  |  March 27, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    On pierce, for the past couple years people have reported back good things after the tour and I haven’t heard of anyone actively leaving after they started (except perhaps for a top magnet or gifted/classical) so I think your positive feedback from the tour is consistent with others’.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 558. Ivana  |  March 27, 2012 at 9:20 pm


    Thank you LaSalleParent 🙂

  • 559. time to move to suburbs  |  March 27, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    Anyone else have a problem with the fact that a computer dictates where their goes to school. What happens if they love fine arts but only gets into a math and science magnet school or tthem love math and science but gets into a language school.
    Also the parents that basically look down at you if you don’t go to the top magnet school…. wanted to, but a computer decided where my child was going.
    Suburbs, take me away!,,,,

  • 560. Rogers Park Mom  |  March 27, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    We were also at the Peirce open house today and left feeling very happy with our offer. In the end we were able to meet/observe 4 of the 5 K teachers and first impressions of each were amazing. I do wish they had discussed the academics a bit more, math programs, etc…, but our ultimate goal was to get a feel for the school and that was extremley positive. Beautiful clean school, large classrooms, relatively new feeling. My son is in the TBP at Newberry and the facilities at Peirce blow them out of the water. We adore Newberry and are super sad to have not received an offer (or even be in the realm of an offer), but we were very pleased with what we saw at Peirce. To be honest, their test scores aren’t even that much different than Newberry’s! We have 20’s-ish waitlist #’s at Courtenay, LaSalle II, and Stone. After today, I think the only one that might make us pause and reconsider is Stone, simply becuase it is so close to home!! LaSalle II and Courtenay are a bit further…

    PS. For those accepted to Newberry who have preschoolers, consider their TBP. Ms. Amanda is just about the most amazing teacher you could meet and the assitants are just as amazing. They keep the class around 20 with 3 teachers. While our future K will go to Peirce for the next 2 years I will continue to haul down to Newberry and drive to work so my 2 year old can go to the TBP next year too. I can’t imagine not taking him, the program is THAT worth it.

  • 561. mommyspice  |  March 27, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    We started looking into the burbs too — even now its stressful for Kindergarten…imagine later? hell no…all based on how the kid does in a short testing period? I gave an IQ test today (part of my job)- and one answer can change the results easily…..and that was for an hour long IQ test…20 minutes means it can be super easy to mess up…so no offers from classical/gifted…and for some reason i’m holding onto hope for getting 2nd round offers? (yes delusional i know). But i have qquestion — we got offered Hamilton, and the test scores are SUPER LOW (IMO), but i’ve seen good comments from people here…can someone tell me more? thanks….

  • 562. Is there a school?  |  March 27, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    Does anyone know a well performing neighborhood school in Tier 1 or 2? Need a school for my 6 grader and didn’t get a lottery spot.

  • 563. Rogers Park Mom  |  March 27, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    As a follow up note, Peirce administration mentioned that they feed into Senn highschool (especially as their IB program is partnered with Senn). Knowing it now, it does concern me a bit. Senn looks like the highschool equivalent of Gale (HORRIBLE!!). Perhaps Gale feeds into Senn as well? HaHa…I will have to do more research. But in general, I have always been told to find the highschool that you want, and work backwards. Go to the schools that feed into those high schools (this is for both city and suburbs). If the highschool is top notch, the elementary’s feeding into it are doing something right. Senn makes me scratch my head a bit…anyone with more detail on this? I only just scratched the surface today, will have to research more… Perhaps Peirce only recently began feeding into Senn.

  • 564. Why Murray?  |  March 27, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    @459 and anyone else curious about Murray, it’s a fabulous school. The early year teachers are really exceptional. We’ve only had 7th & 8th grades for a couple of years and that transition has been a bit bumpy, as might be expected integrating a middle school into an existing elemntary community – but it’s great to have the option now! Regardless, all kids take a language, recess, gym 2x a week, tons of after school (mad science, robotics, chess, team sports, etc), art classes and unquestionably the most amazing librarian in the city. The LSC might be transitioning a bit after the upcoming elections, a sign of reinvigorated and motivated upper grade parents. I recommend checking it out if you’re on the fence.

  • 565. cpsobsessed  |  March 27, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    Senn could be a totally different place by the time your child is in HS. People on the HS threads are talking it up big time. I know of some private school kids who took spots for the IB program next year also.
    It’s so hard to predict the HS scenario for 8 years down the road. 8 years ago the elem landscape was pretty bleak…

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 566. STEM parent  |  March 27, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    @548 Persia: Yes we would, pretty much for the reasons outlined by post @549 dv. Parent involvement seems very strong at STEM, teachers are amazing, and the subjects keep the kids engaged and excited.
    With SW you pretty much know what you get, it is an established school. STEM is a young school, and everything seems possible.
    I simply recommend to tour both schools and ask specific questions that you might have, talk to the principal and the teachers, that could make your decision easier.
    Good luck.

  • 567. BuenaParkMom  |  March 27, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    As the resident 46th ward school expert I’m going to have to chime in on a few things skinmom has said.

    1. Brenneman (which happens to be my neighborhood attendance boundary school) is not a Title 1 school. It was on academic probation at one time but has made AYP the last several years and is off of probation. It is not NCLB eligible. The student population at the school is heavily skewed towards residents of the neighborhood that do not have as much resources. A high percentage of the students are 1st generation immigrants from Africa and are ESL learners. Their parents appear to me, from the ones I have met, to absolutely care about their children’s education. Many of these children’s parents have made significant sacrifices to immigrate to America in order to give their children a better future and access to education. Brenneman’s test scores are not stellar. However, we are talking about a student population where the top 3 native languages are Twi, Yoruba, and French. You try to find resource material in Twi and Yoruba to use in an ESL program to bring kids up to speed. They don’t exist. The school has to create their own resources primarily with the help of parents to do so. Given their obstacles I think they are doing a decent job and certainly their principal wants the best for every child in her building. BTW she does not exude warm fuzzies either, she is about getting the job done.
    2. As stated above by other posters Disney does not have neighborhood component. (What a nice back-up plan that would make). This means every child at Disney had a parent who both cared enough and was savvy enough to navigate the magnet lottery process. I imagine this means those parents care very much about their children’s education even though some of them may have varying degrees of skin tones and a lower bank account balance.
    3. The principal of Disney does not exude warm fuzzies even though she can be very sparkly on any given day. I imagine most CEO’s of companies do not either. I’m not sure they should. I’d rather them be focused on the task and professional in their interactions. That being said she has on several occasions welcomed my child within the walls of her school (once at an LSC meeting when he was around 1 and once when touring the preschool). He still has the pencil she gave him the second time.
    4. The pods – surprising quite quiet in there on all occasions I’ve been in the school. I honestly expected it to be extremely loud and it just isn’t. Probably not the best environment for a kid with attention deficit disorder, but really no louder than the typical classroom.
    5. Is Disney a glamour school like Hawthorne or LaSalle? Clearly not, but it is still a good school with a ton of resources, excellent funding, and access to specials.
    6. I imagine some of the teachers at Disney don’t like the principal. I imagine any teacher who doesn’t want to do their job isn’t tolerated by the administration. Again, don’t think that’s a bad thing given that children’s education is at stake. And really, who is going to love the idea of suddenly not getting to go home at 1:45pm? Is it really surprising that there would be push back.
    7. If anyone has questions about Greeley, Stockton, Stewart, or Uplift High School (wondering if they will be converting that to an IB program – have to find out) just give me a shout.

    I should mention that my child does not attend either of these schools. He actually is not in school yet, but I did strongly consider the TBPK at Disney next year for my son and would probably have sent him there next year if he hadn’t gotten into my first-choice pre-K for him.

    Finally, I’m not sure if I should be offended by the disparaging remarks regarding the type of people that live in my neighborhood. Some of the most expensive real estate in Illinois lines the lakefront in Chicago and Buena Park is no exception. (I know I won’t be moving into the 5.75 million dollar home on the street north of me anytime soon.) We do also have some relatively affordable housing in the neighborhood. We do have a mix of people of varying ethnicities, backgrounds, and wealth as you might expect to find in a major urban area. Just because the neighborhood isn’t a suburban oasis in the city of white faces flush with cash doesn’t mean the people who live here aren’t decent people who care about their children’s education.

    Unrelated but this keeps bugging me – @328 and 420 there seems to be some confusion on the chance nature of a lottery system. For even chance (school) you list on the application the probability that you will obtain a “winning” number is exactly the same for each chance. For example, if you flip a quarter there is a 50% chance you will get heads or tails. This doesn’t change for each time you flip the coin no matter how many times you flip it. So you chance to get an offer for a school would be dependent on how many applicants are in your lottery pool for each school. Arguably a less popular school would have less applicants in the pool so an increased probability of getting an offer as a bigger school would have more spots to give and thus a higher probability of getting an offer. But getting one offer has absolutely no influence on getting a second, third, fourth, or 20 offers. This is why it is NOT statistically more or less likely that you get 0 or 20 offers. It is basically a slightly more complicated coin flip.

  • 568. Chris  |  March 27, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    RPMom @563: “Go to the schools that feed into those high schools (this is for both city and suburbs)”

    If that were really true, then no CPS elementary school would qualify as good.

  • 569. 60660  |  March 27, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    @560 RP Mom
    Senn has a new Principal who is turning neighborhood perception of the school around.
    She is addressing discipline issues and Senn no longer accepts out of neighborhood kids who are not affiliated with either of the magnet programs (IB and a new fine arts magnet), I expect there will be a dramatic improvement in Senn’s reputation and results in the next few years as the changes made in the last year or 2 work through the grades.

    I know Peirce has wonderful teachers, committed families, neighborhood support and very strong early grades but the reality is many families leave around 2nd or 3rd grade. The key to changing this will be finally introducing the IB primary years program which leads to the IB middle years (where the partnership with Senn comes in).
    I’m not entirely convinced that the administration at Peirce is up to the task but your son might be glad to have a 25 point bonus when he is considering HS applications.

  • 570. 60660  |  March 27, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    @567 BP Mom +1 My kids’ experience of Disney has been stellar.
    Students at Disney are working hard and achieving.
    Personally I respect Dr H, she does not suffer fools and is unapologetic about putting the welfare of her students first, the flip side of that is you may just get a flat “no” when you ask for special accommodation for your child

  • 571. Vero  |  March 28, 2012 at 12:24 am

    We didn’t hit the lotto but on waiting list for Audubon, #18…..
    Anyone get in with a waiting list # this high???

  • 572. vero  |  March 28, 2012 at 12:38 am

    That is the general waiting list for Audubon #18

  • 573. fosterrice  |  March 28, 2012 at 2:41 am

    @ #559 – Your argument that a “a computer dictates where their goes to school” is ill-informed. The thing that dictates where you go to school are the boundaries of your neighborhood school…just like in the suburbs. Everyone gets into their neighborhood school. It just so happens that by living in the city you also happen to have the option (hence the name “options for knowledge”) to apply to other neighborhood schools, magnet-cluster schools, magnets, and selective enrollment schools. That is MUCH MORE of an option than you are given in suburb X, where you must attend the schools offered by suburb X’s district and cannot apply into a neighboring suburb’s school district (without the help of an attorney, by which anything is possible).

    That said, it is certainly true that many, if not a majority, of CPS neighborhood schools are in a terrible state. And it is also true that the “options for knowledge” application process can be frustrating (to say the least), especially since it seems as if every year more people avail themselves of it, thereby making it statistically less likely you will get the choices you want. So, yes, the neighborhood schools need to be improved so that fewer people feel the need to rely on the “options” program. But the existence of “options,” especially for those in severely under-performing schools, is a net benefit for many city dwellers. If fewer people fled to the suburbs and more of them worked to improve the schools in the city, then we might be able to mitigate the overall sad state of CPS (for which the administration, poor oversight, union complications, and unequitable funding are all to blame). But that will also take more of a commitment than just sending your kid to school – you have to work hard as a volunteer and be an informed citizen of your school community, as well as the normal stuff like helping with homework etc. It is daunting, but the net results can be terrific, as we have seen at our neighborhood school (Waters) and as many others have seen at their neighborhood schools. And through advocacy groups like Raise Your Hand, the message and tools to reform schools are spreading across the whole CPS system (http://ilraiseyourhand.org).

    Again, I can appreciate people’s frustration, but when complaining please be sure to have your facts straight. And it also helps to offer constructive, rather than destructive criticism (i.e., “the city sucks,” which isn’t so much of an argument but rather a capitulation to an ill-informed opinion).

  • 574. Angie  |  March 28, 2012 at 5:52 am

    @567. BuenaParkMom: “7. If anyone has questions about Greeley, Stockton, Stewart, or Uplift High School (wondering if they will be converting that to an IB program – have to find out) just give me a shout.”

    What do you think about the ELL gifted program at Greeley, and that school in general?

  • 575. tom  |  March 28, 2012 at 6:53 am

    @567 A Title I school is one that receives federal funds based on the percentage of students living in poverty. It has nothing to do with school performance.

    I would be shocked if Brenneman does not receive federal funds based on the 90%+ of students with a free or reduced lunch.

  • 576. ervinator  |  March 28, 2012 at 7:27 am

    I know schools often have several waiting lists. Does anyone know the hierarchy? We are #9 on the AA list for Mayer Pre-K. Thanks!

  • 577. Skinmom  |  March 28, 2012 at 7:42 am


    1) Brenneman IS a title I school
    2) Brenneman did NOT make AYP in 2009, 2010 or 2011
    3) Brenneman , due to not making AYP the past 3 yrs, School Improvement status is Choice SES this year.

    Here is info on how AYP is calculated and a list of every school with their AYP status.


    No opinions, just facts.

  • 578. Skinmom  |  March 28, 2012 at 7:58 am

    Disney did NOT make AYP last year. Nor did they make AYP in 2004, 2005, 2007 or 2008.

    Don’t insinuate I am being racist when I say low income. I don’t see color, I see numbers. I would have both my children in private school and save myself numerous hours of research and stress if that was the case.

    Slinging insults and calling names is what I teach my children not to do. I hope those who have lowered themselves to this behavior take a deep breath and relax. People make mistakes, or is that not allowed? I welcome constructive criticism along with correction but will not participate in negative, nasty behavior.

  • 579. Persia  |  March 28, 2012 at 8:21 am

    Thank you for all the comments on STEM!

  • 580. Portage Mom  |  March 28, 2012 at 8:30 am

    Wait List Parents: I would strongly suggest to call the schools directly to make sure they have your correct contact information. If you consider the sheer volume of applications that CPS receives, there’s bound to be a few where the phone number is not correct especially if you turned in a paper application.

    I addressed this information to a particular poster but I believe it applies to everyone still waiting for a spot. There is a parent in the other kingergarten class at Disney II who almost didn’t get in because ths school had the wrong phone number. The mom in question called to see if there was movement in the wait list and that’s when she found out her daughter received an offer for a spot at the school. If she hadn’t called, the school would have assumed she was no longer interested and moved on to the next person on the list.

  • 581. rfg  |  March 28, 2012 at 8:39 am

    @578 – You’re still on? Sheesh. Give it a rest. I would never expect you to name call anyone. I would never ever expect you to call someone an “evil principal”. Just something to think about. Remember, when you point a finger, there are three fingers pointing back at you.

  • 582. Rogers Park mom  |  March 28, 2012 at 8:46 am

    @ 565 (CPS obsessed) and 569 (60660) – Thank you so much for your posts!!! When I say I had only scrached the surface, I literally meant I spent 2 minutes looking up tests scores, so I appreciate your opinions and fact sharing. I have really come to like this board.

    Can I ask what you mean by a 25 point bonus for HS apps?

  • 583. CrazyMo  |  March 28, 2012 at 9:05 am

    567. BuenaParkMom,

    Thank you for your post. Probably the best I’ve read on this blog ever.

  • 584. Bookworm  |  March 28, 2012 at 9:15 am

    @576 There is no AA list, just economic tier lists for each grade level, proximity and general.

  • 585. 60660  |  March 28, 2012 at 9:42 am

    Peirce MYIB kids get a 25point bonus when applying to the IB program at Senn.

    also I’d take “kegs for kids” over some lame gala any day

  • 586. Lisa  |  March 28, 2012 at 9:52 am

    We also had one of the schools we applied to not listed on the magnet and program letter we received–in our case Solomon Elementary. I just sent an email to oae to see what happened.

  • 587. DisneyDad  |  March 28, 2012 at 10:14 am


    So then lower income = neighborhood (which neighborhood? The high rises or the Million+ single family homes on 2 city lots?

    I didn’t call you a racist, you said @507
    “What do I mean by a neighborhood program? I’m not beating around the bush because everyone on here knows what a neighborhood program is. If you look at the demographics of the neighborhood you will see a high percentage of low income families. In turn, 70% of students at Disney are low income. Many come from households where education is not a priority. The result is classrooms full of students on staggering levels.”

    I just assumed from the above statement that you were a racist, or at the very least “classist”.

    You said low income = households where education is not a priority. It all makes sense now. Sorry for inferring you are a racist, “because everyone on here knows what a neighborhood program is”

    As I stated early and other Disney parents have have chimed in on this, (Thanks @567.)
    The kids and parents at Disney REGARDLESS of economic background, Language barriers, Race are there to learn and be part of the community, the “neighborhood”.

    I’m sure your childrens school are great, that doesn’t give you the right to speak ill of a “neighborhood program” you admittedly know nothing about past few numbers and “well… I have this friend who…” conjecture. We can’t fight the numbers, Disney is not Edison or Skinner or Decatur etc etc
    Disney is a melting pot of people looking for something better, in this way it reflects America as a whole much more then say who’s Race/Background is much more in line with a homogeneous country like say Japan.

    No disrespect, they are great schools full of happy kids and parents who care about their educations. But then again SO IS MINE.

    You can talk numbers but you dont have the on the ground experiences for those to translate into anything close to a “true picture” of the school, the kids, parents or staff.

    Please stick to what you know first hand.

  • 588. Arjun Kumar  |  March 28, 2012 at 10:14 am

    @567 BuenaParkMom

    I agree that if you get one offer, it doesn’t influence the probability of getting another offer.

    But, technically, it is not true that getting 0 or 20 offers has the same statistical likelihood.

    If you toss a coin 100 times, it is most likely to result in 50 heads and 50 tails. Technically, it follows a binomial distribution. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binomial_distribution .

    So if the probability of getting into each school was 1/20 (which it is not), it would be most likely to get 2 accepts. See http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=binomial+distribution+p%3D1%2F20+n%3D20.

    Of course, the actual probabilities vary from school to school, and are much much less than 1/20 for the popular ones. And not everyone applies to 20 schools.

    Looking from a different angle: Yes, even fair computers could result in a few people having 100+ wait lists on all 20 schools and a few people getting 3 offers. But most people would have gotten a more balanced result — I don’t know, maybe a 10 wait list on at least one school or better. Indeed, if we can find a 1000 people who don’t have better than a 100 wait list on any of the 20 schools, we might be able to argue that the software needs to be verified.

    SUMMARY: The results we are seeing don’t indicate the computers are messed up. It, nevertheless, is heartbreaking for those who didn’t get any offers. But there is always Round 2 and 3 and 4. I vaguely remember the Lasalle Principal saying that they accept up to 20 wait list-eds in the non-proximity non-sibling categories. Good luck to everyone.

  • 589. DisneyDad  |  March 28, 2012 at 10:21 am

    addendum to the above
    forgot that HTML hates angle brackets,

    “Disney is a melting pot of people looking for something better, in this way it reflects America as a whole much more then say “please INSERT ANY CLASSICAL SCHOOL” who’s Race/Background is much more in line with a homogeneous country like say Japan.”

  • 590. Hopeful Mom!  |  March 28, 2012 at 10:27 am

    @581 put the claws back in. So what if she is still on. So are you! It is nice everyone has bad a informative and pleasant conversation for 580 post!

    As someone who has bee twice blessed with my child having attended both Edison and now Decatur I can tell you this; it does not matter what school your child gets in! It is what you do with them at home once that matters. If you are not there for them as a parent helping them with homework, nurturing them etc forget about it. Children can succeed at even the low performing schools too if they have parental support. It is nice to get into the better performing and better equipped newer schools but parents also have to be involved AFTER they get in too. In my son’s class I have seen 3 children leave, not because they are not smart but because they did not have parental support at home and their grades slipped. One child’s parents was getting divorce and he could not maintain his grades after that. Others parents found it to challenging and thought 90 mins of homework was to much. I have 2 children who live on my block who went to Portage Park get into Northside. Portage is a low performing school! Their parents – against my advice – accepted at Lane instead. One regrets it and the other does not as their choice was motivated by the football team – son plays.

    There is a flip side too. Decatur because it is high performing has less funding available. As a parent you will be constantly asked for money all year long and you will ask for the next 7 years why school ABC school gets an addition to their building and we don’t. You are punished for being a top notch school and basically ignored by CPS. My point is there are + and – ‘s to ever school. Decatur is a great school, as is Edison, but really what matters the most is parent involvement in a school and parent involvement at home. Find out about the schools LSC, the PTA too!

  • 591. Jen/hamilton  |  March 28, 2012 at 11:00 am

    #561 Mommyspice RE: hamilton

    My son will be in K in the fall (we are in neighborhood). I have been a community member on the LSC for the past two years so hopefully i can give you some information on the school.

    If you have not already, I highly encourage you to tour the school. The principal and ap are both fantastic and the teachers I have worked with on the LSC are dynamic and enthused. The parent group raises an extraordinary amount of money for what is a small school. The test scores are not the highest out there, but there has been dramatic improvement since Principal Gray started at Hamilton.

    I truly feel like it is a hidden gem, there is a very strong sense of community and the programs at the school are unique in terms of arts and music. In addition Hamilton went to a longer school day this year already so for the fall they will only add a half hour. It won’t be a dramatic transition. There is a great amount of harmony and accord at the school among teachers, admin and parents, everyone is working together toward the goal of making Hamilton a premier school.

    I did not even apply anywhere else for my DS. They also have a comprehensive gifted program that begins in 1st grade.

    Again, tour the school to get the full viewpoint, but I can’t wait to have my DS start there.

  • 592. AC  |  March 28, 2012 at 11:12 am

    Need information on three schools. LaSalle, LaSalle II and Newberry.

    If you had the opportunity to choose which one would you choose?why? and what after school program would you recommend for that particular school? TX

  • 593. STEM K MOM  |  March 28, 2012 at 11:13 am

    @ Anyone considering STEM. I cannot say enough good things about this school. My son is in K at STEM and the learning environment is amazing. At the start of the school year my son had trouble recognizing some letters. He can now read simple sentences and is now adding double digit numbers. He can also multiply by 10s and can skip count by a variety of numbers. They work with MACs and ipads, they have projects, weekly homework. The teachers are AMAZING! i can email his teacher at 9am and by 10am I have a reply from her. The parents are also amazing, there is so much energy and involvement.

  • 594. mom2  |  March 28, 2012 at 11:46 am

    Parents, have you noticed how many great options we are discussing here when it comes to elementary and middle schools? PLEASE keep this in mind as your children get closer to high school age. If we can have all these options for the younger grades, we can continue to have these choices for high school without having to have perfect point totals or live in tier 1. It just takes this same dedication to the non-SE high schools. Parents and students and families that care coming into the school will cause more of the same to come to the school and so on and so on. Keep it going!

  • 595. Skinmom  |  March 28, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    @589 Thank you.

    @587 feel free to twist my words around any way you see fit. My feeling about Disney remain the same. It sounds like you are bitter towards parents who work very hard with their children, making education a priority. Have you been in the classrooms at Skinner, Edison, Decatur or other “classical” schools? There are students from all different backgrounds.

    As for numbers, they are VERY important. Why else would everyone be on here, going through this horrific process of trying to get their child into the best school based on “numbers”?

  • 596. Hoping to move schools  |  March 28, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    Could someone please clarify the waitlist for me? Am I correct that there is a separate waitlist for each grade? My twins are #98/99 at Disney 2 for 5th grade — that means there are 97 potential 5th graders in front of them, right?

  • 597. Public or Private  |  March 28, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    One last thing about Disney (I’ve toured twice and was really impressed with its arts partnerships, its digital-music lab, its animation studio): Considering that it is 66% low-income, the fact that its ISAT scores are pretty much in line with Nettelhorst’s (89% meet or exceed, 40% exceed for Disney; 89% meet or exceed, 37% exceed for Nettelhorst) shows me that the school must be doing something right. BTW, Nettelhorst’s population is less than 30% low-income. Not to knock Nettelhorst, which is a fine school, but Disney is dealing with a much more complicated population–a student body that, contrary to what has been stated earlier, must comprise a significant number of kids who work hard and want to learn.

  • 598. CPStressed  |  March 28, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    @592… Jealous!!!!

  • 599. CPStressed  |  March 28, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    @591 Lasalle II will be hosting it’s only open house prior to the deadline on April 10th at 5pm.

  • 600. Salena  |  March 28, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    Does anyone have any information about Lasalle II or Jahn? and is 176 too far down on the waitlist for Disney? Thanks so much.

  • 601. Rogers Park mom  |  March 28, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    @591 AC – I don’t have alot of information on LaSalle or LaSalle II, other than that they are supposedly great schools. I know some prefer LaSalle I over Newberry, I think on paper the school looks better. My son attends the TBP at Newberry (in our second year now) and it has been an amazing experience. The teacher there is fantastic. Two of my son’s friends have older siblings at the school and their parents are quite happy with it. I believe they have 2 classrooms per grade. The school itself is a bit older, but the structure is absolutely beautiful on the outside. They have an amazing garden in the front. They also just raised all the money necessary for a new playground and they finished contruction on it this year. It is fantastic!! Pick up and Drop off are quite easy, even during the busy times. The afterschool program is run by JCYS and they come to the school and pick the kids up and take them to their facility. They will often let them play for awhile on the playground at the school before they take them to the JCYS facility. I have heard it fills up quickly though, so call immediately if you choose to accept Newberry and make sure you are signed up. If you indeed received an offer to Newberry or are low on the waitlist, Congrats! It is a great school and I really like the admin (ladies in the office are awesome!) and I like the principal and AP as well.

    Last year, when my son was 3 and his 4 year old friends were all applying for spots, EVERYONE wanted Newberry. A girl who was 5 on proximity list was called and a boy who was 18 non-proximity was called (don’t know their tiers). They were still calling when we started up again in September and I think they made it pretty far down the wait list. I had heard at one point into the 40’s for at least one of the tiers??? Not 100% sure on that. Of course everyone who is 4 this year in his class applied, including us, however of the 7 of us or so that tried, the lowest waitlist number was 41, so none of us hold much hope. For my son we are 87 tier 3, so defintiely not going to happen! So congrats again, I am very jealous! A few were accepted to Franklin though and they are accepting there…

  • 602. Rogers Park mom  |  March 28, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    @599, we toured Jahn and I have met the AP on two occasions. See my post above @ 291. However, I haven’t attended the school and don’t live in the neighborhood, so someone else may be able to add more detail.

  • 603. Rogers Park mom  |  March 28, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    I mean my kids haven’t attended the school, not myself. 🙂

  • 604. Question about Lincoln Park schools  |  March 28, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    Do people believe that Alcott and Lincoln will merge?

    Hard to make decision when up in air. Can Alcott even hire a principal who may lose her job if Lincoln does take over? Will Alcott get a lower candidate as principal becaus who wants to live with job insecurity?

  • 605. Laura  |  March 28, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    @ 593:

    “Parents, have you noticed how many great options we are discussing here when it comes to elementary and middle schools? ”

    Speak for yourself. Applied to 20 schools for K, WAITLISTED for every single one, and the lowest waitlist number I have is 52. The people on here who received offers to multiple schools have options. I, on the other hand, have no options.

  • 606. BucktownBryan  |  March 28, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    Looks like our options for our daughter entering K will be Mitchell or our neighborhood school (Pulaski)

    I like that Pulaski is implementing an IB program, but I know that the school itself has been a poor performer historically, and is still very rough around the edges.

    Part of me loves staying in the neighborhood and helping build things grass-roots style, but not sure if i want that at the expense of an inferior experience for my daughter.

    Mitchell is an up-and-comer as well. .probably more established than Pulaski, but w/ the principal leaving there are some questions. Daugher is also an advance early reader (99.8 on the classical test) so she may benefit from it being a Literature magnet.

    Looking for input.. good or bad.. that anyone may have on either school

  • 607. BuenaParkMom  |  March 28, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    Skinmom – I agree that numbers are important. I also don’t think they tell the complete story on many schools. For example, Brenneman has made AYP in all but two areas for last year. And if you know about the population of the school, I believe around 29% ELL and 19% with disabilities of some sort you can see that for their black student population (around 75-77%) they did make AYP. I think we can all agree that any school with a chunk of ELL and children with learning disabilities is of course going to have difficulties getting those two group of children meeting AYP, especially as CPS reduces their ELL teaching specialists in the schools. So my overall point was that they are trending upwards on those numbers. I’m not sure where I have their numbers for the last two years (I know they are filed away somewhere in this house, but their numbers have trended upward, even the two areas where they are not meeting progress have increased as a percentage, just not high enough to meet the threshold). As for Title 1 I meant NCLB. But I would be curious how many schools in CPS don’t qualify for Title 1 given the voluntary nature of the reporting and their overall student population.

    Here is the list of attendance boundary schools that your child is entitled to transfer to a “better” school according the CPS website.


    AVALON PARK ES 8045 S Kenwood Ave
    BASS ES 1140 W 66th St
    BETHUNE ES 3030 W Arthington St
    BONTEMPS ES 1241 W 58th St
    BRADWELL ES 7736 S Burnham Ave
    BRUNSON ES 932 N Central Ave
    CCOPERNICUS ES 66010 S Throop St
    CURTIS ES 32 E 115th St
    DENEEN ES 7240 S Wabash Ave
    DEPRIEST ES 139 S Parkside Ave
    DULLES ES 6311 S Calumet Ave
    DUMAS ES 6650 S Ellis Ave
    EARLE ES 6121 S Hermitage Ave
    FERMI ES 1415 E 70th St
    FULLER ES 4214 S Saint Lawrence Ave
    FULTON ES 5300 S Hermitage Ave
    GILLESPIE ES 9301 S State St
    HARVARD ES 7525 S Harvard
    HEARST ES 4640 S Lamon Ave
    HENDERSON ES 5650 S Wolcott Ave
    HINTON ES 644 W 71st St
    HOLMES ES 955 W Garfield Blvd
    HOWE ES 720 N Lorel Ave
    JOHNSON ES 1420 S Albany Ave
    KERSHAW ES 6450 S Lowe Ave
    KEY ES 517 N Parkside Ave
    LATHROP ES 1440 S Christiana Ave
    LAVIZZO ES 138 W 109th St
    LEWIS ES 1431 N Leamington Ave
    LIBBY ES 5300 S Loomis Blvd
    MAY ES 512 S Lavergne Ave
    MCKAY ES 6901 S Fairfield Ave
    MORGAN ES 8407 S Kerfoot Ave
    MORTON ES 431 N Troy St
    NASH ES 4837 W Erie St
    OGLESBY ES 7646 S Green St
    O’KEEFFE ES 6940 S Merrill Ave
    O’TOOLE ES 6550 S Seeley Ave
    OVERTON ES 221 E 49th St
    PADEREWSKI ES 2221 S Lawndale Ave
    PARKMAN ES 245 W 51st St
    PENN ES 1616 S Avers Ave
    PRICE ES 4351 S Drexel Blvd
    REED ES 6350 S Stewart Ave
    ROSS ES 6059 S Wabash Ave
    SHERMAN ES 1000 W 52nd St
    SMYTH ES 1059 W 13th St
    WEST PULLMAN ES 11941 S Parnell Ave

    Do I think Brenneman is a wonderful school that I want to send my child to? Absolutely not at this point in time. Do I think they’re doing a decent job of working on that problem? Yes. But it is absolutely untrue that being in Brenneman’s attendance boundary entitles your child to go to Disney.

    As for private schools, yes I am ponying up to pay a staggering tuition fee at an excellent private school for my child. I am not going to apologize for that. The school has something not offered in any CPS school at this point. I was the first in my immediate family to graduate from college and my family worked very hard to give me that opportunity. I am working very hard to give my child his excellent educational opportunity. He is extremely lucky to have parents in the position to give him that opportunity. No parent should be apologetic about that, it is our job as parents to do the best we can for our children.

    I am also not going to apologize for getting off my butt and trying to work with our current Alderman and other residents of our community to improve our ward’s schools. I look around and see many children who do not have access to the same opportunities as my son. Not because their parents don’t care about education, or because their parents don’t want to “work hard” with their children, but sometimes because they don’t speak and read the language the homework is in, or because they have to drive a taxi for 10-14 hours a day to ensure their child has a roof over their head and food in their child’s stomach, or because they are a single parent with minimal education working two part-time jobs without health benefits at CVS and McDonald’s to put food on the table and had to spend 3 hours waiting in a free health clinic to obtain their child’s asthma medication so their child can breath. So I think when you imply that parents of children in these “less desirable schools” including in this discussion do not work hard with and/or for their children, people like DisneyDad get offended. Because I’m going to be honest here, I don’t know the guy from Jack, but I’m offended for him. Clearly there are some parents out there that don’t care about their children but I believe the majority of parents DO care about their children, but they may have circumstances that are very different from you and I and they may be fighting just to survive day to day. To imply that every kid at a lower performing school (and I am not saying Disney is in that category, I do not believe it to be so) has crappy parents is just not the case, makes a lot of assumptions (seemingly based on socioeconomic status, race, or just people being different than you are, perhaps not but it does come across that way in written form), and is going to be offensive to many parents who have children in those schools.

    And for the record, I am not sure you were referring to me but I did not call you any names. I agree that people shouldn’t be calling each other names, including evil, and shouldn’t be teaching their children to do so either :).

  • 608. Rogers Park mom  |  March 28, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    Geez I am posting quite a bit today!

    I have received two emails today. One from Courtenay (29 wait list for us) and one from Greeley (48 wait list). Courtenay announced school tours, did they email everyone on their wait list? Or just under a certain #? Not sure how else they would have gotten my email accept off my application or the waitlist?

    The email from Greeley I assume comes because I joined their email list last year at the school fair. I occasionaly receive an email from them already. I toured them last year because the principal insisted they would have open seats after the whole lottery process this year. It states that they expect to have limited seats available for K and 1st grade and to come to an open house on April 10 and 24. Isn’t their wait list quite long this year? I mean, we are 48, I wouldn’t exactly call that an excellent position. Do they really anticipate to run through their whole wait list and still have open spots?

    I guess its possible, when we toured last year he said the K class for 2011-2012 year had a few openings still (and that was in September). It is just that I think I saw someone at #80 on the waitlist for this year…

  • 609. DisneyDad  |  March 28, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    Here let me twist your words some more….

    “It sounds like you are bitter towards parents who work very hard with their children, making education a priority.”

    First off I call TROLL on the above comment

    I harbor no “bitterness” towards anyone who is passionate about their child’s education or works hard to ensure that they are living up to their potential and that includes the school. If I feel they are failing my child in some way they will most definitely be hearing about from my wife & I.
    Education and more importantly my involvement in that education is a top priority in my household, Why do you think I was able to read your lovely comments RE: my daughters school, I’m here just like the thousands of others looking for answers to tough choices.
    I have nothing but respect for the people on this blog and the parents who take a few moments out of our busy days to share their personal experiences RE: CPS with others. It’s one way that we can all make informed decisions regarding our child’s education and gain insight into the process of applying, testing and advancing our children through the CPS system.
    Numbers are important but you weren’t talking numbers, you were talking about your own misinformation & innuendo.
    I’m sure you care about giving people an accurate picture of the system and feel that you have some “special” insight into the process.
    Most of us here have been in the system or been reading & researching for YEARS. My child’s education caused ripples through all areas of my life, where would we live, where would we work etc. Its a big decision, not all of us got lucky and got into “the best” schools we make due and continue to improve the places we are for our kids and all the other children there also. It benefits all of us to have good well functioning schools accessible to everyone that has a desire to learn. so when you make comments about things you really don’t know about it actually affects people. Your negativity towards a school based on numbers or Neighborhood programs or whatever could cause someone to make snap judgement and pass up a great school because you purported to be some expert on it.
    As for the classical – Ive toured Edison and live in the neighborhood for a school in Chicago’s 2nd most diverse neighborhood it’s heavily rich (4.6% low income) & white but its not a neighborhood school so no big deal, who ever did well on the test that day got in. As I’m sure you are aware comparing Magnets and classical schools is kinda pointless they are not the same in any way shape or form. I was merely pointing out that socioeconomically families at classical schools tend to be more similar. some people like having everyone around them be exactly the same as they are, I get it
    It makes for easy relationships and common interests.
    Well I found the same thing at my daughters school, Its just we aren’t all so similar in other areas of our lives but we all have the kids best interests in mind.

  • 610. BuenaParkMom  |  March 28, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    Regarding Greeley

    I think with a little marketing it would be as well regarded as a Nettlehorst, Pierce, ect. The majority of the ELL in the ELL gifted program actually come into the school fluent in the native language (Spanish, Polish, Russian) and English. For those that aren’t, they do a lot of individualized pull-out work to help bring them up to speed. They do a lot of test assessments with all their children, however, they do a lot test assessments in order to tailor their approach to the individual child’s needs. Meaning, they aren’t testing just to test, but to get information and change what their doing with the children to get a successful outcome. All children in the school have spanish incorporated into the curriculum.

    The school is a Blue Ribbon School, it’s a pretty prestigious award. I recommend the following link http://www2.ed.gov/programs/nclbbrs/2007/profiles/greeley.pdf
    for more information regarding that award.

    They have been very successful with grant writing which has brought some interesting resources to the school including an artist in residence program where a professional artist works on a project with the children. Last year when I was touring the school, one class was working on a project with the artist there that was integrating their social studies lesson, their math lesson, and the art project. I saw a lot of hands on collaboration going on between the students in their group, the artist, and the teacher. They also have a full-time music teacher and a band program.

    The principal of the school is very open and gives tours of the school on a monthly basis. He would love for the school to be a school of choice for the parents of children in a mile radius or so. I think if he could have a proximity lottery for their extra spaces he would do so.

    What else, they do have after school programs, mostly through grants, so there are weeks that don’t have after school programs available. I know they would love to have more after school programming available so if there was more demand for such I’m sure it would happen.

  • 611. Keepingthefaith  |  March 28, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    Hello Disney 1 folks,

    Do they have after school programs there? When we toured, it seemed like it was just teachers watching the kids…no enrichment activities. Any information? Thanks so much!

  • 612. FormerCPSGrad  |  March 28, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    Just got a call from STEM.

    Open House is April 11 at 230PM.

    That leaves only 2 days after the Open House to make a decision.

    Can someone share what the curriculum at STEM is like: What are your kids learning in Kindergarten, 1st grade, 2nd grade, etc.

    My kid is in JK at a Private School now — avid reader, can add/subtract, is learning 2 foreign languages (Mandarin and Spanish) … besides the money part … will my kid learn more at STEM?

  • 613. rena  |  March 28, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    @591, did you tour? I toured both LaSalle and Newberry last Fall and LaSalle made a fantastic impression. Probably best out of all schools I toured.The principal seemed approachable, down-to-earth, nice atmosphere, clean library, smart kids. And of course, their academics are really strong. I wouldn’t think twice. So jealous of you, we have no chance of getting in.

  • 614. david  |  March 28, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    former cps.
    do a search on this page for stem and read the various reviews.
    the one thing i will add is that there are no foreign languages at stem, i strongly believe that stem curriculum teaches reasoning and logic, and thus will result in students who will be able to pick up on topics and teach themselves. that’s what i see in my K child.

  • 615. MarketingMom  |  March 28, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    Spanish Horizons currently teaches Spanish at Hawthorne (before-school)

  • 616. DisneyDad  |  March 28, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    Disney offers After School All Stars Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday each week (free & an extended in length running until May 10th)- this year offerings were Chess, Mandarin Chinese (taught by the same teacher as the Chinese gifted program ), Homework tutoring and Ballet.

    They also offer – (copied from their site)


    Our tuition based after school program runs from the first day of school until the last day of school, from 1:45-6:00.

    The program consists of three sessions each day:
    literacy and art
    physical recreation.
    The students are also provided a snack during the program.

    The cost for families is $75 per week for the first child, $60 per week for the second child, and $50 a week for additional children. No adjustments in payments will be made for holidays or absences.

    Program enrollment is limited, and students are accepted on a first-come first-served basis.

  • 617. EdgewaterMom  |  March 28, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    @582 Rogers Park Mom

    Actually, I believe that students from Peirce are automatically accepted to the Senn IB program if they meet the minimum requirements. Students from within Senn’s attendance boundaries are given a 25 point bonus.

    If you look at the comments under “Rahm announces new IB High Schools and Programs to Open” there are several posts about Senn. Comment 161 gives a very detailed recap of the community meeting at Senn this week and might be an interesting read for you.

  • 618. Portage Mom  |  March 28, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    @605 – I don’t have a child who attends Pulaski. The school would have been our neighborhood school had we not moved. I had heard good things about Pulaski on this board and on NPN (Neighborhood Parents Network). I have also heard some negative on the boards.

    I did talk to a mom with a son at Pulaski who is very happy with the school. She admitted things are not perfect but the school is on the upward move and she attributes it to the principal. He did create some bad feelings when he basically cleaned house and made it known that either you get on board with what he wants to do with the school or leave. I believe there was also displacement of current students who were out of neighborhood which created some bad feelings. Despite all this, this mom was very high on the school.

    The principal is from South Loop and did a great job in turning around that school. There was a time when neighborhood parents wouldn’t consider South Loop for their kids. My niece attended the RGC there and in the early years, the scores were dismal but now the school has done very well, so well that it’s become too popular and to deal with the overcrowding, CPS has decided to phase out the RGC at the school.

    Change takes time and will take place first at the lower grades. ISAT testing doesn’t start until 3rd grade so it will take time to see the test scores improve. Your best bet is to tour the school and speak to parents with kids at the school. I remember hearing the parents group is pretty active and passionate about Pulaski.

  • 619. old irving preschool mom  |  March 28, 2012 at 3:04 pm


    I do not have any personal experience with Mitchell, other than attending a tour there. I was blown away–I think they are doing lots of fantastic things at that school, and it was at the top of my KG app list. But, my fear is that a lot of the strengths of the schools were implemented by the principal–focus on Nationally Board Certified Teachers, curriculum mapping, little reliance on formal textbooks, strong differentiation, foccus on the “whole student,” and a very supportive environment. The open question is whether those will continue.

    Any word on what happened to the principal? (I think I even asked him whether he was planning to leave the school any time in the next few years, and he said no.)

    I’m a little heartbroken. I hope others with experience at Mitchell will post, and offer their thoughts on the school’s future.

  • 620. LaSalle Dad  |  March 28, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    @591. We live in the boundary for Lincoln elementary. We received an offer from Newberry and were #1 wait listed at LaSalle. We ended up getting an offer from LaSalle. Honestly the three have their good points and bad. For us it came down to location. LaSalle was closest to our house. We toured Lincoln and it was just to crowded with kids sharing lockers. Great school though. Newberry also was just a little to far. LaSalle and LaSalle II are like comparing Oranges and Oranges. Different locations and demographics but both good schools. I have a friend with a1st grader at LaSalle II who absolutely loves it.

    One thing I can say for LaSalle is that it has great family and community participation which is in my belief a huge success factor.
    As an example new families to LaSalle can opt in to have a mentor contact them to help guide them in the first year. One mentor for one family. Call them up for anything. Simple questions like how do you pay for milk at lunchtime (confused me) to the best way to handle your first big birthday party. Teachers have been very quick to get back to me with any questions I have and are not afraid to voice their concerns and/or congratulations. When CPS wanted to make LaSalle a neighborhood school the school community banded together instantaneously. I don’t think CPS was ready for such a strong community pushing back against them which is why I think they backed down so quickly.

    I think if you have the choice between the three you are very lucky.

    One word of caution. If you pick LaSalle your son/daughter will be in the same kindergarten as my son. Just kidding and good luck in your decision.

    PS we currently have a 1st grader at LaSalle and if she had a say would also highly recommend it as a great school. She actually gets bummed out when school is not in session.

  • 621. BucktownBryan  |  March 28, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    @618, I think Mitchell’s principal recieved a promotion from within CPS

  • 622. Brooke  |  March 28, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    Daughter is # 7 on a proximity list for Disney II, what is the chance og getting in?

  • 623. AC  |  March 28, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    Thank you! @600 and @597

    @567 – like your point of view on numbers

    I will be attending the open house for LaSalle II next month.

    I have done my work in terms of looking into LaSalle, LaSalle II and Newberry.

    However, wanted inside knoledge. All three are great. I found that LaSalle is top on the list of the three in grades and ISAT, but most importantly for us is that it is racially diverse. I also think along the lines as #567- BUENAPARKMOM. LaSalle’s numbers are better, but Newberry’s population is not as financially stable as LaSalle’s families. Therefore, Newberry’s numbers are great when taken that under consideration. I did not find much data for LaSalle II because its such a new school.

    On paper LaSalle has it. Newberry does have good numbers but we have to give it points because of the students backgrounds.

    –Mean girls and Dad.. please do not jump on me.

  • 624. Cas  |  March 28, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    DisneyDad: what do you think our chances of getting in to kindergarten. We are number 63 on the proximity wait list:((

  • 625. HS Mom  |  March 28, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    @606 – wonderful!

    Disney Dad – your posts are very moving, thoughtful and inspiring. Your insights are right on. There is no need to deride any of these schools and their programs, they have come a long way thanks to open-minded parents like you. Blacklisting and name calling – sheesh!

    #593 Mom2 – even though some may not be “feeling the love”. I sure do hear what you are saying. I browsed through some of these comments and saw many who said “didn’t get in….but that’s OK we are happy with our neighborhood school”. Looks like more and more every year for the neighborhood school. Very pleased to see a teacher from Bateman sending her own kids to the school. Lot’s of progress has been made. Mom2, thanks for your voice in a positive direction.

  • 626. AC  |  March 28, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    @619 LaSalle Dad. Thank you! I have #9 on waiting list. If we get a call then all I have to worry about is the after school program.

  • 627. DisneyMOM  |  March 28, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    @623-not sure if this helps but we were number 39 (Proxmity) last year and was notified of my daughters spot early April. So, I think you have a reasonable chance of getting in.

    Just want to say, that I am very happy with Disney. My daughter loves school and has learned so much the past year.

  • 628. meg  |  March 28, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    We applied for our soon to be 5th grader and soon to be 7th grader and got the following wait list #s. Any sense of what’s likely?

    Burley – 8 (for 5th grade) and 26 (7th grade)

    Drummond: 4 (for 5th grade) and 15 (for 7th grade).

    Would hate to have to split them up!

  • 629. kp  |  March 28, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    If you got into Drummond PK3 and are in proximity — please do not take the spot. You’ll be happier at a different school. I promise.

  • 630. cpsobsessed  |  March 28, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    @meg – are you leaving a neighborhood school? That is, if you take a spot and the other son doesn’t get it, do you still have a fallback?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 631. DisneyDad  |  March 28, 2012 at 5:17 pm


    Sadly, I’m not sure about wait list movement at Disney. @626 looks hopeful.
    We were offered a spot via the lottery that year & that letter was a serious lighting strike to our moving plans.

    We were wait listed at Stone #4 -Got a call in July, if I recall correctly,

    We turned it downed in flavor of Disney but were impressed with Stone and continue to be.

    Disney was better fit for us and she was already enrolled in the Tuition based Summer camp program, it helped to acclimate her to the size of school, the staff, make some friends and was a great training ground for letting go of mommy’s hand.
    There were a lot of tears (all around)

    We were also #18 that year for Hawthorne but never got the call.
    Admittedly that would have been a harder one to pass up.

    I wish you the best and hope you can see what Disney is all about first hand.

  • 632. Skinmom  |  March 28, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    Disney Dad-

    I was waiting to get permission before posting so excuse me if I was vague. Since you are active with your LSC, ask about the recent incidents re: the principal. In addition, call your network office (I’m not sure if they are legally allowed to divulge information) and inquire about the number of complaints against Hagstrom. **Edited: Skinmom has suggested contacting the LSC to see about a complaint filed.*** I’m not making up stories to sway people away. Sometimes things are not always the way they seem. I happen to know a lot of people through networking and therefore get a lot of inside information that is not made public. Im not going into details but I suggest you make some further inquiries before jumping down my throat.

    I don’t care to defend or clarify my comments that you so nicely twisted. I’m happy to hear you love your school. What are you doing on here if your child is already attending Disney and thriving?

  • 633. anonymouseteacher  |  March 28, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    Regarding the post about principals pressuring teachers to do certain things outside the norm:
    I have no other first hand knowledge of what happened there (at Disney) regarding the longer day, but parents do have to understand that principals pressure teachers to do things all the time, including by indicating their jobs are in jeopardy, if they don’t vote or support certain things. I have teacher-friends at one “pioneer school” that is popular on this board, where this very thing happened. It was reported that slightly more than half of the staff voted for the longer day when in reality, many non-tenured teachers were told in threatening terms that they would not have a job next year if they didn’t support it. Less than a quarter of the teachers actually supported it. The principal seems quite friendly, but what parents see happening and what really happens in schools are sometimes, two very different things.

  • 634. bea  |  March 28, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    Tier 3
    Lasalle II – Waitlisted, #30, Tier 3
    Franklin – Waitlisted, #35, Tier 3
    Hawthorne – Waitlisted, #155, Tier 3
    Drummond – Waitlisted, #500, General
    Alcott – Waitlisted, #153, General
    Agassiz – Waitlisted, #6, General

    Offers: Prescott and Sabin. Since Sabin is on probation, looks like it’ll be Prescott unless we get an offer from Agassiz….and since we’re #6 on the list, I have to say I think we have a pretty good chance of getting in there.

  • 635. bea  |  March 28, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    Ooops! Forgot to mention that this is for Kindergarten.

  • 636. Alison  |  March 28, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    Son entering K, which to choose?
    Neighborhood school – Nettelhorst
    Offered – Newberry
    Wait list #12 (general) – Burr

    Thanks for any input =)

  • 637. Skinmom  |  March 28, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    @635 Newberry without a question!

  • 638. Skinmom  |  March 28, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    @635 btw congrats! Newberry is a terrific school. I have many friends who LOVE it there. Its not easy to get into so again, congrats.

  • 639. Meg  |  March 28, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    Yes. No real fallback – we would need to send them to different magnet schools. Would be so nice to avoid that!

  • 640. rfg  |  March 28, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    @Skinmom – Finally, you’ve stop beating around the bush. *** I’ll make sure to call Disney and use you as the source. In fact, I’ll print it out for the front office.

    I might get some information from Disney but I wouldn’t know since according to you, Disney may not “legally” divulge information that you have now so conveniently posted on this board.

    By the way, you’ve lost argument when you call someone bitter and continue to portray yourself as the victim.

    Have you ever visited Disney at all?

  • 641. Angie  |  March 28, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    609. BuenaParkMom: Thank you for the Greeley information. This school sounds interesting.

  • 642. Mom  |  March 28, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    Skinmom, you have more friends than anyone I know.

  • 643. Kelly  |  March 28, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    @541 Monkey Man and @550 jlbcbs
    You may have seen the publicity Chopin got in the fall. If not, see the suntimes link below. I wouldn’t assume Chopin is trying to attract more students. Monkey Man may have more inside scoop than me. My conclusion is that their focus is on doing a really great job for the students in the neighborhood. Not on marketing to get more kids to choose their school.


    More on looping….

  • 644. Gale is NOT an option...  |  March 28, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    Disney dad…were you proximity for stone? Wondering if I should be hopeful or not. 🙂 thanks…

  • 645. Gale is NOT an option...  |  March 28, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    @635 ~ I would choose neighborhood when you have a great option like nettlehorst. Newberry is great too but is more of a commuter school and your sons friends will be all over the city. Nothing like sending them down the block for a playdate versus driving them all over the place. Don’t lose sight of the value of that. It makes a huge difference when your child has lots of neighborhood friends. Huge difference. Good luck with your decision.

  • 646. cpsobsessed  |  March 28, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    I agree with the neighborhood factor. I’d say newberry has to be awesome (in your opinion) to beat a good neighborhood school.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 647. Newberry  |  March 28, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    Son K is #17 tier 2 for newberry….does anyone know if they drill down that far on their waitlist

  • 648. Edgewater K Mom  |  March 28, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    @569 (60660) – Why would a kid get 25 bonus points for HS because they went to Peirce for a few years? I am totally ignorant about the HS application process. What are these bonus points?

  • 649. Disney Dad  |  March 28, 2012 at 8:25 pm


    FINALLY some concrete TOTALLY ANONYMOUS AND UNCORROBORATED “facts” from you that we can’t all look up and confirm because its TOP SECRET INSIDER INFO


    If these incidents even happened I find it really hard to believe that no one at that school would have leaked it to the press given she is fairly high profile and as you inferred early “Not popular with her staff”. But in this case they have all kept their mouths shut?…..except for your friend(s).

    Folks I think we have left Trollville and are headed straight on through to Crazytown…..woot woot

    @639 I’ll make sure to drop a copy of these disturbing allegations off at the front desk tomorrow also

  • 650. kathyRP  |  March 28, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    K entry, Tier 3
    Offered Pierce & Hamilton.
    Waitlist Disney 18, Stone 49, Clinton30
    Thought for sure he would get into gifted at Hamilton if we went, but now more nervous with RGC 125.
    Any more comments on Hamilton?

  • 651. L D  |  March 28, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    @645 I was somewhere in the 30’s tier 3 and got a call last year during the 2nd week of school.

  • 652. Disney Dad  |  March 28, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    @642 No we don’t live in proximity for Stone, but we were impressed with the principal at the time, who I believe has since left the school.

  • 653. Newberry  |  March 28, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    Thanks @649. Is it a good school? Do they have before and after school care

  • 654. kathyRP  |  March 28, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    I applied to 20 schools but did not recieve 20 offer/waitlists. I think Waters got jibbed. Can I protest this?

  • 655. Christine  |  March 28, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    @646 Edgewater K Mom:

    I also live in Edgewater and I was one of the parents who attended a recent meeting with Principal Lofton and roughly 70 community members at Senn HS. I would be happy to share notes from that meeting with you, and also explain to you the point system for HS.

    Hopefully, CPS Obsessed will be posting about happenings at Senn very soon 🙂

  • 656. Edgewater K Mom  |  March 28, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    Never mind. I saw that my question was already answered. Thanks!

  • 657. cpsobsessed  |  March 28, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    Due to libel paranoia I have edited a couple posts in a minor way.

  • 658. Cas  |  March 28, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    DisneyMom: thanks for sharing your waitlist experience. That is helpful/hopeful for our number 63 wait list!

  • 659. Burley mom  |  March 28, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    Burley principal announced retirement today as well. I’m so sad.

  • 660. vero  |  March 28, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    #655 I think my post was deleted. I was inquiring about Oriole Elementary

  • 661. Disney Dad  |  March 28, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    Huh why didnt I get a **Disney Dad suggests you contact a lawyer before making up stuff on blogs that could do real damage to the career of someone who works with children** EDIT

    You just deleted the whole paragraph

    Is this a special service reserved for your friends?

    Please explain

  • 662. vero  |  March 28, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    I wish all the back and forth would stop.

  • 663. cpsobsessed  |  March 28, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    I’m not sure what jibbed means, but did we get email confirmationns that showed the schools we picked? I’ve packed all my files. I’d love to see someone contest a mistake.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 664. Skinmom  |  March 28, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    I suggest even encourage you to inquire about this to the head of your LSC. You would be amazed at how well things are swept under the carpet in CPS. It amazes me that you think complaints haven’t been filed. Again, feel free to call me any name you see fit. I wouldn’t have posted something this serious without concrete knowledge. I think you would ask to speak to a person with the last name Benes??? Better yet, call the parents you are so close with on the LSC this evening.

  • 665. Atty mom  |  March 28, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    Lots of people read skinmom’s allegations. I’d say for libel purposes they were definitely “published” and with a quick subpoena her IP address/identity can be discovered.

  • 666. vero  |  March 28, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    Anyone ever heard of Oriole Elementary? Reviews? It’s a neighborhood school.

  • 667. Disney Dad  |  March 28, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    @639 I have screen screens of the original post so don’t worry about losing it to the edits
    I can meet you at the CAC doors @ 7:50am

  • 668. BuenaParkMom  |  March 28, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    The email merely listed confirmation of applying. There was a review page after submitting the application that instructed you to print it out. At the top it reads:
    Submission Successful
    Please print this page for your records.

    It then lists
    Grade Applying To: (in my case Pre-school Age 3)
    Birth Date:
    Did the student attend CPS last year?
    Did the student ever attend CPS?
    CPS ID:
    Current School Name:
    Current School Type:
    Student First Name:
    Student Middle Initial:
    Student Last Name:
    Is the student Hispanic or Latino?
    Does the student receive bilingual education services?
    Does the student have an IEP?
    Does the student have a 504 plan?

    Under that it lists schools with a spot for sibling CPS ID# and sibling last name beside each school. In my case:
    Thomas Drummond Elementary School
    Oscar F Mayer Elementary School
    Suder Montessori Magnet ES

    I think if you didn’t print this page out during the process you would be SOL (excuse the language there) in proving which schools you applied to.

  • 669. Gale is NOT an option...  |  March 28, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    I printed my confirmation page and they definitely dropped one of my schools. I will email them a copy of my confirmation page tomorrow just to see what they say. I like the school I was offered better than the one that was dropped so it hasn’t been top priority for me to ask.

  • 670. BuenaParkMom  |  March 28, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    Skinmom – I would have a hard time believing any principal in a school as large as Disney wouldn’t have had some complaints lodged against them. However, that is a far different thing from the accusation you made in a public forum based on at best second hand knowledge. You may believe this to be from a good source but it is really just repeating potentially damaging gossip (dare I say potentially career ending gossip for someone who works for children) that you are not in a position to know unless this happened to your child and your family is the filer of the complaint. Unfounded gossip of this nature really has no place on a blog like this, especially as we are for the most part hiding behind semi-anonymous screen names. I think cpsobsessed was right to remove it. I’d certainly hate to hear that cpsobsessed had to go to court or deal with subpoenas in her so limited spare time over this issue.

    Having met the principal in question on several occasions and having watched her interact with children, I’m going to go on record saying that sort of accusation does not jive with my impression of her. Again, I’m not going to claim she’s all warm and fuzzy but I do think she is extremely professional (maybe a little on the glitzy side in dress for my professional wardrobe tastes) and business-like.

  • 671. Disney II mom  |  March 28, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    I have a child in K at Disney II and my daughter just got into the K for next year due to being a sibling. You definitely have a chance to get into Disney II if you have less than 10. Last year, they went up to 12 on the waitlist.
    Disney II is a wonderful school who has a huge parent backing. Definitely check the schools that you are waitlisted at to make sure they have your correct number so you can get the call.

    Cant wait to meet some more families coming into Disney II for next year.

  • 672. Hopeful Mom  |  March 28, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    Oriele is a great school. They are over crowded but they are finally approved for a new addition. They are not excelerated though and teach at grade level. No gifted program. Principal is interviewing to leave though and Asst. Principal is moving to Audibon (sp). Both their reasons for moving us to get a higher salary due to changes occurring next year.

    On a cell… Please excuse any typos.

  • 673. NewberryMom  |  March 28, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    #591, #635 and #631 Re: all asking input about Newberry. I am a mother of two children that attend Newberry and I am thrilled that my kids go to the school. It is very strong academically especially in math and science – the core focus of the school – my 3rd grader has science 4 days a week for 50 minutes in a science lab. The math teachers at Newberry train other teachers in CPS on how to teach the University of Chicago’s Everyday Math program in their school. The school has steadily increased its technology investment and focus. Nearly every classroom above Kindergarten has a smart board. Last year Newberry’s 5th grade Math teacher won one of the 10 prestigious Golden Apple awards given to recognize the best teachers in Chicagoland (public, private, suburban, etc.) Also last year, 6th Grader Mathew Smith was the CPS Spelling Bee winner who competed in the national bee in D.C. I could go on and on about the school accomplishments – Newberry won CPS’s “Battle of the Books” competition, was a State of Illinois Spotlight School etc. but the best thing to do if you are deciding about Newberry is to visit the school. The Principal, Asst. Principal and office staff are outstanding – very welcoming (even though they are extremely busy) and accessible.

    There were also some questions about afterschool programs at Newberry. The school offers some free afterschool programs (legos, cooking classes, even knitting) but they have limited seats and end at 3p.m. (Newberry’s current day is from 8a.m. to 1:45p.m.) For working parents (like me) that need longer hours there is a close relationship with JYCS – they run an afterschool program I have found this to be a very high quality – homework was completed and double checked – along with fun activities like ping pong and board games. I have no idea what the longer/fuller school day will do to the free afterschool programs or JCYS.

    #448 Skinmom – one correction – you state that Newberry and Franklin are neighborhood schools in your post; this is not accurate – they are magnet schools that accept students only by lottery and are not neighborhood schools.

  • 674. SJ  |  March 28, 2012 at 11:00 pm

    @669. Strange question but do you have two daughters?

  • 675. NewberryMom  |  March 28, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    I did want to make one other comment about the information parents are looking at and the data points for comparisons of the relative the quality of the schools they are considering. Parents are extremely focused on the ISAT scores as the primary measure of the quality of the education their children will receive at a school. ISAT scores are highly correlated with the social economic status of the student population. Schools with few low income students should expect to have higher “meet and exceeds” ISAT scores. CPS has started publishing for the past couple of years the “Relative School Impact on Student Growth in Reading” (or Math) – the so called “value add” scores of the schools. (These are the scores listed right under the ISAT scores.) These scores measure the progress the students are making during the school year – not just whether students meet the standard set for X grade. Schools with amazingly high value add scores like LaSalle II (+2!) – something right is going on in their classrooms no matter what level their students walked the door as a starting point. Schools with negative value add scores should be another data point for parents to consider. The test data shows that their students are losing ground and not gaining. CPS even has the value add scores broken down by grade over the past two years (3rd and above) available on their website.

    I know that there are tremendous problems and shortcomings with judging schools by their test scores (I think a tour is one of the best data points you can get). But I think parents are judging their choices based heavily on ISAT scores – and I wanted to point out that ISATs are not the only test data point parents should consider. I would argue that if you are going to consider how a school tests as a measure of the quality of education you are considering – value add is a better measure than ISATs. But I am sure that others on the blog will disagree with me…

  • 676. vero  |  March 29, 2012 at 7:57 am

    @670 Thanks for your response. I didn’t see anything about overcrowding in my short research. Good to know. Thinking about moving into the area. So many changes for them! Right now I live in the Healy School District which is a decent school too but also not accelerated. At this point we are just looking for a good neighborhood program, not so much accelerated since we didn’t qualify for an accelerated program.

  • 677. Disney II mom  |  March 29, 2012 at 8:11 am

    @672-No I have a boy in kindergarten and a daughter in afternoon PreK

  • 678. Kelly  |  March 29, 2012 at 8:35 am

    I’ve been following these comments since the beginning and I don’t believe there has been any substantive discussion about Prescott, but I apologize if there was some I missed. I’ve looked into test scores and the like and it’s not particularly impressive, but does anyone have any helpful inside information? I seem to recall that it was in danger of being closed entirely at some point. There has to be a reason why pretty much everyone who applied to K here got in (as opposed to, say, Blaine, where my kid is #907 on the waitlist, or Burley, where he’s #671!). In the end, I don’t think it’s any better than our neighborhood school, where my son is currently in PreK, but I thought I’d ask. Thanks!

  • 679. Jen/hamilton  |  March 29, 2012 at 9:06 am

    #648 KathyRP—See my post at #590 re: Hamilton.

    Also, Hamilton’s comprehensive gifted program starts in 1st grade and is not the same thing as an RGC, so if your child attends Hamilton for kindergarten he/she will be evaulated then and it will be determined if he/she goes in the gifted program at the school at that point.

  • 680. Portage Mom  |  March 29, 2012 at 9:31 am

    Kelly – I have heard good things about Prescott. I don’t have a child at the school. I have been researching schools and have read blogs like this one as well as going on NPN (Neighborhood Parents Network) for information on schools. I seem to recall there was information on Prescott on NPN. Prescott was in danger of being closed but a very active parents group convinced CPS to not close the school (no small task). There’s information here as well. You will need to do a search on the school.

    Regarding the test scores, when you have a school that’s being turned around, you won’t see the improvement in scores right away given ISAT testing starts in the 3rd grade. Your best bet is to take a tour, meet with the principal as well as parents. The key to a good school is a great principal and and an active parents group.

  • 681. Hopeful Mom  |  March 29, 2012 at 9:35 am

    659. Disney Dad ENOUGH! Take it off line if you care to continue this conversation. It is no secret Disney’s principal is “out there” this has been following her around for a long time. I am tired of reading this post and it is detracting from the excitement of everyone and their questions about schools. I happen to be friends with the schools former psychologist and they will not go back to that school ever due to the principal. *** Until then what has been said has been said so lets move on please.

  • 682. mckinley park mom  |  March 29, 2012 at 9:40 am

    I am jealous you are in the Healy district. That is one of the top schools in Chicago. I wish I could do the neighborhood school (not going to happen with Greene) because I would love my children’s friends to not all over the city. I also know that in the upper grades they do have a gifted program as I have had friends children be in them. I would seriously consider Healy if I was you.

  • 683. cpsobsessed  |  March 29, 2012 at 9:50 am

    Regarding Prescott also (I have not visited the school, but I know there is a lot of local enthusiasm for it.) Like a lot of other schools that were “flipped” (meaning going from a no-way to a can’t get in) school, many of those schools started by almost begging parents to attend. It takes a few years to “sell” the school to parents. During that time hopefully you’ll see some rises in scores in the 3rd grade+ but often times it takes a group of parents taking it on faith, based on a convincing principal and a smallish group of highly convincing parents who are committed to working with the school to bring things that parents tend to like (PTA, fundraisers, after school classes, etc.) These things take time and effort. And it’s not the right fit for everyone. BUT, being a part of that growth can be incredibly empowering and rewarding and fun. these schools DO tend to attract parents who may not have gotten another options, but there are so many parents looking for schools with potential, it can certainly happen. As I said, it’s not for everyone. But I’d check it out and see how it feels to you.

  • 684. Marlese  |  March 29, 2012 at 9:51 am

    @652 and 661–I am contesting results. I know of more than a dozen parents by now who have had at least one school dropped, and two that have had unwanted schools added. In our case, we only applied for 16 schools. 9 of our choices were dropped, and 13 random others were added. Unlike with our SEES application, we did not receive that list that confirms your schools, so I think perhaps the problem happened at transmission. At the bottom of the results letter is a phone number and email. I’ve used both and they’ve been responsive. Yesterday I received an email saying their research had been passed on to the “appropriate staff” and that they would contact me directly. I just check in every 48 hours. I’ll post the results here. We did receive an offer at Hamilton which we’re happy with, but I think it’s important to understand what happened, and for them to address system problems. However, they might not realize they have a persistent problem if parents don’t contact them.

  • 685. david  |  March 29, 2012 at 10:29 am

    this is my 6th year trying to get daughter into school, and every year there are parents fighting about stuff on these message boards…no different then kids ..

  • 686. MamaK  |  March 29, 2012 at 11:21 am

    We were accepted to prescott too! I have been to the school twice, but not for a formal tour until 4/10 I think. I am extremely excited about what I have heard so far. I reached out to the head of the Parents group and she sent me a welcome packet with some good Prescott info as well as “mentor” families that I could reach out to. pretty impressive. I definitely think it would be good to be a part of making a difference in a local school and to be part of a school community that is extremely motivated. I also love the fact that it is small and the class sizes are relatively small by CPS standards. Test scores freaked me out too, but when I really think about my priorities they aren’t so crucial.
    Only drawback for us is location. We have a good shot at Newberry which is more convenient but Prescott is pretty enticing. Touring both schools gonna make my decision then based on the feeling I get.

  • 687. Rachelle  |  March 29, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    My kindergartner was accepted at Disney, number 5 on waitlist at Stem, a RGC of 134, reading in 30th percentile and math in 50th percentile. She is artisitically gifted. Probably not so much in math.

    I will accept at Disney but it is posible that we will get a call for Stem. Given her lack of development in math and reading, should I still consider Stem if we get a call?

  • 688. kiki h.  |  March 29, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    I think STEM is very good at meeting the kids’ academic needs. I love that they also have art 2x a week. I don’t know anything about Disney though, except what I’ve read here. (Haha) My 3rd grader transferred to STEM from an RGC, and she is being challenged. She has always been much better at math than reading. The reading program there is what finally got her to really love reading. I think the range of abilities in the class really put her at ease and finally allowed her to read without feeling intimidated. I would say if you’re on the fence, go with whichever makes the easiest commute.

    Another plus about STEM–they’ve been doing the 7.5 hour day all year, and I think they’re doing an excellent job with it. As much as I personally don’t like the longer day, my daughter has not complained or seemed unduly tired. Other parents have said the same thing. Anyhow, it’s good to know that they’re not killing the kids with the added time.

  • 689. Lakeview Dad  |  March 29, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    @681 CPSo – In your opinion, is Hamilton in the same ‘flipped’ category as Prescott as you describe? We are heavily considering Hamilton for K… It’s our neighborhood school.

  • 690. SouthSide T  |  March 29, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    Still no letter as of yesterday. Waiting for today’s mail. Anyone else still waiting?

  • 691. SouthSide Reenie  |  March 29, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    To 564 and any other Murray parents–could you tell me what the language academy part of Murray means in practice? My 2-yr-old is being raised with both Spanish and English but his Spanish is weaker. I have been confining my thinking to schools with full dual-language Spanish-English to ensure his Spanish is supported but hear great things about Murray. How do they do language other than English there?

  • 692. another logan mama  |  March 29, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    Inter-American? Anyone know much about it? My twins are 22 and 23 on the waiting list (Tier 3) for PK4. I’d love to hear any info of how the waiting list moved (or didn’t) last year, and general opinions of the school. Thanks!

  • 693. cpsobsessed  |  March 29, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    Hamilton has sort of been plugging along more slow and steady. They were under enrolled and almost closed but convinced cps to keep them open because of their strong acad improvements.
    I think there is a strong and growing parent group. I’ve lost track of how “evolved” they are for after school actiivities, aftercare, etc. So I’d get more details and meet the people there. If I had no options (my own hood, sees) it would be on my list to tour for sure.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 694. Jen/hamilton  |  March 29, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    not sure I’d use the slow and steady phrasing to describe Hamilton at this point. New Principal three years ago brought a totally new life to the school. The parent group is very well established and highly motivated. For a small school the fundraising participation was quite astonishing to me (in a good way)

    Activities are far and above most CPS….arts, music and a plethora of after school programs. Also, they adopted the longer school day this year already so there is a 20 minute recess and 20 minute lunch every day. next year they add 30 more minutes and PE will be four days a week.

    my ds will be there in the fall in K. I served the past two years on the LSC as a community member.

    There’s a tour coming up. I highly recommend checking it out.

  • 695. Chicago Mama  |  March 29, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    @410 – I’d hold out for Burley over Thorp.

    @448 – I’m now curious who’s leaving as its never happened in 4 years

    @538 and 621 – it’s possible for next year, although you may not get calls until July

    @ 595 – yes.

  • 696. vero  |  March 29, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    @680 We moved out of McKinley to Bridgeport because we wanted Healy to be our back up school. Thank you for reminding me that Healy does have a magnet cluster program component to it. However on paper or according to CPS websites Oriole scores better. Definitely something to think about.

  • 697. Lakeview Momma  |  March 29, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    Offered Pierece
    #325ish on WL at Hamilton
    #590ish on WL at Blaine
    too high at Burley (do they really need to have numbers that go that high??)

    Did tours of both. Blaine and Burley are too overcrowded but look solid. Hamilton K looks solid too (as it did last two years) and the neighborhood for attendance area looks solid. Hamilton was top choice with good principal, teachers, facility and gifted program. Darn.. was really hoping for Hamilton.

  • 698. Almost there  |  March 29, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    Now! What!? It is beautiful that now I have an offer for a school after months of stress and panic that I would have to keep my son in a private school if we did not get an offer for Kindergarten. Now that we did and its a good offer I keep on looking at the other low numbers on the waiting list of schools that are as good as the one offered. I am were I was fifteen years ago with with my fist child. Back then LaSalle was my fist choice and we landed in at another Magnet school. Now, for my son, we are offered again the same Magnet school my daughter went to, but have a chance at LaSalle which is one we always wanted. What a dilemma. First the wait and now the decision that what ever decision we make hopefully will be the right one. This is were life begins for him, really starts, the schedule, the routine, the nagging him on homework and better grades. This is not a toy we are choosing. This is the decision that will then lead to high school and that is another night mare. Remember, I just had that experience a year ago and it was as it is now for my son. My daughter did not get into any of the best high schools in Chicago, but did get an offer for a neighborhood school. We got lucky on that one and my daughter had her say through out the process. Now I think if she would have gone to LaSalle would that have made a difference on the selective enrollment test for high school??

    Back to Kindergarten. So, to make that decision and feeling very lucky to have a possible choice of about three. What choice to make? We, the stressed Dad, and the Mean Moms.. have much in common and I can tell you that I thank everyone of you.. even the haters.. we are reacting to stress and I want to thank you because you give me a lot to take back and put on the table to make a decision. I just hope he like my choice and that what ever the choice he will thrive and do great.

    As for what I want in a school is just good and nice teachers. Teachers who really care for kids education and are not there for the paycheck because they could not get a job elsewhere because of the economy.

    Well, the principal does not have to have all smiles, and no, I do not want her to be friends with me or any other parent. That is when things go wrong. I just want someone to be a professional, keep my kid safe and engaged in school.

  • 699. cpsobsessed  |  March 29, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    @thanks jen – I was hoping one of you guys would show up with some info!
    There you go, ladies and gentleman….

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 700. Murray parent  |  March 29, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    Murray is not a dual language program as they also teach French, Japanese, and Mandarin. The children take language 3 to 4 days a week, but with the longer days, who knows what will happen.

  • 701. Mom of 2  |  March 29, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    I have a daughter currently in prek at Blaine (not the full day tuition based). We love it here! She has another year of prek before heading to K. My husband is insisting on private school. He has a difficult time understanding the hoops, jumps, flips and marathons CPS requires one to go through in order to receive a good education. My thoughts are that he is trying to spare us the agony and stress of going through the rigorous process along with preserving my sanity. I have had lengthy conversations with other parents who have children in my daughters class and the responses are mixed. Some parents have more than one child at Blaine, some have one at Blaine and another in a gifted program, some plan on moving to the suburbs…As you can see the list goes on with several scenarios. If anyone has any advice I would greatly appreciate it. We have and still are considering moving. The longer day really concerns me. So much is happening so fast that I’m having a difficult time trying to keep up. One day I am asking my husband to look at houses in the suburbs, the next I am printing out realms of paper full of data on CPS schools. This site has a wealth of information and it’s a relief to know I am not alone.

    Although a bit off topic and seemingly a sore subject, there are several children at Blaine who have come from Disney. The comments I have read on here go hand in hand with what I have heard from parents who removed their children from there to attend Blaine. I dont personally know this principal, nor have I toured the school. However, the principal seems to have a long list of parents who clearly were not happy with her.

  • 702. Lakeview Dad  |  March 29, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    Thanks for the Hamilton info. We will be touring next week.

  • 703. Lakeview Dad  |  March 29, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    Rather, on Apr. 11th at Hamilton.

  • 704. Public or Private  |  March 29, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    @635, I know very little about Newberry, but I do know something about Nettelhorst (my neighborhood school). Nettelhorst is very strong in visual arts, and dance/drama, but the principal is a former science teacher, and they’ve started some interesting science programs: They have a recently renovated science lab, a scientist-in-residence from Northwestern, and a new program where middle schoolers are learning computer-aided design to create a product (I think it’s a prosthetic limb) with the Ford Engineering center up at Northwestern. Also, Nettelhorst has the best and most comprehensive afterschool program I’ve ever seen.

  • 705. Lana  |  March 29, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    We applied to Beaubien for K, which was listed as “not eligible”, but today we received a letter with a wait list number, anyone else have that?

    Like many here, we laso had a school dropped from our list, I just sent an email, but doubt that they can do anything about it now.

  • 706. Lisa  |  March 29, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    I got an email back regarding the school dropped from my list (see below) Any guesses on how high the wait list number will be? 🙂

    Thank you for your inquiry.

    We apologize for this oversight. Our database does indicate that your child applied to Solomon Elementary School for the 2012-2013 school year. We will send another letter to your home address today that includes XXXXXXX’s status for Solomon.

    If you have additional questions, or if I can be of any other service, please don’t hesitate to contact me.


    Karen Burroughs Hannsberry

    Communications Manager

    Office of Access and Enrollment

    (formerly the Office of Academic Enhancement)


  • 707. Marlese  |  March 29, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    Oh Beloved CPS, I take it all back. For those not following the saga: our results list was a mess. We applied to 16 schools, but when we got our results on Saturday, 9 were dropped and 13 random schools were added. Only 7 of our original choices remained. I called them Monday and Wednesday, as well as sending an eloquent email on Monday. I got an email yesterday telling me they were working on it, and then an email today saying that there were two children applying this year with my daughter’s exact same name (I TOLD my husband we should have named her Clodaugh). There was a modification submitted for the other child, but it was performed on my child’s application. Now CPS will re-run the lottery for our 9 dropped schools, and we’ll be put into the spot we should have had. So if we should have had slot #13 at Disney, we will now have slot 12.5. We’re supposed to get a letter in a few days with our new results. CPS was helpful, responsive, and fair. I can almost fogive them for the nervous-breakdown-inducing application system. Almost.

  • 708. Atty mom  |  March 29, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    Marlese, you need to make sure the schools where you are wait listed get copies of the new lists. I can see CPS failing to update schools with the newly run lists.

  • 709. SJ  |  March 29, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    That is the worst story I have ever heard. At least they are fixing it for you. Good luck.

  • 710. anonymouseteacher  |  March 29, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    This is probably the wrong spot for this, but this is what central office told my principal this morning:
    1) budgets will be hand delivered to principals on April 12 (I am assuming so that it is harder for people to see them who are not yet supposed to see them)
    2) the extra staff principals are requesting will not be coming
    3) CPS will be telling principals who they must cut and even though our school truly cannot survive with less staff, we should prepare for cuts (read: bigger class sizes)

    I feel upset and scared.

  • 711. mom  |  March 29, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    I also had a school missing from my lottery that I put in for. I had two come up ineligible – Beaubien and Lincoln (for Kindergarten). Were those two not applicable to a K spot? If so, did I really waste two spots on the lottery??!!!

  • 712. cpsobsessed  |  March 29, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    @marlese – I’m impressed! That is the most accomodating I’ve seen them be about a mess up like that. I guess if there is a true paper trail it makes it easier for them. In the past it was an application lost in the black hole of a school office…

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 713. anonmom  |  March 29, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    I can’t speak to Beaubien but Lincoln is severely overcrowded, to the point that we are well exceeding CPS utilizaiton guidelines as well as fire code capacities. I’m sure they were not in a position to consider out of district applications at all. The overcrowding is particularly bad in the lower grades and Lincoln only has 1/2 day kindergarten and 1 and a half k teachers (so three half day kindergarten classes). I understand your concern about using up the spots. CPS certainly could have bounced any applications for Lincoln and given you the opportunity to choose another school.

  • 714. mom of twins  |  March 29, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    I do know that Waters is not accepting any out of districts for next year, unless it is last minute. We have too many neighborhood kids now and siblings 🙂 we are only allowed 2 kinders instead of 3 like usual

  • 715. mom  |  March 29, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    Does anyone have experience with the waitlist at Stone? We are #20 for K tier 4. Thanks

  • 716. rena  |  March 29, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    @712 what do you mean by “allowed 2 kinders instead of 3 like usual”? Seems to me if there are 70+ neighborhood kids wanting to enroll, there must be 3 Kindergarden classes, right?

  • 717. Lana  |  March 29, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    @713 I don’t know about Tier 4, but for Tier 3, they went up to #18 last year. Of course, we are #19. I called the school secretary and she was nice enough to look it up for me. I wasn’t able to get a tour though. In case we get a last minute offer, anyone have an opinion on how Stone compares to Peirce (the only place we were accepted)?

  • 718. Chicago Mama  |  March 29, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    @702 – what is Nettelhorst doing about afterschool now that Hull House no longer exists?

  • 719. Marlese  |  March 29, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    @706–thanks for the advice! I would not have thought to contact each school to make sure they knew about the change, so thank you for that. It’s on the to-do list!

    @707–when I first saw those crazy results and realized I didn’t have a confirmation list, I quite literally nearly puked.

    @709–when I applied online, closed schools like Lincoln Park and South Loop just weren’t available as choices. That’s why we only had 16 schools–4 of our choices were closed. If you’re crazy enough to do this again next year, do the online and at least you won’t waste any spots on closed schools.

    @710–again, I think the difference was the traceable online application. A paper application can be more easily lost in a black hole. I’m telling everybody I know to skip the paper and do it online as insurance. I’m just so profoundly grateful they did anything for us. We thought for sure they’d tell us tough luck or that it was too late to do anything.

    @715 Stone vs. Pierce. Stone for sure. Pierce is definitely going places, but if you have a choice, Stone is just top notch. They’re losing their principal though, and the principal can really make or break a school.

    And finally, I just want to express gratitude for this blog. I have learned SO MUCH about the CPS process and you fellow parents have just been such a blessing and help. It was wonderful to have a place to go when everything fell apart.

  • 720. MayfairAM  |  March 29, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    @703, yes, same story here #67 waitlist…feeling optimistic!

  • 721. HumboldtPark  |  March 29, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    My daughter got accepted to Edison for Kindergarten. Excited, of course. Five miles away, sure it is. This part has me scared though as I’m actually wanting to be a part of the school community.

    Right now my only other option are Sabin (accepted) or Talcott. Both of which I am not going to do. Can someone inform me of how you find out your position with other RGCs? Can you? Thanks ahead of time.

    Weird part is I didn’t even apply there (Edison). Any thoughts on this? Are RGCs just offered as they come up if your child scores high enough?

    RGC: 137; tier 1.

  • 722. HumboldtPark  |  March 29, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    Also, anyone else on here going to have a little one in Kindergarten at Edison next year? Speak up, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

  • 723. Future CPS Kinder Mom  |  March 29, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    715 – I toured both Stone and Peirce. Liked both but if given the option I’d probably go with Stone. If I remember correctly, they offer both a foreign language and also have a dedicated art teacher, and Peirce does not have either. Peirce does have a nice art room but due to funding cuts did not have a dedicated art teacher, at least when I toured, so the classroom teachers were building art into their curriculum. I know Peirce does have a great music teacher. I cannot remember the music situation at Stone but I seem to remember being impressed that they seemed to have ‘all’ the ‘extra’ classes, which you don’t even see at all the magnet schools. Both schools seemed great in their own ways though. The parent community at Peirce seemed hard to beat! FWIW – We are #7 on the Stone tier 4 wait list and if we get a call will pass so I guess everyone with numbers higher than 7 can assume they get to move up one! We are going with either LaSalle II or Agassiz. Both were offered. Feeling soooooo very blessed to have a choice!

  • 724. shouldastayedinlogan  |  March 29, 2012 at 11:09 pm

    Well there’s a page dedicated to charter schools on here, but not a thread. Does anyone have info on CICS? Specifically Bucktown and Irving Park?

  • 725. Future CPS Kinder Mom  |  March 29, 2012 at 11:09 pm

    715 – Also, FWIW, an insider in the CPS IB department told me that Peirce is doing a great job with their middle years IB program. If they currently offered the primary years IB program as well I might be tempted to choose Peirce instead of Stone. I love the concept of the IB program!

  • 726. piaga  |  March 30, 2012 at 12:00 am

    We are Tier 2 and would like to know the chances of getting into STEM. We are #34 – will we get a call before the school session begins? The next best is #7 proximity at Sheridan and #50 general at Drummond.

  • 727. mom  |  March 30, 2012 at 6:42 am

    @724 and everyone asking

    Everyone keeps asking what their chances of getting in are and it is really hard to say as it depends on the school. Last year for Kindergarten we were 13 on Sheirdan and 9 on STEM. I thought YEAH, we should atleast get one of them. Nope, only went down to 9 on Sheirdan and 6 on STEM, which shocked me as it was a new school BUT we did get calls on other schools where were in the 20’s or 30’s so it really is all up in the air. We ended up at a Magnet school that we LOVE and is a perfect fit for my child. I hope people realize that THEY can make a difference at what ever school their child attends and THEY can help their child do the best they can.

  • 728. 2011 offers for KG for comparison  |  March 30, 2012 at 7:25 am

    I’ve been meaning to post information from my son’s experience last year with CPS gifted and lottery system for kindergarten entrance. Hope this is helpful for all of you trying to figure out if you have a chance at a certain school. Our neighborhood school is Solomon. Great little school, but the short day combined with no before/aftercare makes it impossible for us to attend without hiring a morning and afternoon sitter.

    Hope this gives some light at the end of the tunnel for those who didn’t get an offer right away. These offers came throughout the spring/early summer.

    Priztker RGC – offered 2nd Round – score 143/Tier 4

    McPherson – offered
    Alcott – 33 [later offered]
    Franklin – 3 [later offered]
    Agassiz – 190 [later offered, I know that seems insane, I double checked my notes]
    Ravenswood – 16 [later offered]
    Blaine – 606
    LaSalle – 310
    Norwood Park – 95
    Stone – 146
    Disney II – 69
    Hamilton – 14 [later offered]
    Hawthorne – 247
    LaSalle II – 62
    Newberry – 73
    Thorp – 35
    Waters – 307
    Disney – 152
    Wildwood – 212
    Edison Park – 88
    Jackson – 164

  • 729. Kris  |  March 30, 2012 at 8:20 am

    I am also interested in hearing feedback on InterAmerican. We’re number 7 on the wait list. We got into Pierce and live within walking distance, so we’re happy with that option. I’d love to talk with other possible Pierce parents, too. A few meet ups with our kids before school starts would be great.

  • 730. Jen Larson  |  March 30, 2012 at 8:44 am

    @722, I don’t know a lot about CICS, but we have several kids in our neighborhood who go to Irving Park and the parents are really happy with it. Nice test scores too. We are in for the lottery there too.

  • 731. piaga  |  March 30, 2012 at 9:00 am

    What about Sheridan – is it a good school?

  • 732. Rogers Park mom  |  March 30, 2012 at 9:08 am

    @727 Kris- Just turned in our confirmation for Peirce on Tuesday! We are in Rogers Park, not far from Peirce and I would be happy to meet up at some point!

    @713 and @715 – We are in the 20’s for Stone for Tier 3, I can’t remember if we are 21 or 27, I really need to go home and dig out my sheet. We were in the 20’s for LaSalle II also and I don’t remember which one is which. I am pretty sure LaSalle II is 21. I don’t have much hope for Stone, but we would be torn if we received a call. But that being said, I was REALLY impressed with Peirce and the more I hear about this IB program, the more I like it. And while I still need to do more research, if Peirce kids will really have access to the IB program at Senn, it is almost a hands down choice for us to stay at Peirce. Senn looks like it is going great directions (finally read through the comments on the IB post) and not going through this experience for highschool and knowing he is in a great and highly desirable program at Senn would be amazing. Of course many things can change in the next 8 years, but for the most part I am going to have to make decisions on what I know now!!!

    PS. I found a link to this website (http://research.cps.k12.il.us/cps/accountweb/Reports/allschools.html) and found it very interesting. I was focusing on the excel file that listed percentile of students EXCEEDING standards and excluding English Language Learners (ELL’s). On the composite, Peirce exceeding Newberry (where my son is in Pre-K) by a tenth of a point and only 7 percentage points lower than Stone’s. If they truly continue to stregthen….it is going to be very exciting!!!

  • 733. Rogers Park mom  |  March 30, 2012 at 9:10 am

    Just out of curiousity, in case LaSalle II does make it to #21, does anyone know their before and after care situation? Peirce has before AND after and we definitely need after care and before care if the school has a 9am start… Would really appreciate anyone’s info on this…

  • 734. vero  |  March 30, 2012 at 10:01 am

    Did anyone have to complete a Language survey to get into the LaSalle Elementary language Academy Lottery?

  • 735. Arjun Kumar  |  March 30, 2012 at 10:19 am


    That list is _very useful_.

  • 736. HS Mom  |  March 30, 2012 at 10:30 am

    @689, 690, 727 – I can give you some general information having attended a language magnet. Inter American is a highly specialized program, different from any other magnet, and has it’s own admission rules. They are by design majority Spanish speaking and teach in complete immersion (similar to the French schools). Spanish kids become fluent in English and vice versa allowing the curriculum to be more advanced since language is not a barrier. Kids also learn about Spanish culture. Historically they have had lower ISAT scores because of non-English speakers but now they are right up there. I know of an Inter American student (AA) that went on to graduate with honors from Payton. A prior poster who said that Inter American was “not diverse enough” clearly has no real idea of how the program works.

    A language magnet or any school that teaches language does not teach by immersion like Inter American. Typically, language classes teach the basics, then grammar and writing and culture. If you already have immersion at home then school language will only offer the missing element of grammar but not teach anything new in the way of speaking which all the other kids will need extensively. When you get to high school (I know no one is thinking about that here) Spanish speakers will need the grammar aspect in order to test into higher level language classes.

    I hope this helps.

  • 737. Albany Park Mom  |  March 30, 2012 at 11:10 am

    @726 can’t believe you saved your letters. 🙂 We too got later offers last year, from Hamilton and Agassiz, but I don’t know what the waitlist numbers were. They must have been fairly high though, as I was sure we had no hope with the lotteries. Bottom line is; don’t panic yet.

  • 738. cpsobsessed  |  March 30, 2012 at 11:34 am

    @2011 offers: wow, awesome notes! Thanks for posting.

    It does show how much movement there is on those lists because parents apply to so many schools.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 739. Another Buena Park Mom  |  March 30, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    @Marlese: So glad your issue has been remedied! I’ve been following your story. Our kids were in daycare together and my son is at Disney pre-k but is in the other class . . . you can probably figure out who I am. : ) I’ve been hoping to run into you but we must be on different schedules. Anyway, so glad it is working out! Nightmare! And I hope you get some good options with the revised letter!

  • 740. Kris  |  March 30, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    Rogers park mom, you can email me at kris117 at hotmail. We live in Edgewater. I’d love to chat more with you.

    I really appreciate the info on InterAmerican. If we do get in there I’ll have a tough choice to make. This blog has been so helpful. Thanks to everyone for all of the helpful info.

  • 741. Lana  |  March 30, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    Emailed CPS last night regarding a missing school on our wait list, got an email this morning acknowledging the mistake, followed with a phone call with our wait number (LaSalle II #28, tier 3).

    @717 Marlese – Congratulations on getting your numbers sorted out. Just curious, what are you going to do if you had better choices with the original, but incorrect list?
    Re: Peirce vs Stone. Stone got a new principal last year, I don’t believe she is leaving. Although, most of the things I’m hearing about her are unfavorable, I’m not sure that it’s a good enough reason to choose Peirce over it, as I was also underwhelmed by the principal there.

    @718 – We have #19 (Beaubien for K). I called them this morning, they have about a 100 spots for K, usually get 40-50 from nabe; said they called everyone on their wait list last year (over a 100) to try and fill all of their spots. It’s a half day K, morning session is 7:30-11:30, afternoon 11:30-3:30. Their specials are: art, gym, library, science lab. Even though it’s ridiculously close to our house, I think I would pick Peirce over Beaubien, if anyone wants to weigh in on that? Or how about Farnsworth(#9) (also closer to home) vs Peirce?

    @721/723 – Peirce does have an art teacher, I believe he is full time and the music teacher seemed particularly great there (Golden Apple winner). They also have a paid after school program for language (Spanish, Mandarin, and French). If they get approved for IB Primary Years, they will also get a Spanish teacher (per assistant principal). I also know someone in CPS IB program that likes Peirce’s program so much that they are sending their kid there.

    @722 – I toured CICS-Irving Park and know a parent with a child there. It’s a nice school, with a lot to offer, the parent I know is very happy with it. But they are also at capacity. The word is they don’t have enough spots for K siblings this year, I think they are doing one less K class than in past years, but it doesn’t hurt to apply.

    @726 – Thanks so much for the info, I wish CPS would provide data like this on all the schools, as well as cutoffs for all the SEES programs.

    @730 Rogers Park mom – Peirce IB is a feeder school to Senn IB, but like you said anything can happen by then. Overall, I really like the school and think that we would only turn it down for Stone(#19) or Thorp(#27), although I’m not entirely sold on Stone.

    I do have a few concerns about Peirce, if anyone has input on these:
    – I heard allegations of bullying (in K-3rd grade) from two separate people.(one is our pre-k director, other is parent in the school who had it happen to her child)

    – I was not that impressed with the principal, she didn’t strike me as someone who had vision or a direction she wanted to take the school in.

    – I didn’t get the sense that their academic program is particularly rigorous. Hopefully they will get the IB for the Primary Years and that will change. But for now, the pre-k program that we have been in, is good at challenging the kids, and my daughters SEES score is pretty good. If I want to have her tested agin next year, is her score going to drop significantly if she doesn’t do much actual learning in K?

    Sorry for the novel, it’s a lot to process, and I tend to over think things.

  • 742. ZanesDad  |  March 30, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    @716: It’s possible that another NFP has taken over Hull House’s program; they were scrambling before bankruptcy to get other NFPs to take up the slack (example: Albany Park Community Center took over the HH Head Start and After School program in Lincoln Square)

    @722: The CICS lottery isn’t drawn until April 18.

  • 743. Jen Larson  |  March 30, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    I have also heard that CICS Irving was pretty full for K, but I hadn’t heard that there were fewer classes, just a high number of sibs.

  • 744. Edgebrook Parent  |  March 30, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    @509 Moving I have a Kindergartener at Edgebrook. While I don’t drink the Edgebrook kool-aid, I’m not sure why Edgebrook Family is so down on the neighborhood and the school. There are absolutely lots of stay-at-home moms who have nothing better to do than to get their nails done and to compare their stuff and their children. But you can find such attitude anywhere. There are also many lovely families who are just trying to give their kids the best opportunities they can. The Great Schools review quoted was from Nov 2008. And the Y comment is ridiculous. They don’t bus your children to the Y unless you want them to. There are other before and after school care programs in the neighborhood, my child is crazy about our program.
    That said, you are clearly an involved parent who will help your kids succeed wherever they end up. Best of luck!

  • 745. Lisa  |  March 30, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    At the open house I attended for CICS Irving Park, the Kindergarten teacher said there would only be one kindergarten class next year, and a couple of the parent volunteers said they thought it would be completely fulled with siblings. We are still going to apply, but we are not holding our breath.

  • 746. Marlese  |  March 30, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    Another Buena Park Mom–you slippery chick! I had no idea that was you.

    Saga update: we got our revised lotteries via email, hardcopy to follow. No offers (from original 7 or revised 9). Numbers range from 24 for Nettelhorst to 584 for Burley.

    Our Disney score is 46 Tier 2. Mr. Norcross called me as soon as he saw the email and kindly looked up how far he got last year in Tier 2, and he got as far 60 in that tier (34 declined, 26 accepted). He thought Nettelhorst would call me first, and that I was low enough on some of the other schools to get calls, though maybe later in the summer. He has been on top of this whole time and so available. For those of you who worry about the principal Ms. Hagstrom–don’t. She is a ball-busting CEO running a business, and she does an amazing job brining in resources and managing a large school. She has her more interpersonally skilled floor directors to interact with parents and they are kind, attentive, and responsive. I was about to burst out into a love song about the genius of the graded floor system, how the open pod system has actually improved my daughter’s ability to concentrate, and the amazing CAC shows. But I will stop.

    We are registered at Hamilton, but that wasn’t one of the schools we lotteried for. That spot was meant for the other child with my daughter’s name. Even though we’ve filled out all of our registration paperwork and burrowed in like ticks, we’re not harming another child to get ours a spot. We’ll talk to Hamilton. Another parent told me this morning that Hamilton went through all of its waitlist last year, so there is hope in this direction as well.

    I’m going to try to be zen about it, but my husband is another story. And I’ve got to live with him.

  • 747. JoshD  |  March 30, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    @719 HumboldtPark – Is that right? You were offered a spot at Edison, and you did not even rank them in your application? That does not make sense. Unless not enough Tier 1 applicants, and they must absolutely have enough Tier 1 in the class. And so they went down the list – but you would have thought they would offer to someone else who at least ranked Edison. So frustrating…

  • 748. kathyRP  |  March 30, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    Edison is half gifted half neighborhood school but I think the neighborhood school part is called Edison Park. They share the building and I think special classes like gym.

  • 749. 60660  |  March 30, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    Edison – the RGC – shares its building with a middle school. Albany Park Multicultural Academy.

  • 750. PeirceNation  |  March 30, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    747 – Edison is a regional gifted academy that shares a building with Albany Park MultiCultural Academy. Edison Park is something else.

    727 – I hate to share this, but while I am loving the Pierce enthusiasm, as my twins have offers there, I am little concerned about the fact that they took everyone. What happens if they overenroll? Would CPS say, TS, go to your zone school? Perhaps they have a model and assume a ton of kids are going to take the first spot and then select other schools later…Otherwise how many sections K will they have? Can they support that?

  • 751. Gale is NOT an option...  |  March 30, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    @748- I hear you on Peirce. Last year they ended up overenrolled (30+ per class) and they were able to open another class once the numbers stopped moving. As they become more and more popular and less people decline or move to other schools I imagine the situation will get more strained. From the posts above it sounds as if people will be torn if they get waitlist calls later. I wonder if that was the case in previous years. Probably not as much. I assume they know what they are doing and have played their cards properly?

  • 752. curious1  |  March 31, 2012 at 7:18 am

    @749, that’s interesting about last year. I specifically asked that question during the open house (how they can maintain 25 kids in each k class when they seem to accept so many out of neighborhood spots) and I was told that it is not a problem and that no k class has over 25 kids. The strange thing is that during the actual tour, one of the k teachers said she had 26 kids and I heard (second hand) that another has 27. By contrast, I talked to the VP at Nettlehorst yesterday and she said they will not be offering spots to any non-neighborhood kids until (at the earliest) they receive the school budget (mid-April). Granted, the neighborhood demand is very different at Nettlehorst but I think there’s an interesting point in there: what happens if Peirce over enrolls this year and there is no budget/space to open another classroom?

  • 753. momof3boys  |  March 31, 2012 at 7:43 am

    Ravenswood School ( i think it’s a magnet cluster school?)

    I no longer have children at Ravenswood School but I wanted to share my experience. I had never toured the school prior to enrolling my child into their Pre-K program. In fact the only reason I enrolled him was that they were the only who called. At the time, i was a little leery about the school, even though it is situated in a pretty nice neighborhood, because some of the kids, IMO, looked a little scary but I decided to take that chance (even my DH was not happy since he is a PO and has encountered some of the kids(and their parents) while working). Anyway, my son thrived and was really engaged and challenged. The K teacher was amazing but has since left. After the drama over the principal ended, I was content on keeping my child there because i felt the new team was great! i loved the teachers/ I think Mr. Hart is one of the best inter/middle school teachers out there. He loves teaching, cares about the kids and has an over-all “i-want-to-change-the world” attitude. I sometimes regret pulling my kid just so he would have Mr. Hart. (the reason I pulled my child out is because he was accepted into a great school sooo close to my home and the hike to Ravenswood was such a pain-ok maybe not that much but it wasn’t 5 minutes.) The principal, Mrs Connolly is super nice and has a vision. She works with the teachers and the parents (at least in my case she did). Whenever we see her, she still asks about the boys. Anyway to make a really long story shorter, I moved my older child there for 7th grade just so he would have a chance at the “numbers game” for high school. In a nut shell, I have had really great experiences at Ravenswood and I definitely would recommend for parent to check it out. It’s a really great small school with lots of parental involvement. I still volunteer there even though i don’t have any kids there anymore (I guess I can’t let go, lol). I don’t know about the test scores but turnaround just started maybe 4 years ago? so i don’t think you see the real testing progress for another year or two. Anyway, just wanted to share…

  • 754. mom of twins  |  March 31, 2012 at 9:15 am

    @714 thats all I was told, CPS only let them have 2 kinders meaning they have to make it work, this year they were giving 3 and then 30 or so neighborhood kids didn’t show up so now they are very small kinders 22 a class. Next year they will be big…..easier to get in the older the child is.Love the school HATE the drama teacher, many waiting for her to retire!

  • 755. anonymouseteacher  |  March 31, 2012 at 9:32 am

    Schools that over enroll:
    Let’s say school A has 3 K classes. They over estimate, a bunch of neighborhood kids walk in the first week and they end up with 38 in each class. It will take until at least the 20th day of school for the board to approve a 4th teacher hire. Then, the school will have to remove kids from each class to reduce the sizes. This happens periodically in schools and in all grades due to the way schools fund things. It is a mess and very, very hard on kids and teachers.
    I wouldn’t worry, though, about physical space at Peirce. That school is gigantic. Plus, it is likely class sizes will be set to rise when principals get their budgets, so that will help (if help is the right word) spread kids out. Instead of 5 classrooms of 25 each, there could easily be 4 with 31-32 each. They may accept for 5 classrooms and only be allowed to hire staff for four. That’s IF full day K funding, which is not guaranteed for CPS for next year, is approved. (we’ll know when budgets come out)

  • 756. curious1  |  March 31, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    @753, thank you for shedding some light on what over-enrollment can look like. From your description, it seems like a problem either way it goes (from moving kids 3 weeks into the year or keeping the kids in place in a packed class). I know Peirce has no aides in the K classes at this time, do you know if that would have to change if the class size exceeds 28 kids?

    Also, I had (perhaps wrongly) assumed the full-day was a done deal with all of the extended day talk. From what I am hearing now, it seems it might be more questionable now than it was before, am I understanding this correctly?

  • 757. CPS alum  |  March 31, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    Is it true that the principal at Edgebrook is retiring?

  • 758. anonymouseteacher  |  March 31, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    No, CPS does not have to provide an aide when there is more than 28 kids. The 1 adult to 28 kids is merely a formula when figuring out the number of teachers the BOE will provide when looking at the total numbers of K-3 students. One grade level can theoretically have 25 per room while another grade level can theoretically have 35 per room. There is no state limit on class sizes. There is fire code limits of bodies per room, but honestly, I have never seen it enforced in CPS. Perhaps if a K class had 40 in a room, CPS *might* provide an aide, but that’s only if a principal is extremely savvy and if the school is lucky. Two years ago, my school had two half day K classes, each with 37+ in them. No aide, no help, nothing. This is where often parent fundraising is truly required, because without it, help doesn’t come.
    In theory, a teacher can grieve a too-large class size, but no untenured teacher I know would do that, because they might get fired, and now that this fall tenure is gone, I can’t imagine anyone being willing to report or grieve violations or problems of any kind. And even if someone is brave enough to grieve it, the only obligation CPS has is to send two retired admins out to discuss possible remediations, but the BOE doesn’t actually have to do anything. It is crazy.
    Best thing to do? Find out, in writing, how many kids have been in K-3 classrooms for the past 5 years in the school you are considering if you can get the principal to give you that info. Or ask a parent who has been there for more than a few years. History tends to repeat itself.
    Its interesting to me that daycare centers must have at least one adult per every 20 school aged children, but schools have no legal requirement to do the same.

  • 759. cpsobsessed  |  March 31, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    The problem with the formula is that cps isn’t gonna send out a teacher if there is one extra child over the 28 per class. Say you have 57 kids. That won’t get you 3 teachers because then you’d have the ridiculously low (by cps standards) 19 kids per 3 classes.

    What I really HATE is that they use the number of students in the whole school to allocate the teachers. So one grade may be have big classes but if the school doesn’t qualify for an extra position, you won’t get it. It works out fine at a school where there are say 56 kids in every grade, but some of the schools that have become popular recently have huge classes in the low grades and small classes in the high grades because the numbers don’t allocate evenly so the principal has a challenging task of figuring it out. Out local school tried a split grade class which was a good solution for evening out class size but of course the parents of the older kids in the split class complained. The higher grades sometimes have to do it because they’ll have like 38 kids in 7th and 8th grade. Not enough for 2 classes per grade but too much for one per grade.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 760. Alisa radler  |  March 31, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    Tier 2 – Grade K…..

    Pierce and Hamilton

    Low waitlist:
    Lasalle II – 9
    Burley – 4
    LaSalle – 14

    I wont be accepting Pierce…too far away. Probably accept Hamilton to get daughter closer to her siblings school. Likely wouldnt accept Lasalle II either. Too far and was never impressed when son attended a fews years ago – but that was just prek. Burley would be an option if I received the call.

  • 761. momof2  |  March 31, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    @757 That is why a good principal will find a way to make it work. Many times discretionary funds are used to pay for a position, other times parents contribute to pay for a position. At Blaine, parents contribute money to pay for positions.

    I found this letter to CPS interesting and thought I would share.

  • 762. Public or Private  |  March 31, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    @716, post-Hull House, all but three of the providers for Jane’s Place (Nettelhorst’s afterschool program) are back up and running. They all had the option to register individually as vendors through CPS, and the fact that they had most of the program back up within two weeks was unbelievable.

  • 763. Public or Private  |  March 31, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    @750, I’m not surprised that the VP of Nettelhorst says they’re waiting for the budget before they decide to take anyone from out of neighborhood. In recent years, Nettelhorst had about 25 kids per K class. Last fall, they started off with that number, but some kids registered at the last-minute, and now the K classes are at 29 (no aide).

  • 764. Cas  |  April 1, 2012 at 8:24 am

    If you had to pick between Nettelhorst and Disney 1, which would you pick and why?

  • 765. ChicagoMOM  |  April 1, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    Our waitlist for Mayer (PK4) says “AA” – what does that mean? Is that proximity (we are 6 blocks away)?


  • 766. ChicagoMOM  |  April 1, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    We’re 7th for PK4 on Mayer “AA” waitlist – what is AA? Any shot?


  • 767. Lisa  |  April 2, 2012 at 12:07 am

    I’m waitlisted at Norwood Park at #11. Can anyone speak to my chances for this coming school year?

  • 768. mlb  |  April 2, 2012 at 9:16 am

    I applied for proximity at Sutherland. Anyone know if those letters went out yet? I’m getting very nervous.

  • 769. Almost there  |  April 2, 2012 at 10:24 am

    @719 @720 HumboldtPark

    Congratulations! what other schools did you list on your application?If your daughter scored at that level you might have a chance at the other schools, that is if you listed them on your application. Some parents turn down a gifted school to get the next in line but that is a chance you might not want to take. You have a good test score and could land at one of the other gifted or classical schools.

    Are you on the wait list for any other school?

  • 770. kathyRP  |  April 2, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    More Hamilton questions…
    Anyone accepted or attending from further north? We are in Rogers Park and while it seems like a great school I’m nervous about the inconvenience of the longer drive.

    The web page says the gifted program is for the top 10% but that seems like those gifted classes would be tiny. Is that accurate?


  • 771. kcainisoverwhelmed  |  April 2, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    My daughter got no offers from multiple schools:

    Galileo # 26 tier 2
    Jackson #35 tier 2
    Murray #93 tier 2
    Chopin #23 general
    Sheridan # 9 tier 2

    We are crossing our fingers hoping she gets in somewhere. If not we will be paying for private school.

  • 772. Rogers Park mom  |  April 2, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    Now my K-daughter received an offer from Disney, How save is to send the Confirmation Form by mail?
    I sent mine by Priority mail and certificate mail and keeps showing left a note for deliver or to pick up a post office.
    Should I just drive there? or Should I just wait?

  • 773. Future CPS Kinder Mom  |  April 2, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    770 – You could just drive there next week if you have the time but keep in mind they are on spring break this week. That is likely why you are getting the note left message. You might want to find out how long the form is going to sit at the post office before getting returned to you.

  • 774. WRP Mom  |  April 2, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    I faxed my confirmation last week and then followed up with an email 2 days later to make sure they received it.

  • 775. RP K-mom  |  April 2, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    I forgot about Spring Break, we are planning to go to Open House on the 10th I should just bring another form just in case.
    I will fax it too
    Better be save

    Thank you

  • 776. RUMC Mom  |  April 2, 2012 at 11:03 pm

    I hand delivered my form last week before the break; it gave me a chance to see the school and get a feel for the staff. I was able to pick up the additional registration documents as well. The bonus – while talking to the registrar I found out that their proximity list went to the low 30’s last year. I hope this is encouraging news to those on a proximity waiting lists under 20 at other high demand schools.

  • 777. anonymouseteacher  |  April 3, 2012 at 9:24 am

    770, schools are closed this week and none of the clerks are in the office. Try again next week.

  • 778. d  |  April 3, 2012 at 10:22 am

    I just called OAE and spoke to someone to confirm that they received our form – they are in the office.

  • 779. Bonnie  |  April 3, 2012 at 11:42 am


    I am new to the whole CPS process. My son will be going into 6th grade and has been wait listed (general) at Burley and Alcott with low numbers.

    Burley-#1 spot
    Alcott-#12 spot.

    Does anybody know our chances of getting him into Burley with that #1 wait list spot?

  • 780. dfer  |  April 3, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    I am also new to the process here…does anyone know how Drummond notifiies the parents on the wait list? Is it by phone or email?

  • 781. mom in waiting  |  April 3, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    #777 I think you have a good chance at getting into Burley. Good luck!

  • 782. RP K-mom  |  April 3, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    My husband just dropped off the confirmation form, and Disney staff was there, they were super nice and welcomed us

  • 783. cpsobsessed  |  April 3, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    @777, I agree – being number one is usually a good shot.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 784. BurleyBound???  |  April 3, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    Ok great thanks so much for responding. I am so frustarted and new to the process and I think its terrible!! From what I have been reading on this blog we have been lucky with our numbers. He holds #20 at Nettlehorst and #12 at Coonley too.

    I am crossing my fingers for Burley, as I have learned not to hold my breath!!!

  • 785. Commute from Rp  |  April 3, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    We live in RP and commute to Hamilton, in part my husband works downtown and it’s roughly on his way. It takes about 30 minutes realistically, but it’s doable.

  • 786. kathyRP  |  April 4, 2012 at 9:29 am

    Commute from RP, maybe we can car pool. 🙂
    Have you been happy at Hamilton?

  • 787. kstaigs  |  April 4, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    @Humbolt Park Mom (719 and 720). My daughter is going into K at Edison, too. Have you gotten the letter which described the open house and registration? We will be at the open house on the 11th at 9am, if you would like a friendly face we would be happy to meet up with you! There is a lot more info. about the school over on the gifted/classical comment thread, although I think you have to keep in mind everyone has their own unique experience and opinion…but we did tour the school in the fall and absolutely loved it.

  • 788. LaSalle Dad  |  April 4, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    @732 Two kids going to LaSalle and no survey to get into the lottery for either of them. However there is a lottery to get into a specific language once you are enrolled. There are only so many spots for each language. You have to pick your 1st, 2nd …… Yes a lottery after the lottery.

  • 789. Commute from Rp  |  April 4, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    RP mom, carpooling would be awesome! My son loves it and his teacher is great. We have been pleased with the school and it’s been worth the trek!

  • 790. Rogers Park mom  |  April 5, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    Received some CPS mail yesterday! It was a letter with our missing school. We were one of the families that had a school dropped off our acceptance/waitlist letter. We are number 176 at Ravenswood. Lol… We would have stuck with Peirce anyways…much closer to home! Anyone else get a letter like this? I know there were a handful of us with missing schools…

  • 791. mom  |  April 5, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    I applied to 20 schools. I have now received 3 seperate letters. 1 original with 17 schools, 1 after that with 1 missing school, and another after that with another missing school. I am guessing I will be getting a fourth letter with the 3rd missing school at some point. The whole thing has been very strage. It seems anyone this happened to was waitlisted anyway.

  • 792. jlbcbs  |  April 5, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    The strangest one is that we received a letter with a missing school that was on our original letter. We had all 20 the first time. Luckily it was the same wait list number. Really not sure what is happening over there.

  • 793. burkelly  |  April 5, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    We had a school (Hamilton) dropped off our list. I e-mailed OAE and attached a scan of the letter we received as well as screenshots from when we applied, showing which schools we chose. They said they’d send us a letter with our status. It arrived yesterday saying “offered” for the missing school.

    This to me suggests that you don’t automatically get bumped to the end of the waiting list if a school was dropped from your original letter. I don’t know if they reran the lottery to see if we would have gotten an offer, or if we originally had received an offer and it was just not included in the original letter.

  • 794. Joe  |  April 5, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    What is the OAE email address you used? I did not get a letter from 3 schools.

  • 795. burkelly  |  April 5, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    It should be at the bottom of the letter you received listing the offers and waitlist numbers: oae@cps.k12.il.us

    And just to clarify: the letter came from the CPS Office of Access and Enrollment, not the individual school. We have not received anything directly from any schools at this point.

  • 796. Sunny  |  April 5, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    Just got a call from Waters – they are already pulling from their wait list. We were number 4, so the schools are already starting to call their wait lists. Thought folks would want to know!

  • 797. Sunny  |  April 5, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    P.S. this is for the upper grades, not K.

  • 798. Burleybound??  |  April 5, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    Great news about already getting a call from upper grades…I hope we get a call from Burley, my son will be entering 6th grade. We are #1 on the wait list. Does anybody have fifth graders there currently who could offer up some insight??


  • 799. Future CPS Kinder Mom  |  April 6, 2012 at 10:33 am

    I’ll start with saying I realize this question may potentially be ridiculous as no one can really predict the future but, here is my question. Deciding between a magnet (LaSalle II) and neighborhood school (Agassiz) for kindergarten this fall. Agassiz is a quick drive from home (we live a bit northwest), LaSalle II, much further but a straight shot down Ashland or Damen and we feel worth the commute if it turns out we feel it will be the better school for our children. Loved Agassiz when I visited last fall. Loved the hands-on, project based education style and the arts focus. Will visit LaSalle II on Tuesday. I do love the idea of the world language component. Will have a second child entering kindergarten in fall 2016. One concern I have is that by the time 2nd child enters kindergarten, is that Agassiz will have become so popular that the classes will fill up with neighborhood children and there will be no or little room for out of neighborhood siblings….. My question is, is this a real concern? Does it seem like Agassiz may become that popular in four years so that my second child would have little or no chance of getting a spot? Or, am I being a little ridiculous with that concern. I am not sure how quickly those neighborhood schools (such as Coonley, perhaps Nettlehorst) that used to admit lots of out of neighborhood kids but no longer have room, became that way. Also, what are the chances of Hamilton going that route as well. We have a low wait list number there and I love what is going on at that school. Obviously being LaSalle II is a magnet, our second child would certainly (almost certainly) get a spot for kindergarten. It is a haul for us though…….although we feel worth it if it turns out to be the better fit for our children….the sibling issue is of concern with Agassiz. Any educated advice out there? Also, any feedback on either school is appreciated. Hoping we will have made a decision by Wednesday!

  • 800. West Rogers Park Mom  |  April 6, 2012 at 11:37 am

    @794 (Sunny)

    I just came to post the same thing about Waters. Received a call yesterday (and will decline).

  • 801. Rogers Park mom  |  April 6, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    @797 – Have you called to ask Agassiz that question? I asked Peirce that same question and was told that once you have one child in the scool, they consider that family ‘in district’ and will make sure to admit all future siblings. Now, I know that could all be lip service and because it is not an official CPS policy, they could certainly go back on it any consequence. BUT, it is at least comforting to know that as of right now, my future K will be able to get in where his brother is at. It’s going to be the best answer I get for now. But it is enough for me. I will take the risk I guess!!

    FWIW, at the CPS fair last year, Hamilton and Jahn both told me that they will make a 100% effort to get all siblings after neighborhood priority. Both schools told me they felt it would not be a problem for my youngest (who is 2) if I choose to send my K there.

  • 802. PeirceNation  |  April 7, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    794 and 795 – Thanks for posting. My twins are 10 and 11 on the Waters wait list.

  • 803. Sarah  |  April 10, 2012 at 11:29 am

    Could anyone please help with this question:

    My PK4 twins are currently on the wait list for Inter-American. If they get accepted at another Preschool for All program, can I accept that one without loosing their place on the wait list for Inter-American?

  • 804. cpsobsessed  |  April 10, 2012 at 11:30 am

    @sarah, the preK programs all operate their own lists so yes, I believe you can accept at one and wait for another.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 805. Alison  |  April 10, 2012 at 11:56 am

    Sorry, this might be a silly question, but if we accept spot offered by Newberry for K, do we forfeit the chance to apply for neighborhood school if we later change our mind?

  • 806. cpsobsessed  |  April 10, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    Magnets and neighborhood schools operate in different pools. Actually for both, you can accept one and still be offered another.

    Only for the gifted/classical schools is it where you get taken out of the pool if you accept an offer.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 807. Alison  |  April 10, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    @804:Thank you!!

  • 808. Lisa  |  April 10, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    Does anyone know the chances of being #42 on the Edgebrook Elementary list or #23 for Wild Magnet School. Are these really tough to get into based on the lottery?

  • 809. EdisonMom  |  April 10, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    @Lisa – we were on WIldwood (I assume you meant WIldwood) wait list last year in the single digit (6 or 7, I think), and never received an offer. I believe the sibling lottery get precedence over the proximity lottery. I’ve heard some years in which sibs could not get in either!

  • 810. cpsobsessed  |  April 10, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    @lisa: what grade? I am under the impression that edgebrook is very full, so unlikely to get in there.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 811. Lisa  |  April 10, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    He will be starting 3rd grade this year. We received an email, after I emailed the principal, from Norwood Park that they are only accepting students within district this year. They do not anticipate calling anyone on the wait list. We were number 11 on that list.

  • 812. Bonnie  |  April 10, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    Does anybody know how crowded the incoming 6th grade classes are at Burley? We are #1 on the general wait list, and we are just trying to sort out if we have a chance. Anyone know????!!!!!!

  • 813. Happy at Hamilton  |  April 10, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    Bonnie – You can call the school and ask.

  • 814. @ Lisa  |  April 10, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    My child was offered a spot at Edgebrook, but in a middle year grade. For many many reasons that spot will be declined.

  • 815. Bewildered  |  April 11, 2012 at 11:01 am

    We received an offer from Murray Language Academy in Hyde Park. Wondering if any parents have any thoughts on the school. I have been asking around and I have heard great things to mediocre things about the school, one parent compared the school to her Gucci bag saying, “it is not made out of real leather, has no redeeming qualities, but it has a Great name and for that reason everybody wants it”. I found that those parents giving mediocre comments also have children in Classical/Regional Gifted Centers. Let me know your thoughts!

  • 816. SJ  |  April 11, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    Did anyone attend the Hawthorne open house yesterday? If so, could you share your thoughts?

  • 817. kikiandkyle  |  April 11, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    I’m wondering if anyone has a 2nd or 3rd grader in the gifted program at Hamilton – went to the open house today and was very impressed by what I saw but I’m nervous about taking the leap from our suburban school (and it’s non-existent gifted program). Thanks.

  • 818. MamaK  |  April 11, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    i know this is likely on here, but turned in my info sheet that came with the letter detailing my acceptance and waitlist numbers.
    picked up my registration packet at the school where we “accepted”, waiting on a high waitlist number at another school.
    can i turn in my registration packet and then accept the other school if they call?
    i am imagining so since kids switch school after school has started.
    thought i had it down, but now confused so just double checking.

  • 819. Chicago Gawker  |  April 11, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    Honestly, I can’t imagine why someone would move to Chicago from a suburb for the sole purpose of attending a CPS gifted program. Is it really bad where you are now? Have no info on Hamilton though.

  • 820. kikiandkyle  |  April 11, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    Because I can’t afford private gifted schools and my highly gifted daughter (along with all the social and emotional immaturity that brings) needs to be in a school that can actually challenge her instead of ostracize her. If there were other districts in the metro area that had free gifted schools I’d look there too. Schaumburg is the only other but they don’t accept transfers into the gifted school.

  • 821. Chicago Gawker  |  April 11, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    How does it work in Schaumburg? Do kids have only 1 chance to be tested for gifted when they are going to 1st grade? Proceed with caution in CPS if your child is highly gifted, the curriculum is not really geared for them. Does Hamilton have a “comprehensive gifted program”. If so, my understanding is these are not as accelerated as the regional gifted programs, so may not be worth it for your daughter.

  • 822. SuJe  |  April 12, 2012 at 12:04 am

    A lot has been said about STEM already, so I’ll join the chorus. I’m a STEM kindergarten parent and we love it. If anyone is trying to make a decision by Friday (or if you’re high on the waiting list), this is for you. We took a pretty big risk accepting an offer at STEM because it was in the first year, but it is really paying off. The teachers are really special here. Along with the principal, they are really crafting an integrated curriculum and, more importantly, a vision for the school for the long run. You get a real sense of teamwork and respect among them. Our kindergarten teacher is always very easy to reach and replies promptly to e-mails, even on weekends and breaks. She is nurturing and caring, but she definitely does not coddle the children. Discipline expectations are established early and quickly! Across the levels, the kids are challenged. The specials teachers are amazing. Really. I feel like the kids are getting solid fundamentals and being given a great vocabulary to describe the world around them; this is especially true with science and engineering. The teachers tell the students that they ARE scientists and engineers, and, in the most basic way, they are. A lot of us STEM parents gush about how great the school is. We are not exaggerating. That said, it is not perfect. There have been, and continue to be, bumps along the way that any new school might face. I don’t want anyone thinking they’re entering some educational utopia. But when you witness the enthusiasm and effort put forth by this staff and the results they are getting with the kids, the imperfections are easy to overlook.

  • 823. SuJe  |  April 12, 2012 at 12:05 am

    I’m also really curious to hear impressions from today’s open house at STEM. I know some of you were there 🙂

  • 824. db  |  April 12, 2012 at 8:01 am

    @815 kikiandkyle – Hamilton’s gifted program is only through 3rd grade right now and 2nd/3rd is a combined classroom. So I doubt that you will find a lot of people on here to give you feedback. In my experience from observation, this is not really a “gifted” classroom but an academically accelarated program that is anywhere from 6 months ahead to a year. Here’s the defition and description of the program on CPS’s site: http://cpsmagnet.org/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=72695&type=d&termREC_ID=&pREC_ID=151388

    Also, to get into this program you have to test into it. I think Hamilton is a great little school, so good luck with your decision.

  • 825. TwinMom  |  April 12, 2012 at 9:44 am

    Isn’t Hamilton a comprehensive gifted program? If so, while there may be tests that the SCHOOL gives to see who’s a good fit for the program (I have no idea), there is no test that CPS administers (the RGC test scores don’t count for comprehensive gifted programs).

    I believe that Hamilton’s gifted program starts in 1st grade, right? And last year was its first year? That’s probably why you won’t get much feedback – it’s new and only has a few families in it.

    I don’t know much about Hamilton (I go past it on my runs, but then the only thing I notice is the sandbox 🙂 ). But I remember when we were applying to K last year that the Hamilton “we now have a gifted program” announcement came in the fall, just before we submitted our applications, so it’s a really new program there.

  • 826. db  |  April 12, 2012 at 11:08 am

    @823 TwinMom – Yes it’s a comprehensive gifted program, that’s the link that I provided. The school administers the test and assesses the child if they would be a good fit for the program. It starts in 1st grade and currently goes to 3rd grade. Currently, there are two classrooms.

  • 827. kikiandkyle  |  April 12, 2012 at 11:21 am

    I was at the open house yesterday, the 1st grade accelerated teacher said they had some kids doing 4th grade level work in the room. They said my daughter would be tested at the start of school to assess whether she would be a good fit, but that’s a big risk to take with my slow processing ADD daughter. She scored in the 99th percentile on the WISC-IV but only got 115 on the RGC test.

    Schaumburg selects kids in its other schools that are high scoring and offers them a place in their gifted magnet. It’s by invitation only. They only admit once per year, and kids have to be already in district for at least a year to be admitted. Again, a big risk to take. Schaumburg is also an impossible commute for my husband.

  • 828. abc123  |  April 12, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    @ kikiandkyle what grade will your daughter be entering? Do you live in the suburbs now and would move to the city if you accept? Not to be a downer, but CPS is not really the easiest place to navigate special needs. I’m certainly not saying it can’t be done, but takes alot of time and effort. Have you considered just supplementing on your own? There are also alot of gifted home-school groups around that might be a good fit.

  • 829. dememom  |  April 12, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    @797 Agassiz is our neighborhood school and we are having the exact same issues..literally. Our daughter has 2 more years until K and our son just accepted at Lasalle. I loved Agassiz and it is getting a lot of buzz just like Nettlehorst did a few years ago. I’ve heard so many horror stories of siblings not getting in to the sought after schools like Hawthorne, Lasalle etc. They could be rumors but still make me paranoid, especially bc our neighborhood is such a great, on the rise school. Let me know what you decide. Can anyone else fill me in on the sibling acceptances at schools like Lasalle??

  • 830. wyomom  |  April 12, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    @kikiandkyle I’m navigating CPS with a child that sounds very similar to yours, it is not an easy road. It took us a few years to get an IEP, CPS sees ADD and wants to put you on the 504 track immediately and keep you there, you really have to fight to address the issues other than ADD. We invested a significant amount of money in private testing. Though we knew something was going on and her teacher did too, CPS took the position that her grades were good so what was the problem? We know all about slow processing, it becomes more of an issue each year in CPS even with extra time for tests etc. Things seem to become more difficult every year and each new school year becomes a crap shoot as to whether or not she’ll have the teacher who “gets” her. My advice, consider an alternative to CPS if you can. It is heartbreaking to see a bright, curious child lose their spark for learning. CPS offers little to no individualized, differentiated instruction (although they talk about it a lot), particularly for children who are bright. CPS has so many well meaning, dedicated professionals, but they are stretched to provide services to so many children with so many, many issues. The struggles of a bright child who is somewhat “out of the box” just don’t go to the front of the line. I don’t know anything about Hamilton’s gifted program, but I agree that you are right to be wary if your daughter has to test in………….there is so much testing in CPS, scantron, dibbles, ISATs. If you live in a decent district now you might want to consider keeping her there and supplementing with whatever you can. Read everything you can get your hands on to help you structure family time and activities that can challenge and enrich her learning. Give her the support she is going to need to develop emotional regulation and help her socially. Good luck.

  • 831. Future CPS Kinder Mom  |  April 12, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    827 – We went ahead and accepted at LaSalle II but for reasons not related to the younger sibling issue. But in response to your question, I have no (or very little) concern about our younger child getting into LaSalle II as they are a magnet and therefore place all siblings into seats prior to conducting ANY other lottery. They would conduct a sibling lottery if for some reason there were more siblings than seats available, but that means there would have to be more than 56 kindergarten siblings applying in one year, which is very unlikely. From what I’ve heard at various magnet schools, siblings seem to usually take up about 1/3 of the magnet seats. My concern was that being we are out of neighborhood for Agassiz, that by the time our second child is of kindergarten age (entering 2016) that the school might fill up with so many neighborhood children that there would not be enough seats left for the out of neighborhood siblings. I did ask the question at Agassiz. The person I spoke to (who directly handles the acceptances and wait list) said that she did not see that happening by 2016. She felt confident that my second child would still be able to get in as an out of neighborhood sibling by 2016 even though the school is becoming more popular in the neighborhood. This week’s tour was my second time in Agassiz and I continued to be impressed with the school and really liked what I saw. If we had not received an offer from LaSalle II I would be very happily sending my child to Agassiz. Even with the LaSalle II offer it was a very tough decision.

  • 832. CA  |  April 12, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    @827 If Agassiz is your neighborhood school, you’ll always have a spot there (unlike 797 who could get shut out in a few years if they get too full to take out of district kids). The current policy is for magnet schools to accept all siblings first, so in a k class that means all siblings get in (unless they have more siblings than k spots, then there would be a lottery). In upper grades, siblings would get in first if there are openings or placed on a wait list if there aren’t openings (with a sibling lottery to determine who is first). I say current policy because you need to keep in mind that CPS can, and does, change it’s policy, so what is true today may not be true when your 3-year-old is applying.

  • 833. Future CPS Kinder Mom  |  April 12, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    827 – I do believe there is no sibling preference at magnets for OLDER siblings, so maybe those are the stories you heard about. So, if a child gets in for a lower grade and has a sibling in a higher grade, that older sibling does not get preference. Someone will hopefully correct me if I am mistaken.

  • 834. cpsobsessed  |  April 12, 2012 at 7:43 pm

    The magnet sibling pref is new – maybe 2 years now? Before that yes, parents were biting their nails hoping to get younger siblings in. Seems like most usually did but they’d make the parents sweat it out for some reason.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 835. abc123  |  April 12, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    the sibling policy works in both directions, younger or older

  • 836. Ivana  |  April 13, 2012 at 5:51 am

    Is anyone will be giving out their spot for LaSalle kindergarten tier 4? We are number 4 on waiting list and no other offer. Thanks 😀

  • 837. kikiandkyle  |  April 13, 2012 at 6:09 am

    @826 and @828 – sadly CPS is a better alternative than our current school (she’s going into 3rd grade, and yes we in the suburbs and would move). And homeschooling isn’t an option. Our current school has her in Math and Reading Enrichment once a week, but that’s it. They are also only interested in trying to accommodate the ADD, and being very inconsistent about it. We’re already supplementing at home, but she’s there for 7 hours a day, bored and lonely. Extra work at home doesn’t fix that.

  • 838. abc123  |  April 13, 2012 at 8:52 am

    wow. so at what point do you have to prove residency in the city to attend the school? I know you can apply to cps without proof of residency, but I thought you had to show proof of residency at registration which takes place within 2-weeks of acceptance.

    Anyone know the actual policy?

    Guess as a city resident I don’t think it’s right to be able to accept offers at CPS as a non-resident, when there are so many current residents that can’t get into a school.

    @kikiandkyle this is not directed at you–just cps policy

  • 839. mbk9691  |  April 13, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    @836 Regarding residency: I dropped off our acceptance letter yesterday, and was given a stack of paperwork to return on May 14 when we would have to register. I don’t have the paperwork in front of me, but I’m pretty sure I saw something that said you needed two proofs of address when you register. I imagine this would need to reflect a Chicago address.

  • 840. kathyRP  |  April 13, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    We just accepted Hamilton! Commute from RP and other new RP/Edgewater Hamiliton families, please email me at kbreving at yahoo dot com if you want to exchange info for carpooling.

  • 841. patient mom  |  April 13, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    Some days I think our odds are good, and other days I wonder if there is any chance at all…

    Kinder – Tier 1 positions (except for Suder)
    Gallileo – #9
    Suder – general lottery #17
    Sheridan – # 28
    Jackson – #39
    Stem – #49
    Franklin #51
    Disney II – #56

    Any insight as to waitlist movement at these schools – or general movement within tier 1?

  • 842. abc123  |  April 13, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    @840 what grade?

  • 843. kikiandkyle  |  April 14, 2012 at 12:20 am

    I was told we needed to provide proof of residency by the time school starts (and we want to move back to the city anyway, but have to have a decent school before we can).

    The thing about offering spots to non-residents is you can move to my town any day of the week and enroll your kid at our top scoring school, that you haven’t been paying Lake County property taxes for (and trust me they’re way higher). Nobody has a problem with that. Why is this any different?

    If you move into the city and don’t get a spot in SEES or the lottery you are looking at either paying top dollar to live in a decent neighborhood boundary or risking a school you wouldn’t send your worst enemy to. If you are a Chicago resident when your child starts school it shouldn’t matter.

  • 844. Public or Private  |  April 14, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    @835, an older sibling can only be offered a place if there’s room. Given that it’s dependent on attrition at the non-kindergarten level, there are definitely siblings on the waitlist for upper grades.

  • 845. FormerCPSGrad  |  April 14, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    Well yesterday was a big decision day …. We decided to decline STEM.

  • 846. Salena  |  April 14, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    Hi. Anyone decide to send their KG er to Jahn world language? Open house is on tues. we have already been accepted even though we were 2 on the wait list. Anyone else attending the open house? Or sending their KG to Jahn?

  • 847. Future CPS Kinder Mom  |  April 14, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    829 – dememom – Curious what you decided.

  • 848. UC Dad  |  April 15, 2012 at 12:49 am

    @845 FormerCPSGrad
    It would be helpful for us if you could give me an in depth comment of why are you declining STEM? We are low on STEM waiting list but also accepted at Skinner. We were wondering that if STEM could overweight Skinner or not if they call us?

  • 849. jlbcbs  |  April 15, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    We just had a strange thing happen. We received a letter in the mail from Jahn saying we are #85 on the wait list there. According to our letter from CPS, we are #122. Doesn’t give me much faith in the system. I guess it’s good that it’s in our favor though!

  • 850. Mom  |  April 15, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    816 – I went on the Hawthorne tour and decided it wasn’t for us. I want something less focused on academics and testing. (For example – they do reading in the classroom, the kids get pulled out of the room for a special reading group, and they were planning on using the extra hour for even more reading.) If your primary concern is getting into a good high school, this is the place to go. I went with a school a feel has a more well-rounded approach.

  • 851. Public or Private  |  April 15, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    850, which school did you choose? Are you in proximity? We had the same impression of Hawthorne, though arguably they do have full-time music and art teachers, and a strong athletic program.

  • 852. Former CPS Grad  |  April 15, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    @UC Dad
    In response to your question why did we decline STEM

    1st let me tell you what I did like
    – the parents of existing STEM students are all very positive
    – the teachers all seem friendly and enthusiastic.
    – the STEM concept is appealing but I’m not exactly sure how different the curriculum is from other schools. They use the same textbooks as a neighborhood school: Math Trailblazers, Science TC,

    What I didn’t like
    – 30 kids 1 teacher no aide
    – You can’t volunteer in your own kid’s classroom
    – No Afterschool care for kindergarten and only 1 hour for 1st grade and up
    – 5 percent of the 3rd graders were on academic warning in math
    – the technology teacher had a spelling error in her presentation
    – parents are only allowed to drop off kids outside. Doesn’t sound like they want parents inside the school

    Overall as much as I liked the STEM concept it wasn’t enough for me to pull the trigger. Maybe after there’s more data Since its so new test scores weren’t fully available Also both parents work so after school is important . I also want to be able to go inside the school and drop off my kid and see the classroom

    Hope this helps you.

  • 853. UC Dad  |  April 15, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    @Former CPS Grad:

    Thank you for your detailed comments!
    They were really helpful!

  • 854. mom  |  April 16, 2012 at 12:06 am

    Regarding Hawthorne, we have a first grader and have had a great experience so far. Haven’t found it to be overly academic at all and the focus on reading and writing suits our child very well. It actually seems like we have received less homework than what I have seen friends receive from neighborhood and gifted programs. I’m sure the pressure will increase as we move into the older grades, but we haven’t seen it yet and I think that is true of most CPS schools. In first grade, we have art, music, library, tecnology, and gym twice a week, as well as recess at least once a day. The reading groups work well because the kids get to spend so much of the day in smaller groups of 16 and have a chance to work with multiple teachers. The arts partnership program has been especially impressive because the kids really get into the multi-disciplinary study of one topic and have so much fun showing us their art, music, science projects, writing, etc. I continue to be amazed by how much collaboration there is between the various teachers. We didn’t have a chance to tour the school before accepting our spot, so I wonder if that might have given us a different impression. In any case, it has been a very good fit for us.

  • 855. Farley  |  April 16, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    @850 & 851

    You want a school that is less focused on academics? What exactly are you looking for? Aren’t academics the main reason to send you kid to school? Unless you want them to be circus performers…..

  • 856. adam  |  April 16, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    Anyone have thoughts on Alcott? I am excited about getting a call from them today but worried about the proposed merger with Lincoln… thoughts on the merger or the school?

  • 857. Nope9898  |  April 16, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    852 – No volunteering in kids room, drop off outside school, etc. this is what our neightborhood cathlic grammar school was like (probabaly still is). We opted for CPS instead. . way better for us and volunteer parents were always welcome. But now we are back in private for hs. And the spelling / grammar errors? Tons of that at Jones HS a few years ago at open house. Makes you wonder what all the fuss is about when the asst principal can’t formulate a sentence. . . .

  • 858. debbyd  |  April 16, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    anybody have thoughts or experience with Ravenswood Magnet?
    I have a soon to be first grader that just got accepted.

  • 859. BurleyBound???  |  April 16, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    @856—What grade for Alcott, and what number on list were you if you dont mind??

  • 860. adam  |  April 16, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    kindergarten, #5, i know they got as far as #17 for K, as I saw something on another board.

  • 861. Blaine  |  April 16, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    we just got a call from Blaine, we were number 9 on a wailing list for 1st grade. We have to decide by 9am tomorrow. Can anyone share their experience at Blaine? Differentiating, do they have a comprehensive gifted program? Thank you

  • 862. BurleyBound???  |  April 16, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    That’s great! My son is #12 on wait list but for 6th grade.

  • 863. Public or Private  |  April 16, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    @855, though I would be thrilled if my son joined Cirque du Soleil (after all, Guy Laliberté is a multimillionaire), my idea of “academic” is a school that focuses on the three R’s at the expense of a more well-rounded curriculum, one that imparts basic skills via tons of homework and Tiger-Mom-style test prep. Not to say that this label truly fits Hawthorne — as I said, it manages to offer art and music, even though there’s no foreign language — but there you have it. Perhaps “traditional” is a better term. I toured over 12 CPS schools, and though they all teach the same core of subjects, some have a more creative approach.

  • 864. Reagan hanneman  |  April 16, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    Has anyone heard from suder wait list pre-k 3? We are #5 tier 1.

  • 865. was hopeful now not so much  |  April 16, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    have heard that all spots at drummond pk3 are filled.

  • 866. mom  |  April 16, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    That would mean that everyone at drummond accepted. We have a #1 waitlist spot with no offer. Is that possible?

  • 867. BurleyBound???  |  April 16, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    @866–I am new to the process, but we are in the same boat. #1 wait list at Burley for 6th grade, and low wait list numbers at other schools. But still no actual offer–so yes, it seems like it is possible.

  • 868. was hopeful now not so much  |  April 16, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    866 — don’t know specifically, but called and they said that everyone offered pk3 accepted.

  • 869. Hopeful for Burr  |  April 16, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    Wondering how the Burr Kindergarten wait list is moving…anyone get a call and what was your #?

  • 870. Working mom  |  April 16, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    @852, 853, 857: STEM

    I am a parent of a child at STEM. I want to clarify a few things from prior post (852) based on my personal experience.

    1. Class size: 27-28.
    2. Teacher’s aid: STEM has at least 2 aids (I’m aware of) that rotate through various classrooms. Also, the specials teachers assist homeroom teachers frequently.
    3. Parent volunteers in classroom: I’ve volunteered at least 3 times in my child’s class, including one specials class. Parents are welcome to volunteer in areas where there is a need.
    4. Drop-off at entrance: Yes, true. However, I’ve not encountered any problems when I walk my child to the classroom. Very open and inviting atmosphere. I’ve seen other parents do this as well.
    5. After school programming: Currently in development. Since STEM is a new school, parents and staff are working diligently to implement for the next school year.
    6. Spelling errors: probably need to proofread, eh? Tech teacher is highly competent, but not perfect:-)
    7. Academic warning 3rd grade math: This is news to me, but 5% seems pretty low considering that translates into roughly 4-5 children, maybe less since there’s only 2 third grade classes with approximately 28 in each class.
    8. Curriculum: Engineering, technology and science classes are integrated into the core subjects.

    STEM is off to a great start. Growing pains, yes, but nothing a little hard work and patience can’t cure. BTW, no complaints from my child regarding the longer day…we’ve adjusted. It was hard at 1st, but now much better.

    Thanks for your comments.

  • 871. mb  |  April 16, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    Got a call from Burr for K, we were #5, but they said they had made 30 calls today off the waitlist. Warning, they don’t leave messages (at least they didn’t for me). I had a missed call and called the number back an hour later hoping it was a school. Good thing I did.

  • 872. Ivana  |  April 16, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    Wondering how is lasalle waiting list is moving, anyone get a call for kindergarten? We are number 4 tier 4. Thanks

  • 873. Burleybound??  |  April 16, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    Ok great thanks! I am still holding out hope my #1 wait list gets us in!!!

  • 874. Mom  |  April 16, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    @863, public or private — if you wouldn’t mind, could you share the private school you are considering that you think is less academic than Hawthorne and describe the approach you would prefer? I really think it would be helpful.

  • 875. DW  |  April 16, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    Has anyone heard anything from STEM yet…high on the waiting list for tier 2 but not sure how great our chances are

  • 876. Amy  |  April 16, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    @864 I’ve heard that it could be well into the summer or even the Fall that you hear back from Suder. We’re #10 in tier 1. Would love to know when/if you hear something!

  • 877. Lakeview Dad  |  April 17, 2012 at 12:07 am

    Most folks here have probably seen this. Great research tool for school info that’s way more current and comprehensive than the CPS site:


    Worth bookmarking, for sure.

  • 878. Old Town  |  April 17, 2012 at 9:03 am

    872- we are also waiting for a call from LaSalle (K). We are #3 on the proximity wait list.

  • 879. patient mom  |  April 17, 2012 at 10:39 am

    Anyone know if there will be open spots for K at Suder? We are 17 on the waiting list and suspect that it won’t lead to anything. My only hope is that half of the class moved or got tested and got into classical or selective enrollment schools. Silly, I know.

  • 880. Public or Private  |  April 17, 2012 at 10:45 am

    @874 Mom, I don’t want to clog up a CPS board with private-school talk. But if you have an email address you wouldn’t mind posting, we can chat offline. Re: philosophy, I wish there were progressive schools in the CPS system. (Alas, not possible with NCLB.)

  • 881. AC  |  April 17, 2012 at 10:52 am

    Received a call from LaSalle II but would like to wait for LaSalle to call us as we are #9 on wait list. If we respond and register into LaSalle II and receive a call from LaSalle can we then turn down LaSalle II.

    We are in a dilemma. LaSalle is a much longer commute for us but we know that LaSalle is one of the best CPS elementary schools. LaSalle II is fairly new and its administration is working getting its own status.

    LaSalle II has after school care and so far it looks like we would need to find an after school program at LaSalle. We would also need to ask for busing to an after school program..

    Does anyone know if they bus to daycare centers??

    What would you choose?? I we have a good chance at LaSalle and believe me.. I know know we are in a great situation.

  • 882. Rogers Park mom  |  April 17, 2012 at 11:12 am

    Just spoke with an incredibly nice woman at Courtenay. They are giving a tour Friday and before we spent time going, I wanted to see if she thought a 29 waitlist number had a shot. She thought it was totally possible. She was on #8 today although she gave the 8 people she called two weeks to decide, so there won’t be much movement again for awhile unless those families turn down immediately (or accept!). Just thought I would share this about their process in case anyone else out there is wondering…

  • 883. jlbcbs  |  April 17, 2012 at 11:13 am

    @881 AC – Could you please tell us what tier/proximity are you for LaSalle II, and what number you were on the wait list. We are hoping for a call from LaSalle II, but we are #18 in Tier 3. I talked to the office just now and she wouldn’t tell me how far they had gotten, and said it was too early to tell if we would get a call. She asked for our WL # and said we probably have a 50/50 chance.

  • 884. Lisa  |  April 17, 2012 at 11:22 am

    We did not get any Magnet offers, but we have waitlists in the low 20’s for 3 schools. (Tier 2 for all)

    Newberry 21
    Stone 21
    Franklin 23

    Anyone know if any of these seem possible? I know I should probably just call the schools and ask them. And I probably will this afternoon.

  • 885. BurleyBound???  |  April 17, 2012 at 11:31 am

    Feeling very desperate–#1 on WL for Burley for a child entering 6th grade–spoke with them today, said calls are not being made yet. She said call her every week to see where she is on the list.

    Odds? Anyone who can offer a glimmer??

  • 886. TwinMom  |  April 17, 2012 at 11:31 am

    @881/AC: you can accept the offer at LaSalle II and then, before enrolling there, if an offer comes from LaSalle you can accept that offer (and hopefully you’ll be kind enough to immediately inform LaSalle II so that the next person in line can get the seat). Unlike the SEES pool, you can still get offers even after you’ve accepted one.

    I never have gotten a clear answer re: whether you can still get and accept offers once you’ve actually ENROLLED at a school — I got both “yes” and “no” answers when I asked this question here last year. Perhaps OAE could give you a definitive answer on that, but I’d be sure to wait to enroll your child until you’re certain of the answer.

  • 887. RP mom  |  April 17, 2012 at 11:31 am

    @882 – We were 18 on the list @ Courtenay for K last year and received an offer over the summer, so it is definitely possible.

  • 888. Jen K  |  April 17, 2012 at 11:34 am

    @886: Two years ago, I had several friends who received multiple calls/offers from schools after their children were already ATTENDING another school.

  • 889. ChrisC  |  April 17, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    @860 Adam what is the address of the other board you are reading, just curious, I would like to check it out.

  • 890. Mom  |  April 17, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    855 – Farley – As a matter of fact, I am hoping my child becomes a circus performer. So, I am thinking a fine and performing arts magnet is more appropriate.

  • 891. Future CPS Kinder Mom  |  April 17, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    @886 – We have friends who last year enrolled their childat a magnet and after that point received offers from both another magnet and a neighborhood school.

  • 892. Future CPS Kinder Mom  |  April 17, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    @881 – You can confirm with OAE but it is my understanding that you can accept and enroll with LaSalle II and still be eligible for the wait list call from LaSalle I. Then if LaSalle I calls, you can go with that offer and let LaSalle II know you are going somewhere else so that they can call the next person on the wait list.

  • 893. IB&RGC Mom  |  April 17, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    If your child is a current CPS student my understanding is that they are not fully enrolled until their current school releases them for the next year. I had a hard time getting my daughters K school to release her to the school she ended up going to staring in 1st. I think they do it when they are good and ready. But sometimes you can use that to your advantage and ask them not to release them right away and you can wait till you are sure that is where they are attending.

  • 894. Marketingm  |  April 17, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    I hope it is not true that schools are bypassing students who are on the waiting list by not leaving voice messages. They are supposed to leave a message and give you a date when you need to get back to them. How do you know the are skipping over students? I would be very upset to learn that a person with a higher number than ours was offered a slot!

  • 895. Future CPS Kinder Mom  |  April 18, 2012 at 8:52 am

    I read on another board that Burr’s assistant principal has been made aware of what is being reported on these boards in regards to what seems to have happened with the wait list calls and it is supposedly being looked into. Parents do seem to like this school and seem to have faith in the administration so one hopes it is being dealt with appropriately. I am sure that the wait listed families will not let something like that slide.

  • 896. RUMC Mom  |  April 18, 2012 at 11:50 am

    Schools are calling! We were waitlisted in low numbers for Agassiz, STEM and accepted to Galileo. Both Agassiz and STEM called! I have accepted STEM and declined Galileo and Agassiz promptly so that the waiting lists can keep moving.

  • 897. Public or Private  |  April 18, 2012 at 11:58 am

    Whoever is #2 on the Hawthorne proximity list, you’re in luck. We will turn down our spot if/when they call.

  • 898. ChicagoMOM  |  April 18, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    Has anyone gotten a call about Mayer? When you get a call (sounds like they don’t leave a message?!) how long do you have to respond? @861 looks like 24 hours?!


  • 899. GW  |  April 18, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    @RUMC Mom….. What tier & wait list # for STEM?

  • 900. RUMC Mom  |  April 18, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    @899 Proximity waitlist #6. Are you on their list? If so, which list and #?

  • 901. Citymom...maybe?  |  April 18, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    @895 – Yes I am the family that was #1 on Burr’s wait list and did not receive a call. Still waiting to hear back from the asst. principal. I don’t think we are going to accept at this point anyway, but I am losing faith in this system. We only have one contact number and I went through all my phone records and no missed calls at all.

  • 902. Bonnie  |  April 18, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    Anyone get a call from Burley yet?

  • 903. GW  |  April 18, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    I’m tier 2 & low teens I believe for STEM

  • 904. ProudPapa  |  April 18, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    Question: Bateman vs. Agassiz. Which would you choose? We live 3 doors down from Bateman but aren’t really impressed with the school. The only lottery school we got into is Agassiz. We just found out today, have a tour on Friday at 10am and they expect an answer from us by 3pm that same day. Agassiz seems to have slightly better test scores, but not by a wide margin by any means. Thoughts? Experiences?

  • 905. RUMC Mom  |  April 18, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    If Bateman is a neighborhood school, you can just walk in at anytime to enroll. I would tour Agassiz with questions in hand and unless I saw or felt anything wrong, I would accept. You can also compare schools at http://www.greatschools.org. Hope this helps.

  • 906. curious1  |  April 18, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    @ Proud Papa, What is it that you didn’t like about Bateman? Is the commute worth it to you (if your child isn’t an early riser, the fight to get him/her moving in the morning might not be the best way to start a day)?

  • 907. Salena  |  April 18, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    Anyone get a call from lasalle. We are in the 70’s on the wait list. Tier 3. Wondering if anyone has heard from them at all or anything about their wait list. Thanks. Ps love that link about 15 posts back that gives you the detailed school reports and let you compare them!

  • 908. Kelly  |  April 18, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    Any news on the K wait list at Drummond? I know we have no real chance being so far down on the list (at Drummond and every other of the 19 schools to which we applied), and therefore I should immediately abandon all hope and stop reading posts about the amazing options everyone seems to have, but I enjoy torturing myself.

  • 909. Jen L  |  April 18, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    @907 – I am 4 on Tier 3 at LaSalle. Nothing so far. I tried to call them earlier to see if their list has moved at all, but I just got a voice mail box (it was during the noon hour). I will post if I get a call.

  • 910. ohlala  |  April 18, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    Thank you for the link for the detailed school reports as well. So helpful.

  • 911. Future CPS Kinder Mom  |  April 18, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    @904 Proud Papa – I toured Agassiz last fall and also again recently as it was one of our lottery offers. Ultimately chose LaSalle II over Agassiz but I do love Agassiz. It was a tough decision as far as I am concerned. What seems special to me about Agassiz is their fine arts program, the fact that they teach Arabic beginning in kindergarten and their hands-on, project based approach to teaching. I thought the school also has a very nice feel to it. Warm, lots of art in the halls, nice auditorium/gym. I think that once you visit you will know if you prefer to take your child there or to Bateman. I guess it all depends on what you were not happy about with Bateman and how you feel about commuting. Good luck with your decision!

  • 912. mom_chi  |  April 18, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    Stone’s principal is new and is so far a toss up. Many in the Stone community do not like her, some do depending on whether she tells them what they want to hear. She has potential if she revises her stance on working with parents and teachers (she has a small circle, it seems, and shuts out/down anyone who disagrees with her. She also has pretty poor communication skills.) If she works with parents instead of ignoring or overriding them, if she engages all teachers instead of playing favorites or intimidating those who don’t agree with her, if she doesn’t dismantle the good things that Stone had in place that helped establish better test scores and school culture? Then Stone might stay on top or even improve even more. If we had younger kids at Stone, we’d be more up in arms, but one of ours is already out to high school and one is almost out. Five teachers are retiring this year and only one is being replaced that we know of, so the ratio of teachers/students is definitely changing. The smaller class sizes in first grade that they had when my kids were that age will most likely be gone. All classes will be large now like many other neighborhood school options–close to 30 kids no matter if it is K or 8. They used to accept an extra class of kids every other year at Stone, that is likely gone as well so it will be more difficult to get in. The arts program is terrific, but we–as parents–have worked our butts off to make it that way, less to do with the administration than parents. It’s a wait and see for many of the newer parents at Stone. My big hurdle is getting the youngest into high school. Where you used to have a great chance of getting into a quality CPS high school if you went to Stone, that guarantee is no more. Last year’s high school placements out of Stone looked nothing like they did five years before, and few of our kids got into quality high school programs. Maybe opening new SEES high schools will change that eventually, but it doesn’t help us unless they can pull it off within two years 😦

  • 913. Citymom...maybe?  |  April 18, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    I am #8 proximity at Lasalle and talked to them today. They have not called anyone off the wait list as everyone has accepted their offered spots. It doesn’t look very good at all even for my low number.

  • 914. Gale is NOT an option...  |  April 18, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    @912…thank you for your candid thoughts on Stone. We have a waitlist # there that probably gives us a small chance at getting a call. I have heard such mixed reviews. Your comments are not surprising given what I have heard from others. Disappointing really give its location to our home. We have some decent-ish waitlist numbers at other schools and given what we have heard we are leaning towards those schools… thank you again…

  • 915. kate  |  April 18, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    912 – i’m surprised to hear this kind of update about Stone.
    As a parent at a neighborhood school, that often gets passed over for admission to Stone, I did want to “tease out” a couple of the talking points….

    It seems like the new principal would not be entirely responsible for the HS placements that occurred last year or even this year.

    Most school principals are only able to purchase as many teachers as is provided by CPS + discretionary budgets. If less teachers are being staffed, then more likely it’s reduced budgets that are responsible.

    I do think that change in leadership is difficult all around, I don’t think that Stone is any less of a school than it was under Principal Nakamara. There’s a rising tide of neighborhood & charter schools (non-magnets) that are changing the CPS playing field and Stone (or any other magnet) is being measured/competing against these different options.

  • 916. ChicagoGawker  |  April 19, 2012 at 10:06 am

    Last years HS placements looked nothing like they did 5 years ago at many,many schools, not just Stone. I know this is antedotal info, but I know a 1st generation immigrant student, Stone grad, who is now at University of Chicago on scholarship.

  • 917. Alison  |  April 19, 2012 at 11:16 am

    I received a call from Burr on Monday morning for K. We were #12 on waitlist. They left a vm but didn’t leave a date that we had to make a decision by. We declined the offer.

  • 918. Portage Park Mom  |  April 19, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    Having second thoughts! My daughter was offered a K spot at Peirce, Prescott, Hamilton, and Solomon. Based purely on ISAT scores, we registered at Solomon (in the meantime hoping we get a call from Hawthorne, waitlisted #5, Tier 4).

    After reading so many good things about Hamilton in this post, however, I am regretting that decision! The tour for Solomon was not very impressive. The guide didn’t recall our appointment at first, and she didn’t have much information about curriculum (she seemed mostly knowledgeable about administrative matters). I liked that Hamilton’s principal sent an email to parents inviting us for a tour, but the low test scores kept me away – I should have investigated more before declining our spot.

    Now I guess we’ll see whether Hawthorne will call (thought we were a lock, but I’m seeing here that the waiting list hardly moves at all…).

    We’ve also applied to Chicago Academy and, based on our proximity to the school, I think we have a good chance of acceptance. We won’t find out until the end of June. I know it’s not a magnet, but anyone here have any first-hand info on that school?

  • 919. mom  |  April 19, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    @904 Proud Papa- Bateman is also our neighborhood school and our DS was offered a spot at Agassiz, which we accepted. (Enrolled him yesterday!) Bateman doesn’t offer afterschool care, which is a need for us, so I didn’t do much research and have never set foot inside (though we go to the school’s playground quite a bit!). I’ve heard mixed things, but can’t offer a fair or comprehensive assessment of Bateman based on my limited research. We toured and loved Agassiz, and I’ve connected with current families there who are very happy with the school. Despite the commute, it was a safer bet for us than Bateman. If you’re interested in carpooling to Agassiz, email me at jecmom@gmail.com. And even if you’re not, if your child is going to Agassiz I’d love to connect so our kids have a familiar face at the school this Fall! 🙂

  • 920. ProudPapa  |  April 19, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    Thanks to everyone who replied to my question. I appreciate it. @mom We’ve toured Bateman and were not terribly impressed, frankly. We are a part of the new Bateman Boosters group as, even if our son doesn’t go there, we plan to volunteer there to try to help the school out a bit.

    We were a bit concerned about the commute to Agassiz but I wouldn’t be too proud of myself if I potentially short-changed my son’s education because it was a little inconvenient. I’m impressed with what I’ve heard of Agassiz’s arts program and Arabic language courses. Based on that alone I think we’re tending towards Agassiz. I love the idea of possibly carpooling. I’ll send you an email shortly. Thanks again.

  • 921. justin moore  |  April 19, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    Our son got into Agassiz and Prescott for K. We accepted at Agassiz due to their Language and Arts program. We did just get a call from Burr offering a seat…any input? Also, between Agassiz and Franklin what would you choose?

  • 922. Lisa  |  April 19, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    @921 What number are you on the Burr list? Thanks!

  • 923. justin moore  |  April 19, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    @922 we were over 50. I’ll check this eve.

  • 924. CPS mom  |  April 19, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    Is it common for a neighborhood school to use the OAE to contact waitlist students? Thank you for input on this.

  • 925. BurleyBound???  |  April 19, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    Parents I have a question. I applied to 8 schools and was wait listed at all for an incoming 6th grader– is it possible to be admitted to schools I have not applied to and out of attendance boundarys after their exisiting wait lists are exhausted—is that ever an option? For example, if Prescott has called their wait list for 6th grade, and there is still room can my son receive that spot even thought we are outside the attendance boundary?

  • 926. db  |  April 19, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    925 – Yes, once the list is exhausted the school is able to take anyone they want as they long as they have space. Usually CPS releases a list of schools that still have space at the end of the school year.

  • 927. Rogers Park mom  |  April 19, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    @925 – I believe there is a second round lottery every year. Last year out of curiousity I requested the list to see what was available even though I wasn’t part of the process last year. They even list the grade levels to tell you what grades you can apply for. I remember being shocked to see LaSalle II on there and then I noticed it was only for applicants for grades 7 and 8. I would call and find out when they do the second round, at that point you will have a chance to apply again. I remember seeing quite a few schools on the list that seemed like they would be a decent option in my book. Jahn, Chappell, Prescott…

  • 928. BurleyBound???  |  April 19, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    Thanks for the response!. We just got the info for the supplemental lottery (which was hard to come by)–and Prescott, and Jahn are options for us. We are new to the process–which by the way is beyond stressful!

  • 929. CPS parent survey is open  |  April 19, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    CPS 2012 My Voice My School Parent survey


  • 930. wy mom  |  April 19, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    Is that the survey where if you are extremely critical of your school, the school goes down in levels in the eyes of CPS?

  • 931. CPS parent survey is open  |  April 19, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    WY mom, not sure, the school is encouraging parents to do the survey.

  • 932. SoxSideIrish4  |  April 19, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    Yes, I thought that could only be given out through the schools. Not on any board.

  • 933. CPS parent survey is open  |  April 19, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    Soxside, Why wouldn’t you want as many parents as possible to know about the survey? Intriguing.

  • 934. Future CPS Kinder Mom  |  April 19, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    @BurleyBound – Can you please inform where one would get their hands on that list? Thank you!

  • 935. Bonnie  |  April 19, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    Sure thing…I spoke with Crystal today at CPS OAE…she said she will email me the list on May 14th..or before. I guess thats when it will be ready. From what I gather from other parents it may have quality option!

  • 936. CPS mom  |  April 19, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    Wanted to try one more time – need help – a neighborhood school told me I have to contact OAE about waitlist information. I thought neighborhood schools handled this on their own? No one at OAE got back to me and I’m very worried that I’ve been given wrong information.

  • 937. Sarah  |  April 19, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    Does anyone have any information about Ruben Salazar Bilingual Center? My PK4 twins were just offered spots there. They don’t know any Spanish. Any information about their Pre-K program or the school in general would be appreciated.

    Thank you.

  • 938. Albany Park Mom  |  April 20, 2012 at 9:58 am

    @935 – would you be willing to post the list here when you get your hands on it? Mine doesn’t start K til 2013, but I think this would be informative and helpful for all! Thanks!

  • 939. LaSalle II  |  April 20, 2012 at 10:09 am

    @911. Future CPS Kinder Mom: Noticed you really liked Agassiz but chose LaSalle II. What did you like about LaSalle II that assisted in making your final decision?

  • 940. Future CPS Kinder Mom  |  April 20, 2012 at 10:54 am

    @939 It was a difficult decision but came down to a number of things.
    – During the LaSalle II tour the principal stated, unprompted, that they have a more rigorous academic program than most CPS schools. This was appealing to us as our child scored very well on the classical and RGC tests, but not quite well enough for admittance to a SEES school (we are tier 4). I have been concerned for a while that he would not be challenged enough at school so a more rigorous program is appealing.
    – We love the world language/culture program and this is very attractive to our family.
    – The potential I feel the school has in the future. Lots of great feedback from current families. Seems like there is lots of parent involvement and support. The school seems to have a good energy and momentum. Obviously although a newer school, it seems to be going in a good direction. (However, pretty much the same at Agassiz in this arena – going in a good direction.)
    – Positive feedback from someone I know who has a spouse who teaches at the school.
    – The (almost) guarantee that younger siblings will be admitted in the future versus the greater uncertainty of a neighborhood school, as Agassiz seems to be growing in popularity. Younger sibling will not be entering school for quite a while and a lot can happen at a neighborhood school in that time. There is some concern that our younger child might get shut out.
    – While I feel Agassiz wins hands down in the art/music area, we feel it will be easier to supplement art, music and drama outside of school than it would be to supplement academics and regular foreign language/culture education (I do realize Agassiz teaches Arabic – but we like that LaSalle II has five languages/cultures that are taught).
    – The school is modeled on LaSalle, and that was tied for first place as my favorite school, after being on 21 school tours. My other favorite was Hawthorne.
    – Finally, receiving an entry year offer at LaSalle II is a rare opportunity and we decided it is worth a shot as the opportunity would be unlikely to present itself again in the future. We decided to grab this rare opportunity and see how it works out.

    Again, it was a tough decision for us.

  • 941. Future CPS Kinder Mom  |  April 20, 2012 at 10:56 am

    Basically, my husband and I agreed that our child would likely thrive at either school and in our decision LaSalle II barely beat out Agassiz.

  • 942. curious1  |  April 20, 2012 at 11:35 am

    @ Future CPS Kinder Mom, I appreciate your ability to capture the essence of a school and to articulate it. Any chance you have an opinion of or insight into Burr?

  • 943. Mom  |  April 20, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    Wanted to report that Agassiz’s waitlist is moving. Received a call for 1st grade – our number was 4.

  • 944. cpsobsessed  |  April 20, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    @mom re: agassiz, do you know if it was the school office or oae who called you ?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 945. Mom  |  April 20, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    cpsobsessed, it was the school office definitely, not OAE. I’m certain because I had to call them back and the number was the school’s number.

  • 946. Burleybound??  |  April 20, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    Ok, so I know how to get the secondary lottery list, but where do we find the paperwork to get onto the secondary list….??? Cannot find an application.

  • 947. mbk9691  |  April 20, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    Hawthorne’s waitlist is moving. We’re Tier 3, and were waitlist #2. We received the call yesterday, and accepted today. That means our spot at Hamilton will now be open (I’ll call the school this afternoon to let them know). It was a very difficult decision as we love what we saw at Hamilton and like the principal there very much.

    Good luck to everyone still waiting.

  • 948. Future CPS Kinder Mom  |  April 20, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    @942 Sorry, I have not done enough research into Burr to feel comfortable saying too much about it, other than that others seem to like it and I’ve heard good things about the school. I have not visited the school personally. Good luck!

  • 949. EAmom  |  April 20, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    Our daughter was recently accepted to Hamilton.We live in the Horner Park area and were wondering if there were any other families in the area going to Hamilton. She will be starting kindergarten in the fall and looking for some feedback from other parents who’s kids go there. We really liked the school based on the tour, talking to the principal and a few moms who were there that day. We are happy with our choice, just like to hear some candid thoughts. Thanks!

  • 950. chicago parent  |  April 20, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    @947 Would you mind sharing what it was that made the decision for you re: switching from Hamilton to Hawthorne? I am on the waitlist for both- #14 at Hamilton, #12 at Hawthorne (Tier 2) and am worried that we will feel settled with our decision to attend Hamilton and then receive a call from Hawthorne as school is beginning in the fall… We are closer to Hamilton, really liked the principal, etc., but at the same time feel like you can’t beat Hawthorne’s reputation! I know I’m trying to make a decision based on no actual offers, but also know that I’ll have to make the decision right away IF I do get a call, so want to be prepared… ANY FEEDBACK is welcome! And, congratulations on your acceptance!

  • 951. GW  |  April 21, 2012 at 12:36 am

    Has anyone got a call from Murray?

  • 952. Just curious  |  April 21, 2012 at 9:08 am

    Calls from Audubon?

  • 953. agassiz parent  |  April 21, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    Seeing lots of mentions of Agassiz–my daughter is in K there, will be in 1st grade next year, and our 3 yo will be in preschool there next year. We love it and have been very happy. Majority of families commute from out of the neighborhood, but as another poster mentioned, it is becoming much more popular as a neighborhood school. The arts/drama/dance program is great, teachers are great, families are friendly, and the afterschool program (run by JCC) is really good–choice of full after care or a variety of one hour programs each day that run in sessions. So far this year my daughter has taken (after school) Emerald City drama, jazz dance, Mad Science, Unicoi art classes, Spanish class, and Yoga.

  • 954. mbk9691  |  April 22, 2012 at 9:47 am

    @950 Regarding why we decided to switch to Hawthorne from Hamilton … part of it was, as you say, Hawthorne’s reputation. But I think Hamilton has a very strong reputation as well. In the end, Hawthorne had an edge on resources (FT art teacher; aides in K classrooms). Some of the criticisms of the school’s too-heavy emphasis on academics was a concern, but we did see enough enrichment options to convince us the school likely does take a more balanced approach.

    We felt lucky to have such a choice, and in the end, it was a tough decision, and just about came down to a coin flip. Good luck with your choice.

  • 955. chicago parent  |  April 22, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    @954 Thank you for your response! I appreciate you taking the time! Even though currently we don’t have any options, we are hopeful about our possibilities.

  • 956. PatientCPSMom  |  April 22, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    Response to #937 regarding Salazar pre-K. It’s a pay program – the state pays 1/2 you pay 1/2. It’s 4 1/2 days M-Th 1/2 day F, which many Fridays you’re off all together. Location and building are great, though vintage. My son has been there 2 years and has learned a ton. It’s a very old school homesy nuturing enviornment. There are two Pre-K classes with kids 3yrs -5yrs in them, Kind of like a Montesorri class. One class (Ms.Maria) is more play based learning, the other class (Ms. Sally) is more structured. Both classrooms work just dedends on your child.

    Not speaking Spanish is no problem, your child is exposed to Spanish in small group classes. English is the primary language of instruction.

    Hope this info helps.

  • 957. Jeff Park Parent  |  April 22, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    We went through the magnet / RGC application process and although our soon to be kindergartener seemed to score well (98th percentile according to the documentation), we were completely shut out with no ‘offers’ and 20 wait lists. It appears that our neighborhood school (Farnsworth Elementary) is our only choice unless we go the private school route. We went to Farnsworth’s open house and came away relatively impressed, although the lack of after-school program could be a deal breaker. Does anyone have any information on Farnsworth Elementary and any after school options available for students at this school?

  • 958. Sarah  |  April 23, 2012 at 7:45 am

    Thank you PatientCPSMom for the information on Salazar!

  • 959. jlbcbs  |  April 23, 2012 at 9:25 am

    @957 We currently accepted at Farnsworth, and will be enrolling on Thursday unless we get a call off the wait list from somewhere else this week. My overall impression of the school is that it is a really good neighborhood school, with good test scores, but it lacks any sort of special programming. It is Track E as well, which is a negative for us. They have an acting principal while the LSC continues the search for a new one. This leaves many questions as to the future path of the school. The curriculum is more traditional. The school community is very tight knit and most of the teachers have been there for a long time. The acting principal is working to add rigor, consistency and differentiation to the curriculum. They have a really strong PTA and parent involvement. Their specials are PE, music and library. Computers are integrated into the curriculum, but they don’t have any in the Kindergarten rooms. The do have the free After School All-Stars program this year until 4pm, but there’s a waiting list to get into it. There just isn’t the demand for general on-site aftercare, but you could check into Park District programs in the area. They have a large population of special needs students and integrate them into the general classrooms when possible. I hope that helps a little.

  • 960. Rogers Park mom  |  April 23, 2012 at 10:26 am

    Wow…really aggravated with Peirce this morning. Called to verify my son’s offer acceptance was received and find out when registration is. She told me she couldn’t verify whether or not she had his offer acceptance because she has over 300 acceptances and it would be impossible. (Her exact words). There are so many things wrong with that statement. You haven’t at the very least alphabetized the stack? Made an electronic list in excel or something that you can check off and keep track of who has accepted and who hasn’t and their contact information? You honestly have no clue who is in that pile whatsoever? So when someone calls to turn down the spot because the waiting list moved somewhere else you have no clue who that family is? You have 300 acceptances and 125 K spots? So very annoying and now not at all comfortable that they are managing their offers properly. She told me to just wait for an email sometime at the end of April with registration dates and if I didn’t receive one to call back then.

    I just became even more annoyed with them after writing that! Am I being to hard on them?

  • 961. WPMMY  |  April 23, 2012 at 11:02 am

    That was incredibly rude. They should offer you the peace of mind that they do have your acceptance. Mistakes do happen and your in the right by wanting to double check.

  • 962. Ivana  |  April 23, 2012 at 11:37 am

    Is anyone here will be giving their slot for kg tier 4 at lasalle school? I just called school and we are number 1 on wait list, no other offer:(

  • 963. Ivana  |  April 23, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    LASALLE called ! Happy day for us

  • 964. KD  |  April 23, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    Ok, so I know this is a CPS blog, but does anyone have anything good or bad to say about the CICS schools, and specifically the Bucktown campus?

  • 965. jlbcbs  |  April 23, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    We just got an acceptance letter for K at CICS Irving Park. It was a bit of a shock because we know people with kids there and they said all of the K spots would be filled by siblings.

  • 966. jlbcbs  |  April 23, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    There was just a story on Friday about CICS in the Chicago School Wonks email that Seth Lavin writes saying that CICS just broke up with Edison Learning, the education management organization that runs 5 of CICS’ 16 campuses. Don’t know if it affects Bucktown.

  • 967. Rogers Park mom  |  April 23, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    For those who are curious, I found the email from OAE last year with the summer application. You can see the selection of schools that were on it and for what grades. It will be interesting to see who is on the list this year…If you leave your email I can send it to you.

  • 968. BurleyBound???  |  April 23, 2012 at 1:48 pm


  • 969. Lisa  |  April 23, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    @967 lisalmiranda@gmail.com

  • 970. Albany Park Mom  |  April 23, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    @967 Thank you! amandashaye24@hotmail.com

  • 971. cpsobsessed  |  April 23, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    If you can email it to me at cpsobsessed@gmail.com I can post it…..

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 972. Rogers Park mom  |  April 23, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    @ cpsobsessed – sent!

  • 973. cpsobsessed  |  April 23, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    The list was pretty short for schools offering another round of admission. Here it is: The good news is that if it’s still the same, there are some decent elem options. I’m not sure about those high schools.

    Agassiz (3,4)
    Columbus (7,8)
    Evers (K,1)
    Grissom (6)
    Irving (4,5)
    LaSalle II (7)
    North River
    Prescott (K,1,2)
    Vanerpoel (7)

    High School
    Richards (9,10)

  • 974. cpsobsessed  |  April 23, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    Regarding Pierce, I hate to say it, but that feels somewhat standard for a CPS school office. I was just telling some people that you kind of have to learn to live with a level of chaos to be part of CPS. It’s never going to run like a “business”. Most of the time the office admin has way too much to do. In some cases, schools find a rock star who runs the office like a tight ship AND is welcoming and friendly! Not too often, though. Most of the time they remind me of why public institutions sometimes feel like they have the bar set realllly low. I know of a school that was up and coming and the Friends Of group used money to hire another person for the officework. It is SO important in making a good impression and SO not a priority for the schools, it seems.

    I’d give them one pass, but stop back again and try to get that confirmation. It’s only right that you should get it. But like many other do-it-yourself aspects of CPS, it might require you cheerfully volunteering to help alphabatize, sort, file, etc. Ultimately, that may be what it takes to not have continuous headaches if your child attends Pierce.

  • 975. cpsobsessed  |  April 23, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    Here’s a link to the CPS document about the schools that opened late last season (same as the list above, but with more details about the school):


  • 976. Lana  |  April 23, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    The admin at Pierce sent out two emails today to confirm email addresses (didn’t need to respond to them, she was checking to see what bounced back). It was sent to the email I provided on the acceptance form. So, if you got those emails they have your form, if not, I would call the school again.

  • 977. Bonnie  |  April 23, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    Has anyone heard from Burley? We are waiting but getting very nervous.

  • 978. Rogers Park mom  |  April 23, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    Lana – Thanks for the heads up. My company blocks all the public email providers, so I will check as soon as I get home.

  • 979. 2012KMom  |  April 23, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    Does anyone know of any movement on the STEM waiting list? We are #15 Tier 4, #5 at Mark Sheridan, and #15 at Mitchell. We have accepted Burr.

  • 980. Jeff Park Parent  |  April 23, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    @959 Thanks for the Farnsworth insight. We’ve heard many good things about the school from friends and neighbors, but will have to continue to explore options for aftercare.

  • 981. Citymom...maybe?  |  April 23, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    @ Ivana – are you Tier 4 or proximity on the wait list for Lasalle (I assume for Lasalle 1)? Just curious and congrats!

  • 982. Future CPS Kinder Mom  |  April 23, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    @981 Citymom – Check Ivana’s post #962. She mentions being Tier 4. I am assuming it is the same Ivana as in post #963. I hope I am not overstepping boundaries by mentioning this rather than waiting for Ivana to respond. I just read your post and remembered reading her two comments about LaSalle. Congrats, Ivana! So fabulous!

  • 983. RUMC Mom  |  April 23, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    @979 I know that the STEM’s proximity list is moving because we were low on that wait list and received a call last week.

    @963 Ivana, almost one hour after your original post, you got the call, congratulations!

  • 984. BPORTMOM  |  April 24, 2012 at 9:13 am

    Anyone have any info on Sheridans proximity list or Stem tier 4? Were in the 20’s for both and just wondering if there is a chance. I called Stem today, the clerk said they are not giving out info about waitlist movement.

  • 985. Citymom...maybe?  |  April 24, 2012 at 9:47 am

    Thanks @982 – yes I was confused because we are proximity and didn’t get a call. I thought they exhausted all the proximity wait list first, then went to Tier 1, tier 2, etc. Evidently, they are going in order of #1 proximity, then #1 tier 1, etc., etc. I called and that is what she said or if someone declines from tier 2 they call the next person on the tier 2 list. Is this how all the schools are handling the wait list?

  • 986. db  |  April 24, 2012 at 10:08 am

    @985 That is how all magnet schools are required to handle their waitlists. Each magnet school has a sibling list, Tiers 1 list, Tier 2 list, Tier 3 list and a Tier 4 list. Some schools have the proximity list as well. When someone declines, then they call the next person from the same type of spot. This is for Kindergarten only though.

  • 987. Lasalle 2 Mom  |  April 24, 2012 at 10:20 am

    CICS Charter schools are restructuring again. Seth in his Wonks blog talks about the companies that run the CICS charter schools. Interesting read for those who are looking at these schools.
    I did research the bucktown school a few years back for my daughter. She was accepted twice in two different years. in the end I turned them down because I felt that that had leadership(principals) problems and teacher turn over. Although all the teachers and staff I met were very young and nice. Gym teacher was awesome! Music, art and spanish offered too. I recommend reading the blog School Wonks for more details.

  • 988. Citymom...maybe?  |  April 24, 2012 at 10:27 am

    Thanks @986!

  • 989. ST  |  April 24, 2012 at 10:30 am

    Has anyone waiting for a neighborhood space been told to sit and wait for office of academic whatever to call?

    I thought neighborhood schools handled the lists, not “central office”

  • 990. 2012KMom  |  April 24, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    Burr or Sheridan, help? No aftercare at Sheridan is an issue. The Boys and Girls club is only an option for 6 year olds.

  • 991. RUMC Mom  |  April 24, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    @985. Citymom…maybe?

    I don’t think they exhaust the proximity list then start on the next lists in order from one to four. All available seats are divided the same percentage wise: 40% proximity, 15% for each of the four tiers. So when the OAE offered seats, it there were filled in this format. So based on a 28 seat room, approximately 12 seats for went for proximity and 4 seats per tier. If you are number two on a tier waiting list, you need two children in your tier to vacate a seat before you get a call. I know this is worday, but I hope it makes sense.

  • 992. jlbcbs  |  April 24, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    I just got a call from Burr, #62 wait list for K. As previous posters have mentioned, they did not leave a message. We will be declining.

  • 993. Future CPS Kinder Mom  |  April 24, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    @985 Citymom and @991 RUMC Mom
    Just to add to what RUMC Mom stated (I know, this is all good and confusing, isn’t it!) The percentages for proximity and tiers go into effect after current siblings are given spots first. So, in a class of 28, if there are 8 siblings of current students, then 40% of the remaining 20 spots (8 spots total) are assigned to proximity applicants and then the remaining spots are split equally between the four tiers (3 spots per tier). I have no idea how they handle it if a sibling leaves. Perhaps fill the vacated spot with a child from what that sibling’s tier was (or if they were proximity?) No idea, but I’d love to hear the answer only because it is interesting to me. Anyone know?

  • 994. cpsobsessed  |  April 24, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    Regarding burr, when you say they didn’t leave a message, what do you mean? Did you see it on the caller I-D? Or you spoke to them? (Just trying to figure out this not-leaving-message thing which seems crucial to know which phone number you give them.)

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 995. cpsobsessed  |  April 24, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    Ooh, good question. So say a sibling takes a spot in a gifted program in may, how is that spot filled??

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 996. jlbcbs  |  April 24, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    @994 Burr called my cell phone and I missed the call, so the number was in my recent missed calls. I knew it was a school because it had the 534 exchange. I googled it to find out what school it was.

  • 997. Logan Square Mama  |  April 24, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    We were in the 60’s on the Burr waitlist and accepted. Thank you to everybody who declined. I am very pleased with how this school is progressing and like the small size of the school. I talked with CPS admin staff and they said there is definately a “buzz” about Burr.

  • 998. Vero  |  April 24, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    Any movement for Mark Sheridan Elementary??

  • 999. ST  |  April 24, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    Burr should be leaving messages. That doesn’t seem right. Someone without caller id wouldn’t know they even got a call.

  • 1000. Gunnery Sgt Hartman  |  April 24, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    #997 Does your husabnd have a boat at Montrose Harbor?

  • 1001. Ivana  |  April 24, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    @981Citymom , @982, @983- We are tier 4 an started with number 4 on waiting list. I was calling Lasalle every other day to check if there is any movement on waiting list. Now I just have to worry about transportation ;), we live 9.7 miles from school. Any ideas? Thank you for congrats and good luck !

  • 1002. 2012KMom  |  April 24, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    @998 We were #5 Tier 4 on Mark Sheridan’s list and received a call today.

  • 1003. dememom  |  April 24, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    Future CPS Mom: Thanks for your comments about Lasalle vs Agassiz. We said yes to Agassiz last week and are very excited:)

  • 1004. PeirceNation  |  April 24, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    And why is it that we can’t do some of this contact regarding waitlists electronically?

  • 1005. Salena  |  April 24, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    Anyone accept an offer for kindergarten from Jahn? We did ( very happily) and were hoping to see if anyone else on this awesome board is also sending there kindergartner there?

  • 1006. Future CPS Kinder Mom  |  April 24, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    @1004 PeirceNation – I have read reports of people receiving wait list offers via email. I believe LaSalle has contacted at least some people this way. I can’t remember what other schools may have utilized email for this reason. I think that a call AND email would be best protocol as people tend to use one or the other the most but, that’s just me. Also, in the email they would have a solid record of having provided the deadline for response. I am sure the schools’ office staffs would hate to have to call and email though as it would be twice the work for them so likely will never happen.

  • 1007. Lily  |  April 24, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    FYI to others who may be in the same boat. Got an acceptance letter to one of the Chicago International Charter schools(Irving Park campus) yesterday in the mail. Received a call today saying it was a mistake. So, if you got a letter from them, you might want to double check.

  • 1008. Portage Park Mom  |  April 25, 2012 at 2:11 am

    I have an update for those waiting to hear from Hawthorne … Per Jan, the lottery coordinator at the school, they offered four spots in K to Tier 4 this year. They got to #1 on the waitlist, and that child was enrolled, so … it looks like no more Tier 4 movement at the moment.

  • 1009. anonymouseteacher  |  April 25, 2012 at 6:25 am

    1007, just fyi, CICS as a whole is going through massive changes, including a likely overhaul of their entire staff. Seth Lavin writes about this in his newsletter. So thinking things are pretty nuts over there.

  • 1010. jlbcbs  |  April 25, 2012 at 6:50 am

    @ 1007 Thank you so much for posting. I am horrified that CICS Irving Park called to tell you it was a mistake after sending the acceptance letter. We also received a letter, and yesterday I called to decline our spot at the first school we had accepted at in favor of going to CICS. If this happens to us I will definitely be fighting it because then we will have no options.

    @1009 The news in the article by Seth Lavin only affects 5 of the CICS campuses, NOT including Irving Park or Bucktown. They were not run by Edison Learning.

  • 1011. Rogers Park mom  |  April 25, 2012 at 8:28 am

    @1010 jlbcbs – please keep us posted on what you find out regarding CICS…that’s terrible what happened to Lily above.

  • 1012. jlbcbs  |  April 25, 2012 at 9:12 am

    @1011 I talked to CICS this morning and they said that they had sent acceptances to some siblings by mistake. They called those involved yesterday to let them know. They are no longer automatically accepting siblings because there are too many for the amount of K spots. I should have asked if they will be having a separate lottery for siblings from now on, or if they will have to go through the general lottery. I can try to find out. We only have one child, so it is not an issue for us. I am relieved that our son’s acceptance letter was correct and that he is confirmed, but still can’t believe that this happened to some parents. I would have been devastated, and I’m sure they are if they were planning those sibling spots.

  • 1013. BurleyBound???  |  April 25, 2012 at 9:23 am

    Parents–Does anyone have any comments or thoughts on the CICS -Chicago Quest for 6th-8th graders? They still have space available for my son and I was just wondering if anyone has further info….

  • 1014. Rogers Park mom  |  April 25, 2012 at 9:24 am

    @1012 – What a relief – and Congrats! I wish I had looked into the Charter option prior to the application deadlines. I was kind of under the impression that there weren’t any that were really performing that well, but the Iriving park branch – WOW…on paper they look phenomenal. Looks like a fabulous school!

  • 1015. BurleyBound???  |  April 25, 2012 at 9:27 am

    @1012 CPS OAE site says the Irivng Park campus still has space, have you called them?

  • 1016. cpsobsessed  |  April 25, 2012 at 9:46 am

    I continue to be intrigued by the curriculum and teaching plan at Quest. I’ve heard several people mention discipline issues there (that there are a decent number of kids with issues and the school hasn’t figured out how to reign it in yet.). The school told me they were definitely looking at improvements but I’d take a good look and also see about observing during the day. I would really love that school to thrive. The hands on style of teaching sounds amazing.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 1017. jlbcbs  |  April 25, 2012 at 10:30 am

    @1015 I talked to them the CICS central office this morning and they assured me that we are accepted and confirmed. Where did you see that OAE says they still have space? I looked under options and you can download the list of all the charter schools with their application deadlines. All the applications for CICS were due April 13th and the lottery was held April 18th. I’m guessing the information is just outdated.

  • 1018. BurleyBound???  |  April 25, 2012 at 10:30 am

    The disruptions concern me. But the program sound amazing. CICS Bucktown also has spots for K and 6th grad (just called) –any thoughts or comments there?

  • 1019. BurleyBound???  |  April 25, 2012 at 10:33 am

    Quest for sure has space, as well as Bukctown. I did call the office and they said IRP is all filled now.

  • 1020. Jen L  |  April 25, 2012 at 10:55 am

    @1018 I wonder how CICS has room in K Bucktown. I applied there and was put on a waiting list. I’m slightly suspicious of their process. All we received about not being selected was a form letter. They don’t give out wait list numbers over the phone until May 9. At least with the magnets you know where you stand.

  • 1021. BurleyBound???  |  April 25, 2012 at 10:59 am

    I have no idea. I am clueless as to how you can call the same office 3 times, and get 3 differant answers!! We just submitted our application so we will see. I am still going to see if I can get him into a neighborhood via the secondary lottery.

  • 1022. Future CPS Kinder Mom  |  April 25, 2012 at 11:09 am

    @1021 Just want to wish you good luck! I hope something great works out for you and your child!

  • 1023. BurleyBound???  |  April 25, 2012 at 11:11 am

    @1022 I appreciate that so much..thank you.

  • 1024. jlbcbs  |  April 25, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    @1018 I have a friend who received an acceptance letter for Bucktown, and is calling to see if she can get in for a tour. Maybe if you call as well, they can set something up with both of you. I did apply there, but unfortunately don’t know much about it. We have friends that toured it and were very impressed with the teachers. I also read recently that 25% of their 8th graders were accepted to Selective Enrollment high schools, which I think is a pretty impressive number.

  • 1025. BurleyBound???  |  April 25, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    I think so too. I sent in the application, and they said I should hear by mext week.

  • 1026. jlbcbs  |  April 25, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    About CICS Bucktown. They had acceptance letters for K go out in error also. Yesterday they called my friend that got an acceptance letter to tell her it was a mistake and that they were on the wait list. She luckily had not declined at their current school and they happy there.

  • 1027. Still Waiting  |  April 26, 2012 at 12:00 am

    Does anyone know about Coonley’s magnet lottery? My twins are on the waitlist for kindergarden (magnet), but the school says they don’t have a magnet lottery – only a gifted program. Anyone know the deal?

  • 1028. cpsobsessed  |  April 26, 2012 at 12:01 am

    Coonley is unlikely to take any kids outside the neighborhood for K due to an abundance of local kids plus siblings from the gifted program.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 1029. kstaigs  |  April 26, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    We just got an acceptance to CICS Bucktown for K as well, we will be declining, as we have already accepted at Edison. We also applied for Irving Park, as I have a close friend who’s son is there and they are VERY happy. We didn’t hear from them, so I am assuming we had no shot.

    For Portage Park mom, I also applied to Chicago Academy, and although we will decline if we get accepted (Edison was my first choice) I know that it is an excellent school. A friend of mine works for their parent company, and he raves about the school. And he is a brutally honest kind of guy. I also know one of the second grade teachers, and he is wonderful. I will be looking into their Pre-K for my younger one next year for sure.

    Also, why have some of the comments from the 7 hour day board bled over into here? This whole situation is so odd.

  • 1030. jlbcbs  |  April 26, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    @1029 Once you are accepted at one CICS campus, you don’t get a chance on the wait list for any other campus. I have heard of many people who are very happy at the Irving Park campus.

    Also a note on Chicago Academy, I really wanted to apply there, but was told that I didn’t have any chance of getting in because we live too far away. I guess they take the kids who live the closest first, and usually fill up with those in a few block radius around the school. I did tour it and was very impressed with their programs and test scores.

  • 1031. Jen K  |  April 26, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    @1007 – same thing happened to my friend this week. Acceptance letter to CICS IP and then a call saying “oops”. Fortunately, she was accepted elsewhere but CICS location was great for them.

  • 1032. BurleyBound???  |  April 26, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    at this point, getting him into school consumes me! CICS IP or Bucktown–applied to Quest as well. We still are holding out hope for the Burley seat to open, we are #1 on wait list. Touring Prescott tomorrow, as we will also apply during the secondary lottery. Lease up June 30th–want to buy but holding off bc of school…I have become OBSESSED….and not in a good way!

  • 1033. Wondering  |  April 26, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    How do the lotteries work? Is it siblings first? Then proximity, 1,2,3 &4? Or is it an equal number for each? My child is at a popular school (neighborhood magnet not rgc) and I have a younger child too and ideally I’d like to keep them together. I am wondering if siblings get priority over all the wait lists?

  • 1034. Future CPS Kinder Mom  |  April 26, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    @1033 – Do you mean your child is at a neighborhood magnet cluster school? These are basically neighborhood schools with neighborhood boundaries for attendance, that receive extra funding for certain disciplines (art, foreign language etc…) If that is the case, then children who live within the neighborhood boundaries have priority. After that, remaining spots are given to siblings of current students (from outside the neighborhood boundaries.) If there are more siblings who have applied than spots available, a sibling lottery is done. Siblings who do not get picked via the sibling lottery would be wait listed on a sibling wait list. If there are spots available after the siblings have all been accommodated, then a general lottery is done for applicants who have applied for the general lottery. The tier system does not apply to magnet cluster schools. If your older child attends a magnet cluster school then the chance of the younger sibling getting into the school depends on the popularity of the school with families who live within the neighborhood boundaries and also on the number of siblings applying for entry for the same grade that year. You may want to check with the school to see if they have a policy of treating siblings like neighborhood attendees. I’ve heard that certain schools have said that. I doubt the most popular schools would though as they are likely overcrowded as is. You may also want to ask them if they have been able to accommodate all out of neighborhood siblings every year.

    If the school is a true magnet school (such as Disney, Hawthorne, Stone etc…), and all seats are given via one form of lottery or another, then siblings are given seats first. After all the siblings are accommodated then 40% of the remaining seats are assigned for proximity applicants. Then, the remaining seats are divided equally between the four outside proximity tiers. When someone turns down a seat, the school goes to the appropriate wait list (proximity or one of the four tiers) and tries to fill the seat with someone from that specific list. Theoretically a sibling wait list would be formed if more siblings applied than spots are available, but since entire classrooms are being filled for entry grades, it would be an unlikely occurrence for kindergarten (or preschool for schools in which the entry year is preschool.)

    Hope that answers your question but perhaps best to check with the specific school you are wondering about.

  • 1035. Future CPS Kinder Mom  |  April 26, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    @1033. Perhaps the short answer to your question would be: Siblings are first if the school is a true magnet. Neighborhood children are first if the school is a magnet cluster, then siblings, then other lottery applicants.

  • 1036. Wondering  |  April 27, 2012 at 6:02 am

    Thank you!! It’s a magnet cluster school. I will keep my fingers crossed, it’s two years away but still weighing on us :/

  • 1037. Future CPS Kinder Mom  |  April 27, 2012 at 7:40 am

    @1036 – You may want to speak to whomever handles admissions at the school. Someone who works in the main office should know who this is. They may be able to give you an idea as to how possible a younger sibling entry into the school is. Right now at some schools it is an almost certainty while at others not nearly as certain simply because the school gets so many neighborhood families that enroll their children. They would be able to tell you what their trend has been though. It might give you some peace of mind if the news is what you want to hear or if not, tell you that you need to start to consider alternative plans, just in case it doesn’t work out. Good luck!

  • 1038. Another Buena Park Mom  |  April 27, 2012 at 8:51 am

    Just wanted to report that we received a call from Agassiz this morning offering us a spot. We were #45. They gave us until 9 a.m. Monday to respond, but I already declined so they could move on.

  • 1039. jlbcbs  |  April 27, 2012 at 9:11 am

    @1038 Thanks for letting everyone know. Was it for K?

  • 1040. Another Buena Park Mom  |  April 27, 2012 at 9:23 am

    Oh sorry! Yes, it was for K.

  • 1041. ZanesDad  |  April 27, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    Got an offer (in the mail – who does that anymore) today for McPherson. We were #14 on their list. Have until May 15 to decide.

  • 1042. CpsUnless  |  April 27, 2012 at 7:36 pm

    We were #17 for McPherson and got a letter today. But we’ve already accepted at another school.

  • 1043. jlbcbs  |  April 27, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    We also got an offer from McPherson for K by mail today. We were #29. I will be calling to decline on Monday.

  • 1044. curious1  |  April 30, 2012 at 10:53 am

    Missed a call from Burr today (we’re in the 80s on the wait list). They didn’t leave a message but I called back and was offered a spot. I tentatively acceptedbut they want me to come in tomorrow to register my son. It seems really pushy to me…is this how other schools operate?

  • 1045. NAMom  |  April 30, 2012 at 11:38 am

    Any comments on Solomon vs. Peirce? We got a call from Solomon today and are leaning towards taking it? Anyone have any comments on Solomon?

  • 1046. Future CPS Kinder Mom  |  April 30, 2012 at 11:40 am

    1044 – Not sure how wait list ‘registration’ operates but many schools only give 24 hours for wait list offered families to decide to accept or decline. Keep in mind that as Burr is a neighborhood school, even if you register at Burr, you are not taken off the wait lists at any other schools. You may continue to receive offers from wait lists and if you receive an offer you like better you may accept that offer and pull your registration at Burr at that time. So, if you like Burr better than the current school option for your child, it does not hurt to register and you do not lose any opportunities that may arise in the future. Also, you may pull your child from Burr and enroll your child at your neighborhood school at any time. You are only taken off other SEES school lists if you accept an offer at a SEES school. Neighborhood and magnet schools do not remove people from their wait lists unless the family is offered a spot and then declines. Also, registration does not take much (just bringing in a birth certificate and filling out some basic paperwork.) All the medical forms are not due until before school starts in the fall. Good luck!

  • 1047. vero  |  April 30, 2012 at 11:40 am

    Any movement at Andrew Jackson Elementary? Tier3??

  • 1048. vero  |  April 30, 2012 at 11:41 am


  • 1049. mud  |  April 30, 2012 at 11:51 am

    We have friends who are at Solomon and seem happy with it. It had a reputation as a very solid neighborhood school that didn’t get much attention but performed very well overall. I think they recently hired a new principal so some changes may be in the works.

  • 1050. NAMom  |  April 30, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    @1049 Thanks for the quick response.

    @1047 We are #4 for K on the A. Jackson wait list Tier 3. When I called last week they said that if they get to the list at all it wouldn’t be until the end of May.

  • 1051. jlbcbs  |  April 30, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    @1045 Would you mind telling us what number you were on the wait list for Solomon? Solomon’s test scores are very strong, better than some magnet schools, and we applied there as well. It would be hard for me to make the call because Solomon does not allow tours. I’m not sure how you could make a choice without seeing the school in person.

  • 1052. Bucktown Dad  |  April 30, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    1044 – We were on the waitlist at Burr and came in the day after the school called for a tour and to register. We were very impressed with the kindergarten teachers, parents group, and the direction the school is moving. We also liked the smaller size of the school.

  • 1053. vero  |  April 30, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    @ 1050. Wow you have a good wait list position. Good luck and thanks. I am ashamed to say we are #97 and have no chance. Not sure why I was even the slightest optimistic??

  • 1054. curious1  |  April 30, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    @ Bucktown Dad, thanks so much for your input on Burr. I am really torn about enrolling tomorrow and your take on the school helps me to feel better about it. What specifically do you like about the direction it’s taking?
    @ Future CPS Kinder Mom, thank you for you reassurance about the limited affect enrolling my son now has if he gets into somewhere else later. The one concern that I still have is that when I called OAE, I was told that if I enroll, I will have to get in touch with the school counselor to unenroll so that I can enroll elsewhere. Given that it will likely be summer before (if) we hear from a preferred school, I am concerned I won’t be able to reach the school counselor.

  • 1055. Pritzker Mom  |  April 30, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    We enrolled our daughter in our neighborhood school and she was offered a spot at Pritzker over the summer. We accepted at Pritzker and did the paperwork to enroll her the next day. I dropped off the transfer paperwork at the neighborhood school the day after that. It took them over a month to process the release/transfer paperwork, but that did not endanger her spot at Pritzker.

    As long as accepting your best current offer does not impact getting future offers, you should jump at it while you have the chance. The added red tape later won’t really be a big deal, but the regret you feel for not taking the spot at a school you like will be a big deal if you don’t get any other offers.

  • 1056. Bucktown Dad  |  April 30, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    1054 – You can take a look at the Burr test scores on the cps.edu site. Very steady improvement over the past few years. Mr. Klee is the new principal and he seems very dedicated and is putting money into acedemics such as the science lab. Also, the parents I met seem very dedicated to the school. Hope this helps.

  • 1057. NAMom  |  April 30, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    @ 1051 we were #8 for K at Solomon.

  • 1058. curious1  |  April 30, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    @ Pritzker mom and Bucktown dad, thank you for your input! I just talked to the asst principal and I will be taking a tour with her tomorrow when I go in to fill out the paperwork. From what I’ve heard, Burr has too much going on to dismiss without a closer look!

  • 1059. twin mom  |  April 30, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    Has anyone heard anything from Suder – PreK? Any news yet?

  • 1060. Jen L  |  April 30, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    Slightly off topic, but while I am waiting for calls where my daughter is waitlisted… I’m trying to put together a proposal at my job for changing my hours when my daughter goes to Kindergarten. Hard to do without knowoing where she will be in school. Does anybody have any idea what aftercare costs a couple of days a week? Is there a resource for it from CPS? Any budgetary estimate would be really helpful.

  • 1061. db  |  April 30, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    Jen L – It really depends on the school and the after school program provider. At Hamilton, they use the YMCA which provides after care 5 days a week and is around $260 per month.

  • 1062. curious1  |  April 30, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    Jen LI- For schools that partner with the JCC for afterschool care, the cost ranges from $370 – $410 per month for 5 days. These schools include Burr, Nettelhorst, Agassiz, Jahn, and a few more.

  • 1063. Jen L  |  April 30, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    Thanks db & curious1. That is where I was expecing the numbers to be. I have a decent waitlist number at Jahn, so I will go with that estimate.

  • 1064. Barbarossa  |  April 30, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    Anybody got a second-round offer for Keller or Lenart yet?

  • 1065. Future CPS Kinder Mom  |  April 30, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    1064- Barbarossa – There is a post in the Classical/Gifted thread addressing that 2nd round letters are supposed to go out this week but that OAE did not know on which day.

  • 1066. Lasalle family fun fest  |  May 1, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    Newly registered Lasalle II Magnet families are invited to come to the Wellness committee Family Fun Fest on May 12th 9am to 2pm on the Wolcott side of school on the field.
    Get to know your new school family!

    -Cooking demo’s from Kids Table and other chefs.
    -Circus Acrobat lesson’s from CircEsteem
    -Zumba with ARCC
    -Free Pirates Booty, Smoothies from Prasino and Starfruit and many more snacks and Takeaways
    -9 am-10 am Fun Run (registration is from 9 am-9:30 am)
    -A Basketball Clinic with a specialist brought in by Mr. Ray
    -a Mini Farmers Market sponsored by Mariano’s market
    -Chair massages from Chiro-One
    -A visit from the Truck Farm
    -Live music from Dave Hunt and also from The little g Band.
    -Awesome Bounce Houses from Select Inflatables
    -MUCH, MUCH MORE (too much to name!!)

  • 1067. bucktown mom  |  May 1, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    RE: BURR
    We have been apart of the Burr community for the last 2 years (PreK) and are excited to remain there for Kindergarten! The school has a student-centered attitude with core values, a team-playing faculty that is empowered and involved, communication that is honest and frequent, great parental involvement, and high expectations for every student. Burr is definitely moving in the right direction and I think the new prinicipal, Mr Klee is focused on the schools growth!

  • 1068. Melissa  |  May 2, 2012 at 3:50 am

    Anyone received a call off the wait list for Suder/PK3. We are low on Tier 4 waitlist and trying to ascertain any movement on the list.

  • 1069. twin mom  |  May 2, 2012 at 9:28 am

    to 1068 – I am also wondering about Suder as we have heard nothing and there doesn’t seem to be anyone posting about Suder. I am thinking they have not gotten to their wait list yet but maybe it is time to give them a call. What number are you? We are in tier 3 trying to get our twins into PK3.

  • 1070. jlbcbs  |  May 2, 2012 at 11:23 am

    I just received a call from Chappell offering us a spot for K. We were #14 on the wait list. We really liked the school, but are staying with our current choice.

  • 1071. Lisa  |  May 2, 2012 at 11:34 am

    @1070 Do you know how long they are giving people to decide? They are getting close to our number (22). It is one of our top picks if the 2nd round SEES does not go in our favor.

  • 1072. ZanesDad  |  May 2, 2012 at 11:45 am

    We got a call today from Chappell for K also (#19). We declined. They were going to give us 24 hours to decide; the letter from McPherson gave us more than two weeks. Still waiting to hear from Farnsworth (#21) and Murphy (#4), but Murphy probably won’t call until late in the summer (or possibly after school starts).

  • 1073. Lana  |  May 2, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    @ 1072 ZanesDad We got an offer from Farnsworth (#9) on Monday, we declined in favor of Peirce, they gave us until this morning to decide.
    For anyone else that is interested I called Waters and Stone this week. Waters said they had more than expected register from the neighborhood, so it’s unlikely that they will be calling anyone from the wait list this year. Stone said that everyone who got an initial offer has accepted.

  • 1074. anon mom  |  May 2, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    1068/1069: Suder only has ~36 3-year-old spots, and at least 1/4 of those will go to siblings. My neighbor was #6 proximity last year and never got a call. I imagine there’s a possibility if you’re the first or second on the wait list, but not much below.

    There is a little movement at kindergarten when students leave for gifted or classical schools closer to home (Suder pulls from across near north, west and South sides)

  • 1075. Rogers Park mom  |  May 2, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    Anyone know if LaSalle II has started calling?

  • 1076. jlbcbs  |  May 2, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    @1075 The only posts I’ve seen are that they got to #6 for Proximity and #3 for Tier 4 for K, but that’s been a while. There could be some movement with the 2nd round SEES letters coming out this week.

  • 1077. Jen L  |  May 2, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    @1075 – I talked to LaSalle II yesterday. They are making calls. They are up to 9 or 10 for K Tier 3.

  • 1078. none  |  May 2, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    Has anyone heard from Beaubien school yet? Thanks!

  • 1079. Lisa  |  May 3, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    Just accepted an offer from Chappell (Number 22 on waitlist). We are still hoping for a SEES offer in the 2nd round but we could be very happy at Chappell.

  • 1080. mom2  |  May 3, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    Have any of the schools looking for a principal made their offers yet?

  • 1081. BurleyBound???  |  May 3, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    does anyone know when the end of city lottery results are released—after the May 14th–relaese date?

  • 1082. Another mommy  |  May 4, 2012 at 8:34 am

    @ 1080, yes. Hawthorne has extened an offer to (and was accepted by) Mr. Nathan Pietrini. Currently, he is the assistant principal at Ogden Elementary. He is an amazing individual and we are so excited to have him!

  • 1083. superdisappointed  |  May 4, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    does anyone know what’s the movement for pritzker and edison? someone posted on the classical page that their tier 4 kindergarten rgc 145 child just got an offer from pritzker so just wondering about edison.

  • 1084. superdisappointed  |  May 4, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    sorry about the above comment – wrong page, meant to leave on the other one…losing my mind here so stressed out with all this!

  • 1085. RL Julia  |  May 4, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    @Zanes Dad- have you called Murphy?

  • 1086. New CPS Parent  |  May 4, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    We were #11 on the proximity wait list for Newberry, and just got a call today!! Does anyone have a child who goes there or have an opinion on the school? We are trying to decide between Lincoln and Newberry and are torn. Thank you.

  • 1087. Daddy of Zane  |  May 4, 2012 at 10:27 pm

    @1085, my spouse did (during spring break) and finally teased out of the principal that because they are so cramped for space, until she canvasses the neighborhood attendance and has a solid idea of her incoming K classes, she likely wouldn’t start down the options list for K for now. Expect a call the first week of classes. When I took the tour I asked and got about the same answer, no options calls for K for now. For the other grades, she has a much better idea of enrollment so she is OK with making options offers before the school year starts.

  • 1088. GW  |  May 5, 2012 at 12:34 am

    Does anyone know of any movement on the waiting list for STEM Tier 2 Kindergarten

  • 1089. LIsa  |  May 6, 2012 at 8:21 am

    Anyone in Tier 2 heard from Newberry? How far down that waitlist have they gotten? Thanks!

  • 1090. Relieved  |  May 6, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    1089 – My family had 3 and 4 on the Tier 2 waitlist. We got a call at 4:30 on Friday and accepted those spots.

  • 1091. LIsa  |  May 6, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    @1090–Congratulations and thanks for posting. I am so stressed trying to find the best spot for one child, I’m sure it is even crazier doing so for two.

  • 1092. FutureKMom  |  May 6, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    Has anyone heard anything on the STEM waiting list for K Tier 4?

  • 1093. Relieved  |  May 7, 2012 at 7:09 am

    1091 – I attended the openhouse and it sounded as though Newberry historically went pretty far down the waitlist. FYI, on the twins front, you can select to have them paired in the lottery. Good luck.

  • 1094. Kelly  |  May 7, 2012 at 10:24 am

    Relieved, Do you have a sense of what pretty far down means in terms of wait list numbers? Is it 20? Or 50? I am surprised because Newberry is fairly small and seems really awesome. Wonder why people are turning down spots? Oh well. I hope they keep going down the list. I would LOVE to send my child there.

  • 1095. Another Buena Park Mom  |  May 7, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    Got an offer from Courtenay today. #16 on the WL for K. We declined.

  • 1096. Raj  |  May 7, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    Hi Everyone, I will really appreciate any suggestions in choosing between Newberry and McDade for K.

    We live about 20-30 minutes away from either, so distance is the same.


  • 1097. Relieved  |  May 7, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    1094 – Not sure, I think that they might have gotten beyond 50, but that may have been in October. I am just not sure. The principal urged parents to be hopeful. Keep in mind that they probably have some applicants that get into good schools closer to home where they may have been waitlisted or sees.

    1096 – I don’t know anything about McDade, but I thought that Newberry represented a good learning community with high expectations. They had very good highschool placement. I liked the diversity.

  • 1098. cpsmom1  |  May 7, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    1096- Looking that the basic stats on the CPS site for both and McDade – they look like very different schools. Newberry is preK-8 and has 570 students and three times as big. McDade is K-6 and has 190 students. McDade is classical – so all of the students had have high test scores to be accepted to the school; Newberry is a regular magnet with no test – only lottery. McDade a lot fewer kids that are low income than Newberry but has very little ethnic diversity – Newberry has a great deal of diversity while more than half the kids are low income. McDade has much higher ISAT scores but really terrible value add scores. Newberry has strong ISAT scores and much stronger value add scores. I think ultimately the best way to make the decision is to take a tour of the schools and see which one is the best fit for your family…

  • 1099. Raj  |  May 8, 2012 at 8:36 am

    Thanks very much, Relieved (1097) and cpsmom1 (1098).

    Cpsmom1 (1098), I have been trying to figure out how “value added” scores are calculated. Will search some more, but if you have a handy link please post it here.

    Thanks again.

  • 1100. STEM parent  |  May 8, 2012 at 8:50 am

    @1092 & 1088: Don’t know about the STEM waitlists, but they had new student registration last saturday, so if any spots remain open, they should know by now

  • 1101. Future CPS Kinder Mom  |  May 8, 2012 at 9:05 am

    1098 & 1099 – I have read on some boards to take care when taking the value added scores for the RGC’s and classical schools into consideration. This is due to the fact that the students are already scoring at the top of the test initially so frankly, there is not a lot of room on the tests for them to “show” their growth. Thus the value added scores can make it look like students at these schools are not increasing their learning as much as they actually are. If I am wrong someone please correct me. Thanks!

  • 1102. Raj  |  May 8, 2012 at 10:16 am

    @1101, Future CPS Kinder Mom:

    Yes, that sounds logical. But some top score schools (Edison, Lenart, Keller) still manage to have high “value added” scores. Others (McDade, Decatur, Poe) cannot. One wonders why?

  • 1103. cpsobsessed  |  May 8, 2012 at 10:26 am

    Where are the value added score to look at?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 1104. Raj  |  May 8, 2012 at 10:33 am


    At cps.edu, go to a particular school, choose the scorecard tab, and look at the 6 & 7th row in Academic progress.

    E.g., for McDade:

    If you google “chicago public schools value added methodology” you get a couple of very helpful links describing the process. Essentially, it is a teacher evaluation method in which students are tested at the beginning of the year and at the end of the year and the difference noted.

    I believe the 3 RGC’s have positive value addeds, and most Classicals have at least one negative value addeds.

  • 1105. just another indecisive mom  |  May 8, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    Just got an offer from Chappell for K. Any comments on the school? How about Chappell vs. Peirce?

  • 1106. cpsobsessed  |  May 8, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    I’ve heard great things about chappell as an “under the radar” schools. Their scores are good and I hear there is a strong principal. One downside is I think there are limited after school activities, so check on that.

    Peirce is twice the size of chappell, which may impact the school “vibe”. Peirce seems to have more of a base of involved parents as they’ve admitted a lot of families who wanted a good school but didn’t luck in anywhere, so there is good momentum there. On the other hand, a smaller setting can be nice too – teachers and the admin typically know all the kids, ect.
    If you visit either, let us know your thoughts!

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 1107. Angie  |  May 8, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    1105 – I also had to decide between these two schools for K this coming fall. I felt that either would be a very good option and settled on Peirce primarily because of before-care and proximity to our home.

    Chappell and Peirce are comparable in terms of student demographics (race/ethnicity, % low income, % ESL, mobilty) and test scores.

    Chappell is smaller (450 students) with a majority of neighborhood students. They are world language so they offer Spanish starting in K once a week. You also may be assigned to the bilingual class even if you are not ESL which in my opinion is a positive exposure to a different culture and language (for those who are not Latino/don’t speak Spanish). They have aftercare at Winnemac park untikl 6. All I know about the program is that it is relatively new. They do not have before care and currently start school at 9 but don’t know what their hours will be next year. They currently do not have an Art teacher. They have music and PE twice a week plus Spanish once a week and technology once a week. I think the office staff is exceptionally helpful and friendly by CPS standards. The principal seems very approachable. They just got several new people plus some incumbents on the LSC and are working on forming/revitalizing a Friends of Chappell group. I think these two things (LSC and Friends of) are good signs that they are getting more parent involvement.

    Peirce has 900 students with 5 sections of K and 1. I believe many of the students are from the nearby areas but not necessarily within Peirce boundaries. Peirce already has well-established parent involvement in the form of LSC, Friends of, Bilingual partnet group, Parent Action committee. I am not sure of the exact names of their groups but the gist is there are many. One of my favorite things about Peirce is that they are well on their way to becomign IB Primary Year and Middle Years accredited. The curriculum seems very well rounded. I liked how their open house included mini-presentations from a range of grade level and specials teachers and parents and the aftercare coordinator. It communicated to me that the leadership is very colloborative and gave me a good feeling for the school culture. Many other school tours I attended did not give such a broad exposure – you might only meet parent volunteers or the principal. I can’t think of any that introduced the teachers. Since they are a larger school they have all the specials; Art, Spanish, Technology, P.E., and Music. They also have a really nice playground. Another big plus for my family is that they have beforecare and aftercare. After care is run by the Lakeview YMCA with a low student to adult ration (8:1 I think) and after care also includes optional extra classes, i.e. world language, musical instrumuents, martial arts. Again, I’m not sure on the specifics but the gist is that aftercare is well established and organized.

  • 1108. cpsmom1  |  May 8, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    (1099) From the CPS website…
    “The Value-Added metric reports how much a school contributed to growth compared with other schools. The Value-Added metric is reported on a scale that ranges from approximately -6 to 6, with zero being equal to the District average. A positive score indicates a school whose students are growing at a faster pace that similar students District-wide. A score near zero indicates a school where students are growing at about the same pace as similar students. And a negative score indicates a school whose students are growing at a slower pace than similar students.”

    I do not believe as 1101 quoted other posting or boards that the value add scores are harder for schools to achieve positive scores in the RGC or Classical schools. It is intended to be a measure of how much growth in academic progress is going on in the classroom in a year given where a student started. Many in academia believe that it is a better measure of the education going on in the school/classroom than that of ISAT scores – where gifted, high test kids will likely exceed the standard even if they don’t show any growth from where they started in a year.

    I think parents should be questioning negative scores in a school and be more engaged in looking at the data. CPS has the data broken down by grade each year for the past three years. As for me, I have looked at my child’s CPS school closely and I have found that the same grades over the past three years consistently generate positive value add scores and the same grades generate negative value add scores. (Because the teachers have been consistent in the same grades – it leads me to conclusions about what my child can expect from the teaching team in a given grade.) It would have been one thing to find that a cohort of kids excel in 3rd grade, then 4th grade, then 5th grade – but that was not the case. It was for 3 years in a row students showing positive value add scores in X grade and negative scores in a different grade – which leads me to conclude for my school that it is more highly correlated to the teaching effectiveness in that grade, rather than how advanced the students are when they start the year.

  • 1109. cpsmom1  |  May 8, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    Also wanted to paste a link to a recent document on the CPS website that discusses value add scores and how CPS is moving to use them as the primary tool for teacher (and school) effectiveness and away from ISAT as the primary tool.


  • 1110. Future CPS Kinder Mom  |  May 9, 2012 at 12:09 am

    Fascinating information about the value added scores. I love this board! I learn so much!

  • 1111. Raj  |  May 9, 2012 at 7:11 am

    Thanks, cpsmom1!

  • 1112. curious1  |  May 9, 2012 at 10:10 am

    @Angie, my understanding is Peirce’s afterschool programming is not well utlizied (I thought the YMCA coordinator said there were only 25 kids enrolled and they had them all in one room together). It does seem like they offer some interesting afterschool programming (ie activities, classes) but they are not available to the younger grades. Also, do you know if Spanish is offered to kids outside of the IB program? My understanding is that no language is offered to kids K-5 and after that, it’s only offered to those in the IB program.

    Your info on Chappel sounds great! I hope they have spots put into the second lottery!

  • 1113. Angie  |  May 9, 2012 at 11:20 am

    @curious 1 – Thanks for the info on aftercare at Peirce. I think – but am not sure – that your understanding of world language at Peirce is accurate.

  • 1114. curious1  |  May 9, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    @Angie, I was actually hoping I was wrong on both counts (the language and the aftercare). Peirce is our neighborhood school but we are concerned about the quality of the aftercare; we’d rather have our son engaged in programming than sitting in a room with 24 other kids who range from K – 8th grade.

    Does anyone have any insight into Peirce’s afterschool programs for Kindergarteners?

  • 1115. CLB  |  May 9, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    @1109 @1101 Be careful of that FAQ. While fairly candid about the problems with value-added accuracy, it does make some false claims, such as: “According to recent research, growth scores are as reliable as a measure of teacher performance as two classroom observations by two separate expert observers.” (p.2, top)

    The citation for the quoted claim does not make this claim anywhere in the brief, and the peer-reviewed journal article cited in the brief does not make this claim either. Another Gates brief discusses the topic but states: “For example, the reliability of a single classroom
    value-added measure was 0.48 in math and 0.20 in ELA; the reliability of two classroom observations done by different observers in one class ranged from 0.24 to 0.53 for the different classroom observation measures; the reliability of student feedback across different classrooms was highest, 0.66.”*

    So the low end of the dual observers is more reliable than the low end of the value-added metric, and the high end of the dual observers is more reliable than high end of the valued-added metric. This does not mean “as reliable as” by any sensible reading. The authors’ point is that combined measures work best. And in general the research finds that the value-added measures are more useful for separating the bottom 25% of teachers from the top 25% of teachers. The precision and impact in the mid-range is very low. This is helpful, but Kane & Thomas, cited in the FAQ, argue that teachers should be evaluated relative to each other only at the district or state level, and never at the school level.

    * See “Gathering Feedback for Teaching Combining High-Quality Observations with Student Surveys and Achievement Gains” Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Jan. 2012, p.10.

  • 1116. citymom  |  May 9, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    @1114 My son attends the Y afterschool program at Peirce and looks forward to going there. The teachers at the Y program are caring and creative. After homework time, kids play a game, do a craft, go to the gym, or outside depending on the day. It is structured, but low key. The kids have freedom to do their own thing if they want and they get to hang out with kids of different ages – both positives in my view. Peirce also has other afterschool programs including Mad Science which is open to K and meets one day a week. With the extended school day situation yet to be finalized, it seems hard to say for sure what kind of afterschool programs will be available at any of the schools.

  • 1117. cpsobsessed  |  May 9, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    My son’s after school program is pretty unstructured and I like it that way (for him.). As a working parent I can arrange after-school playdates so that’s the time when he can hang out with his friends. They do homework first and there is playground time and some loose activities but after a soon to be 7 hour day, the last thing he wants is more being-told-what-to-do time. But he’s not a class-take/activity kid either so that suits him well. Also, lots of his classmates are in it. I’m so surprised that pierce has low participation given the size of the school. I know the Y program is a little pricey. Could be worth seeing if there are some other options the school might explore. My old neighborhood school switched last year from the Y to a new program. I’ll try to find out about it.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 1118. bucktownmom  |  May 9, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    Are all CPS kindergartens only funded for half day? Or are some funded full day- and if so which ones and why?

  • 1119. peirce parent  |  May 9, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    For Peirce After-School tuition-based options there is also Little Linguists offered most of the year @ 2x per week. Little Linguists offers Spanish & Mandarin… only Spansh had enough enrolled for this year. (And of course Mad Science). For K-2, Dream Big drama enrichment is offered in the late spring. Each year the school has added more options for afterschool, so you never know.

    For free, Education through Music, music class was offered to Kinders as part of the regular afterschool program. This program is funded by the AfterSchool All Stars grant, so it depends on the funds granted each year.

    As for the “low” enrollment in the Y program… there are a total of 3 aftercare programs at Peirce. Safeplace (housed at the Edgewater Baptist Church – around the corner from the school) and LakeShore Schools (bused to Greenview & Devon?) all have off-site programs. So the “total” afterschool population is much larger. The YMCA program, is probably the more pricey of the programs. HTH!

  • 1120. Curious1  |  May 9, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    @1116, 1117, 1119 thanks for the input about Peirce’s aftercare and aftercare in general. It finally makes sense to me why the Y program isn’t so well utilized (cost compared to other options) and I am glad to see that there have been more programs geared to the younger grades. It’s true that things in the fall are anyones guess, I appreciate the reminder.

    @1117, any info you can find out about alternative onsite care is greatly appreciated! Thank you!

  • 1121. Lisa  |  May 10, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    Anyone heard from Franklin? Is their waitlist moving? Thanks!

  • 1122. Newberrymom  |  May 10, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    @1086 – you probably already had to decide on Newberry and give your answer to the school – so my effusive praise of the school is probably not going to help at this point. I just wanted to post that if you chose Newberry, welcome to the school community! You will really like the administration, teachers (particularly the kindergarten teachers) and parent community. I’d be happy to grab a cup of coffee to give you the lay of the land…and that offer goes to any parents who have accepted or on the waitlist making a decision.

  • 1123. mayfairAM  |  May 11, 2012 at 9:26 am

    Just called DisneyII. No movement on the proximity list 😦

  • 1124. ChiSchoolGPS  |  May 14, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    CPS’s Office of Access and Enrollment opened up their “End-of-Year Citywide Applications” period today. This is a new application you must submit if you are interested in the schools listed on the links. Schools like Agassiz, Chappell, Prescott, Ravenswood, etc may have openings, but not necessarily entry years (Kindergarten).

    This is from their website: http://cpsoae.org/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=88178&type=d&pREC_ID=356107&hideMenu=1
    Still seeking an elementary or high school for the 2012-2013 school year? Please review the information below for options still available!

    1. End-of-Year Citywide Options Program
    The End-of-Year Citywide Options Program offers a second-round application process for elementary and high school magnet schools, magnet programs, and open enrollment schools in the Options for Knowledge program still have seats available for September 2012.

    The application can be accessed via the link below. Also available are school data sheets that provide information on each participating school, including special programs and extracurricular activities.

    Elementary School Application

    School Data: Elementary Schools

    There is no limit to the number of schools to which you can apply. However, we ask that you only apply to schools where you would be genuinely interested in enrolling your child if he/she is selected. APPLICATIONS MUST BE RECEIVED NO LATER THAN MAY 25, 2012, at 5 PM.

  • 1125. mom  |  May 15, 2012 at 10:28 am

    @920 proud papa- if you’re still interested in getting our future Agassiz kiddos together, feel free to email me: jecmom@gmail.com

  • 1126. Mom  |  May 15, 2012 at 10:47 am

    Why would Edgebrook be on the list of “end of year” open schools when they have 50+ kids in some classes? The specials I know some have more than 50 kids.

  • 1127. Edgebrook Parent  |  May 15, 2012 at 11:22 am

    Edgebrook does not have 50+ kid classes. There is currently only one 8th grade class, and it has 40 students. I believe it was a much smaller class when the kids were in Kindergarten, but has grown over the years as families have enrolled their kids there instead of private schools. I don’t know how many 8th grade classes there will be next year and going forward.

    I do know that the “openings” would most likely be for 7th graders. There are currently two 7th grade classes, each with less than 20 students. I believe the average number of students per classroom for K-6 is 27.

  • 1128. Mom  |  May 15, 2012 at 11:42 am

    Edgebrook Parent – In particular 7th grade Music has over 50 students in one class.

  • 1129. Edgebrook Parent  |  May 15, 2012 at 11:57 am

    Ah, thought this was about classroom size / # of kids per room. Still, curious how 7th grade music could have over 50 students when there are reportedly less than 40 7th graders. Resources for enrichment classes are an ongoing issue, I believe.

  • 1130. citypoppa  |  May 15, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    anyone know where LaSalle 1 or LaSalle 2 are on the wait list? (tier 3)

  • 1131. jlbcbs  |  May 15, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    @1130 I’m planning on calling LaSalle II about tier 3 tomorrow morning and will post what I find out. The last I read they were at 9 or 10, but that was before the second round SEES letters were sent.

  • 1132. GW  |  May 15, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    spoke to STEM today…currently on #5 for Tier 2 list…they have only one spot available to fill for Tier 2 K

  • 1133. Jen L  |  May 16, 2012 at 8:26 am

    @1130 my daughter is #4 Tier 3 at LaSalle 1. I haven’t talked to them in about a week, but at that time, they would be calling #3 for the next opening. I will follow up with them again sometime this week.

  • 1134. citypoppa  |  May 16, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    ok thanks @1133.

  • 1135. Marla  |  May 17, 2012 at 5:04 am

    GW, STEM has Tiers? I thought all the STEMS were area, then city lottery??

  • 1136. Future CPS Kinder Mom  |  May 17, 2012 at 8:05 am

    @1135 Maria. GW is referring to the STEM magnet elementary school. Spots at the school are filled in the same manner as at other magnet schools which includes fulfilling spots by lottery for proximity and then the four tiers, outside proximity.

  • 1137. jlbcbs  |  May 17, 2012 at 11:00 am

    @1130 Just spoke with LaSalle II and they are on #12 in Tier 3 with one spot still available.

  • 1138. Lisa  |  May 17, 2012 at 11:13 am

    Anyone now how far down the lists they’ve got at Jahn, Agassiz, or Pritzker Neighborhood program?

  • 1139. jlbcbs  |  May 17, 2012 at 11:20 am

    I’ve been watching people’s replies here and on NPN. The latest info I have is #40 at Jahn and #45 at Agassiz. I haven’t been following Pritzker.

  • 1140. curious1  |  May 17, 2012 at 11:56 am

    For K, Agassiz must be at least in the 60s (when I called last week our son had moved from 280 up to 225).

  • 1141. Lisa  |  May 17, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    Wow! I am starting to get a tiny bit hopeful that we may get an offer from some schools that I thought we had no chance at when we first got the letter. I wonder if the #40 at Jahn is from the the original central letter or the one that Jahn sent out later themselves? We were 93 in the one sent from CPS central and down to 56 in the on Jahn sent us directly.

  • 1142. Jen L  |  May 17, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    Jahn is moving through their list. We were originally #56 but received an offer from them a week or so ago.

  • 1143. Lisa  |  May 17, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    Thanks! Anyone have any idea about Burr? How far down the list are they?

  • 1144. jlbcbs  |  May 17, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    @ Lisa The last I read, Burr was in the 80s, but are probably higher now. They were going through about 10 numbers per day because they don’t leave voice mails. If they didn’t hear back from the 10 they called, they move on to the next 10 the following day. What number do you have there?

  • 1145. Lisa  |  May 17, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    I am 156 at Burr. I thought it was completely out of the realm, but now I’m wondering if I should call over there.

  • 1146. citypoppa  |  May 17, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    Burr does not seem to be going through there list “by the numbers”. I have heard from a few parents that they did not receive a call and they were very low on the list. Very strange. I would definitely call.

  • 1147. Allie  |  May 17, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    Has anyone heard about any waitlist movement at Stone?

  • 1148. just another indecisive mom  |  May 18, 2012 at 10:45 am

    Thanks #1106 and #1107 for the input on Chappell and Peirce. I visited both and ultimately chose Chappell.

    My main deciding factors were: small school feel, positive impressions of Chappell principal, spacious grounds (surrounding field, stadium and track), and comprehensive Spanish-language program. There is possibility of having non-native Spanish speaking child in bilingual class and upper grades have Spanish class 4 times per week.

    Also, nice at Chappell:
    Classroom size from what I observed in K room was 21-23, without an assistant teacher or aide, which of course may vary. There are only two classrooms for each grade and the building seemed spacious. I toured several classrooms and observed much differentiated instruction. They read real books (not those story-out of-context Harcourt’s), have a fairly large library and do Everyday math program. They are also starting $3 million renovation including a new playground, new science lab and have a program for kids with disabilities (which I think brings greater diversity experiences to the school and is a big plus). With longer school day next year, they are adding 20 min. extra recess, but not sure what else.

  • 1149. WPM  |  May 18, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    Just got a call from Burr…we were 132 on the wait list. We declined.

  • 1150. DS  |  May 18, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    Can someone give me any information about Frazier Int’l (Kg.) class size, afterschool activities, etc…?

  • 1151. kristenholub  |  May 18, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    We were #3 for Tier 2 @ STEM and accepted. A friend of mine had a K wait list # of under 20, so she called last week and was told they have not gone past #5 in any tier.

  • 1152. R's Dad  |  May 18, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    Got a Kinder call from Burr today. We’re 120 on the wait list. We accepted.

  • 1153. Melissa  |  May 19, 2012 at 2:28 am

    Any news of PK3 waitlist movement at Suder? Last time I called, I was told that everyone accepted their offers for PK3 but I highly doubt a 100% acceptance rate based on postings above. Anybody get a call from waitlist PK3 at Suder? Curious as we are wait listed low. Thanks!

  • 1154. Melissa  |  May 19, 2012 at 2:34 am

    On another note, we applied to about 20 PFA/PK3 spots around the city. Initially, found out we were waitlisted pretty high at every school but then got 2 calls today for spots. So check your phones and phone records now. I was lucky and happened to answer each call but I still plan to look at phone records later to make sure I didn’t miss a call. Tempted to call each school again to reconfirm waitlist numbers/chance of openings. Good Luck!

  • 1155. Mom  |  May 19, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    Audubon or Coonley (neighborhood) – any waitlist movement? Hoping and praying for some movement.

  • 1156. twin mom  |  May 21, 2012 at 10:24 am

    Melissa – Have not seen anyone post that they got a call from Suder at this point and now am curious if they really had a 100% acceptance rate for PK3. Seems crazy. We are also waiting on Suder with a low wait list number. Wish I knew what was going on with them but i have called a couple of times and did not get any concrete information. I have heard that they have more movement in the fall after school starts when parents start to pull their kids out of PK3 for various reasons. Anyways, would love to know if they have made any wait list calls.

  • 1157. NW Side mom  |  May 21, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    1155–are you on the sibling waiting list for Coonley? If so, don’t expect to hear anything until late August. Only siblings will be getting K spots this year.

  • 1158. Old Town  |  May 21, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    Received a call from LaSalle today for kindergarten. #3 on the proximity wait-list….accepted

  • 1159. Lisa  |  May 22, 2012 at 10:41 am

    Just got a call from Burr (waitlist #156). We need to decide in the next 24 hours. We have currently registered at Chappell. Thoughts anyone? Burr or Chappell?

  • 1160. Lisa  |  May 22, 2012 at 11:10 am

    Sorry for double post! Looking for thoughts or Burr vs. Chappell.

    Neither is our neighborhood school, so we will be driving either way. We really liked the principal at Chappell and he was a major reason we registered at the school. We also love the Spanish program (my husband is Puerto Rican) and the general vibe of the place–good things seem to be on the horizon.

    Burr–we have not actually visited the school, but I always really liked the representatives at the several school fairs we attended over the last few years. The Japanese program seems awesome–even though it is not my kids heritage the way a Spanish program would be. Love that they have a tuition based pre-K that younger daughter could take advantage of in a few years. And I like the track E/year round set up.

    We are 156 on the wait list so I never thought we would would get a call so I haven’t put enough thought into this and now my head is spinning!

  • 1161. jlbcbs  |  May 22, 2012 at 11:23 am

    @Lisa I toured both Burr and Chappell. My personal preference would be Chappell. I really liked the Principal at Chappell and was not as impressed at Burr. When I asked the Burr Principal about differentiated instruction, which is extremely important for us, he didn’t know what I was talking about. I would also prefer Spanish over Japanese even though I studied Japanese. Plus, we are not fans of Track E. I know many people who really like Burr, and will give you an opposite opinion, it just wasn’t the right school for us. Good luck with your decision!

  • 1162. ZanesDad  |  May 22, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    I called a couple of schools on our list for updates:

    Farnsworth (#21) is currently full for K. They got to #17 on the waiting list. Depending on actual attendance when school starts, they may make more calls down the list.

    Clinton (#35) said that they are overcrowded and never accept from out of attendance area (yes, why are they on the “Open Enrollment” list). So for those of us who put down Clinton, we wasted a space. Good to know! Unbelievable.

    Glad we accepted at McPherson.

  • 1163. MOMOF1  |  May 22, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    Does anyone have any knowledge about Beasley? Is it good?

  • 1164. kimcheeandbacon  |  May 23, 2012 at 7:03 am

    We got a call from Solomon yesterday morning. We were #24 on the wait list. She told me that another parent was registering today so possibly #23? When I called them in April, they told me they only take 1-2 off the wait list and that there was very little hope for me. I wonder why it changed but I’m thrilled to have given a spot. If anyone has input on Solomon I’d love to hear it. I’m going this morning to register so if you want to talk about my impression afterwards, feel free to email me. Ohlieoh(at) gmail.

  • 1165. NAMom  |  May 23, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    @1164: We accepted an offer off the wait list at Solomon 2 weeks ago for K. We knew little about the school other than they have good scores and are reasonably close to us. They gave us a brief tour before we accepted and we liked what we saw. Our original offer was at Peirce and that would probably have been a great school as well, but we liked that Solomon had Mandarin beginning in K and the school is small. Seems a better fit for our daughter.

  • 1166. NWmom  |  May 24, 2012 at 7:08 am

    1164, what did you think about Solomon?

  • 1167. kimcheeandbacon  |  May 24, 2012 at 7:35 am

    I’m not 100% sold on Solomon. I didn’t get a great initial vibe from the kindergarten teacher which made my decision so much harder. I know the school (according to rank and scores) is exceptional and I like that they offer language and music starting at kindergarten but the teacher is so important at this age and I’m torn. My neighborhood school (palmer) where my dd goes to preschool isn’t all that great (score wise) but I really like the teacher there and they have accelerated class at every grade level which I just found out that my dd would be going into if she stayed there. And it’s a 3 minute walk.

    So what would you guys say is more important, a great teacher or a great school? (I realize that each school has a share of good and bad teachers and you can’t pick and choose, especially at a small school like Solomon where there’s only one teacher for each grade but I don’t want my dd to have a negative experience on her first full year of her school life). ( also, I’m not saying the K teacher is bad at Solomon and if you know her please please let me know what you think because it was just a gut feeling and I could be dead wrong about my impression.)

  • 1168. HS Mom  |  May 24, 2012 at 9:34 am

    @1167 – can’t tell you about Solomon and it’s been years since my son was in kindergarten but I can tell you about teacher impressions.

    We also lotteried into a very good magnet school. Our acceptance letter had the wrong date and was very short lacking real instruction. Calling in they were constantly busy. The Kindergarten teacher seemed “old school” her notices were hand written with dates that did not match the day. Our orientation meeting was a dry emphasis of the rules and continual reminder that we (as a group) should seriously consider holding back any boy that has a summer birthday. All in all very off-putting. It was a great school so we took it. Turned out to be the best decision ever for us. The teacher was very firm (which totally came across to us initially) but also very loving. For years afterward my son still talked about his kindergarten teacher being the best ever. At graduation we received a card with photos from K (she took a lot of pictures) and a piece of his work that she held on to for 8 years. Pretty incredible.

  • 1169. another logan mama  |  May 24, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    Has anyone heard from Inter-American? I called today to check if the Tier 3 wait list for Pre-K 4 had moved at all. I was told, “Nope. No movement. All full.” I kind of felt like I got the brush off, and find it hard to believe that everyone who got in accepted. Thoughts? Thanks!

  • 1170. kate  |  May 24, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    1169 – don’t forget that there’s probably a “sib” wait list too… there might have been movement but i think siblings would get priority.

  • 1171. citypoppa  |  May 27, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    Does anyone have thoughts on Pulaski Elementary? We are getting close on the waiting list. I had heard good things about the recent changes in the school, but then heard today that the Principal quit.

  • 1172. Differntiated Instruction/Burr's Principal  |  May 29, 2012 at 11:37 am

    To post 1161, did you really speak to Burr’s principal, Mr. Klee, about differentiated instruction? If so, you may not have heard him correctly. My children go to Burr, and they and their classmates receive differentiated instruction. The principal frequently talks about the importance of differentiated instruction at his monthy “coffees” with parents. He graduated from the “New Leaders” principal school and is extremely knowledgable about teaching methods.

  • 1173. jlbcbs  |  May 29, 2012 at 11:45 am

    @1171 Yes, I was on the tour with Mr. Klee and a couple of other parents. I asked him how the teachers differentiate instruction, and he just gave me a blank look and asked me to explain my question. This may just have been an isolated incident, but it left a poor impression on me. I’m glad to hear that your children and their classmates are receiving differentiated instruction. Thank you for following up for other posters.

  • 1174. jlbcbs  |  May 29, 2012 at 11:46 am

    Sorry, I meant to address @1172

  • 1175. Lisa  |  May 29, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    Anyone gotten a call from Newberry lately? Especially tier 2 🙂

  • 1176. PatientCPSMom  |  May 30, 2012 at 11:59 am

    To #1175 we were called from Newberry last week. We were on the proximity list #18 we declined.

  • 1177. Lisa  |  May 30, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    @1175 Thank you! Glad to know they are still making calls. Anyone in Tier 2 hearing from Newberry?

  • 1178. x  |  May 31, 2012 at 9:40 am

    Got a call from Newberry yesterday – we are declining out spot. We are Tier 4… but that’s irrelevant, right?

  • 1179. jlbcbs  |  May 31, 2012 at 9:45 am

    @1178 Would you mind telling us if the call was for K and what number you were on the wait list?

  • 1180. Wondering  |  May 31, 2012 at 11:46 am

    Has anybody heard anything from Wildwood?

  • 1181. rena  |  May 31, 2012 at 11:53 am

    @1178, it’s highly relevant to me! Would you mind sharing your number? We’re also Tier 4 and anxiously awaiting a call from Newberry…

  • 1182. sw  |  May 31, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    Not 1178, but we have a child entering K that was Tier 4 #9 on the waitlist who was offered a spot last week. We accepted.

  • 1183. sw  |  May 31, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    Forgot to add to post 1182 that this was for Newberry.

  • 1184. Anonymous  |  May 31, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    @1095 another Buena Park Mom- do you mind me asking why you declined Courtenay?

    Has anyone had any feedback or experience with Courtenay? Thanks so much!

  • 1185. x  |  May 31, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    It was K spot at Newberry. I don’t recall what number we were on the waitlist. I didn’t realize Tier was a factor. I thought that was just for the Selective Enrollment schools. Good luck!

  • 1186. rena  |  May 31, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    Thank you @1182 and @1185!
    @1184, we also declined a spot at Courtenay. The school’s lack of diversity was the main factor in our decision. Also, we toured twice and both times several teachers were absent which was somewhat disconcerting .

  • 1187. anonymous  |  May 31, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    Thank you so much, @1186. This information is very valuable. Any other thoughts would be so so appreciated, as it is looking like Courtenay might be our one and only possibility this year for K.

  • 1188. Gloomy2Day  |  May 31, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    1180 – Wilwood is usually packed with neighborhood kids.

  • 1189. Portage Park Mom  |  May 31, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    @1187, we were impressed with Courtenay when we toured the school a couple months ago. The principal seemed passionate and well-informed, and was happy to spend several hours talking with parents in detail about the curriculum and her admiration for the teachers. The K teacher is energetic and well organized, and a representative from the parent organization (Friends of Courtenay) was at the tour to answer questions from the parent perspective. We also got to observe students in every classroom, and they seemed engaged and outspoken.

    It is a very small school, and more than once it was mentioned that CPS does not give them enough money to do what they want to accomplish. They are trying to make up the shortfall with the parent organization’s fundraising efforts and by the teachers applying for grants every chance they get. The school will be building a new playground this August.

    They do not offer busing except for special education students (of which they have many, as the school was once 100% special ed), which did pose a problem for us, however.

  • 1190. Portage Park Mom  |  May 31, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    Also, I’m confused by 1186’s comment about the “lack of diversity” at Courtenay. The school is very racially mixed, and there are several classrooms devoted to special ed students.

  • 1191. abc123  |  May 31, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    This is kind of late, but way up the thread is a comment about Prescott and Hamilton being on the same flip-schedule/status. And maybe somebody already addressed this?

    I would very kindly 🙂 disagree after visiting and researching both schools thoroughly. I think they are both great and have the same great ideas, but Hamilton is much further along than Prescott is. I can’t figure out why yet, but it was clear to both DH and I that Hamilton is well ahead of Prescott.

    I also don’t want this to be taken as negative toward Prescott, because they are doing a great job there of trying to make it a great school.

    To further clarify, we do not have a child at either school right now either. Just an opinion for anyone comparing the two schools.

  • 1192. Alison  |  May 31, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    1181 – we declined our spot at Newberry for Kindergarten today. Good luck!

  • 1193. cpsobsessed  |  May 31, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    Hamilton has had an organized parents group several years longer than Prescott has. Prescott is probably (I’m speculating) in a place that many of the current “hot” schools were in their first few years.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 1194. Relieved  |  May 31, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    Received calls from Aggasiz, we were 73 and 74 and declined.

  • 1195. rena  |  May 31, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    @Portage Park Mom, sorry I wasn’t clearer. Courtenay is 90% low income and 66% Hispanic. Only 11% of students are white and 6% Asian. I guess we are looking for an environment that better reflects the ethnic and socioeconomic makeup of Chicago, such as Newberry or the other magnets. I didn’t mean to criticize Courtenay; it has great test scores and engaged administration. It just wasn’t for us.

  • 1196. MRR  |  June 1, 2012 at 10:58 am

    Can my child/children automaticaaly get into Disney (Magnet) if we are moving into the neighboorhood, but did not apply to the school back in October 2011?

  • 1197. jlbcbs  |  June 1, 2012 at 11:53 am

    @1196 Unfortunately Disney is a magnet school which means you have to apply even if you live in the neighborhood. You would have been placed in the proximity lottery if you had applied in the fall. In the past they have always exhausted the proximity waiting list, so all of those within a 1.5 mile radius that want to go there, have gotten in. I would call the Early Childhood Director, Gary Norcross, tell him your situation, and ask if you could be added to the end of the proximity wait list. He is the one in charge of the list. I don’t know if he’ll say yes, but it couldn’t hurt. Good luck!

  • 1198. SR  |  June 1, 2012 at 11:55 am

    MRR – no. If you are moving close to Disney 1, your neighborhood school (the only school to which you are guaranteed admission) is likely Brenneman. You have to apply to be admitted to a magnet school like Disney, and proximity to the school only puts you in a different lottery pool.

  • 1199. MRR  |  June 1, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    Thanks for the feedback.

  • 1200. MRR  |  June 3, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    If my child attends Disney Magnet preschool (tuition based); will they automaticallt get into Disney Magnet Preschool?

  • 1201. MRR  |  June 3, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    If my child attends Disney Magnet preschool (tuition based); will they automatically get into Disney Magnet Preschool

  • 1202. Relieved  |  June 3, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    MRR – No, you can only get in through the lottery. Previously students in tuition based prek got into schools, but that has been changed. You can only get in through lottery.

  • 1203. Thorp decline  |  June 4, 2012 at 10:35 am

    We got and declined an offer for Tier 4 K from Thorp on Thursday. I believe we were 18th on the wait list.

  • 1204. CSL  |  June 4, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    My daughter didn’t get into any schools until now. Finally recevied a call from Gallileo. We were tier 4 & 6th on the list. Not my school of choice, but will have to do until next year. Does anyone know much about their K program?

  • 1205. Kelly  |  June 4, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    #1169 – IAMS is really tough becuase of the number of lists. There’s tier/proixmity and English/Spanish and like someone mentioned earlier – siblings get priority. We were tier 4 English wait list nubmer 4. Only one person ahead of us on our particular wait list got in. So disappointing! I sometimes wished for a really high nubmer so I wouldn’t have spent the last year hoping for a call and calling them to bug them about the waitlist movement.

  • 1206. Momof2  |  June 5, 2012 at 11:00 am

    Hi all. Just got a call and was offered a spot at Hamilton for 1st grade this fall. Currently enrolled at Ogden. any reason to consider a change?

  • 1207. Mom2one  |  June 5, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    Has anyone heard from Blaine, Hawthorne or Edgebrook? I called Edgebrook and they said they have begun working on their wait list for the upper grades.

  • 1208. RUMC Mom  |  June 5, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    We just got a call of acceptance to an RGC, Beasley! We already accepted a slot at our #1 magnet choice, STEM. RGC vs. Magnet. Any thoughts?

  • 1209. kiki h.  |  June 5, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    I took my child out of an RGC for STEM, and I couldn’t be happier. The curriculum at STEM is much richer than at RGC. I’ve been pleasantly surprised to see a huge emphasis on arts as well as STEM subjects. The teachers make sure my kid is challenged, (assigning 5th grade math in 3rd grade, yikes!) and the school is growing a wonderful parent community. We’ll be moving our younger over this fall. It’s a no-brainer for us.

    We also know that STEM did a great job with the 7.5 hour day.

    Unless you have your hear set on Beasley for some reason, STEM is a great choice. Also, they ended up with great preliminary ISAT scores, so it may become more difficult to get in.

  • 1210. another logan mama  |  June 5, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    #1205 – Thanks, Kelly, for the info re IAMS. I guess I forgot about the extra list categories for language in addition to Tier. Doesn’t seem too likely we’ll get in (my twins are #22 and #23, English, Tier 3)

  • 1211. RUMC Mom  |  June 6, 2012 at 9:18 am

    @1209. kiki h. Thanks for the great feedback. It’s good to get a perspective from someone who has been where I am. Your answer is the same as others I’ve spoken to. I felt that an RGC would give my son greater potential by allowing him to learn at an accelerated pace. I did more research on Beasley and STEM is a better choice. I will see you in the fall. Thanks again.

  • 1212. Confused  |  June 6, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    What is STEM? And where is it?

  • 1213. RUMC Mom  |  June 7, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    @1212. Confused – STEM is a magnet school. Its title is the acronym for Science Technology Engineering and Math. They incorporate each of these subjects into the total learning experience. STEM is located near the Medical District. You can find out more on the OAE website.

  • 1214. jlbcbs  |  June 7, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    If anyone is keeping track of Tier 3 at LaSalle II for K, they are on #15 with two open spots as of today.

  • 1215. Confused  |  June 7, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    Anyone know what number they are on at drummond for 1st grade?

  • 1216. New Galileo Parent  |  June 8, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    @1204 CSL – We also got accepted to Galileo this week and I just went to register my daughter yesterday. I didn’t attend any of the open houses for Galileo, so I don’t have lots of specifics. I do know several families that have had and currently have their kids at Galileo. All are very happy and I haven’t heard anything negative about the school. It is not one of the most elite schools in the city, but it is defintely a very good school. One of my friends has her youngest there (3rd grade?)and decided not to go through the selective enrollment process and try to get into a more competative school because she sees that her child is challenged, engaged, learning, and HAPPY about school. I also had my heart set on a few other schools that we didn’t get into, but I am relieved to get into Galileo and looking forward to next school year. Let me know if you want to connect via email.

  • 1217. Bonnie  |  June 8, 2012 at 5:24 pm


    We are still currently holding the #1 waitlist spot at Burley for our son entering 6th grade this fall. The have not starting calling yet, and we cannot bank on an offer.

    We have been offered a spot at Hamilton, Jahn, and Chappell. Can anyone offer an opinion?


  • 1218. LSMom  |  June 8, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    @1217, of those three I’ve heard the most buzz about Hamilton, and I know several parents who are very happy with the early grades there.

  • 1219. jlbcbs  |  June 9, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    @1217 I toured all three schools, and researched them thoroughly. In order of preference, I would probably rank them #1 Hamilton, #2 Chappell, and #3 Jahn. I really liked all three but I feel like Hamilton is furthest along in terms of being a great school. They also have a comprehensive gifted program, which I liked a lot. The only reason I might choose Chappell over Hamilton is Chappell offers Spanish, and Hamilton does not offer any language.

  • 1220. pnmom  |  June 10, 2012 at 8:52 am

    Anyone know if we have a chance – our latest spots for kindergarten is #17 at Ravenswood and #15 at Agassiz.
    Do tiers still matter now? We’re tier 2?

  • 1221. Relieved  |  June 10, 2012 at 9:44 am

    1220: I have twins and was in the 73 and 74 at Agassiz for kindergarten. They called just before memorial day.

  • 1222. Relieved  |  June 10, 2012 at 9:44 am

    1220: We declined the spots.

  • 1223. Future CPS Kinder Mom  |  June 10, 2012 at 10:42 am

    1217 & 1219: If I am not mistaken, at this point the Comprehensive Gifted Program at Hamilton does not go up through 6th grade (maybe 3rd or 4th grade?) I agree that there are some great things going on at the school. I was very impressed with Hamilton as well when I visited. Thought I should mention that point about the Comprehensive Gifted Program though as 1217’s child is entering 6th grade, not the younger grades. I am sure a current Hamilton parent or the office staff could confirm or correct my statement, if it is of concern and part of the decision making process. Good luck!

  • 1224. jlbcbs  |  June 10, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    @1220 I haven’t heard about movement at Ravenswood yet. Agassiz has moved quite a bit though, and I would say you have a pretty good chance of getting in by the end of the summer.

    @1223 I’m glad you mentioned that about the comprehensive gifted program. I took a quick look at their website and this year it only includes 1st, 2nd and 3rd grades. Not sure if they plan it expand it at all.

  • 1225. jlbcbs  |  June 10, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    @1220 I forgot to mention that your tier does not ever matter at Hamilton or Agassiz. Tiers are only used for the magnets, and first round classical and regional gifted offers, not neighborhood schools.

  • 1226. pnmom  |  June 11, 2012 at 7:30 am

    @ jibcbs – thanks! keeping my fingers crossed…

  • 1227. Kindermom  |  June 11, 2012 at 7:55 am

    Anyone starting a kindergartener at jahn?

  • 1228. Jen L  |  June 11, 2012 at 9:58 am

    @1227 Kindermom, my daughter will be starting K at Jahn unless we get a spot at LaSalle (currently #2 at our tier). We used to live in the neighborhood, and after touring it, I am pretty happy about the spot if LaSalle doesn’t happen. Email me at jtkelarson@yahoo.com if you want to connect.

  • 1229. xcoyle@gmail.com  |  June 11, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    @New Galileo Parent: What was your wait list spot and what Tier?

    I am Tier 2 – #14, hoping to hear soon

  • 1230. x  |  June 13, 2012 at 11:52 am

    Received acceptance letter at Galileo. Tier 4, K, can’t remember wait spot # – will reject spot. Good luck.

  • 1231. jlbcbs  |  June 14, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    Received an offer and accepted today for K at LaSalle II Tier 3. We were #18.

  • 1232. Ne Galileo Parent  |  June 15, 2012 at 12:47 am

    @1229 We were tier 1, #9 for Galileo Kindergarten. My guess is there is a good chance you will get a call. Good luck.

  • 1233. Edgebrook information  |  June 19, 2012 at 8:27 am

    Edgebrook is taking zero students in grades K – 5 from waitlist. School told me that in fact they’ve taken none in those grades for the last five years. Why are they on the CPS selection list if this is the case? This is the fourth school I wasted a spot on because it is taking no one out of neighborhood.

    If you know some info on this please le me know

  • 1234. cpsobsessed  |  June 19, 2012 at 8:55 am

    I think I’ll write to CPS this week to ask about this – why full schools can be selected on the list. That’s very frustrating.

    I know CPS is working to make more improvements to the application process. This year, high school applications will be centralized to one place like elems were this year, which is a huge improvement. Even charters that want to participate will be included.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 1235. Edgebrook Parent  |  June 19, 2012 at 9:20 am

    I can’t speak to full schools generally, but believe that Edgebrook has space in the upper grades. I think 7th & 8th in particular. One would think CPS could note the grade(s) with openings so people wouldn’t waste a choice on the lower grades, which is when they’re most likely to be looking at school options.

  • 1236. liz  |  June 22, 2012 at 2:06 am

    So, I got a call today offering a spot at Lasalle I for K, Tier 3. We have already accepted at Alcott (and plunked down $2500, which I don’t know that we can get back.) I was pretty happy with the idea of Alcott, but of course I feel like I have to think this through. Can anyone offer me any feedback on this? One obvious pro to Lasalle is busing, and I believe a better chance of my youngest getting a spot… plus this whole Alcott-Lincoln merger thing makes me nervous. But Alcott seems so nice, and it goes all the way through to 12th grade. HELP! It’s an embarassment of riches after not getting in anywhere in the first round. Anyway, feedback appreciated– I have til noon on Monday.

  • 1237. jlbcbs  |  June 22, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    @1236 I toured Alcott, and did like it a lot and applied, but did not tour LaSalle. To me the obvious difference is the language focus at LaSalle. Alcott does offer Chinese, but I don’t believe it is as frequent, and it is the only option for a language. If busing is the biggest factor motivating you to switch to LaSalle, I would stick with Alcott. If the language focus is important to you, I would switch to LaSalle. Good luck with your decision!

    Would you also mind telling us what your wait list number was at LaSalle for those keeping track?

  • 1238. liz  |  June 22, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    We were number 6, Tier 3

  • 1239. Unknown  |  June 22, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    You guys are too obsessed.

  • 1240. Unknown  |  June 22, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    Just saying.

  • 1241. Unknown  |  June 22, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    And in denial.

  • 1242. laura willllwill  |  June 22, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    Unknown = Karen Lewis?

  • 1243. Relieved  |  June 22, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    1236: What was the $2500 for?

  • 1244. Meghan O.  |  June 24, 2012 at 9:53 am

    unknown…CPS has just made it too difficult to find decent schools in its system! TOO Obsessed…NOT!…Obsessed…I guess…Concerned…Definitely!

  • 1245. vero  |  June 24, 2012 at 10:14 am

    Unknown. What school do your children attend?

  • 1246. Teacher  |  June 24, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    At 1217. Going into sixth for Burley you should get in if you’re that high on the list. They usually take in upper grade kids. Primary…not so much.

  • 1247. Bookworm  |  June 24, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    plunked down $2500.00 on Alcott?? Is this a “curriculum fee”??

  • 1248. Future CPS Kinder Mom  |  June 24, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    I toured Alcott last fall and the principal said that rather than having lots of fundraisers throughout the year, they make a beginning of the year request for a donation for each student. He said the money is used to help fund full day kindergarten and all the ‘extra’ classes that Alcott students receive. According to the notes from my tour, Alcott students receive Mandarin (beginning in kindergarten), art, music, gym, drama and computer classes. According to the principal they also have smaller class sizes (around 25 students per class). The principal said they are able to provide all of these courses and smaller class sizes as a result of the fundraising. When I toured he said the ‘asked for’ amount per kindergarten student is around $2,400 (sounds like that went up to $2,500) and $1,200 for students in the other grades. He also stated that this is in no way mandatory of course as they are a public school but he said that they do find their parents to be very supportive and have good success in raising the funds they need. He also mentioned that their school has a very low percentage of students who qualify for free or reduced lunch and that as a result they do not receive a lot of the extra funding that other schools get. This means that they need to rely heavily on the generosity of their school parents. If you take into consideration the fact that Alcott is a neighborhood school and if one looks at where it is located, one could understand why this may be true.

  • 1249. Future CPS Kinder Mom  |  June 24, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    I am sure that when neighborhood parents look at the $8,400/year (+$1,000 one time student deposit and +$450 annual book and field trip fee) that it costs to send one’s child to the nearest parochial school they consider $2,500 (or $1,200 1st grade and over) at Alcott a bargain. I won’t even get into the costs of attending the big name private school down Clark St….so again, a bargain for those parents.

  • 1250. jlbcbs  |  June 24, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    Are there any other parents of incoming LaSalle II kindergarteners out there? Please email me at jlbcbs @ sbcglobal dot net if you’d like to connect.

  • 1251. xcoyle  |  June 25, 2012 at 9:01 am

    @New Galileo Parent: Thanks for the info. Still have not heard, but it sounds like they are still processing the last round of offers.

  • 1252. Jen L  |  June 25, 2012 at 11:06 am

    We just declined our spot at LaSalle for kindergarten. We were #4 Tier 3. We received an offer from Pritzker RGC (which we are accepting) and the call from LaSalle about 36 hours apart. After waiting since March, it feels crazy to get two great offers back to back.

  • 1253. mom  |  June 25, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    Anyone get calls from Agassiz or Chappel?

  • 1254. jlbcbs  |  June 25, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    @1253 I’ve been watching the boards and the last I saw Agassiz was at #81 and Chappell was at #22. Both have been a while though, so they could be much higher.

  • 1255. Bookworm  |  June 25, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    does Alcott not hold a second spring fundraiser?
    I don’t think I was critical about Alcott asking for a ” donation” specifically. I think however per the comments the idea that lower income and far more economically mixed schools benefit much at all in contrast to schools like Alcott from any of the federal funding they receive is essentially misguided.

    With very few exceptions low income schools lack the most basic additions to the school day- including a basic functional library and the clout politically to ever get anything else.
    No harm no foul for a school like Alcott to say hey we get it if we ask because we have an extremely able economic demographic and we’re asking.
    Maybe leave the “we don’t get funding like schools with actual low income students” aspect out of the equation alltogether.

  • 1256. mom2  |  June 25, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    Bookworm, I think a lot of people make sure to mention that schools like Alcott don’t get the extra funding for having low income students because others often say things like “it isn’t fair that schools like Alcott have so much and school x has so little. Why can’t the funding be more fair?” Well, school x does get more funding already and they get that funding from the taxpayers in places like Alcott’s neighborhood. Nothing wrong with that, but it makes people want to point out how funding actually works.
    The real issue is how that money is spent.

  • 1257. liz  |  June 25, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    Alcott, of course, is telling me they won’t give the money back.

  • 1258. Bookworm  |  June 25, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    I think that Alcott probably is not loser in the funding department and little to probably absolutely none of the funding that is “extra” in most lowe income communities comes from Chicago tax payers.

    More of “your” taxes go into tifs for things like… Ogden’s new school or the additions to buildings in excellent neighborhoods. If we don’t like it I’m sure plenty of suburbs beckon because hey it’s a city and that’s how living in a city works. I know it’s tough carrying all those free loaders along for the ride. It’s bad enough they get their own tier for living in a war zone.

    It really isn’t fair that poorer children in our city live and school in abominable conditions. We all pay much more that the price for doing it right already in policing, corrections and mental health costs.

    And I’m not surprised Alcott’s keeping the dough. It was a donation after all my dears.

  • 1259. None  |  June 25, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    Edgebrook – I called the school a few days ago and learned that they will not accept any students for Kindergarten. According to the secretary(?), this school doesn’t even bother to get the waiting list from OAE, so parents should not be hopeful to get spot here.
    However, Beaubien is starting on its waiting list, so if you would like your child attend there, give them a call.

  • 1260. Why  |  June 26, 2012 at 11:39 am

    Liz, you turned down alcott for lasalle??? Alcott great and getting better, lasalle is mediocre and going downhill fast. Just surprised you’d do that.

  • 1261. NAMom  |  June 26, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    We were just offered a spot for K at Courtenay (#27 on wait list.)
    We have already accepted a spot at Solomon. Anyone have any feelings on Courtenay vs. Solomon. We live a bit closer to Solomon, but not much.

  • 1262. xine  |  June 26, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    I am also looking for opinions of Courtenay. Our tour was canceled, and we are #35. We may get a call too. We turned down Solomon because it was to far for us.

  • 1263. Future CPS Kinder Mom  |  June 26, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    1260 – Your comment surprises me as I was impressed by both Alcott and LaSalle when I toured them. Also, I have never heard anything but very positive feedback on both schools. I have never once heard any comment about LaSalle going down hill. I am curious what your experience is or what you have heard to warrant such comment. Personally, I would have been very happy to send my child there but that is just not in the cards as we have a very high wait list number. High number at Alcott too…… Just curious.

    1261 & 1262 – If there is any way at all for you to tour Courtenay I would recommend it. I found it to be very different from many CPS schools, simply due to size and the school’s history. I did tour last fall and as a result did not include Courtenay on our lottery list because I felt the size (very small) would not be a good fit for my child and also I felt that they do not have the extra curricular offerings and ‘extra’ classes that I was hoping for my child to experience in order to have a well rounded school experience. To me, the environment just did not feel right for our child. But, that is a very personal thing. Obviously their test scores are very good and it does seem like students get a decent amount of individualized attention at the school. From what I gathered on the tour, many of the teachers are skilled in teaching students with different capabilities. There are many people who like the school. I think with Courtenay it comes down to what you want in a school for your child and what type of environment you think they would best thrive in. I respect Courtenay but even though it is walking distance from home I decided that we had to pass simply because I felt it was not a good fit for my child and that as a parent I was looking for something else. You may feel differently. You may feel that the smaller environment is exactly what you are looking for. If you have to decide without touring, make sure you look into and compare extracurricular opportunities and those ‘extra’ classes (like art, music, foreign language etc…) offered at both schools, if that is important to you. I have no comments on Solomon as I have not been there.

  • 1264. kikiandkyle  |  June 26, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    We’re in the burbs and $2500 was a mandatory fee for full-day kindergarten, with half-day being the option for those who don’t want to pay.

  • 1265. jlbcbs  |  June 26, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    1261 and 1262 I would completely agree with 1263 that Courtenay has a very different feeling than other CPS schools. I also took it off of our list after going on a tour for many of the same reasons. It just wasn’t right for our family. I feel it is definitely a school that you need to see in person before deciding to attend. On the other hand, Solomon does not offer tours, so I can’t say much about it other than I have heard good things. We did apply there, but our number is too high so we won’t get a call.

  • 1266. Why  |  June 26, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    There is no mandatory 2500 Alcott charge. 2500 is suggested donation in order to buy a pay full day kinderg teacher. If minimum amount of people don’t contribute 2500 then kinderg will be halfday because there is no money for full day teaching staff. You don’t get one or the other. Everyone gets the same thing. Full or half. Depending on whether the money is donated. Many give less, many give more.

  • 1267. hmmmm  |  June 26, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    Is Lasalle II Magnet Track E?

  • 1268. jlbcbs  |  June 26, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    1267 – No LaSalle II is regular CPS track. They talked about switching to track E, but did not make the switch.

  • 1269. liz  |  June 26, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    Both schools seem really excellent. It’s been a hard call. Ultimately, though, the busing and the “total magnet” (vs neighborhood) aspects won me over in favor of Lasalle. Everyone has been awesome at Alcott– the parents’ association, the support staff, and particularly the vice principal. Someone is going to be very happy with the spot we gave up.

    And that’s the first I’ve heard of LaSalle “going downhill.” 🙂

  • 1270. Sunny  |  June 26, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    Liz – I would make a HUGE stink about getting the $2,500 back from Alcott. This is kind of a social blackmail to ask a touring parent who is not even attending for a donation upfront. This practise should be banned and is truly ridiculous. Keep this up and CPS will feel fine with giving less and less to schools whose parents are able to contribute – this on top of paying higher taxes AND on top of the fact that when it comes to high school you will be further discriminated against for living in a higher tier neighborhood. Seriously, scream bloody murder. The right thing for them to do is to give you your money back. Don’t be nice about this – stop the check, dispute the credit card charge, hire a lawyer, do what you need to do so that they will stop this really horrible social blackmail. Glad you are happy with your spot, but you are really being WAAAAY too nice about this. The principal should NOT be even doing the fundraising – the foundation should be approaching you and not the principal. TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE and way too easy for the Chicago way to come into play here down the road. Principal should know better. Shame on the principal. Too easy for the Principal to cross the line ala the Chicago way. Too much pressure on the parent – even if subtle.

  • 1271. Future CPS Kinder Mom  |  June 26, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    Sunny – I was the one who mentioned what the Alcott principal told me during a tour in regards to what kind of donations they ask for from parents in order to support a full day kindergarten program as well as their other art and foreign language curriculum. I would like to make it very clear that in no way did the principal bring up the issue or ask me, a parent without a child attending the school, for a donation. I was the one who brought up the issue to him. I was already aware that a number of neighborhood schools in our area do ask parents for donations of various amounts in order to pay for full day kindergarten programs and other extras such as additional art and foreign language classes in their schools. I was curious as to what type of donations this school hopes to receive from parents so I questioned the principal and he answered my question, told me that they are very grateful for supportive parents that make their fundraising successful etc…. If any wording in my previous posts suggested otherwise and that he brought up the issue I do apologize. Although I do not remember specifics I do also remember him mentioning that they have a group that is in charge of the fundraising. He in no way put pressure on me to donate to the school, especially as a parent without a child attending at the time and he did in fact say that the donation is in no way mandatory. Frankly, I never felt that if my child were to attend Alcott that we would HAVE to give the $2,400, although we would probably try to do what we can simply because we would want to support the added curriculum that they offer and the mission of the school to provide the best education they can through these extra courses and smaller class sizes. (I won’t get into the full day kindergarten topic as personally I would prefer a half day option for my child.) But, I do like the idea of the additional “extras” they offer as well as the 25 student class size. I did not feel the principal to be strong arming in any way and he never in any way suggested that he was the one who would ask for donations or was in charge of fundraising. He simply answered my question. I hope this is not coming off as my trying to get nasty here. I am really simply trying to clear the air as much as possible about exactly what happened on the tour I attended. I do not feel the principal nor anyone associated with the school crossed any boundaries in any way. In fact, the principal was very amicable, open, honest, informational and friendly on the tour. He did his best to answer my question in an accurate, honest and thorough way. I do not want anything that I have said on this board to cast a dark shadow on this school, the school’s former principal or to be confused with anything Liz has posted as that would be unfair to her as well. Sorry for any confusion I may have caused.

  • 1272. liz  |  June 26, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    I would like to second Kinder Mom– I never felt strong armed in any way! I gave the money completely voluntarily because full day kindergarten was important to me. All of the fundraising was done by the parents’ committee. Again, let me be clear– I have been completely impressed with Alcott, I totally would be happy with it as a place for my child to attend school, and everyone I have dealt with has been fantastic. It was very clear to me that people who could not afford to donate would not be pressured to.

    Would I prefer to get the money back? Absolutely. But I gave it voluntarily and even if I can’t get it back I am happy to know that it will play a role in educating another child. Seriously.

  • 1273. MaziesMamma  |  June 27, 2012 at 10:50 am

    At our school the fundraising “friends of” parents group is a 501c3 non-profit, like many others. It never strongarms parents, and it never implies that any donation, in any amount, is required. It hopes that anyone who can will donate, even 5 dollars, to have some ownership and investment in the projects being funded. Frankly, few at our school can donate 2500 dollars. Many are receiving free lunch. Donations to “friends of” or PTO groups are just that – donations. Not tuition, not down payments. This is a public school. Glad to hear that the principal is not involved in asking for donations – he/she should not be.

    In other circumstances, one would never donate to a charitable cause and then go and ask for the donation back. Probably better to hold off on large donations to a school until you are sure you are going to attend. Or (like Liz) be happy that your donation will aid Chicago’s public school children, wherever you choose to give.

  • 1274. twin mom  |  July 5, 2012 at 10:54 am

    Twin Question – if one child gets in off an elementary wait list does the other child automatically get a spot or does that only apply to the first round of the lottery? I got a call for one child but so far there is not a spot for our other child. Help!

  • 1275. another logan mama  |  July 5, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    I’m also a mom of twins, and I’ve been led to believe that if one twin gets in that the other would be next on the list (doesn’t get in automatically, but when/if a space opens up). Your twins should have had waitlist numbers in succession. OAE was helpful in explaining this to me last year – if there’s any question, you may want to give them a call, or talk to the school to make sure your other twin is next on the waitlist. Good luck!

  • 1276. twin mom  |  July 5, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    Thanks. They do have numbers in a row but so far only one space opened up. I was thinking that if one got in the other automatically got in but I do understand that there has to be two spots.

  • 1277. liz  |  July 14, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    Got a call from Hamilton (#3 on waitlist) and turned it down.

  • 1278. AbbaOche  |  July 17, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    FYI to desparate parents: a friend told me that her child’s school, Courtenay, has open space in the entering 3rd and 5th grade class. If you are seeking space for a child this age, it might be worth calling and asking…they have great scores. I don’t know if they are still pulling from a waitlist or if that’s off after July 1.

  • 1279. Portage Park Mom  |  July 17, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    Speaking of Courtenay, we received an emailed offer for K (#31 on waitlist); we’ll be turning it down.

  • 1280. Lisa  |  July 18, 2012 at 10:40 am

    Jahn is making calls this morning for anyone waiting for this school. We were #93 on the original waitlist. If we want the spot, we must register by Wednesday. I think we are going to stick with Agassiz, but would welcome any input.

  • 1281. jlbcbs  |  July 20, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    I just got a call from Jahn this morning for K. We were #122 on the original wait list. We declined the spot.

  • 1282. db  |  July 20, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    Got an email from Courtenay offering a 1st grade spot but we’re turning it down.

  • 1283. been there done that  |  July 20, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    I hope you stuck with Agassiz.
    Jahn has a ways to go, it still has some rough patches. New Jahn principal is going to shake things up probably for the better but honestly I have been there when it’s done and it is no fun. It will be all about reading and math test prep.

  • 1284. Lisa  |  July 20, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    @1283 I hope things at Jahn improve quickly, but we did decide to stick with Agassiz.

  • 1285. Mayfair mom  |  July 21, 2012 at 9:40 am

    Got a call from Newberry last week for Kindergarten.

    Newberry K
    Waitlist #14
    tier 4.
    We accepted, had 24 hours to respond.

    While we are excited about Newberry, I’m dreading the drive. (We live in Mayfair, just outside of bus boundaries for Newberry.) Next closest waitlist spot is Stone #32. We doubt Stone will come through, but am curious if anyone knows of the waitlist movement there.

  • 1286. Future CPS Kinder Mom  |  July 21, 2012 at 10:50 am

    @1285 Our Stone wait list number is #7, tier 4 and we have not received a call. If we do receive a call we will be declining the spot as we have already accepted at another magnet that we want to stay with. Good luck!

  • 1287. pnmom  |  July 23, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    Anyone have any insight on Hibbard Elementary School?

  • 1288. Future CPS Kinder Mom  |  July 24, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    Received a wait list offer today from Stone Scholastic Academy. Tier 4, #7 on the list. Declining tomorrow morning. Sticking with initial accepted offer of LaSalle II.

  • 1289. Mayfair mom  |  July 25, 2012 at 8:31 am

    Thanks, Future CPS Kinder Mom!
    Good luck with LaSalle II

  • 1290. Future CPS Kinder Mom  |  July 25, 2012 at 8:56 am

    Mayfair Mom – Good luck to you too! Hope all works out well for you and your family!

  • 1291. MsHighConcept (@MsHighConcept)  |  August 9, 2012 at 1:39 am

    Has anyone heard back from Murray Language Academy? I’m number 144 General. Thanks!

  • 1292. Bewildered  |  August 9, 2012 at 11:50 am

    We received a 1st round acceptance at Murray for Kindergarten. They just sent out letters a couple of weeks ago regarding orientation, after school activities, etc. Not sure how that correspond to whether or not they are still going through lottery picks. If I were you I would call down to CPS and ask where Murray stands with the lottery, because based on various responses from this post they will let you know where they are.

  • 1293. City Living  |  August 12, 2012 at 11:33 am

    This spring we received an offer (for Kindergarten) from Chappell which we accepted. We have just received an offer from Ravenswood (where we were #28). I toured both schools and were pleased with what I saw at both. The main difference is the magnet focus (art vs. language). What was also painfully obvious was the lack of an involved parent community at Chappell. There is no “friends of” group. Superficially, Chappell’s website is a disaster. When I went to register my daughter for Kindergarten I was surprised to learn that that they were not having a “meet and greet” day before the start of the school year.

    Now, we were very happy with what we saw at Chappell and felt good about sending her there, but since this offer came through we are struggling with the decision. I felt good about both principals, though the principal at Chappell seems like the kind of person whose door you can knock on any time and have a chat. On paper, Chappell performs better academically and has been steadily improving, which is not the case at Ravenswood.

    I have read some posts on the site regarding Ravenswood but was hoping that there might be some others who could offer some advice.

    I should mention that proximity is not an issue for us as the 2 schools are so near one another.


  • 1294. cpsobsessed  |  August 12, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    @ City Living – that is a tough choice. Objectively, I’d say Ravenswood might have an edge. Having all the stuff that comes along with an active parent group is so nice for creating a sense of community at a school. My son’s school does all kinds of stuff that make it fun to at school. Some of the ideas come from the admin, but there tend to be parent volunteers helping a lot (which usually require an organized group to coordinate.) If you’re interest in helping with stuff like that and meeting parents (usually moms, but sometimes dads too) at the school it can be hugely helpful in that area.

    I haven’t checked the recent scores, but Chappell seems to have done an impressive job with good scores, despite being “off the radar” for most people, which always impresses me. It seems like the school could be at the tipping point for parent involvement IF a few motivated parents got it going. Again, at my son’s school within 4 years they went from basically 2 women who were the PTO (unofficially) to a large, organized group of volunteers. Many people are just waiting for someone to tell them what to do. Obviously if you work full time or have a young baby, it’s difficult to do it yourself. But perhaps the principal can suggest some other parents who might be interested as well. (You could do a “Nettelhorst” at Chappel.) Despite the good reputation of Chappell, it sounds like they are not big doing the “extraneous” stuff like the meet&greet or after school stuff yet. Again, it often takes some parents who are at the school a lot to suggest and help organize that stuff, at least initially. That has been one of the benefits of having involved parents that I’ve seen.

    Ravenswood is a little closer to uptown and I had at one point heard that the older kids there were perhaps a little “rough” (fighting after school.) Not sure if that was an isolated incident, but it’s the only downside I’d ever heard about Ravenswood. I’ve seen the principal out at school fairs, etc, always willing to engage parents. I need to get to Chappel. It’s not my neighborhood school but is very close and I drive by it a few times a week. Looks like an addition is going on and they always have signage about school accomplishments.

    I’d weight the “vibe” you get from the principals and school (whichever feels the best personal fit) with the desire for an up-and-running parent group, which is a big asset. Good luck!

  • 1295. Lisa  |  August 13, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    I do not have any experience at Ravenswood. But we did tour and accept a spot at Chappell. I completely agree that the principal seemed fanastic–but far my favorite principal I met–approachable and down to earth. I also agree that if you really want a community feeling at Chappell you will need to want to be one of those “pioneer parents”. Later in the summer, we were offered a spot at Agassiz, and that is where we will be attending. It is also a World Language school, but it is also more conveniently located for our commute downtown and seems to have a more established parent group. In the end, I decided I can carve out the time to be involved at a school, but I was not sure I had the time and energy to be a “pioneer”. However, I an confident we would have been very happy with the classroom/academic situation at Chappell.

  • 1296. Lisa  |  August 16, 2012 at 10:36 am

    Hi all! Any thoughts on Stone Elementary Scholastic Academy? We just got a call from the waitlist (Tier 2, I think #23ish–I don’t have list with me). We are currently registered at Agassiz. I applied based on academic reputation, but did not actually tour because I didn’t think we had much of a chance of getting in, and I could only take off so much work.

    We need to tell them by tomorrow morning and register Monday morning. If you know anything that would help us make the decision, I would really appreciate it!

    Thanks in advance!

  • 1297. cpsobsessed  |  August 16, 2012 at 11:50 am

    Stone is def well-regarded, however I know a family who left for a gifted spot and felt their daughter was not consistently challenged that much. They don’t have quite the scores of some of the other magnets for some reason. I’d probably weigh the location, truthfully. You have a good option currently, so either weay you can’t go wrong. Stone used to not have aftercare for kinder kids so check that if you need it.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 1298. curious1  |  August 16, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    I toured Stone this year and here are the notes I took on it, though I am not sure how much will remain the same with all of the CPS changes. I do know that they have an option for aftercare (at least they did last year) and they said they will have daily recess for all grades if the day was extended.

    • Kids must wear uniforms (or Stone promotional clothing)
    • Nice playground, grounds
    • Larger size gym
    • Separate auditorium, including balcony and smart board
    • Separate library (with Esme as the librarian!). Tech area is part of the library, maybe 20 PCs (there are computer carts with PCs and Macs)
    • Okay science lab
    • Hallways lack kids’ work. There are mosaics and other larger art pieces the kids worked on, but not necessarily the kids who are correctly there
    • Separate art room (with kiln)
    • K – 3 has recess 20 minutes each day, older kids might get recess if mandated next year

    The Classes:
    • 2 Kindergarten classes ~30 students each. 1st grade has 3 classes with 20 kids each but two of the classes share a room.
    • Little differentiated learning for primary grades and absolutely none in grades 4 and up
    • All grades get art, music, and gym once a week and Spanish twice a week
    • Primary grades are taught reading through the Daily Five
    • Partnerships with different arts organizations (ie. 2nd Graders work with Raven Theater company)
    • School puts on a musical every year, and will be doing a play this year (Spanish teacher has drama background)

  • 1299. west rogers park mom  |  August 16, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    I don’t know much about Agassiz so can’t compare it to Stone but I can tell you what I know about Stone. My kid was there for 7 years so I have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly.

    To give it credit, Stone’s student population is high low income and high in ESL students. Taking that into account their test scores are actually incredible. Also, the diversity of Stone is one of the best things it has going for it- – even though its a magnet it draws heavily from RP/ West Rogers Park/ Edgewater. The school embraces the diversity and I love that my daughter has friends of so many races and religions.

    Stone does have a fee based after care system and when I was there it was open to K students. Lack of recess after the primary grades was always an issue but with the extended hours that should remedy itself next year.

    They had ‘fabulous’ enrichment experiences for the kids, ranging from theater programs coming into the school, to Ballroom dancing that culminated in a performance at the Chicago Cultural Center, to an overnight trip at White Pines Dude Ranch. One of the best things about the school.

    Stone had a new principal last year and one of the things she is doing this year is removing the extra first grade teacher that they had in place. This made the 1st grade class sizes very small and was a great way to promote literacy.

    There has also been a lot of turnover the last few years. Only one of my kid’s teachers (her least favorite) remains. They do have a ‘gifted science program’ for upper grades as well. My biggest complaint(s) with Stone is that they didn’t expend energy on the average kid. All of their resources went to enrich the gifted kids or help the remedial kids. No one seemed to care that my kid didn’t test well because she tested well enough. I know other schools had all children that did not ‘exceed’ expectations get extra help. Not Stone.

  • 1300. Lisa  |  August 20, 2012 at 9:24 am

    Thank you for all the advice! We talked to more parents of both schools offline and came to the conclusion that they were two great and surprisingly similar schools–and that we were exceedingly lucky to have this choice. In the end, we drove the commuting routes to both schools–we live in Albany Park so neither is close to us–and decided Agassiz is the school for us. Thank you CPSobsessed for urging us to consider location. It ended up being the tie breaker.

    So, if you are Tier 2, #22 on the Stone list, you should be getting a call this morning. Even though we will not be attending, I think it is a great option.

  • 1301. OG  |  August 20, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    Stone parents – besides after care, can you please tell me about the other after school offerings / programs? Thanks a lot.

  • 1302. Lana  |  August 20, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    We got a Kinder offer from Stone this morning which we accepted. We were #19, Tier 3. We were given half an hour to decide and had to come in today to register. No pressure!

    We also live in Albany Park and had previously accepted an offer from Peirce, which we liked a lot. But ultimately decided that we couldn’t overlook the higher test scores and the option for bussing at Stone. Hope we made the right call. Good luck to all that are still hoping for spots, the wait lists are still moving, but you may not get a lot of time to decide.

  • 1303. twin mom  |  August 20, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    half an hour to decide and must come in same day to register seems a bit crazy. can’t these schools at least give parents 24 hours to make a decision?

  • 1304. Future CPS Kinder Mom  |  August 20, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    Half an hour, wow! At least it’s better than the school not leaving a message if you don’t pick up, but still, that’s quick!

  • 1305. mom  |  August 20, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    Lisa, I’m another Albany Park parent with a kindergartener headed to Agassiz. If you want to connect, feel free to email me: jecmom@gmail.com. We’ll be attending the back to school picnic next Saturday.

  • 1306. mom  |  August 20, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    I hot a call from Stone today too – they didn’t leave a message and gave me 45 minutes to decide! Tier 4 #20. We accepted. Any insights for us? Entering Kindergarten.

  • 1307. 60660  |  August 21, 2012 at 9:46 am

    Agassiz is making phone calls this morning. Hard to turn down but we have made our plans for the year. iirc we were #88.

  • 1308. Stone mom  |  August 21, 2012 at 11:00 am

    I have one child at Stone. At first it is a bit intimidating because it is so big. I truly believe it is THE most diverse school in Chicago, maybe the world. Many refugee and new immigrant families….which is great for your kids to learn from, but makes it hard to feel connected due to language and cultural barriers. I think the teacheres we’ve had have been amazing – quite honestly better than the teachers at my other DD’s top rated RGC. They teach effectively to students of all capabilities. After school programs that are popular include chorus, judo, tap dancing, and many others. I have difficulty finding time to do homework with my kids….my son’s teacher at Stone invited children who wanted homework help to stay after for 30 minutes to do it with her….It would have taken me two hours of arguing at home ! The longer we are at Stone, them more we like it!

  • 1309. Waiting on LaSalle  |  August 22, 2012 at 11:42 am

    We have been on the waiting list for LaSalle II and LaSalle. We received a call from LaSalle II and turned it down. We are currently registered at Newberry.

    Between LaSalle and Newberry now. Both schools are great but LaSalle’s language is also important to us.

    Has anyone received a call from LaSalle??

  • 1310. Lisa  |  August 22, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    CICS Bucktown is calling too–at least for Kindergarten. I think we are sticking with Agassiz, but will talk to husband about it tonight and call them back 1st thing tomorrow. They started school on August 20!

  • 1311. citypoppa  |  August 22, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    1309 – did you just receive a call from LaSalle 2? Would you mind posting what your spot and tier for L2? Thanks.

  • 1312. Waiting on LaSalle  |  August 23, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    1311- We were #4 from tear 1. They called back in June. I hope this helps.

  • 1313. citypoppa  |  August 23, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    ok, great. thanks.

  • 1314. WindyCityDesigner  |  August 31, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    I am wait listed at Inter-American, PK4 twins at #8-9, Tier 4. Still no call, so I’m not holding my breath!

  • 1315. Lexus  |  September 1, 2012 at 12:51 am

    I can’t believe that Franklin called us today. I don’t know if the school is good or not. Does anyone know??

  • 1316. Susan  |  September 1, 2012 at 6:22 am

    My twins are at Franklin going into 2nd grade – we are very happy there and plan to stay through 8th grade. What grade did you get the call for?

  • 1317. Lexus  |  September 1, 2012 at 11:43 am

    Hi Susan, my son is going into kindergarten. We live in near south so we don’t know if it’s worth it to commute this far. It’s so

  • 1318. 60660  |  September 1, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    @Lexus I don’t know what your other options are but from my pov you have been handed a golden ticket. It’s one of a handful of schools I would consider driving across the city for.
    If you are within the busing boundary for Franklin awesome. If you aren’t within the busing boundary take the spots if at all possible and see if it works. You will probably want to stay there.
    Whichever school your kid is enrolled at now will probably be an option later if Franklin doesn’t work for some reason.

  • 1319. Susan  |  September 1, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    That is the are only drawback about Franklin for us as well- we live far northwest and don’t qualify for busing however since its in old town and I’ve always worked in the loop it would be on the way. There are kids that come from all over the city – I guess depending on what other neighborhood options you may have…..I haven’t known of anyone who left because they were unhappy – the few spots that have opened up in upper grades were because a student either got into a gifted program or moved out of the city. The kindergarten teacher is excellent -we came from a private Montessori – she was an awesome teacher to help us with the transition into CPS, very caring, attentitive and organized and there is one aide full time as well for k. Good luck with your decision.

  • 1320. Lexus  |  September 1, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    Thanks for your response Susan. My son is in a private Montessori school too. Who was your kindergarten teacher? Besides the long commute, I don’t see any reasons why I would turn down this opportunity. I work in the loop as well so I need to find a good and affordable public parking. Do you know any?

    @60660, thanks for you comments. I really appreciate it. Why Franklin is my only option. I applied for it because their programs are very well-rounded and the class size is small. I hope my son will do well there.

  • 1321. Lexus  |  September 1, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    @60660, my other option is South loop elementary school. do you know anything about it? Should I choose South Loop or Franklin?!!

  • 1322. 60660  |  September 1, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    I don’t know much about SL but *assuming* it is your neighborhood school and you can enroll your son there whenever you like why not take the spot at Franklin and see how it works out?
    It is pretty close to you so you will have likely have busing
    Any siblings can attend there also.

  • 1323. cpsobsessed  |  September 1, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    Agree – if SL is the fallback, try the magnet. One benefit of a magnet is the class sizes will be managed whereas SL is supposedly growing. On the flip side, the community sense of a neighborhood can be very ap