2012 Gifted/Classical Letters – Post News Here!

March 25, 2012 at 7:06 pm 1,142 comments

If you post your news, please include Tier, school, and child’s score.

If you applied for Gifted and Classical schools, your child can receive only one offer.  If you accept that spot, you will not be offered another spot.

If you turn down the spot your received, you will go back into the pool and have the opportunity to get in one of your higher choices if a spot opens up.

For applications above the entry year, most schools don’t find out that a child is leaving the class (and a spot thus opens up) until after this round and/or closer to the end of the school year (or even into the summer.)  So these spots often require waiting a bit longer.


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

2012 Elem Magnet and Lottery Letters – Post News Here! 2012 Academic Centers – Post News Here!

1,142 Comments Add your own

  • 1. iwantmyradio1  |  March 26, 2012 at 11:24 am

    Entering 3rd grade, out of district application: score 115, offered Beasley.

    We didn’t apply to Beasley so I don’t know why they offered it to us. We won’t be taking the spot, and I’m annoyed that they offered it to us rather than someone who actually wanted it. I assume she didn’t score high enough to be offered elsewhere.

  • 2. jef park  |  March 26, 2012 at 11:37 am

    Entering kindergarten, tier 4:
    Regional score: 134
    Classical: Reading:63 Math: 90

    Did not get any offers

  • 3. Disappointed  |  March 26, 2012 at 11:39 am

    Entering K – score: 118 for RGC, while reading: 91% and math: 95%.

    None offered!

  • 4. iwantmyradio1  |  March 26, 2012 at 11:41 am

    I called and they said the computer added a 6th selection since I only picked 5. Unfortunately we didn’t get our ADHD/coding issue dx until after testing so I wasn’t able to ask for any accommodations.

    Anyone got the $17K p/a I need to pony up for private gifted school now?!

  • 5. Embry  |  March 26, 2012 at 11:44 am

    @3 where did you apply? what tier?

  • 6. cpsobsessed  |  March 26, 2012 at 11:47 am

    So math and reading had separate percentiles for classical?

    I”ll pony up the money if your child will support me in my old age. 🙂

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 7. Mather Mom  |  March 26, 2012 at 11:49 am

    They usually do provide separate math/reading scores for classical.

  • 8. Disappointed  |  March 26, 2012 at 11:51 am

    @5 – Tier 3 – We applied for Edison, Decatur, Skinner North, and Coonley. Does any have experience with homeschooling? I am considering it as a very viable option now.

  • 9. frustrated mom  |  March 26, 2012 at 11:52 am

    reading 98, math 90. nothing….

  • 10. frustrated mom  |  March 26, 2012 at 11:53 am

    we’re tier 4

  • 11. EastLoopMom  |  March 26, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    Tier 4
    RGC 141
    Classical: Reading 92% Math 99%

    No offers.

  • 12. david  |  March 26, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    was ogden listed under gifted/calssical

  • 13. BucktownBryan  |  March 26, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    99th Reading
    50 Something Math

    you know the results..

    i was wondering a little bit when the daughter said that they “didn’t ask any math questions”

    Life goes on…

  • 14. Charles  |  March 26, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    Tier 3 – No offers

    RGC: 124
    Classical: Reading – 65 Math – 94

  • 15. cpsobsessed  |  March 26, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    My friend got beaubien 4th grade, tier 3 (not sure that matters), score 136.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 16. iwantmyradio1  |  March 26, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    @6 CPSO Done!

    I’m genuinely heartbroken over this. Our current school is great but she’s bored and lonely and the older she gets the worse it gets. I’m shocked at how many parents are now having to homeschool their gifted children because there just aren’t enough/any public options for them.

  • 17. jef park  |  March 26, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    In regards to my daughters score of 63 on reading (I’m @2). I am genuinely asking – I’m not trying to brag or make excuses. My daughter can read. She reads the level 1 easy reader books to me all the time. She sounds out the words and makes some mistakes, but can really read. She knows over 50 sight words… I’m wondering… did she just not feel comfortable/was shy/having an off day during the test. Or are what they are looking for completely different from what she can do? Are there any other parents that can help me understand. We will retake the test next year, but I want to know if I have to help her feel more comfortable in a test setting or just know that what is being looked for is just beyond where she is and let the test be. Thanks.

  • 18. No skin in the game this year  |  March 26, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    @17 –

    My daughter scored 88% last year and couldn’t read a word.

    My guess is as good as yours on this one. I hope someone can explain. She didn’t get a classical offer (math was 97%) but did get a gifted offer.

  • 19. Eric Skinner North Dad  |  March 26, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    Entering K for younger kid Tier 4
    Reading 99.6%! Math 91%, hmm.
    No offers.
    First choice was Skinner North where her older sister goes to school. We can keep our fingers crossed for further rounds 🙂

  • 20. edb  |  March 26, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    @19 – surprised your daughter got no offers with those scores. Where did you apply other than SN?

  • 21. No skin in the game this year  |  March 26, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    91% in tier 4 ain’t getting you in this year. I don’t think it even got you in last year.

  • 22. edb  |  March 26, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    99.6/91 is pretty high. As I recall, we didn’t see much data on classical acceptances last year. I’ve always wondered if our son’s classical scores would have gotten him in anywhere, based on this, it looks unlikely.

  • 23. No skin in the game this year  |  March 26, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    Tier 4 kids last year had to have 98/98 at least for classical entry.

  • 24. kiki h.  |  March 26, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    @17, I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. The test results are somewhat arbitrary. It all depends on what kind of day you’re child is having, the rapport between the tester and child, etc. I have very little faith in CPS gifted testing. Both of my kids tested very well and were placed in gifted programs, but I know quite a few kids who are truly gifted who didn’t score nearly as well, and didn’t make it in.

  • 25. edb  |  March 26, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    CPSO – I’m trying to find last year’s elem gifted/classical letter post to find the data that was compiled. might be interesting to compare year over year. Any tips on finding the link?

  • 26. Edgewatermomof3  |  March 26, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    No offer

    1st grade, Tier 3
    RGC 101
    Reading 97, math 90

  • 27. edge  |  March 26, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    TIER 4

  • 28. gonemommy  |  March 26, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    Tier 3
    Entering 1st
    RGC 117
    Classical Reading 88%, Math 97%
    no offers 😦

    hey disappointed, frustrated, jef park, iwantmyradio, etc. don’t despair, there is A LOT of movement after this round & beyond.

    Hang in there–it could happen.

  • 29. RCT  |  March 26, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    Tier 4
    going into 5th grade
    Reading 97%
    Math 97%
    RGC 118
    Total point score 802.5
    Accepted in Poe and will be declining

  • 30. gonemommy  |  March 26, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    @edge, what grade?

  • 31. abc123  |  March 26, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    Can everyone please post the grade you applied for too. Not everyone is applying for K….

  • 32. Embry  |  March 26, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    @29. My nephew is hoping for Poe or Keller. Why declining?

  • 33. Chris  |  March 26, 2012 at 12:52 pm


    Click on the “tabs” at the end of the post:

    cps classical letters


    cps gifted letters

  • 34. Disappointed  |  March 26, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    Screw the test result!! I am really mad because we have an older daughter attending Edison. Her RGD score was 158, while classical was above 99.9%. Yet the younger one is just as “talented” if not more, yet her score is way below than her older sister’s score. It is incomprehensible!

  • 35. Hoping for second rounds?  |  March 26, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    Tier 2
    RGC Test 134
    Classical. Reading: 95 Math 97

    Applied to Pritzker & Skinner West only
    No offers

    Anxious to hear about other scores accepted at Skinner.
    We were applying to K.

  • 36. mackmama  |  March 26, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    Tier 3 kdg
    Rgc 110
    Classical rdg 99.6; math 94
    Offered Skinner North

  • 37. edb  |  March 26, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    Thanks Chris! In case anyone else is interested, here is a compilation of LAST YEARs data that a parent put together.

  • 38. HTE  |  March 26, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    @ iwantmyradio, etc…..
    for those of you asking about homeschooling and unschooling options for gifted children (or any children!), this article has some good links and info:


  • 39. Help  |  March 26, 2012 at 1:05 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?

  • 40. North Center Mamma  |  March 26, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    LAST year:
    Tier 4
    RGC 131
    Reading 99
    Math 97
    Accepted to SKINNER WEST 3rd Round.
    Still waiting for our letter for 1st Grade. Pins and needles!

  • 41. North Center Mom  |  March 26, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    For gifted, 144, tier 4 and no offers. any idea how we can find out what percentile this is? i wish there was a percentile for the gifted scores. the letter says 130 is approx 98%. so wondering what score/percentile actually gets in!

  • 42. shuda2  |  March 26, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    Applied for K tier 4

    English >99.9
    math 99
    Regional gifted 148
    offer at skinner North(first choice)

    If I decline this offer, what are my chances to get into Edison( My second choice)

  • 43. EastLoopMom  |  March 26, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    addendum to my previous post @11

    entering K

    applied to Skinner West, Skinner North, Edison and Coonley

  • 44. superstressed  |  March 26, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    Cbs obessed, wondering if friend accepted to beaubien first round ranked it first. Last year we got first choice first round rgc with 135 entering 3rd grade, but want out of this school. Looking for bell or coonl. Anybofy know if there are any fourth grade spots opening up? I remember At a decauter open House last year the principal said class size increases by three spots in 4th grade. Is this true for all classicals And rgc programs? Still waiting for letter, but appreciate all information.

  • 45. Mom  |  March 26, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    Is there cutoff information for Bell incoming 1st graders last year?

  • 46. Mia  |  March 26, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    @39: First, Beaubien will most likely have recess next year as the new longer day (regardless of what length – 6.5 or 7.5) will be implemented there. Currently they have no recess and only about 20 minutes total for lunch – a real shame.

    My daughter is finishing the options program there this year – she scored a perfect 900/900 for the SE high school process (as did 14 of her options classmates) and is going to Northside next year, many others scored in the high 800s, most of the kids got into some SE or IB program. This will hopefully tell you something about the rigor of the program, which is very good. They have some excellent teachers and a very good Options Coordinator. Here’s what I see as the problems: Terrible Principal – he’s retiring this year, but since the current LSC/PTO has been supportive of him all these years and they are choosing the new principal, I am not terribly confident that they will choose well. Terrible after school programs (basically none for the lower grades, and only a few options for upper grades). Also, even the teachers are hit or miss – some excellent ones – really incredible ones – who are probably among the best in the city – and a few that shouldn’t be teaching any children anywhere.

    Don’t know if that helps – but it’s my view. If you asked my daughter, she’d probably say that she has been very happy there and has made wonderful friends and learned a great deal.

  • 47. Chris  |  March 26, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    ” there was a percentile for the gifted scores.”

    It’s supposed to be normalized like an IQ test (Wechsler??), isn’t it?

    130 = 97.7%
    135 = 99%
    140 = 99.617%
    145 = 99.865%
    150 = 99.957%
    160 = 99.9968%

    (if I’m right)

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

    Oh, linky, where I took from:


  • 49. momof2  |  March 26, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    Entering K
    RGC: 116
    Classical: Reading >99.9%, Math > 99.9%

    Accepted to Decatur.

    Had applied in the followig prefereces:
    Skinner North
    Skinner West

    Stressed about accepting. I was very impressed with the principal and teachers. But now nervous about all the homework, lack of gym, lack of lunchroom, etc. My son is very active and very social.

  • 50. No skin in the game this year  |  March 26, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    49’s scores are what I’m expecting necessary for Tier4/Decatur this year.

  • 51. Beaubien  |  March 26, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    A new LCS will be voted for in April and I believe they will be the ones to vote on the new principal. The current AP will most likely not get he job, as she is a carbon copy of the current principal. I

  • 52. edb  |  March 26, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    @49 – I thought Decatur kids went to the JCC next door for gym? Also, they have one of the better outdoor spaces in the world of CPS. Congrats!

  • 53. DC  |  March 26, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    @41 I’m astounded that a 144 (out of 160) wouldn’t get a gifted offer. Which gifted schools did you list?

  • 54. Eric Skinner North Dad  |  March 26, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    @42. What’s wrong with Skinner North? It was your first choice? 🙂

    Those are solid scores, so I would think you would have a good chance.

  • 55. a dad  |  March 26, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    @45 Mom
    I don’t know what the cutoff score was last year for Bell 1st grade, but my child got in with a 145.

  • 56. No skin in the game this year  |  March 26, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    144 didn’t get Tier4 kids into 1st round gifted last year.

  • 57. jef park  |  March 26, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    @47 – this just irks me. What do you do with a child that scores a 99% on the gifted test, doesn’t get into any magnet schools with very high lottery numbers and the neighborhood school is crap? And, there is no money for private at all. I agree, homeschool is looking like a real option.
    I’m afraid that if I send her to the neighborhood school (which is only a half day kindergarten) she will be bored. I went to visit the Catholic school down the block and I was told that by the end of K most kids in the class can start blending sounds together and count to 50. I asked what if your child can already do that? The response was: well, the rest of the kids will eventually catch up and she won’t always be as advanced. All kids even out.
    Sorry for the vent, I am just concerned and frustrated.

  • 58. J4C  |  March 26, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    K, tier 4.
    RGC 127
    Classical reading 99.9 math 90
    Applied to Edison, Coonley, Decatur.
    No offer. 😦

  • 59. DC  |  March 26, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    @57, what is your neighborhood school?

  • 60. jef park  |  March 26, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    Smyser – and it’s mainly that it only has a 1/2 day kindergarten. It’s okay for neighborhood.

  • 61. Lauren  |  March 26, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    Tier 4
    RGC – 133
    Reading – 99.6%, Math – 95%

    No offers.

    We applied for K at Coonley, Edison and Decatur. But we’re pretty happy with our neighborhood public (Waters) so not too disappointed, just surprised! Those seem like high numbers to me.

  • 62. Help  |  March 26, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    @49. Thank you Mia!

  • 63. Hoping for second rounds?  |  March 26, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    @jef park -there is always a lot of movement on these lists. My son’s RGC was calling people up until the last week of school, and I received several calls from Magnets in May.

  • 64. Hadley  |  March 26, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    No offer for us. No big surprise since she’s just above the cutoff point for RGC and scored too low in math for Classical. We’re in Tier 1 though so that should provide a bump. (entering K next year)

    RGC: 118
    Classical: Reading-80, Math-72

  • 65. nonplussed  |  March 26, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    Tier 4 score RGC 123 entering 1st – no offer Any chance??

  • 66. Snaggie  |  March 26, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    Tier 4

    Accepted to Edison

  • 67. westsidemom  |  March 26, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    @35 — That’s unbelievable. We’re Tier 2 and my son got into Skinner West (K) last year with a reading 92 and math 98. Wow. Hopeful for round 2 for you too…

  • 68. jmg  |  March 26, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    @65 my kid got a 1st grade rgc spot with 126 last year – in late August – T4

  • 69. Calling bs  |  March 26, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    I’m calling bullshit on post 66.

  • 70. Mia  |  March 26, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    @69 – perhaps it wasn’t for Kindergarten . . .

  • 71. gonemommy  |  March 26, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    @49, i am Decatur parent.
    The kids like eating lunch in the classroom (overall) and they have gym twice a week–one of those 2 is at the JCC next door. Winter can be tough (for getting the wiggles out) when they sometimes have to have recess in the classroom–but it is manageable.
    The homework is comparable to other SEES, so don’t stress about that.
    My kid is super active & super social & she is happy there.

  • 72. JoshD  |  March 26, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    @66 Snaggie – what grade?

  • 73. Snaggie  |  March 26, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    Sorry. I meant tier 1.

  • 74. ZanesDad  |  March 26, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    K, Tier 3
    RGC 119
    Classical Reading 65, Math 71


  • 75. momof2  |  March 26, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    @52 Thank you! I feel like a jerk for being worried considering all the other posts with very high scores and no offers. This process is just crazy!

  • 76. arghh!!!  |  March 26, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    My son turning 4 – accepted to Inter-American English…we will probably decline
    My daughter enter 1st –
    Gifted 114 (down from 134 from last year???)
    Classical Reading 98, math 90
    no offers
    tier 4

  • 77. jmg  |  March 26, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    @76 arghh
    that 20 point drop from K to 1st testing is common.
    my kid scored 148 at K, 126 at 1stG

  • 78. Madants  |  March 26, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    Tier 4
    1st grade
    excepted to Bell

  • 79. Northside dad  |  March 26, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    Entering 2nd. Applied to Decatur, Edison, and Beaubien.

    Tier 4

    Classical: 99/99
    Gifted: 124

    Not accepted.

    I knew it was a longshot to enter at 2nd grade but thought we’d give it a try.

  • 80. KG  |  March 26, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    Tier 4
    No Offers

    Happy to go to my neighborhood school though.

  • 81. A Parent Considering Homeschooling  |  March 26, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    @57 jef park- my son is in the same situation. He is in preschool but is can do more than the kindergartners in our neighborhood school and catholic school. Catholic school won’t take him because he has some special needs they don’t feel they can address. We are considering homeschooling because there’s no way my son will be able to handle 6.5 or even 7.5 hours of school a day with his sensory issues.

    My husband wants to know if we can argue the scores. At my son’s IEP meeting in November testing accommodations were placed in his IEP. Somehow between then and his test date on January 3 they disappeared out of the record. This wasn’t discovered until the end of February. My son needs extended time to get ANYTHING done in life. I know his scores would have been a lot higher had his accommodations been honored.

    Tier 4
    RGC 126
    Classical: Reading-89. Math-75

  • 82. trixie  |  March 26, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    80. What is your neighborhood school? Just wondering

  • 83. b  |  March 26, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    k, RGC, 117. Any chance we get anything? How do they determine who gets in for the next rounds? Whats the next step?

  • 84. trixie  |  March 26, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    @79…those classical scores are great…that’s too bad. What school did he go to for 1st grade? Keep trying every year…or maybe something will happen over the next rounds. Good luck

  • 85. NW Side mom  |  March 26, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    For those asking about the next round–it is hard to say what will get you in. A lot depends on what school you want and the tier. For example, last year my kid did not get into Coonley or Edison with a 139 in tier 3. We did get an offer over the summer for Pritzker and turned it down. I did hear of someone getting in at Coonley with a 139 in tier 2.

  • 86. FUNKID  |  March 26, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    @66 snaggie,
    what grade are you in?

  • 87. KG  |  March 26, 2012 at 2:25 pm


    Hamilton is our neighborhood school and I am truly excited he’ll be going there.

    Just did the gifted testing because we saw some signs that our son was maybe learning a bit ahead and thought we’d give it a shot.

  • 88. Nervous at SLS  |  March 26, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    Entering 1st
    No offer – Tier 2
    RGC 114
    Classical 92 reading / 97 math

    RGC was a substantial drop, Classical a slight improvement. It is probably for the best that we weren’t forced to make a decision. Now it is on to fight to keep the program at South Loop a real RGC (or even better, get it moved out of there all together and into the hands of a principal who isn’t a fool).

  • 89. liz  |  March 26, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    Tier 3, 91% Reading, 97% Math, applied to Skinner North and Decatur (big brother is at Skinner) and no offer.

  • 90. Nathan  |  March 26, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    Tier 3, 98 Reading, 99 Math; accepted to Skinner North. Does anyone have insights on that school? It is far away from us and we didn’t visit it — had hoped for a gifted program but no go with a 134. Thanks.

  • 91. oy-ya-yoy  |  March 26, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    RGC: 137
    classical: 99 reading, 98 math
    tier 4

    no offers

  • 92. ProudPapa  |  March 26, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    Tier 3. RGC – 113. Classical reading 89 and math 93. No offers. Seriously crestfallen. Little boy felt great about his test. Was happy going in, was happy coming out. Was the first one done… maybe he should have taken a few more minutes. Oh well. Still love him to millions of little pieces anyway. No such love for CPS unfortunately.

  • 93. Skinner parent  |  March 26, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    @ Nathan… SN is an excellent school. Our K student attends. Many of their teachers are gifted kids specialists. The principal claims that they are really gidted school, the “classical” is just in the name.
    Reading class is differentiated. Gym twice a week, music, library, outdoor playground Visit the open house and you will be convinced. The only issue for us is the one hour bus ride to and from.

  • 94. west loop mom  |  March 26, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    Wonder if anyone was able to get their little one tell about the questions that were asked. I have a list that my daughter told me they asked. While she got most of it correct, she could not do subtraction for number higher than 10.

    Does anybody know what they asking in the test for KG? I am still waiting for the letter. I think I will go crazy waiting.

  • 95. aville mama  |  March 26, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    Applying for K
    Tier 4
    RCG: 143
    Classical: 89 reading, 95 math
    NO offer

  • 96. liz  |  March 26, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    Anyone planning on giving up their seat at a magnet now that they know they’re getting an SE spot?

  • 97. FUN  |  March 26, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    Can everyone please include the GRADE they applied in their stats?

  • 98. ProudPapa  |  March 26, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    @94: I did…. he said “I had to match patterns and colors to different patterns and colors.” for one and for another he said, “They showed me three dinosaurs and said if one fell down how many were still standing?”. He got the answer right as he related the story. He scored 93 on math which is great but apparently not good enough for SEES schools. SIGH……..

  • 99. jennifer  |  March 26, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    Entering K
    Tier 4
    RGC: 153
    Classical: 99.9 reading; 88 math

    Offered Coonley RGC (2nd choice); Decatur was 1st choice.

    We will decline in favor of our neighborhood school (Edgebrook), as we don’t want to add a significant commute onto the longer day (I see the neighbor walking their kids to the bus before 7 am!). We tested more out of curiosity, but thought we might consider Decatur. But we will worry about her being stimulated enough as she will probably be well into chapter books by the time school starts (completely self taught; the only prep we did for the test was to say “you get to do some lessons today, it’ll be fun”).

    What kind of programs are there to supplement a neighborhood program for a “gifted” reader?

  • 100. edb  |  March 26, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    OK,seems like something is wrong with the classical acceptances. Unless people have only applied to Decatur, even Tier 4 should be getting in with a 99/98, no?

  • 101. ProudPapa  |  March 26, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    And to clarify my previous post (@92) he was testing for kindergarten.

  • 102. Kelly  |  March 26, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    For K: 128, tier 3, no RGC offers. And no magnet school love, so neighborhood school it is.

  • 103. Mia  |  March 26, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    @99 – I understand your concerns about the commute – but Coonley is really great!

  • 104. sfw  |  March 26, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    @49, I’m a Decatur mom too, and have a very active boy in the first grade. You’d think the small space would get to them, but the school handles it well, and I don’t think it has an adverse impact on my kid at all.

  • 105. CPS K mom  |  March 26, 2012 at 2:50 pm


    I was also in the “game” last year with my child, and I’m also Tier 4, and we had first-round RGC offer at Pritzker with a 144….and also had second round offers at Skinner West (and later, Skinner North) with 99th math/88th reading.

    It may take 99th math/99th reading to get into Decatur, and higher than 144 to get a first round offer for Edison, but it’s not true that you can’t get any offers with 99/91. They just came later in the summer. And we ranked the Skinners higher than Decatur (I did not care for Decatur).

  • 106. FUN  |  March 26, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    No mail yet…dreadful

  • 107. CPS K mom  |  March 26, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    Just to clarify that the scores I mentioned @105 were for LAST year….don’t want any data collectors to include them for this year’s stuff.

  • 108. west loop mom  |  March 26, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    @ ProudPapa and all

    They asked very simple math, adding 1 or 2 which I think most kid could do. They asked subtracting 3 from 20 which my daughter could not answer. She could only add or subtract as long as it involves her fingers, for more than that she needs pen and paper. They did ask her if she want to write and she declined! Matching and counting objects were extremely simple and so I know she would have done that correctly. She was able to do 2 step addition which they did ask. They asked to read something to herself and then fill in the blanks, which is a test of comprehension and she did that as well.. When I look all the scores I feel it is not enough.

    Wonder what is enough then? Anybody whose kid got into the SEES have any insight?

  • 109. rena  |  March 26, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    We only applied to Coonley and Edison. Tier 4, applied for K.

    Test score 127, no offer
    Now we have to choose between Waters (neighborhood) and Courtenay, where we are wait listed with a high number.

    Happy to see like a lot of smart kids will be going to their neighborhood schools though

  • 110. oy-ya-yoy  |  March 26, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    @97- sorry! grade – K

    @94- lots of telling which item did not belong. Also said some questions were fill- in- the- blank sentences. Could not decipher whether or not she had to read the sentences or if they were read to her.

    @100- I agree! Seems shocking to me.

  • 111. always questioning  |  March 26, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    Rejection for Lincoln’s IG

    Tier 4
    Score 822
    Would have easily gotten in 2 years ago with this score.

    Anybody have last years cutoffs for the IG programs?

  • 112. Popcorn  |  March 26, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    @ 99-Jennifer

    Check out Northwestern University’s program for Academically Advanced (Gifted) Children. They have programs Downtown and in the ‘burbs for grades PreK-12 throughout the year, quarterly and summer camps. It is considered one of best in country. The child must test to be accepted. It is an excellent supplement to add to regular school.

  • 113. Madants  |  March 26, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    The Center for Gifted is another awesome program. They have summer camps. Need a letter of recommendation from the teacher to attend.


  • 114. CuriousGirl  |  March 26, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    Oh dear. My kid was rejected at 119 for Edison for 3rd grade. She did better two years ago at 120 and last year at 125. How does that happen? We are tier 4. Good thing I still love the kid and will keep her.

  • 115. nick  |  March 26, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    Entering K
    Tier 4
    RGC: 136

    We only chose Coonley and Bell for commute reasons, was offered Carnegie Elementary. Really want Coonley since our other kids go there…is there hope for later round acceptance?

  • 116. nswickerpark  |  March 26, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    my son got into pritzker rgc for K

    149 tier 4 99/99

    got wait listed #10 tier 4 @ hawthorn
    # 15 tier @ disney
    and got into prescott, newberry and mayer!!

    I feel like my kid just won the school lotto!! can anyone tell me what they think of pritzker rgc?? and what do you think my chances are for getting into hawthorn??

  • 117. AW  |  March 26, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    @ 114 My child also scored 119, looking for a 3rd grade spot.

  • 118. Lauren  |  March 26, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    I also run a gifted program in Lincoln Square, but focus more on socialization issues that many highly/profoundly gifted children have than the academics. If anyone wants more information, you can visit our website: http://www.sproutgifted.com

    As for all you considering homeschooling, there is chatter about a co-op on Fridays this fall also in Lincoln Square opening (run by HSGS which has a huge and successful co-op in Evanston).

  • 119. nowadecision  |  March 26, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    K, tier1: 146 accepted @ Edison

    Now to chose between Edison and Disney, thoughts?

  • 120. oy-ya-yoy  |  March 26, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    Does anyone have a clue about chances of getting in later rounds? Or is it all dependent upon too many factors to even determine what will happen?

    Also, has anyone ever gone to beg a neighborhood school for a spot?!

  • 121. jennifer  |  March 26, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    Thanks, @112 and @113!

  • 122. CPS K mom  |  March 26, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    @115 nick: of course every year is different, but I’m sorry to tell you that last year, for Tier 4, Coonley never got as low as 140 (my son’s score — Coonley was our first choice and he didn’t get an offer there). 😦 You never know, of course….it really varies from year to year. But last year, a 136 wouldn’t have gotten you an offer from Tier 4.

  • 123. AW  |  March 26, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    @ 115 nick — Bell’s RGC does not begin until 1st grade

  • 124. nick  |  March 26, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    @122 – Thanks, I firgure it is a long shot

    @123, Thanks, maybe that is why they gave us Carnegie…

  • 125. SW Side Momma  |  March 26, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    116. nswickerpark
    We have been really happy with the RGC at Pritzker. Our oldest is in first grade there. K class size is usually small, nice playground, recess, fine arts program. If you don’t want the K spot, I’ll take it!
    If only it were that easy, right!

  • 126. nswickerpark  |  March 26, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    thanks sw side mom 🙂 I think I’ll keep my spot… been hearing a lot of good thinks today about pritzker.. I’m told they have one of the best teacher/ student ratios and they have some of the best gifted teachers in the city. One mom said they give a massive amount of homework ( not that it’s a bad thing)We live 6 blocks from the school so I will look forward to a short walk..

  • 127. liz  |  March 26, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    @119– Edison seems like an obvious choice over Disney!

  • 128. TwinMom (CPS K Mom)  |  March 26, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    Just got our letters for my twins:

    Entering 1st grade
    Tier 4
    Accepted at Bell

    (other twin scored a 120, but she had a fever and “skipped a few pages” ??? on test day…no worries because she’s already at Coonley RGC and very happy there).

  • 129. Anonymous  |  March 26, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    Tier 4
    RGC: 123
    Classical: 88 Reading, 95 Math

    No offers

  • 130. Anonymous  |  March 26, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    Oh, I’m @129, and that was for Kindergarten

  • 131. Pritzker Mom  |  March 26, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    116. nswickerpark

    My daughter is also in 1st grade at Pritzker and we love it. The principal is great – she really cares about the school and the kids and the parents are very involved and active in improving the school.

    120. oy-ya-yoy

    It’s hard to say what will happen later in the year. There really aren’t “rounds” in RCG admissions. Once they get initial decisions in April, I believe, they’ll start going down the admissions lists calling families. I believe families have 72 hours to decided. They keep going down the list until someone accepts. I think they following the same pattern as the magnets. If the student who does not accept the placement is from the rank list (top 30%), the student with the next highest score is called regardless of tiers. Otherwise they follow the tier list.

    My daughter scored 139/tier 4 and got admitted to Pritzker in July. They were admitting kids to her class well into September maybe even October.

    As crazy as this sounds, not all RGC classes start the year full. In the past (although less so now), the Office of Academic Enrichment typically slows downs or stops calling families as the start of the year approaches. When my daughter started K, there were only 22 kids in the class – although it was slated to be at 26 or 27.

    If you still have not gotten a place at and RGC by the start of the year, check in with the schools to see how many kindergarten students have actually enrolled and showed up for school. If the class is not full, call OAE and remind them to keep calling.

  • 132. ms4ever24  |  March 26, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    Entering 2nd gd Tier 1

    RGC scored 99

    Classical: Reading 81%
    Math: 35%

    Did not get any acceptances.

    Now my concern is why is his math score so incredibly low. I am really freaking out about it. He doesn’t struggle with school at all so I don’t know how serious I should take these scores.

    And how are students accepted into the magnet schools is it solely based on lottery??

  • 133. Laurie  |  March 26, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    144, tier 4 – offered Carnegie. We live in Hyde Park so this is geographically convenient, but the neighborhood part of this school is on academic probation. How does that work?

  • 134. LuluT  |  March 26, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    1st grade

    RGC score 131 (lower than last year’s)
    Classical 98 Reading, 97 math

    Offer at Bell. Will probably decline … was hoping for Pritzker RGC where his sibling goes. Possible for first grade next year?

  • 135. Reality Check  |  March 26, 2012 at 4:00 pm


    99 reading
    96 math

    Tier 4

    Offered Skinner North

  • 136. Pritzker Mom  |  March 26, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    @134. LuluT

    They just sent out the letters asking if kids are returning to Pritzker for next year. They probably won’t officially know how many spots are open for a few weeks.

    We had six new kids in our 1st grade class at Pritzker RGC this year. I don’t know if that’s typical

  • 137. lakeview mom  |  March 26, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    Entering K in Tier 4

    RGC – 132

    No offers but applied to Edison, Coonley and Pritzker. Wish I had also done the classical testing.

  • 138. LuluT  |  March 26, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    Thanks Pritzker Mom. My kid is happy where he is at a regular magnet, but I’d love to have both kids at the same school!

    PS – for people obsessively tracking data – I think we are tier 3.

  • 139. Eric  |  March 26, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    @#90. Re: Skinner North. You should really visit and make sure you think the facility and location are acceptable to you. I’m not familiar with so many many schools, but from personal experience, Ogden and Skinner West have beautiful new facilities and I feel much better locations. I feel the building is kind of depressing – it’s older with no air conditioning, and the playground is not great, but at least they have an outdoor playground. It’s in kind of a sketchy area, think Candyman.

    On the other hand, I think they were the only school in CPS last year with perfect 100% of tested students exceeding expectations, because they are a new school with only about 60 kids at testing age level. 🙂

  • 140. pamina  |  March 26, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    For those of you asking about the test questions, my daughter is very good about reporting these. Last year 3rd grade RGC, was a combination of “what would happen next” when given a picture series of a storyline or visual puzzles that require you to predict the subsequent position of a geometric form that is being shifted or moved in a patterned way. There were also questions that tested vocabulary. For example, she recalled a question: “which of these is a bundle” and it showed a pile of laundry, a wrapped stack of sticks, and a package of letters (or something like this). She took a COGAT test once and this sounds similiar.

    This year, she reported that the test was similair, with the additon of a section in which the students were asked to visual a piece of paper folded multiple times with holes punched in it while it was folded. They were then expected to predict the patterns of the holes when the paper was unfolded.

    While I don’t think there is much you can do to prepare for these tests, I cannot stress the importance of showing your child a few examples of these question types. You can find a few example here and there on the internet. All it takes is fifteen minutes and talking the question thru, so the child knows what kind of information the question is seeking. I found that once we talked through two questions together, she could nail the rest easily. She did very well last year and we got our first choice offer at SL (that’s another post).

    A good family friend is a gifted teacher in Barrington. She says that these tests are often naturally stacked against girls since they require a lot of pattern recognition and visual puzzles that are more akin to the block building and other activities that boys are more attracted to. However, I have heard that RGC programs in CPS have more girls than boys, for students entering at the K level since girls are better at expressing themselves verbally at 4 or 5 when the test is administered. Once again these are generalizations, but still may have merit.

    There is too much at stake to simply just let a smart kid walk in to the test. Take a little time to research the types of tests that are used and give your child a little exposure.

    While I may have my issues with the RGC she is in, she has learned a ton, been challenged, and enjoyed the peer group of other intense, bright children.

    For what it is worth, it seems that evertone I know gets in somewhere eventually.

  • 141. kstaigs  |  March 26, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    Letter arrived today, we were accepted at Edison! Tier 3 (don’t know if we got in general or tiered, I got the news over the phone as I am out of town). Kindergarten. Her score was 155. I am shaking I am so happy!

  • 142. JoshD  |  March 26, 2012 at 4:10 pm


    Did you apply for the fine arts magnet program at Pritzker? And did you speak with the principal? I thought she will do what she can to ensure siblings can get in, even if not in the same program. Gifted kids still have to test in, but if one sib is in the gifted program, she will “try” to ensure the other sib can get into the magnet program. there was talk about it last year, but i’m not sure if she had the strings to work it out.

  • 143. journeytolove  |  March 26, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    Offered Decatur (!)

    tier 4

    RGC: 120
    Classical: reading >99.9, math 99

  • 144. LuluT  |  March 26, 2012 at 4:21 pm


    Thanks – I know the Fine Arts program at Pritzker is fabulous and improving every year… we will have a space there due to sibling lottery. I have friends with kids in the Fine Arts program and it rocks! It is our fallback option, I think, but – hard not to want to have it all, with a super bright child. Also hard to turn down SkinnerW, if the offer is made.

  • 145. no-offers  |  March 26, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    Entering 5th grade Tier 2

    RGC – 125

    85 Reading
    97 Math

    No offers

  • 146. AW  |  March 26, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    @140 Test must not change year-to-year because this year my 2nd grader (testing for 3rd) also told me about the “bundle” question. 🙂

  • 147. JPmom  |  March 26, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    Tier 4

    Entering 1st grade:
    RGC: 128
    Classical: reading 97, math 90
    Offered Beaubien – 1st choice, v excited!

    Entering K:
    RGC: 116
    Classical: reading 41, math 80
    no offers, but happy with neighborhood school, thank goodness!

  • 148. parent of young ones  |  March 26, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    Does anyone have any insight on how age impacts these scores?

    We tested our twins for K mostly out of curiosity. Why not, right? They both seem like reasonably bright and curious children. But they’re also the absolute youngest possible age – they were born Aug 31st. They entered a TBPK less than a week after their 3rd birthday, which was a big challenge, but they ended up doing great there.

    Now, the reason I’m so curious about age is that the scores just don’t make any sense to me, especially given their background. We read together every night, talk with our kids a lot, and share interesting things with them, but never tried to sit them down for any kind of formal lessons until recently, as they didn’t appear ready for that at such a young age.

    Our daughter did pretty poorly all around. Sadly, that’s not a huge surprise to me, as she’s charming and talkative, but kind of flighty and unfocused. OK, that’s life (or genetics, or whatever) and I love her all the same.

    My son, on the other hand, has always been a lot more focused, thoughtful, and inquisitive. I expected him to do pretty well on the RGC test, but relatively poorly on the Classical tests, since we’ve never especially prepped him and his TBPK program was not very prep heavy either. In fact, just the opposite happened – he scored only a 91 for RGC (!!!), but 90 reading and 94 math for Classical. Now, if he is in fact on the *un*talented side of the spectrum (as RGC=91 suggests), how does he score 90/94 on a test of acquired knowledge without extensive preparation? Those scores seem internally inconsistent given his educational experience. I have to imagine that their age at the time of testing (less than 4.5 years) has to have some impact there. The scores just don’t make any sense otherwise.

    Anyway, we obviously got no offers (Tier 2), and that’s fine. We’ve got some good magnet numbers/offers to work with. These tests sure are bizarre, though.

  • 149. Anon2901  |  March 26, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    Applied for 1st grade;
    Tier 4 (pretty sure that does not count though, because 1st grade it’s not the entry level for Classical Schools);
    Reading 98%;
    Math 97%;
    No offers.

  • 150. pamina  |  March 26, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    With respect to age, I was told that it does not matter. Month of birth is taken into consideration (so there’s no advantage for parents waiting for February testing. Once again, this is what I have “heard.”

  • 151. SW Side Momma  |  March 26, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    @Pritzker Mom- Thanks for your very good synopsis of the school. I really feel like my son is at the best possible place for him. Can’t wait to send his brother there next year!

  • 152. FUN  |  March 26, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    Hands still trembling.
    Tier 4
    Gifted: 150
    entering 4th grade
    Accepted to first choice Lenart!!

  • 153. TheresAlwaysNextYear  |  March 26, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    This seems like a good place to vent my surprising feelings of disappointment. My son is currently in 5th grade in a parochial school and took the Stanford to qualify to take the selective CPS tests. His scores were all high 90s in the National PR-S column. We thought Ogden IB program would be the perfect place for him next year and had high hopes for more challenge than he is currently getting. Got our letter today with no luck:

    Tier 4
    All A’s in school
    Math 98%
    Reading 91%
    RGC 109 (this low score totally floored me since his spatial reasoning is off the charts–what are they testing??)
    Of course, no offer.

    Daughter going into 3rd next year only took the classical test for Skinner West.

    Tier 4
    Math 97%
    Reading 96%
    No offer

    I’m ok with our current school, but now that my son has not done as well on the CPS tests as he did on the Stanford, I’m starting to freak out about high school–even Catholic.

    Can anyone recommend a test prep for the Whitney Young AC test?

  • 154. AnxiousParent  |  March 26, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    Congrats FUN!

    @TheresAlwaysNextYear – http://www.selectiveprep.com

  • 155. Anonymous  |  March 26, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    Tier 4 – Kindergarten

    RGC – 129
    Classical – 83 Reading, 97 Math

    No offers.

  • 156. Eric Skinner North Dad  |  March 26, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    entering 2nd grade
    rgc: 130 (nice, pleasantly surprised)
    classical reading: 93 (not concerned, she loves reading chapter books every night)
    classical math: 99 (not surprised)
    accepted: Carnegie
    We’ll decline since she’s already at Skinner North Classical, but it was nice to see she could get into a Gifted program and see if there are any offers in later rounds.

  • 157. curious  |  March 26, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    tier 4
    rgc: 144
    classical reading: 88; math: 98
    no offers

    applied to skinner north, coonley, edison, pritzker, skinner west

    do we have a chance of a later round acceptance???

  • 158. drd  |  March 26, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    Whitney Young 7th Grade Academic Center

    Tier 4


    Not admitted

  • 159. Stressed by CPS  |  March 26, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    Don’t know if #49 momof2 is still reading. Decatur is a good school but I’m surpised the principal impressed you. She is a fake. Sorry. Anyway, they do have a gym but it is also used as an auditorium and lunchroom. Well, at least a breakfast room. Lunch is served in the classroom. The JCC is only for after school programs.

  • 160. Persia  |  March 26, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    tier 3
    rgc: 146
    classical: reading 99.9; math 86

    offered skinner west

  • 161. oy-ya-yoy  |  March 26, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    Thank you so much, Pritzker Mom! I am just so confused. Maybe I have turned into a crazy person, or am in denial…I guess I am just feeling like MAYBE we would get one offer with 99/98???

    I guess I was just wondering what are the chances of being offered a spot later? (Since we have all super high lottery numbers)

    Still, A BIG congratulations to everyone that got thier choices! That is so great!

  • 162. pamina  |  March 26, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    know of someone who got a 2nd round offer to Skinner West in May with 98/96 entering 2nd. Good luck.

  • 163. edb  |  March 26, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    @161 oy-ya-yoy – which classical programs did you apply to? Someone in Tier 4 reported getting into Skinner North with a 99/96 @135 above.

  • 164. AW  |  March 26, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    @ 148/150 — I spoke with the director of testing at IIT about the impact of age on test results (my middle child is also a late August birthday). He told me that the test is normed based on a child’s age. For the younger children, it is normed to the month (e.g., student who is 4 years 3 months at the time of testing are compared against others who are 4 years 3 months). As kids get older, he said the age groups span a few month period…

    I also asked him which test the students were administered, and he wouldn’t tell me…

  • 165. amomsmom  |  March 26, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    RGC: 124 (first born)

    Classical: reading;86 math;69

    RGC: 118 (second born)

    Classical: reading;93 math;98

    Tier 4

  • 166. amomsmom  |  March 26, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    no offers…

  • 167. LincolnSquareDad  |  March 26, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    K Tier 4, 146, offered at Pritzker RGC

  • 168. oy-ya-yoy  |  March 26, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    @163 edb- Decatur and Skinner North.

  • 169. west loop mom  |  March 26, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    Still no letters in the mail.. living in the loop, you would get it the first day in the mail :-(..

  • 170. Citymom  |  March 26, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    K Tier 4

    RGC: 133

    Reading 80
    Math 50

    no offers – so it’s hope for the wait list numbers on our magnet schools.

  • 171. McKinley Park Mom  |  March 26, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    tier 3

    RGC: 139
    Classical: 97 reading, 86 math

    No schools offered, gifted, classical or magnet!
    Hoping for a win with the Namaste lottery.

  • 172. iwantmyradio1  |  March 26, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    @47 Chris my 3rd grader to be scored a 115 yet she tested as having a GAI in the 99th percentile on the WISC-IV this winter. I don’t believe the RGC score is an IQ number.

    While I don’t contest our score, I wish there was a way to have them consider outside testing for admission. We had a full neuropysch eval done with every test possible, surely one of them should prove she is capable of more than the CPS test shows.

    Back to the drawing board…

  • 173. Skinner parent  |  March 26, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    Entering 1st grade, tier 4, score 128

    Offered Beaubien

    A nightmare/dream scenario, as our kid flourishes!!! at Skinner North.
    The only reason we considered Beaubien is it is 2 minutes walk for us, as opposed to 1 hour on the bus to Skinner.

    At this point I a need a sign from above;-)

  • 174. LR  |  March 26, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    Darn it. I knew this would happen:

    Tier 3
    Accepted at Beaubien (1st Grade)

    The problem is…my daughter goes to Bell. I’m thinking my son probably missed Bell by like 2 questions. Ugh! I was hoping for a repeat of his 133 from last year.

    Okay…does anyone know what’s happening with the situation at Beaubien? Do we anticipate a changing of the guard in the LSC? Is the Assistant likely to become the Principal? I am kind of reluctant to accept the spot unless I know a change in admin is in order. Also, how many kids from Beaubien get into the Top 4 SE High Schools? If my kids are going to be at 2 different schools, it needs to be well worth the effort of driving in 2 opposite directions for 6 years. Thank you in advance to anyone who can offer insight about Beaubien.

  • 175. Chris  |  March 26, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    ” last year, for Tier 4, Coonley never got as low as 140″

    IN at least one prior year, Coonley turned down kids with 151.

  • 176. cpsobsessed  |  March 26, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    The RGC scores are not IQ so don’t anyone get depressed or elated by them. BUT, in theory, if 100 is the mean (which we are just assuming) then the distribution should be roughly similar so that could be an approximation, and sorta seems to hold up.

    But as many have pointed out, the tests (esp for 4 year olds!) can really miss the mark because the kids are young and the test isn’t a full blown test.

    They say around 3rd grade is when gifted testing becomes valid (still not fully accurate given the CPS group testing scenario) but probably a little close to reality, which is why I tested my son this year, just to see.

    On the other hand, he’s gotten more lax about details and paying attention….

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 177. I  |  March 26, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    Disappointed as well…Tier 2 …for kindergarten
    reading 90, math 95
    RGC 138
    No offers, and no magents either
    I just cant believe that as of now she’s not even in school next year.

  • 178. LS Mom  |  March 26, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    2 sons took the test – in a private now.
    1) rgc – 120, cs reading – 87, math – 90, going into 3rd grade
    2) rgc – 121, classical reading – 97, math – 80, going into 1st grade

    no offers. happy where we are but want to make sure they are progressing.

  • 179. arthur  |  March 26, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    You are going to love these scores for my daughter:

    entering K
    Tier 3
    classical: 40%/80%
    RGC: 140

    No offers.

    She is very smart in a visual, intuitive way, but I don’t know if she would be a good fit in an RGC. Her brother goes to the Bell RGC and it is perfect for him, but he was always very academic, even as a 4 year old. My daughter does not read, has little interest in math and does not color in the lines.

  • 180. Christine Whitley  |  March 26, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    Ok here’s something weird: my friend’s son got an offer for K at Coonley gifted but there was no score in the space! Just a question mark! She’s going to call OAE but I’ve never heard of this happening…

  • 181. arthur  |  March 26, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    maybe he scored higher than they can count….

  • 182. cpsobsessed  |  March 26, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    @christine – let us know — maybe he”s an uber genius and scored a 200 or something?!

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 183. Chris  |  March 26, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    “The RGC scores are not IQ”

    Right, but scaled basically the same, no?

    Or is the “130 = about 98%” just coincidence?

  • 184. LR  |  March 26, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    @ 148: If anything, I think being younger is an advantage. The test score your child gets is how they do compared to other kids that were the same age at the time they took the test. So, for instance, my son was 5 years 11months when he took the test, so his 121 is based on how he did versus all the other 5 year 11month olds who took the test (and they are nationalized norms). However, if you think about it, to get a 121, he probably needed to answer a couple more questions correctly than a child who was 5 years 3 months (summer birthday kids) at the time they took the test. Or, another way to think about it, is if a younger child got the same number of questions correct as he did, they probably got a higher score (because their score is compared to younger kids).

    That being said, these tests are highly unreliable. I remember a statistic that said less than 25% of kids would get the same score if they took the test on a different day. With that low reliability, it’s shocking CPS would rely on this system to decide who gets the very few SE spots in K and 1st.

  • 185. Persia  |  March 26, 2012 at 5:34 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 modern program. Is it unwise to go with STEM instead of Skinner?
    How is Skinner west vs Skinner north?
    I appreciate any comments.

  • 186. Chris  |  March 26, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    ” With that low reliability, it’s shocking CPS would rely on this system to decide who gets the very few SE spots in K and 1st.”

    What should they rely on?

  • 187. Another Buena Park Mom  |  March 26, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    Kindergarten, Tier 3

    RGC: 146
    Classical: 95 reading/95 math 95

    Offer from Coonley Gifted

    Now deciding between Coonley and Disney. We live across the street from Disney and my son has been in TBPK there for two years. And we have a younger daughter so it would be great to have them both in the same school in a few years. But it’s such a hard decision! Advice welcome!

  • 188. Thorpmom  |  March 26, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    AC score 803 for 8th grade – no offers

    Magnet – Franklin waitlist #2

    What are our chances for Franklin? I don’t want to transfer the last year but gifted at Thorp is lacking…

  • 189. LR  |  March 26, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    @186: Good question. I guess it just makes me question whether SE Elementary Schools should start at K or 1st at all. Scores become more reliable by 3rd grade.

    I did some research and 11 kids from Beaubien get into the top 4. Doesn’t seem that impressive. However, I noticed 39 kids from Taft get in. Do Beaubien kids end up jumping ship in Jr. High and going to Taft?

  • 190. JS  |  March 26, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    RGC 119, Rdg 99%, Math 96% offered Skinner No.

    Anyone have insights about Mayer? She’s 6th on the wait list there.

  • 191. BethNW Side  |  March 26, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    So total rookie here. A little help?

    Two kids, no acceptance to any schools. We applied to 4, I think (hubby has paperwork.)

    – 1st grader (going into 2nd): 110 (And he’s the “smart” one)
    – PreK (going into K): 122

    NO Reading / Math percentile, so I guess we didn’t apply for “Classical” schools so you don’t get that breakdown?

  • 192. Chris  |  March 26, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    ” I guess it just makes me question whether SE Elementary Schools should start at K or 1st at all. Scores become more reliable by 3rd grade.”

    Ugh. Can you imagine how that would all shake out–there would be *huge* disruptions to soo many schools.

    Agreed about the vagaries of early testing and the 8yo+ shakeout, of course.

  • 193. abc123  |  March 26, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    Yes, it is a shame that this is not a real IQ test. It’s very frustrating, but at least you know your child truly is gifted. The CPS tests are a combination of some standardized tests and…. remember it’s not administered by professionals either. Just grad students studying to be professionals at this.

    It’s depressing to read everyone’s venting. Try not to question what you did, or your child did. You will feel better again. I believe the best option is to find a neighborhood school you love and supplement. Or homeschool if you prefer.

  • 194. 1st grade  |  March 26, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    @189 LR

    at Beaubien that would be 11 out of 30 8th graders got into Selective High Schools
    how many 8th graders are at Taft?

  • 195. Disappointed  |  March 26, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    Thinking about homeschooling as previously stated; wondering if any parents would like to form a homeschooling club for the kindergarten kids to interact socially. Maybe 1-3 times a week for a couple of hours?

  • 196. LR  |  March 26, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    @194: Wait a minute…I thought Beaubien had way more than 30 8th graders. Right? Aren’t there 30 alone in the RGC class? Plus neighborhood classes?

    And Taft would be Taft’s Academic Center program. So, I don’t know how many 8th graders. 80? 100? I’m just guessing. Maybe someone else knows?

  • 197. iwantmyradio1  |  March 26, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    @186 Chris private gifted schools use tests like the WPPSI-III and the WISC-IV for admission, and will administer the tests for a fee. I don’t see why CPS couldn’t offer the tests for free for those who don’t want to use outside testers, and allow parents to submit results from accredited testers if they want to, at least for the gifted schools.

    These are some of the only public gifted schools in the state, for some of us it’s the only chance we have at getting our children the appropriate learning environment.

    Obviously I’m going to come off as being bitter and resentful so I guess I’ll chime out from now on. Congrats to all who got the schools they wanted today.

  • 198. Relieved  |  March 26, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    K-tier 4
    Math 99.9
    Reading 99.9
    RGC- 158

    Offered Skinner West (1st Choice)

    Horrible neighborhood school. Huge relief. Good luck to people in tough situations.

  • 199. karenhho  |  March 26, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    K, Tier 4, 148, offered at Coonley
    1st grade, Tier 4, 129, no offers

    Hoping for good news in the 2nd round for my 1st grader. Recently pulled him from kindergarten to homeschool. Good luck, everybody, and thanks for sharing the info!

  • 200. CPSDistressed  |  March 26, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    Entering K
    Tier 4
    RGC Score 149
    Classical: Reading 96 Math 95

    Offer for Edison

    24 hours ago I would have been thrilled, but after reading some of the comments on here I am nervous.

    Any advice or feedback on Edison would be greatly appreciated.

  • 201. 1st grade  |  March 26, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    @196 LR, yes sorry, I counted roughly 30 8th graders in the Options at Beaubien, I did not include the neighborhood 8th graders of the school…

    since the options kids have to test into the options program, lets compare them to the test-in portion of the Taft, the academic center…

    I will try to find the link to the spreadsheet that indicates how many kids from what schools got into selective HS.

  • 202. worriedmom  |  March 26, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    Tier 4
    Entering 4 th
    score 101
    Do I have a chance at all?

  • 203. Skinner North-bound  |  March 26, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    Tier 4
    Entering Kindergarten
    Child’s Birthday 09/28 (so he’s the oldest kid in his class)
    RGC test 137
    Reading >99.9
    Math > 99.9
    Got into Skinner North, which was our first choice
    I don’t think that his gifted test score would have gotten us into a gifted program since we’re in Tier 4, right?

  • 204. CPS Parent  |  March 26, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    Entering 2nd grade
    Classical: 98 reading/99 math
    Offered: Skinner North
    Tier 4

  • 205. A Parent Considering Homeschooling  |  March 26, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    @195 Disappointed. I’d be interested in a kindergarten homeschooling group. Email me at 1squishypickle at gmail dot com

  • 206. Chris  |  March 26, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    “I don’t see why CPS couldn’t offer the tests for free ”

    Do you really not see why $500 x 10,000+ kids isn’t feasible? How many genuinely-qualified, independent admistrators of IQ tests for 4/5 yos are there in Chicago?

  • 207. Lisa  |  March 26, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    Tier 2
    No offers

    Gifted 141
    Classical Reading 76
    Classical Math 91

  • 208. DSW  |  March 26, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    Entering kindergarten
    Tier 3
    RGC score 147
    Offered at Lenart

  • 209. kiki h.  |  March 26, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    @185, 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.

  • 210. Paul  |  March 26, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    Oldest applying for 2nd grade: No offers
    – RGC: 115
    – Classical: Reading: 93 and Math: 96

    Youngest applying for Kindergarten: No offers
    – RGC: 134
    – Classical: Reading: 40 (not sure what happened there); and Math: 93

    Luckily, we’ve got a good neighborhood school (Agassiz) so no worries.

  • 211. Mom  |  March 26, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    Paul, does Agassiz have an after school program?

    Thank you.

  • 212. mom  |  March 26, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    Taft AC has all the Decatur kids right?

  • 213. Paul  |  March 26, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    Yes. Agassiz’s after-school program is run by JCC at the school. There are also a bunch of enrichment programs run by other groups. The only one we’ve done is Mad Science once a week, which my son loves.

  • 214. Mom  |  March 26, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    Thanks, Paul. Exciting to my husband that Arabic is offered!

  • 215. Chicago Mama  |  March 26, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    Not even remotely surprised at my child’s scores for K:

    108 @ RGC, 40/87 classical
    No offers

  • 216. karet  |  March 26, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    @139: Skinner North is “in kind of a sketchy area, think Candyman.”

    Hilarious! Cabrini Green is no longer there — it’s just a big grassy field. The biggest danger in that neighborhood is that you might wander into the Whole Foods on North Avenue and spend $100 on a bag of groceries.

  • 217. Rachelle  |  March 26, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    RGC: 134
    Reading: 34%/Math 56%.
    Tier 3… no offers.

    Obviously, no chance for a Classical, but I am still hoping to get into a gifted school in the fall — preferably Pritzker. Do you think I have any hope?
    She only got into Disney, and I am concerned that with her low reading scores that she will overlooked for the honors track.

  • 218. Parent  |  March 26, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    @mom 212 – Decatur kids go many places including Whitney Young, Lane, and Taft when they leave after 6th grade. Yes there are many that go to Taft AC but they also have a very good percentage of those who go the Whitney and Lane. And then of course there are a few spread out other places too.

  • 219. glmama  |  March 26, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    tier 4: entering 1st grade: RCG 123; Classical Reading 20; Math 97

    not sure what happened with the reading score? do we win the prize for largest gap in classical scores??? crazy. I’m putting it down to not enjoying the testing, but perhaps I will check in with his K teacher just in case…

    no offers.

  • 220. Jamie  |  March 26, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    Tier 4, RGC score 148. For classical, reading 84 & math 90.
    Offered at Lenart (3rd choice). If I decline it, will my son have a chance at Edison (4th)? Any ideas?

  • 221. Andrea  |  March 26, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    Entering K
    Tier 4
    Gifted 131
    Classical Reading 95 Classical Math 99
    No offers

  • 222. None  |  March 26, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    Tier 4
    Gifted 131
    Classical read 93
    Classical math 95
    Entering 2nd grade
    No offers

  • 223. EastLoopMom  |  March 26, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    @221 Andrea

    Where did you apply?

  • 224. Rebecca  |  March 26, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    Entering 1st grade
    RGC test 127
    Reading 98
    Math 99
    We are already in the classical program at skinner west. We love the school it is just really far from our house ( we live directly between Coonley and Bell. We got accepted to skinner west… Oops filled out the form wrong… Obviously we will turn that down as we are already in… Just wondering is 127 in tier 4 a long shot at 2nd or 3rd rounds for RGC- bell or coonley????? The lowest score I see so far is 131. Good luck everyone… This is nuts!

  • 225. TwinMom (CPS K Mom)  |  March 26, 2012 at 7:32 pm


    FWIW, your child’s scores (both for RGC and for classical) are almost identical to what my twins’ scored last year (one twin had almost the same for both; the other twin had the same classical scores but a slightly lower RGC score than your child).

    In the first round, we only received one (RGC) offer for one twin, but declined it. By the end of the summer, we’d received a Coonley offer (accepted it) for that twin, and then offers for Pritzker, Skinner West, and Skinner North (declined them all) for the other twin.

    LOTS can happen in the summer, so hang in there!!

  • 226. Gwen  |  March 26, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    @189 – I’m not sure where you got your statistics indicating only 11 kids getting into the top 4 from Beaubien. This year 15 kids got 900 – they could go to any that they wanted – though I know of at least one of the 900 who chose Lane – a lot of people know that Lane is an excellent school. I know of 8 going to Northside, 4 to Payton, 4 to Whitney and 3 to Jones, and about 6 to Lane, several to LP and at least one to ChiArts. These are the ones I know of, I’m sure there are more. This year’s 8th grade class lost NO kids to Taft – and only one to Whitney in 7th grade. Several kids did come over to Beaubien from Decatur in 7th grade and in previous years as well.

  • 227. Donna Draper  |  March 26, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    No offers – yet our back up may be solid. South Loop is neighborhood school, but we hear mixed things. Any South Loop neighborhood feedback?

  • 228. WestSidePops  |  March 26, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    Entering 1st grade
    Tier 3
    Gifted 123 (-8 from last year)
    Reading 96 (+5)
    Math 97 (+0)

    Offered Keller (4th choice)… tough call.

  • 229. Lisa  |  March 26, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    Tier4 for K
    Reading 99.9 Math 96

    offered skinner west

  • 230. None  |  March 26, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    @227 South Loop a solid neighborhood school – we love the “walking reading” program where they put all the kids of the same level together for 45 minutes a day regardless of grade (for 1st – 3rd grade). For example, may 1st graders “walk” to a second grade class.

    The negative is the overcrowding problems.

  • 231. nonplussed  |  March 26, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    Entering 1st grade.
    Tier 4. Score 123. no offers.

    Is there a chance of him being offered Beaubien ? What is Beaubien like?

  • 232. LR  |  March 26, 2012 at 7:49 pm

    @226: Thank you for the info! I was going straight from the WBEZ article that was posted a couple weeks ago on this blog, but I know others have pointed out inaccuracies in those numbers as well. I appreciate all the info about Beaubien. Looks like a lot of kids are getting into great high schools, which is reassuring to me.

  • 233. Emom  |  March 26, 2012 at 7:49 pm

    Our son has been at Edison for a few years, and we really like the school ( and he does too). 2 recesses a day, PE twice a week, french, science all in a modern building. he likes some teachers more than others. Homework is manageable. There will be many changes next year though, the principal, kindergarten and fourth grade teacher are all retiring. I’m not worried, but I’m sorry you will missed the K teacher, she was pretty special.

  • 234. Nathan  |  March 26, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    Does anyone know, if you accept an offer at a school lower on your list, are you still eligible to come off the wait list at preferred schools? Also, any thoughts on bus times from Ravenswood to Skinner North? I’m dreading a long commute combined with the longer school day. I’ll never see my son again!

  • 235. Donna Draper  |  March 26, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    @227-Thanks for South Loop feedback. Do you think the elimination of RGC will help with crowding? And, how is recess and phy Ed? We toured 2 years ago or preK but it is a blur.

  • 236. CPSDistressed  |  March 26, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    @233 Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience with me! I really appreciate it.

  • 237. figuring this out  |  March 26, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    Entering K
    Tier 4
    Gifted 134
    Reading 97
    Math 98
    No offers
    Coonely was our top choice, but based on the other comments, it doesn’t sound like we have a chance!

  • 238. LR  |  March 26, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    @231: I don’t know. My son, Tier 3, got into Beaubien with 121. The Tier 4 scores that I hear for Beaubien so far are more like 128-ish. Can’t explain why the cutoff is so different. Maybe fewer Tier 3 applicants for Beaubien since it is surrounded by mostly Tier 4? I guess I am thankful that we decided to stay in our Tier 3 apartment.

  • 239. Another NW mom  |  March 26, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    @191 BethNWSide –

    Your kids must have not taken the classical or they’d have a classical score along with the gifted.

    Are you in Tier 4? If so sadly probably won’t get gifted offers.

    If you’re in Tier 1 your 122 score might get a later gifted offer.

  • 240. marla  |  March 26, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    Is the neighborhood component at Skinner West any good? Desperate to hear comments.

  • 241. Oneandonly  |  March 26, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    134, offered Carnegie. We stuck it on as a 6th choice. DH works not to far away. We are in RGC at Pritzker already, 3rd grade going into 4th.

    comments on Carnegie welcome. We’d move to Hyde Park if we chose the school. On first glance, not sure we’d be a good fit.

  • 242. Joanna  |  March 26, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    @234. We live in Ravenswood and our son attends Skinner North. Bus picks up at McPherson @ 7:10 and Ravenswood @ ~7:15.
    Drop off is 3:55 at McPherson.

  • 243. SW Side Momma  |  March 26, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    Question about siblings- Does anyone have siblings at the same school with one in the Options program and one in the neighborhood program? Does it cause any problems between your kids?

  • 244. SW Side Momma  |  March 26, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    Oh also, did anyone just barely miss the cut-off last year and do regular K and get into SEES this year for first grade (or similar scenario.)

  • 245. shelliejelly  |  March 26, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    Tier 2
    Classical–reading 99.8, math 72
    RGC 132

    Obviously classical is out, though a bit surprised at her math score, as I’ve always thought she had a fairly solid foundation with a basic mastery of addition and subtraction, good abstract thinking skills. She’s in a Montessori school that works for her, so not too disappointed, but wanted to test to see if we had options.

    I’ll say her tester left me feeling blah about the process. Other testers came in and engaged with the child, said things like “Feel like coming and talking with me for a few minutes,” and Sabine’s came in, walked over when we signaled and said “Ready for your test?” We’d specifically contextualized the day in a non-test way—telling her she was just going to talk to someone about what she knows, may have to do a few basic task so as she wouldn’t feel it was a test.

    Congratulations to everyone who got good news today! Hard to believe that 98th percentile (the 132) and higher get you nowhere in this city. A good education shouldn’t be this competitive…makes me crazy!

  • 246. SL Parent  |  March 26, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    @235 we also love south loop neighborhood program. check website for upcoming tours and registration info.

  • 247. cfabian  |  March 26, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    Relieved and anxious. My kid got accepted into Bell. I toured Bell and liked it and have researched their test scores. I am interested in getting more information from parents who currently have their child enrolled in gifted program. How is Bell? My kid is coming from a great magnet school so we are little torn.

  • 248. AW  |  March 26, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    @ 243 Yes, I do. So far, no problems. I was really worried that my younger child (neighborhood program) would feel bad — but that is not the case. In fact, when I tested him again this year he told me he definitely did NOT want to move to options even if he was offered a spot (which he wasn’t). At home we don’t make any distinctions (they are both very bright), the school does a great job integrating programs, and there are a lot of super smart kids (and a sufficiently difficult curriculum) in the neighborhood program. For what its worth, at our school there are even a couple of families with twins (one in options and one in neighborhood).

  • 249. Purpleviolin  |  March 26, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    7 year old with WSCI IV 157(99.9) got gifted score of 112.

  • 250. AW  |  March 26, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    @ 247 We are very happy with Bell (one in gifted, one in neighborhood). First grade teacher is very challenging but pretty amazing. School has a good vibe, I think. Of course, you have to do what works for your family… We live in the neighborhood so it has been a natural fit for us.

  • 251. Mom  |  March 26, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    @249, Remember that CPS is not really testing to see if your clearly very bright child is “gifted” as per WSCI-IV.

    CPS is just testing to see if your child can do work that is one year advanced. That’s it. Don’t take it personally.

  • 252. Laurie  |  March 26, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    @241 oneandonly – we got offered Carnegie too. I would also love to hear any feedback on the school.

  • 253. Persia  |  March 26, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    @209 Thank you for the comment on STEM. I would also appreciate any comparison of STEM with Skinner west and any comparison of skinner west vs north.


  • 254. karenhho  |  March 26, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    My soon-to-be kindergartner was offered a spot at Coonley. Would love to hear about anyone’s experiences there! I’ve heard/read there is a lot of homework, and a friend of mind told me her neighbor’s 3rd grader has been in tears trying to get through it. I don’t want my kid to be bored, but I don’t want him to be miserable either! Thanks!

  • 255. school vouchers  |  March 26, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    Tier 4, applied K, RGC 135, Classics Reading 67/Math 73

    No offers.


  • 256. Kelly  |  March 26, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    For all the new prospective Skinner North families — my twins have been there for two years now (K and now 1st), and we’ve really loved the school and the community of extremely active families. The teachers are phenomenal, and I don’t find the area to be sketchy at all (as karet says, the most dangerous thing in the neighborhood is that Whole Foods sucking up my paychecks). Anyone who wants info about Skinner North can feel free to email me: kjcwright (at) gmail (dot) com

  • 257. LR  |  March 26, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    @247: We love Bell! My daughter is in 2nd grade options. Academically it is a great fit for her. Teachers have been awesome so far. My only criticism (and I have to dig deep) about Bell is that it doesn’t give me the warm fuzzies like our old Catholic school. But, it is roughly 3 times the size. Being in Options helps a bit, just because you are with the same 28 families year after year. Also, we are about to get a $10 million addition, which is great. Love the school. Don’t be anxious. The only thing to be unsure of is being part of the larger monster that is CPS : )

  • 258. M.S.  |  March 26, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    1st grader @ Disney received zilch in Classical offers. Not surprised w/her attention span. Last year’s 94% in reading dipped to 82% this year. Last year’s abysmal 29% in math went up to 35% this year. Still kicking myself for not testing for Classical after two years of private pre-K– only did gifted w/no luck. Guess she’ll remain @ Disney where she does well, & we’ll keep on testing to measure progress.

    Little sister entering K was offered a sibling spot @ Disney, but her 99% reading/88% math was enough to get an offer from Decatur. Expected higher than 119 for RGC, nothing there. Tier 2.

  • 259. fantastically uniquely me  |  March 26, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    Grade 5
    Tier 3-
    RGC 138
    Math 98%
    Reading 99%
    Overall point score: 864
    offered Lincoln and Skinner West( first choices) Which should we pick?

  • 260. Uptownmama  |  March 26, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    Tier 3

    RGC – 144
    Classical reading 99
    Classical math 97

    Accepted into Coonley (our first choice)

    Now deciding between Coonley and a private school.

  • 261. so confused  |  March 26, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    Entering K
    Tier 3
    RGC 130
    Reading 88
    Math 88

    Obviously, no offers. Wait-listed at all lottery choices. Fingers crossed that the 676 kids in front of us at Stone got in somewhere else….

    I understand the need to put limits on scores, but I still don’t understand how all of this works. They are in Kindergarten, for goodness sake!

  • 262. JeanneToo  |  March 26, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    A question for anyone willing to answer – do you feel strongly about favoring an RGC over a Classical or vice versa? My DD won’t be going through this rigamarole until next year, and frankly, my biggest thing would be commute/distance over one type of school or another. I know they’re very different, but I just don’t get a strong preference for one type over the other.

  • 263. Torn Mom  |  March 26, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    Tier 4
    Entering grade 4
    Accepted at Bell 1st choice.
    Currently at Decatur. Any advice on Decatur vs. Bell?

    Other child
    142 entering 6th grade. no offers, wanted Bell
    871.4 accepted Lincoln academic center IG
    Currently at Beaubien. Any advice on Lincoln IG vs. Beaubien. Beaubien has a magical math teacher so hard pressed to leave.

  • 264. Arjun Kumar  |  March 26, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    Tier 4, Entering K. RGC: 136. Reading: 90. Math: 94.

    Applied in order: Lenart, Edison, McDade, Poe, Carnegie, Beasley.

    Accepted at McDade. Among Magnets: Galileo (offered), Newberry (wait listed 6), Sheridan (wait listed 6), Vanderpoel (waitlisted 4).

    Feeling thankful for what has been given to us. Would love to hear any comments/ suggestions on what we should do. What are the chances of getting into Sheridan? (We live in Hyde Park and would slightly prefer a nearby school.)

  • 265. M.S.  |  March 26, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    Um, Skinner North is not in “Zombie Town.” My kids attend classes at Menomonee Club nearby with kids from the expensive British School next door. The area has an Apple Store, mad retail, & the best Whole Foods in the city. Don’t turn down Skinner North based on that assessment, please.

  • 266. Mom  |  March 26, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    Got our letter! We got into Bell, 1st grade, with a 131. It was our first choice. Any Bell incoming 1st grade parents want to start up a google group?

  • 267. Should we be happy?  |  March 26, 2012 at 8:42 pm


    Tier 3

    RGC 144

    Reading: >99.99

    Math: 97%

    Offered Decatur (second choice), would have preferred Edison. I wonder how close we were.

    Does anyone have experience with Decatur? I’m concerned that the classical schools only work one year above grade level.

  • 268. genxatmidlife  |  March 26, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    We did not test this year, but did in previous years. This is a note on the CPS test vs. a real IQ test. The CPS test is NOT a real IQ test. I attended a tour at a RGC last year where the director said that essentially it is, but it is NOT.

    Our DC did not get a spot with a 98th percentile score. Second time around, hated the testing and his scores reflected that. Had him IQ tested because of struggles at school — yep, 99.9th percentile gifted in math and globally gifted per two real IQ tests.

    Congrats to the families who get in… it is great news! For everyone else who is surprised at scores, it is frustrating, but is not necessarily a reflection of their potential.

  • 269. fantastically uniquely me  |  March 26, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    actually entering grade 6 whoops.

  • 270. momof2  |  March 26, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    @262 – Torn Mom – Why are you considering leaving Decatur? Would love to hear the positives and negatives from your experience.

  • 271. Not a perfect system  |  March 26, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    I have 2 kids at Coonley (1st and 3rd), one in option and one in neighborhood. For both the girls, homework is limited to at most 10-15 minutes with additional 20-30 minutes for reading. Sometimes all their homework is completed in the bus ride home. Compared to my friend’s kids at other options programs, Coonley does not give a lot of homework.

  • 272. Torn Mom  |  March 26, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    @270 – LOVE LOVE LOVE Decatur. Am very torn because it only goes to 6th grade. I believe most students test into great 7th grade programs. Another reason is Bell is much closer and would cut his bus ride at least in 1/2. Decatur is fantastic and probably one of the best run schools in CPS. Gym 2x with one time per week at JCC. Great outdoor space. Lunch is fine in classroom. Outstanding teachers.

  • 273. gin kilgore  |  March 26, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    Tier 1
    RGC 133
    Reading 81
    Math 89

    Applied to Pritzker, Edison, Decatur and Skinner North

    No offers–I am a little surprised by how high a score seems to be needed for gifted, even for tier 1.

    We are in a solid neighborhood school now, so are not stressed. Just hoping the high school situation will improve in the next 8 years!

  • 274. Wrigleyville Mom  |  March 26, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    Testing for K, Tier 4

    RGC: 148 — Offer to Coonley

    Classical: Reading – 99.7 percentile, Math – 93 percentile

    Disney I is a walkable distance five blocks away, and our neighbors have raved about the comprehensive gifted program their son is in there (Chinese everyday, lots of access to media and labs, etc). So it seems like there would be lots of positives to Disney for us, assuming our child tests into comprehensive gifted there. But I loved the vibe at Coonley…warm environment, involved parent community, etc. Any thoughts re Disney I vs. Coonley RGC? We have an only child so sibling admittance is not an issue. Thanks!

  • 275. Rosa M. Ponce  |  March 26, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    Entering 5th Grade, Boy, third child
    Score 130 – No offers
    Tier 4.
    Edison only choice, currently at a private school. Got into Edison in K, but declined. Oldest daughter did one year at Beaubien Gifted, didn’t like it. Currently on the wait list at St. Ignatius. Middle daughter was going into 3rd accepted to Edison the year Edison moved, also declined. Too much anxiety with CPS.

  • 276. cpsobsessed  |  March 26, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    Wrigleyville mom – have you toured disney? Do they still have those open classrooms? That seems like the wild card (ie difference.). I think both schools have very positive cultures. Coonely is not very diverse, fyi. Could be a pro for disney. Con could be the open classrooms.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 277. DCB  |  March 26, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    Tier 4
    RGC: 133
    Classical: 90% Reading, 97% Math

    We received an offer from Carnegie RGC, which was our second choice (due to its proximity to where we live in Hyde Park). Our first choice was Lenart.

  • 278. R's Dad  |  March 26, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    Entering K, Tier 3

    RGC 129
    Classical: reading 91, math 97

    No Offers from: Edison, Skinner North, Coonley, Pritzker

    Anyone want to put out odds of getting in on another round??

  • 279. nwsidemom  |  March 26, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    Scores 131 RGC
    88 reading
    80 math
    Tier 4

    Offered spot at Beaubien for 1st grade. Currently at a magnet for K and daughter is doing well. Not sure what to do as I’ve heard both good and bad about Beaubien. Any insights would be good.

  • 280. gladmom  |  March 26, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    Applied for K

    RGC: 148

    Classical: 86 reading / 99 math

    Accepted to Coonley – we are relieved too. We’ve had our son at a small catholic school but want to support CPS. We got high waitlist numbers for the magnets. Coonley is close and we will be glad to keep him there.

  • 281. gladmom  |  March 26, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    oh, and we are tier 4

  • 282. Whew!  |  March 26, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    Tier 3
    RGC 139
    Reading >99.9
    Math 97

    Offered at Decatur, was our second choice.

    Coonley was 1st choice, but after reading here, probably not going to happen with a 139…bummer, it is so close to home!

    You might all hate us but also got offered Franklin Magnet and 3rd on wait list at Disney II.

    We are most likely taking Decatur, but would love everyone’s opinion…we do have a younger sibling, and taking a Magnet spot would get us sibling preference right?…We will be are hard pressed to give up Decatur…

    We do feel like we won the lotto here for sure!!!!

  • 283. SW Side Momma  |  March 26, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    @Arjun #264 We were called pretty early in the process two years ago and had #6 on the Sheridan list. HTH

  • 284. Another Buena Park Mom  |  March 26, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    Wrigleyville mom: We have the same exact dilemma. We are choosing between Disney I and Coonley gifted and we live right behind Disney. Also, our son has been at Disney TBPK for two years and we have a younger daughter to consider (although four years away from K).

    We love Disney and were pretty settled on going there, until we got the letter about Coonley today. Now we’re just not sure what to do and we’re agonizing over it. Pods have not been an issue for our son thus far, but now we’re questioning everything. So hard to make this decision.

    We’ve never toured Coonley though so maybe that would help us one way or the other.

    Argh. I don’t see myself getting much sleep the next few nights.

  • 285. Wrigleyville Mom  |  March 26, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    @ 276 – cpsobsessed

    Yes, I’ve toured both Disney and Coonley. Disney does have the open pods. I think they do a pretty good job of defining classroom spaces with low furniture, and when you step into a pod it does feel like you’re immersed into the space, though It’s probably not ideal for every kid. I think I can get over the pod setup — I’m more worried about the overall size of the school and the principal who seems quite rigid.

    Now that I see what I’ve written, I think we’re leaning toward Coonley and are grateful to have gotten an offer. I guess my general hesitation is how my singleton daughter, who is more comfortable with adults and loves adult attention, will transition from her parochial Pre-K class with 1:10 ratio to a much larger CPS K class size.

  • 286. A Parent Considering Homeschooling  |  March 26, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    @244 SW Side Mama my friend’s son just missed the cut off for RGC for K. He attended neighborhood school instead and tested into Keller for 1st.

  • 287. Dad  |  March 26, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    Entering 2nd grade
    139, 96/96
    No offer, ranked Edison/Bell/Decatur

  • 288. Finally  |  March 26, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    Entering 1st Grade

    Gifted 108-much lower than last year (125)

    Classical 99 Reading 99 Math

    Accepted at Decatur

    Tier irrelevant for non-entry year, thank God!

    Didn’t get in anywhere last year for K-had 98 reading and 96 math. We put our child into a 1st grade program at a local Catholic School because she was too advanced for their K and it has worked out well. Private schools may let you jump ahead a grade. You have to ask. We were really bummed out last year but look what happened this year. Keep trying, you never know what will happen…

  • 289. Torn Mom  |  March 26, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    Great experience with my son at Beaubien gifted. The teachers are amazing. We did not feel impact of principal because the gifted teachers do such a great job with curriculum and the gifted coordinator does a great job. Recess and longer lunch next year will be great for all schools including Beaubien. It is hard to beat a program where kids all test in vs. a magnet which is lottery, although there are fantastic magnets too. Lucky to have a choice!

  • 290. SW Side Momma  |  March 26, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    @286 Good to hear- I worry about sibling rivalry and one being in the program and the other in the neighborhood program.

  • 291. a dad  |  March 26, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    @244.SW Side Momma

    Our child just missed Coonley and Edison for K (with a high score) but got into Bell for first grade and loves it. Actually, for our family, I’m glad (now) that we didn’t get the K spot because I think Bell is a better fit for our child. The teachers have been great so far. I feel there are a fair amount of critical thinking opportunities and not just rote, worksheet-type learning. The teachers we’ve had also seem to have an understanding of the challenges that a really gifted child can have in the sense of asynchronous development which has helped immensely. Our year of K was not easy but we got through (with a lot of at home supplemental work) but in the end we are very happy where we ended up. What seemed devastating at the time actually turned out better for us, I believe.

  • 292. Oneandonly  |  March 26, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    Meant to add tier ..4 we think. On border in UKV. So…

    tier 4
    134 (this year)
    Entering 4th
    Offer Carnegie (6th choice)
    hoping for Edison, Bell… Others Beaubien and Coonley.
    We are in RGC at Pritzker. Came from out of town last year (136)

  • 293. karenhho  |  March 26, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    @ 271, thanks for taking the time to reply about Coonley’s homework load! I hope it will be a good fit for my son.

  • 294. Stressed by CPS  |  March 26, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    To SHOULD WE BE HAPPY… Decatur tends to teach up to 2 years above grade level. Be very happy! Yes it has a few drawbacks but overall it’s a great school. It lacks space, no 7/8 grade, no team sports, a lot of teaching to the test. But great environment, great parents, a lot of academic competitions, and more! The kids are always happy.

  • 295. Christine  |  March 26, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    Also, Skinner North is in zombie town; fields of rubble and people of all races and ages pushing shopping carts down the sidewalk and avoiding eye contact. The school also has strict rules about how far into the immediately adjacent playground kids can go by age, so they are never going to enjoy the green space (lest the zombies get them)

    My daughter has been at Skinner North 2 years now and this isn’t really true. I will agree that it’s empty and the park district playground is decrepit.

    However, the Friends of Stanton Park recently raised $3 million to re-do the adjacent park district swimming pool, playground, basketball courts and fields. So the surrounding area will just get better.

  • 296. Welcome to the neighborhood  |  March 26, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    Math 99.9
    Reading 87

    Tier 4 applying to K
    First Choice Skinner West – NO offer

    Is admission based on the total of the math and reading score? What happens in the event of a tie? What’s the next criteria?
    Are there really distinguishments to a tenth of a decimal point in these scores? I see some people listing 99.9.

  • 297. Skinner North Mom  |  March 26, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    I am not sure if the people who are talking about Skinner North negatively have ever been there in the last decade. The neighborhood is the old Cabrini neighborhood, that’s true, but the Cabrini high rises are long gone. I know we cannot afford a townhouse or condo in that neighborhood.

    The only shopping cart I have seen in the neighborhood has had my groceries in it at the area’s Dominick’s or Whole Foods. It’s down the street from the British School, which most of us would struggle to afford. There is talk about a Target moving into the neighborhood.

    My kid has been in K there this year and we have never seen zombies! What we have seen is happy kids, involved parents and amazing teachers. The principal and assistant principal are amazing and responsive. Despite being one of the Pioneer Schools (“fuller-day” since September), the kids seem to enjoy it.

    The school’s playground (on its property) is small and not brand-new, for sure, but they have one, which they use every day during recess. My other child’s RGC has NOTHING for the kids to play on. Skinner North also uses the city’s immediately adjacent Stanton Park for things like its Walk-a-thon. The park is undergoing a significant remodel shortly. That should be a really nice perk for the school.

    As far as “people of all races and ages” go, thank goodness. My family lives in Chicago because it is an exciting and diverse city, with all kinds of different people.

    If your kid is accepted to Skinner North, go and visit the neighborhood and meet the principal, teachers and parents–you will be impressed and thank your lucky stars.

  • 298. TwinMom (CPS K Mom)  |  March 26, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    @karenho: I just wanted to “second’ the comment @271 about Coonley’s homework load. For Kindergarten, at least (that’s all we’ve experienced thus far), the homework is no big deal. My dd can do the whole week’s worth in about a half hour (well, except for the “read 15 minutes a day” part, but that’s part of the homework for the neighborhood program, too, and probably at most CPS schools).

    Hey – @266 “Mom”: my son also got an offer for Bell and we’re 99.9% sure we’re accepting…if you’re interested in a google group, let’s do it! FYI, we probably won’t tell my son until after school ends this year, because that’s going to be difficult (he is a twin and will be separated from his twin, who will stay at their current school).

  • 299. CPStressed  |  March 26, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    Tier 4
    RGC: 150
    Reading: 94
    Math: 95

    offered Edison! Also got into Lasalle II

    Skinner North and STEM were my top choices.

    Lasalle II is walking distance for me… but I guess we’d be crazy to pass up an opportunity for Edison. Sorry to hear the kindergarten teacher and principal are leaving… any news on their replacements?

    Thank you!

  • 300. SLS mama  |  March 26, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    @235 – Eliminating the RGC might help eventually, but not right now. The school is overcrowded in the younger neighborhood classrooms. There is *one* unused classroom, and it is at the branch w/ pre-k and k. There are 1st and 2nd grade classrooms of 37+ kids, but no available space at the main building. They have already lost their art, music, and science rooms. 2 classrooms of 8th graders will graduate this year, but between 2-3 rooms of kindergarteners will enroll next year. *4* rooms of kindergarteners are ready to become 1st graders at the main building, and there is no space for them all. Enrollment will peak in a few years, and eventually it will stabilize around where it is now. Unfortunately this decision gives no relief to the kids who are in overcrowded classrooms, and it gives many RGC families a sense of unease. Our presence contributes to overcrowding that is going to get worse before it gets better, and we’re an easy target, especially as we dwindle in number.

  • 301. Oneandonly  |  March 26, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    @ 133 Laurie – will post here if I learn more of RGC at Carnegie. Quick research today yielded lots of info on supplemental programs aimed at the school, some coming from UofC, which makes sense given proximity. I plan to call tomorrow and request a tour/meeting.

    Can any one provide insight/info on following:
    – With 134 score, entering 4th grade, chances of second round offers?
    – what neighborhood schools have a “gifted” track? And what does one do to be part of that kind of program and how does it compare to RGC?

    Thanks and best wishes to all!

  • 302. Parent  |  March 26, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    classical R 99%, M 97%
    Offer Skinner North
    Gifted 135

    2nd grade=
    Classical R 99%, M 98%
    offer Pritzker
    Gifted 134

    Tier 3

    Trying to get my two kids together. Older one at skinner west. Now what to do?

  • 303. abcde  |  March 26, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    @288 “Tier irrelevant for non-entry year, thank God!”

    Really?? This is news to me. Can anybody confirm that the tier system is only used for entry years?

    Also: Does anybody know if Keller or Lenart have openings for 2nd grade in the fall? Did anyone get an offer for 2nd grade there?

  • 304. Sunny  |  March 26, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    Tier 4 – K – 133 no offers. Applied to North & South side RGCs.

    I am confused. The letter says seats begin as high as 160. I see another Tier 4 parent’s child, #290 got in with 150. How can the back of the letter say that seats begin as high as 160 – I assume Tier 4 has the highest scores. Why are they sending this incorect information out?

  • 305. mom44  |  March 26, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    Tier 4; Gifted Score: 125; Classical Scores: 99.9% for Reading, and 98% for Math. Accepted to Skinner West for Kindergarten. I’m thrilled, I think. Now I need as much feedback on Skinner West as I can get. Neighborhood School is South Loop. I’ve heard very good things about Skinner West but I’ve also heard concerns. I’m concerned about the transporation. Will CPS arrange good transportation.

  • 306. Donna Draper  |  March 26, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    @SLS Mom – wow, 37 kids in a classroom!? That is awful. We really want to support our neighborhood school but just don’t see how that is sustainable. I have heard there are some families from out of boundaries, e.g. Just South of18th, who had the principal’s approval (not magnet or RGC kids). I would think those folks, unfortunately for the kids affected, would be the first off the ship.

  • 307. UIC mom  |  March 26, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    Hi, my 1st grader has been accepted by Keller. Seeking the information about the school and transportation. I am in UIC area.

  • 308. Arjun Kumar  |  March 26, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    @304 Sunny. They start admitting at the top, where the scores may be as high as 160, and then move down.

  • 309. SLS mama  |  March 26, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    @Donna Draper – There are enough out of neighborhood, non-RGC kids in kindergarten to fill an entire classroom. (Not an exaggeration – that number came from Jimm Dispensa, CPS’s numbers guru.) Some are siblings, but many are in the situation you described. The principal officially takes a “once you are here, you stay” attitude. Our fear is that with the failure to fill RGC seats, natural attrition will cause the options classrooms to get smaller (not including those that flee – that will just accelerate the process). This will put additional pressure on the neighborhood classroom size as teachers are allocated based on total enrollment and averages. At some point, sustaining self contained RGC classrooms will no longer be feasible. It is easier to get CPS to boot a program than it is to confront families to whom you gave special consideration and are donating heavily to the school…

  • 310. mil mom  |  March 26, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    Incoming 8th grader, score of 133, in at Bell & Lincoln. Will decline spots, kid is happy where he is.

  • 311. Mom  |  March 26, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    To those moms considering Disney v. Coonley, I had a similar decision last year. The one comment someone told me that guided my decision – it will probably be an option for your kids to go to Disney in the future. It will probably not be an option for your kids to go to Coonley. I would take the choice that gives you more options in the future and take the spots at Coonley. Great choice to have, though!

  • 312. new homeschooler  |  March 26, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    @8, 16, 57, 81, and anyone else considering homeschooling, it’s easier and more fun than you think. We pulled our kindergartner out to homeschool in January and it’s been wonderful. We have the freedom to pursue in-depth learning, the time to go back to fun classes we had to cut out because of school, and the flexibility to travel or go to the zoo or museums without fear of the attendance policy. Most important, we have a changed child who’s no longer near-meltdown every afternoon and is 100% kinder to her brother. The Northside Unschoolers Group is a great resource. It’s daunting to take the homeschool plunge, but having done it I’m grateful every day.

  • 313. Dad  |  March 26, 2012 at 11:06 pm

    @303 abcde

    The little video (from CPS OAE or whatever it’s called now) that they showed to parents while our kids were testing at IIT said that the tiers don’t come into play for non-entry grade spots.
    Which is different from what a principal at an RGC told me on one tour, but I think that principal was just making stuff up.

  • 314. karenhho  |  March 26, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    I’d like to second #312’s comments on homeschooling! I couldn’t have said it better myself. I unenrolled my kindergartner this year and despite all my doubts going into it, it has been wonderful! I wish I’d done it sooner! Thank you for recommending the Northside Unschoolers Group. I will have to look into that. My preschooler got into Coonley, but my kindergartner has not been offered a spot to date, and I am content homeschooling him until we find a solid program for him. 🙂 Next year, my 3rd child will be in preschool too, so it will actually be easier.

  • 315. SmilingMom  |  March 26, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    Tier 2 Entering 1st grade
    RGC test 126
    Reading 99 Math 90
    Offer Keller ( First Choice)
    Need some comments on Keller.

  • 316. SmilingMom  |  March 26, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    @307. UIC mom

    Is your kid going to 2nd grade?

  • 317. Jackie  |  March 26, 2012 at 11:44 pm

    I think light saber skills should be considered in the process!

  • 318. abcde  |  March 26, 2012 at 11:56 pm

    @UIC mom and SmilingMom

    Congrats on getting one of the coveted spots at Keller!! Excellent school. We have two kids there and couldn’t wish for a better learning environment for them.
    Our first grader did not score high enough this year (RCG: 127).
    @UIC mom: In case your child be entering Keller in 2nd grade, do you mind sharing his or her score?

    @313 Dad: Thanks for the confirmation. I must have missed that in the video.

  • 319. Suburban@suburbs  |  March 27, 2012 at 12:08 am

    Accepted at Decatur
    Reading >99.9
    Math 93
    RGC 138

    Edison was first choice, Decatur was 2nd.
    Big problem for us – We gave this a shot since we heard about the testing and intense competition but we have to now relocate from the suburbs ! Any advice – is it truly worth it – do we risk long term being at a lower level with a normal class and losing out on being academically ahead ?

  • 320. Mom  |  March 27, 2012 at 12:20 am

    Tier 3
    Classical: R 99%, M 99.6%
    Offered Decatur
    RGC: 133

    Good luck to everyone!

  • 321. 2ndWYAC  |  March 27, 2012 at 12:34 am

    For anyone who cares……..
    If you are wondering how your kid got a much lower score than you expected, it is because it has nothing to do with how your child did individually. It has EVERYTHING to do with how your child did in relation to the others who tested.

  • 322. GO RGC!!!!  |  March 27, 2012 at 12:45 am

    Ahhhhh. Kids complaining about the work not being hard enough. I feel bad for the early learners who can’t get into RGC. SO frusterating. That was me for three or four years. FINALLY I got into RGC. The curriculumm is fantastic. One tip, ask around on what schools are good. This broadens your school choices, making it easier to get accepted to one.

  • 323. ripjwt  |  March 27, 2012 at 2:02 am

    My DD took the test for the Gifted program last November. We just got the letter from the SEES office, and to our surprise, there was NO score listed. It’s just blank where her score should have been printed.

    Did she score too low and not fit to print? Did the SEES office make a mistake? I’m definitely going to call the numbers suggested for follow-up on the letter, but just seeing if anyone out there knows or perhaps had the same thing happen to them. Thanks.

  • 324. West rogers park mom  |  March 27, 2012 at 2:18 am

    Entering 4th grade. 139 gifted. 92/92 classical. Offer at Beaubien will be declined.

    For what is worth about the test my kid came out of gifted saying it was easy and she got 100% and was always one of the first to finish each section. She came out of the classical test upset because she couldn’t answer a question about estimating how long it took a planet to orbit the sun.

    The last time she tested was her K year and her gifted score was in the 120s and classical 96% or thereabouts. Reading all of these scores we are very lucky she was accepted to a RGC back then as there is no way she would have been admitted in this years K class.

  • 325. g  |  March 27, 2012 at 4:45 am

    Does anyone know if, for being accepted into classical schools, a 97 in reading and 93 in math is the same as a 93 in reading and 97 in math in terms of your chances of getting in?

  • 326. nwsidemom  |  March 27, 2012 at 5:29 am

    A few people have mentioned Beaubien- we have 2 kids in the options program-and have been very impressed w/ most of the program. As mentioned- an inspiring math teacher for the upper grades, very committed teachers, really bright students, a good options coordinator. The Latin teacher (upper grades,2 days per week) is awful and for whatever reason the principal supports her. The principal is leaving this year and I am confident that will be addressed in any new administration. It is a school worth looking at.

  • 327. fantastically uniquely me  |  March 27, 2012 at 6:48 am

    Murray is a magnet school that we liked, we liked the teachers, and it has a pretty good curriculum ( will sometimes go above grade level). How does it compare to RGC 5+ grades can go advanced in Math if there are at least 5 people with ability while the kids who prefer to stay or need to stay at 5th grade level stay in the math classroom. Why are we leaving? Legs (nickname) wants a change. The entire science class is advanced, and they have IMSA Fusion.

  • 328. Finally  |  March 27, 2012 at 6:55 am

    Can anyone tell me what the pros and cons are for Decatur? Do they have any after school care? We will be accepting the 1st grade spot I mentioned in an earlier post but I want to know what I’m getting my child into. Thanks

  • 329. cpsobsessed  |  March 27, 2012 at 7:53 am

    @ripjwt – no score sounds like it was a mistake, like the person who got a question mark.
    Definitely call. And let us know what they say!

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 330. Mom  |  March 27, 2012 at 8:00 am

    Xpost from NPN…

    Can anyone explain the rgc scores? Are they per tier? Is a rgc score of 130 in tier 4 the same in the other tiers?

  • 331. cpsobsessed  |  March 27, 2012 at 8:03 am

    @suburbab@suburbs – I think it totally depend where you’re moving and how the specific school would handle your child (and whether you think they’d be ok or horrendously bored in a regular class.). See what the new school can offer then weigh the pros and cons of suburban and city life, knowing you have to deal with 7th grade placement and high school down the road.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 332. cpsobsessed  |  March 27, 2012 at 8:05 am

    The rgc scores are the same across tier. But the cutoffs likely vary by tier due to socio economic factors that seem to influence test scores.
    So the pool of tier 4 kids probably scored higher than the pool of tier 1 kids. So a tier 4 child needs a higher school to get in.

    But 30percent of the seats are given out by pure rank, without using tier.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 333. Stressed by CPS  |  March 27, 2012 at 8:21 am

    @328 Decatur kids can go to the neighboring JCC for after school care. It’s pretty pricey as it is through the facility itself, not the school. Call the JCC (address is on Touhy) and ask for the price. You also have to pay for a membership. Pick up is at 6 but keep in mind that since it is a Jewish facility, they close before sundown on Fridays and in winter months that is around 3:45-4:00. But the kids enjoy it there. They offer swimming lessons, too, as part of the membership fee. As for pros and cons, it’s been a few years since I had a child there so I’ll leave that up to someone else to comment on. Overall, my experience there as a parent was good. My child liked it there but wished they had sports for the 5th/6th graders.

  • 334. 1st grade  |  March 27, 2012 at 8:21 am

    We are trying to get a tour/classroom visit at Beaubian for the options 1st grade acceptance. Left a voice mail for the options coordinator. Are any of you other accepted Beaubien parents trying do to the same? Maybe they will be more willing to accommodate us, if there are more of us asking.

  • 335. AllAboard  |  March 27, 2012 at 8:52 am

    Does anyone know where most Decatur kids go for 7/8th grade?

  • 336. Mia  |  March 27, 2012 at 8:56 am

    @326 – I am not sure I share your confidence on the fact that the (and I agree completely on this) horrible Latin teacher will be addressed with the next Principal – especially since I’ve heard the current Asst. Principal is the top contender for the spot. She’s just as bad.

  • 337. OK  |  March 27, 2012 at 9:03 am

    tier 4
    no offers for K
    Does how you rank the schools matter?

  • 338. d  |  March 27, 2012 at 9:05 am

    153 K T4 Edison 1st choice in.

  • 339. Anon  |  March 27, 2012 at 9:13 am

    Tier 4
    Entering K
    RG score 134
    Coonley first choice
    Edison second choice

    No offers

  • 340. nonplussed  |  March 27, 2012 at 9:29 am

    @336 Heard negative things about AP in Beaubien – so I guess there is something in it. Hopefully she won’t get the job.

  • 341. 1st grade  |  March 27, 2012 at 9:31 am

    @Mia, do I remember correctly, did you pull your child out of Beaubien? Or did your child graduate from there?

  • 342. HydePark Mom  |  March 27, 2012 at 9:31 am

    Applying for kindergarten, RGC score is 148 and offered at Lenart. Does anyone know about this school? Indicators (great school rating, test scores, etc.) are pretty good, but hard to find reviews. Any experiences?

  • 343. Bewildered  |  March 27, 2012 at 9:32 am

    Tier 3
    RG 103
    Reading 99%
    Math 53%

    No Classical RG offers

    Offered Murray Magnet School

    Very disappointed in the testing process and wonder how a child who is acceptional in Math could possibly score that low. Also when my child came out of the test he said the asked him multiplication questions. Will be calling IIT this morning.

  • 344. westsidemom  |  March 27, 2012 at 9:33 am

    If anyone wants some input on Skinner West, I’m happy to share our experiences. Email me at kindramorelock at yahoo.

  • 345. nervous at SLS  |  March 27, 2012 at 9:34 am

    To those of you with a ? or no score, get one in writing and get your placement in writing. There was a child with this scenario at sls kindergarten for this year. Mom only got verbal info from the principal and oae, as late as the Friday before school. On the first day, the principal was standing there to inform them of the mistake and offenr her a neighborhood spot instead. The parents didn’t really fight it. The teacher had her on the roster up until the first day.

  • 346. Lisa  |  March 27, 2012 at 9:39 am

    Will CPS post what the cut-offs were for 1st round entry? I am particularly interested in Kindergarten at Edison, Coonley, and Pritzker. Our child got a 141 in Tier 2. Good, but not good enough–yet. I am trying to gauge the likelihood of getting in 2nd round or later, but I am not seeing many Tier 2 parents posting here.


  • 347. WBDad  |  March 27, 2012 at 9:44 am

    Twins applying to Coonley K, Tier 4

    153 – accepted
    144 – not accepted

    Hoping the second is high on the wait list, and we get a call over the summer.
    Saw some Tier 3’s got accepted at similar scores, so we’re hopeful we’re on the bubble for Tier 4.

  • 348. LR  |  March 27, 2012 at 9:48 am

    @334: I called the school. They transferred me to Amy Jeffers, the Options Coordinator. I left her a message asking if there were any tours planned in the near future. Will let you know when I hear back.

  • 349. Alison Kelvington  |  March 27, 2012 at 10:03 am

    Tier 4
    RG 141
    Reading 92%
    Math 90%

    No offers……

    Disappointed, but not surprised we didn’t get a spot. Our son does go to the Saturday Enrichment Program at Northwestern, and LOVES it!

  • 350. cpsobsessed  |  March 27, 2012 at 10:04 am

    @lisa, cps doesn’t post the elem cutoff scores for some reason. I think they tend to have a lot of rounds, up to september, unlike the high schools.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 351. ripjwt  |  March 27, 2012 at 10:08 am

    Update re: receiving a letter with NO SCORES reported… SEES office called and claimed that there were not enough questions answered on the non-verbal part of the gifted test in order to calculate a total combined score. I asked to see the test or to get the total number of questions asked + the total number of questions answered by DD but they refused to share that with me.

    I couldn’t find anymore information on the SEES’s website nor was the SEES rep very open with any additional information. This is very frustrating!

  • 352. Mia  |  March 27, 2012 at 10:24 am

    @341 1st grade: No, we kept her in – she graduates this year. As I’ve said, I think she’s enjoyed it greatly, has learned a great deal and had some really fabulous teachers along the way. The 5th-8th grade teachers are very good. The Math Teacher (who they have for math from 5th-8th grade) is perhaps the best teacher I’ve ever encountered anywhere. Inspirational doesn’t begin to describe it – he is exceptional in every way. The options coordinator is great as well (and she’s the upper grades Science teacher also). The administration is terrible, the only reason they have after school programs at all is because of those few great teachers. And for the lower grades – no afterschool activities that I can think of. Compare this to Bell or Coonley and you see a huge difference there. The AP has no spine, is non-responsive – very status quo kind of person – i do not expect any great changes with her in charge. The 2nd and 3rd grade teachers were very, very good as well. Can’t speak to current 1st and 4th grade teachers as they are newer.

    Also, want to point out that the homework load at Beaubien has not been outrageous at all – in fact the math teacher hardly ever has homework – he manages to have them do their work in class.

  • 353. Very Concerned Dad  |  March 27, 2012 at 10:34 am

    Tier 3,
    Reading 98%, Math 92%
    RGC 140
    No Offers, very disappointed at system.

  • 354. Irving Park mom  |  March 27, 2012 at 10:36 am

    Tier 3
    Gifted score; 114 (1 point below cutoff!)
    Classical scores: 99.6 reading, 84 math
    No offers

  • 355. Keepingthefaith  |  March 27, 2012 at 10:42 am

    Hi there! My daughter scored 139 for gifted, but no offers. If we take a magnet spot, does that take us off the list for the second/third round RGC offers? That’s our dilemna. Thanks!

  • 356. cpsobsessed  |  March 27, 2012 at 10:43 am

    @keepingthefaith; magnets and gifted operate as separate pools so you can take a magnet and still get a gifted offer later.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 357. Bewildered  |  March 27, 2012 at 10:44 am

    @343 My husband and I just got off the phone with the IIT Call Center. The person was very polite, however did not give us the answers we were looking for regarding our sons scores. He took down our number an is having the Director of the program give us a call back. My specific concern is that my son said they asked him multiplication and division questions. The person we talked to at the call center said that they continue to ask questions based on a childs level, my response was his Math score was 53%, if he was doing that poorly why would they go so far as to ask him multiplication and division questions. This is suppose to be a test for them to get into Kindergarten. I will keep everyone posted on what happens next.

  • 358. Very Concerned Dad  |  March 27, 2012 at 10:48 am

    Bewildered, please keep us updated. Your exactly right, why continue to ask questions..

  • 359. Erin  |  March 27, 2012 at 10:53 am

    144. Tier 2. Edison.

  • 360. GDC  |  March 27, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Tier 4
    RG 117
    Reading >99.9%
    Math 84%

    Offered Skinner West

    We’re very excited that we don’t have to move to put our dd in a decent school. Not terribly surprised by her scores. She’s a very advanced reader but can be lazy with her math (like me). Travel will be rough from the North side but we’ll manage… for a while anyway.

  • 361. Hopeful Mom! (aka No Letters Either)  |  March 27, 2012 at 11:17 am

    @319. Suburban@suburbs and @328

    Decatur is a better school for k,1,2,3,4 than Edison and it is equal in comparison for the 5,6. The downfall to Decatur is there is no 7th and 8th. My child went to Edison for K and I could not wait to leave.We applied to Decatur and my dc love it! Edison was not challenging enough for my child and boredom set in. The younger classes spend a lot of time outside and it really is a great program and the parental support is there for the school. Also, the YMCA also has an after school program. But now in the upper grade we are faced with moving again (in 5th) to get ahead of the crowd so to speak.

    Curious – how does a suburban application play into the tier system?

    @335 Some go to Whitney, others Taft IB, a few Lincoln Park IB but with Lanes new IB program I am sure many will go there too. I think some did get in there for their first year last year.

  • 362. Hopeful Mom! (aka No Letters Either)  |  March 27, 2012 at 11:24 am

    So here is our dilemma. Thoughts appreciated!
    Child currently at Decatur in 4th grade. Applied for 5th grade;

    #2 spot for Hawthorne, Norwood
    #2 spot for Bell, Coonely
    #12 spot for Blaine and Edgebrook

    being there is no 7th and 8th grade should we jump now and make the switch? Odds are very good we will get an offer at one of those schools. DC will graduate in a double class (60) so it will be very competitive.

    Does anyone know what languages they learn at the other schools? After school activities etc?

    Also, what does the total point score mean? What are the ranges?


  • 363. CPSer  |  March 27, 2012 at 11:24 am

    Does anyone know – Will Skinner North eventually go through the 8th grade?

  • 364. Beaubien Mama  |  March 27, 2012 at 11:26 am

    Beaubien Part 1

    Lots of questions here about Beaubien…I will try and answer what I can, as my kid went there for k-8. I will break my message into three (hopefully sequential) entries to tell my tale!

    Since Beaubien’s leadership is in flux, it’s hard to make any predictions. But, if I were a betting type, I think Beaubien is going to be the Lane of elementary schools soon. If a new, qualified principal who actually likes children is chosen, that is.

    When I started this crazy CPS process a few years ago, Lane was considered a good school, but it didn’t seem to have the cachet of the other Big 3 (NS, Whitney, WP). You required a lower score to get in and some people were “disappointed” that was the only offer they received. Once they went there, they loved it. Last year and this year has seen a major change in how Lane is perceived, in my opinion. Now, people are willing to look a little closer at that school and make it a top choice, as it should be.

    I think Beaubien is that way, too. Despite being a big school of 1,100+ students, we enjoyed our relative anonymity for years. It didn’t seem to take out-of-this-world scores to get in–something in the range of 115-130 was ample for the first round. We had a few outliers, with 140s and 150s and such. Once you got in, you loved it.
    Now the economy and housing market are keeping more families in the city and people are willing to open their eyes and see how great Beaubien is. The location is good, the building is classic CPS. The scores are creeping up, as evidenced by yesterday’s reports here. It’s going to get tougher and tougher to get into Beaubien, in the future. Grab a seat while you can, people.

    So, what’s so great about Beaubien’s Options program? The teachers. We’ve had some really good ones so far. They push the kids and seem to make it fun. Special props should go out to Ms. Fly, one of the science teachers. She makes science fun and seems to love teaching and goes to great lengths to get grants and extra training. Ms. Jeffers loves science and shares her love for it with the kids. The upper grade math teacher is awesome—if someone can make math fun, it’s this guy! The lower-grade Options teachers have their work cut out for them, with kids coming from all types of schools, from Montessori to homeschooling. They are challenging but kind. Not a lot of differentiation, though. If your kid is extra-good at reading or math, he might get a little more challenging reading or math in first grade, but that’s about it. It’s a little one-size-fits most and the others can get some extra help afterschool if needed, on a teacher-by-teacher basis.

  • 365. Beaubien Mama  |  March 27, 2012 at 11:27 am

    Beaubien Part 2
    The Options classes do work about 1-2 grades ahead. For example, the first graders use the 2nd grade “Everday Math” series. The Options kids participate a year earlier in some school-wide projects, like the Chicago Project. For the first 2 years, the kids have a homeroom and only switch classes for a few things, like Latin, Library and PE. Then at third grade, they have a homeroom and do a little more switching, like Science lab. The homeroom teachers are all good and seem to be able to manage the large class size, which is about 30 kids.

    Like all schools these days, they definitely “teach to the test” before the ISATs. They are fairly aggressive about it, throughout the school. They have a reading curriculum that mirrors the ISAT format of bubbles and extended response. The level of homework is very bearable. I did think we were all going to spontaneously combust that first month of first grade, when this was all new to us and it took like 2 hours a night! I would say the homework load ranges in the younger grades from 30-60 minutes a night and upper grades, about 30-90 minutes, depending on projects and such.

    Our slightly younger child attends a classical school and I can say that Beaubien does not seem to embrace the “whole child” kind of thinking. Lots of tests, worksheets and not much personal development. Is that a bad thing? Not for our kid who went there. That kid likes numbers, tests and the like. Good fit. Second kid was better off elsewhere, where they encourage that style of non-linear type of thinking. The students there are differentiated more, which was good for our kid.

    The Options kids seem to mainly come from the north side of the city, but most do not live by one another, so if you want your kids to have a social life with Beaubien kids, you’re going to have to work for it. Your kid will choose the kid who lives farthest away as his best friend, naturally! Scheduling playdates on the weekends, etc. will be necessary. I think that’s true for most of the SEES, but it’s worth factoring that into your thinking. Oh, and definitely start a Yahoo or Google group or even a Facebook page so parents can communicate with one another, from “could someone scan the math homework?” to “what day is the field trip?” kinds of questions. That will help your class develop its own community, since the greater Beaubien is lacking in that.

    As far as the larger school, there is no cohesiveness, no family-feeling and I believe that a school’s leadership sets the tone. That principal has been allowed to run roughshod for too long. He should have retired years ago. His tyranny and nepotism parade should have been halted a decade ago. There is zero transparency in any policies, budgets or decisions, just a lot of randomness and back-door deals. The principal has said on many public occasions that he will never allow a parent survey to be done while he is alive, that if people have comments or suggestions, they should have the courage to speak to him in person. That’s fine if we’re talking about a level playing field, peer-to-peer, say in your job. (Please bear with my stereotypes, as I actually live in this neighborhood), but in a neighborhood where most of the families are poor, lots of single moms who respect male authority without question, and many do not speak English, how is that possible? Most people just stay away and never speak up. They may pull their kids if something is egregious, like a beating, as allegedly happened to a neighborhood girl last year. And those who do speak up are punished in the only ways that are possible: through their kids. Think detentions and suspensions for the slightest provocation.
    If LSC and PTO members supported him, they got the keys to the kingdom. Check the record. Over the last 4-5 years (and probably a lot longer but I just started paying close attention recently), loyal water-carrying LSC and PTO familes’ kids got admitted to the Options program very late in the year (After Thanksgiving? Are you kidding me?) and “late” in their schooling (3rd and 4th grade, when they are waay behind in things like Latin). CPS wait lists? Hell no! And no teacher wants to be the one to discipline LSC and PTO parents’ kids, even though the behavior is off the hook!

  • 366. Beaubien Mama  |  March 27, 2012 at 11:27 am

    Beaubien Part 3
    If you spoke up at public meetings, your kids got in “trouble” more easily. The principal seldom showed up to school events such as the play, band concerts, science fair, etc. I know for a fact that many of his water-carriers read this blog and are scratching their heads trying to figure out the source of each Beaubien comment so they can squeal to the big man! (My kid’s out of there, this year, but we will undoubtedly be seeing some of those same faces on the next part of our CPS journey so I need to be careful—how sad is that?)

    Thanks to his bizarro belief of having no kids in the building afterschool, there are precious few afterschool programs. Some homework help (which is not usually utilized by Options kids), band and choir after 4th grade only.

    He is not in favor of tours or visitors in the building, either, so hence the issues with getting in to see the school to help with your decision. In prior years they have asked Options parents to give some tours after the letters went out, but that’s it. Call the school and ask the Options Coordinator, Ms. Jeffers, though.

    People keep talking about the upper-grade Latin teacher on this blog. My kid went through unscathed, but witnessed some pretty lousy behavior on her part. The stories are legendary. If she likes you, you’re ok. Fortunately, my kid was always a low-profile kid, not on anyone’s radar. The teacher has been “demoted” to teaching only upper-grade Latin, so something WAS done, but the behavior apparently continues in that classroom. Stay tuned.

    Sadly, I live in the neighborhood and I would be hesitant to send my kids to the neighborhood portion of the school. I don’t think those teachers are as supported (materials, class size, discipline from higher-up) and the kids are not as challenged academically. Some of the behavior I hear about from our friends’ kids classes makes me cringe. Lots of those kids’ parents tell me their kids get practically no homework and their projects do not seem very challenging to them. Sure, finding the time to do the projects is challenging, but the actual work is not so stimulating.

    Unfortunately, the closed-door principal selection process is underway and you all have to decide before then where you will send your kids. It’s true that many people think the current AP will get the job, but that’s not set in stone. So far, she has shown herself to be the current principal’s “yes man.” Perhaps she will surprise us all and break free of his grip and have a vision for the school that involves the parents and students. Frankly, anyone is better than the principal who is leaving. Maybe this new one will even like children!

    If your kid got accepted there, visit and see what you think. Think about your kid’s personality. Just know that change is in the air and you can be a part of it. I am pleased to see that Beaubien has one of the highest numbers of parent candidates (14) for the LSC, including 8 brand-new people. Perhaps some new blood will help change that school for the good. I personally plan on voting for all new candidates. It’s time for the returning ones who have been pathetic “yes men” to the current principal to retire, also.

    Mark my words: Beaubien is the new Lane.

  • 367. Arjun Kumar  |  March 27, 2012 at 11:29 am

    Thanks @283 SW Side Momma for answering my previous question.

    I am a bit surprised to see that almost no one seems interested in McDade, Poe, or even Lenart for Kindergarten, even though they are ranked in the top ten (overall).

    Some parents have mentioned that their choices are based on their locations. Elsewhere, I heard a parent reject, say, McDade because it is an all black school.

    Is everyone here from the North-side and so not interested in South-side schools? Or do people prefer diversity a lot more than academic rank? Or are there other reasons why these highly ranked South-side schools aren’t popular? Would love to hear any comments on this, even if you have to guess at what the reasons might be. Thanks.

  • 368. Skinner North Mom  |  March 27, 2012 at 11:32 am

    @363, yes, Skinner North will go through 8th grade.

  • 369. Mia  |  March 27, 2012 at 11:46 am

    Beaubien Mama- well said. I too plan to vote for all new LSC members – but I have less hope than you that changes will be made -and I have had problems with the AP that don’t stem from her being under the principal’s thumb (for example she doesnt’ return calls or emails – I don’t think he micromanages her to that level) – and I have been quite upset to see the favoritism shown to LSC and PTO children – they really are teflon kids!

    Of course change can only happen if the parents whose children attend the school demand it and contribute to it – and I suppose I share in the blame in that I didn’t do enough myself to try to change that culture – but it just seemed like such an uphill battle – and when my youngest got into a different RGC which promoted and encouraged parent input and democratic methods (surveys – we have too many surveys :)) – it seemed like a better place to put my time and energy (what little of it I have!).

    But do I mean to discourage parents from sending their kids there? No, not really. Just, as you said, go in with your eyes open and be aware of the issues. Because the benefits are definitely there – and there is no question that my child has thrived there and is very well prepared for the SE High School she will be attending.

  • 370. LR  |  March 27, 2012 at 11:46 am

    @Beaubien Mama 364/365/366 and Mia 352: Thank you for taking the time to give so much detail on Beaubien. Hoping to get a tour, but it really helps to get perspective of those who have been there for many years.

  • 371. LR  |  March 27, 2012 at 11:48 am

    By the way, if we accept a spot, do we get to vote for the LSC at Beaubien? I also have a daughter that goes to Bell and I don’t know if I get to vote for both, especially being an incoming parent. I also know people who live in the hood that will have a Kindergartener next year. Do they get to vote?

  • 372. curious  |  March 27, 2012 at 11:50 am

    entering K, applied to Edison and Coonley
    Tier 4
    RGC – 124
    no offers

  • 373. mommyspice  |  March 27, 2012 at 11:51 am

    RGC – 115 (for Kindergarten)
    Reading 92, math 61
    how frustrating….my child can do math backwards and forwards. I am a psychologist and for 20 minutes of testing, I’m not sure how they did it, and you all know they were tested by students at IIT right? I was a student once, and now my abilities are way different and I understand how to do it much better. Anyhow..anyone know if 115 would get her in anywhere down the road? the letter said below 115 wont be considered…where does that leave my child with a 115?Sigh*

  • 374. LR  |  March 27, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    @373: Don’t despair. My daughter got a 118 in Kindergarten. She got a 128 going into 1st grade and got into Bell 2 years ago. That test is so unreliable. My guess is there is a good chance your child’s score will go up next year.

  • 375. Beaubien Mama  |  March 27, 2012 at 12:02 pm


    Anyone who lives in the school’s neighborhood gets to vote for that school’s LSC. They are supposed to check IDs at the voting booth to determine if you are in the district.

    Hmmm…Since your child would not technically be registered at Beaubien, just declared, I’m not sure if you get to vote or not. Good question to ask someone at LSC who knows these things.

    I no longer have a dog in this particular race, but I would love to see a HUGE voter turnout to create some change at Beaubien. Shake up the status quo–get ride of the long-standing incumbents. Two of our neighbors are running for the LSC and they seem smart and caring. And I think their kids are already in the Options program, so that particular carrot cannot be dangled in front of them to influence them later! LOL.

    In fact, I’d like to see Chicagoans who care about education to come out and vote for their local LSC even if they don’t have kids in the school. That might make CPS and Rahm pay attention to parents.

  • 376. SR  |  March 27, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    @371 – my understanding of LSC elections is that you can vote if you are a parent or a community member (i.e., you live in the attendance area for the school). So you could vote in 3 or more LSC elections if your kids don’t go to your neighborhood school (your neighborhood elementary, your neighborhood HS, and any school where your child goes). Someone correct me if I’m wrong.

  • 377. sloopmom  |  March 27, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    Tier 4
    Classical Reading 92
    Classical Math 73
    Applied to Skinner West only (due to proximity)
    No offers.
    Does the math score of 73 completely eliminate us from any consideration for a Classical School? The back of the letter states that a score under 80 in either Reading or Math would make someone ineligible. I’m not sure if I should hold on to some hope that we may receive a call later in the summer.

    Meanwhile, we will enroll in our neighborhood school (South Loop) and we feel that it is still a very good choice.

  • 378. EDB  |  March 27, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    I have to respectfully disagree with Hopeful Mom! (aka No Letters Either). My son is in Edison for K and we love it. I’m not sure exactly what issues she has with the program, but please take her comments are her opinion only. There are many, many parents who love it. I don’t have anything bad to say about Decatur, but didn’t get a warm feeling about it when I took the tour. I think either of the two would be outstanding choices for those are lucky enough to get placement there. Good luck to you.

  • 379. Mia  |  March 27, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    @371 LR – I dont’ know if you can vote as an incoming family – my guess is probably not – but if you live in the neighborhood i think you can regardless of whether or not you have a child in the program – again this is what i think – i’d confirm elsewhere.

  • 380. Gigi  |  March 27, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    Reading 89% and Math 96% on wiatlist for all my choices.
    Question: Shes #3 on the waitlist for Galilieo which we REALLY want.
    what are the chances of her clearing the list? Will writing a letter to the principal help or spoil her chances?

  • 381. Frustrated mom  |  March 27, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    LR — I don’t think we’ll test again, this was seriously too stressful! we’ll likely move…
    For people who are posting that they are #3 or something on a waitlist — our letter didn’t have wait list choices – does that mean you’re basically out of the running?

  • 382. JPmom  |  March 27, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    Grateful to read some feedback on Beaubien. I know there is good and bad, but that was our first choice and that’s where she’s going 🙂 If any Beaubien parents are interested in getting a playgroup together, email me: jeffparkmom@gmail.com

  • 383. Angela  |  March 27, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    For Kindergarten
    Tier 4
    Classical: Reading-86 Math-52

    No offers.

  • 384. sloop parent  |  March 27, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    @DonnaDraper dont despair. This year for K (and all grades) principal at South Loop is forbidden to allow entry to anyone from out of boundaries. I wish I had an incoming kindergartener this year or in future years because the class sizes will be more normal. Past years it was an overflow of out of boundary kids from the tuition-based PK, RGC siblings and others (most just south of 18th) who begged to get in so class sizes are huge but no one seems to dislike it enough to leave or there wouldn’t be 37 kids in a class in those grades?! I have kids in both programs but South Loop is my neighborhood school and I have faith it will get better and better. Go on a tour! You won’t be disappointed.

  • 385. nonplussed  |  March 27, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    I know Is 148 for RGC entering 1st grade is good but how good, i.e is it exceptionally good? (nephew got this but mom is worried to put him in 1st grade gifted as he is awkward socially & she thinks that he won’t flourish) plus he doesn’t seem to me to be above average. Comments?

  • 386. Frustrated mom  |  March 27, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    Sloop parent and mom — what do you know about S Loop neighborhood program? and another question – they rate at an 8 on the Great schools – but is that because the RGC program there is factored in too (meaning the scores from those kids) wondering if that bumps the score up

  • 387. City gifted mom  |  March 27, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    385, awkward socially is what a lot of the gifted class kids are, so probably the best place for him. 148 is extremely high.

  • 388. Bewildered  |  March 27, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    @ 357

    Just got off the phone with someone at CPS, I was on hold forever, I explained my concerns regarding my son’s scores and the large discrepancy between his Reading and Math scores (99% and 53%) and too the fact that they asked a pre-k multiplication and division questions. They said they would investigate. As in my previous post I initially called the IIT Call Center and was called by one of the Supervisors there, after an in depth conversation regarding their testing practices she told me they could not go over his test and evaluate it because they send all testing materials down to CPS for tabulation, and placement. This is why she told me to call CPS directly to get specific information on my sons test.

  • 389. OB  |  March 27, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    Zone 4
    RG 137
    Reading – 99.5
    Math – 83 (generally good at math, but NOT her favorite subject)

    1st choice was skinner west (where her sister attends), 2nd choice was skinner north.

    Was offered McDade. Initially was not super thrilled about McDade, but after reading more about the school and recognizing how many kids who tested well received no offers, I changed my tune and recognized the blessing that we received instead of complaining about what she did not receive.

    A piece of me is still hopeful that i will get a call over the the summer for Skinner West.

    Does anyone know if Skinner West or Skinner North had a round 2 last yr?

  • 390. pamina  |  March 27, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    Letter arrived. 4th grade; She took RGC only 136
    Offered at Pritzker (3rd choice) after Bell and Coonly.

    Now, like everyone else I am desperately trying to get some insight on what the chances are for a later round offer at choices 1 or 2. I am very thankful to be out of the South Loop RGC for many reasons and am very tempted given Pritzker is the closest SE school to home.

    Could anyone please address the following questions about Pritzker:

    Do they celebrate birthdays and holidays? (SL did not)
    Would you describe the mood and atmosphere of the school as “cheery”?
    Do they offer decent aftercare and/or afterschool classes (paid and/or unpaid)?
    Do they offer foreign language?
    What are parents views on the the Principal and AP?
    Is there any merit to the rumor that there are tensions between the RGC and neighborhood programs?
    How is communication between teachers and parents (Am I the crazy one to think waiting three or four days for a response in regards to an email about a serious issue in class or receive no response at all seems wrong?)?
    Why are some families opting to leave the program?

    Thank you. I know everyone is stressed and scrambling for information, so I appreciate your responses.

  • 391. west loop mom  |  March 27, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    Still have not received the mail but got an email from Decatur that my girl was accepted there. I am not sure what to make out of it.

  • 392. onlinelulu  |  March 27, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    tier: 3
    entering: kindergarten
    RGC score: 140
    Classical score: 85/78 (reading/math)

    no offers! not even close at hamilton where our daughter has attended pre-school the last 2 years.
    the only RGCs we applied to are Pritzker and Bell. Do you think we stand a chance of getting called by Pritzker? how much does the classical score affect our chances, if any?

  • 393. Suburbs  |  March 27, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    @ cpsobsessed – 331 Thanks. We do a have a tough decision – since my DW’s workplace will be in the suburbs !

    @ hopeful mom – 361. I was told a suburban application is fitted into the tier structures but not seen very favorably as you can imagine , so perhaps a tier 4

  • 394. Bewildered  |  March 27, 2012 at 12:37 pm


    Yes you should count your Blessings that your child got into McDade. I am on the LSC as a Community Resident there and I love that school, Mrs. Boncey is the best Kindergarten teacher your child will ever encounter. I was hoping my son would get accepted there but no offer. Your situation sounds familiar does your child currently attend Tailored Beginnings?

  • 395. City gifted mom  |  March 27, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    392 you can’t get into Bell RGC in kindergarten. 140 is high in Tier 3, my guess is you get a call in a month or two from Pritzker. Classical scores are not viewed by gifted schools, have no effect.

  • 396. SLS mama  |  March 27, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    I don’t see any problems with the neighborhood program other than class size. It is clearly where the administration puts their priority, and it is definitely better than my neighborhood school.

    I would not assume that the lack of out of neighborhood admissions will guarantee normal class sizes. If 66 kindergarteners enroll (that was Jimm Dispensa’s projection from the RGC meeting), you’re most likely getting 2 kindergarten teachers, not 3, due to how CPS allocates staff. You are still getting big class sizes with that. (Plus, any students lost due to attrition in the RGC will also lower the total student count and potentially the number of positions allocated to the school.) An extra teacher for K would mean taking it away from one of the older grades.

    As far as the great schools rating, who knows how much the RGC plays into that. I do know the test scores are different… We were given a breakdown of ISAT scores generated by someone on the LSC. The meets+exceeds total is roughly the same for neighborhood classrooms vs RGC classrooms, however there is a far greater percentage of students exceeding expectations in the RGC. More students meet in the neighborhood. Is that bad? That’s up to you. It didn’t surprise me, it just surprised me that the administration pretends that the removal of the RGC won’t impact test scores.

  • 397. Mom  |  March 27, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    @392 you will get into Pritzker in round 2 or Round 3. Bell doesn’t have an RGC for Kindergarten.

    Pritzker’s Kindergarten teacher is fantastic. You will be very pleased with the program.

  • 398. OB  |  March 27, 2012 at 12:47 pm


    Yes, my daughter (KB) is a current Tailored Beginnings student. Does your child either attend TB currently or have in the past?

    Everything that I hear about McDade is fabulous – and I also hear that I would not be able to dream up a better Kindergarten teacher.

    My concerns are lack of after-school options for working parents, only goes up to 6th grade so will be forced to go through the madness again for 7th grade, and obviously the convenience of having both children at the same school.

    Like you said, GREAT option…I am recovering from the emotion of it all and will be calling the school to set up a visit.

    Thx for the additional input!

  • 399. arthur  |  March 27, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    Bell does not have gifted in K, It starts in first grade.

  • 400. City gifted mom  |  March 27, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    Pritzker’s kindergarten teacher is fantastic? The one who has no gifted child training? Oh, okay.

  • 401. Arjun Kumar  |  March 27, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    @389 OB

    My understanding is that to become eligible for Skinner Round 2 you will have to give up your current offer from McDade.

  • 402. Lynn  |  March 27, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    Our son scored 99.6 Reading, 98 Math, 131 RGC. Tier 4 – No offers. Applied to Coonley, Decatur, Edison.

  • 403. whatsound4  |  March 27, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    tier 3, applying for 3rd grade
    reading 98%
    math 81%

    No offers (no surprise!). Low enthusiasm for school possibly reflected in scores.
    Currently at SLS gifted. Got into Blaine. Glad for good option, but undecided. Concerned about the future for out-of-neighborhood younger sibling if stay at South Loop.

  • 404. Nervous at SLS  |  March 27, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    We know a family who got a call for Skinner West 2 weeks before school last summer. I think they were tier 3 and had scores in the low 90s, upper 80’s.

  • 405. OB  |  March 27, 2012 at 1:03 pm


    I was hoping that was NOT the case:-(. I am not a big risk taker…especially when I already have a bird in the hand. If all that I am reading and hearing from other parents about McDade is true and I am impressed with the site visit, I don’t think I can take the gamble. Especially with no real guarantee that the gamble will yield the desired results.

    Thx for knowledge sharing!

  • 406. OB  |  March 27, 2012 at 1:05 pm


    That is hopeful. Wondering did they have an initial offer OR did they have to throw back in the first offer they received to get the 2nd round call back?

    Thx for sharing!

  • 407. Nervous at SLS  |  March 27, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    @406 They had no initial offer (SEES or magnet), and she was hopping mad about it. She was trying to scrape together tuition money for private school as their neighborhood school was terrible. She was so happy to get the call.

  • 408. LS Dad  |  March 27, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    99.9 Reading, 83 Math, 142 RGC, Tier 2
    In at Skinner West
    Ranked Edison (1) and Coonley (2) higher overall, but SW was our first classical and No. 3.

    Any T2’s out there with an idea of where cut-off was for RGC? Saw a T2-144 above in at Edison, but not much else.

    Any thoughts on whether 142 is good enough for round two at Edison/Coonley?

    Considering our offer at Skinner, does that mean the RGC wasn’t high enough for Edison/Coonley, or just that our child was accepted at Skinner first?

    Thanks, all.

  • 409. Mom  |  March 27, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    Got the same email this am from Decatur. Means that you will be receiving your letter from CPS OAE in the mail soon, but that you have an offer (and will be your only RGC/Classical offer).

  • 410. Shelky  |  March 27, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    My daughter: Kindergarten
    Reading 99%
    Math 99%
    RGC 144

    Accepted at Poe. Anyone out there with an opinion? May wait to see if we get Lenart 2nd round… can’t decide.

  • 411. Bewildered  |  March 27, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    My son (ME) currently attends Tailored. They do not currently have any after school programs at McDade other than Mad Science, Chess Club etc. but they are only for a few hours after the school day ends and start for kids in the 1st or 3rd grade. I have pleaded with the principal to look into an after school program (i.e. JCC) and I hope he did for the next school year. They will however have a longer school day next year starting a little after 8:00am and ending about 3:00 or 3:30pm. FYI the Principal has given notice for retirement.

  • 412. whatsound4  |  March 27, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    Thanks @404 Nervous at SLS. But with increased competition from SLS would-be transfer students and very few spots (have no idea-1? 5?) I won’t get my hopes up.

  • 413. whatsound4  |  March 27, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    Anyone reading this who will be testing for the first time next year- I recommend applying to the maximum # of schools even if you are guessing about a few of them. There is no harm in having more options. We got our 6th choice (three years ago) and feel very happy for the opportunity it presented.

  • 414. Skinner North Mom  |  March 27, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    #389–Don’t know what rounds Skinner North had, but my K kid (Tier 4, 99 math and 86 reading scores) was called in late August for a September 6 start! We warily and happily accepted and have been thrilled! Don’t give up hope!

  • 415. HydePark Mom  |  March 27, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    With RGC score 148 (Tier 4), will my son have a chance at Edison (K) in the second round? Any thoughts?

  • 416. City gifted mom  |  March 27, 2012 at 1:33 pm


    409 ws wrong when she said “(and will be your only RGC/Classical offer)”

    How would she know that it will be your only offer? Unless she has more information than I see that you posted. You can decline it and possibly get another offer if you applied to other schools.

  • 417. Poster 409  |  March 27, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    Sorry, 416 – you’re right. That will be your only INITIAL offer. You can roll the dice, give yours back, and see if you get one you like better.

  • 418. Mike  |  March 27, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    @377. Does the math score of 73 completely eliminate us from any consideration for a Classical School?

    Not only does the 73 eliminate your child, but the 92 probably does too. As you can see from posts here, the kids getting offers from Classical are scoring around 98 or better in both.

  • 419. Albany Park Mom  |  March 27, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    #416 I believe 409 only meant it would be the only offer in this round.

  • 420. Albany Park Mom  |  March 27, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    nevermind 🙂

  • 421. operamom  |  March 27, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    Son scored 99.8 reading, 99.7 math, but only 100 on gifted – which seems very odd to me!

    Anyway, he was accepted to Skinner North, our first choice classical school, but it’s kind of a long drive, and I am also thinking about the problem of driving our (several) younger children to other schools with the likelihood that they will probably not get in (they are more “average” academically, so far).

    I come from a home-schooling background, and have been considering that from the start as a preferred option. Am I completely CRAZY for thinking about not enrolling him at Skinner North?

  • 422. cpsobsessed  |  March 27, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    Does it seem like there are a lot of oddly low math scores this year?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 423. west loop mom  |  March 27, 2012 at 2:07 pm


    Tier 4
    Math 99.8%
    Reading 98%

    RCG 128

    Offered Decatur which was our choice 1.

  • 424. DSW  |  March 27, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    @367 Arjun Kumar,

    I suspect the readers/commenters on CPSO skew toward north side residents, which may explain why Lenart, Poe, McDade are not mentioned very often on here. Having said that, we applied to Lenart and Carnegie because they are closer to us. We would also have applied to South Loop if the RGC wasn’t being phased out.

    @342 HP Mom,

    While Lenart clearly has a great track record on test scores, I’ve got some reservations about the school based on 1.) attending an open house and meeting the principal, 2.) speaking to four families who have sent their kids there for multiple years, and 3.) talking to two more families who pulled their kindergarteners out during the 2011-2012 school year.

    First, it felt like the school (and the principal) were strong believers that they have the formula for academic achievement and they really don’t need any input from parents, thank you very much. They do not encourage parents getting involved with larger issues of curricula or classroom management. Aside from specific times parents are invited into the school, they are not encouraged to come near the classrooms. It seems like the school wants parents to a.) help provide their kids with homework support and school projects, and b.) with fundraising for the school. Otherwise, parents just need to let the school do its job.

    Second, the principal reiterated several times over 20 minutes that Lenart isn’t the school for every child. If you can fit into the Lenart structure and get with the program, then you can thrive there. But, if a child doesn’t fit in, the school doesn’t display an attitude of openness and accommodation to address individual issues.

    Third, I’ve heard from multiple Lenart parents over the last few years that the French teacher is weak (though very nice). But, I haven’t heard the administration take any position on addressing her instructional deficits. Additionally, I wish they would take a more forward-looking approach to foreign language and offer Spanish and Mandarin (rather than French and Latin).

    One major positive I’ve heard is that the Lenart peer group is highly motivated and eager to learn. That group also comes with a population of involved parents who are committed to the school.

  • 425. Skinner North Mom  |  March 27, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    #421–Yeah, the scores never seem to sync up quite right, do they?

    My child is in K at SN. We live on the northside and have another kid at a different school. Our SNer takes the (free) bus every day. He gets picked up and dropped off at our local school. Look into the bus situation and see if you can make it work for you. Our guy gets picked up at 6:50 a.m. and dropped off at about 4:30 p.m. Long day for sure, with a lot of growing pains in the beginning, but it works for us now. We pick him up as often as we can, like 2-3 times a week, to break up the bus monotony. Plus, SN offers afterschool programs, from sports to chess to art, so if you have to work, your child can do something fun a couple days a week until you can get there to pick him up at either 4:45 or 6:00 p.m.

    As far as homeschooling goes, perhaps you can try SN and if that does not work for your family, you can switch to homeschooling.

  • 426. GRRR to this process  |  March 27, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    390- Pritzker is a great school, my child is there now. The Gifted K teacher is pregnant so I am not sure she will be back next school year.

    What if I disagree with my child’s RGC score? Do I have an recourse?

  • 427. momof2  |  March 27, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    @421 I am in the same predicament with Decatur. It just seems like too much to start have my child commute 45 minutes each way for elementary school – it just seems like it’s going to cause too much strain on our family.

  • 428. cpsobsessed  |  March 27, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    @Grrr – I have never known of anyone to successfully contest the score. With the mass testing, you get what you get and there does not seem to be a “do-over” process, even if there was a mess-up of some sort.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 429. Gigi  |  March 27, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    @ 381.Frustrated mom – I know what you mean about the stress. I cant beleive we went through that for Kindergarten!
    I ahve waitlist numbers next to the names of all my school choices…i dont know what that means though…

  • 430. Beaubien Mama  |  March 27, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    As to score mistakes…if your child tested super-low, make sure when you call CPS that they have your child’s correct birthdate. Two years ago, a Beaubien family had their daughter tested and her RGC score came back in something like the 60s. They followed up, albeit late, and they found that they had scored her about 2 years older! They retested her the following year and she got in easily. So, had they double-checked the age issue and contested it early, they would have had a chance to get her in the program at first grade.

  • 431. Frustrated mom  |  March 27, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    Thanks Gigi…..the fact that we are all on this website right now speaks to stress/frustration!
    does everyone have wait list numbers next to school choices?
    i finally got through on the phone to them earlier and i wish i had asked!

  • 432. Gigi  |  March 27, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    I think most people hear have some numbers. My closest was #3 at Galileo and the worst was #684 at Skinner 😦
    Does anyone over here have Galileo and not want it 🙂 I wish we could do a school swap here lol.

  • 433. EDB  |  March 27, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    @431 – you get wait list numbers next to all lottery schools (magnet/neighborhood), and no wait list numbers for SEES (gifted/classical). There you either get a placement, or don’t. Depending on space, they work down the lists through the summer.

  • 434. KMom  |  March 27, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    Entering 2nd grade, Reading 96, Math 99, no offer.
    Unfortunately I forgot which schools I applied and in what order, is there a way to retrieve that?
    Also, what is my chance of getting in the 2nd round or even 3rd, 4th.. round?


  • 435. Concerned Parent  |  March 27, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    My Son got a 134 in Tier 2 will he have any chance to get into Lenart for K?

    In Classical, 99.7% in Reading 75% in Math

  • 436. Not an expert  |  March 27, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    Not sure if Lenart is a classical school but if it is, he has no chance from what I understand, becuase he must score above 80 in both categories.

  • 437. Eric Skinner North Dad  |  March 27, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    @421 Did you have other picks that are closer? If you decline Skinner North, I think you would get offers in rounds 2, 3, 4

  • 438. south side dad  |  March 27, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    Tier 4
    Reading 95
    Math 98

    Accepted Beasley
    Applied Lenart, Coonley, Decatur, Skinner N, Beasley, Carnegie
    @342 – Would you mind sharing what tier you are? I am wondering whether or not we have a shot at Lenart/Coonley in Round 2 or 3 . Thanks…

    @367, 424 – yes, agreed. south-siders speak up! tell us your scores and tiers. we know you’re out there! @424 thx for Lenart info.

    And CPS Obsessed – thanks for a well-written and informative blog, what would we do without you…

  • 439. HydePark Mom  |  March 27, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    Thank you so much DSW (@ 424), it helped a lot!

    @438/SS dad, we’re in Tier 4 area. (I was @342).

  • 440. mil mom  |  March 27, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    Got the scores for our younger son today. Applying for grade 1. Tier 3. Applied for all the northside RGC’s.

    Score 119. Much better than the 102 he got last year, but not nearly high enough for any offers of course.

  • 441. Frustrated mom  |  March 27, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    @433 – thanks! i was getting worried — I got the lottery schools letter last week…was not happy with what we got…
    FYI I called CPS and asked about test scores – re-testing or whatever they could do, because of my 5yo’s math score being SO low (we know she can do math well since she does homework and classwork with basic math problems !) and having a high reading score..they said they can look into it if there was any sort of errors..and will call me back. At least it was better than nothing.
    Any chance of getting into RGC with 115? doubtful…but wondering..

  • 442. west loop mom  |  March 27, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    @ momof2

    I am also thinking now what to do with the offer from Decatur. It is the top school but we will have to commute so much and it is only upto 6th. I pray that with Brizard as CPS head, and Rahm as mayor may be there is a chance that more grades will be added.

  • 443. not an expert  |  March 27, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    Thought this was interesting…

    I just spoke with someone from OAE (Zack Phillips – so nice) and from what I understood, they don’t really use the classical percentile scores to determine the rank. They use the raw score. The percentiles are quite indicative but, for example – if you’re in the same tier as someone else and get the same percentile marks, it doesn’t necessarily mean you got the same exact score. There could still be as much as a ten point difference in the raw score.

    So if you’re trying to guess the cutoff for your favorite classical school you could get close by adding the reading and math percentiles but they’re not necessarily equal (the reading and math score)

    I think it could be possible to score a lower percentile total score but have a higher ‘raw score’. My example below shows student A with higher percentiles but B with higher raw score.

    Student A
    Reading = 95% raw is 128
    Math = 99% raw is 137

    Student B
    Reading = 94% raw is 125
    Math = 99% raw is 145

    He also confirmed that in the event of a tie, the math score is used to break the tie.

  • 444. Lot of pressure on these kids  |  March 27, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    Tier 4
    Entering K
    RGC: 140
    Reading 88%
    Math 99.5%
    No offers

  • 445. Lot of pressure on these kids  |  March 27, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    Sorry that should have been

    Tier 4
    Entering K
    RGC: 130
    Reading 88%
    Math 99.5%
    No offers

  • 446. Chris  |  March 27, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    ” I pray that with Brizard as CPS head, and Rahm as mayor may be there is a chance that more grades will be added [at Decatur].”

    Would require a substantial expansion, no? Is Decatur even on teh list?

  • 447. Logan Square Mommy  |  March 27, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    Tier 2
    Reading: 99.9
    Math 83
    Applying to Kindergarten
    Accepted at Skinner West (1st choice for classical); would have liked to have gotten into Edison

  • 448. Carnegie Mom  |  March 27, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    @241 and 251 – I have a 1st grader in the gifted program at Carnegie and the teachers are great. I am amazed at how well he picks up math concepts and how well he’s reading. There’s definitely a ‘community’ vibe among the parents and staff, which I like.

    We tested him again this year but he did not test well at all, so we’re going to keep him in the gifted program at Carnegie. He’s a straight A student, so he’s obviously capable of doing the work.

    Tier 3
    Entering 2nd grade
    RGC Score 101
    Classical Score 93 reading and 40 math (really surprised by that)
    No offers

  • 449. New Keller Mom  |  March 27, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    @UIC Mom and Smiling Mom. Congrats on your acceptance at Keller. My son is currently in the 1st grade and is loving it. The teacher is great but what I really love is the comraderie (sp?) amongst the kids. There is a lot of homework especially if your kid has after school activities. Late nights may become the norm. But my understanding is homework gets lighter in the 2nd grade. Parent involvement is high and encouraged by the administration. I also love the athletic association that oversees all of the after school activities, Bowling, Chess, Soccer, Volleyball, Band, Basketball to name a few.

    @UIC mom. I know a couple of my son’s classmates are coming from the UIC area, Ford City area and even further west than that. Some are dropped off by parents and some ride the school bus. I am not sure how tiring the commute will be once the longer kicks in.

    I love Keller. Although I loved Poe Classical (he attended Poe for K), moving him to Keller was the best move for him. Welcome to Keller if you accept the spot.

  • 450. Hillary  |  March 27, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    Tier 4
    RGC: 148
    Applying to 4th
    Got into Coonley. Waitng on Bell. Does anyone have thoughts on which is a better option.

  • 451. Skinnerwestmom  |  March 27, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    My daughter is finishing up K at Skinner West. We really like the school and teachers. We live on the north side so the commute becomes challenging. They get a fair amount of homework in reading and math. They also have quite a few presentations. Her scores were 94 reading and 97 math last year, we tested her this year for first grade and she scored 98 reading and 99 math! Anyone looking at SW….. we highly recommend it!!!!!!

  • 452. fantastically uniquely me  |  March 27, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    @ 380 Gigi as a #3 on the waiting list you have an okay chance as some people get 2 or possibly 3 ( I don’t think 3 though) offers they will decline opening a spot, but I heard some schools do a raffle for picking from waiting list so I don’t know

  • 453. JA  |  March 27, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    @449 New Keller Mom- Could you tell me anything about your experience there? My son got into Poe but I can’t find much information about the school.

  • 454. peggy  |  March 27, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    kindergarden – gifted score 142 tier 4 … no offers

  • 455. Chris  |  March 27, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    “Tier 4
    RGC: 148
    Applying to 4th
    Got into Coonley. Waitng on Bell. Does anyone have thoughts on which is a better option.”

    Think that if you want into Bell, you need to be persistent directly with Bell, as there isn’t likely to be more than one or two spots open in 4th grade (altho I’m constantly surprised by stuff) and even with a “high enough” score, you might not get the call over someone who checks in regularly about an opening.

    yeahyeahyeah, “not supposed to work that way”, yadayadayada. Rely on the “system” functioning “properly” to your own detriment.

  • 456. cpsobsessed  |  March 27, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    Coonley vs bell: both good options. 4th grade for next year? That would be my son’s class at coonley. Great group of families!
    Bell is more “proven” for the higher grades. Perhaps comes down to language, activities? But I agree with chris – bird in the hand….

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 457. SmilingMom  |  March 27, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    @449 New Keller Mom
    Thank you for the information.Would you please offer Keller website? The one keller.cps.k12.il.us on cps.edu doesn’t work.

  • 458. CpsUnless  |  March 27, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    @443 – I called IIT about the classical scores too. For my kid, averaging the percentages didn’t add up to what I thought would be enough for 1st round. But I was told the percentages weren’t used for admission, only the raw scores.

    >99.9 Reading, 84 Math, 143 RGC
    In at Skinner N, Tier 4

  • 459. RCT  |  March 27, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    @438 SWside Mom here
    tier 4
    RGC 118
    Reading 97% Math 97%
    offered Poe but declining (dont remember applying to Poe)
    The only school I was really interested in was Keller but that doesnt seem like it will happen so will keep her where she is at.

  • 460. anonymouseteacher  |  March 27, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    @458, I am guessing the RGC score also helped your child get into SN. I have a student who got 98 reading and 90 math who did not get into SN, but her gifted score was just average. (tier 4) I am crossing my fingers that she gets into SN because while our school will hate to lose her, that is what her family really wants. I am watching our very best and brightest in our school leave for rgc’s, classicals and great magnets with quite a bit of sadness. We have such a strong school that would be very, very desirable if only our best kids stayed. (many families choose to stay, but our scores, now at about 85% meets and 30% exceeds would rise even higher if our top kids stayed) Plus, I feel like I worked my rear end off trying to help not just my low students, but the top ones too, and now some other school gets to reap the rewards of my hard work and their parents hard work. I think every neighborhood school should have an accelerated option if only to keep kids like that.

  • 461. Mom  |  March 27, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    Tier 4
    RGC 134
    1st grade
    Applied Coonley, Bell
    Offered at Bell

  • 462. K D  |  March 27, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    Welcome to all the new Keller families!

    Here’s the school website: http://kellergiftedcenter.org/

    I’m the parent of a 1st grader at Keller. Last year, the incoming parents got together shortly after receiving our letters at the Oak Lawn Children’s Museum. The kids started bonding and we’ve all been close ever since. Some familes of older children came to help answer our questions. This year, I’m sure several parents will want to welcome the new families.

    New Keller Mom is a good resource. I’ll also try help you in any way that I can.



  • 463. movers  |  March 27, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    Keller’s website is: http://www.kellergiftedcenter.org (someone was asking about it).

    We actually moved from the Northside to the Southside for the schools down here. We have 2 kids at Keller and 1 at Poe Classical and are extremely happy with both schools. While it would be great if Poe were more diverse (our son is one of only a handful of Caucasian kids at the school), he is thriving in every respect and very happy where he is at.

  • 464. SmilingMom  |  March 27, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    @462. K D
    Thank you very much.
    The website offers great information which makes me so much relieved. I started to love the school already.

    But one big thing really bothers me is that the bus transportation.As the website mentions about, Enrolled students must live more than 1.5 miles away from Keller but not more than 6 miles in distance in order to qualify for school bus service.But we Iive 10 miles away from school. I think UICMom face the same situation.

    Should I move? That is a big decision.

  • 465. Lakeview Dad  |  March 27, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    Well you win some, you lose some. 8th Grader in at Whitney… Kindergartener, not so much. Tier 4, applied at:
    Cooney, Edison, Pritzker, Decatur, Skinner N&W. No offers.
    RGC 88, Reading 97, Math 86.

    With that, looking at a great Catholic option, or our neighborhood school: Hamilton. Would love any thoughts from folks on Hamilton, specifically how things may have changed/improved there in the last 5 years.

  • 466. SmilingMom  |  March 27, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    @463. movers

    May I ask which area you live now and do you still qualify for the school bus service?Thanks a lot.Desperate for guide. We really want to get in this school.

  • 467. Jackie  |  March 27, 2012 at 7:43 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.

  • 468. 2nd (or 3rd) round?  |  March 27, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    Applied to K only at Coonley tier 4 RGC was 144

    Wondering if anyone knows if there are any other criteria, other than score and tier, that CPS considers for the later rounds of offers. For example say there are two kids who are both tier 4 and both have scores of 144, how do they decide who gets the spot? Does it depend on if you listed that school first? Is it proximity to the school? Is there any random/alphabetical component?

    And, am I crazy to think that a tier 4 score of 144 is even in the realm of possibly ever getting an offer from Coonley?

  • 469. movers  |  March 27, 2012 at 7:51 pm


    We live in Beverly, maybe 2 miles from Keller, and still have bus service from our neighborhood school.
    Bus service for RGC used to be provided to anybody living more than 1.5 miles from the school (unlike for classical schools where you have to live in the region served by that classical school) but the rules might have changed. I’m not sure if you qualify for bus service in the UIC area.

  • 470. Laurie  |  March 27, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    @448 Carnegie Mom – thanks for sharing your input! You are the one of the few to chime in on Southside schools. Kind of makes me sad we are so poorly represented. My gut tells me it is too risky to turn down our spot since we got zilch in the lottery. While I am still leary of how it works with the neighborhood school (being ranked so poorly) and the gifted school functioning in the same space, we will probably give it a go. Do you think the principal will be receptive to allowing me to come for a visit?

  • 471. fantastically uniquely me  |  March 27, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    @ Jackie The older grades test was 45 mins- 1 hour so about 1hour 30 mins- 2 hours to take both

  • 472. cpsobsessed  |  March 27, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    @2nd or 3rd round:
    144 is in the coonley realm (at least it was before.) Because of the location they seem to go through a few rounds.
    For ties, I believe there are subscores based on the specifc questions the kids answered and they use those somehow. They may have other tie breakers but I don’t believe it will ever have anything to do with your rank order.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 473. Jackie  |  March 27, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    @ 471 fum, 90% of the people posting here applied for K. A 10 minute test that breaks the 99th percentile by 135-160. What a joke.

    My local school is Greene. Rather than sending him to Greene, I should just bypass the formalities and hand him over to the Latin Kings.

  • 474. Teresa  |  March 27, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    Hello to all of you Mom’s. I am a Mom and a CPS teacher. Although, if my daughter’s scores were high enough and she got in to Decatur, Bell, or Coonley, we would definitely go that route. My oldest is attending Pre-K, and I want her to come to my school. Both of my girls are extremely bright, my 4 year old already is reading beginner level books.

    I teach at a neighborhood school that has a comprehensive gifted program, called Bateman. Many of our students are out of boundaries. Take another look at your neighborhood school, they may have a comprehensive gifted program, and the extra-curriculars you are going for. Great things at Bateman are the music program, our chess team is one of the best in the city, and I would trust all of the teachers in the building with the education of my children.

  • 475. LP Dad  |  March 27, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    6th grade
    RGC – 125
    Reading – 95. Math – 99
    Total points – 811.4
    Tier 4
    Received admission to Skinner West and Ogden IG

    Any thoughts on Ogden IG?

    2nd Grade
    RGC – 111
    Reading – 90. Math – 96
    No offers

  • 476. Lakeview Dad  |  March 27, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    @474… And Dads too?

  • 477. mckinley park parent  |  March 27, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    I agree. I think the gifted program is bs as you have a graduate student doing the test. I think the pressure we put on our kids to be gifted is horrible. What happened to just being a kid and then maybe in 3rd grade say, “oh, wait I think my child may be gifted” Then you have the kids that test well but when put in a gifted or classical school within a couple of years are struggling but get to stay in the school because in kindergarten they tested well.

    I wish my neighborhood school was good (I too am in the Greene district) as I would love my children’s friends to be close by, Not all over the darn city. If I had had a choice between a magnet school and a GOOD neighborhood school, would not have even applied to magnets and chosen the neighborhood. Hey, maybe I can rent an apartment in the Healy district for a week. 🙂

  • 478. Jen K  |  March 27, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    Applying for K, Tier 4
    RGC: 110
    Reading 97%, math 93%
    Applied Edison, Decatur
    No offers

    Applying for 4th
    Applied Edison
    No offers

    BUT already at a great magnet school & would only consider switching if both had tested into Edison.

  • 479. Christina  |  March 27, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    Tier 4
    RGC 147
    Reading 91
    Math 95

    Our 1st choice was Coonley, 2nd choice was Edison, and my daughter got accepted at Pritzker, which was our 3rd choice. What do you think the chances are that she’d be accepted at Coonley on a second round?

  • 480. happymom  |  March 27, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    @457 http://kellergiftedcenter.org/

  • 481. K D  |  March 27, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    @464 SmilingMom

    I don’t have a good answer to the question about the bus.

    Moving sounds like a big step, but I’m sure we’d love to have you in the neighborhood. We can help you find parents that live close to you to get better answers. I’ll start checking now.

  • 482. Teresa  |  March 27, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    @474 Sorry Lakeview Dad. We have some awesome Dad’s at Bateman as well!

  • 483. SJ  |  March 27, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    It’s hilarious when people brag about their child being an early reader. ALL kids are early readers these days! Keep the bragging for your family reunion.

  • 484. Lakeview Dad  |  March 27, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    Thx Teresa 🙂

  • 485. inaquandary  |  March 27, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    our son got an offer for Decatur into 1st Grade (T3, 99/99). However, he is currently in Disney gifted K. Anyone have any experience switching into Decatur? Can’t imagine giving up the well-rounded resources Disney offers. we’ve been extremely happy there. wondering if decatur will be too much academia and not enough enrichment. thoughts?

  • 486. cpsobsessed  |  March 27, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    Can you guys tell I’m avoiding packing?
    For a 99/99 kid I would take a good look at decatur, which is full of those kids. I understand your point about the well roundedness though so it really depends on your individual child….
    Are they a “classical” type?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 487. thinking next year  |  March 27, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    RGC scores are out of 160 in K and “begin at” 150 for 1st and up. That means a 140 for K would not translate as a 140 in 1st grade, right? Was this the way it also was last year?

  • 488. New Keller Mom  |  March 27, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    @KD & Smiling Mom. I do believe we have one little lady in the class that is being bused from the UIC area. I will send her Dad an email to verify she is being bused and what time she is picked up.

  • 489. keeping the faith  |  March 27, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    Hello cpsobsessed or anyone else who can help! Would anyone happen to know if 139 (tier 4) would get into pritzker 2nd or 3rd round? A parent wrote that her child got in last year (tier 4) with that score in july…wish it was last year! 🙂 Not sure if that same experience would apply this year, but we’re hoping it would. Does Pritzker go through several rounds like it does for Coonley?

  • 490. Marlese  |  March 27, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    kinder, tier 2,
    math 97%, reading 87%

    No offers, natch. Applied at Eddison, Coonley, Decatur and both Skinners, but actually don’t want classical school. Thought we should apply in case we didn’t get a magnet. We’ve got a spot at Hamilton we’re very happy with, given that CPS completely screwed our magnet application up. But that’s another story for another blog.

  • 491. New Keller Mom  |  March 27, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    @453 JA. Poe was great for my son. The kids got along great and the parents were fairly close. Kid’s parties were attended by everyone. The K teacher at the time was wonderful. The best I had experienced at that point. She was a lively as the kids. She planned a lot of activies. She made learning so much fun that the kids did not mind the exams, the presentations or the spelling bees. She included the parents in everything. But unfortunately, she is no longer there. She excepted the AP position at Beasley along with Poe’s prior AP who is now the P of Beasley. I still stay in contact with the parents at Poe. My best friend’s daughter is in the 1st grade and she still loves it. My son cried when he left Poe because he was looking forward to being in the 1st grade with the current teacher. If my son had not tested into Keller Poe would still be our home. I hope this helps. Only drawback for us was that Poe did not have a 7th or 8th grade and Keller was more racially diverse.

  • 492. chelsea  |  March 27, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    @Inaquandry – Your news of your son leaving the Disney gifted K program makes our decision harder. We too are at Disney K (non-gifted). Our kid got accepted into Bell’s Option program. We love Disney. Was hoping for opening in gifted program at Disney but can’t wait for that possibility. Good luck on your decision.

  • 493. Lakeview Dad  |  March 27, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    CPSobsessed: Have you entertained the notion of starting ongoing threads about each neighborhood school as a way for folks to do research on a specific school? Just an idea to mull. In your spare time.

  • 494. New Keller Mom  |  March 27, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    oops meant accepted the AP position at Beasley.

  • 495. operamom  |  March 27, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    @437 Decatur is the only classical school closer to me, but I have a good friend who teaches there, and while she’s wonderful, the administrators struck me as really rigid and it sounded too high-pressure for my bright but very active/wiggly son. Skinner North seemed a lot more flexible, as well as a LOT more interested in working with/involving parents, so that’s why I put them as my first classical choice.

    I live a couple blocks from Edison, so that was my first overall choice, but obviously my son’s scores (99.8/99.7, but only 100 RGC) won’t get him in there.

    I don’t think I want to bus my 5-year-old, so now I need to decide if a 40 minute drive to school (and the likelihood of my younger children needing to attend a totally different school) outweighs the convenience (and, in my experience, equally good education opportunity) but hard work on my own part of homeschooling all of them.

  • 496. cpsobsessed  |  March 27, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    @keeping: pritzker does typically go through a few rounds so certainly possible (but of course no guarantees.). Pritzker has traditionally had lower cutoffs than some others, but it appears to be becoming more sought after the past couple years so you never know…

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 497. inaquandary  |  March 27, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    RE: 99/99 kid

    Not to sound jerky, but, is any 1st grader a “classical” type? He loves to learn and read, but i can’t say he prefers homework over play. I’d love to hear some/any feedback from any Decatur parents-past or current. Thanks for this site!

  • 498. g  |  March 27, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    No, I know a lot of people who are not going with the school they got into because of the consideration of younger siblings. If you think homeschooling is feasible, by all means do it. I think a parent who is willing to devote that much attention to their child’s education is remarkable and should be commended! Plus, I think you can push your child farther than any school teacher could ever push them. Good luck!!

  • 499. g  |  March 27, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    498 was for @operamom

  • 500. cpsobsessed  |  March 27, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    @lakeview dad – yep, I am working with a parent to get a message board going. Slowly but surely…

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 501. g  |  March 27, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    @LS Dad I think you have a pretty good chance of getting into RGC.

  • 502. tigerDAD  |  March 27, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    @UIC Mom and Smiling Mom:

    Congratulations and welcome to the Keller family! My daughter is now in Keller 1st grade and she is very happy with the school. The homework load is manageable. During the 1st 2-3 months (transition from K to 1st grade), parents may need to spend ~ one hour to help with the homework. After the transition period, kids adapt to the school and parents’ “burden” will be less.

    We also live in UIC area and I am glad to know there will be another Keller kid around us. My daughter takes school bus back and forth. She is the 1st one to be picked up (6:30am) and the last one to be dropped off (3:00pm) on her bus. I can confirm the Keller school bus will transport Keller kids as long as they are within Chicago (no 6 mile radius or other limits) AND 1.5 miles away from the Keller school.

    If you have any more questions, please feel free to send me email: linanster@gmail.com

    @New Keller Mom: I got your email and thanks for pulling me out of my cozy bed. LOL…….

  • 503. Chris  |  March 27, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    “There should be a lottery for kids who score above a certain number, perhaps 130 (98th percent) for these gifted schools.”

    This is not a bad idea, really, given the vagaries of testing 4 and 5 y.os.

  • 504. Oneandonly  |  March 27, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    And as we’re all angst -ing about where to send our offspring; did his honor just yesterday say something about not cutting out for the ‘burbs? Yes, I’d “rather poke my eyes out with a stick too”…I want to raise a city savvy kid… but get a load of this… about CPS budget. Time for another thread?


  • 505. Cpskool  |  March 27, 2012 at 11:09 pm

    @485 My daughter transfered to decatur this year. She is in 5th grade and we are very happy. She loves going to school. While we did not get the whole decatur education, I can tell you the 5th grade teachers are amazing. She has never had more than 45 min of homework. Certainly not overworked or stressed at school. In fact, Decatur has recess, which she did not have at her last school. They have had a few group projects, which can be difficult to coordinate with everyones schedule (had to dedicate a few weekends to those). The staff and principals are great. No complaints, it is an amazing school, with dedicated parents. No regrets leaving Thorp.

  • 506. SW Side Momma  |  March 27, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    @jackie and @McKinley Park Mom (and anyone else close by) are we in the same ward? Our Alderman is Cardenas. Maybe we should have a meeting with him about a decent magnet or SEES close by. It seems as if we are in a black hole and have to either drive our kids across town, homeschool them, send them to private (not an option for us), or just be content with the fact that they will learn more about gang signs than reading and writing. I think we need to get together and go to the Alderman and demand something better. I have heard good things about Namaste, but it is hard to get a spot in there too.

  • 507. Hopeful Mom!  |  March 27, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    @378. EDB …… “I don’t have anything bad to say about Decatur, but didn’t get a warm feeling about it when I took the tour.” ….. umm that is not exactly a positive comment. Hey, you like the idea of your 5 year old sharing a school with 500 middle schools kids that attend another school then I say GO FOR IT! Different strokes for different folks and yes this is MY OPINION and your opinion is yours.

    The building is top notch state of the art and very large. Another negative for me. Again, my opinion.

  • 508. yoonb  |  March 27, 2012 at 11:49 pm

    K, tier-4,
    RGC – 137
    Classical – Reading: 99.7, Math: 97
    Accepted at Skinner North (which was our third choice)

    Our first choice was Coonley, and then Edison. (Closer to the house would have been better..) No complaint to drive to SN though.

    I would appreciate any insights of Skinner North, and its ambiance, etc.

  • 509. Hopeful Mom!  |  March 27, 2012 at 11:50 pm

    @390 Offered at Pritzker (3rd choice) ….. Pritzker is a good school. My child attended Edison but left for Decatur. Other children in his class at Edison left for Pritzker and LOVED it. They felt it was more challenging and a better school then Edison. Their younger child was accepted at Skinner so both tested to try to get into the same school now both are at the new Skinner and wishing they would of selected Pritzker over the shiney new school. So I say take it!

  • 510. Hopeful Mom!  |  March 27, 2012 at 11:52 pm

    @391. west loop mom if you are over 6 miles and based upon your name “west loop mom” you will not get busing and will have to drive. Something to think about. That is quite a commute.

  • 511. WRP Mom  |  March 27, 2012 at 11:55 pm

    inaquandary- Have you looked over the Decatur website decaturclassical.org yet? You can get an idea of what is offered for enrichment. Decatur has chess club, tap, art classes. They offer music lessons before school. Starting in 3rd grade there is Chicago Children’s Choir. In 4th grade they do a unit in partnership with the Art Institute. Every year, the entire student body does a show.

    Decatur is a much smaller school than Disney and has almost a small town feel to it. Your son’s grade would be one of the single classroom grades, so it’s the same group of kids every year which is nice for making close friendships.

    The academics would be a step up from Disney, but maybe that’s a good thing? You know your child best.

  • 512. Hopeful Mom!  |  March 28, 2012 at 12:03 am

    @485 “wondering if decatur will be too much academia and not enough enrichment. thoughts?”

    That is one of the reasons we are considering leaving. I would like to see my child do more art, music and a language other than Latin. We loved it for the younger grades but now it is losing its luster for us. Again, my opinion. Others may feel differently. I want my child to have a more well rounded educational experience.

  • 513. SW Side Momma  |  March 28, 2012 at 12:05 am

    @390. pamina and anyone else wondering about Pritzker I’ll answer pamina’s questions the best I can

    I am a Pritzker Mom and have been really happy there

    Could anyone please address the following questions about Pritzker:
    Do they celebrate birthdays and holidays? Yes- but it does not seem over the top. It is very low key, IMO

    Would you describe the mood and atmosphere of the school as “cheery”? Yes I feel most kids are happy there

    Do they offer decent aftercare and/or afterschool classes (paid and/or unpaid)?
    there are a variety of afterschool programs (paid) and there are other places near by like Wicker Park that pick up kids and have very reasonable rates

    Do they offer foreign language? Yes, Spanish, although I think they will be getting a new Spanish teacher according to the rumor mill.

    What are parents views on the the Principal and AP?
    I think that they are very responsive to issues and have a sense of humor, but encourage kids to be their best and enjoy themselves in the process. I believe they are both committed to the long term success of the school. They are both very intelligent and dedicated individuals. They seem to have a good relationship with the teachers and staff.

    Is there any merit to the rumor that there are tensions between the RGC and neighborhood programs? I don’t think so, my youngest is going into the Fine Arts program and I have one in the RGC

    How is communication between teachers and parents
    I haven’t had this as a problem. I have always been able to talk to my son’s teachers on the phone and have had decent turnaround time for notes or emails (usually w/in a few hours or same day once on a weekend.)

    Why are some families opting to leave the program?
    Most people I have talked to left because they had a sibling elsewhere already and/or they lived really far away. There were six new students in their first grade class this year. I feel like the group of parents in our class and the classes just ahead of ours are for the most part, committed to staying in the school and working to make it even better. There are some really committed parents in our classroom that put in a ton of volunteer time (I am not one of those yet because of lack of childcare for my youngest) I feel like there is a really good sense of community with the kids, parents, and teachers.

  • 514. Vero  |  March 28, 2012 at 12:17 am

    K, tier-3,
    RGC – 132

    No offers, really bummed out.

  • 515. Vero  |  March 28, 2012 at 12:27 am

    Reading 79, Math 65.

    Classical out! We applied to mostly classical and a few Regional but apparently 98% is not good enough! Boohoo!! Maybe next year?

  • 516. paminat  |  March 28, 2012 at 4:50 am

    Thanks so much for all info, which is really helpful. Just one more question: why is pritzker ranked so low? For example only 5/10 on great schools?. I do know we have to be cautious about these ratings, but this is lower than my neighborhood school.

  • 517. SLS mama  |  March 28, 2012 at 6:31 am

    @SW Side Mama – TALK TO YOUR ALDERMAN, please!!!! After the decision to phase out South Loop, there is a vacuum on the south side. Bronzeville, Bridgeport, McKinley Park, anywhere Near South or South West could use an option. West Side parents – talk to your alderman too. That is also wide open!! Our alderman has been very receptive to the conversation. Change starts small!

  • 518. anonymouseteacher  |  March 28, 2012 at 6:39 am

    @516 the Great Schools rating is directly based on test scores. However, I would imagine with Pritzker, the non-gifted classrooms are a significant drain on the gifted ones in terms of test scores. I’d find out exactly how many of the gifted kids exceed state standards. They should be able to provide you with that info.

  • 519. Jackie  |  March 28, 2012 at 7:39 am

    Jackie thinks something wrong in CPS scoring.

    If 16,000+ kids took the RGC Test and your kid scored a 136 (99%). Only 160+ kids should have scored higher.

    Seems like a lot more than that scored higher!

  • 520. Jackie  |  March 28, 2012 at 7:51 am

    On the flip side, if this test takes into account all potential test takers and the 136 (99%) represents entire population as opposed to the actual test takers.

    It is possible for 1000/16000 to be in the 99% and above.

  • 521. TwinMom  |  March 28, 2012 at 7:54 am

    @519/Jackie: someone can correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe the percentile is not indicative of the number of kids in the pool taking the test….it’s a national normed average. So “99th percentile” doesn’t mean you’re in the top 1% of those taking the test; it means you’re in the top 1% of the nationwide norm.

    And I would expect the scores to be higher for those actually taking the test: a higher percentage of the kids actually taking the test are going to score higher, simply because the whole reason they’re taking the test is because their parents suspect they will do well. Not every child does, of course, but the “pool” of test-takers is skewed in favor of those who will have higher scores than some random pool of test-takers off the street.

  • 522. cpsobsessed  |  March 28, 2012 at 7:54 am

    Jackie – I’d agree that the kids who test are more likely to score in the top national 99percent, per your second point.
    Also, parents of those top scoring kids are more like to be obsessing (ie on this blog) so we’re seeing some of the highest scores here. It used to be the same on NPN too.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 523. cpsobsessed  |  March 28, 2012 at 7:56 am

    Ps – I love you stats geeks.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 524. Jackie  |  March 28, 2012 at 8:10 am

    I am a stat geek. But not an obsessed parent. My kids Classical scores were below average. I parent by exploring the world and having fun, not preparing for tests in the future. The reason I have so many questions is because I really did not look into this process much.

    I suspected my son would do well on the gifted test so I signed him up. He did do well, but yet no school spots for kids who are not in the 99.5% and above. It ticks me off!

  • 525. Alex  |  March 28, 2012 at 8:41 am

    Whitney Young 7th Grade Academic Center
    Tier 4

  • 526. Parent  |  March 28, 2012 at 8:47 am

    Lincoln’s IG
    Tier 4
    Score 868

  • 527. Emom  |  March 28, 2012 at 8:47 am

    @507 Hopeful Mom

    “. Hey, you like the idea of your 5 year old sharing a school with 500 middle schools kids that attend another school then I say GO FOR IT!”

    Where did you get that number from? Did you really mean 500?

  • 528. Parent  |  March 28, 2012 at 8:48 am

    Whitney Young 7th Grade Academic Center
    Tier 4

  • 529. Right Said Fred  |  March 28, 2012 at 9:02 am

    K Tier 4 –
    RGC – 130
    Reading 99% (!) , Math 56%

    The thing is, we were told by someone that there were no “real” math questions, but after my daughter came out of the test she rememebred some questions, such as “what is 10 plus 9”. She said 14, for which she should have gotten partial credit! In any case, I don’t recall which schools we applied to, but we didn’t get any, but we’re just fine with Burley.

    I’m actually really pleased that she hit 99% on the reading part, we always thought she was ahead of the curve in that area, and now we know we’re right! We’ll give it a shot next year…

  • 530. ergcparent  |  March 28, 2012 at 9:13 am

    @507 I have a kid at Edison, and you’re off by a lot. There are 280-some kids at APMA. We barely know they are there, to be honest, except at dismissal time. It’s a big building.

  • 531. To: Hopeful Mom  |  March 28, 2012 at 9:14 am

    @507 and so many of your other posts. (I recall you are aka no letters yet) This blog and site has always been so helpful to me, although frustrating to hear all the problems with CPS. All comments, positive or negative, are welcome in my book. However, you are doing more harm than good. You obviously will not be happy with any school your child attends. Your clearly bright child has attended two of the top schools in the State and you are still looking for more. You are bashing a school and community that others are only mildly trying to defend against your personal opinion and you lash out at them. Meanwhile, there are people on here who live the neighborhoods that are not good enough for you and would give anything to have the opportunity to send their children to the schools that also do not meet your standards. Just go to a private school, get off of here, and leave the rest of us alone. No one needs your snarky, yet ineffective, retorts to their defenses of your criticism. Also, I question how you are such an expert on this process. You have an intelligent child who you are trying to move for the THIRD time in grammar school! Why didn’t you take your own expert advice and find the “perfect” school where he or she could find a supportive community and just focus on learning?

  • 532. nowadecision  |  March 28, 2012 at 9:22 am

    the back of the SEES letter stated that 3100 kids took the test. Where are you getting the 1600+ number?

  • 533. J-J  |  March 28, 2012 at 9:28 am

    531 – 100% agree with you. From an Edison dad.

  • 534. EDB  |  March 28, 2012 at 9:29 am

    @531 – Thank you. Well said.

  • 535. ergcparent  |  March 28, 2012 at 9:31 am

    @531—wish I could “like” this post.

  • 536. slsmom  |  March 28, 2012 at 9:34 am

    Tier 4
    Testing for 3rd grade (Skinner)
    90 – reading
    94 – math

    No offer …

  • 537. Nathan  |  March 28, 2012 at 9:42 am

    For those of you on the stats question, the larger concern should be the statistical significance of the actual test. In a 10 minute test (speaking for K here), how many questions can they ask? 20? Given that, at the high ends, the scores have to be separated by 1 – 2 correct questions (looks like a broader range because of the way the normalize for age). Given that they are multiple choice questions, it is easy to “luck into” a high score with a couple of guesses or fall dramatically because a (highly mercurial) 4 year old biffs a questions that he might normally get 9 out of 10 times. In other words, this test should not be considered accurate in any way above the say 90 or 95% cut off (there just aren’t enough questions to create that fine a level of statistical significance).

    This is also supported by the ranges you are seeing between the RGC scores and classical ones. Though they supposedly test different things, they should be highly correlated, but the scores are not showing that. This is indicative of two tests, neither of which is providing an accurate statistical outcome at the very high end as is required to get into these schools.

    So what you are getting is the lottery that someone suggested. It is veiled as a test but it is still every bit as random as any lottery.

  • 538. not an expert  |  March 28, 2012 at 9:46 am


    The percentiles are a reflection of national scores of children that took the test. If you score a 99% then your child tested better than 99% of the kidsin the United States taking the test. There can be a lot of variation between the percentile and the raw score (see my post #443).

  • 539. CrazyMo  |  March 28, 2012 at 9:49 am

    538 – it is my understanding that CPS’s test is NOT a national test, but rather one made up for CPS’s purposes. How could there be “national scores”?

  • 540. not an expert  |  March 28, 2012 at 9:54 am

    I wouldn’t be surprised if they ‘tweak’ it. But when I called the OAE office they said it’s relative to other children who have taken the test nationally. It’s definitely not limited to the pool of test takers in Chicago.

  • 541. CpsUnless  |  March 28, 2012 at 9:56 am

    From the back of the SEES letter: “This score is derived from a comparison of your child’s performance to that of a large national sample of children of similar age (year and month).

  • 542. just plain mad  |  March 28, 2012 at 9:56 am

    Applyed to kindergarten

    tier 4
    reading 99.6
    math 99.8
    RGC 143

    received offer to McDade, but bitterly disappointed because our hearts were set on Lenart! Any one have an opinion on McDade?

  • 543. Calliope Troy  |  March 28, 2012 at 9:57 am

    Hi there, I live in New York and have a daughter in a K gifted program right now. We’re moving to Chicago this summer, so I’ve been researching areas to live and school options. It looks like CPS doesn’t publish the test that is given, and there are actually two tests for different kinds of schools? I found it was really helpful for my daughter to see the sample questions for the OLSAT published by the DOE. Does anyone know if she would take the OLSAT again next year for 2nd grade entry (she’ll go to a neighborhood school in the fall) or have any information that would be helpful for her? I see that it’s becoming very difficult to get in, and I’d like her to have the best chance possible because she is really thriving in her program right now. Thank you all for your help!

  • 544. CrazyMo  |  March 28, 2012 at 9:59 am

    I don’t believe there are any national norms unless CPS paid a consulting firm to test some kids from around the country. The Chicago CPS test is different than the test any other city uses.

  • 545. 60660  |  March 28, 2012 at 10:10 am

    @543 From everything I have heard – including showing my son the olsat samples from NYC – the Chicago “gifted” test is either the same or very similar. Classical schools are testing for literacy and numeracy.

  • 546. CrazyMo  |  March 28, 2012 at 10:14 am

    @60660, I’m not trying to start an argument, but the CPS test is definitely not the OLSAT.

  • 547. HungryLiketheWolf  |  March 28, 2012 at 10:15 am

    Re: Pritzker….

    I’m a (pleased) parent from the Fine Arts program. Based on the incredible energy at the school right now and the changes at the school in the last few years (new science lab, new auditorium systems, new playground areas, etc), and the experience I’ve had with the lower grades students, I expect those test scores to rise in the next few years as the current crop of kindergarteners reaches testing age.

  • 548. Ivana  |  March 28, 2012 at 10:15 am

    Anyone here got LaSalle offered and will be declining? We are # 4 on waiting list – tier 4 and so anxious. Thanks in advance

  • 549. 60660  |  March 28, 2012 at 10:21 am

    I don’t want to argue either! just because I’m posting here doesn’t mean I’m a crazy person!
    I’m not claiming it is the olsat – just that the questions are very similar. Whatever secret sauce IIT adds it is not unique.

  • 550. Ruth  |  March 28, 2012 at 10:27 am

    Does anyone have suggestions for after school care near Beaubien? We would need a place that could pick our first grader up and keep him until around 5:30.
    Thanks in advance

  • 551. Arjun Kumar  |  March 28, 2012 at 10:27 am

    @548 Ivana

    I vaguely remember the LaSalle principal mentioning during the open house that they usually choose 20 from the non-sibling non-proximity wait lists. Call them and see if they can confirm that. Also go through last years comments, you might find some information there.

  • 552. Calliope Troy  |  March 28, 2012 at 10:30 am

    @CrazyMo – Did CPS create their own test then? Or do you think it’s something different? Just out of curiosity. 🙂

  • 553. Arjun Kumar  |  March 28, 2012 at 10:31 am

    @542 “just plain mad”

    Is there a way you could find out till what score Lenart admitted last year in Round 2 and 3? I know a current Lenart parent. Let me try and ask her for help.

  • 554. Beaubien Mama  |  March 28, 2012 at 10:32 am

    #550–there are a number of family child care homes in the area that seem to pick up at Beaubien. The YMCA on Irving and the Park District have run a shuttle from the school and bring kids to their afterschool programs in the past. You may want to check with Ms. Jeffers, the Options coordinator on current choices she’s awre of in the area. You may also find that one of your kid’s classmates can grab your kid afterschool and bring them to their house for you–a dream stay-at-home parent gig to supplement their income. They can do homework until you pick them up.

  • 555. cpsobsessed  |  March 28, 2012 at 10:34 am

    I think cps gives out standard test booklets so I’d guess it’s at least some portions of a real test.
    The fact is that they still rank all the raw scores to place our kids so natl norms don’t really matter.
    But they do tell us what natl percent our raw scores equate to.
    That’s my perception.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 556. mckinley park mom  |  March 28, 2012 at 10:39 am

    @Jackie & SW Side Momma
    Yes, Namaste is a GREAT charter school. They will do the lottery on thursday. Problem with Charters schools as they don’t have to do all of CPS rules so there is no proximity lottery. So again, chances are low.
    Cardenas is not our Alderman until they do the change over, but I agree about meeting with him to get a good school here. We have so many magnet schools close by,(Sheridan, Galileo, Jackson, STEM, but again, we are not proximity to ANY.. We need a good school in the Mckinkley Park, Canaryiville, Brighton Park area. I do know there is a bunch of teachers that are trying to start a charter school in Bridgeport, but again that is Bridgeport and not our area.

  • 557. SmilingMom  |  March 28, 2012 at 10:54 am

    @ TigerDad, New Keller Mom, K D, Happy Mom, UICMom,

    Thanx a lot to you all.Your heart-warmed help offered great relief for me. I called Keller and was told that so far they still can offer bus service to kids living 1.5 mile away from Keller ,even 6 miles away. Good news for us.What is sad is that I got to wait until registration to visit the Keller campus. Can’t wait to get in the Keller family.

  • 558. Candice Noble  |  March 28, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Entering K
    Tier 1
    Reading and Math mid 80s
    RGC 145
    accepted Pritzker RGC

  • 559. PortageParent  |  March 28, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    Hopeful Mom/No Letters Yet – #507, etc – I don’t know why you seem to have such negative feelings toward Edison. And I really don’t get why you would say completely FALSE things about the school on a public forum. I asked you for a link to some stories you are repeating here…I read every post about Albany Park on everyblock for the last 3 months…there is no mention of Edison.

    You come on this blog and write complete lies about a fine school. Actually, you told lies about TWO fine schools (ERGC & APMA). Rather than trying to help your fellow CPS parent here with good information, you seem to want to slander an entire school.

    You need to get your facts straight. APMA has a total of 267 kids. No where near 500. Edison has 266. The two schools COMBINED, then, have just 533. You don’t like the school because its too big, too modern, too new? What???

    Let me tell you something about “those” kids of APMA. It makes me sick when I hear people talking about them like they are a negative for Edison. Why? Because they happen to live in Albany Park? Or is it because they have a predominately minority population? Or because they are poor? Every time someone tries to assign some negative attributes to “those” kids, it smacks of racism and elitism. There is no other explanation.

    FYI, here are some APMA stats:

    There are a Level 1 school (Excellent Standing). The highest CPS level. (And, there are some tier 4 RGCs mentioned here that are only Level 2 -good standing).

    On the ISATs, 85.3% are meeting/exceeding standards, with 18.4% exceeding. That is a fantastic percentage! Especially when they have a 94% low income rate! They are doing great! Instead of knocking them down, you should be pointing to them as an example of a CPS success.

    Go, APMA!!! Go, Edison!!!

  • 560. Edison parent  |  March 28, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    Thanks, #559. I was really wondering where all of the animosity came from myself. I’ve had no concerns with APMA and my son who attends ERGC has several buddies there. Several of the comments certainly seem culturally predjudicial, which baffles me from someone who has elected to live in Chicago which has a lot more minority families than not.

  • 561. southloopmom1  |  March 28, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    Classical Reading:98% Math:90% what are the chances for Skinner?
    Disney I-Accepted
    Inter American:2
    Brown W:6
    Input on any of these magnet schools is appreciated.

  • 562. CPStressed  |  March 28, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    @508 and others…

    Is it possible to swap spots? My son is in at Edison for Kindergarten
    (RGC 150, reading 94, math 95), but I would prefer to send him to Skinner North!

    Do we need to meet the principals and work it out?

  • 563. confused NW side parent  |  March 28, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    I’m in need of some insider info on Beaubien gifted for first grade. We just got offered a spot and I’ve heard very mixed things about it. My daughter is currently at Thorp and I’m relatively sure she could get into the gifted program there but what are the big differences in the programs? Any thoughts would be helpful since we have to make the choice about Beaubien before we will know about the gifted program at Thorp. Love CPS planning!

  • 564. CPStressed  |  March 28, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    BTW, I have nothing negative about Edison, my son WILL go there unless there’s some miracle chance a swap could be negotiated… I just live by Skinner North and work in South Loop, getting to Edison will be have an enormous impact on our lives…

  • 565. Beaubien Mama  |  March 28, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    #563–You may want to read these posts:352, 364, 365, 366 for more info. Good luck on your decision!!

  • 566. EDB  |  March 28, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    @564 – the bussing is pretty good (as far as bussing goes). If you need aftercare there’s a decently large group from Edison who got to the Irving Park YMCA (via bus). Congrats & welcome to Edison!

  • 567. Suburban  |  March 28, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    Any info on staying in the area around Decatur? We will be moving from he suburbs but have jobs that will take us back there everyday close to 20 miles one way to Lincolnshire etc. so we figures we are better off renting close to the school for our kid
    Any suggestions? Looking ideally for 3 bed + and I know this is not a real estate forum so my apologies for putting this here but it would help to get views from people who intend to join or have kids at Decatur

  • 568. Suburban  |  March 28, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    Sorry for the typos in 567
    I meant we ‘figured’ it’s better to stay really close to the school

  • 569. Carnegie Mom  |  March 28, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    @470 The principal would be very receptive to a tour. My husband and I definitely have concerns about the neighborhood program being on probation. One evening we were picking up our son and Ms. Heath (principal) sat down to speak with us without an appointment. She explained that the test scores didn’t increase by more than 2-3% over 2 years so they were put on probation. She stated that the standard used changed, the schools weren’t given lead time to really understand the differences to allow them time to adjust curriculum. (I’m pretty sure I explained it wrong, but seemed to make sense).

    Despite the principal’s response, we are still very concerned with the neighborhood component and how it affects overall school scores. At the same time, other than send him to private school there’s not much we can do as long as we live in the city. Carnegie was not our first choice (was the 5th choice) when we applied 2 yrs ago, but it was the only RGC offer received. We also didn’t even get any magnet program offers, so Carnegie was our best option at the time.

    Over the last two years, there have been things that I didn’t care for, but without question I have been very happy with his teachers thus far. They genuinely care about the kids and their development. They are prepared with their lesson plans and assign projects that are challenging, yet fun and interactive. We have been very happy with his academic progress.

    Good luck with whatever you decide!

  • 570. Lot of pressure on these kids  |  March 28, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    Tier 4
    entering K
    Math 99.5%, Reading 88%
    No offers from SEES

    Offer from Disney 1. Are there any Disney parents out there who can give me some advice on pros/cons? We are in at a small Catholic school too and I’m torn! email is molsicvic@gmail.com

  • 571. Irving Park mom  |  March 28, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    @550, we are at Beaubien and use the free busing to have our daughter dropped off at the Kidwatch Plus after school program near Independence Park. The program rents space in a CPS middle school (Marshall), which is why the bus is able to drop her off there.

  • 572. Bell second round?  |  March 28, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    do we have a second or third round chance for Bell’s 1st grade in tier 4 with 128? I have noticed on this blog, the lowest 1st grade tier 4 Bell score that got acceptance was 131. Can anyone from last year second or third round share their kid’s score in tier 4?
    Thank you!

  • 573. southloopmom1  |  March 28, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    Disney I-Accepted
    Inter American:2
    Brown W:6
    Input on any of these magnet schools is appreciated.
    Confused about accepting Disney I …… Thanks in advance.

  • 574. Sue  |  March 28, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    1st grade
    math-99 reading 98
    Accepted at Keller RGC – our first choice

    We are from out of state not sure about the tier. We picked 6 schools closest geographically to the Univ of Chicago/Hyde Park based on online reviews.

    Does anyone have input on Keller ? It would be incredibly helpful for us to make up our mind. Thanks.
    One other thing – sorry if this is a silly questions but does my child have to test again next year if she wants to continue in the same school?

  • 575. total newbie  |  March 28, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    looking for info on the potential 2nd and 3rd round process. if a tier 4 rejects, obviously they are replaced by the nxt highest score from the same tier 4(and same for tiers1,2,3)?….but if a ranked child (top 30% straight score) rejects they are replaced by the next highest score regardless of tier? is this correct? just want to make sure I am understanding….and the way that you ranked your schools on the application does not weigh in at all?

    sorry if this info has been given already…my head is spinning these days. thanks for any responses

  • 576. New Keller Mom  |  March 28, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    @574 Sue – Welcome to Keller. You are going to love it there. Read some of the previous post or even last year postings when my son was accepted. You will find a lot of information there. And no you do not have to test again to retain your spot.

  • 577. Ivana  |  March 28, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    @ Arjun Kumar
    Thank you:D

  • 578. BEAUBIEN DAD  |  March 28, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    @563 A work friend’s daughter goes to Thorp & loves it there. From what he tells me the school is very unique, parent friendly, and instills positive values in his child.
    I would tell you to stay at Thorp – you are one of the lucky ones BTW what was your child’s score??

  • 579. a dad  |  March 28, 2012 at 2:18 pm


    Look at Lincoln Square if you can. Fantastic neighborhood, especially for kid/families and about 15 minute drive to Decatur. If you are looking to buy, prices are down right now. If you have another child the neighborhood school is Waters – one of the up and comers of CPS. Strong parent network is developing.

  • 580. Sue  |  March 28, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    @ New Keller Mom – Thanks for responding. I started to read the comments sections and could not find anything abt Keller till half way, that got me worried 🙂 I did find information in the second half of the comments section including bus services which i wanted to know about – thanks again.

  • 581. Trisha  |  March 28, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    @563 What was your child’s score ?
    @574 Congrats & welcome to Keller too!

  • 582. Laurie  |  March 28, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    @569 Carnegie Mom – thanks again for your response. I left a message at the school so hoping to get a chance to look around in the next few days.

  • 583. CPS Dad to be  |  March 28, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    Tier 3

    RGC: 138
    Reading: 99.9 Math: 99

    Accepted at Skinner North which was our first choice.

    We are very thankful. Good luck to all.

  • 584. Jennifer des Groseilliers  |  March 28, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    Tier 4
    RGC: 123
    reading 97 and math 90
    Accepted: Carnegie

    Can anybody provide any additional information on Carnegie?

  • 585. K D  |  March 28, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    SmilingMom—it may be possible for you to visit Keller before the school year starts. One of us can invite you to an upcoming event as a guest.

    Sue — There are a few folks coming to Keller from the U of C community.

    UIC Mom – I told you New Keller Mom was a good resource. She’s already connected you with TigerDad your neighbor.

    WestSidePops – which way are you leaning? Let us know if you need more info.

    Welcome to you all. We can’t wait to see you on campus.

  • 586. confused NW side parent  |  March 28, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    @563 and @573 my daughter’s score was 131. I don’t think we have much of a chance to get in any of the other gifted programs we applied for so that’s why it’s such a tough decision -but I do feel lucky! We have a tour on April 9th at Beaubien so I guess I’ll get a feeling for things then. The principal issue is huge though to me – wish I could wait to see who gets hired. Thorp’s principal is retiring this year too thankfully, so if we stay I’m really hopeful that things will improve with more after school programs etc.

  • 587. PleaseDecide4me  |  March 28, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    1st grade
    Tier 4
    RGC: 129
    reading: 98 math: 90
    offered: Beaubien

    We are having a tough time deciding whether to tak the spot or stay wit current private option. We could use advice or any current parents perspective to help sell us on Beaubien. We have some questions:
    1. will recess and a longer lunch be changed for next year? other posts mention this but is this change definite?
    2. what is the curriculum for 1st grade? how many times a week for gym/art/music/language/technology? What language do they study?
    3. How much interaction do the RGC kids have with the neighborhood kids?
    4.what is the class size for each grade?

    any insight that can be given would be helpful. i read through other posts and am concerned with the administration issues.

  • 588. WestSidePops  |  March 28, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    @585 – K D: We are enrolled at South Loop RGC (kindergarten) with younger siblings to consider. In light of the phaseout, we are trying to figure out if Keller works for the family. It’s not an easy choice. I would welcome any comments or advice. BTW, I’m glad to see the current Keller parents extending a helping hand. It reflects well on the school community.

  • 589. PortageParent  |  March 28, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    #587 – PleaseDecide4me – 1) Nothing is set in stone for next year, for all schools. If things do end up going the Rahm/Brizzard have laid out in their “full” school day plan, then I would imagine that Beaubien would have no choice but to finally implement recess next year. Who knows? I would say that the overall vibe of the school could change completely with the new principal next year, but that won’t be decided in time for your decision. I would advise you to go to an upcoming LSC meetings at the school to watch this process unfold. Talk to the parents there (people usually mill about a bit outside after the meeting).

    2) The kids have computer twice a week, art once a week, gym once a week, and Latin (Options program) twice a week. The Latin teacher is a major concern. MAJOR. Again, a new principal could change that, but probably not if the current AP gets the job. No music, that was lost in previous years budget cuts. Homeroom teachers were supposed to teach music, I don’t know if that ever really happened (but, c’mon, seems a bit much in a 5hr 45 mn day). The Options upper grade math teacher is phenomenal. The science teacher and coordinator are great as well.

    3) There is not much neighborhood/options interaction. They do have gym together. Years ago there were bad feelings all around between the two groups, but it got better. I’m not even sure I should post this old stuff, especially since the principal is leaving anyway but…if you are curious…google Beaubien + gifties + tshirts. Caution! That happened some time ago, so it’s not really totally representative of the school now.

    4) Class sizes are the same in pretty much all RGCs. 28 for K -1, 30 for 2-4, and 32 for 5-8. Give or take one or two.

    Like all CPS schools, Beaubien isn’t perfect. It has some great things and some not so great things. You should go to an LSC meeting. Or, better yet, go stand outside the school a few minutes before school let’s out and talk to parents.

    Hope that helps! Good luck!

  • 590. Amy  |  March 28, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    Kids enetering 2nd garde gifted….if anyone accpted in Beaubien and Edison..can you pls give the scores… I will be able to figure out if my daughter will be accepted in 2nd/3rd round.

    Any comparables between Lenart and Beaubien or Lenart and edison…….post yr inputs …very confused Mom!!!

    Also how does an RGC compares to Lane Tech or Whitney Young fr 7 & 8?

  • 591. just plain mad  |  March 28, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    553. Arjun Kumar | March 28, 2012 at 10:31 am
    @542 “just plain mad”

    “Is there a way you could find out till what score Lenart admitted last year in Round 2 and 3? I know a current Lenart parent. Let me try and ask her for help.”

    553. Please reach out to your contact!, I heard we are #3 on the wait list. Should i give up my seat at McDade and try for subsequent rounds at Lenart?

  • 592. 60660  |  March 28, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    there will be at least 2 spots in Edison 2nd grade for next year.
    My guess is they won’t contact anyone until August to fill those spots.

  • 593. bea  |  March 28, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    Tier 3
    entering Kindergarten
    RGC Score 120
    Classical School Score: 94% Reading, 98% Math
    No offers

    We did get places at Prescott and Sabin. Sabin is on probation, so that’s off the table. Prescott is….iffy, but really close to us. We’re #6 on Agassiz waiting list. We’ll pick Agassiz, if we get the chance.

  • 594. west loop mom  |  March 28, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    To Decatur parents: Can anybody tell me what is the timing for KG? What time the bus picks up kid from Blain or Bell or Coonley? Will they implement longer day next academic year?

    I wonder how working parents are managing because longer day or not, we will still have to work 8 hours.

  • 595. Dew  |  March 28, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    Tier 2
    entering Kindergarten
    RGC 135
    Reading: 99.8 Math 95
    Accepted: Skinner West

  • 596. Sue  |  March 28, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    585 @KD – I’m glad to hear UofC folk have kids in Keller. We have never visited the school area and it does not look like we can visit until May/ We have to decide on a place to live that makes sense commute wise to Hyde Park and to the school ( planning on using the bus). I’d appreciate it if you can put me in touch with any U of C parents with kids in Keller. Alternatively, I’d love to hear if any suggestions for the same.
    I’m so glad for this dialogue because its absolutely petrifying to make the choice based on just online research.

  • 597. pagalkuta  |  March 28, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    Tier 3
    entering Kindergarten
    RGC 139
    Reading: 99.8 Math 98
    Accepted: Skinner North

    Definitely no zombies there. Our other child is in his second year there and we’ve loved the school and the school community.

  • 598. OH REALLY!  |  March 28, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    @587 BEAUBIEN – My son was in the options class 3 years ago. He had previously been in private school. He got in to gifted so I thought why not? However it didn’t work out for us. The administration there were not what we wanted. (althought he princiapl is retiring but the AP may get it which I don’t think would be good for Beaubien)
    My son is now back in private & thriving – back with all his old friends. If your child is settled , has friends in his/her school then I don’t think it’s a good option to accept Beaubien. But it depends on the child – if he/she is used to change then it may work out. Good luck deciding! This is just my story it may be different for you.

  • 599. anonymouseteacher  |  March 28, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    @594, no one will know for sure what the longer day hours will be until the board votes on it. That could be next month, that could be a week before school starts. I’d guess that 7.5 is very likely.

  • 600. UofC Dad  |  March 28, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    596. Sue, If you are not already on the uchicago parents mailing list, I recommend you to join:

  • 601. Silent SouthSider  |  March 28, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    Sorry. I’ve been so busy reading that I didn’t leave a note. Plus, I didn’t want to be the only south slider to speak up – yep, I’m shy like that…

    On Monday, I got the text from hubby… (we’re in tier 4 and applied to Poe, mcdade, lenart, Murray, and Ray)

    RCG 134
    Reading 99.8
    Math 96

    Accepted at Poe!!
    So, I drove my son past the school and he said he wants to stay at his current school 🙂 oh well.

    Im nervous but Looking forward to the journey.

  • 602. TeacherMom  |  March 28, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    Tier 4
    Entering K
    RGC score: 160
    Offered Edison (1st choice)

  • 603. curious  |  March 28, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    @542 – how did you find out what # you were on wait list did you call OAE or school directly? i am in a similar situation (diff schools) and was under impression CPS was not giving out this info….pls let me know who I can contact. thanks and good luck.

  • 604. kstaigs  |  March 28, 2012 at 11:26 pm

    Finally back in town and able to read our letter.

    Entering K, tier 3, offered Edison (first choice)
    RGC score 155.
    Classical scores Reading 99.9%, Math 99%

    I feel very grateful her testing went so well, and I am very aware that it might have come out entirely differently on a different day. Having toured Edison I am very excited, I absolutely loved the feel of the school, the teachers I observed, and the activities offered.

    This does mean we will be declining our offer at Thorpe, if anyone out there is on the waiting list and hoping.

    I have read through a majority of this thread, and I must say, it is quite a roller coaster. I can only imagine how shaken I would feel if we had limited or no options, but I am surprised by the posts which seem to be lashing out at the schools, other parents, the apparently inept graduate students who ran the tests…I truly hope every parent on here is able to channel their frustration in a way that leads them toward the education solution they are seeking, and not the abandonment of CPS. As a part time creative writing teacher in some of the worst schools, I can attest that it is parent involvement which can make or break a struggling school, and the parents on here are clearly the definition of involved!

  • 605. southsidemom  |  March 29, 2012 at 1:33 am

    Rare Tier 1 Southsider here 🙂
    RGC: 160
    Classical: Rdg 99.9 Math 91

    Child will be a young 5; late July birthday but loves preschool. Offered 1st choice of Skinner North. Had no magnet matches and highest waitlist is STEM at #8, so we feel doubly blessed to have matched at Skinner. Our situation was really difficult, as our neighborhood school is not a viable option for us, particularly for our very smart child – really low meets/exceeds in addition to other issues.

    Funny note – when I first received the testing results, there was no RGC score, just a “?”. Literally a question mark. Called the IIT Call Center and OAE, and while I never got an explanation of what happened, they were kind enough to email me an updated letter with my child’s score. As if this whole process were not fraught with enough tension…

    I have been very reassured by the positive feedback on Skinner North. I attended an open house late 2011. It was pouring rain so I didn’t really pay attention to the surroundings or the facade. I drove my child past it a few days ago to show off the new school, and it really does look a bit run down in the light of day. She was fine with the school but disappointed by the playground LOL. However, I remember the inside feeling very bright and cheery and open, and I was really won over by the vision of the school as expressed by the prinicipal, and my positive impressions of the early childhood teachers. In a perfect world there would be a full time art position though. I remain a bit nervous about the experience of attending a school that is still developing itself, for example, will team sports be an option for the upper grades? Who knows? However, that is balanced by the opportunity to participate in that development. I am mainly just glad that this part of the process is complete (for the time being). That being said, if I get a call from Hawthorne this summer I would probably still jump on it! Good luck to all.

  • 606. fantastically uniquely me  |  March 29, 2012 at 7:34 am

    @ 601 SilentSouthider Did you apply to Murray Language Academy or a different one (if there even is another Murray)? Well we are leaving this year, but we’ve loved most of the teachers.

  • 607. OH REALLY!  |  March 29, 2012 at 8:26 am

    @587 Perhaps you should tour the school (just phone up & they will accommodate you) then you can make up your mind better. Again mine is just my opinion, I think in general you have a hard decision to make – you are lucky to have the options of two good schools.

  • 608. momof3boys  |  March 29, 2012 at 9:00 am

    @559… I agree. I think Edison is a great school. my child is engaged and challenged. he has his cluster of friends. he doesnt have a lot of homework although i heard that will change next year. i love the “shiny new school.” at least i didnt have to worry that my kid was sweating the last two weeks when the temps were way above normal and everyone else kids were sweating. as far as the apma kids or the hibbard kids, for that matter, i really don’t see a major problem with the children. the younger children play nicely together and the older ones hang out with their friends. of course there a handful of rowdy ones but they are quickly taken care of by security or a parent. as a matter of fact, i was at the playlot yesterday and i noticed that a many of the children helping with the garden project were not from edison, but the neighborhood children. on another note, i should be thanking the parents who pulled their kid cuz if their kid didnt leave , then my kid wouldnt have that spot so thanks!

  • 609. AW  |  March 29, 2012 at 9:20 am

    @ 603/591 I could be wrong, but I was under the impression there are no “wait lists” for the selective enrollment schools… rather, second and later round offers are based on the scores (and tiers, if applicable) of the pool of unplaced candidates at that time. A few years ago, I turned down two gifted offers (Beaubien and Coonley) and until I was finally was offered our first choice in mid-April. At that time, CPS explained to me that kids who turn down an offer are put back into the pool of unplaced applicants and ranked based on score… It’s kind of like a moving target.

  • 610. Christine  |  March 29, 2012 at 9:52 am

    @605 southside mom: Tell your child that the playground behind Skinner North is getting a total makeover! it won’t be done by the time she starts K (in fact it probably won’t even be started by then) but probably by the time she starts 1st grade we’ll have a gorgeous park with water spray feature, playground, rubberized surface etc.

    Also, our fund raiser gala this spring will be specifically for the arts and there is a parent committee working on developing the art program. We’re very aware of the lack of art at the school and are working to improve that situation.

    Lots to love about Skinner North!

  • 611. Future Edison Parent  |  March 29, 2012 at 10:20 am

    My daughter was accepted into Edison for K next year. We are thrilled. However, she is asking a TON of questions that I have no answer to because I am a loser and never toured the school. I called today and was told there will be an open house April 11. Unfortunately, we will be out of town for her Spring Break. GRRR! I feel like the worst mother in the world. I know everyone is busy, but ANY advice or information about the K classroom, experience, community, facility etc. would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much!

  • 612. jennifer  |  March 29, 2012 at 10:36 am

    For those considering Coonley RGC:
    I just got a voicemail from Coonley saying they are giving a special tour on April 9, at 9:30 am.
    That’s very nice and very impressed that they are reaching out by messages!

  • 613. Portyluv  |  March 29, 2012 at 10:49 am

    Entering Kindergarten
    Tier 4
    99.6 reading 99 math
    offered Decatur

    concerned about commute with the additional CPS 60-90 minute mandate. Saw there was some similar concern at Skinner, thoughts on anticipated schedule?

    Otherwise super happy with the match.

  • 614. curious  |  March 29, 2012 at 11:53 am

    @609 AW – yes, thanks. this makes sense…I will call OAE to confirm. i realize it was few yrs back, but will you share your tier and score? coonley was one of our top picks and i am trying to gather as much info as I can to see if we are in ballpark (tier4/144). would hate to turn down an offer and not get a call. thx again.

  • 615. K D  |  March 29, 2012 at 11:55 am

    To All Incoming Keller Parents – We are looking at the calendar for opportunties to invite you to visit the school. We have lots of fundraisers :-). Last year, we had a summer orientation. I don’t know if that will happen this year. We also organized an incoming parents summer picnic.

    If you want an early look at the 1st grade (we call it L1 or Level 1 in Keller-speak) curriculum, you can see some of it online. We started the year with the Envision Math 2nd grade edition and accelerated throughout the year. We use the Peason Scott Foresman series for Science (1st grade to start), Reading Street (2nd grade), Social Studies-People & Places (2nd grade). They do a good job integrating the coursework across disciplines. So, you might see a Reading assignment about Wetlands. Then, you’ll see the same Wetlands content in Math, Science or even Social Studies. They plan to use the longer day to do more curriculum mapping between grades starting next year.

    So far, our L1 (i.e. first grade) projects have included making a map of your neighborhood and building a diorama showing a scene from literature that you liked.

    Our world language is Spanish. The Spanish teacher leads the students to build their own portfolio that they keep for all 8 years.

    We have a lot more to share, so let us know what you need. We parents correspond almost daily about homework on a group e-mail list, so I feel like I’m relearning my elementary education (e.g. I don’t think you say “Carry the one” anymore).

    @569 Sue – TigerDad is a UC parent. He’s posted here. There are other Hyde Park people too. I can pass your contact information on to them if you like.

    K D

  • 616. CPStressed  |  March 29, 2012 at 12:02 pm


    any idea what time the open house at Edison is on April 11th?

    Thank you!

  • 617. AW  |  March 29, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    @614 curious. I’m afraid my info won’t be of much help — I think my child was the last class admitted under the “old” system (minority / non-minority) and I was looking for a first grade placement (not Kinder) in the RGC at our neighborhood school, Bell. Seems that scores have gone up and/or the tier system has added a new twist… However, for what it’s worth, we fell into the non-minority category and were (finally!!) admitted to Bell’s RGC for first grade with a 129. It is obviously very risky to turn down offers (multiple offers, in our case) but we thought Bell was a good neighborhood school and decided to stay committed to it. While no school is perfect, I’m happy with our choice — I love having all my kids in one spot, just a couple of blocks from home. Good luck to you…

  • 618. PortageParent  |  March 29, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    #611 – FutureEdisonParent – What are your specific questions?

    I don’t want to continue to hijack this thread, so if you want you may email me at:


  • 619. kstaigs  |  March 29, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    @611, we got the info. letter from Edison today, and yes there is an open house on the 11th (ours said 9am, don’t know if they are breaking folks up into smaller groups or if that is everyone’s time). There is also registration on Wed or Thurs of the following week, so maybe you could coordinate a brief tour at that time instead? Or are you hoping to tour the school prior to accepting?

    We did a tour in the Winter, and I was a big fan. One of my favorite aspects was the fact that all Ks are given a big kid (I think 8th grade) mentor, who they can feel comfortable asking for help and guidance. The tours were conducted by volunteer 8th graders, and you got the sense they really cared about and were proud of their school. I have been reticent about a K-8 because I thought such older kids might overwhelm the little guys, but it seems to be the opposite…the older kids take responsibility for them. So that is one aspect I can offer that comforted me, at least.

  • 620. Wondering  |  March 29, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    Wondering if anyone can help? We were not offered any spots in neighborhood schools nor any SEES spots. Tested well, but sounds like a lot of children did as well.

    Any info on Courtenay or Budlong (our home school) would be very appreciated! Thinking about sticking with the home school- has anyone on here ever taken that chance?

    Thank you, in advance.

  • 621. cpsobsessed  |  March 29, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    Budlong looks to be diverse AND has good looking test scores – 2 positives.
    I’ve heard mumblings over the past couple years of parents starting involvement groups there and it certainly seems to be worth a look. I’d inquire about kindergarten specifically. See what they’re working on now and come here and maybe some current K parents can see if it matches what their kids do. Also, see if you can lurk on the playground to talk to parents.
    I’ve also heard good things about nearby chappell which might be worth a look.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 622. Future Edison Parent  |  March 29, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    @618 and 619. Thank you!!! I have now scrolled through just about every posting ever made on this site and have found it so comforting. I am also glad to know about registration the following week. That should take care of her questions. @618, I will probably take you up on your very generous offer in the near future. But I warn you it is things like: What is the classroom like?; How many windows are there?; Are there tables or individual desks? I just feel guilty because when I told her I don’t know any of those answers she said, “Oh, you did not go to the school before you applied?” Busted by a 4 year old:) The chances were just so slim and neither my husband nor myself could make it on the dates given. I’ll stop making excuses and let you get back to your lives. Thanks again!

  • 623. EDB  |  March 29, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    @611 Future Edison Parent – I recently replied to some Edison questions on NPN. I’ll copy the questions & my response here. One other note. The K teach er is retiring this year (as is the Principal). We’re so sorry to see Mrs. Weinstein go, she’s really special. Let me know if I can offer any other insight. Congrats & welcome!

    Can anyone offer insight on the following at Edison: (1) rigor of homework for K-4, (2) differentiation, (3) institutional atmosphere, (4) strength of parent involvement, and (5) facilities/resources

    Our son is in K at Edison this year. I’ll do my best to answer from my perspective.
    1. There is homework, but not excessive. This has been a heavy month with Science Fair projects & Womens History Month reports, but the K teacher didn’t assign any other homework for the 2 week duration of these assignments. I’d say, not counting reading time (not specific homework) our son spends 15-30 minutes per night on homework. He seems to generally enjoy it.
    2. In K they differentiate reading, but not math. There were 3 reading groups at the beginning of the year when there was a student teacher in the class. They have since merged into 2 since she left. There are 2 kids who move up to 1st grade for reading (2nd grade book), and the rest stay in K and work at the level that is appropriate for them. I believe math differentiation starts a bit later.
    3. I’m not sure what you mean by institutional atmosphere. There is a metal detector at the door. Seems to bother parents more than the kids. They don’t seem to think anything of it. The security guard and administration have never been anything but welcoming when I’ve stopped by. Parent voluneers are encouraged, I often feel bad that as a working parent I can’t do more in the classroom.
    4. Parents are VERY involved. This shows up in many ways, as volunteers, on the LSC & PTO, etc. There are lots of opportunities to volunteer and participate.
    5. The building itself is beautiful. They have a cafeteria & gym. Wide hallways. New everything. The biggest downside is the lack of green space. They have a small playlot that the younger grades take turns on. Other than that, recess (2x a day) is on the closed street between Edison and Hibbard. The kids don’t seem to mind it at all, but it makes the parents nuts. I will warn you that recess is extremely chaotic at the beginning of the year and can be overwhelming to the kindergarteners. They do adjust. Some parents have an issue with the fact that the building is shared with Albany Park Multicultural Center, a mainly low income, hispanic middle school. The have different bell schedules and are generally separated except for shared gym & cafeteria. I personally don’t have any issues with the sharing arrangement and can’t say I’ve heard one negative thing from my son. You are likely to get other feedback on the sharing arrangement from many parents. It’s a fairly hot topic at the school.

    Hope this helps. Let me know if you have other questions.

  • 624. City Living  |  March 29, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    Entering K – Tier 4

    RGC – 135
    Classical – Reading: 94% Math: 93%

    No offers. Ridiculous.

  • 625. Whew!  |  March 29, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    We have heard some negative comments on our child’s chances of placing into a good middle/high school option after 6th grade at Decatur due to the difficult grading scale putting them at a disadvantage. If anyone had information on that front, please share. We have one, possibly two great Magnet options (I know, we got really lucky) so we want to make sure we think future, too. Thank you in advance for your time!

  • 626. Wondering  |  March 29, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    Thank you so much, cps obsessed! Good news to hear. I certainly am going to be looking further. It would be great to ban together and work with the community!

    Thanks for the tips. I really really appreciate your help.

  • 627. not an expert  |  March 29, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    For those of you who didn’t get offers, can you still please list the schools you applied to? It’s interesting to try and get some sense of what the cutoff may be for a particular school. Thanks!

  • 628. Whew!  |  March 29, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    Also, if anyone could comment on the commute to Decatur from the north side…we live near Belmont and Western/California…

  • 629. abc123  |  March 29, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    anyone know if Skinner North took anyone for 2nd grade next year?

  • 630. edisonmommy  |  March 29, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    I have a child in K @ Edison, and we both love love it! Ms Weinstein is a fabulous teacher, I couldn’t ask for a better one.Unfortunately, she is leaving. Academically, I can’t believe how much my son has learned this year, by leaps and bounds-the curriculum is rigorous enough to be cahllenging and I think everything is introduced in the perfect order. The parents are tremendously involved and caring. The 8th grade/K buddy system is endearing and helps smooth the transition.The building is one I am proud of, its beautiful, new, and clean, who wouldn’t want that? As far as the middle school, it’s not a problem, the two schools coexist physically, but that’s about it. Edison takes very good care of its students and looks out for them, no need to worry.I am very glad I chose it and it is worth my child’s very long commute from the south.Hope this helps.

  • 631. Lisa  |  March 29, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    I have moved on to obsessing about the 2nd round 🙂

    I know 1st round acceptances are due back by April 13th. Historically, how long after that do they make the 2nd round of calls?

    Thank you!!!!

  • 632. CPSNewbie  |  March 29, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    I have a question on the tests for K…

    I notice that for most of the scores posted here there seems to be a pretty strong correlation between the scores for classical and gifted scores. For example, a lot of the posts where the gifted score was in the the 140+ range, the kids had 99s in math and reading. We did not see this in our case and are a little stumped. Our gifted score was 144 but Reading 89 and Math 79. I know they are testing different things but does this mean that he has the logic/reasoning down but just hasn’t figured out how to apply it to reading and math? wondering if anyone else has seen the same?

  • 633. BPR  |  March 29, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    Tier 4 — entering K

    RGC — 136
    Reading — 91
    Math — 89


  • 634. anonymouseteacher  |  March 29, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    It has been a few years, but my daughter had a 99/97 classical score a few years ago and only a 123 on the gifted (which is not very high). There is often a difference in the two scores so don’t worry. I’ve also known quite a few kids who did really well on gifted and not well on classical.

  • 635. WRP Mom  |  March 29, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    @625 whew!-Your information on Decatur’s “difficult grading scale” appears to be outdated. Several years ago it was the case, but it is now 90%=A, 80%=B, etc. Has been for a few years now. In fact, most of Decatur’s graduates DO get accepted to Academic Centers.

  • 636. Hopeful Mom  |  March 29, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    @531. and 559

    you both miss my point. I am saying while every one puts so much weight at getting into these top tier schools look to the future as well. At Decatur you will have to move again. At Edison the neighborhood where the schools are located is incredibly crowded with 2 schools APMA, Edison and Hibbard. In a one block radius there are 2 schools there are way to many children for my comfort level. Note I said my! 1000+ at Hibbard, 500 Edison/APMA. Everyone’s educational experience differs. For my child Decatur was a wonderful experience, but now we are stressing about the future and having to find a 6th and 7th grade. Edison was not the best experience. I am entitled to my opinion as you are yours. Change is on the horizon for Edison with a new principal and that is a good thing. I know people who love it there and those that do not. Same goes for Decatur. No school is perfect. My feelings about the location has nothing to do with race as I am a Hispanic. @559 whether it is 267 or 500 I do not like the percentages of teenager ratio to 30 kindergarteners or 1st graders for that matter. I do stand correct their are 267. I was thinking about the combined total of students there. My apologies. I am just saying take in the whole picture and then decide what is right for you. We love Decatur but we want to get ahead of the crowd and are considering a switch due to that and that reason only. Otherwise, we are happy to stay at Decatur.

    and I agree with @630 the buddy system with an 8th grader is one my child still remembers. The friendships my child made at Edison are still cherished and they are all still the closest of friends.

  • 637. Hopeful Mom  |  March 29, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    2nd rounds become 3rd rounds. A friend of my had her child called two weeks before school started with a score of 128 for gifted last year. I also know a child who was placed at Edison Kindergarten with a 118 one week before school. So there is hope but of course have a back up plan.

  • 638. Harry & Jack's Mom  |  March 29, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    I am a Beaubien parent of a third grader and a Skinner North parent of a kindergartener. I rarely post here but I try to read it fairly regularly and have sent a lot of CPS parents to check it out. Thanks, CPSO for giving us this forum.

    FWIW, all KINDS of people read this blog. At last night’s LSC candidate forum at Beaubien (BTW, we are lucky—so many great new and veteran candidates are willing to throw their hats in the ring!), the principal, LSC members and some teachers were pretty angry about comments posted here about the school. One LSC member called it “bullying” and the principal pointed out that it’s cowardly for people to post such things anonymously online. To me, it sounded like people’s names, including those of children, were posted and being talked about here. I ran home to check it out and was relieved to find that was not true (unless CPSO rightly deleted the offending posts).

    Oh sure, the things posted here were not pleasant, but they are people’s experiences, which are valuable but subjective. I think the people here are smart enough to take these opinions with a grain of salt. They realize that they are ONE person’s opinion and will not base their school decision on ONE person’s negative opinion. For example, much has been said about the Disney principal. I have a friend whose child goes there and loves the principal so THAT is what I think about.

    I have been one of the people who talked with the Beaubien principal about the need for parent surveys about the school and been told “no, never.” I think if people had an official outlet for their ideas and feelings about a school, and actually felt heard, then they would not feel like they have to resort to an anonymous forum like CPSO.

    Based on the info I have revealed in this post, almost anyone at Beaubien can figure out who I am and that’s ok. My public positions on the school are the same as my private ones and I have made my opinions known when an issue matters dearly to my family, like principal selection, LSC elections and the cutting of the music program. Call me naïve if you must, but I trust that the school administration can respect our differences and accept that I have a different opinion. I have a big mouth and my kid has never been “punished.” I recognize that some people feel better cloaked in anonymity, and I think that’s ok, too.

    As to a Beaubien review…I cannot comment on the upper grade teachers, since my kid has not had them yet. I can tell you the buzz is very positive about the upper grade science and math teachers and we are looking forward to having them as teachers! (And as to the issues raised here about the 4th grade Latin teacher, I have no idea—I have seen her many times but have never really spoken with her.)

    The Options 1, 2, 3 grade teachers have been awesome. Fun, smart and kind. They work hard. They “get” that every kid is different. Class sizes are about 30 per class. They do work about 1-2 years ahead. Both computer teachers are retiring this year and they have been great, too. Ms. Fly, one of the science teachers is great!

    The homework load is manageable, about 30-60 minutes a night sounds right. I agree with an earlier poster that said that first grade homework was tough and lasted up to 2 hours some nights. The first month or so we spent a lot of time cranking out the homework and then it fell into a predictable pattern.

    It’s a big school, but your child’s world is filled with what goes on in his particular classroom, anyway. In the Options program, those 30 kids stay together through 8th grade. It’s sort of charming, really, to have the same kids together for so long. They will have crushes on one another, tackle group projects together and face the “I don’t want to get a B in 7th grade!” moments together. So many wonderful friendships have sprung up in that group, among the parents too!

    It’s a bummer that there are very few afterschool programs, and those only start after 4th grade. I hope that will change in the future.

    I agree with a previous poster that Beaubien has been an undiscovered gem so far. I bet that admission is going to get even tougher in a couple of years once people see how amazing it is. If your child got accepted to Beaubien, do yourself a favor and visit if you can. Talk to parents. It’s an exciting time for the school and you can be a part of those changes.

    As to Skinner North, we love it! The principal and assistant principal are incredible, transparent, inclusive and smart. I cannot say enough good things about the K teacher, Ms. Bigelow. They have afterschool programs, some for free and some for fee (sliding scale available). The parents are encouraged to be actively involved in the school and their opinions are often solicited. When you walk into that building, you are a part of that living, breathing community. An email to the P, AP or teacher gets you a personal response within the hour! I just wish I could pick up the school and place it closer to our home, so there is no hour-long bus commute.

    If anyone has any questions about either school, I am happy to help if I can. Just post a message and I will try and get back to you.

  • 639. anyela911  |  March 29, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    I wanted to let you know about a “new” CPS contract school which was my default option, when I went to their Open House I loved the school and the principal. One of the things I like the most is that they offer individualized education, they have great programs, before and after school activities, just let them know the level of reading and math your child is and if you are going to stop by, bring some homework as an example, I did it, and they attached it to the enrollment application , it’s a lottery process too, but it’s manage by the school – Check their site http://hopeinstitutelearningacademy.org

  • 640. anonymouseteacher  |  March 29, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    I thought Hope Institute was a school for autistic kids? Am I wrong about that?

  • 641. Angie  |  March 29, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    @639. anyela911: This school looks very interesting, particularly for special needs children.

  • 642. JPmom  |  March 29, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    @364-366/ Beaubien Mama and @638/ Harry and Jack’s mom – Thanks so much for all of your input. My daughter will be attending Beaubien RGC in the fall, and it’s helpful and very reassuring to get some positive insight. I realize the school has its issues – we live in the neighborhood, my daughter is in K there now, and my younger daughter will be in K next year – but we’re excited.

    For anyone whose kids will be attending 1st grade at Beaubien RGC and is interested in meeting up before the fall, email me at: jeffparkmom@gmail.com

  • 643. Hopeful Mom  |  March 29, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    opps! Before the typo psycho sharks come out I meant there not there…. darn autofill on phones. Also please remember any “tone” you give to a post YOU give it to the post not the person writing it. My child did not have a horrible experience at Edison. He liked it, I however felt there were not enough challenges academically and that the safety protocol was not at my comfort level for my young child.

    Portage Park mom it was either in this thread which I do not feel like re-reading or another one http://chicago.everyblock.com/announcements/feb20-likes-dislike-albany-park-4760375/

    Ask these people about the thread that said there is a many standing on the corner by APMA flashing hand signals and $20 bills trying to recruit. I really do not care to do google searches and read all the threads to find it.

  • 644. Disappointed  |  March 29, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    For the past 2 days, my husband and I have been trying to contact the OAE about my daughter’s test score as an IEP student, but so far they kept stonewalled our attempts. We were told that “the supervisor” will call us times after times, but no such call has been made. My question to all parents, what should we do next? My husband and I felt our daughter’s rights has been violated, and we want to discuss the issue with OAE amicably as much as possible. However, we are tired of waiting for their phone call… any suggestion is greatly appreciated.

  • 645. Whew!  |  March 29, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    Thank you WRP Mom for the Decatur grading scale info! I really appreciate it!

  • 646. Chicago Gawker  |  March 29, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    Dismissing more than one parent’s concern as “cowardly” instead of saying “We may have some work to do on this” is certainly revealing.
    Perhaps the parents posting here (I was not one) expressed their concerns in person as well at some point.

  • 647. TwinMom (CPS K Mom)  |  March 29, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    644: have you tried calling and asking for Katie Ellis? She is awesome, though I suspect very busy this week. She’s the head of OAE, and the ONLY person I spoke to there who was able to fully and completely answer (to my satisfaction) my questions about some pretty complicated things having to do with our twins and SEES options. I was on the verge of a lawsuit before talking to her, based on the (mis)information I’d been given by other OAE reps.

  • 648. momof3boys  |  March 29, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    @611 dont feel bad, we never toured edison until august. in fact we never toured any school for any of my children (just researched scores and word of mouth) and just took a leap of faith. same for high school, the two older ones did not tour any high school and are going to the high school i chose for them.

  • 649. Hopeful Mom  |  March 29, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    @644 how do you feel her rights were violated?

  • 650. Stressed by CPS  |  March 29, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    @625, Most of the Decatur kids DO get into an academic centers or RGC’s or magnet schools. When my child was there they did use the older grading scale and almost all of them (about 50 in the grade) was accepted somewhere. Sure there will be a few that don’t but it it iss not the norm in my experience or in years prior or after my child was there. The commute if you are driving from your area will probably be about 25 minutes. But of course there is bussing available.

  • 651. Disappointed  |  March 30, 2012 at 7:21 am

    @647 – Thank you. We will try to contact Ms. Ellis later today.

    @649 – As I previously stated, my daughter is an IEP student; she has articulation impairment, so it is difficult to understand her. Thus we informed them of this issue when we mailed the application, and we were expected to have some sort of accomodation during the test. However, when we inquired about it at IIT, the “tester” dismissed our concern without any consideration. When we got the test result, we were shocked at its “low” score, especially on the RGC section. Although her score is still in the 90s percentile, we feel that this test didn’t reflect her ability, compare to the test she took at Northwestern University 2 months prior to her IIT test. My youngest daughter is an early reader; she reads a few months after her third birthday, which is the same with my older daughter, but her true talents are in music and math. Her performance in quantitative reasoning and math section at the Northwestern’s CTD were much higher than her older sister, who also took the test at about the same age, and is an Edison student now. Yet, my youngest’s IIT math score or RGC score is nothing compare to my oldest’s (whom basically aced it), and its discrepancy is simply incomprehensible. Thus, we would like to discuss this issue with the OAE about the lack of their accomodation for my IEP daughter, and we also feel that the school system should base their decision on the student’s ability, not disability.

  • 652. Disappointed  |  March 30, 2012 at 10:01 am

    Update: My husband was finally able to express our concerns to Ms. Ellis this morning, and she promised that she will investigate the case. It is nice to know that our voice is not muffled yet, and have someone acknowledge our concerns courteously.

    Thanks again, Twin Mom.

  • 653. mil mom  |  March 30, 2012 at 10:52 am

    652- I think the RGC test for K does not involve any talking on the part of the child, that it is multiple choice and the kids point to the correct answer, in which case your chld’s issue as described would not require any accommodation in the testing. But the test could change from year to year so it doesn’t hurt to confirm w/ Ms. Ellis.

    Assuming your child’s score does end up being lower than you expected, be assured that this is not an uncommon experience. Read as many comments from this board as you can stand from this year and last, and read nurture shock. Basically, gifted testing is wildly inaccurate at this age and while the kids who get great scores are generally pretty smart and can succeed in a RGC program, the test would be expected to miss many of the smartest kids at this age. Testing would be expected to be more reliable by about 3rd grade. The book nurtureshock argues that these programs shouldn’t even start til 3rd grade since the early testing misses so many of the truly gifted. CPS and most other programs of course start in K/1 before parents (in other real estate times at least) flee to the suburbs. Good luck whereever she ends up.

  • 654. Keepingthefaith  |  March 30, 2012 at 11:21 am

    Thanks mil mom for that tidbit of info. It picked us up a bit. We are heart-broken that our child’s score didn’t reflect what we thought her potential could be. We’re hoping to get in somewhere in future rounds…and if not, there’s the future. Cheers!

  • 655. Whew!  |  March 30, 2012 at 11:27 am

    Thank you for all the info on Decatur! We really appreciate and feel so blessed to be offered!

  • 656. mil mom  |  March 30, 2012 at 11:53 am

    654 – glad I could help. Have been through this more than once myself! I think there are more good choices than it can appear at first and that it usually all works out in the end. Best of luck!

  • 657. Disappointed  |  March 30, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    654 – mil mom – Thank you for your input. I also heard that it is a multiple choice on RGC, but we were concerned about her communication with the tester. If she and her tester were not understanding each other, then even a simple basic pointing was affected because there were more than one choice to choose from, not to mention that tester should show extra the patience when dealing with an “inarticulate” child. No, I am not suggesting that my daughter was experiencing the bias and discrimination because of her IEP condition, but I think she might have performed better if the tester was aware of her condition. My impression is that the tester has no knowledge on her condition until my husband inquired about the accomodation, to which “she” simply ignored. In addition, the classical testing score also needs explanation, so we hope that Ms. Ellis will investigate on that too.

    I agree with you that testing kids at early age can screw things up, but if we want our children to have a remote chance of getting good education in Chicago, then we have to comply its policy . If CPS wants testing, then be it so..unless we have financial means to enroll them in the Latin school! As for my case, my husband and I just want to understand the situation better. We appreciate that Ms. Ellis takes the matter seriously, unlike what we have experienced for the last few days… The sad thing about this is we don’t have enough resource to accomdate all these bright children… reading posts from moms and dads on here can be dejected. Nonetheless, thanks for your insight.

  • 658. Charly's Mom  |  March 30, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    Anyone have any idea whether a RGC score of 147, Tier 4, Kindergarten, stands a chance at Coonley’s 2nd round?

  • 659. cpsobsessed  |  March 30, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    @charly’s mom – I would think that’s a good shot (but of course there are never guarantees…)
    Now that so much of the northside is tier 4 it could be more difficult. Also, with south loop program closing, that is another wildcard (I think they took kids at the K level in the past…)

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 660. mil mom  |  March 30, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    657-Yes, CPS is a big mess, and from the plethera of staggering scores here that did not get placements there do not appear to be enough spots. I have heard nothing but good things about Ms. Ellis so I hope you will get the answers you are seeking from her. I also believe that if they did make a mistake they will try to correct it once you get to someone who knows what they are doing, like Ms. Ellis. Again, best of luck getting through this stressful time and to your kid, whereever she ends up next year.

  • 661. 60660  |  March 30, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    2 years ago 148 in T4 earned a first round offer to Edison (1st choice) and a 2nd round offer to Coonley (2nd Choice) – we decided to go to a magnet. I think you will get a offer but the order of your choices might be significant since there are probably other kids in T4 with that score.

  • 662. confused NW side parent  |  March 30, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    @638 wondering how likely you think the AP at Beaubien will get the new principal job and how that will shape future decisions on after school activities, surveys and the great parent community? The fact that the music program has been cut is a bit disturbing to me – my daughter LOVES music and I’d hate to see her miss out on that. I know I’ll figure more out after the tour but can’t Thanks for the input.

  • 663. Charly's Mom  |  March 30, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    Thanks for the input. I might turn down Pritzker’s offer and hold out for Coonley or Edison.

  • 664. RGC and MAGNET mom  |  March 30, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    No matter WHERE you child goes……you will continue to supplement their education with what you feel is important. Exercise, reading, art, music, cooking, building…whatever. None of the schools will give them everything and much of their education will happen outside of school.

  • 665. cpsobsessed  |  March 30, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    @charly’s – wow, so 147 in tier 4 did not get you into edison or coonley? Those are some seriously high scores. I guess there 2 only 26 spots between the 2 schools between rank and tier 4…

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 666. Charly's Mom  |  March 30, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    @cpsobsessed – I was surprised as well. Coonley was our 1st choice, Edison 2nd, and Pritzker 3rd. It seems that 147 should have been high enough.

  • 667. Beaubien curriculum  |  March 30, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    662 and 664

    We also have a decision to make about the offer from Beaubien. Supplementing outside of school is necessary in a case of some specialty interests. However I also want to make sure, that the school curriculum is as well rounded as possible, especially if beginning next fall, my child has to spend 7.5 hours a day at school.
    I will be asking about the long day curriculum plan at the open house.

  • 668. Suburban  |  March 30, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    For those who have been accepted into Decatur, they are offering a selective April 10 tour the emails have been sent
    In case you have not received it, pls do call and let them know. It’s shorter than the one they did in November but if one of the parents do not attend or you are choosing between Edison and Decatur this may be useful

  • 669. Harry&Jack's mom  |  March 30, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    @662–there’s no way to tell who will get the P job at Beaubien at the moment. It is in the LSC’s hands right now. Last week, they had three finalists, one of whom is allegedly the current AP. Whoever they choose, I hope they will be open-minded and eager to learn what families want in a school. If it is the AP, she knows the school and its budget ins and outs better than a new person would–could be an asset. Yes, losing the music program (and how it was handled) was a real blow to morale at the school. And I doubt that it will come back, given the new CPS budget. Teachers are supposed to be incorporating that into their curricula, but it does not seem to be happening across the board. Our best bet may be to get an afterschool program going, even for the younger grades (even if it is for a fee). Let’s cross our fingers!

  • 670. Harry&Jack's mom  |  March 30, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    @667–The last I heard, at a school meeting, the longer day MIGHT look like this at Beaubien:

    30 more minutes of Language Arts
    30 more minutes of Math
    15 more minutes of Science and Social Studies

    Gym, Computer, Art and Library would be one hour long.

    1st graders would have gym class 1x a week and computers 2x a week

    2nd graders and up would have gym 2x a week

    Grades 1-6 would have art and library 1x a week

    7th and 8th graders would alternate art, library and guidance periods

    There would be 4 lunch periods consisting of 25 minutes to eat followed by a 20 minute recess*. Lunch periods would start at
    10:30am with the younger kids eating first. An additional afternoon snack time of 10-15 would also be instituted for all students.

    Naturally, this is not set in stone!

  • 671. west loop mom  |  March 30, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    @ Suburban

    Thank you, we are attending since we did not attend the earlier one and hoping to get some answers – longer day, bussing, after school (which they don’t have), homework ( not sure though if these questions will be entertained ) and where the kid will go for 7th/8th? We will also be moving from west loop to somewhere north of fullerton to get the transportation benefit – decision time.

  • 672. Disappointed  |  March 30, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    660: mil mom – I sure hope that Ms. Ellis addresses our concern accordingly, and thanks for your well wishes too.

    Music program: My daughters are taking piano classes at Old Town School of Folk Music, and they love it there. If any parent want to add enrichment program to their children’s schedule, I wholeheartedly recommend the school, albeit the price may be a bit steep.

  • 673. g  |  March 30, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    @629 I know for a fact that there were 2 spots for 2nd grade at Skinner North for next year.

  • 674. WRP Mom  |  March 30, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    @West Loop Mom, possible after school options include the JCC next door to the school, the YMCA at Touhy & Western (they have a shuttle bus) and the Park Kids program through the Chicago Park District. The school can give you details.

  • 675. Bell School Mom  |  March 31, 2012 at 8:25 am

    Tier 4
    Bell School
    First Grade
    Score: 139

  • 676. msjuliecal  |  March 31, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    Tier 4
    Reading 99.8%
    Math 99.8%
    RG = 131

  • 677. msjuliecal  |  March 31, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    Tier 4
    Skinner North
    4th grade
    Reading 99%
    Math 99%

  • 678. decatur mom  |  March 31, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    @628 Whew! The commute will likely be 15 min on a great day and 27 min on a bad day. That is each way from Belmont/Western to Decatur. It’s a straight shot north on Western then west to cross California, which will be faster in the afternoon than in the morning. Busier heading south and in the morning of course. Traffic can be bad at Addison/waveland with Lane Tech.

  • 679. Whew!  |  March 31, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    Thank you to those of you who have calmed our concerns about placement and commute to Decatur, we are very excited! Thank you for your time!

  • 680. PortageParent  |  March 31, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    638, Gawker, etc, etc. :

    I, too, find it telling that the principal, etc. of Beaubien would call it “cowardly” for parents to express their opinions here. The opinions were given becaused other parents ASKED for them. No one came here and randomly started discussing specific schools. Stressed and hopeful parents came here looking for advice, so others provided their own experiences in an effort to help.

    Good and bad points have been made about a lot of schools here.

    What I find really fascinating (and equally telling), is that there is discussion of this blog among the LSC, teachers, and admin of Beaubien. I guarantee you that this blog is not a topic of conversation at pretty much any other school in ths way. There is too much work to be done! What Pto or LSC or principal has time to sit around worrying about blog comments? With the impending longer day, hiring staff, and implementing the Common Core, shouldn’t their attention be else where?

  • 681. Palesa  |  March 31, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    I understand in certain areas you can appeal the test results. I see that CPS had a process for this in 2010.

    Does anyone know if this is a possibility for this year?

    It’s absurd that we rely on these tests to determine our future when we know nothing about their validity. How can you assess a 5yos abilities in 15minutes, with a stranger nonetheless?

    Any info on appeal would be fabulous – thanks. And thanks for this forum!

  • 682. Tier 2 people?!  |  April 1, 2012 at 12:05 am

    Tier 2
    RGC 140
    Reading 91
    Math 80
    No offers.
    Does anyone know about tier 2 chances?

  • 683. Near S Dad.  |  April 1, 2012 at 6:23 am

    Is there anyone from the near south (31st) attending Lenart RGC?

  • 684. Disappointed  |  April 1, 2012 at 7:54 am

    681 – Palesa: http://www.cpsoae.org/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=88178&type=d&hideMenu=1 . I think you have to submit your concern under the “contact us” page. Good Luck!

  • 685. LSMom  |  April 1, 2012 at 9:02 am

    @682, that seems like a great RGC score, I can’t imagine you won’t get a second round offer unless you only put down Edison and Coonley as your RGC choices.

  • 686. Palesa  |  April 1, 2012 at 9:42 am

    Forgot to post with my earlier comment (also thanks for the link!)

    Tier 2
    GSC 130
    applied at: Edison, Coonley & Pritzker – no offers

    wait listed:
    proximity @ Disney 2 #222
    general @ Waters #383
    general @ Coonley #115
    general @ Pritzker #47

  • 687. Ramona  |  April 1, 2012 at 10:23 am

    I am sorry but I think this tier system really stinks! I live in tier 4 but that doesn’t mean we belong in the same socioecomic class as a lot of people in our same tier. We also don’t have any good school options by us that my daughter can go to. For the RGC schools she scored a 131 for kindergarten which says to me NO CHANCE because of our tier. As for the magnet schools, the highest waitlist she got was 15 for Hawthorne. So, she pretty much has no chance there either. So, now our options are a private school which we cannot afford or the neighborhood school which barely scores better than average on test scores. Jackpot!

  • 688. Suburban@suburbs  |  April 1, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    @west loop mom
    Truly decision time – For us it looks worse now, DW has a new job offer in the suburbs and we are looking at kid no 2 in winter so we are loaking at a 40 min drive to work even of we move close to the school – seems unfair to put DW thru it since I travel so maybe we’ll pass this year – don’t know yet !

  • 689. Suburban@suburbs  |  April 1, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    too many typos in my post ! Essentially the 40 min drive seems like a no-go; we may have to give up the seat and consider a better suburban school district like Buffalo Grove (Pritchett/Tripp) or Ivy Hall / Prairie elementary – they aren’t in the “100%” per the Chicago Tribune rankings with only 9 schools in that set (dectaur, edison etc) but close – at 98% + where there are 13 schools.

  • 690. CCL  |  April 1, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    I don’t think that for RGCs tier matters. Also if you didn’t get accepted anywhere, what were your choices? I applied for a few years, but even though you score exceedingly high, the schools you apply for may be highly competitive. For example, I got 839 last year but wasn’t accepted to keller (1st choice). I don’t know how competitive the classical schools are or the other RGCs. hoped this helped and congrats to all who got in!

  • 691. Ramona  |  April 1, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    Tiers do matter for RGC schools. I have heard other kids in different tiers with lower scores that got in. I also verified with someone in the Chicago public schools. Tiers matter for all schools!

  • 692. Near S Dad.  |  April 1, 2012 at 11:51 pm

    @Arjun Kumar, it looks like u r the only parent who has extensive knowledge of Lenart. Have u decided for your child to go there? Do you live near South Loop? Is it true that kids are mainly given worksheet after worksheet without much other engaging methods of teaching? My friend’s friend took her child out of Lenart b/c she felt the structure was demoralizing for child.

    I am thinking of spending an afternoon parked outside of the school and observe the comings and goings. I want to get a real sense of the school and NOT just what the school wants me to observe during a scheduled visit. Thoughts? Thank you in advance for your feedback.

  • 693. Josh  |  April 2, 2012 at 12:38 am

    Chiming in a bit late to the party…

    Tier 4
    Gifted 127
    Reading: 97
    Math: 98
    No Acceptances
    Applied (in order): Skinner North, Edison, Decatur, Coonley, Skinner West, Pritzker.

  • 694. Chgo Mom  |  April 2, 2012 at 6:33 am

    Interesting combination of scores/results and comments. It’s great to have a place to ask questions and not be judged (hopefully).

    Tier 4
    entering 2nd
    RGC 144
    Reading 98 Math 96

    entering 4th
    RGC 147
    Reading 69 (yikes) Math 98

    Applied to Decatur (for 2nd), Bell, Coonley, Skinner North

    Both were offered Coonley, which is great, but it’s hard to decide to pull them out of their existing school. Will tour on Apr 9th and maybe bring the kids.

  • 695. Future CPS Kinder Mom  |  April 2, 2012 at 8:15 am

    Chgo Mom – That is great that both your children were offered at the same school! So rare! I bet many are jealous. 🙂 Good luck to them and you with whatever you decide to do in regards to their school for next year.

  • 696. Sue  |  April 2, 2012 at 9:57 am

    We got accepted at Keller Elementary.

    Can anyone tell me if its possible for us to live in a suburb close to the school or is it absolutely necessary to be within the city of chicago boundries ?

    Thanks !

  • 697. Suburban  |  April 2, 2012 at 10:03 am

    Yes we were told that by the time you register you need to have a Chicago address
    You can accept now but it’s may or June when you’ll need it


  • 698. Sue  |  April 2, 2012 at 10:11 am

    Thanks Maddee.
    I think it will be June by the time we finalize on a place in Chicago. We are looking now but there is only so much you can do remotely.

    Are there any parents of Keller kids living in Beverly? I know this isn’t a real estate forum but I’d love to know if there is a bussing and if you like living there. Also, if there is any other neighbourhood with Keller kids using bus service.

    Thanks so much, this forum has been invaluable for my family.

  • 699. cpsobsessed  |  April 2, 2012 at 10:12 am

    Gotta live in the city to attend CPS, just like you gotta live in the suburbs to attend there.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 700. Lenart Mom  |  April 2, 2012 at 10:22 am

    @692 Near S Dad
    My kid goes to Lenart . They have 2x gym, 1x music, 1x French, 1x library, 1X computer and 1x science(social) per week. It is true that kids are mainly given worksheet after worksheet but they are also learning a lot of during this process. They also learn the science and social through reading books. Their music class is fantastic. We were impressed with their winter music performance.
    They don’t have after school program like other schools but they offer some after school clubs at upper grade. You can always put your kid in after school program to learn other language or any activity which school doesn’t offer. From my experience, the principal, assistant principal, faculty and staffs are friendly. No schools are perfect but I think Lenart is a very good school for my kid. If you leave close to highway, it will take you only 10 mins to drive to school. if you live in south loop, it will take you 15 mins to school. The school is two blocks from highway.

  • 701. New Keller Mom  |  April 2, 2012 at 10:33 am

    @Sue – Congrats on choosing Keller. It is a wonderful environment. What grade will your child be entering? Quite a few of the Keller Kids live in Beverly and Mount Greenwood. The the student body is made up of children from all over the city. I do believe that they bus from everywhere within Chicago city limits. Welcome to Keller.

  • 702. Sue  |  April 2, 2012 at 11:38 am

    new keller mom
    my daughter is will be starting 1st grade. I was under the impression bussing is available only upto 6 miles from school. We are leaning towards Beverly, but I have to make a trip out there soon to really decide.

  • 703. New Keller Mom  |  April 2, 2012 at 11:49 am

    Read a prior posting from TigerDad. His daughter is currently in the 1st grade at Keller and she is being bused from the UIC area. More than 6 miles.

  • 704. 2options  |  April 2, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    We are lucky enough to have 2 options for K: Disney I magnet and Pritzker RGC. Anyone have recos on either? Unfortunately haven’t tours & need to make a decision. Curious about size of classes, methods, etc

  • 705. Near S Dad  |  April 2, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    @700 Lenart Mom
    Thank you for your honest feedback. Do you have a son? I’m concerned that our active son (entering K) would become antsy sitting for hours doing worksheets primarily. I’m curious as to how the teachers engage their students other than placing a worksheet in front of them?

    We were also offered Disney, but it’s not a gifted school.

    What instruments are offered in music class? Do they learn science in a lab environment?

    How do you feel about the school bus system to Lenart for a 5 year old? It’s probably too soon to send him on a school bus so young.

    You mentioned the pros, what are the cons in your kid’s experience? Thank you for your feedback!

  • 706. Near S Dad  |  April 2, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    EDISON AND KELLER parents – are worksheets also used primarily at your schools?

  • 707. cpsobsessed  |  April 2, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    I’m curious what is considered to be “primarily worksheets?” I feel like cps as an institution is pretty work-sheet based. Grades all have to be quantitified now so that lends itself to worksheets.
    My son’s school does fun projects but I still feel like worksheets are sort of the norm, esp for little kids who need to learn the basics of reading and writing. In fact I wouldn’t mind some extra worksheet drills for math…

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 708. Near S Dad.  |  April 2, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    @707 cpsobsessed
    What I mean by primarily worksheet-based teaching – How does this build independent thinking and creative problem-solving? I observed in other schools using hands-on experiments (science), role playing (social studies), etc. Also, how do kids at schools with no recess fare? Do they adjust?

  • 709. cpsobsessed  |  April 2, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    I guess I question whether a school would just have almost #no# fun project stuff like you mention. God, I hope not. That would be pretty depressing.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 710. EDB  |  April 2, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    @ Near S Dad. I have a son in K at Edison. They do lots of worksheets, but there is a lot of other work too. They do science (both classroom & lab), fine arts, etc. They also do reports (Black History, Women’s History, etc), Science Fair. There are class projects (build a city out of boxes). Homework is largely worksheet.
    So yes, I’d say it’s worksheet-based, but supplemented heavily with independent and critical thiking projects.
    At Edison (this year) they have recess 2x a day. I think the kids above grade 3 will lose their 2nd recess with the longer day.

  • 711. Another Buena Park Mom  |  April 2, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    @704: Disney is one of our options so we’ve been studying it. Our son has been in TBPK there for two years so we’re fairly familiar so I can give you a little info. They have 7 K classes, each about 30 kids (some more, some less), all in one room (they use a pod system). They only accept new students up to 3rd grade so class sizes get smaller the higher you go because kids leave, move, etc. So lower grades have largest class size; higher grades are smaller. They have a comprehensive gifted program and differentiated reading groups after that. So top 25 K kids are selected for gifted, then rest are divided up into reading groups based on evaluation at enrollment.

    We’re choosing between Disney & Coonely RGC. We’re leaning strongly toward Disney now, despite some very compelling reasons to stay at Disney (location, sibling lottery), mainly because they can’t guarantee selection for their gifted program so we are very hesitant to give up a gifted spot at Coonley with no idea whether we’d get a gifted spot at Disney. BTW, the gifted class at Disney isn’t determined until about June.

    There is an open house for Disney scheduled for 4/10 at 9 a.m. If you can catch that, I highly recommend going. I think it’s important for parents to see the pod system first had. And the 1st Floor Director, Mr. Norcross, will no doubt woo you. He’s super friendly, supportive, helpful, and just an all-around nice guy.

    Overall, we have loved Disney so you can’t go wrong. But we don’t feel right about giving up a sure thing for just the possibility in the gifted program at Disney. And my husband is very iffy on the pod system for K, given the amount of kids crammed into one room. It works for some kids and so far was just fine for our son in pre-K, but we’re unsure whether it would continue to be a non-issue and we’re not sure that we want to take that risk.

    Good luck!

  • 712. Another Buena Park Mom  |  April 2, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    Re. my previous post at 711: I meant to say we’re leaning strongly toward COONLEY, not Disney.

  • 713. a dad  |  April 2, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    Just for anyone considering Disney over an SEES spot – while Disney is a great school, a spot in the gifted program there is not guaranteed. I know of several children currently in my child’s RGC (1st and 2nd grades) who, while at Disney for K, where NOT picked for the comprehensive gifted program there. I would consider all of these kids gifted and they scored high enough on the CPS gifted test to get in for later grades. Not trying to worry you, but it is something to keep in mind. I don’t know how they pick for the gifted program at Disney.With that said, picking a school is different for every family, and congrats on having such a difficult choice to make!

  • 714. Comprehensive gifted  |  April 2, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    that being said, HOW are the kids chosen for the comprehensive gifted at these schools? Is there a transparency in this process?

  • 715. what gives  |  April 2, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    I am also trying to find out more information regarding Lenart. I have not seen too many opinions about this RGC posted here; however, from the ones that I have found, most have not been very favorable. Yikes!!!

    Can anyone tell me if there are any after school options that offer transporation service for Lenart? I realize the Lenart does not offer anything within the school, but what about the park district, the YMCA, or childcare centers? I’m getting frustrated just thinking about a school that dismisses at 1:45pm, but does not offer any after school programs. I would hate to have to turn down an offer at a RGC because the school is not accomodating for the working parent. Ugh!

  • 716. New Keller Mom  |  April 2, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    @715 What Gives – My kid attends Keller that also dismisses at 1:45 pm. Keep in mind that if the longer school day happens (and I think it will) the kids will dismiss around 3:15 pm next year. Alot of the after school options used by Keller kids are also used by Lenart kids. Just For Kids on 110th & Bell and Inspiration Academy on 106th & Western. Both offer drop off at the school by 7:20 and pick up at 1:45. They also will adjust pick up times if the child is in an after school program like AfterSchool Matter or Chess. The school should also have some suggestions. Good luck.

  • 717. Another Buena Park Mom  |  April 2, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    @714: I discussed this at length with Disney. They evaluate each child coming into the K class when they enroll. It’s an 8-10 minute evaluation and consists of questions involving rhyming, reading comprehension, phonics, etc. Then they rank all the K kids based on this evaluation and take the top 25 for their gifted program. The rest are placed into reading groups according to how they scored on the evaluation.

    They save about 5 spots to accommodate kids who come in late in the summer, as well as kids who didn’t make the cut-off for gifted but later seem to qualify for gifted (based on further testing after the school year begins). So there is room for shifting around after the school year starts, but not much.

  • 718. pamina  |  April 2, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    For those weighing a highly ranked magnet against an RGC, I would urge you to keep in mind the power of a peer group of other super-bright, intense, creative children, especially as kids enter intermediate grades and there are more social pressures about how acceptable it is to study or express inquistiveness and curiosity.

    While I have posted before that I sometimes question how much the RGC curriculum encourages the diverse critical thinking or creative methods of information processing that the Options websites describes, I have no doubt that my child has grown tremendously by the challenge and support of her peers who value intelligence and share some of the sensitivities, passions, intensities, and sometimes challenges often found in bright kids whose maturity in some areas is often disbalanced from their maturity in other area

  • 719. what gives  |  April 2, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    @716 – New Keller Mom – thank you!! Lenart’s open house is on April 10th, which will leave us with 3 days to decide if it is the best fit for us (not that I have any choices). I have been frantically searching the internet trying to find out as much as I can beforehand. I feel a little less stressed to hear that there are some pick-up options available. And here I was thinking that once I received the SEES/Magnet letters I would be less stressed. HA!

  • 720. 2options  |  April 2, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    Thanks pamina and others who have chimed in on Disney vs RGC. The point on the peers is an interesting one that I hadn’t really considered and will only become more important as the kids get older.

  • 721. Another Buena Park Mom  |  April 2, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    @ pamina (718): I think you articulated very well the concern my husband and I have had with having our son go to Disney rather than an RGC. I think his peer group is going to be very influential throughout his academic career so it’s going to be very important to place him among peers he can relate to and who will encourage him to do his best. Very well put.

  • 722. Twin  |  April 2, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    Yes, pamina (@718) … that is exactly why we opted to put my daughter into an RGC classroom last year. My kids also had offers at Disney last year (entering K), and though I liked the school, I just couldn’t pass up the RGC spot — not because I thought Disney couldn’t do a great job of educating my kids, but because I thought DD (who has some typical gifted social skills issues) would have an easier time connecting with her peers in the RGC classroom. That’s really the main reason the RGC concept appeals to me (and much of that is based on my own personal experience in elementary school).

  • 723. CPS mom  |  April 2, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    @722 – how does it help a child to be around multiple children with “typical gifted social skills issues”? It seems they’d learn even more anti-social skills pretty quickly and have a hard time in the real world. I’d mainstream my child if she had “typical gifted social skills issues” like I’ve seen in cps-rated gifted children. Can’t look you in the eye. Run from a hug. Flapping, walking on tiptoes, spinning. How can a child help but pick up even more bad habits?

  • 724. Twin  |  April 2, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    Please trust that I know my child, have consulted with child psychologists and therapists on this issue, and I know that this has worked well for her. She doesn’t exhibit any of the behaviors you mentioned, and she hasn’t “learned” (assuming that’s possible for this type of behavior) any additional negative social behaviors from any of her peers. The behaviors you list are not exhibited in her classroom anyway. Are they exhibited in your child’s RGC? I’ve never seen what you’ve seen.

    She does have a hard time connecting with most other children (much prefers the company of adults), but has had a much easier time connecting with others in the RGC classroom. At the advice of the experts we’ve consulted on this issue, we’ve chosen an environment where she is the most comfortable and feel quite strongly that we’ve made the correct choice. If your child’s RGC (assuming you have a child in an RGC so you’ve seen more than a snippet of the classroom) doesn’t fit with your ideals, then by all means choose another environment (but please don’t question my choices while doing so).

  • 725. EDB  |  April 2, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    @723 – I don’t think you meant it this way, but your description of cps-rated gifted children could be interpreted as offensive. These are not common behaviors I’ve seen by the kids I know in the program.

  • 726. Another Buena Park Mom  |  April 2, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    @723: I agree with PPs. My son doesn’t exhibit any of the behaviors you mention, which I would associate more with autistic children than gifted children (someone correct me if I’m wrong, as I’m no expert in autism). And I also don’t think those behaviors can be learned. My son isn’t going to start exhibiting those behaviors just because he sees someone else doing it. Those are self-soothing behaviors that typically begin in infancy. And I wouldn’t classify them as “social skills” issues, at least not “flapping, walking on tiptoes, or spinning.” I don’t think they are behaviors kids pick up from other kids in kindergarten.

  • 727. Near S Dad.  |  April 2, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    @723 CPS.
    I agree with both Twin and EDB. The behavior you mentioned are sometimes exhibited by children with autism. Children who prefer adults usually are either the only child or who are primarily around adults (parents).

    I’ve read blogs on rivalry, resentment, and or alienation between gifted and neighborhood students in magnet schools. Any thoughts?

  • 728. Comprehensive gifted  |  April 2, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    The kids in the neighborhood program do realize at some point, that the kids in the gifted classroom are different. Even if none of them brag about it. And some kids are mean, no matter how much we want to believe they are not. That is the case at our neighborhood/gifted school. Even some parents are mean. I have seen some very nice parents in the neighborhood part of the school become bitter, when their kid did not test into the gifted program. I bet however, that the degree of animosity varies by school.

  • 729. Arjun Kumar  |  April 2, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    @ 692 Near S Dad

    Sorry for the late reply; I haven’t checked this blog for a couple of days.

    I actually know very little about Lenart. A friend has two kids who go there (one in K and one in an higher grader). The kid in K had a bit of a difficulty adjusting to the workload, and for a while my friend was toying with the idea of moving her child to some other school. I don’t know what they finally decided. The older kid was very happy with the school.

    I remember reading here that adjusting to the K workload in gifted schools can take some effort — for about a month. My kid will most probably go to McDade, and even there I expect a difficult transition period. (Their website advises that kids should be prepared to add/subtract numbers till 18 from memory before school begins!)

  • 730. Near S Dad.  |  April 2, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    @ EDB, thanks for your response.

    @ 729 Arjun Kumar
    Does your friend live near south of south loop (26th)? Why did you decide against Lenart?

  • 731. cpsobsessed  |  April 2, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    I think another question about the “gifted” behavior (I haven’t seen the near*autism stuff personally but assuming we acknowledge it exists) is whether the teacher can deal with it well. A teacher in an RGC has dealt with it more, acknowledges it as part of the child rather than just treating it as naughty behavior.

    That’s one benefit of going with the RGC. Having been in one for 3.5 years I feel like the range of kids is wide enough, as it would be in a “regular” CPS class. The benefit is that you know the work will always be challenging due to the acceleration, whereas you may have to keep fighting for it in a neighborhood program.

    If you really have an uber-smart kid who has personality issues, I think that’s the type that needs the RGC. A more regular smart kid could probably do fine in a non- accelerated class.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 732. Near S Dad  |  April 3, 2012 at 12:16 am

    @ 719 what gives
    Do you live anywhere near south of South Loop?

  • 733. kikiandkyle  |  April 3, 2012 at 12:29 am

    I have the gifted child with social skills issues (I also have an autistic brother so I am well aware of the differences). Apart from needing the academic challenge of a school intended for children like her (she tested in the 99th percentile on WISC-IV), in 2nd grade it’s already starting to dawn on her that she isn’t like the other kids. Put her with another gifted child that shares her interests and you’d never know she doesn’t have any friends in school, she is in hog heaven. Her social skills would be 100% better if she was spending her 35 hours a week of school with kids she felt were true peers, instead of feeling like an outsider in her current mainstream school.

  • 734. Sue  |  April 3, 2012 at 9:21 am

    @KD, New Keller Mom, Tiger Dad…
    Could you pass on my info and put me in touch with any Univ of Chicago/Hyde Park parent with kids in Keller?



  • 735. WBDad  |  April 3, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    Just read this interesting article:

    In addition to props for CPSO, it states that that admissions to selective elementaries are up 50%.

    I’d be curious in knowing how many total RGC K spots open each year, and how many 5yo’s taking the test get scores at the “gifted” level, 115 and up. It’s obvious from these posts that many kids who would qualify as gifted are not getting spots at the gifted centers. I bet CPS won’t publish those numbers. Clearly CPS is under-serving this group of students, and I suspect that they are anti-competing with private schools. If they open more RGC spots, more kids who might go to private schools would come to RGCs, increasing CPS costs, and not increasing tax revenue.

    I can understand, however frustrating, why they don’t publish the cut-offs for selective elementaries. With so many deserving kids and so few seats, they can’t accept every kid with the same score, so there must be tie breakers and and some random chance. But with HSs and ACs, they can afford to say 814 is the cutoff, and take every kid at 814 and higher. They can’t take some of the 813 kids, and not others without causing an uproar.

  • 736. Lenart Mom  |  April 3, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    @705 Near S Dad @715 What gives
    I don’t think you need to worry about your son becomes antsy for hours doing worksheets. The teacher knows how to make the learning fun so he will be fine.
    I was worry to let my 5 year old son take the school bus home in the beginning but I have no choice. I found out it is OK with him. He got to talk to other older kids. He was fun for him. Your son may take the same school bus as my son. The bus driver is very nice and you will feel you can trust him to when you see him.
    During the winter, they may not have recess. The lunch time is only 20 mins. it is hard for 5 year old boy without recess and short lunch time but I think it will change next year after 90 mins longer school day.
    About the after school program, you can always have your kid gets out of the other school or park district which provide after school program.

  • 737. LP Dad  |  April 3, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    Does anyone know when the Skinner West Open House is? My daughter received admission to Classical but we haven’t gotten letter from the school and no one is answering at the school (I assuming because of Spring Break?).
    Also do you know if they are flexible about the attendance boundaries for busing – we live two blocks outside?

  • 738. BeverlyMom  |  April 3, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    Agree with @367, not many South Side commenters but here goes…

    Tier 4
    RG – 143
    Reading – 99.6
    Math – 99.8

    Applied to Lenart, McDade & Skinner West mainly for proximity.

    Offered McDade. Tempted to wait for Lenart, our 1st choice but don’t think odds in our favor. My son currently in a Montessori school so I have reservation about his transition into a “regular” classroom but will try. If not good I will put back into Private and most likely, Montessori environment that currently seems very aligned with his personality. I will retest next year for Keller, which starts at 1st grade, and Lenart again if McDade works out ok as I would like him in a more diverse setting.

  • 739. BeverlyMom  |  April 3, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    Oh by the way, we applied to 3 Magnet schools: Franklin, Murray and VanDerpoel and was wait listed for each ranging from 10 to 224 in Tier 4 or proximity. I know many rely on lottery for a chance but being waitlisted at 224 is ridiculous. The whole school barely has that many student. If the wait list is beyond the total class quantity, say 30, the offer category should just say, FULL!

    My Frustrated two cents

  • 740. cpsobsessed  |  April 3, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    @beverlymom, is was about to agree with you on the “full” suggestion, but then I realized that parents would be calling cps to findout if they missed the cutoff for “full” by 1 spot, etc.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 741. parent  |  April 4, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    At 737, I have a first grader at Skinner West. They are not flexible with busing.

  • 742. Relieved  |  April 4, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    @ 737 – Also accepted at Skinner West Classical K, with no letter yet…

  • 743. confused NW side parent  |  April 4, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    May be a silly question – but if we accept the spot at an RGC then our spot at the magnet we are currently at gets vacated right? So I couldn’t take the RGC spot and then wait and see if my daughter got into the gifted program at her current school?

  • 744. Arjun Kumar  |  April 4, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    @730 Near S Dad.

    No my friend doesn’t live close to South Loop.

    We haven’t been offered Lenart. If offered we would probably prefer it to McDade. That said, everything we have read about McDade is very good, and we are thankful for what we have been offered.

  • 745. 60618  |  April 4, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    For all those parents who’s child didn’t make the cut.The highest-performing and fairest school systems in the world delay specialisation and setting – the grouping of children into different classes for different subjects – until much later in adolescence. For all its rhetoric about improving the education of poorer, minority children, it risks returning us to rigid, know-your-place, limiting hierarchies. Academic Jo Boaler followed two groups of young adolescents in the mid-90s, one separated into rigid ability groups, the other taught in mixed-ability groupings. Not only did the mixed-ability students outperform those who had been put into separate groups in national examinations, but when Boaler tracked down a representative sample from both schools, she found the mixed-ability group had achieved more social mobility, in relation to their parents, than their streamed peers. Now, more than ever, we need to keep alive the theory and practice of rich, alternative visions. Best of luck to all the children , in RGC or not.

  • 746. UofC Dad  |  April 4, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    I guess, you can drive your kid to the closest neighborhood school, which is inside the boundary and the bus will pick up your kid from there.


  • 747. Curious Mom  |  April 4, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    Have anybody sent a confirmation form to the OAE?
    I scanned it last week, and sent it right away. I haven’t gotten any confirmed e-mail. (Well, that’s what I assumed, at least, to get some kind of auto-generated e-mail from the office..)
    In the letter, it’s said the confirmation forms must be received no later than April,13, 2012. I still got some time, but just out of curiosity. Or I might have sent a wrong address..

  • 748. Scores for post 360 & 693  |  April 4, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    Both are from tier 4 but post 360 says >99.9 for reading & Math 84% accepted to Skinner West yet 693 reading was 97 & math 98 did not get into Skinner West . Did the >99.9 make all the difference??? We know that how you rank a school doesn’t matter so it seems odd that 693’s kid didn’t get an offer while 360s kid did. Unless 360s kid has an IEP or the reading raw score was so off the charts that it made up for the lower math percentile. Things that make you go…hmmmmmmmmmmmm!

  • 749. decatur mom  |  April 4, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    To curious mom: I sent a scanned confirmation on Friday afternoon & got an auto email (i assumed) reply. I emailed a second form on Sunday & heard nothing. I dropped it in the mail today to be safe!

  • 750. JPmom  |  April 4, 2012 at 10:32 pm

    @747, my husband also scanned/ emailed right away. He did not receive a confirmation email, but he’s going to check his junk mail.

  • 751. Adam  |  April 5, 2012 at 1:03 am

    Sooo… what’s the general consensus on why a child would have an average RGC score and Classical scores in the high 90s? And do the classical schools look at the RGC scores?

    If you get a second round call, does it come from the school itself or from OAE?

    And finally, if you want to be a squeaky wheel and follow up about the above mentioned discrepancy, at whom do you squeak? IIT or OAE?


  • 752. cpsobsessed  |  April 5, 2012 at 6:48 am

    @adam- I think the consensus would be that the tests measure 2 different skill sets (or in little kids, 2 ways of thinking.). Some kids are good at logic and patterns, some at pre reading/writing, and some at both.
    Nobody at the schools will see your child’s scores.
    The call typically comes from oae.

    I don’t know that they would treat it as a “discrepancy” per se but if you want to ask, I’d probably contact both to see who is the most responsive.

    Let us know what they say!

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 753. mommyspice  |  April 5, 2012 at 8:57 am

    The tests are supposed to measure different things – I have done quite a bit of testing (just not for school selection) but more IQ and achievement testing – those are likely the two primary types- IQ testing measures things that are typically not learned…think of things like reasoning, puzzles, etc…either you have it or you don’t….of course you can prep a bit, but not really…achievement testing is likely similar to the classical testing – math, reading…I called the IIT people because my Childs math scores were much lower than the others (and I know she can do math well)…they checked over her scores and re scored them and told me they were accurate and that the test doesn’t ask basic stuff like 2 + 2 but more word math problems….if I have 2 apples and give away 1 – for example – this is my example – not IIT….anyhow….what I concluded is that my child – who should have tested higher just either guessed or didn’t understand tue questions….I know where she is at academically so I’m not worried…just frustrated! A 20 min test is not enough to measure these things…..

  • 754. Sauganash Mom  |  April 5, 2012 at 11:09 am

    Tier 4
    Entering K
    Reading 98%
    Math 97th%

    No offers

  • 755. moxiemindy  |  April 5, 2012 at 11:42 am

    Tier 3
    Entering K
    RGC 152
    Offered Pritzker

    I wish I could find more information on Pritzker. Specifically, how much recess/unstructured time do the kids get? Do the RGC kids get to participate in all of the arts programming? Is there tension between the RGC kids and the magnet kids? My daughter is in a wonderfully multicultural preK, is the RGC classroom mainly white/middle class kids bussed in from other neighborhoods? What is the likelihood that a younger sibling could get into the Magnet there if she doesn’t test into RGC?

  • 756. LP Dad  |  April 5, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    Just received an e-mail letter from the Principal for Skinner West, Deborah Clark saying the Skinner Open House is from 1:30 – 2:30 pm on Thursday, April 12.

  • 757. not an expert  |  April 5, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    Is this open to the public? We didn’t get an offer but I’d like more info n the event that we get a Round 2 call.

  • 758. LP Dad  |  April 5, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    @757 I don’t know but it can’t hurt to show up. I doubt they check your name against the list of admitted students.

    “Please join us for an Open House on Thursday, April 12, 2012 from 1:30 – 2:30 P.M. Open House will include a short program, information about our school organizations, and a tour of our beautiful new building”

  • 759. Hoping for a round 2 call  |  April 5, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    Does anyone know what the acceptable gender ratio is? I mean, it’s got to be a factor right?

  • 760. LSMom  |  April 5, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    Gender isn’t considered at all, I think I’ve heard that the classrooms tend to have more girls both at the K and HS levels, but it’s not one of the variables they consider.

  • 761. Pritzker gifted  |  April 5, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    @moxiemindy… my friend’s son attends Pritzker gifted K, if you want I can put you in touch with her, so she can share their experience with you…

  • 762. decatur mom  |  April 5, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    Re gender ratio, my understanding is there is NONE. I have one at Decatur & another one entering k. Some years the classes are very unequal. Weve been told gender isn’t considered.

  • 763. West Rogers Park Mom  |  April 5, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    @755- Was Pritzker your first choice? I haven’t analyzed all of the over 700 posts here but 152 seems to be a very very high score.

  • 764. Wondering  |  April 5, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    Does anyone have a child entering 1st grade at Decatur in the fall?

  • 765. moxiemindy  |  April 5, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    @763. Yes. I live in Bucktown so we only applied there as everywhere else seemed too far. We did also apply to Edison because we know people there and they love it, but for us, it sounds too far a commute. That said, I guess my question is, is there any reason we should pass up Pritzker and wait for a spot at Edison? I’m just trying to be as informed as possible, but they make it impossible since they sent the letter right before spring break. I’m touring Pritzker next Wed. but then the letter is due Friday. It doesn’t feel like enough time.

  • 766. decatur mom  |  April 5, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    Re LSmom & gender. The K classes I’ve seen were more heavily boy…sometimes 4-6 girls & the rest boys. It only depends on score & not gender.

  • 767. mom  |  April 5, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    with a score like that I think that you should wait for edison. But what is your backup plan?

  • 768. moxiemindy  |  April 6, 2012 at 7:27 am

    Why would you wait for Edison? What specifically is better than Pritzker? Is there something wrong with Pritzker? Because I don’t see anyone talking about it here and it doesn’t seem to be anyones first choice. Why is that?
    Our backup is that we are really happy at our little neighborhood school. It’s not gifted, but class sizes are small and the teachers work hard to let kids work at their own pace.

  • 769. Not sure how it works  |  April 6, 2012 at 7:55 am

    my only concern on not taking Pritzker is you may not get Edison as I know lots of high scoring children who did not get ANY gifted spot. Not sure how the selection process after people don’t take the spots is done.

  • 770. citypoppa  |  April 6, 2012 at 8:23 am

    I don’t know anything about Pritzker, but a 152 should get you into Coonley as well. I know they have a well regarded gifted program. I have no idea if you can apply there as well in the second round. Congrats on a super high score!

  • 771. H  |  April 6, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    We’re in the same boat! Our daughter was accepted at Coonley for fourth grade and a bit worried about moving her. We’ll be going to the open house on the 9th and will be bringing our daughter.

  • 772. SW Side Momma  |  April 6, 2012 at 11:38 pm

    @moxiemindy We’ve been very happy at Pritzker, the RGC kids get the benefits of the Fine Arts program. I don’t know exact amounts about recess times, but they have it, and also in K get “Free Choice Friday” in the classroom. I’m guessing with the longer day, K will probably have more free learning time.

    As far as siblings go, there are a bunch of us that got spots via sibling lottery this year for the Fine Arts program K. Also my 4yo is in the PFA and the teacher is super. I feel like it is diverse, well more so than my neighborhood school which is 98.5% one racial group.

    My son is bus eligible, but the kids on his route are a mix of ethnic/racial backgrounds. I don’t know what type of reputation Pritzker has had in the past where people on the boards here tend to snub the school, but it seems to be getting better and better. It has a higher percent lower income than some of the RGCs, and larger percent minority, perhaps some people see that as an issue. It is not listed in the “Top 10” schools list for the state, and I think some people fixate on that.

    The test scores are not through the roof fantastic, but it is getting more competitive to get in, and the families I have encountered in the younger grades seem very enthusiastic and I suspect test scores will rise as the school attracts more families that are committed to their children’s academic success.

    It was our first choice because of proximity to where we live.
    I’m not sure what time your tour is, but if you come in the morning near the playground or the PreK door when school is about to start, there are always parents waiting until their kids go in, and it would be easy to ask them questions. Also there is a Friends of Pritzker website which might give you some good ideas. http://www.friendsofpritzker.org/ Also if you do a search through the comments on CPSO some of the other Pritzker parents have highlighted some of the new improvements.

    Good luck to you! And way to go to your little one on the sweet score!

  • 773. Lsmom  |  April 9, 2012 at 10:30 am

    Entering 1st grade
    Reading 99
    Math 90
    No offers
    Looking to get into one of the Skinners, anyone know if it’s still possible with those scores to get a call for 2nd round?

  • 774. EdisonMom  |  April 9, 2012 at 11:15 am

    @moxiemindy – we’ve have two kids, our DS thriving in Edison, and our younger DD also thriving at Beaubien. DD went to Pritzker for K, but we moved her to Beaubien for first grade, only for proximity. We live on NW side, and although she was bussed to Pritzker (Wicker Park), she was first on the bus and last one off. One hour on a bus for my 5-year old was too much. At least for me – she loved it on the bus. We loved it at Pritzker (awesome fine arts program with drama and kick-ass auditorium with yearly shows). We love it at Edison, and also love it at Beaubien. There are pros and cons for all three schools – as so many parents will attest – my kids are both so easy-going, they would thrive at any school, so long as they are challenged and not bored. Honestly – I don’t believe the “gifted” curriculum is what is should be, even for Edison. They should just call it “accelerated”, as all three schools were taught at least one (or two) grade levels ahead. But gifted – come on! Not so sure about that. Edison is so sought after and so very competitive (still can’t put my finger on it), that once accepted, it is difficult to decline the offer.

  • 775. Beaubien  |  April 9, 2012 at 11:41 am

    @Edisonmom… can you please elaborate more on Beaubien? We are still on the fence about accepting an offer our child got. I have heard plenty about the cons, but what are some of the pros for you? Thank you…

  • 776. SJ  |  April 9, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    Muffy, Buffy and Bif, Jr. have a better chance of getting into Harvard, Stanford, Yale or Northwestern than they do of landing a spot in a CPS GEAP school yet people somehow are shocked. Well, there are plenty of blogs with college age kids and their parents wondering why their scores/extra curriculars/race/gender/all around greatness didn’t get them into their college choice too. We’ll see you there in a few years.

    Good luck!

  • 777. Mom  |  April 9, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    if you take a spot at Pritzker, you will lose a shot at Edison. So if you like your neighborhood school enough, I personally would stay there. I am sure that with that score you could apply again next year and get into Pritzker again (and Bell if you’d like to wait for their 1st grade program). there seems to be some vacancies every year in each grade.

  • 778. kstaigs  |  April 9, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    @SJ. Who exactly are you mocking in this little tirade?

  • 779. EdisonMom  |  April 10, 2012 at 10:07 am

    @Beaubien 775 – I would not say there is anything too exceptional about Beaubien that is different from my other CPS gifted school experiences. So, differentiating to come up with a pros list is not that long.

    The current 1st Grade teacher engages the kids. Gives timely feedback, quick to reply back (usually e-mail). I have seen her interact with them, very loving, supportive and encouraging.

    Worksheets – I saw some discussion about worksheets on this site. All three schools (Edison, Pritzker and Beaubien) use worksheets heavily on all topics, although as I said 1-2 grade levels ahead.

    Language – Beaubien kids are taught Latin. Latin – really? I am just grateful for the left-brain activity.

    There were others that chimed in on Beaubien in this section – please check out prior posts.

    I chose not to take part in the negative backlash against Beaubien administration. I really had no interaction with the outgoing principal, and I am not as involved with the school as much as I would like, so I am not in a position to complain. That’s the problem with having two kids attend two different schools – my attention is split between the two.

    I would like to say that had our DD not received an offer from Beaubien, we were perfectly content to keep her on at Pritzker. Other than the long commute, we would have been fine to keep her at Pritzker. I think my kids are happy simply because they are being taught 2 grade levels ahead, not because of the fact that they were in any particular gifted school. I believe they would thrive in any “gifted”, accelerated or “classical” program. Placing them in our neighborhood school was simply not an option, as I feel they will wither and get bored rather quickly.

    Now it’s a juggling act to try and get them both in the same school, but if not, we are content to keep them both at their respective schools.

    Ultimately, you should have to determine what is best for your child and your family situation. The pros for us may not be pros for you. If you have a good neighborhood school, the backup plan is to pull your child from Beaubien – right? I think you and your child will be fine at Beaubien – do you have other options?

    Good luck! Let us know your decision.

  • 780. kabn  |  April 10, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    Carnegie had a tour today. My wife and I were very impressed with the kids, the teachers and the school itself. The K teacher spent a lot of time talking with me and has offered to facilitate my being able to talk with other parents in the program. My wife and I live in Hyde Park, and we are surprised more Hyde Park parents don’t seriously consider the school (we are on the HP parent support network and no one seems to know anything about Carnegie). As to test scores, the program coordinator was going to see about getting us ISAT scores for the RGC program itself. Those scores are apparently kept by the teachers, but are not published separately from the neighborhood school.

    As another parent mentioned here, the school is on probation based on improvement in scores. The scores themselves are better than other neighborhood schools (again, this includes RGC and the neighborhood tabulation). The K teacher expects Carnegie will not be on probation next year.

    A new principal and assistant principal will be installed next year. They don’t know who she/he will be. That represents a little uncertainty; however, my impression of the school is they are committed to being a strong school in a historically bad neighborhood. All kids wear uniforms, attendance is good and the halls were orderly and disciplined. The campus and building is well kept, and the school is on a nice neighborhood block with lots of green space nearby.

  • 781. Near S Dad  |  April 10, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    Just attended Lenart RGC open house. WOW! What a group of articulate, witty and well-mannered kids! The true test for us in deciding whether this school was the right choice for our child was when the graduating 8th grade students were asked by a parent, “what is the most memorable thing you will have of Lenart?”. About seven children responded to the question with the most geniune and insightful answers. 1) “My friends are like family to me and who I have known since kindergarten” (several kids reiterated this comment). 2) “Lenart has given us a strong foundation to excel”. 3) The teachers encourage me to not only look at one choice for future careers but many possibilities that can utilize my strenghs in math”. I can’t remember all their articulate responses, but they definitely left an impression on me.

    The principal also shared a story with us about a group of Lenart students who attend the same HS now and are in the same biology class where the teacher stated that the Lenart students were the most well-prepared students she has encountered in the incoming class. The teacher got so use to the Lenart children raising their hands and knowing the answers to the questions, that she said, “OK, can anyone else OTHER THAN the Lenart group answer this question?”

    I also had a chance to speak to some children in the hallway where they were working with a teacher to prepare artwork for display, and their unscripted and elaborate responses were very refreshing and telling of the respect they have for this school.

    The principal and teachers can say what they want to impress parents, but it is the children who can truly give parents insight of what the future will be for incoming students. These are the kids that our children will confide in and develop life-long friendships with.

    I for one am truly impressed by the curriculum, school structure, staff, campus and the most important, the bright children at this school.

    Congrats to all who have been accepted to Lenart RGC! Looking forward to sending our child here.

  • 782. Near S Dad  |  April 10, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    Another encouraging note given by the 8th graders at Lenart was thatwhen asked what HS they will be attending, majority of them said Whitney Young Magnet High School, Payton College Preparatory High School, Jones College Prep High School and even Univ of Chicago Labortory School. These are top-rate HS!

  • 783. PleaseDecide4me  |  April 11, 2012 at 11:37 am

    We have decided to accept the offer from Beaubien for 1st grade. We had the opportunity to visit the school twice as well as talk with current parents of a 1st grader in the options program. We are impressed by the work the students are doing, the communication between the teachers and the parents and the passion that 1st grade teacher has. Thank you to everyone on this site for also providing experiences and feedback. We are excited for fall!

  • 784. confused NW side parent  |  April 11, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    Has anybody heard who was selected as the Beaubien principal? I thought they were supposed to announce it last night at the LSC meeting? We turned in our confirmation form for Beaubien so I’m anxious to know what the administrative future holds.

  • 785. beaubien  |  April 11, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    The current Beaubie AP got the principal job.

  • 786. confused NW side parent  |  April 11, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    @785 do you think that’s a good thing or a bad thing?

  • 787. Play based  |  April 11, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    @786 – hiring the assistant principal is widely perceived as a huge negative. A continuance of the horrible leadership. Check past posts.

  • 788. cpsobsessed  |  April 11, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    I think the current STEM principal was a prior AP and not nec considered anything awe inspiring, but I get the sense has really blossomed with her own school. It’s so hard to tell how it’ll play out.
    Amundsen will be considering the AP as well. I don’t care who it is, as long as they can prove they have a strategic visions and will hit the ground running…
    But just like corporations, new admin can be a way to signal real change (a la Lake View.)

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 789. kate  |  April 11, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    kinda agree with CPSO…. there’s some degree of right “fit” for these principals. The talked about Senn Principal Lofton was the AP @ Steinmetz , a school rarely spoken about. The Prescott principal was less loved @ Ravenswood. … we speak about “right fit” for families/students & schools. There’s probably perfect & imperfect conditions for principals to operate in.

  • 790. CuriousGirl  |  April 12, 2012 at 10:49 am

    The AP got the new principal job at Beaubien? Yuck!

  • 791. ZiggyS  |  April 12, 2012 at 11:19 am

    FYI – we just turned down a spot at Bell RGC. So there will be at least one opening for 1st grade in subsequent selection rounds. Just in case you’re hoping.

  • 792. cpsobsessed  |  April 12, 2012 at 11:22 am

    Nice of you to update?
    What did you decide for 1st grade?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 793. ZiggyS  |  April 12, 2012 at 11:30 am

    @792 – Decided to stay at the Fine Arts magnet program where our child is so happy, and where his sibling is – hoping a spot opens up in the RGC at the school we currently attend (wouldn’t that be nice!?). We’re ok if it does not, though.

  • 794. Hoping to get in  |  April 12, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    Hi there,

    Anybody decided to drop out of Decatur or Skinner north after the tour?

  • 795. Beaubien  |  April 12, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    we are giving up a 1st grade spot at Beaubien, Tier 4

  • 796. Lenart  |  April 12, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    After reading some negative comments about Lenart, I was concerned; but we toured there on Tuesday and I was very impressed with the school. Now I am more than thrilled to accept the spot at Lenart with zero reservations.

  • 797. Busing  |  April 12, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    My son got into Skinner West for a higher grade but we are outside the transportation boundaries. That said, I see a Skinner West bus outside his Hyde Park school every morning. Is there some flexibility on transportation that they don’t advertise? Or must this be a private bus service?

  • 798. Near S Dad  |  April 12, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    @ 796.Lenart

    I totally agree! Very impressed by the students. Congrats! We are also looking forward to the coming school season.

  • 799. Lenart Mom  |  April 13, 2012 at 10:07 am

    @798 Near S. Dad & @796 Lenart
    Congrats on Choosing Lenart. Welcome to Lenart!

  • 800. Lenart  |  April 13, 2012 at 10:53 am

    @798 Near S Dad – Congrats to you as well!
    @799 Lenart Mom – Thank you!

    If I continue to be impressed by Lenart, I must remember to come back and share my experience with CPSO; because the information here (regarding this school) could really use some balance. imo

  • 801. Go to Lenart  |  April 13, 2012 at 11:07 am

    Thank everyone for the information about Lenart! We decided to choose Lenart.

  • 802. Near S Dad  |  April 13, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    @799Lenart Mom – thank you!
    @800Lenart – I will be sure to do the same. Thank you CPS Obsessed for providing the forum for all concerning parents to share in this overwhelming process.
    @801GoToLenart – congrats! Good to know we are in good company of parents who really put the time to research the right fit for their children!

  • 803. LR  |  April 13, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    @795 Beaubien: Uh oh. We just accepted our Tier 3 spot. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to go on the tour as we were still in transit from out of town. Was it the tour that turned you off? What made you decide to refuse the spot?

    Anyone else accepted spots at Beaubien?

  • 804. superdisappointed  |  April 14, 2012 at 8:31 am

    tier 4
    rgc: 142
    reading: 99
    math: 96
    no offers! so disappointed as i was so hoping for skinner north. the only real kid we know tier 4 who got in at skinner north scored 99.9 on both reading and math – i guess that’s what you need this year!

  • 805. decatur mom  |  April 14, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    @superdisappointed… Our tier 4 K scored 99.8 on both and was offered Decatur. Skinner North was our 2nd choice, due to distance & a sib. It really seemed like a difficult tier 4 year. The second round is coming up tho.

  • 806. Beaubien  |  April 14, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    We decided to keep our kid at Skinner North. It is a slice of heaven on Earth. As well rounded public education as I can immagine.

  • 807. Lisa  |  April 16, 2012 at 10:29 am

    We are anxiously waiting and hoping for a 2nd round offer for Edison, Coonley, or Pritzker for our daughter. (Tier 2, Score of 141) In the letter from OAE it said that the next round would be via phone, but looking at posts from previous years it seems that there was a second round of letters 1st, and then phone calls as the summer progressed. Does anyone have any insight on this?

    I want to know if I should be obsessing about my cell phone, my mailbox, or both! 🙂

    Thanks in advance!

  • 808. Hoping for a round 2 call  |  April 16, 2012 at 10:48 am

    Everyone in the OAE office that I spoke with said it would be a phone call. I am equally obsessed and called to verify the numbers on file.

  • 809. TwinMom  |  April 16, 2012 at 11:27 am

    maybe they’re doing it differently this year, but I can confirm that last year, at least, they did second round offers by mail and then subsequent rounds by phone (we received both types of offers). But it sounds like they may be doing things differently this year, so I’m not sure I’m helping you choose an obsession or making it a harder choice. 🙂

  • 810. West Rogers Park Mom  |  April 16, 2012 at 11:50 am

    I just got off of the phone with them and second round will not start for two weeks. . . so for those of you waiting no need to stalk your phone or email yet.

    The only reason I was talking to them is like an idiot I didn’t thoroughly read the initial letter and it said that you needed to send in the form even if you did not accept (this is different from the magnet school letter) and that you will not be considered for future rounds if you do not return the form. Of course, the form was nowhere to be found in my house . . . oh well, even if I blew it we are happy to stay where we are.

  • 811. confused NW side parent  |  April 16, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    @806 we accepted our spot at Beaubien, but am still waiting to see what turns up with the gifted program at her current magnet school, so we will see.

  • 812. Whew!  |  April 16, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    So need opinions….Decatur (farther from home) versus Disney II, (close to home), we also have a younger son, so sibling preference would be nice! We have until Thursday at noon! Would love any ones advice!

  • 813. Lisa  |  April 16, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    @812 Was it Decatur or Disney that called with the 2nd round offer?

  • 814. DecaturMom  |  April 16, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    @812. I don’t know anything about Disney II but if you have any specific questions about Decatur I may be able to help. It’s true there is no sibling preference at Decatur, but sometimes sibs test in. I have 2 there and I know others.

  • 815. Whew!  |  April 16, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    Disney was our second round offer, Decatur was first round.

  • 816. Lana  |  April 16, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    @815. can you tell us your tier#/proximity and wait list number? thanks, and congrats on having two great options.

  • 817. Whew!  |  April 16, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    Tier 3, waitlisted #3, sounds like you might be on the wait list, too…good luck!

  • 818. EdParent  |  April 16, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    Disney II from all accounts I’ve heard is an amazing place. My son went their briefly for Pre-K and had a great experience. If your child scored high enough for Decatur, they may really benefit from the accelerated pace and advanced peer group they will have at Decatur. Honestly, I’m not sure you could go wrong with either choice. Congrats!

  • 819. Albany Parker  |  April 16, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    @812 – Agree with 818 that you can’t go wrong. Very tough decision. Partly depends on how much you value having the two sibs in the same school. We accepted Decatur but didn’t have another CPS option; I’m most nervous about having 2 at different schools in a couple years (first choice was Coonley RGC but didn’t get in). But plenty on this board seem to have made it work well! GL!

  • 820. Future CPS Kinder Mom  |  April 16, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    @812. What a great choice you have! Indeed, sibling preference at Disney II is tremendously tempting, especially since the school is so difficult to get into and well regarded. If your oldest is at Decatur then you are going through the whole entire process again for the second child and if they are at two schools that means two drop offs (unless the older child takes the bus – not sure if Decatur has busing). Perhaps this depends on how important it is for your older child to be in an accelerated program. Do you feel your older child is more typical socially/emotionally and just academically advanced due to early exposure to academics or is your child more of the truly gifted variety that really could use a specialized setting? Perhaps if you call Disney II the principal could give you an idea as to how much more rigorous their academics run compared to other neighborhood/magnet schools in your area. I know that some of the magnets claim to be more academically rigorous. Mind you, I say all this not having a child at an RGC or Classical school and my child will not begin his offered magnet until this coming fall so I guess take what I toss out there with a grain of salt. Whatever you choose, all the best to you and your child!

  • 821. cpsobsessed  |  April 16, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    Disney II vs decatur – I agree with previous posters who asked how “gifted” your child seems. Based on my conversation with the D2 principal the school seems wonderfully geared to a range of levels and very committed to bringing up the low kids. I’d send my son there in a heartbeat after talking to her but if you have a child who really seems off the charts, decatur might be the better fit. I’ve heard parents say “my child needed a school like decatur.”

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 822. Mom22  |  April 16, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    @812: if this helps: A good friend of ours chose Disney II over Edison when her oldest got into both. They lived probably equally close to both so commute not an issue. Overall, I can tell you they love D2 and don’t regret it for a moment & their oldest was VERY smart/gifted.

  • 823. Whew!  |  April 16, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    Thank you for the insights on Disney vs Decatur…we will be calling tomorrow to find more about any gifted programs at Disney…we are still torn…and feel so lucky to have the decision to make!

  • 824. Jen K  |  April 16, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    @812: Disney II mom here! My daughter, now in 3rd grade, tested into a classical program for K but we declined because I wanted something closer to home. We then got into D2 which is 3 blocks away (thankful every single day since then). Decatur is an outstanding school, no question, and I probably would have taken a spot there since D2 was just starting that year. I love love love D2 and believe my daughter is challenged up to her ability level. We’ve always had an extended day which allows the teachers to work individually (or in small groups) with kids no matter what their “level”. D2 focuses strongly on literacy in the early grades so we have several literacy coaches in addition to teachers. Our school encourages regular parent volunteers in the classroom & I love having the opportunity to see how the kids are taught, as well as meet all of the students.

    Our Principal believes strongly in setting goals and measuring progress. The teachers are amazing and we are fortunate that the Principal has been able to start from scratch and assemble an outstanding group of teachers. My younger daughter is in the PreK for all & her teacher absolutely fantastic! The kids are taught to *think* and problem solve and make mistakes — no one is just sitting at a desk staring at a chalkboard (smartboard).

    Definitely talk to the Principal about your concerns; I believe that if you choose D2, your child will be challenged and still have fun at school. The kids have daily recess (2X for K), plus gym, technology, art, & music several times a week. I know I’m gushing but I hope that helps!

  • 825. Whew!  |  April 16, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    Thank you Disney II Mom! Your time and insight are so appreciated!

  • 826. Jen K  |  April 17, 2012 at 8:07 am

    @812 – So I was feeling bad about pushing D2 so much in my post. Obviously it’s the right choice for me, but do your homework and follow your instincts for your own child & family. With all the stress of the K application process, who got in where, who didn’t…I’ve found that ultimately, most people are really, really happy wherever they end up. Good luck with that tough decision 🙂

  • 827. Whew!  |  April 17, 2012 at 8:19 am

    Thank you so much, I appreciate that…we are really, really torn. Our DD is reading close to 2nd grade and HATES her special preschool work to keep her challenged because it is different from the other kids…but she is also a high anxiety kid, and I hate to put her in a rigorous competitive school that may cause her undo stress….and the sibling thing is so nice at Disney….ahhhh!!!!!! We are really torn, but will speak with Disney principal today and go from there….

  • 828. Whew!  |  April 17, 2012 at 9:49 am

    Jen, would you be willing to speak with me tonight? I would love to chat about how they differentiate in the classroom and any other insight. Email me at ambergolob@gmail.com if you would be willing to speak. Thanks! If anyone else has an advanced child at Disney we would love to hear from you as well.

  • 829. decatur mom  |  April 17, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    @812, being close to home is an important consideration. Don’t underestimate it. When you’re close your day is much easier & it is easier to get involved at school.

  • 830. Jen K  |  April 17, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    @812 – I sent you an email

  • 831. momof2  |  April 17, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    @Whew! – Sorry if I missed this earlier, but how come you have until this Thursday to respond about the Decatur offer? I thought the deadline for first round was 4/13?

  • 832. Whew!  |  April 17, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    The deadline is from Disney, we did not receive the Disney offer until second rounds for Magnet schools.

  • 833. momof2  |  April 17, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    @832 – Gotcha! Good luck in your decision!

  • 834. ohlala  |  April 18, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    We declined Edison and took our space at Hawthorne. Our daughter’s score was 144. We are tier 2.

  • 835. whaya  |  April 18, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    *Last year
    -Tier 4, K
    – RGC : 114
    – Classical : Reading / 94, Math / 95
    – Got No offer

    * This year
    -Tier 3, 1st Grade
    – RGC : 134
    – Classical : Reading / 99, Math / 99
    – Got offer from Bell (1st choice)

  • 836. gabby  |  April 20, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    tier 4
    RGC 144
    Reading: 93, Math: 97
    No offers

  • 837. Ivana  |  April 23, 2012 at 11:44 am

    Is anyone here will be giving out their slot for tier 4 kg at lasalle school? I just called school and currently we are number 1 on wait list and other offers, so sad

  • 838. Lisa  |  April 25, 2012 at 9:58 am

    I spoke to OAE yesterday and they said they will be BOTH sending letters and making phone calls on Monday, April 30th. (The phone is basically telling you that they have sent a letter and what you are being offered.)

    Good luck to all of us still waiting!!!

  • 839. West Loop Mom  |  April 25, 2012 at 10:07 am

    Thank you for all the wonderful discussions about classical vs. magnet. I am mom of a kid who got into decatur (tier 4) but I really don’t know if my child is a classical child or if she would thrive in magnet school setting. She is reading because I worked with her and taught her how to read. I was firm with her and there was lot of crying involved initially. She is somewhat better at math now because again I taught her. I invested a lot of time and energy to get her to this point. She goes to a daycare which obviously don’t challenge her enough. At some point I realized that she is actually retrogressing and that is when I took over. It was lot of work for me but then I am surprised how well she is doing now. She is still a 5-yr old and does not volunteer ever to read or do math by herself. I have to push her to do something and again be with her. I think that it is going to be the same deal in a classical setting wherein I will have to invest a LOT of time and energy every day. I honestly don’t know how much is enough because when I worked with her, it was stressful for me as well and every time I used to think that may be I am pushing limits here. I still don’t know if I did push but I know that she is reading now and at times do show interest in reading by herself.

    Does this mean she is not classical type and I am just pushing her?It is just what I want and not her.

    I also hear people say that in magnet setting the teachers work with kids to bring them all in same level but when a kid already ahead, won’t this be holding her back. People say that in classical schools, teachers don’t do much because they got better students already but won’t that mean that they have to do more to keep the kids engaged.

    How do I know if my child is classical type and would thrive there?

  • 840. Keepingthefaith  |  April 25, 2012 at 10:31 am

    @ West Loop Mom: I understand your plight, but unfortunately we didn’t score well enough in the math department to get into a classical school. We did get into a magnet school, so we might be going there in the end if we don’t get into a gifted school in the later rounds. However, I understand what you mean by working with your daughter on reading and math. My daughter is also in daycare and I used a lot of energy to get her to read. Too bad we didn’t work more on math. She won’t read on her own unless I ask her to. However, she does have some interest in math. I am not sure if my advice is right on, but since she got into a classical school, why not let her try it. She’s obviously skilled enough to be in that setting, and maybe if she’s with those who are at that skill level, she’ll thrive. I know my child would. What I do like about the magnet we got into is the fine arts segment. And my child is definitely an artist. Does the magnet school you got into offer what your child could excel in? Just my two cents…for what it’s worth. Good luck!!!

  • 841. ST  |  April 25, 2012 at 10:44 am

    “Parents are rightfully proud of their child’s abilities and talents. They are also right to provide opportunities that will nurture those abilities and talents. But when does nurturing become pushing?”

    “A simple way to answer that question is to consider the difference between nurturing and pushing.”

    “Basically, nurturing is child-centered, while pushing is adult-centered. When we nurture we follow the child’s lead, but when we push, we want the child to follow us, to do what we want him or her to do. If the difference is so simple, why do so many parents continue to wonder whether they are pushing their children?”

  • 842. JRchicago  |  April 25, 2012 at 11:17 am

    West Loop Mom:

    Our son is in Kindergarten at Skinner North (classical) this year. I can’t comment specifically on Decatur, but if the classical “method” of teaching is consistent among classical schools, then our experiences with the Skinner North method may be helpful to you.

    We’ve found that the teachers at Skinner North do a very good job of keeping all students engaged. Talking to the other parents, it seems there are a lot of kids who may have been somewhat reluctant to push themselves at home or in preschool precisely because they weren’t in a full-day classrom setting where they were surrounded by 20 or 30 kids doing the same kinds of things all day long, together. Now that they are, learning and advancing is more “fun” and communal. Also, the classical method of teaching is all-encompassing. That is, subjects are taught conceptually using a variety of fun games, investigations, and other activities. It’s not a bunch of kids sitting still at their desks doing math drills and spelling contests all day long.

    You seen to recognize that your child needs more intellectual stimulation, when you say that she wasn’t challenged enough at day care. That being the case, if it were me, I’d accept Decatur and see how things go. That way you keep your options open. On the other hand if you turn the spot down, there’s no guarantee you could get it back later if you decide that your child does, after all, need a more vigorous learning envirnment.

  • 843. ncm  |  April 25, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    Tier 4
    Accepted Edison (1st choice)

  • 844. WRP Mom  |  April 25, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    West Loop Mom-If you haven’t already read it, there is a nice description of classical education written by Tattoomom (a Decatur parent) on this blog under “classical schools”. Maybe that will help you decide if the classical model is right for your child.

    Whatever you decide to do, I’d like to make a suggestion regarding your evidently reluctant reader. If you want to raise a life-long reader, you have to make reading fun, not a chore. In the early stages of reading, it doesn’t matter so much what she is reading, as long as it’s interesting to her, even it’s the comics in the newspaper. Anything to reinforce those skills. Also, I have found that if you can find books on a topic that the child is interested in, whether it’s princesses, dinosaurs or whatever, they are more likely to want to read for their own enjoyment.

    Good luck!

  • 845. West Rogers Park Mom  |  April 30, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    Just got off the phone with OAE- Second round letters will go out this week but they don’t know which day. They suggested calling back Wednesday. They also confirmed that it will be letters and not phone calls.

  • 846. 60618  |  May 1, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    Any clue as to what is on the entering first grade test?

  • 847. mil mom  |  May 2, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    I got a letter today that I strongly suspect was NOT a 2nd round letter but just a teaser of sorts, a letter from the Bell RGC options coordinator that said congrats & gave registration info. I was excited for a millisecond thinking my youngest got an offer despite his not much above the RGC cut off score, but then realized that the letter was probably referencing my oldest kid, who got an initial offer but declined to stay at his current AC. Since the letter I got today didn’t specify the name of any of my children, only my name, I will have to wait til tomorrow to find out for sure.

  • 848. mil mom  |  May 3, 2012 at 8:41 am

    Yep, the letter was a glitch, sent for my older son even tho he had declined. Another exciting CPS moment.

  • 849. Lisa  |  May 3, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    Talked to OAE this morning. 2nd round letters are supposed to go out tomorrow, Friday. Hope that is true!

  • 850. Waiting  |  May 3, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    I spoke with OAE on Tuesday, they said letters scheduled to go out yesterday.

  • 851. 2ndround  |  May 4, 2012 at 10:11 am

    I just received a call from OAE regarding 2nd round. Said a letter would be coming and I’d have until next Friday to decide.

  • 852. West Rogers Park Mom  |  May 4, 2012 at 10:16 am

    2ndround- what school and what grade? just curious.

  • 853. Mom  |  May 4, 2012 at 11:05 am

    I just got a call from OAE as well. Offered a spot at Pritzker RGC, which we’ll likely turn down.

  • 854. jaanders23  |  May 4, 2012 at 11:29 am

    853, what was your child’s stats?

  • 855. Mom  |  May 4, 2012 at 11:34 am

    Tier 4
    RGC 145

  • 856. superdisappointed  |  May 4, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    got a call today offering a spot at skinner west which we’ll most likely decline (still holding out for skinner north)
    tier 4, kindergarten, reading 99 math 96

  • 857. EastLoopMom  |  May 4, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    @856 superdisappointed- would you mind sharing whether you had skinner north or skinner west ranked higher on your application to oae?

  • 858. 2ndround  |  May 4, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    @852 for K – Sinner North, Math >99.9, Reading >99.9

  • 859. NW Side Mom  |  May 4, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    For Kindergarten
    RGC: 153
    Classical: 99.9 reading/88 math

    1st round offer: Coonley RGC (1st choice RGC)
    Received call today from both OAE and school itself of 2nd round offer: Skinner North (2nd choice classical; Decatur was first)
    Will decline. I’m intrigued that we got into a Classical with an 88 math score. Makes me wonder whether they do take that RGC score into account. (We sent our daughter into the test completely cold with zero prep and she hadn’t covered math in her preschool yet. They have covered it now and she is doing double digit adding by herself already, so I’m pretty certain her math score would have been higher had we prepped her at all). Or alternatively, Skinner North is just getting pretty far down its second tier list?

    Interesting note – we actually enrolled in our neighborhood school when we made the decision to decline Coonley, so apparently OAE makes SEES second round offers even if you’ve enrolled elsewhere in the meantime.

  • 860. Josh  |  May 4, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    Hey 2ndround – with those scores, which school did you reject in the first round? Trying to decide to take Skinner West in round 2 or reject in hopes for a spot at Skinner North later on, just like superdissapointed.

  • 861. Round 2  |  May 4, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    Just received an OAE call for Lenart and will likely decline.

    Tier 3
    1st Grade
    RGC: 123

  • 862. NW Side Mom  |  May 4, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    Sorry, forgot to include, @859 is Tier 4 (wish we could edit!)

  • 863. northside mom  |  May 4, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    Currently at Skinner West Classical for K … we really like the school but, the commute is difficult and with longer hours being implemented at school – might make it even more difficult…. we have a son in PreK on the northside.

    Just got a call from OAE offer to Decator. Exciting! But, I am not too familiar with this school. Any thoughts on Decator would be much appreciated- We were hoping for Bell or Coonley because they are close.

    Entering 1st
    99.9 reading 99.9 math
    RGC 127

    Anyone think we have a shot at Bell or Coonley? We have to decide by Friday.

  • 864. cpsobsessed  |  May 4, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    What tier for Bell/Coonley?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 865. northside mom  |  May 4, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    Tier 4

  • 866. cpsobsessed  |  May 4, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    Oh wait, tier doesn’t matter for fill-in spots. I’m doubtful that 127 would get a fill-in spot for coonley. Bell, tier would matter since it’s entry yeàr.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 867. LIsa  |  May 4, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    I just spoke to OAE and asked them to take pity on me before the weekend. Tier 2, 141 is NOT good enough for a 2nd round offer from Edison, Coonley or Pritzker. We are very lucky to have just gotten an offer from Chappell–a school that we really like and is about a million times better than our neighborhood option–but I’m feeling pretty low.

    I guess there is always 3rd round. Ugh!

  • 868. Josh  |  May 4, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    Just curious, you were offered your first choice RGC and first choice Classical, what are you holding out for?

  • 869. 2ndround  |  May 4, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    @860 We turned down Decatur because it was too far. At the time we applied we thought we may be moving up north which is why we had it as our #1 classical originally.

  • 870. NWSide mom  |  May 4, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    Josh – we actually got 2nd choice classical. We were not 100% sure of using our neighborhood school at the time of testing but after additional tours and talking with teachers neighbors etc. we are now sure and have enrolled there. I didn’t realize we would still get second round offers after we declined the first offer and enrolled elsewhere. I just posted to share the info since these posts are so helpful with all the info provided.

  • 871. WRP Mom  |  May 4, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    863-re Decatur..not sure what you want to know. Obviously, it would be am improvement for you commute-wise over Skinner West. You would be bus eligible, too. Decatur is a smaller school, approx 275-280 students. It’s like a small town atmosphere where everyone knows everyone else. It’s another classical school, so you already know what that’s about. Latin is taught beginning in kindergarten. Since you are trying for a non-entry level grade, it’s generally harder to get in because someone has to leave. Your grade will be a single class grade. My child has absolutely loved this school. What specific questions did you have?

  • 872. Surprised  |  May 4, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    Got into Pritzker, 2nd round for 2nd grade. Tier 4, 131. Currently doing well in a Montessori school. This acceptance was totally unexpected and i haven”t done my homework. Any assistance will be much appreciated.

    Questions about Pritzker: 1. Are homeworks given/ due daily? 2. How much homework is given? (- currently getting about 30 min/day.) 3. what time does the school start/end? 4. How many students per class and per each grade? 5. Are there any teachers’ aid in the classroom? 6. Do most RGC students live near the school? 7. What after school programs are available? 8. how does busing work if you live more than 8 miles from the school?

  • 873. SW Side Momma  |  May 4, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    For those of you getting second round offers did you all receive phone calls and letters? We have received nada, which makes me think if we do hear anything it won’t be until later this summer.

  • 874. SW Side Momma  |  May 4, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    1)Homework is daily, but it doesn’t seem to time consuming at this point, most of the time (for us) is spent on getting my son to actually sit still and do the work.
    2) I would say actual work for the first graders this year is 10-30 minutes a night (they are also supposed to do independent reading) there is a book report once a week, and once and a while a small project that takes additional time
    3) The school day now is 9:30-3:15 but will change next year and probably start 8:15 or 8:30 with the new longer day
    4) 27 this year for Grade 1
    5) No, but many parent volunteers. 6th grade gifted has an aide for half of the day- I am not sure about the other grade levels
    6) No- there are a fair amount that are close by, but many arrive via bus or car
    7) There are a lot- I’d check the website for offerings, (Chess, music lessons, mad science, languages) the park district also walks kids across the street for kids in the Park Kids program
    8) I don’t know, my understanding was that they have to be less than 7 miles or something for busing.

    I hope that helps!

  • 875. Surprised  |  May 5, 2012 at 12:01 am

    Thank you! I received a voicemail today, to be followed by a letter next week. Decision is due next Friday.

  • 876. SW Side Momma  |  May 5, 2012 at 12:13 am

    BTW Surprised, I think the group of kids in that class are awesome (and really nice parents too.) The kids seem to be very kind to one another and there is a lot of peer teaching that goes on.

  • 877. WRP Mom  |  May 5, 2012 at 9:05 am

    re busing for RGC’s, including Pritzker, as long as you don’t live too close, I think within 1.5 miles of the school, you can get a bus. I specifically asked this question when I went to a Pritzker open house and they said they had students bussed city wide, and mentioned they had a few bussed from the far south side. I think the maximum distance boundary rule applies to MAGNET schools, not RGC’s.

  • 878. Any thoughts?  |  May 5, 2012 at 9:36 am

    Is the score of 132, too low for admission to Bell, for this second round?? Tier 3

  • 879. Typo knig  |  May 5, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    @878 I would think so,, great score and tier 3 also is an advantage to you. Best of luck.
    Did u get a phone call or letter? (I just got my offer in the mail this morning – not for Bell so I don’t know though) Have you any idea what incoming Bell students scored?

  • 880. Any thoughts?  |  May 5, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    @879 I just read that Bell does not start RCG till 1st grade! How disappointing. 😦 Maybe next year. No letter no calls from anyone else. What offer did you recieve?

  • 881. Rosemary  |  May 5, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    2nd round offer today
    Carnegie, will decline 1st offer was Poe

  • 882. Typo knig  |  May 5, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    @880Any thoughts – yes I thought your child scored 132 for 1st grade. Bell. Beaubien & Keller (I think that’s all start RGC at 1st.) That is very good for first grade entry but I don’t know if it’s comparable to 132 for entering K . Best of luck next year with Bell.

  • 883. superdisappointed  |  May 5, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    @857 eastloopmom: we had skinner north as choice #1 and skinner west as choice #2 (and just fyi: #3 pritzker, #4decatur, #5 edison). sorry for the late response.

  • 884. superdisappointed  |  May 5, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    @860 josh – so just curious what did you decide re accepting skinner west offer now v. waiting for a skinner north offer later? we are declining skinner west now in hopes for skinner north later. i know it’s a risk but if no offer later i guess we’ll just stay at our current private school for however long it takes before we get in 🙂

  • 885. schools  |  May 5, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    seriously – the 2 of you should get together and approach the school about switching out.

  • 886. RGCFAN  |  May 5, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    2nd round letter – incoming 7th grader Keller.
    Came today. Any info about it? We’re in the beverly/ Morgan park / mt greenwood area. Closer than South loop that we are at now.

  • 887. 7th grade  |  May 5, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    RGCFAN-My son got first round offers for 7th grade to Lenart RGC and Lindblom AC…we chose Lindblom. Lenart was tempting, Keep in mind that 7th grade is the high stakes year that will count for 1/3 of high school admissions. If there is any drop in grades due to the accelerated environment, it will be costly.

    That was not my only reason and Lindblom was our first choice in many respects, but it’s worth taking into account. for this 7th grade scenario.

  • 888. Confused&Clueless  |  May 6, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    Why do you have to put down race on the form ? Is race considered?
    Where can I find information on RGC curriculum? My english speaking is not best, and I like to gather information on what they do in RCG (my child will be going to 1st grade Bell) How is it different to neighbor hood school curriculum? What questions can I ask the RGC teachers? Thank you

  • 889. mil mom  |  May 6, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    Tier 3, entering 1st grade, RGC score 119, second round offer to Beaubien. I have not decided whether to accept or decline, several factors to weigh over during the next week. I did not expect him to get an offer w/ that score, so had not really mulled over what to do ahead of time.

  • 890. mil mom  |  May 6, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    @ confused/clueless, Bell is highly regarded. They have an options coordinator on staff (call the school & ask for her) who could answer your questions about curriculum. Race is no longer a factor, I think they ask for it to track whether their new system maintains diversity. Congrats & good luck.

  • 891. Confused&Clueless  |  May 6, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    @milmom – congratulations to yours also!!. I am glad your son got into Beaubien, yes it is lower than I would expect (119 but tier 3 would have been in you favor) but you know what it was one day test so you’re son will be fine. All the best & thank you for your reply

  • 892. cpsdistress  |  May 7, 2012 at 5:47 am

    Thank you for making this blog. It has been really helpful to my daughter and I.

    Current Keller parents
    Got an offer to Keller. Currently at SL RGC. Keller is a whole lot closer and provides bussing from where I live. SLES vs. Keller anyone?

  • 893. Concerned Parent  |  May 7, 2012 at 9:22 am

    RGC Score 134 and Tier 3. Any chance for a 2nd chance for a 2nd round spot at Lenart?

  • 894. Hoping for a round 2 call  |  May 7, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    Are they still making round 2 calls? If I haven’t gotten a call or letter yet does that mean Round 2 is over and I need to hope and wait for Round 3? When are responses for Round 2 due?

  • 895. McKinley Park Mom  |  May 7, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    894. I am interested as well. I just sent an email to OAE. Pretty disappointing. I have been waiting by the phone and checking the mail constantly. We are Tier 3, 139 for Kindergarten.

  • 896. Sauganash Mom  |  May 7, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    If you want to send an email to OAE, what is the best address to use? I left two voice mails and no call back so maybe email will yield a better result.

  • 897. ANA  |  May 7, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    Did anybody received an acceptance letter from Bell?

  • 898. McKinley Park Mom  |  May 7, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    I just used their contact page. I am not sure what the response time will be.

  • 899. McKinley Park Mom  |  May 7, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    I just got off the phone. Unfortunately, if you didn’t get a letter your child has not been accepted for round 2.

  • 900. a dad  |  May 7, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    895.McKinley Park Mom
    Maybe you should call OAE. 139 tier 3 for K sounds like it has a chance depending on your choices. What schools were you interested in?

  • 901. fantastically uniquely me  |  May 7, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    For first round we got into Lincoln and Skinner West and accepted Lincoln if it’s already second round is it to late to change our mind? I’m guessing it’s too late, but if there is a opportunity to change our mind please tell.

  • 902. cpsdistress  |  May 7, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    second round offer Keller. Any info on the school?

  • 903. K D  |  May 7, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    cpsdistress – Congrats on the acceptance at Keller. We’re there now. What grade?

  • 904. Northsidemom  |  May 7, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    Anyone get an offer to Bell that will be turning it down? First grade, by chance? We want to decline Decatur and hope for a third round bell. My husband accidentally put Decatur as first choice instead of Bell. We called and they told us they try and fill first choices on list. We were told we will have a good chance at Bell “IF” a spot opens up. They also told me there were 4 spots for bell in second round.

  • 905. Northsidemom  |  May 7, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    Oh, If anyone was holding out for skinner north, we were told that 2 out of the 8 spots they had were declined second round… So there are 2 spots for sure for 3rd round.

  • 906. Mom  |  May 7, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    Who tells you all how many offers were made second round…the school or cps office? Anyone know about the regional gifted schools for kinder?

  • 907. Northsidemom  |  May 7, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    The office told me about bell. Try calling the office.

  • 908. cpsobsessed  |  May 7, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    @Sauganash Mom: Use this contact form to reach OAE. They usually respond within a day.


  • 909. Hoping for a round 3 call  |  May 8, 2012 at 9:20 am

    I was just told by OAE that five second round letters were mailed out for Skinner West. Parents have until 5/18 to accept. Also, she said they try and pick from the same bucket where the vacany was created. But if there is too much of a discrepancy in the score they will move to another tier. Sounds like there is some discretion but then she also confirmed this was not a manual process.

  • 910. a dad  |  May 8, 2012 at 10:05 am

    @904 Northsidemom – what score & tier are you for acceptance into Bell?

  • 911. New Keller Mom  |  May 8, 2012 at 10:55 am

    @cpsdistress – I am at Keller now. Son in Level 1. Great school. Great environment. We transferred from Poe (we were very happy there) because I felt we could not pass up Keller. And I was right. My son is learning great things and making great friends. If you choose to accept the offer at Keller I am sure you will be happy.

  • 912. Northsidemom  |  May 8, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    @ 909…. 127 Rgc. Are you declining bell, by chance? 🙂

  • 913. Northsidemom  |  May 8, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    Sorry, tier 4

  • 914. a dad  |  May 8, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    @Northsidemom – nope, not declining. Already have a child there and really love it. Your child’s Classical score is high, hence the Decatur offer, but was curious what the RGC score was. I know of other kids who scored this year in the 130’s, tier 4 for Bell who didn’t get an offer, but you never know what will shake out. I know of a child who was offered a spot (upper grade) 2 weeks before school started this year. Do you have a backup in case you decline Decatur and don’t get Bell? If not, I would take the Decatur spot and try again next year. Also, keep in mind that the rgc’s expand the class by 2 for third grade, so there are spaces available later.

  • 915. Northsidemom  |  May 8, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    Thanks so much for the information… I think I saw the lowest score in round 1 for bell was 131 in tier 4. We are currently at Skinner west classical for K. We really like it but we live 1 block from Bell and the commute is crazy as we have another child in pre k up here. Great to know about third grade and that you like the program at Bell… They sent out 4 offer letters for round 2, maybe just maybe someone will decline and move us close to getting in! Such a madhouse this is:)

  • 916. WhatToDo  |  May 8, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    GR=> K
    RGC => 137
    RDG=>87 MTH=>90
    TIER=> 3
    received an initial offer from Carnegie…decided it wasn’t the best fit for my child. No offers for round 2…waiting for round 3! This is really taking a lot out of me! I can’t sleep! I’m a wreck!
    We received and offer from Jahn which is great but I wish we had more offers! Waiting to hear from Owen which is a magnet…#9 WL really great academics there! Any comforting words???

  • 917. Lisa  |  May 8, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    Any news out there regarding 2nd round offers for K at Pritzker, Coonley, or Edison? Anyone get an offer? Are you accepting or declining?

  • 918. skinnorth  |  May 8, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    @ Northsidemom -are the 8 spots you’re talking about K spots or made up of various grades?

  • 919. Northsidemom  |  May 8, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    They were for first grade.

  • 920. Northsidemom  |  May 8, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    Are you in skinner north now? What grade? Do you like it?

  • 921. Northsidemom  |  May 8, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    @916…. Last year, for k, we did not get a call for skinner west until mid August- 97 math, 96 reading…. Keep your spirits up! Something might come in for you- we were all signed up with our neighborhood school and got a call out of the blue! Fingers crossed… This is so stressful indeed!

  • 922. North Center Moms  |  May 8, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    @917- we got a 2nd round offer for Pritzker, our third choice after Coonley & Edison. Tier 4, 144. I am so unsure about what to do! Is there anyway to find out how many spots are still open at Coonley for options K? Not sure if its too big of a gamble to wait for round 3 with that score/tier. Advice?? Anyone in K at Pritzker that can shed some light on the program?

  • 923. WhatToDo  |  May 8, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    @Northsidemom OH thank you! at least there’s a glimmer of hope 😉

  • 924. Mom  |  May 8, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    @917. There is probably bigger competition this year and you never know how things roll out but I do know of a couple of kids getting into Coonley after the school year started in the low 140s this past fall. I don’t know if you want to roll the dice because that’s really, really cutting it short. if you take your spot at Pritzker, you won’t be offered a spot at Coonley.

  • 925. cpsobsessed  |  May 8, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    I missed it – what tier are you for wondering about coonley?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 926. Future CPS Kinder Mom  |  May 8, 2012 at 10:27 pm

    Anyone know what the lowest RGC scores, tier 4, were to be given offers at Edison, Coonley and Pritzker for last year (the current school year)? Thank you!

  • 927. LIsa  |  May 8, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    @917 you could call the OAE and ask how many offers there were for Coonley in the 2nd round. That may give you an idea of how many slots are in play. Of course, some of the people that accepted in the first round may later decline due to moving or getting in off a waitlist at a magnet closer to their home. For me, it would come down to how comfortable you are with whatever your back up plan is if you decline this offer and don’t get another one. Good luck!

  • 928. Charly's Mom  |  May 9, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    @North Center Moms. My daughter got into Pritzker, our 3rd choice, 1st round at 147, Tier 4, K. Coonley was our first choice, Edison 2nd. We declined Pritzker, and haven’t heard anything from Coonley so far for 2nd round. It’s pretty clear that they are still looking at only very high scores for 2nd round if 147 isn’t high enough. Based on that, I don’t know if I’d wait around for Coonley if you really want your child in a gifted program. I decided to take a chance because our neighborhood school, Peirce, is pretty decent so it wouldn’t be the end of the world if my daughter wasn’t in a gifted program.

    I emailed the Gifted Program Coordinator at Pritzker to get answers to some important questions, and she never emailed me back, so I visited the school unannounced on a school day and got a mini tour from a parent. I met the K teacher and she barely acknowledged me. All in all, I wasn’t super impressed with how they dealt with prospective parents, but the academics might be perfectly fine. I even emailed her to tell her how unprofessional it was to ignore parent emails, and she still never replied!

    Some of the reasons I decline Pritzker was that it is so far from where we live (Edgewater). It took me 45 minutes to get there and an hour to get home. There is no parking for parents to drop off, just street parking which is sparse. And the bus from Peirce is going to leave even earlier, based on whatever the new start time is. The school itself is in real disrepair, and as far as the “arts” component goes, the kids only get 40 minutes of art each week. They get three 40-minute Spanish classes. They plan on using the longer day for math and reading, and maybe a little recess. That’s what the parent who gave me the tour told me, anyway.

    Hope this helps.

  • 929. kabn  |  May 9, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    @WhatToDo – what about Carnegie didn’t you like? Did you take a tour? Did you meet the K teacher? Just wondering what it means that Carnegie isn’t the right fit. Too much homework? Too little?

  • 930. jay  |  May 9, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    Thanks so much for the help w/ deciding on whether to take our spot at Pritzker. (Tier 4, 144 and Pritzker our 3rd choice after Coonley & Edison). I am still torn. Haven’t gotten to talk to the gifted coordinator yet at Pritzker. The distance is a factor and honestly, can’t tell if Pritzker gifted K would be any more advanced/challenging than Coonley neighborhood PreK. Thoughts?? I guess Coonley gifted scores will be much higher than the 144 we have so now I just need to decided btwn Coonley neighborhood program or Pritzker gifted (giving up hope for a Coonley gifted spot!). I will tour next Wed- they wouldn’t let me tour earlier than their regularly scheduled tour times.

  • 931. North Center Mom  |  May 9, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    @925, Was wondering what scores are in play for Coonley Gifted K right now for Tier 4- is 144 not likely to happen this year? Any thoughts??

  • 932. kikiandkyle  |  May 9, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    If I were @930 I’d take the Coonley neighborhood spot in the hopes that an RGC spot would open up during the year. But that’s just me, I’m not saying that’s what you should do!

  • 933. Hoping for Bell  |  May 9, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    Hoping for a third round offer for Bell 1st grade, tier 4, score 128.

  • 934. Pritzker 1st Mom  |  May 9, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    @jay- well, was your kid doing second grade level work in Coonley PreK? Probably not. So yes, the work at Pritzker K will be more challenging. My daughter is in gifted 1st grade at Pritzker and she has yet to feel like she’s not being challenged. The teachers are very good at continuing to challenge each child.

  • 935. cpsobsessed  |  May 9, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    I agree about pritzker vs coonley. By nature the entire class in 2nd grade will be doing 3rd grade math and in 3rd grade, 5th grade math (which is killing us now.). The best neighborhood programs will differentiate, but a teacher is unlikely to keep an ongoing stream of above-grade level work coming each year.
    For filling spots midyear, they only fill them up until about dec, so someone would need to leave by then. You *may* be able to get someone to tell you by august how close you are on the “next spot” for coonley.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 936. aville mama  |  May 9, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    Just FYI about Coonley- there were only 5 open spots after round 1. I called OAE before the 2nd round and they were very straightforward with me about our chances, so don’t hesitate to call- I found them very helpful and friendly. My child got a 143 Tier 4 and OAE told me that there were 30 students either above or at that score in Tier 4 so Coonley was super unlikely. Remember of those 5 declined spots some may go to other tiers. So I would be careful about holding out for a 3rd round Coonley. But again, you can just call OAE and ask.

  • 937. Jay  |  May 9, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    @934- sorry I had a typo in my last post. I meant I was wondering about the difference btwn the gifted K at Pritzker and the neighborhood K at Coonley. I didn’t mean to say that PreK was comparable at all to Pritzker K! I was more wondering about differentiation in the classrooms at the neighborhood K Coonley program.

  • 938. cpsobsessed  |  May 9, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    Coonley has handled some kids by sending them into the options class for certain times of the day or sending them to a higher grade when there’s room. So they clearly make it a priority for a really smart kid who missed the cutoff. But there are no guarantees year to year, of course.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 939. WhatToDo  |  May 9, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    @929 Kabn

    I met the K teacher ( super nice and welcoming) The tour was okay…Everyone seemed nice…there was student (RGC)work displayed too…My main issue was the extreme difference in the neighborhood program and RGC. I could not find stats on the RGC as a separate program and the school’s scorecard has Carnegie listed as having low academic standing and on probation. I later found out that the school is losing its Principal and its AP. Too much uncertainty leading into this longer school day for the coming year. I want a school that has high educational standards for all of its students. My child is important to me and I want him to have high self esteem, just not at the expense of others. I’m disappointed in the way CPS has allowed an RGC to be housed in such a low performing traditional program. If you’re a Northsider, you’re lucky because even if your gifted child doesn’t get into a RGC, they still have great neighborhood options. Also the person giving the tour kept saying their gifted program was K-8 but actually it’s K-5 huge inconvenience! Homework seemed average… No problem there. Didn’t offer music…said their budget only allowed for art or music, and they chose art. They just need to work out a few kinks before I’d be comfortable there.

  • 940. Christine  |  May 10, 2012 at 10:14 am

    @939 WhatDoTo

    I think Carnegie’s RGC goes K – 5 currently but they are adding a grade every year up until 8th grade. That’s pretty common. Skinner North only goes K – 4 right now, Coonley is K – 3, etc.

  • 941. kabn  |  May 10, 2012 at 10:24 am

    @ WhatToDo – thanks for your comments. I agree about the uneasiness surrounding the uncertainty with a new principal and AP, along with the longer school day. As for the neighborhood component, my wife and I have a slightly different take on its performance. Given the percentage of underprivileged children, and the challenges Woodlawn faces, the school substantially outperforms other similarly situated schools. We have friends who are teachers in the CPS system, and for those teachers who desire to teach underprivileged children, Carnegie is regarded as the best place to do that. In fact, we understand it is competitive to get a slot to teach at Carnegie. This is reflected in the fact that the 7th (or 8th?) grade science teacher won a Golden Apple a year or two back (she is currently on sabbatical expanding her teaching skills). We live a few blocks away (i.e. we are not “North Siders”), and I’ve interacted with the children at the school and I can assure you my impression was they do not suffer from low self esteem.

    At any rate, I don’t fault – indeed I share – your concerns as they are shared with many, many parents I’ve spoken to about Carnegie. Obviously, for many the total lack of diversity is an issue as well, and that is a problem. But, I think to assess the “extreme difference”, one has to actually look a little deeper than the scores. It isn’t entirely fair to compare a school in a Tier 1 neighborhood with a school in a Tier 4 neighborhood and to conclude something is not going well. The more pertinent comparison is to compare Carnegie to other Tier 1 neighborhood schools and try and assess whether the school is doing good things for the neighborhood kids. Could it improve, always; we hope it does.

    But, thanks for your comments. They are greatly appreciated as there is limited information available about the school, and I’m interested in any information I can get. Hopefully you didn’t take my own counter-observations as criticisms of your own. I just thought it important to share my own views to the extent they may help others. My wife and I are still debating between Carnegie and our neighborhood school; we are inclined toward Carnegie, but our choice is made easier because our neighborhood school is very good as well.

  • 942. BillieH  |  May 10, 2012 at 10:37 am

    FYI – we are today declining 2nd round offer to Coonley RGC for our child. So there will be at least one opening in round 3 for 1st grade (scored 131).

  • 943. Bussing Situation  |  May 10, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    What is up with CPS dropping a ‘gifted’ student living anywhere but for every other school 1.5 to 6 miles rule applies. Then again it is not universal, some schools have boundaries which at this point am not sure if it is more than 6 miles or not. The 6 miles in google map is not what the school is looking at because they have a seperate system to tell you if you address qualifies.

    So if a child is not ‘gifted’ even when the child worked to get into classical program with top score – we still need to be in the 6 mile radius.

    I am really happy that Rahm is bringing some uniformity across the schools, start time, end time, longer day for every school. We want best education for our kids and we are doing our part by paying our taxes. We also need to work and sustain ourselves and this will bring some clarity.

  • 944. WhatToDo  |  May 11, 2012 at 12:51 am


    I absolutely think that sharing our views on a school is helpful to others because we all have varying ideals of what’s important for our children…I know it has helped me to read about everyone’s experiences! we don’t have to agree with one another…But you asked, so I shared. I appreciate your comments as well and do not consider them criticisms.
    I am happy that Carnegie will meet you needs. I wish my search was over!
    However, I think it is absolutely fair and extremely necessary to compare schools that are supposed to have the same educational classification, regardless of where they are located. I’m not sure if Carnegie is doing great things for the neighborhood children educationally …They have a low academic standing and are on probation even with the boost of the gifted students. In my opinion, you can’t blame that all on being underprivileged because there are several better performing schools (RGC or otherwise) that serve a large amount of low income students. I understand that Carnegie may be sought after by teachers but I think it should be sought after by students/parents too. Like I said before, they need to work out a few things before I can consider them.

  • 945. kabn  |  May 11, 2012 at 9:41 am

    To all those considering Carnegie, I’d encourage you to watch the following video – this provides a little (though not complete) insight into the school and how it serves neighborhood (not RGC) kids. The kids appear to me to be bright. kids:http://carnegieschool.com/bacca.html

  • 946. North Center Moms  |  May 12, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    Just to update, we declined our Tier 4 spot for K at Prtizker RGC. Tough decision!

  • 947. mom  |  May 14, 2012 at 11:58 am

    Does anyone know when second round offers were due or are due?

  • 948. Missy  |  May 14, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    We got second round letter May 7. We got a phone call to informing us to look out for the letter. We had to accept/decline by last Friday. So second round is over. Third round is on though.

  • 949. ChiSchoolGPS  |  May 14, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    Second round letters that were mailed out the week of May 4 are due on May 18 at 5PM. You can mail or hand carry the confirmation form indicating your acceptance to 125 S. Clark St, 10th Floor; or fax it to 773-553-2061; or email it to oaeconfirmation@cps.k12.il.us . The office also called families that week and asked that if you are settled in a school and do not wish to continue having your name in the pool then let them know that as well. If that is the case, you can email Crystal at cnvance@cps.k12.il.us to be removed from subsequent rounds. Not responding to an offer by the deadline forfeits that offer and students are also automatically removed from the selection process after two rounds with no response. Declining an offer will keep you in the pool for subsequent rounds, if any.

  • 950. gonemommy  |  May 15, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    @North Center Moms My daughter is currently in Pritzker’s Options K program and loves it. The Options K teacher is amazing–calm, smart, creative, friendly, strong…I am constantly amazing at the stuff they are doing & covering. Likewise, I have heard great things about the 1st, 3rd & 4th grade options teachers–people I hear from were not in love with the 2nd grade teacher’s personality, but thought she was a good teacher nonetheless. For the person who met the K teacher & felt barely acknowledged, I can only guess that it was just a bad moment as she has been nothing short of amazing in my experience. Also, she has just had a baby (so is not finishing the year but will be back in the fall)–so she could have just been feeling pregnant 🙂 Prior to starting K, the parents organized a get together & the K teacher came to the party with her daughter. She is very approachable.
    The minuses are that the Spanish teacher left (that was a plus, actually) but they have yet to replace him–but hopefully they will get someone who can make the program great. If not, Multilingual Chicago offers reasonable before & after Spanish/French/Mandarin instruction. There is some tension between the fine arts & options, but overall everyone gets along. They have art, music and other “special” every week including drama or dance class. They do a great job with the fine arts side of things. The administration is involved and positive but I wish there was a clearer vision for the school.
    Full disclosure–we are not staying in the program, we are taking an offer at Beaubien–and that was a difficult decision, because we do feel so good about the program. But Beaubien is 8 minutes from my house & it can be difficult getting to Pritzker in a hurry. I would still recommend Pritzker and feel it is a strong program. Hope that helps.

  • 951. Mia  |  May 15, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    Tier 4
    Regional Score: 150
    Classical: Reading 99 Math 99
    Offered Bell – declined
    Offered Skinner North – accepting for 4th grade

  • 952. Josh  |  May 17, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    @884 Superdissapointed – it’s been almost two weeks, but FYI we have decided today to accept our spot at Skinner West. For reference I posted scores as #693, and received a 2nd round offer to SW.

    Our mind was changed after touring both facilities. We toured SN first with the principal, and thought it was fine/great. A little weird with parking and apparently a Target is going up in front, where the open space is now? We had all but decided to decline SW since it’s further away and based on my stats analysis I think we have a good shot at SN later in the summer – the principal told us 8 spots were offered in SN 2nd round. We are in the middle of buying a house and it’s unclear where we will end up, exactly, so we could choose to live closer to SW. Anyhow SW has tours every Thursday from 10-11 and we said we might as well go check it out just in case. And we loved it. Great building, we spoke with a lot of the teachers and a few parents, nice surrounding area, playground, big park. We observed some classes and the curriculum is similar to SN, really. But the environment is much more appealing – for us. Mandarin 2X/week was one difference, although you can get that after school at SN.

    My advice – visit, make your own conclusions.

  • 953. MrsLin  |  May 22, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    @ kabn

    We are accepting our offer from Carnegie. We were also concerned about the lack of diversity at Carnegie but fortunately we discovered that a friend of a friend sent their kid to Carnegie and had great things to say about it! They said that even though their child was in the racial minority at the school, there were never problems. They also had good things to say about Carnegie parents.
    About the principal, I heard she wasn’t that great anyway. So a new principal is probably a good thing.

  • 954. Ann  |  May 25, 2012 at 5:50 am

    Does anyone have informations on SEES possible third round? Thanks in advance!

  • 955. Chicago School GPS  |  May 25, 2012 at 6:39 am

    SEES schools with space in their classrooms contact families throughout the summer, up to and including the start of school in September. There is a standard class size of 28 students, and they need to fill them.

    With all the movement from other schools throughout the summer, invariably SEES (classical, regional gifted, academic centers and international gifted) schools have movement. If your child scored well and you have not accepted a placement yet, you may even get calls from schools that you had not put down on your list. Come Fall, you will hear parents in the class say, “I got a call in July”, or “I heard four days before school started and we even went to orientation at the magnet school we registered at”, etc. More than a few members of a class were most likely notified during the summer.

    Once you do hear, you will be given a tight timeline to respond, however, so try to find out at least a little about any of the schools you would possibly say “yes” to if you received an offer. Most likely you will not have time to tour once summer comes because only the admin and custodial staff are there on a regular basis and capital improvements occur over the summer.

  • 956. Logan's Mommy  |  May 25, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    955. Chicago School GPS- thanks a bunch for this post…it’s nice to know this!

  • 957. Ann  |  May 26, 2012 at 7:00 am

    955 -Thanks so much, Chicago School.

  • 958. Helen  |  May 30, 2012 at 6:50 am

    951 Mia.
    What school is your child right now? How did you prepare for the test? Your results are amazing!

  • 959. Anonymous  |  May 30, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    I have not read every post on here, so please forgive me if I overlooked something…

    I spoke to OAE today and they told me that Decatur and Coonley are both still filling kindergarten spots in the third round. She said they are confirming numbers today. Not sure if this is promising or not for us- just thought I would share!

  • 960. Mia  |  June 1, 2012 at 9:33 am

    To Helen: The focus in our household is always on education and making that learning experience fun. So, when we tested our child for the first time (for kindergarten) I didn’t tell him that he was going to take a test, I told him that he was going down the hall to play some brain games. He loved that and shouted, “I love brain games!” and off he went. Now that he is older, when he is tested, I send him off saying, “do your best and have fun”. I don’t want him to be stressed out, nor do I want to be stressed either.

    Our son is an inquisitive boy who likes to read alot; things seem to come naturally easy to him. He loves Pokemon, soccer, and socializing with friends. TV in our house is mostly science related programming and I am constantly rotating books from the library.

    Decatur is our current school, but we are making the switch to Skinner North next year. We hear that the principal is hands-on and the teachers are vibrant and energetic. Hands down we believe Skinner is going to be a more welcoming and supportive environment for our son.

  • 961. x  |  June 1, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    Just heard from OAE, Skinner North has 5 spot, Skinner West has 3 and Pritzker had 8 left.

  • 962. mom  |  June 1, 2012 at 1:09 pm


    did they say when they were starting the next round?

  • 963. Lisa  |  June 1, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    @961 Where you offered a spot? Or, did they tell you when they would be making offers? Thanks!!!!

  • 964. anonymous  |  June 1, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    Anyone hear how many spots at Coonley or Decatur?

  • 965. anonymous  |  June 1, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    Also, OAE did tell me they were confirming how many available spots were left at each school on Wednesday (5/30) and would begin notifying parents via mail as soon as they received confirmation from each school.

  • 966. Charly's Mom  |  June 5, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    There will be one less K spot at Coonely! We just got the call.

    Tier 4
    RG score 147
    Offered Pritzer at 1st round (3rd choice) – declined
    Offered Coonely at 3rd round – accepted

  • 967. Lisa  |  June 5, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    @966 Congratulations! Glad to hear they are making calls! Really really hope they make it all the way down to 141!

  • 968. RUMC Mom  |  June 5, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    We just got a call of acceptance to an RGC, Beasley! We already accepted a slot at our #1 magnet choice, STEM. We’re not sure what to do. Any thoughts?

  • 969. Whew!  |  June 5, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    We are in the same predicament, turned down Decatur and accepted Disney II, are in love with Disney II, but just got a call from Skinner North Classical…any advice from parents in the know perhaps with older kids regarding Magnet versus classical would be great…we are hard pressed to give up Disney II, it seems fantastic from our experience so far.

  • 970. UC Dad  |  June 5, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    @968 RUMC Mom

    I think STEM is a better choice!

  • 971. Suburban  |  June 5, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    @whew just curious, why did you decline Decatur for Disney? And you are still considering another classical school like Skinner?

  • 972. glmama  |  June 5, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    Got a call today too. Offer from Beaubian. My child’s score was 123 in Tier 4. Surprised to get it. The school is not far from us but I know very little about it. I read very mixed things online. Any thoughts on the school appreciated.

  • 973. superdisappointed  |  June 5, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    Kindergarten, Tier 4, 99 reading, 96 math – declined second choice offer from Skinner West in first round; got a call yesterday offering first choice spot at Skinner North in third round. Unfortunately, the call came 4 days after we had written a check for half the tuition at our current private school. We met with the principal and had a second tour today; we have till Friday to decide. Any advice – forfeit the money and accept the spot at Skinner North? Any input from current or future Skinner North parents would be greatly appreciated.

  • 974. superdisappointed  |  June 6, 2012 at 12:02 am

    @952 Josh, thanks for your post. I appreciate the input. I’m glad your impression of Skinner West was positive. I had toured both Skinner West and North and met with both principals, but I had the opposite impressions. Totally impressed with the SN principal, his vision and what he’s done over the past 3 years with the school although the building itself and the surrounding area certainly could use some improvement. However, we are currently at a private school just down the street and attended another private preschool just up the street last year and, surprisingly, the area has not been an issue despite it being not so appealing at first glance. I was less impressed with the principal at SW (an “entrenched bureaucrat” v. a great “visionary” and “doer” at SN) and I’m not certain about the neighborhood element…the SW principal seemed to think the integration of the classical and neighborhood programs was a positive thing but I’m just not convinced. Anyway, hope you have a great experience at SW and congrats on accepting the offer. We are struggling to make a decision about SN by Friday – see post 973 above. Best!

  • 975. mil mom  |  June 6, 2012 at 7:50 am

    972-We got a call for Beaubien in the second round, so I do not yet have a kid there but did have to make this decision just last month. (My kid’s score is lower than your kid’s, I was REALLY surprised to get the call, but we are in a lower tier). If you wade through the thousands of comments here there are several detailed accounts of the positives and negatives of this school. Of course with a new principal there is a fair amount that can’t be known til we get there.

    It was a hard choice for us especially since we have no complaints with my kid’s current school (out of neighborhood sibling of an RGC student in the neighborhood program).

    I decided to take the spot at Beaubien after determining that the options program seems by very strong by all accounts, and that some of the things that would have been a strong turn off compared to his certain situation (no recess, no after school activities) are slated to definitely change in the fall. I had a chance to speak with the options coordinator and the principal to be and got a very good impression of both. I also spoke with several current parents and students, and on balance the parents felt their kids were getting a great education and the kids I spoke with like it there. Also, while I don’t think my kid “needs” an options program, I think the math accelleration will do him good and that math is the hardest subject to differentiate. Logistics also payed a role in our decision, Beaubien is closer to us than my kid’s current school, and once his sister leaves their school he would lose bus service there and he might have to switch schools anyhow.

    Good luck, I know these are never easy decisions.

  • 976. Jeff Park parent  |  June 6, 2012 at 8:49 am

    @972 There is a lot of pros & cons like any school. I don’t know if there will be recess next year. My child goes to Beaubien and we have not been informed of if there will or won’t be. There is al ot of information on Beaubien on this website and on the CPS website. Their own school website is not up to date and gives little information but maybe this too will change as the Assistant Principal now has the principal job and the new Assistant principal is the old principal’s son… They school is very diverse – it’s a big school 1.170 students. perhaps you should visit the school when the kids come out (the kindergarteners at 11.30am, and again at 3.30pm) . Although only a few of the present kindergarteners will be in the Options next year. Way up the pros & cons of your present school – if the child is happy there, what the parents of the kids are like and will your child take change well should you move him/her. Best of luck with your decision. BTW have you asked your kindergartener himself? 20 odd years ago I was forced to move school by my parents and it was an unhappy move for me – one that I think shaped my personality to this day.

  • 977. citypoppa  |  June 6, 2012 at 9:00 am

    Anyone hear from Pritzker or Decatur round 3? And, if you don’t mind, what were your scores?

  • 978. glmama  |  June 6, 2012 at 9:14 am

    thanks so much 975 and 976. Your thoughts are so much appreciated. We are happy with my child’s K year at his current school but I just wish I had a crystal ball to see how he will develop and what the school is like in upper grades. I am a little concerned he hasn’t been challenged enough but he’s not a child that acts out so this hasn’t been a problem. It might become one though. I agree that we should involve him in the choice too but I think he would be ok with change. He’s not super social so he hasn’t made strong friendships as yet. I’m really hoping I can get in to look at the school & speak with the Options coordinator this week but it’s so busy with end of year stuff I’m not sure if that will happen. Thanks again.

  • 979. mil mom  |  June 6, 2012 at 9:27 am

    When I toured the school last month I was told there will be recess next year as part of the longer school day. There hasn’t been in the past. Should the CTU negotiations completely derail any longer day then I don’t know.

  • 980. RUMC Mom  |  June 6, 2012 at 9:35 am

    @970 UC Dad. Thanks for the feedback. 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. Thanks again.

  • 981. Charly's Mom  |  June 6, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    For anyone interested in what’s going on with Coonley K spots: I went to enroll my daughter today and was told that they had 4 spots to offer in the 3rd round, and were just waiting on the other 3 spots to accept or decline. Confirmations are due Friday.

    Tier 4
    RG score 147
    Offered Pritzker 1st round (3rd choice) – declined
    No offers 2nd round
    Offered Coonley 3rd round (1st choice) – accepted

  • 982. Anonymous  |  June 6, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    For anyone anxiously awaiting- OAE told me third round letters are going out this afternoon and they were also willing to share that my child will not get an offer this round. They were very helpful!

  • 983. Mom  |  June 6, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    Beaubian as low as 123/Tier4? How low is the school going for Tier1? So many people declining spaces there. Why?

  • 984. mil mom  |  June 6, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    983-My guess is Beaubien exhausted its tier 1 list in the first round. If you look at the tier map there is only a two block swath of tier 1 anywhere north of Belmont. The northside tiers switched dramatically toward 4 this year after the census update so a tier 1 kid would have to travel far to get there. Yes, Beaubien’s scores are lower than Bells, but not by that much, Bell went as low as 128 or something for tier 4. More people may decline spots due to the mixed reviews, I don’t know.

    On a related note, has anyone gotten CPS to give any insight into why the 1st grade RGC scores are SO much lower than the K scores now? The low 120’s/high teens would not get you in anywhere, in any tier, for K, according to what has been posted here, but can be good enough for grade 1. Anyone?

  • 985. mil mom  |  June 6, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    To clarify my prior comment I suspect there would be many fewer tier 1 applicants for a far northwest side school than applicants from tiers 3/4. Beaubien is pretty much surrounded by a sea of green on the tier map.

  • 986. glmama  |  June 6, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    @983: I am no expert, but I think the scores seem generally further down the scale for first grade. My son who got the 123 this year scored 144 last year. It may have to do with the different method of group testing.

    Also, I think for first grade RGCs it’s got to be harder to fill spots because the student has in most cases been at another school for a year. It’s a big factor in our decision.

  • 987. Ziggy Star  |  June 6, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    Also — the test is scored differently in 1st grade K. From my reading of the documents, I noticed that 160 is the highest possible score for testing when entering K, while 150 is the highest possible score for 1st grade. So the test is not scored on the same scale, and 130 on the entering K test is not the same as 130 on the entering 1st grade test.

  • 988. Ziggy Star  |  June 6, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    PS – Tiers only matter for entry-grade at a given school. That is, only for kindergarten (or 1st grade at Bell, because that is the grade their RGC begins). In higher grades, students are given offers based only on score rank. Tier doesn’t matter at all after the initial year.

  • 989. slightlybummed  |  June 6, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    I called OAE today and confirmed that there are currently no open spots for 4th grade Edison. My kid scored a 139, which is MUCH higher than the last time she took the test back when she was entering kindergarten. She is relatively happy where she is; I just have some slight misgivings about her current school and thought a change would be good for her.

  • 990. mom  |  June 6, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    To @superdisappointed
    From what I hear, SN is comparable to British, so you could look at it as saving half a year worth of tuition, rather than losing it.

  • 991. RGB parent to be  |  June 6, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    @987 Yes u are quite right. I am hearing parents complain” My kid scored 144 on the K entering test, but this year she/he scored 118 – what is going on?” It’s like comparing apples & oranges two different test, two different scoring systems, If your kid did well & got accepted to a good K school then take it! Don’t wait till next year to enter 1st grade thinking your child will do as well or better. It doesn’t work like that.

  • 992. Tom  |  June 7, 2012 at 7:47 am

    Friend of wife’s said son got same score as he did for kg test. Seems very unlikely if scoring is so different. We are hoping 2nd gr son gets selective spot and with these scores it may happen it seems.

  • 993. RGB parents to be  |  June 7, 2012 at 8:52 am

    I say take the spot you are offered don’t wait till next year to see if your child gets into 1st,2nd or higher grade in a RGB. My son got Skinner and we took it, who knows what he’d get next time. Good luck

  • 994. db  |  June 7, 2012 at 11:28 am

    Anyone know when the results will be in for the Comprehensive Gifted programs within certain schools for Fall? I thought it would be before school ends but at this point, we have 4 days of school left.

  • 995. Northsidemom  |  June 7, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    Skinner north parents… Can you tell me your thoughts? We are at SW and need to decide by tomorrow. How is the parent community? Recess? My husband just took a tour and loved it… I heard there were 9 spots this year for first grade. Anyone know why those 9 left? Any and all feedback is greatly appreciated.

  • 996. anonymous  |  June 7, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    If anyone received a third round offer letter for K to Decatur, would you be willing to share your child(ren)’s score(s)? Thank you so very much!

  • 997. Ali  |  June 7, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    @995 Northsidemom
    My Child is accepted in SW. I would appreciate if you share any information regarding why you want to pull out your kid from SW?
    What are the things that you dislike SW?

  • 998. a dad  |  June 7, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    @992. Tom – actually my child scored one point lower for the 1st grade test than what he got on the K test, so it does happen. I think there can be a huge drop in a score from K to 1st because you are going from a one-on-one conversation, to a group test where, in the past, kids have complained of not being able to hear or even understand the tester and questions are not repeated.

  • 999. Had to make the same decision  |  June 7, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    @Jay – We are in the Coonley neighborhood K program this year, we turned down several RGC spots last year including Pritzker to stay in the neighborhood. Our older son was already in the RGC at Coonley (lower RGC score than younger sibling). First, having both children in one school keeps us sane and we can concentrate our fundraising to one school. Second, there is so much value in having school friends live near you and as a working parent it is nice to have neighbors who will grab your kid for you or drop them off for you. Third, your child will not be alone in being advanced and in a neighborhood program, there are many families who have made the same decision. I know it seems overwhelming right now so I wanted to give you a perspective of a parent who made a similar choice. Plus I am hoping as more kids come in that need a more challenging curriculum we can work on creating it at Coonley. Good luck.

  • 1000. Northsidemom  |  June 7, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    @997. We loved SW. The k teachers are wonderful. Our commute is the only challenge. My husband works right next door to SN and will make the drop off pick up doable… (coming from north side, we have another child in prek up here, and with the new schedule it would be almost impossible for us to make it work). There was nothing we disliked about the school or program. She learned so much this year and scored very well on the classical tests for first grade- You will LOVE it there- This was a very hard decision for us…. Are you there for kindergarten?

  • 1001. Tom  |  June 7, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    998 “a dad” – above post described that the tests are on a different scale. getting a score almost identical would be very unusual. If your child got near her old score then she did much better than she did on the kinder test.

  • 1002. Tom  |  June 7, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    To the person asking about skinner N. I would be wary if those spaces are open because a lot of kids left after kinder. Now if classes get larger between kinder and 1, that’s a different story.

  • 1003. Score increase  |  June 7, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    Our daughter scored higher onthe 1st grade gifted test then the year before for K. I was expecting a drop because that is what seems to be everyones experience described here. But we were pleasantly surprised. All that with zero prep.

  • 1004. Tom  |  June 8, 2012 at 6:36 am

    “1003” All what with zero prep? Most people do not prep.

  • 1005. Tom  |  June 8, 2012 at 6:54 am

    Skinner North people, comment if you would on why 9 openings. Appears to be one of options which I didn’t know until last evening.

  • 1006. mil mom  |  June 8, 2012 at 7:17 am

    Of course the scores may increase or decrease for any individual child b/t K and 1 (and did for my little boy, who didn’t pass the test for K) but it just seems that there are way more super high scores for K than could possibly be expected in a distribution of scaled scores.

    Someone posted a while up in this threat that there were 30 kids with scores higher than 143 on the T4 waitlist for Coonley who hadn’t been placed on the second round. That many super high scores could not be expected no matter how smart the kids of Chicago, as a score above 140 would only occur in about 1 of 500 kids. So just curious as to how the tests or scoring differ. Maybe the higher test ceiling for K has something to do with it.

    I don’t think the scores were this high on average four + years ago, my middle kid got a 129 testing 4 years ago (non-minority) and would have gotten first round offers had we listed more than one school on her app.

  • 1007. parent  |  June 8, 2012 at 7:44 am

    I volunteer in one of the kindergarten classrooms at Skinner North and know a lot of the parents. I know there are a few openings for first grade next year but not 9. One family is moving out of the country, one is moving out of state and a couple of others are moving to the burbs.

  • 1008. Tom  |  June 8, 2012 at 8:03 am

    “1007” thank you for this information. 9 leaving seemed high and made me question the school. Maybe we will see you there in the fall.

  • 1009. Curious George  |  June 8, 2012 at 8:25 am

    @1003 what were her scores for K and 1st? I take it you didn’t get any offers last year so you did the 1st grade test this year. What did she get offered this year?

  • 1010. score increase  |  June 8, 2012 at 9:24 am

    @Curious George, last year her score for RGC was 126, but classical score was good enough to get an offer from SN, where she is now. This year we had her tested again to see, how consistent the scores were and if she could get into a school that is closer to where we live.
    This year she got an offer for Beaubien with 128. We declined because Skinner is a great school. Great teachers, very communicative administration, great and challenging curriculum. She has learned so much this year. I have absolutely no reason to move her, except the commute is very long for us, as we live on the NW side.

    @Tom, I know of many parents that do test prep. I know of few families that had the kid professionally tutored in math and reading about a year before the testing. At the age 4. I guess they just want to make sure they did all they could to give their kids a shot at a good school.

  • 1011. Charly's Mom  |  June 8, 2012 at 9:33 am

    @Tom. You should check out that NIghtline episode where they followed a couple of families through the testing process. Some people spend thousands prepping their kids. My personal opinion is, if you need to prep your kid like that, then they don’t belong in an accelerated school and will just be unhappy under that kind of pressure.

  • 1012. Northsidemom  |  June 8, 2012 at 9:39 am

    @1007, How many K classrooms are there at SN? How many first grade classrooms? I was told by cps there were 9 spots in first round… Only 3 spots for 3rd round. We are taking one of these spots. Very excited about SN for our daughter. Glad to hear the positive input about the school. Sad to leave SW but excited for the new opportunity.

  • 1013. gg  |  June 8, 2012 at 10:58 am

    To superdisappointed: If you have more than one child, I would suggest staying with the private school. I know parents that are having nervous breakdowns trying to get their 2nd child into a selective enrollment school. I also think there’s more of a community at private schools since all the parents are literally invested in their child’s education. Good luck

  • 1014. Tom  |  June 8, 2012 at 11:35 am

    Of course I know people prep especially people on this blog. The vast majority who take the selective tests do not prep.

  • 1015. Score increase  |  June 8, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    2 K clasrooms at Skinner N

  • 1016. Score increase  |  June 8, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    2 1st grade clasrooms at SN. 60 spots all together.

  • 1017. Beaubien information  |  June 8, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    We accepted a round 1 offer for Beaubien first grade. I was also uncertain due to some of the mixed reviews. Since our offer, we have been to tour the school 3 times and have had much contact with the options coordinator. We are very impressed with the program and happy to have this opportunity. I agree with an above comment that Beaubien comes across as somewhat of an underdog and it isn’t clear why. Obviously there are issues with all of these schools, it is CPS. To address specific issues that have been detailed above I will share recent information we have learned. The expectation (assuming CPS, unions, etc pass this) is that the school day will be 745-245. This day will include 25 mins for lunch and 20 recess every day. The children will have PE twice a week. Other great news is that the new principal is working to reinstate the Music program despite funding for only Art or Music. Additionally, next year a wide variety of after school programs will be available for all ages through an external group http://www.rightatschool.com.We met the first grade teacher for next year and she is great. We are thrilled with our decision on Beaubien and hope that those of you who maybe on the fence give it a chance as in everything we have seen it is a great program. Hope that helps!

  • 1018. Skinner mom  |  June 8, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    The principal at Skinner North told us there were one or two openings in every grade. Nine seems impossible, unless families moved to the burbs or were accepted at a school where their sibling attends?

    We are leaving Skinner West to go to Skinner North as well. Completely agree with the post that SN principal is a “visionary” and SW principal “typical CPS.” Same can be said of the teaching. Workbook sheet after workbook sheet, both in school and for homework. There is no differentiated instruction, no guided reading, writer’s workshop, discussion….the school is stuck in a time warp!

    They simply rely on well-prepared kids. Can’t imagine there is any “value-added” at the school. For example, my child’s reading scores were well above grade level, yet she had NO growth from beginning of the year to the end when assessed. Reason? The kids read out of the third grade basal regardless of their reading level. I am sure there are MANY children above grade level at the school, yet they don’t do guided reading which would meet the kids are their current level? Lazy. And irresponsible. And that is just one example.

  • 1019. Northsidemom  |  June 9, 2012 at 8:08 am

    Well, I was told 9 spots back in the first round… Doesn’t really matter. As far as SW, my child scored 98 reading and 96 math last year for kindergarten testing… This year she scored 99 in both for first grade admission. SW is a good school, she learned new things, loved her teachers, loved music and spanish. All while having fun each day. I am sorry you had a bad experience… Hopefully SN will be a better fit for your child.

  • 1020. Whew!  |  June 9, 2012 at 8:28 am

    We ultimately chose Disney II over two classical options, after speaking with all the principals and many teachers and parents, we feel Disney will keep our daughter challenged and definitely work with us if we feel they aren’t. After speaking with many families trying to get siblings into selective enrollment, we didn’t want that stress and agony for our family. We have talked to some distraught parents dealing with lack of options for younger siblings. Disney II seems amazing, as did SN and Decatur, but Disney has a spot for our son in a few years. All parents we spoke to with older kids really value their kids at one school and not having a crazy commute or wish they had that. The selective enrollment staffs mentioned siblings as one of the main reasons kids leave their schools… As one parent said, living in the city can be hard enough sometimes, take the opportunity to make it easier on your family. Some people look at us like we are crazy when we say we gave up Decatur and SN, but I think those that have had similar experiences with older kids understand. These were agonizing decisions, but we did extensive research and I hope our experience helps some of you, too.

  • 1021. Confused  |  June 9, 2012 at 8:34 am

    @1017 – – was there a specific need to tour Beaubien 3 times? Seems a lot…… I am glad to hear there will be recess next year. And the after school program is welcomed too.

  • 1022. momof3boys  |  June 9, 2012 at 10:05 am

    I didn’t really prep my son- except for the workbooks, but I wanted to use up the workbooks since my two older kids never used them and I didn’t want to toss them (he would only do them while waiting for his bros during their activities. I would have been ok with leaving him at his former school but when he rec’d an acceptance letter, we accepted only because the school’s is so close. Im not totally impressed by the school and I think if he was still at the other school he would have been challenged just as well. The things I miss from the other school is the homey feeling and all the fun stuff they do. His school doesnt have any really fun, at least imo. Well, what they consider fun seems boring to me. Oh well..

  • 1023. Just Curious  |  June 11, 2012 at 11:34 am

    Superdisappointed, what did you decide to do?

  • 1024. Beaubien information  |  June 11, 2012 at 11:50 am

    @ 1021 – Beaubien held a tour for all prospective parents that got a round 1 offer which we didn’t think we could attend so we requested a private tour on a day we were both able to make it. It turned out that we were then available to also attend the group tour which we went to, we wanted to hear some of the questions other parents had and also didn’t have much time on our first tour due to work schedules. The third tour was for the sake of our child, whom we didn’t bring either of the other times. We were more impressed each time, I am glad we had each opportunity.

  • 1025. Lowest score ever?  |  June 11, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    What is the lowest score anyone has heard of this year or last year for gifted acceptance for KG and 1st? Thank you.

  • 1026. mom11  |  June 11, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    I talked to OAE today and they said next rounds go out this weekend…is this round 4?
    We accepted a spot at STEM and declined Decatur, but I feel like I still have SW or SN in the back of my head. OAE said they didn’t know if there were still spots at those schools since the 3rd round offers still had time to decline.
    Anyone decline SN or SW for K this past round?

  • 1027. Jen  |  June 11, 2012 at 7:49 pm

    Does anyone know of any RGC with 3rd grade spots still available? Getting pretty desperate at this stage, we’re even considering homeschooling as my daughter is just so unhappy in her current suburban school.

  • 1028. superdisappointed  |  June 11, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    @1023 just curious – we decided to take the spot at SN after another tour and a 2 hour-chat with the principal

  • 1029. Lisa  |  June 12, 2012 at 9:44 am

    Did anyone decline a kindergarten offer at Coonley or Pritzker in the last (3rd) round? Or, has anyone talked to OAE regarding whether there are going to be making offers still for Edison, Coonley or Pritzker?


  • 1030. Whew!  |  June 12, 2012 at 9:48 am

    We declined SN in 3rd round in favor of having a spot at a magnet in the future for our son, not willing to play the sibling game for a SEES.

  • 1031. KMom  |  June 12, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    Has anyone got an offer from Decatur, Skinner North or Skinner West for the coming 2nd grade? Wonder whether there is any opening this year.

  • 1032. AW  |  June 12, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    @ 1027 Jen. I’ve been looking for info re: 3rd grade RGC spots too. Only read about one offer on this thread (Beasley) and haven’t heard of any others even anecdotally. Maybe more will open this summer?? Which schools are you interested in? How did your child do on the test? Good luck!!

  • 1033. a dad  |  June 13, 2012 at 10:48 am

    1032. AW and @ 1027 Jen – I don’t believe there are any openings for next year’s 3rd grade Bell RGC. As far as I know, no current student is leaving.

  • 1034. Jen  |  June 14, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    @1032 I applied to Bell, Coonley, Pritzker, Edison and Beaubien. I’d settle for South Loop if they decided to offer there. She didn’t do amazing on the test, I wish I’d sent in her MAP or WISC-IV scores with the application. What about you?

  • 1035. AW  |  June 16, 2012 at 11:09 pm

    @ Jen. Same schools — and same issue with score. My child received a 119 (but I too wish we could submit WISC-IV scores, which were 10 pts higher). Thankfully we are generally happy with our current school. Again, good luck.

  • 1036. kikiandkyle  |  June 18, 2012 at 1:44 am

    Thanks AW – we have 20 points between our gifted score and our GAI. And both were administered before she started taking ADD meds. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you, as you’ll be hearing before me with that score.

  • 1037. aville mama  |  June 19, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    1029 Lisa
    We were just offered a Pritzker RCG spot today by phone.
    Tier 4
    RGC 143
    Most likely declining. Have to decide by Fri.

  • 1038. justanotherCPSparent  |  June 19, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    FWIW…#987, etc…There is not a maximum score of 160 for the K gifted test. The scores can increase indefinitely. I know a kid who scored 168 for K.

  • 1039. Lisa  |  June 20, 2012 at 8:50 am

    @1037 aville mama
    Congratulations and good luck with your decision making!
    Thank you for posting. It is nice to get a feel for where we stand and know that offers are still being made without having to call OAE again and make a nuisance of myself 🙂

  • 1040. Jen L  |  June 20, 2012 at 10:15 am

    @1029 Lisa
    We also received an offer from Pritzker yesterday, RGC score 143, Tier 3. We have until 5:00 Friday, I think we will accept.

  • 1041. Lisa  |  June 20, 2012 at 11:01 am


  • 1042. x  |  June 20, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    Fourth round decisions are due by Friday, 6/22 @ 5pm. I just heard from OAE that there are 3 K spots at Skinner West and 3 K spots at Skinner North.

  • 1043. Ann  |  June 20, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    If anyone has heard an offer from Skinner North and Skinner West, please post your child’s score. Thank you!

  • 1044. Whew!  |  June 20, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    Declined SN second round, got SW call today will be declining. Tier 3, >99.9 reading 97 Math.

  • 1045. Edisonparent  |  June 21, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    1032. AW and @ 1027 Jen – There is a student leaving Bell and coming to Edison for 3rd grade. That means there probably is at least one 3rd grade opening.

  • 1046. Ann  |  June 21, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    1044 – Thanks! Are you waiting for an offer from Decatur?

    1045 – I believe that exceptional bright student was attending neighborhood Bell, not the gifted program.

  • 1047. Ada  |  June 23, 2012 at 11:23 am

    Declined SW and SN with scores:
    Reading: 99
    Math: 99.6
    Any chance for Decatur?

  • 1048. Lisa  |  June 26, 2012 at 9:55 am

    Good morning! Anyone know if OAE is still calling with spots for Kindergarten at Coonley or Pritzker? Thanks!

  • 1049. NW Side Mom  |  June 26, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    Tier 4
    RGC 153
    Classical 99+ Reading; 88 Math

    Have declined:
    1st Round: Coonley (2nd choice)
    2nd Round: Skinner North (4th choice)(declined May 4)
    3rd Round: Pritzker (6th choice) (call/email June 5, deadline June 8)
    4th Round: Skinner West (5th choice) (call/email June 19, deadline June 22)

    Would still consider Decatur (1st choice), but likely sticking with our neighborhood CPS.

  • 1050. Jen  |  June 26, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    Thanks @1045 – I’m sure there are many ahead of us. There were a lot of kids at testing.

  • 1051. liz  |  June 26, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    1049… reports like yours reallllly mke me think that the classical schools look at the gifted scores! Good luck with Decatur.

  • 1052. Lisa  |  June 27, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    For those still waiting for Coonley and Pritzker, I broke down and called OAE. They are still looking to fill one more seat for Coonley Kindergarten and three more seats for Pritzker Kindergarten. Not sure when the next round of phone calls will be made.

  • 1053. Jen  |  June 28, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    I spoke to CPS yesterday, there aren’t any unfilled gifted or classical spots for 3rd grade entry left. They won’t be calling anyone until school starts back and they work out who, if anyone, has left.

  • 1054. RL Julia  |  June 29, 2012 at 11:01 am

    1049 – what’s your neighborhood school?

  • 1055. Pat  |  July 5, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    Has anyone been offered a spot at Skinner North for 1st grade? If so, can you please post your scores. Thanks!

  • 1056. ktl  |  July 7, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    No offer for us for Skinner North or West for 1st grade yet. We are tier 1, math 97, reading 99.

  • 1057. Lisa  |  July 13, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    Any new news? Is there still offers being made, or is everything pretty much set until they see were things are when school starts?

  • 1058. LGTH  |  July 18, 2012 at 11:05 am

    Any Beaubien Options 1st grade parents out there? Hoping to get a playdate scheduled before school starts! I probably won’t get a chance to check back here too often, but please email: jeffparkmom@gmail.com

  • 1059. Mom  |  July 22, 2012 at 9:37 am

    Can someone give me an idea of the Beaubien 1st grade scores needed to get in? Thank you.

  • 1060. LGTH  |  July 23, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    My daughter scored a 128 and was accepted at Beaubien (for 1st grade, top pick, 1st round). I know a girl who was accepted during 2nd round, and I think she got a 124.

  • 1061. Mom  |  July 23, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    Thank you LGTH. Neighbor’s little girl got in with a 116 – Tier 4. Might still be hope for mine.

  • 1062. LGTH  |  July 23, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    Oh, forgot to mention we’re in Tier 4. Good luck! Wow, 116. That gives me hope for my kindergartener when she takes the test in the fall/ winter 🙂

  • 1063. Happy  |  July 25, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    @1061 what tier is your neighbor ? 116 seems very low to get beaubien if it is tier 4. my nephew got 119 but we have not heard yet but never expected to get beaubien . He will stay in private for now unless we get a call.

  • 1064. b  |  July 26, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    Tier 4. Entering K. Scored 99 reading and 99 math. Got into Skinner North, definitely accepted! My daughter is way beyond her grade level though, her siblings never were this far ahead at barely 5 years old. She does same reading and math assignments at home that her older sister did in 1st grade, which makes me wonder what the standards for grade-level really means!!

  • 1065. NW Side Mom  |  August 17, 2012 at 10:17 am

    If you are near the top of a waitlist, don’t give up all hope. We just got a welcome/class assignment/kindergarten orientation letter from Skinner West, even though we declined promptly through OAE back in June, have since received another offer (so we know OAE received our decline for sure), and never registered at the school. So we will notify the school and there will be one spot available there.

    Mistakes happen and will need to be corrected in the coming weeks.

  • 1066. Whew!  |  August 17, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    We also got a letter from Skinner West after declining, so we will also be calling again to decline, so two spots there!

  • 1067. Charly's Mom  |  August 20, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    Has anyone received any information about busing? I have no idea where/when to drop my daughter off, and there is no info on the school website? Who do I call to get this info?

  • 1068. cpsobsessed  |  August 20, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    If you signed up for bussing, you should get a postcard a few days before school. I believe you then call a number for further info. My son’s class just discussed it, and that’s what was said. Always down to the wire…
    Also, expect mixups the first few days. 🙂

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 1069. Lisa  |  August 20, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    Hey! It sounds like the Magnet lists–at least Stone–are moving again. Any one hearing from any of the RGC’s? Selfishly, I am particularly interested in Pritzer! Thanks.

  • 1070. anonymouse teacher  |  August 20, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    1067, call your school directly to find out this info. It typically takes about 2-3 weeks though for bus services to get all the kinks worked out. If your child’s school ends at 3, the first week, it could take until almost 5 to get back to the stop, especially if they are at the end of the run. But, within a week or two, the times start coming down. Your best bet, just as someone who had to do this for 3 years, is to avoid using the bus if at all possible for at least the first 2 weeks. My kids used to get home about 3:45 (at their 2:45 dismissal school), but the first few weeks, it would take twice that amount of time to get home. Good luck.

  • 1071. Charly's Mom  |  August 21, 2012 at 12:04 am

    Thanks 1068 and 1070!

  • 1072. fingers still crossed  |  August 21, 2012 at 9:30 am

    Just wondering if there’s anyone signed up for Skinner’s classical K program that knows they will decline unless X happens… like sibling gets into Skinner 2nd grade classical spot. I imagine there are others like me holding out hope that there will be movement in the last few weeks.

  • 1073. KMom  |  September 6, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    We got a call from Skinner West today for a spot (2nd grade). But we declined.

  • 1074. x  |  September 7, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    I know another family that got a call from skinner west for K – they accepted.

  • 1075. Lisa  |  September 7, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    Pritzker Regional Gifted Center–anybody have kids there? Unbelievably, we got a call about an hour ago offering a spot to daughter for Kindergarten. A week ago I would have been over the moon, but now that she (and we) are loving Agassiz, I am conflicted. Anyone have good advice? (And yes, I know how incredibly lucky we are to have this choice and incredibly great problem.) I love insight on the kindergarten teacher and the admin there.

    We did tour the school, and obviously we liked it or we would not have put it on our list, but now it seems very nebulous compared to our great (so far) experience at Agassiz. If Agassiz was or neighborhood school, I would just go for it knowing that we could always come back, but sadly our neighborhood school is Haugan.

    Thank you in advance!!!!

    For those still waiting, her score is 141 Tier 2.

  • 1076. cpsobsessed  |  September 7, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    @Lisa – I continue to hear great things about Agassiz, still some mixed about Pritzker but I’ve certainly heard of families who are very happy there. If your child seems more academic, really needs a more advanced curriculum (as far as you can tell with a 5yo) I’d probably go for it. If you get the sense that Agassiz can challenge her, I’d probably stay put. Not sure about location. Traveling can be a big drag and bussing for the gifted programs seems to have taken a turn for the worse (longer) this year.
    Good luck! You are in an enviable position of having 2 good options so go with your gut.

  • 1077. Lisa  |  September 8, 2012 at 6:35 am

    @cpsobsessed–We think she could really use the advanced curriculum, and her pre-school teachers agree. What are the mixed things you hear about Pritzker? Does it center on the Admin? the RGC or the school as a whole? Is the curriculum as advanced as other RGC’s or more in line with a good neighborhood or magnet school? (I realize you may not have complete answers since most of this will be second hand.) Our daughter is very advanced verbally and has logic and problem solving skills that sometimes amaze us, but she is not in a category where we think we are going to skip junior high and send her straight to med school:) Thank you for all your help!

  • 1078. Alison  |  September 9, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    We also received a phone call from Pritzker on Friday for Kindergarten, Tier 4. Our neighborhood school is Nettelhorst and so far our son loves it there. We are torn as we really feel that he could benefit from an advanced curriculum. The stuff he is doing at K is stuff that he was doing at preschool 2-2 1/2 years ago….
    We want him to be challenged and engaged, but need advice! Thx =)

  • 1079. Future CPS Kinder Mom  |  September 9, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    Alison – May I ask what your child’s Tier 4 RGC score was? Just wondering how close we are to the outside possibility of a late call. Thanks!

  • 1080. Alison  |  September 10, 2012 at 10:01 am

    @1079 – He scored a 144…..

  • 1081. Lisa  |  September 12, 2012 at 11:55 am

    @Allison Did you make a decision? We are going to send our daughter to Pritzker.

  • 1082. Alison  |  September 13, 2012 at 10:36 am

    @Lisa….not sure if we have missed our chance! We received the vm on Friday at 1.30pm and they said that they needed to hear back from us before the end of the day. I got home and called about 4.30pm Friday and had to leave a vm. I also called again on Monday and no-one was picking up…I wasn’t sure if there was anyone in their front office due to strike.

  • 1083. Lisa  |  September 13, 2012 at 10:50 am

    @Allison I don’t think you have missed it. Zack is who called me on Friday and said that I could leave a voicemail over the weekend–which I did on Sunday. Monday morning I called the main line 773-553-1000, got thru to OAE and talked to someone who said that Zack was not in the office, but that they would note that we had officially accepted.

    I was also able to talk to someone in the main office at Pritzer who told me that as long as my paperwork is in order–email to Vice Principal from the OAE, un-registered at present school, and filled out copies of the enrollment packet available on the Pritzker website– I should come into the office at 9:30 on the first day back from strike enroll her and she could walk into class.

    I was able to un-register from our current school this morning, and I am planning to call OAE to see if that email has already been sent, or if I need to wait until the morning we are back from strike to make that happen.

    Good luck! This is a crazy process! But, I can’t imagine they made any additional offers after Friday, so I would think that if you still want the spot it is yours.

  • 1084. Jen K  |  September 13, 2012 at 11:01 am

    @Allison – the first week of school for K (even 1st, 2nd), in my experience, doesn’t necessarily reflect the ongoing curriculum. They have to see where all the kids are at academically so they focus on the basics. I don’t mean to make this a more difficult choice; it may help to speak to your child’s current teacher (post-strike, of course!) and/or principal (who should be in the office) about your concerns.

  • 1085. x  |  September 20, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    I just heard Skinner West and Skinner North each have one spot available…

  • 1086. Lisa  |  September 20, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    @Allison Did you take the spot? My daughter’s 1st day was yesterday.

  • 1087. Alison  |  September 21, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    @Lisa….No, we decided to keep him at our neighborhood school. With the change in school already to K, then the strike, we felt it best for him to keep him where he is….and he really seems to be happy. I plan on talking with his teacher to get her feedback. From the homework they have already had, she set “required” homework and “challenging/extra” homework too. Hope your daughter is settling in well at Pritzker? Alison

  • 1088. CJML  |  September 21, 2012 at 11:41 pm

    So we received a call today regarding the K spot at Skinner North. My DD is currently in a great private school near our house. We are certainly excited but torn as she is doing great in her current school which seems to meeting her needs so far (concerned she was going be bored where she is currently…so far that is not the case). Pretty sure we will be responsible for the rest of her annual private school tuition even if we left. Concerned about the commute and the sibling thing as well. Any input to help us make this tough decision would be appreciated!

  • 1089. CJML  |  September 21, 2012 at 11:49 pm

    Please leave your pros and cons re: your experience at Skinner North if possible.

  • 1090. Whew!  |  September 22, 2012 at 8:21 am

    We agonized over our spot at Skinner North, but ultimately took a spot at a great Magnet, Disney II, to ensure a spot for our son in the future. We saw neighbors going through some stressful stuff not getting siblings in, and it was awful, so if you have a younger one, keep that in mind. Also, in speaking extensively with the principal at SN and the Disney II, the SN principal was unable to clearly articulate how advanced the children would be in the upper grades, and the younger grades seemed somewhat comparable. Also, think about class size. That was one of our big concerns, our magnet caps at 25…SN can closer to 30 or over, and in the younger grades that seems like a lot for me and my quiet daughter. Many of our teacher friends articulated what a big difference 25 versus 30 is for a teacher. Lastly, commute is a big deal, all the parents of older children told us to take that seriously, think about the daily happiness of your family’s schedule, it is important. SN is great though and you have a win-win choice!

  • 1091. Lisa  |  September 22, 2012 at 11:24 am

    @Alison Things are going well for us at Pritzker, but I’m glad that you are happy where you are as well. Both of our families where lucky to have such great choices.

  • 1092. JMom  |  September 22, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    Has anyone gotten an offer for Skinner North 1st grade?

  • 1093. Alison  |  September 22, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    @Lisa……so true!…..
    glad that it’s going well @ Pritzker =)

  • 1094. CJML  |  September 23, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    Whew! Thank you so much for your post. All of your points are concerns for us as well. Going to see it in person tomorrow and then will have about 2 hours to decide…agonized all weekend re: this decision. Certainly hard to leave a class size of 24 with 2 full time teachers. We are so lucky to have the choices but it isn’t making this decision any easier….

  • 1095. anonymouse teacher  |  September 23, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    If you can afford private school tuition, my personal recommendation would be to stay put. 24 kids to 2 teachers is something amazing. They should be more than able to differentiate for your child to meet her needs. There is nothing in CPS that can rival that kind of personal attention.

  • 1096. superdisappointed  |  September 23, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    @CJML: We made the really difficult decision to leave our outstanding private school (19:2 student/teacher ratio) and take the K offer from SN. It’s really hard to tell how things are going so far because our daughter has been at her new school for only 7 days due to the strike. My husband was ready to take her back to her private school the second day of the strike but I’m trying to keep an open mind. It’s definitely an adjustment especially with respect to the class size. Our K teacher seems nice and competent but I still have my reservations about the 30:1 student/teacher ratio. Another huge difference is that at SN the kindergartners get only one recess (outside weather permitting) while at her private school she had three outside recesses each day. Also, as I mentioned, it’s really hard to assess what they are doing in the classroom academically because of the long interruption and having to in effect start all over again; however, so far it seems as if the work is either just a review and/or some sort of an assessment of the kids’ skill levels or it’s just pretty basic. I feel like our daughter has been engaged so far but not challenged yet. On the bright side, I still absolutely love the SN principal and just the general atmosphere at the school. I truly hope we made the right decision. Hope this helps and good luck!

  • 1097. CJML  |  September 23, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    @superdisappointed: Can I ask if you also have other siblings to think about and if location was also an issue. If we leave our current private school, unlikely they would accept our little one for pre-k next year. Our commute would likely go from about 7 minutes to 45-60 depending on traffic. Not sure I can justify this as it affects more than just our older daughter. The extra money would be nice with no tuition at SN but the commute may do us in!

  • 1098. superdisappointed  |  September 23, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    @CJML: The commute did not change for us at all – we are about 20-25 min from both schools depending on traffic so location was not an issue. In your case, 45-60 min commute would be brutal…I honestly don’t think I could do it especially with a baby in the car which would be our case thus jumping to your second question – we do have another sibling but they are 5 years apart so we didn’t give it much consideration.

  • 1099. cpsobsessed  |  September 24, 2012 at 8:32 am

    @cmjl: I am SO opposed to a long commute. It’s so much time in the car, aggravation, winter is awful.
    I guess if one parent is going to committ to being a sah parent for 8 years it could be okay, but with this longer school day plus homework, add in a long commute and your child’s day is done.
    Of course plenty of people do it and don’t seem to mind…

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 1100. 40 min commute parent  |  September 24, 2012 at 9:12 am

    The drive works if it coincides with a work commute. Flash cards, spelling bees, math facts – all good car games.

  • 1101. RL Julia  |  September 24, 2012 at 9:58 am

    As someone with two older kids – as they get older – you will only be driving more. Maybe carpools?

  • 1102. cpsobsessed  |  September 24, 2012 at 10:02 am

    @40 min – I am SO getting flashcards for the car! My son will be so pissed. 🙂

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 1103. CJML  |  September 24, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    Thanks for all of the posts. At the end of the day we loved the school but couldn’t face the commute or dropping a sibling at another location so we declined. Good news is there is one spot still left at Skinner North for Kindergarten!

  • 1104. db  |  September 25, 2012 at 10:47 am

    For anyone interested, just got a call about a 1st grade spot at Ravenswood. Promptly declined.

  • 1105. karet  |  September 25, 2012 at 11:09 am

    @:CJML, One thing to consider is whether or not you are in the busing boundaries. I know you’ve already made your decision, but here’s what I’ve noticed at SN. If both parents work full-time, SN is a good option for a lot of families b/c it is close to downtown and has aftercare. If you are in the busing boundaries, it also works for a lot of families to drop the child off on the way to work, but have him/her take the bus home. If you live south of Foster, you are in the busing boundary (I’m not sure what the southern border is). My son (1st grade) takes the bus home and enjoys it, seems to think of it as a fun social thing to do.
    I think the commute is hardest on the folks who are north of Foster, and don’t have any other reason to be near SN (work, or whatever).

    CPSO, I wonder if you might post the busing boundaries for people applying to Classical and Gifted schools sometime?
    When we applied I didn’t know how the busing worked (I thought you had to be further away than 1.5 miles, and closer than 6), but it turned out we were in the boundaries for Decatur, Edison and SN (we are more than 6 mi. from D and SN). For Decatur, you have to live north of Fullerton. For SN, south of Foster (not sure of the other boundary). I don’t know about other schools.

    Also, I was looking around for those free NYC test prep questions you posted a few years ago (I used them on my son, and now I want to use them on my daughter who is testing for K this year). The old link doesn’t work any more. I found the new page:
    The “program handbooks” have the test questions.

  • 1107. NewCPSer  |  September 25, 2012 at 11:54 am

    We also received a call for a space at Ravenswood yesterday.

  • 1108. karet  |  September 25, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    Thanks CPSO! I had never seen that page about busing before.

  • 1109. CJML  |  September 25, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    @karet, thanks for the comments about busing. We definitely explored the busing option but we were out of the area (one block north of Foster.) I think the stars were not aligned for this school to work for us. Traffic was insane this morning so we were thanking our lucky stars that we have a great school and a 7 minute commute! Great resource for busing CPSO!

  • 1110. cpsobsessed  |  September 25, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    As a disclaimer, if you are on the busing borders, call and check. Things can change in CPS….

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 1111. sirrahh  |  September 27, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    Received a call this afternoon for Lincoln’s International Gifted Program. Since there is no high school it feeds into we will decline.

  • 1112. WBDad  |  October 2, 2012 at 10:50 am

    We got a call for Coonley Options K yesterday.
    Apparently some kid never showed up to take the spot, so CPS has been calling around looking for someone willing to transfer.
    We accepted, moving our daughter down the hall, joining her twin sister.
    That class now has 22 boys and 7 girls.

  • 1113. ncm  |  October 2, 2012 at 11:47 am

    @1095 – You would think that in a private with lower student to teacher ratios differentiation would be flourishing, but not necessarily. We left a private for a SE for kindergarten. The kindergarten cirriculum did not include reading or math as the same were not “developmentally appropriate”. There was no separating readers from emerging readers, no different books offered to readers, no math break outs for kids already able to identify numbers, etc. In our experience, just because you can pay for something (and have smaller class sizes and more teachers!), doesn’t make it better. For our child, the SE is proving to be a much better fit (where there are reading and math groups).

  • 1114. Lisa  |  October 2, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    @WBDad That is funny about the gender split on Coonley. Our daughter is at Pritzker Options and has 17 girls and 9 boys. What was your daughter’s score?

  • 1115. CpsUnless  |  October 2, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    My kid’s classical K class has 22 boys and 8 girls. Go figure!

  • 1116. citypoppa  |  October 2, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    We received a call today from Pritzker SES for Kindergarten. We declined. Our daughter scored a 140. I hope that someone gets the call they were hoping for tomorrow!

  • 1117. SW Side Momma  |  October 2, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    Citypoppa – What tier are you?

  • 1118. citypoppa  |  October 3, 2012 at 5:56 am

    SW Side Momma – We are tier 3. Although I don’t know if they still use tiers at this stage. It was my understanding that after the first few rounds they went to the highest scores – regardless of tier. But I am certainly not sure about that. Good luck!

  • 1119. NewCPSer  |  October 3, 2012 at 8:34 am

    I’m now seeing Pritzker options kindergarten taking scores a lot lower this year. Does anyone know why?

  • 1120. SW Side Momma  |  October 9, 2012 at 10:50 am

    @citypoppa- I think they are using Tiers, because we know of a family with a score of 141 that is Tier4 and they are still waiting. @1119 140 is still above the 99th percentile not low IMHO.

  • 1121. Lisa  |  October 9, 2012 at 10:55 am

    @1120 If that family has a 141 and is still waiting for Pritzker, they should call OAE. Both Zack and Dr. Washington told me that after the 3rd round offers are made they do not use Tiers and everyone is on one list. I am not sure how low the other SEES are. My dc got into Pritzker with a score of 141 after the 1st week of school.

  • 1122. SW Side Momma  |  October 9, 2012 at 11:02 am

    I will let them know but they are in one of the other K classes at Pritzker already.

  • 1123. arthur  |  October 12, 2012 at 11:30 am

    Got a call from Pritzker Yesterday offering a spot for my daughter which we had to turn down. Her score was 140 tier 3.

  • 1124. cpsobsessed  |  October 12, 2012 at 11:42 am

    Wow, they are really still filling these. My son got 2 new kids in his class in the past week as well.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 1125. arthur  |  October 12, 2012 at 11:47 am

    Yeah- I think it is kind of crazy that they are calling people this late in the year.

    CPSO- Did kids just leave your son’s class or were there empty seats all along?

  • 1126. cpsobsessed  |  October 12, 2012 at 11:49 am

    We added seats to our class. One family left for the suburbs over the summer and we got 4 kids in her place. Think we’re up to 31-32 now, but we managed to stay at 27-28 until 3rd grade.

    That is a lot of grading work though. If a teacher spends just 2 min a kid a night, that’s one hour right there….

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 1127. Sn  |  October 12, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    Skinner N just added a new (30th) student in one of the 1st grade classrooms this week.

  • 1128. Immigration Advice in Southend- on- sea  |  October 25, 2012 at 5:40 am

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  • 1130. Currently Paying for Private School  |  March 26, 2013 at 6:15 am

    Entering 1st Grade, Scored 98% (starting 1st grade it is a combined math/reading score), no offers. Does anybody know how they start working down the list? I’m guessing that many incoming 1st graders scored 98% or better. How do they decide who gets the first call once the acceptance deadline has passed? Alphabetical? Lottery?

  • 1131. Currently Paying for Private School  |  March 26, 2013 at 6:18 am

    Sorry. Forgot that the SEES testing still has something to do with Tiers. We are tier 1.

  • 1132. MrZ  |  March 26, 2013 at 8:16 am

    Tier 1
    Offered Pritzker

  • 1133. d-mom  |  March 26, 2013 at 10:19 am

    131 tier 4, no offers

  • 1134. New Poe Mom!!!  |  March 26, 2013 at 11:29 pm

    Tier 4
    RGC 134
    Reading 98
    Math 87

    Poe, very pleased!!!!!

  • 1135. Kirsten  |  March 28, 2013 at 10:56 am

    Tier 4
    RGC 135
    Edison Regional Gifted Center
    Did not get in

  • 1136. Kate  |  April 6, 2013 at 7:35 am

    Applied for K
    Tier 3
    Eng 98% and math 94% RC 123
    No offers

  • 1137. school score research  |  April 9, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    Has anyone seen scores for schools with neighborhood program separated out from gifted program, or are school scores listed only as a combined score?

    For example — South Loop Elem has a gifted program (phasing out) and a neighborhood program. Is there a listing somewhere to say “here is the school’s score for the neighborhood program” and “here is the school’s scores for the gifted program”.

  • 1138. cpsobsessed  |  April 9, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    @school score researcher: I’ve never seen the gifted and neighborhood broken out (don’t know why…seems like it would make sense.). I once worked backwards through bell’s numbers and determine that the neighborhood program was about on par with blaine in scores (so a strong scoring neighborhood program.). I have done it for the other schools though.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 1139. Jen  |  April 10, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    How do I choose between Coonley gifted program & Disney? I’m leaning towards Coonley bc it’s our neighborhood program but want to make sure I’m not passing up something amazing with Disney.

    Please help!

  • 1140. Johna315  |  July 31, 2014 at 11:06 am

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  • 1141. Styles_40  |  August 2, 2014 at 9:58 am

    Can anyone tell me if Carnegie RGC is a good one? Our daughter just got in so want to see if it’s a good one to send her to or keep her in private? Thanks

  • 1142. AndersonvilleMomski  |  April 2, 2016 at 5:32 pm

    Tier 4
    Math 99, Reading 99
    offered Skinner 🙂
    also offered Lasalle and Chappell

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