Learn about school options: Upcoming Dates for 2012/2013

September 8, 2012 at 10:05 am 16 comments




NPN Annual Preschool & Elementary School Fair (open to members only)
• WHEN: Saturday, October 13, 2012, Parents RSVP for 1hour time slots to help us manage attendance
• WHAT: NPN brings together more than 130 exhibitors to give our NPN member families unparalleled access to representatives of public and private schools, enrichment programs, family friendly businesses, and nonprofits. Each year, nearly 1,000 parents turn to NPN to help them navigate Chicago school search by attending this event.
• WHO: NPN Members/Adults only Event. Free admission. RSVP is required. Parent RSVP will open in September.
• WHERE: Grossinger City Autoplex, 1561 N. Fremont
• REGISTRATION: https://secured.npnparents.org/exhibitors/new/534
Parent registration opens one month prior to the event and accessible only to NPN members. Your membership must be current to RSVP. Click to renew or join.
South Side Preschool & Elementary School Fair
• WHEN: Sep. 22, 2012, from 10am-2pm
• WHAT: South Side Parents, Hyde Park Parents Support Network, and Neighborhood Parents Network jointly present this event to help south side families tackle their school search process. Exhibitors include public and private schools, enrichment programs, and citywide businesses and organizations serving south side neighborhoods.
• WHO: Open to the public. Free admission. RSVP is not required. Parent RSVP will open in August.
• WHERE: Hyde Park Neighborhood Club, 5480 S. Kenwood Ave.
• REGISTRATION: https://secured.npnparents.org/exhibitors/new/706
Parent registration opens one month prior to the event. NPN members will receive first access to register and will be notified via email. Not a member? Join today by visiting https://secured.npnparents.org/signup.
NPN Developmental Differences Resource Fair
• WHEN: February 2013, 10 am – 2pm
• WHAT: Our first school fair dedicated to improving Chicago families resources, school programs, service providers, and nonprofits that focus on serving parents of children with developmental differences. Categories of needs include, but are not limited to, sensory processing disorder,autism, ADD/ADHD, PDD-NOS, mixed receptive-expressive language disorder, Down Syndrome, and physical disabilities. PLUS 3 workshops!
• WHO: Open to the public. Free admission. RSVP is not required.
• WHERE: Gordon Tech High School, 3633 N. California Ave.

Christine Whitley Education Consulting

ABC’s of CPS Workshops Coming This Fall!

This 2-hour session will give you all the insider information you need to get started on your school search for Kindergarten. Topics include Options for Knowledge, Neighborhood Schools, Magnet Schools, Selective Enrollment Schools, and Charter Schools. You will learn how and when to apply, the lotteries, tiers, gifted testing, and more!

Only $20 per person for a 2-hour introductory session.

Check my calendar for more details


13th (Thurs) at 6:30pm – 8:30pm Margate Park Field House, 4921 N. Marine Drive

15th (Sat) at 2:00pm – 4:00pm Margate Park Field House, 4921 N. Marine Drive

20th (Thurs) at 4:30pm Green Bean Day School (Private Event)

22nd (Sat) at 11:00am College Nannies & Tutors (FREE!!! SPACE IS LIMITED)

23rd (Sun) at 12:30pm Church of Our Saviour (Private Event)

24th (Mon) at 6:30pm – 8:30pm Margate Park Field House, 4921 N. Marine Drive


18th (Thurs) at 6:30pm PRESCHOOL: CPS & Beyond Let Them Eat Chocolate, 5306 N. Damen

20th (Sat) at 2:00pm – 4:00pm Margate Park Field House, 4921 N. Marine Drive

27th (Sat) at 2:00pm – 4:00pm Multilingual Chicago, 2934 N. Milwaukee Ave.


1st (Thurs) at 6:30pm – 8:30pm PRESCHOOL: CPS & BEYOND, Let Them Eat Chocolate, 5306 N. Damen

Call or Email to RSVP

312-218-0329 or christinewhitleyconsulting@gmail.com


312.324.GPS4 (4774)

“Hidden Gems” Chicago High School Fair presented by Chicago School GPS
Sunday, September 16, 2012 @ 2-5 p.m.
Holy Trinity High School, 1443 W. Division St., Chicago
RSVP online for half price admission and a chance to win raffle prizes
Join Chicago School GPS at our High School Forum & Fair where we will introduce you to “hidden gem” public and private Chicago high school options. This event is geared to middle school parents and students. In addition to hearing from “hidden gem” high schools in a forum setting, parents can attend seminars on the high school application process, private school scholarships, and entrance test strategies, while middle schoolers can attend info sessions to hear from peers currently at these hidden gem schools. There will also be a “mini boot camp” session for middle schoolers on tackling high school entrance and interview essays. Come learn how to “widen your net” and find a Chicago high school to meet your family’s needs!
RSVP at http://www.chischoolgps.com/CSG_HS_Fair.html

“What’s on the Test?” Understanding CPS Gifted Testing & Admissions
WHEN: Thurs, Oct. 18, 2012 @ 7-9PM
WHERE: Little Beans Cafe, 1809 W. Webster
$25/person or $40/couple via prepaid online registration
Pre-Register & be entered to win RAFFLE PRIZES! $10 more @ door
Preschool & Early Elementary Parents (PK-3rd) can learn:
• Testing secrets from http://www.TestingMom.com co-founders, Michael McCurdy & Karen Quinn, Author of Testing for Kindergarten
• Navigating the CPS elementary school admissions process for Regional Gifted Center & Classical Schools
• Entrance test tips & strategies for success
• Preparing your child for testing by Lemi Erinkitola
• Q&A session
RSVP by visiting http://www.chischoolgps.com/CSG___TestingMom_10_18.html

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

Back to School Observations Sept 2012 Chicago teachers’s strike begins

16 Comments Add your own

  • 1. crystal  |  September 8, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    Is it true that OAE (or whatever it’s called now) is not going to offer an Options fair at all this year?

  • 2. Christine Whitley  |  September 8, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    Yes, it’s true. They are not holding an Options fair this year.

  • 3. IB&AC Mom (forally IB&RGC)  |  September 8, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    I registered for the GPS Hidden Gems fair. I cannot wait to see what other options we have.

    I had always planned on casting a wide net for High School, but now it will have to be much wider as I don’t know if Selective Enrollment will even be an option. My daughter ended last year with a 90% B (seriously!?!) in one of her Academic Center classes and now I find out she got the worst ISAT scores she ever has. This is even after attending a Selective Enrollment Class just to be on the safe side or increase a couple possible percentage points (at least I thought!!). Math was low 90’s and it is usually high 90’s and has been 99 more then once and reading was mid 80’s when it is usually mid 90’s. I honestly can’t believe this happened, but should have expected it. We had really hoped for Lane, but am really upset it might not be an option. She already has enough points off to not make the first round numbers for tier 4. I am not trying to brag about her former scores, just trying to explain as I really thought Lane would still be an option after the B. I could not be more upset or stressed about this.

    Does anyone know if Lane had a second round last year and if so any ideas what the cut off scores were?

    Not sure if her score would be good enough for Lincoln Park double honors, but anyone know what the cut off score for that was last year?

    Anyone else with unusually lower ISAT scores for 7th grade last year or any year for that matter?

    We will be looking at staying at Taft (hopefully IB), Charter Schools, Catholic Schools, and anything else that might be an option.

    I am just glad that there is a site like this that has helped me know of some additional options. I was lucky to find my way through CPS early on, but don’t know what I am going to do now.

  • 4. IB&AC Mom (formerly IB&RGC)  |  September 8, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    Oops. Not sure what I typed by my name, but I meant FORMERLY IB&RGC Mom.

  • 5. Christine Whitley  |  September 9, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    There isn’t going to be an OAE fair this year and OAE will probably not be present at the NPN fairs either. NPN would love to have current SEES parents stand at a table to offer experience and information to attendees. If you’re interested, let me know! Even if it’s just for an hour or two.

  • 6. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  September 9, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    Whitley seems to be offering a fair service — $20 to make sense of the mishmash of offerings that CPS does not explain well. It took me well over an hours to figure out what the difference among the various schools was and I’m still fuzzy on what a regional gifted center actually provides.

    But this stuff:

    • Testing secrets from http://www.TestingMom.com co-founders, Michael McCurdy & Karen Quinn, Author of Testing for Kindergarten

    • Entrance test tips & strategies for success
    • Preparing your child for testing by Lemi Erinkitola

    represents the bottom-feeders of the education racket. There stuff is hyped and plays on the anxieties of parents. Really, preparing your pre-schooler for tests? What “secrets” do they possess?

    There may well be useful heuristics for logic or analytical questions on graduate school exams, but what tip is going to help a 4-year-old? And how would you know? No one peer-reviews this stuff or conducts double-blind experiments. Its snake oil.

  • 7. Workingmommyof2  |  September 9, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    #6, I had the same reaction about the testing seminar.

    And even if they DID have some sort of secrets to share, and even if a child was capable of absorbing that knowledge, it seems to me that if a child is truly *gifted*, he/she shouldn’t need to be prepped for the test.

    While I realize the stakes are high for those parents who are just trying anything to get another option than a crummy neighborhood school, the idea of that sort of seminar just doesn’t sit right with me.

  • 8. HSObsessed  |  September 9, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    @3 — Sorry to hear about this turn of events, but plenty of schools will still LOVE to have a smart kid with only 1 B and scores in the 80s/90s! The LPHS brochure handed out at last fall’s open house for potential students says this: “Students should be at the EXCEEDS level in Reading (+267Scale Score) and/or Math (+281Scale Score) on 7th grade ISATs or the 85%ile on a different nationally normed test. Seventh grade June grades (Reading, Math, Science, Social Studies) should be at least a B average (no Fs).” This program has shot up in popularity each year for the last 5 years or so, and the standards go up each year, but as you can see, they’re still pretty generous. Notice how it says the student should be at 85th % for reading and/OR math. The AVP who spoke at the open house specifically said the AP/HH program was great for kids who do well in one of the subjects but are just OK in the other. Also: They don’t look at the HS admissions test, and there is no tier system involved in admissions. This is likely the program my 8th grader will be in next year.

  • 9. IB&AC Mom (formerly IB&RGC)  |  September 9, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    @8 – HSO, THANK YOU SO MUCH. That is fantastic. I feel a so much better knowing that LP double honors is still an option.

  • 10. sirrahh  |  September 16, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    I attended the Hidden Gems fair at Trinity High school this afternoon and found that I knew around 95% of the information they had to give. They had representatives from around 20 schools, a lot of them private, who gave a short (60-90 sec) spiel about their school and then booths in the basement. This was very helpful- especially for families who are realizing for the first time they might have to explore private school options.

    Then there were break out sessions. I was very excited to attend the financial aid session only to learn that there is basically nothing out there if your family makes over 50k a year.

    The only bits of real information I came home with include:
    1) more detailed info on the various tests at a presentation given by a testing agency that charges over $100.00 a hour to tutor
    2) the fact that CPS IS NOT GOING TO A SINGLE APPLICATION PROCESS this year; and
    3) How close the nearest Starbucks is. Unfortunately when the organizers said there was free parking at the adjacent church parking lot they neglected to say there was a mass going on and that the cars would be blocked until 2 hours after the program ended

    Oh- and my 8th grader will now consider Senn. She was impressed with the principal and their programs.

  • 11. Dayna  |  October 26, 2012 at 10:23 am

    I thought the “What’s on the Test?” seminar was quite useful. I don’t think it intended to play on the anxieties of parents, rather to manage expectations. There is a lot to navigate and naturally we all think are children are “gifted”. Better we go into the process knowing what to expect. And, if there are some little things we can do to make it a more comfortable process for our kids, why not?

  • 12. Arthur's Mom  |  October 26, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    Christopher Ball – I am a mother whose son is tutored by Lemi Erinkitola and I am really disgusted by your assertion that these folks “represent the bottom-feeders of the education racket”. Lemi has been the best thing that has happened to my son. I quite frankly don’t trust anyone when it comes to the education of my child. I want to do my own independent research (time permitting) and Lemi has been a god-send resource for an unbiased assessment of the school system, curriculum and outside resources for my son as well as really challenging him in ways I would never have thought of exploring with him. HE HAS SIMPLY FLOURISHED WITH LEMI! He scored very highly on the SEES test but I didn’t seek out her help for test prep – I sought out her help in making sure I was getting him the help and exposure he needed. Let’s face it – anyone in Tier 4 is not going to get a spot in SEES unless the kids are 99/99 and while he was 99+ on math and he wasn’t so for English. What am I to do — just let him sit around in Kindergarten learning his numbers AGAIN when he is doing advanced math. He was already acting out because the preschool program was “too slow”.

    Your comment makes me sick – especially when Lemi uses the money she makes tutoring in her work tutoring underprivileged kids on the south side. I have seen her in action on Saturday with these underpriviliged kids and someone should be giving her a medal not having someone with no frame of reference – like you – calling her a bottom feeder.

  • 13. Mother of J & J  |  October 27, 2012 at 10:25 am

    @6..I too use Lemi’s services for my 4 year old twins. All I want is the best for my son and daughter. Although they knew a lot going in, I believe that Lemi’s tutoring, since the beginning of the summer, has been VERY benificial for the both of them. They’ve learned way more than I anticipated or could have imagined. And, I don’t necessarily consider it test prep per se. I see it as giving them a larger knowledge base to pull from when it’s time to take the SEES test.

    I believe my son has a lot of the GIFTED qualities. However, I’m not going to stand on the sidelines and not make every effort within my power to ensure that he or his sister could possible obtain a seat in one of these special programs. And, even if they don’t score as well as they need to or are not chosen, the tutoring will at least allow them to have a leg up in whatever school they attend.

    Lastly, I am an educated professional working mother. And, I am offended that you would call Lemi’s services or the other programs as “bottom feeders”. They are helping children and families have a better chance at obtaining one of the very few seats that could be a game changer in a childs’ life. As we all know, the neighborhood schools aren’t always the best.

  • 14. Chicago School GPS  |  October 30, 2012 at 6:40 am

    We firmly believe that the more parents know going into their school search, the better the outcomes for their family. To that end, we added two new dates for the seminars below:

    If you are a middle school parent (5th-8th) wanting to learn about your (public & private) HS options, join us on Nov. 5 at Alcott HS where we’ll cover admission criteria and what to expect on the entrance exams for various types of schools (CPS only has one for SEHS, but we will cover parochial & independent school exams, too).

    If you are a PreK to 3rd grade parent wanting to know about CPS SEES (Gifted & Classical) Testing and Admissions, join us on Nov. 17 at DePaul University to learn tips and strategies and what to expect in those programs and on the tests. http://www.chischoolgps.com/CSG___Elem_Gifted_11_17.html

  • 15. ChiSchoolGPS  |  November 19, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    Procrastinators rejoice! We added two admissions seminars just for you!

    The Elementary Admissions seminar will cover public & private admissions and touch on all the various application processes, including CPS Magnet & Selective Enrollment schools. The seminar is on Saturday, Dec. 1 from 1-2:30PM at IIT’s campus. Pre-registration required. http://www.chischoolgps.com/CSG_Elem_Overview.html

    The High School Admissions seminar will cover public & private high school admissions and touch on which schools require testing, which do not, how to fill out the various application forms and timelines. The seminar is on Sunday, Dec. 9 from 3-4:30PM just west of downtown and seating is extremely limited so pre-registration is required. http://www.chischoolgps.com/CSG_HS_Overview.html

    CPS Application due date is December 14, 2012, so come on out and get a Last Minute Primer on the various programs out there!

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