2013 High School Letters being mailed this week

February 20, 2013 at 12:49 pm 1,456 comments



Info from our friends at ChicagoSchoolGPS on high school letters.  I get the sense that parents want to start obsessing already.  Any speculations on how things will go down this year?  Can the cutoffs for the top schools possibly get any higher?  Will any previously off-the-radar schools be at the top of people’s lists this year?  Will we have the threat of a fist fight like we did last year between readers?


ChicagoSchoolGPS emailed CPS and was told the letters will be “sent” by Feb. 22, which means that they may not arrive until this weekend at the earliest. I know they added an additional week of SEHS testing on Jan 26 and there were 2 testing sessions per day at some locations so the numbers of applicants was pretty high.

There will be a separate notification letter for each centralized program that your child applied to, ie. one for SEHS, one for IB, one for Magnets, one for CTE, etc. The SEHS & Military Academies will indicate zero or one offer, and the IB, CTE & Magnets will indicate zero, one or multiple offers.

Schools with their own applications (Lake View, Alcott, Lincoln Park Fine Arts & Double Honors- now changed to some form of IB, etc) are supposed to notify this week as well.

First round CPS acceptances are due by March 12.

For those interested in learning what to do next, and what’s available should their choices not pan out, as well as Principal’s Discretion for SEHS, we invite you to join us for our “What’s Next? Decisions After Notifications” seminar at Alcott HS on Thursday, 2/28 at 7PM. We will also talk about private and parochial school options and next steps. http://www.chischoolgps.com/CSG_HS_What_s_Next_.html

Entry filed under: High school. Tags: , , , , .

The costs & savings of closing CPS schools (guest post with Seth Lavin) RYH Benefit Thursday 2/28 – please come by!

1,456 Comments Add your own

  • 1. RL Julia  |  February 20, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    Anyone want to make some predictions on what this year’s test scores, matters of intrigue, etc… will be?

  • 2. EdgewaterMom  |  February 20, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    I can’t imagine how anxious many families are this week! I feel anxious and my child won’t be going to high school for a few more years!

    I don’t have any predictions, but I am very curious to see what the cut-offs will be this year.

  • 3. cmf  |  February 20, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    Before Jones announced the expansion, I would have predicted that the minimum score to get in would be higher than Whitney’s this year. Jones seemed to be 1st choice among many kids who I would have thought would choose Northside, Payton or Whitney first. The buzz on Jones has amplified over the last year.

  • 4. RL Julia  |  February 20, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    Here are my predictions:
    Tier 4 Northside and Payton scores Stabilize or actually go down a few points.
    Tier 4 and Rank scores for all other North side schools increase (Whitney, Jones, Lane)
    Big jump in Rank and Tier 4 scores for Westinghouse
    Tier 3 scores for Payton, Northside inch up a few points with bigger jumps seen at Whitney, Jones, Lane and Westinghouse.

    There is some sort of problem with Jone’s admissions – people are confused, people are complaining….

    Have no idea about the Southside SEHS’s but here goes:
    King’s scores go down slightly.
    Lindblom’s scores go up with non-tier 4 kids still scoring higher than tier 4 kids.
    Minimum scores for at least ONE Southside SEHS will break 800 (best bets Lindblom or Brooks)

  • 5. cpsobsessed  |  February 20, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    Speculation that Von Steuben will be more top-of-mind this year?

    I’m also curious to see if parents embrace the neighborhood options at Lake View, Senn, and/or Amunden.

  • 6. Mayfair Dad  |  February 20, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    @ RL Julia: I’ll be interested to see if the demographics continue to diversify at Westinghouse, my candidate for the-next-hot-school. Aso curious to see how enrollment at the new Disney II Magnet High School will work, slated to open in September and no location assigned yet. Is this the year that cut-off for Tier 4 is a perfect 900 at Northside College Prep?

  • 7. cpsobsessed  |  February 20, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    This is sounding a bit like an intellectual version of The Hunger Games (which I just finished and surprisingly loved.)

  • 8. cmf  |  February 20, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    RLJulia –

    Curious about admissions problems at Jones – can you elaborate?

  • 9. RL Julia  |  February 20, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    CMF – can’t since this is a prediction and I have no inside information – I am just thinking that given the new building, the expanded class size, the inclusion of kids by geography that something’s gotta annoy someone… and/or a mistake made.

  • 10. anon  |  February 20, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    If anyone finds out when CPS mails them, it would be appreciated. Last year, I think they mailed them on Friday–which meant delivering them to the mailroom on Friday–so they didn’t even go out until Monday.

  • 11. HS Mom  |  February 20, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    @8 – there are no problems. Admission is the same. Some people did not like the fact that Jones expanded. The CTE program is separate from the selective enrollment admissions.

  • 12. AC IB mom  |  February 20, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    RL, I really hope Lane scores don’t go up for tier 4. Last year was such a drastic jump up and the OAE told me there was not even a second round for them last year. I am anxiously awaiting that letter, knowing it will be likely that with her B she doesn’t get into any SEHS that she applied to. Also, knowing that letter probably won’t be mailed at least for another week.

    Has anyone checked with the OAE to see when they thought they would go out?

  • 13. cpsobsessed  |  February 20, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    Chischoolgps was told by 2/22….which as noted, in the past meant they didn’t mail until saturday and arrive starting monday.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 14. Thorp Mom  |  February 20, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    @AC IB mim, what other schools did you apply for outside of Selective enrollment?

  • 15. Esmom  |  February 20, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    It seems that each year for the past few years, more neighborhood students are going to Lakeview, simply because there’s so much more competition for the SEHSs. Still I don’t think it’s the first choice just yet for most people in the area.

  • 16. mom2  |  February 20, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    I am rooting for Lakeview HS to become a great alternative to SEHS and IB programs. Great neighborhood, amazing sounding new programs, limiting the non-neighborhood kids that can apply (need a higher ISAT stanine, I think), etc. Everyone should give it a try. If parents that care start sending their kids there, then more will send their kids there and so on and so on…

  • 17. My 2 Cents  |  February 20, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    I am a nervous wreck! On another note, I called OAE and they told me that IB/CTE letters were “in the process” of going out. She confirmed that SE’s wouldn’t go out until Friday. So, I dare say, we may have mail by tomorrow.

  • 18. HSObsessed  |  February 20, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    Jones’ average admissions scores, Explore score (freshmen) and ACT/PSAEs have all been going up steadily these past few years. However, due to the increase in number of SE spots, SE cut off scores might go down a little this year. On the other hand, if a lot more kids rank it higher on their preference list, as is entirely possible, their cut off scores may actually go up.

    Also, the Jones Explore and ACT/PSAE scores may go down somewhat due to the addition of 75 proximity admissions via the CTE program.

    I’d still like to know exactly how they’re admitting kids under the CTE program. If there were more than 75 kids who applied from within the boundary, do they make an offer to the top 75? Is there a minimum standard that has to be met, like no Cs in 7th grade, or is it open enrollment for those within bounds? Anyone in the know?

  • 19. anon  |  February 20, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    I don’t know but we applied to Jones CTE outside of boundary as well as SE.

  • 20. Jones Parent  |  February 20, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    @18 – CTE is based upon 600 points vs. 900 SE. The difference being no SE exam. Students will be admitted top down (highest scores) with no consideration for tiers. Students within the boundary specified will receive first consideration any openings left to go citywide. May go multiple rounds. There were over 1,000 applications for 75 spots.

  • 21. anon  |  February 20, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    I don’t know but we applied to Jones CTE outside boundaries as well as SE.

  • 22. JonesMom  |  February 20, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    #18: Jones CTE applicants must meet the same minimum standards as students applying for admission to Selective Enrollment High Schools. According to Dr. Powers, Jones received around 1000 applications for the 75 spots. He did not know how the 1000 applications were split between those students living within the boundaries and those not living within the boundaries. The offers will be made first to those students living within the boundaries who have the highest scores, based on the 600 points (ISATs, 7th grade grades), with no consideration to tiers. Dr. Powers said there will be considerable effort to keeping Jones “Jones” and maintaining the Jones culture, even in light of the expanded admission.

  • 23. EdgewaterMom  |  February 20, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    @16 Mom2 I completely agree with you! I think that some of the neighborhood schools that are considered ‘marginal’ could become great schools if neighborhood kids with decent grades start attending. But I also completely understand that it is a bit of a gamble to be part of the first wave that starts the trend.

    I am very curious to see what kinds of students Lakeview, Senn, and others attract this year.

  • 24. HSObsessed  |  February 20, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    Thanks JonesMom and Jones Parent. Good info. I still don’t understand how the minimum standard is set, though. I assume all those within boundary applying to CTE also included Jones on their SEHS list. So, can a kid living within boundaries get two offers from Jones, one from the CTE program and one from the normal SEHS process?

    Also, are you/Dr. Powers saying that if a proximity applicant doesn’t meet the criteria to even test for SEHS, then they cannot be admitted to the CTE program?

  • 25. HSObsessed  |  February 20, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    And yes, we applied for the CTE from outside of bounds as well as ranking Jones on the SEHS app.

  • 26. mom2  |  February 20, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    @23 EdgewaterMom – I agree that it is a gamble to be first at one of these schools. I really wish there was a way to get a large group of real neighborhood kids from the surrounding schools to agree to attend together. Come to the school, meet with the parents, have them all sign up at the same time to see that they are not alone. That would be the best way to make it happen.

  • 27. anon  |  February 20, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    #24 yes–I think that is true. That is why there were several neighborhood families that complained. I think that they will skim off the kids who get in via SE, and then offer them to the CTE so there will not be two offers but who knows–that could be complicated.

  • 28. RL Julia  |  February 20, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    So really what Jones should do is admit the highest ranking CTE kids first (where tier doesn’t matter) and then admit kids to the SEHS second in order to maximize on “merit” slots – since there are probably a lot of kids who applied to Jones both ways. I’d love to see the final breakout by tier and race of the CTS acceptances. Wonder if this will drive Jones numbers up or down…. oh the intrigue!

  • 29. Chicago School GPS  |  February 20, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    The HS Letters obsession is definitely starting to build and here’s some more info to share:

    CPSOAE said that “District counselors must project students to their 9th grade school by the end of April, but they will be strongly encouraging students to narrow their choices and choose one school/program to accept during the month of March. Note that the Confirmation Forms will need to arrive at OAE or the school by March 12. Projecting students in March rather than late April has benefits–schools will know how many offers have been declined and can quickly extend those seats to students on their wait list (magnet) or next in their ranking (IB and Military). High schools will know sooner how many students they will have in the fall and begin to prepare for them, and fewer students will be switching schools in September! If a counselor projects a student to a high school and the student is offered a seat later through Principal Discretion or a wait list, for example, the counselor can change the projection very easily. There is no reason to wait to decide which offer to accept.
    The Principal Discretion process will begin around the first week of March. The Handbook about the process will be posted on the OAE website the week the Notification Letters go out.”

    Good luck, everybody, and remember, there is movement after the first round letters (but, alas, not for every school). And Lake View, Senn, Von Steuben, Ogden, Westinghouse, etc are all building in buzz.

  • 30. local  |  February 20, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    Chicago Schools GPS: Could you find out the answer to this Jones question? Inquiring minds want to know!

    “I think that they will skim off the kids who get in via SE, and then offer them to the CTE so there will not be two offers but who knows–that could be complicated.”

    CPS has to know how this will be done.

  • 31. Chicago School GPS  |  February 20, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    Inquiring minds definitely want to know- including mine! I will see what I find out but I also find the posters here are extremely plugged in so someone may find out before me. Please keep us all posted!

  • 32. HS Mom  |  February 20, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    @24 – This is the problem. Speculation. Yes, the requirements are the same as SE – meaning a minimum 5 stanine. A family in the area has priority access to the CTE program. The selective enrollment process is completely separate. Both applications are handled by OAE (or whatever the new name is). If a neighborhood student gets a SE offer from Jones based upon their points/tier/ranking that will have no bearing on a CTE offer – they get in the Selective Enrollment way. If they don’t receive a selective offer they may receive a CTE offer. I don’t know if the student will have a choice if they prefer CTE over SE. I guess the assumption would be that they’d pick SE first. That would be speculation on my part.

  • 33. local  |  February 20, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    @ 32. HS Mom | February 20, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    Thanks! That’s what I thought (and hoped).

  • 34. RL Julia  |  February 20, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    @29 – The high school acceptance process is relatively straightforward and there are not a ton of changes. It is the elementary school acceptance process that ties OAE in knots.
    @32 I doubt that OAE would extend two offers to the same kid for the same school.

  • 35. Steph  |  February 20, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    We went through this last year with my daughter. So much pressure! I didn’t realize how much until the acceptance letter came and I broke down in tears! College application process? We’ve got this! Good luck to all students and parents. The next few days will feel like several years waiting for those letters!

  • 36. HS Mom  |  February 20, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    RLJ – I don’t know if they can get 2 offers but I do know that neighborhood kids will get into the SE program the same way as always and that they are 2 separate applications. Neighborhood is mostly tier 4 so they are likely to get high scores in both programs.

  • 37. RL Julia  |  February 20, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    So the CTE process is sort of like the tier 4 version of the program that admits 25 extra low income kids into Northside, Payton and Whitney every year – but without the extra tutoring money ? Might need to revise my predictions about Jones Tier 4 acceptance numbers….

  • 38. HS Mom  |  February 20, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    @37 I’m not sure how you get that. Tier 4 cutoffs are pretty high. Someone who just misses the cutoff and wants to go to Jones would likely get in through CTE.

  • 39. local  |  February 20, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    From everything official I’ve read about it, I believe the Jones SE and the Jones Pre-Law/Pre-Enginering career program are separate programs. They have two different criteria. Each requires its own application. Two offers can be made if a student applied to both. The student decides which he wants. No?

  • 40. anotherchicagoparent  |  February 20, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    Jone’s CTE ( I believe they are calling it CAC now) also has a minimum cut off score determined by the school right?

  • 41. local  |  February 20, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    I’m wondering if 8th graders who reside in Chinatown inside the Jones CTE boundaries and who met the Jones CTE admission requirements applied en mass. I would think the Jones CTE would be a new, excellent option for students living in the Chinatown neighborhood.

    I wonder how many CPS 8th-grade students live in the Chinatown area (2012). How many students now in 6th through 7th grade live in the entire Jones CTE catchment area. How many of those are likely to meet the 5 stanine. Did CPS or Fioretti calculate this?

  • 42. anotherchicagoparent  |  February 20, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    Sorry I can’t edit my bad spelling above.Some CTEs/CACs are selective based on minimum stanines and cutoff scores. I believe this is one reason Jones chose pre-engineering.

  • 43. HS Mom  |  February 20, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    From the Jones website, hope this helps. Still doesn’t answer the “2 offers” question but it appears that someone getting into SE and preferring law/engineering would have that option.

    “Each program consists of an academically rigorous, four-year, Honors level course of study. Students will be enrolled in one Pre-Engineering or Pre-Law course per year as part of Jones’ award winning Honors and Advanced Placement curriculum. In addition to in-class study, students will be exposed to real world opportunities such as internships and job shadowing. ”

    “Each year, 75 total seats will be set aside for students applying through Jones College Prep’s CTE admissions process. Additional seats in each program will be set aside for students admitted to Jones through the Selective Enrollment admissions process – i.e., once enrolled in Jones, students admitted via the Selective Enrollment admissions process may request the opportunity to enroll in Pre-Engineering or Pre-Law programs.”

  • 44. HS Mom  |  February 20, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    @41 good point – Kids from our school living in China Town were disappointed about getting into Lane (from a commute standpoint) and would have jumped at the chance to go to a selective school near their home. Think too that the addition of this program would open up space at other schools.

  • 45. cpsobsessed  |  February 20, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    Is it possible that with more expanded options this year that cutoff scores would actually go down? Maybe some students would opt for a less rigorous option?

  • 46. Chicago School GPS  |  February 20, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    I have half the answer from CPSOAE regarding Jones SEHS & CTE offers:
    “For Jones, for a student who applied for both programs, if they are selected for the Jones SEHS program, they are removed from the applicant pool for Jones’ CTE programs. However, after they enroll in Jones, those students may enter the Pre-Law or Pre-Engineering programs if they wish.”

    Jones’ SEHS & CTE relationship is a great perk that Westinghouse also has between its SEHS & CTC programs: Health Sciences, Broadcasting, Technology/Oracle & Business. I was VERY impressed with the kids in the competitive summer intensive program whereby they worked side by side with doctors and researchers at Northwestern downtown. Kids in that program applied from both the SEHS & CTC tracks at Westinghouse and it seemed as though there was a mix of students from both tracks.

  • 47. Westrogersparkmom  |  February 20, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    I really really really like Senn and would love for my kid to go there. At the IB info session they talked about how they have progress reports at 3 weeks and work with the kids to adjust to high school – they don’t believe in 0s for late assignments and realize that one bad semester can keep you out of top colleges. Part of the reasons kid ended up with a B was due to 0s if assignments were left in her locker.

    Unless lightening strikes my guess is we will be picking between Senn and Taft.

  • 48. AC IB mom  |  February 20, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    I hate when I forget to click notify me for follow up comments!

    @14 Thorp Mom, My daughter is at Taft in the AC so she can stay there and is guaranteed to be in the IB Diploma program so my net didn’t have to be cast as wide as it would have if she didn’t have that option. I basically only applied to schools she would possibly attend over Taft. Pretty much just Jones, Whitney, and Lane. I of course would be happy with any of them, but realistically Lane is the only one she has a chance at. Oh, and we also applied to Lincoln Park, but with the commute and rigor of the program I really questioned her going there (though she did not get a invite to attend the meeting anyway). We figure it will be Lane or we will apply for PD at Jones.

  • 49. AC IB mom  |  February 20, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    I didn’t know there was even the option to apply to Jones (CAC or CTE or whatever it is) from outside the boundaries.

  • 50. Lala  |  February 20, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    They get mailed feb 18 it’s on their website

  • 51. Thorp Mom  |  February 20, 2013 at 8:08 pm

    @AC IB mom,

    Thanks for the info I was curious to kinda get an idea what schools students were applying. Just like you, we applied to SE and IB. Does anyone know any facts about Ogden? I too was not aware of the new program at Jones.

  • 52. cpsobsessed  |  February 20, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    That is “the week of feb 18th.”. If anything had gone out on the 18th someone would have a letter by now. Not that the whole city is checking in here, but still… 🙂

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 53. nervousblainekid  |  February 20, 2013 at 8:21 pm

    Just checking in here, but I’m an eighth grader at Blaine and its unbelievable how nervous everyone is for their letters. I’ll be checking in on Saturday to share some news!!

  • 54. IB&AC Mom (formerly IB&RGC)  |  February 20, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    Good luck Nervous Blaine Kid! Hope you have good news, but if you don’t know that it is most likely this crazy process and that it is up to you to make the best out of whatever school you end up at.

  • 55. IB&AC Mom (formerly IB&RGC)  |  February 20, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    Thorp Mom, are you around Thorp? I live near there and our high school would otherwise be Shurz.

  • 56. Thorp Mom  |  February 20, 2013 at 9:02 pm

    @AC IB mom, my local high school is Forman and we are definitely not doing that. If my daughter is not selected for any SE or IB programs this fall, she will attend Trinity For girls.

  • 57. wonderingperson  |  February 20, 2013 at 9:12 pm

    So if someone where to get accepted to Jones from the SE would they get the chance to apply for the Pre -Engineering Honors Program or Pre-Law Honors Program?

  • 58. IB&AC Mom (formerly IB&RGC)  |  February 20, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    @Thorp Mom, Good Luck! I didn’t look at as many Catholic schools as I wish I would have. I really did want to see Trinity. I only went to a couple as I couldn’t get past the idea of all that tuition. I know there is assistance, but we are in that area where we make too much, but not enough to actually have money to pay tuition.

  • 59. sirrahh  |  February 20, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    On the day of the application deadline I ended up applying my kid for Rickover and Mather CTE. We never attended the info session for Rickover but we did receive a letter today accepting her to the Law & Public Safety and Information Technology CTE’s at Mather. The letter was dated February 18th. Interestingly enough the letter states that once you accept one ‘academy’ you are removed from consideration for all others, including those where you are waitlisted.

    We also applied to Jones CTE but there was nothing about that on the letter. When we applied I thought it was a lottery if you qualified and not based on scores. If I had realized it was based on scores I wouldn’t have bothered.

  • 60. Thorp Mom  |  February 20, 2013 at 9:46 pm

    @AC IB mom, thank you and the best of luck to you as well. Believe me we are definitely praying she is accepted at one of the school we applied at. It would be a sacrifice for us but I’m praying it doesn’t come down to that. If anyone applied to the Honors program at LP the letters were ready today and hopefully they will be mailed by tomorrow.

  • 61. IB&AC Mom (formerly IB&RGC)  |  February 20, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    How do/did you apply for double honors at LP? I only saw the IB option.

  • 62. Thorp Mom  |  February 20, 2013 at 10:17 pm

    @ AC IB mom, there was an application on the LP website that needed to be printed, filled out by the school and mailed in directly to LP. The acceptance letters come directly from the school.

  • 63. IB&AC Mom (formerly IB&RGC)  |  February 20, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    Go figure. I had always thought if you don’t make it into IB you would then be considered for DH. I really like the idea of the DH program, especially if IB wasn’t for you, and I think she would have done well in double honors, but again that would be a quite a commute for her since there is no easy way for us to get there so I am not too broken up over it.

  • 64. | District 299: The Inside Scoop on CPS  |  February 21, 2013 at 9:00 am

    […] 2013 High School Letters being mailed this week CPSObsessed:  Can the cutoffs for the top schools possibly get any higher?  Will any previously off-the-radar schools be at the top of people’s lists this year?  Will we have the threat of a fist fight like we did last year between readers? […]

  • 65. anotherchicagoparent  |  February 21, 2013 at 9:10 am

    @63 I do believe that is how LPIB/DH it was done a couple of years ago until CPS centralized applications.

  • 66. Mitch  |  February 21, 2013 at 9:16 am

    Nothing yet

  • 67. RationalRationing  |  February 21, 2013 at 10:14 am

    In a (probably futile) effort to allay the nerves of parents / students, as well as the resurgent interest in the meandering postal courier, a trip down memory lane to last year’s thread here
    might be enjoyable. It got up to 562 comments (and then I think was followed up by a second and third post with similar banter.)

    Unless practices or personnel have changed at CPS OAE, expect the letters to arrive in the middle of next week. The “week of Feb 18” apparently means a late dump into mail bins Friday or even Saturday night and picked up next Monday. The sadistic logic of this ritual – when virtually every applicant uses an email to apply, and therefore could be informed uniformly and efficiently — makes no sense to me.

    I do like to peek in (although I now have a sophomore) to see how the scores shake out. One tidbit to note is that Walter Payton’s class size varies from year to year, although I think might be trying to stabilize this. But if they do what they’ve done for the last decade, the class of 2017 will be its largest in the last 4 year – about 260, about 50 more than last year. So this might drop the cutoff a point or so in tiers 3 and 4.

  • 68. HS Mom  |  February 21, 2013 at 10:21 am

    @57 – wondering – Yes you can. I wish they had it earlier. Would have been perfect for us.

  • 69. anotherchicagoparent  |  February 21, 2013 at 10:22 am

    @67 One could even begin to wonder about the sadistic logic of having these letters arrive the week right before ISATs every year.7th graders watch as some kids break down on the playgrounds as they do not get into their top school of choice.Than under intense pressure have to take the ISATs the following week Ugh but it is the same cycle over and over every year.

  • 70. RL Julia  |  February 21, 2013 at 10:53 am

    About a third of my 8th grade class didn’t come to school the day after they got their letters last year….

  • 71. RL Julia  |  February 21, 2013 at 10:54 am

    my son’s 8th grade class that is..

  • 72. Tulason  |  February 21, 2013 at 11:02 am

    Any parents of Chiarts applicants who received callbacks told they would receive an email in addition to a letter? That’s what we were told, so hoping we will know by end of day Friday….sigh…

  • 73. Leggy Mountbatten  |  February 21, 2013 at 11:30 am

    We really need that one year where 50- plus kids from Bell, Blaine, Burley, Alcott, Nettelhorst, Hamilton and Audubon go to LVHS so that we don’t have to have Golan moving on speed dial once little (Insert pseudo-Gaelic girl’s or boy’s name here) don’t get into one of the SEHS’s.

  • 74. cpsobsessed  |  February 21, 2013 at 11:34 am

    Totally agree about the group on 50 kids from those well regarded elem schools heading to lvhs together wld be the tipping point.
    I think some parents still need to mobilize to make that happen though. That stamp of parent approval is the final piece in the puzzle that many parents need.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 75. local  |  February 21, 2013 at 11:41 am

    How do parents discuss school “choice” with their 8th graders before making the selection and while awaiting acceptance/offer letters from HSs?

    I wonder because I know how flimsy some (many?) HS seniors’ thought processes are when choosing and setting their hearts on certain colleges/universities.

    There’s a marketing and herd mentality that colleges increasing rely upon. Could this be happening in Chicago at the HS level? — To answer my own question: I don’t think so. There is such a stark, stark division between “acceptable” HSs and “not acceptable” HSs, that school choice is really do or die, it appears.

  • 76. Leggy Mountbatten  |  February 21, 2013 at 11:43 am

    I think you had a helpful post with a spreadsheet showing where the SEHS got their kids from, and it listed Lakeview HS; there were only a few kids apiece from the schools I mentioned, to which my wife asked “where the hell are all those kids going to High School, then”? Even after we counted the number who made it into SEHS, the number still didn’t add up, leading me to believe that many are now going to Glenbrook north or Hinsdale High.

    Doesn’t Blaine have something like 3 or 4 first grade classes? Where are all those kids going to go in 7 years?

  • 77. local  |  February 21, 2013 at 11:48 am

    @ 57. wonderingperson | February 20, 2013 at 9:12 pm

    I would seriously doubt that. I wonder if anyone knows the answer. I would assume that “giving” a CTE seat to an SE student at Jones would piss off the CTE community.

  • 78. JonesMom  |  February 21, 2013 at 11:58 am

    Dr. Powers has said that students admitted through SE admissions (including, for example, students who already are at Jones now) may be able to take some of the CTE pre-law and pre-engineering courses as electives, depending on space availability. I am not sure all the details have been worked out yet.

  • 79. local  |  February 21, 2013 at 11:58 am

    Oopsie! I stand corrected: “Additional seats in each program will be set aside for students admitted to Jones through the Selective Enrollment admissions process – i.e., once enrolled in Jones, students admitted via the Selective Enrollment admissions process may request the opportunity to enroll in Pre-Engineering or Pre-Law programs.”

    Yep. That would piss me off if I were a Jones neighborhood family.

  • 80. west rogers park mom  |  February 21, 2013 at 11:58 am

    @72- Tulason. My kid applied to Chiarts as well and we were notified of callbacks via email. Wondering if we will hear by email either way or if it is just an acceptance? ? Can you post when you hear either way and what conservatory(s) your child applied for? I’ll do the same. Whatever happens with the school my kid had a blast during the audition process and the fact she was called back was a boost to her self esteem. She said most of the kids she met didn’t have it as their first choice. A lot of them preferred SEHS or CAA.

  • 81. local  |  February 21, 2013 at 11:59 am

    So, would the SE student take a seat in the CAC/CTE program, or would then just take a course in the CAC track while retaining their SE seat?

  • 82. local  |  February 21, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    What does “additional seats” mean? You’d think CPS would want to make this crystal clear: “Additional seats in each program will be set aside for students admitted to Jones through the Selective Enrollment admissions process …”

  • 83. JonesMom  |  February 21, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    #81: I received this information at a presentation for current Jones parents, so some of the questions being raised here (dealing with new students next year) were not addressed. But, as to students currently in Jones, if they wanted and depending on space availability, they may be able to take certain courses as electives, as opposed to all the courses in the four-year program (which includes an internship, I believe, in the final year).

  • 84. local  |  February 21, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    @ 46. Chicago School GPS | February 20, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    Thanks for the research! Still, it’s unclear. If would think that a student who obtained an offer for both Jones SE and CAC should – should! – retain the CHOICE (remember “school choice” rhetoric?) to choose the program they really want.

  • 85. local  |  February 21, 2013 at 12:12 pm


    49. AC IB mom | February 20, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    “I didn’t know there was even the option to apply to Jones (CAC or CTE or whatever it is) from outside the boundaries.”

    Yes. If the CAC program does not fill with in-boundary students, then the out-of-boundary applicants will be considered.

  • 86. pantherparent  |  February 21, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    @73 That’s the same discussion we have on the far NW side. What if all the top kids from Oriole, Edgebrook, Norwood, Edison, etc. stayed in the neighborhood and went to Taft? It would become a top high school almost immediately. But parents, myself included, are not willing to pioneer that.

  • 87. jp  |  February 21, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    On Jones:
    1. No demographic study was done by CPS or the Alderman in setting the neighborhood preference boundary for the CTE program. CPS would not share their data nor would they reveal how many applicants there were from inside those boundaries of the reported more than 1000 applications they had.
    2. On publicity of the Jones CTE option CPS did a late rollout of the plan. Their own deadline for community reveal was March. They didn’t have the guidelines or boundary establish in time to include it in the high school book or fair. Jones advocated anyone applying to their SE program to also apply to the CTE so it is very likely the majority of the applications this year came from students looking for a second shot at getting in.
    3. In order to apply the student had to meet the same standards for magnet application to HS. The same ranking is used as selective except no selective exam. In the announced policy CPS stated that all “qualifying” applicants in the preference boundary would be get slots first based on the same system they use for the academic centers, i.e. list them in order of points. The only catch is that in their roll out they said Jones had the right to select a minimum cut off score. So does Jones set the minimum cut off score at a level where you need straight A’s and ISATs in the 90th percentile for example so say 250 applicants in boundary are reduced to 25 qualifying? With over 1000 applicants and a worry at Jones that CTE students might drag down their numbers it seems Jones has every incentive to place their minimum cut off as high as possible, negating the value of the neighborhood preference. Certainly next year with the program established and properly publicized as an option I think they will easily have 3,000 or more applications as there is no downside. It will be very interesting to see how many in the boundary applied.

  • 88. HS Mom  |  February 21, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    local – the only difference between the SE and CAC is that the CAC student takes 1 engineering/law class per year. Otherwise they take all honors classes and they are in the same classroom as the SE program. It will be a matter of how many other kids want to take law/engineering, if they can fill a class, if they can get the instructor etc.

  • 89. local  |  February 21, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    @ 88. HS Mom | February 21, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    Yes. The new CAC program has opened an alternative route in to Jones for neighborhood students and will deliver substantially the “same” educational experience for the students who are not in the servery disabled program. The big difference seems to be in the admissions route, not the actual academic programming once admitted.

  • 90. local  |  February 21, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    excuse typos

  • 91. RL Julia  |  February 21, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    @87 – totally agree.
    @86 – if every kid in my neighborhood’s elementary school attended it- there would be serious overcrowding problem – ditto for Taft, I expect….

  • 92. local  |  February 21, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    @ 87. jp | February 21, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    Whoa. That is some hinky info!

  • 93. interested9  |  February 21, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    86 you are right. I have high hopes for the IB program for all next year at Taft. But too little too late for this Tier 4 family. Paying tuition for private hs and glad to to so.

  • 94. pantherparent  |  February 21, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    @91 True. Overcrowding would be an issue at first, but over time the neighborhood kids would supplant the kids coming in from afar. But it’s not going to happen, even with Taft going to wall-to-wall IB next year. SEHS and Catholic schools will continue to skim the cream from the top.

  • 95. mom2  |  February 21, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    Regarding this discussion on Taft or Lakeview and having the elementary neighborhood school kids going straight to those schools…I know I would gladly send my child to either of those schools IF (but only if) I was positive that at least 10 kids from each of those schools were going with him/her. Once you are certain that they will have a base group of friends coming from similar backgrounds (and I don’t mean race, I mean educational focus), I’d be all over that. I wouldn’t even hesitate.

  • 96. Hopefulparent  |  February 21, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    No letter in mail today. So anxious.

  • 97. cpsobsessed  |  February 21, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    @Leggy: Blaine likely has 3 classes per grade so about 90 kids. My sense from talking to someone from Bell was that close to half the kids in the neighborhood program 2 years ago got some kind of selective spot (not bad!) So imagine that Blaine and other LVHS feeder schools have at least 30 kids who don’t get an SEHS spot and are not set (by their parents) on going private. Still a pretty large number! There are probably 10 who will go to the local school regardless. So maybe 20 left. Where do they go… great question.

    My sense in the past is that they find private schools in the city. My ex-neighbor’s daughter commuted up to Loyola Academy on the north shore which I thought was insane (but I think several city kids carpooled.) I have to imagine that some families move, but I haven’t known of any sizable exodus. It certainly crosses my mind though. If I’m sending my son to a new giant high school and he has to make new friends, perhaps it should be in Evanston or Oak Park. Or a real suburb. Noooooooo. Can’t see it happening but I do think about it. Please people, we need to make this happen! I can’t live in Elmhurst!!!!

  • 98. TB  |  February 21, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    @ #72- My daughter went to call back auditions at ChiArts, but we were not told anything about email acceptance notifications in addition to the letter. That would be wonderful. Their website says letters will go out March 1st, and I am not sure if my daughter can wait that long!

    For now ChiArts is her number one choice, then Jones, Payton and Northside. I also really liked what I saw at the open house at Lakeview. Their arts “STEM” program is also on our preferred list.

  • 99. cpsobsessed  |  February 21, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    @TB: what did your daughter audition for? I am a thwarted stage mom, so trying to start planting the seed for that… 🙂

  • 100. Tulason  |  February 21, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    @80 West Rogers Park Mom and 92 My son did get email and written letter notification for callback. I believe when I spoke to the admissions person she told me they would be emailing for acceptance in addition to written letter but not sure if she meant email for acceptance and rejection. Yes, I saw on the website it also said March 1st. Definitely a first choice school for my son so we are hopeful with the callbacks but trying to prepare ourselves in case it doesn’t work out. Good luck….will keep watching this thread!

  • 101. Chicago School GPS  |  February 21, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    IB letters are being received today (a friend just reported his son’s acceptance to LPIB). The letter simply states whether there was an offer made and includes a confirmation form to send back by March 12. I believe the school itself will send a separate letter within a day or two. That letter will outline more specifics, including registering for classes, summer programs, etc. Veteran parents can give better details for that.

  • 102. pantherparent  |  February 21, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    @95 mom2 I’d be right there with you. But how do you make that happen? Perhaps that’s why JC Brizard (remember him?) hinted at eliminating SEHS thus making the local school the best (only) option for families that couldn’t afford to move or afford private high school.

    I think he and the mayor realized pretty quickly that closing down Payton, Northside, Lane, although perhaps better in the long run, would look pretty stupid.

  • 103. TB  |  February 21, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    @cpsobsessed: Visual Arts. She also plays music and we encouraged her to audition for the music program, but she had no interest. I was so incredibly impressed by the ChiArts info sessions, called Backstage Passes. The were far more organized than any other school we visited, and they were very thoughtful about the presentations.

  • 104. ICSJ mom#1  |  February 21, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    Just received what I think is an IB letter but I’m not opening it until my daughter gets home…..right? Is that the right thing to do? It’s killing me to not open it! Don’t open it, right?!

  • 105. Mitch  |  February 21, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    @ICSJ Mom#1. Too funny!! I could picture you holding that letter up, tempted yet trying to overcome it!! I’d be in the same boat I I weren’t at an office today…I’m biding time, just reading the comments. BTW, don’t open it!!

  • 106. Elizabeth  |  February 21, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    @ICSJmom#1 – open it! I just did and I’m embarrassed to admit that my hands were/still are shaking. My daughter and I had plan though, we agreed that I should open it. I would have anyway though. This week is and continues to be torture on all of us. But she did get in LP IB, our very strong back up so I feel somewhat relieved at the moment.

  • 107. 8th grade mom  |  February 21, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    @104; I guess I’m a bad mom, because when we were there last year (I’m no longer an 8th grade mom) we tore in to those letters as soon as they arrived.

  • 108. TB  |  February 21, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    My daughter has given me permission to open the letters as soon as I have them in my hands.

    How are your kids doing with the pressure? My daughter is surprisingly calm. I am trying to be the same in front of her, but am feeling pretty anxious. The anxiety around the time of the SE test and the arts audition were high for her, though.

  • 109. Leggy Mountbatten  |  February 21, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    #97 from that spreadsheet, Bell does send about half the kids to SEHS’s, but remeber that many of those kids are from the gifted program, and don’t come from the LVHS attendance area to begin with; i wish we could see where the “gen pop” kids from Bell go…

    and to everyone else, remember – the cream of the crop is getting, well, creamier; there are fewer 8th grades at Bell, burley, blaine, Audubon, etc. than there are 1st graders, so if you think the competetion for the SEHS’s is bad now, if there are no changes, then it’ll be akin to hitting powerball.

    Of course, only 5-10 years ago, who was sending their kids to Hamilton, Coonley, Mayer, Alcott, Nettlehorst, Burley, Blaine? Certainly very few in the neighborhood, the attendance stats back that up. And whereas you used to be able to “backdoor” your way into some of those schools through preschool pretty easily, now that’s no longer available, and it’s why you’re seeing better numbers for schools like Prescott.

    the quality of LVHS, along with Lincoln, taft, Senn etc. will mean a great deal as to whether the city can mainatin its tax base and attarct and keep skilled, 21st century workers.

  • 110. Thorp Mom  |  February 21, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    @ Elizabeth, if you dont mind me asking. What was your daughter’s overall score?

  • 111. cpsobsessed  |  February 21, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    Well, a bell parent told me that about the neighborhood kids – about half getting in selective meaning IB, von stueben, etc.

    Won’t all show up on that sheet.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 112. Elizabeth  |  February 21, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    @Thorp Mom – I have no idea. In order to preserve my sanity and hers, I wouldn’t even play the numbers game and actually vowed to stay off of CPS obsessed for the duration but couldn’t help myself today. I just kept telling her she did all she could in 7th grade and now it was out of our hands.

    She and her friends have been on pins and needles all week and I can see the effects of the stress on my daughter in her mood and maybe (I hope not) in the rash on her neck this morning. It’s not right, but almost nothing about CPS is at this point.

  • 113. HSObsessed  |  February 21, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    Wow, so letters have begun to arrive. Now the anxiety really begins, and the CPS Obsession mounts. I’m not even sure how many letters to expect. I think the SEHS letter as well as one each for Jones CTE, LPHS fine arts and Alcott. I also submitted an app for von Steuben through the magnet means but then never heard anything about an essay, so I don’t know if that will be processed or not. We went to ChiArts BackStage Pass and agree it’s a great opportunity for the right kid but decided not to go through the app process. Sooo we’ll see. We’re in the LPHS boundary and that’s my DD’s first choice right now, but we’ll see what she thinks once she finds out if she has any other opportunities.

  • 114. murraymom  |  February 21, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    I got a CTE letter yesterday (four waitlisting, one no), but haven’t gotten the selected enrollment letter yet.

  • 115. MD  |  February 21, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    @109 Curious…what is a “gen pop” kid in your reference to Bell

  • 116. RL Julia  |  February 21, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    general population? as in non-regional gifted program kid would be my guess.

  • 117. cpsobsessed  |  February 21, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    Gen pop is the kids in the neighborhood program (not in the regional gifted program class).

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 118. MD  |  February 21, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    @116 & 117 Thank you! I will probably be able to fill in the blanks regarding where many of those students end up…but need the letters to arrive first.

  • 119. RationalRationing  |  February 21, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    Uh, yeah, the connotation of the term “gen pop” for those of us who’ve done hard time (or, as in my case, watched a lot of movies involving such things) might be better replaced by “neighborhood” when referring to elementary school kids….

  • 120. cpsobsessed  |  February 21, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    What does “gen pop” mean? In sampling terms it refers to general population.

    Which has no positive or negative connotation.

    Not sure how it was used when you were in the big house…

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 121. west rogers park mom  |  February 21, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    And to top it all off there is a winter strom scheduled to arrive tonight that could slow down mail delivery tomorrow.

  • 122. west rogers park mom  |  February 21, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    For anyone waiting on Chi Arts check you home answering machine. Just called in on a whim and my kids was accepted to their Music program ! ! ! Who calls a home phone these days other than CPS for robo-calls?

  • 123. Leggy Mountbatten  |  February 21, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    #119 Someone needs a bit of a sense of humor, since I don’t think anyone would consider the kids who live in the Bell District to be stereotyped as future/present prisoners, unless they’re goign into local politics…

  • 124. HSObsessed  |  February 21, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    @122 – What is the Chi Arts music program? I understood from the open house that there were programs in dance, musical theater, regular theater and visual arts. Is there an instrumental music program as well?

  • 125. HSObsessed  |  February 21, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    @ 122– Also, congratulations!!

  • 126. Tulason  |  February 21, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    Congratulations West Rogers Park mom!

  • 127. west rogers park mom  |  February 21, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    HSObsessed- They do have a music program- both instrumental and voice. My kid was accepted to voice.

  • 128. local  |  February 21, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    120. cpsobsessed | February 21, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    General population.

  • 129. parent  |  February 21, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    email acceptance from chiarts for dance.

  • 130. TB  |  February 21, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    My daughter was accepted to the Visual Arts program at ChiArts! We received both an email and a call. Did not receive anything from IB or SE programs, but because her first choice is ChiArts, it doesn’t really matter anymore.

  • 131. junior  |  February 21, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    For all you parents who lack self-control:


  • 132. SR  |  February 21, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    For those of you who received emails from ChiArts, did you just get them this afternoon?

  • 133. HS Mom  |  February 21, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    @127 FYI we know the voice teacher at Chi-arts and she is fabulous. Also well connected to the music world. Congratulations to you and all the others.

  • 134. parent  |  February 21, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    @132. yes.

  • 135. cmf  |  February 21, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    LPIB offered for my daughter. For those looking for cut offs: we are not in proximity and her score was 895. Now we wait for the SE letter. She loved the LPIB teachers and will have a tough decision to make if she gets a SE offer.

  • 136. Family Friend  |  February 21, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    @59 sirrahh: Last year (can it be only a year ago) when I was helping my protege and her best friend choose schools, Rickover was more than accommodating to our requests for meetings, special tours, etc. I absolutely loved Rickover, even though neither of the girls ended up there (both were accepted). The principal is extraordinary.

  • 137. HS Mom  |  February 21, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    Junior, that was great. Never know when someone will check the saliva DNA, can’t be too careful!

    It was an incredible moment for my son to open his own mail and announce the results to us. As long as you prepare them on how to handle a rejection and get them on board with all the schools that they apply to. We visited each school and determined how it would be a fit for us.

  • 138. cpsobsessed  |  February 21, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    When did you guys first bring up the concept of high school admissions to your kids (if you can remember.) Obviously the conversation needs to happen prior to 7th grade. It makes me ill to even broach the dysfunctionality of it.

  • 139. cpsobsessed  |  February 21, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    Also, I may get a chance to get on a call with OAE in the next few days so let me know if any questions. If about Jones, keep it simple because I still can’t get my head around that one!

  • 140. Family Friend  |  February 21, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    @51 Thorp Mom: I can’t claim to a lot of knowledge about Ogden, but I was impressed enough for that to be my protege’s selection until she was offered a last-minute chance to attend GCE. I liked the teachers. I believed they would give attention to each student, and try to help each student live up to his/her potential. They have outside funding for every freshman to take a time management course that lasts the entire year. I would have been happy to have her there.

  • 141. parent  |  February 21, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    To Chiarts people how live north, especially west rogers park mom, have you thought about transportation?

  • 142. Family Friend  |  February 21, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    @75 Local: I completely agree that there is a stark difference between “acceptable” and “non-acceptable” high schools. But I think there are more than a handful of acceptable high schools — really good high schools — and if parents really apply themselves, learn about what works, and stay open to something other than SEHS and top IB programs, the child of every parent on this forum can have a good public school choice.

  • 143. HS Mom  |  February 21, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    CPSO – we started in 6th grade. We went to a couple open houses just to get a feel. The experience helped boost confidence and sparked an interest in doing well in class. We looked at a wide range of options and choose our SE options carefully (at the time there were only 4). One of his favorite open houses was Von Stuben so we applied to scholars and magnet and he really liked Westinghouse. Including 4 SE schools and 2 charters we applied to a total of 9 programs. I did not have to set him up for disappointment because he was happy with all and we were assured of getting into something on the list based upon his grades and scores going into the process. The other big advantage to starting early is that we did get to see all the schools. It would be impossible to attend all the open houses in one year.

  • 144. TB  |  February 21, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    @141: I am dreading the transportation aspect. We are currently in Edgewater, but we are renters and our lease runs out in May. When I look at potential new apartments, I will also check in on CTA trip planner to see the commute times. It would be great to have her commute under an hour.

    I have also heard that some north side ChiArts parents go in on a transportation company van to get their children to and from school, so I am trying to locate that information to see if it is an option, the costs involved, etc.

    The other possibility I was thinking about is to try to come up with a car pool schedule with other north side families.

  • 145. cpsobsessed  |  February 21, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    @142 HS Mom: Thanks for the info! So you never felt like you had to get into the “what if I don’t get into any of these” mode? That’s where it gets weird. and what if he asked about the local high school (amundsen.) Not sure what to say about that yet. Could be an option in 4 years…. I guess for now I’d just say we’ll definitely consider that one too, since we will. I like your approach. Somehow I envision having to do a brain dump about the crazy process but I guess that will unfold over time. I feel better doing the facts-of-life talk than the facts-of-CPS-high-school talk!

  • 146. SR  |  February 21, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    Really hoping for a Chi Arts email yet this afternoon….thinking they may be only emailing those who are accepted…..so we may have to wait for the paper letter if it is a rejection.

  • 147. west rogers park mom  |  February 21, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    Re: Chi Arts transportation- There is a private bus service out there that we will probably utilize. I don’t know the details but will probably find out this weekend when I get a chance to see a mom of a current northside Chi Arts freshman. To be honest I have a lot of ‘research’ to do. We didn’t attend the Backstage Passes in the fall and I didn’t do much research into the school because I thought it was a longshot. I do know the building is moving for the 2015 school year to Malcolm X college, which is near Whitney Young.

  • 148. HS Mom  |  February 21, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    145 – yes, he had a favorite but was (surprisingly actually) equally prepared to do something else, they all sounded good. The other component that comes into play is that the classmates talk about different schools and there is a whole status thing going on. Fortunately, that had no effect on him.

  • 149. ICSJ mom#1  |  February 21, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    @cmf – How did you find out her score? Mine did get an LPIB offer…whooo hooo! I waited and she opened it herself….ahhh…I’m ok now. But, it didn’t show her overall score. I still don’t know how she did on the SEHS entry exam.

    Also, @cpsobsessed, I think you need to introduce the idea that straight As are what you need to get used to back in 5th grade (no mention of high school…just, this is what you’re capable of, doesn’t it feel good to work hard and A’s to show you’re putting your best effort in?”. Get in the habit of straight A’s (good, solid study habits) in 6th grade, so that in 7th grade there’s no big surprise that straight A’s are what you need. There will end up being stress if your kid is a generally A-high B kid. Sorry, but it’s true. We all started out saying we weren’t going to be “obsessed” about it, but guess what…it happens. Good luck!

  • 150. nervousblainekid  |  February 21, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    Got into LP IB this afternoon score is 595/600 if anyone is wondering

  • 151. MayfairAM  |  February 21, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    Got a CPS letter today saying that my applicant will not get offers from the IB schools applied to. Amundsen, Senn and Lincoln Park. We did not go to any of the open houses required. Just thought I would post to let people know that some letters are going out.
    Also had an email from Von Stuben Scholars program saying that they are having a program this Saturday for applicants. As of now my eighth grader has an offer from Ignatius, but is waiting to hear from the SEHSs.

  • 152. SR  |  February 21, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    Phew! Acceptance email received for Chiarts :0

  • 153. HSObsessed  |  February 21, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    @138 cpso – When DD was in 6th grade, I told her that SE high school admissions depended on 7th grade ISAT scores and grades, and suggested that she use 6th grade to study, do homework diligently and practice getting straight A’s so that it would be “easy” to do so in 7th. (If my own mother told me that when I was in sixth grade, I would have looked at her like she was crazy but we do what we have to do.) At some point I explained the tier system to her and how SEHS admissions works. Underlying all this was constant talk about how great it was that we have LPHS as our neighborhood school and that lots of kids who graduate from her grade school love going there, kids from all over the city apply to go there, etc etc. That has truly been the key to keeping stress levels way, way down and it would be nice if every child and parent in the city had that reassurance.

  • 154. RL Julia  |  February 21, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    Didn’t talk much about high school stuff but because both my kids went the AC route- they were sort of hip to it- and by 7th grade they knew that they should try and do well in school because it would increase their options r.e. high school. Mostly we talked about some of the different options and what was realistic and ascribed to the following mantras: “it’s the kid that makes that school not the school that makes the kid” and “you can get a good education anywhere if you are motivated to do so. You can also waste time anywhere and not be educated – it’s up to you”. Life is what you make of it.
    It seems like a lot of kids really have a hard time realizing how much their grades matter in seventh grade (boys!) or conversely go completely overboard with grade obsession (girls!).

  • 155. MayfairAM  |  February 21, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    Yay! For you Blaine kid!nervous no more!

  • 156. Nancy  |  February 21, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    We got an IB acceptance to the new Back of the Yards school today which is our safety school. What does everyone think of the IBs across the schools, are they pretty much the same or do they vary greatly depending on the school/area?

  • 157. HSObsessed  |  February 21, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    ICSJ mom — Good to hear I’m not the only one who used that tactic of “practicing” for 7th grade!

    nervousblainekid — Congratulations!!

  • 158. nervousblainekid  |  February 21, 2013 at 5:24 pm


  • 159. cpsobsessed  |  February 21, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    yeah, congrats NervousBlaineKid — very impressive results – you must have worked really hard!

  • 160. cpsobsessed  |  February 21, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    Okay, I rarely read the click-stats but this time of year it gets interesting. So far 13 of you devious parents have clicked on “how to open a sealed envelope” . 🙂

    I think next year I’m going to sell a fake CPS envelope with a fake postmark that parents can use to re-seal the letter once they open it during the day.

  • 161. cmf  |  February 21, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    ICSJ – the IB scoring rubric is on the cpsoae website. I’ll add a link below but have no idea if it will work. The selective enrollment exam has no bearing on IB offers. IB is a 900 point scale, 450 from 7th grade grades and 450 from ISAT.


  • 162. LP  |  February 21, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    For those who keep asking about how people know their IB score – its easy to calculate as the only unknown variable at this point is the SE test score.

    600 is the base for IB
    -1.5 points per point down from 99 on the ISAT
    -25 points for a B
    +50 for living in boundary

    FYI I believe I read here that 590 was the LP IB cutoff last year. Several people on this thread have gotten in this year with a 595.

  • 163. HSObsessed  |  February 21, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    @162 LP – I think it’s actually a 900 or 950 point system this year, as explained in the document that 161 cmf linked to. So for those who have received IB letters this year, do they give a score based on a 900-point system?

  • 164. auju  |  February 21, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    IB letter rec’d today as well as ChiArts Vis phonecall & email.

  • 165. HS Mom  |  February 21, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    to the mom’s above. wondering, do you think it’s wise to tell your kids that they have to get straight A’s in seventh grade if they have never had straight A’s before…… just wondering how you do that without adding stress.

  • 166. southie  |  February 21, 2013 at 6:06 pm


    “@75 Local: I completely agree that there is a stark difference between “acceptable” and “non-acceptable” high schools. But I think there are more than a handful of acceptable high schools — really good high schools — and if parents really apply themselves, learn about what works, and stay open to something other than SEHS and top IB programs, the child of every parent on this forum can have a good public school choice.”

    Probably not so much for southsiders. It’s just the facts.

  • 167. anon  |  February 21, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    I think the Chiarts van is just something that some parents got together. If my child decides to go, I hope that we can arrange a carpool situation.

  • 168. North Center Mom  |  February 21, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    We explained the CPS system to our son just before 6th grade started. We layed it all out, explained that it is deeply flawed, but so are a lot of things in life. Straight A’s were always within reach if he cared enough to do the little extra things to get himself there. You may call it “stress”. We called it “motivation”. Seventh grade was a long year. But it permanently changed his work habits and expectations for himself.

    My own personal stress is that I sold him a bill of goods. After all of that hard work, will he get any reward?

  • 169. mom2  |  February 21, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    Don’t you think the reason why HSObsessed and many other parents are fine with LPHS as at least an acceptable backup plan (if not more) is because of the way the school was previously structured? They had a neighborhood program but also had drama program and a double honors program and an IB program. So, besides the general base of kids, it attracted “quality” kids from around the city. Therefore, the stats go up and it looks better on paper. Then more parents want to give it a try, etc.

    So, if they add IB and double honors or similar type of special and selective programs to Lakeview or Senn or wherever, so it attracts better students (with the status of being in this “selective” program), the school will start to look better on paper and more people will just come to the neighborhood program because the school seems like a great place.

    They have to do things like this before they will get many of the neighborhood parents to be willing to take the chance on the school. It’s all about statistics and status to many parents. (and of course, safety being number 1 before anything else – so no gangs or at least no talk of gangs)

  • 170. relievedinRogersPark  |  February 21, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    I can sleep tonight! My son got offer from Lincoln Park IB today. Very happy as it was his first choice (even over the SE schools). He really likes the program and the commute will be doable. Still waiting to see how the SE’s shake out anyway.

  • 171. SoxSideIrish4  |  February 21, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    #138~We never really talked abt high schools. We mostly talked abt colleges. I expected my kids to get high grades not bc I’m mean, but bc they could do it. Our n’hood elementary school has two tracks and both of my kids were on the advanced. My oldest did the ac route and my youngest will prolly follow him to the same school~however, he may decide to go elsewhere.

    **Both of my kids new early on that neither would attend our neighborhood school~Morgan Park High School~that would never be an option.

    #165~HS Mom~I don’t see how kids who weren’t getting straight A’s in school could all of a sudden start getting them in 7th grade. I agree, I think that would be too much pressure.

  • 172. parent  |  February 21, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    My daughter says our letter indicates acceptance into Taft, Amundsen, Senn, and Lincoln Park IB. Acceptance ChiArts and Mather CTE . . . Is the Jones CTE on the same form as the Mather would be? We applied to Jones CTE and SE.

  • 173. SoxSideIrish4  |  February 21, 2013 at 7:19 pm

    2 Charter HS may close

  • 174. parent  |  February 21, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    @169 I am surprised and thrilled that my daughter got into LPHS IB. I think it is the best academic program in the city and I have another kid in an SE high school but LPHS IB was not a good fit for him. The problem is whether she will have time for other things..

  • 175. Veryhappymom  |  February 21, 2013 at 7:52 pm

    Just got our SE letter today! Son got accepted into Lane Tech our 3rd choice school. Tier 3 868 very happy!

  • 176. Thorp Mom  |  February 21, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    Daughter received acceptance to LP and Ogden IB today. Nothing yet for SE…

  • 177. yahoo  |  February 21, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    @175. wow those letters are out? did anyone else get one?

  • 178. Chicago School GPS  |  February 21, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    Congrats, veryhappymom! You have a Verypunctualmailman!!

    If folks are interested, I am trying to gather data to gauge this year’s HS Notification season. The more folks who fill out this survey (anonymously), the more useful the data will be. It encompasses public and private notifications, so please fill it out if you can! We will publish results when we get enough responses to make it meaningful.


  • 179. cpsobsessed  |  February 21, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    Yeah – that was the first SE letter sighting! Woohoo! And congrats.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 180. yahoo  |  February 21, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    @175 what were the other two schools? just trying to figure out the cutoffs. thankx

  • 181. 8th grade parent  |  February 21, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    @175 – Whoa!!! An SE letter, already? Would you mind telling us the first letter of your last name? “A,” I hope…. (and congratulations!!)

  • 182. Lakeview Dad  |  February 21, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    Having gone through this process last year, I have an envelope theory: Black CPS logo = bad news. Blue CPS logo = good news. Anyone else seen this phenomena?

  • 183. cpsobsessed  |  February 21, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    Well, this is fascinating. I got a list of the Bell class from last year and where the kids when to HS. It’s interesting to see the range of schools – and turns now no, there wasn’t a suburban exodus. There appears to be options for everyone somewhere in the city for the most part. Did someone say they’d be fine with LVHS if 10 kids from every school in the area sent 10 kids. Here ya go… 15!

    Alcott 1
    Chi Arts 1
    Chicago Jewish Day 1
    Gordon Tech 4
    Illinois School for the Deaf 4
    Jones 2
    Josephinum Academy 1
    Lake View 15
    Lane Tech 11
    Loyola Academy 2
    Lincoln Park 11
    Maine Township HS 1
    Noble St Charter 1
    Northside College Prep 19 (15 options, 4 neighborhood)
    Payton 6
    Rickover Naval 1
    Senn 1
    St. Ignatius 1
    Taft 1
    Trinity 1
    Von Steuben 7
    Whitney Young
    Unaccounted for 1
    Total 102

  • 184. HSObsessed  |  February 21, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    Whoa, now it’s really getting exciting. Congrats to all who have had good news already! Nothing here yet.

    @165 – if your kid has no chance of getting all A’s I would personally go the route of simply encouraging him to work as diligently as he can, do his best, etc. and start looking into/thinking about realistic options for him (based on your tier and his past ISAT scores), and get comfortable with those program/s and be ready to show support and enthusiasm for those schools and programs. If we didn’t have LPHS I would have cast a much wider net and would have been happy to look into and be ready for other options. This is an area in which I feel that a CPS school consultant could come in very handy, if people are feeling overwhelmed.

    @169 – I agree that high schools can start attracting more diverse populations by offering special programs, and that’s what they’re now doing. Lakeview has STEM, Senn has fine arts and IB, Taft and Amundsen have IB. I’m predicting that all those schools will go the route of LPHS within only a few years, given the bubble of high-achieving kids who are coming up through the ranks of CPS.

    Off topic, but did anyone else get a call from the U. Chicago/Joyce Foundation with an opinion poll on CPS issues? I spent about 20 minutes tonight sharing my opinion about everything from school closings to the teacher evaluations and more. Kind of interesting.

  • 185. Lala  |  February 21, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    SE letter came accepted to north side college prep….896 tier 3!!!!!!!!! 😀

  • 186. cpsobsessed  |  February 21, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    Okay, so do we have to cut OAE some slack for getting the letters out before friday night??

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 187. Leggy Mountbatten  |  February 21, 2013 at 10:23 pm

    19 kids to Northside is impressive. Thanks for the stats, it will be interesting to see the same numbers for Lvhs from the other feeders.

  • 188. cpsobsessed  |  February 21, 2013 at 10:25 pm

    These were parent-collected I believe so not sure we’ll see the same for other schools unless someone organizes it.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 189. MayfairAM  |  February 21, 2013 at 10:25 pm

    @184 yes I talked to that survey last night. I thought the questions were very thoughtful.

  • 190. SR  |  February 21, 2013 at 10:27 pm

    @184 I did the survey last week.

  • 191. mom  |  February 21, 2013 at 10:30 pm

    weird how a few folks got the letters . .. i would think that if they were mailed out yesterday, more people would be reporting? does anyone have word of mouth information to report?

  • 192. second time around  |  February 21, 2013 at 11:55 pm

    Well, we got an acceptance to Taft IB and I am very happy as it is 5 min from our house. I am a big believer in turning that school around – it’s location alone should make it an excellent option. My daughter however is waiting on her SEHS letter and hoping for Lane. We shall see how that pans out. Mailman stalking again tomorrow I guess.

  • 193. DaveMom  |  February 21, 2013 at 11:59 pm

    Highschool news tonight:

    On February 20, 2013, the Morgan Park High School Local School Council entered into a four year Principal Contract with Dr. Carolyn D. Epps. We are delighted to welcome Dr. Epps to Morgan Park and look forward to working with her in continuing the Tradition of Excellence that IS Morgan Park. Thank you to the entire Morgan Park Community for your support. We anticipate Dr. Epps joining us at Morgan Park within the next few weeks.

  • 194. CB  |  February 22, 2013 at 12:02 am

    8th grade just got an offer from LP IB. No word yet from the SE. We have a 10th grader at a SEHS. Considering the massive amount of homework per night and stress we may choose a Catholic HS for our son which has good academics but is not the constant pressure cooker we have been experiencing for years. We are now questioning if this is all worth it with our second child. Wondering if it will really matter in the long run anyway. Hope to be out of Chicago by the time the third gets to HS.

  • 195. IB&AC Mom (formerly IB&RGC)  |  February 22, 2013 at 12:09 am

    @CB, I am curious what SE school? I would guess LP IB would have equal to the amount at the top SE’s if not more. My daughter is smart, but not the most motivated which is why we are now wondering where she will end up (she got a B in 7th, and of course it was a 90% B). She has Taft IB so we are happy we have that option and while it is an IB program, I am sure the amount of homework is similar to what she is accustomed to at the AC there.

  • 196. CB  |  February 22, 2013 at 12:34 am

    Lane Tech, but she is determined to take all honors or AP classes because the kids think it is expected based on all the pressure they have been under for years. She averages 4-5 hours of sleep per night during the week. She does participate in a sport though. Lots of homework on the weekend. Not every kid goes through this though. My son scores well but not always the most motivated. May not be the best fit for him. What I have learned from this process is to know what is the best fit for your child. It may be the best school but it is not for everyone!

  • 197. IB&AC Mom (formerly IB&RGC)  |  February 22, 2013 at 1:14 am

    @CB, I appreciate your feedback. It is always good to hear from parents with kids going to the schools that we are waiting to hear back from!

    I can’t believe letters are out already. Now I am getting anxious. And I will open it before she gets home. She is not expecting to get into to any of the SE schools she applied to because we know the scores, but she still will be extremely disappointed if that is indeed the case. We are both really hoping for Lane.

  • 198. Leslie  |  February 22, 2013 at 5:00 am

    My son @ Blaine got acceptance to LPIB today – probably first choice, but no SE letter yet – and am going out of town tomorrow – what a process – oy vay – impossible not be get “cps obsessed” with all the stress. Reading the blog helped my addiction!

  • 199. anonymouse teacher  |  February 22, 2013 at 7:23 am

    @CB, why does your daughter only get 4-5 hours of sleep each night?

  • 200. anotherchicagoparent  |  February 22, 2013 at 8:43 am

    We also only received the IB letter. Offers to Lincoln Park IB and Taft IB. No SE letter and have heard nothing about anyone getting one.If they did mail them already I would be impressed.:) I’ll have to keep checking back today to see if anyone receives one.I won’t know until later. Best of luck everyone!
    Just thought I would share, info for current freshman parents Jones Prep is taking 40 sophomore transfer students next year info on their website on how to apply.

  • 201. Onemoremom  |  February 22, 2013 at 9:58 am

    Are the LPIB offers for the diploma track only? Will there be another letter for those who qualify for what would have been double honors last year?

  • 202. mom2  |  February 22, 2013 at 9:58 am

    @CB – We love Lane (great “real high school experience” with very nice kids and mostly great teachers), but have similar experiences with the amount of homework. The AP and honors classes are over the top when it comes to homework. Maybe not every day, but often. Add a sport on top of that and you end up staying up very late getting homework done. I think they could bring that down a bit and still have great results and students that stay awake in class :).

  • 203. RL Julia  |  February 22, 2013 at 10:04 am

    CB – I totally agree about fit. Good luck to all!

  • 204. CB  |  February 22, 2013 at 11:25 am

    Despite the heavy load, my daughter LOVES Lane too. In response to the question about homework, she usually has an hour of homework in each class. There is no study hall periods at the school. Does not start homework until she gets home from her extracurricular around 6:30 and begins work at 7 PM which takes her to past midnight on several nights. She is up at 6 AM to start her day. Of course the extracurricular is not mandatory but most kids want to participate in a sport or club. Once again she is enrolled in all honors and two AP courses so this will not apply to all.

  • 205. Tommy  |  February 22, 2013 at 11:28 am

    This is why my kids are in a Catholic school – all about instruction , and community . My kids sit with -next to whoever the teacher says they should. There is no selection and every mixes and learns

  • 206. RationalRationing  |  February 22, 2013 at 11:37 am

    186 – I’ll cut CPS OAE some slack if MOST of the SE letters arrive today or tomorrow. My money is that they’ll be trickling in all next week. Which is probably even more sadistic, as some kids getting letters and some kids not throughout the week makes for some xanax-inducing drama.
    But it would be great to be wrong for a change, instead of smh

  • 207. mom  |  February 22, 2013 at 11:42 am

    It depends on the child. My son is a junior at Lane and is on a varsity team. He takes some honors and two AP classes. He is nowhere as industrious as CB’s daughter and expends minimal efort and has a very active social life and gets inconsistent grades. He probably spends an hour or two tops on homework a night. He does much better in the honors and AP classes.

  • 208. Mary  |  February 22, 2013 at 11:56 am

    Our experience at Lane has also been over the top in terms of homework load. We dropped down to regular math and will likely do the same for science next year, because the honors and AP homework loads are extreme. There seems to be little choice but to lighten the courseload. My daughter has always had almost unlimited enthusiasm for school, but I see that changing and it worries me.

  • 209. local  |  February 22, 2013 at 11:58 am

    Ok, here’s my suggestion: Parents & child should read “How to be a High School Superstar” by Cal Newport. It’s the smartest strategy for staying sane and seriously college-eligible during the HS years I’ve ever read. http://www.calnewport.com/books/highschool.html

  • 210. local  |  February 22, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    Hey, parents of 6th graders, I seriously recommend you read How to be a High School Superstar now. Given the nature of CPS HS crap shoot, it’ll help your strategy, imho.

  • 211. cpsobsessed  |  February 22, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    @local, the name of the book sounded icky to me but I have to admit when I read about it on amazon it sounded good — reviews from kids saying it helped them realize they could pursue what interested them instead of just following the crowd in terms of achievement.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 212. local  |  February 22, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    “Just thought I would share, info for current freshman parents Jones Prep is taking 40 sophomore transfer students next year info on their website on how to apply”

    Wow! That is hot news. Any info on all the other SEHSs? Chicago School GPS, we need you!

  • 213. local  |  February 22, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    Yes, “How to be a HS Superstar” is an odd title, and I’m always making apologies for it. Still, the m.o. is brilliant. I know, b/c back in the day, I took the same route to fame and fortune (haha). A well-lived life via educational options. 😉 Cal Newport’s recommendations will keep your kid sane and amazing. 🙂

  • 214. local  |  February 22, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    “How to be a HS Superstar” is a nice chaser/palate-cleanser after reading ‘The Overachievers: The Secret Lives of Driven Kids” (& I see the seeds of overachieving in many CPS teens I know) by Alexandra Robbins.

  • 215. cpsobsessed  |  February 22, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    An old boss of mine who lives on the north shore did a ton of research to figure out how to maximize a kid’s chance at getting into an Ivy League school (the be all and end all for her.) Somehow she determined that swimming was the best entry sport (something about it being not totally team focused) so her kids were both swimmers. Then she determined which Ive League schools would have the best shot given their swimmer rankings (very good, but not the total tops.) She did get them both into Ivy Leagues – through the most intensive helicopter parenting I have ever witnessed (bordering on creepy and unethical given the extent to which she would “help them edit” their reports/papers/projects.”)

    One kid succeeded and is now heading to grad school. The other never could cut it and/or be independent. He stayed 5 years and never graduated and finally got a job at my old company, thanks to mom pulling some strings. And she still takes him a Starbucks to his cubicle some days. Ack!

  • 216. local  |  February 22, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    For the Ivy-obsessed (gotta start early): http://www.ivygateblog.com/2009/01/how-to-get-into-an-ivy-league-school-a-step-by-step-guide-featuring-testimony-from-a-real-live-silver-spoon-legacy-and-a-racial-minority/

    There are other parts (I through V?).

    Make sure to place tongue in cheek.

  • 217. Chicago School GPS  |  February 22, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    Jones is the most forthcoming of the “hot” SEHS that do take transfers, but depending on the case, the others do take transfers. Some may only do out of state transfers though, and very few at that. Jones and Westinghouse have a more straightforward process that is more open to current CPS students.

  • 218. local  |  February 22, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    Here’s more: http://www.ivygateblog.com/tag/ivygate-guide-to-admissions/

  • 219. local  |  February 22, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    “Out of state transfers” – What the hell?

  • 220. nope300  |  February 22, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    215 That is exactly why i eased off my son around 5th grade. He needed to gain and now has his own internal motivation for getting things done. He is doing very well in hs. I don’t chase him, I hate edline and made it his responsbility not mine. He is a great guy and definitely a person you would like to meet. I don’t think the helicoper thing works in the long run. Do you want your kid living in your basement as an adult?

  • 221. cpsobsessed  |  February 22, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    Silly, kids living in the basement is only for those who can’t afford to pay their rent on a nice downtown apartment!

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 222. relievedinRogersPark  |  February 22, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    I think the biggest reason for Jones increasing the number of transfers next year is the opening of the new building. Rahm announced that they are keeping the old building open and will now have two campuses, significantly increasing their enrollment. They need to spread that enrollment across the classes, but it will probably be harder for 11th and 12th graders to assimilate.

  • 223. Second time around  |  February 22, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    Well Lincoln Park Fine Arts and DH/AP letters came today and now I have many good back up options between two days of mail. Still no SEHS letter though.

    I will agree with the dad who posted between blue and black CPS logo on envelopes. Yesterday’s IB letter came in a blue logo envelope and today’s Von Steuben letter (not accepted scholars and wait list on Science) came in black logo envelope. Hmmmmm

  • 224. relievedinRogersPark  |  February 22, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    I am going to at least semi-derail the blue vs. black envelope theory. IB letter (offer from LP, Senn, Amundsen) came with the black logo…

  • 225. yahoo.  |  February 22, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    no–we got acceptances and they were blue logos.

  • 226. west rogers park mom  |  February 22, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    @Second Time Around what did the LP letter say? Just wondering because my kid applied to those programs as well. Is LPDH/AP based on scores or lottery?
    And out of curiousity I’m wondering if anyone was invited to and attended info sessions and wasn’t accepted at any IB programs.

  • 227. yahoo.  |  February 22, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    sorry– i meant black!

  • 228. AC IB mom  |  February 22, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    Same goes for us, offer to Taft IB in black logo as well. We were of course expecting that one.

  • 229. AC IB mom  |  February 22, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    Any more news today? If you don’t mind, please post school, score, and tier as usual.

  • 230. SoxSideIrish4  |  February 22, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    My girlfriend’s son is a Jr at Cornell (Ivy league)~he never would have went there if University of Chicago didn’t put him on a wait list…he did get in but had already decided w/Cornell. My sister in law pays so much for her daughter’s college~it’s obscene. I’m not Ivy-Obsessed, but I’m obsessed w/a gr8 college education that doesn’t put us in debt!

  • 231. local  |  February 22, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    There are great “sneaky” ways to get into Cornell. Also, a Barnard woman can pretty much “attend” Columbia.

  • 232. Esmom  |  February 22, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    Aiming for Ivy League is lofty indeed…something I associate more with North Shore/New Trier than with CPS. I can’t imagine that mentality, just hoping my kids get a decent college prep education and figure the college process will sort itself out. The Ivies are not on the radar of my sports-obsessed sons, anyway, who think Big 10 schools are the bomb. Although my older son said he’d consider Stanford…which I told him is pretty lofty.

    As for the swimming thing, interesting. I steered my kids towards swimming once I saw they had the gene (from my family) because I realized every boy (including my own) wants to play high school basketball. I figure they’ll be grateful for the swimming/water polo background once they realize their chances of making the high school basketball team are slim to none. Again, college was not part of the thought process but if they excel enough to get some scholarship money I won’t complain!

  • 233. EdgewaterMom  |  February 22, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    For those people who will be posting acceptances and scores over the next week, would it be possible to also note whether or not the student took test-prep classes for the SEHS exam? I am just curious to see how the scores correlate.

  • 234. cpsobsessed  |  February 22, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    Katie Ellis confirmed that envelope color is random. All SEHS letters will be mailed today and should start arriving tomorrow based on your mail service.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 235. My 2 Cents  |  February 22, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    cpsobsessed – How did she explain those SE letters that have already arrived?

  • 236. My 2 Cents  |  February 22, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    and… when will cutoff scores be posted?

  • 237. cpsobsessed  |  February 22, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    Cutoffs posted monday. She confirmed that SE letters started mailing today.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 238. Gobemouche  |  February 22, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    Does anyone know when AC letters typically go out?
    After HS? Same time as elementary? In between?

  • 239. west rogers park mom  |  February 22, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    Elem letters (which includes AC) both go out in March. Last year my kids received theirs on the same day (they were entering 4th and 8th). I believe magnet come out at the same time. That process is worse in some ways because the wait list moves up until the beginning of the following school year.

  • 240. IBobsessed  |  February 22, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    @238 Hi Gobemouche ;), I’m wondering the same about AC letters. Same date as the SE elementary? Or same date as magnet letters? Those are different dates, no?

  • 241. Chewls  |  February 22, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    So it sounds like the few posters who said they received their SE acceptance letters yesterday must be incorrect.

  • 242. Chicago School GPS  |  February 22, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    AC letters are part of the elementary group so week of March 18 which will be closer to March 22 which backs up into CPS spring break. Magnet, SEES/Classical, AC/IG and open enrollment letters go out in batches that “week of”. Scores for the test-in programs are on the same letter as notifications. Magnet programs are a different envelope.

  • 243. yahoo  |  February 22, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    I had a hunch the SE posters were making it up and raising anxiety with the the tier 3 third choice Lane score. Whatever. In any event, I hope mail means mail and not dumped in the mailroom at 125 South Clark to sit there all weekend.

  • 244. HS Mom  |  February 22, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    Is it possible under certain circumstances to pick up the letter?

  • 245. just another mom  |  February 22, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    With regard to the info from the 2012 class from Bell, there are a couple of updates. Two moved up to WIlmette and are at New Trier. One was originally headed to Lake View, not sure about the other. One that was going to Lake View switched to Gordon. Two or three kids moved to the suburbs between 7th and 8th grade.
    That said, those I know who are at Lake View are happy. The STEM program is just getting started, but so far it is a good fit for a couple of the neighborhood kids I know who are in it. (I have a child in that graduating class). Am hoping Lake View continues to improve and becomes a desirable alternative for our neighborhood kids!

  • 246. cpsobsessed  |  February 22, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    I think they usually make you wait a good week and a half before picking them up in person. She felt certain that some people (based on their mail route) would get letters tomorrow.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 247. Esmom  |  February 22, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    @245, I also heard that one kid who didn’t get into a SEHS opted for Trinity (probably the one Trinity person on the list), then backed out when she got into WY via PD. A decent number of Bell kids got into WY, not sure why the number is blank on the list, probably an oversight.

  • 248. cpsobsessed  |  February 22, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    Did I leave off WY? It was definitely on there.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 249. pantherparent  |  February 22, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    Thought I’d pass this along regarding Taft High School, for those looking for an alternative:

    This Monday, February 25th at 7 PM, Alderman O’Connor will be hosting an informational session regarding Taft High School’s transition to a Wall to Wall International Baccalaureate model. The event will be held at Edgebrook Elementary (6525 N Hiawatha Ave
    Chicago, Illinois 60646) in the cafeteria.

    Officials from CPS and the administration at Taft High School will be on hand to address parents and share their vision for this new program.

  • 250. Nancy  |  February 22, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    We got another letter today, regular schools though so no SE response yet. Crossing fingers for tomorrow! Good luck everyone.

  • 251. Nancy  |  February 22, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    Can’t believe I forgot to mention that the letter was OPENED and obvious that it had not been sealed ever. The glue on the envelope was completely in tact and the flap had not been folded over. Anyone else get something like this? Thankfully the letter stayed inside.

  • 252. luveurope  |  February 22, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    249 That will be a really interesting meeting since taft teachers have NO IDEA about next year and how they will handle kids unable to keep up with the rigors of IB.

  • 253. Chicago School GPS  |  February 22, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    From CPSOAE:
    “By this coming Monday all notification letters regarding applications for Options for Knowledge high schools will have been sent to applicants.
    Beginning on Monday, the OAE website – http://www.cpsoae.org – will have important information for families . We suggest that you visit the site! You will likely find answers to your questions. If you need additional information, please don’t hesitate to contact our office through the “Contact Us” feature of the website or by calling us at 773-553-2060.”

  • 254. TB  |  February 22, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    We received letters for magnet (Senn Fine Arts was the only we applied to) and IB programs today. My daughter did not get in to any of either, but this is not surprising because we didn’t go to the IB info sessions or the art audition.

    Our magnet letter was open/never had been sealed as well. Now just waiting for answers from Lakeview arts STEM and the SE schools.

  • 255. mom2  |  February 22, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    @245 – glad to hear the Bell neighborhood kids are happy at Lakeview. I am aware of a few Hawthorne and other neighborhood school kids that are very happy there, too. I just didn’t realize as many went there as it sounds like might be happening now. Keep it going people!!

  • 256. MayfairAM  |  February 22, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    Got an offer from Von Stuben Scholars. Black envelope. No score.

  • 257. My 2 Cents  |  February 22, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    CPS Press Release boasts 355 more seats than previous year:

  • 258. smadness  |  February 22, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    What a nail biter and this is the second time we are doing this. Fingers crossed for Jones, but have LP IB acceptance as back up. LIke the IB program but would be a hellish commute from Hyde Park.

  • 259. waiting mom  |  February 22, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    TB, why would you think she’d get in if you didn’t go to either school session or audition? Come on people…

  • 260. Claire Untersky  |  February 22, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    Seems like there’s a lot of LP IB offers this year….is this because they’ve expanded their program? I was under the impression it was right up there on the difficulty scale to get accepted?

  • 261. west rogers park mom  |  February 22, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    Last year you needed an intial 590/ 600 to get called for an interview. This year the cut off for info sessions was lower (maybe 530/ 600). I don’t know if everyone who attended was selected or not. Could also be that only good news is being reported at this point.

  • 262. NWSideMom  |  February 22, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    Accepted to LPIB, LPDH, Taft IB, Taft Avid, and #43 on waitlist for Von Steuben Science. Still no word from SEHS yet.

  • 263. AC IB mom  |  February 22, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    @261 The LP cut off would have been higher then that as my daughter did not get an invite to attend the info session and she had a 540/600.

    @260 I think we often hear about the LP offers first so it always sounds like a lot, but many of the parents posting here have kids with really high scores like 590 or 600/600.

    Also they may extend more offers then they have seats since they know a lot of the kids getting these offers will also get SE seats and have to decide. Anyone know if they still do that for LP IB? Not sure if that would have changed with the fact that OAE handling it now.

  • 264. Chicago School GPS  |  February 22, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    The IB letter states that Lincoln Park IB will not be making any further offers, and the magnet letter states that Von Steuben Scholars will not be making any additional offers. Despite the inevitable shakedown that will occur once SEHS letters are received, they have built in the “declining offer” forecast into their acceptance offers.

  • 265. luv2europe  |  February 22, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    259 right?

  • 266. Mayfair Dad  |  February 22, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    @ 256: Von Steuben Scholars is an excellent program, and might be a great fit for your student. Don’t get caught up in the designer label high school insanity. Your kid done good. Lots of Mayfair villagers teach at Von Steuben. Go have a pizza at Marie’s to celebrate.

  • 267. Lala  |  February 22, 2013 at 8:08 pm

    Accept lp Ib 598/600


  • 268. AC IB mom  |  February 22, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    Yes @256, Isn’t the Von Steuben Scholars average ACT around 27? Plus you always have that graduating at the top of the class thing that should be taken into consideration.

    Good luck to all.

  • 269. TB  |  February 22, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    @259, I said it was NOT surprising…just stating that the letters came today. No need for condescension.

  • 270. local  |  February 22, 2013 at 10:49 pm

    Speaking of loading up on AP courses…


    “More African American and Latino students are enrolling in Advanced Placement courses, but pass rates on AP exams—which could earn students college credit–are stagnant or on the decline. Schools have begun using a variety of strategies to help more students pass AP tests.” – from Catalyst

  • 271. just another mom  |  February 23, 2013 at 12:24 am

    @247 Two were headed to Trinity, but one did get into WY via PD, so one is still there.

  • 272. Waiting mom  |  February 23, 2013 at 1:03 am

    TB–when you apply to a school and don’t show up for an audition or an information session, you could be taking that opportunity away from someone else. There are only so many spots in this city as we all well know.

    Sort of like the family we know who “forgot” to tell WP two years ago that their daughter wasn’t coming. Not too respectful of the kids who might be on the waiting list. Good luck to all.

  • 273. P. Joseph Powers, Ph.D., Principal  |  February 23, 2013 at 5:52 am

    Jones College Prep mailed selective enrollment acceptance letters Friday, February 22; our CTE letters for Pre-Engineering and Pre-Law will go out Monday, February 25. All OAE acceptance letters for SE and CTE were mailed Friday.

    Please join us for our Freshman Welcome programs on March 5 or 6; details are in the letters from Jones. We are looking forward to welcoming the Jones Class of 2017! Go Eagles!

  • 274. MayfairAM  |  February 23, 2013 at 6:58 am

    @273waiting mom: there are reasons why families apply and then do not attend the required open houses. I know for me and my applicant, this year has been a roller coaster in terms of trying to figure out what his real options are. It is part of the way the system is set up. We felt like we had to apply to every possible school he might be eligible for,(last fall) but as they months have progressed, and as he has heard from private schools and scholarships, we have been able to narrow his choices. That is why we did not attend LPIB, Senn or Admundsen open houses for which he was invited. Be mad at the system, not your fellow families and students all trying to get the best thing for our kids.

  • 275. TB  |  February 23, 2013 at 8:50 am

    @272 I am not sure that us not attending an audition and info sessions can be compared to a person forgetting to send an offer decline.

    We had a family crisis that limited our ability to attend these sessions, were in contact with the schools, and ultimately decided to put our efforts toward the schools at the top of our list, that we felt she had good odds for getting offers from.

    My understanding of the info sessions was that if you qualified academically, you were sent a letter about attending. Therefore, us declining the invitation would have zero impact on any other students.

  • 276. cpsobsessed  |  February 23, 2013 at 8:57 am

    I Believe the way the system is set up now, neither of those actions hurts anyone for the high school process. IB uses the visit as a screening process, so you don’t go and you’re out. I suppose you could say they might have extended another offer if you KNEW you weren’t gonna go. But the invites are sent by score cutoff, right? So that shouldn’t matter.
    For HS, they don’t plan for a second round so they’ve eliminated the angst of waiting for kids to turn down spots. It’s all built into the first round process.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 277. HS Mom  |  February 23, 2013 at 9:18 am

    @276 – Since there are no longer 2nd rounds, an applicant should probably not put schools that they would absolutely not attend or have a guaranteed school that they would go to first. Nothing wrong with spreading a wide net and finding out you have multiple options but being selected for an IB or SE school that you would not attend does take an offer away from someone else. The parents above did the right thing by disqualifying themselves by not attending the meetings.

  • 278. Waiting mom  |  February 23, 2013 at 10:00 am

    But what about the skipped audition? You can’t tell me there wasn’t someone wanting that opportunity. I know it’s tough out there, but if you know your child’s scores and talents, I really don’t think the net has to be spread that wide.

  • 279. TB  |  February 23, 2013 at 10:31 am

    The schools also cast a wide net- I have less knowledge of Senn Fine Arts than I do ChiArts, where my daughter has now been accepted, and will attend. I may be wrong, but if we assume it is the same process, then the students who apply that qualify through grades, or have an IEP, are offered auditions. Then, the actual audition pool becomes smaller by those who self select to attend audtions. Then there are call back auditions, and then offers of admission.

    The system is set up for it.

    I think that is fair to say that we, (as in 8th grade high school applicants and their parents,) were all going into this pretty blindly, never having been through it, and also, because they have changed some of the processes from former years. When I filled out the applications in the fall, I had no idea what we were in for, or what my daughter’s chances were to get into any given school. As the process went on, I learned more. I could have never known there would be the IB info sessions, because in the past my understanding is they had interviews. I also had no way of predicting the family crisis, that would change our life circumstances quite a bit over the past few months.

    Finger pointing and blaming is probably the least helpful thing parents can be doing, it is the system that is very flawed, and the participants are just trying to do their best to get their children a good education at a safe school. The statistical chance of each student getting in to one of the “better schools” is low, so parents will cast a wide net.

  • 280. Brand new WY mom!  |  February 23, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    Letter in hand – daughter got into first choice – Whitney Young!! We are Tier 4 and total points 885. And yes we took the placement exam prep class. Sigh of relief!!

  • 281. AC, now Northside Mom!  |  February 23, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    Just opened letter…son got into first choice Northside with 898. We are tier 4 and come from Taft IB. Perfect score on entrance exam. we did not take any prep classes. Wooo HOOOOOO!

  • 282. juju  |  February 23, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    Just open letter and my son got into Jones with 895. This was his first choice. We are tier 4, and he did not take the prep class.

  • 283. IB&AC Mom (formerly IB&RGC)  |  February 23, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    Heard Jones offered a tier 4 at 865 (10pts lower then last year) and one at 850 did not get in, but got Lane.

  • 284. IB&AC Mom (formerly IB&RGC)  |  February 23, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    I normally love my mailman, but I am not a fan right now. Where in the world is he?

  • 285. Person  |  February 23, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    Applied for jones and lane. Wanted jones bad. Got into lane with a 856 tier 4

  • 286. IB&AC Mom (formerly IB&RGC)  |  February 23, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    So Jones’ cut off was somewhere between 857 and 864 for tier 4. Assuming closer to the top of that range. I hope Lane’s cut off was lower as well. Congrats on Lane, that is still a huge accomplishment for someone in tier 4 and a great school.

    Congrats to all others with good news as well.

  • 287. Educator  |  February 23, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    I assume sane people have occasionally visited this blog and posted how flippin nuts you all are, right? Such ignorance, sheesh!

  • 288. mark  |  February 23, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    Educator: you obviously don’t have an eight grade student in the CPS! We as parents are trying to do the best we can for our children.

  • 289. nervousblainekid  |  February 23, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    I got into lane with a 868/900.. kinda disappointed about not getting into whitney, but Im happy and ill try to do PD

  • 290. Momof5  |  February 23, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    @288: Don’t feed the trolls. Clearly this person is just trying to insult and incite.

    @289: Lane is a great school. I have 2 kids there and one more waiting to hear. I wish you luck with PD, but please know that you have an excellent option with Lane.

  • 291. IB&AC Mom (formerly IB&RGC)  |  February 23, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    Mailman came, nothing from SE. Educator, do you work at a school we are trying to keep our kids out of?

  • 292. Educator  |  February 23, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    @288 No..I have a younger ES student who I would send to the HS at which I work without hesitation because it is safe and provides a high-quality education. A HS that many on this and other threads don’t consider ‘an option’, or ‘an option yet’. The only explanation for this is ignorance..in the truest sense of the word.

  • 293. cmf  |  February 23, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    Tier 4, 897, offered Northside.

  • 294. mark  |  February 23, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    Being desirous of a seat at a SEHS doesn’t mean we condemn ANY other school- perhaps it is you who are ignorant?

  • 295. Educator  |  February 23, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    Perhaps I am ignorant..I don’t know what it’s like to be a parent who considers a good neighborhood school ‘not an option’ for no reason that is grounded in reality. But I will leave you alone. I apologize for any offense.

  • 296. mark  |  February 23, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    @295- judge not….and i wish you and your children all the best.

  • 297. MD  |  February 23, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    Tier 4, Jones, 888, 3rd choice

  • 298. North Center Mom  |  February 23, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    Tier 4, 889, offered Jones.

    North Center son happy. I’m over the moon. Thank you, cpsobsessed, for giving me a place to take my anxiety for two years.

  • 299. Jamstering  |  February 23, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    Daughter got into Senn IB, Ogden IB, Von Steuben scholars program and LP HH, but she sadly did not get into Lane, her first choice even though her entrance exam was a perfect 300/300. (She did not take a prep class.) Why didn’t she get in? Her 4 Bs and no As. We’re Tier 4; total score 783/900. We will be applying for principal’s discretion but I am extremely impressed with Senn and consider that my first choice for her, even if she gets into Lane through PD.

  • 300. pantherparent  |  February 23, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    Tier 4, 896, accepted at Northside. Did not take entrance prep classes and scored 300 on it.

  • 301. Sped Mom  |  February 23, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    @ 287. Educator

    What indicated nuttiness and ignorance?

    I’m looking for a good CPS neighborhood high school on the south side. Can you recommend one to me for my SWD?

  • 302. Momof5  |  February 23, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    @299: Jamstering, do you mean that you would decline a PD spot at Lane if she is offered one? I’m hoping that I read your post incorrectly.

  • 303. RelievedinRogersPark  |  February 23, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    Whewwww….. My son got his first choice–Northside! Tier 4, 894. He did take a review course(Selective Prep against his wishes). We didn’t make him do the homework though. Now he just needs to decide between Northside an Lincoln Park IB… Not a bad choice to make!

  • 304. TB  |  February 23, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    Just received an acceptance packet in a manila envelope from Jones, which was my daughter’s 1st choice of SE schools. Still no CPS letter, so I have no idea what her test score was. I suppose it doesn’t matter, but I am curious.

    Did anyone else experience this?

  • 305. Thrilled  |  February 23, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    Tier 3. 900. and Walter Payton.

  • 306. MayfairAM  |  February 23, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    Yay! WY offer! 894, black printing on envelope, test prep with Test Prep Chicago…a somewhat more holistic test prep.
    Grateful for this community.

  • 307. cpsobsessed  |  February 23, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    I think Educator raises the million dollar question: are we stupidly bypassing opportunities for good HS education for our kids at some of the (I assume referring to) neighborhood schools? Truthfully scores and dropout rates are not at a level to convince parents to consider some of these schools. So how can we know/feel confident that these schools are as wonderful as Educator claims. I think we WANT that to be true. How can we determine the reality?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 308. Thankful  |  February 23, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    Tier 4, 900, offered Northside. No test prep.

  • 309. RelievedinRogersPark  |  February 23, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    @cpsobsessed Ultimately, an opportunity is only what you make of it… Also every environment, no matter how great, isn’t the right fit for every child. Objectively there are resources like this (http://www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools/illinois) but you are still in the fit/make the most of the opportunity boat.

  • 310. cpsobsessed  |  February 23, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    Man, 900’s?!?
    I have to ask – have these kids always scored really well over the years?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 311. RelievedinRogersPark  |  February 23, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    Oh, and he got his first choice acceptance in a black logo envelope (same as the IB and Magnet offer envelopes). Either they are changing things up or… MYTH BUSTED!

  • 312. Thankful  |  February 23, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    @310 Yep. She’s always tested well. And worked really, really hard. Still, she said was she was flabbergasted when she got the letter and saw the score. 🙂

  • 313. CB  |  February 23, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    Offer at Lane with 866, tier 4. Got into LBIB too but still highly considering Mount Carmel (all boys catholic) It a jewel of a school which was never on my radar until this year. Shuttle service from the Northside. If anyone is considering Catholic or did not get into SEHS, it is well worth a look despite the distance. Good all around school.

  • 314. MayfairAM  |  February 23, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    Forgot to say tier 4

  • 315. psmom  |  February 23, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    894 tier 4 Whitney Young first choice. No test prep. Current Lane Tech AC. Will probably stay at Lane-maybe.

  • 316. Chitownmom  |  February 23, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    892 Tier 4 Walter Payton College Prep. Feeling very lucky, this is a very difficult process and it is so hard on these 8th Graders.

  • 317. JustCurious  |  February 23, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    Tier 2. 869. Jones. CTE program…..doesn’t that lower standards?

  • 318. NWSideMom  |  February 23, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    Daughter got 1st choice Young, score 862, tier 3, most proud of the fact that we did NOT spend $400 on test prep yay! Daughter now must choose btwn WY and LPIB. Not easy!

  • 319. IB&AC Mom (formerly IB&RGC)  |  February 23, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    @Educator, call me crazy (LOL), but I would much rather my daughter go to a SE high school to continue with her curriculum at the same level it has been since 1st grade (when she started in a SE elementary school) then to go to our neighborhood school that does not meet Federal Education Standards and does not do a good job preparing kids for college. This is from the report card on the trib….

    “At Schurz High School in spring 2010, 2.4% of juniors scored high enough on at least three of the four parts of the ACT to be considered “college-ready” for key freshman classes.”

    Maybe the school you teach at is different and I hope that you educate each and every child to the best of your abilities, but there is a reason many of us do not consider our neighborhood schools an option. I don’t understand why you would come to this site to judge, but hope that you understand there is a reason for our craziness and think we are being far from ignorant for wanting the best for our children.

  • 320. Smadness  |  February 23, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    Does it seem like scores are a tad lower this year? Which is great in my book as it means more kids are getting accepted.

  • 321. Momo  |  February 23, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    Ib letter from Lincoln park

  • 322. IB&AC Mom (formerly IB&RGC)  |  February 23, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    @317, congrats. Cut off for tier 2 at Jones last year was 846.38. 869 is an awesome number. Nice work.

  • 323. JustCurious  |  February 23, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    But between LPIB and Jones, which one would be the better choice?

  • 324. OutsideLookingIn  |  February 23, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    @307 – it depends on what criteria you use to define a good high school or a good education. High scores for students admitted to SEHS and low dropout rates don’t necessarily reflect the quality of teaching, the caliber of the curriculum or the opportunity to foster an individual student’s unique talent.

  • 325. Marketing Mom  |  February 23, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    I don’t have a dog in this fight this year, but next year we will apply for academic centers. I am dreading this process!

  • 326. ICSJ mom  |  February 23, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    Whitney with a 879, tier 4 and black envelope.

  • 327. Smadness  |  February 23, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    Be afraid…

  • 328. Smadness  |  February 23, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    I have a son at Jones and it has been a great experience for him/us. Jones is all Honors classes all the time but we have found the homework to be pretty doable. The kids there are great too. He was also offered LPIB but for us logistically Jones was a my h better location; a 1/2 commute as opposed to over an hour. Either way you have two great choices on the table on I don’t think you can go wrong either way.

  • 329. mark  |  February 23, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    Jones is an awesome school with great teachers, a great location and an incredible new building for the next school year. the cte program was an accommadation made on behalf of the alderman who ponied up the $100m in tif funds for the new school.cte spots were very competitive this year( over 1000 applicants for 75 seats)
    and should attract selective enrollment caliber students. as for the expansion; the two building campus will be the finest in the city. the principal has pledged to maintain the same social culture for which jones is so well known. enhanced athletic facilities will benefit the larger student body, the school will field more interscholastic teams and continue to compete at a very high level. a wonderful community will have the opportunity to grow into a new and larger space.

  • 330. Wondering  |  February 23, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    Can anyone explain the admissions process for Von Steuben Scholars?

  • 331. Mcamom  |  February 23, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    Has anyone from tier 4 gotten into jones with 865 or below? Daughter offered lane at 865. Jones was first choice. Seriously considering LPHH.

  • 332. Educator  |  February 23, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    Test scores and most of the other outcomes folks use to judge the quality of a school are at least 90% determined by the background of the students entering the school. Those who determine that good, and thus the only ‘acceptable’, schools are those where the majority of students have those positive outcomes are affirming (with their actions, if not their consiousness) that they only want their kid in a school with a relatively large number of middle-class kids that are less likely to be hispanic and much less likely to be black. Before those over-sensitve to charges of racism get all bent out of shape, note that I recognize that this is probably a de facto, rather than conscious, part of the equation for most.

    Many neighborhood schools have some percentage of students who perform well, graduate, get decent test scores, go on to be successful in college. Some of them are lower-class minorities who defy the odds, and some are middle-class white or whatever who didn’t shy away from the school because of demographics/outcomes.

    To CPSO’s question: how would you know if a school was going to serve your child well? The same way you should determine if Northside, Lane, or any other school would: walk inside the building, see a class in action, talk to the teachers, the administrators, the students. There is no guarantee in any case, but such steps will certainly serve you better than relying on spreadsheets and the opinions of equally uninformed parents. The good school is not the one in which the majority reach a fixed and predetermined outcome, but the one that provides both the opportunity and the supports to help each child reach their potential. Sadly, many neighborhood schools, and I would suspect some number of elite schools, do not live up to this. But many do. Someone asked me not to judge. What are those who condemn good school as non-options without taking the above steps doing?

    Wishing you all well in the process. Find a good school!

  • 333. Happy Mom  |  February 23, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    815 accepted into Lindblom- Happy

  • 334. IB&AC Mom (formerly IB&RGC)  |  February 23, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    @331, My daughter has a friend who told her she got an 865 (tier 4) and accepted to Jones. Unless she is mistaken about her score, sounds like 865 was the cut off/ tie breaker.

  • 335. Cat  |  February 23, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    WY first choice, 897, tier 4.
    Also Ogden IB, LP IB.
    Wait list for ChiArts.
    Probably going with WY, but still considering Ogden IB… Prefer Ogden over LP.

  • 336. Cat  |  February 23, 2013 at 9:47 pm

    @304 We got a letter directly from WY in the mailbox along with the CPS letter… Not exactly the same as what you got, obviously, but I expect you’ll get the CPS letter Monday. 🙂
    I understand about wanting to know the scores… My dd was asking me this morning if The Letter would include her score, because if it didn’t it would haunt her and drive her crazy for the rest of her life.

  • 337. nervousblainekid  |  February 23, 2013 at 10:44 pm

    Anyone have an idea as to what the cut off was for WY tier 4?

  • 338. Mitch  |  February 23, 2013 at 11:16 pm

    Here is the link for all the tier cutoffs. http://cpsmagnet.org/ourpages/auto/2012/3/2/42650967/SEHS%20Cutoff%20Scores%202012-2013.pdf.

  • 339. RoscoeStMom  |  February 23, 2013 at 11:17 pm

    Lane 1st choice SE, LPIB, Tier 4, 900. Should we pursue Principal Discretion elsewhere or be grateful for these awesome options? And of the two, which would you choose for a bright, easily bored young woman who wants to be a surgeon, a travel write, a photographer and win a Nobel prize?

  • 340. WebCandy  |  February 23, 2013 at 11:39 pm

    I should add– no test prep at the suggestion of multiple middle school teachers. Glad that it helped some kids but I wonder, like other flaws with the system, does getting a better test score make our students any better prepared for the academic challenges they will face in the school for which they so anxiously compete? I ask because my son will likely not have the 900 my daughter earned unless all math is replaced with history, creative writing and philosophy. Planning for how to help him find the right match…

  • 341. RoscoeStMom  |  February 23, 2013 at 11:41 pm

    339 and 340…same person with multiple WP IDs!

  • 342. just another mom  |  February 23, 2013 at 11:45 pm

    @338 That looks like last years cutoff scores.

  • 343. EdgewaterMom  |  February 23, 2013 at 11:54 pm

    @339 I am confused. If you got your first choice, why would you pursue Principal Discretion?

  • 344. IB&AC Mom (formerly IB&RGC)  |  February 24, 2013 at 12:09 am

    @nervousblainekid, they will post the cut off scores on Monday on the CPS OAE website. Congrats on Lane and LP. You should be extremely proud.

  • 345. RoscoeStMom  |  February 24, 2013 at 12:16 am

    Ah yes- let me explain. She re-evaluated her criteria and changed her mind with regard to the forced-rank priorization on her app. I guess we only get one shot and the app process locks them in.

  • 346. RoscoeStMom  |  February 24, 2013 at 12:22 am

    College really is a process with more choice because at least you apply and get to choose from all of the schools that would accept you. Maybe I’m over thinking it. Glad it’s her decision and not mine.

  • 347. DolphinMom  |  February 24, 2013 at 1:17 am

    We received an acceptance letter into our first choice, Whitney Young. Score was 876, black logo, tier one area, no test prep but I was seriously considering it until we got a 12/1 test date and realized time was up! Good luck everyone and congrats to those who got what they were hoping for!

  • 348. second time around  |  February 24, 2013 at 2:10 am

    Ok, I need some feedback. My daughter had 3 A’s and 1 B and 99/98 on ISATS and we were stunned to see that she bombed the SEHS test with a core of 78. She even took selective prep and had great scores on their tests. Kids who took the test with her at the same date and room also bombed – some as low as 55 and these kids has 580-590 going into the exam. When my daughter came home from the test she said the proctor ran a highlighter down the test of everyone in the room. Could this in any way affect the grading of the test? Something just does not make sense. The kids I know who all bombed the test have never even had a low ISAT or NWEA score and most went in with 4 A’s. I started to think something could be wrong when I heard that the kids who she took the test with in the same room had shocking scores as well. I know I sound like a crazy mother but my daughter has never scored this low on anything and she walked out of the test and said she knew every answer before she even looked at the multiple choice options. Any thoughts???

  • 349. Cpskid  |  February 24, 2013 at 2:15 am

    Got accepted into lane with a 856 tier 4. Wanted jones with the 1st choice. Thinking about applying for Pd for jones. Any tips? Who should the recommendation letters be from? Is it worth it? And if I accept lane I can’t get any second round offers from jones can I?

  • 350. No one is immune  |  February 24, 2013 at 2:23 am

    #38 second time around- No, you don’t sound crazy at all. A few years ago my daughter was called back in by CPS to retest. The lady who called said they had accidentally given the wrong test. When I took her in to be retested they told me a different store (can’t remember). I would definitely look into it if I were you. You will have a better chance of having it investigated if you get more of the kid’s parents involved. Move swiftly and good luck.

  • 351. John  |  February 24, 2013 at 6:49 am

    Anyone choosing between cps selective high schools and private schools?

    Our eldest got first choice north side and also Loyola (Latin waiting…)

    Musings about the choices:

    I wonder about the normalcy of a school like north side where everyone is verging on genius–how does one differentiate?

    Having come from a “normal” high school I was also grateful for the diversity of students and in a contrived way I think my own academic path was abetted by the fact I went to a school with a normal bell curve of students where I could excel… I wonder if that perspective and advantage is lost at a place like north side… For the next rung–college admissions–not sure being a medium fish in a big pond is as good as being a medium fish in a small pond….

  • 352. CPS Parent  |  February 24, 2013 at 7:07 am

    351. John I had two kids graduate from a very similar SEHS in Chicago and the oppportunity to experience HS as part of a very diverse, high ability cohort is simply unparalleled and liberating when considered from both didactic and social aspects. There are only benefits.

    If your concern is that colleges (such as the Ivies) will limit their admission from a single school my expereince is that they do not. The better SEHS schools each regularly admit multiple students to the most selective colleges.

  • 353. undecided  |  February 24, 2013 at 7:33 am

    My son is a good kid who is not very confident and struggles w/ organizational skills. He is at Lane AcCenter and got an offer for Northside (898/ tier 4/no prep course). He has really enjoyed Lane- although his grades there aren’t great (he moved there in 8th grade- his grades from 7th were from a different/smaller school)- and wants to stay. Any thoughts on which might be a better fit for him? I would be grateful for any thoughts on this.

  • 354. mayfairAM  |  February 24, 2013 at 7:34 am

    @330: I believe the Von Stuben Scholars had to qualify to be included into the lottery.

  • 355. mayfairAM  |  February 24, 2013 at 7:38 am

    @351 We are choosing between WY and Ignatius. To complicate matters my son received a scholarship to off set the costs of private school tuition. He is a little tired of Catholic education at this point, but it is hard to deny the benefits of a Jesuit education. I am almost certain he will choose WY.

  • 356. MD  |  February 24, 2013 at 8:01 am

    Can anyone explain the PD process? How the decisions are made and/or likelihood of success if you go this route. Received 888 due to low score (for him) on SE test.

  • 357. Chitownmom  |  February 24, 2013 at 8:18 am

    To undecided. My son,also not the best with organization, has functioned really well at a small school, Payton. I would encourage your son to consider Northside. He obviously has the talent, he might just need the high expectations and smaller environment to propel him ahead. Take him to a school event at Northside ASAP and find a Northside student with like interests to introduce him to.

  • 358. pantherparent  |  February 24, 2013 at 8:42 am

    @351 John I have a son at Northside and can tell you that the experience varies kid to kid. Are they all smart? Yes, but that’s where it ends. My son focuses on school and getting A’s. Some “popular” kids as he calls them focus on social life and get B’s and C’s. Some kids go down to the river and get stoned at lunch.

    The choice is about fit. Where does your eldest want to go? That’s the question. You can’t go wrong with Northside, Loyola or Latin, unless the decision becomes yours instead of his/hers.

  • 359. Content with Payton  |  February 24, 2013 at 8:43 am

    Content with Payton Admission. Although Northside is in higher rank, the cut off score is so much higher to get into Payton. I think it is due to its geographical location and its smaller student body. My theory is the kids from China town, who think Northside is too far, really drive up the cut off score to get into Payton. We live in West Town and the Payton was our first choice for the same reason. Both of us working and having her commute to Northside by herself was too much. My daughter had to get the perfect score (300) for the entrance exam and she did. Hooray!

  • 360. Chicago School GPS  |  February 24, 2013 at 8:54 am

    Principal’s Selection Handbooks for 2013-2014 are online now.

  • 361. Chicago School GPS  |  February 24, 2013 at 9:01 am

    For those contemplating Principal’s Discretion, CPSOAE has released the criteria online. The application itself will be open from 3/12-3/22, with decisions mailed the week of April 22. You can and should accept an offer to a CPS high school prior to submitting for PD.

    In a nutshell, you need to state a reason why you are applying that falls into one of 4 categories- unique skills or abilities, activities demonstrating social responsibility, extenuating circumstances, demonstrating ability to overcome hardship. You submit recommendations and a personal statement, as well as any backup documents/photos, etc. It will all be carefully detailed in the PD booklet. But remember- you can’t apply for PD to a school that you did not include on your choice of 6 on the SEHS application, and you can only apply to one school via PD.

    At our “What’s Next? Decisions After Notifications” seminar this Thursday at Alcott HS, we will talk extensively about successful PD processes (and unsuccessful ones) but the bottom line is this is a small percentage (5% of the student body) that are admitted via this route. For some schools, that’s not more than 10-15 students out of hundreds applying. BUT, it does happen!

    We will also talk in detail about choosing the right school fit, be it public or private that you are choosing from. The various factors include not just academics but extracurricular activities that some folks may not know their prospective school has (ie. a kid looking for Friday night football games will not get to cheer on their school if it’s Northside- they don’t have football! Or a kid interested in diving during high school will have to build in more time in her Payton schedule to travel to Northside- or perhaps Jones- to practice, etc). We will talk about how to get a feel for the academics by checking out each school’s course guide. We will cover what to do to be successful in high school since grades (and course selections) matter for college starting in 9th grade. In other words, work with your child in choosing his courses as most kids will be giddy with the choices but may end up choosing ones that won’t necessarily make their path to college easier when they realize in 11th grade that they have little time to get in the courses they need to target the schools they want. And course selection can be tricky because your child’s top 3 courses may all meet at the exact same time (and alas, Hermione’s time turner is not a reality).

    Many public & private schools do have an opportunity to see the school (or even Shadow, as in LPIB’s case) prior to the confirmation deadline. DEFINITELY do that for schools you have been admitted to and are wondering about.

    We will also talk about public & private high schools with spots still available (British, Intrinsic, Holy Trinity, and many more), and don’t forget that Disney II still has a freshman class to fill.

    Lastly, we will talk about transfers- criteria and likelihood. But in the end, I rarely hear about kids not happy with their choices once school gets going. Even those kids lamenting over the summer come around very soon after they get into the groove at their new school.

    We hope you can join us on Thursday. Sign up for our seminar here- http://www.chischoolgps.com/CSG_HS_What_s_Next_.html . We will provide attendees with hard copies of the CPS High School Guide that includes a one-page summary on each high school.

    As for the folks with the abnormally low SEHS exam score- I would definitely contact CPSOAE to let them know, especially if you sense a pattern. It’s better to ask than to wonder if you should have asked. Send an email to oae@cps.edu or call 773-553-2060.

  • 362. anotherchicagoparent  |  February 24, 2013 at 9:26 am

    @348 I am interested to know which test day was this?

    CPS kid yes if you chose Lane you can not get a second round offer to Jones. Jones most likely will not do a second round this year.
    Definitely doesn’t hurt to try principal discretion esp if you want to go to Jones,Teachers,coaches,counselors etc may write recommendations for you.I would also check out all the great things Lane has to offer.Every school has something great about it.Schools are what you make out of them for yourself.You have already done an amazing job and show ambition so I am sure you will do fine no matter where you end up.

  • 363. lpmom  |  February 24, 2013 at 9:27 am

    We went through the decision between SE and LPIB last year. He ended up choosing LPIB. Due to the mythology that surrounds IB, I was a little nervous for him at the beginning of the year (he was never a super nerdy kid). Long story short, I feel he made a great choice. The program has exceeded my expectations and my son has grown tremendously as a student. Yes, he probably has more homework than his friends at other schools but it is manageable – he rarely has more than 2-3 hours of homework a night. I’m sure he would have been fine elsewhere, but LP has, so far, been a good experience for us.

  • 364. anotherchicagoparent  |  February 24, 2013 at 9:31 am

    lpmom we are trying to decide between IB and SE. What is the bell schedule for LPIB?Do the IB students go an extra class period? Thanks for any info

  • 365. anotherchicagoparent  |  February 24, 2013 at 9:36 am

    @348 I would definitely check my teen who has taken many scantron tests 😦 has said there is a certain side of the scantron you can not mark or the computer will tabulate it wrong.I would ask your daughter which side my teen told me which side

  • 366. anotherchicagoparent  |  February 24, 2013 at 9:42 am

    Did anyone else have a proctor mark the SE test with a blue highlighter and not lose many points?

  • 367. newbie2013  |  February 24, 2013 at 9:45 am

    Other than the score (x/900) what else goes into the decision to offer a position? A friend of my son was accepted to Lane with a 726. My son was NOT accepted to Lane despite scoring more than 50 points higher. Very confused about this process. Lane was my son’s third choice, and he didn’t get in to any of them.

  • 368. newbie2013  |  February 24, 2013 at 10:00 am

    follow up to #366 – both are same tier

  • 369. lpmom  |  February 24, 2013 at 10:00 am

    363 – bell schedule for LP is 7:45-3:55. The IB kids have one extra class for a total of 9 classes. For us, the length of the day is the one downside of the program.

  • 370. anotherchicagoparent  |  February 24, 2013 at 10:07 am

    Thanks lpmom 🙂
    366 wondering if IEP’s are taken into the decision?

  • 371. Downtown mom  |  February 24, 2013 at 10:12 am

    @348 Can you share when and where your daughter tested. We were similarly surprised by our son’s lower than expected SEHS test score. Thanks.

  • 372. BoyzDad  |  February 24, 2013 at 10:27 am

    Live in Wicker Park, no letter yet received. Is anyone else still waiting for their letter?

  • 373. RelievedInRogersPark  |  February 24, 2013 at 10:43 am

    My son now has to choose between Lincoln Park IB and Northside. It is 100% his choice. However, so far the only criteria he seems to be considering is the perceived amount of homework in each of the programs. He believes (though I’m not sure where it comes from) that LP IB is nothing but homework and he will not have a life outside of school. Does anyone have insight into this?

  • 374. second time around  |  February 24, 2013 at 10:49 am

    #371 She tested at lane on January 12th at Lane. Anyone else?

  • 375. anotherchicagoparent  |  February 24, 2013 at 10:56 am

    Same date here, lunchroom though.Blue highlighter but my kid said they put a dot on each test so that might be normal? We were surprised by how he did on test though.

  • 376. anotherchicagoparent  |  February 24, 2013 at 11:00 am

    @374 if your child says they wrote a line down the side, I would definitely call.

  • 377. Ms. A  |  February 24, 2013 at 11:03 am

    Myself and all of my friends got their letters, VERY disappointed. My daughter got accepted into a choice Lindblom even though she exceeded their maximum score for Tier 4. Just missed Jones for Tier 4. I am unsure what to do because she qualifies for Brooks too and surpases their maximum score for Tier 4, but didn’t get an acceptance letter. If the application process stated that it didn’t matter which choice order you put for SE than why didn’t I get an acceptance letter for Brooks?

  • 378. mcamom  |  February 24, 2013 at 11:03 am

    lpmom, is there a study hall in that long school day for non-IB Diploma students?

  • 379. second time around  |  February 24, 2013 at 11:06 am

    @375 – she was at Lane in the LUNCHROOM…what the heck happened? She thinks her highlighter was green

  • 380. pantherparent  |  February 24, 2013 at 11:10 am

    @374: Don’t stop until you get an answer. My son had 98/98 on ISATs and scored 300 on the entrance exam. He took it at Lane in December and said the proctor highlighted his final question. My son asked why and was told that they highlight the final answer so that they know where the student ended. Apparently not everyone answers every question so I’m guessing this keeps someone from filling in answers after they test is over.

    Not sure this helps, but that score sounds low for the numbers going in. Good luck.

  • 381. cpsobsessed  |  February 24, 2013 at 11:12 am

    @ms A, I think tomorrow the new cutoff scores should help you understand the placement. They vary year to year.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 382. pantherparent  |  February 24, 2013 at 11:18 am

    @377 Ms A: Maybe I misread your post, but it absolutely DOES matter what order you put the high schools in on the application. If she ranked Lindblom above Brooks, once the computer accepts her into Lindblom, that’s it, the letter goes out.

  • 383. Ms. A  |  February 24, 2013 at 11:23 am

    I have 2012-2013 Tier scores already, they are online. CPS is a ridiculous system and this is a nightmare. My child is the slated for valedictorian, straight A’s, 99th Percentile in ISAT but can’t get her choice, nominated for and wins numerous awards, won science fair, speech/writing competition winner and she can’t get her 1st or 2nd choice. She got Lincoln Park IB, Catholic School Admission, but I am a single parent living in a homeless situation on the far southside. I have no way to get her to those schools and no money to afford the private schools. I’m at a loss right now. I don’t know what to do.

  • 384. cpsobsessed  |  February 24, 2013 at 11:25 am

    Are you sure those are the scores for the upcoming year and not last year? I can’t check right now.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 385. Ms. A  |  February 24, 2013 at 11:26 am

    The online application from my recollection did not state that the order of the six SE schools mattered. If we decline her first SE school id does not guarentee her a spot with Brooks HS, right?

  • 386. lpmom  |  February 24, 2013 at 11:27 am

    378- as far as I know, none of the kids at LP have a study hall. This year, kids not in IB had 8 class periods.

  • 387. pantherparent  |  February 24, 2013 at 11:27 am

    @367 newbie: Score and tier are the only factors regarding acceptance. Your friend might be in a different tier. Lane last year had a 100+ point difference between Tier 1 and Tier 4. Maybe check addresses on one of the many tier locators on this site.

  • 388. Momof5  |  February 24, 2013 at 11:28 am

    @372 BoyzDad: We live in Old Irving Park and it seems every other block in my area received their mail except for mine. Hoping it comes tomorrow but then again I’m still waiting for my 2nd grader’s Valentine’s day card to show up as well. Ugh.

  • 389. Family Friend  |  February 24, 2013 at 11:30 am

    Congratulations to all the happy parents and hardworking students who have received good news.

    @168 North Center Mom: you haven’t sold your son a bill of goods, no matter what the outcome on HS admissions. The knowledge that hard work pays off in a feeling of accomplishment is the most important thing you can give him.

    @178 SoxSideIrish4: I was at the meeting on charter renewals. Both high schools are proposed to be phased out, not closed in the fall. Aspira will get another school to replace Mirta Ramirez, but I am not sure of the grade level. The chairman of the Betty Shabazz’ board of directors made a very strong argument for keeping DuSable open, based on improvements in the last couple of years. I doubt CPS will change its mind, but I like the people at Shabazz and think they are on the right track.

    @279 TB: I absolutely agree that pointing fingers is not warranted. Even more, I think parents’ first duty is to their own children. It makes sense to do whatever it takes (short of cheating, bribery or the like), to maximize their students’ realistic choices. You should not need to apologize or offer excuses. If CPS has guessed wrong about how many will decline, they can increase the number of PD slots, and students near the cutoff will have a chance of arguing academic excellence. Magnets can pull students off the waiting lists. And there is always the “oops – we need to admit more students; aren’t you glad?” option.

    @289 NervousBlaineKid: Don’t sweat Whitney Young if you don’t make it via PD. You are already in at LP IB, which I believe should be counted in the top five in the city. Also, the top track at Lane is competitive with any of the top five. You have excellent choices – be proud.

  • 390. Momof5  |  February 24, 2013 at 11:35 am

    @377: I am sorry to say this to you but the application did say that the way you ranked the schools matter. With your child’s scores being what you say they are, I would encourage you to pursue Principal’s Discretion at the school of her choice.

  • 391. Family Friend  |  February 24, 2013 at 11:36 am

    @339 RoscoeStMom: For the student you describe, I would go with LP IB. But what does she want?

  • 392. Ms. A  |  February 24, 2013 at 11:37 am

    Thanks I will try perhaps a miracle will occur and 1 of the 10 spots open for hundreds of applicants will be awarded to my child.

  • 393. Ms. A  |  February 24, 2013 at 11:41 am

    She’s a kid unaware of the dangers in the neighborhood near Lindblom. I hear the curriculum is very rigorous but I will not put my child in harms way. I however have no way to get her to Lincoln IB program. I have no idea what I am going to do.

  • 394. BoyzDad  |  February 24, 2013 at 11:45 am

    @388 Momof5 Thanks for sharing that you are in the same boat with me… waiting for letter! It’s frustrating since all week I’ve been hoping “Today is probably the day!”

  • 395. Family Friend  |  February 24, 2013 at 11:46 am

    @353 undecided: Either is a good choice, but I think at Lane he will have the option to coast more than at Northside. I have the sense that Lane is more tiered than Northside (comments, parents of Lane students?) so he would have the option of underachieving by minimizing the number of honors classes he takes and similar strategies. I know kids at Lane who have scored perfect everything and gone to Columbia University and kids who don’t do their homework who barely squeak by. My husband always used to say it’s better to be swimming with a fast crowd. With your son’s score of 898, he certainly has the ability to keep up with any crowd. So put him with the fastest crowd.

  • 396. Family Friend  |  February 24, 2013 at 11:47 am

    @353 – I just re-read your post. If he wants to stay at Lane, think carefully before moving him. I do know someone who took five years to finish at Northside because it wasn’t where he wanted to be.

  • 397. anotherchicagoparent  |  February 24, 2013 at 11:47 am

    387 via 367 pantherparent interesting if nothing else goes into the selection maybe someone lied about their address?

  • 398. anotherchicagoparent  |  February 24, 2013 at 11:54 am

    or worse yet CPS made a mistake.:o

  • 399. chialkat  |  February 24, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    @95 this has already been going in for several years-

    Here’s a link to a breakdown of where Bell students ended up last year- as you can see 15 Bell kids went to LVHS


  • 400. Chicago School GPS  |  February 24, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    The low exam score anomaly is something that bears looking into. If anyone is so inclined, email me your child’s test date, time, and score, along with anything you want to share about why you think it’s an anomaly. I’ll see what we can dig up and keep you posted. We personally know of 2 in the same boat. Email us at info@chischoolgps.com.

    As for those wondering about LPIB, I STRONGLY encourage you to take them up on the Shadow Day offer (note- one parent must attend as well, from 7:50-1:10). You must make an appointment but dates are available this Monday, Tues & Thurs, all the following week (ISATs) and 5/11 & 5/12. Info on the letter the school mailed.

  • 401. Family Friend  |  February 24, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    @377 Ms. A: What the application means when it says order of preference does not matter. In the early days of SEHS, a school rarely accepted anyone who had not listed it as first choice. So (back when the admissions test was the only criterion), a kid could score in the 96th percentile and miss out on first choice Northside, where the cutoff was the 97th percentile, and not be admitted to second choice Payton, where the cutoff the same year was the 89th percentile. It led to HUGE frustrations. So now, you can list your schools in order of preference. CPS will go down the list and admit you to the first one where your score is above the cutoff for that school.

  • 402. IEPmom  |  February 24, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    In addition to score and tier, IEP’s are an other consideration to SEHS admission. I’ve been told a couple different things, but I believe each SEHS has a quota of IEP students, just as they have a quota for each tier. Therefore, a child with an IEP can be admitted with a score lower than the general cut-off for their tier. It’s nothing new. I know kids with IEPs at Northside, Payton, Whitney and Lane who were admitted with scores which were below the published cut-offs.

  • 403. Sped Mom  |  February 24, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    How well are IEP accommodated at NCP, Payton, WY, Jones and Lane? I’ve heard that certain disabilities are well-accommodated at Jones. What about the others? Do IEP students graduate?

  • 404. Momof5  |  February 24, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    @395 and @353: As a parent of 2 current Lane students, I can tell you that “coasting” is an option that a family would have to allow. My experience there is that the students we know are highly driven and competitive but also well-rounded. My older son began opting to take AP courses his sophomore year and will be taking either 4 or 5 next year as a senior. This all while playing in 2 sports and starting a rock band. My freshman has also chosen to begin taking AP courses next year while playing a sport.
    My point is not to brag (although I am very proud of how they are doing) but to remind people that although they are off to high school, they are not in a bubble where you as a parent are locked out of their decision processes. I am sure there are kids at every school who are driven and competitive and others who are “coasters.” This is this situation where the word parent becomes a verb and not just a noun. While I am not in favor of helicopter parenting, you have to watch your kid and see what’s best for them.

    Ok, stepping off my soapbox now and wishing you well in your selection process. You have wonderful options before you.

  • 405. Sped Mom  |  February 24, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    When do Ag School notices go out?

  • 406. Smadness  |  February 24, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    Ms A. Most of the Catholjc Schools offer generous scholarships for disadvantaged students. I would contact the admissions director ASAP at the school you tested at.

  • 407. Sped Mom  |  February 24, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    @ 332. Educator | February 23, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    Can you point me to an excellent neighborhood HS on the southside? I am in need of one.

  • 408. JustCurious  |  February 24, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    Does SEHS letters come out on Sunday? My friend is driving herself insane.

  • 409. Sped Mom  |  February 24, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    @ 339. RoscoeStMom | February 23, 2013 at 11:17 pm

    I’d recommend that she homeschool/unschool herself.

  • 410. TEACHER4321  |  February 24, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    I also posted this in another thread.

    I am not sure if you all know about More Than A Score. It is a joint project with several organizations including CTU and Raise Your Hand. There is a petition you can sign on Change.Org as well as opt out resources if you are interested.
    So far 37 schools in CPS have parents working on petitions at the individual schools. The map on the site shows them scattered throughout the city.


    I wasn’t sure where to post this. Just as I wasn’t sure where to post about the Harper High School story. I will post the link to the second episode below.

  • 411. TEACHER4321  |  February 24, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    Also posted this in another thread. It doesn’t really fit any of the current topics.

    Here is part 2 of the This American Life. I think it is very important to listen to the part 5. About the turnaround money. It is very important to realize that the $ schools get in the turnaround is not what they had before they were taken over. I linked directly to part 5. You will find the rest of the episode(s) on the website.


  • 412. LindblomPrincipal  |  February 24, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    393 Ms A: As the principal of Lindblom (and the parent of a Lindblom Eagle), I’d ask you to look before jumping to conclusions about safety. We have taken incredible steps to insure safe passage to and from.
    We are an incredibly safe place for students–with a rigorous curriculum and supportive staff.
    i hope you will come to our meeting for invited parents next Saturday.
    Alan Mather, Principal

  • 413. RoscoeStMom  |  February 24, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    Thank you for the many comments. One last question for anyone that knows LPIB as this has emerged as her first choice… She is Type 1 Diabetic– does anyone know about the nursing/health staffing? She’s been at a great ES with a whopping .2 nurses which thereby sometimes requires parent intervention (I guess I could assume that @spedmom knew that already, hence the keep-her-home suggestion.) She also got into Lane..a 5 min walk. (I’m not a helicopter parent…I swear..probably more so the opposite.)

    I am also very interested in the 504/IEP questions as my son has HFAutism. Mainstream ES. Great grades. Not the test taker. Want to learn as much as I can to help prepare for what will be a more difficult decision just down the road. Thank you.

  • 414. Twogirlsmom  |  February 24, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    @353 We are in the same position, child at Lane AC who is very happy there and got accepted into Northside. She always wanted to go to NS but Lane has a lot going for it. Anyone who is worried it may not be challenging enough should know that there are tons of very bright kids there and a wide variety of rigorous courses. I never hear any thing bad about Lane and I think despite it’s size, it really has a place for everyone. I’d love to hear more about Northside from anyone with children there.

  • 415. LTAC Mom  |  February 24, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    @353 undecided. Your son is smart enough for either place, but if he’s struggling organizationally, I’d keep him at Lane. At Lane they already know him and will work with him to strengthen his organizational skills. They can also help find the right mix of honors, regular or AP classes based on his academic strengths. If he’s in LTAC, he’s already swimming with a fast crowd–I don’t see an advantage to be gained with Northside. And since he’s happy there, I’d continue building on the things he already likes and that work for him, Full disclosure: I’m the mom of an original LTACer who got into NS with 900 and is staying at Lane.

  • 416. Twogirlsmom  |  February 24, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    @395, as the parent of a child who has always worked very hard and been a high achiever, I am not convinced “underachieving” is necessarily a bad thing. I’ve seen the stress, both self imposed and from school and peers, and wouldn’t mind a little less pressure on my child. She has a social life and plays sports, but gave up things like music and choir during that pressure filled 7th grade year. I really don’t want her to burn out from an overload of AP and honors classes, so I hope she can challenge herself a little more on the things she’s interested in, and a little less on the subjects that she’s not. I’m hopeful that wherever she ends up for high school she will actually get to make her own (and hopefully, wise!) choices on the level of rigor in the different subjects she takes.

  • 417. Family Friend  |  February 24, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    Just saw from the post above that Alan Mather is Principal at Lindblom — to me, that explains why Lindblom is doing so well. I know a lot depends on staff, etc. but he knows how to assemble the right staff and run things well — Ms. A, do talk to him about getting your child safely to school.

  • 418. Thorp Mom  |  February 24, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    @Pantherparent, I agree with you. They also told my daughter the same thing so there would be no cheating. I know my daughter didn’t finishl the test and neither did many of her friends.

  • 419. undecided  |  February 24, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    Thanks to everyone for thier input. Lots to think about! I will note- we have been tremendously impressed w/ Lane, and my son has loved it! We know we are lucky to be deciding between 2 great schools.

  • 420. Marc  |  February 24, 2013 at 5:16 pm

    @ Twogirlsmom as a parent of 2 NS kids (one graduated , one a freshman) NS is a great warm and welcoming place, the kids are fantastic. It is a smaller school than Lane, so there might be less course choice, although still quite a wide range. All the schools will have many good teachers , some excellent, and a few who are less good. NS has a relatively new facility , great swim program, wonderful extracurriculars like music/drama/sports. very active student groups , if you can’t find a fun and interesting activity at Northside , you probably won’t find one elsewhere, Many AP courses offered. Academically the students do very well and many end up going to the top universities. I don’t think you can go wrong either way.

  • 421. mom  |  February 24, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    Tier 4, reported score 874 (but isn’t 300 + 92% + 91% +297=880?) First choice Jones and we got in!!!! Test prep was well worth it! Lane would have been great too!

  • 422. P. Joseph Powers  |  February 24, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    Congratulations to our Jones College Prep Class of 2017 Eagles! Please join us for our Freshman Welcome programs on March 5 or 6. The school will be open for visitors 6-7 PM, followed by an informational program at 7 PM in the Robin Bennett Theater. Details of our program, as well as registration and class scheduling are included in the mailing you will receive. If you have any questions, please feel to email me at pjpowers@cps.edu. P. Joseph Powers, Principal.

  • 423. Sped Mom  |  February 24, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    Would students be considering diversity when making their choices among offers? Are any parents hearing that?

  • 424. Sped Mom  |  February 24, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    @ 413. RoscoeStMom

    You probably are hooked into the disability communities in Chicago that address educational issues.

    You can check on the Guidelines for Managing Diabetes (2012 policy + appendix). I recall something over the last few years about CPS making it OK for any Joe (pretty much) to administer shots in school. This horrifies me, as I would want a school nurse.

    Doesn’t Payton have an autism program – not sure if it’s appropriate for HF, though. Jones, from what parents in the Asperger’s community have told me, seems to have sped staff who are highly aware.

    Things always change (for better or worse) for SWD depending on who’d in the saddle in any one school. I’m still trying to get a bead on Jones and ED students. Anyone have info?

  • 425. North Center Mom  |  February 24, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    @423 re: diversity

    Absolutely looked at it. To us it looked like the most centrally located schools also had the most balanced diversity. Not surprising given the geography and public transportation options.

  • 426. Sped Mom  |  February 24, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    Here’s an old news story related to the school nurse issue: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2010-05-03/news/ct-met-diabetes-legislation-20100503_1_diabetic-students-glucose-levels-full-time-nurse.

  • 427. Sped Mom  |  February 24, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    When I’ve heard kids pining for Jones, diversity has been way up there as why.

  • 428. Momof5  |  February 24, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    @423: Sped mom, Diversity was the absolute reason why my children have chosen SEHS over their Catholic option. Full disclosure: all my kids go to a catholic elementary school.

  • 429. HSObsessed  |  February 24, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    Tier 4, 897, offer to Payton. Also got an offer from LPHS theater program. Denied to von Steuben and on wait list for von Steuben Science. Have not heard from Jones CTE or Alcott HS. No test prep taken.

  • 430. HSObsessed  |  February 24, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    ^^^ Denied von Steuben Scholars, and on wait list for …

  • 431. cpsobsessed  |  February 24, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    HSO – congrats! Good options there!

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 432. cpsobsessed  |  February 24, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    Those are definitely the old cutoff scores that are up this weekend btw. New ones will say 2013-2014 school year.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 433. IB&AC Mom (formerly IB&RGC)  |  February 24, 2013 at 10:05 pm

    HSO, congrats!!

  • 434. RoscoeStMom  |  February 24, 2013 at 10:08 pm

    Thanks @spedmom. Got “lucky” that the type 1 diagnosis was in her mid-tweens when she was able to master the shots herself and just have an adult check her math on the carbs:insulin:corrections (maybe this helped her test scores and grades!) It is a sad state but in a way has helped her grow strong.

    I’ll def look into the Payton and Jones programs for my son.

    Maybe all these great school choices and my daughter can cure one or both conditions.

  • 435. Tier4ever  |  February 24, 2013 at 10:39 pm

    Tomorrow should enlighten us as to the tier breakdown.

  • 436. IB&AC Mom (formerly IB&RGC)  |  February 24, 2013 at 10:49 pm

    @434, RoscoeStMom – I have a type 1 daughter also. Not the one going into high school though. Not looking forward to going through this again when it is her turn. And figuring out which school will be best with nursing, etc on top of that.

  • 437. CPS PARENT  |  February 25, 2013 at 7:40 am

    How many seats do you guys think are open for PD for Jones?

  • 438. P. Joseph Powers, Principal  |  February 25, 2013 at 7:43 am

    Jones will have approximately 10 principal discretion seats.

  • 439. anotherchicagoparent  |  February 25, 2013 at 7:55 am

    @438 thanks for the info.
    When my oldest child picked Jones it was definitely for the diversity, and the teachers caught his attention during the open house.Now this time around seemed most were choosing it for the new building and the new swimming pool.

  • 440. Cps parent  |  February 25, 2013 at 8:03 am

    I know there are 4 categories they look for. Are any of them weighed more than others. I was thinking about trying to apply for Pd for my son for athletics and acemdemics.

  • 441. Mom of 3  |  February 25, 2013 at 8:35 am

    900, Tier 4 Northside. Daughter did take test prep, but always scores well on tests anyway. We just felt we had to do whatever we could, since even a point can make a difference.

  • 442. phew  |  February 25, 2013 at 9:45 am

    Northside Tier 3 878 no test prep but 300 on cps test.

  • 443. RationalRationing  |  February 25, 2013 at 9:52 am

    Thought I’d be the first to chime in that SEHS cutoff scores have just been posted here ( http://www.cpsoae.org/Selective%20Enrollment%20Cutoff%20Scores%202013-2014.pdf ); unleash the hounds!

    Not obsessed, just have a nice little webpage monitor tool that pings me when a page of interest is revised. Ok, maybe a little obsessed.

  • 444. HSDad  |  February 25, 2013 at 9:57 am

    Anyone know how many seats for PD at Youn?

  • 445. CPS Parent  |  February 25, 2013 at 10:30 am

    At SEHS’s all the perfect scores (900) are admitted by Rank. A few years a ago 32 were admitted at Payton that way which was about half of the Rank admits. My kid came from a private school and 7 of the 8 admitted (graduating class of 33) from there to Payton had perfect scores.

    Looks like, at Payton, the admission by rank only (no tiers), remains at 30%. I trhink the majority of these students are Tier 4. My guess is that the total Tier 4 and Rank who are Tier 4 combined represents about 40 – 45% of the school. I think NS is similar but haven’t run the numbers.

    Tier 4’s like to complain but the reality is not bad at all.

  • 446. cpsobsessed  |  February 25, 2013 at 10:45 am

    PD spots should be roughly 5 percent of the incoming class size.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 447. cpsobsessed  |  February 25, 2013 at 10:46 am

    I’m at a work thing all day so I can’t compare the cutoffs of this year vs last year. But I’ll take a look and try to make a chart tonight.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 448. cpsobsessed  |  February 25, 2013 at 10:48 am


    Link to new cutoff scores

  • 449. RationalRationing  |  February 25, 2013 at 10:56 am

    Looking at the new scores, in context with history I’ve saved since monitoring this. Some observations:

    Tier 4 cutoffs did drop from last year, across the board. Payton and Northside dropped 4 points. Young dropped 3, Jones and Lane both dropped 8. But they had leapt up in previous years. Or does this reflect a flight to the burbs and privates without even throwing the hat in the ring? Anyway, so no, this is not the year of the 900 cutoff.

    Big drops in Tier 1 minimums at the most selective schools.

    The rank ordering of schools (by the Tier 4 minimum) is unchanged from last year.

    With the exception of (maybe one?) stalwart at the new South Shore SEHS, 900-scorers are choosing all the Lane-or-better schools.

    For the second year in a row, Payton is the most selective school across all of the tiers (except 3 this year.)

    I clipped a pic of these results here – enjoy responsibly!


  • 450. rotten system  |  February 25, 2013 at 11:01 am

    CPS Parent says:

    “Looks like, at Payton, the admission by rank only (no tiers), remains at 30%. I trhink the majority of these students are Tier 4. My guess is that the total Tier 4 and Rank who are Tier 4 combined represents about 40 – 45% of the school. I think NS is similar but haven’t run the numbers.
    Tier 4′s like to complain but the reality is not bad at all”

    But when your Tier 4 kid misses their needed score by 1-2 points and you see kids getting in with 100 fewer points, the system does not seem fair. That is to say – it’s not a merit based system, it’s a political compromise. It causes endless arguments about fairness when in reality the problem is lack of highest quality educational access for all.

  • 451. cpsobsessed  |  February 25, 2013 at 11:04 am

    Thanks RR!

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 452. HSObsessed  |  February 25, 2013 at 11:10 am

    As CPS promised, on the whole the cut offs fell in nearly all categories by a few points, but there were a few exceptions.

    Northside and Payton’s rank cut offs stayed the same at 898 but their tier 4 cut offs fell by 4 points each, to 891 and 892.

    Whitney Young’s rank cut off fell by 4 points and tier 4 cutoff is down 3, but the tier 1 and 2 cut offs went up.

    The cut offs for Lane Tech and Jones both went down by 8 points each for both rank and tier 4. Most of the other tier cut offs for both went down anything from 5 to 24 points, except for tier 2 for Lane, which went up 2.

    The rank cut off for Westinghouse went down by 12, Lindblom by 18, Brooks by 22 and King by 24.

    South Shore made its debut with a rank cut off of 703 and all tier cut offs in the range of 650.

  • 453. momof3boys  |  February 25, 2013 at 11:12 am

    @356. I’m just going to tell you what we did for PD. It is basically Marketing for you child. How well you can “sell” your child is how you r going to get your child in. We gathered all the info requested from the PD application process. We only submitted 2 letters of recommendation and took pictures of all my sons swimming awards and consolidated 12 pics into one letter size page. My son wrote his essay and talked about his academic work ethic, his sport, and what he can offer the school. When u turn it in, they scan the pages, so I think they don’t want a book. And then your packet is turn over the school’s PD committee. After that, we just waited and bit our nails. I’m not sure where on this blog, his essay is, but it’s here somewhere. BTW, I’m not sure but essays are run thru some program for plagiarism so I would be mindful about cutting and pasting from the Internet. Good luck!

  • 454. HSObsessed  |  February 25, 2013 at 11:22 am

    Number of offers made for each school: Lane 1100, Westinghouse 520, King 433, Jones 370, Young 360, Lindblom 350, Brooks 327, Northside 260, Payton 221, South Shore 165.

    I didn’t know Westinghouse was going to be so large?

    I guess they expect most of the Young AC students to remain on at Young. How many are enrolled, 110?

  • 455. parent  |  February 25, 2013 at 11:28 am

    @454 – 110 total or 8th grade. I heard that they were looking to expand AC seats. Maybe that lowered HS admissions.

  • 456. crust  |  February 25, 2013 at 11:30 am

    My son received his letter and was temporarily disappointed not to get into Lane. He scored well on the exam itself but was setback by the the 3 b’s and the isat score deductions. He was accepted into IB programs at Taft-Senn-Amundsen and Ogden. We have briefly discussed the Principal Discretion route, however he was impressed by the program at Senn and seems to be leaning in thath direction. I here they are turning things around over there, does anyone have any feedback on their program?

  • 457. exCPSmom5  |  February 25, 2013 at 11:41 am

    453 the plagerism site is “turnitin.com” My son (private HS) has to run all his written papers through this site before he turns them in.

  • 458. John  |  February 25, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    352, 358.
    Thanks for your comments parents…
    But it’s not so clear (and some parents have already discussed this in the current thread) whether putting a 13 year old in the most competitive environment necessarily helps that 13 year old when he or she comes out of the black box at 17. I mean, some students may rise to the challenges of 4 AP’s their sophomore and junior years and other students may get burned out (and would have been better taking 1 or 2 AP’s). And competition itself stimulates different responses in different people. Some 13 year olds may naturally rise to greater challenges and evolve to be more competitively fit, and other 13 year olds may thrive in less competitive environments. It’s also about timing–if you are a late bloomer intelligent young Northsider and you get thrown into the 98 percentile pit and turns out you are near the bottom of your class struggling to keep up, this may dampen your enthusiasm and you may end up turning away from academics vs. if you were a 98 percentiler who builds up momentum from being at the top of your class and feeds off recognition and blooms…

    Aside from the issue of psychology and timing in the developmental life cycle of a high schooler, there is the question of practical consequences to going to any SEHS… I do not believe that schools across the country necessarily give “that much” credence to a school’s entrance requirements… That is to say, with 20K applicants, the overworked central admissions office in Palo Alto or Cambridge will not necessarily know that Northside, Payton, WY, Jones, etc have 95-98 percentile cutoffs (and I would argue nor would they particularly care)… so the intrinsic value of a SEHS is certainly in (potentially) fostering high end intellectual evolution, but if you transpose the mania about SEHS entrance to college entrance, the value of class rank is certainly present in college admissions. not “sufficiently” recognize this..

    Philosphically, it depends on how you view education and educational milestones and the answer is complex given your priority inputs. If you believe you can get a good education anywhere and don’t put much credence in “named” institutions such as Northside or Brooks or Lane, then should you care whether you go to Eastern Illinois or Harvard? Conversely, if you feel that going to Northside or Harvard provides intrinsic advantages then you have to think about the manner in which those institutions judge candidates and ironically the Northsides at the college level may not acknowledge the advantages of Northsides at the high school level (so to speak) because if you are a top 5 student at SEHS or non-SEHS you have a shot at any university in the land, but (for purposes of argument) a number 11 student at Northside who would have been a number 1 student at non-SEHS would not realistically have every door open.

    I am thinking out loud obviously but genuinely interested in how other parents of bright students who are looking at the next level are seeing this

  • 459. Momof5  |  February 25, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    @450 Rotten System: I respectfully disagree. I was in the same position as you with regards to my oldest. His was the first year the tier system began and we felt cheated at first by his missing the Payton mark by 2. However, the more I thought about it, the more I agreed with the system. Living in Tier 4, my son had so many more advantages than a child of comparable intelligence living in Tier 1 (not trying to be condescending here – just going with the socio-economic factors used to determine tiers): safe neighborhood, higher income level, ability to provide (and choose) private schooling, etc. The difference was we had the means to maximize his opportunities. Why should a child of comparable intelligence not have the playing field somewhat leveled? If we believe that the best way to break the cycle of poverty is through education, this is a good way to do it. Not perfect, of course, but better.

    He did end up at his second choice SEHS (having opted not to go to the private school that was his back up choice – yet another advantage) and now is thankful he is where he is. He loves it and has flourished. My one problem with the process is that, while they are excellent schools, parents believe NS and WP are the be all and end all. We have wonderful options. The problem is that we wish we had more of them.

  • 460. SoxSideIrish4  |  February 25, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    #457. exCPSmom5~most CPS HS have their students use turnitin.com

  • 461. HSObsessed  |  February 25, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    @458 – I guess I don’t consider SEHS to be full of geniuses, as you mention in your earlier post in the 300s. My child got an offer to Payton but doesn’t seem very genius-y to me, and the kids I know of who go there now or to other SEHS (and LPIB as well) just seem like reasonably bright kids who run the spectrum of how much they take school seriously, how much they work at it, how much they socialize, etc.

    I do think that when a kid is surrounded by other bright kids, they’ll learn more (whether they want to or not) in general, and that will increase their ACT/SAT scores, which are the great equalizer when it comes to college admissions.

  • 462. cpsobsessed  |  February 25, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    Here is the essay from Momof3Boys’ son for Lane PD:

    here is the essay… i obviously took out some parts….

    Please consider me….., as a candidate for admissions. Although my ISAT scores and SE exam results may not be strong, I am more than capable of doing the work at Lane Tech. Please consider my application of Principal Discretion based on the following: Ability to overcome hardship, Unique Skills, and Extenuating Circumstances.
    Ability to Over Come Hardship
    I was born 11 weeks premature. I spent 12 weeks in the NICU. During my first weeks of life, I was on an oscillating oxygen machine. I had undergone many procedures to help me. I was a fighter and even though there was a point where the doctors thought I only had a 20% chance of making it, I pulled through and survived. Such perseverance indicated at an early age that I am a survivor and a fighter.
    In third grade, I was diagnosed with ADHD. I struggled with focusing and school work. … The point of this is that even though I have struggled with ADHD, I am a really hard working student who puts all my efforts into my studies. While I am not a stellar test taker, I am the type of student who will work diligently and thoroughly. I am not only the Class of 2015, but in actuality the class of 2019. That is the year that I am striving for and I believe that Lane Tech will be able to provide me with the skills, knowledge to be successful and graduate with a degree in 2019….

    Unique Skills: Swimming
    Although I have been accepted at a number of schools for their Honors/Double Honors/IB programs, I would really like to attend Lane Tech. My brother is currently a sophomore at Lane Tech. He is member of the Varsity Swim Team and recently broke a Lane Tech Swimming Record this year. I am also a swimmer and would like to continue the tradition and swim for Lane Tech. I want to be part of that tradition and I know that Lane Tech will allow me to pursue swimming and academics at the same time…

    Extenuating Circumstances:
    The grades that were used to determine my score for my overall 7th grade core were wrong. The principal sent in the paperwork that was approved to change the grade. As it stands right now, the grades that were used to calculate are Reading (A), Math (C), Science (B), and Social Science (B). However, the correct grades should be Reading (A), Math (B), Science (B), and Social Science (B). That would make the total points to 250, not the 225 that was used. My ISAT points were 230 and the SE test points were 209. The total score should have been 689.

    In summary I believe that I the kind of student who would succeed at Lane Tech. I am studious, conscientious, and ambitious. I believe that my work in 7th and 8th grades is an indication that I have the ability to excel at Lane Tech. Even though I have had medical problems early on in life and the ADHD that arose from it, I am still able to maintain excellent grades.
    Please consider my application for admission based on my merit and not solely on my test scores. While my total score seems low, I believe that I am more than capable of succeeding at Lane Tech. My Explore Test Composite is a… I have made progress throughout elementary school, even more significant in 7th and 8th grades. Attached are my test scores, ISAT and EXPLORE, and my 7th grade grades and 8th grade grades. Also, included are letters of recommendation from my 8th grade teachers and coaches, as well as, awards and certificates for your review.

  • 463. xCPS88  |  February 25, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    458. Thanks John. We did roll the SE dice a few years back, but the B in 7th grade…. I don’t have a problem with B’s. I think most parents don’t either. My child is in a private hs, doing well, loving it, working hard, loving it, did i mention loving it? At the beginning of the great 7th grade stress out, i told him there certainly were other options for hs, and there are. I know lots of kids struggling at Lane, LP and NS. Those schools are not for everyone. Save the stress for college applications, not hs. You are right NS, Payton, etc. those schools do not have the cache outside of Chicago.

  • 464. OutsideLookingIn  |  February 25, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    I’ll add to what HSO said in #461. Kids learn more when surrounded by kids who are not only bright but also are highly motivated, engaged and hard working.

  • 465. mom2  |  February 25, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    @464 – “Kids learn more when surrounded by kids who are not only bright but also are highly motivated, engaged and hard working.” – That’s exactly what most parents are looking for. While some may really want their child in the highly stressful and competitive environment of the SEHS and all the kids trying to take 4 or more AP classes per year, most just want to make sure their child is surrounded by motivated, engaged and hard working kids that value education and plan to attend college. They also want them to be safe with little to no gang pressure. Unfortunately, it is (or was) hard to find in places other than the SEHS’s in Chicago. I really think that may be changing with some of the newer selective programs at some neighborhood high schools. I sure hope so!!!

  • 466. klm  |  February 25, 2013 at 1:34 pm


    From my somewhat limited, but real experience in college/higher education .admissions, believe me, college admissions officers/personnel are very aware of disparate academic standards among high schools and treat applicants’ academic records accordingly.

    If one school has an average ACT score of 15 or 16 and another an average score of 29, virtually everybody involved will know it’s much, much harder to compete for good grades and class ranking at the “29” school.

    Typically, admissions officers are given a particular region of the country to work with. So, for example, an admissions person in Palo Alto, New Haven, Ithaca, Cambridge, Providence or wherever, will be familiar with different high schools in the region of, say, “Wisconsin and Illinois” and are pretty familiar with and know the difference between, say Northside (average ACT over 29) and Senn (where the last time I checked 0.0% of the 11th graders met the college-readiness standards on the 4 sections of the ACT). They know that it’s harder to just break the top 10-20% of a school like Northside or Lab (schools with lots of really, really smart, hard-working kids that show a love of learning) than a school where lower achievement is the norm. These kinds of scores are published (we talk about them on this site, like all the time), so believe me, when in doubt, they will research to see what kinds of school the applicant is coming from from and figure out how hard it was to compete, earn good grades, etc. Believe me, the people at the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at Harvard, Yale, Northwestern, U of I/U-C, ….are pretty aware of the situation with CPS HSs re: admissions standards, the relative amount of effort required to get a good grade at a particular schools, etc.

    At one undergraduate admissions office where I worked, points were automatically added to the HS GPA of applicants that went to HSs that were well known to be tough, academically (St. Grottlesex-type prep schools, New Trier, Latin, Lab, the ‘best’ SE HSs in NYC, etc).

    Admissions people at most schools will have computerized tools that tracts students from particular high schools, how theses students have done at their respective college in terms of undergraduate GPAs, plus factor in SATs/ACT scores, etc., to get a good idea of how the applicant will do. At some HSs, kids are sweating bullets just to get a B+, but at others there’s lots of grade inflation, not many high-scoring kids, etc., so getting an A is not so extraordinarily difficult.

    Some kids from small towns have no choice but to attend a particular HS. Here in Chicago, we have options: SE HSs LPIB, etc. If somebody doesn’t have the drive (and yes ability) to pursue one of these more academically challenging options, some admissions officers will most likely look with some judgment on the applicant, at least in terms of how s/he chose to pursue academics in high school. If somebody doesn’t have the desire to do the work at a high-achieving-hard-to-get-an-A public HS when it’s available, then of course it’s also a consideration when admitting applicants to colleges that are also very “high achieving.”

    That said, the admissions process at Harvard/Yale/Stanford-type schools is so crazy that unless an applicant has some sort of ‘hook” (all-American athlete, underrepresented minority, the offspring of a large donor, published a novel at 16, homeless but still managed to be valedictorian, etc.), being just plain really, really smart and hard-working is not enough in most cases.

    Most of us need to worry about getting our kids into U of I (not so easy, anymore) or Illinois State, not Harvard or Amherst.

  • 467. CPS Parent  |  February 25, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    458. John – My experience is with Payton and my kids are attending unversities ranked by US News at #24 and #3.

    To each of your points –

    The environment is not competitive; it is nurturing and stimulating. Many students (I think about half to a third) take from none to a single AP class. It is entirely up to the student.

    Selective colleges do pay attention to where student go to high school but not for the reason you think – there are no “quotas”. (Payton has acceptances to Yale that vary from 1 to 8 or so each year for example). Most good high schools (including Payton) have stopped ranking students. Good colleges have systems in place which allow applications to get plenty of personal attention and the admission officers (who are regional) are well aware of Payton, NS, Whitney, etc. They visit every year and know the nuances of each school.

    The difference between Eastern Illinois and Harvard is a chasm. For most students at Eastern the first couple of years will be remedial for college readiness whereas at Harvard 100% of the entering students are way beyond readiness. Whether Harvard students take advantage of that difference is up to the individual but the opportunities that present themselves at these two schools are vastly different.

  • 468. John  |  February 25, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    463 et al.
    Thoughtful comments–thank you.
    466: great comments. Your penultimate paragraph is so true now not only for HYS but other schools… But I think understanding your child and where they fit is the challenge…to use another college analogy… if you are a Division I level athlete and you have a chance to being a 4 year starter at U of I vs. being number 4 on the depth chart at Notre Dame or Florida–where should you go? Arguments exist for both…
    I just believe that the mix at some good quality schools (privates included) allows a stratification of interest and focus that then makes it possible for any child with a unique set of gifts to “shine”
    Your daughter plays soccer and loves it– but her first day, she is with 7 year old all-stars and she is average and she gets a little discouraged because for many 7 year olds (and 13 year olds and adults) part of the motivation for competing in a certain milieu is linked to “doing well” and getting the positive reinforcement from “winning” We can highmindedly talk about how everyone who plays wins and that is undoubtedly true, but human nature is not so flexible every time. Social darwinism exists. Period. I know many people who changed career paths because they took a curriculum too harsh too early and could not quite get the idea that being comfortably ensconced in the middle of a bell curve was “winning”

    I don’t want to be draconian or hubristic about this–I’m just mulling over thoughts and insights I’m sure every parent has who is taking their child through SEHS

    Peace (out)

  • 469. Curious Mom  |  February 25, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    In comparison to the select enrollment high schools, do you think Lane is still looked down upon – – or do you think that is changing? Does anyone have any insight to the reputation of Lane with college reps?

  • 470. rotten system  |  February 25, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    @459 – I don’t think we disagree. As a parent, I advocate for my child first. As a citizen , I advocate for society and other children. It’s definitely not a tragedy if a child doesn’t get into NS or Payton but gets into one of the other SEHS programs- they really are wonderful (Lane, Whitney, Jones, Lincoln Park IB to name a few). I just think the system has become arbitrary for some kids. It’s well known that there is a lot of soft grading in the 7th grade, because teachers know that to have a chance at the SEHS Tier 4 kids need pretty solid A’s. Also , the SE exam bunches kids at the top. there is no benefit if your kid is a math genius, does college level math, but gets 1-2 questions wrong in English. I will also agree, that much of what we see in Tier 4 is the result of opportunities and environment not always available to Tier 1. The whole gifted vs well prepared argument… I’m not sure we save society by having the tier system.

    It’s also known that many Tier 4 families are buying or renting in lower tier neighborhoods for the 7/8 grades (despite going to private schools) in order to lower the bar for their kids. People with means and motivation will always work hard to figure out how to get what they want.
    My point is that we should have challenging and nurturing high schools for all.
    in one country I know of in Europe, there is a ban on private donations to schools – the idea being, if you want to improve your local school, you must increase funding for all schools. Here you have great schools like Payton, attracting students from well off families in LP and the Gold Coast and funding enrichment programs at levels neighborhood schools can only dream about.

  • 471. IBobsessed  |  February 25, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    “Here in Chicago, we have options: SE HSs LPIB, etc. If somebody doesn’t have the drive (and yes ability) to pursue one of these more academically challenging options, some admissions officers will most likely look with some judgment on the applicant, at least in terms of how s/he chose to pursue academics in high school.”
    KLM surely this view is now DATED and admissions officers know better since 2 B+s in a gifted program can eliminate your chance at an SEHS spot or at LPIB. Please stop making Senn your example of underacievement. Those schores are several years old and you may recall that 8 of 10 public school junious in IL did not score at he college level ready on ALL ACT subject tests.

  • 472. Southside Daddi-o  |  February 25, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    @462 “In summary I believe that I the kind of student who would succeed at Lane Tech. I am studious, conscientious, and ambitious.” …

    You is? D’oh …. 😦

  • 473. relievedinRogersPark  |  February 25, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    Sorry about the cross post on this but I am very interested in getting input…

    Going to LP IB shadow day tomorrow. So far the questions I have are: 1) what % of incoming freshmen ultimately graduate from the IB program? 2) Is the homework reputation deserved? With the longer school day, how does this relate to the homework load? Anyone else have some good questions to ask? I will post the answers tomorrow if anyone is interested.

  • 474. klm  |  February 25, 2013 at 3:07 pm


    I don’t mean to sound (like I know I’m going to, which is to say ‘politely’ [I hope] contradictory), but the publicly funded Lycee in France that I was involved with as an exchange student in HS was happy to take a donation years later. The French teacher that I had in HS was the one trying to arrange a “‘donation” from us American former exchanges in gratitude, to improve/add to the French HS’s language lab. Maybe it was OK because we were foreigners, but it was happily received as what it was: a token of gratitude and transnational “friendship” from us American former exchange students.

    That said, I understand your point. Lincoln Elementary raises enough money from parents to provide a full-time music teacher, a lower student:teacher ratio in K (granted, it’s part-time K), etc.

    On the other hand, as Lincoln’s principal points out (and he’s right, I’ve done the math), Lincoln raises considerably less from fund-raising (to the tune of like $500,000) that it would get extra in Title I funds if enough students were low-income –and how many of us would be really happy to send our kids to most Title I CPS elementary schools?

    It’s not all about money, but the “culture of education” (from parents, students, teachers and administrators) that creates a great school.

    Speaking of Lincoln: Anybody familiar with it’s physical plant? It’s totally crappy –talk about an over-crowded antique of a building (make-do, low-ceiling art room in the basement, etc.). Yet, somehow it’s one of the best public elementary schools in the state of Illinois that prides itself in having a core academic curriculum comparable to the best private schools (Parker, Latin, City Day) where many people in its neighborhood enroll their kids..

    I’m not convinced a good education is all about expensive facilities and money spent, but it can’t hurt, obviously..

  • 475. mom2  |  February 25, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    @469 – I sure would hope that college admissions officers would look way up to Lane Tech and not down at all. If I am wrong about that, then most of those admissions officers are not very bright and not keeping up with the times at all. Lane has kids with 900 points selecting the school as their top choice. Why on earth would they do that if it was a school to look down upon?

    The people I know that might still be “looking down” at any schools other than Northside and Payton are parents that really only care about what they think looks good to others. They are the same parents that would only feel able to brag if their child went to an Ivy League school or maybe U of C, Northwestern or Michigan. They would actually feel shame for U of I (which is quite difficult to achieve these days).

    By the way, just because a school is hard to get into does guarantee a better education or a successful future. Difficult or highly selective or competitive doesn’t guarantee a better school, better classes or even smarter kids in the long run.

  • 476. klm  |  February 25, 2013 at 3:32 pm


    Sorry, but I got my info from the latest stats published online from the ‘Trib”. I was just giving an “example”, not trying to “pick on” any particular school.

    I was giving my opinion from what I know, having actually worked in undergraduate admissions. Do you want me to lie to make you happy? OK: It totally doesn’t matter what HS one goes to Northside or Hirsch (where as we discussed a while back from the story in the ‘Reader’, a recent valedictorian got a 19 then a 18 on her ACT) –college admissions professionals are completely oblivious and know nothing about the comparative difficulty of getting good grades at different HSs when they are trying to decide who to admit. An “A” is an “A” no matter what. OK, now?

    Come on, people. We’re all trying to engage in a dialog that often involves conjecture, anecdotes and yes, sometimes real facts that we don’t particularly care for.

    People here are frequently saying stuff I don’t agree with, but i don’t jump on them like white on rice.

    Also, I understand my overreaction is part of the problem I’m complaining about –do as I say not as I do.

    Sorry, “rotten system”. I know we both care and want things to work out best for more kids, which is why you said what you did.

    I guess maybe I need to switch to Sanka.

  • 477. David Gregg  |  February 25, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    KLM – I am not sure that the measure you used to classify Senn exists. If you mean percentage who EXCEEDED standards on the PSAE (which includes the ridiculous ‘Work Keys’ exam as well as the ACT) in all 3 categories, yes 0% exceeded, though a considerable number MET standards. By comparison, only 60% of Northside students and only about 10% of Lane students exceeded this arbitary standard, which by the way is established in Springfield – so that should tell you something. (I realize this was not your point, but I want to make sure readers have an accurate picture. In that spirit, you can check this data by looking at school pages on the CPS website and click on the ‘State Report Card’ under the ‘scorecard’ tab.) This is not at all to speak to the importance of this data, only to report it accurately.

    Your point about college admissions looking at the school context, that is indeed true. Regional admissions officers from most universities know CPS and can distinguish one school context from another. Part of ‘knowing’ the school means knowing about the curriculum – something you cannot tell simply by looking at test scores or state report cards.

    What I have learned in my experience working with college admissions personnel over the past several years is this:

    -Class rank IS evaluated relative to context, but this is a small part of the typical admissions decision.

    -Standardized tests such as the ACT are having a diminishing impact on admissions decisions. They are still important, but it is increasingly the case that transcripts, recommendations, and essays can compensate for lower test scores (and definitely can outweigh high test scores) as more evidence emerges about just how limited the ACT/SAT are in their ability to predict college success. No University that I know of looks at the PSAE referenced above.

    -A student’s course selection, and performance in those courses (i.e. transcripts) far outweigh the importance of the school from which the child comes.

    Regarding Senn, colleges, know about the quality of the IB Program, that it is delivered well, and that good grades in those courses are meaningful (i.e. no grade inflation). It is why students coming out of the program, despite only mediocre standardized tests scores (relatively speaking) have routinely been admitted to highly selective universities and, in many cases, given money to do so. Average scholarship last year was $93K.

    @456 and others considering Senn for first or possible second round option, feel free to call or email to set up a school tour and see classes in action. They will be taking place during the mornings next week.

    Sorry for the long post. I am making up for the infrequency of my presence here 🙂

    David Gregg
    IB MYP Coordinator
    Senn High School

  • 478. OutsideLookingIn  |  February 25, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    @170 – where are you getting the data that “many Tier 4 families are buying/renting in lower tier neighborhoods for 7/8 grades despite going to private schools”?

  • 479. parent  |  February 25, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    Today was the day that ACT scores came out for the February exam. Took it for the first time, really as practice, and scored big – well above the average for our SE school. Whew Whoo! My teen is an average student (with lots of potential) and doesn’t let school get in the way of a social life. This is the moment that I sing praises of the selective program. I do see that the school environment was instrumental in allowing him to flourish. So far, don’t see a disadvantage not being at the top of the class in a SE school. As others have said, it is all about fit and the best environment.

    Comment on test prep – we did it for SE and for ACT. It was helpful. The classes did not necessarily teach, they summarize and review the major topics. If anything, I think they helped make a better student so probably worthwhile. I did not spend the $$ on the tutoring programs. Part of the prep was to take many practice exams. It’s probably good practice to take any and all tests offered by your school.

    Got an answer from a college rep on the weighted average GPA discussed earlier. They all have their formulas to figure out offers and they absolutely do consider the weighted average for honors and A/P above A’s in a regular class. With that, they do consider the school since some schools only have honors classes.

  • 480. pantherparent  |  February 25, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    @478 This is a common refrain every year about this time that never has any evidence. People always know a guy who has a friend who heard about someone who lives in Tier 4 and rents an apartment in Tier 1. I’d love to see the Tribune do an investigation on this.

    But until then, I think these baseless allegations unfairly diminish the accomplishments of the students freshly admitted to a SEHS, no matter which one.

  • 481. navigator  |  February 25, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    @479 – Did you get some kind of understanding how college reps figure schools with all honor classes?

  • 482. HS Mom - (parent)  |  February 25, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    They said that they figure the full weighted average along with what they know about the school. Different schools have an assigned cut-off that they look at. This rep also said that a high ACT could boost a lower GPA and they also look at situations where the grades are low for a year and then go up.

  • 483. klm  |  February 25, 2013 at 4:35 pm


    I was getting my information from the ‘Chicago Tribune School Rankings’ information (‘Google’ it), which looks like it was taken from Spring ’10 results. Yes, it’s now Feb., 2013, so that was 2.5+ years ago.

    From what I’ve read from the ACT’s own website, the college-readiness score is one that statistically shows that one has a 50% chance of getting at least a ‘B’ in the freshman year of college in that subject ALL THINGS BEING EQUAL (obviously, there are about a million different variables here) and 75% of getting at least a “C” in that subject: English Composition-18, Math-22, Social Sciences-21, Science-24

    The results showed that in Spring ’10, 0.0% of Senn students got the minimum on all 4 sections of the ACT, according to the ‘Chicago Tribune’. If this wrong, you should let them know.

    The rate for Lane was 26.0, Northside, 78.8, for examples of other CPS schools.

    Some suburban, open-enrollment HSs: Hinsdale Central 51.9, New Trier 61.8

    I know tests aren’t everything, but these results have to make some people think about things. How could they not?

    HSs can offer APs and IBs galore, but how many of the students are getting 4’s and 5’s on the APs and good/passing scores on the IB?

    These are objective things that parents are looking for in a potential school.

  • 484. Bill Seliger  |  February 25, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    Did anyone receive a mailing from Northside (directly from the school, separate from the CPS acceptance letter)? I did not and their school calendar shows a new parent orientation meeting next Monday March 4. If there is a meeting then I need to start reorganizing my calendar now…

  • 485. chialkat  |  February 25, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    Thank you mom2! I get really annoyed with all the craziness and snobbery of children and parents looking down at various schools. Two years ago when my son was going through this Lane was considered a last choice by many parents. This year as my daughter is going through it, the same parents that looked down their noses at Lane two years ago are now grateful the their child got in this year.
    Furthermore, I think that many of the kids that get into the top SEHS’ are not necessarily all geniuses. I saw this in the gifted program at the elementary level. Some of the so called “smartest” kids were those who seemed to me to be the kids who followed direction better than some others, did their homework and had lots of parental oversight. Obviously you can’t generalize and a lot of these kids are very very smart and I congratulate all who have worked hard and achieved admission to Northside, Payton, Jones, Lane etc. However I believe the system rewards a certain personality type, which is basically more tractable than some others. If your child has a rebellious spirit, or is gifted in one subject, but not another they lose in this system. There are many many people in the world who are talented and successful (by whatever measure you use) that didn’t go to the top high school, or an Ivy League. The world is so much more than that. I guess it’s the nature of this board (as evidenced by its name,) that a lot of the parents who post here are indeed “obsessed” with their child’s educational opportunities and accomplishments. I hope that it’s not so limited in the real world.

  • 486. IB&AC Mom (formerly IB&RGC)  |  February 25, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    This is seriously torture! I just got my mail and guess what wasn’t in it again?? Seriously. And they can’t give out info until Wednesday.

    Based on cut off’s there is only a slim chance she got in to Lane, but I just want to know already.

  • 487. Momof5  |  February 25, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    Acceptance letter to first choice, Lane. 869/900. No test prep. Thankful I won’t have to go through this again for another 4 years!

  • 488. RL Julia  |  February 25, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    Bill – congrats on the NCP admission. Indeed there is a new student orientation March 4 from 7-9 (I’ll be volunteering at it). It’s great if you can go to it – but if it is a major hassle – don’t stress. You’ll have plenty of time one Saturday in April when you and your child go to register for classes and such.

  • 489. HS Mom  |  February 25, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    @483 – yes – grading scales, course depth and rigor, teaching quality, learning conditions are all over the board. Throw international students in and you have a real Hodge Podge. The ACT/SAT/admissions essays enable the school to uniformly compare different applicants. Some version of a test will likely be necessary at larger universities.

  • 490. CB  |  February 25, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    If you looked at the top 300 kids in a class at Lane they are on par with the other SEHS. The scores are watered down due to volume. One class is the same size as the other top four schools combined. Due to this factor it feels like a more normal HS experience. My daughter loves it and it was the first choice for my son. It is walking distance too! A really added plus!

  • 491. pantherparent  |  February 25, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    @485 You are right on. I know parents with kids at Lane and they love it. Same with Whitney. Same with Payton. Talk to any of these kids and they’ll say they go to the best school in Chicago. And that’s they way it should be.

    Of course my son goes to Northside, the # 1 ranked high school in the state 12 years in a row. (Okay. I couldn’t resist.)

  • 492. Anonymous  |  February 25, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    #485, I couldn’t agree more. And, #491, yes, you could have resisted. You do understand that NS would not be ranked #1 nor would the other SES schools be so highly rated if other schools in the state (such as Hinsdale Central or New Trier) only took the kids who scored best on tests and studied the hardest. Really, you should be proud of your child’s accomplishment but bragging? This is exactly the problem #485 was talking about. Living through our children has gone to an extreme on this board.

  • 493. pantherparent  |  February 25, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    @492 Maybe today isn’t the best day for jokes.

  • 494. David Gregg  |  February 25, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    @KLM – Vast improvements at the school since 2010 aside…

    A passing subject score in IB, one in which universities begin to offer credit, is 4 out of 7 (similar to 3 out of 5 for AP). 100% of Senn’s IB students score a 4 or above in one or more of their subjects. But it is the experience of the program, without particular regard to exam scores, that has produced the college-readiness advantage of IB students. http://ccsr.uchicago.edu/publications/working-my-potential-postsecondary-experiences-cps-students-international-baccalaureate.

    My point was that college admissions officers – that is, those much better informed than the general public – go far beyond a school’s standardized test report to determine a student’s readiness for college. Just as one often has to look past what is published/publicly available in the Chicago Tribune in order to get good intel. This is why we invite families into our building. If I asked you to describe your own high school experience as good or bad, would you look up the test data from the years you attended or would you recount your experiences in the classrooms? Many of the families who have chosen Senn have been rewarded with a rich, rigorous curriculum and positive educational experience. But the opportunity would have been shut off to them if they stopped at the 2010 state test results.

  • 495. momof3boys  |  February 25, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    Daddy-o, Give me a break! I only published it because I thought it was a pretty good essay. Why do u have to b a jerk about it.

  • 496. OutsideLookingIn  |  February 25, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    @495 – it was a good essay and I thought it was nice of you to share it.

  • 497. Arleth  |  February 25, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    Has any one gotten their Military High School acceptence letter?
    I’ve been waiting for Rickover Naval Academy acceptence letter but i haven’t gotten nothing!!
    I’m extremely worried!

  • 498. west rogers park mom  |  February 25, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    IB&AC Mom- Was just coming here to post the same thing – – – still no letter at OAE said they were getting lots of calls and they would email out the letters if not in Wednesday’s mail. My kid has her heart set on Chi-Arts so it doesn’t really matter but I would still like to know. Once I obtain information on tne private bus and verify its feasible we’ll confirm her spot there.
    Re: Senn- I strongly encourage everyone out there to look at Senn. You CANNOT base your decision on old scores and stats due to the vast improvement in the past two years at the school. I was extremely impressed with David Gregg and Principal Lofton. My daughter shadowed their and LOVED the drama program (she was bored in the IB classes but she is not the kind of kid who is easily excited by academics). True the IB diploma program is growing but they seem to be aware of it and making adjustments for the incoming population. I would have been proud parent if my daughter had decided to attend. In fact, both my daughter and I preferred Senn to Lincoln Park performing arts.

  • 499. west rogers park mom  |  February 25, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    Sorry for the typos/ grammar erros in 498.

  • 500. rotten system  |  February 25, 2013 at 6:34 pm

    @478 and @480 – I got this info from a local real estate agent last year who told me that the day after the letters came out, 2 people called to list their houses because they had decided to move to the suburbs instead of paying for private high schools, and 6 families with younger kids had asked for help finding living quarters in a lower tier for 7/8 grades. at the time the agent said she had already helped one family. Since she knew my situation and that I was NOT doing this, she had no real reason to lie to me.

    I also thought about this technique myself, as the obvious play. In the sense that the system is somewhat “rigged” against Tier 4, not that these kids don’t get in in disproportionate numbers, but that the scores needed are so much higher than Tier 1 and there is little room for error, especially for NS & Payton. I had no intention of doing this, but I could see the logic.

    Again – this is like test prep and tutors, parents are trying to do the best for their kids first. with tutors and prep, you are gaming the system vs others in your tier. If you move “down-tier” you are doing the same vs another tier. Not saying that this is good or advisable, just inevitable due to the admissions criteria, Also – we have the silly situation where Tier 3 can be across the street from Tier 4 and the 2 kids can go to the same middle school, so why the advantage given to Tier 3 vs 4.

    My kids are done with this process, I’m just trying to point out that the tier system is not ideal and that people being people will try to take advantage.

  • 501. Arleth  |  February 25, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    anyone knows anything about military high schools?
    have they send there acceptence letter out yet?

  • 502. anotherchicagoparent  |  February 25, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    @501 They will be mailed this Wednesday.

  • 503. Arleth  |  February 25, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    Omg 502, Thank you very Much!
    appreciate it.

  • 504. inquiring mom  |  February 25, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    Does anyone know if there are cutoff scores posted for the Jones CTE program and what percentage of the offers went to students from the neighborhood ?

  • 505. local  |  February 25, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    Lane LSC just voted to end class rank?

  • 506. HS Mom  |  February 25, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    panther parent – Northside is fortunate to have loyal and supporting families such as yourself who make the school the success that it is. I liked your comment.

  • 507. CPS Parent  |  February 25, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    Looping back to the more-than-just-test-scores approach to college selection issue I’ve been told that UIUC does admissions strictly by GPA (unweighted) and ACT score. These two numbers get you in or not – nothing else matters. Different target numbers are used for different majors which must be declared on the aplication. Transcripts are not analysed. Letters of recomendation are not accepted and the essay (although required) is not read for 99% of the applicants. Their “honors” program is the same way – a 33 or above on the ACT gets you in.

  • 508. Jcp  |  February 25, 2013 at 8:08 pm

    846 tier 3 Jones college prep rank 4!!:))))
    Can anybody tell me anything about jones

  • 509. HS Mom  |  February 25, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    @507 – that does not surprise me. We’ve been told that they look at unweighted first, then the weighted?? Don’t they ask for both? Also, do you know if they consider lower GPA if the ACT is high or visa versa?

    508 – Congratulations on Jones. A great school. Write-up will not do it justice. Make sure you attend the parent meeting to get a real understanding of all it has to offer.

  • 510. mom2  |  February 25, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    Cps parent I hope you are wrong about that. I was told just the opposite about uiuc and that they do know all about the sehs in cps and give credit to those kids beyond their gpa and the essay matters a lot. Where did you hear that?

  • 511. David Gregg  |  February 25, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    @507 At big state schools, perhaps test scores weigh more. Though I question the thing you heard from a guy who knows someone. A college counselor from U of I has spoken to my students about the importance of a good college essay. And from the U of I website:

    “We understand that every school offers different curricula to their students. Therefore, we expect students to take advantage of the most challenging courses available to them at their particular school and earn strong grades in their courses. We also consider an applicant’s test scores, essays, and extracurricular involvement when making a final admissions decision.”

    And from college admissions counselors with whom I’ve worked from UChicago, DePaul, Loyola, IIT, UW-Madison, Bryn Mawr College: Highly selective universities, smaller liberal arts colleges, and others are looking for the right ‘fit’, much more than big state schools. ‘Fit’ is a big buzz word in college admissions. Test scores tell them beans about whether or not the applicant is a good fit for their school. It is at such schools that all the non-test factors come into bigger play. It is also where we encourage many of our graduates, IB and otherwise, to apply. These schools offer more supports and personalization than are commonly found at the big state schools.

  • 512. cpsobsessed  |  February 25, 2013 at 9:12 pm

    Okay, here’s where I identify myself as not-an-over-achiever: that “good fit” sounds like everyone has to be “stellar” (I assume that’s the good fit they like?”.) Can’t someone just get good grades and good test scores any more? I kind of hate how it’s all about how awesome or interesting you are. Just being smart and doing your work seems to be meaningless in this day and age. I’d never get into college today.

    Oh no – wait. I could say I started a blog so I could complain about how I don’t want to do anything. Surely that would help, right?!?!?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 513. cpsobsessed  |  February 25, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    @rotten system: I don’t know – I just can’t buy the real estate agent’s story. Reallyn these people are going to sell their homes and BUY a place in tier 1? Well hey, more power to them for owning and living in tier 1. That’s valid. What isn’t is renting a place you don’t live in and applying via that address.
    Or maybe it was a rental agent? I’d be kind of surprised if rental agents handle apartments in tier 1. Tier 1 families have rental agents driving them around to look at places?? I could be wrong. Seems weird though.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 514. TB  |  February 25, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    @486- we still have not received the letter from the Office of Access and Enrollment either. (We did receive acceptance packets, though.) I really hope you receive your letter tomorrow and that it has the news you are hoping for.

  • 515. local  |  February 25, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    In selective college admissions, BWRKs (bright, well-rounded kids) don’t carry much weight these days. 😦

  • 516. CPS Parent  |  February 25, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    510. mom2 When we went on a tour last summer the admissions person doing the information session told us the essay is only considered for applicants close to the cut offs. We were told it is 99% just a GPA/ACT metric. Higher GPA makes up for lower ACT and vice versa. The big variable is which major is chosen on the application and keep in mind that switching majors can be very difficult at UIUC. Whereas most more selective schools are doing admissions holistically and allow easy switching of majors once admitted UIIC is more-or-less doing the opposite.

  • 517. HSObsessed  |  February 25, 2013 at 10:25 pm

    That essay by MomOf3Boys is so well written and so sweet! I can’t imagine being a principal or PD committee member, having to read dozens (hundreds?) of essays written by eager young kids who just want to be given a chance. I would personally want to admit every single one.

  • 518. SoxSideIrish4  |  February 25, 2013 at 10:26 pm

    #515~local~hope that’s not true.

    #516~CPSparent~I was told the same thing by many counselors for universities~take hardest classes one can take but protect your gpa. Most universities that I talked to wanted both weighted and unweighted gpa.

  • 519. IB&AC Mom (formerly IB&RGC)  |  February 25, 2013 at 11:15 pm

    @514 – TB, Thank you. My daughter thinks they mailed acceptances first, and the ones that didn’t get in later. Since she is the only one out of her friends who didn’t get a letter yet. I am pretty sure that is not the case, but also know with the cut off scores that the likelihood it is good news is slim. We will see when it gets here or on Wednesday when I have them email it.

  • 520. Kiki H.  |  February 25, 2013 at 11:17 pm

    CPSO, there really are rental agents in tier 1. We also have weekly garbage pickup, restaurants and paved roads. Every year during letter season I’m rather dismayed by the misconceptions and sweeping generalizations about tier 1. Lived here 15 years and am still alive to talk about it. 😉

  • 521. OutsideLookingIn  |  February 25, 2013 at 11:19 pm

    So what kind of kids do carry weight with college admissions? Dim, lopsided kids? Come on. Bright, well-rounded kids are not going to be shut out of college and banished from society. And being the right fit at a particular small liberal arts college doesn’t mean you are perfect at everything. Colleges want people who will thrive in their community, contribute something and stick around rather than transfer out after Freshman year because the college was too hard, too easy, too whatever. Is that enough for the most selective colleges like Harvard? No, but fortunately Harvard/Princeton/Yale aren’t the only options out there.

  • 522. BoyzDad  |  February 25, 2013 at 11:23 pm

    @486- My letter didn’t come yet either! CPS says after Wednesday they will email the results. Meanwhile, I belive Lane was planning to send their letters out today. Hang in there! .. only a few days left, at the most! …but I know exactly how you feel!

    Since we applied online, why don’t they make the results available online?

  • 523. RoscoeStMom  |  February 25, 2013 at 11:31 pm

    @473 relievedinrogerspark- I’m also shadowing LPIB tmrw to eval vs LT. Curious to know what any SE parent that chose SE over IB considered when they made that decision and if they would make the same decision now? Am also going to simulate a real train commute with my daughter in the forecasted snow storm to see how much convenience should be weighted when so much about the schools seem to balance the other out. LT is virtually across the street. But I better get to bed because going to HS means getting up early and I’m not done with my homework and keep dozing off while doing my required reading.

    Thanks everyone for giving us a place to ruminate and enjoy another’s perspective.

  • 524. IB&AC Mom (formerly IB&RGC)  |  February 25, 2013 at 11:35 pm

    @522, right!!! I wish we could just log back on to get the results. She went into this with a B and lower then normal ISAT’s so she has to score very high (upper 90’s) on the exam to even get in. Since her ISAT’s were typically in the high 90’s I feel there is a chance (albeit slim), but I am starting to feel like I am anxiously awaiting bad news. It is good to hear that acceptances directly from Lane may not have arrived yet. I was going to ask since I didn’t see anyone post about it, but realized I probably didn’t want to know. Good luck. We will know either way in a couple of days.

  • 525. Smadness  |  February 26, 2013 at 7:53 am

    Roscoe St Mom- We have been in your shoes twice and it is a really tough decision. You will be even more confused after the shadow day because the LPIB program is impressive. We ended up going with SE due to location; 20 min one bus commute vs. over an hour on on bus and train and from what we heard the homework was scary. Honestly, I dont think you can go wrong either way.

  • 526. rotten system  |  February 26, 2013 at 8:23 am

    @513 – it doesn’t have to be from tier 4 to tier 1, it’s enough to go to tier 3 for to give someone a better chance. the people don’t sell their homes, they buy a condo or rent one in a lower tier, and they do have to live in place during the week to be legit. On the same note, there are also kids who live outside the city, but use their relatives addresses for admission to SEHS schools

  • 527. ACmama  |  February 26, 2013 at 9:05 am

    Child is at Taft AC, and decided to stay for Taft IB next year. Unfortunately he is now being made to feel (by other students) that he is being left behind by not going to one of the “best” schools. A lot of thought went into the decision. Wish this stigma I’m now seeing wasn’t there. I feel it’s a perfect choice and will continue to remind him about it!

  • 528. anotherchicagoparent  |  February 26, 2013 at 9:36 am

    ACmama tell him to ignore them…Next year when he is happy with his decision he won’t even remember why he listened to them. I know it is hard right now, but when my oldest wanted to go to Jones and not the top two schools he also was looked down upon.I told him don’t worry about them and do what is best for you. I also told him that he could be a piece of the puzzle to help make Jones a Greater school.It is one of the best decision’s he has ever made for himself.
    524 No Lane’s welcoming package has not arrived yet.

  • 529. Taft IB Mom  |  February 26, 2013 at 9:47 am

    @527 Stay Strong! Your family has made a great decision! This will be the toughest week and with the plans for wall-to-wall the stigma will not be there at all by the time your student graduates. They will do well.

    CONGRATS to all of the families that get good news out of this gut wrenching process. However, PLEASE reread #527 and make sure that you and your families do not add to the angst of others that made different choices or that did not get good news this week.

    The differences in most cases are small – look at the minutia that goes into tie breaking. PLEASE do not then take that VERY special gift that you receive and turn it into a nightmare for another family in terms of tolerance. The process is difficult – be the one that makes a difference to the others that went down a different path either by choice or by a very slight difference in results! So many on this blog represent the families of the best and brightest in CPS – hopefully you will also teach your students the softer skills that will make true leaders out of your students in the long run!!!

  • 530. HS Mom  |  February 26, 2013 at 10:04 am

    510 Mom2 -to add – makes sense from the standpoint that UIUC was the one that got into all that trouble with admissions. Doesn’t surprise me that it’s all by the numbers now.

  • 531. RL Julia  |  February 26, 2013 at 10:07 am

    Taft IB Mom – I couldn’t agree more. Went through this process last year and was completely appalled at the stories I heard (the nasty comments, kids staying home because they were so distraught, kids lying about where they got in) – making what is a stressful time into a complete feel bad for all involved. It would do well for EVERY family to review with their child how to congratulate classmates who got in where they wanted, not gloat their good fortune and be kind to each other in general –a hard lesson in how to be happy for other people’s good fortune even if you didn’t get what you wanted and/or compassionate to other’s disappointment – even if you got what you wanted. Quite frankly the advice goes for adults too.

  • 532. mom2  |  February 26, 2013 at 10:23 am

    530 HS Mom – You may be right but I sure hope not. I don’t know how any school can really find the students that will do well at a school by only looking at numbers without at least noticing the rigor and competitiveness at a particular school vs. another. I’ll be sure to ask this question when we talk with people from U of I since it may be our only option in terms of dollars (and even that is with tons of debt when we are all said and done).

  • 533. SoxSideIrish4  |  February 26, 2013 at 10:27 am

    #527~AcMama~He’s not being left behind~when he graduates, he’ll probably be way ahead of everyone else. I think the IB program is gr8. I’m sure he’ll do well~Congrats!

  • 534. Southside Daddi-o  |  February 26, 2013 at 10:33 am

    @513 cpso – Why wouldn’t you believe it? Parents rent out apartments to be in the New Trier School District, so why not give the same credence to CPS parents renting out a $300/month dump in the ghetto if it gave their kids a 100 point edge, easy-peasy? Are they violating the idiotic Tier rules set up by CPS?

    St. Ignatius is around $17K per year when you add it all up; Payton, Jones, Northside are tuition-free. So, a family can either drop $68K for 4 years of tuition OR rent out an efficiency in a Tier 1 for $2K for 6 months until their kid gets into SEHS. Kind of tough to argue against that…

  • 535. HS Mom  |  February 26, 2013 at 10:35 am

    Mom2 – totally with you on this. I will be inquiring too.

  • 536. xCPSdad89  |  February 26, 2013 at 10:38 am

    534 and what are you teaching your kids when you do this?

  • 537. anotherchicagoparent  |  February 26, 2013 at 10:51 am

    I’m confused according to their website (UIUC) admittance is based partially on a students transcript, even senior years so if you make changes even after being accepted you have to let the school know.

  • 538. Southside Daddi-o  |  February 26, 2013 at 10:56 am

    @536 If I were to spend $2K to get a tutor to help my child get a better score for SEHS admission, or spend $2K on a month-to-month for a dinky apartment in a Tier 1 neighborhood, why does it matter? I’m spending money to help my child get into a great high school.

    No one says I have to spend 24/7 in a Tier 1 ‘hood. CPS made these rules to give minorities an edge; nothing in the CPS’ rules about tiers says that white families can’t rent a property in a Tier 1 and use it as “their” address.

  • 539. local  |  February 26, 2013 at 10:57 am

    @ 518. SoxSideIrish4 | February 25, 2013 at 10:26 pm

    Yes, it’s even increasingly true. The most selective schools want “pointy” (not well-rounded) students. What’s interesting is that my own experience in such schools showed me that behind each kid who worked on an important archeological dig was a dad who was running the dig. And that’s not an exaggeration. You’ve heard of the Matthew Effect? And the impact of class on college admissions for selective colleges/universities?

  • 540. averagemom  |  February 26, 2013 at 10:58 am

    I just called Lakeview, they are hoping to send their letters out next week. I don’t think we can take the waiting!

  • 541. SoxSideIrish4  |  February 26, 2013 at 11:09 am

    #539~local~I don’t think so~I think universities want well rounded students (especially selective universities) I saw a documentary on Stanford a few yrs back and it was not all abt #s but what else the student could provide to the world. All the universities I’ve talked to basically said the same thing. I don’t think the Matthew Effect applies here, although I could be very naive.

    #540~averagemom~the waiting is awful~hope it goes swiftly for your family.

  • 542. west rogers park mom  |  February 26, 2013 at 11:12 am

    @538- You are joking right? There is a huge difference between hiring a tutor so your child can reach their full academic potential and misrepresenting residence when it comes to admission. And what are you teaching your child about diversity and integrity?

  • 543. mustangmom  |  February 26, 2013 at 11:15 am

    522: Right on! Is there any way to convince CPS to release all results via email according to the email we provided at registration? I have a senior at Northside, and this is how all college admissions decisions were handled – online.

  • 544. CPS Parent  |  February 26, 2013 at 11:16 am

    539. local – You are right to a “point” (haha) with one caveat – the most selective schools (especially the Ivies) want students who have a major academic focus AND who are well rounded. The kids I know who have been admited to the top 10 or so universities so far this year all fit this model. Typical examples are kids who are completely involved with an academic team AND are involved with community service and clubs. Involvement with sports seems to have no discernable impact – only for recruited athletes.

  • 545. Southside Daddi-o  |  February 26, 2013 at 11:24 am

    @542 CPS states that you have to have a residence in the Tier you are applying for. If you rent a place in a Tier 1, you have a residence IN THAT TIER. There’s no misrepresentation. No rules are being broken. In actuality, you’re working the system they set up to YOUR advantage.

    If I lived in Chicago and rented an apt on the North Shore so my kid could go to New Trier, what rules are being broken?

  • 546. IBobsessed  |  February 26, 2013 at 11:28 am

    @545, there are legal definitions of residency for tax purposes that would seem to apply, at the very least. One factor is if it your primary residence where you actually reside the majority of the year.

  • 547. Southside Daddi-o  |  February 26, 2013 at 11:36 am

    @546 I don’t think so, though. From what I’ve read on CPS’ site, the address used by your child for SEHS admissions doesn’t have to be the “primary” address used by your family for tax reporting. Also, as soon as your kid gets in to SEHS, they no longer have to use that address (but they do have to stay in the city). Anyone else see otherwise?

    For the record, I would likely NOT rent out an apt in a Tier 1 just to give my child an edge, but this Tier process is so idiotic and discriminatory against white families I can see how it would be very tempting … and COMPLETELY within CPS’ own rules!

  • 548. LSmom  |  February 26, 2013 at 11:40 am

    For school attendance, it’s not sufficient just to own/rent a residence, you need to spend the majority of your nights there. Renting a place and not living there would get you kicked out of New Trier or any suburban district that enforces these things. I doubt CPS has the manpower or inclination to investigate people lying about their tier, but it’s breaking the rules to use an address other than the place where you live for school applications or attendance.

  • 549. CPS parent  |  February 26, 2013 at 11:43 am

    If you have options, please do not send your child to IB LP program. we had a child there and couldnt believe the experience. there is drugs and alcohol in the IB classrooms. gangs, fights, someone was sexually molested in the stairways last year, a kid was beat up on his way to the train station last week.
    our kid lasted there for one year. the IB program is not what they promised us it would be.

  • 550. HS Mom  |  February 26, 2013 at 11:47 am

    @548 – true. People who are renters and not homeowners are free to rent apartments wherever. There are plenty of tier 1 and 2 areas that I could live in. In a sense, the renter has a better opportunity. The tier system is flawed.

  • 551. crust  |  February 26, 2013 at 11:49 am

    @527 Stay strong and continue to reinforce to your son that he is making the correct decision.

    My niece did not make it into her school of choice which was Lane and she ended up choosing Noble Charter School form her available options where she is doing very well. A few of her friends made it into SEHS and schools that were more recognized. She was made to feel inferior by some of the students in her class and unfortunately by some adults for the rest of the 8th grade school year. It was a struggle to keep her spirits up and she somehow managed with the support of her parents and extended family. She still keeps in contact with some of her eighth grade classmates and has found that 2 of them who went to Lane are now struggling. Her classmates only chose Lane to please their parents’.

    My son did not make it into Lane this year and is leaning towards Senn IB and is now hearing some of the same stuff my niece heard last year. The worst part is some of those comments are now coming from my brother and his wife who had to go thru this with my niece. How quickly people forget. My son is remaining strong and feels he is making the right decision and knows my support for him is unwavering. While our children may not get the opportunities we feel they deserve in the current system, it is important we explore all other available option and find one that will leave us and more importantly our kids at ease.

  • 552. Southside Daddi-o  |  February 26, 2013 at 11:49 am

    @548 Per CPS website, you have to give a “correct and true address” for your application. That’s all.

    If I rent a residence in Tier 1, whether I spend 24/7 there or spend 364 days on the road as a traveling salesman, it doesn’t matter. I’m paying to rent the place out as my residence, so I can use that as my residence.

  • 553. LSmom  |  February 26, 2013 at 11:55 am

    Agreed that the tier system is flawed, when we moved from tier 2 to tier 3 a few blocks away, nothing changed but the tier (same neighborhood, same underperforming elementary school).

  • 554. pantherparent  |  February 26, 2013 at 11:56 am

    I wouldn’t want to play that address game. As mentioned, it sends a terrible message to your child. And what if someone drops a dime on you and CPS boots your kid from his school? Are you going to court to fight what “correct and true” means?

  • 555. CPS parent  |  February 26, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    Im reading a few comments where parents are trying to decide between LP IB and SE acceptance letters? Please, always select those SE options. We have experince LP IB, if we had the choice and we would have picked Lane, Jones, WY, NS over LP IB.

  • 556. Teir1 NSP Parent  |  February 26, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    Wow is all I can say after reading some of your descriptions about the poor, run down tier 1 “hood”.

  • 557. cpsobsessed  |  February 26, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    I’m not saying I don’t believe they DO it. I’m saying I was skeptical that there are rental agents for $300 a month apartments.
    But I could be wrong. Apparently they have paved roads! Who knew?? 🙂
    I haven’t rented an apt for years so I admit to being ignorant about it.
    Now that I think about it I think the apartment people used to show apts in uptown in the late 80’s when it was probably close to being tier 1.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 558. Southside Daddi-o  |  February 26, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    @554 Let’s put it this way: Let’s say I buy a condo in Downers Grove, but I also have a home in Chicago. I can use the Downers Grove address if I want to send my kid to a DG school. Conversely, I can use my Chi address if I want to send my kid to CPS. No problem.

    If I rent, same thing. I’m still sending a payment for a DG property and a Chi property. This payment goes to the landlord, and ultimately to the school boards. No problem there.

    Same thing applies with homes within the city. If I own a bungalow in Austin and I own a condo on the Gold Coast, I can list one as my primary residence, one as my secondary. The taxes go to the same school boards. I don’t need to sign in and out with CPS to say how many nights I was in Austin and how many nights I was in Gold Coast. As long as I have a mortgage, there’s no way CPS can say I don’t live at either property. Same thing with a lease. As long as it’s valid, and I’m paying for it, wouldn’t be a problem at all.

  • 559. CPS parent  |  February 26, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    regardless of what tier you live in, the kid stil has to get amazing scores to get into SE, its not a free ride, they still have to earn it with mid 800s scores.

  • 560. CPS parent  |  February 26, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    interesting analogy but would you really own places in austin and gold coast and if you do own a place in the gold coast you can afford the $30k latin tuition and if you live in austin your kid would still have to score in the mid 800s to make it to SE. the whole tier discussion is a waste of time.

  • 561. CPS Parent  |  February 26, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    Please note “CPS parent” is not me (CPS Parent)

    My opinion on LP IB is that although not a good “fit” for many students I know many famillies who have been very pleased with the program. Others who have run away.

    From the RateMyTeachers.com website regarding the program coordinator, Ms.Tookey:

    “She’s interesting, creative, very intelligent – but nuts & sometimes evil. She thought I wore ear-muffs in her class & complained to my parents. I didn’t even own a pair. I did wear gloves because she made me so nervous I bit my fingers all the time! Brrr. She does play favorites. Do NOT look like a slacker or you’ll get on her famous bad side. Or you might anyway. Be afraid, be very afraid.”

    Caveat emptor!

  • 562. west rogers park mom  |  February 26, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    Jones CTE letters? – Have they gone out and what were the scores? My guess would be out of neighborhood only a point or two under the Tier 4 cutoffs.

  • 563. CPS parent  |  February 26, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    LP has violence, drugs, alcohol, harrasment, all exposed to kids who dont even want to be exposed to that. they have all the kids from all the different programs all mixed in one school.
    During orientation all she (tookey) talked about was IV league acceptance (not that we cared) and last year most kids ended up in non IV league when they were told it was a given …
    last kid a kid was beat to the point that his face was not recognizable. unfortunately kids who dont get accepted to SE end up there even if its not a good “fit”

  • 564. LSmom  |  February 26, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    If own a place in Downer’s Grove, live in the city, and send your child to Downer’s Grove schools, you’re violating state law. This article is about Oak Park, but a family was sued for trying it: http://riverforest.suntimes.com/news/17267163-418/oak-park-river-forest-high-school-will-step-up-residency-checks.html

  • 565. HSObsessed  |  February 26, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    @549 CPS parent – If you don’t mind some follow up questions: Which year did your child attend LPIB, which high school did they attend after that, and how was that experience there different or better? Thanks in advance for any additional information that can help all of us make more informed choices.

  • 566. local  |  February 26, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    @ “I don’t need to sign in and out with CPS to say how many nights I was in Austin and how many nights I was in Gold Coast.” Actually, CPS can and does (sometimes) enforce its rule about how many nights a student must sleep in a certain residence per wee to qualify as a resident of that housing. This plays out with children of divorced parents with shared custody with one home in a boundary of a CPS school and one outside (or out of Chicago).

  • 567. Smadness  |  February 26, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    OPRF is notorious for this. IMO if this family bought a condo and paid OPRF exorbitant taxes they should have been ok since they in essence paid their way.

  • 568. Cutoff scores  |  February 26, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    Why do you think parents post news of their child’s acceptance on Facebook? Do they really think people care or are they just bragging? The truth is, high school, like all of your education, is what you make of it. I know plenty of students who went to the Selective Enrollment schools who were overlooked because they weren’t the stars. There was little support for them when they looked at colleges and they went to average places, or not at all. They probably would have been better off at a place where they could shine. This year, I don’t have a child competing for a selective enrollment high school or grammar school. But for all those braggers out there, whose children are probably making others feel like they are failures, remember this: A spot in a high school is not a guarantee. And for all those who didn’t get an acceptance letter, make sure your child knows that, if they do well in high school, no matter which one, they can still go to a great college and have a great future.

  • 569. cpsobsessed  |  February 26, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    I just can’t see CPS investiaging it to this level, unfortunately. If OAE tells me they’ve never seen someone “caught” who has been turned in, I have to think that the “proof” of residence involves showing the papers and little more.

    There’s not going to be a court case where the parent has to prove how many nights (if any) a kid stayed at one place or another last year when the applications were sent in. Sadly, it seems fairly easy to skirt the system if you have some money.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 570. local  |  February 26, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    @ 541. SoxSideIrish4 | February 26, 2013 at 11:09 am
    😉 Yep, “pointy” students who can contribute to the world is what they’re after. What’s a comfort is that there are SOOOO many great and well-suited colleges for each aspiring students (the most selective are not the end-all, be-all). Once HS in Chicago is finished, choice educational opportunities open up for real (thank god)!

  • 571. chicagodad  |  February 26, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    to 560–
    Actually, according to the numbers published yesterday by CPS, the average score for Tier 1 students at Lane was only 754; and the minimum Tier 1 score for Lane was 713. Hardly stellar scores, no matter the Tier. It seems Lane was forced to “scrape the barrel” (for lack of a better, more PC phrase) to fill its Tier 1 quota.

    At the same time, the average Tier 4 score at Lane was 842, and the minimum Tier 4 score at Lane was 831. These are indeed great scores.

    So a Tier 4 kid with a score of 830 wouldn’t get into Lane, but a Tier 1 kid with a 713 did!

    And the vast majority of Tier 4 locations are hardly wealthy. Too many posters on this blog are upper middle class.Take a drive someday to Clearing, an area on the southwest side, west of Midway airport. This is the more typical Tier 4 area—an lower middle class area of modest bungalows that sell for about $100,000, populated by Eastern European immigrants, who can’t afford private school.. The residents play by the rules, pay their taxes, stay married, and own their own little homes—and are screwed by the Tier system.

  • 572. CPS parent  |  February 26, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    @568! Amen and thank you! i have a sophmore. we’ve been through hell and back with CPS. i wish i knew then what i know now! all these SE stuff was the worst time in my life and it shouldnt have to be. my sophmore is happier than ever now, and not at CPS. he loves his teachers, he can use the bathrooms without being worried to be harrassed, he doesnt have to see drugs and alcohol in his IB class. he has great school friends and he still has his SE friends. his teachers are great. congrats to all the SE acceptances, never heard anything negative about those schools but please stay away from LPIB.
    thank you

  • 573. Southside Daddi-o  |  February 26, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    @566 I can see that happening if one parent lived in Naperville and the other one in Chicago, but in a scenario where both properties in Chicago, what could CPS do? Not much. Go up and ask my neighbors? My landlord? Yeah, not gonna happen.

    So long as I was paying rent and utes, had my paycheck listed at a Tier 1 apt., it’s doubtful CPS could do anything to prove that I didn’t live there at the time my kid applied to SEHS. By the time my kid was in SEHS, I’d have stopped paying rent on the Tier 1 apartment, which is also within the rules, having essentially “moved”. They can’t kick my kid out of school for moving from one tier to another, even if you are moving down or up a tier.

    Again, this just shows how silly the Tier system is. For example, 6 blocks away from my home is a Tier 2 neighborhood. The kids from Tier 4 and the kids in Tier 2 have Kellogg as their neighborhood school. Same teachers, same classes, same students, same building BUT the Tier 2 kids get extra SEHS points for being 6 blocks away. In what way does this make sense?

  • 574. cpsobsessed  |  February 26, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    @573 SSDO: The difference is that the kids in Tier 2 are less likely (based on the SocioEcon data) to have parents who are educated, have the means to help the kids with homework, have the resources for tutoring etc. 6 blocks in Chicago can make a huge difference. Actually 2 blocks, heck 1 block.
    Schools have big gaps in student performance, I’m certain related to socio economic background.

  • 575. cpsobsessed  |  February 26, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    @571 ChicagoDad: The Tier argument is that kids from lower socio economic backgrounds score lower, but inherently have the same intelligence. So each Tier is sending (theoretically) it’s top X% of kids to the SE schools. The lower Tier kids just score lower but should have the same learning potential as the Tier 4 kids.
    You’ve got the smartest/hardest working kids from each group, leveling the playing field by using a different bell curve to reflect proven testing differences.

  • 576. SoxSideIrish4  |  February 26, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    #560~CPS parent~ ‘if you do own a place in the gold coast you can afford the $30k latin tuition’~that’s not always true. I know ppl in gc and they can’t afford $27,000 a year, but also in tier 4 in my neighborhood, a few kids are going to Latin and paying that amount. Just cuz you have 60610 zip~doesn’t mean you can pay $30K.

    #570~Local~yes, I agree w/you. Also, the closer the college years come, the more I realize I find fault w/many universities~ones that I love~I guess I don’t want the boys to go 2 far from home.~smiles~

  • 577. SE Teacher  |  February 26, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    When registering my son at our suburban HS, we showed proof of residency, including mortgage and utility bills. We do this 1 time, at freshman orientation. They do not check again. You can change your mailing address to a p.o. box after the initial registration.

    And yes, people do rent/buy condos in tier 1for purposes of renting and applying to schools I know an investor who has found a lucrative income purchasing properties and renting them out short term.

  • 578. RationalRationing  |  February 26, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    564, that’s an interesting case, and school districts in ‘burbs like Oak Park actually have full-time staff whose entire function is to investigate residency. There was even a case a couple of years ago in Ohio where the parent went to jail (after the district sent detectives to videotape her going home outside of Akron) (http://abcnews.go.com/US/ohio-mom-jailed-sending-kids-school-district/story?id=12763654.)

    But until the city of Chicago actually takes action against one of these supposed tier-jumpers (and maybe CPSO can ask Katie Ellis if they ever have) the rules will be impossibly murky. It’s -not- the same situation as above – you still live within the city so (I’m not a school lawyer) there’s not any ordinance on the books that covers this. There’s also no requirement that one stay trapped in a particular tier after the time of application (or enrollment) — who is to say the tier-jumper didn’t genuinely “reside” at his address at the time of application or enrollment. So…ok…Trixie Mom has to rough it for a week or so in a charming pied a terre in the wilds of Ukrainian Village to save the $80K she would have spent at Francis Parker and more importantly gets to boast about Muffy’s attendance at PaytonNorthside. So worth it. What is she teaching her kids? Probably nothing Daddy didn’t already teach them when he was siphoning off TARP funds at the office.

    On the flip side, I imagine if the city doubts your application (hmm…check out this kid Winston Strawn Vanderbilt IV from Englewood…something doesn’t seem right) then they could probably just block your admit or kick you out and the burden of proof would be on you, in which case legal fees would make FWP a relative bargain. I suspect the hassle factor prevents a lot of tier jumping.

    But who knows? The system is only a few years old and it takes time to learn how to game it.

    I guess what I’d like to see if this Gordian knot of the tier system can’t be untied is that the SEHS become not only selective in who they enroll, but become known as schools with such extremely demanding curricula that only the most motivated, hard working students will even graduate.

  • 579. luveurope  |  February 26, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    577 SE teacher – how can you live in the suburbs?

  • 580. cpsobsessed  |  February 26, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    I did ask Katie Ellis about it and she said there IS a place to turn in people (I need to follow up to get that information) but that investigations have never turned up an actual “perp”. So either the benchmark of proof is low (just show them those rental documents again) or the stories of fraud are exaggerated. Or maybe both. Or people got lucky. This is why we need to start a vigilante reality TV show.

  • 581. CPS Parent  |  February 26, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    579. luveurope Certain types of teachers are exempt from the residency requirement – includes HS math and science teachers.
    The CTU has resisted pay incentives (“differentiated pay”) for-hard-to find specialized teachers but has allowed CPS to offer exemption from the Chicago residency requirement.

  • 582. RationalRationing  |  February 26, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    Maybe the solution is that you have to wear a button or patch at the school that says what tier you came from. I sense this would discourage the upper-crust tier-jumpers.

    and yes…before you light the torches and loose the pitchforks…I’m kidding.

  • 583. CPS Parent  |  February 26, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    Let me preface by saying that I agree with the policy of giving disadvantaged students a “break” for SEHS acceptance.

    I think the only qualifier should be low income status. Why not use a similar aproach (but rigorously scrutinized & enforced) used for free and reduced lunch?

  • 584. local  |  February 26, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    @ “I think the only qualifier should be low income status.”

    Hmmm. That would definitely help some of the highly educated but poor artist-type parents I know.

  • 585. SoxSideIrish4  |  February 26, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    This is off topic, but I thought I’d post it here.

    “The 15 Colleges With The Richest Alums” UChicago & Northwestern on list! http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/22/billionaire-u-richest-alumni_n_2742329.html?ir=College#slide=2138243

  • 586. RationalRationing  |  February 26, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    Not a ton of surprises on that list, except 2 of the Ivies are NOT on it (Dartmouth and Brown) and 2 of the schools are publics (Berkeley and Michigan)

  • 587. HSObsessed  |  February 26, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    Random trivia: 35 kids who graduated from CPS in 2011 went on to U. Chicago, and 59 went to Northwestern. Another 163 graduates went on to other similar “Most Competitive” colleges. Total CPS graduates that year were 19,000+.

  • 588. HSObsessed  |  February 26, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    38 went to Michigan in 2011. I’m just on my lunch hour and kinda bored. 🙂

  • 589. RationalRationing  |  February 26, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    On a conference call and bored as well – where are these statistics from?

    (I see that now that you’ve gotten the kid into a SEHS, you’re going to have to change your pseud to CollegeObsessed?)

  • 590. SoxSideIrish4  |  February 26, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    #587~HSObsessed~only 59 went to Northwestern?? I thought I read numbers that were much higher.

  • 591. HSObsessed  |  February 26, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    @589 Ha, ha, yes, I’ll be moving on soon to college obsessing.

    I have the statistics on a PDF I downloaded from the CPS Choose Your Future site at some point in the past. If you paste this into your browser, it’ll appear in your search results:

    Top Colleges Enrolled in by CPS Graduating Class of 2011

  • 592. HSObsessed  |  February 26, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    While you’re searching and downloading: Of the 2011 CPS graduates, 729 went to “Highly Competitive” colleges like Michigan (38), UIUC (548), and IIT (102).

  • 593. Anonymous  |  February 26, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    Hey, pantherparent. Please accept my apology. I didn’t take it as a joke. I guess I am the one with no sense of humor. : ) Hard to read humor into written words. So sorry.

  • 594. HS Mom  |  February 26, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    @583 – completely agree

  • 595. SoxSideIrish4  |  February 26, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    #592~HSObsessed~thanks! the link is here http://www.chooseyourfuture.org/node/4691/cps-report/district

  • 596. RationalRationing  |  February 26, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    592-595 – I’m guessing that list is limited to either to Illinois or nearby colleges, or it only shows schools taking 35 or more kids.

  • 597. SoxSideIrish4  |  February 26, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    #596~RationalRationing~MO, KY & IN are represented on the list as well, but yes, top colleges~would be above the 35 kid mark!

  • 598. HSObsessed  |  February 26, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    It’s just the top 50 or whatever colleges enrolling that year’s CPS graduates. Prior years included colleges in Arkansas, Mississippi, DC. The number of kids were as few as 25. Obviously there are dozens of colleges that only enroll a few CPS grads each year.

  • 599. cpsobsessed  |  February 26, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    Hey, so does anyone have friends whose kids DIDN”T get an SE spot? What are their plans? My friend’s daughter (private school) didn’t get an SE spot (they weren’t really expecting it) but did get into LP HH and Senn IB LVHS was the next choice I believe but it looks it’ll be LP HH. Curious what options are being considered.

  • 600. RL Julia  |  February 26, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    Actually had the opposite experience this year – with a few kids who didn’t think they had a chance at an SEHS getting into their first choices.

  • 601. CPS parent  |  February 26, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    i hate to say this but LP does not have a nice environment for kids that want to learn and do well.

  • 602. cpsobsessed  |  February 26, 2013 at 4:01 pm


  • 603. SEHS Counselor  |  February 26, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    #587 and all related threads: Keep in mind that list is of CPS students who ENROLLED at those schools. It does not show where else these kids applied and were accepted. So a senior at Lane who ended up at Truman due to financial constraints is listed as not attending a “highly selective” school. What’s missing is the fact that he got into UIUC or Northwestern, etc and just couldn’t afford it. I’m a counselor at a SEHS and this data bugs me because where a kid ends up enrolling doesn’t always show how competitive an applicant he really was, mainly due to the financial aid issue.

  • 604. pantherparent  |  February 26, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    @593 No problem. And do I feel this whole thing is crazy? Absolutely. To obsess over whether a 7th grader gets an A or a B in a class is unhealthy for everyone.

    My poorly made point was that high school is about fit. And that could be a neighborhood school, IB or a SEHS.

  • 605. BoyzDad  |  February 26, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    Another day- no letter yet. 😦

  • 606. momofIB  |  February 26, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    @601 I beg to differ my son is getting a great education at LP. This school has gotten a bad rap. Mr. Boraz (3rd year principal) is leading the way and it is getting better by the day. I am very involved in the school and there is a core group of parents trying to change. All schools have their issues, just check out any CPS teenagers facebook page to know what is happening and what is the most popular drug at the neighborhood, SEH, IBhigh schools and where the parties are. No school is perfect.

  • 607. Another parent  |  February 26, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    601/606 – My child is a freshman in the IB program at LP and our experience has been very positive. We have been impressed by the quality of the teachers and the curriculum. I guess this shows that every child is different and it really is important to find a “good fit.” Although it isn’t always easy to know what that is!

  • 608. pantherparent  |  February 26, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    @601 obviously has an axe to grind with LP IB and has posted three times that students should not attend there. Saying it loud or saying it often does not make it true. I would hope the parents making a choice would not let one person sway them. Go with your gut.

  • 609. CPS Parent  |  February 26, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    Well, I’ve been around the CPS HS scene as a parent for about 7 years now and know plenty of very happy LPIB students and their parents. However there are issue that are of concern and they generally are around two areas – saftey, the stories floating around about harrassment, assault, bullying are true and the amount of homework is more than some kids will put up with.

    I personally know a kid who was assualted in the bathroom and a kid who pretty much woke up one school day and more or less said “that’s it, i’m not going back to that homework factory” (he did not, made his parents crazy, later on got his GED and went of to college a year early).

    I also know kids who were so happy there (mostly because of Ms. Tookey who has a bit of a cult thing going) that they stay in touch with teachers years after graduating.

    I think it can be a great program for the right kid but there is more risk for bad “fit” when compared with the less idiosyncratic SEHS’s like NS, Payton, Jones, etc.

  • 610. LUV2europe  |  February 26, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    604 AND private hs is a good choice for many chicago students…Friends kids at LP IB with nothing but good reviews so not sure about the bad reviews. Usually the bad reviews come from parents of students who are not doing so well.

  • 611. North Center Mom  |  February 26, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    Got SE acceptance letter from Jones on Saturday.
    Today received rejection letter from Jones CTE.
    It said that those given SE spots were removed from consideration for CTE spots.

  • 612. RoscoeStMom  |  February 26, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    Shadowed at LPIB today. Walked into it thinking that IB was our first choice because of our love of the IB philosophy. Walked out wondering why I felt condescended to and why my some of my questions were handled evasively or defensively. Teachers at LPIB we IMPRESSIVE– I wanted to jump in and participate. Not good for us that a school of that size doesn’t have a dedicated nurse (to help with Type 1 insulin-depedent diabetes.) IB kids there are getting a great education. There has to be some reason why the IB coordinator won’t answer questions about how many kids get the IB Diploma or why she would interrupt another staff member to prevent them from answering my questions directly. If this school is one of your options, congratulations because the program sounds amazing. I would recommend shadowing to make sure however.

  • 613. HSObsessed  |  February 26, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    Got a rejection letter today from Jones CTE as well. We are not in the proximity boundary. The way Katie Ellis of CPS phrased the letter made me think that all 75 spots went to kids within the proximity boundary: “We regret to inform you that your child has not been selected for enrollment. Preference was given to applicants who reside within the surrounding neighborhood of Jones.” But that’s just a guess. Would be nice to know actual stats. It is funny to think that 25 additional spots are given to Tier 1 students at Jones and three other SEHS, and now 75 spots at Jones are given to Tier 4 kids in the general area. (The CTE program is the exact same as the regular Jones program except that the CTE kids take one additional class in pre-law or pre-engineering.) If they hadn’t decided to combine both old and new buildings and therefore open up more spots to citywide, this would be much more of an injustice than it is now, so I’ll shut up about it. 🙂

    @599 – CPSO – where else do kids go – From Lincoln, each year about 1/2 go to LPHS (all programs), 1/3 go to SEHS, and the rest go to either privates (Latin, Ignatius, Scholastica) or Von Steuben, Ogden IB.

  • 614. another CPS mom  |  February 26, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    Why, exactly, is there Principal’s Discretion? If all seats can be easily filled with students with needed scores, why reserves those few?

  • 615. AW  |  February 26, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    If you live in the Amundsen boundaries and your child got shut out of the SEHS, I’d really urge you to take a closer look at your neighborhood high school. The new principal, Anna Pavichevich, is a dynamo and doing great things there already. The freshman class’ overall numbers are up, the band program is great and the new athletic director is doing a lot to build the sports program and increase school spirit.

  • 616. another CPS mom  |  February 26, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    The Jones CTE program was a bone to throw to families in the emerging south loop residential neighborhood, no?

  • 617. anotherchicagoparent  |  February 26, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    Also got a rejection letter from Jones CTE today not in proximity so maybe they did fill up spots with mostly neighborhood kids?
    Acceptance letter to Alcott prep came today as well.
    614 principal’s discretion or appeals have been around for decades in Chicago.Sometimes kids parents die during 7th grade, or they go through hardships like sudden homelessness, a sibling killed etc.Hard to stay on top of things than.Might just be one bad year ,for the child due to circumstances beyond a their control.

  • 618. HSObsessed  |  February 26, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    OK, I looked at the proximity boundary for the Jones CTE program, and I was reminded that it’s huge, with boundaries of the lake, Grand, Ashland, and 26th St. It’s 7 square miles and encompasses areas where the kids’ neighborhood HS normally is Philips, Juarez, Tilden and Wells. And it’s not actually all Tier 4. Eyeballing it on the tier map, it looks to be about 60% Tier 4 and the rest is a mix of the other tiers, with much of Tier 1 and Tier 2 in the area south of UIC and Chinatown.

  • 619. Wondering  |  February 26, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    Mather is our neighborhood school. Does anyone have any info to share? I’ve heard it is improving but not sure what that really means.

  • 620. Wondering  |  February 26, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    Also wondering, do most students’ points earned on the SE test match up with their isats or do they tend to be higher or lower?

  • 621. CPS Parent  |  February 26, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    612. RoscoeStMom Ms. Tookey is a force to be reckoned with both good and bad.

    The reason they used to be (I don’t know if it’s still the reason) evasive about retention is because not only do a lot of students not sit for the IB exam but the drop-out rate to double honors used to be 10-20% per year. The bar to get in is relatively low but there is a weeding out proccess and yes. Compare that to top SEHS’s where the bar is high but the drop-out rate is virtually zero.

    The atmosphere at top SEHS’s tends to be rigorous but nurturing; LPIB is just plain rigorous which is reflective of Tookey’s personality.

  • 622. Luvprivate  |  February 26, 2013 at 9:05 pm

    612 the way IB works is you get the diploma from the high school and you also have the opportunity to sit for the IB diploma. Almost no one gets the IB diploma. It is very, very hard. When kids miss the cut off score by a few points (meaning 1-2-3) the parents wig out and start complaining. You have to reach the minimun score for the IB diploma, no allowance made for a few point shy. That said, IB is a great course of study. It will be interesting to see how it all shakes out at schools like Taft where the kids are from so many learning levels.

  • 623. Momof5  |  February 26, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    @614 – Principal’s discretion exists so that SEHS principals can look at the data among the students who apply for it and rectify a situation where the child would be an asset to the school and yet didn’t get in. Translation: if you’re child is a well-rounded student, missed the cutoff by a point or 2, AND ranked the desired school first on their application, PD is a definite option for them.

  • 624. RoscoeStMom  |  February 26, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    I still believe in IB. I was an early adopter in HS 17 years ago in CA and remember how hard my tests were. I wish we had more IB throughout CPS. The answers we got at LPIB today were contradictory. At times we were told that the LPIB kids score 3-4 points higher than the average passing score and other times were told that a % of IB diploma earners (vs # PreIB freshmen) was an irrelevant number and question to ask. I’m thinking any question a parent or prospective student asks is relevant, despite our “ignorance” to the nuances of such a sophisticated and “too complicated to explain to you” programme… particularly if the only draw for us to the school is the IBDP. No?

  • 625. Mary  |  February 26, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    Denied everything (IB, SEHS) and cant afford St. Rita, Latin, etc. Realistically what are the options at this point? Are there any charter schools even with good reps and lottery still open? Live in Bronzeville area so neighborhood is a NO.
    Son is taking it in strides but I am freaking out!

  • 626. Tier4ever  |  February 26, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    Do you really believe PD is for the kid that missed the cutoff by one or two points? Look at Whitney’s athletic dept.

    Also, read the PD outline as explained by CPS. Parents, I think PD is an option but you’re fighting for 11 seats at Payton and low 20’s at Jones and Whitney. It’s not about the score, remember the trib did an exposé on this? Remember this is Chicago and Rahm and City Hall makes the final picks and if the principal gets a few they go to athletes.

    My sister is a tea her at Young and it is a well known fact how the jocks get in. Don’t dangle that in front of the kids

  • 627. Chicago School GPS  |  February 26, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    Disney II has not opened their applications yet, but were approved to start this Fall with 7th and 9th grades. Intrinsic School is a new middle & high school charter that is being started by former CPS teachers and administrators. http://intrinsicschools.org/

    Both of these schools will need to fill their seats when they start in the Fall. Intrinsic is taking applications now. Beyond that, there is much movement from now until April when counselors are asked where students are attending. There just may be some availability in a few weeks, especially in some IB programs (not LPIB).

  • 628. IB&AC Mom (formerly IB&RGC)  |  February 26, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    @625 Mary, what IB schools did you apply to? While schools like LPIB will have a good number of acceptances (even some over SE), a few others will likely have more rounds once all the kids who were offered both make up their minds and open up a spot. I don’t know much about charters, or if there are any that you can still apply to, but I would try. There are likely kids who got into both charters and other schools possibly leaving openings. Try calling any schools you would consider. Did he take the catholic test anywhere? If so talk to them about financial assistance. They often have money that has to be used. Lastly, check back to the OAE website often on the options page. They are likely to list any schools that still have openings. I know they were supposed to open a Disney II high school, but haven’t heard many other details about that. I am assuming that will show up on that options page.

    Glad your son is taking it in stride.

  • 629. RoscoeStMom  |  February 26, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    @625 we just got an email today indicating that there are limited spots still available at Senn IB and inviting us to attend a second information session. Worth a call?

  • 630. Victor  |  February 26, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    Does anyone know the tuition fee for St. Rita? Gordon Tech? St. Ignatius? St. Patrick??

  • 631. SoxSideIrish4  |  February 26, 2013 at 10:59 pm

    St Rita is $9,600 and Ignatius is $13,500

  • 632. chialkat  |  February 26, 2013 at 11:05 pm

    St. Ignatious is around $17K a year, Gordon around $9K- not sure about the others, but most likely somewhere in between? You can usually find tuition on the school’s website. Most students receive financial aid. I have a child at Gordon and its been a great fit for him. There are a lot of positive changes going on there with the new partnership with DePaul which will especially benefit incoming students. A new IB program and an increased AP course selection will be available next year. I’m very impressed with their college counseling department and was pleased to see my alma mater Kenyon College (which I’m
    proud to say is an excellent little liberal arts college) recruiting there. It’s a small school which is particularly good for my son who is an excellent student but suffered from anxiety in his highly competitive elementary school. Its a very nurturing environment. My only problem with the school is the lack of a real music program. However, DePaul is planning to make some of their programs and facilities available to Gordon’s students in the near future. Also the principle of Northside is a Gordon alum and is working with the school to do a prairie restoration on the riverbank much as they did at Northside. I predict thatin the not too distant future it will be a viable alternative to St. Ignatious and Loyola, but on the near- north side of chicago where it’s desperately needed.

  • 633. Cat  |  February 26, 2013 at 11:13 pm

    Good info about Gordon, I’ll be sure to pass that on to a couple parents who had kids accepted, but are still debating final decisions.
    And great to hear Kenyon was there!
    I went there too. 🙂

  • 634. chialkat  |  February 26, 2013 at 11:14 pm

    Apparently my autocorrect thinks St. Ignatius is spelled “ious”

    Anyhow, I think Ignatius requires a donation in addition to the base tuition, so it’s actually more than the $13,500.

  • 635. SoxSideIrish4  |  February 26, 2013 at 11:23 pm

    #634~you are correct~all the schools require a donation in addition to tuition…I thought it was abt $2,500 at christmastime.

  • 636. Gobemouche  |  February 26, 2013 at 11:59 pm

    About those Jones CTE seats, directly from the BOE minutes:

    “College and Career Academy Enrollment: Of the 120 seats designated annually for these programs, approximately 75 seats will be filled through a citywide application process. (From the proximity boundary) […] The remaining 45 seats will be filled with students from the Selective Enrollment program who also elect to participate in the CCA program at Jones.”

    Page 94, here: http://www.cpsboe.org/content/documents/dec2012proceedings.pdf

    So, how do they decide which SE students get to participate in the CCA program? Does that happen after they’ve already been chosen via SE?

  • 637. Momof5  |  February 27, 2013 at 12:43 am

    @626 Tier4ever: Yes, I do believe that and I speak from experience. One of my sons was admitted to his school of choice through PD and I assure you, we are not politically or monetarily connected to anyone of influence in any way. He missed the cutoff last year by 2 points. He wrote an excellent essay, received amazingly well-written letters of recommendation, and did whatever else the application required. Quite honestly, it was such a gut-wrenching time that I don’t remember what that was. I do remember sprinkling holy water from the Shrine of the Our Lady of Guadalupe on the packet before we sent it off, though. (No joke)

    PD is no longer just done by the principals. Everything must be reviewed and approved by BOE so I don’t think it’s a “just for jocks” system.

  • 638. Gigi  |  February 27, 2013 at 8:59 am

    This is probably not the place for this but do any of you HS parents know anything about Hawthorne Elementary?

  • 639. StPatsFan  |  February 27, 2013 at 9:12 am

    630 So glad you asked. St. Patrick tuition next year will be $10,000.00. They have a lot to offer, academics, AP / PACC classes, clubs, sports, etc. Great theatre and music departments. Give it a look. Some financial assistance available.

  • 640. HS Mom  |  February 27, 2013 at 9:32 am

    @612 RoscoeStMom – One of my pet peeves is when people come here to offer expert advice about schools that they do not attend. So, full disclosure, I am not the resident expert on LPIB. We decided that the school was not a good fit for us after interviewing and experiencing some of the same things that CPS Parent (as opposed to CPS parent) suggests. Ultimately deciding, like you, that if IB could likely become a DH program then we’d prefer SE anyway. It’s my understanding, however, that all students can now take IB classes. The IB diploma sounds like a phenomenal accomplishment but not the only benefit to IB education. As it turns out, my child has a real talent for writing and critical thinking, which was not apparent at the start. He could have benefited. The SE school was ultimately a great choice and we couldn’t be happier but given the current options now, not necessarily the only way to go.

  • 641. smadness  |  February 27, 2013 at 10:31 am

    I believe Univ of Chicago Woodlawn Charter is still taking applications this week. Yoiu can apply onlin ebut better hurry. Good luck.

  • 642. Cutoff scores  |  February 27, 2013 at 10:40 am

    @Mary See if you can get him into Kenwood. On the ACT, it is the highest scoring neighborhood high school in the city, slightly better than TAFT and Lakeview. It has a good music program and a College Bridge program with the University of Chicago, meaning that high performing students can take classes at UofC’s campus junior year. There is momentum in the neighborhood to make it more of a destination school.

  • 643. RoscoeStMom  |  February 27, 2013 at 10:43 am

    Learned yesterday that LPIB includes ZERO computer science because the students would be too busy learning the important stuff. They do have it for other students but if you’re in the IB program there is no time allocated. Period. Told NO, you cannot take those classes.They suggest that you go to summer school elsewhere. Watch this video before you decide.

  • 644. RoscoeStMom  |  February 27, 2013 at 10:51 am

    And sorry for the subsequent post but I should add- I share simply because I’m new to this and went in thinking I had a lot of info only to find out through the shadowing process that the devil is in the details. Same could be true about any school…it would be so incredible if we had a really thorough matrix that compared schools on criteria other than just scores and mix. If I hadn’t learned what I learned yesterday I would have made an uninformed decision while thinking that I was informed so the more info the better.

  • 645. relievedinRogersPark  |  February 27, 2013 at 11:13 am

    I don’t know if this has been posted before, but I came across this interesting write up on how the tiers are calculated/populated. Is it perfect? No. Can people game it? Does it somewhat arbitrarily create some winners and losers? Yes to both. But overall it seems to be a reasonably fair way to address the inequality of education throughout the city. My biggest gripe is its reliance on census data.

    Since we are still in the early part of this decade the data isn’t “too” stale but could fail to recognize gentrification later in the decade prior to the next census (or conversely economic worsening in some tiers as well). In full disclosure, my tract was one of the ones that moved from 3 to 4 on November 20th and I was mighty upset at the time.


  • 646. OutsideLookingIn  |  February 27, 2013 at 11:16 am

    I feel like the only way you can make an informed decision is by going into the school and making your own observations. Would you buy a car based on stats without ever getting inside the vehicle?

  • 647. Mayfair Dad  |  February 27, 2013 at 11:37 am

    @ 627: Update on Disney II Magnet High School. No word yet on the location but Thurgood Marshall Middle School (underutilized, category three) is widely rumored to be the location. A local civic group has galvanized opposition, demanding the TMMS building become a neighborhood school instead of a magnet school. While I sympathize with their position – the view outside the tent is alot different than the view inside the tent – I believe CPS will open Disney II as a magnet high school, benefitting students from the entire city.


  • 648. RoscoeStMom  |  February 27, 2013 at 11:41 am

    @646 I agree and of course not. Not all schools have a shadowing opportunity– just tours and parent meetings. To their credit, LPIB offers the shadowing which is a huge time and logistical commitment on their part. I’m simply suggesting the same thing I think you are– get in and get as much information as you can. That said, I do still think it would be interesting to have more data points up front in an organized way…not to pit the schools against one another in a battle for #1 vs #2 but to show how some schools that don’t have the glamorous names for themselves (yet!) are competitive on many (or even most) fronts to the SE. More info the better and it should be easier to get to if the process is going to continue to require such a detailed map to find the best fit.

  • 649. anotherchicagoparent  |  February 27, 2013 at 11:42 am

    643 that is 1 reason we are choosing Lane over IB. Even back in the 80’s kids enrolled in IB had very little choice in what classes they could take. Even on the honors track children can still add a computer track.I do know teens at Lincoln Park in IB/ and double Honors and who love the school.Just all about finding the right fit.
    Word of advice transportation should definitely be an issue to consider, if you do not plan on driving your child to and from school. CTA has been so horrendous this past school year.It seems delays once a week sometimes of 25 minutes and yes your child might get stuck on the train while delayed.Also they seem to get rerouted at least once a year due to a fire or crime activity.So definitely make sure your child and you are up for it.Some high schools give detentions for tardies. My oldest loses two hours of his day just with commute and that is when trains are running normal.

  • 650. anotherchicagoparent  |  February 27, 2013 at 11:42 am

    Even on the honors track at Lane *

  • 651. RL Julia  |  February 27, 2013 at 11:50 am

    @647 – I don’t think that Disney is going to get the Thurgood site this year. Look to Audubon (or Ogden) as a case study and start hustling for a space would be my advice – and be prepared because every (halfway decent/desirable location/neighborhood is going to want (and organize to request) an admission preference for the neighborhood kids – the same way the Disney II proposal gives preference to the Disney II kids in terms of admission.

  • 652. RoscoeStMom  |  February 27, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    @649 So we’ll see you at Lane. It’s unfortunate though– I did IB 1986-87 and also took computer programming classes at my HS. Time for us to catch up across the board here and with STEM in neighborhood schools maybe we are. Lakeview has a STEM program– if you’re in the neighborhood and got locked out of SE, take a look. http://blogs.technet.com/b/chicago/archive/2012/10/11/chicago-s-lake-view-high-school-named-one-of-the-most-innovative-schools-in-the-u-s.aspx
    (and full discloure- I’m an artist that happens to know how to code, not the other way around, but am also a retired CIO)

  • 653. Relieved mom  |  February 27, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    The tuition at St. Ignatius for next year is $15,300 plus a minimum $2,000 parent donation – for a whopping total of $17,300 without the i-pad that will also be required in the fall (ouch!). Our daughter got into Payton and I’ve heard that there is an accepted student information meeting on Tuesday night, but we haven’t received anything directly from Payton. Does anyone have any information on this meeting? Also, what do other Payton parents think of their child’s experience there? We are new to the HS rodeo – with 2 more right behind her, so we are looking to hear how other families have experienced Payton.

  • 654. Family Friend  |  February 27, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    All This College Angst: Yow! We are barely past HS acceptance, and already worrying about college. It’s important to remember that lots of people who graduate from Harvard do NOT go on to be President of the U.S. — or even terribly “successful.”

    I think that people who learn that hard work brings its own reward are the most likely to succeed (at whatever it is they want to succeed at). The main thing I wanted for my kids was to be challenged, and to have the tools they needed to meet the challenge. Challenge can mean different things at different times — take the immature 14-year-old who thinks he is going to be a professional athlete. He may really mess up his first couple years of high school, but eventually he will, with the right kind of parental and school support, buckle down. Will he get into Harvard? Probably not. But there are plenty of really good schools where he will get a great education and pick up the tools to earn a living.

    I want my kids to be happy. I am still tempted to fall into the “Susie is doing so well that she . . .” mode, but having bought into the success ethic myself, and having been miserably unhappy when I achieved that “success,” I have tried to stand back and let my kids define their own goals. So far, so good. Both are self-supporting; both know how to go for what they want — with, so far, very different goals.

    I used to tell my kids they needed to do well in school to “keep their options open.” But I realized that consistent high achievement itself closes off options. My older daughter quite consciously decided not to take calculus, even though she knew it would probably mean she would not get into the Ivy League. She knew her chances, as a mere BRWK, were probably slim anyway. But she didn’t like math, and didn’t want to take calculus. So no Ivies, but a smorgasbord of other good choices, and she has not regretted her decision. At the time, I was really irritated with her, but I had the sense not to force her.

    Many of the parents who read this blog are themselves driven, and many, unlike me, are happy with winning partnership, directorship, or whatever. But it’s a mistake to assume your child will have the same drivers you do, and a mistake to assume there is only one definition of success — in high school or college admissions as well as in life.

  • 655. Mayfair Dad  |  February 27, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    @ 651 RL Julia: You may be right, but since Disney II High School has already gone through the rigorous CPS Request For New Schools process and been approved by the Board of Ed to open this August and other claimants to the real estate in question have not, it seems a stretch the Board of Ed would rescind Disney II’s approval. More likely a shared facility with TMMS for 1-2 years to ease the transition, just like the Carpenter kids when Ogden expanded into the Carpenter building – although the TMMS students aren’t neighborhood kids, they are bussed in. If you strip away the understandably pitched emotions, it is a debate between neighborhood “ownership” of a Board of Ed real estate asset, and the very existence of magnet schools, which serve a citywide mission to foster diversity. I don’t see the Board of Ed changing their mind on their well-established diversity policy any time soon. Still I don’t fault the neighborhood group for pressing their claim; I might react the same if I were in their shoes. Very frustrating to look out your front window at a magnet school your kids didn’t get into, altough, thanks to choice, your offspring has many other options to choose from.

  • 656. HSObsessed  |  February 27, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    @RoscoeStMom and others – I agree the factors that go into the decision about which school would fit a student is pretty complex. I’m looking into details of the new IB set up at LPHS and it’s very complicated, with four different “ways” to get the IB benefit, different tracks, etc. Since it’s brand new, next year will be the first year of the all-IB program and they’re figuring it all out as they go. I have yet to speak with someone there about it all, but I have confidence they’ll manage it well. Prin. Boraz was very impressive at the open houses and I’ve heard great things. I think in the end what remains at LPHS is what has always been there: Flexibility that can be tailored to the individual kid. Because the school is big enough and has a diverse enough population of kids (academically speaking) that they offer many levels of difficulty for each subject, and the child/parent/counselor can work to make sure the kid is challenged without being overwhelmed.

  • 657. HSObsessed  |  February 27, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    @653 – Thank you for the heads up on the Payton event. We got an offer letter but no info on any additional open house either.

  • 658. Smadness  |  February 27, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    Family Fruend thx for putting it all in oerspective. Lets relax for a fewinures and let the kids enjoy HS wherever they end up.

  • 659. Casey Hoogstraten  |  February 27, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    653. Relieved mom & 657. HSObsessed. Congratulations on the Payton offers! I’m involved with Friends of Payton and will be at the Accepted Student event Tuesday, March 5 at 6:30. Invitations should be in the mail right now. If you would like to talk to me (8 years at Payton!) feel free to email – FOPpresident@gmail.com

  • 660. HS Mom  |  February 27, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    BTW RoscoeMom, I didn’t mean to fault you for reporting in on LP shadow experience. I was just trying to qualify my opinion of LP since we don’t go there. Many times I read negative comments by people who have no real idea about schools that they speak of (“my friend said this…its a failure factory…etc”). It’s good to know about first hand experiences in addition to real research that a parent can conduct along with attending meetings etc. I do agree that a matrix of school offerings would be highly beneficial. Fortunately, we do seem to have a variety of choices and I have yet to see one school that has everything. Choose wisely, don’t look back and good luck to all.

  • 661. SoxSideIrish4  |  February 27, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    #654~Family Friend~Yes, it’s a mistake to think that parents/children have the same drivers. I’m not driven, but my kids are. I don’t know where they get it from. I’m here to glean from others’ experience and knowledge and share my limited thoughts.

    If your daughter didn’t take AP Calc BC~she may still get into the ivies depending on her major, but not if it’s in the sciences~she’d be 2 far behind.

  • 662. Mayfair Dad  |  February 27, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    @ 654: Well stated, I like your message. Some kids are late bloomers, some kids walk to the beat of a different drummer, some kids are searching for something but can’t yet articulate what it is. Tiger Dad doesn’t work on some kids — I am learning that currently with Mayfair Son. It is very diificult for a control freak (me) to relinquish control, but it it his journey not mine. I am here to offer guidance, not micromanage his life. I work on this every day.

  • 663. HSObsessed  |  February 27, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    @659 Casey – Thank you very much, I will e-mail you.

  • 664. Family Friend  |  February 27, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    @557 cpso: I agree there are probably not any rental agents for $300/month apartments, because, as far as I can tell, there aren’t any $300/month apartments! I did a search on the Chicago Tribune real estate site for rentals, any type, any size, anyplace in Chicago, for $1,000/month or less. I then arranged the results in order of price from low to high. There were exactly TWO for less than $300, and both appeared to be rent-to-own scams. There were an additional TWO for less than $400, which appeared legit on the surface. If you have ever tried to help a low-income family find housing, you know that rent takes a huge chunk of that family’s income, even for a bedbug-infested Tier 3 fire trap!

  • 665. Family Friend  |  February 27, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    Error: Tier 2 fire trap.

  • 666. stopBotheringME  |  February 27, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    662 Lucky for u and your son you came to this conclusion. Now, can you call my house and explain yourself to the control freak dad. He can’t stop asking DS about grades. sucks

  • 667. me  |  February 27, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    @638 Gigi – I may be able to get you answers about Hawthorne. What did you want to know?

  • 668. Family Friend  |  February 27, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    @569: I know for a fact that the CPS Inspector General investigates school residency violations, which is classified as tuition fraud, because if someone who lives out of district attends a district school, they are supposed to pay tuition under state law. The IG will have an investigator follow a kid home from school to see where he/she goes. I know for sure it happened at Northside and Whitney Young, way back when. According to its annual report, the IG received 82 tuition fraud complaints in FY 2012. The IG did not have the budget to follow up on all the complaints At least four of those investigated involved non-residents attending SE schools, and three related to non-residents attending regional gifted centers. Separately, the IG also took action against CPS staff who violated policy regarding SE admissions. So it would not be out of the question for the IG to go after someone who violates SE admissions policy regarding residency.

  • 669. Family Friend  |  February 27, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    @625 Mary: I recommend your son apply to be on the waiting list at CICS ChicagoQuest. The waiting list is very short at this time, so there is a good chance of admission. The school is located within sight of the North & Clybourn el stop, so travel from Bronzeville is very doable. Plus, there is a very exciting shift in model taking place this fall — I am waiting for it to be made public because at this time I don’t have the “official” word. (Although I know it’s happening.) Call Chicago International Charter School’s main number.

  • 670. Family Friend  |  February 27, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    @625 Mary: Also, check out Intrinsic Schools, a new charter. New charters often have lots of seats, because they are unknown quantities. The Intrinsic founders are solid educators, and they have a good chance of creating a great school. It’s also blended learning, which means part of it is on the computer — that means each student does a significant amount of work at his/her own level, but it’s supervised by the teacher. There is also regular classroom work.

    In addition, if you are willing to send him into Englewood, Amandla, the school where I am a board member, will probably open seats to 9th graders this year. Very stiff academics, making adjustments to accommodate students who haven’t been in Amandla’s classes for the past four years. More on that in a month or two.

  • 671. Andy  |  February 27, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    @625 Do not under any circumstances send your child to Chicago Quest. The illusion of stability and and a sucessful program has been dangled in front of parents for two years. My child went there for 6 months and we finally had to say No Mas!

    Constant issues with classroom management and lack of varied instruction for students. They may get it right eventually but our children should not be experiments during the process.

  • 672. Family Friend  |  February 27, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    @661 SoxSideIrish: My calculus-hating daughter graduated from Georgetown almost seven years ago — I’m old!

  • 673. Family Friend  |  February 27, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    @671 Andy: I will report on ChicagoQuest as soon as I am able; it seems clear that the New York Quest model has not lived up to expectations, but I am very positive about what’s coming.

  • 674. BoyzDad  |  February 27, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    No letter again today, so CPS emailed it to me after my request… 1st choice Lane Tech 🙂

  • 675. Smadness  |  February 27, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    Congrats after long wait!

  • 676. Momof5  |  February 27, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    @674 BoyzDad: Congratulations to your child! You can exhale now. We will have a freshman, sophomore and senior there next year. It’s a wonderful school!

  • 677. Matthew's Dad  |  February 27, 2013 at 10:02 pm

    My son got into Northside and Lincoln IB but will go to Northside.

    IEP Alert! I just found out that two families I know that their kids did not get into any schools found out that CPS did not calculate their IEP points with their score. After they brought this to their attention one got into Lane and the other Jones.

    If your kid has an IEP and it did not work out for you I would check this asap.

  • 678. HS Mom  |  February 27, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    @677 What do you mean by extra points for IEP?

  • 679. Matthew's Dad  |  February 27, 2013 at 10:36 pm

    If I have my story straight when you get an IEP (for learning disability as an example) you are awarded points plus your score since you where are a disavantage from a learning stand point. People I know with them had their kids tested, had year long tutors and alot of school help just to get through school.You also have to go to your local school and be assest and have a commitee approve you. It is not an easy process and the ones that have IEP’s need it. They need the accomadation that their school might not supply and it is a legal document so the school can not say we can not provide this or that type of help. Some kids just get 504’s since they just need extra time on a test or want to put answers in the booklet and some one else transfers the data to the form (Yes, these are real issues).

  • 680. HS Mom  |  February 27, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    @679 – thanks. I’m familiar with IEP and as far as I know the only accommodations are in testing conditions and qualifications to take the test. Beyond that, there are no extra points. Schools are supposed to take a minimum % of IEP’s but that seems to be very loosely defined and not rigidly adhered to. That’s why I was surprised to hear about points. Interesting concept.

  • 681. Matthew's Dad  |  February 27, 2013 at 11:11 pm

    HS Mom: The schools “have” to take a certain percentage and yes there are extra points added. I forgot the system they use but it can be dramatic in getting into selective enrollment schools. I know this first hand not with my son but with my other child.

  • 682. traci  |  February 27, 2013 at 11:13 pm

    632—your response was music to my ears! So many of us north siders are ready for a great Catholic option which is close to home.
    I was recently @ Gordon to learn about their new programing-I think
    we will see a lot of great things from them in the future!

  • 683. FP  |  February 28, 2013 at 5:17 am

    I am doing this from my phone and can never find my responses and sometimes post replies to the wrong post—-clearly I would not have faired well on an SE test. Lol

    I am concerned about the LP environment now. I was under the impression that the kids can be isolated from the knuckleheads. My child got into the LPHH program and want to know how safe it is. Someone mentioned drugs and alcohol in the School. I went to WY and graduated in 88. There were drugs there as well—-I can live with a few kids who get high (not sure anyone can escape that even Lab school has that problem) I CAN NOT expect my child to time restroom breaks for safety and navigate through gang crap.

  • 684. FP  |  February 28, 2013 at 5:22 am

    Also– I thought I reiterated what Andy said about Chicago Quest but I don’t see it in this thread. Chicago Quest is a bunch of empty promises written on an iPad. Said from experience. The academics were poor for bright kids—the classroom disruptions were more common than the children reaching ANY particular outcome.

  • 685. SPED parent  |  February 28, 2013 at 6:46 am

    679 I have a son with an IEP at a selective enrollment school, he’s a freshman. The schools are required to take 5% IEP students and they do. I assure you they do NOT get any extra points. All students who are eligible to sit for the SE exam are scored and selected in a separate group, tiers are not at play. The top 5% get a seat rank order. Somewhat full disclosure, he’s at Lane, Lane was his first choice, if it mattered we are tier 4, his total score was 898, he had straight As in 7th grade, scored 300 points on the selective enrollment test and but had 2 points off for his reading ISAT score in 7th grade. He’s in all honors classes at Lane, with SPED support and thriving. Another child from his graduating 8th grade class with an IEP also got in, again tier 4 but the total score was lower 839 if recall correctly. Plenty of kids with IEP’s are perfectly capable of scoring 900 points and they often do. My kid could have went to any SE school he wanted with or without his IEP.

  • 686. Matthew's Dad  |  February 28, 2013 at 8:10 am

    679. Hi, I hope you don’t think I am saying IEP kids are not bright. Trust me I am living with one!!! When my wife talked to two families yesterday they both said their IEP points we not calculated into the final score and after it was their children got in. I think we are saying the same thing. Yes, you see the raw score but to get accepted the score would have to be the entry score. In other words I know kids that scored 50-80 lower then acceptance but got in their first or second choices. If you add these points back in to the lowest number to get in, there is my logic. This is the way our school explained it to us also.

    Again it might be semantics but I was just trying to do a good thing by letting anyone know if their kid has an IEP a call might help. I cant believe that two kids from the same school are the only ones that was an oversight…right?

  • 687. HSObsessed  |  February 28, 2013 at 8:22 am

    @683 FP – I’m pretty sure those safety issues at LPHS have dissolved slowly over the years due to a combination of changing demographics and new school leadership starting three years ago. I’ve spoken with parents of current LPHS students who don’t feel it’s a concern.

  • 688. Another parent  |  February 28, 2013 at 8:27 am

    683/FP – I asked my son (who is a freshman at LP) yesterday about the climate at the school. He said he has never felt unsafe and he has never seen any gang activity or violence at all. I sometimes think LP gets a bad rap because of some of the students who are from the neighborhood. LP is one of the few schools who let kids shadow before attending so I don’t think they feel they have something to hide. It might be helpful to just go to LP when the kids get out at 3:55 and see what it’s like. I do know of a student who got assaulted near the train stop a week or so ago but no one ever said it was by a student. The area around the school is very safe and generally busy with moms and their preschool kids. Now some students may be more uneasy at big high school with a wide variety of kids than others, it just depends on the individual. So, again, this is something where a “good fit” comes in to play.

  • 689. Mike  |  February 28, 2013 at 8:51 am


    ChiArts Visit Day Registration

    Congratulations on your acceptance! ChiArts will be hosting a visit day on Monday, March 4 from 3:30-6 PM. To register, please supply the information below. Keep in mind that due to space restrictions, we are only able to accommodate parties of up to 3 per student (student plus 2 parent/guardians). In the event that you are bringing multiple students, please make separate reservations for each.

  • 690. Esmom  |  February 28, 2013 at 9:18 am

    It’s true that many kids with IEPs score as high as kids without IEPs and get into the SEHSs, but because of the quota there are some who score much lower than the cutoffs and still get in.

  • 691. HS Mom  |  February 28, 2013 at 9:54 am

    Matthew’s Dad – Yes! Very good to know that IEP may have been overlooked. Regarding 5% quota – Jones has close to 15% and the others will get 5% based upon kids that score high enough to get in anyway. Is it 5% total or 5% on top of kids that get in by score?

  • 692. Tier4ever  |  February 28, 2013 at 10:20 am

    Does anyone have any information about the “what’s next” meeting at Alcott HS 2957 n Hoyne tonight from 7-8:30? Also, is it a sanctioned event from CPS? It’s my understanding they’re charging $10 a family to attend.

  • 693. RL Julia  |  February 28, 2013 at 10:50 am

    @655 – Mayfair Dad – hey we could do point/counterpoint! TMMS is my neighborhood so I have that outside the tent view on the Disney II HS – TMMS initially was a neighborhood school but decades of mismanagement and declining enrollment in the feeder schools (in part caused by TMMS) allowed all but one (I think) of the original five neighborhood schools to “take back” their students. However, this doesn’t mean that the neighborhood has vacated their feeling of ownership about the building. Over the years there have been many proposals for the building – including one from Audubon – whose high school program I believe was also board approved as well as a neighborhood high school proposal which I don’t think ever made it to the board. In each case, the neighborhood has made the case that whatever school replaces or co-locates at TMMS have a neighborhood enrollment option/preference to it. The neighborhood itself is ranked tier 3 and 4 but despite that there is a fairly sizable low-income, first generation population (doubled/tripled/quadrupled up in houses and two flats) that is effectively shut out of SEHS and other test-in high schools due to test scores. The neighborhood would like offer a better/smaller neighborhood option for those kids – or other kids in the neighborhood who don’t want to go to Schurz or Roosevelt.
    I am not saying that Disney II shouldn’t go through with their proposed high school – it looks to be a great model and Disney II is a wonderful school – I’m just saying that they might have a hard time getting the TMMS site –without being asked to compromise. I don’t know if the Carpenter neighborhood was as organized/opinionated as this one. In your opinion, would Disney II consider another site?

  • 694. Chicago School GPS  |  February 28, 2013 at 11:32 am

    #692- The event tonight is by us, Chicago School GPS, which has no affiliation with CPS. We will be talking about public and private schools and our nominal cost covers handouts, light snacks and our time. We encourage pre-registration at http://www.chischoolgps.com/CSG_HS_What_s_Next_.html

    We will talk extensively about Principal’s Discretion but also about private & parochial school options and next steps. We will also talk about preparing oneself for high school including things to consider for course selections. For those wanting to know a little more about Alcott HS, you can also speak with someone there. Frankly, the fervent followers of CPSO may know much of the info but we find many others do not.

  • 695. Mayfair Dad  |  February 28, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    @ 693 RL Julia: If this was debate club, I could probably argue both sides of this issue convincingly. At different points of my children’s CPS education, we have been outside the tent and we have been inside the tent. With two sixth graders at Disney II, we prefer the view inside. It is a great school and I can not say enough positive things about the teachers, administration and parents. We are a magnet school and we are proud to be a magnet school. If every child in Chicago had access to a Disney II education, schools in Finland would aspire to be like CPS!

    You ask if Disney II would consider another site. Fair question. Do you know of another underutilized 975-seat former high school building walking distance from the current Disney II Elementary?

    I have read the GIPNA memo. They have surmised Disney II is heading to TMMS and they are asking for Murphy students to be given automatic admission to Disney II high school, becoming a “magnehood” feeder school (my invented word, not theirs). They want the excellence and cachet of a top tier magnet high school program minus the uncertainty of the lottery system. Just like every other parent in Chicago. It is an interesting idea and not without merit. Will it work? I can’t think of a precedent but we are living in uncertain times. With the underutilization commission looking at real estate assets and impact on student populations with fresh eyes, maybe this idea will take root.

    I think not. I think CPS is too invested in the notion of choice (magnets, charter, SE) and the preservation of magnet schools as a tool to ensure socioeconomic diversity citywide to be swayed otherwise.

    This position will disappoint some parents and delight others. (For a taste of what parent angst sounds like, refer to the 690+ posts above).

    To be crystal clear, this is one man’s conjecture – CPS has not formally announced the location of the Disney II High School. I am just an opinionated parent, not an official spokesperson for the school.

  • 696. HS Mom  |  February 28, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    Just thinking about this. If a magnet becomes a neighborhood school then how will it be different than the neighborhood schools that are already there? Would you suggest then to have some sort of qualifications?

  • 697. SoxSideIrish4  |  February 28, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    #665~HS Mom~I think you would have to look at Burley~didn’t it use to be a magnet? I’m pretty sure but not 100%.

  • 698. SoxSideIrish4  |  February 28, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    Sorry, I meant #696!

  • 699. RL Julia  |  February 28, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    Mayfair Dad – I was surprised to see Thurgood pulled off the closure list as anyone- but in the end, I think that the current feeder schools remain too crowded to make it feasible to return current TMMS students to them.
    In terms of another location close to Disney II – I don’t know of one in the O’Hare region (but then again, I haven’t really been looking). Thinking about Audubon and Ogden as case studies, it seems that when the board approves a new school roll out – their help sort of stops there – they aren’t really all that invested in having the new school located near the old one -as evidenced by Ogden at Carpenter – which couldn’t have been what Ogden parents had in mind when they proposed a new high school. The case study to look at in this scenario would be Alcott – which I know precious little about. While everyone in this equation seems to be convinced that Disney II HS would be at TMMS – I can’t think of one document from the board that would indicate their even thinking this…perhaps because it is still in use – and because it has been/is hotly contested real estate.
    I would contend that the neighborhood wants a set aside- the same one the Disney II parents would be given and that set aside wouldn’t fill the proposed school – but more than that, they want the school design they proposed a few years back – the model that never really went anywhere. Although – admittedly that might not be relevant since Schurz is supposed to go wall to wall IB next year.

  • 700. RL Julia  |  February 28, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    Should be an interesting process. Just for argument’s sake – why wouldn’t or couldn’t Disney II accept a set aside for Murphy students or have develop same enrollment standards for those children as they do for Disney II kids – at least for hgh school.acceptance.

  • 701. HS Mom  |  February 28, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    @700 – right, that’s what I’m saying. Now that we’re a tier 4 none of my neighbors are getting into SE. They do go to CICS and Gordon Tech as options. My understanding of Alcott is that the grade school has guaranteed admission, then a local lottery, then a citywide lottery. Why not refine that so that local kids who qualify for SE but can’t get in have priority? Why not reward hard workers?

  • 702. D2 neighbor  |  February 28, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    I think we all think that TMMS will be the new D2 location because there is no other existing school space in the immediate area. The only other vacant school I could think of was St. Wenceslaus (3400 N Monticello), but I’m not even sure if that is vacant, or whether it would hold enough Anyone know?

    It will be interesting to see how the D2 HS location unfolds. I’ve heard that some parents at Belding are asking CPS to split their attendance area, and put half of the kids in a new school at the TMMS site.

    And, if there is a set aside for NB kids at D2–why only Murphy students (arguably because TMMS is located in Murphy’s attendance boundaries)? But, I’m not sure that’s a fair set-aside. How those who live within few block radius of D2, but have been shut out of admissions there? Or those who live just as close to TMMS as others residing in Murphy’s boundaries? Especially those who have overcrowded and/or low-performing NB schools . .

  • 703. Mayfair Dad  |  February 28, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    @ 699: I think we agree that Ogden is an interesting and perhaps illustrative case study. Full disclosure: my oldest son was at Ogden during the Carpenter aquisition and transition. I have a somewhat different recollection of what transpired.

    1. Ogden was approved to build a brand new elementary school and expand their successful program to include grades 9 – 12 concurrently. At the time of the approval, Ogden 6 – 8 graders were already “temporarily” co-sharing space with Carpenter Elementary, a nearby underutilized and low-performing school in a gentrifying area. No one was surprised by the subsequent announcement to take over Carpenter. It was widely rumored and expected.

    2. Students who graduate 8th grade at Ogden Elementary have an automatic spot at Ogden HS, just like kids who graduate 8th grade at Alcott Elementary have an automatic spot at Alcott HS. This has become standard practice for program expansions, and Disney II parents expect the same. This aspect of the Disney II High School plan sticks in the craw of neighborhood families and it will probably always stick in the craw of neighborhood families. Can’t make you feel better about this so I won’t try.

    3. Ogden’s influence reached all the way to the corner office on the fifth floor of City Hall. Ogden’s principal and assistant principal travelled to China as part of the mayor’s Olympics delegation. Not sure if this cozy relationship exists with the current occupant, but Ogden received plenty of support from CPS brass.

    Re: TMMS…

    4. The school design for a TMMS high school conversion, submitted several years ago by neighborhood interests has not been vetted, analysed or approved by anyone in the current CPS regime, to my knowledge. The deadline to submit is long since past. To your point, it does demonstrate a long-standing interest in the most productive use of the real estate asset in question. Maybe that counts for something with the current CPS leadership.

    5. Neighborhood families do enjoy a level of preferred enrollment status within the 1 mile magnet lottery attendance boundary. Whether or not CPS feels compelled to offer something besides this is beyond my pay grade. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I don’t know what the precedent would be but we live in uncertain times.

    But hey, what do I know? This is just ol’ MFD spitballin’ with his pal RLJ. We won’t know anything for sure for another month. I promise to invite you to the new Disney II Magnet High School open house, wherever that will be.

  • 704. mom2  |  February 28, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    Will Disney 1 kids have any priority as this Disney 2 high or are they similar in first name only?
    Just curious if there are any plans for a magnet high school to accommodate other magnet elementary schools that might want to stick with a magnet type program/atmosphere.

  • 705. Mayfair Dad  |  February 28, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    Here is the CPS Press Release announcing Disney II Magnet High School:


  • 706. Mayfair Dad  |  February 28, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    Additional information about the Disney II expansion can be found here:


  • 707. RL Julia  |  February 28, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    Thanks for the clarification about Ogden. Always helpful to get the history from someone who was there. I am looking forward to the open house invite – although as a TMMS community member –wouldn’t I automatically be invited anyway 😉 (ha ha!). I am happy to have a seat on the sidelines for this one – I’ve sat in too many discussions about TMMS over years to be interested in truly being involved in this latest wrinkle. Just remember – entropy is a powerful force at CPS.

  • 708. Mayfair Dad  |  February 28, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    Thanks for a lively tennis match. Maybe I’ll run into you at Starbucks in the ‘hood only you won’t know it’s me. Hint: I’ll be the one wearing a Disney II High School sweatshirt. Ciao for now.

  • 709. Please Help!  |  February 28, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    Can anyone suggest some “fall back” high schools that are good or at least decent. My child wasn’t selected for a SEHS. Even though, she had a really good score..we are shock really. She attends, Skinner West Classical School (in the classical program). Now, we need some fall back schools to apply to asap. I will be taking tomorrow off to go to any school(s) suggested. We can travel north, central and as far south as Hyde Park. Please help me if you can. Thanks!

  • 710. Katherine McClain  |  February 28, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    My son was accepted into Brooks College Prep ! His score was 845. His first choice was Whitney Young but we got the second choice. His elem is Keller Gifted School. We are happy he got in a SEHS, so we are not complaining. Not too far from our Beverly home either. One down now one more left (4th grader)..lol almost done!

  • 711. cpsobsessed  |  February 28, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    @709L if you can get out tonight I’d check out this session TONIGHT about other options:


  • 712. HS Mom  |  February 28, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    @710 Katherine that’s fantastic. If more Beverly families went to the SS selective schools maybe we would stop hearing about “no good schools on the south side” JUST KIDDING!!

    The head of Special Services at Jones is now the AP at Brooks. She is fantastic! Sounds like a good thing.

  • 713. SoxSideIrish4  |  February 28, 2013 at 5:11 pm

    #712~HS Mom~WY & Jones are on the SouthSide!~smiles~

  • 714. Thorp Mom  |  February 28, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    Anyone receive a letter from Payton regarding Accepted Student night?

  • 715. HS Mom  |  February 28, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    @713 – I know it :)…. also would add that there are plenty of Jones/Whitney kids with siblings at Brooks and Lindblom….so word is they’re great schools. But, I guess if people figured it out, you would no longer be able to get into these schools (probably difficult now).

  • 716. southie  |  February 28, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    Anyone know about students getting into the Academic Center at Morgan Park High School and the IB Programme there?

  • 717. HSObsessed  |  February 28, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    @714 – We finally got the Payton letter today. Still have not heard anything at all from Alcott HS yet.

  • 718. another CPS mom  |  February 28, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    How does that work, when a student discovers a mistake in the calculation of his SEHS score (like the IEP example above)? Does the SEHS for which the student qualifies with the corrected or adjusted score give the student one of the PD slots? Who orchestrates the correction and admissions?

  • 719. SoxSideIrish4  |  February 28, 2013 at 8:19 pm

    #718~another CPS mom~central office changes the mistake and if you qualify for your first school, you will prolly get it. There’s a phone # on the mailing.

  • 720. SoxSideIrish4  |  February 28, 2013 at 8:21 pm

    #715~HS Mom~Brooks and Lindblom are good schools~however their neighborhoods are so dangerous, I would never send my child there.

  • 721. another CPS mom  |  February 28, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    @719: Thanks!

  • 722. Mary  |  February 28, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    @ 720, wow–great way to put a damper on my kid’s acceptance to Lindbloom. Geez

  • 723. Mary2  |  February 28, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    This is Mary2–I see there is another Mary online

  • 724. Thorp Mom  |  February 28, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    Mary, I agree. People should keep negative comments to themselves.

  • 725. HS Mom  |  February 28, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    @722 Mary – obviously many great students go to Lindblom and Brooks without a problem. Congratulations to your son/daughter on their accomplishment. Lindblom has a well deserved excellent reputation and standing in the ranks. The principal checks in here all the time inviting people to come and see for themselves. Perhaps after the parent orientation meeting you could check back here with your impressions to help dispel some of negative concerns that parents have.

  • 726. Mary2  |  February 28, 2013 at 9:36 pm

    HS MOM-I sure will. THANKS!!

  • 727. SoxSideIrish4  |  March 1, 2013 at 3:12 am

    #722~Mary~I said previously that Brooks & Lindblom are good schools.

    #724~Thorp Mom~my comments are true ~not meant to be negative~just honest. It’s a fact those are dangerous neighborhoods.

    #725~HS Mom~I’ve talked w/some teachers that work at these schools~they love their schools~but that doesn’t ‘dispel some negative concerns’ abt the neighborhood. http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?id=8909859

  • 728. anotherchicagoparent  |  March 1, 2013 at 7:31 am

    @717 We received the Alcott letter on Wednesday..Same day we received Jones CTE non acceptance letter and letter about Lane Tech’s incoming freshman night(s).I am just a wee bit interested in Alcott as Ms Moody from Jones is the new assistant principal.

  • 729. anotherchicagoparent  |  March 1, 2013 at 7:45 am

    That was Tuesday the letters arrived.Full disclosure my child does attend one of the schools that Alcott was trying to attract kids from.I thought everyone who applied would get some type of letter.

  • 730. kgreeny  |  March 1, 2013 at 8:55 am

    I am a Brooks parent (sophmore), Believe me the Principle is taking every step to assure that those kids are safe, even getting CTA to change some bus routes so that there are buses that picks the kids up in front of the school, and take them straight to the 95th redline. The police station is 3 blks. down from the school and their presence is around the school all the time. They make sure that parent patrols are out there making sure the kids go home. Can you really say every neighborhood is safe, no, but the Principle take every precaution to make sure those kids are safe.

  • 731. HS Mom  |  March 1, 2013 at 9:34 am

    730 – Thank you.

    SSI – these are schools that people attend for good reason. Reasons different than yours. To negatively comment on these and other schools that you have no personal experience with is doing them an undeserved injustice.

  • 732. Kenwood...  |  March 1, 2013 at 10:19 am

    709— I am going to say it again… see if you can get your child into Kenwood. Highest scoring neighborhood high school in the city. A lot of their AC kids stay there (about 80 percent) and they allow freshmen to immediately take AP classes. By junior year, they can be doing college bridge at the University of Chicago. They also have one of the best choirs in the city. Kenwood’s new principal was the assistant principal at Westinghouse. They have a small magnet program inside the school for which the deadline has passed. I am not sure how hard it is for non-neighborhood people to get seats. But I have certainly heard of it happening.

  • 733. APMom  |  March 1, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    #710~There is no Kathleen McClain parent at Keller Gifted…where does your son really attend, or are you trolling???

  • 734. southie  |  March 1, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    Odd. Maybe parent has different name than child?

  • 735. southie  |  March 1, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    Or, a pen name?

  • 736. anonymously  |  March 1, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    Nope — checked. CPS staff may do a bit of trolling now and then, in order to push a particular point of view, or float a trial balloon.

  • 737. SoxSideIrish4  |  March 1, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    Hmm..Keller is a small school. I think they only have one grade of 8th graders. Parents know each other, and would know if a parent has a different last name. Odd.

  • 738. Concerned mom  |  March 1, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    @733- Odd, I would LOVE to know how you have private information? How do you know who is or is not a parent and parents/children names? As a parent of a Keller child I would hate to find out someone in the office or at the school is giving out info to random people!

  • 739. APMom  |  March 1, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    If you have a child at Keller you know there is no Kathleen McClain parent there. I have a child at Keller as well.

  • 740. CPC4Chicago  |  March 1, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    @736. Interesting theory. Perhaps an attempt to promote a school that’s 63% low income, 85% black and 12% Hispanic as a realistic option for a Beverly Irish trixie.

  • 741. athens  |  March 1, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    @738- I agree. My child does not attend Keller BUT regardless of the school I don’t want some nosy parent volunteer having access to my information or my kid’s. If they have access to lists of kid’s and their parent’s names what other private info are they looking at?? Grades? Sorry, maybe I am overreacting but the school should not let random parents have this kind of access.

  • 742. relievedinRogersPark  |  March 1, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    Somebody should tell Katherine McClain (actual name of the 710 post) that Kathleen McClain is impersonating her. Of course she could be using her maiden name (Holly Genero) at the school. (BTW this whole post is a joke, including the Die Hard reference).

  • 743. athens  |  March 1, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    @739- So what, maybe she used a different screen name, maybe it’s her maiden name. I mean your name isn’t used for your posts.That doesn’t make her a “liar” anymore than it makes the 700 other posters who said their kid got into school XYZ. No offense but you made me remember why I stay FAR FAR away from the mom’s in my kid’s class.

  • 744. Mary2  |  March 1, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    @athens-yep- sometimes over involved moms are as bad as under involved ones

  • 745. LMK  |  March 1, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    What do you all think about having automatic extended time for all Selective Enrollement tests?

    I think it is the schools and parents waste of time to “have” to get a 504 or the like just to have extra time on these tests. I heard of several kids never finishing the test last year and this year. I could care less if the test was an hour longer if the kids need it. This alone would save the school district money so the teachers etc would not have to prove a issue with the child to have some extra time. Less red tape also.


  • 746. local  |  March 1, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    @ 745. LMK | March 1, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    Huh? I’m not clear what problem you’re describing. It’s great if students cannot finish the SE tests. Those that have speed and accuracy rise to the top. If a 504 is involved, the student has a disability that qualifies under the ADA law.

  • 747. SoxSideIrish4  |  March 1, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    740-cpc4chicago~so you are saying there are CPS troll on here pushing an agenda? Trying to keep Beverly kids out of the 4 elite SEHS? I knew there were trolls from stand and I thought CPS read comments on here, but I didn’t realize they actually commented to push an agenda.

  • 748. local  |  March 1, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    @ 747. SoxSideIrish4 | March 1, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    I read #740 as interpreting #710 comment as encouraging Beverly families to consider the far southside SEHSs. No?

  • 749. local  |  March 1, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    Well, not exactly “encouraging.” Wrong word. Demonstrating, perhaps.

  • 750. SoxSideIrish4  |  March 1, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    749. local | March 1, 2013 at 4:53 pm
    So then CPS is on here lying~saying Beverly families are going to far southside SEHS, when I know that they aren’t~to encourage their agenda? What would the purpose be, when everyone know that Beverly families don’t attend those schools and won’t? And who from CPS is trolling and commenting?

  • 751. APMom  |  March 1, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    #744. I don’t know if I am an over involved mom, perhaps. But every1 knows every1 at the school. It is very small. 845 would be a very low score from my child’s school.

    750. If CPS really is commenting under a different name trying to “demonstrate” Beverly parents going to other schools, then CPS is more messed up than I thought. No wonder their officials are always leaving.

  • 752. Mary2  |  March 1, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    749. local | March 1, 2013 at 4:53 pm
    So then CPS is on here lying~saying Beverly families are going to far southside SEHS, when I know that they aren’t~to encourage their agenda? What would the purpose be, when everyone know that Beverly families don’t attend those schools and won’t? And who from CPS is trolling and commenting?

    Oh MY GOD!!!

  • 753. Skinner mom  |  March 1, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    @ APMom–“845 would be a very low score from my child’s school.” Can we NOT bash other kids who tried their best? I sure this kid probably hears this crap from kids who’s parents haven’t raised them to keep those types of comments to themselves.

    As a parent of a Skinner West (the original-lol) I know the luck of the gene pool blessed my kid but I try to not put anyone else down. Can we just keep that in mind as we post?

  • 754. dave  |  March 1, 2013 at 5:11 pm

    @749 “everyone knows that Beverly families don’t attend those schools” wow is all I can say

  • 755. dave  |  March 1, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    I really hope “APMom’ does not stand for assistant principal mom

  • 756. APMom  |  March 1, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    753. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to bash, I don’t think that’s a ‘real’ person.

    755. Nope, it stands for Advance Placement Mom (regarding my daughter at a selective high school.)

  • 757. Katherine McClain  |  March 1, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    Hello My name is Katherine McClain and yes I am a REAL person. My son was accepted to Brooks and will be attending. I do NOT work for CPS nor know anyone that does. My son got into Brooks, fair and square. I know a few families whose kids attend Brooks, Lindblom (H.S & AC), Young and Payton. I am not understanding why people on here think that people from Beverly don’t attend SEHS on the southside. Are you guys aware that AA and White familes live in Beverly? I can’t speak for the white families though I know of one Caucasian boy attending the AC at Lindblom. But there are quite a few A.A families whose kids are attending SEHS on the soutside. What is the big deal again? Is this website only for Northsiders??? There isn’t anything wrong with SEHS on the south side and they offer great academics, sports and new facilities to smart high schoolers. If you choose not to attend them, that is fine but there is NO need to try to belittle someone else for wanting to attend those great schools. I will NOT be visiting this website again. It seem jaded towards families on the south and west sides anyway. I came to share good news about my son success and this is what I get. WOW

  • 758. cpsobsessed  |  March 1, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    @katherine, I hope you’ll continue to post. The only way to open people’s minds about any CPS schools is via parents sharing information about them, and that’s the point of the blog. Not everything will be positive, nor will people’s perceptions always be correct, but only through information sharing can parents learn about more options.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 759. Katherine McClain  |  March 1, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    And our son attend Keller Gifted School, it is located in the Mt. Greenwood area. I do not know why you are having such a hard time digesting that but yes, African American families, do live in Beverly (as I do, it is a diverse area) and yes, African American kids do attend Keller (again, his school is diverse). WOW, the racism that take place on site is really shameful but once again, I am not surprise.

  • 760. HS Mom  |  March 1, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    Katherine, I am totally disgusted by what just happened here. Thanks for sharing your story and please understand that there are some open minded people here.

    This is supposed to be a place to celebrate high school successes and to gather information to help others achieve such success.

  • 761. local  |  March 1, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    Hey, guys, keep your quotes straight. “local” said nothing about what Beverly people do or don’t do.

  • 762. Brooks Kid  |  March 1, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    My daugter is tier 1 and scored 806, she will be attending Brooks. As a recent GED grad I am proud of her 806 and her new school.

  • 763. Cat  |  March 1, 2013 at 9:56 pm

    Congrats to both you and your daughter! Both are achievements to be proud of! 🙂

  • 764. SoxSideIrish4  |  March 2, 2013 at 2:06 am

    Congrats to everyone whose child made it into their schools!

    As for my comment in 750…It’s true, most ppl in Beverly won’t send their kids to certain SEHS because of how dangerous the neighborhoods are. There is nothing racist abt it~It was never a race issue, it was a safety issue, so please don’t try to make it into something I never said.

  • 765. SoxSideIrish4  |  March 2, 2013 at 2:14 am

    I thought this article was of interest

    This year, Payton accepted only 2.2 percent of the 10,969 students who applied. Both Young and Northside accepted less than 3.5 percent. With those odds, it’s easier to get your high school senior into Harvard. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jacqueline-edelberg/chicago-school-selection_b_2631586.html

  • 766. Sometimes concern, sometimes amusement  |  March 2, 2013 at 10:02 am

    What is frightening here is that what is called education in these schools is really only elitist warehousing. My child has come through four years at one of the “top four SEHS” schools, has taken only what has been called Honors and AP classes and has only read three novels required for classes. Reflection, critical thinking, creativity, immersion in historical thought, field trips, inquiry – none of that. Worksheets, busy work assignments, multiple choice quizzes – lots of that.

  • 767. CPS Parent  |  March 2, 2013 at 10:30 am

    765. SoxSideIrish4 – Actually “ods”, as in winning the Powerball, have nothing to do with getting in. If your child scores a 898-900 due to their innate abilities and hard work they are guaranteed a spot. It is entrance based on a performance rubric – “ods” do not have anything to do with it. Getting into Harvard is also not a matter of “ods”, it is based on merit but the rubric is more holistic.

  • 768. CPS Parent  |  March 2, 2013 at 10:35 am

    ^ should be “odds”

  • 769. HS Mom  |  March 2, 2013 at 10:58 am

    #726 SSI says “#724~Thorp Mom~my comments are true ~not meant to be negative~just honest.”

    “Honesty without compassion is cruelty” — the Dalai Lama.

    SSI “Hmm..Keller is a small school. I think they only have one grade of 8th graders. Parents know each other, and would know if a parent has a different last name. Odd.”

    I guess they must know all the white parents

    SSI – “So then CPS is on here lying~saying Beverly families are going to far southside SEHS, when I know that they aren’t~to encourage their agenda? What would the purpose be, when everyone know that Beverly families don’t attend those schools and won’t?”


    “It’s true, most ppl in Beverly won’t send their kids to certain SEHS because of how dangerous the neighborhoods are. There is nothing racist abt it~It was never a race issue, it was a safety issue, so please don’t try to make it into something I never said.”

    They call it racial profiling


  • 770. SoxSideIrish4  |  March 2, 2013 at 11:03 am

    #766~hmmm…my son is in a SEHS and for the last 2 yrs he has read abt 4 or 5 novels, and is reading a new one I just purchased. His English and Social Science classes are ‘critical thinking’ classes. He’s only had one fieldtrip (last year). I feel my child is getting a great education w/wonderfully supportive teachers and principal.

    #767~yes, you are correct. That was a quote from the article~I should have used ” signs.

  • 771. SoxSideIrish4  |  March 2, 2013 at 11:05 am

    #769~HS Mom~No, it’s not~it’s called SAFETY. I won’t put my child in harm’s way. I won’t post on the topic again.

  • 772. Sometimes concern, sometimes amusement  |  March 2, 2013 at 11:24 am

    #770 – Either your child has been lucky or you are not telling the truth or your standards are not the same as mine.

  • 773. SoxSideIrish4  |  March 2, 2013 at 11:48 am

    #772~I don’t think it’s luck, my child and friends are having a wonderful experience at school. I am telling the truth as I try never to lie. It could be you have higher standards than mine, but mine are pretty high. I didn’t touch on ‘creativity’ as in your original post bc my child isn’t what one would call ‘creative’ more ‘critical thinker’.

  • 774. Sometimes concern, sometimes amusement  |  March 2, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    What is your definition of a critical thinker? My son and his friends are having a “good time” at his school because they are all smart, creative and interesting kids. This is the reason why I did not take my son out of his school when I saw the inadequate quality of instruction. My son basically taught himself for three years, and now has “checked out” in his Senior year because he has become tired of the lack of challenge during his classes.

  • 775. Dell2014  |  March 2, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    SoxSideIrish, please STFU! You are on here daily bully people about their own kids. You seem to think you know everyone on here and everyone is a liar except you. You posted the same comment twice and under two different names and and want to try to call people out on their own children. Quit being a TROLL and get a life. You really seem to have NO life. It is very disturbing how you are trying to bullying people on here. Concern yourself with your kids (if you even have any, I am starting to believe that you are nothing but a liar yourself) and not others..NO ONE CARES WHERE YOUR KIDS AREN’T GOING. Personally, we need to be grateful that your “kids” aren’t at any of our schools especially with all of the stereotypes, wrong assumptions and racist thoughts that are pouring out of your mouth on here. You have said it over and over that your “kids” won’t be going to any of SE high schools bc you are concern about the “safety”. No one cares, othersdo not mind. Why don’t you you quit being a TROLL and go away now. No need to keep repeating yourself. You are being a real pain and a** on here and need to just go away now. As a matter of fact, I cannot believe the owner of this website is allowing you to continue to post your negativity. I will be reporting you so hurry up now and chage your name like you have been doing. What a JERK!

  • 776. Beverly Dad of 2!  |  March 2, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    I live in Beverly and I have a son at Lindblom Math & Science Academy and another son at Sutherland (a neighborhood elem in Beverly). We chose Lindblom because we liked the principal and the advanced curriculum. We do not believe in listening to heresay and do not want our kids to grow up that way either.I know many white families (and some Blacks) that do not send their kids to schools in our own neighborhood and some that would not send their kids to Lindblom or Brooks. In America, you can educated your child the way you see fit. For my wife and I, we both were raised in the public school system here in Chicago and grew up poor. We do not want our kids to look down on anyone and try to instill in them a sense of pride that they would want to give back to underserved communities. We want our kids to grow up giving back, that is the way to help others in need. Through our church, we have gone in to areas from Englewood to Roseland and served the elderly, low income kids and rehabbed homes. I do not want my kids to walk around like they are better than the next because of their zip code.

    People must remember that Payton, when it was built, was surrounded by Cabrini Green housing projects and still have public housing in that area. I know Old Town does for sure, wasn’t it just a shooting death of a man that lived in the projects around the corner. But despite that, people still send their kids to Newberry and LaSalle, which is right down the street from the incident and not too far from those projects. UCLA is located in the ghetto but still each year, thousands of students flock to attend the school because of its acadmics not area.

    Like I said, my wife and I grew up in the worst neighborhoods in Chicago and worked our way out of them through higher education, My son is now a sophmore at Lindblom and has had absolutely no problems and is on his way to China this summer. He takes public transportation through the shuttle buses and also participates in two sports. We are proud Linldblom parents! I feel that if you do not want to send your kid to a particular school, there is no need to say so because another person is more than happy to do so. I know a two families who has a daughters is at Brooks and they live in Beverly with me, I have a friend who lives in the Gold Coast and would never consider Payton, they send their child to Latin. Its really all about choice and what fit the child, there is no need to rate down a school because you would never consider it. I would also like to point to the people who are concerned about saftey, there has NEVER been not one student that has ever been harmed at neither Brooks or Lindblom. That is because each principal at these schools care about the safety of their students. I am never worried about my son when he is at school and taht is how it should be. I really like Mr. Alan Mather because of how he runs the schools and how he knows every kid by their first name. Anyway, I am not here to try to convince you to attend a school you do not feel right about but I did want to share my experience as a Lindblom dad who lives in Beverly, that chose a a great school for his son.

  • 777. SoxSideIrish4  |  March 2, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    #776. Thanks for sharing your experience. You son is having a positive experience. I like learning where everyone is sending their kids in our community.

  • 778. RL Julia  |  March 2, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    Read the Huffington Post article. I suppose it’s informative for people not in the know yet but it seemed a little whiny and incendiary – exactly the sort of attitude from someone who hadn’t done their homework on what the non-SEHS schools were about in my opinion…. yes – there are some awful ones but it does no one any good to throw them all out and ONLY consider the SEHS’s as the only functioning high schools in Chicago – it simply isn’t the truth…

  • 779. EdgewaterMom  |  March 2, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    @788 I completely agree with you. People seem to treat that as fact rather than opinion. How do they expect things to improve in the neighborhood schools if people are not even willing to consider them?!

  • 780. RelievedInRogersPark  |  March 2, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    @778 and @779 I guess I read the article a little differently (but can see where you’re coming from). I think it was more an indictment of the lack of uniform opportunity across the board in Chicago.

    I know Jacqueline Edelberg a little bit because our kids used to play together at the Nettlehorst tot lot. She was disgusted by the “process” to get into Hawthorne just up the road so she decided to do something to turn Nettlehorst around (its well documented–you can look at her signature at the top of the post or just google “nettlehorst school turn around”).

    She does engage in a little hyperbole in the article, but you can not lump her in with the folks who do nothing to improve neighborhood schools.

  • 781. local  |  March 2, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    @ 775. Dell2014 | March 2, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    Wow. Chill maybe?

  • 782. local  |  March 2, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    @ 766. Sometimes concern, sometimes amusement | March 2, 2013 at 10:02 am

    You’ll find people make similar comments about many college experiences, too. Disappointment with the educational experience doesn’t end with HS. That’s why matching and tailoring education to the child or, when one’s old enough, to one’s self, is so important.

  • 783. EdgewaterMom  |  March 2, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    @780 You are right, she actually does mention that there are other options.

    However, the reality is that not every kid is qualified to go to the top schools, and parents need to widen their consideration set. This year, CPS opened five new Early College STEM Schools, a selective enrollment program at South Shore, and six wall-to-wall IB high schools will open next year. Harvard isn’t the only game in town.

    I should not have lumped her in with the others who complain that there are no good options in Chicago if their child cannot get into a SEHS.

  • 784. HS Mom  |  March 2, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    @781 – Dell has the right to be angry. We should all be angry. Real people with smart kids go to Brooks and Lindblom. They come here to celebrate only to be dissed and made to feel like they have to explain themselves away because they send their kids to a school that “puts them in harms way” according to SSI. If we ever want to talk to people and include them in a discussion about CPS we need to stop attacking them. We finally get people here who aren’t northsiders, aren’t southsiders complaining that they have no schools because they aren’t integrated enough, aren’t teachers talking about testing etc – they’re real parents who don’t go to the “4 elite schools”. But hey,,, must be a “CPS plant”. I wanted to hear what they have to say about their CPS experience.

    What invokes more friendly, enlightened discussion “I would never send my kids to ______ and neither would anyone in my neighborhood” or “That’s a tough neighborhood. I would worry about my kid. What kind of systems are in place to insure that kids are safe?”

    No one else is outraged other than me and Dell?

  • 785. HS Mom  |  March 2, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    @776 Beverly Dad – Thank you for giving us such a thoughtful and well written account of your experience at Lindblom. We recently took a tour of a small private college. Our student tour guide was from Lindblom. She had a double major, in her senior year going to grad school. Best of luck to you.

  • 786. Tier 1  |  March 2, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    I am firmly in tier one. I hope that by sharing my story you all in tier 3 and 4 will think before assuming that tier one kids are getting an easy entry into NS, Jones, or Payton. My husband and I never had the opportunity to attend college but we graduated Englewood highschool, we married and have three kids. Our oldest girl just got into Payton and we are over the moon. We realize that she scored lower than some tier 3 and 4, but not all. However when you think of the opportunities that she has never been given it seems mean and petty to begrudge her entry. My baby has never had the opportunity to go to a good elementary school, she has been stuck in the neighborhood (englewood area) school for 8th years. At one time we considered driving an hour each way to try and lie and go to a good north side school but chickened out. I am guessing parents would rat us out (no one wants an outsider) So while your kids got art, music, gym, library on the north side my daughter got computer lab on five year old computers and gym. While your children went to springfield and washington DC for 7th and 8th grade my daughter’s class is going ‘downtown’. While your children got spanish and french (Lincoln CPS) my girl gets afterschool tutoring by unqualified people who are not even teachers. We have never been able to travel, my daughter met a young girl at the SEHS test day and they have become texting friends. This little girl travels all over for vacations, her mom is a lawyer and dad works in business. Of course her vocabulary is better than my daughter’s. I am sure she is not the only tier 3 and 4 kid like this. When I go on school websites like Lincoln, Oscar Mayer, Bell, etc and see all that is offerred to these kids then read on this website that people seem upset that tier 1 kids get in with lower scores than tier 4 I say I would gladly trade my englewood elementary school for Bell any day. It just seems greedy and mean-spirited. I have become concerned that my shy girl will have to face kids and parents looking down their noses at her in a few short months at Payton because while she is smart as anyone her score is a little lower than tier 3/4 kids. I just hope and pray she meets more kids like the one she just met and few like some of the comments posted recently.

  • 787. SoxSideIrish4  |  March 2, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    778-780. I took that article that as a parent she felt helpless bc her daughter did ‘her job’, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the Mom can fulfill her promise. I do agree w/her ‘beyond the choice schools lies a steep academic cliff. This year, 18,000 eighth graders applied for 4,340 spots. When the dust settles, 13,660 kids will be kicked back into the regular CPS system, where less than 9 percent of all high students meet college readiness benchmarks on the ACT. Nine. Worse still, there’s the unspeakable reality that many of these schools are downright dangerous. No school supply list should include a Kevlar vest.’~however not all HS schools fall into that narrative.

  • 788. Tier 1  |  March 2, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    Bell also has Chinese and sign language—Tier 4 kids- and my kid is begrudged a few points.

  • 789. Tier 1  |  March 2, 2013 at 9:01 pm

    785/Thank you HS MOM, I feel the same way. I have listened in on the blog during the strike but never commented much. Like you I like connecting to parents from all over cps and with different stories to tell/share. My next child will probably not get in a SEHS so we are trying to plan ahead. Moving to the burbs is not an option and a $7000 and up private school is also not affordable

  • 790. EdgewaterMom  |  March 2, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    @786 Thanks so much for posting this. The tier system is not perfect, but it does help even out the playing field a little bit. I live in Tier 4 and while we are by no means wealthy, we do have access to good elementary schools, we have a great local library, and we have enough money to be able to provide extra educational experiences for my daughter. In other words, we don’t have the money for extensive travel or sleep away camp, but we can afford museums, books etc.

    So even though living in Tier4 will mean that my daughter would need a very high score to get into a SEHS, I am not going to complain about the system. Congrats to your daughter for doing so well! I hope that she has a great high school experience and that she does not experience a lot of the prejudice that we see on this blog.

  • 791. HS Mom  |  March 2, 2013 at 9:20 pm

    Tier 1 wow – your daughter sounds driven. She will make it with lots of opportunity. I think a lot kids are intimidated going into these schools – maybe more the parents. You work so hard to make and suddenly you’re there! Our school has a senior/freshman mentoring. The seniors kind of take the freshman under their wing. Please don’t worry about your daughter fitting in. I’m sure someone from Payton will comment too.

    As far as the points go. Speaking for myself and probably some others, I don’t think the issue is about tier 1 having a point advantage, it’s more about the implementation and amount of error in the system. For every advantaged upper income student that gets in because of a tier 1/2 address a well deserved kid such as yours misses out.

  • 792. HSObsessed  |  March 2, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    Congratulations to everyone on their child’s acceptances. I really enjoying hearing stories from parents in various parts of the city and am glad to see input from more families with kids at schools like Lindblom. The north side has been overrepresented here for too long, and it’s gotten boring!

    Re: the Huff Po piece — She loses some credibility with me when she misstates basic facts about how many kids applied this year and what the maximum score is on the SEHS exam. So then I wonder where she got her stats about how many applied to Payton and Northside; were those numbers published anywhere? I also think it’s pretty alarmist to claim that “most” families will “high tail it to the suburbs” after receiving their high school offers. Most?

  • 793. Audrey  |  March 2, 2013 at 10:52 pm

    God yes that sox side woman needs to STFU.

  • 794. 8thgradesurvivor  |  March 2, 2013 at 10:58 pm

    @786 thank you for your eloquent comment. Tiers can be fair; but I worry about the true tier 1 children living on the far north side of Chicago going to sub par schools and surviving in dangerous parts of Rogers Park. If I remember this correctly, along the Lakefront there is just one tier one area north of Belmont and that is in Uptown (at least that was the case when I looked at the map last year). So if you are a low-income bright child getting few enrichments on the far north side of Chicago, you don’t even get the benefit of being placed in a Tier that gives you the advantage that you deserve.

  • 795. Thorp Mom  |  March 2, 2013 at 11:29 pm

    @ Tier 1 mom, congrats to your daughter. Like you, my daughter wil also attend Payton. Inbox me maybe we can connect on Tuesday.

  • 796. Tier 1  |  March 2, 2013 at 11:30 pm

    Thank you for all the comments. I just get worried that my daughter will be made to not fill like she belong at Payton. This website was told to me a few months ago because SEHS was our dream for her, but when I read some of the comments I get scared for her. She is quiet and sensitive, will turn 14 in late August and I dont want kids and parents leaving her out or her feeling less than other kids. She is of course our little star, but like I said when I read comments comparing tier 1 kids scores and intelligence, I worry about the social part of her fitting in with kids of parents who fill this way.

  • 797. WRP Mom  |  March 3, 2013 at 1:16 am

    Tier 1 mom, don’t let the comments made by parents on this blog worry you. Your daughter was accepted at Payton, she deserves to be there. I hate the way people on here generalize about “tier 1” kids. Hey, kids who live in tier 1 do earn rank spots too! So you never can tell…

  • 798. local  |  March 3, 2013 at 11:29 am

    Schools usually have resources that help integrate all the different kinds of students into the school’s community. Any new student can/will find her niche – and not everyone will be her cup of tea. There will always be discomfort within a school community, but there will also be wonderful, new relationships and opportunities. It’s part of youth development to stretch and find their way, and HSs are very sensitive to this. Heck, even colleges are very sensitive to this. Four years from now, Tier 1 mom, I bet your child will look back with satisfaction about her Payton experience, and she’ll be looking forward to figuring out how to find her way in college or whatever is next. You might want her to check out Chicago Scholars and to prepare to apply to that program in a couple years: http://www.chicagoscholars.org/programs/.

    Remember this: “Sometimes, I feel discriminated against, but it does not make me angry. It merely astonishes me. How can any deny themselves the pleasure of my company? It’s beyond me.” ― Zora Neale Hurston

  • 799. local  |  March 3, 2013 at 11:42 am

    @ 786. Tier 1 | March 2, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    Thanks for exposing the differences between grade school opportunities in CPS. I’m unsure that many readers of this blog understand from experience the disparity. My disabled child has experienced even fewer enrichment opportunities, but we have been able to keep this child in a safe environment. Low quality instruction, almost zilch enrichment, but safe. No chance at a high quality high school program of any kind though CPS at this point, despite hitting high percentiles in the high-90s, given some percentiles are in the single digits. Tiers don’t matter in this case. Oh, well.

  • 800. Smadness  |  March 3, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    For “Tier 1” mom- Congratulations on your daughters success and to you for pursuing a higher level if education for her. I think Payton will change the trajectory of her life. Even though we don’t go to Payton, we have friends there who are warm and welcoming parents. And the kids Tiers are not publicized. Once they get into a school they are all citizens of that school. Good luck and thanks for giving a needed reality check.

  • 801. Esmom  |  March 3, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    @792 I would agree that “most” won’t move to the suburbs. A small percentage probably will, as the last year’s Bell school stats indicated. It’s probably the same number of people who choose private suburban schools such as Trinity or Loyola.

    In any case, the thing that bugs me a bit is the disdain for the suburbs as an option. In the HuffPo piece, she acts as if moving to the land of (stereotype alert) Olive Gardens is a fate worse than death. Is staying in the city really about her kids or is it about her what she believes to be a life of sophistication that the lowly suburbs can’t provide?

    I get that some people realistically can’t move. And full disclosure. I packed up my family and moved to the burbs two years ago when seventh grade was looming for my oldest and I was too fearful of putting him through the SEHS process. I still check in here, as I’ve stated before, because it was hard to leave and my city friends and I are always comparing notes about schools.

    We invested 8 years in a CPS school we loved and left behind a house and neighborhood we loved, too. I’m confident now it was the right decision and I know I was fortunate to have the choice that many others don’t have. But if you’re dismissing the suburbs because you think they’re backwards or homogenous or unenlightened, I’d have to say those misconceptions are flat out wrong.

  • 802. HydeParkParent  |  March 3, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    I have never posted to this site, but thought that I would speak in support of Lindblom given the perennial concern over safety. Our family lives in Hyde Park. I have been Lindblom parent for four years. If I had to choose a school again, Lindblom would be my first choice. The warm and supportive community within the school, the academic opportunities, and the academic rigor more than make up for the extra time I spend making sure my student has a safe ride home.

    The school has done a wonderful job of making it as easy as possible for parents. The school is open very late at night and students can stay without a specific note or permission (unlike Payton!), two different shuttle buses take students to public transportation points, and the security team at the school is out walking with students to bus stops. My student participates in many team sports and academic teams, so many nights I am picking him up from Lindblom. There are folks in HP we carpool with, but I make the drive into West Englewood at least three times a week. I have never had an issue, my student has never had an issue. I would be happy to answer any specific questions undecided parents might have.

  • 803. lmk  |  March 3, 2013 at 7:29 pm

    Where are people parking for Lincoln IB shadowing days? Don’t want to be towed in permitted area’s .


  • 804. Family Friend  |  March 4, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    786 Tier 1: I have been absent for a few days due to a dead monitor, but I wanted to say how glad I am you posted. I think your daughter’s experience at Payton will be positive. It’s a long time ago now, but when my daughter was at Payton it was probably the most diverse school in the system. For the most part, the kids did not separate along racial and ethnic lines — my daughter’s circle of close friends included white, black, Hispanic, and Asian kids. She is still in touch with many of her high school friends. The students were proud of their social milieu — if that legacy has survived to today, your daughter will be just fine. Also, she obviously has tremendous ability — she may struggle at first but she’ll catch up fast, and the Payton faculty will help her.

  • 805. lmk  |  March 4, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    Went to Lincoln IB today shadow day. The kids who are going to go there are very lucky. The teachers are amazing!. The kids asked very intelligent questions and seemed to be having fun and learning.

    It was a very long day and the person who runs the program is a little nutty but again the teachers are really good and the kids are going to get a great education there. We know some families there and they love the program.

    We are off to Northside tonight and where we are going to go but anyone thinking about Lincoln IB…..go shadow and see for yourself.

  • 806. Chris  |  March 4, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    “784. HS Mom | March 2, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    No one else is outraged other than me and Dell?”

    It’s the worst thing about the comments here, imo. I have issued a specific warning to offline friends about that issue.

  • 807. M&M  |  March 4, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    My child attends Beasley Gifted Center and was accepted to Lindblom! I look forward to her moving on to high school but will miss being a Beasley Bee Mom. I wish everyone much success as our kids move into the next phase of their lives.

  • 808. M&M  |  March 4, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    And I am indeed offended by most of the negative comments towards Lindblom as well as King & Brooks. I have a neice who attends King College Prep now and she is loving it and being challenged. Personally, I think all of the SE high schools offer kids something unique that isn’t found in the typical neighborhood high school. We should all be happy that our kids were selected to attend any SE high school in Chicago, I know I am.

  • 809. To M&M  |  March 4, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    Thank you for posting the great comment about King! My son’s first choice was Lindblom and 2nd choice was King. He was offered a seat at King (by the way we are in tier 4 on the southside & not in Beverly or Hyde park & when I step outside I only see black faces so from the poster above who stated you know you are in tier 4 when you see majority white faces that is blatantly not true!!)We are going to try for PD for Lindblom, eventhough I heard wonderful things about King. Mr. Mather the principal of Lindblom has put in wondeful measures to protect the students at Lindblom and I’m not bothered by the neighborhood because I know he will be safe. It is also great to know that if he doesn’t get in through PD then King will provide him with a great education!

  • 810. LP  |  March 4, 2013 at 10:17 pm

    “I am indeed offended”
    “No one else is outraged other than me and Dell?”

    Offended by a few narrow-minded statements made anonymously online? Welcome to the internet. Seriously, get over it, life’s too short.

    re: LPIB shadowing. We also shadowed at Lincoln and hit up Northside. Very impressed by LPIB.

    My takeaway was that they both met their reputations:
    Lincoln a more rounded humanities-based program.
    Northside more of a math & science focus.

    I keep being told that Lincoln has a heavier homework load, which is too bad. Northside and Payton kids work hard enough, I dont see a need to go beyond that.

    In the end we live near Lincoln so we’ll probably end there.

  • 811. FP  |  March 4, 2013 at 11:28 pm

    I went to the ChiArts open house today and was unfortunately NOT impressed. The main disappointment is that the Freshmen & Sophomore theater students DO NOT perform and cannot audition for productions. Also, the principal explained that kids with more experience, who may be working actors, would not be allowed to cut their school day short in the case that they got cast in a paying show. What kid who LOves performing will stay motivated under those conditions? Not mine. Not happy.

  • 812. justme  |  March 5, 2013 at 6:28 am

    @811 Chiarts is a performing and visual arts high school. It is not a professional school (meaning kids come and go and are actively working while there). Students need to meet the school expectations to earn the diploma.

    Freshman and sophomore year are based on building the ensemble. Focusing on performance in the early years takes away from the ability to build that group dynamic, and does not allow students to grow and experience various styles.

    You need to give the school another look. You will not be disappointed.

  • 813. FP  |  March 5, 2013 at 8:49 am

    @just me
    Do you have a child there? I’m also concerned about the academics. It doesn’t take 2 years to build an ensemble —and if its pre-professional as thry say–people don’t audition for a production in ensembles—individuals are cast and then the ensemble is formed.

    They said that children auditioned and were evaluated based on experience level— I get that. But why then place them all in the same classes if their knowledge base is wide?

    It’s just like if a child who has been doing ballet since they were 4 comes in and is placed with students who are learning 1st position? I wonder are all the freshman & sophomore students in the various disciplines precluded from performing?

  • 814. anon blogger  |  March 5, 2013 at 9:41 am


    Then what validity do any comments here have? Its ironic that the one person who uses their real name is cast aspersions upon.

  • 815. HSObsessed  |  March 5, 2013 at 10:23 am

    PSA for those who may not have checked their e-mail yet that today’s Payton Admitted Students Night has been postponed to Thursday due to the inclement weather. I’m a little surprised that the sender didn’t use the BCC function or create a group, but instead simply CC’d 250+ people.

  • 816. North Center Mom  |  March 5, 2013 at 11:16 am

    Thank you @815.
    Has anyone heard if Jones has postponed their program for tonight?

  • 817. Northside Mama  |  March 5, 2013 at 11:30 am

    @810 LP…How in inconsiderate and insentive of you to say to soemone, “just get over it and move on with your lives”. You sound just as ignorant and mean spirited as Local, Sox Irish and all the other jokers on this website. If people were offended by someone comments about them, their child and the school their kid attend, then they have every right to voice about it! You get a life and next time if you have nothing positive to say, then please say nothing at all. Honestly, I get tired of always hearing about; Northside, Payton and LP…as if those are the only schools worth talking about. I like to hear about other schools from all sides of this city. I have visited this website, for three years almost and have read comments from angry northside parents, crying about their kids not getting into NSCP or Payton and watched as you guys, comforted them and tried to cheer them up. Next time that happens, as I am sure it will, you tell those parents, “to get over it…life is too short”!

  • 818. Casey Hoogstraten  |  March 5, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    The Payton event for next year’s admitted students has been postponed until Thursday, 3/7, due to the weather.

  • 819. Smadness  |  March 5, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    Just checked with Jones and as of now the meeting is still on for tonight.

  • 820. HS Mom  |  March 5, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    808 – M&M – completely agree with you. We should all be thankful that we have this opportunity with selective enrollment schools. And congratulations to all that landed spots in the 9 (now 10 with South Shore). That being said, I know there are other great happenings in schools that are not selective enrollment. Best of luck to all the hardworking kids going on to IB, STEM and other career and college prep programs. Our city has a lot to offer.

    817 Northside Mom – Good job! Positive comments please.

  • 821. Lindbloom?  |  March 5, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    My son has been accepted and we will be attending the open house today or Thursday.
    Thank your for your feedback regarding Lindbloom. I know that the principal is amazing and am confident that the academic rigor is on par with any school. Do you have any information regarding opportunies for performing arts at Lindbloom.

    Thank you.

  • 822. RL Julia  |  March 5, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    I for one would love to hear about Lindblom, King, Kenwood, Brooks, South Shore and Westinghouse (and any other strong non-northside schools)and what they are like and what parent’s consider to be the school’s selling/strong points and what the school stresses academically and/or extracurricular-ly. If kids can commit to commuting from the far south side to NCP, there is no valid reason I can think of that Northside kids couldn’t consider going south for a school.

  • 823. lmk  |  March 5, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    812 and 813. We looked at ChiArts two years ago. My daughter is at Chicago Academy of the Arts High School (CAA).. What turned us off was that Chiarts just seemed very unorganized. I have a relative that works at Depaul theater Department and she assured me that Chiarts has great instructors. It was the academics that seems to be lacking. CAA has about 30 years head start.

    As far as performing outside CAA just loosened their restrictions on this but from their stand point it is hard for a student to be off book in two weeks, study academics and be in an outside show without disturbing the rest of the production.. Now times that for 5 kids……sure if a Major show or productions wants the kid I am sure they would work around it. ..

    Remember, they are getting kids ready for college/conservatories not for their personal next gig.

    If you get into Jones they have a great drama department and sure they would let you do outside stuff.

  • 824. TB  |  March 5, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    @811/813 I was also at the ChiArts event last night. My daughter will be attending the visual arts program, so I do not have the same concerns as you do regarding outside paying productions. To me it seemed very reasonable for the school to expect a commitment from it’s students to be at school and engaged in their classes. I am not involved in the theater world though, so perhaps it is different.

    As for academics- I walked out feeling pretty confident and impressed. Did you spend time talking with Dr. Heather McCowen, the post secondary counselor? The graduating seniors that were on the honors/AP track seem to be doing very well for themselves in terms of college acceptances and scholarships. If your child is excelling academically and is committed to continuing to work hard, it sounds as though they will be met with a challenging curriculum.

  • 825. Smadness  |  March 5, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    And CAA is what 20k a year? Lol. When we were considering ChiArts I talked to parents and students there and have never heard such unbridled enthusiasm for a school.

  • 826. ProudLinblomACParent  |  March 5, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    Hello all. I am a Proud Lindblom Parent.

    I want to take the opportunity to tell you why me and my husband like Lindblom and why our daughter LOVES Lindblom.
    From the moment our daughter walked through the doors she felt welcomed by the students and challenged by the staff. People pay hundreds of dollars for the free support our daughter receives from Lindblom’s outstanding staff. She is a 7th grader taking all of her 9th grade courses on the Honors level while being motivated and instructed on time management and study skills. I am positively certain she will be ready for college.

    Safety – I understand that Northsiders and Southsiders alike dismiss Lindblom because this gem is located in West Englewood, big mistake. No matter the time of day or evening there is always police/security presence. If you choose for your child to take public transportation they are encouraged to use an escort to and from CTA bus stops. All Lindblom students have the option for $10 per year to catch a shuttle bus to any of the trains and as far east as 55th and Lake Park. AC students are bused.

    When you join Lindblom, you join a family. Although our daughter is bused we have parents that we met when we joined Lindblom that share in carpooling to/from bus stop or from the school in the morning, afternoon or late afternoon. Our daughter plays a sport and the building is occupied with staff, police and security.
    There is a wonderful balance of academics, clubs and sports. The labs are college level. The language instructors are amazing. Heck I took 4 years of Spanish and did not learn as much as my daughter has learned in one semester. She is being taught to read, to write, to speak, the culture, the regions and tradition of The Arab World.

    Please visit the campus and speak with Principal Mather. Remember the saying never judge a book by its cover.

  • 827. FP  |  March 5, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    I hate responding from my iPhone!

    Thank you for sharing about ChiArts and CAA. My son’s top choice is CAA and quite frankly the schools just aren’t the same. CAA just has their stuff together whereas ChiArts seems to still be trying to figure things out.

    The principal seems to be marginalized. Where did she go?

    When I visit a school I try to understand that for the most part it is a dog and pony show so I wouldn’t go and talk to the academic person at the back. What I did do was go look at the college acceptance board. I wasn’t terribly impressed. I have high academic expectations as well as art expectations.

    What I am graphing with us this:
    When my child leaves the school like a ChiArts and a CAA which school will have the most relationships with universities. If I go to ChiArts are those students recruited from top tier universities besides from Columbia College? If they are not recruited by the top schools than I have to ask myself will my child leave there adequately prepared academically?

    I wanted to see the freshmen. In afraid that ChiArts is mediocre in both arts and academics. That is my concern and fear. CAA has the connections and reputation to fall back on where they may lack in academics.

    I think LP’s double honors program and performing arts gives the best combo for our family.

    The educational staff in that room was not diverse at all.

    If they group according to experience level and academics then they’d still be in the running.

  • 828. Leggy Mountbatten  |  March 5, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    Here’s something to consider for the future; a friend at Blaine thinks that this year they’ll have five, yes five (5) Kindergarden classes; right now, they have only two classes for the eighth grade. Even accounting for attrition, you’re looking at a true crisis 8-9 years from now when those kids come of age. And the real estate in that district, even if you bought at the height of the market, isn’t depressed, but stable and/or rising.

  • 829. Leggy Mountbatten  |  March 5, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    #822 Northside is top of the food chain, that’s why people come from all over the city. To commit to spending 3 hours every day getting to and from a school that’s “very good” for a 15 year old is pretty rough.

  • 830. Northside Mama  |  March 5, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    My child is a freshmen at Westinghouse currently and we love it. I had to speak up for the other parents, whose kids aren’t at Payton/NSCP/Young because I know the feeling. When I tell people my child is at Westinghouse, I get that “looked down upon look” on their face. I assume, that they think of the old Westinghouse but we are doing amazing things at the new Westinghouse. We have a study abroad program (which I can’t wait for my child to be apart of), the academics are excellent and challenging all the well. My son does about 2.5 hours of homework each night. Westinghouse also has a medical program, which allows the students to work with MD’s at Northwestwern Hospital! My son now is thinking about becoming a Dentist and I am so grateful for that. He previously attended a catholic school on the northside by our house. When we went to tour the school, my son loved it and I too fell in love with it. Principal Janice is striving for greatness and our kids will produce positive results. The school is slowing growing to be more diverse. They also have unlimited sports and clubs offerings. No safety issues at the school either. I would welcome more parents to consider Westinghouse, its a really awesome school!

  • 831. FP  |  March 5, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    Geez- please excuse the typos. Autocorrect!

  • 832. Northside Mama  |  March 5, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    @826 Proud Lindblom Parent, Thanks for sharing. I really enjoyed reading your response. I know Lindblom is great because I heard a lot of great things about the school. You are blessed to be a parent of a Lindblom student!!!!

    @829 Leggy, no one is dicrediting NSCP, I believe she is just saying that, like others on here, we would like to here from all SEHS parents. I think ALL of the SE high schools offers students something great and that is why so many of us want to hear about all od them, not just a the regular three. People should not have to explain themseleves to anyone on why their kid attend a particular school. We know about Northside College Prep successes but can we hear about other SE high schools successes too? And no one should bash another school, whether they like it or not. We are all adults on here so lets act like such. The world consist of many stories and not just one…so please ALL parents share your stories about your schools.

  • 833. anon  |  March 5, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    FP, I understand your struggle but it is simply not true that the arts are mediocre at chiarts at least in voice, musical theatre and dance. We went to see them perform Company and it was excellent. also, I know that there are students heading with full rides to Oberlin, Denison, and western michigan. We are trying to decide between a SE and Chiarts and I thought we were settled on the SE but chld really liked Chiarts last night. I could not make it and am kicking my

  • 834. TB  |  March 5, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    There is a ChiArts lunch hour performance this Thursday titled “Eat to the Beat” at Harris Theater at noon. Maybe check it out so you can get an idea of the quality of the performing arts at the school? http://www.harristheaterchicago.org/events/2012-2013-season/etb-chfa

  • 835. justme  |  March 5, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    I think it is silly to compare CAA and ChiArts. CAA is a private school that is extremely costly and has students who are mostly from the suburbs. ChiArts is a free, public high school with students from every ward in the city. CAA is 30 years old…ChiArts is 3.5. Of course it will be different. FP – sounds like your mind is made up for CAA or Jones and I hope one of them works well for you and your family. There is a significant waiting list at ChiArts so I am certain there is someone who would be thrilled with the opportunity.

    And for not being impressed with the college acceptance board – most selective colleges, especially for performing arts programs, don’t start admitting until spring. Most students are still auditioning. Not sure if you are aware how it works, but for the most competitive programs in the arts you would not be seeing a good portion of the responses at this time.

    ChiArts is not a selective enrollment school based on academics. It is a performing and visual arts high school by audition that also provides a college preparatory education. I am sorry you think your child would not be challenged or would be bored. Most students, faculty, parents and staff find the place invigorating.

  • 836. anon  |  March 5, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    Also, TB, the academics at CAA are excellent. We turned it down because of cost though. I am concerned about the academics at Chiarts though.

  • 837. anon  |  March 5, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    To be frank, one of the things that really bothered me about Chiarts was the condition of the sidewalk and parking lot the three times we visited. No effort was made to shovel or ice and when we went back for a callback audition on a Saturday, it was truly dangerous and there were hundreds of people coming in and out of the building. The parking lot and the sidewalk were sheets of ice.
    That tells me a lot about the administration. If I were principal, if I could not get the building engineer to do it, I would have been out there salting at 7 a.m. myself.

  • 838. CannonMom  |  March 5, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    What is CAA?

  • 839. Preston  |  March 5, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    Please, ChiArts is a wonderful school! The school will be relocating in two years to the Malcom X building so they will gain better facilities. If you want to see current parents talk abt ChiArts, please visit Youtube. We have posted vids of parents, students and the administartion speaking about ChiArts. The academics are great here as well. ChiArts has Honors and Regular courses and the school is diverse. Please do not rule us out because our sidewalks weren’t shoveled.

  • 840. Preston  |  March 5, 2013 at 4:56 pm


  • 841. anon  |  March 5, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    “If you get into Jones they have a great drama department and sure they would let you do outside stuff.”

    Can you elaborate on this? We are trying to decide between Jones and Chiarts. The downtown location may allow us to have the best of both worlds(academics plus arts) but do you have any information on how flexible Jones is?

  • 842. Leggy Mountbatten  |  March 5, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    #832 You’re overreacting more than a bit. The question was about why kids would travel great disatnces to go to northside, and it’s fairly obvious; it’s the best school in the city. There’s nothing combative about that answer. Would I have my child travel that long to to a decent school, regardless of the neighborhood, saftey, demographics, etc? Nope, only to a school that would be so worthwhile thatit would make sense to have them spend 3 hours a day on public transportation. That’s all.

  • 843. PrincipalMather  |  March 5, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    I just posting something like this as a response on another thread, but here it (sort of) goes again.
    While Lindblom is, indeed, a math & science school, we have amazing fine arts teachers. All practicing artists, we have four visual arts teachers, three music teachers (instrumental, vocal), one dance teacher, one drama teacher.
    Our Fine Arts Chair has hosted Mark Bradford, the MacArthur (Genius) Award winning artist from South Central LA who worked with an advanced art class at Lindblom.
    Please come and check out our arts program!

  • 844. west rogers park mom  |  March 5, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    Re: Chi Arts: My child is deciding between Chi Arts, LP Perf Arts, and Senn Perf Arts. CAA was never considered. I think what it comes down to is what your child loves. Chi Arts is a conservatory school that also offers a college prep curriculum. The others are high schools that offer performing arts concentration. 65% of the seniors at Chi Arts are applying for performance programs or majors. At Lincoln Park I was told that 4-5 students a year take this route.

    At Lincoln Park and Senn the academic classes will be with the rest of the student population. At Chi Arts you will be with fellow performers. As was emphasized at the ChiArts new student night last night you have to love your conservatory and be committed to the program. While they did say they won’t excuse you from conservatory for outside artistic endeavors they also said that students had maintained participation in outside music programs etc. It just take time management; the same time management that is necessary at an other high school.

    Chi Arts is a wonderful school for the right kid. And that right kid has to be in the right conservatory. If its not your kid for whatever reason so be it. As other posters said they do have waiting lists for each of the conservatories. They don’t over-accept like other programs do. There are many families out there waiting for the chance to attend.

  • 845. anon  |  March 5, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    Preston, I know that the school is terrific and has great energy. But I was waiting for an ambulance and bimalleor fracture or at least a shattered instrument. Ironically, a good friend of mine is disabled and has had 5 surgeries because she sustained a compound fracture at Malcolm X. Please take care of the sidewalk and parking lot!

  • 846. anon  |  March 5, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    p.s. she fell on ice at Malcolm X.

  • 847. Smadness  |  March 5, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    We were in this exact predicament three years ago. In the end we chose Jones because of the academics and although at the time our son was really interested in music and art, he would have been restricted to the same course of study, music, for four years. They wouldn’t allow him to explore the visual arts curriculum. That may have changed now. If your child is super dedicated to their art chiArts would be a great place to hone that talent. Jones would not have any restrictions on after school activities once the regular school day is over. They have a pretty great music and theatre dept but of course it is not pre professional. You have two great choices. Good luck deciding.

  • 848. oldtown  |  March 5, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    I too would rate ChiArts’ dance program as subpar. Each Jan and Feb, hundreds of dancers from the midwest attend over 70+ summer ballet auditions in Chicago. It is obvious to even an untrained eye, that the ChiArts dancers cannot keep up with the other dancers, do not have good extensions, and have very little pointe training. The serious ChiArts dancers still need to supplement their dance training outside of the school (Joffrey and Ballet Chicago).

  • 849. CLASSICAL MOM  |  March 5, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    Thank You, Mr. Mather for contributing to our discussion.

    @Leggy and all others, please be respectful in this blog. Please no more negative comments towards anyone on this message board.

  • 850. Preston  |  March 5, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    @anon, I am a student at ChiArts, I don’t clean sidewalks…lol

  • 851. Preston  |  March 5, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    @oldtown, that’s not true about my school! The school is ONLY 3 years old…don’t expect perfection in three years. CAA has been around for over 25 years now so yea they are great and very expensive. This school is allowing some kids taht might not be able to train in the Arts, a chance to learn, grow and develop.

    We are doing just fine and I love it!

  • 852. Preston  |  March 5, 2013 at 5:35 pm


  • 853. local  |  March 5, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    Gosh. How do these SEHSs get so many goodies (compared to regular CPS HSs)? I’m jealous (on behalf of my student)!

  • 854. local  |  March 5, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    @ 824. TB | March 5, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    That’s a challenge college students in the arts face: What if my classes get in the way of my professional work (due to schedule, etc.)? It’s a tough decision. School v. career.

  • 855. oldtown  |  March 5, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    Preston, the reality is that the dance world is very competitive and there are very few jobs. If a student is very serious in becoming a professional dancer and is behind in training as an incoming freshman, I believe that ChiArts cannot by itself help the serious dancer to achieve this goal. The dancer will have to supplement the ChiArts training with a more rigorous pre-professional program at Joffrey and Ballet Chicago and at that point why bother going to ChiArts at all.

  • 856. local  |  March 5, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    @ 817. Northside Mama | March 5, 2013 at 11:30 am

    My comments are “ignorant,” “mean-spirited” and a “joker?” Really, now.

  • 857. local  |  March 5, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    Is ChiArt’s dance program focused heavily on ballet?

  • 858. oldtown  |  March 5, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    local, I don’t know much details about ChiArts dance program. I have only watched the dancers at the auditions. Ballet is the foundation of all dance genres, similar to math training for careers in engineering and accounting.

  • 859. FP  |  March 5, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    Thank you Principal Mather—my child was also accepted into Lindblom and I was unaware of the drama there.

    @oldtown #848
    My child is a theater major we did not really see the other programs yesterday. But I BELIEVE what you said about the dance program because yesterday the CEO said that some students leave school and take extra dance classes downtown. At the time I thought it was odd. Whywould they need to take more instruction somewhere else? After reading this it makes sense.

    I do not mean to put down Chi Arts in my decision making process and I apologize for being concerned that the school (arts and academics) might be mediocre. I am not saying that it is mediocre—I am saying that I was not impressed with what I saw.

    The problem is that those college acceptance letters come AFTER our response cards are due.

    It is not my intention to make you feel like your sschool is being attacked—but I might have different needs for my child of a high school than you do.

    @ Preston—-I understand that your school is growing, training, and developing you—–did you come into the school with experience? If not were there other students who had more experience than you? How about the academics?

    I am not certain who thinks my child is going to Jones BUT my child was not impressed with the school when they went there—-I couldn’t believe it.

    The family saw a theatrical production at every school. They were actually impressed with The Company that was put on by ChiArts but then later realized it was probably put on by the theater dept. and NOT the theater department. I hope others keep commenting on this thread about the school so we can weigh all our options.

  • 860. FP  |  March 5, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    was put on by the “musical theater” dept not the theater department.

  • 861. lmk  |  March 5, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    My knowledge is mostly first hand and knowing familes at both art programs and at various other schools.

    Jones has always had a great theater reputation. They work with alot of the local theaters and colleges like the others. They just brought in Whitney Covalle from the Depaul Chicago Childrens Choir to lead the music department. She is amazing but tough and will get the best out of the students. Email Dr. Powers tonight and you should have an email tomorrow. He has really elevated that school and it is a testament to what a great principal can do.

    Lincoln Park has a great music department and the choral department is like 2nd in State yearly. Just heard the begining choral and it was fantastic. Theater is ok but gettting stronger.

    The person that said that Chiarts is a conservatory school per se is correct. Kids that want arts and live for it should apply. My only thing is it is a good starting ground for those that would not otherwise get this experience. Yes, some amazing kids are going to come out of it.

    CAA (Chicago Academy of the Arts)-yes private but most get scholarships and make it like a catholic high school expense. It can be managable. Kids are coming in with alot of talent and training. They treat the kids like professionals and not like high school students. I guess they have alot of respect for each other. Training is intense and the school work is on par with Whitney or Jones or double honors at Lincoln. Have AP classes etc etc.

    The biggest thing I see at CAA is that the teachers are all very active artists. The vocal couch was highlighted as the up and coming new theater star in Chicago in the Chicago Tribune over the summer. The acting department has teachers that teach acting at Northwestern. etc etc etc.

    Also at CAA they don’t advertise it but you can switch departments. Some kids just found out that their interest lie elsewhere. The administration will let the child switch and help them adjust. They are very supportive!

    Kate Winslet just had auditions at the school for her upcoming movie and let the kids audition before the same commitiee that was doing the auditions…..this type of experience is just unreal.

    I was in New York and ran into Musical Theater people at Tish and they said that CAA is known through out the US and the kids are some of the best at auditions and routinely get the parts etc etc.

    This does not mean that the kids at Chiarts or elsewhere are less talented. Most of the time their starting place is just different. I have seen great performances at most of the schools and talent is talent regardless of school. Nuturing the talent is the key.

    I am proud that Chicago has so many outlets for creative minds and getting an arts education is going to make us all better in the end.

    I was trying to adress many questions being answered on this thread. Not trying to make this a private vs public school thing. Not my intention.

  • 862. averagemom  |  March 5, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    We got an acceptance letter from Lakeview today!

  • 863. cpsobsessed  |  March 5, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    That’s great about lake view! Are you outside the neighborhood there?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 864. Skinner Mom  |  March 5, 2013 at 8:19 pm

    It is strange that Providence St. Mel has not come up as a viable alternative for kids not getting accepted to IB or SEHS. I know Latin, St. Ignatius, Gordon Tech, etc has been mentioned many times.

  • 866. Skinner Mom  |  March 5, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    From the St, Mel homepage

    “Since our beginnings in 1978, 100% of Providence St. Mel graduates have been accepted to four-year colleges and universities. Further, since 2001, over 50 percent of our graduates have been accepted to colleges and universities rated by U.S. News & World Report to be among the “tier one” institutions in the country, including Bates, Brown, Carnegie Mellon, Columbia University, University of Chicago, Davidson, Georgetown, Grinnell, Illinois, MIT, Michigan, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Oberlin, Penn, Princeton, Rice, Stanford, Tufts, Vanderbilt, and Washington University in St. Louis.”

    Another option avail

  • 867. averagemom  |  March 5, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    Yes, we’re outside the neighborhood. We were really impressed by Lakeview’s STEM program. Weknow someone with a sophomore there, and they really like it.

  • 868. anonymouse teacher  |  March 5, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    St. Mel’s average ACT is only around 18 or so. (I was offered a job there recently and turned it down) It seems like a nice place and very, very strict. My opinion was that they run sort of like Urban Prep (if their students are getting into those tier one universities, it doesn’t appear they are getting in on merit given the low ACT scores–I would imagine the school aggressively goes to bat for their students seeking out spots for their kids trying to escape a bad neighborhood) , their students go to Saturday school and they do have entrance requirements and won’t take kids below certain levels. Nothing impressive, but definitely safer and better outcomes than local schools that have to take everyone.

  • 869. anonymouse teacher  |  March 5, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    @828, I’ll bet my home that Blaine doesn’t have to put kids in trailer classrooms. I would imagine that there is enough influence there that the school will magically move to the front of the school addition list.

  • 870. decisionchallenged down to the wire  |  March 5, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    A totally different question – my son got into northside and LP IB and he is having a tough time making the choice – he’s lucky to have the choice but still and all. I’m interested in hearing from parents who may have had this dilemma –

  • 871. Victor  |  March 5, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    Does anyone know the ACT Scores for Catholic Schools(St.Ignatius,Brother Rice,St.Rita,Gordon Tech,St.Patrick,Loyola???

  • 872. anonymouse teacher  |  March 5, 2013 at 9:56 pm

    I remember looking at a 2010 list, and most of the ones you list were fairly high (23-27ish for ACT in terms of averages). But about half the Catholic schools don’t post averages, which I assumed to mean they were too low to post. St. Rita might have been one of those, but can’t remember. I do remember Cristo Rey being quite low, but it really is a reflection, like nearly all schools, of the income levels of the students.

  • 873. mom2  |  March 5, 2013 at 10:59 pm

    average mom – congratulations on getting into Lakeview! Please stay in touch next year and let us all know how things are going. I have high hopes for Lakeview’s future and I’m glad to see parents that care about education are getting involved in the last few years. I too know a few students there and they really love it and they are all college bound.

  • 874. Skinner Mom  |  March 5, 2013 at 11:24 pm

    @868 “St. Mel’s average ACT is only around 18 or so” _ I would LOVE to know where this info came from? MIT and the like doesn’t usually take kids with ACTs of 18. Please provide info on where this info came from? It is a bit scandalous to claim that kids getting into schools like MIT and US Naval Academy are not getting in on merit!

  • 875. athens  |  March 5, 2013 at 11:26 pm

    St. Mel is NOTHING like Urban Prep!

  • 876. lmk  |  March 5, 2013 at 11:29 pm

    870: We came to the same fork in the road and many have. We have friends that go to Lincoln IB and all love the program. My neighbors kid is having an “easy” time at Washington University after attending IB.

    But a couple of things stick out. It seems that everyone that went there , it was not their first choice. It was their back up plan (and a great one at that). We went to the shadow day yesterday and the teachers are amazing.

    But the rooms were really hot and the overall feel of the school was not what we wanted. We live about the same distance to each school and I just think that Northside offers more. My son is a math kid and will most likely be doing Trig/precalc as a freshman. Both schools take him far in math. I really like having the 4 kids to a section (group) at Northside and I think it gets the kids sharing idea’s etc and that is a really good learning style for my son.

    The computer science program at Northside is also really good and can open some opportunities also .

    As of yesterday I guess all kids there will have Chrome book computers and the school is going all Google and using alot of their applications My son is already used to this with his middle school.

    He is also a chess kid and Northside has a very good team.

    Overall the sports at Northisde seems to be good and the principal and administration is really pushing kids to get involved with sports which I find freshing and a needed break from studying.

    IB is “known” for having tons of homework. I asked a Junior I know there and he does not think it is to much but keep hearing from others it is alot, almost to much.

    As far as colleges yes, they look at Northside kids a little different and the summer opportunities seem to be endless with internships at various companies etc etc.

    Both have travel abroad opportunities.

    My son knows kids at both schools and knows at each school that “all the kids are really smart” and he will have to work harder.

    Also he is playing baseball in the summer, going away to camp for 5 weeks and maybe taking Mandarin. If he goes to IB he “has” to do the summer program. When he gets back from camp, the next week is the freshman “Snake Road” and he won’t have to change his summer plans at all.

    Overall the look and feel and education at Northside just seems like a better fit overall for my son.

    Like to know what you decide and hope this was helpful.

    Best of luck.

  • 877. athens  |  March 5, 2013 at 11:32 pm

    @ 872- anny teacher (Full disclosure- I am a grad of St. Mel and it’s nothing like Urban Prep). Sure it is strict but so is Loyola, Ignatius, Lab (none of these schools tolerate foolishness-why should they) They have a different method of discipline, more like your better Military Academies but NOT run like any charter that I know of in Chicago. To all of a sudden lump it in with charters is just wrong. You do know that not all 100% AA schools are low achieving don’t you?? In my grad class all kids got accepted to 4 year colleges and I resent that these were “pity” admissions. That is just offensive!! Geez

  • 878. athens  |  March 5, 2013 at 11:38 pm

    @868– This list of colleges don’t seem impressive to you?

    Bates, Brown, Carnegie Mellon, Columbia University, University of Chicago, Davidson, Georgetown, Grinnell, Illinois, MIT, Michigan, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Oberlin, Penn, Princeton, Rice, Stanford, Tufts, Vanderbilt, and Washington University in St. Louis.

    I don’t see any reason not to include St. Mel in the discussion about options if CPS does not pan out. This list of colleges is certainly as good as the ones St. Ignatius,Gordon Tech and the like kids are going to…..

    I went to DePaul and that was considered a backup school for many of my peers (LOL)

  • 879. Kent  |  March 5, 2013 at 11:40 pm

    @ Athens –What does this mean? Are u saying St. Mel is not on the level of Urban Prep? It seems from the schools that the kids get into that St. Mel may be the hidden gem us wayward CPS parents outside of the SE bubble have been searching for.

  • 880. anon  |  March 5, 2013 at 11:45 pm

    I don’t think the dance training at Chiarts is subpar. We know many of the teachers and they are excellent. It is simply that most of the students have not had years of ballet training.I don’t think the dance training at Chiarts is subpar. We know many of the teachers and they are excellent. It is simply that most of the students have not had years of ballet training.

    They take ballet and modern starting with Horton and then Graham later.

  • 881. athens  |  March 5, 2013 at 11:52 pm

    Urban Prep seems to be (I person’s opinion based on two younger cousins who attend/ed) drill and kill, very little critical thinking and outside “real world experiences.” Like I said I am biased towards St. Mel’s way of teaching. It is not a knock against urban prep but a different philosophy based on my experiences and the experiences of these two young men in U Prep. It may and does work for lots of kids. The point is to keep options open and hear/investigate what works best for your kid. I wanted to clear up that Urban Prep and St. Mel was similar. They are not in terms of educational philosophy, teaching style, etc.

    868–anny teacher was posting information that I disagreed with based on my own experiences and the experiences of relatives (also-one hates U Prep/one loved it)

  • 882. athens  |  March 5, 2013 at 11:52 pm

    sorry @ Kent—-see above

  • 883. Kent  |  March 6, 2013 at 12:19 am

    Got it. Thx!

  • 884. HS Mom  |  March 6, 2013 at 8:25 am

    517/830 Northside Moma – thanks again for your responses. Is the medical programming at Westinghouse part of the CTE program? Do the selective enrollment students have access to the program. I would be ecstatic if my kid told me he wanted to be a dentist. How exactly do the kids get exposure to these fields?

  • 885. HS Mom  |  March 6, 2013 at 8:26 am

    that’s 817

  • 886. IB obsessed  |  March 6, 2013 at 8:40 am

    @874 and @868, even if 18 is the average ACT score at P St M, this does not mean the students admitted to Tier 1 universities had an ACT of 18 (surely they were not ALL admitted to Tier 1 unis) It is easy to slip into thinking of ‘average’ as ‘most’, but we all know that is not how averages are figured. Something to remember when discussing schools with less than ideal ACT scores-there are students there who scored well above the average score and your child is not doomed to achieve only the average score if they are sent there for HS.

  • 887. HS Mom  |  March 6, 2013 at 10:10 am

    Anyone looking to get a greater understanding of the history and achievements of St. Mel should check out the movie “The Providence Effect”. Not sure how available it is, came out a couple years ago. Definitely an enigma in what they are doing for kids. Athens, thanks for pointing that out. I have also seen this school on the list of hidden gems if you’re looking to find a school outside of SE.

  • 888. west rogers park mom  |  March 6, 2013 at 10:42 am

    We also received an out of area acceptance letter from Lakeview yesterday. Considering my child did NOT score in the 7th stanine for the Science ISAT I was surprised. She did have 9th stanine’s for the other 2, and addressed the issue in her essay.

  • 889. TB  |  March 6, 2013 at 10:43 am

    Average mom- Congrats on Lakeview. When I went to the open house we really loved the school, in fact, it was among my daughter’s top 3 picks for high schools. I have a cousin who is enrolled there and loves it, and another cousin on the other side of my family who teaches there. We hear nothing but great things about it. Please continue to keep us updated- I have very high hopes for the school and think it has amazing potential.

  • 890. cpsobsessed  |  March 6, 2013 at 10:46 am

    @west rogers: are you going to accept lvhs? Perhaps the stanines are just reading and math since science varies a lot by school?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 891. west rogers park mom  |  March 6, 2013 at 11:47 am


    The principal clearly stated at the open house that they were requiring 7th stanine in all three areas in an effort to increase the competitiveness of the school. No we are not going to accept. We were impressed with Lakeview (especially the opportunity to get college credit at Depaul for free in high school) and the Microsoft partnership but my kid can’t get past the reputation of the school.

    We toured Lakeview, Senn, and Amundson- the three northside neighborhood schools that are ‘turning around’. If I had to rank those 3 I would put them in the following order: Senn, Lakeview, Amnundson. Senn’s presentations and contact with parents were much more professional. We all received personal emails after getting the acceptance letter from CPS. The Lakeview acceptance just said “Dear student”. I also think Senn’s shadow program was wonderful.

    All three schools need to work on student perception. Unfortunately these 13 year old kids are motivated in part by their peers and a few years ago all 3 schools were last choice options. Again, I think Senn is farther along in that.

  • 892. cpsobsessed  |  March 6, 2013 at 11:55 am

    @891: Thanks – and very interesting. So you’re going for Senn IB?

    What do you think helps shape peer perception? That is obviously the hardest for schools to manage. Or is it the same things that impress parents (button-up up presentation, personal correspondence, enthusiastic vibe at the school.) Or do 13 year olds pay attention to other stuff too?

  • 893. FP  |  March 6, 2013 at 11:57 am

    Providence St. Mel’s 100% graduation rate is only sustained because after paying 3 years of tuition and getting their education the juniors are kicked out if they don’t have the GPA.

    Many of the students who graduate from St. Mel and are forced to attend some of the top tier universities that were not a good fit for them end up transferring out and/or not completing.

    I have heard that Urban Prep is for troubled boys with little to no father figures or active fathers in their lives. Not sure how the do what they do but I’m glad they are doing it.

  • 894. FP  |  March 6, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    Also, a friend of mine works at St. Mel in the high school and says that the kids are definitely overworked and there is little extracurricular activities, the discipline code is crazy and she feels like she is forced to police her students.

  • 895. west rogers park mom  |  March 6, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    @cpsobsessed- No we are not. In fact most of the kids we know who did not get into SEHS are going to LPHH or Von. I do know a few who are attending Senn for their new performing arts programs.

    My kid is into performing arts and is deciding between LP Performing Arts and Chi Arts. She was also accepted to Senn Performing Arts but that one has been ruled out- hey- it is her ultimate decision and not mine.

  • 896. FP  |  March 6, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    Westrogers park mom
    We’re deciding between LPHH and ChiSrts as well. Did you attend the ChiArts open house?

  • 897. mom2  |  March 6, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    891 and 892 – Ugh. This whole issue with peer pressure, perception vs. reality, bragging rights and status makes me crazy. The reason why people feel LPHH is a good choice is because it is “selective” and “exclusive” and because LP also has the “highly acclaimed” IB program.

    That is why I keep saying if they want to turn around Lakeview, it has to have “selective” programs within the walls and not just programs that sound great (or might be really great). There has to be a group of students attending that can brag about getting in because it is so hard to do. This raises the overall ACT score for the school and makes it look like it is doing better, etc. And if they could put on better marketing shows and somehow get this “exclusive” group of kids to sign up as a group (with all parents seeing that the other parents are doing it, too), even better.

  • 898. aboutcurie  |  March 6, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    Does anyone know if a student can be in the IB Program at Curie at the same time as being part of the (dance( performing arts program?

  • 899. southie  |  March 6, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    What about De La Salle, which now has a Metra stop (near Sox ball field)? It serves girls and boys (separate campus?): http://www.dls.org/. Seems to be a great mix of kids from all over.

  • 900. west rogers park mom  |  March 6, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    FP- Yes, my daughter and I were there. We were in the music group. Ironically enough (again student perception) my kid thinks the LP is not safe, where ChiArts is. She likes the fact that the kids are ALL there for the arts and committed to the same sorts of things. She has heard many stories from friends with older siblings about Lincoln Park. She says that kids are so busy at ChiArts and stay in the building so the neighborhood doesn’t matter.

    I have read all of the concerns here and some of the points are valid. My kid is fine with staying in her conservatory; is not a dancer (or I might think twice based on some comments) and is fine with the conservatory requirements. By the way everyone in the music conservatory is required to take one hour of private lessons a week. Combining this with the cost of private bus transportation, the costs are not insignificant.

  • 901. Family Friend  |  March 6, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    Low Score – Top College. This is just one kid’s experience, but I had a quasi foster-son years ago who went to Duke. He had moved out of his parents’ home in the middle of his senior year of high school (abusive situation) and was too old to be a foster child but needed some adult support. He ended up staying with us through college, during summers and vacations.

    He went to a truly terrible high school on the south side. He was third in his class, but his ACT score was very low — 18 or 19. He went to a summer program for inner-city kids between his junior and senior years, and his counselor was a Duke graduate. He got it into his head that Duke was the only place for him, and he wouldn’t even apply anywhere else, despite my pleading. It was evident to everyone who met him that he was very bright. Strong recommendations and the unfailing support of his English teacher persuaded Duke to take a flier. But the English teacher had to throw a fit in the guidance office; his counselor at first refused to send his transcript to Duke, saying, “People from here don’t go to Duke.”

    He struggled at first, but took advantage of Duke’s excellent support program — they did not just accept him and throw him into the deep end; they actively followed up, even checking to be sure he was attending class, until the kid hit his stride — and graduated with As and Bs. He is 30 now, and doing well.

    So we had a bright, motivated kid, with people who believed in him and a bad education. Was he prepared for the rigors of Duke? No, not at all. But support from Duke, people who cared, and his own drive made him a success. Don’t assume that because someone hasn’t had a “college prep” education that he can’t succeed in college. I believe there are many more like my kid out there. And we need to get as many as possible into good high schools and good colleges. I hear a lot of discussion about whether poverty results in poor learning or poor education results in poverty. It’s a chicken and egg situation. I, for one, believe that we will get farther starting with education.

    Providence St. Mel does a great job, but not enough people in its target demographic can afford the tuition. Support for schools like PSM, wherever we find them, can only help.

  • 902. HSObsessed  |  March 6, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    @900 and in general about LPHS safety – My child is currently deciding between an offer from Payton and LPHS. There are many factors involved in the decision, but concerns about safety at LPHS aren’t one of them. While it’s true that in years past, there were some issues, it has not been for the last 3+ years. Alas, a school’s reputation is hard to change because it lives on in the stories repeated from incidents that happened years ago. Just remember that the reality of CPS today is that a lot can change at any school in the course of a single year, and 3-4 years is an entire generation in CPS years, LOL. The best thing to do is to go see for yourselves, and to talk to kids and parents of current students. And FWIW, my child will be one of those infamous “neighborhood” kids at LPHS if she attends, and I assure you, she’s not scary or dangerous. 🙂

  • 903. HSObsessed  |  March 6, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    Also, for what it’s worth, my child is a theater kid, and we attended the open house at ChiArts in fall. I think it seems like a great school and a great opportunity for those kids who really have the drive and interest to commit a lot of time to honing their skills in their chosen arts field. In the end, we didn’t go through with an audition because the combination of the long school day (8:00 to 5:00 pm) along with an hour plus commute each way would make for a very long day. (Although I’m sure many kids thrive on it.)

  • 904. James  |  March 6, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    @902 HSObsessed —

    When discussing LPHS, you said, “While it’s true that in years past, there were some issues, it has not been for the last 3+ years. Alas, a school’s reputation is hard to change because it lives on in the stories repeated from incidents that happened years ago.”

    That is not correct. In fact, just last year, three students were charged with criminal sexual assault for forcing a 16-year-old girl to perform oral sex on them at 2:30 p.m. in a stairwell of the school.



  • 905. Billybob  |  March 6, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    @884-HSMOM…The College To Career Program at Westinghouse is only for CTC Students and NOT for Selective Enrollment Students. Why? That is a question the Principal or School Counselor can answer. I have a daughter at Westinghouse and I must say its a Great School.

  • 906. AndyT.  |  March 6, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    I too was strongly considering ChiArts and felt that it was a great opportunity for my daughter who was accepted into musical theatre.

    However after attending the open house on Monday and looking through the handbook I noticed that it says this:
    Students must earn a minimum of D each semester in every Conservatiry course in order to move forward to the next level of Conservatory courses.

    This gives me pause – D work is not acceptable in my house and that low requirement isn’t going to cut it on the college level.

  • 907. Victor  |  March 6, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    Does anyone know,if a student can transfer from a CPS neighborhood high school to a Selective Enrollment School???

  • 908. relievedinRogersPark  |  March 6, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    I don’t know if it is uniform across all the SEHS’s, but here is what is says on the NCP site:

    “The application process is only open to 8th graders. Students who are already in high school are not eligible for admission to Northside College Prep High School.”

  • 909. cpsobsessed  |  March 6, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    There is an unspoken of an nebulous transfer policy for SEHS. If you feel like you can make a good case for your child to attend a school it could be worth contacting the school about it. Not sure if that happens in the middle of a year or later in the year. I imagine the schools end up a little over-booked at the beginning of freshman year and then slowly lose kids over time via attrition. I also image that a very strong student who comes along might always be considered after freshman year.

  • 910. smadness  |  March 6, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    Sometimes – it depends on the school. Jones is doubling the number of sophomre transfers they are accepting next year.

  • 911. HS Mom  |  March 6, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    893 “Many of the students who graduate from St. Mel and are forced to attend some of the top tier universities that were not a good fit for them end up transferring out and/or not completing.”

    “forced” into top tier schools. I’d love to see the documentary on that.

    905 – Billybob – thanks for that info. Sounds similar to what is now happening at Jones. The programs sound awesome. I think its incredible for a kid to come home wanting to be a dentist without any family influence.

    906 – Andy – Interesting. My take on that is different than yours. The requirements for all schools, selective and otherwise is a minimum D (one semester only) in order to move to the next level. D’s happen and it’s usually an indicator that the student isn’t really ready for the level and should either stir clear of that subject/art or get some tutoring. By no means does it say something about the school.

    907 Victor and others – ATTENTION – Jones is taking a number of transfers for sophomore year due to the expansion. Contact them right away!

  • 912. Andy  |  March 6, 2013 at 5:50 pm


    Thanks James now I’m scared to death. Way to throw cold water on one of my school choices. Two 19 year-old HS students? This appears like a problem much bigger than Lincoln Park H.S. when two 19 year old men are still in H.S.

    I think I will listen to the posters who have children at the school who indicate that it is currently a safe environment. Obviously this incident is not acceptable. So my question to you is, did you post this to illustrate that there is an ongoing problem at the school or to show that bad things can happen anywhere? maybe you can search your Lexis-Nexis data bank of news stories and find somehting abou t drugs at New Trier and go scare the North Shore obsessed?

  • 913. Andy  |  March 6, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    HS Mom

    I agree if in fact the D is only valid for advancement for one semester. Of course there may be a particularly hard subject or course that is just not in a kids wheel house. My reading of the handbook did not indicate that it was for one semester only. I believe conservatory pre-professional training should have a mininium standard higher than D, especially if it is an esemble/actor/musical theater setting because a student not progressing at an efficient level can have a greater impact on thier peers than they may in an academic class where the work is more individualized.

  • 914. James  |  March 6, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    @912 Andy —

    It never ceases to amaze me when someone here posts something factual that happens to conflict with some peoples’ perception of reality — and the result is to impugn the messenger and his or her motives. In this case, someone flatly asserted that no safety incidents had occurred at LPHS in “3+ years.” As a matter of objective fact, that is false — unless one views three men being charged with a crime for sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl to be insignificant, which obviously no one does. So I pointed out, without commentary, that the assertion was factually incorrect and linked to news article so someone could see that I wasn’t posting my opinion. And now Andy is angry with me and tells me to go look up crime statistics for the north shore. Good grief.

    Is the incident that happened last February at LPHS indicative of the school as a whole? I have no idea. Nor, frankly, do I care since my kids choose other CPS high schools to attend. But if I were currently deciding between LPHS and, say, Payton, would I want to know that just 13 months ago a sexual assault happened at LPHS in a stairwell at 2:30 p.m. on a Tuesday? Yes, I would. Go ahead and call me whatever bad name you want for wanting to know that factual information — and for adding some reality to the discussion of that particular school.

  • 915. Chicago School GPS  |  March 6, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    Transfers to SEHS- it does depend on the school, with some like Northside not really accepting anyone but in rare instances, they have accepted kids moving in from out of state due to job transfers, etc.

    Others like Jones & Westinghouse have stated policies and requirements that are clearly spelled out. Neither requires a student coming from another SEHS. They do have to document good behavior, attendance, grades, test scores, etc. Jones requires two personal essays and recommendations from a teacher and school official: http://www.jonescollegeprep.org/ourpages/auto/2011/3/10/59702201/Transfer%20Application%20for%202013-14.pdf

    As for Westinghouse’s special pre-med program, the Health Sciences Academy is competitive and selective, and open to both CTC and SEHS to apply for once they are in the school.

  • 916. HSObsessed  |  March 6, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    @904 – I know about that incident. I believe it was isolated and not reflective of the everyday environment there.

  • 917. David Stachowiak  |  March 6, 2013 at 6:57 pm


    I would like to correct the statement from post #844 that Senn Arts students are mixed with the rest of the student population in their classes.

    Students enrolled in Senn Arts are cohorted with only Senn Arts students in all courses, which are honors level. Within core courses, students will be mixed across disciplines (dance, music, theater, visual arts) which provides student interaction with and exposure to other talented and artistic students. Two periods of the day are reserved for the specific discipline in which the student is enrolled.

    It is important to emphasize that all students at Senn interact in extracurricular activities such as clubs and sports, providing exposure to a diverse group of individuals and enhancing the learning experience for all.


    David Stachowiak
    Senn Arts Coordinator
    Senn High School

  • 918. Mary  |  March 6, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    @893 “Providence St. Mel’s 100% graduation rate is only sustained because after paying 3 years of tuition and getting their education the juniors are kicked out if they don’t have the GPA.”

    Most of the better private schools counsel out the “troubled” kids in one way or the other. Not sure of your point.

  • 919. Mary  |  March 6, 2013 at 7:29 pm

    I thought that’s why most people on this blog is going SEHS or private or burbs-because they dont want their kid trying to learn surrounded by nonsense??

  • 920. Andy  |  March 6, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    @ 914 James—Your perception seems to be off. As an object matter of fact, I did not impugn your motives or call you a name. I simply asked what you were trying to convey with your post. You do not have children at LP and I may so I want to know if the information that you conveyed is isolated or an ongoing atmoshere of trouble. You state that you do not have the answer to the question nor do you care so you can be of no further help on this issue.

    It just seemed odd that you had quick access to a year old story for a school that your child does not attend and that you state you have no interest in.

    Thanks for your alturistic concern for us folks considering LP.

  • 921. dropping by  |  March 6, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    FYI—St. Mel ACT average 23, Lane Tech 23, Jones 25, Loyola Academy 25, Lincoln Park CPS 22

  • 922. dropping by  |  March 6, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    Ogden international ACT Average 18, Von Steuben 20, Chicago AG 20– perception really is a strange beast

  • 923. anonymouse teacher  |  March 6, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    So, I was SURE the 2010 average ACT for St. Mels was 18. I would not have posted this if I had not been sure. However, it appears that apologies are in order. For the life of me, I cannot find where I thought I saw that info. Since the average is actually 23(and I spent an hour searching tonight), that is a completely different story and I can find no comparison between UP and SM (15 and 23 are totally different, whereas when I thought it was 18, there is not that much difference in my mind) other than the strictness. I did witness a harsh interaction between the founder and a student while I was there that turned me off, but one bad interaction does not a school make.
    Fwiw, I was not putting the school down based on it being an African American school (re: poster Athens assumed this). Imo, results, safety, environment, learning, etc. is everything and racial makeup or demographics mean nothing to me.
    Athen, I apologize to you and for my misinformation. You did ask if the list of “prestigious schools” that St Mels sends grads to impressed me. It does not. But I should tell you that NO prestigious college impresses me. I truly see no difference between UIC and U of C other than price. To me, school prestige or scores or whatever matters when we are dealing with children and in most fields (excluding investment banking, big law and the tiny fraction of fields like it), a degree is a degree is a degree. This is my opinion. And I am a person who absolutely refuses to pay more money that is absolutely needed for anything. So, my lack of being impressed had nothing to do with where St. Mels kids end up at and everything to do with my “why would anyone pay 30-40K year for any college, thats just nuts” mentality.

    I went to a sub par high school with an average ACT score of nearly 18 and I’d sooner die than send my own kids there. I skated through classes without hardly studying, without ever reading most of my texts,etc, and I had heavy honors and AP loads (which I got college credit for all of them). I did pretty much nothing and left with a 4.0 gpa. I feel like it was because my school sucked. Anyways, when I mistakenly thought PSM had an average of 18, it reminded me of my high school.

  • 924. T mom  |  March 6, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    Andy, why do you want blinders on? Check the chicago police website and you will find lots of incidents at Lincoln Park high.

  • 925. OutsideLookingIn  |  March 6, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    Please name a public or private high school in Chicago or the suburbs where there have been zero “incidents”.

  • 926. dropping by  |  March 6, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    @925- there are always incidents

  • 927. OutsideLookingIn  |  March 6, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    Exactly my point.

  • 928. FP  |  March 7, 2013 at 5:37 am

    St. Mel does not impress me. The discipline code is ridiculous. They do not develop the whole student. The students who get “counseled out” are not troubled they didn’t have the GPa and are told to find another school. If I’ve been paying you 3 years worth of tuition for educating me then I’d expect my child to be a well rounded student who can make the grade.

    They need more extracurriculars and more energy spent caring about the students than the donors.

    Like I said, the college acceptance list might be impressive but how many stayed in the school and graduated?

  • 929. FP  |  March 7, 2013 at 5:48 am


    How do I check the CPD crime listing in Lincoln Park? I am interested in doing so. I had heard about the incident with the girl. I was assuming it was isolated. My child knows a few kids there and they haven’t reported any issues. It’s confusing.

  • 930. pantherparent  |  March 7, 2013 at 7:47 am

    @921 dropping by Where do your ACT figures come from? I’ve seen lists published for public schools but never private. I’d be interested to see schools like Gordon, St. Pats, ND, Ignatius…

  • 931. chialkat  |  March 7, 2013 at 8:20 am

    I was at Gordon last night an specifically asked this question. Gordon’s are 27 for honors, and 23 for the college prep program. I don’t have figures for the other schools but the Archdiocese of Chicago stated somewhere in the news recently (2012, I think) that the average for all catholic high schools in Chicago is 22.

  • 932. James  |  March 7, 2013 at 11:08 am

    Well, in my mind, there are incidents and there are incidents. I know two families who send their kids to LPHS. They are in the IB program. One child is a senior and one is a sophomore. I see and talk to those kids and parents fairly regularly. My kids also considered LPHS when they were deciding on a high school, and we visited there a couple times. So, in fact, I know a fair amount about LPHS. As much as a current family? No. But enough to make some judgments about the kinds of “incidents” that occur there vs the kinds of “incidents” that occur at some of the SEHSs? Yep.

    And, in fact, there are more incidents and more serious incidents at that high school than at the two other SEHSs I am familiar with — Payton and Jones. Yes, there is drinking and drugs and cheating and inappropriate behavior at every school. No question about that. But the nature and intensity of that kind of activity at LPHS is higher. I know that there are not infrequently fights in the hallways that sometimes result in school lock-downs. And, yes, right outside the IB classrooms. According to the senior student I know there, there are ambulances called to the school every few weeks to remove kids who have been beaten or who have overdosed, and there is a regular (and sometimes intimidating) police presence at the school to try to prevent incidents. And this same student I know has a good friend who was very near the stairwell last February when the sexual assault occurred — and this friend was pretty well shaken up by it after hearing the victim cry out for help at one point. (And that’s why I remembered the incident, especially after HSObsessed somehow failed to mention it when she declared that there had been no safety concerns in “3+ years.”)

    Further, while things may be improving in this area at the school, the fact remains that, in my and others’ opinions, there is a jarring lack of concern about these incidents from many teachers and administrators. I know a family who went in for their IB interview last year at 4:00 p.m. When they approached the school, there was an ambulance and two police cars there with sirens whirling. When walking into the school, the dad and 8th grader watched as a student was removed on a stretcher, writhing in the throes of a drug overdose. A teacher walked by them and, in response to a question about what was going on, said simply, “Oh, that’s high school for ya” as she blithely walked by the student, paramedics, and police. And no one connected to the IB program even acknowledged this incident, which was going on right outside where the interview was happening, or tried to claim that it was unusual. That family choose another high school.

    I can assure you with 100% certainty that things like that do not happen routinely at Payton or Jones, and, when something even remotely like that does happen, it is addressed and it’s communicated to parents.

    Now, you are well within your rights to say about the incidents and sexual assault at LP that “I don’t care about it” or “well, that was all the way back in 2012 – it’s different now” or “big deal – it happens everywhere just like that.” But the sort of disruption that something like that and other incidents causes to the learning process and the atmosphere at the school matters to some people. If it doesn’t matter to you, that’s great. If you want to believe that I am lying, great. If you want to assume that I am grossly exaggerating, great. All I was trying to do was introduce a smidgen of reality to the discussion of that school by noting what happened last year because, to me, it is a highly relevant data point.

    Finally, the senior I know there likes the school. She’s had a decent experience there and is going on to a good college next year. I don’t mean to suggest at all that the place is a cesspool because it isn’t. And the teachers in the IB program are indeed great, and there are lots of great kids and great activities there. No doubt about it. But, for what it’s worth, the family of the senior there didn’t send their younger child to LP when it came time for her to choose a high school — in large part because of the atmosphere at the school.

  • 933. Victor  |  March 7, 2013 at 11:14 am

    For a school like Gordon Tech that has a student-body of about 450, a ACT average of 27 & 23 seems kind of over-stated by the school.

  • 934. CPC4Chicago  |  March 7, 2013 at 11:30 am


    James, the troubling incidents you mention causes me to wonder about discipline policies and to what extent principals discretion comes into play in enforcing them. I’d imagine certain offenses merit an automatic expulsion (i.e. having a gun in school) but how about fights that warrant a call to the police with kids getting carted away in an ambulance? When there’s a known perpetrator is that kid suspended/expelled or is the prevailing attitude that no matter how egregious the behavior the kid will at least be better off being in school rather than on the streets?

  • 935. Edison park dad  |  March 7, 2013 at 11:45 am

    I call BS on Gordon Tech pulling those ACT scores. As a graduate of the catholic league, and being married to a teacher at Gordon as well as having countless friends with children that have had or currently have kids at Gordon I would suspect those #s are inflated. It’s not to say kids don’t get between 27-23 however, as a whole I doubt that is the average.

  • 936. chialkat  |  March 7, 2013 at 11:55 am

    @Edison park dad and @Victor, perhaps you’re correct, just repeating what I was told. I was also told that there were a couple of kids in the school who had scored in the low 30’s this year- maybe that skewed the averages.

  • 937. Esmom  |  March 7, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    @923, I hear what you’re saying regarding UIUC vs. UIC. However, when it comes to the job market, if a hiring manager had two resumes, one of a UIC grad and the other from UIUC, I think the UIUC grad’s would be given greater consideration. Perception vs. reality…it sucks but it’s real.

  • 938. tier4ever  |  March 7, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    Please allow me to vent for just a moment…

    I was at the Jones open house last night and as I have said before in a previous post we really like the school and I consider myself blessed that my daughter worked so hard and for so long to get into the school. Also, the evening was very nice and we are happy (just so that is clear). Here’s my hang up. But, before I say write about it, let me beat some of you to the punch… I understand and realize what the rules are-I just think it is WRONG. So here goes…

    The asst. Principal was speaking to us last night about all the upcoming events and activities our soon to be freshman can look forward to as they begin at Jones-great. As she goes into the power point presentation she stops and says she has to give us “the talk.” “The talk” is about city residency and you better be living and residing in the city or we’re going to catch you. Also- great.

    However, as she is wrapping up “the talk” she says “I know we have several out of state families her tonight, so please establish your address because we cannot register your child until you do.” WHAT?????

    At which point a hand raises in the audience and a woman identifies herself as one of the out of state families and asks the asst. principal a few minor questions about her status. Technically, she did nothing wrong-I know. Perhaps because I could put a face with the story I took it personal, and I shouldn’t because my kid got in. But I look at all the kids my daughter goes to school with “as my family” and I felt slighted for every mom and dad that got the letter two weeks ago with no offer.

    As I sat in my chair I thought about how many bright kids my daughter goes to school with at her CPS school (or for that matter how many kids citywide). So many of those kids have invested eight years into CPS and may have missed the cutoff by a point or two yet that seat (or from what was inferred several seats) were given to a stranger/s from other states. Yes, life isn’t fair, but sometimes it’s way way way to fair for the other guy. For every parent out there that had the unfortunate duty of consoling a heartbroken kid from the city of Chicago, I feel for you and speaking as another CPS parent I am so sorry.

  • 939. shaking9  |  March 7, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    938 nice…wonder how many suburbanites were in the audience…

  • 940. Thorp Mom  |  March 7, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    Funny you should mentioned that. A lady that worked with me who lived in Country Club Hills somehow her daughter was a student a Payton. They don’t want to live in Chicago, yet they take up our seats in our schools. Shame on them!!!

  • 941. Tier4ever  |  March 7, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    She told us the suburb #. I believe she said it was 38 kids. I suppose there shouldn’t be any difference between suburbs and out of state kids, but for some reason it bothers me. I just feel bad for the families that have invested in CPS and in the end got screwed.

  • 942. EdgewaterMom  |  March 7, 2013 at 12:59 pm


    She told us the suburb #. I believe she said it was 38 kids.

    Are you saying that the principal told you that there were 38 kids FROM THE SUBURBS that were admitted to Jones (plus some out of state)? I don’t get it – how were they admitted? Did they just promise to move to Chicago before starting school? I did not realize that you could do that!

  • 943. Tier4ever  |  March 7, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    That’s exactly what I’m saying. Getting a city job is the same way. Your zipcode doesn’t have to be 606__ _ until the first day and T that point it has to be in the city

  • 944. Gobemouche  |  March 7, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    Wait. What you are saying is that these suburbanites/out-of-staters are planning on moving into city limits by the first day if school. Yes? If so, well, that is within the rules.

    However, if you are saying that these people have no intention of living in the city, well…that is a whole other thing.

    Which is it?

  • 945. Family Friend  |  March 7, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    You are correct, Tier4ever. I recently had this very discussion with an attorney for the Illinois State Board of Education, who confirmed that state law requires a student to live in the district while attending school there, not before. The fact that these folks did not lie during the admissions process indicates they are in fact planning to live in the city — we can look at it as fulfilling one of the promises of SEHS — to attract and keep middle class families.

  • 946. Thorp Mom  |  March 7, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    So what Tier do the use?

  • 947. Tier4ever  |  March 7, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    @ gobemouche…

    I’m not implying or suggesting anything. My original post simply stated:
    1. During a parent meeting last night at Jones the topic of residency came up.
    2. The detail of several out of state and suburban acceptances into Jones also came up.
    3. And my point for the post- while fair and legal (yet unethical for Chicago parents & kids) it’s total BS that those seats are occupied by folks that don’t have any “skin in the game” Unless they snag a seat in a SEHS.
    4. To answer what I think you’re asking- you can apply, test, hope and pray for an SEHS seat and live anywhere until the first day of school and at that point you better be living in the City of Chicago. All the asst. Principal was saying was please have that in order so we can do our job. All I was says is how unfair to all those kids that have been in CPS for 8 yrs and got screwed by a kid who may have never set foot within the city other than the day he/ she took the exam.

  • 948. Esmom  |  March 7, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    “how unfair to all those kids that have been in CPS for 8 yrs and got screwed by a kid who may have never set foot within the city other than the day he/ she took the exam.”

    What about all the private school kids who have not put any time in CPS and yet are still admitted to SEHSs? Having “put your time” in CPS for elementary school is not a prerequisite for admission. It may seem unfair but it is what it is.

    Believe me, I know. Having put many years, not to mention many dollars, into CPS only to realize my kids’ chances of getting into Lane (our dream school) were getting slimmer and slimmer was a very bitter pill to swallow. Unfair indeed.

  • 949. Gobemouche  |  March 7, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    Tier4ever – I understand the rules, I was unclear about what was actually said by these people at the Jones meeting. Your last post cleared that up for me, thanks. I understand your frustration, I really do (I’m looking down the barrel of high school apps for next year). The only thing is, What if you were just moving to the city…should you be completely shut out of the process?

    Thorp mom – Those without a city address get in through the pure rank category, no tier.

  • 950. luveurope  |  March 7, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    949 “Those without a city address get in through the pure rank category, no tier” this is how ALL students should get in.

    948 The catholic grade school kids “had skin in the game” if they lived in the city and the parents paid taxes in the city.

  • 951. ProudParochialDad  |  March 7, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    @948. Are you implying that a city dwelling child educated at a private/parochial grammar school in the city is somehow less entitled to attend a SEHS than a city-dwelling child educated at a CPS grammar school? You have no idea why a child attended a private/parochial school over a CPS school. Further, I have paid my (Tier 4) taxes, for the past 15 plus years. I am sorry that your children are unable to attend Lane. I truly am. But I have no guilt about my son attending Payton next year. He earned it.

  • 952. Suburban People....ugh  |  March 7, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    I work at a company downtown and I knew a woman whose child was and have graduated from Brooks College Prep. She lived in Calumet City, IL and owned a home out there as well. Her daughter attended a elementary school near Beverly . Both the kids were using their grandmothers city address to attend these schools. Their mother would drive them into the city everyday and drop them off before she headed to work downtown. I thought that was so unfair esp when kids from the city, who actually lived in the city, deserved that seat more. If you live in the burbs then your kids should attend those schools and not our good schools for our real city kids. I regret not reporting her but I did not know who to tell. So many suburban parents are doing this now and is it not fair!

  • 953. luveurope  |  March 7, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    Everyone — Help 952 Where DO you report this?

  • 954. Tier4ever  |  March 7, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    I’m not implying anything.

    For the record, I was educated in private school and so was my daughter until the 3rd grade so I understand exactly where you’re coming from. Also, I too live in a tier 4 so slow down with the property tax thing. That song and dance lost its steam years ago. Everybody here gets it- you’ve paid taxes but didn’t reap any benefit from CPS because you sent your child to St. ???. You are missing the point. The point being seats are given to the burbs and out of state kids before they ever need to establish an address.Others are also correct, the burbs get in on the raw score and not on a tier.

    All I was saying, let me say that again because some feelings got stirred up, and all I’m saying is several seats went to kids that live in other states and I feel bad for the kids from the City of Chicago (public or private) if they didn’t get in. Yes, I know the rules and my kid made it in so I’m not crying foul for me, just saying as a parent I feel bad for the kids who didn’t make it.

  • 955. ProudParochialDad  |  March 7, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    @954 For the record, my comment was not directed at your post. I understood your point and post very clearly and wholehearteldy agree with your sentiments. My comment was directed at the following comment (from ESmom, not you)

    “What about all the private school kids who have not put any time in CPS and yet are still admitted to SEHSs? “

  • 956. Esmom  |  March 7, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    @951, no not at all. I guess I was unclear, sorry. I was just trying to remark about how the beef that out of state/suburban kids are coming into the SEHSs is similar to the beef about private school kids “taking up spots” that some people seem to think belong to CPS kids because they’ve put in the time in CPS. I’ve seen this sentiment expressed by commenters here and elsewhere. It’s not my beef, as I know very well that any Chicago resident is entitled to attend the SEHSs if they so choose.

    As far as our own high school dream slipping out of reach, I don’t fault any of the families, I fault the system.

  • 957. west rogers park mom  |  March 7, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    I know I am in the minority but I do believe that children from CPS should get priority over private school applicants. At the very least those children get 2 bites at the apple when it comes to the ISAT versus Terra Nova. I’m not saying that private school kids who live in any tier in the City don’t pay taxes. All I’m saying is there should be some sort of small preference- like an extra 5 points or something of that sort.

  • 958. Thorp Mom  |  March 7, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    Having tiers gives kids a chance to attend an excellent school otherwise they would be stuck.

  • 959. Tier4ever  |  March 7, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    You report a CPS residency issues to the city of chicago’s inspector general’s office.

  • 960. ProudParochialDad  |  March 7, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    @956. Thanks. I appreciate the clarification. Not trying to stir anything up. I am new to this site (having read quietly for some time). I just don’t feel like my child has anything to apologize for having attended a parochial city school. That was the choice his parents made for him. He has now made the choice to attend Payton (which I fully support)

    @957. We will agree to disagree. 🙂 BTW, my son only took the Terra Novas.

  • 961. anon SE parent  |  March 7, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    It’s a real problem. Working the open house, I’ve talked to people who are applying because they don’t think their suburban school is good enough. They got very evasive if I asked if they were moving into the city. If you have applicants that admit to being suburban or out of state how many must there be that use a Chicago address?

  • 962. Esmom  |  March 7, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    @960, I think the whole process for the SEHSs makes parents a bit stressed/crazy and that’s where the finger pointing and blame starts to happen, irrational as it may be. My take on it is that there are simply too many kids and too few slots at the best schools and very few decent “fall back” options. Best of luck to your son.

  • 963. AC IB mom  |  March 7, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    I understand both sides of the private vs CPS elementary school debate all too well. I have lived in Chicago all of my life. I attended private school all the way through high school. My daughters are in CPS and we are paying our taxes in our tier 4 neighborhood. If my daughters didn’t get into a good CPS elementary school (one in SE and the other in a Magnet) would they go to private? Most likely yes, I would have had to figure out a way to be able to pay for it. When it came time to them getting in high school would I want the fact that either they didn’t get into a good CPS school or I choose private school because I thought it was better for them at that age or stage of life, to hurt their chances? No way. Especially if I have been paying my taxes all along with tuition on top of that.

    On the flip side, I now have my daughter who has been in SE schools since 1st grade and worked her butt off to do well, who did not get in to any SE school including Lane. I honestly wish she could have had an easier transition into an SE school since she has been working at that level for so long and doing well. Did she get a B? Yes. Would that be an A at some other schools? Yes. Were her scores less then perfect? Yes. Were her scores bad? No And does this number define her? No.

    Though I think I understand why people feel like kids from private schools (and suburbs, etc) are taking our spots. Do we know what the private schools grading scales are? Nope. Could private schools very easily give easy A’s in 7th to be able to help their enrollment by boasting the number of kids who got into NS, WP, WY, Jones, etc? Yep. Can a public school do the same? Yep. Is there a chance they can take a different test later in the year which increases their chances in getting in? Possibly. Just because they were able to afford private grade school, does that mean they can afford private high school? No.

    I think I am more bothered by the inconsistent grading scales, the rigor of curriculum not playing a big role, the wide range of socioeconomic status’ within any given tier, and the fact that this might not be about socioeconomic diversity at all. I wish they looked at percentages instead of letter grades, considered rigor of the curriculum, and had a way to really judge socioeconomic status if that is what they are looking for, but I know some of that would be a logistical nightmare. There has got to be a better way, but honestly I have no idea what that is. There is no way to keep everyone happy. There are not enough really good schools to keep every kid from flocking to SE. There do seem to be more and more options that are improving, but it is hard to say, ok my son or daughter will go here and be ok, be happy, be safe, and get a really good education because we don’t know if that will happen or not.

  • 964. FP  |  March 7, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    It’s a bit disappointing that the spots are going for families that do not live in Chicago.

    James—you have a lot of info on Lincoln Park. I wonder why there are families and students that are happy under such depressing conditions. I graduated from WY and there were drugs there but if you weren’t into it you didn’t have to be.

  • 965. Lindbloom?  |  March 7, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    I went on a tour today at Lindbloom and was very impressed. The Principal was very informative and available during the day and was very proud to show his school in action. The students and teachers were engaged in thier classrooms and the school looks great. No one seemed preped or even aware that a large group of prospective students and parents would be visiting which is great. It felt like an authentic look of how the school operates. What a hidden gem! This school definately is high on my list. If performing arts/drama was more prominent in the curriculum it would be a slam dunk.

  • 966. local  |  March 7, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    While I had a classmate bring a gun into art class at WY, I don’t recall any ODing or rape/sexual abuse on campus, fwiw.

  • 967. local  |  March 7, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    …Which doesn’t mean there wasn’t sex, drugs, crime and types of violence among the students.

  • 968. CPSAppalled  |  March 8, 2013 at 9:28 am

    In response to James and AC/IB Mom:

    James, thank you for bringing up a very relevant point. While minor crimes happen in every high school, I do think that sexual assault is a major issue that parents need to think about when choosing schools for their children. I would like to know what other high schools in the city have reported (not necessarily prosecuted or convicted) violent crime happening on school property? I’m sure CPS wouldn’t compile those statistics, as it would make them look pretty bad, but do the police keep those stats separate from neighborhood crime? How about private schools?

    AC IB Mom, some of us chose private schools for our kids because we live in neighborhoods with terrible public schools. My child is definitely negatively affected by the motivation (or lack thereof) and behavior of the students with whom she attends school. For these reasons we sacrificed a great deal financially (12 year old car, no vacations, no new clothes) to send our child to a private school, and for those same reasons now send her to an Academic Center. Peers do make or break a school experience, I’m sorry to say. As for achievement testing, my child took the Stanford Achievement Tests in February every year. Now that she is taking the ISATs for the first time this week, she reports that the Stanford is a bit harder. My family has every right to attend a CPS school, even if we chose to pay for private for a few years. Don’t assume that all private school kids are picking and choosing for elitists reasons: sometimes you have to admit that a lot of neighborhood schools are not doing a decent job for the citizens of our city. I’m tired of parents on this blog fighting over scraps, when in fact the buffet of choices needs to increase and improve.

  • 969. KH  |  March 8, 2013 at 9:38 am

    934. CPC4Chicago – LPHS is also a neighborhood HS with a large attendance boundary that extends miles beyond Lincoln Park.

  • 970. navigator  |  March 8, 2013 at 10:18 am

    In the past, NYC high schools have come up in discussions. I thought this would be of interest.

    “Officials- Most NYC High School Grads Need Remedial Help Before Entering Cuny Community Colleges”


  • 971. RCeballos  |  March 8, 2013 at 10:39 am

    My son was offered a seat at Westinghouse. I went to the pre-orientation and it is a great school. Any thoughts, experiences or advice on the travel to the school? Bus goes thru some tough areas.

  • 972. cpsobsessed  |  March 8, 2013 at 10:46 am

    @971: I got to go to an evening event at Westinghouse and it was really impressive (just a cursory look, I didn’t hear anything specific about the academics.) As I drove up Kedzie from the school I had the same concerns – lots of boarded up buildings in certain stretches. I didn’t have concerns about gangs and stuff, more like random scary people who would get on/off the bus there. Admittedly, most of the ride would be fine, but still, when your child is young it’s hard to imagine them on that bus every day. As I talk to more people it sounds like kids travel to/from school together so there is safety in numbers in those situations, I’d think. Potentially you could do like I just heard about in NYC – parents take turns riding with the kids each day. Or find carpoolers?

  • 973. Tom Evans  |  March 8, 2013 at 10:57 am

    You are out of your mind if you let your child even step foot on a sidewalk outside of Westinghouse.

    I have been a police officer in the 011th district (where Westinghouse is located) for 18 years. And let me be the first to say I would Never allow any child (white, black, brown, purple I don’t care) in that neighborhood. It’s not safe. Is the actual school safe? Yes, but bullets fly through windows.

    It’s the crack cocaine/heroin capital of the city.
    The area has the Most murders in The city.

    A police detective was murder right down the street from the school a few years ago. They sell heroin immediately north of the school across Franklin on Spaulding. In the morning you see the hypes lined up to buy dope.

    Listen, don’t take my word for it, call the 011th district and ask anyone who answers the phone what the neighborhood is like?
    Go to the police blog and ask-

    Remember, it’s not a race issue it’s a safety issue and I would never want to see any child hurt.

  • 974. Smadness  |  March 8, 2013 at 11:26 am

    Bravo CPS Appalled for a offering a new perspective.

  • 975. AC IB mom  |  March 8, 2013 at 11:28 am

    @968 CPSAppalled, I believe you mis-read my post. Unless I wasn’t clear, but I was just trying to keep the peace and state that I understand both sides. I would have done the same as you if my girls weren’t lucky enough to get spots at goods schools and I wouldn’t want to be faulted for that come time for high school. I think maybe only the flip side of my comments jumped out at you. Sorry if it wasn’t clear that I am absolutely neutral.

  • 976. Parent  |  March 8, 2013 at 11:33 am

    James – you have a very “colorful” description of LPHS. My child is a freshman there and said the only time he saw an ambulance at school was when a student had an allergic reaction to something. While there may be fights in the hallway, he’s never seen one and there has never been a “lock down.” While it may be “edgier” than Payton or Northside I’m not sure it’s quite the crime-ridden pit you describe.

  • 977. CPSAppalled  |  March 8, 2013 at 11:51 am

    Thank you for clarifying what you meant. I think I did react to just one of your points, probably because there have been several recent posts regarding private school students “taking away” seats from CPS students come high school time. Sorry. My point is that there should be more acceptable/good/safe choices for all students all across the city.

  • 978. AC IB mom  |  March 8, 2013 at 11:58 am

    I agree completely.

  • 979. west rogers park mom  |  March 8, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    @973- Tom Evans- Can you give your assessment on safety at ChiArts (35th and King)?

  • 980. Tom Evans  |  March 8, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    Fifteen years ago 35/king was pretty rough but the projects are down and the south loop is expanding as well as Bronzville which has improved by light years.

    I was just at court this morning and as I with some other officers I mentioned the Westinghouse /011th District safety issues I mentioned earlier. Most of the officers were shocked CPS has never enlightened the families about the neighborhood.

    Another point, it’s cold and snowy out right now. You guys are in for a real awakening come 4-5pm in May when it’s nice outside. Don’t be surprised to see 20-30 maybe 50 thugs on Kedzie/Chicago ave. I can personally think of a dozen murders that have occurred in the past year or so within 6 blocks of the school.

  • 981. Tom Evans  |  March 8, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    I dont want anyone to think I’m bashing a school, because I think Westinghouse is absolutely beautiful. My issue is with the safety of a child.

    Look at the like I have pasted below. Its a snapshot from the police dept. that examines the 011th District. You’ll see a detail report for the last 7 days (18 Feb-24 Feb) as well as a year to date. If you’re interested in real detail Westinghouse is on beat 1122. But thats not an accurate representation of the school because that beat is mostly Garfield park. What you would look at is Beat 1112 which is immediately north of the school and if your coming from the north you’ll be driving through it every day.


  • 982. RCeballos  |  March 8, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    Thank you Tom Evans for the information. The safety of son is very important and this information is helpful in making a HS decision.

  • 983. Tom Evans  |  March 8, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    Here’s an idea for anyone who has questions about the safety of a school.
    First, identify the beat the school is in. You can get that info easily by googling the Chicago POlice Dept. “find my beat” then look up the crime stats on that beat. This will only give you a “snapshot” of the area. For example, if you do that with Westinghouse’s beat 1122 it doesn’t look so bad-why? because most of the beat is a giant park and the conservatory and the golden dome. Unfortunately no one says to you, “hey, the beat just north of the school is one of the most crime infested areas of the COUNTRY!” FYI… in the early 1990s when crack took over the west side of chicago there were more murders within that one square mile beat (BT:1112) than any other “square mile” anywhere in the united states and if you live north you’ll be driving through this beat every day. Second, once you know the beat your school is in call that police district and find out when & where the next caps meeting will be and go to the meeting and listen to what is happening in the neighborhood. You might be shocked or you may be pleasantly pleased, because the folks that live in the beat wont lie about whats happening.

  • 984. curious mommy  |  March 8, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    Tom – have there been any actual serious crimes – more than the usual teenager stuff – pot, alcohol, fighting (that doesn’t involve knocking out the teeth of a student on the side of the building) – perpetrated on Westinghouse students at the school or on the way to or from school? Anything ever happen to parents picking up and dropping off students driving through the neighborhood.

    Are you telling us we should virtually abandon Westinghouse, St Mel, and lets not forget kids in charters and neighborhood schools in the area?

  • 985. Deborah  |  March 8, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    @Tom Evans…be quiet. My child attends Westinghouse College Prep and he has had no issues with safety nor has any of the students that attend the school. I also volunteer at the school and love the school. My child is receiving a great education at Westinghouse College Prep.

  • 986. cpsobsessed  |  March 8, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    @deborah; how does your child get to/from school each day?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 987. Deborah  |  March 8, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    My child is about to graduate in a few months from Westinghouse College Prep and has received acceptance letters from five top universities and a full scholarship to Univ. of Chicago. As I stated before, he nor his friends, has experienced any issues in terms of the neighborhood and my son participates in football and soccer. Has waited for the bus by himself or with friends and so far nothing. He travels from Hyde Park all the way to Humbodlt Park area, where Westinghouse is located and no safety issues or concerns. I have a daughter in 7th grade currently and want her to attend Westinghouse also. I love the curriculum, building, students, diversity and the principal. No student at Westinghouse has ever been harmed. Principal Janice ensures that the school runs smoothly and the kids are safe and enjoying their high school years. You truly have to experience it for yourself and not listen to people who haven’t experienced WCP for themselves. Its easy to make assumptions about a school and its students you know absolutely nothing about.

  • 988. Deborah  |  March 8, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    I actually drop me son off at IIT train stop and he boards the green line train from there, exit the train and then boards the bus east bound and the bus takes him to his school.

    @Also tom, this is a big city and no parts of the city is safe. However, we have not experienced anything bad and neither has any of my sons friends . Janice is a excellent principal.

  • 989. curious mommy  |  March 8, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    987 – Good to hear and wow, congrats. Hate to see people lose out on these kind of opportunities. We know a girl from Chinatown that goes to Westinghouse. Was not her first choice, sister goes to Jones, but when offered the chance to transfer declined. We will be looking at this school down the road.

    My point as illustrated in this article


    Bad things happen in schools in good neighborhoods. Perhaps heightened security and systems in bad neighborhoods actually make those schools safer. Something to think about.

  • 990. Tom Evans  |  March 8, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    I knew this was going to happen. The parents of Westinghouse kids think I’m attacking them. I’m not. I’m only being honest. To address your question, No, I cannot think of any (and I mean ANY ) instance of violence within Westinghouse. Let me type the next part in caps so you guys can hear me, NOBODY SAID WESTINGHOUSE WASNT A GREAT SCHOOL, BECAUSE IT IS!!!

    and to Deborah… Congrats on the University of Chicago! as well as the success of all your kids. No one was attacking you.
    Please don’t argue with me about the neighborhood because I can easily crush your bubble with statistics, facts, and if your brave enough I’ll tell you what side-streets to drive down within 2 blocks of the Westinghouse school that will show you first hand for yourself. I have worked in the neighborhood for just under twenty years as a police officer. I will be the first one to say I’m not familiar with the academics of Westinghouse, but I acknowledge there continuing success and I think its great. But if you think I’m going to “shut up” and let some mom or dad be fooled into thinking the SURROUNDING neighborhood is safe you’re nuts! I wouldn’t want someone to lie to my wife and tell her it was safe. Deborah, I’m a cop and I have a gun and I wouldn’t drive through the area off duty if I didn’t have to.
    And Deborah, ask the principal what happened to the ENTIRE bleachers at Westinghouse last year? Okay I’ll tell you, Westinghouse has an amazing new football/soccer field with that really cool astro-turf that they use in the NFL-Its awesome. Well, they also got some brand new bleachers. As in really high end fancy seating. Ask the principal where it went…. In case you get he run around I’ll tell you, IT WAS STOLEN! ALL OF IT! Every single seat. Over $100K in material was stolen. As someone who was standing in the fields the next day with the detectives, I can tell you my heart was broken because I felt so bad for the students. Yes, it was replaced, but where can you come in and steal 20 foot sections of seating and fill up a several pickup trucks full (but in this case use shopping carts) and just leave with it and no one calls the police? That should speak volumes about the neighborhood. Okay, so thats a property crime.
    Deb, how do you explain all the gunfire in back of the school? where are those bullets going? Are the windows bullet proof? Do you have any idea how many kids are killed on the westside each year that WERE NOT the intended targets. Yes, nobody at westinghouse has been hurt, but the odds are the odds. If you look at PDF file i posted earlier the 011th district had 60+ people shot/no murdered (agg batteries) since the first of the year… only 8 have been shot in 2 months in the 011th district and its cold outside! what will it be like in the late spring? I can tell you-really bad, like it is EVERY YEAR!
    All I have ever contended was You, as a parent, are taking a risk (a greater risk than anywhere else in the city) if youre sending your child into that neighborhood.
    Look, im just one opinion, go to the police blog and ask if its safe to send a kid to the 011th district. You’ll get 100 responses and I bet you can guess what they will be.
    just pick the most recent post (dont worry about the topic) and ask the question in the comment section.

    Finally, please pardon the formatting of this reply, its being done on a phone.

  • 991. James  |  March 8, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    @976 Parent —

    If you actually read my post, you’d know that I didn’t called LPHS “a crime-ridden pit” and that I specifically said that it was not. What I did, after Andy and others accused me of having an agenda to deride the school or of lying, was state clearly what I know about the school and the basis for my statements. Take them for what they are worth, but please do not mischaracterize what I said about the school.

    Finally, if you think that a sexual assault on school grounds means simply that LPHS is “edgier” than Payton or NS, well, then I guess we’ll have to just agree to disagree. As I said, there are incidents and there incidents. And there is “edgier” and there is a place where I would not want to send my 14-year-old daughter. Your mileage may vary, of course, and, in this case, I guess it does.

  • 992. RCeballos  |  March 8, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    Tom Evans I do appreciate the information you are providing. I also understand that you are not telling anyone what HS to attend or not attend. You are simply providing important information every parents needs to have in oder to make an informed decision.

  • 993. mom2  |  March 8, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    When I hear about great schools located in or near less than safe neighborhoods, it makes me wonder about the logic of CPS and the logic of some parents.

    It seems to me that most parents, including those that live very far away, are willing to send their kids to north side schools, but the reverse is often not the case. Parents accuse north side parents of being racist or lazy but the actual reason is they don’t want their child passing through or going to school in neighborhoods where there may be a lot of crime. I know it is a hassle for south and west side parents/kids to have to travel north, but as you can see from the demand for those schools, they seem to be willing to take on that hassle.

    So, why on earth does/did CPS create/modify schools like Westinghouse as a selective enrollment school? Why not find schools/buildings in safer neighborhoods or more downtown where at least there are tons of people around every work day? I assume the building was available and less expensive than some of the safer neighborhoods, but are they really meeting the demand when they put all their dollars into this great facility with great teachers in a bad neighborhood?

    (I know that no neighborhood in the city is totally safe, believe me)

  • 994. EdgewaterMom  |  March 8, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    @993 On the one hand, it seems to defeatist to say “We are not going to bother putting a good school in a bad neighborhood.” On the other hand, I agree that Selective Enrollment schools should be put in (relatively) safe neighborhoods that are easy to reach on public transportation. And we still need good neighborhood schools in dangerous neighborhoods (although I am not sure that is always possible).

    Downtown makes the most sense, because all El lines go downtown and kids from most neighborhoods should be able to travel downtown fairly easily. However, I would imagine that real estate is fairly expensive.

  • 995. Smadness  |  March 8, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    Deborah, congratulations on your sons success ! That is the outcome we all wish for our children.

  • 996. Chris  |  March 8, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    ” LPHS is also a neighborhood HS with a large attendance boundary that extends miles beyond Lincoln Park.”

    There is a chunk of the attendance area that runs up to Belmont (basically Clark to Racine) which is 1/2 mile out of the LP community area, and it goes south to Oak (3/4 mile out of LP), and to Chicago, west of Larrabee (1 mile out of LP). Atendance area is always east of the River.

    So, NO, it is not “miles beyond Lincoln Park”, unless you think of ‘lincoln park” as a sub-neighborhood that does not even include the Old Town Triangle or DePaul.

  • 997. Parent  |  March 8, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    James – you should re-read your post. We all care about the safety of our children. I just thought your description of the school was a bit hyperbolic. Cool down buddy.

  • 998. James  |  March 8, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    Please tell me what was hyperbolic about my post? It was nothing more than what I know of the school. Just the facts, ma’am. In my world (and the world of Merriam-Webster) “hyperbolic” means “exaggerated.” What is it that you contend I exaggerated?

  • 999. RL Julia  |  March 8, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    Sometimes the city will put public things (including schools) in edgier neighborhoods in order to make that neighborhood safer, more attractive etc…(example Payton) if only because it gets more traffic from law abiding citizens that way. Another reason is because kids live everywhere- and in Chicago, lots of kids live in edgy neighborhoods and it would be nice for them to not have commute miles and miles. Real estate is also cheaper in edgier neighborhoods.

  • 1000. NS dad  |  March 8, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    Edgier neighborhood? Wicker Park is edgy, bronzeville is edgy, but The west side of Chicago is a ghetto. Drug sales and violence all the time. No matter how you look at it it’s a train wreck! I have owned and operated a industrial business on the west side right down the street from Westinghouse and that cop on this site couldn’t have been more on the money. Shame, shame, shame on CPS for using Franklin/Kedzie as a SEHS.

  • 1001. ProudParochialDad  |  March 8, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    @963. AC IB Mom. Thanks for your comments. As noted on a prior post, I am new to this forum, but appreciate your insight and the passion that everyone brings to the discussion. I may not always agree with the observations and opinions set forth on these posts, but as my father told me a long time ago not everyone who agrees with you is your friend and not everyone who disagrees with you is your enemy.
    Several random comments/observations:
    1. As noted, my son attends a parochial school. Our decision to send him there was not due to the fact that the local CPS school was less than desirable; rather, it was a preference based upon religion, environment and community. That said, we were not always certain that we made the right decision. Was he sufficiently challenged? Were we doing him a disservice based upon his apparent intellect? In the end, we thought the benefits outweighed the perceived deficiencies. He obviously did OK. Would he have done as well if he attended the local CPS school? Who knows? Could he have done better if he went to a CPS Magnet School or AC? Well, he got into Payton, so I guess I cannot ask for much more;
    2. Funny that you should mention grading scales. The uber moms at my son’s school complain that our kids are penalized because the grading scale (A=93) is too high and the Terra Novas are harder than the ISATs. What’s the basis for their claim? I have no idea. For what it is worth, my son took both the Catholic High School Entrance Exam and the SEHS Exam. He was accepted at both the Catholic high school where he sat for his exam and Payton (with a very high CPS score) and said that he thought the Catholic School Exam was harder. As you note, absent all of our kids going to the same school with the same teachers and the same curriculum, I have no idea how to objectively and “fairly” compare them;
    3. That said, I agree that we need more options for our kids to go to safe schools, be happy and get a good education. I have a younger son too. Will he be able to go to Payton or another SEHS? I have no idea. Would we consider other CPS school options, as well as Catholic/private school alternatives? You bet. Do I feel fortunate that we would (hopefully) have the luxury to at least consider schools with a tuition component? Of course.

  • 1002. dropping by  |  March 8, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    @1000-“Wicker Park is edgy, bronzeville is edgy, but The west side of Chicago is a ghetto. Drug sales and violence all the time. No matter how you look at it it’s a train wreck! I have owned and operated a industrial business on the west side right down the street from Westinghouse and that cop on this site couldn’t have been more on the money. Shame, shame, shame on CPS for using Franklin/Kedzie as a SEHS”

    ——When labeling any area a ghetto and shaming putting options in said area we must remember that the only way to improve is by providing options. I am glad a SEHS is on Franklin and Kedzie, the northside isnt the only area that deserves a SEHS. I am sorry that you don’t think the westside and it’s kids are worth trying to save 😦

  • 1003. That'swhatIwastryingtotellubee4  |  March 8, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    @ 989 – agreed. Unfortnately, bad things happen all over the City too often. My friend Carlos Chambers was killed on State and Jackson that’s by Jones!

  • 1004. James  |  March 8, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    @1002 dropping by —

    It’s amazing to me that after reading the posts by the Chicago police officer and NS Dad that you could write this inflammatory sentence: “I am sorry that you don’t think the westside and it’s kids are worth trying to save.” Nothing, absolutely nothing, they wrote could be construed as saying that.

  • 1005. Frank  |  March 8, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    @1000——Hubris——-poor “ghetto” kids aren’t worth a SEHS?When did we as a society decide to give up on the poor, especially poor kids? Or do we blame them for the sins of others? The drug dealers aren’t exactly applying to SEHS. Also MOST people living on the westside are not criminals-statically speaking-should they be punished?

    Ghetto:a quarter of a city in which members of a minority group live especially because of social, legal, or economic pressure

  • 1006. NS dad  |  March 8, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    Dear dropping in,
    Please show me where I said the children of the west side weren’t worth saving. What I said was the neighborhood is dangerous. I also have no problem if the school was on the other side of the city, I would make the drive because I will do anything I have to to help my kids.

    I have sent three kids to Latin and the youngest wanted to try Northside so we jumped into the CPS system. I must say its been a nice experience. However, I would never risk my kids safety for anything. Numbers don’t lie, it’s a dangerous neighborhood.

    By your logic you’re saying the city as a whole should come into the lion’s den so we can “save” the west side? Well as a business owner on the west side I assure you tons of resources are poured into this neighborhood and in the decades I have been here it hasn’t changed one bit. It’s a ghetto. Hey, if you want to change the community so much why don’t you sell your home and move to One of the thousands of home that are for sale.

  • 1007. Chris  |  March 8, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    For a moment, considering to locaitons of the other existing HS’s, where CPS students live in the city, transit access, and the likely cost of the land for a new HS, where else *should* they have built the school instead of where Westinghouse is?

    It’s not just about “that location sucks”, it’s about finding a better one.

    Didn’t there “need” to be one somewhere on the westside?

  • 1008. Luv2europe  |  March 8, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    Love, love, love comments from Chicago cops. Seriously, who knows the neighborhoods better then they do? Thanks officer for the info. We all need to be aware of what’s really going on.

  • 1009. Frank  |  March 8, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    .NS Dad’s quote- “Shame, shame, shame on CPS for using Franklin/Kedzie as a SEHS”—the only shame would have been to deny these kids and that area a chance.

  • 1010. Frank  |  March 8, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    @ 1007-Didn’t there “need” to be one somewhere on the westside? YES

  • 1011. Mary  |  March 8, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    @1006 ” Hey, if you want to change the community so much why don’t you sell your home and move to One of the thousands of home that are for sale.”

    You ASSume that she/he doesn’t live on the westside. I think that is the point. There are many hardworking/law abiding people kids and adults living on the westside who deserve as many opportunities as we northsiders.

  • 1012. Skinner Mom  |  March 8, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    @ 1000/Dear NS Dad, glad you could afford Latin for three kids and one got into NS, but this is your reality. Many families on the westside don’t have the means to send 3 kids to Latin or get into NS. I am sure it is due to your hard work, 23 hour work days, and overall pulling up by the bootstrap work ethics. BUT, there are thousands on the westside and southside that are just as hard working and can’t swing the Latin tuition or one of the 70 seats given out to tier one kids, what do you propose they do? Your comments came off as insensitive.

  • 1013. IBobsessed  |  March 8, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    If you don’t think the area around Westinghouse is safe enough, then don’t send your child there. And I welcome having info from a cop to consider among the other opinions. But to assert that it is shameful that a SEHS even exists there is over the top self/my neighborhood/northsidecentric. “SEHS should only be in ‘hoods like MINE”? Whoa.

  • 1014. Andy  |  March 8, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    @ James 991

    Your credibility continues to erode with every post. I did not accuse you of lying or having an agenda. You chimed in about general saftey to inform us of the sexual assualt that occured at LP. I was aware of the incident and I’m sure that those who were not appreciated the information. I asked what your point was. So let me be clear that I meant were you informing or inciting? You followed up by saying you just wanted to provide the facts and help us parents make a good informed decision and you provided more information to support that claim. That information was met with rebuttle from those who have a completely different experience at the school and have not seen ambulances and drug over doses. Granted its a big school but a kid being wheeled out on a stretcher seems like it would get the attention of the entire 14-18 year old audience at the school.

    You don’t have to lecture us about the severity and different levels of crime. I assumed you did not mention the incident that to imply there was a rampant sexual assuault problem, but rather to speak to a larger saftey issue. Yes ONE IS TOO MANY AND UNACCEPTABLE! but assuming that this one horrible incident is an anomoly, It is important that you provideadditional information and elaborate on the overall saftey. You did this by telling us about “lock downs”, and drug over doses that no one in the school leadership seems to cares about. Man, I thought you were you going to end your post by singing a stanza from “Lean on Me”

    Don’t be sensitive when you are questioned and please don’t imply that anyone on this blog does not value the safety of thier children.

    The officer above provided a reality check about the WH neighborhood but also provided tools to find other helpful information to provide more well rounded view of the information being shared.

    You are a flame thrower and I call BS on you. You know that when the parent said LP is “edgier” than Payton she was not speaking of the sexual assualt.

    Chill out.

  • 1015. AC IB mom  |  March 8, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    @1013, I completely agree! We all want the best schools for our children, but I would like all kids to have access to a really good education. And to not have to travel hours all the way across the city to get it. I attended the open house at Westinghouse and thought very highly of the school and while they do state how safe it is in their school I would not be able to drive my daughter to and from and would not feel comfortable putting her on the bus through the areas she would have to go through. So we didn’t apply there.
    But I am still glad that kids that may live around there or even have to travel from rougher neighborhoods have access to a great education. As well as those who are not as concerned with the commute. Just because it is “not for me” doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be there for others.

  • 1016. westsidemama  |  March 8, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    I am actually a resident of the Westinghouse area, my home is on Homan and Chicago ave. I am a Alumni of Westinghouse and my current 8th grader will be a freshman next year. Why would anyone suggest my child does not DESERVE a SEHS in her own neighborhood. I hear this officers opinion but my question is, CPD is very much aware of the issues in this area and they are aware of this WONDERFUL new school in the neighborhood. Why are there not more patrols before and after the school day? If any of these issues (shooting, drugs,assaults, etc) were happening near Lane, North Side or Payton there would be officers on every corner during the school day. Do any of you truly realize how many kids live in this neighborhood, how many people own their homes and are raising families here? I am so overwhelmed and upset with the opinions that are being stated about me and my neighbors. I have neighbors who have owned their homes for 30 or more years. Who have raised children, grand children and great grand children in this neighborhood. Do you have any idea how many hard working families call this “ghetto” (words that were used here) neighborhood home? So please tell me again why you feel it is ok to degrade and condemn US in this m

  • 1017. Jones  |  March 8, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    Hi I was accepted into jones..can anyone give me a over all review of jones pros and cons!!!!!

  • 1018. cpsobsessed  |  March 8, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    @Jones: Congratulations! These are the 3 main high school threads from last year. If you open them up and do a page search for Jones you will probably find some posts about it.




  • 1019. IB Lover  |  March 8, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    @CPS Obsessed

    Any insight on the implimentation of wall to wall IB next year? The Mayor is touting this effort as another viable HS option for parents.Worth a look or more smoke and mirrors?

  • 1020. EdgewaterMom  |  March 8, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    @1016 You bring up a very good point. Why isn’t their a bigger police presence near the school? I don’t know what kind of presence they have, but I live near Senn on the north side and there is usually at least 1 patrol car parked there during the day and several are visible at dismissal. Is there a large and visible police presence near Westinghouse? What are the police doing to help ensure that the students are able to get to and from school safely?

    After listening to the NPR story about Harper High, it is very clear to me that it is not enough to have a school with great teachers and administration. If the school is in a neighborhood that is run by gangs, the schools cannot do it on their own. Maybe the city needs to increase the police budget in these areas.

  • 1021. Tom Evans  |  March 8, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    Hi, I’m the policeman that was posting earlier regarding the safety around Westinghouse. I work in the district Westinghouse is located in (011 th District/ beat 1122). I have worked there for my entire career which is just shy of a retirement. So, you’re interested in knowing the manpower? It’s higher in the 011th district than anywhere else in the city. I have watched 25-40 two man unit police cars (so 50-80 cops) plus supervisors, a hand full of specialized units etc all patrol a small district i the same 8hr shift. That’s more manpower than most mid sized cities use total! And the neighborhood still manages to have the highest drug sales and murders in the city.
    As I said earlier, its all about safety and nothing else. I wish everyone the best with school.

  • 1022. local  |  March 8, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    @ 1017. Jones | March 8, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    Make sure to obtain fresh info too. “New” Jones is going to be very different than “old” Jones, it seems. Still mainly an SEHS, though.

  • 1023. cpsobsessed  |  March 8, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    @1021 Tom Evans: Are we able to access those reports ourselves for other neighborhoods?

  • 1024. local  |  March 8, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    Jones area safety: I keep seeing reports of muggings at and around the Harrison Red Line entrance/subway. Even though it’s quite populated, you must be VERY cautious there at all times of day & night.

  • 1025. Tom Evans  |  March 8, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    Yes, everything is online.
    1st. Find your beat,
    2nd. Google city of chgo crime stats.

  • 1026. Parent of accepted wy child  |  March 8, 2013 at 9:05 pm

    Have not read much in the comments about safety issues/concerns at WY – can anyone share the good, bad and ugly? And I promise that in a later post I will not call you out for vilifying WY – I want to hear it all. I would rather be informed and aware. Admittedly I am a northsider who does not know much about that area. Thanks

  • 1027. cpsobsessed  |  March 8, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    Find your district here:


  • 1028. local  |  March 8, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    How’s the area around the new South Shore SE HS?

  • 1029. cpsobsessed  |  March 8, 2013 at 9:19 pm

    Okay, I just looked at it for my disctrict (20, Lincoln Square.) Considered a pretty safe area. Just like any other time I’ve looked up crime in the city, it always looks depressingly shocking, even in a “nice” neighborhood. Granted, there are no murders, so I guess I’ll compare it to District 11. I’m certainly not saying your exaggerating (I was the first one to open the can of worms about the sketchy neighborhoods just north of Westinghouse, so I guess it’s nice to have my suspicions confirmed (I AM good at figuring out when a block is sketchy!)
    But man, there really IS crime all over the place. I guess kids learn to deal with regular crime, but having a ton of drug dealers and gun-carriers makes it more risky.

    To me it comes down to risk vs reward. It sounds like the kids at the school have been safe enough. I’m sure there is a police presence (maybe not huge, but we know all HSs have a cop car assigned.) Maybe the thugs stick to themselves, maybe not. Maybe the risk of stray bullets is slim, maybe not. I probably wouldn’t want my son using an iphone or ipad while he walks up Kedzie. For kids who can get very close to the school grounds without encountering the surrounding areas (ie, car pool drops them off, transportation gets them very close to the school) maybe it’s just fine. Risk vs reward. What was their other high school option. The reward is a fabulous school with other kids who tested in/are committed to learning. Probably less thuginess inside the school than — perhaps even LPHS, who knows? Probably better than their neighborhood HS. The risk may be worth the reward.

    As I’ve said before, people in the suburbs, and now the rest of the country think about all of us in chicago the same way – with the murders here, why are we putting our kids at risk by staying in the city? Risk vs reward. You weigh the risks, risk management, and the rewards and it’s a personal decision for each family.

  • 1030. Parent of wy accepted child  |  March 8, 2013 at 9:20 pm

    Not just looking for hard crime stats… Oh and is it true principal Kenner is retiring next year? Is it perceived as a positive or negative for wy?

  • 1031. mil mom  |  March 8, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    Accepted WY parent- congratulations! My oldest kid is an “ackie” at WY, he started in 7th & will stay for hs next year. We are on the north side too so I haven’t spent too much time at the school but from what I’ve seen & heard from my kid it is very safe, they are strict about screening visitors & my son says there is no bullying. The area around it seems fine too. Many north side kids ride the blue line. My kid loves it. The academics are quite a challenge to put it mildly, but that is probably in part due to my kid being 13 & not always wanting to put in the time total success here would require. Ah well.

  • 1032. cpsobsessed  |  March 8, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    So Westinghouse is like a block from the Green line? I imagine that has something to do with the location? I advise staying away from the police site — I’m ready to pack up and leave the city. Yikes.

  • 1033. Cat  |  March 8, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    I too am a parent of an accepted WY kid… I must admit that I haven’t sought too much specific info about the neighborhood around WY.

    My daughter’s best friend is in the AC, but is driven in the a.m., and is either picked up or takes the school bus to the north side drop-off location to get home, so she isn’t too aware of the neighborhood, per se.

    I have a friend who teaches at WY, and while I’ve asked a million questions over the past year, they were more about the school itself and programming!
    I’ll make a point of trying to get more info about neighborhood feelings and such this Sunday and let you know what I hear.

    Oh! I’ll also ask about the retirement! 🙂

  • 1034. Tom Evans  |  March 8, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    WY is demographically safe. It gentrified in the 90s when abla was tore down. It’s bordered in a great spot! The police academy to the east, a park on the north, I-290 south, nice high end residential to the west. And my partner use to work in 012 district and he says the principal doesn’t play. You screw up you’re gone. And the blue line practically drops you off at the door

  • 1035. Cat  |  March 8, 2013 at 9:49 pm

    Well… don’t rush into anything until you’ve checked the suburban crime stats too! 😉

    Earlier today when the question about the area around ChiArts had me looking things up I discovered that the Douglas community area (ChiArts) had half as much crime as my community area (Lakeview), in each of the 3 categories of violent, property, and quality of life (drugs, prostitution) over the past month.

    Source: crime.chicagotribune.com

    They’ve done a good job organizing the police dept data so you can see current info and also changes over time (last decade or more.)

  • 1036. cpsobsessed  |  March 8, 2013 at 9:50 pm

    Well, since I can’t resist a database, the areas right around Westinghouse and the new South Side SEHS definitely have more robberies and aggravated attacks than Lincoln Sq and Lincoln Park. However in the recent weeks, Lincoln Park leads them all in Larceny — whatever that is!

  • 1037. cpsobsessed  |  March 8, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    @1019L IB Lover: Nope, haven’t heard anything yet about wall to wall IB. I don’t have a lot of personal HS contacts. In my opinion, the success of it depends on each school and how the really implement the IB methodology with a non-selective population. Do the teachers really do “everything” differently? Are the kids really going to notice? I think of it like the CPS Montessori schools. I’d want to get into each one to see how they plan to implement it.

  • 1038. Sheila Graven  |  March 8, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    Is there any way to find about crimes reported for a specific school? I would imagine that the school stats could be very different than the neighborhood stats for many different reasons.

  • 1039. EdgewaterMom  |  March 8, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    I haven’t drilled down too much, but I did find this https://data.cityofchicago.org/Public-Safety/Crime-at-school-locations/aip8-kti4 (although I am not sure I really ready to read it). You can add a filter and enter the block of the school you are looking for (or even the street name if you choose ‘contains’)

  • 1040. cpsobsessed  |  March 8, 2013 at 10:31 pm

    Wow, you think taking bleachers for scrap metal was weird, someone stole 8 school busses last night and took them to a scrap yard. Seriously, what is wrong with people?


  • 1041. HSObsessed  |  March 8, 2013 at 10:40 pm

    @1032 – Westinghouse is .4 miles from the Green line stop, about a 7-minute walk, according to Google maps.

    I think it’s great that Tom has given us some insight into his experience in the area and it’s certainly the case that there is crime in that area, but everyone needs to do their own research, go to the area, maybe do the commute once, talk to current kids/parents, etc. to make up their own minds. Those gang maps, shooting maps, crime maps, convicted sex offender maps, etc can all drive you absolutely crazy. I’m referring to making decisions about all schools and all neighborhoods.

  • 1042. EdgewaterMom  |  March 8, 2013 at 10:41 pm

    Aack, you really do not want to go down the rabbit hole of crime info for Chicago schools. I don’t remember hearing about a shooting at a south-side elementary school earlier this week. Then again, I get most of my news from WBEZ and it is pledge week. 😉 http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-man-charged-in-shooting-near-elementary-school-on-south-side-20130307,0,4136394.story I am glad that nobody was injured, but it is so sad to hear about gun fire in an elementary school.

  • 1043. local  |  March 8, 2013 at 10:48 pm

    I thought the govt (feds, state?) require schools to keep crime stats of reported (to police?) incidents on their property or right outside. I recall see these stats for colleges and my local CPS elem school. Maybe it was some kind of post-VA Tech reg? Anyone know what I’m talking about (I barely do)?

  • 1044. local  |  March 8, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    BTW, CPS emees have told me that lots of crimes in schools don’t get reported to police. There are lots of reasons. Some seem good, others bad.

  • 1045. Mary  |  March 8, 2013 at 11:48 pm

    CPSO-“The risk may be worth the reward.” The reality is for most of Chicago the risk IS worth the reward, what other options are there on the westside? Unless NS, Payton, Young, Jones and the like decide to open a larger number of tier one seats? I’ll just bet that wont go over well. I am not being snarky, but really want opinions. What about the westside? Are we saying this area is a wasteland and no decent people need to venture into it? Scary thought. People live here, kids go to school here.

  • 1046. Mary  |  March 9, 2013 at 12:04 am

    @973 “You are out of your mind if you let your child even step foot on a sidewalk outside of Westinghouse.” I respect that you are a police officer but what about the kids who live there? Don’t they have to step foot outside in this neighborhood everyday? Wouldn’t the influx promote change? I moved to west loop in the 80s -Hello skid row- and it was only by the slow mix did the neighborhood become better- prized. If I ever moved I couldn’t afford to buy my once undesirable loft. I guess my concern is when these statements are made we are just giving up—-To hell with the school, the community, the kids (most of whom are not gang banging drug dealers). Are we so jaded? I am also old enough to remember Lincoln park and old town before it became chic, etc.

  • 1047. Mary  |  March 9, 2013 at 12:07 am

    westsidemama- i agree

  • 1048. athens  |  March 9, 2013 at 12:10 am

    In reference to the whole westside SEHS issue— dropping by, westsidemama, skinner mom, mary, frank, and anyone else I missed.
    You know the old saying? It’s good enough for other kids but not my kid.

  • 1049. anon  |  March 9, 2013 at 1:27 am

    The summer before 9th grade three years ago, my son went to a three week debate camp at Westinghouse. I was very concerned about the neighborhood so we drove over there, parked the car and decided to walk around. Within a minute, a nice older gentleman approached me and told me that my windows were going to be broken and was I familiar with the neighborhood? I guess we stuck out–even though there was no one around. I decided that iit was okay for him to take the kedzie bus to and from the school since it left him off righ outside but not okay for him to take the green line. He did take Metra a few times because he had to leave for baseball games and I made him call me and to the fire station until the train was a few minutes away. The bus ride was fine and there were not problems but I didn’t want him walking around.

    My current 8th grader was accepted to Chiarts and we drove around the neighborhood and it looked okay. It seemed okay to get off the red line and then use bus tracker to catch the 35th street bus BUT when I started talking to parents who were waiting for their kids to finish auditiioning, to my surprise, it was the AA parents from the Southside who told me they would be driving their kids and did not trust the neighborhood and reminded me of the girl from King who was shot.

    There are good people living in these neighborhoods. It’s the idiots with the guns who are the problem.

  • 1050. HS Mom  |  March 9, 2013 at 1:39 am

    @999 RLJulia – exactly. I think the location of Westinghouse is perfect. It services the west side and is located really right on the cusp of a rough area. Nearby at Adams and Kedzie and along the Boulevards plenty of gray stone renovation going on. Garfield Park Conservatory is one of our favorite places.

    People feel differently about what an acceptable level of “risk for reward” is. I’m OK with a school like Westinghouse that offers a “door to door” commute. Westinghouse is not just for “poor kids on the west side”, as some people keep bringing up. Kids do come from various neighborhoods in the city. As HS Obsessed suggests, our decision to go to Westinghouse would have involved taking a practice commute and visiting the school at entry and dismissal. What concerns me more about any school is the culture in, around and after school as it relates to the way students interact. I also like to talk to people that actually attend the school not the one who would “never set foot in the door”.

    @1009 Frank – we finally agree!

  • 1051. IB&AC Mom (formerly IB&RGC)  |  March 9, 2013 at 1:41 am

    I really do appreciate the fact that a police officer is posting and can give some insight into a neighborhood surrounding a school many on this site might be interested, but Tom can you tell us how much of the crimes committed/ complaints involved Westinghouse students? If any. And are their patrol cars at the school when they start and end their day?

  • 1052. FP  |  March 9, 2013 at 10:14 am

    Thanks Mary so much for moving into skid row and making it better. SMDH

    I guess that’s all Westinghouse needs –a few pioneers.

    Let the gentrification begin.

    We need all schools in every neighborhood to be selective enrollment.

  • 1053. cpsobsessed  |  March 9, 2013 at 10:15 am

    I think all schools being selective enrollment is an oxymoron, no? What is the selection criteria?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 1054. HSObsessed  |  March 9, 2013 at 10:19 am

    I highly recommend that you take a look at the site below and bookmark it for future reference because there’s lots of great info on all CPS schools. It reflects the results of surveys of students, parents and teachers on five general topics that the U Chicago researchers feel are key to whether a school is well positioned to improve.

    For purposes of the topic of safety, you can call up a school’s report, then go under Supportive Environment, then Safety, and see how students recently rated their own school on four measures.

    For Westinghouse, you’ll see they felt that safety within the school is strong, but outside the schools and going to/from school was “neutral”, neither strong nor weak. You can compare the results among different high schools and even view the survey results by gender or year in school.


  • 1055. FP  |  March 9, 2013 at 10:33 am

    I also resent that society feels that a sprinkling of yuppies brings quality. That’s the first thing that needs to go out the window—-then maybe equality in education can truly begin.

  • 1056. cpsobsessed  |  March 9, 2013 at 10:38 am

    @FP, what do you see as the inequality in education?
    Well, I mean within the city. I concur that wealthy suburbs are getting a lot more resources than CPS (by citizens paying for those resources via higher property taxes.)

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 1057. cpsobsessed  |  March 9, 2013 at 10:39 am

    That’s great HSO. That’s the one Seth Lavin noted a couple weeks ago. I need to use that one more.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 1058. Mary  |  March 9, 2013 at 10:45 am

    @1052-FP- You’re welcome

  • 1059. Skinner Mom  |  March 9, 2013 at 10:51 am

    FP/1052 wow quite snarky– if you read the original post I believe Mary’s point is not to give up on communities otherwise we will have a Detroit on our hands. Skinner’s neighborhood classes are busting at capacity whereas a few years ago the area was iffy at best. Wasn’t that the point?

  • 1060. Mary  |  March 9, 2013 at 10:57 am

    FP “I also resent that society feels that a sprinkling of yuppies brings quality.” Please re-read what I wrote. I am far from a yuppy. My point is that unless people continue to invest in a neighborhood and don’t write it off (as some on this blog want to do to the westside) it will never improve. An influx of “yuppies” has nothing to do with it. We need yuppies, buppies, middle class, poor, rich -I don’t care who as long as they are about positive energy. Sorry if you thought my post was pro anything other than a viable community environment.

  • 1061. FP  |  March 9, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    Mary are you Caucasian? I said yuppy because I was trying to be politically correct.

    And I’m sure you realize I wasn’t REALLY thanking you.

    You feel that your presence brought the neighborhood up.

    I think it’s a hard pill to swallow for a community when an underperforming school gets closed down for not providing the quality to their children only to open as a selective enrollment school and their children don’t make the cut academically and thus are yet AGAIN denied access to quality.
    For you to come in and say what you said is insensitive and part of the problem. If I were a part if that community’s would resent CPS and your presence.

    My child attended a school in the newly gentrified community after a sprinkling of yuppies started walking their dogs and they got rid of public housing. We traveled to get to the school. The children from that community were allowed access to the new school and they resented the NEW pioneers. My child was in an after school spoken word program with some of them and at their event they poetically e pressed how they felt about the new pioneers. I wish you could’ve been there. You seem like you get it – but really you don’t. Maybe the charter school should’ve just denied the students from that neighborhood admission like selective enrollments do.

    Quality for all Mary- in underserved communities with all brown faces as well as ones without.

  • 1062. Tom Evans  |  March 9, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    I never said or implied any student from Westinghouse was involved with any type of crime either as a victim, witness, or offender. All I said was the neighborhood IS NOT SAFE! It’s one of the most violent neighborhoods in the United States.
    As to CPD units near the school the dept. has an officer “assigned” to the school. There is also a beat car (bt1112) that assists traffic/crossings etc at the start and end of each school day. Also, there is probably a different marked/unmarked/covert police car coming or going down Kedzie every minute of the day. Those cars are all in route to the GiANT Drug &Gang problem on Chicago Ave just a few blocks from the school.

    I find it interesting how many people have tried to twist a few comments I made about safety into the social issue of does the SEHS need to be on the west side. All I said was the arra Its Not Safe. And some people don’t like I can clearly give example after example after example of murder, robberies, drug sales, and a million other examples of how truly dangerous the community is at any given time of the day. Note, I said the community not the school. I’m not apologizing for telling the truth. But don’t take my word for it (about is the travel to & from Westinghouse safe for your child). Ask a policeman. If you see a cop on the street anywhere in the city (anywhere). Ask them if its safe to drive/commute a kid to through the 011th district to get to Westinghouse.

    Finally, to the people that say they life in the district and are offended by what I said, I say I have met hundred of great people over the years and I have developed some great friendships. I feel bad my friends ad well as every other resident of the neighborhood have to deal with all these problems but I have never met one person that lives in 011 that denied the murders, robberies, gangs, drugs. They will be the first ones to want change and help the police but they NEVER deny the problem- thus, I question if some of these posters who claim to actually live in the district because they seem to care more about enrolling kids in the school and they’re just dismissing the violence/crime problem as a non issue. Shameful.

  • 1063. cpsobsessed  |  March 9, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    I’m not understanding the uproar over the question “why build westinghouse in a dangerous neighborhood?” Nobody is saying that kids there don’t deserve a good school. I took the point to be: wouldn’t it be better to have the school in a neighborhood where kids can hang out on the school grounds afterwards and feel safe, not feel like they have to hurry home, not have to worry about having their bleachers stolen or their bike stolen, not have to worry about thug/drug dealers hanging around the area? Wouldn’t that be a psychologically healthier school grounds environment if it could be done a mile or so away rather than to place it very close to what is allegedly a crime-ridden neighborhood?

    As I see it’s on the Green Line, the location makes sense because so many kids can take the green line or take another bus/train to a green line and get there. So locationally, that’s good.

  • 1064. Marketing Mom  |  March 9, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    Thanks Tom for scaring all of the north side families that might have given Westinghouse a chance. Now you see why everyone is clamoring for the same 4 north side schools…

    Everyday I drive past 20 schools to take my kids to school on the north side. I don’t like it but I don’t have a choice because there are no decent schools where i live.

    Pretty soon we will all be forced to send our kids to schools on the north side because those on the west and south sides will be underutilized. No one wants to send their kids to schools where safety is an issue.

  • 1065. SoxSideIrish4  |  March 9, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    1064~WY and Jones are considered SouthSide schools~they are south of Madison.

    I think safety is an issue for every family that attends CPS. I would urge every1 ~not to just go to the school for a tour during the day~ but to drive by any school that one is deciding for their child when the school is being dismissed for the day.

  • 1066. cpsobsessed  |  March 9, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    So yesterday I saw a little mini-bus that does Chicago Pizza Tours (I guess you go place to place trying pizza?) Perhaps we start a CPS High School tour? Parents get in a little bus and get driven to each neighborhood. Could be interesting!

  • 1067. HS Mom  |  March 9, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    Tom, you’re hitting us over the head with a safety concern that every person in the city of Chicago is well aware of. My question to you – or anyone – where does your child have a greater chance of being harmed? At the school in the bad neighborhood that has students dedicated to learning, zero incidents or the one in the good neighborhood where students are sexually assaulted, battery, teeth knocked out, etc in and around the school by their fellow students?

    Why single out Westinghouse?

    And yes, the west side does need a Selective Enrollment school.

  • 1068. IB obsessed  |  March 9, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    Tom Evans, see post @1000. This is the post by someone else, not yours, that people are addressing when complaining about the idea that a SEHS should not be in the Westinghouse neighborhood.

  • 1069. HS Mom  |  March 9, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    I found this to be quite inspirational


    “A high school senior who lives in one of Chicago’s poorest and most violent neighborhoods has received a full scholarship to one of the most prestigious universities in the world.”

    @987 Deborah – is this your accomplishment?!! Great job!

  • 1070. IB obsessed  |  March 9, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    @1063, regarding your question on why some of us find it objectionable to say that Westinghouse should have been built in a safer neighborhood-

    1)How could CPS legitimately make a value judgment about what level of safe is safe enough? I do not want some bureaucrat deciding that a neighborhood is ‘bad’, ‘too crime ridden’ to be ‘appropriate’ for SEHS students. 2) Westside families deserve to have one SEHS in their neighborhood. Every other side of the city does.There are SEHS students who live on the westside. Isn’t it only fair that they have the option of applying to a SEHS to which they would have a shorter commute? To exclude a neighborhood does imply that it is undeserving of a high quality school. 3) I f the neighborhood is too unsafe for a SEHS, isn’t too unsafe for any child to attend school in that neighborhood?? But where is the outcry to move the kids out of the neighborhood schools, because the risk is intolerable? Since there is no outcry, the unstated implication is that high achieving students (from other neighborhoods) are more deserving of a school in less risky neighborhood.

    I do not object to open and frank posting of crime facts and frank discussion. There is nothing objectionable about one judging that a neighborhood is too risky and not choosing the school. It does not follow that the school should not have been built in that neighborhood.

  • 1071. pantherparent  |  March 9, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    I wanted to thank Tom Evans for posting INFORMATION on this site which can help parents make a decision on what school to send their children to. I don’t recall his posts mentioning race. Quite the contrary. He is simply providing facts and some very helpful links.

    It seems like many here are taking it as personal attack. It is not. I have found the info enlightening and have enjoyed reading the posts on second city cop. And I thought the people on here were cynical.

    I’d rather have the resources and information Tom provides than the second-hand reports we often get on this site.

  • 1072. Pot stirring in the loop  |  March 9, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    In case you guys have your directions mixed up Whitney Young, one of the most amazing SEHS of them all is on The west side. If it weren’t for the projects on Roosevelt being taken down that neighborhood would be a lot more dangerous. But nevertheless, Whitney Young is as “Westside” as You can get. So stop saying the westside needs a SEHS. And if you use mapquest as a prover- west side kids have the easiest commute to at least 4 SEHS right now. If you live far northwest or southwest what’s close to you?

    Lets be clear, if the city built two state of the art schools like Westinghouse and for arguments sake lets say Apple was a corporate sponsored to one on the far south side (maybe the Beverly community) and Microsoft sponsored the other in Rogers Park two things would happen…
    First, all the tier 4kids on the south would jump on the “Apple” school and the north side kids (tier 4 northwest side and lakefront tier 4) would go for the “Microsoft” school. why? they would be new and trendy and be associated with so much society values in the world today, but more so it would be parents wouldn’t mind a shorter commute. Yes, I know wy, ns, jones, and payton, etc would still be awesome as they currently are, but you guys need to look into a mirror if you’re gonna say you would rather drive across the city everyday even going downtown with a 14 yr old as opposed to having a school in the neighborhood.
    Okay, everybody start arguing (LOL).

  • 1073. Pot stirring in the loop  |  March 9, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    Wait. Forget Beverly on the south side. As the social designer of the experient I want the south side “Apple” SEHS to be on the site of US steel on the southeast side.

    The site is on the lakefront, we can have the ground cleaned up (staying green) were in a poor neighborhood (tier 2) have a great view of the lake (it’s on the lake) it’s near the expressway. Everything else says the same.

  • 1074. pantherparent  |  March 9, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    @1072: I’m not sure there is too much to argue here. Would parents prefer to send their kids to a close SEHS or a far SEHS? Hmmm…

    That said, I’m sure you would find some Apple fanatics sending their kids on 2 trains and a bus just so their child could go to Steve Jobs High and use elegant yet overpriced hardware.

  • 1075. SoxSideIrish4  |  March 9, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    #1072~fair argument, but I don’t know if ppl would ‘jump’ for the new trendy school~perhaps kids that didn’t get into the WY, Jones, NSP, WP. Also, look how corps partnered w/some schools starting the AA degree from CPS. Has that been ‘jumped’ on…I don’t think so bc it’s so new. Rahm took that from NY after they had just started their program, there is no data re: if it works (it had only been in place for 4 months). I also don’t like grown ppl going to school w/HSers. I understand your points, just don’t know if it’s a valid assumption. But ABSOLUTELY agree w/you on every parent wanting a shorter commute/day for their child.

  • 1076. HS Mom  |  March 9, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    1072/1073 – Yes, Young is in the west loop (not really the west side anymore). Do you think it really services the west side? Once the school becomes demographically desirable, smart kids who face challenging conditions in true tier 1 neighborhoods such as those found on the west side are excluded. Let’s not forget too that Westinghouse has a CTC program so that they can take in local kids by application in addition to the citywide selective program.

  • 1077. Tamera Willis  |  March 9, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    You all let me down:(( i was hoping for some real discussion about school location. i was getting bored with the thread about Westinghouse and then that pot stir person wrote about a hypothetical and I think it speaks volumes about how hypocritical some of you are on this site. My hat is tipped to the Irishmom lady and the other woman who had the guts to at least give an opinion. Ladies, you two at least stand by your convictions and for that- you’re alright!

    But you others, Notice how slow the traffic got on this site when that person posed the question about the corporate sponsorship from apple and MS building high tech SEHS in the corners of the city (at least on the south it’s poor). Where are all those rich mommies from the Gold Coast and Lincoln park that love to pity us poor tier 1 parents. You think you’re telling us what we want to hear. But now I’m starting to think you all only want more westside schools cause you’re hoping to take over the neighborhoods (and the schools) like you have done in the west loop, south loop, Lincoln park, etc. where is my lincoln park trixy mommas? did they put their phones down because the subject was to difficult to discuss. I live in Englewood and I’m black and as a previous posted had stated and I agree We don’t need yuppies saving us or giving some grand plan on how to fix things-we know its messed up. Btw, after taking over the west loop or Lincoln park where did those poor folks go? (Shhhhh, don’t tell anyone, but they got pushed out).
    So, let me speak for only myself, if some corporation wants to build a school on the southeast side (or Englewood) we would love to see it happen. Cause if you want to compare apples to apples the folks by me and south of me are just as poor as the west side.

  • 1078. CPSAppalled  |  March 9, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    As I said about 100 posts ago, we need more quality schools all over the city. We need more than just SE schools, too. We need quality neighborhood schools that all the kids are safe in. Where is the political will to make that a reality in Chicago? I agree with an earlier post that of course what most parents want is a good quality school that they don’t have to travel long distances to get to. Will we see that in our lifetime?

  • 1079. cpsobsessed  |  March 9, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    Wait, who’s the pot stirrer? I’ve lost track now.

    Thanks for posting @Tamara Willis. Since you’re looking for some good discussion, what do you feel is needed to improve the schools in your neighborhood? I don’t see corporate sponsorship happening (except via charters) so what else? And actually, my bigger question is: beyond the general problems with CPS, what are the issues with the schools in your area (I assume you feel they are less than ideal given your desire for corporate investment.)

  • 1080. averagemom  |  March 9, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    While I appreciate the new high school offerings we have this year, I think CPS needs to focus on improving the elementary schools to improve the high schools. The work I’ve seen judging some 9th grade science fair projects shows that some elementary schools are not preparing the kids for high school. How is raising standards with common core going to work? You can’t just say the schools have to do better, something has to change. I’m guessing more kids in a class is not a step in the right direction, but I don’t know what would help. It’s too late when you ask the high schools to fix what the elementary school didn’t do.

  • 1081. southie  |  March 9, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    “BAPA Does . . .

    “March 2013 — BAPA recently committed to being the Lead Partner Agency for the Esmond School Community School Initiative (CSI). The Esmond School CSI is a community hub that draws together a range of resources that support the academic, health and social service needs of the students and their families. It is open extended hours and in use up to seven days a week and during the summer, creating a vibrant community meeting place.

    “We are excited about the opportunity to expand our partnership with Esmond School and to collaborate with them to shape the delivery of CSI services and programs in one of the most underserved parts of our community,” said Alice Collins, BAPA’s liaison on the project. “As Lead Partner, BAPA brings additional resources to the CSI partnership with Esmond School that will not only deepen participants’ commitment to educational achievement but to our community as a whole.” For additional information contact Alice Collins at 773-233-3100 or acollins@bapa.org.”

  • 1082. southie  |  March 9, 2013 at 7:52 pm

    Look at your typical “map of Chicago.” Unfold it and it’s likely to be cut off at the bottom around Hyde Park. If the UofC and the Museum of Science and Industry didn’t exist, it’d probably be cut off at Congress Blvd. Notice up top, and you’re likely to see Evanston, however. Heehee.

  • 1083. southie  |  March 9, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    When WMY HS was built in the mid-1970s, it was basically in a neighborhood of sweatshops; a police academy; a single-block row of vintage; rehabbed townhouses; and a big mix of housing for low-income folks. Now, it’s a totally different place.

  • 1084. southie  |  March 9, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    @ 1066. cpsobsessed | March 9, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    “pizza tours”

    Heehee. Sounds like a job for Chicago School GPS!

  • 1085. Smadness  |  March 9, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    FYI. I believe the new South Shore SEHS has a partnership with Cisco which sounds amazing. Likewise Lindblom with Boeing.

  • 1086. southie  |  March 9, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    The Ag HS has liaisons with agribusiness, too.

  • 1087. southie  |  March 9, 2013 at 8:25 pm


    List of Ag HS advisory board (includes a CPS BOE member, A. Zopp).

  • 1088. Tier4ever  |  March 9, 2013 at 8:41 pm

    Side note to everyone looking for good HS south… The Ag is a hidden gem. I know it’s probably to far south for the northsiders but if you live downtown or south check it out. They have a co-op with University of Il-Urbana and last year at the the Chicago academic decathlon the round up was as follows: young, Payton, north side, Ag!
    So Ag beat out a lot of other really good school and it hung tough with the big boys. Just something to look at for all the families shopping the market!

  • 1089. cpsobsessed  |  March 9, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    What is the story of Ag? I have to confess that the name scares me off.

    FYI, pizza tour sounds fun but how much pizza can one eat??

    Now maybe we can combine the pizza with the HS tour, that would be fun.

    Serious, I was thinking we should all meet up near Westinghouse one evening to report from the neighborhood. Maybe we can all try some crack while we’re there?? I’m kidding! I’m just curious to see the area again given what we’ve heard. Last time I went I was oblivious.

  • 1090. SoxSideIrish4  |  March 9, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    #1087~CPS BOE Zopp’s daughter just graduated from Ag HS.

    #1088~The Ag IS a hidden gem and now w/50% seats in the 19th~looking better than ever as a top school!

  • 1091. cpsobsessed  |  March 9, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    Zopp, I love her – I will have to check it out now!

  • 1092. SoxSideIrish4  |  March 9, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences~Eli Cheesecakes uses their honey for their cheesecakes! http://www.chicagoagr.org/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=38943&type=d check out their website.

  • 1093. cpsobsessed  |  March 9, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    Wow, Chicago Ag – about 50% low income, about 1/3 each caucasian, hispanic, and black. Level 1. Magnet HS.

  • 1094. cpsobsessed  |  March 9, 2013 at 8:56 pm

    So why are there not more magnet high schools? It works so well at the elem level.

  • 1095. MayfairAM  |  March 9, 2013 at 10:25 pm

    CPSO, I wonder the same thing. I toured Disney II last year, and was so impressed. How does that happen in this era of school closings?

  • 1096. Even One More CPS Mom  |  March 9, 2013 at 10:54 pm

    CPSO & MayfairAM – I agree. Seems odd there are not more magnet high schools.

  • 1097. local  |  March 9, 2013 at 11:07 pm

    WY started life as a magnet high school (era of deseg). When did it flip to SE and why?

  • 1098. Mary  |  March 9, 2013 at 11:34 pm

    @FP, WOW, you read a whole lot into my comments about committing to a community, including WRONGLY determining my race. How’s that for offensive? Heavens knows only one race can improve a neighborhood, right? Offensive

  • 1099. West Rogers park mom  |  March 10, 2013 at 12:06 am

    I was seriously sad when I filled out the magnet application and didn’t include chi ag- my fourth grader has already informed me that she wants to attend – its an amazing place

  • 1100. westsidemama  |  March 10, 2013 at 1:43 am

    Why meet up by Westinghouse the officer here has already told you how horrible the neighborhood is and considering he would not want his daughter to step foot in this “ghetto” or allow his wife to even ride down the street, why would you ever put your life at risk to visit Westinghouse? Even though my neighbors and myself along with our kids step out into this neighborhood every day. Oh and just in case someone wants to confirm my address is on Homan and Chicago ave. I can give you my name and address to google since it was implied possibly people are on here lying about living in the neighborhood. This is really simple, if you are so scared of sending your kids to Westinghouse or any other school in the “ghetto” then don’t. Trust me our feelings will not be hurt, that just allows for more of our children from the neighborhood to attend a great school.

  • 1101. westsidemama  |  March 10, 2013 at 1:48 am

    Oh and just to confirm I never said nor will I ever say there is NO CRIME in the area I think everyone on this blog understands there is a high rate of crime in this area. What I would not do is get on here and make it seem like this neighborhood (Westinghouse area)is good enough for those other people but NEVER for my family.

  • 1102. FP  |  March 10, 2013 at 5:14 am

    @ Mary – way to ignore all the other things I said. I’m not convinced you even have a point anymore. We are both speaking behind a screen. We cannot be certain your race- but I am certain that you feel that YOUR presence in skid row brought ‘up’ the neighborhood and can account for change—– and that statement alone coincides with non-‘of color’ to me. Don’t feign that your words don’t infer things because you don’t have an argument.

    Your statement was arrogant and quite frankly part of why Westinghouse was bad in the first place.

    Maybe Westinghouse should accommodate the kids in that neighborhood that didn’t make it through the selective enrollment path and accept them if they promise to be lawyers. Lol like Jones college prep.

    Jones is the only selective enrollment high school to have a neighborhood component entry way—– I wonder why? Why can’t all of them have lowered standards that allows the neighborhood kids access to the new school? You already know the answer don’t you? Sigh.

  • 1103. SP  |  March 10, 2013 at 8:35 am

    My kid got admission into LPHS IB and Whitney Young. Deciding which one to accept. LPHS IB is closer to home. Any suggestions, pros and cons will be greatly appreciated.

  • 1104. Another CPS parent  |  March 10, 2013 at 9:24 am

    Speaking of “arrogant” FP

    Your comments about St Mel forcing ill prepared kids to attend top tier schools and the young men at Urban Prep attending this school because they need a father figure are over the top.

    Westinghouse is “bad” because it’s in the wrong neighborhood but sending your child to LP is OK. And, that’s OK because that’s YOUR choice….don’t judge others

    You make some off hand comment about Jones and “lowered standards”. Yet, as mentioned multiple times above, and per post #915 – Westinghouse pre-med program, the Health Sciences Academy is competitive and selective.

    I think a large part of the problem is your style and dismissive attitude about how unimpressed you are with various schools and that they don’t meet your standards. Being that you’re a teacher I’m sure you realize that these schools are filled with other peoples kids and these families don’t feel the way you do.

  • 1105. local  |  March 10, 2013 at 10:38 am

    @ 1103. SP | March 10, 2013 at 8:35 am

    IB works well for students that are extremely intellectually curious, fwiw.

  • 1106. local  |  March 10, 2013 at 10:48 am

    I was reviewing CPS general and college prep HS graduation requirements (they’re different) last night. Man, I wish my HS student didn’t have to take a world language. I’d go for ASL, however. Too bad (imho only) that colleges tend to require world language for admissions. Now, my student will need to check if there’s a way out of that expectation, due to IEP. Of course, it’d be a dream if we had 2nd languages, but the HS curriculum doesn’t seem to provide the intensity needed for fluency. I’d rather send the kid for a summer of immersion in a Cuernavaca Spanish program than to use HS credits for Spanish. CPS college prep recommends 4 yr world lang.

  • 1107. Tom Evans  |  March 10, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    Well westside momma,

    When the Garda armor car was robbed on your corner of the block you claim to live on at the dollar store last year (Homan/Chicago) and the one bad guy was killed by the guard (who shot 5shots southbound down the west side walk of your block) at 9:15am on a monday morning weren’t you at least a little worried about the innocent kids and old folks that were out that day? Maybe the guests youre inviting over could check out the area and you could walk them through the incident. i bet they would enjoy seeing the second bad guy on the ground with his right eyeball shot out (but not detached) as he screamed for an ambulance. Just one example of Your block! Maybe If you’ve forgotten all the dope sales on Homan between 600-800North I can remind you of them. I just drove down your block and all is clear- it’s raining but the spot is down right now.
    Listen, I’m tired of being nice, and I’m done dancing around the issue if the neighborhood is safe- it’s not PERIOD! Stop trying to guilt everybody. Also, you’re right about one thing, I love my kid way to much then to allow her in the Neighborhood where killing happens every day! because you never know west side momma, 5 bullets could come flying down your sidewalk at 9 in the morning.

  • 1108. cpsobsessed  |  March 10, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    Ok, please – point made!! I think we all believe that the area has some danger in it. Ultimately it is great to get some data and facts on the crime rate in the area so parents can make an assessment. But ultimately it’s a personal choice about where to live and the trade-offs of where we each live.

    Let’s share information and facts but not pass judgement on where others choose to live or send their kids to school. A multitude of factors go into these decisions. As I’ve said before, most of the country probably thinks we’re ALL crazy to live in Chicago right now given the crime and politics.

    I Greatly appreciate what we’d just learned about the Westinghouse area. Might I still consider it? Yes. I’d need to learn more about the actual student experience and see what our high school options are. Other parents might have come to a “no way” decision. We’re all different.

    Please, please, stop the judging.

  • 1109. IB obsessed  |  March 10, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    Yeah TE, I’m perplexed at what you could be so upset about. Many have said they appreciate the info you have given on crime. Westside Mama acknowledged there is crime. Other people are comfortable with a different level of risk. Must everyone make the same decision as you or they are lousy parents?

  • 1110. FP  |  March 10, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    Actually another Cps parent

    I NEVER said the students from St. Mel were not prepared academically. I said they were placed in schools that were not a good fit for them. Read again my dear.

    I mentioned that Urvan Prep does well with serving that population- if that isn’t your need then maybe that is not your school.

    **edited for snark**

  • 1111. FP  |  March 10, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    Westsidemama, does Westinghouse have a neighborhood component? If it does that’s great. You mentioned that those families who are too afraid to send their children to the “ghetto” shouldn’t come and that your children in the beighborhood could attend. I really hope it’s true and that neighborhood children have access.

  • 1112. westsidemama  |  March 10, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    You are right sir lets stop being nice, I walk outside my door everyday and see the same drug dealers selling dope, yes the same dope boys you drive by daily, do you stop them HELL NO you keep right on riding as if they are part of the scenery. How many times would you like to hear me say YES THERE IS CRIME in this area, and PLEASE stop telling everyone how you would never let your precious child step foot in this neighborhood we get it, but at the end of the day my child is just as precious as yours and I dont want her to be hit by a bullet anymore than you wants your hit by a stray bullet. So do me a favor, do your damn job and keep the judgments to yourself. On that note I am done, next time you ride down Homan and Chicago ave remember the dope boys are not the only residents, normal, law abiding citizens live there also and WE need your protection not your judgement. Good day officer.

  • 1113. westsidemama  |  March 10, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    FP- my daughter will be a Freshman next year and from what I have seen and heard there is no neighborhood component, though I may be wrong. I have no problem with children outside of neighborhood attending Westinghouse, my problem is the unfair judgement that comes along with being a Westinghouse student. I will say so far my daughter has 7 friends from the area that took the SEHS test and will be Freshman next year.

  • 1114. Frank  |  March 10, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    FP- It is obvious you are here to insult and offend. I have yet to read one thing in this thread that was not a personal attack and that contributed to the discussion. Your “logic” is so twisted. When you thought mary was a non-minority you implied that she felt entitled, etc. Once that was thrown back in your face then you switched gears. It is hard to take you seriously.

  • 1115. HS Mom  |  March 10, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    FP for your edification – Both Jones and Westinghouse offer programs in addition to selective enrollment in areas such as health, law and engineering. These programs have a neighborhood preference and the same requirements as SE. There are no “lower standards”. Students are selected top down by points and there is a minimum cut off. They take the same classes as selective enrollment students with the exception of their specialty. So, neighborhood kids aren’t eligible just because they “promise to be a lawyer”. If you need further info, please check out the websites or check out the buzz that has been going on here in previous posts.

    @1108 CPSO – thank you so much for your post. I think it nicely summarizes how many feel.

  • 1116. Frank  |  March 10, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    @FP- I read over Mary’s post and I am really trying to understand what your point is or argument towards Mary’s comment. She said that we should not give up on communities and invest in them, what is wrong with this? Please explain? Why is this objectionable to you? She never mentioned race or financial means, in fact reading your comments you were the first to mention both. So, without personally attacking anyone maybe you can explain why you object to this? The only way any community become improved and safer is by community involvement (black, white, purple, pink, whatever color) What the hell is wrong with this statement?-Read 1011, 1045, 1046—why are these comments bad? Huh?

  • 1117. HS Mom  |  March 10, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    @1109 IB Obsessed, good reasoning. And Frank too

    Thank you both

  • 1118. cps parent12  |  March 10, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    FP—-“I NEVER said the students from St. Mel were not prepared academically. I said they were placed in schools that were not a good fit for them. Read again my dear.” How do YOU determine that a college is not a good fit for St. Mel’s students? Pray tell

  • 1119. Chicago School GPS  |  March 10, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    @1084 Southie- While we are not quite equipped to put together a “pizza & HS tour” (although intrigued!), we did put together our first “Hidden Gems High School Fair” last year with the intent of highlighting schools throughout the city (and nearby) that were NOT the Paytons, St. Ignatius’s and Latins of the HS world. We had over 20 schools and 200 people participate our inaugural year (during the CPS strike!) and our 2nd annual “Hidden Gems HS Fair” is poised to be even bigger at Gordon Tech on Sept. 22 from 1-4PM. If you know of any schools interested in exhibiting, please have them email us at info@chischoolgps.com. Our fair includes parent and student focused seminars as well as school booths.

    To be honest, I would love to have Westinghouse host our Fair sometime, too, as I personally was EXTREMELY impressed with the admin and students of Westinghouse when I attended their Open House. And my 4th grader last year also wanted to go to the Ag School after a field trip there with her class. Very impressive schools!

  • 1120. Westside teacher  |  March 10, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    Don’t want to jump on the bash FP train here, but some of your comments are odd to put it nicely. Quote: “Your statement was arrogant and quite frankly part of why Westinghouse was bad in the first place.” Really? As a teacher on the westside I wish for more people willing to not give up on a neighborhood and a school. It would make my school and job a whole lot better. This statement could not be further from the truth. I have never seen the downside from anyone investing in the community, but that’s just my two cents.

  • 1121. FP  |  March 10, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    Westside teacher— We are in agreement. When I said “why Westinghouse was bad in the first place” I am referring to the low performing school it WAS before it was closed down and reopened as a selective enrollment school. I am not sure if you have been reading since the beginning but my stance continues to be that ALL neighborhoods should have quality schools. I also pointed out that the community that Westinghouse is in was NOT being provided with a quality school BEFORE it became a selective enrollment school. CPS turns the school into a selective enrollment school and now, when those same families in that community are not able to “test in” to the new and improved selective enrollment school CPS is again not providing them with quality. When the elementary students are not provided with quality education and are not able to test into their neighborhood high school who is to blame?

    Mary said:
    “I moved to west loop in the 80s -Hello skid row- and it was only by the slow mix did the neighborhood become BETTER- PRIZED.”

    Why does a community have to have “a slow mix” before the children in it get quality education? Why wasn’t that money poured into Westinghouse for the people in that community? Did they not deserve it?

    I am not sure what you think I am saying but it certainly isn’t that the community shouldn’t be invested in —in fact my stance is it SHOULD be before the slow mix happens.

    @cps parent 2
    A student I know got into Northwestern—–got a small scholarship- she could not afford to remain so she transferred out and is now at Harold Washington Community College–I saw her working at the 12th street Target. She explained that she wasn’t the only one from her graduating class who wasn’t in school. She was given close to full ride scholarships at a lesser ranked schools—one that her mother could’ve afforded and she could’ve worked to pay for but she was convinced that Northwestern was her best option by administration.

    A young man went to Bates a completely different community than he was used to—he was convinced it was best for him though he could not afford to fly home as often so after one year of feeling out of place and missing home he transferred to Chicago State. Maybe if he had gone to Urbana it might have been a better fit.

    MAry made this comment: “I moved to west loop in the 80s -Hello skid row- and it was only by the slow mix did the neighborhood become BETTER- PRIZED.”

    The families who were living in skid row before people began to mix in deserved better but didn’t receive it. Why does a neighborhood have to get mixed before it can see quality? THAT is the problem—that “idea” is what I have been attacking.

    Mary was saying “don’t be afraid to move into these communites the people don’t bite and then we’ll have better schools.” And I’m saying the people ALREADY there don’t bite—the children ALREADY there want quality why don’t they get it until it gets mixed? Value all families.

    Which do you think came first the crappy community or the crappy school and why does it only get better when others begin to mix?

  • 1122. FP  |  March 10, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    HS MOM,
    The students who get in through this new neighborhood component at Jones do not have to get ranked by a Tier system. They do not have to take a qualifying test. They have to show ISAT scores and grades and live in the neighborhood. When I say lower standards I mean they don’t have to go through as many hoops ie, the selective enrollment test and then the tier system. There is no entrance exam- no ranking the school in the right order on the OAE application- and no tier system.

    I have seen on this board several families where the Tier system didn’t work well for their children even though they had good grades and ISAT scores. Those children with good grades and good ISAT scores who don’t test well enough do not get into SE schools. Because of this neighborhood component the families in South loop get access to a selective enrollment school where the same students with the same good grades and the same ISAT scores will not get that access.

    Okay so Westinghouse does have this same program—how many of the elementary schools in the Westinghouse neighborhood are Meeting or exceeding standards? How many of the 8th graders are doing well enough to meet the requirements of having high ISAT scores? I wonder how many of the 8th grade students in the Westinghouse neighborhood will be able to fill up those seats?

    On another note—-are all selective enrollment high schools including a neighborhood component?

    The more and more I look at LP the more I think last year’s model should be replicated. Within one high school it had an IB program, a double honors program, an honors program, and a regular program for the neighborhood component as well. It’s going wall to wall IB now—but I think SE schools should have several options within the school to serve all students.

  • 1123. FP  |  March 10, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    Frank—this thread is 1122 replies long. My intentions within this thread is just as most people here—–to figure out what the best option is for my child.

    Now I know I have not read ALL 1122 replies so I can’t begin to assume to know what motivated each participant to be here. Are you sure you are able to do that?

    I am still trying to decide between LP and Lindblom? I have ruled out ChiArts as many of the parents who commented here picked up on the same vibe I got about the school. I am still hopeful about my options. If any parent speaks about the cons as to why it is not a good fit for their child —let them.

    And to address your comment regarding something being thrown back into my face and me switching gears I think we can all agree that it was me sticking to my stance so vehemently that got you some irritated. To be clear, I stick behind everything I have written.

    What you can do for me is share about Lindblom or LPHH.

  • 1124. FP  |  March 10, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    ^^My intentions within this thread “are”

  • 1125. Westside teacher  |  March 10, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    FP- “Mary was saying “don’t be afraid to move into these communites the people don’t bite and then we’ll have better schools.” — Is this a quote from Mary? Seriously I think you read a whole lot more into her comments. Seriously, take a moment, relax, and re-read. No one seems to have jumped to those conclusions. In fact the posts say the opposite.

  • 1126. Westside teacher  |  March 10, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    FP-I personally think it’s horrible the way Chicago is so racial segregated. Let me be clear—“mixing” good. I don’t know why Mary’s statement was so scandalous to you. Why shouldn’t white, black, brown, “mix” into westside, northside, southside, etc schools without having a mandate to do so? Maybe I should give up trying to understand the “wrong” she committed by that statement. The use of skid row was in quotation marks for a reason, no? When people flee a neighborhood funds leave as well.

  • 1127. Mary  |  March 10, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    “Mary was saying “don’t be afraid to move into these communites the people don’t bite and then we’ll have better schools.” -BLATANT LIE, don’t intentionally misquote me.

    I realize now that there are some comprehension issues going on.

  • 1128. Mary  |  March 10, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    Thank you frank and westside teacher! I realize some people like to stir up things just to stir up things. How anyone one could read my statements as anything other than support and belief in ALL chicagoland areas is beyond me. Crazy world we live in where only one “type” of person should move, live, go to school on the westside.

    FP quote: Why does a community have to have “a slow mix” before the children in it get quality education? Why wasn’t that money poured into Westinghouse for the people in that community? Did they not deserve it?” Of course (silly question), where in any of my post was this mentioned or implied? My posts are not about funding it’s about the perception of an area and people’s hesitancy to move into an “iffy” area. In fact the original statement was made that putting an SEHS on the westside was a mistake. I believe that exact quote was “it was a shame”. My response was adamantly opposed to the thought that a SEHS on the westside was a “shame.”. The westside needs one just like other areas in Chicago. I know you didn’t read over a 1000 posts but that’s the problem; when you jump into an intellectual discussion you should at the very least know what people are responding to as they reply and where people stand on the issue. Thank is all, enjoy your evening FP

  • 1129. Mary  |  March 10, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    “That is all”

  • 1130. Westside teacher  |  March 10, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    @1107- D@#$ Officer Evans that was brutal!! I work in this area that you seem to think is a hell hole. I teach babies in this area. They certainly are blameless. That post was harsh. We are aware of the crime in the area but what do you propose? Not working on the westside? Not living on the west side (my 6 and 7 year old students don’t have a choice)? Leaving the kids to fend for themselves? I would think that if the good (for whatever that implies) flee, what is left? Are we giving up? As a teacher I can’t. As an police officer, I hope you don’t either. I also hope that you have not become so jaded as to only see bad. There is a LOT of good in this area. The criminals deserve your disgust, the good people of the westside don’t

  • 1131. local  |  March 10, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    Wow. This is one kind of HS experience: http://www.chicagonow.com/district-299-chicago-public-schools-blog/2013/03/mayor-responds-re-race/#comment-20085.

  • 1132. JP  |  March 10, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    1102. Jones allows 75 freshman per year starting fall 2013 into a CTE program with a neighborhood preference. The neighborhood boundary is Grand to highway 55 Ashalnd to the lake. It is not a neighborhood program where if you live in the area your student is guaranteed admission like LP or Ogden. The reason Jones has this component is because Alderman Fioretti fought for it through two mayors and four CPS administrations. The taxpayers in the area saw the City spend $200 million or more starting Jones as a selective school with major rehab, relocating the Pacific Garden Mission bulding the New Jones and now rehabbing the old building for selective use, all happening without the area having any area HS. Even with a late roll out and low publicity there were more applications than spots in the neighborhood.

  • 1133. FP  |  March 10, 2013 at 9:20 pm

    There you go being arrogant again Mary. You accuse me of jumping into an intellectual conversation and not understanding it —-and THEN you dismiss me? Lol

    Point proven. Now you are dismissed lol.

  • 1134. No one is immune  |  March 10, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    @1102. FP – oh my goodness, you are so right! I hadn’t thought about it but you’re right. Jones is the only SE with a neighborhood component and it’s so obvious why. It probably was agreed upon before the gentrification.

  • 1135. cps parent  |  March 10, 2013 at 11:21 pm

    Mary I totally get your point. Remember, “wise men never argue with fools because people from a distance can’t tell who’s who.”

  • 1136. HS Mom  |  March 10, 2013 at 11:22 pm

    @1122 FP – Jones and Westinghouse have equal “standards” or qualifications for both the selective and CTE programs – they both require a minimum stanine 5 and that is all. Yes, there is more required for the selective application. Nothing to do with standards lower or higher.

    Westinghouse has had their CTE program in place since inception 4 years ago and Jones is new.

  • 1137. be3d  |  March 11, 2013 at 6:24 am

    I read this blog all the time but never reply. I can say I read about 90% of these replies so far. (Kids are with their dad this weekend lol)

    @FP I’m totally with you and I hear you. While I’m not against mixing (and I don’t think you are- though with this group they will probably accuse you of being against it) I agree with you that I think it says something about society when it takes that mixing for the people to care about a community. For what it’s worth I can see why Mary’s comment came off arrogant and why you latched on to it. The use of ‘better’ kind of irritated me as well. But I think continuing that conversation distracts from the children and what you both are saying because she felt attacked.

    Pretty much, I think west side teacher and FP agree so I’m not sure why there is that conflict.

    @Officer Tom. Thank you but no thank you. Someone accused a parent of wanting blinders on earlier. I wouldn’t say blinders- maybe just a tinted window. You really drove the point home and I would be concerned about sending my child to Westinghouse especially since it seems lately innocent children are being victims.

    My child is at Northside and we only deal with cyberbullying.

    BTW Apparently some snark goes unnoticed. Shrugs.

    Good Luck everyone with selecting schools.

  • 1138. cpsobsessed  |  March 11, 2013 at 7:09 am

    @be3d: Correct about the snark. Since I don’t like to audit/edit every single post I should clarify that snark related to the issue at hand is usually fine. Gratuitous snark that is solely aimed at criticizing another poster for things not related to the discussion are removed, which isn’t often. (ie. “well you don’t know how to spell so what are you doing on an education blog,”

    And sometimes I’m just doing laundry/helping with homework and miss a post.

  • 1139. Chicagodad  |  March 11, 2013 at 8:38 am

    For those not familiar with Stanines, imagine a bell curve cut into 9 pieces. The 5th Stanine straddles the middle of the curve. To reach Stanine 5 on the ISAT, you only have be at about the 40th percentile on one of the easiest state tests in the country. True, the test will get harder next year—but still, the 40th percentile? Not exactly discriminating

  • 1140. Skinner Mom  |  March 11, 2013 at 8:49 am


  • 1141. HS Mom  |  March 11, 2013 at 9:16 am

    @1139 – What’s your point? The only requirement for all selective schools is a minimum Stanine 5. Not saying that kids do or would get in with a 5. It is conceivable that a kid could get a 5 in one subject either by missing a bubble, not a good day, or just not their strength but still do well enough on everything else to get into SE.

    @1137 – Beautiful choice of school. Good for you.

  • 1142. FP  |  March 11, 2013 at 9:43 am

    THANK you be3d the snark seemed one sided! Lol But I’m okay with it – my comments addressed comprehension problems as well but maybe there was a higher level of snark in my reply. Lol

    THANK YOU Chicagodad!!!!!!
    I didn’t feel like explaining that really there is a lowered criteria to get into the neighborhood portion because a stanine of 5 is near the 40th percentile. This is different from what is expected by the sellective enrollment applicants.

    Jones having this component was the first I ever heard about this and I was upset. Are you saying that this program exists in ALL selective enrollment schools? All students in the neighborhood were selective enrollment HS are located allow children from the neighborhood admission to the school as long as they have a stanine 5 and meet other criteria? If that is so then I stand corrected.

  • 1143. Chicagodad  |  March 11, 2013 at 10:00 am


    you’re welcome.

    You only need a stanine 5 to sit for the Selective Enrollment Entrance Exam for all schools.

    To my knowledge, only Jones and Westinghouse have the neighborhood admissions as well as Selective Enrollment spots. You still need only a stanine 5 to apply to these neighborhood programs, and you don’t have to take the Selective Entrance Exam.


    If you’re normally a bright kid, missing a few more questions than usual would NOT drag you all the way down to Stanine 5. Really bright kids are normally Stanine 8 or 9. After a bad day, you’d still be in Stanine 8 or 9, perhaps if you had a really horrible day you’d drop to a Stanine 7. But you’d have to get a TON of questions wrong, not just “missing a bubble” here or there, to drop all the way down to Stanine 5.

  • 1144. Smadness  |  March 11, 2013 at 10:21 am

    I personally think that granting preference for any selective enrollment HS for a “neighborhood ” component is BS. Especially for a school that’s as competitive to get into as Jones. Lots of neighborhoods don’t have a decent high school and those kids aren’t getting preference for WY Payton etc. the Alderman held the new school hostage unless a neighborhood component was included. Get in line like everyone else.

  • 1145. Skinner Mom  |  March 11, 2013 at 10:46 am

    1142/1144 Are we really begrudging 75 seats at Jones to kids that live nearby? I just want to be clear of your point before I launch into a response? Please clarify.

  • 1146. cps mom  |  March 11, 2013 at 10:48 am

    Smadness–” personally think that granting preference for any selective enrollment HS for a “neighborhood ” component is BS.”

    I think this whole selective enrollment mess is BS.

  • 1147. HS Mom  |  March 11, 2013 at 10:52 am

    @1143 – Missing a bubble throwing off the rest of the test can indeed throw off the number of one section. I personally know of more than one kid that this has happened to. I also know of someone who had a meltdown and made a pretty pattern. A kid with a migrane, parents that recently divorced….. you get it. There are surely exceptions and situations where a bright kid might get a 5. The friend that “missed the bubble” lost a chance at Payton but because she still qualified got in with PD at Lane.

    So back to your point (I think)

    “You still need only a stanine 5 to apply to these neighborhood programs, and you don’t have to take the Selective Entrance Exam.”

    Does not taking the SE exam in fact “lower the standards”? Many here argue that the exam is just like an ISAT. If anything, it gives a student one less chance to improve their score.

    Don’t you think that the “neighborhood preference” will be representative of the neighborhood? Quite possibly those students could have better qualifications than those that get in through the SE process.

    In either case, I assure you, that by offering seats to the neighborhood, both Westinghouse and Jones are not “lowering their standards”. They are offering their incredible programing to qualifying local kids who might not otherwise get in. If you want to diminish their abilities to suggest that they aren’t capable because they didn’t take the SE exam (if that’s what you’re trying to say here with your “not exactly discriminating” remarks) then I certainly take exception with your logic.

    And, yes, I think other schools should do it too.

  • 1148. HS Mom  |  March 11, 2013 at 11:21 am

    @1144 – And there’s no objection to 3 SE schools that give seats to 7th and 8th graders? Very selective 7th and 8th graders that would likely be able to test in anyway. Isn’t that the same – reserved seats/preference. Fewer seats available for freshman admissions?

    I would quite frankly love to see A/C’s contained off campus and some seats allocated to the neighborhood. Maybe a Jr. High SE network……just a crazy idea.

  • 1149. ProudLinblomACParent  |  March 11, 2013 at 11:26 am

    @1148 – What 3 SE schools give seats to 7th and 8th graders?

  • 1150. HSObsessed  |  March 11, 2013 at 11:44 am

    Whitney Young, Lindblom and Lane Tech are the SEHS with ACs.

    I tend to agree that SEHS should not have a neighborhood preference. Before it was announced that Jones would keep both buildings open as one big campus and they increased the number of slots available, those 75 spots that were reserved for the proximity represented 25% percent of all the 300 freshman seats available. Can you imagine if Lane Tech suddenly had a proximity boundary that allowed 250 of their incoming freshmen to be drawn exclusively from the neighborhood? I’m sure that the people in Roscoe Village and North Center would rejoice, but would it seem fair?

  • 1151. local  |  March 11, 2013 at 11:46 am

    Morgan Park HS, while not a SEHS, has an AC. The school has IB.

  • 1152. local  |  March 11, 2013 at 11:47 am

    Didn’t Ag HS increase its neighborhood preference last year?

  • 1153. IBobsessed  |  March 11, 2013 at 11:52 am

    Someone on the HS thread is asking what parts of the ISAT are considered in the SEHS application. Anyone know.? I thought it was only reading and math.

  • 1154. ProudLinblomACParent  |  March 11, 2013 at 11:57 am

    @1150 AC students have to qualify and test to get into those programs. The AC program is under SEES – Selective Enrollment Elementary School. Trust me nothing was given. Same nerve wrecking wait for the letters and stress of limited choices.

    @1153 Only Reading and Math
    The application score consists of: — The entrance exam (33 1/3% or 300 points) — 7th grade reading and math test results (33 1/3% or 300 points) — 7th grade reading, math, science and social studies grades (33 1/3% or 300 points)

  • 1155. anotherchicagoparent  |  March 11, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    @1150 Hey if Jones,Lincoln Park IB,Taft IB, etc can have a neighborhood proximity boundary it couldn’t hurt for other schools to have one too.I personally know a lot of parents in Northcenter and RV who would love the idea of Lane having a neighborhood proximity.;P Maybe all the SE,IB magnet high schools can have extra points given to students who actually live in Chicago too.:)

  • 1156. HSObsessed  |  March 11, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    @1153 – Yes, only the math and language arts parts of 7th grade ISATs are considered during the SE process.

  • 1157. FP  |  March 11, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    Thanks again Chicago DAD!
    The critical thinkers are here to read between the lines. We can be almost most certain that a child with a stanine 5 did not fair well in the selective enrollment pool.

    So we are all clear—-a stanine 5 qualifies you to SIT for a selective enrollment test for A chance that you MIGHT be able to get a spot if you test like someone in the 90th percentile BUT that same stanine 5 allows you to be admitted to a selective enrollment high school in your neighborhood.


    So of I lived in South Loop and my child didn’t score well enough on the selective enrollment test but has 3 C’s and 4 B’s and 80% in Math and Reading on the ISATs my child could go to Jones College Prep?


  • 1158. FP  |  March 11, 2013 at 1:30 pm


    I’m right there with you. There should be quality options for all neighborhoods. And not just for those neighborhoods that don’t have a mix of people living on them.


    I mentioned that I think it would be a good thing if each neighborhood had their own high school with a selective enrollment component as well as different components including a neighborhood one that students could gain admissions to.

  • 1159. HSObsessed  |  March 11, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    I’ve mentioned this before so sorry if you’ve already read it, but these things get lost in threads: After one year of the new tier system, CPS considered raising the bar from the 5th stanine to qualify to take the SEHS exam, but they didn’t after they recognized that about 100 kids who had at least one stanine 5 ISAT score (the other ISAT score could have been also 5 or could have been higher) received a SEHS offer. That was 100 out of 13,000 who took the SEHS exam.

  • 1160. CPSAppalled  |  March 11, 2013 at 1:40 pm


    While it might seem tempting to have SE high schools for “each neighborhood”, how would this encourage students from all over the city coming together and meeting others who live in different neighborhoods? One advantage of the current system is that it does throw people together who might not normally meet each other. Chicago is a very segregated city and I would not want my child only interacting with other students who happen to live near by. That said, we need more SE schools all over the city, and not ones with proximity advantages. We need to encourage diversity in schools, not inadvertently promote segregation (of all kinds).

  • 1161. HS Mom  |  March 11, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    @1157 – Hmmmmmmm not exactly right. Jones was allowed to have a cut off score.

    Do you have information on the entrance scores and if what you say is indeed correct? If so, please share.

  • 1162. HS Mom  |  March 11, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    @1159 – no thats 100 out of 3,000

  • 1163. HSObsessed  |  March 11, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    @1162 – I’m taking the numbers from the final Blue Ribbon report. They said that 13,000 took the exam and “over 100” students from that groupwho tested were offered a spot.

  • 1164. HS Mom  |  March 11, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    Right I understand. 100 students with a stanine 5 were offered a spot out of 3,000 seats that were available. I’m guessing that there were many more students with a 5 out of the 13,000 that qualified.

  • 1165. HSObsessed  |  March 11, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    OK, yes, we agree. If the 13,000 test takers’ stanines were evenly distributed over the 5th -9th, then it would be approximately 2,600 test takers per stanine. Of course, kids don’t always score within the stanine in both subjects, so that messes it up a little, but to get a rough idea.

  • 1166. cps parent  |  March 11, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    1157- snark muck?

  • 1167. chialkat  |  March 11, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    cps mom- thanks for the laugh. I too think the whole SEHS thing is BS. I’m not sure which of the many screwed up aspects of the process you’re referring to, but your comment makes me wonder how SEHS’s have further “ghettoized” a lot of neighborhood schools by skimming the cream off of the top. It’s really easy for a school to be successful when you’re teaching bright motivated students- and conversely, very difficult to succeed when those students are cherry- picked out of your neighborhood school. I wonder if they considered this when they laid the plans for the SEHS system. I’m not saying there shouldn’t be selective enrollment schools, but perhaps we should make the extra effort to improve the neighborhood schools before we open any more SEHS’s or charters for that matter.

  • 1168. local  |  March 11, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    It seems some people are mistakenly blending the CTE and the SE seats in the SEHSs with neighborhood-boundary CTE programs? Aren’t there two different eligibility standards: one for CTE and one for SE, and then the top scorers in each group get offers? Am I missing something? Maybe I’ve got it all messed up.

  • 1169. @1152  |  March 11, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    yes you are correct for Ag! 50% of seats go to the neighborhood when all other magnets have 30% go to the neighborhood! I wonder why Ag is the ONLY magnet school elementary or HS that gets to have 50% go to the neighborhood! Why did they get to bend the rules! don’t foget then sibs are admitted so now you have a greater percentage of neighborhhod students AND a greater percentage of sibs!The families in the neighborhood I THINK went to the alderman and said they don’t have a viable neighborhood option because thet didn’t want to send their children to Morgan Park! I believe that’s how Ag got this advantage but I’m not sure!

  • 1170. Tier4ever  |  March 11, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    You won’t see anything on paper but the alderman will tell you in person any kid that can get good grades will be admitted. He doesn’t care what the letter says, on the first day of a hook you see all these kids starting when they got bad news in March from CPS. Also, the principal of Mt. Greenwood has the local elementary scoring so well on the ISATs she gets anything she wants from CPS. Basically, the 19th ward does whatever they want and they never get called out. Not sure if its the fact they don’t have a HS option close by or all the politicians they have in Beverly/mt. Greenwood or the fact it has the highest concentration of city workers in the city??? Don’t know but I’ll say this, the Ag is the hidden gem on the south side and I wish we everyone who could make the ride would attend. The s hook is only 15 yrs old and it’s really nice.

  • 1171. Tier4ever  |  March 11, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    Sorry for the spelling errors, I was typing at red lights. Hopefully you get the idea.

  • 1172. Donna  |  March 11, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    Decision Made!! After reading the comments, the joy, angst, and heartache, I am getting off the crazy train this June. My oldest enters 7th grade in September and their is no way in hell I am putting him through two years of hell for a slim, shot at NS, Payton, etc. Childhood is only so short and I choose not to spend any of it playing the lottery with cps! A year of stressing over 7th grade scores, then half a year in 8th grade getting ready to test, then waiting for news….NUTS!! Not for my kid.

  • 1173. Donna  |  March 11, 2013 at 9:04 pm


  • 1174. local  |  March 11, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    Ag also has a respected self-contained autism program, from what I’ve heard.

  • 1175. local  |  March 11, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    @ 1169. @1152 | March 11, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    Sib-advantage too at Ag? Wow. Did not know that. I wonder about the school’s demographics, say, 10 years from now.

    Regarding the neighborhood advantage, I read something about boundaries being adjusted based on the fact the school sits on the boarder of Chicago and a suburb. Apparently CPS extended its boundaries farther NE & SE (away from the city boarder to the west). I didn’t know it changed the percentile of neighborhood admissions.

    I’m sure residents of that area would know the details.

  • 1176. Tier4ever  |  March 11, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    My neighbor was a teacher at Lane for ten years before she got married and moved out south to the Beverly area and started teaching at the Ag. She claims the Ag is the Lane on the south west side, but everything is new and the atmosphere is amazing (she wasn’t saying lane was not amazing- just expressing how much energy everyone at the school has every day). Of course we obsessed parents asked which one she liked better and she claims if people knew how much stuff the Ag had 3/4 of the city would be fighting to get in.

  • 1177. local  |  March 11, 2013 at 9:16 pm

    I’ve heard some people make the parallel between Ag for southside city workers communities and Northside College Prep for northside city worker communities. That the schools were kind of created for those communities. Any logic to that? IDK.

  • 1178. local  |  March 11, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    Plus, Ag has horsies, chickies, piggies, and some nice cows & goats. 😉

  • 1179. cps mom  |  March 11, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    1172-best post of the night.

  • 1180. Tier4ever  |  March 11, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    I can only speak as a parent on the southwest side. yes, we have a ton of city workers and for a million years everyone out here did the Catholic school thing. However, in the last 5-10 years the Catholics have priced a lot of people out of the school so families started looking at CPS. It started at the elementary level-Mt. Greenwood elementary. Mtg was pulling 30-45 families a year from the other 4 neighborhood catholic grammar schools. Then, the scores on the ISAT starting going through the roof and that’s when things got crazy. The school needed an addition (please refer to my earlier post about clout and the 19th ward getting whatever they want). CPS said you have 42 additions scheduled in front of you. The neighborhood started to revolt. They started a campaign to take Keller gifted back to the neighborhood. Well now CPS is in a pickle- Keller is a CPS flagship but the clout needs a school or an addition and they were Not going to wait. The alderman was told make it happen and she did. Mtg went from #43 in line for an addition to number #1 in one month. So they built the addition and the school is now the most desired school on the southwest side. Families are moving to the neighborhood just for that school.

    So, back to your original question… All these kids had to go somewhere after 8th grade and everyone said, what about the Ag? It’s brand new and why isn’t the community getting more use of it. Ultimately, anyone who wants to go there from MTG or Beverly that wants to foot the Ag gets in.

  • 1181. Tier4ever  |  March 11, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    It’s the only working farm in the city and you can bring the littles one up and feed the horses and cows and day of the week. The look on a little kid’s face when a big horse eats from their hand is priceless.

  • 1182. SoxSideIrish4  |  March 11, 2013 at 9:56 pm

    Chicago Ag is only one of seven like it in the country. They have different pathways that are not agricultural related and their senior trip is phenomenal (from what I was told). There is another gem to this school (not agricultural related) but it’s hidden.

  • 1183. Donna  |  March 11, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    Interesting piece in the Reader: Sort of makes me think about Mary’s comments earlier on the thread. It seems like others argue for the “mixing” (lol-lots of drama with that word) of students.

    Reader article quotes “The most significant problem CPS faces is not too few kids, but too many poor kids. Eighty-seven percent of CPS children are low-income. Eighty-seven percent. The deprivations of poverty are especially potent in early childhood, so when these kids are old enough for school, they’re not as ready for it as they should be. And for many reasons, kids tend to do better when most of their classmates aren’t also poor.
    CPS didn’t cause this predicament (although it played a key role years ago), and it certainly can’t solve it alone. The poverty of so many CPS children is a legacy of decades of racial segregation in and around Chicago, abetted by decades of cowardice on the part of elected officials unwilling to try to change it.”

    Looking back at earlier comments in this context makes sense to me.

  • 1184. HSObsessed  |  March 11, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    Nice article on the Lakeview STEM program. Definitely check out the link within the article to the Course Catalog. DNAInfo Chicago is doing a great job covering neighborhood news, especially developments in CPS. CPSObsessed and I used to mention occasionally that all CPS needed was some positive PR, with articles about interesting projects or programs happening in the schools, and DNAInfo is stepping up to the plate!


  • 1185. Donna  |  March 11, 2013 at 10:28 pm


  • 1186. Esmom  |  March 12, 2013 at 8:42 am

    @1172 Donna, I did the same thing. No regrets.

  • 1187. 2017Mom  |  March 12, 2013 at 9:18 am

    esmam, donna – Yes, I agree we are all nuts/obsesssed to do this! I went thru this once with my son and swore never again, but here I am. Just grateful we survived with psyche’s intact and ended up at a great school.

  • 1188. OutsideLookingIn  |  March 12, 2013 at 10:06 am

    @1182 SSI4 – you piqued my interest…what is the other gem, non-agricultural, at Ag that is hidden?

  • 1189. Suburbs...Maybe?  |  March 12, 2013 at 10:24 am

    Where do the kids from Ag attend college?

  • 1190. Suburbs...Maybe?  |  March 12, 2013 at 10:29 am

    For southsiders, interested in Brooks…we have posted a new video about our school, please view if interested. We are the highest scoring and most competitive SE high school on the south side.

    Click the link and then click on the video, “Discover Brooks”



  • 1191. anotherchicagoparent  |  March 12, 2013 at 11:24 am

    @1190 Thanks for sharing that video.What a great website.The school looks absolutely beautiful.Amazing artwork by the teens.Kind of sad I did not make the trip to visit Brooks for my 8 grader’s HS open house tours.With the 2nd child transportation was a big issue as he is not a morning person.When I saw some of the schools like Chi Ag were over 1 hr and 20 minutes away via public transit I immediately wrote them off.:(
    I am envious Brooks has seminars, neither of my kid’s SE schools do.

  • 1192. Tier4ever  |  March 12, 2013 at 11:26 am

    Ag has a bunch of kids going to UofI Urbana, 1 to northwestern, a few to Purdue, I know about one going to Iowa, and a kid to the university of Chicago! Also, the Ag school has a mass group of kids going to UIC.

  • 1193. SoxSideIrish4  |  March 12, 2013 at 11:39 am

    #1189~All the kids I know that graduated are going to University of IL~Urbana/Champaign and the ones I know that are Seniors will attend there as well.

    Chicago Ag has a University of IL Extension school adjacent to it. Also many of the Chicago Ag students go to UIUC for a summer program in their pathway (not necessarily agricultural, unless that is their field of study when entering college) and so they are familiar w/the campus/teachers/what’s expected, etc.

  • 1194. Suburbs...Maybe?  |  March 12, 2013 at 11:54 am

    @1191 anotherchicagoparent, I am glad you enjoyed the video!

    Please, any Southside parent with 7th graders who might be interested in our school, please view our new video. This will help you get an better idea of our school and what we have to offer your child. You will get a sneak peek before the open houses in fall..

    If you have any questions, I will gladly answer as many as I can.
    Also, we have an active Parent Club and we raise money for our school and students. We also operate fleet of shuttle buses for our students. During spring break, each year, our kids travel abroad and have gone to , Paris, Italy and Spain. All courses are at Honors and AP level. Our kids go onto a wide range of colleges/universities. As stated before, we are the most competitive and highest scoring SE high school on the southside…check us out!

    Click th elink and then click on the video, “Discover Brooks”..



  • 1195. cps mom  |  March 12, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    1186. Esmom | March 12, 2013 at 8:42 am
    @1172 Donna, I did the same thing. No regrets.

    Esmom, did you go private or burbs?

  • 1196. Jones dad  |  March 12, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    Question for my Obsessed family…
    Does anyone have any insight regarding taking Chinese as a freshman at an SEHS?
    While I am very proud of my daughter for showing an interest in the language, I’m a bit concerned she maybe making a mistake. Any thoughts?

  • 1197. Cat  |  March 12, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    Heh. We had that conversation in our house regarding Japanese.
    I think the important thing to keep in mind is that students are required/encouraged to take several years of the SAME language, so if you try the year of Chinese and you hate it or it is too hard or takes up so much time that it gets in the way of other work and interests, and causes you to want to drop it and start something else…. Well, it rather gets in the way of the goal.

    And at the same time, I don’t want to squash my daughter’s interest.
    We are waiting for good counsel from WY when the time comes, but are leaning towards French for freshman year (and beyond!). 🙂

  • 1198. HS mom 3rd time  |  March 12, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    Spoke to a friend at CPS today. She said the office is expecting a record amount of principal discretion applications this year.

    Off the record she indicated how unfair CPS has presented the PD program to families this year. She compared it to winning the lotto. North side and Payton are expected to receive over one thousand apps each for about 10-12 openings in each school.

  • 1199. local  |  March 12, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    Re Japanese/Chinese: Maybe take a summer language course before starting HS just to test the waters.

  • 1200. local  |  March 12, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    Having reviewed 50 apps, I pity the PD reviewers. Very painful process. And, just think: almost all the apps say the same thing, basically — I’m an amazing, deserving BWRK kid; here’s my proof; here’s what other say about me. I’ll tell you, those PD apps have to be memorable to float to the top in the reviewer mind when it’s swimming in apps. What makes you the 1 % of the 1 % in the app pool? My tip: Leave a visual imprint (tell a story that “shows” you in action). The sad/tragic stories do leave an imprint, too.

  • 1201. local  |  March 12, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    Given the PD odds, any student putting their hat into the ring will at least be prepped for the demands of their college apps.

  • 1202. local  |  March 12, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    re 1200 make that “50 scholarship apps recently”

  • 1203. HSObsessed  |  March 12, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    @1196 – Jones dad – What are your specific questions? I tutored a kid who was taking freshman Chinese at Lane Tech a few years ago, so I have a tiny bit of experience.

  • 1204. HS Mom  |  March 12, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    @1196/1197 – IMO the only thing to stir clear of with any language is an entry level course with a number of native speakers or kids with multiple years of study. FWIW my son took Japanese for several years. Beautiful language and completely phonetic. Chinese is completely different and not phonetic at all. If they have an artistic side, the writing can be fun and challenging.

  • 1205. Jones Dadd  |  March 12, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    My questions about Chinese…
    First Some history, my daughter has no background (at all) with the Chinese language. Nor, has she studied any language in grade school & We do not live in an area where Chinese is spoken.

    So, is it Madrian or Cantonese? (To the other post, I don’t know what kind of Chinese that Jones is offering either).
    Did your student from lane indicate the percentage of kids in the class that walked in with zero knowledge/background with the language? If you know, how much more or less challenging is it from say Spanish?
    Finally, what’s your opinion of the language class when you saw the material being presented at CPS (Lane)?

  • 1206. HSObsessed  |  March 12, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    OK, lots to cover! Mandarin Chinese is taught in US schools. Cantonese is a different spoken dialect and is spoken primarily in the south of China (including Hong Kong). However, Mandarin is the standard dialect taught to all kids in China, and it’s the dialect spoken on news stations and on TV shows. However, the written language is the same for all dialects.

    It’s been about 4 years since I tutored the Lane student, but I do remember vaguely that we commiserated about “ABCs” having an unfair advantage over him. ABCs are American Born Chinese, kids whose parents are from China, Hong Kong or Taiwan. Many of them can already speak/understand Mandarin but can’t read or write it. However, it’s still a huge (and unfair) advantage. Lane had just begun offering Chinese at that time, so maybe the program is more developed now so that different levels are offered at a finer grain, and perhaps that’s the case at Jones, too.

    Is it more challenging? It’s certainly different. Two of the hardest things are that 1/ it’s a tonal language and 2/ its a character-based writing system.

    In a tonal language, the way that you say a word completely changes its meaning, so you have to memorize the tone on top of the word. So if you say the word “Long” like you’re shouting a command at someone, (Long!!) or like you’re asking a question (Long??), it means two completely different things (alley or dragon, in that example). I personally found this fun when I learned Chinese, but some people never get the hang of the it, and it does impinge on communications. If the student is musical, that helps a lot to pick it up.

    Second, each written word is its own pictogram character, and each one has to be memorized. There are elements that repeat from one to another, but in the end, learning how to read and especially write characters just takes a lot of rote memorization. Again, I personally loved it, but it might not be for everyone.

    Finally, you ask about the materials. Well, I believe that the Lane teacher in this case was brand new, and I suspect that she had never taught complete beginners before, because the amount of material she expected these freshmen to learn was immense. There’s a huge shortage of Chinese teachers right now globally due to the demand for Mandarin language, and I think some teachers were sent out without being fully trained. Or maybe she hadn’t yet dumbed down enough to meet American standards, LOL. Again, that was a few years back, so I’m sure it’s fixed now at Lane, and I’m sure it’s different at Jones. We toured Jones this past fall and I saw some of the Chinese language projects on the wall, and it was very cute and made me reminisce about my “beginner” days.

    Oh, there are also lots of things about Chinese that make it MUCH easier to learn as a foreign language, but I guess I’ve rambled on enough for now. Hope that helps!

  • 1207. Esmom  |  March 12, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    @1195: ‘burbs.

  • 1208. Way Outta There  |  March 12, 2013 at 9:29 pm

    ‘burbs with me, too. Nowhere decent/safe in CPS for my “B” student.
    I can’t believe that parents on this blog discuss risk / return trade offs when it comes to safety, whether it’s in the hallways or traveling to / from school.

  • 1209. EdgewaterMom  |  March 12, 2013 at 9:49 pm


    I can’t believe that parents on this blog discuss risk / return trade offs when it comes to safety, whether it’s in the hallways or traveling to / from school.

    You can’t? Do you really think that there are NO risks for your child in the suburbs?

  • 1210. 2017mom  |  March 12, 2013 at 9:50 pm

    ‘Burbs and outta here’, recognize that no one wants to put their child in harms way but not everyone has the option to pack up and leave due to finances or whatever and are trying to make the best out if a bad situation.

  • 1211. Esmom  |  March 13, 2013 at 7:40 am

    Actually safety never really crossed my mind when making the decision. Maybe because I had lived in the city my whole life and worked in some rough areas. And I’m sure I realized that it’s true that risks exist everywhere. There are gangs in the suburbs, too, not too far from where we are.

    For me the decision was based mostly on fear of what the stress and pressure of the SEHS process might do to my kids, especially if they ended up with none of their choices.

  • 1212. pantherparent  |  March 13, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    @1196 and 1197 My son takes Japanese at a SEHS. He had never spoken or heard a word of Japanese (other than watching original Iron Chef episodes with me) and he has been fine. Sure it’s a complete change from Spanish but isn’t that the idea? How many non-Asians speak Japanese or Chinese? I think it’s pretty cool and encourage your child to give it a try.

  • 1213. Chicago School GPS  |  March 13, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    Principal’s Discretion Applications are online now and can be turned into CPSOAE directly from mow until March 22. Decisions will be mailed week of April 26. Good luck!

  • 1214. Chicago School GPS  |  March 13, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    Sorry- typing from phone.

    If that link didn’t work, try this. http://www.cpsoae.org/2013-2014%20Principal%20Discretion%20Application.pdf

  • 1215. RL Julia  |  March 13, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    1000 applications for PD to NCP and Payton each? Craziness! Any idea how many were turned in last year?

  • 1216. KH  |  March 13, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    Japanese is the hardest language in the world to learn according to the U.S. State Department’s Foreign Service Institute.


    Both my kids took Japanese in HS and I can attest that this is true.

  • 1217. pantherparent  |  March 13, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    @1215 Northside will have 14 PD seats and expects approx 150 applications. Same as last year. It’s amazing what you can learn at an LSC meeting versus an off-the-record CPS employee.

  • 1218. 2017mom  |  March 13, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    That’s better odds than SE!

  • 1219. local  |  March 13, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    I wonder how each SEHS principal knows how many PD applications to expect. It seems the landscape has changed so much from even last year. BTW, did students applying to SEHS who discovered mistakes in their score calculations get those problems addressed? I haven’t seen any follow up and I was wondering if corrections might impact PD slots.

  • 1220. cpsobsessed  |  March 13, 2013 at 3:42 pm


    Article about the Linda Lutton story on Harper High school. if you’re like me and haven’t had time to listen yet, there’s some interesting reading here.

    She points out that Harper does as having a very caring staff:

    “I talked to lots and lots of kids. It wasn’t hard, really. I hope this came across, in the first part in particular, but Harper is a really happy school overall. I think, astoundingly, the kids have a lot of trust in the adults. I think they tend to see the adults looking out for them and looking out for their best interest.”

    Even some of the schools that look the worst on paper are excelling in some areas….

  • 1221. GWCP Parent  |  March 13, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    @ So called Officer Tom Evans. Your input about the Westinghouse surrounding area has been helpful to folks that don’t live in the area (myself included). But it seems that you might have beef with the New Westinghouse than you do with the other surrounding schools in the area. Not once have you mentioned Orr, Marshall, Rowe-Clark, North Lawndale, DRW Trading College Prep. Is there a reason why you are so focused in the Westinghouse area and not the other areas??