2013: SEES Gifted and Classical Letter Thread

March 22, 2013 at 6:49 pm 1,663 comments


C’mon mail – where ARE you??

Last year’s threads if you want to see some cutoff scores:





Entry filed under: Classical Schools, Regional Gifted Program.

2013: Academic Center Letters CPS Schools Closing: 54 to close, 61 buildings to be shuttered

1,663 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Sunny  |  March 22, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    If anyone gets an 8th grade offer, please post. Hoping for an 8th grade offer at an AC.

  • 2. Waiting and waiting  |  March 22, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    Also if you can post tier, school and ‘s?

  • 3. Sheri  |  March 22, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    Tired of stalking the mailman . I am going crazy! I need these letters.

  • 4. Pritzker Mom  |  March 22, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    No letter before we left for spring break. I’m all set for the neighborhood school backup. At least all schools should have full day K next year.

  • 5. FP  |  March 22, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    I was in your place last year and I’m anxious for you! Lol

  • 6. Tara  |  March 22, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    I am also waiting for a 8th grade AC offer.

  • 7. Wondering Mom  |  March 22, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    Just posting to get follow up comments via email. Good luck everyone! Come on mailman 🙂

  • 8. Gobemouche  |  March 22, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    Tara, there is a separate AC thread, too! Come join us obsessing for 7th & 8 th grade over there. It’s just below this thread. Yay, more ways to obsess!

  • 9. Jen  |  March 22, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    We’re going to a brunch in the morning and I’m going to be itching to get home, I don’t know how I’d deal if I was away for the next week!

  • 10. Waitlisted  |  March 22, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    @Pritzker Mom – what does full day K exactly means – all K will have 7 hours a day?

  • 11. McDadeMama  |  March 22, 2013 at 11:35 pm

    Going to try not to sit by the window tomorrow…Looking to have a second SEES kid. Good luck everyone.

  • 12. Teasdad  |  March 22, 2013 at 11:54 pm

    Just to clarify, tomorrow’s (hopefully) SEES letters will bring offers to first 30% with best scores only, or Tiers as well?

  • 13. cpsobsessed  |  March 22, 2013 at 11:55 pm

    The SEES letters will have all initial offers, both rank and tier.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 14. Crazymom  |  March 23, 2013 at 2:10 am

    My son was accepted to a rgc last year on a late round. We are driving him over an hour with traffic everyday. We are trying to get him to a closer school. Knowing his scores were not the highest last year makes.me nervous for this year. The plan is if he does not get in another school by July we are going to move closer to the school. The hope I have is that he will get accepted to one of two schools that don’t start their gifted programs till 1st grade.

  • 15. Pritzker Mom  |  March 23, 2013 at 6:52 am

    @Waitlisted, Yes – it was announced in late February.

  • 16. Also Wondering  |  March 23, 2013 at 6:55 am

    I hope they got all the letters in yesterday’s mail, otherwise the wait till Monday will be excruciating! Especially if they pull the stunt they did with magnet letters.

  • 17. anonymouse teacher  |  March 23, 2013 at 7:16 am

    @12, I don’t think 30% is possible. It depends on the # of spots versus # of applicants. So, maybe the top 1-5% if that?

  • 18. CityMom  |  March 23, 2013 at 7:19 am

    Good luck, everyone. I’ve been there (twice) and it is nerve-wracking. I wish you all the best!

  • 19. Iheoma  |  March 23, 2013 at 7:22 am

    Waiting and waiting…….

  • 20. Also Wondering  |  March 23, 2013 at 7:28 am

    I think what @Teasdad was asking about the seats allocated according to straight score (30 percent) vs those allocated by tier.

  • 21. Even One More CPS Mom  |  March 23, 2013 at 9:34 am

    Oh letter carrier, where art though………

  • 22. Even One More CPS Mom  |  March 23, 2013 at 9:35 am

    oooppps…….thou………..clearly my child needs a better education than I received!!!! 🙂

  • 23. Gabby  |  March 23, 2013 at 9:43 am

    How long should the kid have been in the test? My kid was in for 30 min but that doesn’t seem very long. This is nerve wracking .

  • 24. ncm  |  March 23, 2013 at 9:44 am

    May the odds be ever in you favor! This is my year off – last year’s jitters are resurfacing for all of you!

  • 25. Bridget  |  March 23, 2013 at 9:58 am

    I came very close to asking the mail person yesterday if she could ask whomever delivers our Saturday mail, to please make our block first on the route for today. Then I realize how crazy that sounded. BUT IT WAS CLOSE…ha

  • 26. good luck to everyone  |  March 23, 2013 at 9:58 am

    Our child was in the classical and gifted tests for about 45 minutes and got into classical. However bunch of kids we know were there for about 15 minutes and also got in clasisical/gifted. So no clear answer here. Good luck everyone! We have done this two years ago and during the time letters were coming out people were blogging here, my house a real mess. I was addicted to the blog and did not clean for days;-)

  • 27. good luck to everyone  |  March 23, 2013 at 9:59 am

    Sorry for the typos

  • 28. good luck to everyone  |  March 23, 2013 at 10:03 am

    If your kid has a good score and you don’t get an offer now, there is still hope. Many of our friends got second and third round offers and we even got three offers the next year for 1st grade.

  • 29. Anxious mom  |  March 23, 2013 at 10:29 am

    Anxiously waiting……good luck everyone. Our mail comes around 2:30pm….it’s going to be a long wait.

  • 30. Teasdad  |  March 23, 2013 at 10:44 am

    … And we are sure letters ARE coming today?

  • 31. MayfairMama  |  March 23, 2013 at 10:46 am

    I’m not counting on getting a letter today. We haven’t even gotten our magnet letter yet.

  • 32. westsidemom  |  March 23, 2013 at 10:49 am

    Just got my mail. Nothing.

  • 33. 60660  |  March 23, 2013 at 10:50 am

    still no magnet letters, no sees…

  • 34. ChicagoMomofBoys  |  March 23, 2013 at 10:59 am

    We don’t get our mail for at least another hour, but I seriously don’t think my stomach can take waiting until Monday. And there will be some serious butt kicking if CPS sent out the acceptances first like magnet. That was so cruel.

    Regardless, I’m trying not to get my hopes up. If I’ve learned one thing from this process thus far is there are no guarantees and the odds, sadly, are not in anybody’s favor.

  • 35. Bridget  |  March 23, 2013 at 11:06 am

    Only bills here too…no other mail. I asked my mailman “Are you sure there’s nothing else?” Got a very strange stare afterward…

  • 36. Lost in the city  |  March 23, 2013 at 11:14 am

    I have to wonder if race plays any role in getting into schools? I know of two people who live next door and applied to all the same places, one got offers and the other didn’t get anything. The only difference is their racial background. Is it just a coincidence?

  • 37. Christine Whitley  |  March 23, 2013 at 11:16 am

    I am not convinced that OAE sent out magnet acceptances first. I got mine on the first day and we got all wait lists.

  • 38. Confused  |  March 23, 2013 at 11:16 am

    Nothing in the mail today

  • 39. Bridget  |  March 23, 2013 at 11:17 am

    @36- I believe in a city as diverse as ours, race has zero impact on admission. Test scores, ISATS, four core subjects (and 504 or IEP points?)…they trump genetics.

  • 40. cpsobsessed  |  March 23, 2013 at 11:18 am

    @Lost: I don’t know if you can conclude much from a sample size of 2. 🙂
    I think it was a coincidence.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 41. cpsobsessed  |  March 23, 2013 at 11:21 am

    I agree with christine. I think it was a fluke we saw acceptance first. I don’t even think that cps classifies people as “got 1 or more acceptance” or not.
    People reported acceptances after the first day and I’ll bet we’ll see more. A lot depends on your mail delivery as well.

    Correlation doesn’t equal causation. Otherwide we could conclude that living in a neighborhood with fast mail delivery increases your chance of getting in a magnet school. 🙂

    Just your daily dose of stats…

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 42. Lost in the city  |  March 23, 2013 at 11:21 am

    I believe I posted on the wrong thread 😦 oops! I meant for magnet schools.

  • 43. cpsobsessed  |  March 23, 2013 at 11:22 am

    So I’m guessing that the letters were taken to the po or picked up late friday which means they’re working their way through the po now. Which probably means monday. 😦

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 44. teachermom  |  March 23, 2013 at 11:24 am

    no letter! crossing my fingers for Monday.

  • 45. westsidedad  |  March 23, 2013 at 11:36 am

    This may be a rather stupid/naive question, but why is CPS sending out letters at all? In other words, why aren’t they simply posting them online? I imagine a rather significant percentage of families applied online.

    I understand that not all people have online access. But equal access is clearly not a concern, given the fact that they have staggered mailings…

    Are there any plans to do so in the future? Same money, increase efficiency, alleviate parents’ angst. Too much to hope for?

  • 46. McDadeMama  |  March 23, 2013 at 11:44 am

    I was thinking the same thing. Why wouldn’t we be able to just check our status online. We could have checked our preference during the application process and saved a ton of paper.

  • 47. teachermom  |  March 23, 2013 at 11:49 am

    Do colleges still send out letters, or have they entered not this century either?

  • 48. NowWeWait  |  March 23, 2013 at 11:58 am

    Anything yet?

  • 49. anotherchicagoparent  |  March 23, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    45 Maybe this is one of those ways they can cut back on residency issues?
    47 not sure will find out next year.

  • 50. fromalbanypark  |  March 23, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    Mail arrived. No letters here either. Monday, it is.

  • 51. fingerscrossed  |  March 23, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    Obviously race matters or there wouldn’t tiers. However if two races are in the same neighborhood it shouldn’t matter

  • 52. Anxious mom  |  March 23, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    Got the mail….NO LETTER… Hopefully Monday.

  • 53. ignorant  |  March 23, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    Tiers are impacted by income, educational levels, etc. Not race. While race may play a role in those, it does not dictate tier.

  • 54. fingerscrossed  |  March 23, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    If that were true about tiers they would not base it on neighborhood alone in my mostly white working class neighborhood there are plenty of low income, single parent, no college households, but they are still considered tier 4. Behind SES race is the biggest factor whether we admit it or not

  • 55. Sped Mom  |  March 23, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    @ 47. teachermom

    Colleges do both. First alert is via email. Follow up is by snail mail. You can see youtube videos of kids getting their alerts and admissions letters for various college. Cute.

  • 56. March Madness  |  March 23, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    My letter carrier always delivers at about 5:00 pm or later. I am speculating that she’ll get into work and sort through the latest mail, as opposed to the early carriers, which miss new incoming mail. I’m tempted to drive over to the post office and offer to help. I’ll probably have a stress related heart attack on the way.

  • 57. cpsobsessed  |  March 23, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    Anyone who would like to post a video of themselves opening their letter will get a prize.
    Then a video of yourself telling your 4yo child. Since of course they’ll not care at all….

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 58. might as well leave the house...  |  March 23, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    Mail just arrived, but no letter (and we received our magnet letter on the first day…).

  • 59. WorkingMommyof2  |  March 23, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    56, I am foolishly holding out hope for something in our always-late mail, too. 🙂

  • 60. waiting patiently  |  March 23, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    #56 – we will kep you sort!!! We always get ours late as well.

  • 61. waiting patiently  |  March 23, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    we will help you sort!

  • 62. Pritzker Mom  |  March 23, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    This is too funny not to share:

    @WBEZeducation: RT @akeefe: @WBEZeducation No joke: Vultures circling building where @ChicagosMayor is about to get asked about #CPSClosings

  • 63. rpmom  |  March 23, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    Nothing today!

  • 64. Not a conspiracy  |  March 23, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    Whatever its faults, the tier system is based on non-racial data, mostly derived from the American Community Survey (which is carried out annually by the U.S. Census Bureau).

    I think it’s safe to say that, at the end of the day, the tier system is geared almost entirely at helping people living in tracts that are the poorest of the poor. And by comparison, right or wrong, “working class” tracts aren’t considered “poor.” Our understandable disbelief about our tract being Tier 3 or 4 is a testament to how extremely poor some tracts in Chicago actually are–it’s hard to comprehend it.

    Here in Tier 3 Rogers Park, you have extended families of 15 people sleeping at different shifts in a cheap two bedroom apartment, in a building located next to a house that cost the family living there half a million dollars or more. In some tracts, especially on the south and west sides, most households are a lot closer to the former (and probably none resemble the latter).

    The real question is whether the averaged demographics of a Census tract are too broad a brush to be fair or useful (not to mention whether household income/wealth should be a factor at all in the selection process).

  • 65. I might sue my mail carrier!  |  March 23, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    I love it!!!!! I am totally going to post a video when I get the letter!

  • 66. SoxSideIrish4  |  March 23, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    CPSO~LOVE that pic for this thread!!!

  • 67. fingerscrossed  |  March 23, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    I grew up in a “tier 4” neighborhood. I was a latch key kid whose mother was a high school drop out. She worked two jobs and we still occasionally needed food stamps. We at times boiled hot water for baths and had no electricity. I understand what poor is.
    I know people living in the same conditions in my tier 4 neighborhood. If SES is going to be a factor it should be on an individual basis or it shouldn’t be a factor at all.

  • 68. fingerscrossed  |  March 23, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    Also I am a southside tract so you can forget your assumptions as well

  • 69. Wondering Mom  |  March 23, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    Nothing in the mail today! 😦

  • 70. 4boys4me  |  March 23, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    No mail for us today.

  • 71. Stacey Nichols  |  March 23, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    Nothing in todays mail here either

  • 72. FirstTimer  |  March 23, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    As with everyone else, nothing today. I was one of the lucky ones who received an early Magnet letter with an acceptance, so for anyone wondering, that didn’t correlate to an early SEES letter. Wonder if I should try to work from home on Monday… 😉

  • 73. Southside Daddi-o  |  March 23, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    @64 Yet another reason why this is such a bullsh*t system. We work really hard to give our kids an enriched life, yet people who have gotten every thing handed to them by us taxpayers get yet another advantage. I was also watching Mike Flannery’s report on school closings, and he said that kids from schools which will be closing will be getting iPads to help them in their transition.

    Per Flannery, we will now be paying for iPads for 30,000 kids. Let’s say that that each iPad is $150 because CPS pays for them in bulk: That’s another $4.5M to under-privileged kids, who get taxpayer covered healthcare, school, food, medicine and a place to live. Now a free iPad. Seriously, wtf? I have to make sure these kids get iPads?

  • 74. Out Of Many...One People  |  March 23, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    @73 – Wow, this process really does bring out the worst in people!

    Damn poor people! Who do they think they are anyway, huh daddi-o smh!!

  • 75. cpsobsessed  |  March 23, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    @southside dadio – so you think that free ipad is so awesome that it’ll make up for kids having parents who can’t help them with homework, who can’t pay for tutoring, lessons, and test prep, who don’t know how to direct their kids down a path towards higher education or teach them how to use a computer or technology. Who don’t get nutritious meals at home or all summer because their parents are working min wage jobs? Whose best meal of the day is a disgusting chartwells lunch.

    But the free ipad! Man, you’re right. Those kids are realllllly lucky. I’m jealous. I wish my kid could be one of those kids. It sounds awesome with all that free stuff.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 76. Southside Daddi-o  |  March 23, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    @74 and @75 One question: Who is paying for this iPad?

  • 77. cpsobsessed  |  March 23, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    I assumed cps was paying for them (but admit I haven’t read the details…)

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 78. cpsobsessed  |  March 23, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    Despite my liberal nature, I’m somewhat of a budget conservative. However I do think some kind of upgrade or nicety is in order to make up for these schools being closed on families who have already seen their neighborhoods decimated.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 79. Southside Daddi-o  |  March 23, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    @77 Ok, so, in other words, I’m paying for it. When is enough “enough”?

    You mention enrichment, tutoring, etc.; Do you understand that we have jobs we have to go to and work for the money to pay for this? If we don’t work hard and perform we get fired? You do get that concept, right? I’m completely serious — you do know how money works, how people earn it?

    There is no “money tree” growing in the backyard of people who work in Chicago, where we can just grab cash. If we want an iPad for our kids, that means we have to work harder for it, or not spend on something else. Yet for those who either don’t know how to work, don’t want to work, or can’t work, we give them subsidized housing, subsidized food, subsidized medicine, subsidized education, subsidized transportation and now let’s give them a f*cking iPad because your underutilized school is being closed?

    What more do you think we should take out of our pockets for poor people: A trip to DisneyWorld?

  • 80. CPS Teacher  |  March 23, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    Seriously? An IPad? Some of these children live in neighborhoods where their shoes are stolen off of their feet at gunpoint. And now they’re going to carry ipads in their backpacks? Do you have any idea what theft is like in many schools? Is CPS aware that MANY people do not have wireless networks at home? Of course CPS is paying for them…maybe they’ll get a grant from another “reform” foundation. I cannot believe this is happening in Chicago.

  • 81. Southside Daddi-o  |  March 23, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    @78 Again, if you take $4.5M out of the budget for iPads, where you gonna cut it from? Music and arts programs? Sports equipment? Teachers aides? ***

    Seriously, this has to come from somewhere… or it comes from an increase in taxes.

  • 82. Southside Daddi-o  |  March 23, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    @80 Yeah, no $hit. I can see these iPads being stolen or sold outright. Look, if CPS said they were going to update computer labs for welcoming schools, that’d be great. Kids without computers can use them at school, or go to the library, much like kids in Tiers 3 and 4 do when they don’t have a home computer. They do not need their own iPad “courtesy” of the taxpayer.

  • 83. cpsobsessed  |  March 23, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    Look, I agree – on paper your argument sounds perfectly logical. One would think that getting all that stuff would even the playing field – right? So how come it hasn’t? Because it doesn’t make up for what is lacking among the parents that it’s targeting — the ability to instill early learning, language, etc to their kids in the home. And that may never happen even if that money and those subsidies were doubled.

    Kids raised among upscale educated parents have a huge advantage as the test scores confirm.

    It you had grown up in the projects with a parent who worked (yes, some actually have jobs!) but didn’t have the ability to guide you down the path that your parents did, do you think you’d be in the position you are today? Sure, maybe your parents could have overcome all the obstacles and triumphed for you. Some do. Most/many don’t because they can’t. Getting public housing, a meager amount of food each month, and free health care doesn’t help a parent teach their child algebra or learn about what’s going on in the world. I helps them stay alive.

    I feel like it would be comparable for me to ask you “why are you not a millioniare? Why are you not a CEO or the head of a company?” (Perhaps you are…) Did your parents not work as hard as other parents? Did you slack off? That would be “beating the odds” for someone from a “regular” upbringing.

    Closing a huge number of schools in concentrated neighborhoods in Chicago is like adding insult to injury and CPS knows it. An iPad helps to ease the burden a little. and I assume they’re not just going to be used for playing angry birds. But you know what, so what if they are? These are some of the crummiest schools in the country. Let the kids have something good happen once in a while instead of just their blechy free breakfast and lunch.

  • 84. cpsobsessed  |  March 23, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    @82: ok, I might be with ya there — possibly better uses for tech budget. It would have been an interesting conversation to overhear with CPS, that’s for sure.

  • 85. Out Of Many...One People  |  March 23, 2013 at 5:01 pm


    And there you have it folks! It’s one thing to debate about iPads, I get it. I do have a harder time with debating whether poor people deserve sudsidies for life’s necessities like food and housing, still I can engage in that debate. But all credibility in such a debate is lost after that little quote above.

    I take it back Daddio it’s not “this” process that brings out the worst in people….you are the worst in people

  • 86. cmf  |  March 23, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    southside daddi-o:

    I have read your comments here for months and, while often repulsed, moved on to the next comment because I’ve learned not to argue with racists. Your comment @ #81, however, is beyond the pale.

    CPSO: Please consider removing this poster’s vile rants.

  • 87. CPS Teacher  |  March 23, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    For the first time, I disagree with you CPO. I think that offering an Ipad is a condescending insult to these children. What are they going to do when it gets stolen? Or broken? Or their mother sells it?

    The focus should not be on gifting those that are going through the closing process. CPS should be ready to show them their new schools. They should have nice shiny new classrooms to tour to see that yes, the change is better. They should see smiling teachers in buildings that are not dilapidated. I pray that the changeover goes well for the new school year. However, according to CPS’ own track record, I doubt it.

  • 88. Southside Daddi-o  |  March 23, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    @86 Really? That’s it? Throw in the race card because someone has an opinion you can’t disprove?

    Many Black people in Chicago use slang like that which I used…and my argument is being made by people in CPS. But it’s “racist” when it’s pointed out and makes minorities feel uncomfortable.

    Please note that there are nearly ZERO majority white neighborhoods less than Tier 3 — the majority of which are Tier 4. That is ABSOLUTELY race-based and discriminatory.

    Thanks for playing, though!

  • 89. Tier 2 mom  |  March 23, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    I live in a tier 2 area on the south side. My opinion is the point of the IPads to the kids is like a lollipop after a vaccination. That money can be used in better ways.

  • 90. Shellie  |  March 23, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    I seriously want to see a link to where this claim about these kids getting iPads is backed up. I can find it nowhere, and to come to a forum and speak as if this is fact is ridiculous if you can’t back the statement up.

    This link suggests CPS officials have considered buying iPads for the schools taking in displaced students, which is a far, far cry from buying iPads for the displaced students themselves. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/education/ct-met-cps-closings-vignettes-0324-20130324,0,7422673.story

    So, where is this information coming from? I too am tired of the same people beating the same drum about underserved communities (i.e., they don’t work and everything is handed to them). Please, that is simply ridiculous and misguided at best, plain racist at worst.

  • 91. Southside Daddi-o  |  March 23, 2013 at 5:16 pm

    @85 You don’t like it, don’t talk like that. Or are you one of those “It’s okay when we talk that way, but other people can’t talk like that or it’s offensive”?

    @CPSO You removed texts written using hip-hop slang. Yet when someone on this board was speaking like a typical Bridgeporter, you left it on. What’s up with that?

  • 92. Southside Daddi-o  |  March 23, 2013 at 5:16 pm

    @90 Was on Mike Parker’s report on Thursday on Fox News at 9, and he is also interviewing BBB on Sunday.

  • 93. Southside Daddi-o  |  March 23, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    @90 Mike FLANNERY. My bad.

  • 94. Out Of Many...One People  |  March 23, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    “Oh, but them white folks, dey in Tier 3s & 4s, dey ain’t gonna miss it. Dey can afford it.”

    I’m sorry CPSO, but I’d like to know why Daddio’s little racist quote above was removed from my comment #85 and his original comment. He put finger to keyboard to type it. Why edit it out?

  • 95. hrp206  |  March 23, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    So nothing straight from CPS? No link where CPS officials have said this definitively. Seriously, suggesting Fox news as a source is … well, not credible in my book. I’m looking for a link to something the CPS has directly said about the subject, not a Fox news reporter making suggestions about how CPS might deal with the legitimate anger of families.

  • 96. CPS Teacher  |  March 23, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    BBB said it on an interview Friday morning on NBC news.

  • 97. OutsideLookingIn  |  March 23, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    I doubt cps is issuing each child their own personal iPad to take home. But if they are, I’ll start printing up t-shirts:

    BBB closed my school and all I got was this lousy iPad…which I no longer have because someone punched me in the face and stole it on my way home.

  • 98. Southside Daddi-o  |  March 23, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    @94 Yeah, why edit it out? I live in a mixed neighborhood and I hear people use that vernacular almost every day. Why edit it? That’s how they CHOOSE to speak!

    And I also hear some black people speaking in similar terms with a sense of entitlement that is, quite frankly, racist against whites, so there you have it. I’m not saying anything you probably haven’t heard yourself!

  • 99. cmf  |  March 23, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    #86 I’m not trying to disprove your opinion. I can’t. Because it’s an opinion.

    My opinion is that the iPad consolation prize seems more like a PR/Marketing move than something that will improve education (like textbooks on the first day of school, music and art, or smaller class sizes. I think it’s simply more irresponsible spending of school funds.

    Do I think it’s the fault of poor people? No.

  • 100. formercpsteacher  |  March 23, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    Yes give CHILDREN in horrible neighborhoods ipads then put it on television, letting everyone know what a good person you are for helping the children whose lives you are displacing. You might as well put a target on their back while they walk three miles to their new school. Give them green space for sustainable gardens, give them a uniform stipend, give them books (because in the classrooms I taught in there were 15 for 35 kids). Guess the Apple company wants to open a new charter huh?

  • 101. anotherchicagoparent  |  March 23, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    http://www.cps.edu/News/Press_releases/Pages/3_21_2013_PR2.aspx The link to Chicago Public school website where it states iPads for all students in grades 3-8 It does say that it will redirect resources from closing schools for this purpose.I thought maybe they were donated.

  • 102. anotherchicagoparent  |  March 23, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    well not all students but those in the 54 schools.

  • 103. hrp206  |  March 23, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    That link, again, suggests they’ll probably be using them while in school. They aren’t just handing out free iPads to these kids to take home and do with what they please.

    “All welcoming schools will receive investments as needed to provide students access to schools with enhanced learning environments, including”

    Key words: provide students access to” Access to, not free for you to have as your own.

  • 104. Southside Daddi-o  |  March 23, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    Saying “Chicago Taxpayers have to pay for 30,000 iPads for underprivileged kids” is more appropriate than saying “We’re giving them iPads”.

    I was against the bank bailouts for similar reasons — I go thru periods where money’s tight, some times it’s my fault and some times it’s not. However, when someone else makes bad decisions why is it my duty to give them more of the money I earned, which is money I’d rather spend on my family?

  • 105. hrp206  |  March 23, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    The point being, though, these won’t just be for “the underprivileged kids”—they’ll be for every student. Some of which, I’m sure, come from the privileged background you seem so fond of defending. (Though I know, you worked harder than anyone else ever could).

  • 106. Dana  |  March 23, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    Southside Daddi-O I truly hope that you are nowhere near me or my children in the fall. Just because you have heard people speak that way does not give you the right to force your microaggressions on everyone else. Please feel free to look up the terms privilege and racism instead of acting like you have any real knowledge of the subjects. This is not the forum for your assaults on other parents. I hope that you find a nice all white school somewhere. Let this thread be about SEES postings. Perhaps CPSO can start a special iPad or privilege complaint thread.

    On another note: Tier 3, Hyde Park, no letter. Checking back in Monday.

  • 107. Southside Daddi-o  |  March 23, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    @105 Per Flannery’s report on Thursday, they are going to students in welcoming schools. They’re not going to students in Bell, Clissold, Disney, Cassell… so, no. Not for “every student”.

    And yes, I do work hard, and I do make a good buck. I also like my tax dollars being used well, and not wasted for an iPad for every kid whose school closed.
    You seem to have a problem with that. Why?

  • 108. Iheoma  |  March 23, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    I checked over here to see if anyone had received a letter for SEES and read the remarkably ill informed comments by Southside Daddio. Really?? CPS has stated that they will provide ipads to schools that will be accepting displaced kids. There was nothing written BY CPS that indicated that they were giving each kid an ipad for their exclusive use.

    I’m stunned to believe that the negative assumptions in a variety of your posts are only based upon the stress of waiting for a SEES decision letter. You are waiting for a SEES decision right? – that’s why you are posting on this forum – to listen, contribute information on this topic – right? Not to spread misinformation – right?

  • 109. anonymouse teacher  |  March 23, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    Omg, no school is going to let kids take the ipads home. I am a teacher and I am not allowed to take the ipad I use for assessment (and that alone) home. Stop saying this. Many schools dont’ even allow kids to take text books home because they get stolen or lost or whatever. I am completely against purchasing MORE technology when we can’t afford, maintain, and support the current technology we have now. We don’t have ink for printers, we don’t have enough bandwidth to run NWEAs without the computers shutting down multiple times a session and kids having to start all over, I don’t think it is wise to spend money on ipads. But regardless, if you think schools are going to let kids take ipads out of the building, or even out of their classroom, you haven’t been in a school anytime this century. Sheesh.

  • 110. hrp206  |  March 23, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    I agree Dana, completely. I’ve said my peace, and am not going to engage anymore on the topic.

    I didn’t get a letter today either. Tier 2, Rogers Park.

  • 111. anotherchicagoparent  |  March 23, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    I understand that @hrp206 I just thought I would share the link.

  • 112. Gobemouche  |  March 23, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    The iPads will be for all grade 3-8 students involved in the school closing process. Not all of CPS. Though I think he’s expressing it the worst possible way, I understand south side daddio’s frustration. The money has to come from somewhere. It isn’t a grant. This is the reality of finite resources – you give somewhere, you gotta take from somewhere. So the questions I have are 1) where are they getting the money from (since, ya know, this whole thing was about saving money, right?) and 2) is this the best way to spend that money? I like CPSO’s point or suggestion about updated computer labs for example.

  • 113. Southside Daddi-o  |  March 23, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    @106 What do you disagree with? I think the Tiers system is discriminatory against whites, and it was intentionally designed that way. Look at the Tiers map and give me your impressions.

    I also think that if you choose to speak in a certain manner, whether you talk like a surfer dude, a valley girl or hip-hop king, you really can’t be offended when someone uses your words. When someone whose black impersonates a white person in a nerdy, stilted way (think like Eddie Murphy doing a white impersonation), that’s okay, but when turned inside out, that’s considered racist?

  • 114. EK  |  March 23, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    Okay, I wasn’t going to jump in at all, but I feel like I have to. I think there may be (maybe) a misunderstanding here. From what I read in the CPS press release, I want to point to two statements:

    From the subtitle of the press release: “Closing Underutilized Schools Will Allow CPS to Redirect Resources to Invest in Student Learning; Safe Passage, Air Conditioning, Libraries and iPads in Every Welcoming School; and New Investments Include New Science, Engineering, Media and Computer Labs”

    MY interpretation, looking at the entire phrase – the iPads will be in the SCHOOLS. Not given to the children in their backpacks.

    Then, I kept reading, and came to this:

    “By redirecting resources from closing underutilized facilities, CPS will be able to provide students from those schools with access to better performing options close to their current school. All welcoming schools will receive investments as needed to provide students access to schools with enhanced learning environments, including:
    • Air conditioning in every classroom
    • Library in every school
    • Safe Passage for every school to provide increased security for students on their way to and from school
    • iPads for all students in grades 3-8
    • New and upgraded technology supports including expanded Internet bandwidth
    • A dedicated Principal Transition Coordinator, who will be a former CPS principal or assistant principal, to support students transitioning from sending schools to welcoming schools next fall
    • All students with disabilities, students in temporary living situations, and English Language Learners will continue to receive required services to support their learning. In addition, CPS will monitor instructional quality and provide supports for families. Students in temporary living situations will be provided counseling to help them understand their enrollment options. ”

    That sounds clearly to me that the iPads, again, are for the students to use in the schools. This happens at other school districts (I know some friends’ kids in the burbs who have this benefit). I don’t think they are freebie gifts.

    I might be crazy, but maybe a full study of the full language of the CPS official documents might clarify this here.

    As for the argument about taxpayers paying for everything. Sigh. We all pay taxes. Unless we don’t make enough money to do so. Or if we are so wealthy we can benefit from loopholes to reduce what taxes we pay. We ALL need roads, which we pay for with taxes – should poor people not be allowed to use the Kennedy? We’re all in this together, and believe me, I know that there may come a time when a hard-workiing, tax-paying person may need some services (losing a job, for example), and then it’s GREAT to have some help. Also, read the book “Nickel and Dimed”, and you can see how some people can work all hours of the day and night and not earn enough for a family. It happens. Is it everyone? No. But call me an optimist, I think most people in the world actually want to make their own way. Public aid is not fun.

    I’ll come back to this blog on Monday, when I hope we can be discussing the wave of SEES letters. Good luck to all.

  • 115. Out Of Many...One People  |  March 23, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    I don’t know why I even entertained the racist rants. I know better and I’m done.

    Back to our regularly scheduled program:

    No SEES letter for me today either.

  • 116. Southside Daddi-o  |  March 23, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    @108 I’m going off what was reported by Mike Flannery on Thursday’s Fox 32 News. He said that the decision was made to close schools for financial reasons, but that that was a peculiar reason because CPS was going to get 30,000 iPads for kids form closed schools, which wouldn’t save that much money over all. He also mentioned an upcoming interview with BBB.

    That’s it. This has not been widely reported, and not necessarily even discussed much on this board.

    My feeling is that it isn’t fair to give an iPad to under-privileged students (or give their schools a lab full of iPads) when our local Tier 3 & 4 schools must have fundraisers and scrape by and make do with 10 year old computers at best.

    It’s particularly annoying when Tier 3 & 4 families pay a $hitload in taxes but are constantly told by CPS “Well, we don’t have money for that…” when a school upgrade is requested. When you look at the Tiers map, almost every white neighborhood is Tier 4; working class places like Canaryville and Hegewisch are in an upper-tier…and they’re majority white.

    No matter how you slice it, it’s indefensible.

  • 117. Dana  |  March 23, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    Can we all agree that he wins so that he will stop?

  • 118. Southside Daddi-o  |  March 23, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    @117 What exactly do you have a problem with? I’m interested to know where you have an issue.

  • 119. cpsobsessed  |  March 23, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    Okay, say what you want today and tomorrow. I’m going to delete the comments about this (including my own) before Monday when the letter come. I was on my blackberry and thought this debate was in the “closing schools” thread. I didn’t realize it was here in the SEES thread and it’ll be more helpful to people on monday if it’s focused on that stuff.

  • 120. Another CPS parent  |  March 23, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    My kid got one of those tablets for Christmas. It’s an incredible tool. You can download word and write papers on the go and access all kinds of resources – better than a book. The kids would need training and assignments given to them on it. They could also practice ISAT, free up school learning time…..just a thought.

  • 121. Oh brother  |  March 23, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    I don’t know what’s more shocking his statements or the fact that he watches FOX news

  • 122. formercpsteacher  |  March 23, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    You can’t download anything without internet access. I hope these pads are for the schools and not individual students, but agree that they belong in every classroom for every student, not just those attending closing schools

  • 123. formercpsteacher  |  March 23, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    No one wins until there is equity in resources in all of cps and this blog is no longer needed…that is obviously never going to happen. It is just sad that the administration constantly finds ways to further that gap for all schools in all neighborhoods

  • 124. Sped Mom  |  March 23, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    “I am completely against purchasing MORE technology when we can’t afford, maintain, and support the current technology we have now.”

    Funny how this is the same problem poorly managed aid programs from First World to Third World play out. It’s so frequently so messed up. It’s like throwing a bone. But teachers like Anonymouse seem to have excellent ideas based on real experience of what resources are needed. Those calls aren’t heeded by the muckey-mucks, it seems.

  • 125. Iheoma  |  March 23, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    Southside Daddio – this will be my last comment on the subject. Just so you know – our Tier 3 neighborhood which used to be tier 4 until December 2012 when our school went from level 3 to level 2 will be benefitting from iPads added to our already full computer lab. Our computers are not 10 years old and we have a dedicated computer lab teacher. It might be better to speak about your specific school situation rather than making generalizations about your fellow tier 3 and tier 4 school community.

  • 126. Sped Mom  |  March 23, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    That sounds like Ray School?

  • 127. formercpsteacher  |  March 23, 2013 at 8:20 pm

    Unfortunately the description fits my neighborhood tier 4 school (Cassell) , but throw in some severe overcrowding. Fortunately there are great teachers and a great community so the students thrive. I still do not want to send my future kindergarten student there with 40 others for 7.5 hours a day. I have been in an overcrowded classroom and know how the students and teachers suffer. If we don’t get accepted everywhere I will likely homeschool.

  • 128. formercpsteacher  |  March 23, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    Anywhere not everywhere…sorry

  • 129. SoxSideIrish4  |  March 23, 2013 at 9:01 pm

    #127~I don’t blame you. I think Cassell has some gr8 teachers and you can NOT beat the community of the school~but it is so overcrowded. There is a homeschooling group in that area you should def look into~I know there were ppl from as far as Skokie who were a part of it as well. Also, if you are familiar w/Tommy More ~they had a large homeschoolers group~you can call the parish and ask for the details.

  • 130. Jen  |  March 23, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    I’m not sure what part of ‘welcoming schools will receive…iPads for all students in grades 3-8’ wasn’t clear enough for people to work out that the schools are getting the iPads, not the students.

    And if anyone thinks life on welfare ‘having everything handed to you on a plate’ is so peachy, why aren’t they jumping on the bandwagon?

  • 131. SomeParent  |  March 23, 2013 at 11:49 pm

    I think “iPads for all students in grades 3-8” means that there will be iPads for all students in grades 3-8 to use (could be just for one class per day), which doesn’t mean all students in grades 3-8 will receive an iPads. That statement “iPads for all students in grades 3-8” was not clear. And I don’t think CPS has that much of money to afford buying an iPad for all students in grades 3-8 for every receiving schools.

  • 132. Pamela's smart rose  |  March 24, 2013 at 9:52 am

    No letter yesterday. I’m a little frustrated and confused about this tier thingy. My daughter i’s a extremely bright child. She currently attends a private school in the advance k/1 (shes in kindergarten). I am a teacher at her school as well. My concern is with the tier classification. Our home is single family, I am college educated, make 42k a year. I have been preparing my daughter for school from birth which of why she is advanced. Last year we moved from our west loop home to the far south side (roseland) to help my mother raise my nephews while their father of in jail. I used the southside address on the apps, will this affect her chances to being accepted to a top school.

  • 133. formercpsteacher  |  March 24, 2013 at 10:59 am

    The lower your tier the better your chances (lower test score requirements). Your tier is determined by your neighborhood does not take an individuals information or status into consideration at all, it is based purely on address. If I had to guess I would say roseland is tier 2, but I am sure someone else could let you know for sure. The tier info and map is somewhere on CPS site.

  • 134. formercpsteacher  |  March 24, 2013 at 11:01 am

    In other words your new address should yield better chances

  • 135. Whateverworks  |  March 24, 2013 at 11:03 am

    *SIGH*….because it was seen on tv, it must be true. The iPads are going to the schools, not directly to the students. I happen to know this for a fact as I know someone who works for the administration. That being said, it doesn’t take much for people who have certain leanings to “reach for their truth.” I love that the assumption is always that people on the receiving end of a public benefit don’t pay taxes, are looking for more handouts, etc, etc etc. Yep, they wanted their schools closed so that they could get iPads. I don’t care to debate it because frankly it doesn’t matter one bit as the children are the ones who are losing and for reasons far greater than whether or not they have iPads. I also feel sorry for the children of people who hold these misguided beliefs as their children are losing out as well. They’re being raised by people who are encouraging beliefs that will make them part of a shrinking minority as we are evolving in to a global society where it will be necessary to interact, live and work with people of differing view points. For some, they will be handicapped and find it difficult to adapt to this reality. That is truly unfortunate.

    Any and everyone should absolutely do whatever is within their reach to improve the education and opportunities that are available to their children. Go with that. But seriously, don’t knock other children for what they or their parents may or may not have.

  • 136. cpsobsessed  |  March 24, 2013 at 11:04 am

    @132: The score cutoffs tend to be lower in the lower tiers, so say you daughter did borderline well on the gifted/classical test — she may have a better shot at a spot than if you lived in Tier 3/4. Tier 4 kids tend to need to score around 98% percentile or so to get a spot (classical more like 99% it seems.) If you’re living in a lower tier but have a smart child who you’ve been working with extensively, you probably are in a better position than most of your neighbors to get a spots. But just remember — this is all riding on how well a 4 year old performs in a room with a stranger. That is the ultimate wild card. 🙂

  • 137. Sped Mom  |  March 24, 2013 at 11:07 am

    Sped Mom: Thought your comment was interesting about PR/school closings — moved it to the new School Closing thread so people can respond there.

  • 138. Wildhundreds  |  March 24, 2013 at 11:10 am


    Roseland is tier 2. So your chances should now be slightly better.

    Former Roseland Resident

  • 139. Sped Mom  |  March 24, 2013 at 11:13 am

    @ 127. formercpsteacher | March 23, 2013 at 8:20 pm

    A goodly number of sped parents/guardians homeschool. The homeschool support groups seem mainly geared to the younger kids, and teens are more on their own. I wish we could have homeschooled. I think the student can learn more, and learn more quickly. There are also lots of ways to ensure socialization. Good luck!

  • 140. Pamela's smart rose  |  March 24, 2013 at 11:25 am

    Ok. I see. Thank you. She was five ast the time of testing. All of the children were gone for about 30 minutes. I guess I’ll know by tomorrow. fingeres crossed.

  • 141. struggleforexistence  |  March 24, 2013 at 11:37 am

    Does anyone here know how many spots are there in Edison RGC’s kindergarten?Does Edison have only 1 class per grade?

  • 142. fingerscrossed  |  March 24, 2013 at 11:38 am

    Thanks sped mom. We are considering doing chicago virtual charter, but I have some reservations about the k12 corporation, especially their ethics and privacy practices. My dd is already super involved in many extracurriculars so I don’t think socialization will be a major issue should we choose to homeschool. I just consider myself lucky that it is an option for my family.

  • 143. cpsobsessed  |  March 24, 2013 at 11:48 am


    Edison is 1 class per grade.

  • 144. shikarishambu (@shikarishambu)  |  March 24, 2013 at 11:58 am

    I got the response for magnet school application for kindergarten – 1 acceptance (Disney) and rest all “wait listed” with LaSalle being the next (in the 30s). Still waiting on the SEES letter. Not sure when that would be mailed.

    Anyone have kids @ Disney/ thoughts about it?

  • 145. Ttime  |  March 24, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    My daughter took the Classical test for K. She was only in her test for what seemed like 10 minutes, and she wouldn’t tell me how she did or even what she did. So I really have no idea if that was bad or good. Will the letter only have a score? If we don’t get an offer, how will I know how well she scored and what our chances are of getting a call later in the summer? Does anyone know what’s the highest possible score is?

    Thanks. I just want to have as much info as possible before the letter arrives (hopefully tomorrow).

  • 146. Stacey Nichols  |  March 24, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    I hope we are so lucky to get an acceptance at Disney ii

  • 147. Keynn  |  March 24, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    My daughter got an offer from Disney and high number of the other wait list. Anyone have suggestions for before and after care in that area?

  • 148. BuenaParker  |  March 24, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    Disney has aftercare on site. No before care.

  • 149. FrankE  |  March 24, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    I’m guessing those ipads are so that the kids who now have 35+ students in a “welcoming school” classroom can use online learning software (sold to CPS by some “friend” of the mayor’s) so they won’t need as many of those “pesky” expensive teachers. 😉

  • 150. Gobemouche  |  March 24, 2013 at 10:05 pm

    141- There is one kindergarten class with 28 students each year at Edison RGC.

  • 151. Teasdad  |  March 25, 2013 at 7:40 am

    Before letters arrive, do they fill rest of the seats (after initial round) according Teirs, or scores?

  • 152. nervousmia  |  March 25, 2013 at 7:41 am

    Ladies and Gentlemen: SKINNER NORTH!!!!!!!!!!!! We got an email this morning!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • 153. CPS Teacher  |  March 25, 2013 at 7:43 am

    Congrats on getting into a school that sends out emails!!!!! 🙂

  • 154. Dana  |  March 25, 2013 at 8:00 am

    Wow, that is awesome! What did it say?

  • 155. Even One More CPS Mom  |  March 25, 2013 at 8:15 am

    Congrats, nervousmia! For the rest of us, let the letter carrier stalking commence!

  • 156. Even One More CPS Mom  |  March 25, 2013 at 8:20 am

    Remember folks, keep you hands and feet to yourself and whatever the contents of that letter may be, your letter carrier is in no way responsible. 🙂

  • 157. Waiting and waiting  |  March 25, 2013 at 8:27 am

    What did the. Email say???? We are eagerly waiting to hear about SN …

  • 158. Just heard...  |  March 25, 2013 at 8:37 am

    Also got a letter from Skinner North today. We are out of town and hadn’t received a letter by Saturday. So, we were surprised to get this… I don’t remember what our school rank order was and I have no idea what the scores were…

  • 159. Just heard...  |  March 25, 2013 at 8:39 am

    “Dear Future Skinner North Parents of …

    Welcome and Congratulations! We are so excited that your child has been selected to attend Skinner North Classical School next year.

    Skinner North offers a strong, accelerated academic program in Literacy, Social Studies and Mathematics. Our teachers focus a great deal on scaffolding and differentiation of instruction and will work with you and your family to provide a great school atmosphere for learning and personal growth.

    I think you are going to love our school and staff! We also welcome and encourage parent participation as committee members, volunteers, chaperones, in Friends of Skinner North forums, and as important voices in shaping our school’s climate and culture.

    Attached are some documents to get you started with Skinner North: The current school handbook, and staff directory. Registration packets will be available starting next Monday, and we will send you details about our April Open House session soon as well.

    In the interim, if you have any questions please feel free to email me. We look forward to meeting your family and getting to know your children.”

  • 160. MayfairMama  |  March 25, 2013 at 8:58 am

    Congratulations Just heard and nervousmia!!

  • 161. Lucy  |  March 25, 2013 at 9:05 am

    Congratulations, Just Heard! I wish all the school were as with-it as Skinner North. Good luck, everyone else.

  • 162. Also Wondering  |  March 25, 2013 at 9:06 am

    Congrats! Skinner North was high on my list. Hoping that letters arrive today!

  • 163. LPmom  |  March 25, 2013 at 9:13 am

    Congrats! But I take it my daughter didn’t get into Skinner North since I didn’t get an email. 😦

  • 164. Waiting and waiting  |  March 25, 2013 at 9:13 am

    Will you be taking the spots? And what grades? Congratulations! We have a child there and it’s a really great school;). I am hoping and hoping…..to get an email! Or letter……

  • 165. Just heard...  |  March 25, 2013 at 9:20 am

    164. Not sure. My son is entering K next year. We are actually very happy in our current magnet Montessori. My kids gets great individual attention and he is thriving. Anyone with any great insights?

  • 166. Teasdad  |  March 25, 2013 at 9:28 am

    Congrats. Can you tell how did he scored?… and what tier, please? Nice of them to send email…no one else is reporting getting email from SN!?

  • 167. Gabby  |  March 25, 2013 at 9:30 am

    Just got the email…into Skinner North for K. Will most likely decline to keep her with her sister at Hawthorne.

  • 168. Some parent  |  March 25, 2013 at 9:30 am

    Congrats to the happy parents!

  • 169. alsowaiting  |  March 25, 2013 at 9:49 am

    Accepted into Skinner North for Kindergarten. Tier 4.
    Any insight would be appreciated?

  • 170. (not-so)patiently waiting  |  March 25, 2013 at 9:59 am

    Congrats to those of you getting acceptances!! Makes Monday a little easier this week 😉

  • 171. Christine Whitley  |  March 25, 2013 at 9:59 am

    Skinner North parents: I get so excited reading all these acceptances! My daughter is currently in 2nd grade and we’ve been there since Kindergarten. I have been consistently blown away by the Skinner North teaching staff. With Skinner North being a new school, Mr. Netterstrom has been able to build a team of excellent teachers who truly seem to collaborate. I also love it that SN has a deliberate social-emotional curriculum (Responsive Classroom). Starting from kindergarten, they impress upon the children that good behavior is important because it builds positive relationships and benefits the good of the community. My daughter has made some really lovely friends at SN and I have enjoyed the parents I’ve met, too. Personally, I am a fan of Everyday Math — that’s the math curriculum they use at SN. I think it’s helping my daughter to have better intuition about math than I ever did.

    Cons: I am famous for complaining about the amount of homework. But I think that’s just me. Many SN parents are fine with the homework and find it manageable and beneficial.

    It’s also challenging to live so apart from everyone else. We hardly see other SN families in the summer. There are social events arranged during the year, including summer, which is nice but does require traveling across the city.

  • 172. Montessori Parent  |  March 25, 2013 at 10:08 am

    @Just Heard: If i were you, I would keep my son at a happy place which is the montessori school. My son is in a montessori school and we love it! He gets the individual attention, the teachers challenge him on the areas that he likes and helps him excel on that particular area. We really like the concept of montessori because it keeps my son inner peace. I don’t want my son to feel that he would need to compete with other kids in school academically. That would give him too much pressures for his age.

  • 173. Bsmoresmom  |  March 25, 2013 at 10:26 am

    Good luck to everyone hoping SEES letter comes today

  • 174. Bsmoresmom  |  March 25, 2013 at 10:27 am

    Will check mail at 3 pm

  • 175. LPmom  |  March 25, 2013 at 10:30 am

    For those of you with e-mail notifications from Skinner North, can you please come back and post your scores after you get the letters.

  • 176. Anonimo  |  March 25, 2013 at 10:33 am

    Please Read!!!!
    Post your news here, along with your Tier and child’s score so we can figure out the cut-offs,

  • 177. nonya  |  March 25, 2013 at 10:46 am

    physical letter just arrived

  • 178. nonya  |  March 25, 2013 at 10:46 am

    and it has an acceptance. sorry, not posting details, but wanted to note acceptance just in case it’s like the magnets.

  • 179. Anonimo  |  March 25, 2013 at 10:51 am

    Acceptance for what school @ least?

  • 180. anonymous  |  March 25, 2013 at 10:52 am

    Tier 2, K

    RGC 118
    Classical: Reading 81/Math 60

    no offers

    Does anyone have cut-off info from last year? I think we’d all be interested in knowing that!

  • 181. Cpsbs  |  March 25, 2013 at 10:53 am

    Why post at all nonya…

  • 182. Cpsbs  |  March 25, 2013 at 10:55 am

    Grade 5
    Classical 93 reading 99 math
    Accepted at decatur

  • 183. Cpsbs  |  March 25, 2013 at 10:56 am

    This was last years and we are tier 4…sorry

  • 184. cheezie  |  March 25, 2013 at 10:58 am

    last year we were tier 2 with RGC 125 & no offers but they said previous years that may have gotten an offer. Every year is different

  • 185. Shellie  |  March 25, 2013 at 11:02 am

    Last year testing for K daughter had RGC score 138 and received no offers (Tier 2). Classical was 99 Reading 89 Math, no offers Classical. Just for reference @180. But, as Cheezie notes, every year is different.

  • 186. anonymous  |  March 25, 2013 at 11:05 am

    Maybe all already know this, but SEES letter states that anything less than 80 on reading or math will not earn a seat. Anything below 115 for RGC will not be considered. Obviously, they probably never get that low anyway…

  • 187. Lisa  |  March 25, 2013 at 11:09 am

    We had a 141 (Tier 2) for Kindergarten last year and didn’t get dd’s seat at Pritzker until the 4th day of school. So hang in there even if you don’t get good news today, you may still get good news!

  • 188. Mommyof1  |  March 25, 2013 at 11:16 am

    Fingers crossed…good luck everyone!

  • 189. anonymous  |  March 25, 2013 at 11:17 am

    @184 & 185 – thanks for info!

  • 190. WestSidePops  |  March 25, 2013 at 11:18 am

    @180: Here is 2011 SEES acceptance data: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AguzhjSGofoidENlb0tIbVQwN252RThCYmRTTUJ5dkE&authkey=CKuVovkP&hl=en&authkey=CKuVovkP#gid=0

    Good luck!

  • 191. LakeviewMom  |  March 25, 2013 at 11:21 am

    Last year Tier 4 score for RGC was 139, no offers.

  • 192. struggleforexistence  |  March 25, 2013 at 11:25 am

    Oh, boy! the wait is killing….My heart beat has been on an abnormal range since Friday! Can’t take it anymore!!!!!

  • 193. waiting in portage park  |  March 25, 2013 at 11:25 am

    got the letter
    tier 4
    128 rgc
    reading 74
    math 75

    no offers. good luck everybody.

  • 194. Anxious  |  March 25, 2013 at 11:25 am

    Thanks WestSidePops, it’s a great info. Is there a place I can find similar info for 3rd or 4th grade?

  • 195. I might sue my mail carrier!  |  March 25, 2013 at 11:34 am

    Thank you so much WestSidePops! That is great info!

  • 196. WestSidePops  |  March 25, 2013 at 11:34 am

    @194: That spreadsheet was created by a fellow obsessor my daughter’s entry year. I’m not aware of any other lists. If you search this site for “SEES” or “elementary letters”, you’ll find the threads from previous years that you can scan for acceptance info.

  • 197. cpsobsessed  |  March 25, 2013 at 11:38 am

    I put the links to last years’ threads up in the posting (above the baby at the top of the page.) I always mean to get the data organized and then life gets in the way….

    If you open the post, you can search the page for a school name and see what you find…

  • 198. cpsobsessed  |  March 25, 2013 at 11:39 am

    BTW, typically gifted scores around 144ish are needed for Tier 4 kids to get an initial spot.

    A few 150 scores have been cited over time and there is a rumor of 160 being the highest (or even no real cutoff….)

  • 199. operamom  |  March 25, 2013 at 11:45 am

    @169 Our son is in kindergarten at Skinner North this year, and we LOVE it. I honestly can’t think of a single thing I’d want different at the school, except to be closer to us. The teachers are fantastic, the principal is open and cares what parents think, and we have even seen concrete changes based on what parents have requested. I’d love for all my children to go there…but with a large family of adopted children, that’s almost certainly not going to happen.

  • 200. anonymous  |  March 25, 2013 at 11:48 am

    The letter says: “selections for the K RGC seats begin as high as 160,” so I interpret that to mean that 160 is the highest.

  • 201. Gobemouche  |  March 25, 2013 at 11:48 am

    CPSO- My understanding is that there is no ceiling for the early elementary gifted test. I know someone who got a 168 a few years ago. But the difference between a 148 and a 168 (for example) is almost statistically insignificant. Again just as an example (not real math), a 148 might be the 99.998888%, while a 169 might be 99.99999%.

  • 202. alsowaiting  |  March 25, 2013 at 11:55 am

    @199 – Thank you for the insight

  • 203. Teasdad  |  March 25, 2013 at 11:59 am

    OK, but can anyone anticipate on Clasical scores, how are they considered when it comes to acceptance, please?

  • 204. logan sq dad  |  March 25, 2013 at 11:59 am

    no letter today. Is this bad news; did they sent out acceptance letters on Friday and rejections today? Curious..

  • 205. Gobemouche  |  March 25, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    Teasdad- the classical scores have been given as a percentile (not the raw score) in the past. It seems like most have needed a % in the upper 90s to gain admittance.

  • 206. Teasdad  |  March 25, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    @205.Gobemouche – Thanx, but I do not understand what has the edge, reading, or math, or is it average?

  • 207. Wells  |  March 25, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    @204 as there are “no offer” letters showing up today on this blog I don’t think you can read anything into when the letter shows up. Probably says more about your post office.

  • 208. Mommyof1  |  March 25, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    Far South
    Tier 4
    Gifted 136
    Classical …R – >99.9. M- 75

    Accepted to Beasley

    If I decline what are my chances for Lenart?

  • 209. EastLoopMom  |  March 25, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    I will chime in here on LAST year’s cutoff scores since we were in the close but no cigar category. Tier 4 entering K: Math 99, Reading 92, RGC 141. We applied to Skinner North, Skinner West, Edison and Coonley. We received no offers even in the last rounds. OAE told us our chances for an RGC offer were better than for a Classsical offer.

    Since we really wanted a Classical offer, I watched the scores reported here carefully. Here is the information I have according to my records.

    Skinner North lowest scores reported given offers:
    Tier 4 99R 96M
    Tier not reported 99R 96M
    Tier 4 >99.9R 84M
    Tier 1 99.9R 91M

    Skinner West lowest scores reported given offers:
    Tier 4 99R 96M (2nd round offer declined)
    Tier 4 97R 98M (2nd round offer accepted)
    Tier 4 99.9R 84M (first round offer)
    Tier 3 99.9R 86M
    Tier 2 99.9R 83M

    I hope this is helpful!

  • 210. @waiting in portage park  |  March 25, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    128 got our child into Beaubien 1st grade last year 1st round offer. So if your child tests again and keeps the score, he/she might have a good chance next year.

  • 211. Marie Sutton  |  March 25, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    My son is seven going into 2nd grade for the 2013-2014 schoolyear. What are his odds if any of being accepted into a gifted/classical school in a nonentry grade?

  • 212. ChicagoMomofBoys  |  March 25, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    To say that I’ve already checked our mailbox five times today wouldn’t be an exaggeration. But, I must admit, the acceptance numbers from last year don’t make me feel too hopeful. (And I’m generally a glass-half-full kind of gal.) It seems that the odds are better for magnet that SEES… no matter how smart your kid is. This sucks!

  • 213. CP mama  |  March 25, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    RGC Tier 4 134
    No offer.

  • 214. Alfred E. Newman  |  March 25, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    Is anybody able to explain the scoring system or direct me to an explanation of the scoring system? Our child tested for a regional gifted center and had a 136 (which we understand) but his overall score was somewhere in the 540 range (? my spouse read the number on the phone and I didn’t write it down, but that’s what I think it was). This doesn’t make sense to me, as I thought the scale was 900 points and I don’t see how a kid with a 136 could have a total score so much lower. I must be missing something (not for the first time – just ask my kid!).. Thanks.

  • 215. cps alum  |  March 25, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    The way the the RG scores are explained on the back of the letter screams “IQ” test since an iq of 100 is the 50th %ile and an iq of 130 is the 98th %ile, and an iq of 160 is the 99.99th %ile (and cps seems to round only to the nearest hundredth).

    I just wonder how they can really do an iq test in such a short amount of time.

    No offers
    tier 4
    RG: 129
    Math 94
    Reading 85

    While it would have been nice to get into SEES, we already made the decision to go to our neighborhood school.

    Good luck everyone.

  • 216. LynnJ  |  March 25, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    Great information. Good luck everyone!

  • 217. KJ  |  March 25, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    Just got the SEES letter today:

    RGC 143
    Tier 4
    No offers (applied Coonley, Edison, Pritzker)

    Letter says ~3400 applications for gifted kindergarten spots this year, with scores for K seats starting as high as 160 (150 for 1st-8th)

    Last week’s magnet letter:
    LaSalle wait list at 428
    Hawthorne wait list at 450

    We’ll be waiting for later rounds …

  • 218. Alfred E. Newman  |  March 25, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    Just checked with my spouse. Test score was 136 and the “overall” number was 551. What does the 551 mean?

  • 219. Waiting and waiting  |  March 25, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    RGC. 120
    Reading. 93
    math. 96
    No offers 😦
    Hopefully we are on a wait list somewhere!

    Tier 4
    Can anyone chime in to let me know if we have any chance at Skinner north or skinner west. My guess is the reading is too low?

    Good luck everyone!!!!!

  • 220. Edward Smith  |  March 25, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    Hi Everyone. I’ve been following this board from afar. We are currently in Ann Arbor, Michigan but are moving to Chicago this summer. We had our 5 year old tested for K. I wasn’t expecting a letter today (given our distance), but my wife just called. He was accepted to Edison with a score of 150. Reading was >99.9. Math was 91. I’m embarrassed to say I don’t entirely understand the scoring system but I’m pretty thrilled he was accepted. We are Tier 4 (they had to use income since we don’t currently have a Chicago address).

    Needless to say, we are totally thrilled. Having said that, I was also hoping to reach out to talk to any other Edison parents out there. We are in the midst of our house hunt now. We know Chicago well having lived in Hyde Park for 5 years during graduate school. I’m going to be working in Evanston and we were planning to live in Evanston unless our son was accepted to Edison. We have two other children as well, ages 3 and 10 months. From what I understand, there is no sibling option for Edison. So, wow. Now we are really really torn. Evanston/Wilmette and suburban schools or city and Edison — and presumably figure out the other two kids when it comes time. Would LOVE to talk to anyone who knows the school well. Is there a way to connect off of this board?


  • 221. cpsobsessed  |  March 25, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    @Waiting and Waiting – first, that’s awesome.. you have a smart kid. 🙂
    I don’t know if those are high enough for SN in Tier 4 which has become so popular. Possibly SW. Sometimes having 1 score (math or reading) be very high seems to get you in down the road for the classicals.

  • 222. hrp206  |  March 25, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    Tier 2
    Reading: 99 Math 98: offered Decatur
    Entering 1rst grade
    She’s currently at a Montessori school (private) where she is thriving. Would love any Decatur feedback/experience anyone has to offer.

  • 223. Mama Jess in the AP  |  March 25, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    Got our SEES letter today. We did not get our first or second choice, but we did get accepted at Decatur and are grateful.

    Just a question: Will we be getting a magnet letter? Or is this our one and only offer (aside from future rounds, which I personally don’t want to risk!)? Either way, we are happy to have been accepted at such a fine school.

    My guy’s scores:
    RGC – 117 (I’m REALLY surprised by this);
    Reading – 99.7;
    Math 85.

  • 224. Jen  |  March 25, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    4th grade entry: RGC score 127, Classical 74(R) 98(M), no offer.

    I had listed in order Pritzker, South Loop, Skinner North, Skinner West, Bell, Coonley. I’m not sure why I listed Pritzker first now, since I was hoping for South Loop!

    Hoping to get a call from Jackson as we are number 1 on the waitlist when break is over.

  • 225. TG  |  March 25, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    Jen, you will get a call from Jackson I think but I wouldn’t count on getting it right after the break.

  • 226. MayfairMama  |  March 25, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    2nd grade entry
    RGC 112
    no offers obviously
    I’m surprised and disappointed. We didn’t test for classical. I guess we should have. Good luck everyone!!

  • 227. Jen  |  March 25, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    I figured it wouldn’t be right after, but sooner rather than later would be good since we will need to move house!

    I’m going to call them anyway next week with my language questions, and to make sure they have the right phone number.

  • 228. Jen  |  March 25, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    RGC – 140
    Classical R: 96 M:90
    Tier 4

    No offers

  • 229. Gobemouche  |  March 25, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    Hi Edward – you can email me at
    Edisonparent1 at gmail dot com.

  • 230. r_u_sure  |  March 25, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    @223 which grade? Math 85 seems low for K or first grade.

  • 231. logan sq dad  |  March 25, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    Mail did come. Score: 138 Tier 4 Accepted National Teacher’s Academy RGS. No other acceptances listed. Does anyone have insight into this school? Thanks.

  • 232. NAMom  |  March 25, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    Entering 1st. grade
    Tier 4
    RGC: 122

    offered a spot a Beaubien

    Anyone have any feedback for Beaubien now that they have a new principal this year?

  • 233. LynnJ  |  March 25, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    All, thank you for posting this information. I am learing alot.

    Regarding the math…. So, for K, these are 4 and 5 year olds taking this this exam. What kind of math do they expect kids this age to perform? My DD is 4 and will be going into second year of PreK next school year (we will be completing the OAE application again this year). Right now, she can count to 100 and write these numbers. See can also recognize numbers by sight. So do they test these children on addition and subtraction????

    Sorry if I am derailig this thread, but this testing process will be new for me an need to understand what and how they are test. This is a mystery.

  • 234. MV  |  March 25, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    Tier 4
    RGC 139
    Math 98
    Reading 93

    No offers. It feels good to find out our little guy is so smart, even if he is not smart enough for one of these schools 🙂 Proud of the little man.

  • 235. Christine Whitley  |  March 25, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    @Logan Sq Dad — that RGC is brand new so your child will be in the very first class (if you accept.) Kind of exciting. I don’t know much about National Teachers Academy otherwise.

  • 236. Mama Jess in the AP  |  March 25, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    @230. Ouch. Thanks. K, Tier 2.

  • 237. Mom  |  March 25, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    Tier 4, K
    RGC 144
    Classical: Reading 98/Math 95
    no offers

  • 238. Christine Whitley  |  March 25, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    @MV — I wouldn’t be surprised if you get a 2nd or 3rd round offer, depending on where you applied. Those are good scores!

  • 239. Waiting and waiting  |  March 25, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    Oh…. Our daughter scored 97 reading and 94 math last year for k entry. We got a call in mid august for skinner west. So I guess we will wait and see and hope for a spot to open up…

  • 240. MC  |  March 25, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    Tier 3
    RGC 133
    Classical: R 95 M 99 (!)

    No offers

  • 241. waitinggame  |  March 25, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    @231 I didn’t apply to NTA because the program is brand new.
    Here is some info. from the Journal.:

    When it first opened, it was packed with kids mainly from the Chicago Housing Authority’s Harold Ickes Homes. When the projects were torn down, space opened up quickly.

    The school’s current enrollment for this fall is 520 students, many of whom were one-time transfers from Kenwood’s Price Elementary, which CPS closed this year. Last year, the National Teachers Academy had 443 students. The school’s ideal capacity is 840 students, according to a document distributed by CPS at Wednesday’s meeting. The document says the school could accommodate up to 1,008 students before becoming overcrowded.

    Each new gifted class would add another 30 students to the academy, for a total of about 270 students in addition to neighborhood kids. The gifted program would start in fall 2014 with classes in kindergarten and first grade.

  • 242. Anxious  |  March 25, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    @239.. Did u take the offer that you got mid August for Skinner West? How do you like the school.

  • 243. Mommy_of_1  |  March 25, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    Did anyone get in to lenart for k

  • 244. 60630 parent  |  March 25, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    Entering 1st grade Tier 4
    RGC 118 (applied Bell and Beaubien)
    Classical 99 reading, 97 Math (applied Decatur only)
    No offer. Hoping for an offer 2nd round

  • 245. chefkim  |  March 25, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    tier 3
    rgc 134
    classical: 87 reading 73 math
    no offers

  • 246. CPSAppalled  |  March 25, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    Well, after a long wait, the mail came. Child was not offered anything for 4th grade for SEES. What is the usual cut-off for Coonley? Thought we had a chance; apparently not.

  • 247. Dfia  |  March 25, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    Has any parent tried the Center for Talent Development.
    They take an hr long IQ test (one on one)


  • 248. loveversailles  |  March 25, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    @247 My daughter took the IQ test at Northwestern 2 months ago, and got accepted to the program. It was not an hour long. It was supposed to be 25 minutes, but it ended up being 45 minutes.

  • 249. westsidemom  |  March 25, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    Tier 2
    RGC: 130
    Reading: 97
    Math: 88

    No offers for kindergarten. Her brother had scores of Reading 91 and Math 98 2 years ago and got into Skinner West. I’m not hopeful for a call for her. Thankfully we have a good private Christian school that we like and are happy to send her to.

  • 250. FirstTimer  |  March 25, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    @233 LynnJ – As far as I can tell, what’s on the K tests is the greatest mystery known to man! They must sprinkle some sort of magical dust on them on their way out the door to wipe any knowledge of what they were just asked. I’ve yet to met a parent who has gotten more than maybe 1 concrete sample question out of their child. All I could get out of my daughter was the fact that she didn’t have to read anything – that she could choose to use pictures if she wanted to.

    If anything, I think that it shows how well they administer these tests. Even the shy kids in the room went fairly willingly into the testing with their “teachers” and seemed fine upon their return. I think they do a good job of masking the fact that it is a test and maybe that – combined with how young these kids are – makes it so none of us can get the goods out of them!

  • 251. Waiting and waiting  |  March 25, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    Sorry, my mind is still spinning…from getting the letter. Those scores were 2 years ago. We did accept SW for k. We loved it. We retested her for first grade last year and she scored 99 and 99 for classical and got an offer for SN. She has been at SN for the past year. Both skinners are great schools. We changed schools because it made sense for our commute and we heard some great things about SN. We love it there. My son entering k did not get an offer. I will take SW or SN if we are lucky enough to get a call this summer for him. hope this helps!

  • 252. WaitingChicagoMom  |  March 25, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    I think even the CTD test is not a full IQ test. We had our daughter take a full blown IQ test (Wechsler) by an independant psychologist in order to apply to a few gifted schools in the suburbs (they would not take CTD results). Although the test results came out to be about the same as the CTD results even though our daughter took the tests about 6 months apart. Still waiting for our mail…..

  • 253. Nowwhat?  |  March 25, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    Tier 4
    RGC 92 (are you kidding me????)
    Classical Reading 99.6 Math 97
    No offer.

  • 254. Dfia  |  March 25, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    @248 We registered our daughter for “cool chemistry” class for this spring.
    She score really high
    But did poorly on cps test
    She’s in 1st grade and reading 4th grade
    I am bit disappointed but we will just work with her at home

    Good luck to the rest of the parent!

  • 255. Anxious  |  March 25, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    @251Thanks for the response.. I appreciate it. Good luck..hopefully your son will get the school you want in the second round.

  • 256. Pritzker Mom  |  March 25, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    @NowWhat those scores are really inconsistent. I’d call them to make sure there wasn’t an error in scoring the RGC test.

  • 257. cpsobsessed  |  March 25, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    @Nowwhat – What schools did you apply to for Classical. I agree, those seem very high to not get in! I guess some require a 99%+ on each?

  • 258. S  |  March 25, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    My daughter just got an offer–applying for first grade but she is only in preschool at the moment due to an August birthday and non-standard cut-offs at her private school. She got an offer from Keller with a score of 118. I’m not sure whether we’ll take it as we’re still hoping for good luck in a charter lottery next week and we have a couple of private options much closer to our HP home. Any general thoughts on Keller?

  • 259. Wells  |  March 25, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    @253, you’ll get a classical offer in the upcoming rounds.

  • 260. still waiting  |  March 25, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    Mail here – no letter! Anyone else?

  • 261. LynnJ  |  March 25, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    @firsttimer lol. The sprinkle fairy dust cracked me up. I really think the same.

  • 262. cpsobsessed  |  March 25, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    @246: I think the probelem with aiming for a 4th grade spot is that nobody has likely told the school they’re leaving yet. That might happen later in the year – perhaps a family will move away in the summer or move a child to a different school to keep kids together.
    but the school probably doesn’t know about it yet.
    I suspect those spots open closer to end of year or in the summer.

    You have to wait for a sole spot or 2 to open. My son’s class got a couple last minute entries when school started this year.

  • 263. RelievedDad  |  March 25, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    Tier 3

    Offered Pritzker (2nd choice behind SN)

  • 264. r_u_sure  |  March 25, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    @253 Nowhat: You are very likely to get a call for classical school in the second round. Regardless, your kid is very bright and did well.

  • 265. LincolnSqMom  |  March 25, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    Tier 4
    RGC 131
    Reading 99.6
    Math 76

    No offers for Kindergarten

  • 266. R's Dad  |  March 25, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    Entering 1st Grade, Tier 3
    RGC 112
    Classical. Reading 97, Math 98

    No Offers.

    (Do you think there’s any chance of a late round Skinner North offer?)

    I’m surprised by the RGC score, last year she got 129, R 91, M 97.

    Anyway, this all seems like such a crap shoot.

  • 267. southsidecps  |  March 25, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    Received all letters:

    Tier 2, K
    RGC 134 Classical 89(R) 99(M)
    Offered Skinner North

    Same K Student accepted to LaSalle (sibling) and currently attends Mayer (lottery 2011-2012)

    She has 3 very good options. If we decide SN this will mean 3 separate schools for 3 kids for the remainder of their elementary schooling. But all within close distance to each other.

    We are Southside, former Tier 1 the first lottery (2011-2012) K Twins offered 2 magnet LaSalle & Murray (chose LaSalle) and 3yr received 2 offers to Mayer & Suder (chose Mayer)

  • 268. twinmom  |  March 25, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    Twins accepted to Skinner North! Received email and letter.

    Tier 3
    Twin A : >99.9 reading, 95 math, 122
    Twin B: 99.9 reading, 90 math, 144

    Not sure why the RGC scores are so different. But whatever, we got our first choice.

  • 269. Ameyls  |  March 25, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    Entering K
    Tier 3
    RGC = 135
    Reading = 92; Math = 88

    No Offers. Had hoped for Pritzker RGC, since it’s literally right across the street from us, but we’ll probably just go with their neighborhood program now.

    Got our magnet schools letter last week. Was offered Sabin Magnet, but the Pritzker neighborhood program is a better option, so no point in taking that. Wait listed at Drummond (#179), Suder (#104) and Newberry (#77). Would consider any of those three, but can’t imagine we’ll get in, being so far down the wait list.

    Best of luck to everyone!

  • 270. NNN  |  March 25, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    Entering K
    Tier 2
    RGC 148
    Classical Reading>99.9% Math 99%
    Accepted To Skinner West

  • 271. Mommy_of_1  |  March 25, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    Did anyone get into lenart for k

  • 272. TG  |  March 25, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    R’s dad, the 1st grade scores are on a different scale than kindergarten. Don’t sweat the lower score.

  • 273. anotherchicagoparent  |  March 25, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    RGC tests and classical test are different. Classical test is an achievement test based on reading,math and language skills.This test great for kids that already know how to read a little,do a little math etc,
    RGC tests more about patterns,critical thinking, short term memory skills,visual spatial etc.

  • 274. gs mamma  |  March 25, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    @WaitingChicagoMom we are looking into Weschler testing too. Can you share who you wound up using? And did you do the achievement test along with Weschler? Different testers seem to use different achievement tests…


  • 275. SallyB  |  March 25, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    No letter in Lincoln Square….ugh

  • 276. LynnJ  |  March 25, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    @S I’m confused. If your child was offered 1st graded at Keller aren’t they expecting you to accept the offer for 1st grade this year? You mentioned your child is in PreK now.

  • 277. SallyB  |  March 25, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    For those who got an offer, do you accept online? Is there anyway I could log in somewhere to check if we have an offer? Thanks!

  • 278. ConfusedMom  |  March 25, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    We didn’t receive a RGC score even though my son took both the Classical and RGC tests. I’m waiting to hear back from OAE on why the score is missing. Anyone else with this problem?

  • 279. momof3boys  |  March 25, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    Does anyone know what the highest# is for the non entry grades? I know that k can go as high as >160, but the other grades are different and scores are lower, which doesn’t mean they score worse. I thought I read somewhere that the non entry grade were different.

  • 280. S  |  March 25, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    Yes, it’s confusing. For CPS she has an August birthday and would be required to enter 1st grade. She attends a private school that has a different cut-off, so she would be in K there next year. Charters aren’t required to follow the same guidelines, and since she has never attended K, we applied to K at a couple charters as well. If I had realized we would be in this situation now, I certainly would have had her do the testing last year to apply for kindergarten. I hate that she may end up missing out on kindergarten.

  • 281. Mom  |  March 25, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    Do they call or send letters if you end up getting an offer? I posted above, DD RGC 144. No offer.

  • 282. D-F-2  |  March 25, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    We also didn’t get scores…

  • 283. waitlisted preschool mom  |  March 25, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    We had results similar to @253.

    Tier 4
    Reading 99.6%
    Math 86%
    Applied to SN and SW. No offers.

    How do they weigh the Reading v. the Math? Is it just an average?

    RGC 102 (really? It really doesn’t matter where we applied, LOL.)

  • 284. Alex  |  March 25, 2013 at 2:36 pm

  • 285. Chris  |  March 25, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    @cpso: “@246: I think the probelem with aiming for a 4th grade spot is that nobody has likely told the school they’re leaving yet.”

    4th grade is when they bump class size up; every RGC should have 3 or 4 openings for 4th, even if no one leaves.

  • 286. Gobemouche  |  March 25, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    Letter arrived. No offers, which is fine because we weren’t planning on leaving our current school.

    Grade 3, tier 4
    RGC : 103

    Classical: reading = 64, math = 84

    Hilarious! Now I know for sure this test is crazy. This kid got a 168 when he tested for K.

    So, I guess he is less smart now? He currently attends an RGC, so I guess he’s not even learning enough there to qualify for classical. I’m rethinking CPS altogether at this point.

  • 287. Riis  |  March 25, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    @twinmom & southsidecps, did you guys get emails?

  • 288. Riis  |  March 25, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    Never mind twin mom

  • 289. baffled  |  March 25, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    @286 – I am sorry, but your message was hilarious! How was his MAP test scores?

  • 290. anothercrazy1  |  March 25, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    I’m not trying to defend CPS here but is it possible he just wasn’t in the mood to take the test?

  • 291. CPSAppalled  |  March 25, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    CPS Obsessed: Yes, I do realize that it is almost impossible to get your kid into a gifted program past the entry year, so we didn’t have high hopes for 4th grade. My child scored below 130 on the RGC exam and I’m just wondering if any other Coonley or Bell RGC parents could comment on what scores are necessary for acceptance to upper grades?

  • 292. StillWaitingInMayfair  |  March 25, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    No letter for us today. Nothing like waiting…

  • 293. Gobemouche  |  March 25, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    I’m just laughing at the idea that CPS is actually making my child dumber. Only joking!!!

  • 294. cpsobsessed  |  March 25, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    For some reason I thought it was 3rd when they bump up the class, but maybe it’s 4th. I think each school can kind of guide that on their own (maybe?.)

  • 295. A Nonny Mouse  |  March 25, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    Tier 4
    Applied K
    RGC 144
    Reading 92, Math 99
    No offers

  • 296. Mercy  |  March 25, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    Still waiting here as well. Why doesn’t the mailman get to our place till like 4? I feel like my heart’s going to just give in. Looking at these high scores in Tier 4 with no offer is making me almost pass out.

  • 297. Lisa  |  March 25, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    RGC 112
    Math 87% Reading 88%

    Eligible for classical but probably not gonna happen, in Tier 4.
    Didn’t do any test prep, and just very proud of my daughter!

  • 298. cpsobsessed  |  March 25, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    In the past I thought Tier 4 144 was usually where you needed to be to get an offer, so it’s somewhat surprising. I’m wondering what the RGC cutoffs are this year? 145+? I’ll have to look at last year’s thread… maybe it was higher last year too.

  • 299. LynnJ  |  March 25, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    @ S now I get it. Thanks for explaining. My child has a December birthday and will be 5 mid December but in PK4. If wish the cutt off with CPS was December 31st! If so I would have applied for k thru the process that just past in December 2012.

  • 300. Open Minded Parent  |  March 25, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    @286. . . wow. I hope your kid intentionally blew off the test. If not, I wouldn’t think that drop in test scores was very funny at all. Doesn’t say much for your kid’s RGC – and if I’m remembering it correctly, its one of, if not the, best. I know test scores aren’t everything – and sometimes you just have to laugh about this stuff – but that is really disappointing scores for a kid who scored 168 for K! The principal at the open house was adamant that they do no test prep – maybe they should start! The kids need to learn how do take those tests if they want to get into hs and college.

  • 301. CPS Crazy  |  March 25, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    Test arrived. No offers.

    Tier 2, 1st Grade

    Math: 90
    Reading: 75

    Not sure why she did so poorly this time around. Her MAP scores put her in the mid 90th percentile in both math and reading. Not sure how that translates to the SEES test though. I didn’t re-test her for RGC, but now I wish I would have just to see what her score would have looked like. She is currently at an RGC, but we were hoping to get her into a certain Classical school because we wanted to move to that area.

  • 302. OhBother  |  March 25, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    Well, some of you made me feel a bit better about this whole thing, so thank you! I’m completely beside myself after receiving our letter:

    RGC: 104
    Reading: 74
    Math: 78

    I cannot imagine where I went wrong. She attends a tuition-based preschool. We work on flashcards every night (Brain Quest; she blew through pre-k AND 90% of K cards) we worked on letters and numbers and after reading ‘Testing for Kindergarten,’ worked on the 7 areas for testing. She’s just beginning to read (sight words and sounding out 3 and 4 letter words) and we work on vocabulary words constantly (usually because she wants to know what something means!). She’s a bright, inquisitive kid. And I feel that I’ve FAILED HER.

    Those of you who were accepted- what are your kids’ academics like? Are they in private, expensive programs? Do you stay at home and drill them like crazy? I’m just at a complete loss for what else I could have done. I feel horrible.

    That said- congrats to those of you who got acceptance letters! Maybe a bunch of you will turn down Hawthorne & we’ll have a shot in hell at Tier 3 #20?? One can dream.

  • 303. cpsobsessed  |  March 25, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    My mistake. Last year Tier 4 needs higher than 144 to get into Coonley (I imagine Edison was the same.) Tier 3 got in with 144 last year.

    Someone mentioned that Coonley never got down to 140 for Tier 4 last year.

  • 304. Anxious  |  March 25, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    Entering 4th grade.. No offers. Still very proud of my child. Not the end of the world.

  • 305. cpsobsessed  |  March 25, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    Lowest I saw for Tier 4 last year for Edison first round was 149. Yikes.
    Other scores were 155, 155, 160.

    I did see someone get a spot at Edison for 4th grade with 130.

  • 306. Southsidecps  |  March 25, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    @287. We received email this morning and letter for sees today and magnet letter last week on the first sighting away

  • 307. Jen  |  March 25, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    @291 as you will see a lot of parents apply for older grades with no real intention of moving their child, it’s more of a check to see how they’re doing. There are also parents who apply for their older kids at the same time as applying for their incoming kindergartners, in the hope that they can be in the same school. So it’s entirely possible that offers that have gone out today will be turned down by the time they do the next round.

  • 308. WorkingMommyof2  |  March 25, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    My mail won’t come til 5:30ish, trying not to watch the clock too much.

    The crazy high scores make me pessimistic for our chances.

  • 309. cpsobsessed  |  March 25, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    @302: I think I tell this story every year, but going into testing that year (when everyone was testing their kids) I knew ONE child who you could tell by speaking to him that he was realllllly smart. He conversed like an adult and you could just tell his brain worked at a higher level. He tested squarely average. My son who is bright but not a genious scored much better than that kid did and I have no idea why. Some kids are better test takers while other just don’t funnel their smarts out of their head in a test-taking way. Who knows why….?
    You have CERTAINLY not failed you child.
    The test is not the measure of successful parenting by any means. It’s an imperfect test given to very young children. Research shows that testing at that age isn’t a great predictor of later intelligence or success. Please don’t be hard on yourself!

  • 310. Nowwhat?  |  March 25, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    @Pritzkor Mom, cpsobsessed, Wells, and r_u_sure, thank you for the kind words. I live in the NW Suburbs and was hoping to get into a great school so I could move to the city. We applied to Decatur and Edison. If my son were to be offered a spot at Decatur later on is that something I want to do? How is this score of 92 possible? I guess I’m still in shock.
    Congratulations to all of you who are getting into the schools you are hoping for.

  • 311. anonymouse teacher  |  March 25, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    @302, you didn’t do anything wrong. CPS is doing something wrong. Every single piece of research out there indicates that enrichment/gifted programs should not start until grade 3, because before that the testing results are unreliable. Your child is far ahead of where she needs to be for K. I’d try to hold onto hope that your kid gets in somewhere that will have a Kindergarten teacher who will differentiate for her and all the other kids who enter K reading. Most kindergarten rooms have kids who are in a huge range. It is totally normal for 5 year olds to still be learning to recognize letters and letter sounds and for some to be reading at a 3rd grade level. The test your child took is unreliable and not indicative of her skill level.

  • 312. Gobemouche  |  March 25, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    Open minded parent – yeah, I’m just trying to lighten things up a bit. If I really thought the CPS tests were that meaningful, I would be upset, but I don’t think they are truly meaningful. And I’m just pointing out how easy it is in this system for one bad day (heck, a subpar 20 minutes) to impact a kids academic chances. It’s nuts!

  • 313. Jen  |  March 25, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    As for what the tests mean, my 9 year old hasn’t had an offer in the last three years that we’ve tested, her RGC score has never been over 130, but she has tested as highly gifted with an independent psychologist, and consistently gets 98-99th percentile MAP scores. I don’t know what it is about the CPS testing that she keeps getting lower scores than she is capable of, but that’s the way it goes.

  • 314. Cap_Bucs  |  March 25, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    Tier 4

    RGC 131

    R: 92 M: 91

    No offers, proud of my daughter, did not really do any test prep and now I regret it as she was relativity close.

  • 315. Lisa  |  March 25, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    To 301.
    It is hard not to be disappointed, but these scores do not mean as much until they are a bit older (I know it matters now because you want your child in a good school). I know a few kids who struggled in the 1st and second grade even scoring well entering K. Their parents did test prep but the kids couldn’t keep up. Thats why I didn’t do any of that. And I am not saying it is wrong, but it wasn’t something I wanted to do because if she was smart enough she would score where she really is at.
    Maybe the testing person was weird, or maybe she wasn’t in her comfort environment. Anything could affect the scores. I sent my daughter to play based preschool, read to her since she was born, and work with her on common knowledge, flashcards, etc. But I am not the kind of mom that pushes academics at all. I want her to have fun and play. No matter what, your child will probably do very well in school and be successful. I know a few “gifted” adults and one of my friends thinks she’s the dumbest person when it comes to life skills and relationships. There are different kinds of intelligence. Every single parent here wants the best education for their child! I wish you the best!

  • 316. 4boys4me  |  March 25, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    Anyone with acceptances to Coonley K?

  • 317. NW side parent  |  March 25, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    no magnet letter yet

    Tier 4
    RGC 147
    Reading 78
    Math 97
    Offer for Edison

  • 318. LG  |  March 25, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    Tier 3, 1st grade

    RGC: 97
    last year: 139

    I know scores drop from K to 1st, but I think there is something to this theory of CPS making kids less smart.

    Didn’t do classical this year, scores weren’t that strong last year, but now I wish I had, just so we can see how much less she knows now.

  • 319. Lauren  |  March 25, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    Tier 4 – going into 1st
    RGC 113
    No offer

  • 320. powerpoint professor  |  March 25, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    Maybe a repetitive question, or have an obvious answer, but I can’t figure it out. What is the number listed as (for example) RGC: 147? Regional Gifted Center: ###? What does that number mean? 147 out of what?

  • 321. Anonymous  |  March 25, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    Tested for 3rd grade
    RGC 105
    Reading 71
    Math 88
    Of course no offers and no hope for later calls. We needed 115 for RGC and 80+ for classical to be considered. At least the wait is over!

  • 322. Lakeviewmom  |  March 25, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    Got the mail. No offers. Nothing on the magnet side either. So not sure what to do.
    Tier 4
    Rgc – 120
    Math – 94
    Reading -95

    Can we expect anything at later rounds? Any idea?

  • 323. OhBother  |  March 25, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    Thank you all for your kind words! I can’t say I was banking on getting a RGC or Classical spot, but those numbers were just SO much lower than I expected. Like Lisa said, we all want the best possible education for our children, so it’s hard not to feel like you’ve just eliminated them from getting it, even though there are many other great options in the city. Of course, that will require a move and twice the rent if she doesn’t get into any of the other schools on our list…that we don’t get until May. It’s gonna be a LONG two months.

  • 324. Christine Whitley  |  March 25, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    Also remember that the testing method for 1st is quite different from how they test for K. For Kindergarten, the session is 1:1 and the child doesn’t have to read or write. For 1st and up, the test is in a group and it’s more of a “fill in the bubble with the right answer” type test, read by a proctor. Might not be a kind of testing that any current kindergartner has ever experienced.

  • 325. hmmm.... :-(  |  March 25, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    RGC 92
    Tier 4
    Applied to Keller for 1st grade, no offer.

    I have no clue as to what this score means (92%? 92 out of 150? 92nd percentile?), or how she got such a seemingly low score. She’s one of the smartest in her class, was tested at CTD and scored in high 80s for Reading and 99th percentile for math. I know she didn’t get stupid the night before the test, so I am puzzled by this outcome… any insight?

  • 326. iq determinalist  |  March 25, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    CG test is absolutely an IQ test. Test prep works well. So if you want another shot next year get your kids a bunch of IQ tests . There are services in NY for this.

  • 327. FirstTimer  |  March 25, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    My nanny says the letter is at home. I’m dying to know but really want to open the letter myself. Finding every excuse to leave work early 🙂

  • 328. anotherlogantwinmom  |  March 25, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    Tier 3, Twins, Applying for K

    Twin 1: Reading 92, Math 99, RGC 134
    Twin 2: Reading 90, Math 88, RGC 126

    No offers. Wonder if there’s any chance of later round offers?

  • 329. WaitingChicagoMom  |  March 25, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    This is so crazy – my daughter got the following:
    Tier 3
    RGC: 98
    Classical R:41 M:49

    She took the full blown WPPSI 3rd edition IQ test with an independant psychologist and was well within the 98th percentile, and has also been taking classes at Northwestern CTD. She knows how to read, add and subtract. She’s also the one who was in and out of the CPS in less than 10 minutes, so I guess this does show that it’s not a good sign if your child is in the test for a short amount of time. Our daughter is very shy and most likely the tester did not give her the time to warm up and answer questions.

    It’s not a huge deal since we’ve already accepted an offer to the Illinois Science and Arts Academy in Des Plaines. But it’s pretty disheartening on the large disparity between the CPS test and others that she has taken. It’s also going to be a hefty commute to Des Plaines from the southside of Chicago.

  • 330. HydeParker  |  March 25, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    Has anyone heard about Academic Centers yet?

  • 331. Also Wondering  |  March 25, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    For those of you who got offers, were your kids in there for a long time? Hope our mail comes soon…

  • 332. ForestglenMom  |  March 25, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    Kindergarten tier 4

    Rcg: 125
    Reading 80
    Math 53

    No offers

  • 333. Mommy_of_1  |  March 25, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    Did anyone turn down lenart

  • 334. baffled  |  March 25, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    Gobermouche – Of course CPS tests were unreliable; both the K and the current one now. This whole testing thing is crazy and pointless, and needless to say it is no way to determine any child’s ability. I don’t know what RGC your child attends, but if it is Edison (as OMParent), then I think it is time for the school to re-evaluate their teaching method and curriculum (speaking as another ERGC parent – I am very dissappointed with the school and felt trapped).

  • 335. northside chicago  |  March 25, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    Just received the letter:
    Tier 4
    RGC: 142
    Reading: 86
    Math: 78

    No offer. I hope we get an offer from gifted centers later on. Any thoughts?

  • 336. Impatient  |  March 25, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    First of all, I agree with the people questioning the tests. I always scored higher than my sister on standardized tests, but I’m not smarter than she is. I think I score higher because I like rules and puzzles and the tests are good for that. My sister is way more creative and self-confident and she thought the tests were dumb – she could always think of a better answer than the ones they listed. That attitude has served her very well in adult life.

    Those not getting acceptances (I’ll probably be among you), before you beat yourself up, remember, there are all different kinds of intelligences and these CPS tests barely measure any of them. You are on this site, worrying about your kids’ educations – which means the most important measure – parent-involvement – is right where it should be. Your kids are going to be okay.

    Second, I’m totally baffled by the test results and offers being reported. I see no pattern. Some Tier 4s are getting in with lower scores than people being rejected. It has to be the popularity of the particular schools each applied to, right? And we don’t always see that on these entries. See? Trying to solve the puzzle. Give me an IQ test – fast!

  • 337. Anonymous on the South Side  |  March 25, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    Grade 1
    Tier 4
    RGC 126
    December birthday

    Offered for Keller (all that we applied to as well).
    (I haven’t really been reading up on this, but are the scores for K different than the scores for 1st testing…guess I should go back through the archives now.)

  • 338. ForestglenMom  |  March 25, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    The explanation is on the back of the letter but basically a score of 100 in RCG is average and corresponds to the 50%; 130 is 98%. And scores below 115 are not considered candidates for gifted programs.

    It’s hard to see your kid summed up in a score when they have so many great qualities that will get them far in life.

  • 339. Westrogersparkmom  |  March 25, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    Wow – high high scores this year. CPSOBSESSED are you sure you saw a
    130 4th grade score for Edison last year. My kid didn’t get in with a 139.

    Fwiw my oldest had terrible test scores when she was 4 and is still erratic in this area- guess what? She is still a relatively happy well adjusted teenager today who will do just fine on life. Any differences in education between my kids ( the Rgc kid) and the magnet kid is more due to the socioeconomic makeup of the school than anything else.

  • 340. tier 3  |  March 25, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    Tier 3, entering K
    RGC: 142
    Reading: 98
    Math: 92

    No offer.

    Thankful for the magnet offers we had. I’m sure this has been asked a million times, but if I accept a magnet offer, are we still in the running for a SEES waitlist offer?

  • 341. Christine Whitley  |  March 25, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    @340 tier 3: the offers are completely independent. So even if you accept a magnet offer, you could still get a SEES offer later on.

  • 342. Gabby  |  March 25, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    My daughter was in for 30 min.

  • 343. Pie Chart Professor  |  March 25, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    @338…Thanks ForestGlenMom…my mail has yet to arrive and you’ve satisfied my curiosity for now!

  • 344. Mercy  |  March 25, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    After all the waiting, it’s here and I can’t open it.
    OMG…how did I get here?????

  • 345. Mommy_of_1  |  March 25, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    Did anyone apply to lenart

  • 346. Proud Dad  |  March 25, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    RGC 137
    Not sure of tier (how would I find out)
    No offers
    So close! with no test prep.
    I must not regret letting him go in there fully on his own merit.
    I couldn’t take the pressure of feeling like he was perhaps somewhere that he shouldn’t be if I had prepped him……but oh so close 🙂
    Very proud of him!!

  • 347. tier 3  |  March 25, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    @341 thanks!

  • 348. Mama Jess in the AP  |  March 25, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    Exciting stuff! Just remember, no matter where you kid is educated, he or she is still going to well in life because of your strength and love supporting and guiding every day. Open it!!

  • 349. Carmen  |  March 25, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    What do the “tier”mean??
    Got our letter.
    RGC 94
    Classical reading 83 math 95
    Accepted at Decatur for kinder!

  • 350. Jen  |  March 25, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    Has anyone ever called the hotline for questions about the testing results? Just curious.

  • 351. JLM  |  March 25, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    We got an acceptance – I am stunned and excited!

    Got into Skinner West, which was our 3rd choice Classical (but no complaints!)

    Tier 4

    RGC Score: 134
    Classical: 99th reading, 98th math

  • 352. Mama Jess in the AP  |  March 25, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    The tiers are a way of making sure that kids from poorer neighborhoods also get a shot at these spots. You can check you tier on the CPS website. Hope to meet you at Decatur in the fall, Carmen!

  • 353. Southside CPS Parent  |  March 25, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    @337. If you accept, let me be the first to welcome you to Keller. We love it. I have a 2nd grader and it was the best decision I made to move him from classical to gifted center.

  • 354. Anxious  |  March 25, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    Anyone got acceptance for 4th grade… RGC or Classical. Please post.

  • 355. glmama  |  March 25, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    Entering K tier 4
    RGC: 116
    Reading 87; Math 94
    No offers

  • 356. CPS Crazy  |  March 25, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    @ 315. Lisa – Thanks for the kinds words. I was initially disappointed seeing her scores, but I know it doesn’t mean all that much. She is doing really well in kindergarten and I can tell she is learning what she should be learning, so I can’t complain.

    @324.Christine Whitley – I agree that the difference in the testing style between K and 1st grade, may have had an affect on her performance. She did well on the 1:1, but not so well in the group testing. However, seeing that she is in CPS, she should be able to handle being in a room full of kids, lol. j/k

  • 357. Charter mom  |  March 25, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    OMG!! My 2nd grader got an offer that I never really expected to get! Tier 4 – 2nd grade – RGC 133 – Edison. I am shocked!!

  • 358. Sofia Cano  |  March 25, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    @349 – Carmen, can I ask you what tier are you on? my kid got 95.5 on reading and 84 on Math and did not get an offer. Decatur was the only school we applied for.

  • 359. Carmen  |  March 25, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    @352,at Mama Jess, thanks for the explanation! So is your kid going to start kinder next year? Do you know anyone in that school? Is it a good program? Cause I really have to think about it, the school is very far from where we live and we are waiting for my other kid who is #3 on waiting list for Drummond…2 kids, 2 schools, not good…..

  • 360. BuenaParkMom  |  March 25, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    267 – You must be the luckiest CPS lottery winner I have ever heard of!

    329 – Have you considered the possibility that your highly gifted child was just bored with the process. Often gifted children sort of “check out” when something is too easy for them. Although as a sibling of 3 people who all attended a gifted school (didn’t exist when I was that age although I like to think I’m as smart as they are) I agree that you can’t tell if a child is gifted at the age of 4. But then I also don’t think CPS actually has a “gifted” program. I believe they merely have an accelerated program.

  • 361. Carmen  |  March 25, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    @358, I think tier 1

  • 362. geshrow  |  March 25, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    Tier 4
    Entering 4th
    RGC score:120
    No offer for Keller

  • 363. geshrow  |  March 25, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    Tier 4
    Entering 5th
    RGC score: 118
    Academic Center/Int. Gifted Program score: 796.4
    No offer for Keller

  • 364. Sped Mom  |  March 25, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    @ 326. iq determinalist

    I thought a person can be tested for IQ only once every 12 months.

  • 365. Sofia Cano  |  March 25, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    ok, thanks we are tier 4 ..
    does anyone know how do they weigh in the math and reading score ofr an overall score? do they count the same and the do an average? or does one count more than the other?

  • 366. ChicagoMomofBoys  |  March 25, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    I haven’t read through all of today’s comments yet, so my apologies if this topic has already been covered ad naseum. My 5-year-old tested absolutely horrendously for both RGC and classical. I didn’t necessarily expect an offer (tough competition, especially in tier 4!!), but I figured that he’d be borderline. Not even close. The thing is that he’s such a smart, little guy… always has been. He’s attended a top-notch PK for the past 2-1/2 years and his teachers always remark how bright he is. Lots of people do (and not just grandparents!).

    While he’ll attend our neighborhood school in the fall (which is, fortunately, well-regarded), I plan on re-testing him for 2014-15. Can I hope that this year’s results were just an anomaly and, if so, are his chances for a 1st grade placement significantly less? My son is extremely headstrong and knowing him, he hurried through the tests and couldn’t wait to get the hell out of there. That’s what you get for bribing your kid with a trip to the museum 😦

  • 367. AE  |  March 25, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    @anxious. I’m also looking for info re 4th grade spots. My quick review of posts suggests that RGC scores of 127, “less than 130” and 139 have all had no offers. Do you mind sharing your data?? I will add mine to the mix later in the week — for now, I am obsessing from afar while on vacation.

  • 368. Mama Jess in the AP  |  March 25, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    Yep, my guy will be in K in the fall. His scores weren’t stellar, but we are Tier 2, so there was less competition in our bracket, I think. Anyway, I think the program is an excellent fit for my guy, because as a classical school they really focus on the propensity for young kids to memorize facts. My kid is a sponge! When I first applied, I hadn’t really done my research adequately and so, it was my #3 choice, but now I’m really excited to be going there. Transportation is a problem for us, too, an we only have one kid to think about for a couple of years!

  • 369. Carmen  |  March 25, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    @mama Jess, Thanks again. Hope to meet you in the fall.i think happened the same w my girl cause her scores are not outstanding, but we are in tier 1.

  • 370. Anonymous  |  March 25, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    Hopeful thinking: is there anyway that a school will see my child’s score and since they are close enough (sort of) to the cut off, if they have open seats he can get a call? If they have open spaces at the beginning of the school year. Can the school accept kids outside of oae? 3rd grade

  • 371. Mommy_of_1  |  March 25, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    Did anyone test for lenart and what was the score to get in

  • 372. Mom  |  March 25, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    Entering K, Tier 4
    RGC: 120
    R: >99.9
    M: 99

    Entering 1st, Tier 4
    RGC: 109 (122 last year.) ?
    R: 99
    M: 98

    Accepted Decatur. Obviously no RGC offers. I am feeling like I didn’t do the right work touring schools in the fall. Didn’t even consider Skinner North at the time of applying, but now regret because it sounds like a warmer environment all around than Decatur. ? Anyone have helpful feedback they are willing to share about Decatur? We are currently at Coonley neighborhood programs and struggling with decision to leave. Lucky that both our children were offered spots at Decatur so either way they can stay together. Appreciate any feedback!

  • 373. Mom  |  March 25, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    Tier 4
    Entering K

    Reading: 65
    Math: 99

    The interesting thing here is our daughter could read at test time. Can read all BOB Level books and had completed the entire Hooked On Phonics series and could read all 100 of those books. I guess that goes to show that’s not what they’re testing for. As for the high math score, we did NO math prep!

  • 374. Lisa  |  March 25, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    Entering 1st grade, Tier 2
    RGC: 121 offered Bell
    (we had a 141 last year so the score was down)
    Classical R:96 M:99
    (these scores are significantly up, I think R: 76 and M:90 last year)

  • 375. LaSalle II mom  |  March 25, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    A friend got in for Coonley K Tier 1 with a 135. She also got offers for Disney I and Stone. Any advice on which to take? No siblings.

  • 376. DCB  |  March 25, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    I’ve posted here in past years when my kids’ scores would provide useful data points for others, so I’ll post again this year in the interest of completeness.

    My son is in kindergarten at a RGC. We applied to one other, better-regarded RGC for first grade both so as to consolidate our kids at one school and to challenge our son more. His kindergarten teacher has been wonderful, often giving him completely different work than the rest of the class so as to challenge him, but we thought another RGC might be better long-term.

    We’re disappointed that he didn’t get in and certainly won’t after scoring more than two standard deviations lower than last year despite seeing rapid progress in his academic skills this year. (January NWEA skills came back as mid-3rd grade for math and late 3rd grade for reading.) I can now sympathize with those of you who have commented on your kid having had a bad day on the test.

    Grade: entering first grade
    RGC score: 101
    Tier: 4
    Offers: none

    P.S. In skimming the comments above, I think some people are underestimating how far down the scores go at RGCs for acceptances in the summer, particularly at some of the lower-end RGCs. A ticket to one of top ones in the first round offers might require the mid-140s, but they do typically come down quite a bit. One year we were surprised to receive an offer to one of the highest-regarded RGCs for first grade with a score of 126. Some of the lower-regarded RGCs typically give initial acceptances in the 120s and can push down to that 115 precipice, not even filling all of their seats.

  • 377. gs mamma  |  March 25, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    LaSalle II mom — I would say Coonley but which school is nearest her home or work?

  • 378. 60660  |  March 25, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    who knows the odds for a later round entry to Decatur:
    1st Grade, 99 / 90, T4?

  • 379. som  |  March 25, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    @ DCB which would you consider the highly regarded RGCs (vs. less)?

  • 380. Third time's a charm  |  March 25, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    Tier 4 Kindergarten

    RGC 125
    Classical – reading 90 math 90

    no offers obviously. The classical scores are about where I thought he was. Surprised by the 125 – thought he had a good shot at RGC schools.

  • 381. WorkingMommyof2  |  March 25, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    Mail finally came, but no acceptances.

    Applied Coonley, Skinner North, Tier 4 for K

    RGC: 144
    Reading: 88
    Math 93

    I am thrilled with those numbers, even though he didn’t get in anywhere. He’ll be headed to Coonley’s neighborhood program if we don’t get a later round RGC offer.

    A year ago I didn’t even think he’d agree to leave me to take the test, so I am really proud of him.

    (But I also can’t believe 144 doesn’t get it done! CRAZY!)

  • 382. Dunkin Donuts Dad  |  March 25, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    Just got home to grab the mail and our son got an offer to Coonley for K. Live in Tier 3. RGC 147. Classical: Reading 91/Math 95. Coonley was our 2nd choice after Edison. Feel very fortunate. Good luck to everyone else!

  • 383. Southsidecps  |  March 25, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    Are there any parents with 3 kids in different schools? If so please share your experience. We are contemplating this. Each school would provide a good fit for each individual kid. All within close distance of one another. Thoughts, comments……

  • 384. RH  |  March 25, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    My daughter got a 160 and accepted into Coonley for Regional Gifted Center. We have 2 younger daughters. I have concerns about sending kids to different schools. Waters is our neighborhood school and I love it.

  • 385. Roland Pryzbylewski  |  March 25, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    Tier 4, applied for K, received offer for Edison
    RGC 149
    Reading 96
    Math 98

    Anyone have any thoughts on Edison? Given the unlikelihood of receiving an SEES offer, we didn’t bother to tour any. Our kid got a magnet offer (Franklin) as well, so we’re a little embarrassed by our good fortune.

  • 386. JIL mommy  |  March 25, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    Tier 4
    RGC: 130
    Math: 97%
    Reading: 92%

    Waiting list for Inter-American 10.

    Hoping for selection in one of the next rounds! Does anyone have any experience with Inter-American’s WL?

  • 387. AC obsessed  |  March 25, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    Tier 4
    score 879
    Lane (first choice!)

  • 388. Pamela's smart rose  |  March 25, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    Rgc 112
    Classical reading 99
    Math 90
    No acceptance
    Lil sad

  • 389. g  |  March 25, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    Grade 3
    RGC 137
    offered spot at Edison

  • 390. FirstTimer  |  March 25, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    My child got into Coonley RGC for K with a 144 (Tier 3). She also got into LaSalle II Magnet. Open to opinions from anyone on which they would choose!

    I visited Coonley last week and the principal was very honest about how overcrowded they are – how they are moving Pre-K offsite in the Fall – how they may eventually move K offsite as well. BUT I really, really liked the principal (he seemed very ‘on it’) and it’s very convenient for us (but not our neighborhood school so our youngest wouldn’t be guaranteed acceptance).

    LaSalle II is slightly less convenient (though still fine) plus our youngest would be guaranteed to get in in 3 years (barring any changes to CPS’ Magnet rules). I like the idea of having both kids together eventually.

    Very, very blessed to have choices. Did anyone choose a Magnet over a Gifted in order to keep siblings together?

  • 391. Pamela's smart rose  |  March 25, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    Tier 2 first grade

  • 392. chicagomom  |  March 25, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    Entering 1st
    Tier 4
    RGC: 117
    Reading: 99
    Math: 98

    No offers

  • 393. WRogersMom (and Dad)  |  March 25, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    Tier 3
    Entering K
    RGC: 149
    Classical Reading: 99.8
    Classical Math: 99.6

    Offered Decatur! (Our top choice!)
    We are so relieved! Thank you to all you wonderful people and all the great information you have provided. And thank you, CPSO for giving us all a place to communicate with each other.

    Good luck to everyone. All these kids are lucky to have such devoted, thoughtful parents!

  • 394. Tier 4 - RGC Curious  |  March 25, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    Just got score..
    RGC 137
    Tier 4
    Didn’t get offer.

    What are the chances of Edison or Coonley in later rounds?
    I only put those down.

    Are there even any second rounds for these schools?
    How about last year?

    Is there much of a difference between tier cut off scores?

  • 395. LPmom  |  March 25, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    Tier 4 for K
    Reading 93/ Math 95
    I’m happy with the scores because I know my daughter was not very comfortable with the student who tested her. Also, she was one of the kids in and out in 10 minutes. I’d love to get a call from Skinner North even in September, but I think that would take a miracle. We didn’t have any luck with the magnet schools either, so I am happy that we made the decision to move to the Lincoln elementary boundaries last year.

  • 396. mayfair mama  |  March 25, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    Tier 4
    RGC 125
    Reading 99.5
    Math 92

    No offers…

  • 397. iq determinalist  |  March 25, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    Sped Mom:

    You are supposed to only take one IQ test a year. However, like any psychometric test, the more you take them the better you get. Ask any neuropsychiatrist. Learning occurs. Especially with high IQ people.

    I gave lil iqd a few IQ tests before the caps test. I was highly ambivalent about caps so I did not push the test prep. Lil iqd got a 142 and no offer at edison. We got in the magnet of our choice by luck.

    Bottom line: if you don’t test prep your kid you are a sucker.

  • 398. Tier 4 - RGC Curious  |  March 25, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    Btw – Entering K

  • 399. cpsobsessed  |  March 25, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    There will definitely be more rounds for RGC/Classical. They usually go through a few as people turn down schools they realize are not close, won’t have bussing, don’t have space for siblings, etc.

    I’d say a 137 for Tier 4 for Edison or Coonley might be a stretch but certainly not impossible. Just depends how many turn them down. As you can see, 144 seems to be a score that a lot of kids get for some reason so those kids are all still ahead of you.

  • 400. Sarah  |  March 25, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    Are there any Decatur parents on this thread? We got our letter today and my daughter was offered a K spot there. It was our first choice based on location, but I would love any insight from people whose kids are in school there about the experience. Tier 3. Reading:>99.9 Math: 93 (for those of you who are trying to track entry scores.

  • 401. WorkingMommyof2  |  March 25, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    Do they do second and third rounds by letter or by phone? I thought I always heard that people get calls, but this letter says they will notify by letter if you are selected.

  • 402. Albany Park Mama  |  March 25, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    RGC 125
    Tier 2
    No offer for Edison (the only school I applied for since it is so close.)
    Classical scores were R 90 and M 88

    Is there any hope for my kid? Does anyone have positive experience with getting into a Magnet Cluster like Waters? Will that be easier? Aaaaaaaggggh where is my wine…

  • 403. 60660  |  March 25, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    @401 – my experience has been the second round comes in the mail. third and subsequent rounds by phone w/ email follow up

  • 404. DCB  |  March 25, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    @som @379

    In my description of the schools, I was classifying the RGCs that reach down to kindergarten as follows:

    best-regarded, in alphabetical order: Coonley, Edison, Lenart, Pritzker

    less well-regarded, in alphabetical order: Beasley, Carnegie

    We’ve had kids at schools in both of these lists and have had good experiences at each.

  • 405. Tier 4 - RGC Curious  |  March 25, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    Thanks cpso.
    I looks like a stretch alright.
    Trying to piece all the entries together but I’ve seen a few at 144 like you said.
    I can’t imagine that many people turn down these places.
    Can always hope I guess!

    Plan B……

  • 406. waitinggame  |  March 25, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    Tier 3
    RGC 120
    Reading 96
    math 99

    No offers-Skinner West or North. Any thoughts on getting a call for 2nd round?

  • 407. cps alum  |  March 25, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    Assuming all of the following posters applied to Skinner North, it looks like classical scores may not be averaged.

    I looked at several tier 3 posts for Kindergarten
    @240 reported R95 M99. Average is 97. No Offer
    @328 reported R92 M99. Average is 95.5. No offer
    @268 reported R >99.9 M 95. Average is 97.4995 Offer SN
    @268 reported R 99.9 M 90. Average is 94.95. Offered SN
    @340 reported R 98 M92. Average is 95. No offer.

    So it looks like an average of 94.95 beats an average of 97, 95.5 and 95. Assuming that these other posters also applied to Skinner North, we can conclude that scores are not averaged with equal weighting. One conclusion could be that reading is weighed more than math. My personal suspicion is that cps first takes all candidates that meet the minimum cut of 80 in both math and reading. Then they rank the candidates based on their highest percentile. Perhaps if posters 240, 328, or 340 could respond if they applied for Skinner North we can see if my suspicion is correct.

  • 408. crazymom  |  March 25, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    My son 1st grade
    RGC – 121
    Reading 98 and Math 51
    Got offer for Beaubien

    YES!!!! No more hour drive to get to Carnegie

  • 409. cps alum  |  March 25, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    @406 is this for kindergarten?

    If so my assumption is correct
    @406 is also tier 3
    R 96 M99 average is 97.5
    confirmed Skinner North application!

  • 410. what happened?!  |  March 25, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    Ok, I’ve been reading from the sidelines and now have scores in and am wondering what happened! Daughter tested for RGC for K last year and got 132. This year she dropped almost 30 pts. I know 1st has a starting # of 150, but that’s still a huge drop. This year’s scores:

    Tier 4 entering 1st
    RGC: 106
    Reading: 92 Math: 80

    I didn’t test for Classical last year so I have no comparison there.

    CPS crazy, I’m not familiar with MAP scores. Is it something specific to your RGC or is it used CPS-wide? I’m hoping to gather this from our K teacher so I have more data to pull from.

  • 411. TG  |  March 25, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    410: the 1st grade scores are on a different scale than kindergarten. Don’t sweat the lower score.

  • 412. Cristina  |  March 25, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    @408 – what tier are you? thanks.

    It seems like R99 M98 is the lowest so far for Decatur 1st.

  • 413. Cristina  |  March 25, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    Tier 4 for #412

  • 414. crazymom  |  March 25, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    We are in Tier 4

  • 415. shikarishambu (@shikarishambu)  |  March 25, 2013 at 6:50 pm


    My kid got offered Coonley for kindergarten (1st choice).
    RGC: 136
    Reading: 96
    Math: 95
    Tier: 2

    I guess, being in Tier 2 helped. She will just turn 5 in Aug. I was on this board all day and did not think the chances were great.

    She also has been offered Disney. I think we are set for the next 2 yrs (the younger one will be in line for a spot).

    This site has been a great resource – until last week I did not know what Tier we were in.

  • 416. BronzevilleMommy  |  March 25, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    We just got our SEES letter, no Magnet letter yet.

    Carnegie Offer (YAY!!)
    RGC: 129 (entering kinder with an August bday)
    Classical: Reading 94 Math 97
    We are Tier 3 and live on the mid-south side.

    Will we still get a magnet letter? Will we potentially get other SEES letters? I feel incredibly blessed to get any offer at all and I am reluctant to even ask, but Carnegie was my 4th choice RGC and I almost didn’t list it. Can anyone tell me about the school? I am seeing higher scores above with no offers . . . which makes me think that choosing Carnegie made a difference in getting an offer.

    She was in the test for 20 minutes max, but she and the tester came back smiling. We did not prep her, and she’s in preschool although it’s inexpensive & developmental — a lot of free play, art, etc. She has had exposure to psychological tests a few times to “help the scientists” doing child development research, so I think she was comfortable with the process.

  • 417. SouthSideDad  |  March 25, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    Tier 4 entering K
    RGC: 139
    Classical Reading: 80
    Classical Math: 75

    Offered at NTA.

    Thrilled but waiting on word from a private school. Does anyone know the process of accepting and then declining if we choose the private instead?

    Very proud of our little man. Very exciting to possibly be in the first year at NTA RGC.

  • 418. RPMom  |  March 25, 2013 at 6:56 pm

    Can you ask for them to re-score a test? I am appalled at the discrepancy between my child’s scores.

    Tier 3, 1st Grade
    No Offers
    Classical: 99 Reading
    76 Math

    RGC: 92 (!!!!!!!!! That is below the 50th%ile according to the CPS letter)

    I am embarrassed to post this, but I want answers. I think that these tests are completely ridiculous, but it is what it is. I just want to know what happened with these scores. Last year our scores were RGC:134, Classical: 88R&M which I know aren’t stellar, but those are major drops!

    Has anyone had success with actually seeing the tests or talking to someone helpful?

  • 419. BuenaParkDad  |  March 25, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    I’m in Tier 3 and got no offer.

    RGC: 101
    Reading: 97
    Math: 97

    I haven’t read the last 100 or so comments, but I don’t think I saw anything like this prior to that. If my son is in the 97th percentile in math and reading, I’m a bit surprised that he’s only in the 50th percentile for the overall RGC test. I don’t know enough about what exactly they are tested on, but this must mean my son was extremely deficient in some other area of the test?

    I’m really proud of his pair of 97s…I’m just confused about the RGC score!

  • 420. Cristina  |  March 25, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    Thank you so much crazymom. That helps.

  • 421. anonnymouse  |  March 25, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    Tier 4
    RGC 119
    Reading 99.8 Math 93
    No offer (hoping for a second round classical, but not holding my breath)
    RGC 113
    Reading 99
    Math 97
    Offer Decatur.
    We’re pretty excited, but don’t know about having 2 kids in different schools!

  • 422. South Loop Mom  |  March 25, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    Tier 4
    1st Grade
    RGC: 118
    Offered at National Teachers Academy

    It is a new program, so we will try and tour before making a decision. Yet, we are hearing great things about the principal.

  • 423. TG  |  March 25, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    Completely different skills in RGC and classical. RCG is more innate, classical is learned.

  • 424. Gabby  |  March 25, 2013 at 7:08 pm


    Entering K – Tier 3

    Reading- 99.5
    Offered Skinner North

    Entering 1st

    RGC – 102

    No offers

    I’m a little surprised there were no offers for the soon to be first grader.

    Can we accept both a classical and magnet offer for K?

  • 425. xymxy  |  March 25, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    Just got the letter…
    Reading 99.9 Math 95
    Offered SW!

  • 426. Cool Parent  |  March 25, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    Tier 2, entering 1st grade
    No offers.
    Reading:98 Math:75
    Math is my son’s strength. He can do 2nd grade math on IXL. I don’t know how he could get that score. He got 98 last year. Now, I think about it. My son did tell me that they made him skipping multiple pages while he was trying to finish the test at IIT. I wonder if that had anything to do with that low score. Thankfully, he is in a good school right now. Congrats to all the acceptances! Wish you all best of luck. See you all here next year!

  • 427. 60630 parent  |  March 25, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    @ 421 – Are you sure about your numbers? Tier 4?
    Thanks a lot. We’re also hoping for Decatur 1st grade, Tier 4, Reading 99, Math 97. Thanks again.

  • 428. E. Weng  |  March 25, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    Classical Reading 98 Math 99.8
    Offered Skinner North
    Was hoping that we won’t get any offer because we’ve just decided to move to Evanston. It is very hard to decline this offer but will stick with our decision!

  • 429. Mercy  |  March 25, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    Tier 4:
    RGC 146 No offer from Edison
    Classical R: 99.8 M: 93 No offer from Decatur or SN.
    I’m stunned with Math 93. Boy even does multiplication pretty well.
    I believe we are out of running for classical.
    Perhaps a chance with Edison?

  • 430. Pritzker k  |  March 25, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    Tier 3 (I think-wicker park)

    147 r.g.c.
    Reading 90th math 75

    Offer at Pritker for kindergarten. It was our first choice because we are in the neighborhood, so pretty happy with it.

  • 431. anonnymouse  |  March 25, 2013 at 7:19 pm

    @427, yep, those are the numbers.

  • 432. Nowwhat?  |  March 25, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    Are the 2 tests completely separate? Will the VERY low RGC score effect the Classical test? I really hope not.

  • 433. Pie Chart Professor  |  March 25, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    RGC: 133
    RCG: 120

    No offers for either.

  • 434. Disheartened  |  March 25, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    No magnet offers and now no sees/rgc offers second year in a row.

    This is for 1st grade and I’m really bummed. Our daughter also does the Northwestern CTD and is reading chapter books so I’m quite shocked by the low scores.

    How do you know what tier you’re in? None of my letters mentioned that.

    Will probably be moving to wherever there is a good neighborhood school. And I don’t mean to offend anyone, but I just don’t understand why folks bother to enter the lottery or take tests if they are lucky to have a good neighborhood school.

    Our neighborhood school is under sanctions it’s so bad. 😦

  • 435. 60630 parent  |  March 25, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    Thank you anonnymouse. I think it has something to do with the raw scores.

  • 436. Deng  |  March 25, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    Can we accept both a classical and a magnet offer?

  • 437. overfriendlyconcierge  |  March 25, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    Tier 3

    126 RGC
    Classical R: 92; M: 97

    No offers and no dang magnet letter. Do we stand a shot at a later-round classical offer?

  • 438. Lisa  |  March 25, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    @397 you said “Bottom line: if you don’t test prep your kid you are a sucker.”

    I think if you test prep your kid you are teaching to the test, and giving your kid a head start for a short time. Eventually, they won’t keep up with the material. We did not test prep, but if we did maybe we would have ended up with higher scores. I am glad I did not. I think all this test prep crap is a joke, either your child is smarter than average or they are not. I think the ones who spend thousands of dollars on test prep are the joke.

  • 439. kaylea  |  March 25, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    @434 – I think folks do the test even when they have a good neighborhood school in the hopes of giving their kids access to an even better school, where better could be defined as: more convenient to parent’s work, more rigorous academics, same place as siblings, more interesting extracurriculars, chance at a teacher/principal/PTA that fits with your family (etc)

  • 440. YoungZinger  |  March 25, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    Tier 4
    RGC 143
    94 R, 83 M
    No offers.

    Best chance at magnet it 55 on proximity wait list at Thorp… sigh.

  • 441. Bummed  |  March 25, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    1st grade
    Tier 4
    RGC 116
    Does anyone know the cut off score for 1st ?

  • 442. Christine Whitley  |  March 25, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    The Regional Gifted Scores are scaled scores where 100 is the mean. Anything between 85 and 115 is within the average, normal range. 115 is 1 SD above the mean, 130 is 2 SD above the mean. I have a PDF showing the distribution of scores but I don’t know how to post it here.

  • 443. Waiting and curious  |  March 25, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    I’d really like to see that. Any chance you could post a link (perhaps Dropbox)? Tks

  • 444. Mom  |  March 25, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    @483. I totally agree!!!!!! We did not prep our daughter. My husband and I were against that. You either have it or you don’t. Life will be hell later on if you can’t keep up.

  • 445. Christine Whitley  |  March 25, 2013 at 7:52 pm

    It’s not really the distribution of this year’s scores. It is a bell curve showing the scaled scores for RGC and the percentiles for Classical.


  • 446. Even One More CPS Mom  |  March 25, 2013 at 7:52 pm

    In the category of, “Golly those scores can fluctuate from year to year”…..

    Last year’s score for K: 133
    This year’s score for 1st grade: 106

    Obviously no offers. Just thought I’d share though for those parents who may have had the same experience. Luckily we are currently at a school that we are very happy with. Congratulations to everyone who has received good news!

  • 447. LynnJ  |  March 25, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    @southloopmom I am looking to at NTA. DD is currently at south loop TB pre k. Will be looking out for tours. Going thru this process again this year for K. Let me know what u here about NTA. Would love to share my email addy with u.

  • 448. waitinggame  |  March 25, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    @406 yes it was for Kindergarten. I do believe I saw an article somewhere that they use the reading score solely to determine placement and the math is just used in case of a tie. I am so annoyed that she most likely would have gotten in if her scores were reversed. And, personally, I think she is better at reading than math.

  • 449. Nusrat  |  March 25, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    This is my son’s score:

    RGC: >160
    Reading: >99.9, Math: >99.9

    He got an offer from Skinner North for Kindergarten. Could anyone explain what this “>” mean? He hasn’t got any offer from any RGC. Our puzzle is, will he get any offer from RGC or CPS only offers one school for both tests?

    Thanks, I would appreciate your response.

  • 450. Motherof2  |  March 25, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    child entering 2nd grade: Tier 3, reading/math:99/99 – offered skinner west (5th choice)

    child entering kinder: Tier 3, reading/math: 88/88 – no offers

    Could anyone tell me if Skinner West allows sibling preference through their neighborhood program if their other child accepted a selective enrollment spot?

    Could anyone share their experience with skinner west?

  • 451. Relieved  |  March 25, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    Tier 2
    RGC: 112
    Reading 99.6, Math 91
    Offer at McDade

    Magnet offer at Pershing East, but it only goes to 3rd grade.

  • 452. kaylea  |  March 25, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    @449 that sounds like your kid got a perfect score. . . congrats, your kid is a genius :). Congrats on Skinner North RGC!

  • 453. abcs  |  March 25, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    #450-I have the same questions. Kinder: T4, R-99.7/M-97; offered Skinner West. 2nd grade: R-99/M-87; no offers.

  • 454. cps  |  March 25, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    Tier 2
    RGC: 147
    Reading: 90
    Math: 91

    Offered Pritzker ( 3rd choice after SN & SW).

    It looks like we may have no hope of getting in either of the classical choices, right?

    Any thoughts on Pritzker gifted program? Also, would a sibling get a spot through the neighborhood/magnet program at Pritzker?

  • 455. chicagomom  |  March 25, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    Does anyone know if Skinner North has any 1st grade openings?

  • 456. Christine Whitley  |  March 25, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    @Nusrat — the > sign means that your child’s score was higher than 160. 160 is so far above the mean that anything higher is statistically insignificant. You get only one offer in this first round. Which type of school your child is offers depends on which score is higher and how you ranked them. And how your child’s scores compares to everyone else who was tested within your tier.

    If you turn down Skinner North, you might get an offer from a RGC in the 2nd round, but there are no guarantees.

    I’m curious, was Skinner North your first-ranked choice?

  • 457. Mama Jess in the AP  |  March 25, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    Lisa, I couldn’t agree with you more. Maybe I am a sucker for not trying to give my kid ‘the edge’, but I feel that he is getting what he has earned, not what I have bought.

  • 458. montessorimama  |  March 25, 2013 at 8:19 pm

    entering 1st grade
    Tier 4
    RGC: 107
    Reading: 99, Math:97

    No offers — gifted, classical, or magnet. 😦
    Thankfully kid is already in a private school we all love.

  • 459. Nusrat  |  March 25, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    @ 456 thanks so much for your explanation. Yes, Skinner North was our first choice.

  • 460. Nusrat  |  March 25, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    @ 452 thanks so much for your kind comments.

  • 461. tier 3  |  March 25, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    @407, poster 340 here, and yes we applied to SN, along with SW and decatur.

  • 462. Happy Parent  |  March 25, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    I don’t know how your son can have such a high score if his parent doesn’t know what “>” mean????? j/k..(just kidding). Congrats!

    449. Nusrat | March 25, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    This is my son’s score:
    RGC: >160
    Reading: >99.9, Math: >99.9
    He got an offer from Skinner North for Kindergarten. Could anyone explain what this “>” mean? He hasn’t got any offer from any RGC. Our puzzle is, will he get any offer from RGC or CPS only offers one school for both tests?
    Thanks, I would appreciate your response.

  • 463. waitinggame  |  March 25, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    @450 and 453 Skinner West does not have sibling preference, so the sibling isn’t guaranteed acceptance. However, there is a lottery (I believe in May this year) for any available seats and there is sibling preference for that. I think that means that of the lotteried seats, a certain % are guaranteed to siblings, but that doesn’t guarantee you anything.

  • 464. CPS mom  |  March 25, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    Tier 4
    RGC: 139
    No offer – only listed Coonley

  • 465. WesLooWorkingMom  |  March 25, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    Tier 4
    No test prep. My child did not stay in the room long enough to get the seat warm (less than 10 minutes).
    RGC–did not take test
    Classical Math 87, Reading 75
    Needless to say, no offers.

  • 466. WestSidePops  |  March 25, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    Tier 3

    DD1: Entering 2nd
    RGC 116 (down from 141/K and 123/1st)
    Classical 92R, 98M
    No offers (enrolled at RGC)

    DD2: Entering K
    RGC 132
    Classical 74R, 78M
    No offers (one decent magnet waitlist)

    And the wait continues….

  • 467. Pamela's smart rose  |  March 25, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    Does anyone know the cutoff score for tier 2

  • 468. Motherof2  |  March 25, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    @463 – if you move within the skinner west boundaries they are guaranteed a neighborhood spot?

  • 469. cathy  |  March 25, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    Tier 4
    1st grade
    RGC: 116
    Reading: 99, Math 98
    Offer from Decatur

    Last year’s RGC score was 144 (only applied to Coonley RGC but did not get an offer for kindergarten).

    Was surprised to see the huge drop in RGC score & now wondering if there’s some connection between all the families who are reporting similar drops from K to 1st grade scores…hmmm…

  • 470. waitinggame  |  March 25, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    @468 Yes, guaranteed a spot in the neighborhood program at Skinner west if you are in the attendance boundaries.

  • 471. wpz247  |  March 25, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    tier 4
    reading 97, math 99
    no offers

  • 472. SouthShore  |  March 25, 2013 at 9:01 pm

    Needless to say, after all the waiting…no offers!
    Tier 2
    RGC- 104
    Classical- reading 98, math 80
    Applied to Decatur, Edison, Coonley and SN.
    I’m utterly distraught! Private school it is. We worked so hard with him, I can’t understand why he didn’t get accepted.
    I can’t wait to see the cut-offs scores.

  • 473. Christina  |  March 25, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    @454 cps- My daughter currently goes to Pritzker gifted, LOVE the program, the administration is hot & cold.
    There IS sibling lottery for the Fine Arts (neighborhood) program.

  • 474. junieb  |  March 25, 2013 at 9:08 pm


    Classical- Reading 76 Math 70

    Offered National Teachers Academy
    Does anyone know if they are offering tours?

    Applied to Skinner North & Pritzker

  • 475. Riis  |  March 25, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    T-Mobile. America’s First Nationwide 4G Network

  • 476. AnalysisParalysis  |  March 25, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    Am I the only parent whose child has scored ridiculously low? I don’t understand it. I knew my child isn’t academically ahead in terms of reading and math, but she is bright and I wanted to test because you never know. She flew through the Brain Quest Pre K and most of the K flash cards, though I realize that probably means nothing. Aside from the Brain Quest flash cards, which we did now and then, we did no other prepping. Almost everyone we meet comments how she is smart for her age. So I hoped she would do ok even if not high enough to qualify for any SEES schools. But these scores…:-(

    I know that I should not put too much stock in these tests because they don’t measure all dimensions of a child and other types of intelligence such as creativity or emotional intelligence and they may not be an indicator of intelligence or future academic and/or life success for reasons mentioned already such as a possible “off” day for the child or some children just don’t test well, but still…even knowing all that I feel upset and a bit frightened at seeing such low scores. 😦

  • 477. SMAT  |  March 25, 2013 at 9:12 pm

    My kid is currently in classical SW.
    He is offered Keller for first grade.
    RGC: 135
    Classical: 99 reading and 80 math.

    Is there a big difference moving from SW to gifted Keller?
    Does anyone have a similar experience?
    If we want to move from south loop to somewhere close to Keller, where can we find a decent family friendly neighborhood?


  • 478. Decatur the sequel  |  March 25, 2013 at 9:12 pm

    Decatur questions? Send them! Thrilled with the school and happy to be putting a second kid there.
    Tier 4 Reading: 99 Math: 99.8
    Decatur is a very warm and open community. Every staff member knows the students’ names and the classes are fantastically diverse and diversity is celebrated. Along with rigorous academics what more could you want?

  • 479. Relieved mom  |  March 25, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    Analysis paralysis … Please don’t worry about a low score. It is ONE TEST on ONE DAY. My son did not score well on the test for options. He attended a neighborhood program and is now at Northside and doing just fine!

  • 480. abc123  |  March 25, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    Tier 4
    Entering 1st grade
    RGC 135
    Offered Keller (1st choice)

    Does anyone know if Keller is holding open house? thanks

  • 481. abcs  |  March 25, 2013 at 9:16 pm

    Thx, waitinggame.

  • 482. waitinggame  |  March 25, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    @476- I know it seems frustrating and I can understand your concern. I agree with all of the ideas in the second paragraph but I know for your own sanity, you probably want to make sure your child is doing well. Remember, the test is based upon reading and math skills. If she hasn’t yet been taught some of the skills on the test, she may not have been able to do the problems. If you are really worried, I would give her your own assessment and see how she does. Can she count and identify 1-100? Can she add +1, + 2, +3. Can she sequence the numbers? Can she identify all letters and sounds? Does she know sight words? Can she sound out basic 3 letter words? If she can’t, there is nothing wrong with that-there is a huge range of skills at this age. But these are things you can work on at home to ease your mind and get her ready for Kindergarten. I wouldn’t worry though, her scores are still above average!

  • 483. Magnet Parent  |  March 25, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    @385 Roland Pryzbylewski: Please decline your Franklin offer as many waitlist parents are looking forward to it. Thank you! Edison is an excellent school. We really would pick that school if my daughter’s score is high enough to get in.

  • 484. CoolerbytheLake  |  March 25, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    Accepted at South Loop for 4th grade with:
    RGC: 142

    I am really hoping it is a positive experience since I have heard some not-so-good things about the current principal. Does anyone know if the RGC is leaving the building or staying?

  • 485. OldTown  |  March 25, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    Tier 2
    RGC 140
    Offer Coonley for K
    Classical R82, M63

    Surprised at our low classical numbers… we had hopes of getting in Skinner North which is close to our house. We were not even in the ballpark! But, very proud of my daughter on her offer to Coonley!

    I’m a Decatur alum so I’m curious how the gifted program is different from than the classical program. I understand how CPS divies up the kids into classical vs. gifted but once in school, are they being taught the same programs or are they vastly different?

  • 486. SoxSideIrish4  |  March 25, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    477. SMAT ~Keller Gifted is in Mt. Greenwood~a home in MTG, MP, Beverly would probably where you would want to live if you were to move. Very friendly, family neighborhood.

  • 487. worried mom  |  March 25, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    RGC 135
    Tier 3
    No offer maybe second round hoping

  • 488. Dunning Mom  |  March 25, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    Haven’t got my letter yet as we are on vacation but have been obsessively reading the blog all day. 🙂

    Someone asked about NTA (National Teachers Academy) and I wanted to post my thoughts since I recently visited the school. The building is really nice but I was struck by the lack of student work and art on the walls – instead there were many graphs and charts of various standardized test scores (including for kindergarten). The charts showed the most recent scores along with goals for the next round of testing and specific prizes kids will get for reaching that testing goal. The charts were everywhere in the school, in the halls and on the walls in every room.

    I know the RGC is something new there, but I wonder if it be run in the same way, with a strict teach-to-the-test format? I would hope not. I put NTA on my son’s application because it is so close to my work, but after visiting it I had serious doubts.

  • 489. SouthShore  |  March 25, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    When are the cut-offs scores going to be posted?

  • 490. LynnJ  |  March 25, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    @coolerbythelake my daughter attends TB pre k at south loop. I keep noticing conflicting messages about the RGC there. Told it was now a neighborhood school. Perhaps this is just or entry grades.

  • 491. Mama Jess in the AP  |  March 25, 2013 at 9:53 pm

    Hey, thanks for opening a dialogue! My concern is that my son will be so swamped with work that he will have no life outside of school. I understand and desire rigor, but I also want my kid to play T-ball and have hobbies that don’t necessarily include mathematical concepts! What is your experience with the amount of homework?

  • 492. Parent  |  March 25, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    @223 Does anyone know what the cutoff scores were for 1st round International Gifted Programs at Lincoln & Ogden?

  • 493. oms  |  March 25, 2013 at 9:56 pm

    Classical scores dropped from 93rd to 49th percentile in one year! In related news, I am both 6 feet and 4 feet tall, depending on whom you ask. After the disappointment and rage wears off tomorrow, I look forward to going back to pretending this is all normal, and that the process our family has willingly subjected itself to is something other than a farcical mind game.

  • 494. Questioner  |  March 25, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    @385 Watch The Wire much?

  • 495. southlooper  |  March 25, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    @484 and @490, South Loop RGC is staying in the current building but is phasing out the program year by year (next year will only be 2-8) to make room for the neighborhood school and ease overcrowding. The current year kindergarten is the first grade of only neighborhood classrooms. Feel free to message me re: the RGC as I have a child in the program.

  • 496. moxie  |  March 25, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    Tier 1
    Entering 1st grade

    98 R, 80 M
    121 RGC

    Got an offer for Bell (our 3rd or 4th choice)

    Last year we were Tier 4, 97 R, 97 M, 121 RGC, had no offers

  • 497. SLoop Family  |  March 25, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    We have two kids in RGC at South Loop. Gifted program is phased out with the current first grade class being the last class. Will eventually be an all neighborhood school.

  • 498. DD  |  March 25, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    @455 My son is in kindergarten at SN now, and all 60 spots are filled currently and I know of no one leaving as of yet. So, for now, there are no 1st grade spots at SN.

  • 499. Skinner  |  March 25, 2013 at 10:03 pm


  • 500. mommyo  |  March 25, 2013 at 10:04 pm

    Tier 4
    RGC 133

    Does anyone know if only listing one school that you really want for your child on the application vs. multiple schools on the application hurts your kid’s chances of getting in? i.e., are your chances better if you just pick one school?


  • 501. mommyo  |  March 25, 2013 at 10:05 pm

    forgot to say no offer

  • 502. Skinner  |  March 25, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    @455 last year both K classed at Skinner had at least two openings. Kids moved and kids got accepted at different schools. It won’t be known till someone accepts a new offer and informs the school counselor. Then the OAE will reach out to the next in line for those openings.

  • 503. Just Wondering  |  March 25, 2013 at 10:08 pm

    How many struggle once they get into the RGC/Classical program?Once you get in, isn’t that the real test? What if my child receives a few B’s and C’s? Should I consider pulling my child out of the program before 7th grade?I hear you need straight A’s in 7th grade to be considered for the top high schools.

    Does anyone know the number of kids in neighborhood/magnet/private schools getting into Northside, Whitney Young, Lane etc…
    I don’t believe all come from RGC/Classical programs.

  • 504. CPS Crazy  |  March 25, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    @what happen?! – you asked me about MAP scores. These are the NWEA Map tests that I believe is a mandatory test for all CPS schools (correct me if I’m wrong fellow parents). My daughter’s school does the test 3 times a year (fall, winter, spring) and it is supposed to measure her improvement over the school year. There is a section on the MAP result printout that breaks down the averaged scored into a percentile. But like I said, I have no idea how the MAP score translates to the SEES scores.

  • 505. back to the neighborhood  |  March 25, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    Watching this process for the last three years is heartbreaking. Smart kids and fast learners not getting spots, because there are not enough to go around, 4 year old kids having an “off” day on the test day. I’m thinking dissolve the whole magnet and SEES system, put an accelerated program in every (or every second school), assess the kids during the first few years, then test them for the accelerated program, when the time is right. Experts say 3rd grade, right? Families would not have to travel across the town, CPS would save the busing money, people would be invested in their neighborhood school.

  • 506. Decatur the sequel  |  March 25, 2013 at 10:17 pm

    Homework at Decatur is totally manageable. We have time for extracurricular activities, dinner, family time, and more. It’s also a great way to keep up with what they are learning in class.

  • 507. Lisa  |  March 25, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    Mama Jess said, “I feel that he is getting what he has earned, not what I have bought.”

    Amen to that sister!

  • 508. Mama Jess in the AP  |  March 25, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    Thank you!

  • 509. LynnJ  |  March 25, 2013 at 10:23 pm

    @dunningmom I too heard the building at NTA is awesome. I drive past It everyday yet have not been inside. I plan to call there after break to find out about tours. Too bad a out the pie charts everywhere. That is alot of pressure.

  • 510. SkinnerOrStem  |  March 25, 2013 at 10:31 pm

    Tier 3, K
    Classical R 99, M 99
    RGC 130

    offered Skinner West(1st choice)
    Magnet offered STEM

    We put Skinner West on top of North when we applied.
    And we regret that and want to find a chance for North for 2nd round.

    Any thoughts? I appreciate it.

  • 511. no prep here  |  March 25, 2013 at 10:34 pm

    We did not test prep, because we wanted the school to be a match to our child’s natural talents and skills. I did not want to get a spot at a school, where she would end up having to drill constantly to keep up with the rest. I’m not willing to stand over my kid with a whip and make her do something that does not come somewhat naturally to her. I was worried after being accepted to a classical school, that she might have had a “really good day” when she tested and perhaps she would have harder time at school, but she has really flourished into a thirsty learner. Wants to know more and more and retains the knowledge really well.

  • 512. Yadi  |  March 25, 2013 at 10:35 pm

    I only got the three digit score but o numbers by the reading and math areas. Please help?!?

  • 513. SN  |  March 25, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    @510 probably really good chance! The scores do not get any higher then yours.

  • 514. Worried mom  |  March 25, 2013 at 10:39 pm

    Does anyone know when we are going to get the letter for the ELL gifted program? (Pulaski, orozco and Greeley) and if we got an offer for a classical school that will mean we are not getting an offer for the ELL gifted schools?

  • 515. CPS Crazy  |  March 25, 2013 at 10:40 pm


    Did you apply to both RGC and Classical schools? The 3 digit score is the RGC score.

  • 516. Yadi  |  March 25, 2013 at 10:42 pm

    I thought so. We got our first letter last seek with wait list numbers and then today’s letter with the 3 digit number

  • 517. Mommy_of_1  |  March 25, 2013 at 10:43 pm

    Did anyone apply to lenart?

  • 518. Decatur info  |  March 25, 2013 at 10:43 pm

    Please, info about Decatur program for kinder!

  • 519. South Loop Mom  |  March 25, 2013 at 10:44 pm

    Re National Teachers Academy (NTA), this article about 4 kids being jumped on the playground after school just made the decision for us. I can’t imagine throwing our kid into that environment. http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20130221/kenwood/schoolyard-attack-sparks-safety-concerns-regarding-cps-school-closures

  • 520. Yadi  |  March 25, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    Any info on LaSalle II appreciated.

  • 521. SMAT  |  March 25, 2013 at 10:47 pm

    If you prefer SN because of the test scores, take into account that SW has neighborhood kids as well. SW has an excellent variety of after school programs. The Kindergarten teachers are excellent and the kids come from a very diverse background. SW building is also new compared to SN. I suggest that you tour both places before declining SW.

  • 522. Lasalle II  |  March 25, 2013 at 10:49 pm

    My daughter is at Lasalle II preK half day program an couldn’t be happier. She didn’t get into for next year kinder. Moms w older siblings at her class are really happy there. The principal just quit, so I’m not sure how that will affect the school for next year.

  • 523. Skeptical Mom  |  March 25, 2013 at 11:00 pm

    @519: I’ve been to that school. The facility is new and nice but the kids are misbehaved. They play really rough in the playground and they calling names and throwing snowballs at parents. I am skeptical of sending my kids to their RGC program as they got an offer.

  • 524. Lenart Parent  |  March 25, 2013 at 11:03 pm


    We got into Lenart for K last year, tier 2 score 137

    The majority of posters here are northsiders, but there are a few posters from the southside here and there. Last year I may have seen about 2 other posters that commented about getting into Lenart for kindergarten, and I may have been one of the 2.

  • 525. Dunning Mom  |  March 25, 2013 at 11:13 pm

    @519 – Yikes! Four kids get jumped on the playground at dismissal and sent to the hospital and CPS thinks it is no big deal as the kids weren’t students there? What were 8 non-NTA teenagers doing on the playground? What kind of security is there if this is allowed to go on?

    It seems like the kids that are going to NTA now have been through a lot of recent changes, with school closings and being bused across town to a new neighborhood. Now they are adding yet another new crop of kids to the school with the RGC. I would be very worried about safety and bullying.

  • 526. LynnJ  |  March 25, 2013 at 11:18 pm

    @ South Loop Mom this article makes me sad! Bummer!

  • 527. Impatient for May 18  |  March 25, 2013 at 11:18 pm

    Tier 4, Entering K
    RGC 133 no offers from Coonley or Edison
    Classical R 87, M 80 no offers from Skinner North or Decatur

    I don’t believe in test prep and I totally question the validity of IQ tests in general and testing at this young age in particular, but with a not great neighborhood school and no magnet offers so far, I do feel kind of dumb that I didn’t prep much. The system is faulty, so maybe I should have exploited the faults for my kid’s benefit.

    I’m all over the place – I know the tests are dumb, I’m proud my kid scored in the 98th percentile AND I feel like we failed. This system makes you crazy. It would be so nice if it felt like there were enough good spots for everyone.

  • 528. South Loop Mom  |  March 25, 2013 at 11:20 pm

    @525: We are upset that NTA won’t work. It is close and we were excited about a new program in a great facility, so we applied. It was our only acceptance. Yet, safety trumps all.

  • 529. LSMom  |  March 25, 2013 at 11:23 pm

    Tier 3
    97 (m), 90(r)

    Got into NTA, our last choice. I’m concerned about the safety issues as well.

  • 530. Dunning Mom  |  March 25, 2013 at 11:30 pm

    It might be a good idea for parents of children admitted to NTA RGC to get together and meet with the admin about safety. I would also be curious about the curriculum and whether they plan to post the test scores of RGC kids on the walls like they do for the neighborhood program.

  • 531. Bowmanville mom  |  March 25, 2013 at 11:36 pm

    1st grade – 99/99 classical
    Offered spot at Skinner West

    Just for perspective, last year she got 99.5R/67M – I think the tests are terrible at evaluating the kids, especially for K. How can they possibly assess the kids in 20 min.?

  • 532. Mom  |  March 25, 2013 at 11:37 pm

    Be an urban pioneer.

    That situation was an isolated incident. Pray that school closings are not bussed to,your school. Impressive teachers and resources. But it’s a test prep school. Gotta close the achievement gap somehow. Welcome to public education for the other half.

  • 533. South Loop Mom  |  March 25, 2013 at 11:40 pm

    For NTA: The current ISAT scores below –

    3rd Grade
    65% Reading
    89% Math
    4th Grade
    56% Reading
    90% Math
    5th Grade
    51% Reading
    77% Math
    6th Grade
    81% Reading
    75% Math
    7th Grade
    72% Reading
    86% Math

  • 534. SkinnerOrStem  |  March 25, 2013 at 11:46 pm

    Thanks SN, SMAT for comments. I have heard lots of good things about North and because of his sibling at north side rgc commute is another issue.

    We want put both kids into the same school someday.
    But…now I’m not sure about that.
    Because every kid is different.
    I thought my daughter was better fit to classical and my son to rgc.
    But it turned out the other way.

    Good luck everyone…
    We got no offer 2 years ago for my first one. Even no magnet offer… But we found a space for her and she is really happy with current school.

  • 535. Open Minded Parent  |  March 25, 2013 at 11:55 pm

    Apparently my child is a good 4yo test taker. Let’s hope this isn’t a sign that he has peaked before kindergarten!

    Tier 4, Kindergarten
    RGC: 160
    Reading: >99.9
    Math: 99

    Offered a seat at our first choice: Decatur.

    My child was in the test for about an hour and fifteen minutes. We did no test prep. My husband and I agree with others that test prepping risks setting the kid up for future failure. We do read with him every night before bed and he could read fairly well at the time of the test. As for pre-K, we have him in our neighborhood school PFA program. . . it’s free. He has taken the Northwestern CTD classes and his scores for admission to that were consistent.

  • 536. cpsobsessed  |  March 25, 2013 at 11:57 pm

    Wow, so the 160 rumors are true!


    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 537. schoolstress  |  March 26, 2013 at 12:01 am

    Applied K

    RGC: 143
    Reading: 89
    Math: 95

    No Offers. Keeping fingers crossed for a spot at Coonley in a later round.

  • 538. CPS Mom  |  March 26, 2013 at 1:39 am

    @ 503: my child was just accepted at Lane’s AC. No test prep. Tier 4. We are at a neighborhood school.

  • 539. Currently Paying for Private School  |  March 26, 2013 at 6:23 am

    Entering 1st Grade, Scored 98% (starting 1st grade it is a combined math/reading score), tier 1, no offers. Does anybody know how they start working down the wait list? I’m guessing that many incoming 1st graders scored 98% or better. How do they decide who gets the first call once the acceptance deadline has passed? Alphabetical? Tier lottery?

  • 540. cps  |  March 26, 2013 at 6:32 am

    @ 473. Christina | March 25, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    Regarding “My daughter currently goes to Pritzker gifted, LOVE the program, the administration is hot & cold.
    There IS sibling lottery for the Fine Arts (neighborhood) program.”

    Thanks so much for your response. Could you elaborate a little bit about the administration? Is bullying prevalent in the school?

  • 541. FP  |  March 26, 2013 at 7:01 am

    Congrats to you all.
    My child is a kindergartener at a RGC and I really don’t like that they use the Tier system and allow different scores for tiers. I don’t think it should apply to gifted programs.

    But my child loves the school. The administration is new and I really like the direction they want to go in.

    Unfortunately, their teacher doesn’t differentiate for math. I send my child to CTD for enrichment because of this.

  • 542. RGC Mom  |  March 26, 2013 at 7:36 am


    My child’s school doesn’t either. I toured a few Classical and RGC’s last year and I don’t recall any that said they differentiated for math, only reading.

    Does anyone know which SEES schools differentiate for math too?

  • 543. Lisa  |  March 26, 2013 at 7:49 am

    My DD was offered K spots at these schools any insight about Hawthorne Magnet? STEM? and my neighborhood school is Ogden International? TIA : )

  • 544. LSMom  |  March 26, 2013 at 7:54 am

    Sounds like there’s a few of us who are in at NTA and uncertain — would anyone be interested in meeting up?

    If so, email me at possiblentamom at gmail.com and we can try to coordinate something.

  • 545. HSObsessed  |  March 26, 2013 at 7:56 am

    @543 – Is your child currently in pre-K at Lab, and you love it there?

  • 546. LakeviewMom  |  March 26, 2013 at 8:07 am

    I just wanted to give a little hope to anyone who did not receive an offer and living in the Hamilton school boundary. Hamilton is GREAT! My daughter had scored RGC139 last year and no offers. We live one block from Hawthorne and was over 200 on the list. I had done research on Hamilton and knew it was once slated for extinction several years ago, so I was not hopeful…. Then I went to the open house and I never felt so relieved and actually giddy. It was as if someone asked me how I would turn around a school and they did it! I met with the principle and her K teacher and gave them her portfolio of work (particular Math classes at CTD) and they were very accomadating to differiante her studies. She was pulled with several other kids to follow the first grade gifted Math curriculum. After a few months, my daughter did well enough that she now has moved on to the 2nd grade curriculum for Math. The kids also have dance, gym, music and multi-cultural studies several times a week, not just once. It is a well rounded school with a very devoted parent group. I wouldn’t say the school is up and coming, it’s here. The K – 2 classes are full, but above that there is under enrollment. This is why there is a discrepancy in the testing numbers.
    So I encourage those parents who are in the neighborhood to check out your school and be pleasantly surprised!!!

  • 547. anonymouse teacher  |  March 26, 2013 at 8:08 am

    @530, May I ask how you know that NTA allegedly posts test scores for kids on the walls? You have seen it? Not being snarky, just wondering if this is rumor or reality.

  • 548. cpsobsessed  |  March 26, 2013 at 8:09 am

    I thought they said it was charts related to the tests – like goals and stuff. Not test scores…

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 549. Tracy Petruso  |  March 26, 2013 at 8:16 am

    Tier 4
    Entering 1st: 99/97 no offers
    Entering 4th: 92/99 skinner north – likely turning down (so keep hope alive!)

  • 550. Just show me the testscores  |  March 26, 2013 at 8:17 am

    Open Minded Parent:

    Just idle curiosity: What are you and your husbands’ educational and work profile like? Seeing as how IQ is 0.6 heritable I’m guessing there are a few graduate degrees in your household.

  • 551. Mercy  |  March 26, 2013 at 8:22 am

    Does anyone know when second round offers come out?

  • 552. MrZ  |  March 26, 2013 at 8:35 am

    Tier 1
    Offered Pritzker

  • 553. SoxSideIrish4  |  March 26, 2013 at 8:35 am

    #548~549~It’s called a Data Wall and it’s horrible.~JMHO

  • 554. iq determinalist  |  March 26, 2013 at 8:37 am

    438 Lisa:

    There are lots of parents who do not share your cultural mores who have no qualms about prepping their kids to get into the best schools. An education at the best schools in the state is worth several hundred thousand dollars. Compare the tuition at Latin or Lab Schools to the Regional Gifted Centers. Or the cost of owning a home in Hinsdale. However, if your kid is not really natively smart then the workload will be crushing. At least at a RGC there is a safe environment unlike the majority of CPS.

    I do think if your kid is natively smart doing test prep to push them a little further right on the bell curve is in the best interest of your child. As in the rest of life credentials matter. And if your kid is going to growing up with the smartest kids in our giant city that cannot be anything but an advantage later in life. Heck, when they break their leg in their 30s they will know their orthopedic surgeon!

  • 555. what happened?!  |  March 26, 2013 at 8:40 am

    @CPS crazy Thanks for the info on MAP tests. I know my school tests progess but I’ve never seen the data. I’m going to ask for the info when spring break is over. Thanks again.

  • 556. Fourth grade acceptance  |  March 26, 2013 at 8:40 am

    Re fourth grade acceptance….those of us who want to leave can’t let the school know until we have our letters/offers. I don’t think you will hear until may or june. I have a first round very high scoring child leaving RGC. He likes athletics and does not have the drive to stay….There really is not time for serious involvement in something outside of school…at least not where we are.

  • 557. TG  |  March 26, 2013 at 8:47 am

    Ha, “know their orthopedic surgeon”?? Hilarious. More like your neighborhood EMT coming from CPS.

  • 558. LynnJ  |  March 26, 2013 at 8:54 am

    @lisa just curious to know why you applied at other schools given Ogden’s great reputation? Many parents would love this school for their child.

  • 559. Mama Jess in the AP  |  March 26, 2013 at 8:55 am

    Woohoo! The elitism is getting thick in here!

  • 560. PK  |  March 26, 2013 at 8:59 am

    Hi everyone, we have a kindergartener that just tested into a Regional Gifted Program very near our house…we’re thrilled! One concern is that the school itself has poor scores. How much of a concern should this be? (The gifted program is new there and hasn’t yet been baked in to the school’s results.)

  • 561. Christine Whitley  |  March 26, 2013 at 9:08 am

    2nd round will happen in April after the April 12th deadline.

  • 562. Pritzker Mom  |  March 26, 2013 at 9:13 am

    @PK I would not worry about reported scores for any school that is not 100% RGC. As far as I know, none of the schools separate out the scores.

    Many of the RGC programs are in schools with neighborhood programs that historically have had very low scores. Even though the scores reported are not impressive, the RGC program’s students are usually 100% at/above grade level.

  • 563. AE  |  March 26, 2013 at 9:17 am

    To Fourth Grade Acceptance. Any chance you might share the program/school you are planning to leave? I get the impression that many of us looking for older slots have a specific school in mind (trying to get siblings together, closer to home, etc.) and it would be nice to hear that a spot might be opening in the future. Thanks!

  • 564. Chicago School GPS  |  March 26, 2013 at 9:17 am

    For those asking about how to find your Tier (since it is not posted on the letter itself), check out Open City Apps’ great tool: http://cpstiers.opencityapps.org/index.html
    It also explains the tiers and the annual re-evaluation.

    CPSOAE does not post cut-off scores for Classical, RGC or IG programs. Only Academic Center & SEHS cutoffs are released due to the higher number of spaces per school at the 7th and 9th grade entry points. They state privacy concerns for not posting cutoffs for programs with only 28 kids.

    Anyone with specific questions regarding their child’s scores are encouraged to contact the IIT Call Center from 9AM-5PM at 312.567.6470 until April 4th (this is stated on your child’s notification letter).

    Regarding NTA, I highly suggest you visit them and talk directly with the Principal, teachers, and students. I was very impressed with the dedicated, energetic teachers and the student who conducted our tour was very proud of her achievements that were indeed posted on the walls. (Names weren’t posted, just an ID #). That being said, the practice may change in the coming years. NTA is also very unique in that it is a contract school, run by AUSL who can hire/fire the Principal versus an LSC. First time for an RGC to be in a contract school, I think. I recommend folks keep an open mind and see for themselves. Those NTA accepted families are off to a good start because it really does begin with a few core families to change the perception about a school. If anyone remembers the turn-around for South Loop over 10 years ago, I would say it was very much under conditions like NTA is undertaking now. And I predict NTA’s rise will be faster than SL because there is much more housing stock down there now than 10 years ago. Definitely at least visit before making a final decision. (And don’t miss seeing the swimming pool and music & art rooms!)

    Regarding RGC scores and a neighborhood school, there is typically a “halo” effect of the RGC addition bringing in a different group of parents and resources that can positively impact the entire school.

    For those wondering above movement in the lists: this year is an anomaly with the later release (May 19) of Open Enrollment and out-of-neighborhood Magnet Cluster acceptances (such as McPherson, Peirce, Hamilton, etc), but in year’s past, there has been a LOT of movement over the coming months for all types of CPS schools (SEES, Magnet & Open Enrollment) so the disappointment felt now may indeed be replaced with good news later. It does happen! Especially because parents tend to commit to their backup plans by the summer (in some cases private schools lock in tuition for the whole year before June). And parents with multiple acceptances (Magnet and SEES, for example) can only enroll their child at one school. Summer calls require quick decision times so try to visit schools this spring, including your neighborhood school if you haven’t visited yet.

  • 565. Dunning Mom  |  March 26, 2013 at 9:22 am

    @547 I attended an event at the school and saw the score charts on the walls. I was inside three different classrooms and they all had test score charts. The hallways also had test score charts. The charts listed current test scores and future test score goals, along with prizes for reaching goals. I specifically looked for kindergarten scores because I have a child going into kindergarten, and indeed there were kindergarten test score charts and goals on the wall in the hallway.

    I just hope the RGC will be different? I wouldn’t want my child focusing on a test score goal in kindergarten!

  • 566. Carla  |  March 26, 2013 at 9:23 am

    Offered South Loop for the 2nd Grade – can you please give any feedback on the program. Thank you.

  • 567. luveurope  |  March 26, 2013 at 9:26 am

    220 congrats on Edison, but save yourself years of grief…go to the suburbs. There are no guarantees for younger sibs.

  • 568. K-Mom  |  March 26, 2013 at 9:27 am

    The letter says there were 3400 applications for K RGC schools. Does anyone know how many seats were on the table, across all RGC schools for K?

  • 569. NTA  |  March 26, 2013 at 9:27 am

    @Christine Whitley – do you know if there are any plans for an information session about NTA RCG? Sounds like there is concern about safety/focus at the school, but nobody wants to say they turned down a spot at the next Coonley. How can families get more info?

  • 570. cpsobsessed  |  March 26, 2013 at 9:31 am

    Would have a parent or 2 contact NTA to see if they’ll do a tour/meeting.

    One thing that impressed me when coonley was starting up was the principal’s willingness/eagerness to give new families a tour. She did multiple rounds of tours as families were deciding that first year. I went twice. Seeing an admin that was eager to meet with parents was part of what swayed us.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 571. local  |  March 26, 2013 at 9:32 am

    @ 486. SoxSideIrish4 | March 25, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    “477. SMAT ~Keller Gifted is in Mt. Greenwood~a home in MTG, MP, Beverly would probably where you would want to live if you were to move. Very friendly, family neighborhood.”

    SMAT: What type of home and environment are you looking for. There’s a lot of difference within the various sections of those neighborhoods. Like homes seem overpriced in Mount Greenwood, likely because demand is so high.

  • 572. SoxSideIrish4  |  March 26, 2013 at 9:37 am

    #571~local~check the housing listings…homes in Mt Greenwood are competitive. The other two areas are deemed more expensive. But all areas offer a family environment where people know and look out for the neighbors. I really don’t think you can go wrong buying a home in the 19th ward, but I’m biased!

  • 573. local  |  March 26, 2013 at 9:44 am

    Question: Is there an equivalent to the Northwestern CTD program on Chicago’s southside?

  • 574. CPSer  |  March 26, 2013 at 9:44 am

    @564 Are you sure that NTA is still run by AUSL? I know that was the case in years past, but I thought they were phased out. (Only the talk in the neighborhood since we live blocks from there – I have no real knowledge.)

  • 575. RMD  |  March 26, 2013 at 9:44 am

    Tier 4: RGC 147, Reading 93, Math 85. Offered at Lenart entering K.

    I notice that almost no one here is a south-sider, does anyone know anything about Lenart? Obviously it is a great school, but I am not familiar with the area or know anyone who goes there.

  • 576. local  |  March 26, 2013 at 9:46 am

    SSI4 – It’s just that you seem to get less house for your money in MtG. Like a house of the same price in MtG and in Bev seems to get you more house in Bev. Also, is there less racial diversity in MtG, which might be important to a buyer? Overall, you get a good bang for your buck in the 19th ward.

  • 577. cpsobsessed  |  March 26, 2013 at 9:46 am

    @RMD – check the thread from last year (posted under the baby.) I think there were some lenart comments…

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 578. Christine Whitley  |  March 26, 2013 at 9:57 am

    @569 — I am not aware of any upcoming information sessions regarding NTA. Mr. Castelaz has been responsive to my questions and I’m sure he would schedule a tour for kids accepted to the RCG before the April 12th deadline if enough parents call and ask.

  • 579. LakeviewMom  |  March 26, 2013 at 9:57 am

    @573 the CTD has a Chicago campus out of Francais Xavier Ward, no need to go to Evanston.

  • 580. anonymouse teacher  |  March 26, 2013 at 9:57 am

    I’ve heard of these test score chart walls by id. In the lower grades, kids don’t know whose is whose, but you can bet they do as they get older. How completely awful. It is testing on steroids.

  • 581. Christine Whitley  |  March 26, 2013 at 9:59 am

    Here’s some additional information about NTA: http://schools.chicagotribune.com/school/national-teachers-elementary-academy_chicago/

  • 582. South Loop Mom  |  March 26, 2013 at 10:08 am

    My husband wants to take a tour before crossing National Teachers Academy (NTA) off of our list. Any other parents who want to learn more about NTA, here is the school office # (773) 534-9970 – Hit 8 for the main office. If we start leaving messages, we may be able to drum up a good information session. It is located at Cermak & State.

  • 583. Chicago School GPS  |  March 26, 2013 at 10:13 am

    @574- As of their December 2012 open house, they were still an AUSL school which I don’t know if it’s necessarily a plus or minus. They are also still a “teacher training academy” so they tend to have more adults in the classrooms, however.

    If you go to the “About Us” page of the link below, you can find contact info for Principal Castelez and a picture of him in the music room. While it does state they are data-driven, that doesn’t necessarily mean the RGC will be exactly the same way. RGCs housed in neighborhood schools have varying levels of autonomy stemming from the Principal’s vision/leadership and oftentimes have a very different curriculum from the neighborhood programs.

  • 584. ChicagoMomofBoys  |  March 26, 2013 at 10:18 am

    Re. NTA: I live in the South Loop and have kept a close eye on NTA over the past year. In all honesty, if it does become the “next Coonley,” it will take years. The building in and of itself is beautiful, but it’s still in a questionable neighborhood regardless of the recent demolition of nearby housing projects. There is ZERO diversity. When CPS was in talks about opening an RGC there, conversations centered on maintaining separate entrances and exits for the gifted students and keeping them completely separated from the other students. Welcome to the 2010s!?1? As appealing as a conveniently located RGC was to me, I didn’t rank NTA at all and decided I’d rather do the daily crosstown commute.

  • 585. GiftedTeacherMom  |  March 26, 2013 at 10:21 am

    Got my kindergarten letter Saturday. I am proud to say that my kindergartner will be attending Poe Classical ranked as the 5th best elementary school in Chicago 2012 in Chicago Magazine. And it is on the…wait for it….FAR SOUTHSIDE!! Love it! We are a tier 4 Beverly family. My son’s scores were ReAding 99.9 and math 98. I am surprised that more south side families are not on this blog. I feel horrible about those who tested so well and didn’t get in anywhere. How many of you put down Poe or McDade Classical? (McDade was ranked 9th or 11th) Shout out to Little Hands Preschool Academy in Beverly and of course my mommy skills. : ). My oldest 2 went to Poe and are now at Ignatius killing it. Turned down Lane Tech 2years ago. My middle is in 1st at Carnegie’s RGC. Fabulous Kg and 1st grade teacher.

  • 586. anonymouse teacher  |  March 26, 2013 at 10:21 am

    I would also imagine that individual parents can submit a letter indicating they will not allow their child’s test scores to be put up on a wall. Even by id #. Parents can also, should they so choose, opt out of every single high stakes test (Dibels, Mclass, Reach, TRC, Access, MAP/NWEA, Explore, Nape-sp?- and all the many, many other tests kids in K-8 have to take on top of regular unit tests) other than ISAT. Not saying one would want to opt out of all of them, but parents do have the option.

  • 587. anotherchicagoparent  |  March 26, 2013 at 10:21 am

    I personally know nothing about NTA but did find a bit of current info on the safety issue at NTA. Seems a school that closed last year was moved into NTA and (maybe) a bit of friction with two groups.
    GPS do you know if NTA is still getting a brand new track/field across the street to be used by Jones students? I am sure if this is still happening NTA would be able to use it too.

  • 588. NPN  |  March 26, 2013 at 10:30 am

    NPN (Neighborhood Parents Network) and PREP Chicago are hosting a seminar on next steps now that CPS letter are out- its open to everyone but you need to RSVP at http://www.npnparents.org/events/1097. Discussion on tiers, waitlists movement, deciding btwn schooos, changes coming to CPS, etc.

  • 589. Chicago School GPS  |  March 26, 2013 at 10:31 am

    @587- I don’t know about new outdoor space but I didn’t specifically ask.

    @584- I think NTA is following in South Loop’s path when it converted to RGC because SL had similar demographics to NTA’s now. If someone has first hand knowledge of being a first year South Loop RGC parent, that would be most helpful.

  • 590. Pamela's smart rose  |  March 26, 2013 at 10:38 am

    I thought I was tier 2 but maybe I’m not. cam anyone help me decode this! 105th wabash.
    What tier am I?m

  • 591. hmmm.... :-(  |  March 26, 2013 at 10:41 am

    SoxSideIrish — We applied for Keller but did not make the cut. Our neighborhood school is Kellogg, but are new to the neighborhood and have heard that the school had issues with the principal, there are a lot of outsider/non-neighborhood kids and that its not so hot of a school. However, we also heard it’s turning around and it could be a diamond in the rough. Do u know of any info on Kellogg, or other parochial options?

  • 592. Mom of twins 2  |  March 26, 2013 at 10:42 am

    Does McDade have after school programs for kdg?
    Tier 3
    Boy Twin – Rdg 98% / Math 71% (not sure what happened to him inside of that room)
    Girl Twin – Rdg 93% / Math 97%
    Offer for girl at McDade – accepting
    No offer for boy. 😦
    Currently, both attend really good parochial school for Prek where they teach one grade above. He’ll stay put for now!

  • 593. wonering...  |  March 26, 2013 at 10:48 am

    entering k. tier 1
    scores: RGC 122
    Reading 88
    Math 96
    skinner west was our first choice to maximize our chances, since we heard they are usually lower on people’s lists than skinner north and the others, and we got an offer. anyone have experience with skinner?? please post, very excited about this but also very nervous.

    Does anyone know if we accept an offer for classical, can we still receive another offer from a magnet program? we are waitlisted #4 at franklin fine arts which i visited and we loved, and waitlisted #30 at lackson language academy, #2 at Hawthorne.

  • 594. Edisonmom  |  March 26, 2013 at 10:48 am

    @567 There are a handful of families with 2 or even 3 kids at Edison. Some parents test every year with hopes of their kids eventually getting into the same school.

  • 595. LSmom  |  March 26, 2013 at 10:49 am

    @southloopmom, thanks for the number, I’ve left a message. A group tour and info session sounds good. The testing mania is one of my least-favorite aspects of CPS, so that is a huge concern along with the safety issues.

  • 596. GiftedTeacherMom  |  March 26, 2013 at 10:51 am

    Hi there north Beverly neighbor. Kellogg is my neighborhood school and I’m trying to like it but just don’t. I visited last year before the latest principal and didn’t like what I saw. I dont understand why they dont seem to have the resources that sutherland has. I also don’t like the fact that k-3 has tonput on coats and walk next door to the big buikding for lunch and resource classes. It just seems so mediocre. But at the end if the day their test scores are in the low to mid 80s so that’s pretty decent. I need a rigorous curriculum, a strong student and family friendly culture, that has a track record if kids testing into academic centers and SE high schools. If anyone else out there can tell us something positive about Kellogg we’d love to hear it. I’m still sending my kg to Poe Classical though.

  • 597. Sverre88  |  March 26, 2013 at 10:55 am

    Can anyone tell me where Decatur grads end up going for middle school? Thanks!

  • 598. hmmm.... :-(  |  March 26, 2013 at 11:03 am

    Gifted Teacher Mom – Thanks and congrats on Poe. Interested to know what the new principal at Kelogg is like? We were concerned about the principal at KellER, as she suposedly had some baggage, but now want to see what Kellogg’s head honcho is like.

  • 599. Yadi  |  March 26, 2013 at 11:06 am

    @pamela’s smart rose-your tier is based on where you live (your zip code). there is a map on here to review. the smaller number of tier the better chance you have of getting in somewhere

  • 600. Sverre88  |  March 26, 2013 at 11:08 am

    Also, does anyone have a kid who buses from Waters to Decatur? How long is the trip?

  • 601. Yadi  |  March 26, 2013 at 11:08 am

    can anyone tell me anything about Belding and/or LaSalle II ? thanks

  • 602. Stacey Nichols  |  March 26, 2013 at 11:09 am

    SEES Letter came today (postmarked the 23rd) no acceptances and she scored really well.
    Now I’m wondering where the magnet letter is. Didn’t those go out before the SEES?

  • 603. GiftedTeacherMom  |  March 26, 2013 at 11:13 am

    I believe they do. I have several friends with kids there and they LOVE IT!!!! I know they also have a fabulous cheerleading program and dance program for girls. Even though I have a boy, I was truly torn on whether to put Poe or McDade as my first choice. I changed the order at least five times. What is the fabulous catholic school your son attends?

  • 604. SoxSideIrish4  |  March 26, 2013 at 11:31 am

    591. hmmm….~Kellogg is a Level 1 school w/a fabulous Midyr IB prgm. They have a new principal that is going to make the school even better~go to the school and meet w/the principal. I think you’ll like what you hear. Plz note many kids in your area go to CK, but Kellogg is really a diamond and it’s not that rough!

  • 605. LynnJ  |  March 26, 2013 at 11:36 am

    @giftedteachermom Southsiders are not on this blog because often times we are not in the loop on these types of forums and networks. Please share and encourage other Southsiders to join the blog. I know I have. It will help us make better decisions regarding great schools on the south side.

  • 606. teachermom  |  March 26, 2013 at 11:41 am

    @597– My cousin graduated from Decatur two and a half years ago. Most from her class went to Taft Academic Center after 6th. My cuz and a handful went to Whitney Young.
    Many were “reunited” at Lane Tech and Northside this year for high school. I bet many go to Lane’s Academic Center now too…Hope that helps.

  • 607. Chicks  |  March 26, 2013 at 11:45 am

    I’m also looking for any feedback on Skinner West. We’re in Tier 4 and scores as follows: RGC 144 Reading 97 Math 99.
    We got an offer from Skinner West but it was our fifth choice, we’re far from away from them, about 10 miles. I don’t feel that we’d get any of our other choices if we declined SW ( Edison, Coonley, Skinner N, Decatur) so would be grateful for any feedback from SW parents. Thanks.

  • 608. Lasalle II  |  March 26, 2013 at 11:47 am

    @ yadi post 601
    Read my post #522

  • 609. School bus  |  March 26, 2013 at 11:51 am

    Can anyone explain how public transportation works??? Cause if we have two kids in two different schools I guess we will have no choice 😦

  • 610. RMD  |  March 26, 2013 at 11:55 am

    I would also like to know more about bussing, nervous about putting my 5 year old on a bus…

  • 611. LynnJ  |  March 26, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    @wonder I have never heard of parents choosing Skinner North over Skinner West.

    For those who have children in these schools, why would any parent chose one over the other?

  • 612. teachermom  |  March 26, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    From parents I have spoken with, the bus driver becomes like a family member, role model and teacher for the little ones. For the middle schoolers, this is not the case for obvious reasons.
    Drivers pick up at the neighborhood school, typically. From what I heard there is plenty of trust and reliability. If the commute is more than 45 minutes, a complaint should be made. Be assertive.

  • 613. Blusmom  |  March 26, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    We got our letter yesterday….very disappointed parents and kindergartener!! 136 total 99 for reading and 59 for math…no offers…

  • 614. Carla  |  March 26, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    @610 My daughter started at Lenart for K and she loved taking the bus. The bus driver was great as well. She took care of the kids and made sure someone was there to pick her up in the afternoon.

  • 615. d-mom  |  March 26, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    Does anyone know why space is so limited when the schools are underutilized?


    we are tier 4, entering K, 131 with no offer.

  • 616. Mom of twins 2  |  March 26, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    @603, I’m assuming you were answering my question regarding mcdade. LOL
    They currently attend St. Columbanus. I’m very happy with the school thus far. I spoke with their Pre-K teacher this morning about their scores. She was stunned at his math score. They give SAT’s about week 3 of the school year and then again in March to see how they’ve improved. He was the only one in the class to score 9’s in several areas. She was going to move him up the Kdg class but it was filled to capacity. So, I know he should have scored much much better in the math portion than he did.

  • 617. Shellie  |  March 26, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    I know from the Decatur site that they use the JCC for after school programming. I work until 4:30, but might be able to rearrange my schedule to accommodate the school day. Anyone here at Decatur utilize the JCC for after school? Just wondering what the cost is? Any other options that exist for after school?

  • 618. H  |  March 26, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    Got an accept at Edison with a 148 tier 4 (low 80s reading, low 90s math, on classical test). Someone posted a 146 tier 4 rejection to Edison, so tier 4 cutoff is 147 or 148. Not sure if we will accept. Will post if we don’t.

  • 619. Another Beverly Parent  |  March 26, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    Regarding Kellogg School – I think it’s a “rough diamond,” and certainly not in the rough. Kellogg has made great strides in recent years, particulalry as a result of the IB Program (which I think was the first of its kind). The new Principal is continuing this progress at an even faster pace. Sutherland had a head start, but Kellogg is on pace to catch up before long. This diamond may need a little more polishing, but it is getting it.

  • 620. d-mom  |  March 26, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    @618 that is very helpful. Looks like even with a 131, which we are proud of, my son may not be close enough to make it after the first round.

    My son is enrolled in kindergarten at a private school which promoted him from pre-K in November. His birthday is in December and we are considering trying to have him placed in first grade at our local school (assuming Edison is out). Anyone have any experience with this with older siblings?

  • 621. anotherchicagoparent  |  March 26, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    615 most times CPS utilization numbers are off.

  • 622. GiftedTeacherMom  |  March 26, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    Wow. I heard St.Columbanus was awesome. My girlfriend had 2 kids that went there a couple of years ago and tested into Keller RGC and McDade for 1st and 3rd grade. So hold on. He will get in next year!

  • 623. AnotherEdisonParent  |  March 26, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    RE: Edison shares the building with Albany Park Middle School. I don’t know if that is reflected in the building utilization.

    And, for what it is worth, we never did any test prep with our kid — wanted him to get in on his own merit.

  • 624. Mom of twins 2  |  March 26, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    @ GiftedTeacherMom – Thanks so much for the encouragement. Hopefully, we’ll have some good luck on our side next year. Although, their being separated my be a good thing. He’s more vocal with his knowledge, she more laid back. This will allow her to shine without being in his shadow.

  • 625. d-mom  |  March 26, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    @621 – no surprise, I just thought it was a newer facility and hoped they might still be on track…

    @623 – I did not realize it was sharing space with another school.

    Re: your FWIW, we also did not prep. I think it is interesting that anyone would want to try to prep the kids for a test that is supposed to place them appropriately. If he cannot keep up, what is the benefit to him? I would rather supplement with workbooks and other family “field trips” to keep learning interesting as opposed to overwhelming him.

  • 626. Jen  |  March 26, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    Tier 4
    RGC: 121
    Reading 99, Math 99.

    Offered by Beaubein

    I understand there are 13 RGC programs in CPS, I am wondering if there are some differences between these 13 RGC programs. Are they at the same level? or some of them are better? some of them are worse? If there are not at the same level, how is Beaubein RGC? My son was just offered by Beaubein RGC yesterday, I noticed the rating of this school is only 7. Could anyone please tell me? ?? Thank you!!

  • 627. Jen  |  March 26, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    First Grade
    Tier 4
    RGC: 121
    Reading 99, Math 99.

    Offered by Beaubein

    I understand there are 13 RGC programs in CPS, I am wondering if there are some differences between these 13 RGC programs. Are they at the same level? or some of them are better? some of them are worse? If there are not at the same level, how is Beaubein RGC? My son was just offered by Beaubein RGC yesterday, I noticed the rating of this school is only 7. Could anyone please tell me? ?? Thank you!!

  • 628. Clueless Mom  |  March 26, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    Tier 2
    RGC: 125
    Reading: 96, Math 99
    No offers. But got accepted to Franklin Fine Arts.

    I see some parents had their kids attend the CTD programs by Northwestern. I heard they need to test the child first before they can register those programs. I heard they need to pay for test $120. Is it true? Please advise.

  • 629. HMM  |  March 26, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    RGC: 130
    Classical: Reading-99/ Math-84
    accepted at Bell for 1st grade

    I would appreciate any information people could share regarding Bell. It was not our first choice, but might likely be our only offer.

  • 630. Open Minded Parent  |  March 26, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    @550 – Just show me the testscores

    Yes, my husband and I both have professional degrees. We both are above average in intelligence and are well-educated, but not uniquely or remarkably so. Not sure where you are headed with the info, but I do believe that IQ/intelligence is something you are born with and it is likely inherited. We certainly did not do anything differently than other parents to make these scores happen – no flashcards, no test prep, no fancy private preschool.

  • 631. LakeviewMom  |  March 26, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    @628 CTD does require testing. If entering K, then most likely you will need to pay the $120 for their test. If already in K, you might be able to use the MAP scores. A list of their accepted tests is here: http://www.ctd.northwestern.edu/summer/programs/leapfrog/eligibility/#score

  • 632. Kay Larkin  |  March 26, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    HMM: You are asking about Bell’s Options program. In general it’s been a good experience for my child, with the exception of one teacher. Also, FYI: everyone loves the first-grade teacher; she puts a lot of energy into her curriculum, although she also places a lot of emphasis on organizational skills. Sometimes the homework load can be tough, but that seems to be the norm for gifted programs, especially in CPS.

  • 633. HS Mom  |  March 26, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    @476 don’t feel bad. Agree totally with 479

    anecdotally – tested at Decatur when schools had their own test. Ran into a friend going in who told us that they played all kinds of games and the test went on for quite a while. We were in for roughly 5 minutes long enough for my son to say that he couldn’t read when he could (he loved being read to). He had the biggest smile on his face coming out. I was devastated. The friend did not get in either, eventually going to WYAC. We went to a regular magnet program for all 8 grades. Both kids are doing great at selective HS’s similar GPA’s looking at the same colleges. We’re shooting for Northwestern, friend is going for U of C. It works out.

    As far as prep is concerned. Always a good idea to do enrichment. I decided to tutor in writing. I found that there were big gains everywhere with that. I strongly disagree with the statement that not doing test prep is for “suckers”. I agree with everyone else who feels that if the prep is the only thing that gives the kid a foothold, you may be climbing the wrong tree.

  • 634. Mommy_of_1  |  March 26, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    Does anyone know about Beasley gifted program?

  • 635. Gobemouche  |  March 26, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    D-mom, etc – That utilization report is old/incorrect. Edison is not underutilized, this was corrected on the most recent report…which I can’t seem to find now as a stand alone report. However, the district wide utilization excel sheet has the correct numbers.


  • 636. Jen  |  March 26, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    First Grade
    Tier 4
    RGC: 121
    Reading 99, Math 99.

    Offered by Beaubien

    I understand there are 13 RGC programs in CPS, I am wondering if there are some differences among these 13 RGC programs. Are they at the same level? or some of them are better? some of them are worse? If there are not at the same level, how is Beaubien RGC? My son was just offered by Beaubien RGC yesterday, I noticed the rating of this school is only 7. Could anyone please tell me? ?? Thank you!!

  • 637. waitinggame  |  March 26, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    For anyone considering NTA I would just be so worried to send a little one there. Because of that, I didn’t even put it on my list. I do see the value in being “pioneers” at a school that has potential, but I guess you have to decide for yourself if you and your child want to be part of that kind of experiment. As a former CPS teacher of 13 years who has always worked in schools in poverty, I just don’t want my child (especially at 5 years of age) to have to deal with all of the other issues that occur in schools like these, namely, bullying, vulgar language, lack of preparation for school, and poor behaviors. That’s not to say that all of the students are like that, but I would bank on it that your child would be exposed to it. I would recommend you tour the school during the school day when the children are there and visit the lunchroom and playground to observe behaviors. That being said, I’m sure there are wonderful staff there who try their best and I”m sure the new program will have a fantastic curriculum, but for me, I just couldn’t put my child through that, knowing what I know about these types of schools.

  • 638. FP  |  March 26, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    2#554 determinalist

    As a parent of a gifted child who is in a RGC and a teacher, I would prefer that parents NOT prep their children to pass a gifted test (not really sure that that can be done).

    When you do that those children keep the other students from moving forward at a faster pace. I do not support the Tier system for RGC. There should be the same qualifying score for all students.

  • 639. NAMom  |  March 26, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    @636 Jen,

    I don’t know much about Beaubien …other than our daughter received an offer as well for 1st. grade and we are thinking of taking it. I do know that the 7 “grade” you saw is reflective of the whole school (including the much larger neighborhood component.) The RGC is from what I hear somewhat self contained w/in a neighborhood school.

  • 640. HMM  |  March 26, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    Kay: Thank you for your response regarding Bell. I wonder if you have any experience with children at other schools? How would you compare that with Bell? My son is at Agassiz right now, and we are pretty happy with the school. I’m a bit hesitant to uproot him and wondering if it’s worth it.

  • 641. baffled  |  March 26, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    @636Jen – Don’t know much about Beaubien although I have heard of its good reputation. Dont be too concerned about its rating of 7 because it includes both neighborhood and gifted students’ scores. Congratz!

    @638 FP – Likewise I think it is a mistake that parents prep their kids too hard. A little at home is ok, but constant drilling and private tutoring might backfire later on. Also, I have seen as many as half of my kid’s classmates are struggling…It is simply sad because there are children out there can use benefit of an accelerated learning but couldnt get the spot. Testing too early really screwed up for the truly gifted!

  • 642. Figuring it out...  |  March 26, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    I totally agree.
    I did no prep and I’m thrilled to find that DS scored RGC 137 Tier 4
    We wanted Coonley and I’ve seen lower tiers have been accepted on lower scores.
    I understand the idea behind it but it does sting a little to lose out based on just the tier.

    We are Tier 4 but live in a rented apartment on a below average salary making ends meet. Although it’s Tier 4, the neighborhood school doesn’t seem to have a good reputation.
    Should we be denied the education because I wanted security of a better neighborhood and to be close to work for myself and my child (I’m a single working Mom)
    Again, I understand that is just how the system goes.

  • 643. FP  |  March 26, 2013 at 2:15 pm


    My child is at Lenart now. My child loves the school but complains about “baby-easy-peazy” school work. That’s what they called it. Lol

    I supplement a lot. I know a few parents that supplement a lot. The children are differentiated for Reading but not for math and the teacher isn’t willing to differentiate for math. That really pisses me off because I’m thinking there is around 8 kids who could do 3rd grade Math instead of 1st grade.

    The administration is awesome—-I hope she is able to get those teachers to differentiate in Math as well.

  • 644. Jen  |  March 26, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    @639 NAMom
    @641 baffled

    Thank you very much for your quick response. Yes, the RGC program is completely separated from neighborhood program, so the 7 of 10 should be the rating of the entire school.

    I am just wondering whether all the 13 RGC programs are good or at the same level? I know Bell RGC must be a good one, but do not know if Beaubien RGC is good.

    I am really appreciate your two kind help!!

  • 645. northside chicago  |  March 26, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    Does anybody know how the scores are adjusted for age? I heard that if someone is 5 years 3 months old when they take the test, their score would be adjusted (lowered) to compare it to someone who was 4 year 8 months old. Is this true? And, how does the process work? Based on the responses, this is what I see for Edison and Coonley:

    RGCTier School Offer
    143 4 No
    135 1 Coonley
    144 4 No
    147 3 Coonley
    160 ? Coonley
    144 3 Coonley
    149 4 Edison
    137 4 No
    136 2 Coonley
    139 4 No
    140 2 Coonley
    133 4 No
    143 4 No
    144 4 No
    143 4 No
    147 4 Edison
    150 4 Edison
    147 4 Edison
    146 4 no
    148 4 Edison

  • 646. LSMom  |  March 26, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    Does anyone know how low Edison/Coonley got for Tier 3 last year? I’m trying to figure out if there would be any chance at a later round offer with a 141, but most of the discussion last year seemed to be about Tier 4 (Where it looked like Coonley got down to 144).

  • 647. Lisa  |  March 26, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    to 638.

    I don’t get the test prep either. Seems like a waste of money. No one will know nor care when these kids are older. Parents seem too focused on the numbers. The numbers won’t mean much when those test prepped kids can’t keep up with the rest of the class.

  • 648. DB  |  March 26, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    I am trying to shake this depression over still being in a state of limbo /panic. My daughter was wait listed for all of my magnet choices and got no offers from the SEES. Her older sister attends a classical school and tested better. I am surprised at the difference in score considering the exposure that my youngest has had, but such is life. Anyway, the stats are as follows:

    Tier 3
    RGC: 110 (sister was 132)

    Reading: 94 (sis was 97)
    Math: 88 (sis was 98)

    Feeling like we let her down and sick with anxiety…

  • 649. Lefty  |  March 26, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    Just an FYI for those who are disappointed in their child’s RGC scores. I was told by someone who used to work for CPS and was instrumental in starting the testing for gifted programs that the test given for RGC is the CogAT (or a variation thereof). This test is NOT an IQ or achievement test. Rather, it tests reasoning and problem solving skills in certain areas. While for many children, there may be a correlation between their IQ and their performance on the CogAT, for many there may not be, particularly if your child is a creative or divergent thinker (as many gifted kids are). In sum, if your kid did well, congratulations. But if they didn’t, don’t despair, as this one test isn’t a reflection on their overall abilities.

    (And FWIW, I speak from experience on this — my son has been privately evaluated and found to have an IQ of 130+ (which puts him well into the 95th+ percentile) and has participated in CTD and other enrichment opportunities. Yet his RCG scores were barely above the 50th percentile.)

  • 650. GiftedTeacherMom  |  March 26, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    Hang in there. I know how you feel. My first grader tested into Carnegie RGC in kg, the one place I didn’t want him to go. And now for the second year in a row he can’t test out! Low gifted scores and low Classicsl test math scores. But yet he works 1-2 years above grade level, all A’s and a B in math. NWEA scores in the 90s across the board. I’m truly puzzled. I feel like I let him down, but this just gies to show you that all of these darn tests don’t give a true picture of your child’s ability or intelligence. Unfortunately in Chicago, we feel it’s a death sentence, especially by high school if they don’t get into a selective enrollment school. It’s so unfortunate.

  • 651. Jen  |  March 26, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    I think we might find that IQ Determinalist has some vested interest in pushing test prep, going by their chosen name and earlier comments. I have a 3rd grader so I’ve seen my fair share of testing by now. There are times when test prep is appropriate to some degree (ie I had to show her how to use a calculator when she took EXPLORE, as she hadn’t used one before), but manipulating the outcome of an entrance exam benefits nobody in the long run.

    On Hamilton, we were offered an open enrollment place there last year and when I toured I was very impressed with their internal gifted program. They have kids from multiple grades in one classroom and have the kids working to their own individual capabilities. The only reason we didn’t take it was that they couldn’t guarantee me acceptance into the program, and I didn’t want to leave our current school without that. I’ve actually touted their program as an excellent example of what our current suburban school needs to be doing for it’s gifted children (they don’t have any gifted education which is why we’re leaving).

  • 652. anonymouseteacher  |  March 26, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    @628, and each course costs about $400 for 8 weeks, 2.5 hours a day. Its very expensive. (but if you teach for them and your kids also test in, they can attend for free, which is the only way my family can afford it)

  • 653. B Han  |  March 26, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    This is my son’s score:
    Reading: >99.7, Math: >95
    He got an offer from Skinner West for Kindergarten.
    Question: how about the Skinner West?

  • 654. jbird  |  March 26, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    We’re new to CPS but knew enough from friends to do the testing. I think my son is bright, but after seeing the other scores posted here, not sure what to think.

    RGC: 131
    Classical reading: 42 (!)
    Classical Math: 79
    No offers. Of course. 🙂

    I’ve never prepped him. Since the test in January, when he was just shy of 4 1/2, he’s gotten very interested in the alphabet and numbers. He’s basically taught himself, but knew nothing in January. He’s been at a private, play-based preschool for two years, and spent the first three years of his life in Japan. (Don’t know if that matters…but really wondering about the low scores. He’s a mid-July birthday–maybe he’s just developing cognitively a little more slowly than his peers?)

    We’re in a Tier 4 neighborhood and are highly educated, but have very little income. (Finishing doctoral programs.)

    Our neighborhood school is failing and on probation. I’m still tempted because it’s very close to us and can the education be terrible as early as kindergarten? We may only be here for another year anyway. I am only worried about what may be a negative attitude in older students, as one poster above mentioned. But I am not clear on what constitutes a “failing” school. Just test scores? If the teachers are teaching the material, should I care very much about test scores at this age?

    I feel very ignorant about all this.

    He was accepted at Sabin, but I don’t know if I want him to have such a commute (we’re in Hyde Park) on top of a long day in kindergarten. He’s 27th on the waiting list for Franklin.

    I’m really tempted to homeschool, but that will throw a huge wrench in my already-on-hold career and our finances. And he likes going to school.

    I don’t know if I’ve been so stumped about such an important issue in my life.

    Moving and private school tuition are not options.


    Congratulations to everyone who has this issue resolved already! 🙂

  • 655. Christina  |  March 26, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    @654 did you apply to Carnegie?

  • 656. valle  |  March 26, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    tier 4
    rgc score 129
    classical reading 97
    math 97
    no offers

    our boy is 4 1/2 with an august 30th birthday. we went in with no prep and feel great about it.
    he currently attends a private, play based prek in our neighborhood (rogers park) but won’t be continuing there. our magnet school choices were triple- digits deep in the waiting lists.
    these results actually make our decision to homeschool easier!

  • 657. Christina  |  March 26, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    @416 My son is in the Carnegie program for kindergarten. We love it there with Mrs. Wilson. She is a wonderful teacher. They just got a new principal Mrs. Pollard, who I am on the line with. We will see how the test results come in. We travel from Rogers Park, so we have applied into a closer school. We got into Beaubien for 1st grade. Test scores have been low there for a while, but they are also a neighborhood school. Why so low I don’t know?

  • 658. Christina  |  March 26, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    @656 I would wait to see if you get any later round offers. Your scores are really high. What schools did you apply for?

  • 659. Stacey Nichols  |  March 26, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    How do you know what tier you are? Got the SEES letter today. She got 139, 92nd and 90th percentile. But no acceptance.
    Says she still has a chance up until the day of school and the next round is after April 12

  • 660. Mercy  |  March 26, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    I am beside myself trying to decipher all this. My son got 146 and no offer from Edison. It seems Tier 4 147 got offers from Edison. If the acceptance of round 1 offers are due April 12, when does the second round of offers arrive. My son got accepted into a very expensive private school (that we can’t afford) and before I let go of his spot, I need to secure one in CPS. Deadline is end of April. Do I take a chance and let it go? And parents of Edison students, any comments on how Edison is? I heard lots of homework…and I saw gym teacher not teaching physical education when I was touring but doing some geometry. Please tell me that was an off day.

  • 661. Waiting and waiting  |  March 26, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    See earlier post… Our daughter attended SW for k, retested and moved her to SN for first grade. If you have an offer at SW… I would take it, unless, you have a good back up plan. Our son just tested and didn’t get an offer. We are hoping for SW or SN wait list. Both schools are great… My fingers are crossed for some SW and SN declines… And we move high enough to get an offer… Good luck!!!!!

  • 662. GiftedTeacherMom  |  March 26, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    Good for you. I absolutely love Skinner West. They have an awesome rigorous program, lots of resources, great parental involvement, they integrate technology. I live in Beverly. If I worked downtown it would have been my first choice. Since I’m south. Poe Classical was my first choice. Good for you. Grab it!

  • 663. SMAT  |  March 26, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    @SoxSideIrish4 and @local:
    Thank you so much for your information. We will look through it!

  • 664. valle  |  March 26, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    @658 for rgc only edison and coonley. decatur for classical. few magnets on n.side close to us in RP and few neighborhood schools like pierce, waters, etc. our n’hood school is new field elem. for K…

  • 665. GiftedTeacherMom  |  March 26, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    My middle child is at Carnegie RGC. Ms. Wilson, kg, was AWESOME. Our class was very accelerated. Ms. Milsap, 1st grade, is PHENOMENAL. By the way, I am a teacher, and formerly taught gifted for many years. I’m worried about 2nd because I don’t know very much about the teacher. But I am sleuthing to find out and get feedback from parents. First grade is definitely worth the drive. I promise you they are doing 3rd grade work. They just finished reading Flat Stanley and Frindle as a class. How do I know? I taught 3rd grade for over ten years.

  • 666. SoxSideIrish4  |  March 26, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    654. jbird | March 26, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    What is your neighborhood school?

  • 667. Edisonmom  |  March 26, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    @660 It seems to me it is often a team effort at Edison – the French teacher will help the K teacher collect lunch money, the art teacher will lend a hand at homeroom, etc. So I wouldn’t be surprised if the gym teacher is helping out a math teacher.

    As far as the homework goes, it varies by grade and teacher. some years have been worse than others, but none horrible, IMO. Always manageable.

    IMO, Edison has almost the whole package – accelerated and differentiated classes, beautiful building, wonderful teachers, plus PE, language, art and recess twice a day. Lacking in year round after school programs though.

  • 668. Christina  |  March 26, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    My son is very sad to leave Carnegie! He actually cried when I told him, but the drive is killing us!!! She makes it worth it though. If we had not got into another RGC I was considering moving us to a closer area, so he could be bussed. I accepted the school because I was working near there at the time. Also we were very late round found out in late June. We are near a good neighborhood school- Boone, but my son was accelerated at the time. He could already read. He also has behavioral problems already- autism related. I was afraid of him being in a normal classroom that he would be too bored. Now because of Mrs. Wilson he is extremely accelerated. They are already working on near second grade material. There is no turning to a normal school now.

  • 669. Stacey Nichols  |  March 26, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    Ok i found a site to see the tiers. Where we live now is tier 1 but our old address which is the one cps has in file is tier 3. How will this affect us? And how do i update the address with CPS?

  • 670. SMAT  |  March 26, 2013 at 4:29 pm


    Could you compare SW with Keller?
    If someone is in SW, will there be a significant change by moving to Keller?

  • 671. cpsobsessed  |  March 26, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    @stacy: I would contact the OAE to see what they say. I’m pretty sure you’re stuck with the tier you used when you applied.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 672. Mercy  |  March 26, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    @667 Thanks so much for feedback on Edison. It’s good to hear. Now if we can just get an offer. And I thought waiting was finally over.

  • 673. E. Chan  |  March 26, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    Skinner North – 99.7 reading and 98.(something) math.
    Thinking about carpool and busing system as we live around south loop area. Any suggestion??

  • 674. SEN  |  March 26, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    Someone asked about the bus situation. This year the bus had been quite a challenge. CPS decided to combine routes, which totally makes sense. However implementation has been the problem. Coonley and Bell share a bus route. Bell has a 8:15 start and Coonley 8:30. We live 5 miles from school, our pick up time is 7:00 am( the first notice I got said 6:47!!!!!) My girls said they got to school around 8:00 am. 60 minute ride is fine per CPS. Not for me. They also changed the route after a month or so due to parent complaints. They made our route worse instead of better. Our driver told me that the Bell parents are trying to fire Illinois Central Bus company, I guess they can not fire CPS. Edison and Beaubian were also sharing a route at the beginning of the year, but they split them up because it was a disaster. Those schools are not close enough to share. Coonley and Bell are close enough to share, but like lots of things in CPS complaints and suggestions from parents are usually ignored. I now drive my girls to school, we leave at 7:50am. I feel they need the extra sleep. I do have them take the bus home and they arrive at 4:10 usually. If you have a good driver it makes all the difference, but a driver can only do so much with a route with too many stops and morning traffic. If you have a substitute driver, that becomes a real problem. I gave my one older daughter my an old prepaid cellphone and said if it is a sub, do not get on the bus ,call me to pick you up. That was after the day she got home at 6:30pm!!!

  • 675. Edisonmom  |  March 26, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    @672 My fingers are crossed for you. There are always some who decline for various reasons. I would think you have a shot with a 147.

  • 676. Tierrible!  |  March 26, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    Unfortunately you are stuck with the tier from when you applied.
    I already checked that with OAE.

  • 677. GiftedTeacherMom  |  March 26, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    Well, Ms. Wilson does have the affect on the kids. She, her, husband, and her son, came to my son’s birthday party. Now that’s dedication. I’m tired of driving across town too. It’s not killing us, but we live southwest and work south. I am torn between pulling my 1st grader and putting him at Kellogg, but I just don’t think they will be rigorous enough. Decisions decisions right? Good luck next year.

  • 678. cpsobsessed  |  March 26, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    I will concur with what SEN says about the bussing. Coonley got it worked out after about 6 weeks of horrendous schedules, busses not showing, 2 hour rides, etc. Some parents spent hours helping the bus co plot out the routes.

    Some of the kids have 1 hour rides each way (morning seems worse.). She noted that kids get to coonley at 8am. That’s 30 min before school starts that they’re on the playground. It can be fine for older kids, but just make sure you take that into acct for the littler ones. It can be a long day when you add the bus time.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 679. jessiebird  |  March 26, 2013 at 4:48 pm


    We didn’t apply to Carnegie.

  • 680. jessiebird  |  March 26, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    Our neighborhood school is Kozminski. Two blocks away….

    I am still wrapping my head around the fact that this is a system where children are not entitled to a quality education. That their only guaranteed-by-right school may or may not actually educate them. 😦

  • 681. kaifiremech  |  March 26, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    @371 @517 (Mommy_of_1)
    gifted score 144
    offer from lenart
    tier 4
    hope that helps

    anyone have thoughts on lenart?

  • 682. Yadi  |  March 26, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    Anyone have thoughts, opinions, insight on charter schools? good test scores but that is all i know. thanks

  • 683. confusedcpsfirsttimemom  |  March 26, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    My son got accepted to Pritzker – what are your thoughts on the school. It has a 6 ranking on greatschools.org. Also we are waitlisted for Thorp at #36 – whats the likelihood of getting the phone call for that.

  • 684. K-Mom  |  March 26, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    @683 – I don’t know anything about Pritzker, but I think you can accept it and then if you get called for Thorp and you’d rather have that you can take it and give up your spot at Pritzker. I’m not 100% certain though, maybe someone can verify.

  • 685. WorkingMommyof2  |  March 26, 2013 at 6:08 pm

    I still can’t believe that I ended up with what I half-jokingly said would be my worst-case scenario… still waiting and hoping (for Coonley with a Tier 4 144). I really wanted to just know one way or the other!

    Congrats to everyone who already got good news in this crazy process.

  • 686. JIL mommy  |  March 26, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    No offers from Classical, RGC or magnet. Tier 4, RGC 130 M: 97 R:92 My daughter is entering kinder. #10 on WL for Inter-American, any thoughts?

  • 687. Lisa IIGoldCoast  |  March 26, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    @545 HSObsessed…Sorry did not realize there was a Lisa already posted here, when the blog asked for my name I put in my first name which is “Lisa” I will use Lisa IIGoldCoast but any insight with the schools I mentioned? : ) Thank You …just got home would have answered you sooner

  • 688. teachermom02  |  March 26, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    Good luck to all the parents who are anxiously awaiting SES replies. If it is any consolation my child (who is exciting Decatur this year) and many of her friends were not selected for RGC or AC many have no offers so far and may be returning to their home schools or are on a waitlist. Not knowing what the cutoffs were going to be, many of us applied everywhere. As parents we are all in the same boat, these are Tier 3/4 students who score in the 94 to 99 percentile and many are A/B students who work there butts off so they can transition to an AC. As a parent and CPS teacher this is nuts! I had to go through the same thing for high school last year and settled on a CTE program for my older child. Enough of this, we all want the best education for our children and this competitiveness puts so much stress on and angst on us and we are not even applying for a spot at these schools. All I can say is that there needs to be more schools with programs to accomodate the changing demographic in the city. There is no reason with 3/4 of the city being Tier 3 and 4 that there are not enough spots for students because there aren’t nearly enough schools. I know last year there were 15,000 students testing for 3,500 SES high school spots. That’s not even 25% , what is this coming too? I almost tend to think that this is intentionally being done so that charter schools become a more viable option for parents, and for CPS to use it as a platform to say that there is the need for more of them. I think CPS needs to open more schools to address the needs of parents and students who want a quality education. Give the children in this city the quality education they all deserve. Enough!!

  • 689. Lenart parent x2  |  March 26, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    Our daughter got RGC:149
    Reading:87 Math:>99.9
    Offered Lenart, first choice.

    Our older daughter is at Lenart, and she and her parents are very happy. She has had wonderful teachers and has excelled. We did no test prep or supplemental work outside the classroom, and she has gone from a non reader when she entered kindergarten to the top reading group in first grade, which we attribute completely to her teachers. We are thrilled her sister is going there too.

  • 690. teachermom02  |  March 26, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    I personally would not send my child to a charter school (as they receive public education funds…which shifts things for traditional public schools), but be sure to do your research. A major in education or state certification is not always required for charter as it is with CPS. You can always check administrator and teacher credentials on the Illinois State Board website under ECS there is a general public inquiry. Good luck!

  • 691. SoxSideIrish4  |  March 26, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    680. jessiebird | March 26, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    I don’t know anything abt Kozminski, but it looks like they have small classes (24 to a class which is nice) and partners w/UofC. Meet for a tour w/the Principal~check out the 2 grade K classes and talk to the teachers. Stop up at the closing bell and talk to parents. I wouldn’t give up on this school and there are many that are excelling in the school (others are not). Good luck.

    677. GiftedTeacherMom | March 26, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    I think you’ll be surprised at the rigor of Kellogg~the new principal is really good! Good luck.

  • 692. teachermom02  |  March 26, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    I would not turn down Pritzker, apply again next year for something else. The higher the grade the likeliness of being excepted gets slimmer many children do not leave the programs until 7/8 grade to test into an Academic Center. Yes, Thorp would be nice but don’t put all your eggs in one basket. My son was #13 on the waiting list at Wildwood, never got a call. Yes, this is like the Willy Wonka Golden Ticket!

  • 693. CPSAppalled  |  March 26, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    I totally agree that there needs to be more high-quality school options for motivated kids. I’m shocked to read about the many kids who scored >130 on the RGC test or scored in the mid-high 90th percentile on the classical test, and ended up with NOTHING. I am starting to agree with you that this is a deliberate shortage of quality programs designed to push more students into charters….

  • 694. Lisa IIGoldCoast  |  March 26, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    @ 545 HSObsessed….Sorry did not realize there was another poster by the name of Lisa, when the blog asked for my name I put “Lisa” I will use Lisa IIGoldCoast, No my DD goes to TBPreK @ Ogden which in response to @ 558 LynnJ : ) I Love Ogden School I was just curious to see if he would get in any other schools for Kinder but Im not willing to take him out of the school was jus t being curious about the whole CPS thing : ) ….would have answered you guys sooner just got home from work

  • 695. jessiebird  |  March 26, 2013 at 7:33 pm


    Thanks! I feel like I shouldn’t give up on it a priori. It might not be the best place for our son long term, but it might be a good place to try for a year. I met the new principal once and he was very nice and seemed enthusiastic and motivated. Was proud of the fact that the preschoolers start to learn to read, which put me off at first, as I think it’s too early to emphasize reading…but I guess my son’s scores show my values in that regard. 🙂 (Which I still abide by, but it’s definitely causing a formal education conundrum for us.)

    Anyway, I’d feel bad if didn’t check it out, so will do…

  • 696. Stacey Nichols  |  March 26, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    I had until January to submit a change of address form. No way to know that, esp since the CPS part that sent me the inter American questionnaire has our new address.

  • 697. Midway Mom  |  March 26, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    @598 hmmmm……..what sort of baggage does the principal at Keller have? Are there problems at the school because of her? Our son was accepted for 1st grade and we will accept. If any other Keller parents want to meet or get to know each other, email me at 1squishypickle at gmail.com We will be calling Keller and asking for a tour when spring break is over. If anyone else is interested please email me.

  • 698. teachermom02  |  March 26, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    I like your “CPS Apalled” very clever! 🙂

  • 699. Edison Kid  |  March 26, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    I am a former Edison student so I feel I should share my insider experience at the school. Edison, like any other school, has its pros and cons. I can’t give you much detail on the younger grades anymore since last year, the kindergarden teacher, third grade teacher, fourth grade teacher and the principal retired. Our new principal was the assistant principal, so she already does have previous experience dealing with the school. We have a new vice principal now, who was previously a teacher at Beaubien. The math program there is good, with different levels of math for nearly (I’m not positive though) every grade, making sure the student is challenged and at the correct grade level.
    There are fun assemblies too, especially the international day when APMA performs. The fine arts program is fun when it comes to yearly plays put on by each class, and a movie making in fifth grade, however it lacks in the areas of music and dance (being a fine arts program, it is supposed to consist of music, dance, drama, and actual art). But I am truly thankful we had an art class. We also have the annual sock hop and a few family dinner dances every year. Also, we started the annual 5k tradition where we walk to the River Park track, which is fun.
    However, in regards to the gym program, I would consider it sort of pathetic. Safety is a huge (which is good and important especially for children, I absolutely agree) but it is pushed past the boundaries of saneness when students are forbidden to run in gym class during games (laps around the gym for warm ups are fine), and tag is remade into a version called “pinky tag”
    The language program does lack too, sadly. After taking nine years of French, and having straight A’s the whole time too, I sadly feel completely lost and am only currently taking French 2.
    And lastly, in regards to homework, there are some years where it is honestly truly miserable. I felt compelled to quit some activities in seventh grade in order to maintain good grades for the crucial and stressful high school situation. The eighth grade/social studies teacher puts an impossible amount of stress and a load of homework on his students. I do believe homework does help you in the long run, but a feel like 30% of the work I did was unnecessary and honestly just busy work. I remember breaking down when I got home for many days over the course of 5th grade and up. We did learn important things though, like cursive (which I’m surprised many schools dont actually teach) and the extreme amount of time spent learning to write essays does help so much.
    Sadly, Edison students are treated unfairly and we do get punished quite often for no faults of our own, and I always felt a tension between AMPA and Edison, even though we have been in the new building for 5 years now…
    I’m proud to say I came out of Edison and will be attending Northside College prep in the fall, along with 15 other classmates. Edison definitely proved to be very stressful, and very challenging, and pushed me to the utmost limits, but like almost any school you can find negative and positive things. I feel like people make Edison out to be some awesome, amazing school (excuse my childish language), that it honestly isn’t, except that the students and their parents work very hard. But it is pretty good relatively speaking, and I definitely think if you have a shot at it, go for it. Just be prepared for the stress.
    I hope this gives you some inside info 🙂

  • 700. FirstTimer  |  March 26, 2013 at 8:18 pm

    Amazing summary, Edison Kid! Thanks so much for taking the time to post! It’s rare to have the perspective of an actual student who has lived through all of our parental self-imposed CPS craziness 🙂

  • 701. Christina  |  March 26, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    My opinion is this about accepting a placement unless you really hate a school (why did you put it on your form?) I would accept for kindergarten. There are two RGCs- Bell and Beaubien that do not have a kindergarten RGC. Next year try again, you will keep at the old RGC no matter what until you accept a placement at another school. Also, there are always seats at the beginning of the year for first grade (hard to get into) because young students are not able to put into the effort to compete with their classmates. Your student may pass the test with a high score, but do they have the work ethic. My son’s class started at 25 students in the Fall now they are down to 19 students. Finally, if you really hate that RGC when your child is in it you can pull and put back he/she into your neighborhood school or a private school if they still have openings. This was my plan with Carnegie. We have been pleasantly surprised to find a great kindergarten teacher there. Not the best school score- wise, but it has an environment of friendliness with bright walls, and love for their children.

  • 702. disappointedwithcps  |  March 26, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    Received SEES letter, 1st grade classical test reading percentile is BLANK! What does this mean? Math percentile 97. Obviously no acceptance due to only one score. I was told my son did not answer enough to produce a score. REALLY? I understand the proctors can’t catch everything, but with 3 proctors or so in the room, they can’t make sure kids are focused enough to bubble answers?

  • 703. karet  |  March 26, 2013 at 9:12 pm

    @699, Thanks for sharing your insights. I’m sure you realize that many of the parents on here will remember only this: You went to Edison, and got into Northside! As did 15 of your classmates! (Congratulations, by the way!)
    My daughter just missed getting into Edison by a few points, so you definitely perked up my evening!

  • 704. M  |  March 26, 2013 at 9:21 pm

    Tier 3 K

    Ranked Edison 1st choice (older brother there), Decatur 2nd.

    RGC 112

    R 98% M 99%

    No offers.

    Any chance at getting a 2nd round offer from Decatur with those scores?

    Last year I read that roughly 60 offers are given out to the incoming Edison K class in order to fill their 28 spots. People do turn things down, right? Decatur could be a possibility, right? Can you tell how positive I’m trying to remain?

  • 705. teachermom02  |  March 26, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    I would like to add one more thing. Parents, NWEA/MAP scores… are used as a tool for teachers to plan and guide instruction. Your child may score in a specific range, they have a breakdown of what specific skills should be mastered in that range. As teachers we are being asked to use the data to set goals for our students in order to push them into a higher bracket =mastery of skills. I just wanted to clarify that this is another assessment used to see if students are on the right track academically it is not a valid indicator of your child’s intellectual ability. This is an assessment that is used from K-8 citywide, 3x a year.

  • 706. waitinggame  |  March 26, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    I would NEVER send my child to a charter. I hope the Mayor hears that. Charter schools in Chicago fare no better than neighborhood schools and sometimes worse, according to the Stanford University CREDO study, so why would I even bother? As parents in Chicago, I think we need to demand more QUALITY schools or spots for our high scoring students, not more charter schools and privatization that the Mayor is trying to push in order to line the pockets of his charter school operator friends. This only diverts money out of public schools and into more underperforming schools, what’s the use?

  • 707. Jen  |  March 26, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    I understand there are 13 RGC programs in CPS, I am wondering if there are some differences among these 13 RGC programs. Are they at the same level? or some of them are better? some of them are worse? If there are not at the same level, how is Beaubien RGC? My son was just offered by Beaubien RGC yesterday, Could anyone please tell me? ?? Thank you!!

  • 708. Angie  |  March 26, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    Parents considering charters: Please remember that union teachers and supporters LOATHE them, so take the opinions like #706 above with a grain of salt and do your own research.

  • 709. Jen  |  March 26, 2013 at 10:21 pm

    @210.@waiting in portage park

    I noticed your child went into Beaubien RGC last year. How do you think of this program in Beaubien?


  • 710. AR  |  March 26, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    Tier 3
    RGC 138
    Reading 72, Math 86

    no offers 😦
    wait list #65 for hathorne
    our neighborhood school is a failing school on probation.

    wish me luck!

  • 711. Dunning Mom  |  March 26, 2013 at 10:35 pm

    Just opened SEES letter. No offers, but my son scored very well with a 78 in reading. He has moderate autism and receptive and expressive language disorder, so a 78 is pretty amazing.

    We have no magnet offers and all of our waitlist numbers are really high. We did get an offer from a charter that serves children with disabilities. We are going to see it again tomorrow.

    So right now our options are either Bridge (neighborhood school) or Hope (charter).

    I am torn about the charter. I understand why charters exist, as regulation-free laboratories to try out new ideas, but that is not what is happening. Most of the charters in Chicago are mediocre at best, doing nothing to innovate in the areas we really need it (like special ed, behavior problems and ELL) and instead have produced cookie cutter schools that get the same results as traditional schools, while using more resources and excluding our most difficult to teach kids.

    However, the school we have been offered (the only charter in the city that takes children with autism!) does have a really individualized program. They already asked me if we could meet over the summer to discuss his IEP and are planning some assessments to determine the best classroom placement for him. This is already far above and beyond anything CPS has ever done for him, as they have NEVER asked my opinion on anything before. The school also has twice as many therapists as his current CPS school.

    The big problem from my POV is the school’s dismal scores. Really dismal, as in Level 1. Granted the school is almost half special education, but even so…will I really be sending my precious baby to a Level 1 school?

    Decisions, decisions…

  • 712. Ying Li  |  March 26, 2013 at 10:36 pm

    My daughter scored 140 and was accepted at NTA RGC. She also score 99% and 94% for classical.
    I read above that many potential NTA RGC parents are hesitant about the new NTA RGC.
    At this stage, can I decline NTA and pursue the second RGC on my daughter’s application list? How shall I proceed? Is that possible she ends up with no RGC at all?

  • 713. waitinggame  |  March 26, 2013 at 10:36 pm

    At #708,yes I did write my opinion about charter schools but it is based upon actual research from Stanford as well as other sources of charter performance. Please see the CREDO study found here:


    You can also look at this recent Chicago Tribune article which states “More than two dozen schools in some of the city’s most prominent and largest charter networks, including the United Neighborhood Organization (UNO), Chicago International Charter Schools, University of Chicago and LEARN, scored well short of district averages on key standardized tests.”


    I’m not going to pretend that all Chicago neighborhood schools are great, but let’s not pretend the charter schools are either.

    I think you are absolutely right-parents should look at this research before deciding!

  • 714. Dunning Mom  |  March 26, 2013 at 10:36 pm

    Sorry I meant Level 3, the lowest Level. Is that the lowest level, level 3?

  • 715. cpsobsessed  |  March 26, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    Level 3 is the lowest level. And is often a function of the school’s population. Schools with higher income students tend to be level 1. Schools with low sped pop tend to be higher level. Again — the great importance of background and home influence on education. If a level 3 school seems like a good fit for your child’s needs, it’s certainly worth a look. See what you think they can do for your child and determine if that’s better than your other options. If the level 3 rating is a function of a high sped population I wouldn’t worry about it if you like what they’re doing. There’s probably some level 1 schools that couldn’t meet your child’s needs as well.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 716. cpsobsessed  |  March 26, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    @ying li: yes, you can decline nta in hopes of getting your second choice but you do run the risk of being left without an rgc spot. What was your second choice?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 717. waitinggame  |  March 26, 2013 at 10:53 pm

    @711 Hope states on their website that they use ABA methods. I would ask if their teachers are certified or have taken courses in this method. If so, I would be impressed. You may want to ask how many days the school social worker, OT or speech path. are in the building -I know charter schools often don’t get much of these services and if your child needs them, these individuals may not be there frequently. How long have they had this program? It sounds interesting. Have you tried calling your neighborhood school to arrange a meeting or tour of their special needs options? It may be an option as well. If not, the low incidence coordinator and case manager at the school can help find a more appropriate placement.

  • 718. cpsobsessed  |  March 26, 2013 at 10:55 pm

    @waitingame: in chicago there are charters in all 3 levels of performance. If someone lives in a level 3 neighborhood area, a charter that’s level 1 or 2 could certainly seem like a better option. Like the non-charters they seem to really vary in “performance.”.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 719. cpsobsessed  |  March 26, 2013 at 10:58 pm

    @M: I think with those scores you’re certainly in the running for decatur. Just depends on the random luck of people turning it down in your tier….

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 720. operamom  |  March 26, 2013 at 10:59 pm

    Can anyone clarify the difference between the RGC kindergarten score, and the first grade score? I feel like I read somewhere that, while 100 was average and 160 about the top for kindergarten, the older grades used a different scoring rubric, maybe not going up to 160?
    I’m just curious; my future first-grader scored 120, and got an offer at Beaubien. (We’ll turn down the offer, since he’s already at Skinner North and we love it; we just retested on the off chance he might get into Edison, which would be great because we live right next door.) But 120 sounds pretty low, at least according to the kindergarten standards I’ve seen. And my younger daughter only scored 118 on the kindergarten RGC test, which I am pretty certain won’t net her any offers, even later in the summer. Can anyone explain? Thanks!

  • 721. Dunning Mom  |  March 26, 2013 at 11:08 pm

    @716 They have a BCBA on staff, which I have never seen at any CPS school. My son gets ABA now. Not sure how it works having just one BCBA for all the kids, since my son’s experience with ABA has been 1:1.

    I am going to ask about the therapists. Their website lists two speech therapists and two OT’s, which, if they are full time to just that school, would be really fantastic. At his current school the SLP is shared with several schools, which limits the amount of individual therapy time each child can have.

    I have been in our neighborhood school a couple of times to ask about services/evaluations and I have had bad experiences both times. I know you can’t judge a school by the office staff, but the woman at the desk was really aggressive and rude to me, and then the case manager seemed really confused about our situation, like she had never dealt with a special needs family before. It was strange and I vowed that I would never let my baby attend that school. It was looking like we would have no choice but to send him there until Hope school called. That said, we will try to make our decision based on the merits of the school and program, and not on the memory of my bad experience there.

  • 722. Kaushal  |  March 26, 2013 at 11:08 pm

    Our son was accepted to Decatur 1st grade. And looking for families to nanny share near Lincoln Square/Andersonville. If interested please contact me at kaushal_dalal@hotmail.com

  • 723. waitinggame  |  March 26, 2013 at 11:19 pm

    @721 Hope sounds promising, I would check it out. Just a suggestion, if the case manager at your neighborhood school feels they cannot accommodate your child, CPS has to find another placement for him. This may be another school option for you. There are several low incidence early childhood coordinators that work for CPS. Why not give Office of Specialized Services a call and ask to speak to one to see where they are in placing your child? Maybe some people on this board know of some elementary schools that have programs that maybe would be good for your child? It is a tedious process that will require a lot of follow up but if you feel you have no options, I would pursue that route too.

  • 724. Kaushal  |  March 26, 2013 at 11:21 pm

    @476 (Decatur the sequel) can you drop me a note at kaushal_dalal@hotmail.com we have some questions about Decatur, Thanks

  • 725. SN mom  |  March 26, 2013 at 11:22 pm

    @712, I think your daughter has very high classicle scores, what is your rank and your tier?

  • 726. Decatur decision  |  March 26, 2013 at 11:27 pm

    I would love to hear any Decatur info too!
    If they have after school programs? Public transportation? Lots of homework? How many students per class?

  • 727. LR  |  March 26, 2013 at 11:47 pm

    Regarding Beaubien…my son is in the first grade RGC there. I also have a third grader at Bell in the RGC. We love both. I was hesitant to accept the spot at Beaubien last year because of the commute and because of things I heard about the administration. I am so glad we accepted the spot. Mrs. Silvers, the first grade teacher, is outstanding. So great…maybe the best teacher we have ever had. Also, my husband has worked directly with Mrs. Ludford, the principal, on the playground effort. He thinks highly of her. Also, regarding differences in RGCs, yes, Bell and Beaubien are very different. Bell is a better fit for my daughter, who is more verbal. The program is very focused on the whole child. They take one to two field trips per month. There is lots of creativity built into the curriculum. Beaubien is a better fit for my son. It is a great school for math and science. They go to science lab starting in first grade. He is doing both second grade Everyday Math and Third grade Singapore math. They take Latin and Logic. Beaubien is a bit heavy on the worksheets, but Mrs. Silvers is pretty flexible. I am sure if your child is overwhelmed she would work with you. Anyhow, I encourage you to take the spots at Beaubien. Even if it is a bit far, it is worth the commute.

  • 728. New Poe Mom!!!  |  March 26, 2013 at 11:59 pm

    Tier 4 Beverly
    RGC 144
    R 99
    M 99
    @585 My daughter will be attending Poe too! THANK YOU,Little Hands Learning Academy for helping me lay the foundation for my daughters success!!!

  • 729. LR  |  March 27, 2013 at 12:08 am

    @719: I agree that 120 seems low getting into Beaubien. I can tell you that scores generally, not always, but generally go down from K to first. For instance, my son scored 132 prior to K and did not get an offer in tier 3. He got 122 prior to first grade and got an offer at Beaubien. I think it has to do with the K test being out of 160 and first grade 150. The scale is just different. Also, my daughter got into Bell first grade a few years ago with 128. When she tested for Kindergarten the year before, cutoffs were more like high 130’s. scores moderate from K to first overall. That being said, I am really surprised to see tier 4 Beaubien offers at 121. Last year, tier 4 cutoff was around 128. Because I remember thinking with a 122, we would not have gotten into Beaubien if we lived in tier 4. Anyhow, I am happy for those who got in. I feel like maybe it is a bit off of people’s radar, but it is a hidden gem.

  • 730. Jen  |  March 27, 2013 at 12:31 am

    @@726.LR ,

    I really appreciate your detailed and kind response, which is really helpful and encouraging!!!

  • 731. SLoop Family  |  March 27, 2013 at 12:31 am

    @566 Carla, We are currently in the South Loop RGC 1st grade (2nd Grade next year) and are very pleased with the program. We love the diversity of the School and the ability to create well rounded learners. Our child has Spanish, Art and Music. South Loop also has a great after school program that was important for our family.

  • 732. Southside CPS Parent  |  March 27, 2013 at 1:08 am

    @697 I am a 2nd grade Keller mom. My child has been there since 1st grade. The 1st grade teacher is fantastic. In regards to “baggage” of the principal, there is none that I know of. A well loved principal left during the 1st quarter of last year so we completed the year with a interim who in turn applied and was hired by LSC to be our permanent principal. I am at the school almost daily and I love to see her interaction with the kids and parents. I love to review my son’s work and see a handwritten tag line of “great job” written by the pricipal. Although I am a fan of the principal, Keller would not be what it is without the adminstration, teachers, staff, and parents. The success of Keller can be contributed to all stake holders. I transferred my son from Poe (where I learned that their 6th grade class did a great job of getting accepted into SEHS for next year) a place that he loved. It was a very tough decision but one I have not regretted because I doubt if you find another place like Keller. My son loves it. I have to make him leave school just about every day. I love the way the older kids look out for the smaller ones. It’s great to walk the halls and everyone knows everyone by name. And I will not even get into the support parents give each other. That’s another long winded story. To end, I am sure that your decision to accept the offer from Keller will not be regretted. Welcome to Keller where we make World Class Citizens.

  • 733. Ariana  |  March 27, 2013 at 5:54 am

    My DD is currently in a classical school for Kindergarten. She is accepted to an RGC center for first grade.
    If we accept the RGC center in April, will they immediately kick her out of her current classical school for next year?
    Do they give us any option to remain in the same school if we change our mind before the end of summer?

  • 734. pamela's smart rose  |  March 27, 2013 at 7:10 am

    how is it possible that I live in a tier 3 neighborhood when 7 out of ten houses are abandoned on my block, bullets are shot nightly, there are no jobs available, abandoned lots out number habitable residences and tons of cps schools are closing???

  • 735. local  |  March 27, 2013 at 7:18 am

    @ 731. Southside CPS Parent | March 27, 2013 at 1:08 am

    That’s interesting about the new Keller principal. I keep hearing that parents in the higher grades are bitterly disappointed in her. Can’t remember exactly why.

  • 736. Angie  |  March 27, 2013 at 7:26 am

    @711. Dunning Mom: “However, the school we have been offered (the only charter in the city that takes children with autism!) does have a really individualized program. They already asked me if we could meet over the summer to discuss his IEP and are planning some assessments to determine the best classroom placement for him. This is already far above and beyond anything CPS has ever done for him, as they have NEVER asked my opinion on anything before. The school also has twice as many therapists as his current CPS school.”

    I would, and did, put the specialized education geared toward the child’s disability over the school’s test scores. There will be time to catch up on reading and math, but early childhood is a critical time in addressing the child’s special needs. If the school you’re considering can provide that, take it.

  • 737. FP  |  March 27, 2013 at 7:27 am

    For those with students in RGCs does your child’s class work 2 grade levels ahead? How are the NWEA scores used to guide instruction?

    I’m a little frustrated that my Kindergartener scored in the middle of 2nd grade in both Math and Reading and is taught 1st grade math in whole group. Little enrichment. In addition, because I’ve been supplementing and she’s been attending CTD, her winter NWEA scores show that she tested in the 3rd grade math range.

    Are other RGCs really working at 2 grades ahead? The poor teacher. Has 4 reading groups but only 1 math group.

  • 738. Roger  |  March 27, 2013 at 7:33 am

    Does anyone know how SN second rounds go? My going into 1st grader scored 99/90. Any chance for later rounds?

  • 739. WRP Mom  |  March 27, 2013 at 7:34 am

    @Decatur decision, I am a former Decatur parent (child graduated last year). Regarding aftercare, many use the JCC next door. There’s also the High Ridge Y & also the Park Kids program through the park district.

    You are eligible for the school bus if you live north of Fullerton. Class size in primary K-3 is about 28, 31 in the upper grades. The homework in kindergarten is manageable. The amount does increase as they get older.

    I feel Decatur provided my child with a wonderful foundation and she is well prepared for for her future education. Good luck on your decision.

  • 740. cpsobsessed  |  March 27, 2013 at 7:35 am

    @FP, in 2nd grade my son’s class was doing 3rd grade math. In 4th grade they jumped to 5th grade math (completely skipping the 4th grade curriculum which seems crazy to me but the teacher worked hard to make up for cps not wanting to buy the extra materials.)
    I haven’t gotten the sense that there is differentiation for math. If there is, it might be a few kids who get special work on the side that I don’t know about. But the class math assigned that’s posted is just one assignment. The teachers have been good with kids who need extra effort to stay caught up. Not sure about the ones working at an advanced level.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 741. Carla  |  March 27, 2013 at 7:40 am

    @730 SLoop Family – thank you for the information. Have a really tough decision as my daughter is in a RGC now but I have read a lot of good things about SL. Thank you again for sharing.

  • 742. Bsmoresmom  |  March 27, 2013 at 7:44 am

    @Pamela’s Smart Rose,
    I know what you mean. We r in the same situation. Last year we fell in tier one this year r neighborhood is tier three, which I have no clue how did that change when everything around is the same as every year.

  • 743. LSMom  |  March 27, 2013 at 7:50 am

    Also feeling the tier frustration, we moved two blocks east and jumped from 2 to 3. The (level 3) neighborhood school is the same.

  • 744. Midway Mom  |  March 27, 2013 at 8:29 am

    @711 Dunning Mom- Run, run, run to Hope!!!!! That school is AMAZING!! My son has PDD-NOS and goes there right now. The principal is outstanding. The teachers are incredible and the OT, SLP’s, PT’s and social workers are terrific!! They have a sensory gym and I am thrilled that my son can receive OT in a setting that is almost like a private clinic instead of in the hall like at his last school. There is a school nurse that is there every day, all day and there is also a clinic that is staffed with a nurse and even at times a doctor from UIC.
    Hope is actually a contract school, not a full charter school. That means they must follow more of CPS’s rules than a charter. Hope is run by a non-profit that is truly a non-profit, not a for-profit masquerading as a non-profit. The testing scores of the school are so low because there are a lot of special ed students and the state says their scores must be included as well. There are a lot of low income students there, but you can find that at any school on the west or south side. I know they have tried very hard this year to attract more students from around the city. Hope really is a great school and more people need to look into it as an option!!! Last year there was a waiting list for K special ed students, but they were still enrolling K regular ed students through the summer as they didn’t have enough K regular ed students. Go with Hope! You won’t regret it. You can email me at 1squishypickle at gmail.com if you’d like to know more or have any other questions. We LOVE HILA!!!

  • 745. Decatur decision  |  March 27, 2013 at 8:35 am

    @WRP mom, thank u so much for the info. I think we will accept, my daughter deserves at least to try if she likes it. We will see how we manage the situation if my preK kid gets into Drummond (#3 waiting list).
    Thanks again .

  • 746. Decatur the sequel  |  March 27, 2013 at 9:07 am

    For those asking about Decatur, I think what’s most impressive about the school is the “academic life beyond the worksheet.” This year in Kindergarten they did age appropriate oral presentations, learned how to tell and appreciate jokes, had Latin/Tap/Computer Lab, gym twice a week, learned every bone in the body, state in the Union and are now undergoing units in World Culture.
    Yep, they do have gym once a week at the JCC and it’s a well orchestrated process. It’s great because along with recess they have three days during the week where they either have gym or Tap so they are keeping those bodies on the move.
    The bus system is always a little rough the first week as they determine where the new routes are, but every since the first week, they’ve been perfect. That includes the day where we were given up to the minute updates on slightly delayed busses because the 6th graders were at Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” event.
    I remember when we got the letter thinking, what on earth is Decatur and racing over for a quick tour before I made the choice. We have a beloved neighborhood school, and it was a tough call, but no regrets. The experience has been great.

  • 747. Decatur decision  |  March 27, 2013 at 9:15 am

    @decatur the sequel, I truly appreciate the info. It’s better to hear from parents than only from the school personnel. I will try to schedule a tour before April 12 to take a look at the installations and teachers, but I’m glad to hear you are happy w that school.
    Thanks again.

  • 748. Mom  |  March 27, 2013 at 10:01 am

    We just applied to Coonley for RGC. Daughter scored 144. Anyone think there is any chance? If not, we’ll stay private…..I’m just not sure how long I can stomach the tuition. We are Coonley neighborhood as well. We shall see….. Looks like a lot of kids received 144 with Tier 4 and did not receive an offer. Thanks for any answers/help in advance.

  • 749. FirstTimer  |  March 27, 2013 at 10:03 am

    We received a Coonley K offer with a Tier 3 144 so I’d think you’d have to be very close! Since you are in the neighborhood, it sounds like you win either way!

  • 750. LSMom  |  March 27, 2013 at 10:09 am

    At a certain point, they stop using the tiers for making RGC/classical offers — does anyone know if it’s after round 2 or round 3?

  • 751. Cynthia  |  March 27, 2013 at 10:14 am

    Our son got an offer to Decatur for 1st grade

    Tier 4, R-99 M-97

    We are thrilled and nervous about the offer. I hope my husband can tour the school before we accept. I have to get my head sound my kids going to different schools. Hopefully he likes the bus, but if anyone is interested in carpooling from Lincoln Sq/Ravenswood, let me know.

    Does anyone know if the new incoming 1st grade class will be together or will they be mixed in with the kindergarteners from the previous year?

  • 752. northside chicago  |  March 27, 2013 at 10:25 am

    I think your child is in Coonley. What do you think the chances are for Tier 4, RGC 142 for Coonley? Thanks.

  • 753. DD  |  March 27, 2013 at 10:43 am

    @737 Your chances are slim to none as currently both SN kindergarten classes are filled. I know of no one leaving as of yet. My son is in kindergarten there.

  • 754. anonymouse teacher  |  March 27, 2013 at 10:56 am

    @Dunning, I would definitely go visit Hope. I think the biggest detractor would be the location (its so far from Dunning). Will CPS bus your child there? I am assuming you looked at Beard school. They are known as one of the best in CPS for sped. Do they not have an autism program? Good luck. Its hard to be in CPS no matter what, but especially with most sped situations.

  • 755. Christine Whitley  |  March 27, 2013 at 10:57 am

    When my daughter was in K at Skinner North 2 years ago we only lost one kid to the suburbs during the year. Still, we had 4 new 1st graders the following year. Kindergartners do leave to join siblings at other schools, to the suburbs, etc. One 1st grader moved with his family to Mongolia! So — you just never know.

  • 756. whattodo  |  March 27, 2013 at 11:20 am

    My daughter was accepted to Ogden IG program for 6th grade. Any info. on this school/program?

  • 757. anonnymouse  |  March 27, 2013 at 11:23 am

    Cynthia- our son got into Decatur as well for 1st grade and we are in Lincoln Sq. We will probably do the bus, but would possibly be interested in a carpool for a.m. at least. (we have to figure out what to do for after school).

  • 758. LynnJ  |  March 27, 2013 at 11:42 am

    @whattodo I was utterly blown away by Ogden when I toured last year. I do not know anyone personally that have children there.

  • 759. Momof4  |  March 27, 2013 at 11:59 am

    @whattodo – my daughter currently attends Ogden. We have been nothing but thrilled with the academia at the lower grades. I have only heard good things about the gifted program. I have heard that sometimes it’s challenging for kids who are not from Ogden because they are sometimes not as prepared as the Ogden Kids are. but that is pure hearsay. I would take some one else’s opinion over that. There is a can do attitude about money at Ogden. I have only heard the principal say “there are no public funds for that, but we will see what we can do” For example, they have both a full time art and music teacher. Music teacher is paid for by CPS. The Art teacher is privately funded.

  • 760. Momof4  |  March 27, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    We received our SEES letter for my daughter going into 1st grade. For the classical test, she received 99th percentile for Math and 98th percentile in Reading.
    Guess where we got an offer from? No where!

    What do you think would be the likelihood of a later offer given that she will be in 1st grade?

    We are hoping for Skinner North as it is closest to us and our neighborhood school in the event that our younger children do not get into Skinner North

  • 761. whattodo  |  March 27, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    @LynnJ and Momof4 – thank you so much. Would you happen to know if upon graduating from 8th grade, are the students automatically accepted into their HS?

  • 762. Christine Whitley  |  March 27, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    First grade entry is hard to predict because schools don’t know yet how many spots they’re going to have open for 1st grade. Spots could open up in the 2nd round or even in the summer.

  • 763. Momof4  |  March 27, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    @whattodo – my understanding is yes. You may want to double check though if that is for both their gifted program and their neighborhood program. For certain neighborhood kids are automatically accepted into the High School.

  • 764. Juston  |  March 27, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    @ 707 —- 121 for Beaubien tier 4 seems low I am surprised your kid was accepted first round…. In saying that the workload is a lot but I feel the coursework moves with your child. It seems the work fits the child as opposed to the child having to complete work that may find more challenging….. The first and second grade teachers are good – I can’t speak for the later teachers as I haven’t experienced them yet. I think u should think bout how your child will cope as he/she didn’t score that high – if you think he can and is willing to work then it’s a good fit. It is not a cake walk it is alot of work , projects and homework but you will get used to it. The principal changed last year she has implemented some changes to the school but i would think things will stay somewhat the same as before. i dont hve much of an opinion on her but that just my personal opinion. Good luck to you in your decision it’s important to do the best for your own situation

  • 765. LVDad  |  March 27, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    Tier 4 RCG 126
    Reading 99
    Math 98

    DD entering K. Got an offer at Skinner West, our last choice because of proximity, but happy to get the offer!

    We live in Lakeview, incredibly close to Hawthorne, but are sadly waitlisted in the 80s.

    Can anyone give any feedback on the transportation experience from Lakeview to SW? We have two younger kids and the drive could be a dealbreaker. Does anyone carpool? Can we drive an area where school busses pick up at least?

    Is it worth holding out for SN to be a bit closer but then potentially losing everything?

    Finally, is it confirmed that if we accept SW we lose our spot for magnets?

    Thank you!

  • 766. Roger  |  March 27, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    Would you pick Hawthorne over SN if given the choice?

  • 767. Decatur the sequel  |  March 27, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    I believe they will be mixing the exisitng incoming 1st grade Decatur class with the new 1st grade class. Decatur is graduating two six grade classes this year, so there will be two classes. They’re already a great group, so mixing in more great kids will make them even better. The existing class will have an August welcome event prior to school to meet their new classmates and get everyone ready for the new year.

  • 768. LVDad  |  March 27, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    @765 We probably would. We are literally steps away from Hawthorne and would likely trade the classical curriculum for an extra hour per day with our DD at home able to do homework, sleep later, etc.

  • 769. Ram Mathur  |  March 27, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    @208: RGC 136, Tier 4, would have gotten you into Lenart in the subsequent rounds (not the first) in 2012.

    My child was at the same situation, and I got this information directly from Lenart.

    Of course, this year could be different.

  • 770. Xóchitl Bada  |  March 27, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    @Westloop mom:
    Tier 4
    RGC: 143
    Math: 91
    Reading: 99.8
    Offered a spot at NTA RGC, our 4th choice.
    Yesterday, principal sent email inviting accepted RGC families to an open house 4/10 @ 6pm. I just requested a tour during normal business hours to visit school. I am not ready to cross it off the list until I listen to the plans for the new program. It seems this is part of Rahm Emmanuel’s plan to revitalize the near south side. They have invested serious money in plans to bring more green spaces to the area. Principal is interested in hiring Mandarin teacher for the RGC so it looks that the school wants to increase enrollment of the neighboring population (i.e. Chinatown people). My neighborhood school is skinner magnet cluster so I am relieved that I have options.

  • 771. Amitabh C  |  March 27, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    We are looking for Hyde Park parents with a kid in Keller. Our daughter has been accepted in Grade 1. We want to know about transportation options. Do you recommend any specific option? Do you know of a car pool we could join.

    If any parent would like to contact us directly please email chicago4849 at gmail.

    Also, thanks CPS Obsessed for this wonderful website. It is great to be able to share with the other parents.

  • 772. Mom  |  March 27, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    Does CPS issue a report of test statistics each year? I didn’t ever look at this blog before we received results this week. Thanks for everyone’s help sifting through this. Still hoping for a 144 Tier 4 acceptance to Coonley….I would love an option from our private school.

  • 773. Southloop Mom  |  March 27, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    Parents with kids accepted by NTA for K please contact me.

  • 774. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  March 27, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    Some contrarian advice here: what school your child goes to matters less than the time you devote to your child. If your local school is abysmal, I can understand the urgency of finding a SEES. But keep in mind that all the CPS schools are held to the same state standards — the actual variation in curriculum is less than you would think. Very few of us have the opportunity to send one child to a neighborhood school and the twin to a SEES to compare what goes on. The specific teacher, the peers in the class, your child’s interests — all these things matter in complex ways. You’re not stepping in the same river twice.

    My child is at Mayer (Montessori magnet). I toured Decatur (classical) and Pritzker (RGC) based on parent recommendations and Parker (pricey private) based on rep. in fall 2011. After the tours and given that my daughter had been in private Montessori pre-K since age 2, I saw no reason to apply to any of the three in terms of academics. Parker is really cool in terms of physical plant and class size, but @ $25k per year I could gut-renovate and re-furnish her room every year and still have money for tutors.

    At all three schools finding out what children did in terms of 2nd grade curriculum (my daughter’s grade this AY) was like pulling teeth. I was repeatedly told at Decatur and Pritzker that they were a grade level above other CPS schools, but this meant nothing to me because I don’t know what a generic CPS school does.

    I asked each school what math operations the children would know at the end of 2nd grade. I might as well have asked “what’s your kinkiest sexual fantasy?” because no one really wanted to tell me. I’ll give credit to the Pritzker principal and a 2nd grade teacher there because they were the only people that eventually got my question answered (the math, not the fantasy) but it took a while. At the end of 2nd, they were not doing any more than what my daughter was projected to do at the end of 1st grade at Mayer. I was told that there was no way to get a sample of 2nd grade homework from Decatur, which still leaves me befuddled. Parker emailed tour attendees to follow up. I asked for more info but never got a reply.

    I do not think that means Mayer offers a superior math program than the others. Rather it shows how little the academics are discussed in any substantive way. Schools love to talk about the neat stuff their classes do, but they actually spend little time discussing what children will learn or precisely how their school will help your child achieve more.

  • 775. Ram Mathur  |  March 27, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    @773 Christopher Ball.

    I personally have had very different experiences. For instance, when I toured LaSalle Language Academy and Lenart RGC I was able to get specific answers to what students learned in math. And there was variation. LaSalle students did not seem to know what the Pythagoream Theorem was in Grade 6, while I was told that Lenart students are first introduced to it in Grade 4, and know it quite well by Grade 5.

    Of course, my inquiries were not rigorous, and you should perhaps look at ISAT scores for a more scientific comparison between schools.

    But my experience is that (1) Chicago schools have variation, and (2) touring them is useful.

    That said, it depends mostly on the child. Choose what you feel is best for your child, and not what is “considered” the best.

  • 776. SouthSide Mommy!  |  March 27, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    Finally, I am glad to see more Southside parents on this website! I love it…keep posting please.

  • 777. Waiting and waiting  |  March 27, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    @773, how did your child score? What school did you choose, what tier and grade? Thanks, just trying to find out if anyone will be declining SN and/ SW. Thanks!!!!!

  • 778. SE Teacher  |  March 27, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    @773…very well said. I also think that the next two years will bring changes to many of these schools as Chicago attempts to bring the Common Core Standards into the lower grade levels. I think that most schools will need to have the same score and sequencing in order to adhere to the mandated assessments. It should be interesting to see how it all plays out.

  • 779. anonymouse teacher  |  March 27, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    Christopher Ball, you said, “Schools love to talk about the neat stuff their classes do, but they actually spend little time discussing what children will learn or precisely how their school will help your child achieve more.”
    Yes, yes, yes!

  • 780. LSMom  |  March 27, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    @Southloop Mom, do you have a contact email?

    @Xóchitl Bada, if you do a tour during business hours, I’d love to join in (possiblentamom at gmail).

    I wonder if they plan on having AUSL teachers for the gifted program, a scripted curriculum seems like the opposite of gifted education. On the other hand, I wouldn’t be surprised if the K and 1 class sizes ended up being smaller than average.

  • 781. ConfusedMom  |  March 27, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    Entering 3rd grade – offered Edison. Does anyone have information regarding the new 3rd and 4th grade teachers? Does Edison teach 2 grade levels ahead?

  • 782. Gobemouche  |  March 27, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    780 – confusedMom – The 3rd grade teacher isn’t new, but the 4th grade teacher is. The 4th grade teacher rocks!!!! Everybody is falling all over themselves in excitement over him. The 3rd grade teacher has a great reputation. I hear she does a lot project based work. There is another new teacher that works with different reading groups (1st, 6th, 7th, and others), he is also amazing! There is differentiation to the differentiation at Edison. Meaning, it’s done one way in K-2, another way in 3-4, and another way in 5-8. So there is opportunity to work at varying levels.

  • 783. Gobemouche  |  March 27, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    ConfusedMom, 3rd grade is a great time to start at Edison!

  • 784. Stressed Mom  |  March 27, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    My DD got in Skinner North with 99/99. We are also wait listed for Franklin.

    I wonder if there is anyone giving up Skinner North for Franklin? I worry that Skinner North might have too many home works.

    And anyone know how many hours of fine art classes does Franklin have? I am very interested in their fine art classes, just never get a chance to tour the school yet. Any info would be appreciated.

  • 785. operamom  |  March 27, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    @728 – Beaubien first grade offer, RGC score 115 (I had to double-check), tier 2.

    This seems like a very low score to get an offer, but hey! Maybe this will encourage some other parents out there. When my son tested last year, his RGC score was 100 even (so dead average) but classical scores were 99.9/99.7 (obviously excellent), so he got into Skinner North, our first choice classical. This year his RGC score went up (and depending on the difference between kindergarten and first grade scoring rubric, maybe more than a little). And I’ve heard many good things about Beaubien, but I still think we’ll keep him at SN; I just can’t imagine finding a school we could possibly like better.

  • 786. operamom  |  March 27, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    @783 – kindergarteners at Skinner North don’t have much homework, in my opinion. There are four quarterly projects, plus maybe 10-20 minutes of math and 15-30 minutes of reading per week (or at least, that’s how long it takes my son). And first grade isn’t too different. Definitely less than the rumors I have heard about Decatur and Edison homework, at least.

  • 787. ConfusedMom  |  March 27, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    @781 and 872 Gobemouche: Thank you!

  • 788. Cbuck  |  March 27, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    So sad my little one didn’t get into Lenart foe kindergarten with a test score of 139. Do you think there is any chance in the later rounds?

  • 789. Stressed Mom  |  March 27, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    @785-one hour per week is very reasonable. What I heard before was one hour per day! So I was very hesitated.

  • 790. WRogersMom  |  March 27, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    @773 brings up a good point. I didn’t get to go on many tours, but had a similar experience when talking to people about schools. No one seems to be able to tell me exactly what the kids are studying. We are accepting an offer for K at Decatur. I am a university math professor and I work a lot in teacher education. I’d love to know specifically what mathematics Decatur teaches in K (and higher grades). Can anyone fill me in?

  • 791. happy not to have to be CPS obsessed anymore...  |  March 27, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    just got my letter as we were out of town…
    Tier 4
    RGC 133
    obviously no offer (and won’t get one as we only applied to coonley and edison).
    Classical scores in the mid 80’s (not surprised).
    For tracking purposes, DS in test room for 38 minutes.
    truthfully, just glad this is over as i’d drive myself crazy waiting for a call if we were closer. Thank goodness i have a plan B with a great private school!

  • 792. Up in the AP  |  March 27, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    Live in Albany Park; Tier 2 (Hibbard is our neighborhood school)
    RGC 104
    Reading 99, Math 82
    Offered Skinner West for Classical K

    Also offered Stone and Disney magnets.

    I would love feedback on Skinner W community – Are there many far Northside families? Will my 3-year old have a chance to get into neighborhood magnet at Skinner?

    Thanks in advance! And, good luck everybody!

  • 793. Anonymous  |  March 27, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    Tier 4
    RGC 148
    Reading 99.8, Math 88

    Offered Coonely, first choice. Did not do any prep besides showing child the test the night before.

  • 794. Clueless Mom  |  March 27, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    @792: Congrats! Can you please share what you mean by showing child the test the night before? What kind of test was it? Thanks!

  • 795. waitinggame  |  March 27, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    @792 Congrats you have some great choices! Your 3 year old can only get in to Skinner West during Kindergarten if:

    1. he tests in like everyone else
    2. he is picked in the lottery (there is sibling preference for the lottery)
    3. you live in the neighborhood

    So basically, he is not guaranteed a spot.

  • 796. Ariana  |  March 27, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    Any comment on @732 is truly appreciated!

  • 797. ?  |  March 27, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    How do we check what contact phone number we gave on our applications for SEES and Magnet programs? Now I am wondering if I put our home phone, which has no answering machine, or my cell.

  • 798. LynnJ  |  March 27, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    South Loop mom I do not see your email addy.

  • 799. Mommyof1  |  March 27, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    Thanks to all those parents who responded to my questions. I’d like to add that I too am a parent of a child at Little Hands Learning Center Academy in Beverly!

  • 800. logan sq dad  |  March 27, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    @772 We need an email if we are to contact you, thanks.

  • 801. xyz  |  March 27, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    @789 It is Harcourt for math @ Decatur.

  • 802. nerdmom  |  March 27, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    First grade
    Tier 4
    RGC 121
    Classical R 96 M 98
    Applied to Bell, Edison, Coonley, Decatur, received no offers

    Just for comparison, same kid’s kindergarten test scores last year were RGC 139/R 41/M 95, no offers, so he went to our neighborhood school (Waters), where they’ve clearly taught him to read! Hooray! He also seems to have mastered the art of hovering just below whatever the Tier 4 cutoff score ends up being for this set of schools, so we’ll see what happens in the second round.

  • 803. local  |  March 27, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    @ 773. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins) | March 27, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    That, in all, seems to be the dirty little secret of most schools. Even if a school must consider learning outcomes in an IEP, it’s like pulling teeth. One can review the ISBE standards for each grade, but that doesn’t help you understand how those standards are met in any one school. I don’t even think ISAT, MAP, etc. help with that. These days, all I want is a good syllabus to follow for the kids.

  • 804. PortagePark Mom  |  March 27, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    Applied for a 6th grade spot at several RGCs. Received offer to Pritzker. But unsure if this will be better than staying at Skinner West. The commutes are both bad. Would really like a closer option. Should I decline and wait for second round? And if we accept than are we giving up our spot at Skinner instantly?

    We’re Tier 3
    RGC: 147
    Total point score: 891

  • 805. fifbell  |  March 27, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    For those comparing scores for entering K and entering 1st grade RGB the scale is a completely different one. So if your child scored 150 entering K and 120 entering 1st that is about the same it seems…. don’t compare the two there are not like with like

  • 806. CPSAppalled  |  March 27, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    I toured Edison this past fall and saw the 4th grade teacher in action. While the parent leading the tour sang his praises highly, I was horrified at what I observed. He had 30 or so students sharing 15 iPads, listening to different parts of the same video (educational), AT THE SAME TIME, WITH NO HEADPHONES! The noise was deafening. I asked why they had no headphones and was told that the cost of buying “splitters” was prohibitive. When I asked what he would do if he had a child with hypersensitive hearing, he replied “we don’t have that problem here”. All the while I noticed at least one or two students cringing in the back of the room, probably from the noise. The parents and staff seem to think highly of him; I assume his ignorance of special needs kids is due to his inexperience. Can other Edison parents elaborate?

  • 807. Agupat  |  March 27, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    Hi all… Does anyone have experience w/ Galileo? Would love it if you could share your insight.

  • 808. Cynthia  |  March 27, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    If anyone sending their kids to Decatur 1st grade would like to keep in touch, let me know. I found a Yahoo group for Decatur, but wasn’t allowed to join until we are registered.

    Please email me at cynthiagaddis @ ymail dot com

  • 809. Another Edison parent  |  March 27, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    @805 Horrified? Really? True, the 4th grade teacher is not one to make the kids sit still all day, listening to lectures and drilling vocab words. He encourages creativity, teamwork and technology. Sure, it can get loud, but I can assure you that Mr. C was correct, no kids in the 4th grade with hypersensitve hearing. If that was an issue, it would be addressed. I highly doubt there were students cowering in the back of the room.

    There are many reasons both students and parents sing his praises, sorry you didnt get to see that in the two minutes you were in his classroom. Meanwhile those 9 and 10 year old kids will continue to write ebooks, create music videos, and write scratch programs.

    I am guessing a more traditional classroom and school might be better for both you and your child.

  • 810. 60630 parent  |  March 27, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    @805. Wow..all I can say is that your 1 minute in that room was not enough to get the actual feel of what really is in there. My kid is in that class and I’m so proud of what he’s been learning. Mr. C, the 4th grade teacher is awesome!

  • 811. Gobemouche  |  March 27, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    Cps appalled – “probably” from the noise? It’s not cool to make claims like that when you don’t really know. Agree with anotheredisonparent – it’s kind of absurd to say you were “horrified” by what you saw during your few minutes in the room. To me words like “Horrified” should be reserved for truly horrific things, like a teacher screaming or throwing things. Stop it with the hyperbole. I think people who’ve been posting here for awhile know that I try to be honest about schools that I have experience with, so I gotta say you’re dead wrong on this one. Is Edison perfect? No way. But the 4th grade teacher is truly a cut above.

  • 812. CPSAppalled  |  March 27, 2013 at 9:16 pm

    What I asked the teacher was “what would you do if you DID have a child with sensitivity to noise?” and his reply was “We don’t have those kinds of kids here.” The reality is that there is at least 1 or 2 kids in EVERY classroom with Sensory Processing Disorder, which teachers often overlook. This affects a child’s ability to take in sensory information and process it correctly. I would expect a gifted program to be very creative and get the kids moving around all day. A traditional classroom is actually not advisable for a kid with SPD, just well-trained and educated teachers. I would like to know what kind of professional development the teachers of CPS and Edison, in particular, get related to SPD, as they will all have kids with this disorder eventually.

  • 813. CPSAppalled  |  March 27, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    I’ve noticed a pattern here: whenever someone has a critical comment about a specific school, defenders of said school jump down the critic’s throat. I provided a first-hand account of a conversation with your beloved teacher, one which alarmed me as a parent. There seems to be a case of “the emperor’s new clothes” going on with several schools. Some of us are not willing to jump on your bandwagon and have different standards for our children. I’m glad you and your children are having a positive experience at Edison, but clearly it won’t work for all gifted kids.

  • 814. Gobemouche  |  March 27, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    I’m guessing that his take is that kids who would have a severe enough issue to be actually recognized by the DSM would need special Ed. Since SPD or SID aren’t even recognized by the DSM in all cases and there is quite a bit of disagreement about its status as a disorder, it’s a moot point. And before you freak out – my own child is thought to have SPD by his occupational therapist, but not by his pediatrician. I’ve done a fair amount of research and I think what you saw and how you were answered was perfectly fine.

  • 815. Gobemouche  |  March 27, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    Uh, no. Again, I’ve been posting here for years and I’ve been pretty upfront on other posts about what I think are Edison’s shortcomings. I disagree with you that our 4th grade teacher is one of them. That is not me saying…omg! Edison is perfect! Rararara! I’m simply disagreeing with the argument you laid out.

  • 816. SutherlandParent  |  March 27, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    I know I’m a little late to the conversation, but regarding some of the comments earlier by @GiftedTeacherMom and others, I’m really curious what resources Sutherland has that Kellogg doesn’t? Besides Sutherland being more than twice the size—and closer to three times the size–of Kellogg, that is 🙂

    Really, I’m not being snarky, but I’ve heard this from other Kellogg families, and I’m always a little baffled by it. At our school, we feel like we have to fight for everything we get, like any other neighborhood school in a system that seems enamored of non-neighborhood options.

    But for anyone looking at houses and schools in the 19th Ward, I’d absolutely encourage everyone to keep an open mind and check it out. We didn’t know a soul when we moved here from the North Side, and we’ve found a real community, a great place to raise a family and (relatively) affordable housing.

  • 817. cpsobsessed  |  March 28, 2013 at 12:07 am

    Someone asked about the bus between Waters and Decatur?

    A friend told me this:

    Variable, we share route with Stone, which is always subject to change. In a.m., pickup Waters 7:15, drop off around 8 (after Stone drop off). Leave Decatur around 3:15, at Waters between 3:40-3:45, usually. Good bus drivers this year.

  • 818. cpsobsessed  |  March 28, 2013 at 12:10 am

    Found this old post about Classical schools (note it is 2 years old now, so I think a lot has changed at Skinner North in that time)


  • 819. GiftedTeacherMom  |  March 28, 2013 at 1:21 am

    Hi SutherlandParent. No snarkiness taken. You really do have more resources such as afterschool programs and enrichment programs. I’ve visited your website. Ive been in N Beverly for two years and was really disappointed in what I saw when I went to Kellogg’s website and when I visited. Mediocre at best. But you hit it on the head. Sutherland probably has more parents that fight for the extras you have to make a well rounded school culture. I’m sure Kellogg is on the process of turning into something fabulous again and I sure hope so since I live around the corner. My goal was for my kids to go there all along until a witnessed a horror in kindergarten 2 years ago and said no way!!!

  • 820. Iheoma  |  March 28, 2013 at 6:29 am

    I know that people are posting on this thread about SEES but I want to add my voice to those who are saying all is not lost if your kid can attend a reasonable neighborhood school. I’m glad to see other parents from south side communities discussing the resources and strong parent communities in the schools as well. As a Hyde Parker I’m sad to learn that kids will travel so far north to attend K and 1st grade if the are able to attend Ray. Of course there are differences with the populations of magnet cluster schools and SEES but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing. Being a part of a community in which kids can walk to school, participate in school activities and really feel connected inside and outside of the school makes a difference to smart kids (which is what we’re talking about with SEES applicants). My daughter’s starting at an AC in the fall and I don’t regret for one minute that she had an opportunity to sleep a bit longer, walk to school and participate in local after school activities because she attended a great neighborhood school. I know that everyone doesn’t have the opportunity, but if you do- please seriously consider your neighborhood. Ok – end of PSA

  • 821. FP  |  March 28, 2013 at 7:14 am

    The parent concerned about SPD is right to be so. Is Edison an RGC? If it is the staff there should be aware that some Gifted children do have sensitivities. Actually —it’s not just gifted students. I actually have 2 gifted children and I teach gifted students. Many workshops and classes under my belt and I’m always faced with a new adventure with students.

    I was surprised that 2 children that I taught an enrichment course would refuse to use the restroom because the sound of the flushing was scary for one and made the other upset. Most children grow out of this.

    I am surprised that some teachers are not aware of some of the special needs that some gifted children have. SPD is not uncommon among children.

    I don’t know this teacher but I think his response would’ve rubbed me the wrong way as well. Also, sometimes children work better in individual chairs and not at tables— some work better in organized chaos while some need it quiet. If you ever want to know what a well run class looks like think about the different ways people in an office work. Some might be meticulous while other’s offices are just piles of files, some love deadlines, some need you to have weekly progress checks. A classroom has all those different personalities in them. An instructor’s job is to effectively teach in a variety of ways to Address several learning types. A good instructor will present info in several different ways. And before someone says there is no time for that in a day—– it is very possible over a week’s time- sometimes 2 styles within one lesson.

    I’m sure this teacher doesn’t do only techy noisy learning all day. Sometimes parents are impressed with that stuff—sometimes parents’ eyes light up when they see anything that looks untraditional—–and that is why he did that lesson—bells and whistles.

  • 822. Dana  |  March 28, 2013 at 7:20 am

    Thank you for your comment. I have one child at a classical school and I am a Hyde Parker. I am out of the boundary for Ray by 1 block (52nd street) I am really worried. Shoesmith is not an option and I am not sure if we will move down the Murray waitlist. Ray also seems to have declined a bit…is that not true?

  • 823. FP  |  March 28, 2013 at 7:21 am

    As someone who attended Ray– it was just an OKAY learning environment. If you have a gifted child who gets board —it becomes a problem. They did not differentiate for accelerated learners.

    So its really great for girls who work well in the middle but its not ideal for kids who get board after the first lesson.

    Also, it’s going to get the Canter Middle school students because it’s one of the schools that closed.

  • 824. FP  |  March 28, 2013 at 7:31 am


  • 825. Iheoma  |  March 28, 2013 at 8:11 am

    @822 – I kinda need to disagree with you. There are several really smart kids at Ray that have various levels of abilities. My dd wasn’t always challenged but she was not routinely bored either. With the exception of *one* year, I felt that her teachers did not “teach to the middle” but had the expectation of teaching appropriately to the kids in the classroom. This was often to the chagrin of parents who felt that things were moving to fast for their kids in the classroom. Neighborhood schools are not meant to be SEES, and I’m not arguing that are or should be for everyone. I’m saying that there are some well resouced community schools that can meet the social and academic needs of kids within their communities. It’s worth a look to consider this for your kid if possible.

    That said, there are a lot of problems with the current administration at Ray that need to addressed ASAP but I do think that the network and community are helping to make those changes for next year.

    I’m not exactly sure what was meant by the Canter comment. There will be some 7th graders coming from Canter to Ray if they live in the attendance boundaries. I actually think the addition of 7th and 8th grade will be positive for the school. Some of the “brain drain” that occurs in the upper grades has been because parents moved their kids our to schools that went up to 8th grade to avoid the whole middle school/AC drama. Maybe kids will stay longer now. There is something really positive about having families committ to schools for 8 or 9 years.

  • 826. Midway Mom  |  March 28, 2013 at 8:11 am

    @820 FP- Thank you so much for your response. The comment about that teacher not having those kind of kids really scared me. My son has sensory processing problems and is sensitive to sound along with other things. This is my biggest fear in taking him out of his current school and sending him to Keller- that they won’t “get” him and his sensory issues even though they are clearly laid out in his 504 plan. If they can’t help him keep his sensory system in check his body will always be in a fight or flight mode and he won’t be able to work at his full potential. I’m always amazed at how many people think just because a child is gifted that they don’t have any special needs or might require some special education services.

  • 827. Mom of twins 2  |  March 28, 2013 at 8:42 am

    Do you know if Murray does differentiated learning at the kdg level? If my boy twin is able to secure a seat there, I don’t want him bored having to sit through learning material that he already knows.

  • 828. logan sq dad  |  March 28, 2013 at 9:21 am

    @Xochitl Bada I have been interacting with the NTA principal and have been impressed. Emphasized safety and segregation of K, 1st grade within school. Emphasized that they do not teach to the test. In addition to the open house, he’s scheduling a tour next week for prospective RGC parents. He seems sharp and committed to making this a success.

  • 829. SutherlandParent  |  March 28, 2013 at 9:23 am

    @818, not to nitpick (and bore everyone else on this board to tears), but what kind of afterschool programming are you referring to? Because we’ve been at Sutherland for years, and a babysitter picks up our kids after school 🙂

    We have a few in-school and after-school music, clubs and sports programs that parents can pay for, but those tend to begin in 4th grade, they aren’t cheap and they are only a day or two a week.

    There is a significant size difference between Sutherland and Kellogg–I just looked it up on the CPS website, and Sutherland has 743 kids in K-8 compared with 269 at Kellogg. So I’m sure we have more faculty and support staff (including an art teacher and a librarian). We also have a larger community to draw on, and that community is highly engaged. The flip side is that we have a lot more students and teachers to try to support.

    This may be part of a broader issue, which is that across CPS, schools seem to vary wildly in both community and district resources and facilities. I certainly don’t feel like my school is a winner in that regard, but maybe no one does!

  • 830. Looking for the silver lining...  |  March 28, 2013 at 9:57 am

    Congratulations to everyone who received good news. Given all the folks on magnet waiting lists, I’m sure I’m not alone in wondering whether some of you might now be planning to turn down magnet offers you received last week. Any news of this variety, perhaps also mentioning whether you were proximity or tier, would help keep hope alive for our children’s options. Thanks!

  • 831. GiftedTeacherMom  |  March 28, 2013 at 10:15 am

    What Classical school does your child attend? I’m trying to get current feedback on Poe.

  • 832. GiftedTeacherMom  |  March 28, 2013 at 10:31 am

    Hey Sutherland Parent. I appreciate the dialogue. I guess the grass looks greener from the outside. Your point is valid and taken.

  • 833. local  |  March 28, 2013 at 10:54 am

    @ 825. Midway Mom | March 28, 2013 at 8:11 am

    Sometimes I think folks want “diversity” at their schools – up to a point. That point sometimes is the sped/504 kids.

  • 834. Mom of twins 2  |  March 28, 2013 at 11:15 am

    @ GiftedTeacherMom – Do you know if Murray Language Academy does differentiated reading and math at the kdg level? If my boy twin is able to secure a seat there, I don’t want him bored having to sit through learning material that he already knows.

  • 835. GiftedTeacherMom  |  March 28, 2013 at 11:22 am

    I dont have any personal experience with Murray. I do know several people there who love it. However I also have a good friend who left and went to Skinner North saying it wasnt challenging enough for his kid. I just think different parents value different things.

  • 836. Dana  |  March 28, 2013 at 11:22 am

    She attends McDade, but we have many friends whose children attend Poe and have not heard anything negative.

  • 837. GiftedTeacherMom  |  March 28, 2013 at 11:26 am

    Thanks for the feedback. I was really torn between listing Poe or McDade first. McDade has always seen like a brighter, happier, more fun place to learn to me. But for whatever reason this will be my 3rd child at Poe. The other 2 are in High School now. : )

  • 838. Mom of twins 2  |  March 28, 2013 at 11:27 am

    GiftedTeacherMom, thank you for the feedback.

  • 839. WRogersMom  |  March 28, 2013 at 11:29 am

    @829 We did not get any offers for magnets, but we did get a tier 3 wait list #9 at Thorpe, O (Kindergarten). Since we are accepting Decatur, we wouldn’t take Thorpe even if we eventually got an offer.

    Sending you smiles and wishing everyone good luck…

  • 840. Xóchitl Bada  |  March 28, 2013 at 11:37 am

    @logan sq dad. Please share if you do get a tour during normal business hours for next week. This is spring break week and nobody at NTA picks up the phone or answers emails. I would love to take the tour before the open house date to help me make a decision.

  • 841. Badger  |  March 28, 2013 at 11:43 am

    @829 – We’re pretty sure we’re going to decline an offer from Franklin (K, tier 4), albeit reluctantly, it looks like a fantastic school. If our spot on the Inter-American wait list comes up (K, #8, General E queue), we’ll decline that, too. Best of luck to everyone in finding a great school.

  • 842. HMM  |  March 28, 2013 at 11:53 am

    Son started K at Aggasiz and we are pretty happy with the school. He’s been offered a seat for 1st grade at Bell that we are likely going to take. Are there any parents here with experience moving a child into a RGC from K to 1st? Was is a positive experience? Also, any particular feedback on Bell would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

  • 843. Teasdad  |  March 28, 2013 at 11:56 am

    Can anyone post here phone numbers on back of SEES/Classical letter for questions/inquires, please? I have a question, but cannot find the letter. Thx.

  • 844. SutherlandParent  |  March 28, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    @831, enjoyed the dialogue, too!

  • 845. CPSAppalled  |  March 28, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    Thank you FP and Midway Mom:

    I was starting to feel alone on this blog. Thank you for validating my experience. I feel that a teacher or school who sends up red flags in a scheduled tour is something to be concerned about. What is happening the rest of the day when no adults are looking and asking direct questions? The ignorance of some people is astounding. This thread seems to be full of typically developing children’s parents. There are lots of gifted kids and just plain smart kids who have special needs. Most schools do a terrible job of accommodating SPD; some of us are trying to find the right school for our child who doesn’t fit neatly inside the box. Doesn’t seem to exist. Sigh.

  • 846. H  |  March 28, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    @842 for questions about the testing, it’s the IIT call center: 312-567-6470. Open 9-5 through april 4, including this saturday but not sunday.

    For question about process, cps oae office: 773-553-2060.

  • 847. Teasdad  |  March 28, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    Thanx H!

  • 848. logan sq dad  |  March 28, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    @Xochitl Bata. Will do. His last note to me said that he had that request from a number of families, that he was trying to arrange it for next week, and that he would send out a note to all accepted families on this point. I agree that this is an important factor in the decision.

  • 849. Clueless Mom  |  March 28, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    @840 Badger: What’s school is your child going to go? I’m sure many people are happy to hear that you’re giving up the other great school offers. Thanks! Wish you luck too.

  • 850. LSMom  |  March 28, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    I’ve also emailed with the NTA principal and he said they were planning on hiring teachers with experience in gifted education, so that was good news.

  • 851. Confused  |  March 28, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    @838, how is it possible that u have #9 on waiting list for Thorp.O? I have that number too!

  • 852. Dunning Mom  |  March 28, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    @743 Midway Mom – I went to Hope for another tour and – it is SUCH a nice building, especially the sensory gym! I love that they have two SLP’s and two OT’s on staff that they don’t have to share with another school. Plus there is a clinic with a nurse in the building!

    The school is about 5 minutes from my job, and just a few blocks from where his lil sis goes to preschool (Skinner West). Actually I’m surprised more Skinner classical families don’t enroll siblings in Hope – it is so close by, with a robust after school program. I know the test scores are scary, but again, they have a very high special ed population.

  • 853. ELL gifted program  |  March 28, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    Has anyone applied to the ELL gifted program? (Pulaski, orozco and Greeley ) I haven’t received my letter 😦

  • 854. LSMom  |  March 28, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    @850, there’s a separate waiting list for each of the four tiers, as well as a proximity list for each of the magnet schools (at the entry year) so there are five people out there who are #9 on Thorp’s K waiting list.

  • 855. Badger  |  March 28, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    @848 Most likely going to Edison for K (we’re on the north side, so it’s much closer). Are you planning on Franklin? If so, that’s great and congrats–from everything I’ve read, the school is very well regarded.

  • 856. WRogersMom  |  March 28, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    @850 What tier are you? We are #9 for Tier 3 for Thorp, O. We’re definitely listed as #9.

  • 857. Confused  |  March 28, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    Tier 1.
    Thanks LSmom for the explanation.

  • 858. AE  |  March 28, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    Not much point in posting, I guess, at this late date…. but we just got back from vacation to find the cps letter.

    Tier 4 Entering K
    RGC 130
    Reading 90
    Math 94
    No offers (obviously)
    But happy w/ our neighborhood option

    My older child also took the RGC test, but had a 10 point drop this year (!!) and is not realistically in the ballpark this year. Oh well… Again thankful for that good neighborhood school.

  • 859. Al  |  March 29, 2013 at 6:42 am

    Does anybody know where to find the RGC / Classical scores of any school incoming body of students – do they post anything like that

  • 860. WRP Mom  |  March 29, 2013 at 6:59 am

    Al, unfortunately CPS does not post SEES cutoff scores except for incoming 7th grade academic centers. That’s why everyone on this blog self reports so we can at least get some idea.

  • 861. Nonchalant  |  March 29, 2013 at 9:48 am

    Entering 1st
    RGC: 125 Tier 3
    Offered a spot at Beaubien

    @LR: Thank you for your lengthy description of Beaubien. Our daughter is currently attending its neighborhood Kindergarten program, and she loves her K teacher. Also, I just checked Mrs. Silver’s website and am very pleased with the 1st grade “curriculum”. Offering Logic, Character, and Nutrition lessons are the way to go with young children.

  • 862. local  |  March 29, 2013 at 10:03 am

    You know what might be useful? A list of the “best” (not perfect, and not best for everyone, but…) regular neighborhood grade schools in CPS. As a southsider, the only ones I know of are:

    Mount Greenwood

  • 863. Decatur 5th grade craze  |  March 29, 2013 at 11:09 am

    Decatur kindergarten to 3rd and maybe 4th was okay. When it gets to 5th grade, the craze starts. Need straight A’s, high ISAT, and high AC testing as Decatur only goes through 6th grade. Then comes the new twist and reality that tier 4 kids need to score even higher than the other tiers to even place into any AC. Our current Decatur 6th graders in tier 4 suffered as some didn’t get any spots. Why did we come to Decatur when the system doesn’t help our kids to move past 6th grade? Why wasn’t there a system to have automatic placement to 7th and 8th? Why is the school so small not to have 7th and 8th? Had I thought it through, I would have put my child in a school that went through 8th grade to not have to deal with testing for AC post-Decatur life. So, the kids leave Decatur after 6th, then they have to adjust to the new school and test again for high school where 7th grade grades and ISAT count all over again. There is no time to adjust to a new school with new friends and new surroundings. As the current kindergarten and 1st grade parents think it through, consider what happens when 5th grade Decatur comes along…

  • 864. Bsmoresmom  |  March 29, 2013 at 11:51 am

    Can someone tell me what the acronym for AC stands for?


  • 865. SN dad  |  March 29, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    @861: Lincoln elementary in Lincoln Park is one of the top rated neighborhood schools. Actually, Chicago Sun-Times ranked it higher than any magnet schools in Chicago, only behind those SEES classicals and RGCs.

  • 866. Bsmoresmom  |  March 29, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    Nevermind I figured it out. I am just having a slow day today.

    Thanks 😉

  • 867. anotherchicagoparent  |  March 29, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    861 A few I could think of
    Bell ( RGC plus neighborhood and deaf)
    Coonley (RGC plus neighborhood)
    Norwood park
    oriole Park
    G Washington

  • 868. parent of non-SEES child  |  March 29, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    862 – but don’cha think many of those “new” Decatur parents are assuming Johnny/Jenny are gonna make “the cut” yet again?

    As a neighborhood parent, I’ve already “lived” that challenge (and survived). It’s somebodyelse’s/their turn now. No?

  • 869. local  |  March 29, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    Here’s the growing list of good regular seats in neighborhood schools (the regular program has to pass muster), according to cpso commenters:

    Mount Greenwood
    Norwood park
    Oriole Park
    G. Washington

    More? Ray?

  • 870. cpsobsessed  |  March 29, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    I’d say burley, waters, pierce, ravenswood on the north side are schools where parents are happy but aren’t on the blog a lot (because they’re not actively looking for schools.)

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 871. Peirce parent  |  March 29, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    Agassiz, Jahn, Nettelhorst,…. Peterson, Sauganash…. one really needs to list by geography to be a truly helpful list.

  • 872. anotherchicagoparent  |  March 29, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    New Field

  • 873. beaubienmom  |  March 29, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    Just a general comment for those considering Beaubien. We have 2 kids who have gone through the program (one still there, one entering Northside in the fall). There is no question that the school was less than optimal in the final years of the former principal (retired June, 2012). There have always been a core group of great teachers there. There is a new principal this year, and she has very directly addressed many of the concerns of the parents, and is really doing a great job. The program is back on track and I highly recommend it. I do agree w/ a prior commenter that it is particularly strong in math/science.

  • 874. local  |  March 29, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    It’s a start…the growing list of good regular seats in neighborhood schools, according to cpso commenters:

    Mount Greenwood
    New Field
    Norwood park
    Oriole Park
    G. Washington


  • 875. AE  |  March 29, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    The question I really struggle with is, although I have a good neighborhood option (it appears on the lists above), why do I still get caught up in this SEES game? I have one child in an RGC, one in a quality neighborhood program, and one up and coming. I feel that, as a system, CPS has devalued its neighborhood schools with the SEES and SEHS programs. I wish I could rise above…. Yet I still find myself grabbing for those selective spots. In fact, I’m already worried about next year (in particular, how to prevent the kinder to first grade score drop from occurring — suggestions anyone?). Ugh.

  • 876. anonymouse teacher  |  March 29, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    Local, I’d add the school I teach in if it wouldn’t totally out me. There are neighborhood schools all over that are actually quite good.

  • 877. South Side Parent  |  March 29, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    @861: I live in the Bridgeport area and there are some good neighborhood schools – Haines, Healy, Ward, and Sheridan(magnet). The top students usually go to the SEHS (WY, WP, and Jones) The majority of these schools are Asian. Most of these kids are immigrants and they are very hard working. The parents involvement is little bit less however, because of their language barriers and work schedules.

  • 878. SN and B Mom  |  March 29, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    I’ve been away for a few days, but I have skimmed the 800+ comments above and saw quite a few of you wondered about Skinner North and Beaubien. For what’s it worth, I am happy to share my long and boring opinions. Skip this post if you like!

    I am a mom of a 1st grader at Skinner North and a 4th grader in the RGC at Beaubien. Different kids, different needs/abilities, different schools. But it works for us. You have to find what works for your kid, whether that’s neighborhood, magnet, charter, classical, RGC or homeschooling.

    We live in the neighborhood for Beaubien, so our younger one buses it down to Skinner North. That kid got into the full-day kindergarten program there–hard to turn down, right? We figured we’d move that kid to Beaubien for first grade. And then we LOVED SN, so that kid stayed, even though our commute is a little tough. For that kid, SN is an awesome fit.

    The SN officials would be the first to tell you that it is not a “classical” education, per se. It is more like an RGC. I can tell you that my kid’s homework and projects have blown us away with the type of thinking they are encouraging. Right now, all students are working on a “young authors” project. They have to write a story, poem or non-fiction piece that takes them through a few draft phases, which makes them be creative and still think critically about flow, cause and effect, emotions, motivation, structure and of course, grammar and art. The stuff my six-year old is thinking about and writing about is blowing my mind! It’s deep and wide and not unique to my kid–all of the kids are blowing my mind. So interesting! Last quarter’s science fair projects were stellar, too. It’s simply what they’re expected to do there.(Now, don’t get me wrong–there’s plenty of worksheet action, but very manageable.) Homework is very reasonable, with homework packets going home on Mondays that need to be returned the following Monday, so families can work ahead or catch up, based on their schedules. I’d say 15-45 minutes nightly, plus a minimum of 20 minutes of daily reading. They use Everyday Math.

    The younger classes have about 30 in them and there are two per grade, so there is some mixing from year to year. The teachers have amazing control of such large classes of young ones.

    I love, love, love the SN teachers we have had so far and I cannot say enough good things about the principal.The school is so small and new that they are flexible and nimble, responding to parents’ suggestions and concerns when they come up. It’s more than that, though. They seem to have open minds and accept that we place our trust in them to take care of our kids during the day. They seem more like “partners” to me. They faithfully use the “Responsive Classroom” model and man, do kids respond! They offered a “Positive Discipline” class for parents this winter that was excellent. Their monthly PTO meetings have guest speakers, including our teachers, who give us updates on curriculum and future planning. Our principal does not filter or grudgingly dole out CPS info–he simply hits “forward” and lets us hear news from the horse’s mouth minutes after he hears it. This may not sound revolutionary to you, but for our family’s experience in CPS, it sure was! Oh, and the school has VERY involved and passionate parents.The good kind!

    The afterschool programs seem to be expanding as time goes on. Stanton Park next door has just reopened and they have some good, low-cost choices, too.

    Now, some down sides. The future is wide open in this “new” school. What will middle school be like there? Will our kids be prepared for high school’s challenges? Our kids are kind of like happy little guinea pigs. A lot of trust needs to be built and maintained. The test scores are great right now, but it’s from a very small pool of kids. That’s bound to change as more and more kids age into the testing pool and should really be no big deal, but its demise will be reported on as big news, I’m sure.

    Major positives are our school’s young teachers. High-energy, fresh and open-minded. They all have a “let’s pitch in and do what needs to be done” mentality, from covering recess and lunches to writing grants. Then again, a lot of them are in the “getting married and starting their families” phase. Some will go, some will stay. We hope they stay! The school’s location is a bit odd, at Halsted and Division, but I cannot fault it for safety. Parking is a little tough and will get tougher as the neighborhood keeps gentrifying. The building is old, but clean and well-kept. Very retro, with its blue outer casing! About 300 or so students right now. Since it’s not a neighborhood school and kids come from literally all corners of the city, you have to work at helping your kids build and maintain their friendships–sleepovers, playdates, birthday parties, etc.

    If your child is offered a spot at Skinner North, I suggest you grab it with two hands and say “thank you.” 🙂

    Beaubien’s former assistant principal is now the principal. I think she is really putting herself out there, trying some new things, from trying to get a playground installed to saying “yes” to a lot of parent ideas and suggestions. I think a lot of people are still nervous that she’s a holdover from the former regime, but I think she is working hard to build their trust. The RGC program starts in first grade there, not K. My child has had a great teacher each year. Each year my kid has said that “this” year’s teacher is the best, so that’s a good sign!

    My kid loves the school and the friends made there (there is one RGC class per grade so your kid is with those SAME kids for 1-8 grades). It’s an old building, but clean and well-maintained. There are nearly 1,200 students in the building, with about 240 in the RGC. The RGC and neighborhood programs mix one time a month, during an activity period. Wish it was more. Most of the kids come from the north side, so playdates and such are a little more manageable.

    Homework is very manageable, ranging from 15-45 minutes nightly, I’d say. Occasionally, the kids get slammed with a chunk when there is a big project or a grading period is ending. They roll with it. The school uses Everyday Math.

    The acceptance test scores reported here do seem lower for Beaubien, but let me tell you, these kids are whip-smart and many, many get into the top SE high schools, like NS, WY, Lane, Payton and Jones. Is a 121 score kid really all that different from a 141 kid? Is a 99% kid really all that different from a 90% kid in the classical world? I don’t think so. Beaubien is a hidden gem, in my opinion.

    If you have specific questions for me, I will try and watch this thread and do my best to help. Best of luck to all of you on your choices and decisions!

  • 879. Some Parent  |  March 29, 2013 at 10:39 pm

    Interesting fact: Most good colleges would accept top <10% of graduating class regardless of what high school they are from anyway. So parents, don't stress too much about the SEHS.

  • 880. Questioner  |  March 29, 2013 at 10:46 pm

    @873 please add Dixon

  • 881. teachermom02  |  March 30, 2013 at 1:05 am

    I could not agree with you more about Decatur! Having a 6th grader leaving the school is creating some anxiety. I agree that a better plan needs to be put in place. I think many of the students were expecting to test into ACs (my child mentioned that they they were told many get into Taft and it was described as a “mini- Decatur”) don’t think it will be the case this year. So the debate is do you hope for a challenge for grades 7 and 8? I guess I could put my child back at her neighborhood school for 7th… already had 7th grade curriculum … perhaps it would be easier for her to up her scores for high school (in tier 4 and chances get slimmer every year)? Hmmm something to ponder?
    I guess I am just wondering after your child has been working above grade level all this time, will sending them back to a conventional grade school be like repeating the grade?

  • 882. 1stgradedad  |  March 30, 2013 at 7:40 am

    South Loop School should be added to the list of excellent neighborhood options. There have always been neighborhood and RGC classrooms but as the RGC is phasing out (only 2-8 year), an only neighborhood school is phasing in.

  • 883. CarolA  |  March 30, 2013 at 9:28 am

    @878 Some Parent: You are right! If you are thinking of a college out of state, most don’t know the difference between Northside Prep and Steinmetz. They look at where the student ranks in that class. A bright student ranked amongst many other bright students may not look as good as a bright student ranked amongst the average high school student. Just a thought. Nice if you get in, but if you don’t, there might be a silver lining to it.

  • 884. HS Mom  |  March 30, 2013 at 9:36 am

    882 Carol – Looking at colleges and they all know the difference between Northside Prep and Steinmetz. I do agree with 878 that top 10% does say something. All you have to do is get there.

  • 885. HS Mom  |  March 30, 2013 at 9:51 am

    If a student can take predominately honors, AP or IB classes, has a high GPA/class rank, and has a high ACT (from any school) they should be able to get into a good college.

  • 886. Lenart 1st Grade  |  March 30, 2013 at 10:03 am

    Question about available seats in non-entry grades.

    Lenart only has one class per grade, so how do they estimate the number of non entry grade seats to make a first offer to when they dont know who is leaving or staying yet?

    I hear rumors that a few kinder kids always leave Lenart for Keller for 1st grade so that frees up space. Does the school anticipate this up front when making initial offers? Any Lenart kindergarten parents on here accepting a spot somewhere else??

    Hoping for later round offer.

  • 887. WRP Mom  |  March 30, 2013 at 10:21 am

    Usually offers for non-entry grades at SEES don’t come until late in the school year because they don’t know who’s leaving until then. If there have been first round offers already, maybe a child left during the school year or there were no-shows at the beginning of the year that never got filled?

  • 888. anonymouse teacher  |  March 30, 2013 at 11:18 am

    Many magnets and SEES schools have sent home letters already to current parents asking if they plan to return next year. If there are spots being offered for non-entry years, then families have informed the school they are not returning next year. Both my kids’ former and current school asks for early indicators of student enrollment for the fall in order to hire staff, etc.

  • 889. Lenart 1st grade  |  March 30, 2013 at 11:18 am

    @886 WRP Mom – thanks! Keeping my fingers crossed

  • 890. Roger  |  March 30, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    Does anyone know about Skinner North first grade offers? Do they add any spots after K? Did anyone get a first grade offer last year?

  • 891. @Roger  |  March 30, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    About 4 kids got into SN 1st grade last year. They did not add seats. Kids moved out of the city an state and couple tested into SEES closer to their house.

  • 892. Mercy  |  March 30, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    I called CPS asking about when the second round letters go out and absolutely no answer but that it can happen anytime after 4/12 to first day of school. People from previous years have any insight? Am I just dreaming for still holding onto hope of hearing something?

  • 893. Roger  |  March 30, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    You’re not dreaming. We are most likely going to decline our SN offer for K. Someone will have to get it.

  • 894. Amitabh C  |  March 30, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    @485 OldTown: Did you learn anything more about Gifted vs Classical?

    We need to choose between the current McDade (closer, 30 minute bus ride) and the offered Keller (farther, 50 minute bus ride). DD is very happy at McDade.

    Any insights/opinions will be helpful. Thanks.

  • 895. Help  |  March 30, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    My daughter got an offer from Decatur (classical) and for the gifted program for English language learners at Pulaski and we are not sure which one will be better for her. Any thoughts????! Grade, kinder

  • 896. KA  |  March 30, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    Just back from vacation today.
    Incoming K, Tier 4
    Applied to Decatur (closest to home and our neighborhood school is still a great option)

    Reading Percentile: 99
    Math Percentile: 97
    RGC: 108 (?) Had a feeling the classical scores would be higher
    No offer

    We are happy with our neighborhood school, but still crossing our fingers for possible classical acceptance in the next round or two? Have no idea what to expect. Good luck to everyone!

  • 897. Christine Whitley  |  March 30, 2013 at 6:34 pm

    @KA was Decatur the only school you applied to?

  • 898. KA  |  March 30, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    Decatur and Edison, although Decatur was first choice and really the only viable option I think we knew for our son.

  • 899. KA  |  March 30, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    We have two other children at our neighborhood school and another one on the way in another year. We would like our son to be challenged for sure, but the convenience of our good neighborhood school outweighs the travel option for us with other schools out there.

  • 900. local  |  March 30, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    A couple more added…the growing list of good regular seats in neighborhood schools, according to cpso commenters:

    Mount Greenwood
    New Field
    Norwood park
    Oriole Park
    South Loop
    G. Washington

  • 901. TZ  |  March 30, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    Question for CPS…Now why can’t all CPS schools have RGC program? Wouldn’t that help/appeal to all who are seeking to boost their neighborhood schools?
    My child did not get in and was above the cut off score of 115 (Tier 4 entering 1st scored 118).

  • 902. South Side Parent  |  March 30, 2013 at 11:27 pm

    @900: I do know some schools don’t have a RGC program but they do have a gifted class for each grade. Healy school is an example. Their gifted students program is very rigorous. Most 8th graders from there usually would end up to a SEHS. Healy is a neighborhood school.

  • 903. RP Mom  |  March 31, 2013 at 8:45 am

    My son scored a 152 on the Gifted Test, Tier 2, offered a spot at Edison. We are currently at Inter American and we love it, so I am torn about what to do. I do have my worries about the lack of diversity at Inter American in the upper grades, that it is only a level 2 school, and has average test scores. Can anyone weigh in?

  • 904. Gobemouche  |  March 31, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    RP Mom – Edison will be having an open house on Tuesday (4/2) at 9:00 a.m. I hope you can make it, perhaps having a little time in the building will help you decide. Also, you’ll be able to talk with some Edison parents. Things to consider: what grade your child is entering, how far the commute is for you, and if you have other children since there is no sibling preference for rgcs. Good Luck!

  • 905. Nina Joy Lichtenstein  |  March 31, 2013 at 11:12 pm

    Goethe should be on list of great neighborhood schools.

  • 906. Tier 4 mom  |  March 31, 2013 at 11:29 pm

    My daughter got 132 gifted going to 3rd grade, tier 4, is there any chance for Edison? She is in a very good classical right now, not sure if it worth the move if she got in?

  • 907. Portage Mom  |  March 31, 2013 at 11:44 pm

    895. Help
    I don’t have a child who goes to either school. Perhaps there’s a parent who does have first hand experience that can provide insight. Here’s my two cents. If I had this choice, I would pick Decatur. Pulaski is relatively new and has had growing pains. I spoke to a LP mom whose child was at Pulaski and was very happy there. She did have concerns about communication from the principal but she felt things were getting better. This was about a year ago. The principal of Pulaski was the principal at South Loop and was credited with making a lot of positive changes at South Loop helping it bring up it’s academic standing. He was moved to Pulaski so he could work his magic on that school. When he got to Pulaski, he made a lot of changes and upset quite a few people. Several months after I spoke to the mom who had a child at Pulaski, the principal left. I’m not sure what the reason was for leaving and how the new principal is doing. The school was in transition and during this process, losing a principal can’t be good. I’m sure Pulaski is still a good school but if you have a choice between Decatur and Pulaski, Decatur seems to be a better bet.

    I would tour both schools and talk to some K parents at both schools so you can get an idea of which school would work better for your child.

    When I was applying for K, I also subscribed to Neighborhood Parents Network and there was a lot of good information there regarding parent’s views on various schools. I remember reading a lot about Pulaski. You might want to check there as well.

  • 908. Nusrat  |  March 31, 2013 at 11:46 pm

    Hi Parents,

    My son got an offer from Skinner North and we are seriously considering it. We live in Hyde Park. Anyone could tell us about the transportation from Hyde Park to SN? I heard that there is some sort of informal/formal arrangements for Hyde Parker kids. But did not get a clear idea how this works. Any comment/experience will be highly appreciated.

  • 909. 4Kids  |  March 31, 2013 at 11:52 pm

    Child 1 Entering 2nd Grade
    RGC score: 126
    Classical scores: Reading 98 / Math 96

    applied to Decatur (1st choice) and Edison (2nd choice). No offers yet


    Child 2 Entering Kindergarten
    RGC score: 133
    Classical scores: Reading 95 / Math 93

    applied to Decatur (1st choice) and Edison (2nd choice). No offers yet

  • 910. Help Please  |  April 1, 2013 at 3:35 am

    Need some help
    Tier 4 Entering K
    Classical scores: Reading 99.8 / Math 99.5
    received Skinner West first choice on application

    OK here is where I need help. I made a mistake on the application
    I wanted Skinner North first choice. We have very high scores do I refuse Skinner west and wait for second round for Skinner North.
    I called sees they said there may not even be a second round for Skinner north. If I refuse west what are the chances of getting in north with those hi scores?

  • 911. cpsobsessed  |  April 1, 2013 at 5:33 am

    @910: Those are very high scores, probably a decent shot at SN IF someone turns it down. That’s the wildcard that’s hard to predict. You might want to contact OAE to see if they can tell you what your rank is to get a spot there. If you’re #1 for Tier4 or a rank spot it *could* be worth taking the chance. If there are say 5-6 kids ahead of yours it wouldn’t be worth taking the chance. I’d see if they can advise you on that.

  • 912. cpsobsessed  |  April 1, 2013 at 5:36 am

    @895: Re Decatur vs Pulaski: What is your child’s level of English? If she’s fluent, Decatur might be the better choice so she can spend more time on academics. I assume more time at Pulaski is spent on learning English which could be helpful if she needs that.

  • 913. local  |  April 1, 2013 at 7:35 am

    Goethe added…the growing list of good regular seats in neighborhood schools, according to cpso commenters:

    Mount Greenwood
    New Field
    Norwood park
    Oriole Park
    South Loop
    G. Washington

  • 914. WRogersMom  |  April 1, 2013 at 8:07 am

    Jameson is a fantastic neighborhood school just down the street from Peterson.

  • 915. EVmom  |  April 1, 2013 at 8:53 am

    Burr in Bucktown is great! A bit under the radar, but definitely an up an coming school.

  • 916. Confused  |  April 1, 2013 at 8:55 am

    Beaubien has a great neighborhood program as well as a RGC.

  • 917. RMD  |  April 1, 2013 at 9:54 am

    Anyone planning on attending Lenart next year? We accepted our spot (tier 4, K), but unsure about after school…

  • 918. Roger  |  April 1, 2013 at 9:56 am

    Does anyone know about Skinner North after school care?

  • 919. Confused  |  April 1, 2013 at 10:11 am

    From the comments I get this impression that this year parents are strongly biased toward SN compared to SW and rank SN much higher, while SW is a more established school with an excellent after school program. Even from the website of SW, one gets the impression of a well organized school and its the only school I have seen that kids perform on the open house. I would be happy if someone could give me a first hand concrete reason why SW has lost its popularity among the other SEES schools this year in this blog and SN has became more popular than SN? I want a reason more than test scores. I guess SW slightly lower score is because the neighborhood component.
    Your comments would be really helpful for our decision.

  • 920. SN over SW  |  April 1, 2013 at 10:30 am

    I leaned to SN over SW because:

    -the entire school is dedicated to kids that tested in, all or most of the staff is trained to work with advanced (call it gifted if you like) kids
    -no possibility of friction between the neighborhood kids/parents and selective program kids/parents
    -some neighborhood schools that have a selective component, are overcrowded and the neighborhood parents would like to see more space for their kids, hence the possibility that the selective program would either move to a different location in the future or be discontinued, example South Loop
    -fundraising at a school that mixes neighborhood component with selective will spread the resources a bit thinner, as far as I know, you can not fund raise just for the needs of the selective classrooms, if the neighborhood component of the school has a significant low income population, many parents wont be able to contribute much

  • 921. anon  |  April 1, 2013 at 10:34 am

    919 – I would say that the difference is largely a location issue. I think many people living on the north side consider both to be a sizable commute, but SW being just too far. Personally, I also knew a few people from my kid’s preschool in Edgewater who had sent their kids to SN. We actually don’t know anyone who attends SW. If I lived closer to SW, I would have most likely ranked it higher.

  • 922. Lenart Mom  |  April 1, 2013 at 10:38 am

    917.RMD – Congrats on Lenart!

    The Lenart principal just sent out a survey regarding adding an afterschool option at Lenart for next year. My response was, YES PLEASE! Hopefully other parents will respond positively about adding the afterschool program as well. So, nothing set in stone yet, but I am keeping my fingers crossed.

    Currently, many Lenart kids use the Chicago Park District – Park Kids program for their after school care. If you live more than 1.5 miles from the school you can have the school bus do the drop off at the park.

  • 923. Cool Parent  |  April 1, 2013 at 10:40 am

    Most SN kids are from the northside and the northsiders usally are snubs (no kidding). SW is an excellent school but it also accepts the neighborhood kids. So, some parents like to brag about SN because they think it’s a truly SEES.

  • 924. cpsobsessed  |  April 1, 2013 at 10:43 am

    I’m not highly familiar with SN and SW (I hear more about SN, probably because i’m far northwest side.)

    Regarding the mix of RGC and neighborhood, our school has that and the mix is largely positive (potential issues as we start to run out of space.) But having a strong neighborhood component is really nice (I don’t know how this is at SW – anyone know?) Having the local community involved in the school is a great benefit. Many local parents walk their kids to school every day and after school the playground is full of kids and parents who live nearby who hang out for up to HOURS when the weather is warm, rather than all the kids jumping on buses. I like knowing that there are a lot of parents around who recognize my son and can watch out for him. At our school both the RGC and the neighborhood parents have been very involved in fundraising and the neighborhood parents with volunteering as they live closer to the school. Also, when the programs are mixed, it give you the possibility of a sibling attending (not a guarantee however.)

    Just another POV.

  • 925. Cool Parent  |  April 1, 2013 at 10:44 am

    I meant just kidding. I agree with what 920 said.

  • 926. cpsobsessed  |  April 1, 2013 at 10:46 am

    I emailed OAE about the process of changing from one non-neighborhood school to another as a couple people asked this and I wasn’t sure: Here’s what they said: (and… is anyone aware of who their school counselor is??)

    If a student is enrolled in a magnet school, and they wish to accept an an offer from an RGC, they must submit their confirmation form to the Office of Access and Enrollment and submit a copy of their acceptance letter to their current school counselor. The counselor is responsible for projecting the student to the Regional Gifted Center, via the CPS Student Information System. The student, then, is not removed from the rolls of the magnet school until the counselor projects them to the Regional Gifted Center. In order to re-enter the magnet school once the student has been projected to the new school, the parent would have to reapply for the school the following school year and participate in the computerized lottery process again.

    A parent can submit the confirmation form to the Office of Access and Enrollment, but change their mind before turning in the copy of the acceptance letter to the counselor. In this case, the student would remain enrolled at the magnet school. Please note, however, that holding multiple seats is not good form — there are many students who are waiting for offers; this process is slowed down when parents hold two seats.

  • 927. anotherchicagoparent  |  April 1, 2013 at 10:53 am

    924 I have same POV as you, except at the other RGC a couple of block from yours ;P

  • 928. Confused  |  April 1, 2013 at 10:58 am

    @921, thank for your comment. Yes, transportation is a realistic issue.
    @ 920, thank you for your comment. But as I understand, SW has been a classical school for years and has just recently added the neighborhood program. This is different with a neighborhood school which has just added a gifted component. Therefore, I do not think that the staff of SW are not trained to deal with gifted kids. Specially, I have heard that the classical teachers at SW have many years of experience with gifted classical students (look at their webpage!), while SN has a younger staff.
    About the fundraising and friction issue, I guess your reason does not stand for SW either, because SW neighborhood is a wealthy neighborhood and actually I guess the neighborhood brings more fund to the school.
    I guess the concern that you have raised regarding to the possibility that what happened to South-loop would happen to SW seems valid.
    Has anyone OBSERVED this trend for SW in an obvious way?
    Can anyone make a concrete one to one comparison between SW and SN classical classes?

    Thank you so much!

  • 929. Confused  |  April 1, 2013 at 11:01 am

    Thank you cpsobsessed!

  • 930. RMD  |  April 1, 2013 at 11:03 am

    Thank you 922 Lenart Mom,
    If they started after care next year that would be awesome!

    Any new Lenart parents on here- I just went to their website and we can take the survey as well:

    I may be jumping the gun, we haven’t received any info from Lenart yet, so I am hoping they send something soon/have an open house and perhaps these issues will be better explained for new incoming students.

  • 931. cpsobsessed  |  April 1, 2013 at 11:06 am

    The one thing I hear repeatedly about SN is that the principal is a very strong leader and very on top of things. Sometimes schools can be very comparable but one “gives a better tour” than the other which can influence impressions. Plus schools just get word of mouth going. I recall years ago a woman on a Nettelhorst tour making a fool of herself basically begging for a spot there in front of a group of us because it was the hot new school and gave a great tour.

  • 932. Waiting and waiting  |  April 1, 2013 at 11:23 am

    My daughter went to SW for kindergarten and is now at SN for first grade. We love both schools. The k teachers at SW are great. Both schools give weekly homework packets and quarterly projects. My daughter tested 97 reading and 94 math to get into SW for k. We tested her the next year for first and her scores went up to 99 and 99. So, I guess you can say SW helped her increase her scores. We did not do any after school programs at SW but there were some great options… In hindsight I wish we would have participated in the after school programs. My daughter was in drama club and sports club at SN and she loved it!!!! SW put on a great holiday show and k graduation ceremony. We only tested her to see if we could get her into bell or coonley as that is our neighborhood. Her rgc scores did not make that happen. We received an offer to SN at the same time my hubby’s job moved literally across the street to SN. So we took the offer as a transportation decision…
    On a side note….
    My son just tested for k and we would jump at a spot at either SN or SW! We are waiting for second rounds… So I guess maybe we would be one step closer to a spot if you decide to hold out for SN;)
    If you want to talk offline let me know….

    Oh and another side note… I did not notice “north side” snubs in either school. There is an extremely diverse group in both schools, which is so great to see…. We have been to birthday partys and functions from both schools and the parents are actually very nice and non-snubby…. Good luck in your decision!!!!

  • 933. Waiting and waiting  |  April 1, 2013 at 11:27 am

    Sorry just saw the just kidding comment;). Disregard the second side note above…

  • 934. Confused  |  April 1, 2013 at 11:39 am

    Thank you @932 for your really helpful first hand comment!
    I truly appreciate it.
    Good luck with your son!

  • 935. NNN  |  April 1, 2013 at 11:55 am

    I’ve heard that last year SW has accepted 15 siblings from classical program into their neighborhood/magnet program. Do you know if this is true? If so have you considered sending your younger one apply to their magnet/neighborhood program?

  • 936. JLM  |  April 1, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    @Confused – My DD got an offer for SW for K. (tier 4, 99R, 98M) We ranked SN higher only because of commute from where we live. I’m torn between declining and hoping for SN for commute purposes or taking the bird in hand. SW seems great, and the actual physical school is nice and new. The possibility of getting our younger child into the neighborhood/magnet component is also a plus for SW, as is the fact that it goes through 8th grade, whereas Decatur and SN only go through 6th and you have to go through the whole testing rigmorole again earlier. Decisions, decisions!

    Did your child get an acceptance at SW? Mind if I ask where you live?

  • 937. Waiting and waiting  |  April 1, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    Hmmm… That is a good question… Our neighborhood school is bell… So, we prob will stick with that if no offers from SW or SN. Thanks so much for that idea!!! It just stinks that with 96 and 94… He’s just not “good” enough… To get in… From our tier…

    So in the grand scheme of things… My daughter will have a better chance at getting into a good high school than my son. It’s just not right… Ugh frustrated….

  • 938. @jlm  |  April 1, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    SN adds one grade each year, will go through 8th grade in three years

  • 939. Christine Whitley  |  April 1, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    About Skinner North: Skinner North, being new, is adding a grade every year and will eventually go all the way up to 8th grade.

    There are a couple of afterschool care options at Skinner North. There is an on-site after care program managed by Youth Guidance that goes every day as late as 6pm. I am not sure how much it costs. Maybe $300 a month? In addition to outside play time, snack, and homework supervision, the Youth Guidance fee also includes a selection of activities: science, robot lego club, drama,dance, art, etc. There are also a few activities available for an extra fee: violin and Tae Kwan Do, for example.

    There is also free after school all stars which I think is a free program funded by CPS and offers activities like sports and drama.

    Stanton Park, the park district that adjoins the building also offers a very low cost after school program. I am not sure how late it goes. The park district employee will come and walk your child across the playground to after school. They have games and homework time and also floor hockey, basketball and I’m not sure what else.

    Also — Stanton Park has a pool and the park district Learn to Swim lessons are free! They are scheduled right after the end of our school day so school staff can walk your child over to swimming and you can pick them up at 4:30 at the end of the lesson. The park district pool also has free swim and toddler swim times.

  • 940. MD  |  April 1, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    @937 waiting & waiting…I have 2 children at Bell…one neighborhood and one RGC. Both are able to achieve perfect scores on their ISAT’s so I wouldn’t worry about your son’s ability to get into a good high school should your son not get into SN or SW.

  • 941. JLM  |  April 1, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    @938 and Christine Whitley – thanks for the info. So I guess it’s only the Decatur kids scrambling for 7th grade slots at ACs. Good to know.

  • 942. MS  |  April 1, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    Any thoughts on the choice between Franklin and SW-classical? What should I consider?

  • 943. thoughts  |  April 1, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    @942 Skinner West classical is probably the better school, but go with whichever one is more convenient for you or that you get a better feeling for. Both are good schools and your kid will be fine at either. I think a lot of us get caught up in the game of getting our kid into the “best” school when in reality the difference in education they will receive is marginal at best and there is no guaranty that by being in the “better” school your kid is actually going to be better off in the long run.

  • 944. local  |  April 1, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    The list grows (Burr added)… good regular seats in neighborhood schools, according to cpso commenters:

    Mount Greenwood
    New Field
    Norwood park
    Oriole Park
    South Loop
    G. Washington

  • 945. Waiting and waiting  |  April 1, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    wow…. your children both achieved perfect scores! Thanks for the information…

  • 946. williamh  |  April 1, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    does anyone know cutoffs for lincoln and ogden IG program for 2013?

  • 947. Teasdad  |  April 1, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    @944.local – you can tak off Audubon, Sauganash and Smyser, since they are not accepting out-of-boundary kids this year.

  • 948. Chicagomom  |  April 1, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    Does anyone know if they take tiers into consideration beyond entry years? Or do they just take the applicants with the highest test scores?

  • 949. Chicago School GPS  |  April 1, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    Tiers only apply to entry years. All others are dependent on whether the program has attrition (someone leaving) so typically there are very few spots (except 4th grade has 3 more spots open up).

  • 950. anonymouse teacher  |  April 1, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    I’d be curious what kind of training the staff at RGC’s and Classicals have. Last I spoke with someone about it was 2 years ago and this was a teacher at an RGC.
    She said most teachers had a 2-3 day training the summer before employment–I was trying to get hired there and was worried about not being qualified, a worry she quickly dispelled with the 3 day training concept. No gifted graduate degree, no gifted endorsement (an 18-24 credit grad certificate, just the mini-training. I can’t imagine a principal giving out that info, but it would be so interesting to know how many teachers actually have an endorsement or degree in gifted ed.

  • 951. Chicago School GPS  |  April 1, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    Typically there are opportunities to visit schools prior to the first round (April 12) deadline. Here are some I found, and I am happy to add others to our CSG calendar if anyone sends them to me: http://www.chischoolgps.com/Calendar.php

    Edison- Tues 4/2 @ 9AM
    Decatur- Tues 4/2 @ 9:30AM
    Lincoln IG- Mon 4/8 @ 10AM
    Bell- Mon 4/8 @ 2PM
    NTA- Wed 4/10 @ 6PM

  • 952. abcs  |  April 1, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    Skinner West is also planning some kind of open house for this week or next (the person on the phone indicated that next week is more likely).

  • 953. abellparent  |  April 1, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    @waiting and waiting. I wouldn’t worry about your younger child having a harder time getting into high school… Bell has a very good neighborhood program w/ good high school placement stats. There are actually quite a few students in the neighborhood program who were admitted to RGC/classical programs, but whose parents turned down spots in favor of staying at Bell neighborhood. Because of this, there is decent rigor and differentiation. Just as an example, in the neighborhood first grade, there are three reading groups: The lower group is at grade level, the middle group is about a half year above grade level, and the higher group is at least one year above grade level. More importantly, your child is obviously very bright and tests well. Chances are that will continue and translate into good high school admissions test scores. Good luck w/ a later round kinder offer, but rest easy knowing your back up plan is pretty darn good (in my humble opinion). (FYI, like the previous poster, I have several kids at Bell in both the neighborhood and RGC program there.)

  • 954. SN and B Mom  |  April 1, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    I can add some specifics to what Christine already said about SN’s after school programs. The offerings just keep better and better, in my opinion, and we are strongly considering the next door Stanton Park program for the fall for swimming. The free All Stars program mentioned earlier is from a grant, so it is limited to the fall/winter. It was free for participants.

    I just glanced at the current SN Youth Guidance reg form and the spring session lasts from 1/31 to 5/31. They offer enrichment classes and part-time (until 4:45 everyday OR 3 days a week until 6:00 and is $215/month) and full-time after school programs (3:15 to 6:00 p.m. and is $285/month). The enrichment is 3:15 to 4:45 p.m., with varying days (for example, my kid goes to chess once a week as “enrichment’ and that ranges from $200-255 for 2 quarters). Kids get a snack and then if they are in enrichment, they head off to their class. If they are in full-time, they do an activity and then have homework time.

    Our kid has done the All Stars program and the Chess enrichment and loved them both. Starting the Lego Robotics group shortly and it looks like fun!

    “Waiting and waiting,” I am pretty sure we know one another in real life. I have gone shopping with one of your family members! LOL. Good luck on round 2!

  • 955. SN and B Mom  |  April 1, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    Two more thoughts for all of you waiting and hoping for non-entry slots at schools. I have one kid in a classical and one in a RGC and as of today, April 1, we have not been asked by either school if our kid is staying for next year. Once they have that info in hand, you will see some movement.

    Also, at RGCs, at least 2 more spots open up automatically in Grade 4, bringing the class size to 32. Keep the faith!

  • 956. Waiting and waiting  |  April 1, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    @953 -Thank you- I appreciate your opinion/insights on bell…

    SN and B, yes my family member was reading through these posts and giggled with your post…

  • 957. curious  |  April 1, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    Does Beaubien RGC offer school tour any time soon?

  • 958. local  |  April 1, 2013 at 8:56 pm

    @ 947. Teasdad | April 1, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    Thanks! That’s good info. Perhaps someone would want to move into those schools’ boundaries. Easier of renters, of course.

    I assume any school on this list might require all their students to live inside their boundaries, but if the school takes non-area kids, that’s the cherry on top. (Building in the details about the schools would take some more volunteers [adding geographical info, etc.]. Perhaps a list of “good” neighborhood school programs already exists, and I just don’t know about it.)

  • 959. Waiting and waiting  |  April 1, 2013 at 8:56 pm

    @949. Do you know….. if there is attrition…. Is filling that spot based on tier? Like if the child who left was in tier 3, do they fill with tier 3?

  • 960. Chicago School GPS  |  April 1, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    @959- Fill-in spots are typically after the entry year and therefore tiers are not considered. If, however, an entry year offer is simply turned down, that offer is then given to someone else from the same rank or tier pool that the initial offer was from.

  • 961. Waiting and waiting  |  April 1, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    Thanks much!

  • 962. SN and B Mom  |  April 1, 2013 at 9:16 pm

    #957–call Beaubien and ask about a tour–312/534-3500. I know that since the new principal has taken over, they do them more frequently.

  • 963. Jen  |  April 1, 2013 at 10:58 pm

    My son was offer by Beaubien, so I have lotes of questions about this school, If the neighborhood program of Beaubien is as good as Beaubien, why is the rating of Beaubien only 7 of 10 in Greatschool.com?

  • 964. Skinner  |  April 1, 2013 at 11:20 pm

    My child was offered a spot at skinner west. I have been told my several people about bullying issues at that school. Could any SW families share on this topic. As well as their thoughts on the principal. I’ve heard they are unopen to change and very beurocratic.

  • 965. ChiMom  |  April 1, 2013 at 11:24 pm

    Are there any current Decatur parents on this thread? If so, would you mind sharing some of your personal experiences from Decatur? Did you leave a great neighborhood school to attend? If so, do you regret or are you relieved? Is your child nurtured or pressured? We are going on the tour tomorrow but I’ve been trying to get some parent perspective – and it’s been tough. It doesn’t seem like many Decatur parents are out there – or are reluctant to share. Would love your feedback. Thanks so much!

  • 966. cpsobsessed  |  April 2, 2013 at 7:18 am

    @jen: beaubien got a new principal this year. Some people had issues with the previous principal, so I’d check out the school and take the old ratings with a grain of salt. I haven’t heard a lot yet about the new one but it’s worth investigating!

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 967. WRP Mom  |  April 2, 2013 at 7:27 am

    ChiMom, I’m not a current Decatur parent but I’m the next best thing- a former parent whose child graduated just last year. My child went to our neighborhood school for PreK & we were unhappy w/ that school. They couldn’t offer the level of differentiation my child needed (she was SO far ahead of the others) & there were also safety issues.. When the Decatur offer for K came through, we were relieved.

    Decatur was a perfect fit for my child. It’s a very small school & all the students know each other. I’ve always felt it is like a family. Academically, it was great. They work ahead of grade level but that’s what my child needed. Socially, it was good too. My daughter still keeps in contact with her old Decatur friends even though they have all moved on to different schools for7th grade.

    I’d write more but I have to get ready for work.

  • 968. cpsobsessed  |  April 2, 2013 at 7:32 am

    Do a search for decatur higher in the thread. I think I posted an old link.

    The *only* negatives I’ve ever heard are that the discipline can be a little hard for younger boys who are rambunctious by nautre (but that seems to work out over time.). Heard a teacher or 2 aren’t ideal (every school has that and it can be personal pref as well.) Never heard homework complaints. Only main complaint is that it ends in 6th grade. Otherwise parents seem very happy there.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 969. FirstTimer  |  April 2, 2013 at 9:22 am

    For anyone accepted into Coonley RGC, I just called and confirmed they unfortunately *are not* offering an additional tour prior to April 12th. Their next scheduled tour is April 18th at 9:30 AM. No RSVP needed. For the final 28 who accept, they will organize an open house closer to the end of the school year to introduce the children to the school, the teachers, etc. There will also be the option of a “summer camp” program for accepted students (two 3-week sessions either morning or afternoon) to help get kids ready for the school year. Information on the open house and summer camp once all the various rounds of acceptances are complete.

  • 970. Coonley?  |  April 2, 2013 at 10:00 am

    Thanks for the open house info.
    Could anyone offered Coonley please post their RGC score and tier?

  • 971. FirstTimer  |  April 2, 2013 at 10:34 am

    Post #645 above (posted by northside chicago) contains a pretty good list of Coonley acceptances by Tier that had been gathered as of March 26th (post #645). Seems like it’s hovering around 145 minimum for Tier 4 – slightly lower for lower tiers.

  • 972. rgc score drop  |  April 2, 2013 at 11:33 am

    I am interested in a rgc program that starts in first grade, and tested my soon-to-be kindergartner just to get a sense of how she would perform on the test. Her score was solid (130), but I am very worried that so many people have reported significant score drops between kindergarten and first grade. In my opinion, these drops on average are much too large to be caused solely by the 150 vs 160 score maximum. Moreover, cps letters for both incoming kindergarteners (160 max) and first graders (150 max) state that a score of 130 is the 98th percentile. If true, this suggests that the different maximum scores does not have any impact on the bell curve / percentile ranking of scores at that level.

    A quick review of score differences posted here shows the following drops (kindergarten score first / first grade score second):

    high 130’s/128
    These scores show an average score drop of more than 23 points.

    Only one person reported receiving the same score both years (121/121).

    Has anyone talked to cps or IIT about this? Are the kindergarten scores inflated, the first grade scores inaccurately low, or a little of both? For those who received first grade rgc offers (congrats!), did anyone see scores stay roughly the same or even improve? If so, did you prepare your child at all for the test? Thanks.

  • 973. score drop  |  April 2, 2013 at 11:48 am

    My child went from 144 (entering kinder) to 100 (entering first)

  • 974. Even One More CPS Mom  |  April 2, 2013 at 11:50 am

    rgc score drop – I believe there is a bit different of a scale with the two tests but, I wonder if some of it has to do with the fact that for K the test is administered one on one and for 1st the test is administered in groups of about 20, as a bubble test. My child is one of those kids that does great when guided and helped to stay on track but when left to his own devices, sometimes would just rather rush through things and get them over with. Just last night while doing homework, answering questions about a story that was read and filling in the bubble for the correct answer, I noticed that he was trying to rush through it and would just fill in the first bubble he thought seemed ok. Due to this he was getting a number of the answers wrong. When we went through again and I made sure he read all the answers before choosing one, then he got all the answers correct. Made me realize that he needed to be taught how to do that type of homework as we haven’t had much in the way of multiple choice type homework this year. And yes, we saw a very big drop in score from the K to 1st RGC results.

  • 975. CBuck  |  April 2, 2013 at 11:58 am

    @RMD – congrats on getting in Lenart!!! Would you mind providing what score got you in for Tier 4?

  • 976. rgc score drop  |  April 2, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    @974 — I imagine you’re right, and the test format has a definite (negative) impact for some kids. But I still have a hard time believing that impact could be so pervasive… but maybe. (And frankly, if the format is the problem, the I sure wish that cps would do something to fix it!). Your story about homework makes sense — and suggests to me that there is some level of “prep” that might help. Not necessarily preparing for content, but preparing for the new test format. Hmmmm… Thanks

  • 977. westrogersparkmom  |  April 2, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    Re: Score drop

    True scores seem to go down but it also seems the scores needed for entry into the first grade programs are lower. From scanning this post it seems that while a 118 Tier 4 score didn’t cut it, a 120 score received an offer from Beaubien and a 121 in Tier 4.

    I also think this may be a case of self reporting. Yes, on this blog there are many reports of score drops but of the people I know in real life the scores from year to year have consistent or seen increases.

    If I remember correctly, cpsobsessed tested her son multiple years and his scores were consistent year to year.

    My kids gifted score actually went up fairly significantly (from mid 120’s to 139) but her classical score went from 96% to 93% when she tested again. However, we did take a few years off between tests.

  • 978. ktg  |  April 2, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    HI ChiMom I am a current Decatur parent. CPSO and WRP Mom are both very accurate in their statements.

    I’ll just add some thoughts: It’s a very small school with a strong and passionate parent community and dedicated faculty and staff. The biggest problem is that the building is not large enough to serve all the needs of the school, however the staff, faculty, and students manage to make it work. Another issue is lack of air conditioning. The largest issue however is that there is currently no 7th or 8th grade which puts huge pressure on the kids (and parents) in both 5th and 6th grade. There is no certainty that just because your child got into Decatur he or she will get into an AC or gifted program for the middle years. Also there is no sibling preference many parents have to juggle having children in different schools. But, I think even knowing all that most parents would agree that the education their children get at Decatur is worth it.

    On the Decatur website there is an explanation of what classical education is all about and Decatur basically follows that model. The academic work is rigorous but not crazy. Homework in the younger grades is about 15 minutes a night depending on how focused your child is. (My daughter can take a looong time when she isn’t focusing, but when she is it’s pretty quick). In addition to their academic classes they have gym, tap dance, music, and art weekly. The kids are engaged and goofy. Because it’s such a small school all the teachers are aware of what is going on in the other classes; communication among faculty is good, and by the end of each year the children are well prepared for the next grade. Parents do not get much of an opportunity to volunteer in the classroom and this can be kind of tough especially if you are coming from a school where you were allowed to do that. However there are plenty of other ways to be involved. And there are lots of school/family events throughout the year that my daughter loves (primary science night, halloween party, all school play, end of year potluck, etc). Drop by school around 3:15 on a sunny afternoon and you’ll see a lot parents and kids sticking around after school to play on the playground.

    I thought I saw some misinformation up thread about gym and lunch. So to clarify, the children do have gym twice a week. In winter months they go to the JCC–next door because Decatur does not have a gym–once a week. In warm weather they often have gym outside.There is not a cafeteria. The children eat lunch in their classrooms. There is a “muti-purpose” room that is used for assemblies, as well as tap classes, and gym on the days when the kids don’t have JCC.

    Sorry this is so long! Hope it’s of some help.

  • 979. Skinner North Mom  |  April 2, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    #963–I have one kid at Beaubien, in the RGC program, so I really can’t make a fair RGC and neighborhood comparison. I could not pick out RGC kids or neighborhood kids on the playground, book fair, field trips, cafeteria, etc. They’re all equally delightful, goofy, frustrating, hilarious, serious and impulsive kids. They all seem to hang out with one another, but the 30 RGC kids in one class do tend to know one another better so they may mix a little less with the other 90 kids in their grade. The projects I see hung in the halls by ALL of the kids are awesome and so are the science fair and Chicago Projects.

    I do have friends with kids in both programs and some have been perfectly happy with the neighborhood school and others have been really disappointed at the comparison/felt their second or third child was not challenged enough, but I think that would be a normal reaction if your first child was working at one grade level ahead. Most of those kept testing their kids throughout and some of them got into the RGC due to attrition or the extra 2 spots that open up in fourth grade. Others have supplemented outside of school. It depends on the particular child, I’m sure.

    The school’s leadership has changed, so I would expect that the public scores out there (Great School, etc.) will start to reflect that. I am delighted with the changes made at Beaubien, so far.

    As far as test scores go, the RGC scores are never broken out separately–it’s not in anyone’s best interest to see them that way, I guess. So the scores you DO see are for the entire school as a whole.

  • 980. SN and B Mom  |  April 2, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    Oops. The post above about Beaubien should be from “SN and B Mom” not “Skinner North Mom”–someone else here took that name since I posted last from my work computer, which remembered me. Darn technology!

  • 981. CPSer  |  April 2, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    @792 My child increased from K to 1st – 121 to a 140

  • 982. Bsmoresmom  |  April 2, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    CPSer–What school does your little one attend, if you don’t mind me asking? Did you supplement in any way? THANKS

  • 983. OutsideLookingIn  |  April 2, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    I thought the RGC test was supposed to be similar to an IQ test that tested innate ability. My understanding is that one’s IQ doesn’t change year to year…it is what it is. So it seems weird that the RGC score would vary year to year. Is the RGC test not similar to an IQ test?

  • 984. anonymous  |  April 2, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    My child’s RGC score stayed pretty much the same from K to 1st (2 pt. drop). We didn’t do any kind of test prep at all either year. I think the one-on-one vs. group test is a huge factor for most kids.

  • 985. ChiMom  |  April 2, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    WRP Mom, CPS Obsessed and ktg – thank you so much for your comments! I appreciate it and hearing more directly from current and past parents is so helpful. I did tour the school this morning and was so impressed. The principal was very direct and did not sugarcoat any of the challenges that the school faces. I feel that her representation of the school is right on with what current/past parents have been saying. Again, thank you for taking time to help a mom out. 🙂

  • 986. anonymous  |  April 2, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    @983 I think the rumor is that the 1st grade RGC test is more like the CogAT – a reasoning abilities test, and is not an IQ test.

  • 987. cpsobsessed  |  April 2, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    Even if it is comparable to an IQ test, it’s likely a watered down version of one. Cpd couldn’t afford to give a full blown IQ test to thousands of kids.
    Also, the wildcard is how your kid interacts with the interviewer. For a real IQ test there’d probably be more time for the kid to get familiar with surroundings, etc.

    Which is why some really smart kids don’t get a high score.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 988. JLM  |  April 2, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    I have a question about Skinner North that I’m hoping someone can answer. I know in years past, they didn’t have a FT art teacher, but there is an art teacher listed on their website. Do all kids get art as a special now? And if so, how frequently? TIA!

  • 989. CPS Parent  |  April 2, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    @988 – My child is in 2nd grade at Skinner North. He has art twice a week. They have 2 specials a day.

  • 990. JLM  |  April 2, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    Thanks, CPS Parent!

  • 991. CPSer  |  April 2, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    @982 – No supplementing. Did not end up attending RGC program.

  • 992. CPS Crazy  |  April 2, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    I hope I can get this chart to copy correctly.

    Here is data from the 2012-13 SEES school application cycle. It shows the number of applicants per school and the number of seats awarded.

    Selective Enrollment Elementary School Programs:

    Name Applications Seats Available “Waitlisted”

    Beasley 2171 54 2117
    Beaubien 1205 37 1168
    Bell 2534 37 2497
    Carnegie 840 49 791
    Coonley 3032 35 2997
    Decatur 3002 79 2923
    Edison 4207 37 4170
    Greeley 289 44 245
    Harlan 356 31 325
    Keller 1881 37 1844
    Kenwood 962 167 795
    Lane 2167 135 2032
    Lenart 3082 28 3054
    Lincoln 979 32 947
    Lindblom 914 198 716
    McDade 1842 30 1812
    Morga Pk 731 90 641
    NTA 832 60 772
    Ogden 882 45 837
    Orozco 282 30 252
    Poe 1647 48 1599
    Pritzker 2824 57 2767
    Pulaski 183 31 152
    Skinner N 3939 69 3870
    Skinner W 4746 95 4651
    S. Loop 1873 36 1837
    Taft 1020 140 880
    Young 2728 134 2594

    TOTAL 51150 1865 49285

  • 993. RL Julia  |  April 2, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    maybe add Disney 1 and 2 to the list of schools?

  • 994. CPS Crazy  |  April 2, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    The chart did not copy well, sorry. It is school name, followed by the total number of applicants, total number of seats, total number waitlisted. And to clarify, this if for the current application cycle. Fall 2013 admissions

    I’m sure the data guru’s can pick this apart, but I thought it was interesting info. I have one for magnets too.

  • 995. Help Please  |  April 2, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    @919 Here is link to any article describing the road ahead for the Classical school at Skinner West. When the neighborhood school rooms are at 8th grade in 2017 -the scores of the school and the Classical side will be diminished. Where Skinner North will be all Classical.


  • 996. JY  |  April 2, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    New to Chicago, my son was offered for a seat in Lincoln IB-Prep and Pritzker, which one is better?

  • 997. FirstTimer  |  April 2, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    With stats like this, it’s a shock that anyone ever gets selected – wow! Thanks so much for posting, CPS Crazy! I’d love to see the Magnet ones as well.

  • 998. CPS Crazy  |  April 2, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    Magnet schools data:
    School name
    1st number (total number of applicants)
    2nd number (number of seat available)
    3rd number (number waitlisted)

    Elementary School Magnet Programs
    School Applications Seats”Waitlisted”

    BEASLEY – 1204 187 1017
    BLACK – 1114 70 1044
    BURNSIDE – 371 132 239
    DISNEY – 3185 530 2655
    DISNEY II – 3241 64 3177
    DRUMMOND – 2763 51 2712
    FRANKLIN – 2122 43 2079
    FRAZIER Pro – 506 225 281
    GALILEO -1118 69 1049
    GALLISTEL – 66 20 46
    GUNSAULUS – 289 80 209
    HAWTHORNE -2889 62 2827
    INTER-AMER – 1461 90 1371
    JACKSON, A – 3436 58 3378
    JENSEN- 187 197 0
    KERSHAW – 138 324 0
    LASALLE – 3333 64 3269
    LASALLE II – 1784 85 1699
    MAYER – 2491 80 2411
    MURRAY – 2123 61 2062
    NEWBERRY – 1730 87 1643
    OWEN – 888 46 842
    PERSHING – 381 60 321
    RANDOLPH – 62 155 0
    SABIN – 243 114 129
    SAUCEDO – 275 208 67
    SHERIDAN -1600 65 1535
    STEM – 1540 63 1477
    STONE – 1366 86 1280
    SUDER – 1827 49 1778
    THORP, O – 1087 113 974
    TURNER-DREW – 547 83 464
    VANDERPOEL – 1417 71 1346
    WILDWOOD – 1097 5 1092

    TOTAL 47,881 3,697 44,473

  • 999. Bsmoresmom  |  April 2, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    @CPS Crazy–can you please post a link for magnets?

  • 1000. 60625 Mom  |  April 2, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    We are Tier 4. RGC: 121 Reading: 61 (sad face) Math: 91. No offers . We are headed to our neighborhood school, McPherson (in Lincoln Square) and will join a bunch of other great families and kids in our neighborhood, who are doing the same.

  • 1001. CPS Crazy  |  April 2, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    Here is the link with the charts


  • 1002. Chicago School GPS  |  April 2, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    It looks like seats available are for the whole school, not just entry years where Tiers come into play. Non-entry years are by “rank” only.

  • 1003. CPS Crazy  |  April 2, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    Regarding the charts

    “Data provided by CPS shows that 13,105 children applied for 1,865 spots in selective enrollment programs this year. Because parents apply to multiple schools, they filed a total of 51,150 applications.

    The same data is collected for magnet programs. This year, 13,725 students applied for 3,697 spots in magnet schools; 47,881 total applications were filed. CPS officials said there may be overlap between the two pools of applicants.”

  • 1004. cpsobsessed  |  April 2, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    @CPS Crazy – Awesome!
    Thanks for posting those!

  • 1005. cpsobsessed  |  April 2, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    Is it available anywhere in a spreadsheet?

  • 1006. cpsobsessed  |  April 2, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    So for those keeping track, Skinner West go the most selective applications. 🙂

  • 1007. Lisa  |  April 2, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    Has anyone with an offer from Bell gotten mail directly from the school yet? We got our offer for 1st grade from the main office, and in the letter it said we should expect to hear from the school as well via mail. Thanks!

  • 1008. anotherchicagoparent  |  April 2, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    local Here is a list of Chicago “Public” schools with wait lists of 100+ from kids applying from outside the area. Maybe you can cross reference and add a few more names to good neighborhood school list? https://twitter.com/PrincipalGray/status/319181575768121345/photo/1

  • 1009. waitlisted for KG mom  |  April 2, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    This article from WBEZ has all of the charts pasted above.


  • 1010. Hamilton vs. Decatur  |  April 2, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    We took the Decatur tour today and are stuck deciding between staying at Hamilton (Kiddo is in kindergarten there now). I have to say – I may keep my kiddo at Hamilton in their gifted program. Decatur is TINY – TINY! It felt a bit suffocating because it was so small. Kids were crammed and working on the floor. I also worry that it won’t nurture the artistic side of my brainy soon to be 1st grader. Hamilton is academic and artsy and my kiddo is so happy there (as are we). I welcome thoughts.

  • 1011. Skinnerwester  |  April 2, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    @964, I am a Skinner W parent. My children have not experienced bullying. I find the principal and assistant principal easy to talk to and super-caring about the kids and their well being. There is always something fresh happening at Skinner, so the school seems to embrace positive change, from what I can see.

  • 1012. RMD  |  April 2, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    @975 CBuck, Thanks! Accepted to Lenart for K, Tier 4 score 147. We live in Harte school district (not so great) so will definitely be accepting our spot.

  • 1013. Iheoma  |  April 2, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    @944 – I’m really glad to see the long(ish) list of strong neigborhood schools. Thanks Local for putting it together. Here’s a plug for remaining positive about your child attending a neighborhood school if your child doesn’t get an SEES offer this year. This year Ray had approx. 82 6th graders. I know of at least 17 kids who have been offered seats at ACs. I think that there may be others that I’m not aware of. Kenwood and Lindblom are the top recieving schools due to our HP location. Some kids applied to WY as well and I don’t know if they were admitted.

    Ray typically sends several kids to ACs so I don’t think that this is an unusual year. Given that this is not a SEES, I think that speaks pretty well for the variety of skills and achievements for students and teachers at the school. I also post this to give parents hope that your kid can have a good “launch” from a strong neighborhood school into an AC.

  • 1014. 4Kids  |  April 2, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    @ Hamilton vs. Decatur: We have a 3rd grader at Decatur. The kids have lots of opportunities to be artistic! My son has art once a week, and the art teacher is FABulous. He brings home some pretty incredible creations. The kids also do MANY projects which allow them to use their creative juices (presentations with posterboards and 3-D stuff). I have 4 professional artists in my family and I don’t think my son lacks the art time at Decatur. Also, the kids do tap dancing, which I think is excellent – – music skills, keeping the beat, and concentration.

  • 1015. abellparent  |  April 2, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    @ 1007 At least in years past, Bell has had an orientation meeting for incoming rgc parents in the spring, but I recall that it occurred several weeks after the initial cps letter was received (maybe after second round letters go out??) In my case, we received a second round offer from Bell and still had time to attend the orientation. I would expect something in the next few weeks, I guess.

  • 1016. Lenart parent  |  April 2, 2013 at 5:16 pm

    #575 & 610,

    Our son attends kindergarten at Lenart this year, and I, too, was apprehensive about putting a five-year old on the bus. But, it has turned out to be a very good experience. The bus company Lenart uses is terrific and our bus driver (Mr. Ted) is excellent. He keeps track of all the kids and makes sure they are safe on the bus. About a quarter of this year’s kindergarten class is from Hyde Park, so our kid gets to ride with his some of his classmates to school, and there is a cohort for playdates in the neighborhood.

    Ms. Franklin, the kindergarten teacher, is wonderful. She is calm, encouraging, and caring. She also knows how to keep the kids challenged.

    My main issue with the school used to be the previous administration (which I would describe as ossified and arrogant). But, the new principal and asst. principal are far more progressive and interested in parental input and trying new ideas.

  • 1017. Amanda Steckler  |  April 2, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    Hi All,

    I am very much in need of advice. My family moved to Chicago in December and my daughter, who will be starting kindergarten this fall, was accepted into the Edison Regional Gifted Center.

    We attended the open house for Edison this morning and I was very happy with the facility, the teachers and the students.. But the area, Albany Park looks to be quite dicey. We have lived in the city for only 2 1/2 months, so are still very new to the area.

    Can anyone comment on Edison students re their safety and overall quality of the education? My daughter scored a 148 on the test, so I don’t want to deprive her of a great education, but I also don’t want to put her in the path of danger.

    If we decide to turn down Edison we are going to move into either the Blaine, Bell, Coonley or Nettelhorst district. Any thoughts on how the quality of the aforementioned schools would compare to Edison’s gifted program?

    Sorry for the novel of questions, but I’m totally in over my head and really need help! I really do want to accept the offer from Edison, but nothing is worth risking her safety if it truly is an issue.

  • 1018. Lenart Mom  |  April 2, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    Another Lenart parent here.

    I agree with @1016 about the kindergarten teacher. My daughter loves Ms. Franklin!

    My daughter has art, gym, & music twice a week. The kindergarteners take Spanish, but embarassingly, I can’t remember if its once or twice a week.They do weekly spelling words and daily reading assignments. They have differential reading groups, the first level starts at the first grade reading level and it goes up from there. A couple of my daughters’ classmates are in reading groups with the 1st graders! Admittingly there are a lot of (math) worksheets, but they also have had a few writing/oral assignments. The K class has gone on 4 great field trips so far this year, and my daughter mentioned that they may try to sqeeze in another one before the end of the year. The kids had an all grades talent show a couple of weeks ago that showcased the amazingly talented kids at Lenart. We had dancers, singers, violinists, pianist, comedians, just to name a few. And the shows were completely run by the students. Last month our Parents Club hosted a semi formal parent/child dance, the kids had a ball!

    The school building is a decent size with an auditorium, gymnasium, lunchroom, computer lab, music room, & playground. The new administration is bringing a fresh approach to things and they are very welcoming. There has been opportunity for parents to volunteer in the school, which I heard was not so much the case with the prior administration. And they are even looking into an after school program at the school.

    There was another Lenart parent that posted saying that all of the 8th graders got into their #1 or #2 choice high school be it SeHS or private. So congrats to the Lenart 8th graders!!!

    If you received an offer from Lenart…..congrats to you and your little one. It’s a great school!

  • 1019. local  |  April 2, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    What do you know or think about these schools as “good neighborhood schools?” They’re from the list (link above at 1008. anotherchicagoparent | April 2, 2013 at 3:44 pm) of schools with more than 100 out-of-boundary applications on a waitlist (correct?).

    The only one I know even slightly is Barnard, which seems to be moving up, although a lot of staff just retired this past year, from what I’ve heard. It’s east of Bev-Morgan Park area and seems to be solid. There was some parent-charter school advocate, if I recall, who complained that her child would be placed in Barnard rather than Sutherland due to boundary changes. Remember that?

    The schools below did not show up among “good neighborhood general program schools” already mentioned by cpso commenters. Maybe their general programs are considered high quality and are in demand. Don’t know…

    National Teachers Acad
    Portage Park

    Any opinions about the suitability of these schools’ general programs?

  • 1020. WRP Mom  |  April 2, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    @Amanda, I have known several Edison families and have never heard of any safety problems. It’s one of the most sought after programs in the city, Congratulations on your child getting accepted! Maybe you don’t realize, but you don’t have to live in the neighborhood where Edison is. You can pretty much live anywhere you want as long as you’re in the city limits.

  • 1021. thoughts  |  April 2, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    @1019 I am no expert, but know that several of those schools listed on your list are terrible schools. Diego and Sabin specifically. And isn’t Courtenay closing or something (I keep hearing about Coonley moving its preschool there). A couple like Beubian and Pritzer have gifted centers along with the neighborhood program so that might explain why those are on the list.

  • 1022. Cpsmom13  |  April 2, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    @1007 we have received mail from main office also but not directly from the school yet

  • 1023. Cpsmom13  |  April 2, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    Rgc score 155, entering 6 th grade, received offer from Bell which was my second choice. Can anyone tell me if it is worth waiting for a second round offer from Edison (our first choice) or wevmight lose this seat also?

  • 1024. Jen  |  April 2, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    @1017 Amanda there is bussing for Edison, the policy for boundaries is on cpsoae.org. You won’t be the only family not living in the immediate area by a long way if you choose to live elsewhere.

  • 1025. local  |  April 2, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    1021. thoughts | April 2, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    Note that the list immediately above is not the list of cpso-commenter recommended schools. It’s the list of “got more than 100 applications for out-of-boundary students.” There could be a million reasons for those apps other than the school being a good neighborhood program that would pass muster with readers here.

    I had those same thoughts about Beauien & Pritzer, recalling something about their special (not general neighborhood) programs.

    Wonder why folks are seeking seats in Diego and Sabin? Perhaps they are marginally “better” (however defined) in the eyes of the families applying.

  • 1026. local  |  April 2, 2013 at 9:09 pm

    Re Pulaski. I also recall a dust-up at that school regarding the attempted (or not) blending of two different programs and cultures at the school. Wasn’t there a ESL gifted program there, or something, and new families were seeking a new IB program, or something. (Yes, I wish I had a better memory too.)

  • 1027. SR  |  April 2, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    @1019/1021 – Courtenay is a solid small school and it didn’t have a neighborhood attendance area so it was kind of like a magnet in terms of admission. I know a lot of Uptown parents applied there because it was nearby and there was a good chance of getting in. Next year Courtenay is taking over Stockton’s building. I’m hopeful that it remains a good program as our new neighborhood school.

    McPherson is also becoming more popular, and has a strong parent and community group. We applied there as a “safety” school two years ago, and I’ve heard more and more positive things since then.

    The only other school on the list I know anything about is McCutcheon. A new principal started there last year and she’s been doing really great things at the school, including increasing enrollment with neighborhood families.

    I agree that many of these schools are likely schools that are within a reasonable distance for families who aren’t interested in their neighborhood school.

  • 1028. Even One More CPS Mom  |  April 2, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    @1021 thoughts – Awwww geez. I hate to be a nit picker but I feel it is necessary that we be fair to Courtenay Language Arts Center and not spread rumors that are not true. Courtenay Language Arts Center is actually the RECEIVING school for Stockton Elementary. Stockton is being closed, not Courtenay. However, and this is certainly where the confusion must come from, the current Courtenay building is small. The Stockton building is larger and has had a lot of money spent on it in recent years. Courtenay is physically being moved into the Stockton building. Therefore, the students that are currently at the school being closed (Stockton) will still attend school in the same building but it will in fact be a different school, being Courtenay, run by Courtenay staff. It is confusing though, I agree. I have also heard the rumors that Coonley preschool would then move into the Courtenay building as Coonley has been having horrible overcrowding issues, but I do not know if that rumor is true. Seems to me that CPS could actually fit several schools’ preschools into the (soon to be former) Courtenay Language Arts Center building. Just my idea but perhaps it could become a preschool complex of sorts, housing the preschools of numerous overcrowded elementary schools in nearby areas (Blaine and Bell preschools anyone?????!! – Just my thought, absolutely nothing else!) 🙂

  • 1029. Gobemouche  |  April 2, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    1017 – Amanda, there have no safety issues at Edison as a result of its being located in Albany Park. Yeah, the neighborhood is not perfect, but it doesn’t affect the performance or safety of Edison students. Best of luck with your decision.

  • 1030. Skinner West Mom  |  April 2, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    Skinner West’s open house &tour is Thurs april 11th (10 to11am). http://Www.skinnersuperstars.org. I am a skinner West mom of 2 classical children and both kids LOVE the school. I couldn’t be more pleased with their progress. The school has the best teachers and a great balance of art, music,language,gym and even science experiments that have went to the moon the last 2 years! The diversity is great and we (parents and kids) have made great friends. You will not be disappointed.

  • 1031. Dad of 2  |  April 3, 2013 at 12:12 am

    Our child’s entering 3rd grade, 135, offer at Edison.

    We’ve seen a drifting down in scores over the years as most others… entering K >160, then skipped a year, then 140-something, now 135.
    I think a lot of it has to do with the style of testing. The 1:1 format for K entry I think allows the proctor to quickly move up in material difficulty specific to the child. Hopefully the proctor is good with kids and can encourage the child by making it fun. Contrast with the other grade kids, in a group of 20 or 30 strangers all taking the same booklet test. It’s not a great setup to be really focused, and even if a kid answers all questions correctly she doesn’t get a follow-up booklet to see how far she can go. Our guy’s scores are 25+ apart, but all above 98th% so not really such a surprising range. For the kids who went from 98th% to 50%, I think it has to represent having a bad test day.

  • 1032. JLM  |  April 3, 2013 at 6:34 am

    @Skinner West Mom – Can you tell me how often the students have each of their specials, particularly art? And how often/long their recess is? Thanks!

  • 1033. LSMom  |  April 3, 2013 at 7:28 am

    @Cpsmom13, if you turn down your Bell offer, you could get a later offer to Edison, if one opens up. It’s a risk because you would lose the Bell seat, and would only be able to get a spot at Edison if a current student leaves.

  • 1034. anotherchicagoparent  |  April 3, 2013 at 7:54 am

    Is Diego the same as De Diego anyone know? If so the resources the school have could be what is drawing parents a comprehensive gifted program,swimming pool,2 computer labs,library, science labs and an extensive list of supplemental programs.I hope it isn’t as bad as commenter 1021 mentioned as it is a welcoming school, if it is the same school. http://www.josedediego.org/home-page
    1028 It is difficult trying to explain CPS’ mess.Now some schools are being looked upon differently, Certain schools got the closing “Reputation” on their school,even if they are the schools not closing but their building might be.Oh Bell only has a prek for hearing impaired students as of now and I don’t foresee that moving.

  • 1035. MD  |  April 3, 2013 at 8:26 am

    @1028 regarding the rumor Coonley preschool moving to current site of Courtney Magnet. Can anyone tell me where they have heard this? Are they planning on restricting the boundaries to Coonley’s neighborhood for priority admission? If so, I think this would be exceedingly unfair…Ravenswood (4300 block of Paulina) is less than 2 blocks from Courtney (4200 block of Hermitage) and McPherson is also much closer to Courtney than Coonley. I would hope CPS would also give parents of preschoolers in the immediate area access.

  • 1036. MD  |  April 3, 2013 at 8:32 am

    @CPS mom 13. Most likely, your child entering 6th grade next year received the only offer to Bell RGC (such spots are only offered if a current student is leaving), I would imagine Edison is the same so I would agree with the above poster that if you give up your seat at Bell it is a HUGE risk that you may not get a 2nd round offer. I guess it depends on how disappointed you would be to stay at whatever school your child is currently attending.

  • 1037. FirstTimer  |  April 3, 2013 at 8:33 am

    I took the Coonley tour about 2 weeks ago (just a day or two before the SEES letters went out and the school closings were announced).

    The principal confirmed that Pre-K is definitely moving offsite next year, but as of then, they didn’t know where. They were hoping for some sort of building share within a mile of the current school. He said once the school closings are announced, that may provide additional building opportunities. He also said depending on space, K might move offsite the following year – but nothing was concrete.

    Courtenay was never mentioned – it seems that’s general speculation from this group since the building is relatively close and might be a good fit.

    The principal said he believed there would be a lot of flux in the Pre-K admission group this year just because all of these changes are going on so late and many have likely decided to put deposits down on something more concrete.

  • 1038. Gabby  |  April 3, 2013 at 8:38 am

    I completely agree with @1021. Sabin and De Diego are not exactly desirable school. They are not as bad as some but to be on a good school list is stretching it. De Diego is my home school and we never considered it an option.

  • 1039. LakeviewMom  |  April 3, 2013 at 8:39 am

    @1010. tough choice. I have a K there now as well and performing 1 – 2 above grade level. I really like Hamilton and I think the gifted program offers the right mix of an advanced curriculum with the added bonuses of dance, music, art, PE multiple days of the week. At least you are in a position to choose between two great schools 🙂

  • 1040. a mom  |  April 3, 2013 at 9:53 am

    1038 – same for Bateman. Not there yet. I get that you want to promote neighborhood interest. I would go charter first. CICS is so close but that’s hard to get into too.

  • 1041. Hamilton vs. Decatur  |  April 3, 2013 at 11:03 am

    @1039 – agreed! Those of you waiting for a Decatur spot – you’ll be happy to know that I am about to free one up 🙂

  • 1042. itsmylife421  |  April 3, 2013 at 11:10 am

    Thanks for the advice everyone. I know that we don’t need to move to the area that Edison is located in.. I was just concerned with getting there, recess, etc. As we are new to Chicago and my daughter will be in kindergarten I’m super protective of her.. and Albany Park just looks scary! Anyways, we went ahead and accepted the offer at Edison Gifted. What we saw was too good to pass up, regardless of location.

  • 1043. anon  |  April 3, 2013 at 11:23 am

    What do people think of whether a place like Edison may be too intense for a kid who is not off the charts smart (I know they have to test well enough to get in) or especially studious? How well does the school cater to such students?

  • 1044. Nastasia  |  April 3, 2013 at 11:31 am

    FYI: Pritzker neighborhood program is outstanding and gets richer every year. Music teacher with Ph.D. who runs fine music program with two musical productions a year. Award-winning art teacher. Dance curriculum and intensive afterschool arts, science, dance, language, etc. There is a huge fundraising/improvement push there now. I’ve had kids in both neighborhood FA and Options programs there, and though our experience has not been perfect, I’d recommend the school to anyone. There are no better arts programs in the city. Principal tries her best to get siblings a place in the FA neighborhood program, if a child is already attending. For more: http://www.friendsofpritzker.org

  • 1045. LVDad  |  April 3, 2013 at 11:47 am

    @cpsobsessed you mentioned in 910 to reach out to OAE to see where we might rank on another SE school waiting list should we turn down the first offer (DD, K, 99R, 98M, 126, offer to SW last choice). I called and the person on the phone said that they don’t have that sort of information. Has anyone else had a different experience? If so, please share how you got it.

    Also, based on my quick read of other scores and offers, it seems that those scores might be “ont he bubble” for SN acceptance…although as you note SW is statistically more selective than SN. Has anyone either compiled those cut-offs or have an idea as to whether those scores stand a chance for SN or Decatur? We are going to have an impossible time with transportation to SW but all else seems great about it.

  • 1046. Lisa  |  April 3, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    @1045 We went thru this with OAE last year.

    Until after the 2nd round when they don’t use Tier info anymore they can’t really (or don’t want to) give you a wait list number.

    Starting with the 3rd round they put everyone in one long list, so they were able to tell me things like my daughter was one of 7 students with a certain score, but even then they would not say if she would be the 1st or the 7th one to get the call if a spot was open. It is not a transparent process 😦

    In fact, I was told by more than one person at the office that no offers would be made after school started. But, we got called with an offer after the 1st week of school last year.

  • 1047. Proud Papa  |  April 3, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    @1043 I don’t know the answer to your question from first-hand experience, but we asked Edison’s principal that very question when we toured in the fall. She basically said that if children are falling behind, Edison expects the parents to intervene and if that does not resolve the issue then “Edison just isn’t the right place for that student.” Maybe Edison actually employs a different approach in those situations, but we found the principal’s response very offputting.

  • 1048. LSMom  |  April 3, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    So they abandon tiers after the second round and not the third?

  • 1049. Lisa  |  April 3, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    @1048 That is what I was told by OAE last year. I have no idea if they will do the same this year.

  • 1050. RGC curious  |  April 3, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    @Lisa- Could you please share what school was offering at that stage last year? What score did you have?
    I’d appreciate it. We seem to be on the borderline score and are considering moving to a better neighborhood school.
    A difficult decision to make with such lack of transparency.
    We love where we live but are just not satisfied with the local school, especially now that we know he has scored so well.
    It’s hard to believe that they tell us the score is in the 99th percentile but we feel that a place may not be offered….

  • 1051. Re 143  |  April 3, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    @143 I am taking my son out of Edison because it is just too much for us. If you plan for your child to be active in athletics, it may not be the right place for your child. Yes, half of the class is the bottom half of the class – if you can’t committ to hours of homework (not that way for the super smarties who whip through it at school), it may not be the right place for your child. I’ve not felt a whole lot of genuine caring about the kids, personally. The kids themselves are really great, outgoing, smart, driven (and sometimes pushed). VERY involved parents help a lot (and are also on this site and know who I am : ). I have a daughter two grades ahead at another magnet school…and YES they are two grade levels ahead at Edison and using the same CPS texts for many subjects. I’ve opted to switch schools and hopefully let the A’s come easier, without a fight at home . Another plus, the facility is newer than most in CPS. ALSO, if you have more than one child…not really likely the others will get in. Most families have their children attending different schools which is just so hard. The only child seems to fare better there.

  • 1052. Lisa  |  April 3, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    @1050 We had a 141 and we got an offer for Pritzker. But I know scores change year to year, so I don’t know if the same will get you in this year…. It is such a stressful process! Good luck!!!

  • 1053. parent  |  April 3, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    To 1043 and 1047–I currently have a child at Edison….my other kids attended a different RGC. My Edison kid didn’t attend there in the early years but does so now. I can totally see the principal replying as she did on the tour….. Edison, from what I can tell, just becomes harder and harder with each year, so I guess it all depends on what you want for your child. I know that the work does not let up, even in 8th grade. Each class has students that might not be right for the program–this was true at the other RGC as well I dont’ think any RGC can they tell you that you have to leave if you can’t keep up–I know a few years ago, someone from OAE mentioned they were looking to establish some protocol for this as this happens all the time. Kids are identified early for these programs but as time goes on, the work can be just too much. I hope a parent would eventually intervene and get their child to a school where they can be more successful (especially before 7th grade). My experience with Edison is that it is a fine program for the right kid–and it helps if the class that your child is in is a good one….from my experience with Edison and the other RGC, each class has it’s own dynamic and some are better than others.

  • 1054. Margy  |  April 3, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    My child was accepted to National Teacher Academy Gifted program for Kdg. Do anyone know anything about this school? And do they offer after school program? I was in the middle with this school bc it is so new but the more I think about it, I think it might work for us since we both work downtown and can pick him up and it would be easy for us to drop him off also. But we get off at 5pm so we need after care. Does anyone have info on the school gifted program and after school care (if any)????


  • 1055. JLM  |  April 3, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    @1045 LVDad – We are in Lakeview and my DD was accepted at SW for K next year. You mention both SN and Decatur as preferable to SW, but although Decatur is bus-eligible from LV (I think), it’s really far. It’s 6.5 to 7 miles away from our place, whereas SW is is just a little over 5. Your DD would probably have a really long bus commute with Decatur.

    Are you planning on going to the SW open house next Thursday? Re: carpooling, I imagine there is some of that. I would be interested, but would have to figure out how to fit 3 carseats across in our backseat.

  • 1056. Peter  |  April 3, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    My guess is CPS sells the Courtenay property. It’s worth a lot.

  • 1057. New2CPS  |  April 3, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    Can anyone here supply me with some information on Beasley Gifted Program and National Teachers Academy Gifted program? We will be applying to these schools (Beasley, Skinner West & National Teachers Academy) in December for Kindergarten next year. I need info on the curriculum if possible.

  • 1058. AnotherSWMom  |  April 3, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    I have a DC in first grade at Skinner and trying to move her to another Classical/RGC. Due to the expanding of neighborhood program, I heard the building is running out of classrooms. My kid tested into kindergarten over a year ago, that’s when Skinner started to accept 2 kindergarten neighborhood classes. Imagine Skinner is a 3 stories building and all classrooms are being occupied now, I wonder how are they going to fit in another 2 neighborhood classes this Fall? I really worry the school will have more kids than it should be.

    As far as I know, Classical/neighborhood kids share the same auxiliary teachers except Science and Language. Also, there’s only 1 teacher of each subject except GYM. Kids go to Music/Art/Library once a week. Science/GYM 2 times/week and Language 3 times/week. No computer class but Skinner uses rolling cart.

    I think somebody asked about recess too. Per my DC, kids go to the park in a sunny day for 10 minutes before lunch. Or they will have indoor recess inside the lunch room.

  • 1059. LSMom  |  April 3, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    @Margy, check upthread for some discussion about NTA. The program is brand new, so not much information is available yet. As far as I can tell, the prospective parents all have some trepidation about safety and curriculum, but have been impressed by the principal’s responsiveness. He seems to be very well liked both in his last job and at NTA. There will be tours during the school day tomorrow and an open house on April 10, so hopefully that will shed a little more light on the school and next year’s program.

    I believe the school does offer aftercare in partnership with the park district next door, but that’s one of the things I’ll be asking about tomorrow. If there’s a critical mass of people needing aftercare, perhaps it would be possible to arrange something within the RGC.

  • 1060. Al  |  April 3, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    @1045 What are your exact scores 99.? R 98.? M it will make a differance 123 rgc is too low.

  • 1061. LVDad  |  April 3, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    @1055 JLM Yes, we’ll be at the open house – I think it is probably worth talking about carpools if we both decide to send our daughters to SW. FWIW, when our 3rd came as a bit of a surprise, we found a way to put three carseats in the back of our CR-V, it can be done safely! Send me a text at 917-952-O819 if you want to get in touch.

    I have also seen mentions that there may be private services available – I wonder if anyone on here knows anything about those.

    I agree that Decatur is a big stretch for its commute vs. SN, but looking at the scores getting into Decatur, it looks like that won’t likely be an option anyway.

  • 1062. Al  |  April 3, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    The open House for Skinner North is April 9 @ 4pm and Skinner West April 11 @ 10am

  • 1063. Al  |  April 3, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    LVDad What were your first two chioces that you did not get in with scores that high. Just trying to get a handle on the cps maddness Thanks

  • 1064. LVDad  |  April 3, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    @Al the scoress were 99R and 98M even. I didn’t realize there could be decimals until I came to this thread! We tried for SN (#1) and Decatur (#2). We are Tier 4.

  • 1065. score drop  |  April 3, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    Wouldn’t recommend kid care transport if you are looking into transportation.

  • 1066. skinner west mom  |  April 3, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    @1032 Re: Skinner West
    For KDG classical, music and Art is 1x wk/ gym 2x wk for 50 min ea. In addition, the annual fundraiser enables each grade to get a unique art experience for each grade. One year, the 1st grade class took ballroom dancing for 6-8 weeks. Special relationships with Lookinglass theater 2nd city – all great stuff you can read here: http://skinnerwest.cps.k12.il.us/gallery111.html
    Recess outdoors for KDG only is around 2pm for 20min?. (they get solo playground time). Although our teacher likes to give extra recess to let the little ones burn some energy when needed.

  • 1067. LVDad  |  April 3, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    @1065 score drop just curious – why wouldn’t you recommend them?

  • 1068. Still in Shock  |  April 3, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    My son was accepted into Coonleys RGC, the letter said we’d be receiving some information from Coonley within a few days but we have not yet received anything. This hadn’t concerned me until I spoke to a friend who received a packet from Edison.

    So, I’m curious – has anyone who had been offered a place at Coonley received a packet yet?

  • 1069. Still in Shock  |  April 3, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    Oops – should probably add to ^^ that post, he’ll be going into Kindergarten.

  • 1070. Margy  |  April 3, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    I will be accepting enrollment at NTA but besides the acceptnace letter, I havent received info on a Open House or tour. What time is the tour/open house tomorrow????


  • 1071. FirstTimer  |  April 3, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    Nothing from Coonley RGC yet.

  • 1072. Margy  |  April 3, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    Never…I just called, the tour for NTA is tomorrow at 9:30am! Can’t wait…

  • 1073. LynnJ  |  April 3, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    For parents that are visiting NTA this week, can you please report your findings. I am appt that will keep me from attending. I am going to try for April 10th

  • 1074. Still in Shock  |  April 3, 2013 at 6:45 pm


    Thanks! I was so worried I missed something, I mailed in the acceptance right away so I think we’re good, but I’ll feel better when I actually get some paperwork with my son’s name on it!

  • 1075. Waiting for 2nd round  |  April 3, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    @1041: What tier are you? Anybody else declining 1st grade offer? Bell? Beaubien? Decatur? What tier?


  • 1076. logan sq dad  |  April 3, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    @Margy: There are two NTA tours tomorrow, one at 9:30 and one at 10:30.

  • 1077. Beaubien Tour Date  |  April 3, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    -Just received this email tonight –

    Dear Families,

    Hi! My name is XXXX and I am the Options Coordinator at Beaubien Regional Gifted Center. I have been notified by the Office of Access and Enrollment that your child has been offered a spot for the 2013-2014 school year. I know this is a very important decision that you have to make and it is important to get as much information as possible. Therefore, I would like to invite you to attend an informational meeting and tour on Tuesday, April 9th at 9:00 a.m.

    Our principal, Mrs. Michelle Ludford, will be available and general program questions can be answered. I look forward to meeting each of you and wish you luck in your pursuit of the best educational placement for your child. Please reply to this email and let me know if you will be attending.

    Best regards,

  • 1078. Monique  |  April 3, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    Congrats to all because this is such a hard process. I’m so excited about my son going to Lenart next year.

  • 1079. edison  |  April 3, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    I have a 7th grader at Edison. He loves his buddies. But the workload is intense beyond belief … several hours of homework each night and weekends too. He doesn’t enjoy the stress, but enjoys the friendships he has developed and for the most part he really loves his teachers. I feel bad that he has another difficult year ahead of him as 8th grade is a pressure cooker year.

  • 1080. Cbuck  |  April 3, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    @Monique- Congrats! Wanted to get in Lenart and hoping for possible second/third round. Would you mind sharing tier,score and grade your son will be entering?

  • 1081. Jen  |  April 3, 2013 at 10:38 pm

    @1077.Beaubien Tour Date

    I did not recieve this email and did not recieve any package yet from Beaubien, Have you recieved any package from Beaubien?

  • 1082. soon2becpsmom  |  April 4, 2013 at 7:11 am


    I needed some opinions on selecting between Pritzker gifted vs. Franklin vs Newberry for K. (I have a younger child too). All these schools are ~1-2 miles away, so commute is not a huge issue.

    Any help would be much appreciated.


  • 1083. HSObsessed  |  April 4, 2013 at 8:13 am

    I’m kind of bored so I took the magnet school data @998 and made a chart that shows the % chance of getting an offer in the first round for the magnet schools. I think the WIldwood number of 5 seats is wrong, so we’ll have to disregard it as error. The next most “selective” magnets were Jackson, Drummond, LaSalle 1, Disney 2, Franklin, Hawthorne, Suder.

    School / Apps / Seats /Declined / Chance
    WILDWOOD 1097 5 1092 0.5%
    JACKSON, A 3436 58 3378 1.7%
    DRUMMOND 2763 51 2712 1.8%
    LASALLE 3333 64 3269 1.9%
    DISNEY II 3241 64 3177 2.0%
    FRANKLIN 2122 43 2079 2.0%
    HAWTHORNE 2889 62 2827 2.1%
    SUDER 1827 49 1778 2.7%
    MURRAY 2123 61 2062 2.9%
    MAYER 2491 80 2411 3.2%
    SHERIDAN 1600 65 1535 4.1%
    STEM 1540 63 1477 4.1%
    LASALLE II 1784 85 1699 4.8%
    VANDERPOEL 1417 71 1346 5.0%
    NEWBERRY 1730 87 1643 5.0%
    OWEN 888 46 842 5.2%
    INTER-AMERICAN 1461 90 1371 6.2%
    GALILEO 1118 69 1049 6.2%
    BLACK 1114 70 1044 6.3%
    STONE 1366 86 1280 6.3%
    THORP, O 1087 113 974 10.4%
    TURNER-DREW 547 83 464 15.2%
    BEASLEY 1204 187 1017 15.5%
    PERSHING 381 60 321 15.7%
    DISNEY 3185 530 2655 16.6%
    GUNSAULUS 289 80 209 27.7%
    GALLISTEL 66 20 46 30.3%
    BURNSIDE 371 132 239 35.6%
    FRAZIER PROSPECTIVE 506 225 281 44.5%
    SABIN 243 114 129 46.9%
    SAUCEDO 275 208 67 75.6%
    JENSEN 187 197 0 105.3%
    KERSHAW 138 324 0 234.8%
    RANDOLPH 62 155 0 250.0%

  • 1084. Beaubien Tour Date  |  April 4, 2013 at 8:23 am

    @1081 – We did not receive any package from Beaubien, except the email invitation for the tour. Perhaps it is because they have my husband’s email from the SEES application or we had submitted our acceptance of the offer? Give them a call.

  • 1085. anon  |  April 4, 2013 at 8:33 am

    Thanks to the Edison commenters above. Does anyone have impressions of the new kindergarten teacher? In terms of what her style is, how helpful she is with students who may struggle a bit.

    Also, a long way away for us, but the history teacher seemed a little over the top. And it’s a core grade so you have to do what he says…

  • 1086. Christine Whitley  |  April 4, 2013 at 8:53 am

    @ HS Obsessed: Wildwood might be right since it’s one of those neighborhood/magnet hybrids.

  • 1087. Bsmoresmom  |  April 4, 2013 at 8:53 am

    So kindergarten I would just use the amount of seats available as seats offered subtract that amount from applied to determine the percentage of someone getting into first round this year for kindergarten, right? Which should be a lower percentage than the one you determine, because it is less seats than available for the whole school? or do the seats represents just kindergarten?

  • 1088. CAM  |  April 4, 2013 at 9:17 am

    Does anyone have experience moving from a neighborhood or private to Decatur (or another classical/rgc school)?

    Could anyone offer some advice:

    1. Does you child seem measurably more engaged and challenged at school (than at previous school)?

    2. Do you feel that the educational opportunity outweighs the advantages of: being in your neighborhood, having time for extracurriculars, being with siblings (our kids are close and really like being at the same school)

    3. How does Decatur work for young, active boys in K, 1, 2? Wondering abut the small size of the facility and the very limited gym space.

    4. How and when did you talk to your children about the move?

    Would really appreciate input on any of these questions. Thanks.

  • 1089. FirstTimer  |  April 4, 2013 at 9:25 am

    I’m definitely interested in hearing the part about when you shared the news of the move with the child (especially when a sibling split would be involved).

    We (unfortunately in hindsight) have been all talk about li’l sis entering big sis’ private school beginning next year (never thinking we’d get our oldest into a good CPS option) and now we are likely going to move the oldest (but haven’t yet broached the subject with her).

  • 1090. 4Kids  |  April 4, 2013 at 9:36 am

    @ CAM, regarding DEATUR:
    1. Does you child seem measurably more engaged and challenged at school (than at previous school)?
    YES. We transferred our child to Decatur (at 2nd grade) from a large magnet where our child was excelling in the gifted program, and was actually very happy. However, the small size of Decatur and the more intimate atmosphere, coupled with a great educational experience, PLUS way more family events and opportunities for involvement (clubs, projects, playdates even) made this a good move for us. The teachers and administration really work with all families, in a way we had not seen before. We almost did not do it, but are so happy we did.

    2. Do you feel that the educational opportunity outweighs the advantages of: being in your neighborhood, having time for extracurriculars, being with siblings (our kids are close and really like being at the same school)
    Yes. But then again, this school is closer than the magnet where our child was enrolled previously. Our child takes the bus, and is home earlier now. I would not want one child to be held back just to keep him/her at a sibling’s school. Our child has several siblings. This was the best choice for our child.

    3. How does Decatur work for young, active boys in K, 1, 2? Wondering abut the small size of the facility and the very limited gym space.
    Decatur has recess, and gym, and we have not seen it as a problem so far. We have heard anecdotally from parents of the older children (5th, 6th) that the small classroom leaves them a little more crammed in the classroom. This is because the school was built as a primary grade school (K-3).

    4. How and when did you talk to your children about the move?
    Because our child was happy in the gifted program already, it was harder for us parents to decide whether we should go through the move. We decided that rather than make the decision, we would discuss it with our child and make it a team decision. We only had a week to decide to turn in the confirmation form, so that happened pretty quickly in April the year prior. The deciding factors for our child were: Decatur is a more challenging school, Decatur has a better reputation than other school, Decatur’s smaller school environment vs a large school, a change from bullies at the other school, and finally, the impression that Decatur’s community is amazing (and we were happy to find out that it IS!).

  • 1091. Jay  |  April 4, 2013 at 9:53 am

    For those with more questions now that the CPS lottery and SEES options first round of letters are out come to this free seminar tonight.. you may have questions on the tiers, wait lists, and what to do now. Event is tonight April 4th, 7pm at Daystar Center 1550 S State St (free parking behind building, enter on State St) with PREP Chicago and NPN (neighborhood parents network). Space still available, open to members and nonmembers. RSVP at http://www.npnparents.org/events/1097.

  • 1092. CAM  |  April 4, 2013 at 9:53 am

    Thank you so much! Appreciate your taking the time to respond, and that information is all so helpful.

  • 1093. HSObsessed  |  April 4, 2013 at 10:13 am

    @1086 – IKWYM but Mayer falls under that same category, and their numbers are OK. I think the Wildwood issue may just be one missing numeral, like it should have been 35 or 58 instead of just “5”.

    @1087 – Because many of the seats available numbers are 62 or 64, which is two classes of 31/32, and standard in the magnets, it looks to me like these are the kindergarten entry numbers. You would divide the # of seats by the # of applicants to get the % admitted on first round.

    However, I realize that it would be even better if they subtracted out the # of seats taken by siblings, to make it more accurate. Jackson might have 58 kindergarten spots, but if 32 are taken by siblings, then the “real” number of spots open for new applicants is 26, which would bring the chance of getting an offer percentage down from 1.7% to .8%. And then it would be interesting to see how many of the applicants were from within the proximity, because their chances are higher than .8%, but how much?

  • 1094. JLM  |  April 4, 2013 at 10:37 am

    @1093 HSObsessed – The interesting thing would be to find out if chances actually ARE higher for proximity. I think that, at least in some circumstances, they may not be. Hawthorne is within 1.5 miles of basically all of Lakeview and chunks of LP and North Center, and I imagine that they must get a ton of applications from those areas. People are more likely to apply to magnets that they are close to for commuting purposes.

  • 1095. Bsmoresmom  |  April 4, 2013 at 10:47 am

    @HSObsessed– for kindergaten entry 3400 children were tested so instead of 4000 or so applicants like on Skinner West , I would use 3400 instead of the 4000s applied to the school to get a better acurate number correct?

  • 1096. JLM  |  April 4, 2013 at 10:49 am

    @CPS Crazy – Where did you get this info? (posts 992 and 998) Any chance you can get the SEES info by tier? I imagine that tier 3 and 4 families make up more than 25% of applications apiece (50% total), and am interested in what percentage that translates to in terms of acceptances, since I also assume that tiers 3 & 4 take up more than their “share” of the 30% of rank spots.

    I’m such a data geek, I can’t help myself. I always want more!

  • 1097. JLM  |  April 4, 2013 at 10:58 am

    @LVDad – I kick it really old school and have disabled texting from my phone, so I can’t text you. I can, however, be reached by email at: npn8774@gmail.com And if we don’t connect before then, I should be at the open house, and my initials are…JLM.

  • 1098. Shellie  |  April 4, 2013 at 11:02 am

    @CAM and @4kids—I didn’t ask those questions but I’ve been grappling with this decision and really appreciate the feedback. My daughter would be moving from a Montessori environment to Decatur (as a first grader) and I’ve been driving myself crazy trying to figure out what would be best. (The Montessori school is private, so relief from the tuition would be really helpful).

    I really wish Decatur would have a child-welcome tour before I have to decide, as my daughter is very interested in the school and I would have liked her to get a feel for it. (I understand why it’s not possible). She seems to go back and forth between wanting to try something a little new and staying where she is (probably because on some level change is always a little overwhelming).

    I know the decision ultimately rests with me, but I agree about getting the child’s input, as well.

    @4kids—just as an aside. My daughter is pretty shy until she feels very comfortable in a situation. Do you get the feeling that administrators and teachers would help a child who might be shy make the transition? She’s also very much a tomboy—short hair, superhero T-shirts, jeans/athletic pants—are children pretty accepting of difference at Decatur?

    Thanks for everyone’s input on this thread. I visit often and have always found such helpful information!

  • 1099. 3kidsIn3schools  |  April 4, 2013 at 11:02 am

    @1085 re:Ediosn. My son has thrived with the Edison upper grade social studies teacher. Yes, he is serious. Yes, he may seem over-the-top. But, do the kids learn!!!!! So much!!!! While the assignments may be time consuming, they are so well thought out, thorough and teach the kids a tremendous amount. They have not been anything my son couldn’t handle. History fair is a grind, but the other teachers adjust their workload for the kids during history fair time. The process he teaches them is incredible. These are highly capable gifted kids and thankfully he has high expectations and challenges them. He is an incredible teacher.

    @Decatur. Decatur is like a warm blanket wrapped around your child. It is nurturing, caring, respectful and all around great environment. The curriculum is so tight and shored up that the kids learn an incredible amount and my child thrived. The administration is very nice, but they are rigid and highly organized. Some take this as a turn-off, I took it as a blessing that they are so good at managing the school. The parents and opportunities to get involved are there for anyone who is interested. Very nice and active parents. To me, the only downside is that is stops in 6th grade—–hopefully CPS wises up and makes the obvious decision to extend it to 8th grade and build an addition. If you are lucky enough to get a spot at Decatur, I highly recommend taking it!

    Overall, IMO if you get an offer in almost any of the top CPS SE or magnet programs, you should take it. The simple fact that your child will be with peers who all test in will allow any school to provide an outstanding education because they can move faster and deeper due to all the kids being smart. The programs all also have strong curriculums and know how to teach and challenge smart kids. My advice for parents with young kids who may turn down an offer to REALLY take a look at the 5-8th grade of wherever you are considering. While that may seem a ways off, in CPS, if a school is not outstanding in grades 5-8, you simply will not be happy in the long run and you may regret giving up that spot in a great program now. A bus may seem hard to do for a young child, but many love the bus, and kids adjust better than their parents think sometimes. I fully understand wanting to have your children go to the same school, but while not ideal, we have been fine with 3 kids in 3 schools. It was not as big of a deal as I thought it would be and all of them are thriving. What more could a parent want. Good luck to all who were lucky enough to get offers! It is a challenge to navigate CPS. AND a huge thank you to CPSO for giving us all a forum to share and learn.

  • 1100. HSObsessed  |  April 4, 2013 at 11:12 am

    @1095 – Yes, you divide the # of applicants to that specific school by the # of seats available in that specific school.

    @1094 JLM- See the WBEZ story linked @1001 for the data. It’s part of a larger story about how it’s quite flimsy to claim that there are 19,000 kids on waiting lists at charters. Sadly, there are no breakdowns by tier. However, there are a few tantalizing tidbits about total unique applications this year to magnets vs. how many seats total, and the same numbers for SEES.

  • 1101. 4Kids  |  April 4, 2013 at 11:28 am

    @Shellie re: Decatur
    I believe that Decatur administration and teachers do help children, all children. Everyone knows everyone, and it makes the atmosphere really welcoming. The security guard, front office, and teachers really do get to know all children so for my child it was an easy transition. Regarding your child being unique, I would not worry about that at all. Lots of kids there express their own “style” and I think she’ll be fine.

  • 1102. cpsobsessed  |  April 4, 2013 at 11:33 am

    About changing schools – my son would FREAK if I moved him. However year after year he gets a few new kids in his class and while the first couple days may be hard it’s amazing how quickly kids befriend each other and fit in with their new surroundings. I think it’s really the kids more than the teachers who make it work!

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 1103. Gobemouche  |  April 4, 2013 at 11:46 am

    1085 — The interesting thing about the History/Social Studies teacher at Edison is that the kids really like him. Yes, he is indeed very intense, but the kids like him anyway. Honestly, that is some kind of talent – to be able to pile on the work and still have kids like you. I wish I had those skills. As a parent, I am occasionally exasperated with him and I hate hate hate the history fair but…since the kids seem to truly respond well to him I just had to get over it. 😉

  • 1104. HSObsessed  |  April 4, 2013 at 11:46 am

    @1094, OK, so I had to do some rough calcuations about the proximity thing, and the chances of proximity offers to Hawthorne are much higher.

    There were about 300 kindergarten age kids in the 2-square mile zip code of 60657 in 2010.

    The geographic area created by a 1.5 mile radius for a proximity lottery is 7 square miles.

    So, we can estimate that there are about 1050 kindergarteners in the proximity radius for Hawthorne. The radius is slightly cut off by the lake on the east, so let’s reduce that to 1000.

    How many of those 1000 apply to Hawthorne? About 50% of Lakeview kids end up in private school. The Hawthorne radius extends into the neighborhood enrollment boundaries of many solid neighborhood schools like Mayer and Lincoln to the south, Nettelhorst to the NE, and Blaine, Burley and Bell to the W/NW. So, a certain number of parents in those areas likely decline to try for the magnet lottery, So, I’ll guess that out of about 1000 potential applicants to Hawthorne kindergarten within the radius, let’s say 400 apply.

    If siblings take up half the 62 spots, then there are 12 available for proximity and 19 available for citywide. The proximity applicants have a 12/400 chance of getting an offer, which is 3%, while the citywide applicants have a 19/2489 chance, which is a .8% chance. So if my estimates are at all in the ballpark (feel free to call me on any you think are way off!), then proximity kids have nearly 4 times better chances of getting an offer.

  • 1105. HSObsessed  |  April 4, 2013 at 11:48 am

    Sorry, I realized I’m posting on the Gifted/Classical thread, and we’ve gone off on a magnet school tangent.

  • 1106. ncm  |  April 4, 2013 at 11:49 am

    @1085 – New kindergarten teacher is excellent. Former reading specialist, mother herself (which I have found makes a difference). My child adores her and has thrived this year. Edison has been a perfect fit for him (so far). Congrats and good luck if your child is starting in the fall!

  • 1107. National Teachers Academy  |  April 4, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    I just came back from NTA gifted program Open House & School Tour and the only word that can describe this school is AMAZING!!!I was apart of the first group (9:30am) AND arrived at NTA an hour early just so that I could see how the neighborhood kids behaved and they were all well behaved. The neighborhood curriculum is differienated accordingly to the child ability. I saw teacher aides and teachers working with the children. All of the kids, including the older kids were well spoken and behavior did not seem like an issue.

    The school is huge, new and offers a lot:

    Library/Young Author Learning Center
    Two Playgrounds
    Bathrooms (clean and new)
    (3) Science Labs (1 for 3/4 graders, 1 for 5/6 graders & 1 for 7/8 graders)
    Full sized gymnasium
    Full sized swimming pool
    (2) Computer Labs
    Art Room & Music Room (seperate)
    The building is three stories with two building that connects to the gym/swimming pool area.

    After School Program consist of Chicago Park District til 6pm or All Stars…this will be good for working parents. Red line and major buses all within walking distance of the school. They offer before care only for Kdg starting at 7am. And breakfast for all students.

    There will be two regular classes for all grades and one gifted classroom per grade level. So in others words, there will be three K classes, three 1st grade classes etc all the way up to 8th grade.

    The curriculum for gifted and neighborhood kids, will offer; Art, Music, P.E & Swimming, Computer Lab weekly for all students. And the gifted students a foreign Language of either; Spanish or Mandarin Chinese (but hopefully Chinese). Recess is included everyday (indoor or outdoor) for all kids (20mins before lunch). Field trips will also be incorperated.

    My thoughts on the principal was that seemed really nice and that he will make this a premier program for gifted kids. The crowd that came today were very diverse. The building is safe and clean. The neighborhood did not seem bad to me either. I loved the teachers and how they communicated with the kids. One kdg boy, got up and introduced himself to all of the visitors and gave good eye contact and spoke well. The principal said current enrollment of neighborhood kids is about 500 and the gifted kids will add an additonal 270 to the enrollment (not bad). The class sizes average 30 students per class however most dont exceed that number.

    I got a good impression on this school, the staff (all professional, diverse, nice and VERY welcoming). I look forward to my child attending NTA. I am so glad I came to view the school today. These kids are lucky to attend this school.


  • 1108. Neighborhood parent  |  April 4, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    1104 – I agree with your thought process.

    When the “new” acceptance rules & “tiers” were unveiled 2-3 years ago I think it was clear that the magnet schools were likely to become sibling/proximity heavy. As a result, the more popular schools would become “demagnetized” (ie. not able to offer many seats beyond the prox. & sibing pools). Of course CPS could change the rules again….. but i think you’ve provided a good stab at the math. (Also, if you would be able to adjust for tiers I think you’d see different statistics for each tier.)

  • 1109. National Teachers Academy  |  April 4, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    Oh and I forgot to mention that NTA Principal, Isaac, told us that he is just finishing the hiring process of two gifted teachers from two top gifted schools in Chicago, so that can start their gifted program off right! He would not reveal which gifted schools the teachers are coming from but he did offer to let us meet her today, if we chose to stay later. I could not stay late bc I had to get to work but I thought that was extremely nice of him. Also, the tour guides mentioned that parental involvement is heavy throughout the school and greatly encouraged. This school actually seem like a better option than South Loop to me. They offer more and I got the warm and fuzzy feeling from the staff and kids. It is a very nuturing environment from what I saw today. Even the reviews on greatschools.org are good. I did not know much about this school until today.


  • 1110. xyz  |  April 4, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    Can someone tell me how does one know if their child has been selected based on the first 30% ranking or from the tier?Does the letter mention the mode of selection?

  • 1111. CPS parent  |  April 4, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    It might be a good idea to contact a teacher at the school you are wondering about if you have specific questions about transitioning. Every school has a website too, might be a good place to start if you are still struggling.

  • 1112. logan sq dad  |  April 4, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    I was also impressed by the NTA principal, facilities, and the approach he is taking in building the new RGC. We will send our son there.

  • 1113. HS Mom  |  April 4, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    Logan Square Dad – Hello and congratulations. Glad to see someone who campaigned hard for the kids during the strike get rewarded. The description in 1107 sounds awesome.

  • 1114. LSMom  |  April 4, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    We’re also leaning towards accepting the NTA slot. The facilities were amazing (especially the pool), and I love that they have science labs and dedicated art and music rooms. I was impressed by the principal, teachers, and kids, and I’m comfortable with how they handle safety.

    I do still have a few concerns — there’s not much parental involvement yet, they do seem to care a lot about the tests, and I wish that the current population of the school were more racially and economically diverse.

    The tour today was really useful and I’m looking forward to hearing more at the open house on the 10th.

  • 1115. LynnJ  |  April 4, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    Margy thank you for the great review on NTA.

  • 1116. waitlisted for KG mom  |  April 4, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    1104-When considering whether proximity is more competitive, you have to consider offers made off the wait list. It seems that proximity wait lists don’t move much for the most competitive schools, but the tier lists (for families who live further away) more more. So, you have to look at the total number of offers made, not just the number of seats.

    So, if there are 10 proximity seats, and they only get to No. 2 on the wait list. There were 12 offers made.

    However, if there are 4 seats for Tier 4, but they wait list goes down to No. 22, a total of 26 offers have been made.

    So, I think that’s how the proximity spots can actually be more competitive than the tiered ones.

    I would love, love, love to see these stats broken down by grade, and type of lottery (sibling, proximity, Tier1, Tier2, Tier3, and Tier 4), and total numbers offers made before schools starts.

  • 1117. HSObsessed  |  April 4, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    @1116, yes, I see what you’re saying, but I was just churning the numbers for chances of getting an offer on the first round. It does get more complicated than that once you factor in the rate of acceptance by the child/family on first round, which would be higher for the more competitive schools, so they don’t go as deep into their wait lists on subsequent rounds of offers.

  • 1118. Cpsmom13  |  April 4, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    LSMom and MD, thank you for taking the time to respond. It really helped me make up my mind.

  • 1119. National Teacher Academy  |  April 4, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    @1115…Thanks! I also forgot to mention that NTA has five National Board Certified Teachers, a UIC based Health Clinic within the school (with a FT nurse) so if your child get sick at school, they can go there instead of you having to leave work early. And the UIC health clinic also provides the kids there immunizations if needed. The tour guides told me that the school already has 225 iPads for the students to use and plans to get more once the gifted kids enroll. Teachers there use interactive whiteboards to assist wwith their instruction. The principal also stated that AUSLteacher training program is within the school. I have to admit that this was not our first choice, it was actually our 5th however since visting NTA, I cannot stop thinking about this school..I am so excited for my son.


  • 1120. NTA offers  |  April 4, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    Great report on the school, thanks.

    (any NTA offers received)
    Can you share what scores/tiers that received first round offers for NTA?
    Trying to figure out the potential of second round…
    Anyone know that they won’t be accepting at NTA?

  • 1121. Xóchitl Bada  |  April 4, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    @1119. Thanks for posting the comprehensive reviews. I was really impressed by the UIC clinic. As an immigrant parent, I thought I would never get to see an actual functioning clinic inside any public school in a country without universal healthcare!!! I was highly motivated when I saw the clinic. I couldn’t believe something like this can exist. Kuddos for the public health partnerships between UIC and CPS. NTA was my 4th choice but the tour today got me convinced to enroll my daughter there. West Loop Mom.

  • 1122. Westloop Mom  |  April 4, 2013 at 9:12 pm

    Here is more information to all those who are interested in knowing more about the UIC clinic at NTA:

  • 1123. cpsobsessed  |  April 4, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    That’s great that the NTA tour was so impressive! Always good to keep an open mind when it comes to new programs. Can’t wait to hear how it goes…
    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 1124. albanyparker  |  April 5, 2013 at 9:59 am

    Sorry if this is covered elsewhere, but does anyone know from experience HOW the second-round SEES offers are communicated by OAE? By mail again? By phone? And how quickly after the April 12 1st-round deadline?

    Given scores, I believe that 2nd round is our only chance of getting an offer (Tier 3), since once they stop looking at Tiers, the remaining spots will be taken by more of those Tier 4 99/99 or >140 types…

    If we don’t get a 2nd round offer (which I think is still unlikely, but not impossible) we will start our housing search in earnest.

    Thanks in advance!

  • 1125. Stephanie Francis Ward  |  April 5, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    My bet is that you’ll get a phone call. The schools want to fill their seats ASAP.

  • 1126. AE  |  April 5, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    According to OAE (I spoke with them earlier in the week), second round offers will be made via mail. After that, via phone.

  • 1127. another CPS mom  |  April 5, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    “I have to admit that this was not our first choice, it was actually our 5th however since visting NTA, I cannot stop thinking about this school..I am so excited for my son.”

    I wonder if the board of ed and other decision-makers in the school closings project actually spent a full day in the targeted for closure, would they decisions be better?

  • 1128. EVmom  |  April 5, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    NTA offers, we were impressed with NTA tour as well but doubtful we’ll accept spot. Hoping for Priztker RGC K in 2nd round as our PreK son will be down the street at Suder Montessori. Also on LaSalle I waitlist #2.

    Tier 4
    RGC 139.

  • 1129. BridgeportMom  |  April 5, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    Greetings everyone! My daughter is entering Kindergarten next year and she received an offer from Pritzker RGC program and was curious if anyone has any comments on their program. I went to a recent tour and thought it looked pretty good but was not totally impressed by the upper grade levels gifted program. We are also on the waiting list for a bunch of magnet schools as well. Mark Sheridan is in our proximity as she is on the wait list as #6. My concern is the test scores are higher at Sheridan which is a Math and Science Magnet vs. Pritzker (although the test scores are combined for RGC and neighborhood). If we end up getting an offer from Sheridan, I am not sure what to do as the location of Sheridan is SO much closer to us vs. Pritzker, but Sheridan does not have a gifted program. Decisions! Decisions! Any advice would be great! 🙂

    BTW for score purposes my daughter’s test results were as follows:
    RGC: 150 got offer from Pritzker
    Classical Reading: 94 Math 84

  • 1130. Bell/Pritzker  |  April 5, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    For those of you waiting, there will be at least one spot available in the 1st grade RGC class at Pritzker because we will be accepting a slot for 1st grade RGC at Bell. Good luck everyone!

  • 1131. Dana  |  April 5, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    A while back someone on the thread theorized that it was better to be on the tier waiting lists, however, I spoke to the principal at one of the magnets and they said that you have a better chance in proximity because more seats are allotted to proximity in the first place. Just sharing and still praying for some news.

  • 1132. Southside CPS Parent  |  April 5, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    @894 AmitabhC. In regards to bussing from Hyde Park, my son’s 2nd grade class has quite a few students that come from the Hyde Park area. School begins at 7:45 so you can imagine that they are on the bus pretty early. Although I live only 2 miles from the school and we would have an extra 20 minutes to prepare in the morning, my son MUST ride the bus or his entire day is ruined. So I try to get him on the bus as often as i can becuase he loves the 10 minute ride. It is a highlight of his day.

  • 1133. South Loop Mom  |  April 5, 2013 at 10:21 pm

    We also toured NTA and were very impressed. The neighborhood program seems great. Teachers can differentiate because each class has a mentor teacher and a “resident.” The gifted program will have only one teacher per class, but the classes cap at 30. The facility was very nice. We are still considering options but the tour was a a big plus.

    I do encourage parents who feel stressed out about no offers/poor neighborhood school to apply to NTA via Options For Knowledge. It is a great option with momentum.

  • 1134. Cpsmom13  |  April 5, 2013 at 10:30 pm

    Took a tour at Bell today and have to say that I wasn’t impressed at all. Was expecting it to be more or less like Edison, but i was disappointed. Wonder if its just me or is anyone out there who feels the same way. Unfortunately, i haven’t had a chance to visit any other RGCs besides these two.

  • 1135. LR  |  April 5, 2013 at 11:06 pm

    We have been at Bell for three years in the RGC and it’s fantastic. And you are correct that it is not like Edison at all. Two of my daughter’s classmates have older siblings who went to Edison and from what I understand, Edison is more rigorous. Bell can be intense at times, but for the most part the workload has been completely manageable (so far). I guess back when I toured Bell (4 years ago), my socks were just knocked off by the amount of resources the school had (and we are about to have even more because we are getting a huge addition). And I loved the fact that the kids learn Chinese, too. Not sure what turned you off about the tour, but I just want to say that we are very happy at Bell.

  • 1136. WLMom  |  April 5, 2013 at 11:48 pm

    @1129 Bridgeport Mom: It’s all about what’s the best fit for your child and your family. MS is a good magnet. Pritzker’s RGC is very good too. If commute is a big factor, then you should choose MS. However, I suggest you to take a tour on both schools. I’m not sure if MS has a playground outside of the school and the after school program or not. I really care about that because my child likes to play and I’m a working mom. MS is more balance on the diversity than Pritzker. MS has always been a good magnet school. If you have a younger kid, he/she will be get accepted into MS as well. But I also heard many parents are dying to have their child to go to Pritzker’s RGC as well. They both are great options. It’s tough to decide. Since you’re on WL for MS, you should accept Pritzker’s offer first then decide what you should do after you get an offer from MS. I’m sure your child will do great in either school. Good luck!

  • 1137. parent  |  April 6, 2013 at 8:34 am

    I have had kids at both Bell and Edison. There is no comparison–they are two very different schools both physically and by the way they operate. Bell is a big school and one of the positive aspects to the school is that while there are 30 kids in the RGC class, there may be another 70 kids in the Neighborhood/deaf program that your child can connect with. My kids who went to Bell got a well rounded, arts infused curriculum and while it was very rigorous, they both managed. Both attend(ed) a highly sought SE high school (not that anyone cares, but I do think it’s good to see where kids end up for hs). We loved that school, and the the community, though I have heard that some of the warm and fuzzies I had with my older kids are no longer there. My youngest child is at Edison, and though I like the clean new environment and the amazing teachers who are so dedicated and good at what they do, I will tell you that it is a non stop pressure cooker (at least to her it is) in the upper grades (5-8). (Can you say the words RACE TO NOWHERE? :-). She plans her activities and commitments around whether she has a project (or thinks she will be getting a project). That sort of bothers me….the projects are always quality projects but there are just so many of them….too many for a kid who has a life outside of school. The two programs are very different in so many ways, and it really just depends on your child.This is a RGC that shares space with APMC–they seem to get along for the most part. There is one class per grade at Edison so it is helpful if your child is in a “good class”….sometimes there are classes that have a weird vibe to them. That was true at Bell and is probably true at all of these programs. Not sure if this helps.

  • 1138. cpsobsessed  |  April 6, 2013 at 9:09 am

    Comment from Thoughts on 4/3

    Sorry I am poster 1021. Didn’t mean to start any false rumors on Courtenay – I admittedly don’t know anything about it, was just repeating speculation I’d heard which I shouldn’t have done. As for de Diego (which is the same as Diego) and Sabin – here are links to their report cards. Diego is ranked 1736 out of 2202 schools and Sabin is ranked 1498. They may be better than some, but just not schools that should be on a list of good schools. So I guess my only point is really I wouldn’t take that list of schools with 100+ applications from out of boundaries as a source of information (without further inquiry) for purposes of compiling a good schools list.

    http://fh.suntimes.com/reportcards/results/index/1657 (de Diego)

    http://fh.suntimes.com/reportcards/results/index/1659 (Sabin)

  • 1139. local  |  April 6, 2013 at 10:48 am

    Make sure to note there are two lists… one of cpso commenters’ suggestions of good general neighborhood schools… and one that might NOT be good, but have “more than 100 out-of-boundary apps,” which are schools open for opinion…

    @ 1019. local | April 2, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    “What do you know or think about these schools as “good neighborhood schools?” They’re from the list (link above at 1008. anotherchicagoparent | April 2, 2013 at 3:44 pm) of schools with more than 100 out-of-boundary applications on a waitlist (correct?).

    “The only one I know even slightly is Barnard, which seems to be moving up, although a lot of staff just retired this past year, from what I’ve heard. It’s east of Bev-Morgan Park area and seems to be solid. There was some parent-charter school advocate, if I recall, who complained that her child would be placed in Barnard rather than Sutherland due to boundary changes. Remember that?

    “The schools below did not show up among “good neighborhood general program schools” already mentioned by cpso commenters. Maybe their general programs are considered high quality and are in demand. Don’t know…”


  • 1140. abellparent  |  April 6, 2013 at 10:53 am

    @1134 Cpsmom13 — Sorry to hear you did not have a good tour at Bell. My experience with the Bell RGC has been positive. In fact, I know numerous RGC parents that have moved or are actively trying to move their kids from other RGCs (Coonley, Edison, Beaubien, to name a few) into Bell’s program to follow in older sibling’s footsteps. But I guess every family/child has a different “fit” — which is the benefit of having multiple options to tour and consider. Can I ask whether you are contemplating an offer from Bell this year, or if you are just planning ahead for next year/first grade?? In any event, good luck.

  • 1141. SN dad  |  April 6, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    @1129. BridgeportMom. I toured Pritzker RGC a while ago. It seems a quality program. However, if MS is 1 mile and Pritzker is 8 miles, the commute difference is really huge. You need at least 2 hours/day for dropping off/picking up. For a school year of 200 days, you/your child will spend 400 hours (about 17 full days) on I-90/94 every school year. If I were you, I would decline Pritzker offer and wait for an offer from a closer RGC in 2nd/3rd round. Though there is a risk, with a score of 150, the chance of landing another spot seems good.

  • 1142. LynnJ  |  April 6, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    @cpsmom13 I visted Bell back in February or March this year. I did like the fact that they are about to expand and had gotten some major monetary award to do so. It seemed they were packed to the gills in and outside if the classroom. The principle lead the tour and was very upfront about the fact they were overcrowded and had very little space. Seemed to have a very robust program for deaf children. I did not like the fact that there was little to no visible diversity in the classrooms.

  • 1143. RS  |  April 7, 2013 at 9:57 am

    I am a parent with a daughter who is accepted to Cooley kindergarten. I am seriously considering not taking it and sending her to Waters, our neighborhood scool. It is two blocks away from our house and I have two younger kids that I know the chances are slim that they would all get into RGC. Anyone turned it down for neighborhood option? I also think being with the same 30 kids cannot be good for social skills. Any advice would be great.

  • 1144. AE  |  April 7, 2013 at 10:23 am

    @ RS — Several years ago, I turned down RGC offers from both Beaubien and Coonley in favor of my neighborhood school (Bell). Later in April, I received an offer to Bell’s RGC. My other (younger) children are also at Bell in the neighborhood program. I’m very happy to have all my kids at one school within just a few blocks of my house. Of course, my situation was slightly different because my child still ended up at an RGC (although there certainly was no guarantee when I made the decision to turn down SEES offers). In addition, I personally know of several other families at Bell who turned down offers to RGCs (Coonley, Pritzker) and did not eventually get offers to Bell’s RGC, so their kids are in the neighborhood program. These parents wanted to keep their kids together and valued the other benefits of a neighborhood school (friends nearby, minimal commute time, etc.). I have not heard them express regret. On the other hand, there are also several Bell families that have decided to split their kids up between SEES programs (usually Bell/Coonley — so it is still all walking distance). They are also happy. It is a very personal decision, and there is no right or wrong. Good luck w/ your decision!

  • 1145. Working mommy of 2  |  April 7, 2013 at 10:29 am

    AE: How has it been for your RGC daughter as far as having the same 28 classmates goes? I think that’s my biggest worry with RGCs, that if my kids don’t fit in for some reason it will be a social disaster. (Neither of mine are in one yet, one may get a later-round offer and the other is still too little. Just thinking it through so I can make a quick decision if I need to this summer.)

  • 1146. AE  |  April 7, 2013 at 10:44 am

    @ 1145 I prefer the dynamic in the neighborhood classrooms where kids are mixed around each year. That being said, my RGC kid’s class is made up of very nice kids. They are very close. And although there have been a few friendship dramas / playground squabbles, it seems to work itself out. (Also possibly helpful, the RGC and neighborhood kids at Bell are often mixed for “specials” (gym, art, music, library), and also at lunch and recess.) Bottom line: I would not decline an offer on those grounds alone — but that’s just me.

  • 1147. Working mommy of 2  |  April 7, 2013 at 10:50 am

    Thanks AE. They mix the specials at Coonley as well and it’s our neighborhood school, which is why it’s the only RGC/Classical we considered. I, too, think I’d prefer the neighborhood vibe, but at least he would see his Pre-K friends at specials. We may never get the call anyway, his score is spot-on last year’s cutoff, but since I see a lot of pros to both programs, I’m not too concerned either way. But just the wondering which it will be makes me crazy!

  • 1148. FirstTimer  |  April 7, 2013 at 11:09 am

    On my recent tour at Coonley the principal addressed that very concern, saying there are usual friendship squabbles throughout the school as there would be anywhere, but when they happen in the RGC classroom, he really encourages them to work it out and work it out quickly, because they are going to be together for 9 years.

    I thought it was encouraging he even recognized that that could be a parental fear. This tour was before I found out we for into Coonley RGC so I’m glad I remember him saying something about it.

    And I do like that there is a chance for mixing with everyone during “specials” (learning all my new terms) and lunch/recess, etc. – and that it’s in a good neighborhood – so theoretically an all around good (albeit overcrowded) mix of kids is encouraging.

    Like others I’m dealing with the reality that an RGC choice may mean my children are never together in school, but as our neighborhood school isn’t an option, commuting was always going to be in our future.

    Who knows where life will have taken us in a few years, so for sanity’s sake, I’m leaning towards taking the leap and being thankful for the opportunity of a great (and luckily for us, convenient) option for our eldest, and to mentally prep myself to go through this all again in a few years.

  • 1149. West Rogers park mom  |  April 7, 2013 at 11:35 am

    The same 28 kids for 9 years was a big concern of mine as well. My kid is sensitive and often feels left out in her classroom. When it escalated to downright bullying last year the staff at Coonley was extremely responsive and receptive. Even the parents involved were great in dealing with the problem. Kids are extremely resilent and forgiving – my kid now pals around with those that were being mean to her in the past. One thing I do make sure she is involved in no school activities to mix things up a little bit.

    However Coonley is growing and for the first time this year I am feeling that her teachers aren’t as tuned into my kid as earlier. I think this is due to the increased size of the school.

  • 1150. West Rogers park mom  |  April 7, 2013 at 11:41 am

    I typed the previous response on my phone:

    What I meant to say was I put my kid in activities where she can meet friends outside of school. I make more of an effort to do this because she is in class with the same kids year after year.

  • 1151. MD  |  April 7, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    @1143 re: offer to Coonley. Since you indicate your other children are young, why not accept the spot at Coonley & see if it is a good fit for your daughter…since Waters is your neighborhood school you can always decide to send your daughter there at a later time if Coonley is not a good fit or if it helps the family dynamic to have all siblings together.

    One thing I have learned being a CPS parent is NEVER try to predict the future. What may be true today (Coonley has little room for out of boundary siblings) may not hold true in a few years. Things are always changing within CPS!

    Re: having the same 28 kids for 9 years – this is one reason I prefer RGC within a neighborhood school vs. stand alone RGC’s. It does allow the children in the Options program to develop friendships outside of their class. As others have mentioned, each class seems to have its own “vibe”…and what may be a great class for one child may be a poor fit for another…but there is NO WAY to determine this in advance. I would also say (at least for my child’s class) that because these kids are together from such a young age they develop almost a “sibling like” relationship…they know each other very well and thus can be even more accepting of each others ‘quirks’. My son will often say “well that’s just so & so” as if it is no big deal.

  • 1152. cpsobsessed  |  April 7, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    I wouldn’t base the coonley decision on being with the same kids every year. The class evolves as new kids come in and 1-2 leave each year plus as other pointed out they interact with other kids.
    I had the same concern a few years ago and I asked several parents whose kids had gone through 8th grade in an RGC and they all said the same thing — they’re eager to move on for high schools, but they made some really great bonds during those 9 years.
    I’d base it more on the desire for advanced curriculum versus the pain of having kids in different schools. Pros and cons of each choice but at least they’re close by!

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 1153. momof3boys  |  April 7, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    I guess if you were so appalled with what you observed at Edsion, then I guess it’s not a school for you. Have you thought about homeschooling? if your child has serious sensory issues then home school. i would. why subject your kid? you always have a choice. For the record, my child has adhd and has Asperger’s . we have never asked for special treatment for our child except for his iep, but that’s mostly tutoring and such. as we a great relationship with the counselor and social worker at his SEHS. we’ve dealt with his issues and guided him throughout his schooling regarding his social issues and so far have never had any issues. and if he did have serious issues at his school, i would just homeschool and deal with it.

  • 1154. northside chicago  |  April 7, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    @working mommy of 2
    What is the cutoff for last year at Coonley RGC?

  • 1155. WorkingMommyof2  |  April 7, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    @1154: From what people reported here, for Coonley for Tier 4 last year it was 144. One poster reported getting in with that score, others reported they did not get in with that score.

    I can’t imagine how many kids get the same score with 3,000+ kids taking the test. Wonder how they break the tie. Assuming just randomly.

  • 1156. northside chicago  |  April 7, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    Thank you. I can’t get a clear picture for the later round scores as the discussion usually tapers off. Good luck!

  • 1157. Sped Mom  |  April 7, 2013 at 9:11 pm

    @ 1153. momof3boys | April 7, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    If you decided to homeschool, would you also work outside the home full-time? Would that be possible? Or would you be a stay-at-home-mom so you could homeschool?

  • 1158. HSObsessed  |  April 8, 2013 at 8:45 am

    Here’s a nice article with pictures about a kindergarten teacher at Goethe school in Bucktown, one of the neighborhood schools on the list posted @944 —


  • 1159. chicagogiftedtestprep  |  April 8, 2013 at 11:40 am

    Here’s a link to an upcoming South Loop event, taking place this weekend (April 13th) on Gifted and Classical Test Prep Options, that may be of interest to early elementary parents (PreK-4th).


  • 1160. chicagogiftedtestprep  |  April 8, 2013 at 11:42 am

    Here’s a link to an April 20th Lincoln Park event on Gifted and Classical Test Prep Options, that may be of interest to early elementary parents (PreK-4th).


  • 1161. Curious Dad  |  April 8, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    @1159: What’s the difference between the general and multiple options? I notice their price are difference.

  • 1162. chicagogiftedtestprep  |  April 8, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    @1162 General is for 1 person and multiple provides savings for 2 people.

  • 1163. Sheridanmom  |  April 8, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    Looks like there is big changes in store for Ray : http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20130408/hyde-park/ray-elementary-principal-removed-from-position

    Based on the previous comments on this board, I am guessing this is welcome changes by the parents.

  • 1164. Principal removal  |  April 8, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    Interesting about Ray “Ray Elementary School Principal Tatia Beckwith and Assistant Principal Jeffrey Alstadt are being removed from the school, according to a letter sent Friday to Local School Council members and parents from Chicago Public Schools.”

    Something similar happened at Solomon (principal removed) but no public word on it.

  • 1165. cpsobsessed  |  April 8, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    That’s pretty crazy about a Principal and AP being removed. I wonder what went down?? Ray is where Arne Duncan’s daughter went a while back before he moved to DC. I wonder if his kid/s are in public school down there?

  • 1166. local  |  April 8, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    @ 1165. cpsobsessed | April 8, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    For real? Don’t they go to Sidwell too?

  • 1167. local  |  April 8, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    I guess not. Google turned up this: “Duncan replied: She goes to Arlington [Virginia] public schools. That was why we chose where we live, it was the determining factor. That was the most important thing to me. My family has given up so much so that I could have the opportunity to serve; I didn’t want to try to save the country’s children and our educational system and jeopardize my own children’s education.”

  • 1168. Teasdad  |  April 8, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    @1164 Principal removed – could you please elaborate on Solomon’s principal? When that happened and how reliable is your source?

  • 1169. Principal removal  |  April 9, 2013 at 9:41 am

    You could call the school and ask, I’m not sure about the whens and whys. Principal Moy is back in acting capacity. Not sure how long she can or will stay.

  • 1170. Curious Dad  |  April 9, 2013 at 11:09 am

    @1168 No way, I can’t believe Mrs. Moy is being removed. She was very good!

  • 1171. Principal removal  |  April 9, 2013 at 11:20 am

    Moy is back, she is acting in place of the principal who lasted just a few months.

  • 1172. Former Decatur Parent  |  April 9, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    Don’t mean to discourage anybody who got into Decatur but we moved our kid from Decatur to Skinner North. Ms. K vs. Netterstorm in SN – vast difference. The entire school staff at Decatur are very tough to deal especially the Ms. K and VP Ms. J. I always felt that they are just not approachable. Always pretending to be very busy to avoid any questions or concern. Mr. Netterstrom on the other hand, I can email any time and he would respond. Amazing principal. I understand the school is doing great but that is due to the fact that the the kids are great, no special effort by the principal. Netterstrom on the other hand is approachable and has the leadership capacity. Decatur has a small building with no 7th and 8th grade. Students do get into Whitney young and Lane Tech but that percentage is going down drastically. There is no expansion plan give the building is so small and old. I don’t think anybody including the principal is trying at all to get a 7th and 8th grade. It is a mess – so if you have the option for Skinner North that is best place to go currently.

    These are just my thoughts.

  • 1173. southloopschool  |  April 9, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    For those accepted to the South Loop School RGC, the tour is tomorrow morning from 9-10AM (1212 South Plymouth Court); the next tour is May 22nd at the same time.The tours will review both the neighborhood program (1-8 grade) and RGC program (2-8).
    For incoming kindergarten families interested in the neighborhood program at South Loop (must live in the boundaries), the tour is this Friday at 9AM at the Branch Building/Early Childhood Center (1915 South Federal Street).

  • 1174. Nusrat  |  April 9, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    Does anyone know about a private busing company named ‘Just Us Carpooling’? Also, any info on carpooling from Hyde Park to Skinner North?

  • 1175. anonymouse teacher  |  April 9, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    1172, do you honestly believe principals “pretend to be busy” to avoid parents?

  • 1176. momof3boys  |  April 9, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    @1157 well, luckily for me, I already am a sahm. But if I was working, I would give it up for my kid. I will be the first to admit, that I tried the homeschool bit and did not like it at all, but if I had to do it for my child, I would make the sacrifice and do and learn everything I can to educate my child. My ds has social issues and we work through them. He goes to therapy on our own time. We have a great relationship with the counselors and social works at his HS but then again we don’t ever overwhelm them.

  • 1177. Antsy  |  April 10, 2013 at 10:40 am

    Just an FYI for people waiting for the admissions packet from Coonley: I just spoke to someone in the main office and she told me that the packets would be mailed out sometime this week and we should expect them next week.

    The CPS Kindergarten RGC offer letter said we’d receive the packet within a week of the letter so I figured I can’t be the only one freaking out over not hearing anything directly from Coonley, especially since the deadline for accepting the seat is this Friday.

  • 1178. alsowaiting  |  April 10, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    Does anyone want to share their thoughts on the SN open house from last night?

  • 1179. Former Decatur Parent  |  April 10, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    1175, not all of them.

  • 1180. Mom  |  April 10, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    @former Decatur parent: why did you decide now, three days before the deadline to respond to schools, to share your negative views on Decatur. Did you post this in good faith, thinking it would genuinely be helpful? most of us have been on here for two weeks eagerly looking for helpful information and, by now, have already made our decision.

  • 1181. Annoyed Mom  |  April 10, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    @1180 Mom…seriously maybe former Decatur parent has been busy. If you’ve already made your decision, it’s not going to sway you one way or the other. If one hasn’t, maybe they can take into consideration what the poster had to say. Regardless, your comments about if they genuinely posted and thought it would be helpful, etc. are actually the comments that aren’t helpful. You can keeo your rants.

  • 1182. WRogersMom  |  April 10, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    @1180 Agreed. I’ve been watching for Decatur posts since this thread was created. I also sought advice from a colleague whose children have been there for years. FWIW, she says that the principal comes off poorly, but that she is very good with the children and works well with the teachers. Honestly, I care more about the experience my child will have with the principal than the one I will have. What I saw going on in the classrooms on the recent Decatur tour impressed me and my colleague said that this is the norm. I also have another colleague who switched her kid from a magnet to SN this year. She likes the admin but is not crazy about her child’s teacher. There’s no guarantee of a good experience anywhere. I, for one, am confident in my choice to accept Decatur. No school is perfect, and we can’t have perfect knowledge about every school. I made the best decision I could.

  • 1183. LynnJ  |  April 10, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    @Alsowaiting 1178… I attended the SN open house and I’m a bit neutral on the experience. With all the hype about this school, my expectations were very high, you know like bright lights and hearing angels singing at the pearly gates. The open house was VERY crowded with other parents who have kids entering next school year and also a mix of other parents that more than likely will be applying for future school years. I noticed the staff that was represented were very young. I did hear a new term like “responsive classroom”, which is on my list to research. I was very impressed with some of the technology in the classrooms such as the smart boards and iPads. Liked the fact that kids get gym and spanish. I also liked the fact that they have some empty classrooms that will be used for adding other grades. If memory serves me correctly they go up to 5th grade now?? I was very shocked that they don’t use text books??? If there are any SN parents reading this, please elaborate on this concept. One thing that stuck out….. The gentleman that lead the presentation. He downplayed test scores quite a bit, which I found quite interesting given kids have to test into this school, and a huge measure of success of the school in the mind of most parents and CPS. Didn’t add up for me. Overall, it was a pretty good tour and appears to be a great school that I’m very interested in.

  • 1184. Shellie  |  April 10, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    @1180 Funny enough, I had just scanned and emailed my daughter’s 1rst grade acceptance to Decatur when I came back here and saw that posting–and I agree with you. I don’t think anyone’s suggesting, Annoyed Mom, that negative experiences shouldn’t be reported. It’s the manner in which the poster chose to report the experience that bothered me. Administrators that would rather act busy than talk to a parent with a problem. Administrators that honestly aren’t working toward expansion (a concern many parents had when I took the April 2 tour), the claim that “It is a mess–so if you have the option for Skinner North that is the best place currently”—None of those are helpful at all and sound more like sour grapes than anything else. This decision was truly agonizing for me, as I’m sure it was for other as well. Objective, negative experiences I am fine with—bashing a school you know some parents are excitedly sending their children to for the first time–not cool in my book.

  • 1185. cpsobsessed  |  April 10, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    One thing I recall from the Decatur tour (this was a while back now… wah, it goes so fast!) was that the principal said that they weren’t making expansion a priority for 7th and 8th grade because they knew that many of the kids would still leave for academic centers anyhow. Now with Lane on the north side it is probably even more true. That made sense to me. Of course it stinks to have to scramble for a spot, but I think there’s an “if it aint broke, don’t fix it” thought about it.

  • 1186. Shellie  |  April 10, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    @cpsobsessed: I agree, but I think the tide is turning just a little. The principal was very up front that parents at the tour were making a personal decision to send their kids to a school that only went to sixth grade, as well as the fact that they’ve had more 6th graders this year who are still waiting for AC spots than in years past. She had a couple of questions about expansion and said she’s working with a group of parents to put together a proposal for expansion but that the decision ultimately rests with the board. she also reiterated that the classical model was built on primary education (K-6, at one time K-3) and so expansion wasn’t guaranteed.

  • 1187. Decatur Parent  |  April 10, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    Hello everyone: Current Decatur parent here…You may be interested to know that the Local School Council at Decatur is actively working on a proposal for CPS to expand the school to include 7th and 8th grade, for a variety of reasons but mostly because Decatur is so awesome that we want our children to be there until they go off to high school (scrambling through hoops during 5th grade to be perfect (attendance, ISAT, grades) for the very few selective enrollment spots available at CPS to smart children is not ideal). And, for what it’s worth, I have found the administration to be lovely, responsive, and involved. So just because one person left for another school does not dictate the experience of all. Go Decatur!

  • 1188. Proud Papa  |  April 10, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    We just accepted a spot at Decatur. One of the most appealing aspects of the school was Ms. K’s palpable devotion to Decatur’s students (her “extended family,” in her words) and I found her no-nonsense approach refreshing. It seems that squeaky wheels sometimes get the grease in CPS, and it was clear that wouldn’t fly with her. While I’m thrilled that being digital BFFs with SN’s principal is what makes @Former Decatur Parent happy, I’d rather have a principal running the school than spending all day responding to one-off emails from parents. I’m not suggesting parents’ input should be ignored or marginalized, only that there are appropriate avenues for that input and “any time” emails ain’t it. If that makes Ms. K “unapproachable,” more power to her.

  • 1189. cpsobsessed  |  April 10, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    Blegh, I don’t like that kind of principal, personally. The Coonley principal when we joined not only got the school saved from closure, got the RGC and remodel going, gave repeat tours to new parents, but still was out on the playground every morning if anyone wanted to talk to her. I really liked that.

    On the other hand, now that I am an old timer with a 4th grader and i think of all the millions of questions that parents of new kindergarteners have (especially those of obsessive parents like myself who just got a kid into a new, challenging school) I might want to keep out of sight as well. It’s got to get overwhelming to answer every single question/concern. I guess i liked having the personal appearance each day. Even last night the current principal came outside, looked around the playground, and scooped up a couple random items that kids had left outside.

  • 1190. Proud Papa  |  April 10, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    à chacun son goût

  • 1191. anon  |  April 10, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    I have no dog in the decatur vs. skinner debate, but I definitely would prefer a more accessible principal. Obviously it can be taken too far if the principal is literally spending the entire day responding to parental emails, but a skilled administrator should be able to find a reasonable balance, rather than closing off inquiries that are not made through a formal channel.

  • 1192. merelyastudent  |  April 10, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    I’m a former Decatur student, and there was talk for expansion a while back… maybe 5 years ago? We have tried to get a 7th and 8th grade for a long time, but since we’re an SE school with fixed enrollment, we could never be overcrowded, so CPS would never approve an expansion. The only way we would get a 7th and 8th grade is if we moved to an entirely new building. Since it seems like the hope for expansion is rekindled, maybe that is being proposed?

  • 1193. Former Decatur Parent  |  April 10, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    Proud papa et all.

    Really there is not need to be sarcastic here. It is a forum to inform parents and I am sharing something I felt. If you can vouch for Ms. K’s devotion just by talking to her may be once, then you made the right decision! Sorry that I did not share soon enough because I don’t have a kid going to KG this year.

    I just expressed here why I moved to SN. What I meant in case it was not clear to you which seems to be the case, is that Mr. Netterstrom is approachable. Obviously I was not emailing him back and forth about my child progress coz that would be a teacher question but some administrative stuff yes I would ask him and he would respond. You might not need that in a principal but some parents might because you get only one tour before accepting. The vibe that got from Ms. K was – ‘our school is top notch, you want it – take it else we don’t care’. The vibe Mr. Netterstrom has is more warm and friendly and it puts my mind at ease to send my child there. The building is new so we know kids will be there for a while as opposed to Decatur. He addresses the genuine concerns of parents and runs the school which is a top performing school as well and he too has only 24-hours a day! He works hard with a vision. He is devoted and that I can see.

    I did not say anything about the teachers. The teachers were great. SN is performing at par with Decatur and has 7th and 8th grade with new building and facilities. Principal is warm with a smile always ( not digital buddy) and would listen. So all + for SN.

    Good luck to all.

  • 1194. cpsmom13  |  April 10, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    I don’t understand why so many parents are reacting to Former Decatur Parent’s post in such a sarcastic manner. I dont think theres any ned for them to take her comments so personally or to be so offended by them. This is a forum where everyone is allowed to expess their opinion. If some of you disaree with her advice, dont take it.

  • 1195. Decatur123  |  April 10, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    Did anyone accepting a spot, receive the registration packet from Decatur?

  • 1196. Questioner  |  April 10, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    @1172, do you know why the percentage of Decatur students getting into WYoung and Lane is decreasing? If so, please share.

  • 1197. merelyastudent  |  April 10, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    I can answer that for you, since I graduated from Decatur last year. The percentages are actually the same as last year, just class of 2013 is a double class and my grade was a single. But what caused the initial drop was the reworking of the tiers and the huge amount of tier 3 and 4 on the north side. The present kids and the next couple grades weren’t chosen under the tier system, but the old racial one. So what we have is a huge block of kids from tier 4 competing for the same spots. This problem will probably iron itself out as kids that were accepted in kindergarten under the tier system get to graduating age.

  • 1198. WRogersMom  |  April 10, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    @1195 No. We called OAE to confirm they received our acceptance. We emailed the school a while ago because the letter said we would receive a registration packet in a week. The school said that they have to get the list of acceptances from OAE first before sending packets. We were going to follow up again– maybe tomorrow. If we learn anything, I’ll post it.

  • 1199. cpsobsessed  |  April 10, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    @merelyastudent – very insightful!

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 1200. Not a Decatur parent, but...  |  April 10, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    I debated about posting, but thought I would throw a little support in the direction of Former Decatur Parent. I am NOT a Decatur parent, so my knowledge is second hand. However, I have a friend who also pulled her child from Decatur after several years because of negative experiences (almost identical to those described by Former Decatur Parent — difficulty getting any kind of response or positive assistance from administration regarding an issue that arose). I have another friend who turned down a Decatur offer after a conversation with the principal which offended her. On the flip side, I have yet another friend who was quite happy there. It find it interesting that people could have such drastically different perspectives regarding the same school — but that seems to be the case sometimes, not just at Decatur. I guess, like all CPS schools, you need to see if it is the right fit for you.

  • 1201. cpsobsessed  |  April 10, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    I think what you say is true about certain teachers too. Parents and kids have different preferences in what they expect from a teacher or school admin. What one person loves another person can hate. Obviously decatur is doing something right academically though, so you have to weigh your personal preference. I dealt with the same thing at our montessori school. I felt the principal was a great education leader but I didn’t care for her personal style and couldn’t stay.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 1202. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  April 10, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    @1187 I think you’ll find yourself facing the same uphill struggle that Lincoln Elementary faces. The capital budget is very tight and building expansion is very expensive. When schools are being closed, justifying the expansion of others becomes difficult if there is any space nearby. Decatur and Lincoln have very high ISAT scores and strong reputations, so from the POV of CPS HQ, what’s the upside to putting more money into them? Just as parents at Lincoln don’t want the school split up, I doubt that parents at Decatur would be pleased if CPS created a Decatur Middle School at another building blocks away with a different principal.

  • 1203. Fact  |  April 10, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    I think Former Decatur Parent is Fake Decatur Parent. They mention that Skinner North is a new building (post #1193)…it is a very old building, maybe new paint? Its the former cabrini green school once called Schiller School at 640 W. Scott St. This is not a new building. Just sayin.

  • 1204. Fact  |  April 10, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    Starting to wonder if parents that did not make Decatur first round are starting to make up lies in an attempt to make the school sound rotten, so other parents will decline their offers, and then they will have a better chance during second/third rounds…

  • 1205. Proud Papa  |  April 10, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    @Former Decatur Parent et al,
    If I offended anyone with my sarcastic tone, I apologize. Former Decatur Parent posted a criticism of Decatur based on his/her experience. I posted a contrary viewpoint based on my own experience. We all know there are many pros and cons of the various SEES schools and that there is no single “best” or “right” school. My post was intended to point out that what some see as a con of a school can be seen as a pro by others. We all have to do what we think is best for our own families based on our own experiences. We decided to enroll our child at Decatur based, in part, on our favorable reaction to the principal. I thought some might appreciate that viewpoint. I apologize for my tone, but not for my opinion based on my experience.

    By the way, fwiw, we toured SN in the fall and know families with kids there now. We found Mr. Netterstrom particularly impressive and enthusiastic. I can see why people like him and the school. We just made a different choice based on our assessment of the factors most important to us.

  • 1206. Decatur123  |  April 10, 2013 at 11:21 pm

    @1198 Thanks 🙂

  • 1207. Shellie  |  April 11, 2013 at 8:50 am

    Some of what I’ve heard (from a family with a K student there) about Decatur’s expansion (and maybe that’s the wrong word in this circumstance) is actually moving the school to a building that’s been closed (like Trumbull on Ashland). What the chances are of that happening, I have zero idea. But one aspect of Decatur I really hesitated about was not so much that it only went to sixth grade but that the facility is really tiny and they are clearly busting at the seams (not that I thought, as I accepted the spot for my daughter, it was a major problem).

  • 1208. 2nd rounds????  |  April 11, 2013 at 10:13 am

    Any idea when 2nd round offers get mailed?

  • 1209. Dana  |  April 11, 2013 at 11:31 am

    I called OAE an they said next Friday at the earliest because they have to process the responses. They said that some magnets may call because they handle their own waiting list, but usually send letters initially and start calling the closer we get to school. OAE handles all letters for the SEES.

  • 1210. SN and B Mom  |  April 11, 2013 at 11:53 am

    The description in #1193 of Skinner North as a “new” building made me scratch my head, too. My kid attends there (truly!) and it is an old building, the former Schiller School that served Cabrini Green for decades. It is a throwback, for sure, but inside, it has a very warm, happy vibe and is well-kept. The description of the principal in that same post is accurate, though. He IS approachable and very concerned about the quality of education SN provides.

    Per #1183, I actually attended the SN open house to answer any new parent questions, and the principal DID say that while it’s nice to have temporary bragging rights as having the highest standardized test scores, they’re not the most important thing. Teaching kids to love learning, dig deeper into topics and be good people are the priorities there. If SN drops down the list to 2, 3, 5 it’s ok, (notice he did not say “100”–that would NOT be ok, I’m sure!),as long as they are educating the whole child, from academics to the social-emotional stuff.

    I truly believe that Skinner North wants great test scores, but not if it jeopardizes the everyday learning and spirit of our kids. In my opinion, it’s simply not a cutthroat place. If you want a school that focuses on preparing your kid for one standardized test from August through March, then maybe SN is not for you. You have to find the school culture that matches your family’s values or you will beat your head against the wall for years. A school that drills students on the surface learning required for great ISAT scores would make ME crazy. I want my kid to enjoy school, be a well-rounded person and think deeper thoughts than “which bubble do I fill in?” or “what do I need to include in my essay to get the maximum points?” on a test.

    #1183–I was skeptical of the “Responsive Classroom” stuff, at first. Now, I am a true believer, I just wish we would do more of it at home. It really works. And it’s not just one classroom–it’s the whole school, so our kids receive the same respect and discipline no matter if they are in the hall, homeroom, library or in a special. Actually, I am amazed and pleased at the level of teamwork the SN teachers employ. They all seem to know what is going on with the curriculum and work hard to coordinate their efforts across the grades.

    Yes, SN only goes to 5th grade now, but it will go all the way through 8th in 2015.

    No, you heard that correctly–there are no “textbooks” at SN, at least for now. My older child at an RGC carries 1,000 pounds of books home every day, so this is a huge relief! My kid is in first grade at SN, so I can only say that in K and 1st grade, I have seen worksheets and thought-provoking writing assignments on copy paper come home. They have used a variety of source materials, such as whole books, magazine articles, the internet. I’m not sure about the official thinking on this, but I like to think it gives our teachers and students freedom to explore topics and differentiate for the various abilities and interests in the room, rather than take a prescribed path set by a publisher. That’s not to say our teachers do not have a defined curriculum, they do–it’s not some hippie-dippy, anti-establishment experiment.

    Maybe my husband and I drank too much of the Skinner North KoolAid, but we think magic happens in that weird little, retro building. Parents are partners and kids are respected. The whole child, not one random test score 3/4 of the way through the years, is the focus. If you are considering multiple offers, think about who your child is, and what your family values for the long-term. That should help make your decision easier. Best of luck to you all.

  • 1211. Dang  |  April 11, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    For anyone hoping for second round SN, we declined our spot. We’re tier 3.

  • 1212. NC Mom  |  April 11, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    Just attended to Skinner West open house….can’t believe 45 minutes were performances by their students and just squeezing in 15 minutes from teachers, Q/A and tour of the school. These are all prospective parents wanting to hear more about the school and not just to see other kids perform. Don’t get me wrong, they are talented kids but I wanted to hear more from teachers and what the school has to offer.
    I have a different feeling about SW now….

  • 1213. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  April 11, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    @1210 SN and B Mom

    I had one SN parent of K student say that her child had close to an hour of homework each night — this was before the 7-hour day.

    That sounded excessive to me, but it was just one child — some kids zoom through homework, others take more time (or resist doing it).

    How is the homework load in K and 1st?

  • 1214. Newcomer question  |  April 11, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    dumb question, but: what do we do to decline a spot? Do I have to actively do something or just not send in the paperwork?

  • 1215. LynnJ  |  April 11, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    #1210 SN & B Mom. Thanks for the post. I agree with many points you made. I enjoyed the tour. YOu do not realize how long I wanted to visit the school (have called multiple times since my daughter was 2 and she is now 4). Also up until reading posts here, I did not realize this was the old Schiller school. From the tour, I did realize it was an older school, but didn’t know the full history of the building per se. As you mentioned, you must find what works best for your child and family. I am looking for an environment that is nuturing, but also encourages independence and confidence. Also looking for a family environment given my daughter is and will be an only child. We have no plans to grow our family. 🙂 But at the same time, want an enriching environment beyond text books.

    Can you eloborate on the music, arts and language program? It was so many parents there, I could not get all my questions answered.

  • 1216. abcs  |  April 11, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    NC Mom–I agree with your assessment of the SW open house. The only explanation I can think of is that they viewed this more as a welcoming/celebratory type of event rather than one designed for information-gathering—perhaps many parents did their major info gathering in the fall before applying to schools? I was not one of those parents, however, and was looking for info, not performances by other people’s children. Certainly, one or two performances would have sufficed (rather than, what, 10?). It’s still an impressive school, but perhaps they need better event planning and management!

  • 1217. LynnJ  |  April 11, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    I visted Skinner West today. I am thrilled at what I saw and heard on this tour!!!! It was so refreshing to see the children perform music and singing. It was great to see full-time art, music and language onsite. The school is very modern from a technology perspective, and from the comments from the principal, she is being proactive with a plan for possible expansion of classroom space and expansion beyond 8th grade. I oberved the children moving about in the hallways. Refreshing to see so much diversity among the student body. These children seemed very happy, engaged and they were quite mannerable passing through all the parents raiding their school. 🙂 Overall a great tour.

    I also visited NTA last night for the open house. Great facility, with room to expand beyond where they are now. The principal, Mr C. seemed very approachable and has a good vision of where he wants to the school to be, especially with the new RGC. There has been some improvement overall with standardized scores. I remember in some past posts here on CPSO, I think someone mentioned there were scores and things on the walls of the school. I did not notice that, and perhaps I overlooked it. However, I did see percentages on some of the doors related to attendance. Great technology (iPads, smart boards, computer lab, etc) Loved the pool. I would be interested in keeping in touch with parents on this board that will be accepting their spots to NTA to see how things are going. They have not hired their gifted teacher yet, but are very close. The group of parents there was extremely diverse, which I really can appreciate (diversity is at the top of my list).

    Would be interested in other opinions of SW and NTA.

  • 1218. Jen  |  April 11, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    Seems like expansion into high school is becoming the next big thing among the top schools. It’s an interesting alternative to trying to establish new SEHSs I guess, given that these schools are already getting it right.

  • 1219. SN mom  |  April 11, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    @Christopher Ball
    This year it takes our 1st grader anywhere between 10-30 minutes each day for homework.

  • 1220. SN and B Mom  |  April 11, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    #1213 (Christopher Ball)

    At Skinner North in K and first, it’s about 15-30 minutes a night, plus 20 minutes of reading to self/reading to someone. I know several older kids at the school (3rd and 4th garders) and they say it’s 15-30 minutes, as well. I think it was more before the longer day was enacted (which was last year for SN, as a Pioneer School).

    The cool thing is that the kids are given a weekly homework packet, so you can plan ahead. For example, if your kid has a class or sport two nights a week, he can do the homework in advance or on the weekend. Very real world and humane, in my opinion. There is definitely value in doing the homework on the day assigned, because it reinforces what was covered during the day, but it doesn’t always work out that way.

    There are quarterly projects on top of that. Every kid works on the same project at the same time (age appropriateness-adjusted of course) and those take longer and may require several steps. For example, this winter was a young writer’s project. The kids submitted their storyboard early in the quarter and got teacher feedback. Then they did a “sloppy copy” and got feedback, then they pulled the whole thing together and wrote and published their books. Kids had months to work on them, but most scrambled to finish that final week (like most humans do!).

  • 1221. SN and B Mom  |  April 11, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    #1215–I think the Responsive Classroom philosophy and practice has helped my child become more independent, yet still feel supported. They are not coddled or talked down to or punished. They are told they are responsible for their behavior and given logical consequences when needed. A common things heard in the K and first grade: “I am sorry I did X. It probably made you feel Y. How can I fix your feelings?” (and then they do that activity, like tape someone’s ripped paper back together). They learn that they are part of a community that values their input, particularly in the daily Morning Meeting. They learn to walk away for a minute if they need a break from activity. It’s pretty simple, but effective.

    As to language, our kids learn Spanish at SN. My other child learns Latin at his RGC, so it’s interesting! SN has full-time art, music, Spanish and PE teachers. My kid has learned so much about nutrition in the PE class that I feel like a bad parent when I serve chicken nuggets or cookies!

    The kids all have one hour of specials per day, so it depends on the day. For k-2, the students have two 30-minute specials per day, so my first grader gets Spanish, Music, Art and PE two times a week. One the fifth day, he has two extra ones of the above.

  • 1222. FirstTimer  |  April 11, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    I just called and officially declined our magnet acceptance (LaSalle II) in favor of our Coonley RGC acceptance (which I had already scanned/emailed in last week).

    I know it’s what we decided as a family and I do believe is best for our specific situation and I’m happy and even excited with our decision, but man, it’s amazing how much your brain starts to mess with you in these situations!

    Do I still have the email confirmation I received after faxing/emailing my SEES acceptance? Can I trust it? Will it stand up in court if they say they never got it? Is there going to be some sort of freak shutting down or alien abduction of Coonley in the next few weeks/months and then we won’t have a school in the Fall? Will I read something on this blog in the next 24 hours that will make me completely change my mind and make me wish I hadn’t declined my magnet offer? Did I actually ever get a Coonley offer or was that a figment of my imagination? Is Kindergarten really necessary?


    I swear, I used to be a relatively sane person before this whole process began 😉

    So next comes actually telling our child what’s going on and alerting our current school.

    Baby steps…baby steps…a little wine…then more baby steps…


  • 1223. CPS Questioner  |  April 11, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    No snark intended – but do people really put down schools without visiting them first? I’m truly surprised that parents would place their child in a place without doing live research about such a significant decision. If so – what are the reasons? I’m really curious.

  • 1224. Gabby  |  April 11, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    Of course we do. It’s such a slim chance that you will get an offer so why waste hours and hours touring places you’ll never get into? I just put down schools that were popular and close to us. When we got an offer from one they had an open house before the acceptance date.

  • 1225. FirstTimer  |  April 11, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    @1223CPS Questioner:

    I definitely put down schools on my application without having physically visited them (though I did a ton of research and also made sure they were geographically convenient for us before including them on our application), but I just couldn’t get to them all. And I don’t know if I could have accepted a spot at a school I hadn’t ever toured.

    In hindsight, it all worked out. Out of 26 applications, we received only 2 offers (one magnet that I hadn’t yet visited, one RGC that I had visited).

    I luckily was able to tour the magnet last week so that was fantastic. Luckily I had already visited the RGC and I’m so glad I had because they did not offer a supplemental visit over this decision period.

    That would have been really, really tough if I hadn’t because I agree – that’s a huge leap of faith having never set foot in the building – but sometimes life happens and you may need to take that leap.

  • 1226. 1223 opinion on touring  |  April 11, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    Yes… I put down many schools (magnet, gifted, sees) all sight unseen. I had no idea how my pre k child would test but, I wanted to have as many options as possible once he completed his test. I work full time as does my husband…. So, we could not tour all gifted, all sees, and all magnet schools. Also, in my opinion only, it didn’t make sense to tour a bunch of schools we might never get in to based on how my child tested. I figured put as many down as we could drive to…. Then test him and see if we get offers. I am glad we did not tour a bunch of gifted schools because he did not score high enough in tier 4 to be selected. We do have a shot at classical…. So we will wait and see if any subsequent offers come through….Good luck all!!!!

  • 1227. Amitabh C  |  April 11, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    @1132. Southside CPS Parent

    Thank you for the information. Another parent said that the bus picks up at 6:40 am in the morning. So it is about an hour-long drive.

  • 1228. H  |  April 11, 2013 at 5:30 pm


    The main thing for us was to be comfortable with the schools we ranked at the top of our SEES application, because those rankings actually affect which school (if any) you get offered.

    For the magnets and the neighborhood schools, you get enough slots to put down that, at least for us, it wasn’t a matter of having to ration slots to the schools we wanted the most. We did visit most of the ones we were seriously interested in.

  • 1229. H  |  April 11, 2013 at 5:33 pm


    I did call in addition to getting an email confirmation (though I didn’t record the call), so I know what you mean about being paranoid. I thought about also sending a hardcopy with delivery confirmation but decided that might create more confusion than anything.

  • 1230. local  |  April 11, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    @ 1218. Jen | April 11, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    God bless the child that’s got his own…

  • 1231. Jen  |  April 11, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    @1230 local ?

    Anyway, I did apply to schools we didn’t get to visit, I picked ones I knew were good, and ones I’d heard of here as being good. Last year we got an offer from Hamilton and I toured after the offer, we ended up not taking it for various reasons, but none that would have deterred me from applying if I’d toured before I filled out the form.

  • 1232. JLM  |  April 11, 2013 at 8:41 pm

    @LynnJ- I was at the SW open house today but ran for the tour at the first possible moment, so didn’t hear the principal’s Q&A. What did she have to say about a poosible expansion?

    I think it’s crazy that the building is only 4 years old and they’re running out of space – even if they assumed there would be 1 (rather than 2) neighborhood class per year, that would be 9 classrooms needed for neighborhood. Right now they have only 5 neighborhood classes, I believe (2 K, 2 1st, and 1 2nd), and they’re out of space. They had to know they were going to have 2 Classical classes each year, right?

    I would say that CPS amazes me once again, but I’ve been involved in 2 corporate moves that were going to give the company the right amount of space for the next 10 years, and both times the space lasted 2 or 3 years before no longer fitting their needs.

    I liked the school itself, but agree that I could’ve done without the gazillion musical performances. I don’t even want to watch my own kid for that long!

  • 1233. cpsobsessed  |  April 11, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    JLM: I think chicago parents are lemming/sheeple/etc (myself included) and we all flock to the same schools, overcrowding them. If we could only find an easy way to spread out, there would be more “good” schools.

    So funny what you said about the musical performances. I went to one at school this morning and there is definitely a mental limit. 🙂

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 1234. LynnJ  |  April 11, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    @jlm she didn’t go into a ton of detail but she did mention that she could use 9 classrooms and that she is in conversation with CPS, the alderman in that ward and Rahm Emmanuel about space issues. It is a lovely space. I did notice a large grassy area to the West I the front entrance where the kids have a play area. I wonder what the plan is? Again she didn’t mention alot other than the conversations are happening. Any SW parents know about future plans?

  • 1235. MOMX3  |  April 11, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    my dd got into skinner west and we’re still weighing our decision. she has 2 younger siblings and we’re wondering if they don’t test well or get an offer to skinner west classical, are they considered for the sibling lottery for the neighborhood magnet side?

  • 1236. West Loop Dad  |  April 11, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    Skinner West

    April 11, 2013 open house.

    I have heard rumours of overcrowding in this school. Today I attended the open house/tour of the school. I was able to confirm the unpleasant problem: clases are being taught in the hallways in improvised “classrooms”. My impression of this school is that it is following the paths of South Loop Elementary.

    I can see two possible solutions to the problem:
    1) Expand the building to the west by taking space from Skinner Park, or
    2) Move the Classical program out of the building in order to make space for all the children moving to the neighborhood trying to get access to this school’s neighborhood program.

    Ideal would be solution 1). Do you think given the current state of the city of Chicago finances this is possible? I really doubt it.

    My guess is that the classical program will face a similar fate as South Loop RGC in the very near future.

    Do you want to have a peek at the improvised space? I took a couple of pictures so people could see themselves. It is very sad.


  • 1237. Decatur Past  |  April 11, 2013 at 10:44 pm

    Congrats to all accepted into Decatur! I’ve heard from friends that 22/60 kids did not get into an AC. Last year I believe it was 10/30. So it was a little worse this year. Overall I think it is just that there is more competition to get into the ACs. The situation is made worse because OAE no longer comes to Decatur to talk to the 5th/6th grade parents about applying for 7th grade as they did in the past. Instead, families are left to fend for themselves just like everyone else. This would be o.k. but for the fact that many enteres when they were being told that their kids would pretty much get an AC offer for 7th. The administration has not steppped in to fill the void left by the OAE not coming to talk to families. They have done nothing. For some aggresive parents who read this blog all the time, that is o.k., but for others, they get a very rude awakening in 6th grade once the letters come. Sadly, the graduating class does not share the hard lessons they’ve learned with the next class so it repeats itself in terms of parents not applying to RGCs or Magnets as a back-up; some kids end up at neighborhood schools, basically repeating the same material/using same books in 7th grade that they used in 6th grade at Decatur – not ideal. I’ve heard the principal really is not committed to making a 7th grade happen. I’m no longer there, so don’t know if that is the case or not. Principals can be replaced and that is what I recommend if she is not LEADING the effort to get a 7th grade (sorry, I’ve got examples in my area of principals who just rock it to get things done like expansions!). She has some positives and while I never had problems with her, I personally know many who did mainly due to her inflexibily. Her sticking with the book was good sometimes and very fair and other times just very infuriating – not a visionary by any definition. Always pretty nice to the kids – it was the VP’s role get after the kids and she was very scary and effective at doing that! Security guard extremely rude to parents – make people stay out in the rain unnecessarily and other rude things that ruffled some feathers and even made one parent cry (she thought he was discriminating against her, but no, he’s just kind of a jerk when he wants to be). Lots of turnover at Decatur but I don’t know if this is the norm or not. At least half of the kids we started with in K were gone by 6th, due to not liking it, moving, getting into an RGC that goes to 8th asap, securing a spot a grade earlier than 6th to ensure have spot somewhere in 7th, etc. The kids that replaced them fell into place academically and socially pretty quickly and it was nice to have new faces every year. Homework load was more reasonable than what I’ve heard reported at the RGCs. Math curriculum somewhat lacking – very few Decatur kids end up in Algebra in the ACs (too much skipping around and too much time on ISAT prep versus moving kids to be ready for AC Algebra?). Tight parent community, lots of playdates, fun family events, great Young Rembrands Art program, great Chicago Children’s Choir opp, great holiday shows, Founders lunch, and other traditions. Overall a very positive experience and I wouln’t have traded it for another school (other than one that had an 8th grade).

  • 1238. Disappointed Mom  |  April 11, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    Skinner West
    I attended the tour today and I was really expecting a lot more from this school. Since moving to the neighborhood I had only heard wonderful things so my expectations were really high. I agree with everything that has been said on previous reports about the open house and I want to add my impressions about the lunch room.
    According to the principal, the mayor has visited the school, praising them for their high scores. I don’t see what is so special about that when all CPS classical programs have very high scores because that is what they are supposed to have after admitting only kids who need to pass rigorous entrance exams. That being said, if those schools are the jewels of the city, I was surprised to see that their lunch food was not certified by Michelle Obama’s program to fight childhood obesity. I had read that on the CPS report card and I confirmed it after watching several empty pizza boxes on top of the trash cans in the lunch room! Kuddos for their recycling program but it would be nice to have a healthier lunch menu as well.

  • 1239. albanyparker  |  April 11, 2013 at 11:13 pm

    Bless you, 1211. Keeping hope alive in Tier 3 (oh man, that sounds so sad…)

  • 1240. 7th grade vacancies?  |  April 12, 2013 at 12:50 am

    There has been a lot of talk about how Decatur does not have 7th and 8th.

    It dawned on me recently that by the time my child gets to 6th grade, there will be 3 additional north side SEES 7th grade classes that don’t exist today (1 Coonley class and 2 Skinner North classes). While someone has to leave for a Decatur kid to get a spot, these days it sounds like many SEES 6th graders are applying to ACs and are getting in and moving on. The allure of guaranteed high school admission is hard to pass up.

    Anyone at Edison or Bell care to weigh in on whether Edison and Bell 6th graders are going to ACs?

    That is inevitably going to create 7th grade vacancies in SEES and who better to fill them than Decatur kids that did not get into an AC. I wouldn’t expect there to be very many kids in a SEES that goes through 8th looking to move and I’d be surprised if there were very many neighborhood or magnet kids wanting to move to SEES for the first time for the dreaded 7th grade year.

    I wonder if 6th grade departures will pose a challenge for SN when it eventually has 2 seventh grade classes. Assuming the performance of the SN kids will be like the Decatur kids – many will have the option of moving to ACs. I wonder if we’ll eventually see SN absorb many of the Decatur kids that don’t get an AC spot.

  • 1241. AnotherSWMom  |  April 12, 2013 at 4:02 am

    West Loop Dad

    Your prediction is possible. Parents I know also have the same concern – Classical Program will face out to favor the Neighborhood Program.

    This Fall, the school should be adding another 2 neighborhood K class. It’s just going to be worse!

  • 1242. Skinner West  |  April 12, 2013 at 4:14 am

    Call cps they told me my child got and offer at SW throught tier 4 he missed thr rank score. R 99.6 M 99.8 wow So I guess all the kids at SW in the rank score they are above those numbers. Again wow very high score this year.

  • 1243. anonymouse teacher  |  April 12, 2013 at 6:04 am

    Re: Decatur Expansion. Parents need to forget that one. For its K-6 program, Decatur is not terribly overcrowded. We’ve got schools where kids are having classes in hallways, closets and old bathrooms. Schools that have no art room, music room, library, auditorium or lunchroom simply because every available space is classroom space. There are far, far many other schools standing in line way ahead of Decatur that truly need an expansion/addition first. You can’t put 300 students OVER what CPS itself says is capacity at my little school, tell us there is no money for an expansion and then give one to Decatur. Never going to happen.

  • 1244. Iheoma  |  April 12, 2013 at 6:34 am

    As a parent of a 6th grader moving into an AC (not from Decatur), I understand the angst and stress people feel about the middle school/high school admission issue. However, the classical school model was not based on a k-8 grade structure (as someone stated previously). So I don’t think that the principal lacks vision for not trying to make the school fit into a CPS k-8 model when it shouldn’t.

    I’m also a bit surprised by the number of parents who assume that SEES students are expected feeders into ACs. There are many kids who are not developmentally ready for an AC – which really requires some of the emotional and developmental maturity of a 9th grader. Also requiring parents to move to a different developmental position as well. There is a big difference from being a parent in a k-8 building vs high school. Just because a kid can do the work academically it doesn’t mean that he/she will be successful in the AC setting. Maybe Decatur realizes that – maybe not. To me, the real measure of the school is how it supports and prepares all students for the best fit for their next steps (e.g. another SEES, AC, magnet, neighborhood, private, ect.) If no one is doing that – there’s the real problem.

  • 1245. Jen K  |  April 12, 2013 at 6:53 am

    @1243: While physically constructing an addition today most likely isn’t going to happen, I think it’s important that the school (any school) has a plan for the future. By coming up with a proposal now, they will be ready to act if CPS does want to expand Decatur’s program. They also may consider relocating if a facility exists that would meet their needs. I assume CPS is aware of the incredible demand for SEES seats & would consider making more available if financially possible.

  • 1246. Decatur Past  |  April 12, 2013 at 7:10 am

    #1244 lheoma – Agree with you abou the big difference between K-8 and an AC and some kids not being ready for it. Some kids may also not be ready for a move into a new school in the critical 7th grade year. Transitioning to other than an AC with a SEES H.S. in the critical 7th grade year is not idea since 7th grade grades are used in High school admissions. Plus there is a lot of heartbreak, pain and drama for 12 year olds. With regards to the Classical model, I believe other CPS classical schools do go up to 8th grade, so the model has been changed from the original at least at some of the Classical schools. Secondly, there are other options other than expansion for Decatur, like sharing a school that is currently underutilized.

  • 1247. curious  |  April 12, 2013 at 7:27 am

    I heard from someone that students who get accepted into the AC will no longer guarantee a spot in that High School soon. I dont know when will CPS implement that policy, but according to the source, it will happen. Has anyone heard of this news before???

  • 1248. WRP Mom  |  April 12, 2013 at 7:47 am

    @1240, I’m a former Decatur parent whose child is presently at an AC. She has classmates who came from other SEES (Edison, Beubien, Pritzker). I think it has been the case for years that some leave for AC’s that feed into a SEHS. SEES families are generally well informed re selective enrollment options. But MOST of her classmates came from other types of schools..magnet, neighborhood, private. There is a huge demand and such a limited number of slots.

    Most Decatur families I knew didn’t only apply to AC’s but cast a wide net & applied to RGC/classicals, magnets, IG. As OAE goes through the later rounds, I expect more Decatur 6th graders will get offers to Taft (it happens every year). 7th grade RGC offers rarely come through in the 1st round because they have to have a count of who’s leaving first. So RGC offers may not come though until May/June. It’s especially rough for this year’s Decatur 6th graders because it’s a double classroom grade so the number of kids looking for slots is greater.

  • 1249. Iheoma  |  April 12, 2013 at 7:47 am

    Decatur Past – I see your point about moving kids in the crucial 7th grade year. I also see your point about other Classical schools doing K-8. IMHO, I think that time and energy spent trying to add two grades isn’t worth the energy it takes away from running a strong school – UNLESS they really try to do the classical school model right and run it all the way through high school. Maybe a Disney style expansion? I know that’s not happening…..,

  • 1250. HS Mom  |  April 12, 2013 at 8:14 am

    Kids that apply to and are accepted to A/C’s come from all different types of schools, not just SEES – including private and neighborhood schools. So yes, there is a lot more competition for these seats now especially with neighborhood schools improving as they are. Many schools differentiate learning and have kids working 1 or 2 levels above grade level (not just SEES). With the promise of a HS seat more and more qualified kids applying for the same schools that already had excessive applications. WRP Mom has a good point, families need to look beyond A/C’s as their answer.

    Iheoma – agreed that there is a developmental issue with moving to A/C but I also think more people are willing to overlook that for the guarantee of HS.

    @1247 Very interesting that they are thinking of changing that. Thoughts on that? This may help in many ways.

  • 1251. dazed and confused :P  |  April 12, 2013 at 8:16 am

    Just wanted to let people know that we will be declining our 4th grade slot at Skinner North. Absolutely no knock on Skinner North, we were hoping to get both kids in the same school. Our elder is at Decatur but our younger with a 99/97 [tier 4] did not get any placement. Good luck to all- hang in there!

  • 1252. Dana  |  April 12, 2013 at 8:29 am

    Is anyone declining a proximity seat at Murray?

  • 1253. momof2  |  April 12, 2013 at 8:33 am

    @West Loop Dad
    There is a third possibility, but it is sort of nasty and would cost some money. CPS could track down all those families not living in the neighborhood that somehow managed to attend the neighborhood program at SW. I have heard estimates of this problem that are as high as 40% of the student body. “Proving” that you have an address in the neighborhood does not mean you live in the neighborhood. This may solve the problem for some time, or at least force families to actually move.
    That way of solving the problem would work for us with kids going to the classical program, as it would be the neighborhood parents those forced to lobby for a building expansion and not us in classical.

  • 1254. cpsobsessed  |  April 12, 2013 at 8:36 am

    @curious – tend not to believe anything about what cps is going to do since some of the things THEY say they’re going to do don’t seem to come to fruition! I take a “I’ll believe it when I see it approach.”. I don’t know what the rationale would be for not guaranteeing a HS seat to AC students. Why would someone move a child to an AC for 2 years without that benefit?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 1255. dolphin2  |  April 12, 2013 at 8:42 am

    We are turning down our offer at SW, tier 4.

  • 1256. 7th grade final grades  |  April 12, 2013 at 9:11 am

    Can someone out there explain to me how the final 7th grade grades are tallied? So there are 4 quarters, and each is weighed evenly, then how is the final grade determined? If a kid gets an A,B, A, B in Social Studies, what is the final grade?

  • 1257. Decatur Past  |  April 12, 2013 at 9:15 am

    Curious & Cpsobsessed – I went to an Open House this week at an RGC and the principal said that CPS was doing just that – no more guaranteed H.S. spot for CPS. However, I immediately called OAE to ask about this and they said, NO, NOTHING IS CHANGING. I pushed and they then asked a higher up to confirm that NOTHING IS CHANGING. This rumor has been around since last summer. I was surprised that the RGC principal stated this at the Open House. She is new so may have heard a comment from someone and taken it as fact. I pushed back in ther meeting as well, but she stated it as a fact. Overall, seems like just a rumor.

  • 1258. Decatur Past  |  April 12, 2013 at 9:18 am

    I meant CPS Academic Center (not CPS).

  • 1259. Iheoma  |  April 12, 2013 at 9:33 am

    The rumor about no automatic acceptance at SEHS for AC students is just a rumor. I know students have not made appropriate progress in the AC are asked not to enroll in the SEHS. I *believe* that this had always been the case.

  • 1260. Gobemouche  |  April 12, 2013 at 10:06 am

    I think one way Decatur could easily “expand” would be be for them to eliminate the double 1st grade classes that they have in some years. Instead, they could add one 7th grade and then 8th. Same number of students in the building. Anyone know if that’s a possibility?

  • 1261. waitlisted for KG mom  |  April 12, 2013 at 10:21 am

    dolphin2–is this a KG slot? What tier are you in? Thanks!

  • 1262. dolphin2  |  April 12, 2013 at 10:26 am

    #1261—We are tier 4 and we are turning down the 7th grade spot.

  • 1263. SMAT  |  April 12, 2013 at 11:13 am

    After visiting Keller, we are turning down a first grade spot at Keller.
    Happy with SW. For those who hesitate to accept SW, I should say that SW is fantastic. The Kindergarteners had a very international and diverse background and the school respects and promotes the diversity.

  • 1264. Amitabh C  |  April 12, 2013 at 11:21 am

    I didn’t receive any email confirmation/acknowledgement from CPS after I sent them an email with a scan of our acceptance (Keller, Grade 1). Called them and they verified that they have received the email but didn’t know why auto-confirmations were not being sent.

    Anyone else with a different experience?

  • 1265. Up in the AP  |  April 12, 2013 at 11:22 am

    My daughter was offered a spot at Skinner West Classical K – and after attending the Open House – we briskly accepted it! I agree that the school will have some growing issues as the neighborhood program expands – but I feel like some of the West Loop parents have not looked at too many schools around the city to judge the problem objectively. You have not seen ‘overcrowding’. Many of the ‘best’ schools in the city have ‘improvised’ classrooms or worse. That school is huge and even if you cut classrooms/labs/library in half they would be much bigger than many we have seen at other ‘good’ neighborhoods and magnets. There are many potential ‘real-world’ solutions to this issue that are acceptable to me. We don’t live in ‘Mayberry’, people.

    We accepted the offer based on something we consider more important – the rigor of the Classical program, the experience and involvement of the teachers and the spirit of the students! I have toured many good schools where the kids just seem dreary, and the teachers lack command. At Skinner, there are great extras that are offered there during the school day and after-school and the kids are obviously benefiting from them (hello, 7-year old fiddle players that are actually good!). It was refreshing to see a school with such a dynamic set of admins, students and teachers!

    Wish us luck!

  • 1266. FirstTimer  |  April 12, 2013 at 11:28 am

    @1264. Amitabh C

    Here is what my confirmation email said (received the same day I emailed our acceptance):

    This will verify that the Confirmation Form you submitted for the
    2013-2014 school year has been received by the Office of Access and Enrollment.

    Karen Burroughs Hannsberry
    Communications Manager
    Office of Access and Enrollment
    Equity ⌂ Choice ⌂ Service
    (773) 553-2105

  • 1267. LSMom  |  April 12, 2013 at 11:44 am

    I also didn’t get a confirmation (sent my letter yesterday morning). I got a call last night reminding me to send in the letter, so called to investigate, and got a confirmation this morning (same text as @FirstTimer).

    Have to say, whenever I’ve called OAE they’ve been very pleasant and patient!

  • 1268. cpsmom13  |  April 12, 2013 at 11:58 am

    @amitabh, did you check your spam folder. I found mine there.
    For those interested in Bell, we declined 6th amd 8th grade seats at Bell.

  • 1269. Amitabh C  |  April 12, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    Thank you FirstTime, LSMom, and cpsmom13. Yes, I did look through my spam folder.

    Yes, I did check the spam folder. I’m guessing the large volume last night might have broken their auto-confirmation system or something.

  • 1270. LynnJ  |  April 12, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    @up in the AP I felt the same after visiting SW as well. Congrats to your little one.

  • 1271. South Loop Mom  |  April 12, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    South Loop Mom again here… After extensive research, visits, and pros/cons lists, we are accepting at NTA. The Principal really seems dedicated to building an excellent school community and rogram that focuses on critical thinking and problem-solving.

    Also, to address one previous poster, the RGC will be integrated with the neighborhood classes for all activities. It will not be separate.

  • 1272. LynnJ  |  April 12, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    @southloop mom I visited the school as well and liked what I saw. Can u keep us posted on how the school year goes? I am also interested in this school as well. My child will test at the end if this year (or whenever CPS tells us once the application has been submitted) and hoping for the best of course!

  • 1273. West Loop mom  |  April 12, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    @1271 South Loop Mom
    I am glad to see that more people is actually making decisions based on real experiences with the schools and not on rumors. After lots of obsessive research, we also accepted our RGC offer at NTA (our fifth option). We are committed to this new program unless they fail to hire a qualified teacher. I trust the principal after meeting with him twice so I have a good feeling that he will be able to hire a superb teacher for our little kids. Our fall back option is Skinner West neighborhood program so if worst comes to worst, I will end up contributing to the overcrowding of that school and to the ire of the classical parents who seem not happy with the fact that West Loop residents want to recover our high real state taxes into some decent services for our children.

  • 1274. Skinner West Background  |  April 12, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    A little background on overcrowding at Skinner West.

    As of 2006, SW was an all-classical school housed in a very run-down, dilapidated building on the same site as the current school building.

    After years and years of planning, a new school was finally promised. The new building was perfectly designed to meet the needs of the school, with 2 classrooms for each grade level, an art room, a music room, 2 science labs, and a beautiful library. In the fall of 2006, SW students, faculty, and staff were moved temporarily to the empty Truth School building by Cabrini to wait for their much-needed and long-awaited new building. They were there for 3 years.

    While the new building was being built, neighborhood parents became upset that their children would not be allowed to attend the new school if they did not test in. They brought to light that local TIF dollars had been used to build the new school, which gave the community leverage to demand a neighborhood program. They won, and Arne Duncan changed Skinner from a classical to a neighborhood/classical school.

    By the time this all happened, the new building was finished. It was designed for 2 classes per grade level, but with both programs in the building, the school needs 4 classrooms per grade level.

    That is how the new building is already overcrowded after only a few years. No one wants the classical program to have to move out. The administration, faculty, staff, and parents are very committed to maintaining both programs. I think the hope is that the school can continue with both programs by expanding into a neighboring building.

  • 1275. Amitabh C  |  April 12, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    Just wanted to say that I received the email confirmation from CPS to my email with scan of acceptance. Looks like there is a 18-hour delay in the process.

  • 1276. Dazed and confused  |  April 12, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    I emailed mine at 10:30 today and got my confirmation within the hour.

  • 1277. Margy-NEW NTA MOM!  |  April 12, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    I spoke with the Principal at NTA and he said that he is in the process of updating his school website. So please be on the look out for that, to all new NTA parents from the gifted program.

  • 1278. Al  |  April 12, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    Hello, does anybody know the cut off scores for SN tier 4. The parents that have posted result have been pretty high.

  • 1279. Declining SN Spot for K  |  April 12, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    We are declining our Skinner North spot for Kindergarten (tier 2). Thanks for all the helpful feedback throughout this process. Good luck to everyone finding the right fit!

  • 1280. Al  |  April 12, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    I heard the cut of for SN can be as high as 99.9R. Can it really be that high for this year any thoughts. Thanks

  • 1281. Al  |  April 12, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    99.9R for tier 4

  • 1282. Some Parent  |  April 12, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    @1256: The report card only shows: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and final grade. So, the teachers give the final grade at the end of 4th quarter.

  • 1283. FirstTimer  |  April 12, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    Best of luck to anyone sending their responses out during these last 3 minutes. For better or for worse, this two week stretch of craziness is OVER! Wahoo!

  • 1284. CarolA  |  April 12, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    @1256 and 1282: Not sure if 7th grade has a different report card than everyone else, but I don’t think so. If it’s the same as everyone else, then the teacher enters only the 4th quarter grades and “the computer” determines the final grade. I have never entered a final grade. The one thing I’ll say in my experience with “the computer” is that it tends to be generous and go higher rather than lower when it comes to rounding.

  • 1285. AE  |  April 12, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    @1256: I was also wondering how final grades are calculated. Is it was based on each quarter’s percentage (added and averaged)… In which case it would be possible to have quarter grades of A-A-B-A and still end up with a final grade of B (for example, if the A grades were all 91% and the B was an 81%, then the final percentage would be 88.5% or a B). I asked my child’s teacher about this, and she said that back when final grades were calculated manually (now it’s all done by computer) she gave 4 points for an A, 3 points for a B, etc. In that case, the example I used above would yield a final grade of A. Not sure how they would handle A-A-B-B? Must be a tie-breaker of some kind… Does anyone know for sure how final grades are calculated?

  • 1286. Bsmoresmom  |  April 12, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    Anyone know when will round 2 start? Or when will OAE determine how many spots are available?

  • 1287. cpsobsessed  |  April 12, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    I have a question about grades too – I never look at the parent portal but a parent told me that only certain assignments that the teacher chooses go towards the class grade. So in our case spelling tests count for a lot as do some other random assignments while others are not entered (looking like they don’t count.)
    So if this is true then I’d say the final grade is the percent (say 90 for an A) of the cumulative scores for the year.
    I just wondered if this is true about not all projects/work being counted.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 1288. Lisa  |  April 12, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    We got a letter from OAE inviting us to apply for 1st grade at NTA since dd’s score MAY qualify her for a spot. If we wanted to apply it is due back no later than April 23rd. We are going to keep our spot at Bell, but I thought it may be good news for others hoping to get a second round offer or for those who after seeing the glowing reviews may be wishing they included it in their original application.

  • 1289. AE  |  April 12, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    @1287 — Both of my kids’ teachers grade some work as assessments (usually tests and bigger homework assignments/projects, and count for a greater percentage of the quarter grade), and other work is graded as assignments (daily homework, etc.). However, I have found there is definitely some daily homework that is not counted at all. It is most often just reviewed in class as a whole group, exchanged with a neighbor for correction, or glanced at to confirm it was completed — but not actually graded and counted towards the quarter grade. I assume this is fairly typical?

  • 1290. LSMom  |  April 12, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    I would encourage anyone who scored above the 115 cutoff for K or 1 to give some thought about whether they would accept an NTA offer, since it’s likely that there will be some serious wait list movement.

    We ended up deciding not to take our spot after all — in the end, the commute was the deciding factor. The long drive plus the longer day just seemed like it would be too much. Not expecting to get an offer at a closer program (though it would be nice!) but am hoping that we can get into a decent neighborhood school.

    My impression from both tours was positive though. The principal is strong, and the facilities are great. If we were in the Loop/South Loop, we would have definitely given it a shot.

  • 1291. CarolA  |  April 12, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    Each teacher can set their own percentages for grades. For example, I may decide that tests are worth 50% of the grade, while oral reading is worth 40% and spelling tests are worth 10%. I can include classroom projects or not. I can include homework or not. I get to set the categories and I get to set the percentages. As a first grade team, we use the same criteria, but it may not be the same as the second grade team. As far as homework, because I teach first grade, I do not count it towards the grade. It is for reinforcement at home to prepare for a future test. I record that they did it, but do not give a grade. If completion is a problem, they would get a check mark on the report card. Other grades/teachers may feel differently and have homework as part of the grade. Some children get help at home and others don’t. It wouldn’t be fair.

  • 1292. Decatur Past  |  April 12, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    #1260 Gobemouche – Eliminating double classes at Decatur and instead making way for 7th & 8th grade has been considered and dismissed. Main reason was that the rooms are not that big and kids tend to get larger in those grades and basically, “they would not fit.” Not sure that is really that accurate, but that was the accepted reason when this option was considered a couple of years ago. Overall, the teachers did not want to add a 7th & 8th grade if it couldn’t be done right. That includes space as well as getting right teachers to teach uppergrades. Mobiles were also considered but there have been issues with a sinking playground is what I recall. There i slots of space to do this though. right next to Park that is not utilized mujch by the neighborhood (at least not the part by the playground).

  • 1293. Skinner North  |  April 13, 2013 at 6:54 am

    Question Is it true that all Skinner North Kids have Ipads – and they do not have text book?

  • 1294. Tier 4 mom  |  April 13, 2013 at 7:44 am

    To 1293 skinner north:

    They have iPad time, to do maths games or questions for around 10-15 mins per day for 2nd grade. They also do use worksheet in school and Kindergarten has math text books at home too. So they do text worksheet in school and at home.

  • 1295. laissez-faire parent  |  April 13, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    Here are my son’s statistics. I know it’s late but I’m posting for whoever is taking record:

    Age at test: 4 yrs, 11 mths
    Test time: 43 minutes
    RGC: 132
    Math: 99
    Reading: 99.8

    Offer from Skinner North (via 7:54am email on March 25, then CPS letter later in the day).

    He reported 3 parts to the test:
    1. A bunch of “What’s the missing word?”
    2. A bunch of “Which one is different?”
    3. A bunch of verbal questions, none of which he could remember.

    He wasn’t asked any straightforward math questions or real-world stuff like:
    What’s the highest number you can count to?
    What’s 2 + 2?
    Can you write your name or draw shapes?
    Where do you live? / What’s your address? / What’s our planet called?

    He also said it wasn’t like Brain Quest or Testing For Kindergarten or ABCmouse or Leapfrog or iPad or anything!

    For anyone interested in what was done, or not done, to prepare him, here is some background info:
    No tutors, no preschool, no outside daycare (primarily taken care of by his parents, aunt and grandmother).
    At 2.5 yrs, tried Your Baby Can Read. Interested for a few weeks, then absolutely refused to watch it.
    Around the same time, he began reading street signs, store signs and the labeling on remote controls, then TV guide listings [scanning for cartoon titles] and restaurant menus, then texts and emails).
    Reading books cover-to-cover at 3-3.5 yrs.
    Reviewed the Testing For Kindergarten questions a few times within a week of the test.
    Notified him of the test a week in advance; he cried about it then, every time it was brought up, the night before the test, the morning of the test, and in the parking lot at the test site. Bribed him with ToysRus!

    For the most part, we cannot take credit for any of his abilities because we didn’t do very much except provide him with the learning materials/games listed above. I used to say that I should I do a testimonial for Apple: “iPad taught my son to read!” He’s a regular kid that plays way too many video games, watches way too much TV, considers reading books a chore, and lacks discipline. We’re so relieved that, despite our laissez-faire attitude, he somehow thrived. Starting school in the fall at SN will be a huge transition.

    Best wishes to all parents and little ones!

  • 1296. laissez-faire parent  |  April 13, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    Oops, forgot to say that we’re in tier 4.

  • 1297. hotsock  |  April 13, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    We have applied to Beaubien and Bell. No offers as yet, both schools are great so I hear. The first grade teacher at Beaubien (I think she is new to RGB) I have heard amazing things about her, Bell is closer and I would love to walk to school. Oh well we’ll see in 2 nd round offer

  • 1298. local  |  April 13, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    @ 1292. Decatur Past | April 12, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    Do CPS teachers now have to have some kind of middle school certification to teach 7th & 9th grades?

  • 1299. Even One More CPS Mom  |  April 13, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    @1295 – To me, that sounds like the kind of kid who should be in a SEES school. Natural abilities. Probably truly needs a more advanced/accelerated curriculum. Not test prepped to death to just “squeak” into the realm of an offer but would likely thrive just fine at a solid neighborhood or magnet school. Congrats and good luck!

  • 1300. Decatur Past  |  April 13, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    #1298 local. Not sure of the certification required. But overall the teachers did not feel they would be able to provide the approriate education for 7th/8th graders that would at least somewhat compare to an AC. For one, they had not taught the upper grades. This was a couple of years ago when eliminating the double classes was considered, so I don’t recall all of the details. Originally the teachers were not thrilled with the idea. Don’t know if their support has increased now that the y see the impact of the tier system, etc., on the graduationg kids.

  • 1301. laissez-faire parent  |  April 13, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    @1299: Thanks for your comment and well wishes!

    Now the concern begins for our younger child. We would love for them to attend the same school.

  • 1302. AE  |  April 13, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    @ hotsock. Could you share tier / score? Thnx and good luck in second round…

  • 1303. Christine Whitley  |  April 13, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    My daughter is in 2nd grade at Skinner North and she does not have a designated iPad at school. She uses one in the classroom sometimes to play math game. Not every day (she says).

    It’s true that they don’t use textbooks. When they study the features of fiction, for example, they are using primary texts like novels, fairy tales, and picture books. They are not working through a textbook of canned stories for 2nd graders. They each have a book box in the room with books chosen by them (with the teacher’s guidance) that are just right for their interests and reading level.

    For math, they are doing Everyday Math. My daughter comes home with homework ripped out of a workbook. But she doesn’t bring home a math book, per se, and they aren’t working through a math book at school. They are learning skills in a pre-arranged order but the skills are practiced by games, small-group learning with the teachers, and worksheets. It’s very hands-on.

  • 1304. anonymouse teacher  |  April 13, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    @1298, yes, teachers have to have both a middle school endorsement and an endorsement in the area they teach in. For example, no one can just teach 8th grade anymore. You can, however, have an endorsement in math and be the 8th grade math teacher. I can’t remember if middle school is just 7th-8th or if it is 5th-8th or what. These days, though, most teachers have multiple endorsements. In a small school with just one class per grade, you will often find someone who is endorsed (for example) in math, science and language arts, simply to keep their job. If a school has a middle school, and only one classroom per grade, they have to have teachers with multiple endorsements in order to meet the requirements of the state (for example, one teacher might be endorsed in math, science and language arts and teach 7th and 8th graders).

    As well, overall, most teachers all over the place are getting or have multiple endorsements if they want to keep their jobs, whether they teach middle school or not. Tenure is not a factor in this–if a school needs a teacher to be certified in a certain content area, endorsement trumps all else. (then rating, then years of experience) As of 2014, all preschool teachers in certain programs must be either ESL or Bilingual certified. There are strong indicators that the entire state, for K-8 will also go this route. There are also indicators that all teacher candidate programs will soon require new teachers to be double certified in Sped and ESL–and perhaps all teacher will have to have one or the other certifications. The funding for Sped services is shaky and it could end up that gen ed teachers will have to provide minutes for sped kids within the regular education setting without help. We already see this happening with RTI (no help, but teachers have to provide up to 30 minutes of one on one individual help per day to students before a sped eval can happen if a student goes to tier 3 RTI). I have two endorsements (one in a shortage area) and am considering going back for a third to ensure I remain important to my school. I don’t teach middle school and never will, but being capable of meeting the state requirements in multiple areas is more important now than ever.

  • 1305. anonymouse teacher  |  April 13, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    re: no text books. I think people are referring to schools that do not use the “basal” but instead use trade books. This is a very old trend that has recently resurfaced as a new one in education and is not uncommon. There are positives and negatives to using trade books instead of basals. Fwiw, my school uses Everyday Math, but I use it in my classroom very lightly. I take the pieces of it I think are good and then, essentially, have created an entire year’s worth of my own curriculum to both meet the increased demands of Common Core and the needs of my individual students. Some teachers follow adopted curriculum religiously, some don’t, and there is no real correlation between this and instructional quality. I personally hate the approach of “Day 1, page 1, Day 2, page 2, etc.” but I have colleagues who this works well for.

  • 1306. Memory lane  |  April 13, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    @1295 – Love it! The only thing missing was postmark blue or black LOL

  • 1307. skinner mommy  |  April 13, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    Hey—My son is a Skinner West kid and at the last min. was told to “dress up” to play his violin for potential parents at the open house. I REFUSED to have my kid pulled out of class to entertain a bunch of parents for open house when the performance was, and I quote—“not for parents and guests, only potential parents.” What the hell??? I wrote a letter to the principal.

  • 1308. abcs  |  April 13, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    Laissez-faire: Sounds like my child even down to the age. Only difference is that she is the younger one of two. IIRC, even gifted was the same. Your child’s scores were better (vs. 99.7R 97M), but without knowing much about the system and without any prep, we were surprised and happy with her scores! Congrats!

  • 1309. @ skinner mommy  |  April 13, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    Skinner mommy… Just curious…. why is showing other parents how great the school is…. a horrible act? I think parents like to see the diverse offerings of the school to show why that school differentiates themselves from other schools. I think I would want to impress new candidates…. Maybe I am wrong but, I feel new students are important to the overall well being/ growth of each school.

  • 1310. Neighborhood parent  |  April 13, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    1307, wow… I take it that SW is not a “performing arts” school where the parents are proud of their kids talents & skills and would welcome opportunities for their kids to perform for others. Also, most Open Houses have limited time to provide insight, curriculum info, building tours, principal greeting…. can’t believe the out of class time would be more than 15 min.
    If all the SW parents were as driven about their instructional minutes as you …… I wonder how the school/parental climate would be described?

  • 1311. Even One More CPS Mom  |  April 13, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    Awwwww guys. In defense of Skinner Mommy, I can see where her sentiment is coming from. Ones child being called on last minute to dress up and “perform” to make a good impression for the school, could have rubbed a parent the wrong way. Personally I don’t think I would have thought too much about it and just had my child dress up and do it but I could understand why a parent would perhaps feel the way Skinner Mommy did. Also, it is really unfair to generalize and say that all SW parents are not proud of their kids talents, welcome the opportunity to perform etc….. No one on this board is ever representing all parents from their school. Just their own personal view point. That’s why you can see so many drastically varied opinions on one school (ala the recent Decatur posts). Different people have different opinions. This was just her feeling on it all. Same as those parents who appreciated the performances and those who really resented the performances. Completely different opinions on the same thing. I can see why Skinner Mommy would not want her child to perform, and possibly be resented.

  • 1312. LynnJ  |  April 13, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    @skinner mommy sorry you felt the way you did. I attended the open house and the children melted my heart and were amazing. It was a joy and refreshing to see the children in action who are the real jewels. These children had so much school pride and excellence. I would be honored if my child was ever chosen to attend this school.

  • 1313. local  |  April 13, 2013 at 9:21 pm

    @ 1304. anonymouse teacher | April 13, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    Wow. I can’t imagine what’s going to attract college students to get teaching degrees anymore if while the job requirements are being ratcheted up, the public esteem and career longevity for public school teachers is being crushed. Who’d want it (if they’re at all concerned about the ROI for their degree/s and training)? Maybe teaching will be a TFA world pitstop prior to law school (not that a JD will have much of a ROI if not from the tip-tip tier of schools).

  • 1314. Wonderer  |  April 13, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    Can anyone explain how reliable these gifted tests are? Say, a kid got 160+ in RGC at K level. Does it mean that he is a genius or extraordinary? How do you interpret it? How can one be sure that it is not his competence, rather giftedness, the influence of some superior genes? How does that may translate in later outcomes? I understand it depends on how one is trained later on etc. But does high score adequately explain so called giftedness?

  • 1315. LSMom  |  April 13, 2013 at 11:52 pm

    The chapter in Nutureshock on this is really interesting, it says that 70 percent of the children identified as gifted in Kindergarten would not be considered gifted by third grade. I do think that those 160 scores are pretty extraordinary though!

  • 1316. JLM  |  April 14, 2013 at 8:09 am

    I’ve heard that the CPS test doesn’t really have false positives as much as it has false negatives. So, if we ignore the term “gifted” for a bit, since to me it’s not well-defined, and just say “smart”, then a kid that tests into a program is smart, but there are plenty of kids that didn’t test in that are also smart.

    Per Nurtureshock, kids shouldn’t really be being tested for these programs until at least the 3rd grade. I was in a gifted program when I was younger that started in 2nd or 3rd grade (can’t remember) and only about half of us were in the honors and AP classes (back when AP classes were offered only to the top 5% of the class) by the time high school rolled around. I don’t think that was for lack of intelligence though, as much as kids changing in their rebellious teenage years and not wanting to focus on academics.

    These tests are certainly not the be-all end-all of determining intelligence, but I think that if your child gets some consistent scores between the gifted and classical, it gives at least a glimpse of your child’s academic potential as well as innate intelligence.

  • 1317. curious  |  April 14, 2013 at 8:41 am

    What if the tester is not consistent with the questions? For instance, I have heard that some students were asked different questions, and some were asked to skip a certain part of the test ( as reported by first grader parents). If the test itself is flawed, who can rely on the data to analyze. I think ITT should at least implement a test form that has consitency for all students to answer, not one group skip this and another group skip that. It is confusing to the students… Also for Kindergartener, the score should not be considered seriously – one on one test is biased! As for giftedness itself, I think parents should have a very firm clue whether their kids are truly gifted or just bright –not a graduate student who only spent 20-40 minutes