Lottery Elementary Letters Part 2 – 2013 (Magnet cluster, neighborhood schools)

May 17, 2013 at 9:21 am 820 comments


So OAE says that starting today the letters for acceptance for open enrollment schools (Magnet cluster — which btw have no magnet component and should probably be renamed, neighborhood schools, and any other open enrollment schools (whatever those might be) sometimes have room for kids outside their boundaries.

Up until a few years ago, this was all unregulated and one could buddy up to a principal to earn a spot.  Those days are over, since Chicago is trying to be a little more fair about things, so these spots are now allocated based on the lottery drawing.

Each school needs to work down their list for each grade.

Keep in mind that they schools seem to handle this list-calling slightly differently so you want to make yourself available by phones from now until… basically the first week of school as you never know when you’ll get that call.   If there’s a particular school you’re interested it probably can’t hurt to call occasionally to check in and let them know your strong interest.   If they miss you with a phone call they may be more motivated to try again or extend your call-back time another day or so.

Schools that are up-and-coming can be a great place to get in on the ground floor of a school with growing parent involvement, programming, activities, etc.  These schools don’t always fill their classes and so they’re eager to take extra kids to fill the place up.

Post your news and questions here…

Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

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820 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jill W.  |  May 17, 2013 at 10:02 am

    Too bad schools don’t have their SY13 budgets yet, nor will they be able to project how overcrowded they will be.

  • 2. cpsobsessed  |  May 17, 2013 at 10:16 am

    I guess I thought the closings would be determined before these letters went out (or I thought that was the point..) no?

    I assume receiving schools know not to accept other students.

    Other schools should be in the same situation as they typically are this time of year in terms of trying to project # of students, no?
    My neighborhood might be more chaotic with Trumbull closing and Pierce (I think) accepting along with Chappell and McPherson. I’m not sure if those school know yet exactly what grades/# of kids they’ll be getting?

  • 3. 60660  |  May 17, 2013 at 10:29 am

    according to accounts of a meeting which took place at Peirce recently there are 9 current Trumbull students who live within the extended Peirce boundaries. Otherwise Peirce is not a receiving school for Trumbull.

  • 4. 60660  |  May 17, 2013 at 10:30 am


  • 5. It's Only Fair  |  May 17, 2013 at 11:22 am

    This is crazy. First they closed the magnet/SEES application period before the closing schools were announced. Then they conducted the magnet lottery and mailed offers without allowing families from closing schools to apply. Now they are mailing open enrollment letters before the closings are even finalized.

    Families affected by school closings should be given an opportunity to apply to magnet/SEES/open enrollment schools after the board votes. Back when the application period closed n December, families had no idea they were going to need a new school.

    I would’t be surprised if someone sues and they have to rescind all offers and redo the entire lottery.

  • 6. 60660  |  May 17, 2013 at 11:29 am

    families affected by “school actions” did get a second chance to apply this Spring. I saw the letter one parent received because her neighborhood school was closing even though her kid is already attending a different neighborhood school.

  • 7. It's Only Fair  |  May 17, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    Yes but the vote to close the schools has not even taken place yet. Families won’t really know if they need a new school until after the vote.

    It would have made sense to extend the application period until after the closings are finalized, and give preference to children from closing schools.

  • 8. on the other hand  |  May 17, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    as a counterpoint, families did have a chance to apply or edit preferences (? not sure about this latter point) when they knew there was a HIGH likelihood that their school would close and where there is no harm in applying (if they “won” the lottery they don’t have to claim their winnings, so to speak). So while I do feel for the families, I do feel like CPS did give a chance to participate in the lottery (and i rarely am one to defend cps). I doubt there are many families who thought “Meh, I’ll just take my chances since I don’t think rahm has the backbone to REALLY close my school.” Now, there may be an awareness gap for families who aren’t reading the news or trolling on cpsobsessed, and that is an issue. but not sure how to solve it.

    also, this process has already dragged out so terribly long, and as a family that was blanked on both magnets and sees options I’d like to get closure soon, ideally not late summer or once school has already started.

    Also, the appeals and lawsuits will likely continue well into the summer regardless of the board vote. so they have to draw the line somewhere.

  • 9. HSObsessed  |  May 17, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    How did you get a copy of my elementary school class picture? 😉

  • 10. Stacey  |  May 17, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    Where did you see that the letters are going out today? Did someone receive a letter? The website says “week of May 19th”.

  • 11. cpsobsessed  |  May 17, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    Haha, you inspired me to google my first elem school in Gary Indiana. I expected to find a photo online since well….everything is online, but no luck.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 12. cpsobsessed  |  May 17, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    They’d said May 17 at one point (I think). I had it in my blackberry — maybe as a reminder for next week.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 13. still waitlisted for KG mom  |  May 17, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    The magnet notification letter, dated 3/19, says that letters will be mailed May 17 (it does not reference a “week of”).

    The delay letters, which were mailed earlier (rev’d March 2nd?) said they would be mailed the week of May 19th. The website has had the “week fo May 19th date since then, although I don’t think they update it very often.

    I called OAE yesterday, and the rep confirmed that letters would “start” going today.

  • 14. wondering  |  May 17, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    7.It’s Only Fair | May 17, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    “It would have made sense to extend the application period until after the closings are finalized, and give preference to children from closing schools.”

    The application period was extended when families knew their school was slated to be closed. Why would you need extend application period until after the closings are finalized?

    The school closings are disruptive, but every child from a closing school still gets a home school (just a different one). Theoretically the new home school is supposed to be at least as good or better than the closing school. Why would you need to give children of closing schools preference? . . . they still have a home school option.

  • 15. Mich  |  May 17, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    Your description of magnet cluster schools having no magnet component seems odd. Too my knowledge most neighborhood schools don’t have full time music and full time art and full time drama teachers so one that does seems to earn its visual & performing arts magnet cluster label!

  • 16. cpsobsessed  |  May 17, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    @Mich: Oh, they certainly earn their “Magnet Cluster” label as defined by CPS. But I’m saying there is no “magnet” component – magnet implying that kids from outside the neighborhood can attend. At some Magnet Cluster schools there IS room for outside kids to lottery in. At other, it is just operating as a neighborhood school with a specialty.
    I think it is a confusing label is all.

  • 17. RoscoeVillageDad  |  May 17, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    I have, on good information, that letters were going out today. Don’t know if that means email or Chicago Postal Service.

  • 18. RoscoeVillageDad  |  May 17, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    the “magnet” in Magnet Cluster derived from the fact that each of these schools chose a specialty – Fine & Perf Arts, Language, or Math & Sci – so as to attract kids from outside the neighborhood area.

  • 19. cpsobsessed  |  May 17, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    @18: That was my understanding too — that at one time each part of the city had maybe an Arts, a Literature, a Math etc specialty school that could attract other kids — but that isn’t the case any more. Well, I guess it is in that some school take outside kids but a school like say Waters with a strong arts program (Fine Arts magnet cluster) is only taking neighborhood kids these days.)

    Speaking of art, was there any update on the Orange Charter School’s location? They’re to be an arts-focused curriculum.

  • 20. RoscoeVillageDad  |  May 17, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    @19: yes, at the time they were developed, most Magnet Cluster Schools did not fill up with neighborhood kids. Hence this strategy to boost demand. And the “Cluster” comes from exactly as you described – schools were grouped together, and I _believe_ only one in each cluster could F&PA, or M&S, or LA

  • 21. albanyparker  |  May 17, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    RoscoeVillageDad, Thanks for the inside scoop. Any idea if they are going to send only the letters with acceptances first this time, as they did with the magnets? Looking back at that, it was really pretty cruel…. I’m sure unintentionally so. I don’t understand what’s so hard about throwing them ALL in the mail at the same time.

    Seriously, my productivity at work has been at about 60% of normal since mid-March. What a disaster.

  • 22. RoscoeVillageDad  |  May 17, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    Albanyparker, that i don’t know. two years ago, it was a list of all the schools to which you applied, with either “accepted” or your spot on the waitlist.

  • 23. albanyparker  |  May 17, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    thanks, RVD. Yep, you’re right on the format; that hasn’t changed. What I was referring to is that the actual single letters that were sent for the magnet notifications (back in late March), seemed to be sent out in two discrete batches. The first (smaller) batch, went to families who had one or more acceptances on their list. The next (larger) batch, went to the families who got blanked and had only waitlists.

    I remember when the first couple posters surmised that, and I thought they were lunatics. But then as more and more posters weighted in with acceptances the first few days, and then the acceptances stopped cold and it was a huge wave of letters with only waitlists, it was borne out. Odd. In a slightly effed up sort of way.

  • 24. WesLooWorkingMom  |  May 17, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    I’ve seen enough rejections or ridiculous waitlist numbers that I’m struggling to remain optimistic about the next CPS letter. Let’s hope that CPS won’t be cruel again and send acceptances before waitlists. That was truly depressing for those of us who did not receive an acceptance. Good luck, everyone. I hope that everyone finds a good option in the end.

  • 25. Relax  |  May 17, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    @5, 7 It’s Only Fair:
    “.. give preference to children from closing schools.”
    Why do they deserve ANY preference? Just because they have to attend a different home school? This kind of entitlement attitude is the root of many problems in this country.

  • 26. It's Only Fair  |  May 17, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    Yikes @25 taking a comment about giving displaced students a break and generalizing it to “the root of many problems in this country.” o_O

  • 27. RoscoeVillageDad  |  May 17, 2013 at 11:10 pm

    Albanyparker, yes I guess you’re right about the March mailing. I assume the magnet cluster/neighborhood mailing will be consistent with years past, only because we were told that “letters would go out on May 17th.”

  • 28. JMOChicago  |  May 18, 2013 at 9:23 am

    **Theoretically the new home school is supposed to be at least as good or better than the closing school. Why would you need to give children of closing schools preference?**

    Actually, only 6 of the receiving schools are in the Top Quartile of schools. That is the measure of whether a school is “significantly better” than a closing school that matters. Past research has shown that only students sent from a closing school to a top quartile school improved their academic trajectory. So, no. Most students who are going through the extreme disruption of having their school closed are not going to a “better” school as their “home” school.

  • 29. SE Teacher  |  May 18, 2013 at 9:40 am

    @25 If they are displaced from what is their home school, don’t you think they should then go to the closest school to their homes? My gut tells me that this is going to begin to impact SEES and Magnets at some point. At least in terms of class size.

    The closings will bring changes to everyone eventually.

  • 30. NeighborhoodSchoolsAreOverburdened  |  May 18, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    @29. I agree. BUt I hope for those changes. Changes need to be made to the magnet/SE program anyway. It’s not fair to neighborhood schools to not be able to manage their enrollments.Principals at our neighborhood schools work SO HARD to be able to manage class sizes. So for CPS to just come in and say there’s room … when there wasn’t room until principals and staff re-shuffled, re-organized, brainstormed, etc., is beyond frustrating.

    Imagine your principal finds a clever way to re-organize teachers and funding to lower class size from 32 kids to 26. Then CPS comes in and says, “Oh, you ONLY have 26 kids in each of your FOUR third grade classrooms? You have room for 24 more kids!” Really?

    The inequity between magnets/SEs/charters and neighborhood schoolsin terms of funding and enrollment caps is one of my pet peeves as a neighborhood school parent. We pay the same taxes. Why should we have overcrowded classrooms, lower funding, etc.?

    Someone does need to sue.

  • 31. Stacey  |  May 18, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    Did anyone receive a letter today??

  • 32. Dunning Mom  |  May 18, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    We got a letter. All wait lists. Lowest was 16 at Coonley, highest was four hundred-and-something at Edgebrook. This after getting all really high waitlist numbers for the magnets. Thank goodness we got into a charter otherwise we’d really be SOL.

  • 33. mscontinental  |  May 18, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    Stalking the mailman. No sign of him yet.

  • 34. RoscoeVillageDad  |  May 18, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    We received our letter today for Kindergarten. Applied to 13 schools. Got into the school we wanted thanks to sibling lottery. Also got an offer at Prescott. All others waitlist, anywhere from 16 (Waters) to 594 (Burley)

  • 35. UptownMama  |  May 18, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    We got ours for kindergarten. Lots of very high numbers, including Peirce, which we figured was our best bet (195) and also basically in our neighborhood (closer than our “new” neighborhood school once/assuming Trumbull closes). Got into McPherson and Bateman. 54 at Chappell, another school we were hoping for.

  • 36. cpsparent  |  May 18, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    Got our letter today. Offer from one school because of sibling preference. All others were waitlist numbers starting at 276 for Waters and 971 for Blaine.

  • 37. Stacey  |  May 18, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    Anyone have Alcott on their list?

  • 38. hliddle  |  May 18, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    How far down on the wait list did nettlehorst go last year? Anyone know?

  • 39. UptownMama  |  May 18, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    Should have put “neighborhood” school in parentheses, rather than new. We live closer to several CPS schools than the one we think we’ll be assigned to if Trumbull closes. And that’s not a real option given crummy test scores and the discouraging response I got when I called and tried to get a tour/arrange a visit.

    Would be curious if anyone has feedback on Bateman or McPherson. My sense is that both have some good things going on and some challenges, so we’ll try to squeeze in a visit before deciding. All in all, I’m just relieved that our Catholic backup came through.

  • 40. UptownMama  |  May 18, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    @37 We had Alcott. Waitlisted 502.

  • 41. Jen  |  May 18, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    We got offered Agassiz. Lowest waitlist number is 49 for Nettlehorst and highest is 482 for Coonley.

    Any insights into Agassiz. Good or bad please.

  • 42. hliddle  |  May 18, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    Just to follow up: we were wait listed on all oe schools we applied to. Lowest numbers being nettlehorst 8; Hamilton 22; and Solomon 28. Any hope there? The one we were counting on was Peirce, where we got 160.

  • 43. STILL waitlisted KG mom  |  May 18, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    Got our letter for KG. No offers, but some good wait list numbers:

    Ravenswood 2
    Alcott 17
    Mitchell 31
    Burr 92
    Jahn 94
    Agassiz 248
    Edgebrook 309
    Hamilton 361

    I’m hoping for Alcott, but I don’t know how their wait list moved last year–does anyone know? (I thought it moved a bit in years past.) Also, does anyone have thoughts/reports on the new principal? (I toured the school before the change.

    Also, I’m sorry now that Ravenswood was not one of the schools I toured. Any thoughts on Ravenswood? The next tour is not until June 11th (unless they are planning a special tour for accepted families).

  • 44. FirstTimer  |  May 18, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    Received K letter today. Wait listed at all 7. Lowest at Alcott (#8) and highest at Burley (#691). Blessed to have gotten into Coonley Options previously so we’re all set, though gets me nervous for when we do this again in 3 years for her sibling…hopefully it’s like childbirth and I’ll “forget” the last few months 🙂

  • 45. NW Chicago Mom  |  May 18, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    We decided to move after the first round of letters went out (with 3 kids, it’s sort of magnet or bust), but for the historical record for future parents doing their own racing sheets on the CPS admissions chances, here are our numbers (no offers):

    Hitch 1
    Pritzker 153
    Ravensood 65
    Skinner 708
    Courtenay 186
    Edgebrook 222
    Hamilton 249
    Agassiz 92
    Beaubien 166
    Burley 26
    Waters 421

  • 46. mscontinental  |  May 18, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    Applied to the maximum amount of schools and received the maximum amount of wait list numbers. 😦
    Lowest number is #1 at Haines, which sounds hopeful though I remember nothing about why I put it on the list and can’t find my notes. Any input?
    Burley: 17 Any hope there?
    Burr: 23 We were really hoping for an offer since he is currently attending for Pre-K
    Skinner: 802 ha ha ha ha ha ha

  • 47. RoscoeVillageDad  |  May 18, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    that 17 slot is probably worth a lot on some lottery black market. most think it’s the best neighborhood school in the city. personally i don’t see the value. plus it’s very overcrowded.

  • 48. Hopeful parent  |  May 18, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    Got the letter today for 4th grade through sibling lottery. Wait list # 2 for SW. Any hope?

  • 49. STILL waitlisted KG mom  |  May 18, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    Thanks RoscoeVillageDad. There was no info on how the Alcott WL moved last year, but I thought it moved quite a bit in years past. Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of options. Do you think Ravenswood is better (ignoring any issues of convenience)?

  • 50. mscontinental  |  May 18, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    @RoscoeVillageDad – Thanks for the smile.

  • 51. RoscoeVillageDad  |  May 18, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    @49 both are great schools. I believe Alcott is montesorri, so you’d have to be into that. Alcott does not have a ton of neighborhood people just given the local younger demographic. i believe the WL moves pretty fast

  • 52. cpsobsessed  |  May 18, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    Well, surprisingly I got:
    Ravenswood 5th grade #1 (think I just blew my powerball luck on that one)
    Waters 5th grade #15

    I just wanted to have some backups in case the RGC felt too rigorous but I think we’re good for now. Homework has eased up a little bit.

    If I wanted to switch, I’d feel good about Ravenswood. I haven’t visited in a long time but whenever I hear feedback, it’s good. They seem to stay quietly under the radar but pleasing to the neighborhood people. So that was a wasted piece of CPS luck, Oh well.

    Alcott isn’t Montessori btw.

  • 53. RoscoeVillageDad  |  May 18, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    re alcott and montessori. i’m sure you’re right. sorry if i confused anyone

  • 54. logan square dad  |  May 18, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    Burr – We were WL # 58 last year for kindergarten at Burr and got in. The test scores are getting better every year and more local parents are sending their kids there. We are very happy with the school. Good luck.

  • 55. curious1  |  May 18, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    Letter came today – trying for 1st grade, no acceptances but not too shabby on the waitlist numbers:

    Nettelhorst – 9
    Waters – 64
    Agassiz – 43
    Burley – 110
    Hamilton – 24

    @38 – we were somewhere close to 10 for Nettelhorst last year and they didn’t get to us — I’m actually not sure they touched the waitlist at all. But, I’m hoping for better luck this year!

  • 56. Even One More CPS Mom  |  May 18, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    1st grade magnet cluster/neighborhood letter received today:

    Waters – 5
    Chappell – 8
    Peirce – 8
    Blaine – 21
    Solomon – 28
    Alcott – 48
    Ravenswood – 51
    Agassiz – 56
    Burley – 85
    Hamilton – 99
    Nettlehorst – 139
    Coonley – 148

  • 57. JLM  |  May 18, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    For entering K:

    No offers
    Peirce: 153
    Waters: 438
    Alcott: 150
    Solomon: 131
    Courtenay: 3
    Hamilton: 286
    Blaine: 479
    Burley: 301
    Coonley: 374

    Luckily, daughter got into Skinner West Classical program.

  • 58. AndersonvilleMama  |  May 18, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    We were offered a spot at Prescott – don’t see that anyone has mentioned this school yet. Any feedback? Our other numbers:
    Peterson: 29 (fingers still crossed since this is closer option)
    Solomon: 61
    Chappell: 70
    Budlong: 80
    Greeley: 91
    Peirce: 99
    Courtenay: 137
    Ravenswood: 196
    Hamilton: 212
    Coonley: 268
    Waters: 334
    Nettelhorst: 446
    Blaine: 660
    Burley: 814!
    Our neighborhood school, Trumbull is supposed to close, though not certain of this til Wednesday. Was hoping so much for Chappell or Peirce but clearly so were a lot of other families!

  • 59. Jenni  |  May 18, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    My daughter was wait listed 13 at Alcott. Does anyone know how well the wait list moves there?

    Our other options are pretty low – down to 768 at Blaine.

  • 60. Even One More CPS Mom  |  May 18, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    Andersonville Mama – You may get a call from Agassiz and I highly recommend checking it out. That number may seem high but last year they went very deep into the wait list, over 100 if I am not mistaken. We chose a magnet over Agassiz but I liked Agassiz very much. It was a tough decision. I don’t know much about Prescott but I believe you can find lots of feedback on the school on the NPN message boards. Lots of people have good things to say about the school. Also, do you know what receiving school you are zoned for? Perhaps you are in the Chappell or Peirce territory after all? Good luck to you!

  • 61. Even One More CPS Mom  |  May 18, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    Andersonville Mama – I guess I am assuming your application was for K. I don’t know how deep Agassiz goes into their list for other grades.

  • 62. colleen  |  May 18, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    Goethe 57
    Pulaski 93
    Hamilton 448
    Waters 279
    Mitchell 44
    Burley 277
    Columbus 42
    Diego 28
    Talcott 79
    Agassiz 286
    Alcott 401

    We only wanted Burr and have worked hard at the school and we are so excited that both our girls are done until highschool!

  • 63. YoungZinger  |  May 18, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    We were offered a spot at Pierce, but still secrectly hoping a for an offer from a RGC… So if we accept at Pierce, it won’t having any bearing on a potential call for a RGC school, correct?

  • 64. EdgewaterParent  |  May 18, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    For Kindergarten:

    Peirce 70
    McPherson 17
    Greeley 28
    Ravenswood 124
    Chappell 127

    Peirce is the only one I actually care about. Does anyone know how far they went into their wait list last year?

  • 65. DadWhoHasADaughterAndWantsHerToGoToAGoodSchool  |  May 18, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    After all the stress of Magnets and SEES we were offered Agassiz. Online reviews are very positive.

    Anyone have any feedback on Agassiz? We are still #1 on Inter-American K, but still have yet to get a call.

    Thanks everyone and good luck to you all!!!

  • 66. UptownMama  |  May 18, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    @Edgewater parent

    I think that the rep on the Peirce tour said that they took everyone last year — the school is clearly getting more popular.

    But it’s a big school and lots of kindergarten spots (6 classrooms if I remember and they fill 2 in neighborhood), so I’m guessing that list will move. I find it hard to believe that it would move as far as our 195, but maybe you’ve got a chance.

  • 67. NW side parent  |  May 18, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    We received our letter today. We were lucky enough to get a seat at Edison, so we will not be accepting the one offer we received for Peterson.

    Peterson offered
    Beaubien 12
    Waters 32
    Edgebrook 41
    Hitch 49
    Burr 60

    all others are in the triple digits, with our highest wait list number being Blaine at 725

  • 68. totemtales  |  May 18, 2013 at 8:17 pm

    @64, I was at a meeting at Peirce this week and they only offered 100 spots this year (compared to 250 last year). It seems like they took lots of folks over the last few years to fill the school but now that they’re over 1000+ they are letting in fewer.

  • 69. EK  |  May 18, 2013 at 8:18 pm

    Got our letter today, for K. No acceptances. I will post all numbers here, for helping out:

    Edgebrook – 8
    Clinton – 17
    Solomon – 19
    Beaubien – 25
    Burr – 85
    Chappell – 93
    Ebinger – 131
    Hamilton – 166
    Ravenswood – 210
    Alcott – 361
    Nettelhorst – 368
    Waters – 376
    Burley – 522

    We were hoping for Waters, since our guy is in the Pre-K program there, but I doubt it with THAT number. Luckily, though, we have a spot at Disney II for him and eventually his sister when the time comes, so we don’t have to subject ourselves to this craziness again unless we want to…

    One question though – does anyone know how wait lists have moved in the past for Edgebrook? Not really for me, but a friend who really would like to have her daughter go there but got a WL number in the 100s somewhere…I’d like to give her a sliver of hope if anyone knows if there can be movement. Thanks. Good luck to everyone in the coming days/weeks/months as people move their kids from one school to another in this shell game!

  • 70. Lasalletwoquestion  |  May 18, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    Does anyone know what time lasalle2 begins in the a.m.? Cant find this on their site.

  • 71. Lincoln Square Mom  |  May 18, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    Can anyone compare Waters and Agassiz for me? I was not a fan of Waters (our neighborhood school). I’m wondering if Agassiz is better.

  • 72. Another LaSalle II Mom  |  May 18, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    LaSalle II is a 7:45 a.m. – 2:45 p.m. school. We have really appreciated the times this year as we are able to beat the traffic and have more time after school for activities and homework.

  • 73. MommaD  |  May 18, 2013 at 8:50 pm


    Burr – Offered!
    Goethe – 24
    Columbus – 22
    Pritzker – 265
    Agassiz – 342
    Burley – 779
    Blaine – 674
    Coonley – 444
    Skinner – 719

    From previous magnet school letter, still hoping Lasalle II tier 3 will get to waitlist 40 or that Suder general will get to waitlist 15 but I am ecstatic about a spot at Burr, we really got a good feel from the school & it’s not too far from home. I seriously can’t believe this worked out for us – good-bye private school tuition!

  • 74. LSmom  |  May 18, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    Accepted to Burr and Prescott. Other smallish numbers:
    Waters: 50
    Courtenay: 60
    Agassiz: 73

    Our worst number was 789 (!) at Burley.

    Any thoughts on Burr vs Goethe? Goethe is much more convenient for our family (location and hours) but we could make either work.

  • 75. Alcott  |  May 18, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    – small classes
    – hundreds of thousands of dollars raised by parents
    – good principal
    – caring teachers
    – good after school program

    – almost no diversity in younger grades
    – mediocre at best language program
    – high school not proving strong

  • 76. CPSAppalled  |  May 18, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    As expected, no offers for 4th grade. Our wait list numbers:

    Since we got no offers for SEES or magnet programs, I have to ask if we parents are all guilty of drinking the kool aid and believing that something will turn up, when it looks like we are completely empty-handed….

  • 77. Gladstone Park Mom  |  May 18, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    No offers.
    Farnsworth – 42
    Norwood Park – not eligible (I guess to crowded already?)
    Ebinger – 128
    Edgebrook – 20

    I suppose there is still always a chance my son can also get a call and be offered a position at the one regional gifted school where we applied (Edison RG) which he test eligible for but was not offered a spot but I assume that is probably a long shot if we haven’t heard anything at this point. Or am I wrong?

  • 78. Gladstone Park Mom  |  May 18, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    Does anyone have any feedback on Hitch which is my home school?

  • 79. Love the weather  |  May 18, 2013 at 9:21 pm

    Entering 2nd grade
    Waitlisted at

    Edgebrook 13
    Norwood Park 46
    Nettelhorst 63
    Blaine 132

    Staying at our SE

  • 80. curious mom  |  May 18, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    I don’t understand this. How come Skinner is also a magnet cluster school? I thought it’s a neighborhood/classical school. If a kid gets accepted to the magnet cluster program, does it mean the young sibling will have a seat there too?

  • 81. Bsmoresmom  |  May 18, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    No offers here for Kindergarten.

    South Loop 10
    Skinner 9

    Everything else waitlisted high. These are our lowest numbers compared to magnets and Sees score. Since we have no offers if they call we will accept.

  • 82. JLM  |  May 18, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    @80 Curious Mom – Skinner West has a Classical component (2 classrooms) and a neighborhood magnet cluster component (prob. 2 classrooms for incoming K). Classical is test in only. The neighborhood portion is: you’re in if you’re in boundaries, otherwise you go into the lottery. There are two lotteries – sibling and general. Tiers do not come into account.

  • 83. 60625 Mom  |  May 18, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    @uptownmama. I can share a bit about McPherson. Our son will start kindergarten there this fall and I know about a dozen Lincoln Square kids/families that will do the same. There is great stuff happening at McPherson including: International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle years program with plans for the primary years program in the works, weekly art, music, and world language classes for all grades, smart boards in every classroom, excellent and dedicated teachers. Happy to share more – if its helpful. Definitely email Marianne Turk to request a tour. ( Good luck!

  • 84. JLM  |  May 18, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    @71 Lincoln Square Mom- would you mind sharing why you’re not a fan of Waters? It was one of my favorites when I did my grand tour of schools last fall, along with Hamilton. I really loved the ecology and arts programs.

  • 85. 60625 Mom  |  May 18, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    No offers. Here are our results for Kindergarten.
    Burley – 113
    Agassiz – 2
    Alcott – 457
    Pierce – 33
    Hamilton – 325
    Ravenswood – 263
    Waters – 172
    Chappell – 76

    We are heading to our neighborhood school, McPherson.

  • 86. curious mom  |  May 18, 2013 at 11:07 pm

    @JLM: thanks. so, how many seats do they offer for magnet cluster program?

  • 87. laissez-faire parent  |  May 19, 2013 at 12:10 am


    Alcott: 194
    Budlong: 12
    Agassiz: 220
    Waters: 14
    Chappell: 156
    Burley: 757
    Blaine: 322
    Bateman: offered
    Coonley: 88
    Courtenay: 178
    North River: offered
    Murphy: 37
    Nettelhorst: 2

    Fortunately, we have accepted a seat at Skinner North. I have posted the data for those who are scrutinizing their odds. Good luck to all!

  • 88. disgusted with the process  |  May 19, 2013 at 12:39 am

    No offers for K. Best numbers were Coonley (27) and Hamilton (66). All other numbers were triple digits, including Burley at 486. Guess we’ll be going to our neighborhood school. It’s a popular school, but we have to move. So, unless we can afford another home in our present neighborhood, which is unlikely, we can only stay at our current neighborhood school for one year. We’ll probably be enduring this torture again next year.

  • 89. FinallyOffer  |  May 19, 2013 at 2:00 am

    For K:
    Ravenswood and Burr – Offered (finally, after first 2 letter disapointment)!
    All other schools triple digits

    Can anyone share what is better option Burr or Ravenswood, please? (commute is not a problem – 3.5 and 4 miles)

  • 90. KBC  |  May 19, 2013 at 7:49 am

    1st grade
    Skinner 9
    Burley 266
    Does anyone know how far skinner got on their magnet waiting list last year?

  • 91. Sideline mama  |  May 19, 2013 at 8:38 am

    We will be enduring this process next year and still have anxiety from doing this years ago with my older kid. Just throwing in my two cents as this is advice I may well need to take based on these wait list numbers. Many of these schools became great because of families that got involved and made changes happen, along with progressive principals and staff. Many level 1 schools are neighborhood, under the radar and could be your own and worth checking out. Good luck to all!

  • 92. cpsobsessed  |  May 19, 2013 at 8:40 am

    @sideline mama:
    Great point! Pierce is a great example of that, as is Burr now — I see people starting to gather at new/more schools, which leads to involvement which leads to people moving to the neighborhood which results in more “good” school choices.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 93. Edgewater parent  |  May 19, 2013 at 11:15 am

    After 3 years of playing this game – here’s our lowest WL #:

    2nd grade
    Burley 21

    We are excited to continue our support of Peirce. The 2nd grade team there has shown themselves to be impressive.

  • 94. South Side Mama  |  May 19, 2013 at 11:37 am

    We got our letter yesterday and are wait listed.. this is the 2nd year in a row where we didn’t get a single offer. Not from SEES, not from RGC and not from this neighborhood lottery. I guess it’s pretty hopeless now. Just trying to find somewhere to move to so the little one can go to 1st grade.
    We have Shoesmith as our neighborhood school and my neighbors told me they will not allow me to send my daughter there.
    Anyone else in the area want to band together and try to turn that school around?

  • 95. JLM  |  May 19, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    @86 Curious Mom- I have no idea. I think they have 2 neighborhood/magnet cluster classrooms (and 2 Classical). Once they have given neighborhood kids the slots, do magnet clusters function like magnets in that siblings get preference before anybody else gets in? If that’s the case, I think they wouldn’t move very far off the general waitlist, since I would guess they get a lot of siblings of kids in the Classical program trying to get in. Maybe you could call them and see how far it moved last year?

  • 96. SoxSideIrish4  |  May 19, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    94. South Side Mama | May 19, 2013 at 11:37 am

    I don’t know anything about Shoesmith. But on paper it looks very promising

  • 97. SoxSideIrish4  |  May 19, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    94. South Side Mama | May 19, 2013 at 11:37 am

    Also, The school has made above average growth, and is not on probation. I would def call the principal and tour the school while classes r still in session.

    Check out their fb page

  • 98. LSmom  |  May 19, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    Re:Shoesmith, there is a new “friends of group,” there was some discussion here:

    This event at Shoesmith sounds neat and is open to the community:

  • 99. Agassiz mom  |  May 19, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    For those wondering about Agassiz, we have a first grader and a preschooler there this year, have been with the school for three years and it’s a great school. Wonderful teachers, very diverse, very involved families, great performing arts program and afterschool classes. If I could change two things, I would want smaller class sizes (averaging about 28 kids per class in the lower grades, but this is the same everywhere in CPS) and I wish they had more outdoor space–there are two nice playgrounds but only a tiny grassy area. Jealous of the schools with fields, but there is nothing Agassiz can do about that.

  • 100. Still Waiting, Fingers Crossed  |  May 19, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    Agassiz Mom – How did Agassiz approach the longer 7-hour day?

  • 101. Another Edgewater Mom  |  May 19, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    Bummed. Really wanted Peirce and thought we were proximity, but it says we’re on the general list. Do they not do proximity for Magnet Clusters?

    Results for Pre-K:

    Acceptance: Prescott.
    Kind of far for us. They seem to have added a parents’ organization since I last checked. Not sure they are much better than our neighborhood school (Hayt). Applied mostly because I heard they accept a lot of people. Anyone got anything to say about Prescott?

    Waters 213
    Nettelhorst 174
    Peirce 82
    Chappell 34
    Courtenay 70
    Hamilton 43
    Agassiz 181
    Alcott ES 248
    Burley 499

    Calling CPS and Peirce about the Peirce proximity thing tomorrow.

  • 102. Frustrated 60625 Mom  |  May 19, 2013 at 5:41 pm


    Peterson 49
    Ravenswood 78
    Solomon 8
    Waters 98
    Chappell 175
    Courtenay 91
    Bateman 6
    Beaubien 94
    Budlong 23

    I was really hoping for an acceptance so we could be done with this process. My son had decent but not exceptional scores in the SEES testing, so I don’t think we’ll get any late calls. I’m somewhat optimistic that we’ll get accepted at one of the above schools. Our neighborhood school is Hibbard – not a viable option in my opinion.

  • 103. PeirceMom  |  May 19, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    To Edgewater Parent – Last year and previous years Peirce accepted everyone for K.

  • 104. PeirceMom  |  May 19, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    Oh… and Peirce does not have a proximity lottery

  • 105. Just another parent  |  May 19, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    102 – I was in the 20s for solomon last year for twins and they both eventually got in. We are also in Hibbard.

  • 106. Happy Hamilton mom  |  May 19, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    For #38, my daughter was No. 1 on the waitlist for Nettelhorst last year (for kindergarten), and we never got a call.

  • 107. Frustrated 60625 Mom  |  May 19, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    @105 – Thanks, that does make me feel better! Are you happy at Solomon? Any observations/advice you’d like to share?

  • 108. schoolstress  |  May 19, 2013 at 10:04 pm

    Does anyone know how far down on the waitlist they go for Chappell or Waters?



    RGC Score: 143 Tier 3 no offers coonley or edison

    Only offer is from North River Elementary in Albany Park. Ive heard nothing about this school. applied because it’s level one and small school in a neighborhood I like, but now feeling unsure since reading bad reveiews about the principal. I guess I’ll have to tour it, but right now feeling very hopeless and discouraged. How is it that you can put in so much time and energy and get nothing?
    I really need some advice. Our neighborhood school is not an option. It was on the shutdown list but I’m not sure if it’s official

  • 109. Irving Park  |  May 19, 2013 at 10:11 pm

    No offers, lowest waitlist in the 60s at Hamilton.

    We are strongly leaning toward having our son attend our neighborhood school, Bateman, for K. Having always assumed that this schools was “not an option,” I *really* liked the school on a recent tour (you don’t have to schedule a tour, you can just DROP BY, which is a great sign), and the new Principal (just finishing his first year) seems like a thoughtful leader based on a short conversation and is very well regarded by the teachers and by the ed reform community. Like that there’s an accelerated track starting in 1st grade. And that we can walk to school! Still a bit nervous to make the jump away from our private option, since it’s a known quantity, but would be a shame not to try.

  • 110. SK  |  May 19, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    Agassiz – someone mentioned being 25 on wait list – I am also 25 – are there multiple lists for this school?

  • 111. Frustrated 60625 Mom  |  May 19, 2013 at 10:32 pm

    @109 – My son currently goes to Bateman pre-K, and I’ve liked what I’ve seen of the school so far. They just announced the formation of a “Bateman Boosters” support organization, and parent involvement is on the rise. I’m still concerned by the overcrowding, but I wouldn’t be disappointed if we stayed there for kindergarten.

  • 112. alsoin60625  |  May 19, 2013 at 10:44 pm

    We live a couple of blocks from North River and it has a very low profile in the neighborhood. It’s definitely small and I’ve always wondered if it had some kind of special status. I’d say it’s worth touring, but I wouldn’t pick it sight unseen. Waters is very crowded right now so I would be surprised if they took anyone off the waitlist. Chappell may be more likely. We are currently in the Bateman district and it seems to be on the upswing these days and would definitely be worth trying for Kindergarten. Good luck to all. CPS seems to find new ways to make the process more stressful every year.

  • 113. Chicago Mama  |  May 19, 2013 at 11:59 pm

    @47 – I doubt it. I applied to Burley 6 years ago for my oldest kid. This was before the mayhem. WL #13 and never got a call.

  • 114. realchicagomama  |  May 20, 2013 at 12:05 am

    @78 – I know Hitch is overcrowded, but has an active and strong PTA.

  • 115. Anxious parent  |  May 20, 2013 at 12:15 am


    Agassiz 43
    Alcott 147
    Cooley 594
    Edgebrook 68
    Hamilton 295
    Nettlehorst 32
    Blaine 61

    Does anyone know how far Burley went down to the wait list last year? Our 1st choice is Blaine but I don’t think we will get a call. We received an offer from Disney and would like to know is Burley a better school than Disney? (just in case we receive a call :-))We also have a 2 yr. old and will be ready for school in a year. Does Burley have sibling preference like Disney? So, we don’t have to go through this stressful process again… Thanks!

  • 116. Anxious parent  |  May 20, 2013 at 12:20 am

    By the way, we’re on wait list #13 for Burley.

  • 117. Kim  |  May 20, 2013 at 1:52 am

    Kindegarten Tier 4
    CarnegieRGC Offered
    Budlong homeschool

    Peterson 1
    Agassiz 4
    Hawthorne 14 T4

    Courtenay 53
    Murray 62 T4
    Franklin 68 T4
    Alcott 91
    LaSalle II 133 T4
    Chopin 136
    Stone 156 T4
    Mayer 82
    Chappell 167
    LaSalle 175 T4
    Ravenswood 191
    Edgebrook 267
    Waters 278 closest to me 😦
    Pritzker 301
    Beaubien 335

    So Peterson I’m sure I’m in.
    Agassiz most likely.
    Wishful thinking for Hawthorne which I probably will take if offered.

    Carnegie RGC vs. Peterson vs. Agassiz? Commutes are no problem for any of the schools.

    Will Any of these other schools have a chance for offering?

  • […] Lottery Elementary Letters Part 2 – 2013 (Magnet cluster, neighborhood schools) CPS Obsessed: So OAE says that starting today the letters for acceptance for open enrollment schools (Magnet cluster — which btw have no magnet component and should probably be renamed, neighborhood schools, and any other open enrollment schools (whatever those might be) sometimes have room for kids outside their boundaries. […]

  • 119. Schoolstress  |  May 20, 2013 at 8:23 am

    Thank you alsoin60625. Cannot find anyone who knows about this school, so I appreciate your input. Going to schedule a tour today.

  • 120. Edgewatermom  |  May 20, 2013 at 8:24 am

    We applied for Kindergarten:

    Waters 296
    Jahn 82
    McPherson 35
    Nettelhorst 29
    Peirce 30
    Prescott 53
    Ravenswood 28
    Solomon 53
    Belding 29
    Chappell 124
    Courtenay 15
    Greeley 24
    Hamilton 440
    Agassiz 107
    Alcott 406
    Bateman 25
    Swift 16

    We do have an offer at Stone.

    While there are some promising waitlist numbers, I don’t think there’s anything there that would make us change our mind at this point. Maybe Nettelhorst, but I don’t know how far down the waitlist they move.

  • 121. Irving Park  |  May 20, 2013 at 8:53 am

    111.Frustrated 60625 Mom. I think it’s safe to assume you will get in at Bateman for K w/ WL of 6. Shoot me a note if you want to discuss more since we both have rising K students. Would be interested in your impressionn from being there for pre-K. Email is jill4232 at gmail dot com

  • 122. cpsparent  |  May 20, 2013 at 9:04 am

    For those asking about waitlist movement based on prior years for Kindergarten. Waters, Blaine, Burley do not even touch their waitlist, they have so many kids enrolled within their boundaries.

  • 123. AP Mama  |  May 20, 2013 at 9:17 am


    Peterson 10
    Ravenswood 22
    Solomon 89
    Courtenay 11
    Jahn 14
    Boone 65
    Farnsworth 23
    Hamilton 110
    Hitch 33
    McPherson 48
    Peirce 177
    Chappell 121
    Beaubien 315
    Ebinger 140

    We also were offered a seat at CICS Irving Park and are hoping to get a seat at LaSalle II (waitlisted #8/tier 2). Not sure if I want to do the commute to LaSalle II though.

    Hoping to get an offer at Peterson as it is very close to us. Can anyone share their opinions? # students/classroom? Specials? Language? Differentiation?

    Good luck everyone!

  • 124. New2this  |  May 20, 2013 at 9:24 am

    Posting for people wondering about their odds:



    8 Farnsworth
    16 Beaubien
    18 – Nettlehorst
    Everything else is over 100.

    We’re declining Prescott and won’t be in the running for anything on our waitlist since we have already accepted Coonley, I hope this helps someone!

  • 125. Mayfair Dad  |  May 20, 2013 at 9:40 am

    @123. I have heard very good things about CICS Irving Park. At the very least you should tour the school and meet the principal before declining the offer. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

  • 126. No offers, anyone?!  |  May 20, 2013 at 9:53 am

    Wondering how many of us applied to both lotteries, put our kids through both tests (gifted and classical) and received NO offers?! This topic should be its own on the blog to see the data. That Reader reporter should write about it.

    What’s your best, or is it worst place in line? We did all this and lowest waitlist is 20 at a neighborhood school. This system is terrible! All the other kids in their prek will have names of the schools they are heading to for K on a bulletinboard and mine will have a “?” This is the kind of first school experience you dream of having for your children, isn’t it, in a World-class US city?

  • 127. mscontinental  |  May 20, 2013 at 10:00 am

    Does anyone have any input on Haines? We didn’t do the school tour and we’re hoping to get one. I applied strictly on their Tier 1 status and their test scores from the CPS website. Wondering if a commute will be worth it and if it will be a good fit.

  • 128. mscontinental  |  May 20, 2013 at 10:01 am

    @126 – Applied every which way with the maximum amount of applications and we didn’t get any offers.

  • 129. Kelly  |  May 20, 2013 at 10:03 am

    #101 – Prescott is a fantastic little school. Various factors have resulted in us transferring elsewhere for next year, but we would have been happy to keep our child there if that’s how it had turned out. As you’ve probably heard, the parents’ group is very active and invested in doing whatever it takes to make and keep the school great. (They also are super nice and fun people, for whatever that’s worth to you.) I absolutely adore my child’s teacher, and I’ve heard nothing but great things about many of the others. The principal and AP are wonderful, too. Overall,my personal opinion is that Prescott is getting better everyday, and it won’t be long until people on this blog will be lamenting high wait list numbers there.

  • 130. AP Mama  |  May 20, 2013 at 10:15 am

    @ 125
    We did tour CISS -IP and we were not thrilled about it. It is still a possibility, but I don’t think it is a good fit for my child.

  • 131. info about Solomon northwest side school  |  May 20, 2013 at 10:23 am

    My friend told me this about Solomon – Solomon is a fantastic little school, as you know we love it. It is very small, a great thing in our big city. Safe neighborhood, most everyone walks to school. Families of many backgrounds including new immigrants from middle eastern countries, eastern europe, pakistan. Teachers are good all around. Much is up in the air due to Principal Moy coming back as acting principal while the LSC searches for a new principal. What will new principal bring? Who knows. Classes are way too large and I’m very surprised and concerned that out of neighborhood children will be allowed in. Sauganash (school immediately neighboring us) is as crowded as we are and was allowed to stay out of the city-wide lottery. I don’t know why Solomon was even in the lottery. An issue for some is the playground. The school sits on an enormous lot but it is completely paved over. No grass, old playground equipment and a couple of beat up basketball hoops. Fine for the littles but nothing for 5-6-7-8 graders.There is no where near sufficient fundraising or volunteerism by parents of in order to pay for something like a new playground or a decent parent focused website. Sparse after school classes here and there, not meant for working parents. I hope I answered all your qs.

  • 132. Peter  |  May 20, 2013 at 10:40 am

    @71, not sure what you want compared between Waters and Agassiz. And what about Waters do you not like. I know some familes there who absolutely love it.

  • 133. Sean  |  May 20, 2013 at 10:44 am

    @ No offers, anyone. Same boat. Lowest wait list is 31 in moderately close neighborhood school. The school 4 blocks away where my younger daughter is enrolled in pre-k, we are wait listed 240. This process is really difficult.

  • 134. Ravenswood dad  |  May 20, 2013 at 10:55 am

    My children attend Ravenswood and it is fabulous. I see that several are inquiring about the school. Ravenswood has very small class sizes (smaller than any CPS school that I toured) and the teachers are great. They have a wonderful social-emotional curriculum and my children love the fine arts component. They have a big push on inquiry-based learning and my children have never been more excited about learning now that they get to “Go Public” with their learning. The principal is outstanding (she is the one who has turned the school around and has been able to hire most of the current staff) and the parent involvement is amazing. We just had a Walk-4-Ravenswood event and made over 20K. We couldn’t be happier to be a part of this school. You should check it out. The school website is

    Good luck everyone!

  • 135. Peter  |  May 20, 2013 at 11:09 am

    Ravenswood dad, nice to hear! I’ve read about some of the new programing happening at Ravenswood School and not surprised. The reality is that school should become one of the better neighborhood schools.

  • 136. no longer reading the reader  |  May 20, 2013 at 11:45 am

    @126 – There is no way that the Reader reporter would write an article about city parents at wits end because they do not want to send their kids to their local on probation, underachieving, under-enrolled school.

  • 137. Stillwaiting  |  May 20, 2013 at 11:52 am

    @ All Ravenswood parents:
    School will have extra tour for potential parents on Tuesday, May 28th. Just got off the phone with AP.

  • 138. hmmm  |  May 20, 2013 at 11:57 am

    Ravenswood is getting better with the Mayor living near. Why it took that you can just guess. Ask why the skin color of kids in the older grades differs so much from younger. Inquire if perhaps that has something to do with the rising test scores.

    Hang around the school after school when the after school programs let out. Make sure you are okay with the feel of safety with your kids running around there. .

  • 139. RoscoeVillageDad  |  May 20, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    @65 DadWhoHasADaughterAndWantsHerToGoToAGoodSchool and @71 Lincoln Square Mom. I’d be happy to discuss Agassiz with you.

  • 140. RoscoeVillageDad  |  May 20, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    @41 Jen. Same with you – would be happy to discuss Agassiz

  • 141. Stacey  |  May 20, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    I’d love to hear also – but not sure it we’ll get a call – #25 on the wait list.

  • 142. cpsparent  |  May 20, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    My opinions are based on our experience 2 1/2 years ago but I personally wouldn’t have my children attend Ravenswood. One of my kids attended the TBPK there for 2 years. The principal is a unique character and I don’t mean that in a positive way. She tried to implement a kiss-n-go program for 3 years and it never happened. The area in front of the school on Paulina became a serious problem at drop off but instead of finding more options to deal with it. She would call the police and have parents ticketed. Her communication skills are just not great and I never understood her vision of the school.

    The prek rooms didn’t have a buzzer that opened the door, so if you got to school then you’d ring the bell and a teacher would have to leave the room to open it. Many times the kids would be left entirely alone in the room for a minute or two. Not the end of the world but it bothered me. I suggested a mini-fundraiser for the prek parents and I would personally donate $500 to install a buzzer for the prek room. At first, she was open to it and said we’d have to talk to the engineer. I emailed him and he never responded. Then I emailed again and she replied that they have to go through a CPS approved company and that it’s complicated. That was it. I emailed a couple more times about it and she stopped replying entirely.

    The older grades were very rough kids and there were numerous behavior issues. Also, there was a cultural divide between the Hispanic families and everyone else, mostly due to the language barrier. The principal did little to combine the groups and create a more whole school culture.

    Just my 2 cents…

  • 143. $8k, more crowded classrooms on horizon.  |  May 20, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    Have you heard $8k per head? A New funding schedule this year. That is the number each school will receive for each student enrolled. This is likely to incentivize neighborhood schools to let in more out of area students. If you recall, the union lost the battle on classroom cap size and mayor is ok with 50 kids in classroom, so . . .we may all get off the waitlists yet. It will likely depend on parent pressure and parent fundraising efforts to keep enrollments low. If this is news to you, I was told this by a person high up at Office of access and enrollment for CPS.

  • 144. hmmm  |  May 20, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    Is there a legal limit on elementary classroom size? 143, that is very disturbing to ssay the least.

  • 145. John Doe  |  May 20, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    “I was told this by a person high up at Office of access and enrollment for CPS.”

    Oh good, an unnamed source from an unnamed poster, I trust that.

    If you think the funding is too low and an willing to pay more you could send your kid to private school.

  • 146. Peter  |  May 20, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    @144, I wouldn’t worry too mcuh about comment 143. Looks like a troll with no real information but lies.

  • 147. hmmm  |  May 20, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    OK Peter. Thank you. I was thinking since Ive already heard of many people saying some schools are into the 40s in class size that 50 wouldn’t be too far off, especially if principals are tempted with more money per child.

  • 148. cpsobsessed  |  May 20, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    50 kids per class is based on Slippery Slope reasoning.
    Is it impossible? Probably not? Is it likely? Probably not.
    Per-student funding has the potential to temp admin to draw extra students, I suppose. It can’t hurt for parents to attend LSC meetings and make their voice known if something is done to an extreme like that. I can’t believe and LSC would support that. Parents elect the LSC, who elect the principal so if that happens, parents should speak up and use their power.

    Description of Slippery Slope

    The Slippery Slope is a fallacy in which a person asserts that some event must inevitably follow from another without any argument for the inevitability of the event in question. In most cases, there are a series of steps or gradations between one event and the one in question and no reason is given as to why the intervening steps or gradations will simply be bypassed. This “argument” has the following form:

    Event X has occurred (or will or might occur).
    Therefore event Y will inevitably happen.

  • 149. Ravenswood dad  |  May 20, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    To 142: Not sure how long you have been gone. My daughter went through TBPK for 2 years as well and there is a buzzer with a camera at the door for entrance. In terms of the principal’s communication skills not being up to par, Ravenswood has the best website I have seen, they have email blasts weekly (from the principal) indicating what is taking place that week as well as what is coming up, each classroom has it’s own blog, the principal sends home a monthly newsletter to the families, they have an active facebook and twitter feed, so I am not sure how much more one individual can do.

    In terms of the divide between Hispanic families and non-Hispanic families, this was when the principal first came (5 years ago BTW) and now the community does not have that feeling at all. For those of you curious, my feeling would be to come check it out. In my opinion, it seems that this mom is talking about her past histrory from 4 or 5 years ago, which is certainly not the case now.

  • 150. hmmm  |  May 20, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    My guess is that the white vs hispanic pressures are because in comparison ALMOST ALL THE HISPANICS (and african americans) ARE GONE from lower grades. G-O-N-E. Huge economic divide between upper and lower grades with lower grade parents not unhappy that the ‘rough’ element has almost all graduated. Nice job white people of creating a school that looks nothing like the CPS statistics on racial and economic status.

  • 151. SoxSideIrish4  |  May 20, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    this is what Catalyst just posted “Catalyst & WBEZ analysis of FOIA’d data finds that school closings will result in larger class sizes”.

  • 152. cpsobsessed  |  May 20, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    @Hmm, I believe Ravenswood now fill primarily from the neighborhood, so if the school has gentrified (which I believe it has as have many other north side schools in the past few years) it’s really a function of demo shifts and people taking advantage of their assigned school. Not sure it’s fair to blame that specific school’s parents for working to push anyone out.
    Yes, the change in demos is what accounts for the change in test scores, for better of worse. That is the story throughout all of CPS for the most part unfortunately.
    And that is exactly my point about not disregarding schools with low test scores if the admin and teachers seem strong. Change the demos and suddenly test scores look a lot different. Same leadership and staff, different scenario.

  • 153. cpsobsessed  |  May 20, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    Regarding Waters, I would say the school has a very down to earth vibe. Great arts and ecology program and strong parent community. That vibe is not necessarily for everyone, but when the right fit, it’s fantastic.
    The school also works hard to celebrate multi-culturalism and the principal puts a priority on all school populations (in reference to my agreement that many north side schools have experienced a demographic shift in the past few years.)

  • 154. Ravenswood dad  |  May 20, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    Simply not true 150. If you look at our Hispanic numbers over the last 3 years, they have basically held. Hispanic students are still our largest population (nearly 60%) and in my dughter’s first grade class, she (a little white girl) is the minority. As a parent of a little white girl, I couldn’t be happier that my children are growing up in a diverse environment. This is why I CHOSE to live in the city and CHOSE to send my children to Ravenswood, a school that is a mixture of all kinds of students. Ravenswood is one of the few schools that is still diverse, I’ll give you that, but we are really glad we are! So many haters out there!!!

  • 155. Even One More CPS Mom  |  May 20, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    I fully agree with CPSO @152. We live several blocks from Ravenswood Elementary (but are not within boundaries) and her assessment is absolutely correct. If more neighborhood families are sending their kids to Ravenswood, then you are going to see a shift in the school’s demographics. I certainly would not say that some kind of evil plot is going on but simply the reflection of more immediate neighborhood families deciding to choose their neighborhood school option rather than going the parochial, private SEES or lottery route.

  • 156. SR  |  May 20, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    Agreed, Ravenswood dad. I just attended Ravenswood’s music performance and the lower grades are much less white than nearby schools I’m familiar with. We would love to have our kid stay at Ravenswood (from TBPK), but I think it will be harder and harder to get in via lottery because so many neighborhood families are attending or even moving into the district to attend.

    The one potential improvement at Ravenswood would be a kiss and go for drop off, but since I wouldn’t be able to take advantage I’ve never inquired.

  • 157. Neighborhood CPS parent  |  May 20, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    Ravenswood Dad – Totally understand where you are coming from.

    @150 – Trying to pin “guilt” on new kinder parents entering the system is misplaced & not constructive. Why can’t my family/kid be part of the diversity of my neighborhood and thus school? What happened to “free to be you and me”?

    Does this kind of ‘guilt agenda’ exist in magnet/SEES schools?

  • 158. OhBother  |  May 20, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    Our lowest waitlist numbers (others in the 100-989! range)

    Talcott 10
    Murphy 20
    Pritzker 30

    Anybody know about Talcott or Murphy? Can I hold out hope for Pritzker?

    We’ve been accepted to charters Rowe (first choice) and CICS Bucktown, so we know we don’t have to go to our terrible neighborhood school in Logan Square.

  • 159. cpsobsessed  |  May 20, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    I’m not saying that neigbhorhood gentrification isn’t happening. The result is often that families (ie Hispanic) in the northside neighborhoods get pushed out by the rent and real estate changes. It truly does suck, I don’t deny it. The old Waters principal said that when a building went condo in the neighborhood, this school lost 30 kids the following year (this was like 8 years ago.) In essence, those kids got pushed out of the school because of that… not because of school parents. I’m not sure what to do to prevent that though. Most schools will let kids stay through 8th grade, but it’s not always convenient to do so if the family moves to a different neighborhood.

    BUT, unless local parents decide that they’ll send their kids to the local school, the schools run the risk of low enrollment, which is exactly where Waters, Coonley, Hamilton etc were not that long ago. On the verge of closing.

  • 160. Peter  |  May 20, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    The pace of genrification has really picked up again in the last year or so. I’m amazed at some of the new homes being built around the City.

  • 161. Chicago Mama  |  May 20, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    You can get a feel for the school at their next LSC meeting on 6/6. My neighbor has a K student there. You can see his comment about the school in the comments section here:
    Also, although she is not identified as such in this article, Jennifer Byrd is a Murphy parent:

  • 162. @146  |  May 20, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    Actually, the name of the person at office of acess is Susan Ryan. It was not told to me in any confidential manner, rather matter of factly. It is truth not fiction. Dont shoot the messenger. Thanks.

  • 163. Classroom size  |  May 20, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    Cpsobsessed, I am not stating that 50 students per classroom will happen, only that our mayor is not opposed having classrooms at or near this size. Let’s hope the schools can keep class sizes at 30 students or smaller.

  • 164. cpsobsessed  |  May 20, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    @163: has Rahm said that? I don’t think I’ve seen that — is that based on the Becky Carroll comment about giant classrooms not being problematic.
    CPS has told me that there is no plan to raise the reco on class size from where it is now. But there clearly is principal discretion on this matter (with budgets of course coming into play.) Some schools seem to prioritize class size more, some seem to be more clever about getting class size down. There seems to be a skill/art to it in working with the budgets. More than ever it makes sense for parents to be involved, ask questions, attend LSC meetings to hold the principals accountable for the class size actions.

  • 165. HydeParkSAHM  |  May 20, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    To #94, South Side Mama, I’m thrilled that you are interested in banding together to work on Shoesmith, which is also my neighborhood school. I got myself elected to the LSC last year and I’m also heavily involved in the Friends of Shoesmith, which was formed in November 2010. Since its formation, we’ve brought in over $45,000 in grants and donations to support a wide range of things from artists in residency and other types of arts programming, Chicago Children’s Choir, Hyde Park Suzuki School of Music program, new padding for the gym, new cafeteria mural, new butterfly garden and outdoor classroom, recess equipment, and more. We are also working on creating cohorts of kindergarten parents who are interested in enrolling their kids at the same time at Shoesmith. I publish a quarterly newsletter that I distribute through the Friends of Shoesmith listserve and the PSN (Parent Support Network) listserve. We also get news out through the Hyde Park Herald.

    I’m a little disheartened that there are still neighbors who live in the district and haven’t heard of the revitalization efforts being undertaken and are still providing outdated, discouraging advice such as, “I will not allow you to send your daughter there.”

    I wish you had been able to come to Curriculum Night last week where all teachers showcased the interdisciplinary units and student work that kids accomplished this year. The school is working hard to balance academic rigor with a whole-child, inquiry-based, project-based approach.

    The new principal is very welcoming to the community and an extremely hard worker, often staying until 9 PM at night on many days just to meet with Friends of Shoesmith and throw these elaborate outreach and parent/community events. I wish I knew how to get the news out there even more!

    Please contact me if you’d like to read some of the newsletters we’ve been trying to distribute via email. The kindergarten class is becoming increasingly diverse and we are trying to spotlight neighborhood parents who have already taken the leap and enrolled their kids. They have given tremendously positive reviews about their experience. We are working to diversify the school. It’s truly ironic that in one of the most diverse neighborhoods in Chicago, the school is still so racially isolated. If we would all just join forces and put our effort behind our neighborhood schools, they could easily become places of excellence.

    I’ve been an educator for ten years and took some leave from FT work to raise my family. Now I’m committed to making my neighborhood school a public school of choice. I’ve been pleasantly surprised that Shoesmith is not in need of a “turnaround.” It’s really just in need of more neighborhood attention and support. As we gain momentum, I see the tide changing. I already have two additional parents this year who are considering enrolling their kids in kindergarten and first grade. And the kindergarten parents from last year who enrolled have decided to return next year because they have been so pleased with the school.

    Please, please do contact me so we can get connected! I definitely would welcome your partnership!

    Thank you to LSMom who reposted a link to the article CPSObsessed blogged about last year. I was the one who sent the letter to her about Shoesmith. And please find us and like us on FB! I’ve taken on a lot of the marketing tasks and am the one who started the FB page to promote Shoesmith to the neighborhood.

  • 166. RL Julia  |  May 20, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    Have only heard good things about Talcott. Know that they have some great teachers over there. Don’t think you can go wrong.

    Both of my kids went to Murphy (its our neighborhood school) and had positive experiences there. Great teachers, nice add-in programs, no language program but strong for arts/music/dance and is a school with a library and computer lab. “The Caring Community” is the Murphy motto and they really are. Go Owls!

  • 167. cpsparent  |  May 20, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    @154 Ravenswood dad – I’m giving my opinion and just because it differs from yours doesn’t mean it’s not a valid one. I’m really glad that you are happy at Ravenswood but trying to discredit my opinion only makes your point less valuable to others.

    For clarification, Ravenswood is not 60% Hispanic, it’s 44%. In 2000, 70% of the kids at Ravenswood were Hispanic. More details here:

  • 168. Ravenswood dad  |  May 20, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    167. Seriously? In 2000? In 2000 there was 70%???? That is 13 years ago. In 2000 your children and my children weren’t even born. In 1995 I lived by Wrigley Field and Lemoyne School (now Inter-American School) would have been my neighborhood school. At that time, that school (and neighborhood for that matter) were completely gang-infested and horrible. it wasn’t until roughly 2000 that this neighborhood began to change. My point is that a lot of change can happen in 4 years time and if your child attended Ravenswood 3 or 4 years ago, that was a completely different school.

    According to the research that I have always heard in both business as well as in school reform, it takes a school 5-7 years to create a change. This is Mrs. Connolly’s 5th year as a principal. A lot has happened since the 3 years ago that your child attended (4 years ago when your child started there) and it is a completely different place. BTW— I didn’t discredit your opinion, the fellow posters discredited your statements.

  • 169. Stone vs. Blaine?  |  May 20, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    We received a low waitlist number for Blaine for kindergarten. We previously accepted a spot at Stone. In case Blaine calls, we would be grateful for anyone’s experience with either school that might help us decide.

    We’ve probably read everything on these boards from the past couple of years and have scoured all CPS, State, and UofC data sources. But we haven’t visited Blaine (because we expected a gigantic waitlist number), so any direct experience with either Blaine or Stone would be much appreciated.

    Two key details: We live in East Rogers Park, and we will have a sibling ready to start in two years (and we don’t know how much of a risk we’d be taking, since we live outside the neighborhood). Thanks in advance for any help!

  • 170. anonymouse teacher  |  May 20, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    @169, Stone is way closer to you and there is very little chance you’d get lucky enough to get a sibling into Blaine even if your other child does get called due to space issues, so that’s a huge risk. Commute matters far more than you might think over the long haul. Playdates will be more difficult too.

  • 171. anonymouse teacher  |  May 20, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    I loved this part, “I’ve been pleasantly surprised that Shoesmith is not in need of a “turnaround.” It’s really just in need of more neighborhood attention and support. ” I know nothing about Shoesmith, but I’d say that comment is true of a TON of neighborhood schools in Chicago. HPSAHM, I am in awe of how your parent group wrote 45K in grants. That is incredible.

  • 172. Dadwhohasadaughter...  |  May 20, 2013 at 6:07 pm


    All I’ve seen regarding Agassiz is what we’ve been able to find online. Their website, reviews and CPS statistics. Their curriculum looks good and we prefer a well balanced approach with an emphasis on Fine Arts.

    We are weighing Agassiz vs Inter-American. Our concern with Inter is the intensity of language immersion and the lack of being able to tour the school before enrollment.

    Does your child attend Agassiz? What are your experiences with Agassiz?

  • 173. anonymouse teacher  |  May 20, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    @148, I don’t think we are going to see 50 in a classroom. Though, I never did think 40 in a room was possible or acceptable in a non-developing country either.
    Per pupil funding is at least a little concerning. My school is looking at budgeting and at staff positions for next year and our bilingual coordinator has already seen that at least one of our bilingual positions is going to be cut. But you know, this is CPS. There’ll be tons of screaming and shouting about 50 in a classroom, about cuts, about what a terrible system we have, there’ll likely be some adjustments, stuff will happen last minute or 2-4 weeks into the school year, and probably, we’ll go on much like we always have. I swear, we have this same exact conversation each summer. There’s always some CPS financial apocalypse coming. This is how we operate here. Continual crisis.

  • 174. local  |  May 20, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    Re: “Lemoyne School … At that time, that school (and neighborhood for that matter) were completely gang-infested and horrible.”

    Didn’t Lemoyne house a good autism/sped program at that time?

  • 175. local  |  May 20, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    @ 136. no longer reading the reader | May 20, 2013 at 11:45 am

    @126 – There is no way that the Reader reporter would write an article about city parents at wits end because they do not want to send their kids to their local on probation, underachieving, under-enrolled school.

    Didn’t his kid go to Whitney Young?

  • 176. West Loop Mom  |  May 20, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    A bit confused by this letter I just received. Tested for Skinner West for K but didn’t score well enough in the reading to be considered. Skinner West is also our neighborhood school. Registered two weeks a go for the neighborhood component. Todays letter indicates “Skinner” and “Not Eligible”. Does this have anything to do with my daughter going to the neighborhood component if we live within the boundaries? The letter says contains information for “neighborhood schools” Totally confused.

  • 177. john  |  May 20, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    @176. Yes, you are ‘not eligible’ to gain a seat through the lottery for your neighborhood school. You can simply enroll in the neighborhood component.

  • 178. WesLooMom  |  May 20, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    @176, I’m in the same boat. I wonder if “not eligible” means that we were not considered for a magnet spot, because we live in the neighborhood boundaries. I was hoping to be considered for a magnet spot, because I’m likely moving.

  • 179. Sean  |  May 20, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    Does anyone know how Pulaski worked through their wait list last year? I would think 31 might be feasible.

  • 180. Maria  |  May 20, 2013 at 10:30 pm

    Please look at this video regarding Wildwood magnet school and the severe and dangerous overcrowding issues

  • 181. Waitlisted  |  May 20, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    @180 – “good” this for me is, Wildwood is the lowest number on my Waitlist!!! Only 36!
    What a HORROR!!
    It seems like it is very important to tour the school before you apply for one.

  • 182. Sue  |  May 21, 2013 at 12:11 am

    Chicago sun times———–In response to those concerns, Byrd-Bennett on Friday sent a letter to principals saying that a student from a closing school or a school being relocated could attend any district school that has the capacity.

  • 183. Sue  |  May 21, 2013 at 12:12 am

    Yippee, Disney 2, here I come!!

  • 184. Schoolstress  |  May 21, 2013 at 12:51 am

    Does anyone have an idea how far down the wait list they go for Chappell? My daughter is wl 23. I was looking at utilization report and it says they’re underutilized. That should mean they have space for wait listers, right?

  • 185. cpsobsessed  |  May 21, 2013 at 7:14 am

    @schoolstress – unfortunately chappell would be a receiving school for Trumbull which is on the closing list. So in the past I believe it was pretty easy to get in (good school but under the radar), they might not accept anyone until the closing stuff is final and they see what they’re new student body size is. Or it may depend by grade. But in any case, that throws a monkey wrench into it…

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 186. realchicagomama  |  May 21, 2013 at 7:42 am

    Sue, can you share WL # and tier?

  • 187. Schoolstress  |  May 21, 2013 at 8:10 am

    Our neighborhood school (Stockton) is supposed to be closing too. Maybe that will help.

  • 188. Kim  |  May 21, 2013 at 8:16 am

    For people looking at waters: from what I’ve heard from a mom in my sons pk class she is on sibling waitlist at #6 there may be a possibility of them opening another k class but they won’t know anything until the get better numbers of neighborhood kids attending, which will be in August.

  • 189. Peter  |  May 21, 2013 at 8:59 am

    @Kim, is there room for another K class there?

  • 190. db  |  May 21, 2013 at 9:17 am

    @169 – Blaine does not take in any kids from the lottery for the lower grades at all. They are overcrowded.

  • 191. Stillwaiting  |  May 21, 2013 at 9:54 am

    @190 – If so, why are they still “Open Enrollment” school!?

  • 192. CPS crazy  |  May 21, 2013 at 10:20 am

    can anyone tell me if these W/L numbers are like the first letter and dependent on your tier?

  • 193. Kim  |  May 21, 2013 at 10:21 am

    @189 not much room I don’t know how they’ll do it but the principle is going to try to accomadate the neighborhood students and siblings 1st if they have enough neighborhood kids they’ll break it down to two classes. This is second hand info but this is what she got from the meeting with the principle.

    @191 a lot of “open enrollment” schools are open enrollment for those students who have siblings going to the school, such as RGC in coonley or for the upper grades in which they have space. The principle at Coonley on our tour said that they do it that way because its easier in the paperwork then haveing todo individual transfers for siblings if they have room. He specifically said don’t use up a neighborhood application spot because of this. I would expect that’s the same for many of the schools that are overcrowded and still open.

  • 194. cpsobsessed  |  May 21, 2013 at 10:23 am

    @191: Blaine (and other schools similar) probably have some spots open in the older grades so they get counted in the open enrollment pool. It doesn’t appear that the application process lets you figure that out. Ideally if Blaine doesn’t have K spots, the application wouldn’t let you choose it for K… but it does, unfortunately. I saw Coonley listed on people’s K lists too — also full. Many of those popular schools are full for K and 1st but then over time may have room as people move away. Also, classes can be larger in older grades so they can add spots there.

    @192: The neighborhood/magnet clusters do not utilize tiers.

  • 195. West Loop Mom  |  May 21, 2013 at 10:25 am

    Tier 4
    Math 91 REading 99.8
    Offered a spot at NTA-RGC
    I also applied to 19 more schools including magnets and neighborhood schools and here are my numbers:
    No offers at all
    My best number was WL#12 at Inter-American (my favorite school)
    My worst number was WL#497 at Blaine
    The rest of the schools are in the range of 37 to 300 and something.
    Seriously. Not much point in listing them all, except Inter-American.
    My daughter is going to NTA-RGC.
    I also got a “not eligible” result for Skinner West Magnet cluster. Some parents in this post say this is because Skinner is my neighborhood school, which it is. However, if you check the back of the letter, it clearly says that if you get a “not eligible” result, it means that the school is overcrowded. I believe Skinner is overcrowded, BTW. I toured it and saw it. Some classes are already taking place in the hallways and this is a pretty new school. I have no idea how they will solve the overcrowding issue.

  • 196. Kim  |  May 21, 2013 at 10:27 am

    @192 I had thought they were dependent on teir and proximity but it looks as if its just one general waitlist. That kind of sucks because I did many of my selections based on the proximity waitlist for better chance of getting in. The schools I’m very close to have some of the highest numbers.

  • 197. JMOChicago  |  May 21, 2013 at 10:39 am

    In response to those concerns, Byrd-Bennett on Friday sent a letter to principals saying that a student from a closing school or a school being relocated could attend any district school that has the capacity.

    Well, yes and no. IF the student is already in attendance at a closing or re-locating school and IF the school that the student wishes to attend has space IN THAT GRADE.

    Magnet and SEES schools believe that they are exempt from this, btw. So, no, probably not Disney 2.

    Which led me to run the data. Which led me to question why SO many SEES/Magnet schools are allowed to stay underutilized and run waitlists. It is a puzzle. I personally believe in smaller class sizes, but it seems odd that only neighborhood schools are being pushed to 100%+ utilization here, when they have more SPED, more Self-Contained Classrooms, and more constraints re: mobility and differentiation challenges in every grade. The list of schools that held seats open during 2012-2013 school year (this isn’t related to lottery, this is the number of seats open all year) is here:

  • 198. Kim  |  May 21, 2013 at 10:42 am

    Here’s another resource for us to consider for good schools. I was actually surprised about some schools. Theres a spreadsheet on here that shows the feeder schools.

  • 199. cpsobsessed  |  May 21, 2013 at 11:01 am

    @JMO: Wow, incredibly interesting! I certainly seems like an easy solution to adding more “quality seats” as JCB used to like to call it would be to add more students at some of these schools. I’m sure there would be push-back from some of those schools, but to your point, WHY should the magnets/sees be exempt from helping to deal with the overflow of students in certain parts of the city?
    If a good school has some space, it should certainly be utilized.

  • 200. cpsobsessed  |  May 21, 2013 at 11:03 am

    Ay, there’s my quote in the feeder school article that caused my CEO;s wife to come by my desk and ask me what I had against private school kids getting SEHS spots. 🙂

    @198 Kim, which schools on the list surprised you?

  • 201. Kim  |  May 21, 2013 at 11:15 am

    @200 Bateman and Budlong. Then I couldn’t find a couple schools such as Coonley or Agassiz but search is kind of funny on my ipad.

  • 202. RoscoeVillageDad  |  May 21, 2013 at 11:40 am

    cpsobsessed, is there a way to get my contact info to Stacey (@141) and Dadwhohasadaughter… (@172)? I don’t particularly want to publish my email address out there in the blog

  • 203. South Side Mama  |  May 21, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    @165 I would LOVE to connect!! My daughter is going to 1st grade though, do you know of any parents planning to also enroll their kids? I have not heard of any efforts, because I don’t think people realize the building we live in has TONS of kids… they assume it’s old folks and we are right behind the school in the two huge high rises. The kids in my building all seem to go to schools via lottery and not Shoesmith. How can I get in touch with you?

  • 204. cpsobsessed  |  May 21, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    @roscoevillagedad: if you each send me your email address at I will put you in touch.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 205. NeighborhoodSchoolsAreOverburdened  |  May 21, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    Thank you, JMO. I’ve been saying that forever. Why should magnets and SEs be exempt?

  • 206. SWParent2  |  May 21, 2013 at 10:03 pm

    For those who are on the general waitlist of SW, I don’t think you will get a call at all. The school didn’t even have spots for all siblings.

  • 207. HydeParkSAHM  |  May 21, 2013 at 11:30 pm

    Hey South Side Mama! Let’s both email with our email addresses. She just told Roscoe Village Dad that she would get him in touch with Stacey. CPSO, can you also do the same for us? And yes! I actually know a mom who has two kindergarteners that she is transferring from U of C Lab and seriously considering enrolling at Shoesmith’s first grade next year! If you click on my name, you will also find it linked to a blog I started about Shoesmith. It’s a baby blog still in its infancy and I’m working on updating it more frequently with current news about different initiatives going on at Shoesmith. We’re having an end of year Arts in the Garden event that’s open to the whole community, on June 22. You should totally come out to that so we can meet each other!

  • 208. 60625 Mom  |  May 22, 2013 at 9:45 am

    What is the deadline for accepting a spot at a magnet cluster or open enrollment school? Did the letter say? (I do not have mine with me and am wondering). Thanks!

  • 209. LSmom  |  May 22, 2013 at 9:59 am

    The letter says “by June 3.”

  • 210. 60625 Mom  |  May 22, 2013 at 10:00 am

    Thanks, LS Mom!

  • 211. NMayfairMom  |  May 22, 2013 at 10:02 am

    Does anybody have any thoughts on Palmer? It’s our neighborhood school and I don’t know anybody in our area who sends their kids there…but we didn’t get in anywhere, not even close on the wait list. So it’s either private school or Palmer. If anyone knows about the school, please let me know…Thanks!

  • 212. BdubYa  |  May 22, 2013 at 10:21 am

    The CPS model is failing on so many fronts…Closing, waitlists, etc…
    Speaking of waitlists, we are #7 for Newberry, anyone have a crystal ball to see if we are getting into in Kindergarten or are we off to St. Viator? The rest of our waitlist numbers are pretty high as well, I think we have a 65 for Franklin, other than that they all start at 130 and above. Our home school though is not an option! Who names their school Scammon? Good luck to everybody and their numbers falling in the right way.

  • 213. Leggy Mountbatten  |  May 22, 2013 at 10:52 am

    #7 for Newberry sounds doable for K.

  • 214. BuenaParkDad  |  May 22, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    I’ve been following this site since March, and I’ve learned so much! One thing I still don’t understand is how they know how many spots they can fill via lottery for all these neighborhood schools when they don’t know how many spots will be filled via neighborhood kids inside the attendance boundary. Maybe I’m mistaken, but I thought the deadline to apply to your neighborhood school was later this summer?

    Can someone please enlighten me?

    I don’t have my letter with me, but we were wait-listed at all 12 schools, with our lowest number being Blaine at #33. I’ll post all my numbers later tonight when I get home.

  • 215. Bsmoresmom  |  May 22, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    Does anybody know what is the maximum amount of seats for a magnet cluster class?

  • 216. Bsmoresmom  |  May 22, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    Does anyone know the maximum number of seats in a magnet cluster class? My understanding is that neighborhood classes max at 36 students in its class. Does this apply to Magnet Cluster also?

  • 217. jelizab  |  May 22, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    @71 – my son is finishing 1st grade at Waters and we’ve been absolutely thrilled with our 2 years there, happy to chat with you’d like about his kindergarten experience : )

  • 218. momof3boys  |  May 22, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    Ravenswood: I love Ravenswood! Two of my kids went there one graduated 2 yrs ago and is now at a SEHS. the other one is at a SEES. i would have never pulled the younger one out but it was a matter of distance- 4 blocks, or 4 miles. we have had great experiences from the school so much so that i still volunteer when i can (not so much the other school). i love the fact the diverse families are down to earth. no one trying to prove that their kid is smarter or better than other. i really miss that school… we moved the older son there for 7th grade because we knew that it’s numbers game for HS. but he had some really great teachers(and got straight A’s in the process) there are some rough kids at that school but seriously, what school doesnt have any? We’re in the city, duh. i’m pretty sure the Bells, Hawthornes, etc have their share. they’re public schools.

  • 219. Wondering about Belding  |  May 22, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    Anyone have information about Belding School? Pro’s/con’s?

  • 220. Cps alum  |  May 22, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    I know that my neighborhood school (Edgebrook) doesn’t start calling off their list until sometime in the late summer. I was just talking to the clerk a few weeks ago and she said they won’t let anyone in until late summer.

  • 221. still waitlisted for KG mom  |  May 22, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    @214-Buena Park Dad. I asked this same question on schools tours. Of the schools I toured, they seem to fall into 2 camps:

    1. Schools that repeatedly get a bunch of students who register at the last minute, or simply show up to school the first day without registering. Those schools tend to wait to release seats (or many seats) until after school starts.

    2. Schools where this never happens, and most students register early enough for them to manage class sizes well. (And, as wait lists move, the schools have the option not to fill the seat by lottery if they get a recent late registrant for KG).

    In both cases, the schools have estimates of how many kids they are going to get from the neighborhood in the fall based on previous years. So, they can estimate how many spots they have for the lottery. And, sometimes schools are caught by surprise and get a lot more kids than they anticipated.

  • 222. JMOChicago  |  May 22, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    Amazing, smart, savvy, committed principal. Even though the school is very full, evidence shows that principal keeps the majority of class sizes down. I’m dismissive of the Level 2 designation. This designation is related to their Value-Add Math/Read scores, which are very faulty scores. Otherwise, their ISAT trends year-to-year are excellent. So much diversity there. Worth a look.

  • 223. JMOChicago  |  May 22, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    Sorry that was info about Belding.

  • 224. still waitlisted for KG mom  |  May 22, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    Like many elementary schools on the NW side, Belding is extremely overcrowded. There seems to be no plan in place to relieve overcrowding, and there are unlikely to be any empty school buildings that could be used for this purpose.

  • 225. it's done  |  May 22, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    CPS board just voted. Closing 50 schools

  • 226. cpsobsessed  |  May 22, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    My understanding is that there really is no class cap at neighborhood or magnet cluster schools (which are really also neighborhood schools.)
    The number of teachers in a school is determine by the number of total students. A principal can “buy” extra teachers beyond what they’re allocated by using their discretionary funds.
    So say a school has 2 2nd grade classes of 36 kids. If another child showed up, CPS wouldn’t send out another teacher and allow them to split into 3 classes. It would be up to the principal as to how to split up the kids by class. Sometimes it works out nice and evenly, sometimes not and you can end up with a grade with a lot of kids.
    It’s one of the challenges of the neighborhood schools (also magnet cluster schools.)

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 227. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  May 22, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    @222 Yes. Assume that anyone from CPS who talks about or refers to value-added scores has a light in the UV spectrum over his head flashing “I DON’T KNOW WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT” unless they can explain what a confidence interval is. The performance policy reports don’t distinguish between value-added scores that have confidence intervals that include zero and those that do not.

  • 228. ap mama  |  May 22, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    Is there a way to find out how many seats a neighborhood school offered during the first round? It would be nice to know how many seats are up for grabs…

  • 229. Former CPS parent  |  May 22, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    Our daughter started K @ Wildwood in a class of 38. This year our son’s class had 40 for 3rd grade. Thankfully we moved. out of the city and the difference in school quality is incredible. You have no idea, you are clamoring for subpar schools — it is incredible to see your posts. Seriously, Peirce, Ravenswood, Waters? BTW, Wildwood is making much out of its space problem now, but the principal talks out of both sides of her mouth. She crams as many low income kids as she can in order to get the $ from CPS. Watch out Edgebrook, this is coming your way now too. That new building will only bring you trouble.

  • 230. Even One More CPS Mom  |  May 22, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    @229. I would argue that not all suburban schools are superior….you have to be able to afford to live where the good suburban schools are.

  • 231. Citymama  |  May 22, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    Wow 229…Trouble? What do you mean by this exactly?

  • 232. Former CPS parent  |  May 22, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    It is worth the sacrifice to be in a great district. I think people get caught up in needing to be in the city… we were there once too. We were lucky to have one child finish at SEHS, but promised ourselves we’d never go through that process again. Now our younger kids will attend a great high school — no stress or effort. I am nearly re-experiencing PTSD reading all these posts…. have been there, both for K admission and SEHS. I’ve begged and pleaded for admission to an unworthy school out of desperation. It’s just not worth it. You can always move. Yes, you may lose money on your home, you may have to give up some things, but most people posting here have the resources and can move if they have to. Just giving a different perspective, particularly with those who are despairing in mind.

  • 233. Former CPS parent  |  May 22, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    @232: Overcrowding. Edgebrook was promised lots of space and smaller classrooms with their new building, but it won’t happen.

  • 234. Former CPS parent  |  May 22, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    …and better to be a small overcrowded school than a large overcrowded school.

  • 235. Molls  |  May 22, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    I think Edgebrook still has the humongo classes. They got a new building, but that didn’t mean more teachers. High 40s class size.

  • 236. Molls  |  May 22, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    And I agree, we are competing for spaces in schools that would be considered totally unacceptable for most of surburban USA.

  • 237. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  May 22, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    @228 You can call the school and ask them. If they do not reply or refuse to, you should call the BOE office (773) 553-1600 and ask for Cara Kranz, the board’s deputy chief of staff. She will get you the info you want. She is a top-notch public official.

  • 238. agassizmom  |  May 22, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    Just saw now some questions about Agassiz. I posted above that we are very happy with the school, our third year there. As far as the longer day, Agassiz already had daily recess for all kids so there was not a huge change in the day–the main difference I see is that now the classroom teachers do not supervise lunch and recess for their class, but instead have a lunch/prep period during that time and the recess/lunch is supervised by aides and specials teachers. She still has specials (one or two) each day, and language twice a week. for first grade, they focus almost all morning on reading/writing and then specials, science, and math in the afternoon. I was never a supporter of the longer day and still think it’s too long for young kids, but they seem to be doing ok. my other daughter is in preschool so half day.

  • 239. Neighborhood CPS parent  |  May 22, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    228 – each principal / administrator determines the # of lottery offers that are given. Usually, it’s a budget, building constraint, historical, staffing -dependent decision. Assuming that there are incoming “in- boundary” registrations, you may notice that schools will use the waitlist as they experience the demand from in-boundary students. I know some principals may discuss their decisions at their LSC meetings.

  • 240. Chitown Bob  |  May 22, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    Free Test Prep Word of the Day is Oxymoron. Example in a sentence: “She is a top-notch public official.”

  • 241. Seth Lavin  |  May 22, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    Hi Logan Square folks– come visit Brentano elementary. Wonderful school with lots of momentum.

    James Gray, principal at Hamilton, just tweeted: “Prospective CPS Kinder parents… Here is my guess on the next 3 scls you will wish you had taken a ‘chance’ on…. Chappell, Jahn, Brentano”

    Email me to set up tour or for more Brentano info.

  • 242. mom45  |  May 22, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    Called CPS earlier and even magnet schools and “out of boundary” schools with space must enroll kids from closing schools. Wow, hope parents take advantage of this. Was told to contact BOE if their is an issue with school not wanting to enroll.

  • 243. JMOChicago  |  May 22, 2013 at 10:13 pm

    Mom45, do you have a CPS official’s name on that? I’m hearing different things from different people and I’m trying to nail this down…

  • 244. STILL waitlisted KG mom  |  May 22, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    @242 The question is, what does it mean to “have space”? That the schools have no wait list or have exhausted them? And, even then, who determines whether a school has “space?”

  • 245. JMOChicago  |  May 22, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    I think that James Gray is spot on (and what an awesome principal he is! He completely turned Hamilton Elementary into “given up for good” to “hot school ticket”). Brentano’s principal impressed the heck out of me, as did their parent group. The new Jahn principal is rumored to be very good. Chappell is rocking the academics.

  • 246. mom45  |  May 22, 2013 at 10:28 pm

    No, I didnt get a name. But you can bet I will follow up and hound once I decide my next steps (which school I will “try” and enroll at). I will keep posting

  • 247. mom45  |  May 22, 2013 at 10:30 pm

    looking at Burr Elementary and a few others

  • 248. Citymama  |  May 22, 2013 at 10:36 pm

    Good luck mom45! I sure hope that CPS isn’t pulling half-baked stuff out of the air and making a crazy situation even crazier.

  • 249. cpsobsessed  |  May 22, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    I noticed that Prescott’s sign said it’s Level 1 when I drove by tonight.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 250. WesLooMom  |  May 22, 2013 at 11:04 pm

    Are there any good neighborhood schools that have space? Every good school seems to be on the verge of busting at the seams or are already overcrowded. The best way for CPS to anger more parents is to force those schools to take out-of-boundary kids from closed schools.

    Of course, “good” can mean different things to different parents.

  • 251. cpsobsessed  |  May 22, 2013 at 11:10 pm

    I think the schools that tend to have space are those that are “up-and-coming”. Families can get in on the ground floor, so to speak while interest is building, ie the schools mentioned in the Hamilton principal’s tweet. I suspect prescott and burr might be there now too. Other schools mentioned on here where parents are gathering together start friend-of groups tend to be the next “hot” schools and the can turn in reputation very quickly.

    Also, if you’re willing to move your child after school starts, things get a lot more fluid as principals get a better sense of attendance by grade.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 252. molly kolly  |  May 23, 2013 at 1:35 am

    Did you know that most of the Cluster Schools have NOT offered siblings spots. They are now extending the date to notify parents of Lottery siblings who are out of neighborhood to June. Kindergarten registration is June 3rd, so if you have a kindergarten student at a school that is borderline for being at 28 students in a class, then you may wait the whole summer. This was NOT explained. We were told we would know by the week of May 19th. We have been at my son’s school for 7 years and they will not offer us a spot even though the school has spots because the neighborhood people have not registered. I wrote BBB an email and had a conversation with our Network who is “looking into” this issue.

    Right now I have 2 kids at 2 schools, if my third child does not get in to either brother’s schools, I physically will not be able to do all 3 drop offs and pick ups as well as be an active parent in my boys schools. For those who would say, “why don’t you use your neighborhood school” I just want to say I would LOVE to, but it shows no promise of any form of change academically or otherwise. I had my youngest son’s IEP done there and they are a mess.

    How does CPS give a March deadline for notification, then extend to May, and now have an open ended “Summer” deadline. We have been told by many at CPS to have a plan B. What the hell does that mean? I have no CPS options that above failing, and if I plunk down a deposit and tuition at a private school I am still driving to and from 3 schools which can’t be done. Then if CPS calls a week before school starts with a spot I lose my deposit and tuition if I except (which is what I would have to do). What a bunch of double standards from CPS, if you missed your application deadline by a day, you know they wouldn’t help you out. After today’s school closings I feel like I am whining over my own personal issue, but this is just one more example of how CPS doesn’t put Families or “Children First”. This is why the middle class will flee the city now that the home prices are going up and they can sell again. : (

  • 253. Glass half full?  |  May 23, 2013 at 8:47 am

    Dear @252, tell me your home school is Haugan and I know who you are,lol! Just this morning dropping off my precious preK kitten we got to witness another profanity laced screaming match…between PARENTS! It is so frustrating that we straddle the border between three neighborhood schools and a mere 12ft dictate that this is the environment in which my child gets to learn. The problem is so much larger than just CPS. The whole kindergarten application has taught me quite a few lessens among which:
    1. Decent neighborhoods do not always mean good schools.
    2. As a parent I have a voice against ineffective leadership (principal) but in a school with over 1000 families in line with status quo, that voice falls on deaf ears.
    3. I need to work on bitterness!

  • 254. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  May 23, 2013 at 9:13 am

    @249 Prescott’s on the upswing. There’s a relatively new principal and a new cohort of parents working to improve the school. I have spoken with a few of them who are members at Lakeshore Sports. It is level 1.

  • 255. Mayfair Dad  |  May 23, 2013 at 10:35 am

    @211. Palmer is currently going through a period of transition, which actually started approx. 5 years ago when the longtime principal and assistant principal retired together. The next two principals left abruptly before the end of their 4-year performance contracts. Instability in the principal’s position would be a cause of concern. On the flipside, the LSC is in the process of hiring a new principal who will hopefully be the dynamic leader to take Palmer to the next level. As a new parent to Palmer, you have a chance to get involved and play an active role in the renaissance. Palmer is overcrowded – some folks surmise this is because they quietly accept out of boundary students by not checking addresses too closely – or at all. These low-income students bring Title 1 money to the school (which is 80+% low income). There is no fundraising per se, but the cell phone repeaters on the smokestack provide money for a few extras. Many of the teachers are neighborhood residents which brings a level of stability. Even with these challenges, Palmer kids fare pretty well on standardized tests.

    I’d really love to see the Palmer LSC hire a dynamic, progressive, young principal and not some central office retread.

  • 256. molly kolly  |  May 23, 2013 at 10:52 am

    @ 253 you know it! Yes Haugan is a horrible school that is way too big and lacks leadership and respect for good parents. they talk down to people who come into the building. Have a culture of bullying that is not addressed. The odds are stacked against you with a 1300 student population, but this admin has no hands on community approach. I am a professional with a degree in Education and how they talked to me was insulting and I am saddened for the families in that neighborhood that don’t have the understanding of the system that I do. I can only imagine how they are not valued and talked down to if I was.

    The whole selective/magnet/cluster nightmare is a sham and instead of closing schools the mayor should be focussing on getting the resources and the right people to schools that are problematic, so that people can trust in this city again and use their neighborhood schools. Getting into the lottery schools just perpetuates the problems. I have two at two different schools and I am ashamed at myself for not seeing this sooner. We should all be crying to make our schools better across the Board and take the motto I saw the other day of “Every Chicago Public School is My School”
    I know I am fighting to keep my kids together, because change won’t happen soon enough for them, but I have to fight for my neighbors too. Unless we do so, we are the problem. If we stay in Chicago, I will be running for LSC community rep at my neighborhood school. I am disappointed in the system, the mayor and my decision to be an active productive member of this city. You can now just call me jaded. ;(

  • 257. cps alum  |  May 23, 2013 at 11:40 am

    @235–Edgebrook doesn’t have 40 students in a class, with the exception of 8th grade.

  • 258. cps alum  |  May 23, 2013 at 11:42 am

    sorry.. this is the correct link on page 4

    Click to access EFMP_EDGEBROOK_609901.pdf

  • 259. Peter  |  May 23, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    Correct cps alum. The “former cps mom” sounded like a lying lemming.

  • 260. Schoolstress  |  May 23, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    I talked to someone at the ravenswood-ridge network. She is currently at our closing neighborhood school and you can talk to her about any concerns you may have. For those schools closing, if your child is already enrolled in their neighborhood school, they can in fact enroll in any neighborhood schools with openings, but those schools with open slots are very few and not high scoring schools so probably don’t want to do that anyway. But if you do want to talk to this lady, her name is Margaret and she works for the ravenswood ridge network. (773-534-1100) or find her at Stockton school in rm 204. Each of the closing schools will have someone there to advise you

  • 261. Uptown mom  |  May 23, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    Dear Schoolstress, I’m sorry that you are going through this.
    Curious as to how you feel about Courtenay School being Stockton’s receiving school. Are you being offered a seat? Are you compelled to look elsewhere?
    I live nearby…. just hoping for the best for everyone.

  • 262. Leggy Mountbatten  |  May 23, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    Prescott appears ready to be the next “hot school”. They’re getting a lot more students, and the scores have been climbing rapidly.

  • 263. Schoolstress  |  May 23, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    Honestly, courtenay was my #1 choice initially, but two major draws were the quiet neighborhood and the small size. I also got s great feeling when i toured there. having their program move to Stockton building is great thing for the neighborhood, but I personally want to get out of this neighborhood. Too much gangs, drugs, etc. I know it’s not the worst neighborhood but its not a place I want my five year old growing up. We have a fair chance to get into Coonley RGC or Chappell so hopefully one of these will come through otherwise I have to find a home in a neighborhood which has a better school…which is going to be difficult financially. If you like this neighborhood, I was really impressed by courtenay’s program and I think it will be great for the community. Other than the unfortunate Stockton staff who are losing jobs. What are your options?

  • 264. NMayfairMom  |  May 23, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    @255 Mayfair Dad: Thanks so much for you input on Palmer. I actually toured the school today and I think we’ll give it a try. The teachers and staff seemed really nice and engaged, they took a lot of time to show us around and I got a good vibe. It is a very diverse school, which doesn’t bother me as long as our kids will be accepted and feel comfortable there.

  • 265. Ravenswood dad  |  May 23, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    The Prescott principal is Ravenswood’s former principal. He tore our school apart. He mismanaged funds, which the school had to pay back, we were out of compliance in every category you can think of and he divided the community into 2 separate groups of people and catered to the affluent people coming into the school. He tried to get rid of staff (one was the fantastic art teacher, Ms. Kitty) who has been featured in several books nationally and has presented nationally with several arts organizations) just because she was upset with what he was doing to the community. He had no backbone with the students and was so bad with communication. I can’t imagine his arrogance has given him the ability to learn something new to be better at Prescott. I would have some serious reservations, considering what he did at Ravenswood.

  • 266. Prescott Parent  |  May 23, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    The best way to learn about what is happening at Prescott is to talk to someone on the PTA or Prescott Parents and check out I have worked very closely with Principal Roche since his arrival 5 years ago and he has been one the key reasons for our success as a Level 1 school. Test scores have increased, enrollment has increased, our school community is growing stronger, our teachers are amazing. Principal Roche is responsible for much of our success so please experience Prescott for yourself and make your own decision.

  • 267. Dememom  |  May 23, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    @Ravenswood Dad, Please keep your comments and rants about Principal Roche to yourself this year. This school business is already stressful enough for some of us (me) and I really don’t feel like scrolling through your many negative comments and/or responses about Prescott to get to the important and insightful info regarding my child’s education.

  • 268. CPSAppalled  |  May 24, 2013 at 6:41 am

    @267: Ravenswood Dad and other Ravenswood parents have a right to their opinions and an obligation to inform Prescott parents about this principal. I know people who were on the LSC at R’Wood during Roche’s time there, and yes, it appears that he single-handedly caused a lot of problems there. His management style did not work for R’Wood; perhaps Prescott is a better fit for him or perhaps he learned from his experience of getting fired. We can only hope. If I were considering Prescott for my child, this is exactly the sort of information I would find useful. Please open your minds and consider all relevant information.

  • 269. Bsmoresmom  |  May 24, 2013 at 7:27 am


  • 270. MattonAshland  |  May 24, 2013 at 8:28 am

    All waitlist
    La Salle #30
    Jahn #31
    Goudy #45
    Hamilton #56
    Agassiz #66

    Anyone see any hope here?

  • 271. LSmom  |  May 24, 2013 at 8:34 am

    Last year that would have gotten you into Agassiz, not sure about the others.

  • 272. Mayfair Dad  |  May 24, 2013 at 8:53 am

    @264. I’m glad to hear this. Please consider getting involved with the LSC and/or PTA. It is essential for elementary schools to get the parents of young students engaged early, so they become invested in the operation – and success – of the school. You will be amazed at how much influence parents wield through the LSC. See you around the village. My secret identity as Mayfair Dad is the worst kept secret in Mayfair.

  • 273. db  |  May 24, 2013 at 9:02 am

    @270 – I bet you’ll get a call from Jahn. Maybe Agassiz too.

  • 274. Teasdad  |  May 24, 2013 at 9:12 am

    @270 I am assuming this is waitlist for K? …and if so, I agree with previous poster.

  • 275. MattonAshland  |  May 24, 2013 at 9:18 am

    Yep, Kindergarten. Thx for the insight.

  • 276. Peter  |  May 24, 2013 at 9:33 am

    235. Molls | May 22, 2013 at 6:05 pm
    I think Edgebrook still has the humongo classes. They got a new building, but that didn’t mean more teachers. High 40s class size.

    So everyone knows, this is pure bullshit

  • 277. db  |  May 24, 2013 at 9:55 am

    I have no personal interest in Edgebrook but just checked the Edgebrook website for shear curiousity and found that 1st grade has 28 kids. FYI

  • 278. CPS crazy  |  May 24, 2013 at 9:55 am

    W/L numbers for K
    LaSalle II (tier4)-9


  • 279. Lisa  |  May 24, 2013 at 10:19 am

    CPS crazy–we got a call from Jahn in late July last year with a similar number. I think you stand a decent chance of hearing from LaSalle 2 as well.

  • 280. Leggy Mountbatten  |  May 24, 2013 at 10:19 am

    #278 You’ll get into Jahn.

  • 281. Peter  |  May 24, 2013 at 10:20 am

    @db, I don’t either, other than to point out there is a surburban lemming lying about the school.

  • 282. Dadwhohasadaughter...  |  May 24, 2013 at 10:23 am

    CPS crazy – I called LaSalle II two weeks ago and they were @ 9 on K tier 4. You should call they’re very helpful (we’re 13)

  • 283. Borges  |  May 24, 2013 at 10:27 am

    Although it’s a not a perfect correlation to *classroom* sizes (actual classes can sometimes be combined, split out, etc), the numbers in each *homeroom* were obtained by WBEZ and Catalyst through FOIA:

    The full excel file is at the bottom of the page. It is as of the 20th school day of the year (which is when schools’ enrollments are measured for teacher allocations).

    The largest Edgebrook HR size is in 3rd grade, where are 31 in each of the two HRs.

  • 284. Uptown mom  |  May 24, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    263/schoolstress- we are in the Stockton (now Courtenay – wow, that was weird to type) boundary (Magnolia & Leland). Have a 3 yo, will wait to see how this unfolds. We are renting, so have the ability to move if necessary. I will be paying attention to McPherson (have friends there) and or Chappell for the future. Good luck to you.

  • 285. Sunny  |  May 24, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    if I remember correctly, friend who’s child attends neighborhood class at Beaubien, mentioned around 35 kids in each 1st grade clasroom with the exception of the Options Program, that has max 30? The spreadsheet says 29.

  • 286. Schoolstress  |  May 24, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    We live at Magnolia and Leland too. We walk everywhere, so maybe we have seen eachother in passing

  • 287. Borges  |  May 24, 2013 at 2:17 pm


    Spreadsheet shows totals for EACH hr, not just average per grade. It shows 4 1st grade HR’s. Sizes: 29/33/33/34 (first one is the Options one I assume)

  • 288. Peter  |  May 24, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    So do any have HRs in the high 40s as the suburban lemming stated?

  • 289. Molls  |  May 24, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    Who said homerooms? Guess the real estate biz is slow, eh Peter?

  • 290. Andersonvilledad  |  May 24, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    If given the choice between Jahn and McPherson for the foreseeable future, what would you choose?

  • 291. Bsmoresmom  |  May 24, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    @ SWParent2- do you know how many siblings are waitlisted for SW in coming Kindergarten class?

  • 292. Kim  |  May 24, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    Called Peterson this morning to schedule a tour, as I’m going to be away out west for from June 15 to mid-late August. They still have a sibling waitlist and are very full. The enrollment officer mentioned as of right now they only have accepted 2 siblings and still are waiting to accept at least 2 more. I’m number 1 on general and she said that I may not get a call and to try to schedule a tour through email with the principal.

  • 293. NW side mom  |  May 24, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    @292 Don’t know if it will make a difference, but we were offered a spot for K at Peterson (would be general) which we will not be accepting.

  • 294. ap mama  |  May 24, 2013 at 10:30 pm

    That is confusing. How can Peterson be offering general seats when they still have a sibling waitlist? Does anyone know?

  • 295. SR  |  May 24, 2013 at 11:11 pm

    Hi Uptown Mom and Schoolstress – I’m another Uptowner on Magnolia (closer to Sunnyside). I have a 4 year old, so I’m also excited to see how the Courtenay/Stockton merger goes. If you are interested in getting more involved with our local schools, please check out or send us an email at

  • 296. SWParent2  |  May 24, 2013 at 11:15 pm

    @291, I don’t know exactly how many siblings are on the wistlist this year, I know a parent has a double digit and she’s still waiting. My friend was 2x last year and couldn’t get it.

  • 297. Bsmoresmom  |  May 25, 2013 at 1:50 am

    Wow, thank you for the info.

  • 298. Lisa  |  May 25, 2013 at 9:52 am

    @290 I think these schools are similar on paper. I would tour both, pay attention to my gut, which principal I contacted with better, and which is the easier commute.

  • 299. Kim  |  May 25, 2013 at 10:41 am

    @293 & 294 That’s what I had seen so I wanted to jump the gun and get a tour for when I get a call. It didn’t make any sence to me why people got offers on the general if they didn’t have any room.

    Another thing to when I called for the information she looked at my phone numbers and I have out of state numbers in which they can’t call I changed the number in early Jan. to a google 773 number and updated through oae and it DID NOT get passed onto the schools at all. I’ve gotten called from the oae for my sons spot at Carnegie so I thought it was fixed. I’m now worried that all the schools I applied to now still have my out of state cell numbers. So I guess the only thing is to call all the schools on my list. I know the ones above 100 I shouldn’t bother but I have some that are in the 60s. Ugg what a pain. While I call them Ill try to check on wait numbers and post.

  • 300. 60625 Mom  |  May 25, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    @290 Happy to share more with you about McPherson. I would definitely encourage you to take a tour. New tours were just announced and the school is registering kids now for next fall. Also – check out Friends of McPherson’s website and Facebook page. They will give you some insight into what’s happening at the school. A couple of quick things: McP has the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program (this is the 10th year) and plans for the Primary Years program are in the works. Students are from 28 countries and speak 31 languages, We have weekly art, music and World Language classes for all grades. Smart Boards in every classroom, great teachers (5 national board certified teachers), lots of great enrichment activities (orchestra program, opera program, chess club, sports, etc.).

  • 301.  |  May 25, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    Fwiw to those with offers or low numbers at Burr, we have a pre-k student there and love it – it’s an awesome school. Only the new principal’s second year and already there have been big changes for the better. You can feel the difference! It’s a happy place with many nationally board cert. teachers and relatively small class sizes (for now). Burr has a very involved and dedicated group of parents for its friends of and the PTO, both having fun and successful fundraisers that support arts programming (visual, performance, and music) and new technology in the classrooms. Extra pro’s (outside the obvious like test scores, class size, etc.) are that it’s right off the expressway, has an organic learning garden and a beautiful new mosaic. 😉

  • 302. NW side mom  |  May 25, 2013 at 9:29 pm

    @294 For all that I have learned about CPS in this past year, I still do not have a clue how it actually works.

  • 303. CPSstressesmeout  |  May 26, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    Is that true that schools can not call long distant numbers? We use our cell phone and have an out of state number and I always get updates from CPS when they send out a mass message or my child is absent so I didn’t think it was a problem. Now I’m worried the schools we’re waitlisted at won’t be able to contact me.

  • 304. Kim  |  May 26, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    @303. That’s what the enrollment officer told me. I know that the park district has strict policy for not calling long distance numbers and they have used personal cell phones to reach us. What I ended up doing in jan was going on googlevoice and setting up a number with a 773 area code and having it forward to both my husbands and my cellphonesat the same time.

  • 305. CPSstressesmeout  |  May 28, 2013 at 10:44 am

    @Kim, I just contacted the three schools we are hoping to get offers from and two of the three said they could make calls to a long distance number. They did say that not all the phones in the building were able to do this but they would be able to if needed. However, we contacted Hawthorne and they were not very helpful with this basically telling me all their spots were filled and did not want to take the time to tell me where they were on the wait list or take my e-mail address to contact me “just in case” there was an opening. I am certain they are all getting bombarded with calls regarding this but being courteous to stressed out parents seems like a no-brainer. I am especially upset that this is not noted on the enrollment forms so we can all make sure we use a local number!

  • 306. Kim  |  May 28, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    @305 Thanks! Hawethorn is on my close list too I’m number 14 on t4 so I guess should start calling. Did you get wait list numbers on any of schools you called?

  • 307. CPSstressesmeout  |  May 28, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    @Kim I didn’t get the wait list numbers of any of the schools. They were both neighborhood schools (Agassiz and Prescott) and they told me they had not started calling off the wait list and won’t until after June 3rd. I am T3-10 at Hawthorne but she made it sound like 10 was too far down the list for her to be concerned with me and they will not contact me with a long distance number. I asked if she would e-mail me and she said if it was on the application, she would. She didn’t ask for it or give me any suggestions on how to rectify. I was completely turned off. I’ve read from other posters that if they don’t get a hold of you right away, they will move down their list without leaving you a message. I talked to a friend who has three kids there today and she was going to ask the front office where they are for me and see if she could get a suggestion for changing my number. It’s so disheartening. I know it’s a great school and I’m sure they are getting bombarded with questions so I’m trying not to take it personally.

  • 308. Kim  |  May 28, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    Yes, I called Agassiz today too and I told her my waitlist number. They invited me to their prospective parents breakfast this coming Friday when I asked about a tour. I’m just supposed to email to say I’m coming. What a year for the inlaws to decide we’re doing out of cell coverage this summer for our annual trip.

  • 309. Tiffany Snyder  |  May 28, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    Do you mindme asking your number at Agassiz? We’re 38 so it’s not a definite.

  • 310. LSmom  |  May 28, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    We’ll be taking our spot at Burr, so that will free up a spot at Prescott. I was really impressed by our Burr tour and feel lucky to have gotten in.

  • 311. Kim  |  May 28, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    @309 We’re #4 at agassiz but last year they blew through their waitlist so it’s a high probability your in. I’m still trying to decide between Peterson, Carnegie RGC, And Agassiz. So I may not take the spot.

  • 312. Peter  |  May 28, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    Looks like Molls decided to come back and lie. Any proof of high 40s class sizes?

    I just love the lemmings.

  • 313. Kim  |  May 28, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    Here were the ones in high 40s.
    Chalmerrs K A109 47 above recommended
    Ninos Heroes K A103 47 above recommended
    Beidler 6 A212 44 above recommended
    Revere 3 A308 44 above recommended
    Burke K A111 43 above recommended
    Lafayette 8 A315 43 closing Chopin above recommended
    Sexton 3 A202 43 closing Fiskem above recommended

  • 314. bucktownmom  |  May 28, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    Was wondering if anyone had any input on LaSalle II vs Columbus. Got accepted at both for K and need to make decision ASAP. Any input much appreciated.Thanks!

  • 315. schoolstress  |  May 28, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    I want to know when they’re going to adjust the neighborhod maps on CPS website. We got waitlisted for all the 18 schools applied to, so now we’re going to have to relocate, but we need accurate boundaries in order to make this happen and guarantee a spot in a decent school.

  • 316. Glass half full?  |  May 29, 2013 at 8:42 am

    Is that, adjusting attendance boundaries, something in the works?

  • 317. Schoolstress  |  May 29, 2013 at 8:51 am

    Well, they had to adjust them in order to propose consolidation. They do have have those maps on each of the closing schools websites, but I can’t zoom to see details and they haven’t changed the attendance boundary maps of each receiving school. For example, Trumbull is being received by 3 different schools, so those changes will be a bit more complicated

  • 318. Jeanne Marie Olson (@JMOChicago)  |  May 29, 2013 at 8:54 am

    The proposed new attendance boundaries of each of the Closing/Receiving school areas is available on, btw.

  • 319. Schoolstress  |  May 29, 2013 at 8:59 am

    Just talked to someone at ravenswood ridge network office. They said although the closings have been approved the maps have not

  • 320. Jeanne Marie Olson (@JMOChicago)  |  May 29, 2013 at 9:03 am

    The maps have not been approved, just proposed. Need some rework since 4 schools taken off of closing list + need to be voted on by the BOE. have the most recently released proposed boundaries (before 4 schools came off of closing list) for each school on map, outlined in orange.

  • 321. Jeanne Marie Olson (@JMOChicago)  |  May 29, 2013 at 9:04 am

    Here are the 4 school boundaries affected by Trumbull closing.

  • 322. Leggy Mountbatten  |  May 29, 2013 at 10:48 am

    If you’re not in hawthorne already or don’t have a top 5 number, I’d stop calling. Because of siblings, that list isn’t going to move anymore than a glacier does.

  • 323. SR  |  May 29, 2013 at 11:40 am

    Schoolstress @319 or Jeanne Marie Olson: Do you think it’s possible that the Stockton/Courtenay boundaries still might change? There are 2.5 blocks to the west of Broadway that logically should be included in Courtenay’s boundaries, but had previously been in Stewart’s boundaries. The alderman’s office thought they were changing, but it seems bizarre that this wouldn’t be finalized yet…

  • 324. Jeanne Marie Olson (@JMOChicago)  |  May 29, 2013 at 11:41 am

    I don’t have any information on that. Interesting.

  • 325. momof3boys  |  May 29, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    @232 why are you even on this blog anymore? i can see if you are giving helpful info but your ranting about a school district you are not part of anymore is not helpful. not everyone can just pick up and move. Move on and stay off the blog since a) your kids are no longer part of CPS and b) you have nothing positive or helpful to say

  • 326. Impatient  |  May 29, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    To share with others hoping for a wait list call – I called Stone and Peirce today re where they are on their wait lists. Peirce said they wouldn’t start calling until June 3. (So I’ll call them June 4.) I told the woman who answered the phone at Stone that I thought our wait list number (41 proximity) was hopeless, but she said not to lose hope because she was still making calls to wait listers in mid October last year. I imagine they move down the wait list fast at that point because a lot of families have settled into other schools and don’t want to move. That’s what I’m hoping anyway.

    That made me feel better. Hopefully, it helps you other stranded parents out there feel better, too. Going to be a long summer, though.

  • 327. RavenMom  |  May 30, 2013 at 10:45 am

    We’ve been happy with Ravenswood for the most part – a couple bumpy years, but hey, one of those teachers has retired so good news for new parents 🙂
    We were there with Mr. Roche and with Mrs. Connolly – what I will say is they have VERY different styles. I personally liked Mr. Roche but in hindsight it is easy to see his management style wasn’t what was needed there. From what I’ve heard Prescott is pretty happy with him so, hey, most of us have had jobs that just weren’t the right “fit.” He did allow the after school program and started the TBPK by adding his own child as the needed 20th child to start.
    I’m not the biggest fan of Mrs. Connolly, I think she tends to talk a better game than she delivers, and despite the much better website her one-on-one communications can still use some improvement, but I think she’s a competent principal and she has really rallied the parents overall in ways I didn’t think possible prior so I count that to the good. And she moved to the neighborhood to send her own kids there, I always give mad props for that level of faith in the school you lead.

  • 328. Kim  |  May 30, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    I just toured Stockton/Courtenay today. (I tagged along with a current parent) the building is quite large with forced air conditioning! They couldn’t answer many questions because they are combining the schools and apparently Courtney is getting a new principle and there will be some staff changing so this was just the building tour. It has a very large 2 room library and another 2 room computer lab.
    It also looks like it will have a good autism/special ed rooms. They have an Awesome Snoezelen room (a sensory room). The regular kids at the tour seemed to have a great time.

    The neighborhood actually seemed quite decent as I was a little worried. The houses and yards were up kept didn’t look like they were missing lots from drug houses. Just looked like a normal neighborhood. It’s actually a lot better than over by the Wilson and Clark area and I didn’t feel unsafe at all for those that worried about that. I’d hope that their will be more information on how they’re doing the transition but hopefully they will stay the same callibre of school that they were in the old building.

  • 329. QuestionAskerDad  |  May 30, 2013 at 10:30 pm

    Can anyone offer some insight whether or not we have a chance for K at these spots?:

    Burley 31
    Conley 36
    Alcott 61
    Goudy 64
    Waters 93

    And also, are any valued above Agassiz??

    Any info is Very appreciated!!!

    Thanks all

  • 330. cpsobsessed  |  May 30, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    I’d say burley, coonley, waters are totally impossible.
    Alcott possibly but a long shot. Not sure about goudy.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 331. Sally  |  May 31, 2013 at 11:18 am

    @6 and @8- while affected schools were given the opportunity to reapply, we were not given the opportunity to apply for spots at any and/or every school. It was a limited list. So, while CPS advertised this wonderful opportunity, it was not an accurate or fair process compared to those who applied earlier. Magnet letters had already been mailed. Plus, we reapplied for several of the schools on the list provided to us with no offers and very high numbers. Also, though we have the option of attending our neighborhood school, it is way lower performing. Latly, not every relocated school is moving to higher performing but actually quite the opposite. While our. Family is in a fortunate situation as to have been offered a selective enrollment spot, not everyone has that option. All I am saying is the message being sent out by CPS is not a fully informed nor accurate depiction .

  • 332. Kim  |  May 31, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    @329. I second cpsobsessed. Alcott may be a possibility. I just toured Agassiz today and loved it. It was on par what the selective enrollment schools are doing. Individual groups within the classroom of their levels. They just added algebra to the curriculum for eighth graders which is the level they teach to at Coonley and pritzker, and skinner North for their options program. It kind of felt like they combined the way of teaching at pritzker and Coonley. They had the daily 5 for k-3 which Edison and Coonley did. Also they have reading levels for the kids to go at their own pace which pritzker’s program has. They have a responsibility/reflection discipline policy instead of a punitive program.

  • 333. SOS  |  May 31, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    Agassiz or Alcott? Which should I choose? I’m so torn. They are both marvelous. I thought since Alcott had better test scores, that could be the deciding factor. But, Agassiz has tons more special needs, including autism, and those figure into the published test scores, so of course they will be lower, but honestly, not by too much. Does anyone have any experience to share one way or the other?

  • 334. cpsobsessed  |  May 31, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    @333 SOS: I believe Alcott has a very early start time. Not sure if that matters to you but that would sway me to Agassiz if the start time is later (that’s just me, not a morning person..) Agassiz appears to have more diversity (not sure if this holds true in the lower grades) but it’s nice to have a diverse student body.

  • 335. confused  |  May 31, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    I’m suffering from info overload. Any help would be appreciated… Any thoughts on choosing Skinner West (the neighborhood program) versus Newberry? Distance is not a factor. Worried about large classes at SW. I know that SW scores are better but those scores are for classical.


  • 336. cpsobsessed  |  May 31, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    @335 Confused: Are you in the SW neighborhood? Do you know if a lot of the local neighbors will be sending their kids to SW? if so, that is a big plus – nice sense of local community.

  • 337. confused  |  May 31, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    Cpsobsessed, I do live in SW hood but many of my immediate neighbors do not have school-age kids.

  • 338. SOS  |  May 31, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    Yes, Alcott has a 7:45 start time (ugh) but Agassiz start time is unclear right now. I guess it’s dictated by CPS and they told Agassiz that they aren’t sure about their start time next year.

  • 339. curious mom  |  May 31, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    @confused: Try go to SW open houses or call them if they let you take a tour. The neighborhood program is great there. They teach all classes one grade higher vs. classical are 2 levels higher which means that a kid in K will learn 1st grade material and classical will learn 2nd grade level. Good luck! SW is great! Their class sizes are about 30 students. It’s pretty typical compared to all the CPS schools. The parent involvement is excellent too. If I were you, I will choose SW over Newberry becasue 1) commute 2) nice sense of local community 3) their quality of education. 4) nice facility

  • 340. ChiMom  |  May 31, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    @328 and anyone else interested/curious re: Stockton/Courtney area: I live directly across the street from Stockton on Beacon Street and have for about 7 years. While Uptown admittedly has some rough areas, our block and the area immediately surrounding the school is actually quite nice. I have never felt unsafe while alone (or with my young girls) on my block, in my yard, or around the school. We play on the school’s playground quite often, as do many other local families. It’s an area filled with a lot of middle and upper-middle class professionals/families that take pride in their homes and are proactive about preventing it in their neighborhood.

  • 341. Kim  |  June 1, 2013 at 8:42 am

    @340. Yes, that was what my impression was. There were people earlier on the board saying that they didn’t want their kids going to Stockton because of the neighborhood. Just because its near uptown doesn’t mean It’s bad by association.

    Now Carnegie RGC is in a pretty bad neighborhood and that’s my major reservations about it. The others for me are that though my husband works down there and my son would have no problem getting there. It would be hard for me, living in Lincoln Square, to be very active in the school because of distance and being able to care for my other 2 kids.

  • 342. Kim  |  June 1, 2013 at 9:21 am

    @sos if you go here you can actually pull out the IEP students.
    Alcott and Agassiz is closer in scores when you pull the IEPs out.

  • 343. Working Mommy of 2  |  June 1, 2013 at 11:46 am

    We seriously considered buying a place on Dover, also across the street from Stockton. It is nice around the school for about a two or three block radius. Magnolia/Wilson has had multiple shootings the past couple summers. Often in broad daylight. I would feel safe sending my child to Stockton/Courtenay. But we didn’t feel we could walk around the rest of the neighborhood, particularly to the red line stop at Wilson, safely, which is a big part of why we didn’t move there. It’s a shame, because that neighborhood has some lovely homes and shops.

  • 344. HydeParkSAHM  |  June 1, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    @Kim, It’s really not that bad near Carnegie. It’s super close to Hyde Park. It’s on the south side of the Midway, but it’s close to the University of Chicago, which has moved south quite a bit, and placed a lot more buildings over there, both academic and residential. It’s in the Woodlawn neighborhood, which is developing. U of C police patrol over there, too. I know several parents from Hyde Park who send their kids to the Carnegie RGC and they bike there, walk there, and feel safe doing so.

  • 345. Thai Lotto  |  June 1, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    This is remarkable post.

  • 346. Kim  |  June 2, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    @344. I’m aware of the new buildings such as the seminary that was just built there. I was just looking around the neighborhood Friday. it is on the outskirts of the major foot traffic. The nearest emergency button is a block away. I guess what is scaring me is how many times the U has put a notification out when there has been an assault or murder of staff,facualty or student that’s usually around 61st,62nd &63rd. And the fact that the u makes the staff take a cab at night. So I’m hyper aware of everything down there. I’m sure it’s safer than I think it is. When I’m near there I tend to be more around 55-58th & it’s a visible change across the parkway and I guess my comfort zone affecting judgement as well.

  • 347. SK  |  June 3, 2013 at 8:55 am

    I just called Agassiz (wait list 25) and they said they were not able to do any more school tours even if people receive an offer. Has anyone encountered this?

  • 348. Jenni  |  June 3, 2013 at 11:44 am

    SOS – which one did you chose Agassiz or Alcott? Were you on the waitlist or offered a spot at Alcott? We are on the waitlist and are trying to gauge where they are with it… Thanks!

  • 349. SK  |  June 3, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    I’m all over the place & would love input. Neighborhood school is Mayer, accepted at Newberry and 25 on Agassiz wait list. Opinions? Also… just putting it out there that my son isn’t very “focused”. Anyone have an opinion on montessori schools for kids that don’t have great attention?

  • 350. Kim  |  June 3, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    @349. While I was on tour at Agassiz we had a 4th grader touring with her mom the mom was stating that it was like her Montessori classes. They also have intervention as well. They have trained the phy-Ed, dance, arabic and art teacher in the way to do intervention so they can pull kids out individually if they are struggling. It’s nice to see that type of creative thinking to help the students. I suppose I should stay quiet or every one is going to go there and the wait list wont move 🙂 though I’m still undecided between the RGC and Agassiz.

  • 351. SWParent2  |  June 3, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    @339 curious mom – I don’t think your info is right. I have a DC in 1st grade classical this year and her reading/math is just one grade above grade level. Then I have a friend’s child in the neighborhood 1st grade (2 neighborhood classes). The advanced class is using the same reading/math text book while the other class is on level class (1st grade learning 1st grade reading/math).

  • 352. SOS  |  June 3, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    I took the Agassiz spot and let the Alcott spot go. It’s so hard! I really wanted Alcott but my special needs son would be better at Agassiz, I think. Also, I’m annoyed about Arabic…I talked to my friend who lives in Saudi Arabia (fluent arabic speaker) and thinks its totally stupid to teach american kids that language. I was #9 on Alcott list. Special thanks Kim for your comments about Agassiz. Also, Agassiz had a two hour tour last Friday. I’m sure they can’t keep that up. I also think most schools won’t be offering tours all summer to every parent that wants one.

  • 353. Jenni  |  June 3, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    Thanks SOS – that is really helpful! I am #13 on the Alcott list, so I am hoping for a call soon! Did you let them know today?

  • 354. Kim  |  June 3, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    @352. Yes, Arabic was kinda a weird choice too. What the asst. principal said was that was not their first choice either but Cps would give them the grant only if they were going to teach Arabic.

  • 355. Kim  |  June 3, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    Any one know what the scores are in the options only portion of Carnegie? Is there a way to find out? Or what their workload or teaching style is like? They haven’t gotten back with me about a tour so I’m trying to get a general decision if I do get a call from Agassiz this week? Also how are they about teasing/bullying and their discipline policy?

  • 356. curious about SW  |  June 3, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    @351, SWParent2…What’s the advanced class? Is there an advanced neighborhood class? If so, do you know how a child ends up in the advanced class?

  • 357. SWParent2  |  June 3, 2013 at 10:52 pm

    @356 curious about SW – I just clarified with my friend, it’s called accelerated(one grade above level) walking Math/Reading vs. on level walking Math/Reading. Based on the assessment results from the beginning of school year, the top 50% scorers will go to accelerated class(s), the remaining will be doing on level work. It’s just for Math/Reading class. How does walking Math & walking Reading work? For example: teacher A teaches accelerated Math, the top 50% scorers will have Math class with teacher A and the remaining will go to teacher B class, same as Reading.

  • 358. curious about SW  |  June 3, 2013 at 11:33 pm

    @357…Thanks for the info!

  • 359. Schoolstress  |  June 4, 2013 at 7:43 am

    That is so great! It should be standard for all the schools to do that. There’s so many kids that test very high and there’s no spacefor them in SEES. This sounds like the perfect remedy for that issue

  • 360. SallyB  |  June 4, 2013 at 8:34 am

    I’d love to hear any thoughts on Waters – thanks so much!

  • 361. cpsobsessed  |  June 4, 2013 at 8:39 am

    Waters – great arts program, great ecology program, academics constantly improving, homework load is balanced, great parent community.
    I’d say the school has a very “warm” vibe to it.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 362. oipfamily  |  June 4, 2013 at 9:10 am

    Wondering what anyone thinks of Murphy? Its our neighborhood school but we have a spot at Prescott. Quite the commute to Prescott. Also- anyone know anything about the wait list at Edgebrook? We are 15 and I am trying not to get ahead of myself.

  • 363. still waitlisted for KG mom  |  June 4, 2013 at 9:38 am

    @353–Jenni. Could you please post when you get a call from Alcott. We’re number 17. Fingers crossed!

  • 364. To walk, or not to walk...  |  June 4, 2013 at 9:39 am

    @359. A cautionary tale re: “walking reading” (or math) which also happens at my neighborhood school, and probably many others. My child (very high IQ per psychological testing) was placed in the lower reading group at the start of 1st grade because… well… my child was young (August birthday) and not a particularly strong reader. Compared to the “higher” group, the curriculum was tedious — phonics worksheets pretty much exclusively — with little time left for enrichment. Not particularly inspiring, and not much opportunity to shine. Not surprisingly, my child remained in the lower reading group in second grade. This year, in third grade, there was no “walking” program. Students remained with their homeroom teacher for reading in a mixed ability group w/ differentiation as needed. My child entered third grade w/ a MAP reading score in the 56th percentile, and is leaving third grade w/ a MAP reading score in the 96th percentile. Sure, there are probably several factors at play in this score jump (good teaching, good test day, things started to “click”, etc.). But I firmly believe that mixed group instruction was an important factor in my child’s growth. While I suppose there is no harm in “walking” programs for students placed in the highest groups, I think that this kind of tracking can be very problematic for kids placed (or misplaced) in the lower groups. My child’s confidence and love of reading were seriously damaged. Others may disagree, I suppose. But I’m just not sure “walking” programs are always the best.

  • 365. cps alum  |  June 4, 2013 at 10:24 am

    @362- When I registered my daughter at Edgebrook a few weeks ago the clerk said that they won’t call off the waitlist until summer. I know that last year they started calling late summer and into the beginning of the school year.

  • 366. Kim  |  June 4, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    Just got an offer for Agassiz this morning. We were #4 on the general list. Have until thurs to answer…. I’m touring Carnegie later today so I will post impressions of tour since we don’t have much info about it.

  • 367. NMayfairMom  |  June 4, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    Did anybody get a call from Thorp off the wait list? We are wait list #80 entering K and #79 entering 2nd grade. I spoke to someone who got in there last year, early September, with a wait list spot of 81…(entering 2nd grade) could that be possible? I don’t want to get my hopes up 😉

  • 368. anonymouse teacher  |  June 4, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    @364 re: walking reading. What you are describing is exactly what intensive research has found regarding “tracking” kids into reading or math or any kind of permanent (permanent as in the entire year) grouping. I’m a little surprised to hear schools are still doing this. Its one thing to have kids in “ability” groups for short periods of the day (10-15 min) and another to ability track them the entire reading period. I know its easier, especially with large class sizes and few to no resources though. Most schools are using differentiated ability groups now for just short sessions or we are doing flexible grouping. This is where kids who need to work on one skill, comprehension for example, will all work on it together in one group, but everyone is reading different texts at different levels. Of course, this assumes the teacher has different texts to use (and that’s assuming a lot) and her students aren’t trying to pummel eachother and/or will actually sit and do quiet, independent work for very short amounts of time (that’s assuming even more) and the teacher has been given extensive training and support to do this (hahahaha, if its CPS, she’s on her own).

  • 369. local  |  June 4, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    Foreign language instruction in CPS generally is so poor, that any language is fine. There will likely not be mastery, from what I’ve seen. So, it’s more like like an “activity.”

  • 370. Jenni  |  June 4, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    @363 – we got the call from Alcott today and accepted. We were number 13 on the WL, so you are close! Good luck – hope to see you in KG!

  • 371. Chicago Mama  |  June 4, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    @369 – I think is kind of a universal in foreign languages instruction in the U.S.

  • 372. Ravenswood staffer  |  June 4, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    To 327: I was a staff member under Mr. Roche and also under Mrs. Connolly and you are correct, they do have completely different styles. As a teacher who has seen our staff transform by improved teacher practice and instruction under Mrs. Connolly as well as the staff that she has brought on, I can 100% say she is more of an instructional leader in her pinky than Mr. Roche could ever dream of being. She took on the huge challenge of getting out ineffective staff members and was able to transform the teaching at our school because of her hard decisions. As a teaching professional, the most important thing to have in a principal is to have an instructional leader, and that is what Mrs. Connolly has brought to our school, along with completely changing our culture and climate. I understand that parents have impressions of a leader’s strengths and weaknesses, but the instruction the students are receiving is the most important, and there is no comparison who has done a better job with that. Mrs. Connolly wins hands down!

  • 373. Prescott Fan  |  June 4, 2013 at 10:39 pm

    To 372: Isn’t is possible to support your own school (or principal) without disparaging another school (or principal)? Parents, teachers and staff work so hard to bring about change within CPS and it is terribly hurtful and unprofessional to knock down another school’s efforts simply to promote your own agenda. Why does this have to be a competition? Please publically support Ravenswood all you want but leave Prescott and Principal Roche out of it.

  • 374. new Alcott mom (formerly STILL waitlisted KG mom) :)  |  June 5, 2013 at 12:03 am

    @370, Jenni–we got a call today, too (Alcott #17 KG), and we accepted. We are beyond thrilled! Yes, see you in KG!

  • 375. Wondering  |  June 5, 2013 at 12:27 am

    Anyone heard of any movement on wait lists for Peirce, Stone, Chappell or Hamilton? Thanks!

  • 376. Hating Arabic at Agassiz  |  June 5, 2013 at 1:11 am

    Good points about foreign language study being more like an “activity”…but I’m still so annoyed that Agassiz has Arabic. Because he has speech issues, I’d really like him to study a rooted romance language so it helps his English.

  • 377. DadQuestioningYourHatred  |  June 5, 2013 at 8:34 am

    @Hating Arabic at Agassiz

    I’m confused as to the source of your frustration. Your speaking as if someone is forcing Arabic onto your child.

    My child will be attending Agassiz next year and we’re delighted. Sure, we wouldn’t choose Arabic, but we’ll get behind whatever foreign language she’ll be learning. At least she’s still learning another language. One that may break down future prejudices and introduce her to other cultures. Not to mention that there are career opportunities that will open up to her if she were fluent.

    Arabic is also the language taught at Lincoln Park HS and Agassiz is a feeder school to LPHS.

    Look on the bright side of life. Don’t hate or be annoyed by Arabic. The glass is half full.

  • 378. CPSAppalled  |  June 5, 2013 at 8:36 am

    @oipfamily: I was impressed when I toured Murphy in April. If I were a neighborhood parent, I would give this school an in-depth look. The principal was extremely accessible and even answered her phone immediately to answer questions I had. She spent at least an hour with me when I came to tour, as there were no other parents touring that morning. She is very engaged with the school, and seemingly, the families there. The AP also was very friendly. The school is small (good in my opinion) and has a “family friendly” vibe. I love the fine arts programming (disclosure: I personally know the fine arts teachers but wanted to see it in action) and the upper grade classrooms I saw seemed very well run. Unfortunately my child is wait-listed here (and everywhere!) so this is not an option for us, yet. Check out the test scores; I seem to recall that they were comparable with other schools, like Agassiz. Someone please correct me if I am wrong about that.

  • 379. northsider  |  June 5, 2013 at 9:42 am

    Anyone waitlisted @ Thorp for 1st grade?

  • 380. NMayfairMom  |  June 5, 2013 at 10:04 am

    @379 – I called there today for a K and 2nd grade entry. The lady told me right now there isn’t any movement on any spots since all their lower grades are full. I didn’t ask about 1st grade entry of course, but she said “lower grades” are all full…just call them, the woman I spoke to was very nice.

  • 381. Prescott WL  |  June 5, 2013 at 10:35 am

    Does anyone know where Prescott is on its K wait list? Have they started calling off of it yet? Thanks.

  • 382. oipfamily  |  June 5, 2013 at 11:04 am

    PrescottWL: I know they are at least on #5 and during our tour they made it seem like they get pretty far down in the past. CPSAppalled: Thanks for the nice report. I also had a great feeling from the tour. Where are you on the WL?

  • 383. CPSAppalled  |  June 5, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    @oipfamily: we are pretty far down the wait list, something like #15 for 4th grade. Sigh.

  • 384. Hating Arabic at Agassiz  |  June 5, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    To: Dad wondering why I am “hating Arabic at Agassiz”…well. Yes, Arabic is being forced if I send my child to Agassiz. Unless I make a big stink and make them pull my child out of Arabic and put him in, painting or science instead. I’m not going to do that, of course. My best friend, who is Egyptian, (which means native Arabic speaker), thinks it is useless too. Yes, I understand LPHS is teaching Arabic, and I also understand nobody took it there and they are trying a last ditch effort to get the younger kids interested in it. I really would like my child to be exposed to the French language since it is spoken in Canada, France, Africa and South America–countries he will visit (and already has) before he visits Abu Dhabi. I just wish there were one or two choices at Agassiz. But, as another poster says, it probably doesn’t much matter. And I can always apply to LaSalle if I want French or just send him to Alliance.

  • 385. New to CPS  |  June 5, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    Our son attends Prescott PFA. I have been both an elementary school teacher and a principal. I can honestly say that Ms. Brand, the preK teacher, who will be teaching first grade next year, is absolutely amazing! For those considering Prescott, I’d say go for it. It is a great school with an extremely dedicated staff. I haven’t had much interaction with Principal Roche, but he seems to be making positive changes at Prescott.

  • 386. PatientCPSMom  |  June 5, 2013 at 9:16 pm

    Does anyone have any experiences with Rowe Elementary? It’s a charter school run by Northwestern University Settlement.

  • 387. Glass_half_full?  |  June 6, 2013 at 8:14 am

    For anyone keeping score in tier 3, Thorp is full (the last spot was accepted by lucky number 14) and Beaubien will not start calling for another 1-2 weeks.

  • 388. Glass_half_full?  |  June 6, 2013 at 8:15 am

    That post was or k.

  • 389. Lauren  |  June 6, 2013 at 8:51 am

    Our friend sends her son to Rowe and LOVES it. They are extremely strict (i.e. charge for tardies, charge per minute late even with traffic problems, charge for uniform indiscretions) but that strict policy keeps the school running smoothly. Her child is in 1st grade and is reading at a 5th grade level. Education is her top priority and she is beyond thrilled.

  • 390. Lauren  |  June 6, 2013 at 8:57 am

    I hope those on the waiting list for Peirce get in – we are so happy there. Good luck to all.

  • 391. Oipfamily  |  June 6, 2013 at 9:42 am

    Glass half full?: curious where you are on the Beaubien wl? We were hoping for a call from there- we are 30. Have you toured school yet?

  • 392. MayfairMama  |  June 6, 2013 at 10:09 am

    Beaubien is moving from half day to full day K, so I would think they will be admitting fewer K students from the WL than they have in the past. As far as I know there are only 2 K classrooms at the moment so I’m not sure how they’re even going to accommodate all the neighborhood kids.

  • 393. PatientCPSMom  |  June 6, 2013 at 10:57 am

    #389 Thanks for the info.

  • 394. Glass_half_full?  |  June 6, 2013 at 11:15 am

    @oip, We are number 34 but I’m not too hopeful although the more I look at their stats the better they look. I have to say though, from what I have seen of Murphy I wouldn’t fret if I were you. I wasn’t able to make it to the tour I had scheduled but we spend a lot of time at Independance Park and my daughter plays with the Murphy kids that flock to the playground after school. I’m the pyscho mom on the playground grilling k and 1st graders about what they are doing at school,lol. The Murphy kids are well spoken and eager to talk about the wonderful things they did in class, like the 1st grader who was telling us about their sewing project in art. I work in the neighborhood and the clients that are Murphy parents are loyal to the school and a dedicated group. Basically, if we lived on the other side of Belleplaine we wouldn’t be moving over the summer.

  • 395. Glass_half_full?  |  June 6, 2013 at 11:16 am

    Oh, and the next Beaubien tour is 6/20 (unfortunately due to work scheduling I won’t be able to make it so I’d be interested to hear what others who go or who have gone have to say).

  • 396. Prescott WL  |  June 6, 2013 at 11:25 am

    Received an offer at Prescott today for K and accepted. #20 and #21 on WL (twins). Our one and only offer to date. Thrilled to the moon and back. We were days away from signing a lease and moving our family to a better neighborhood school boundary area.
    I hope others still waiting for first offers get calls soon. The waiting is the hardest part.

    If anyone is looking for a gorgeous 3-bedroom apt with all the “bells” and whistles in Bell should check out Craigslist in the next day or two for the listing. It is an amazing apartment and fantastic landlords. This is the apt we were set to move into on July 1.

  • 397. Impatient  |  June 6, 2013 at 11:32 am

    I was looking on a NPN CPS discussion forum from 2012 (by accident) the other day and saw that at this time last year there had been a TON more movement on wait lists. I’m hoping the school closures are delaying everything – principals being conservative until they have final numbers. It seems like there are a lot of schools that haven’t made one call re their wait lists. The optimist in me wants to think we’re all going to get calls as soon as schools close for summer. The pessimist who got wait listed at 19 schools in me is telling the optimist not to hold her breath. CPS admissions is giving me a split personality!

  • 398. Jenn  |  June 6, 2013 at 11:55 am

    To Prescott WL: Welcome to Prescott! We are thrilled that you have joined the community. Feel free to check out for information about the school or email me at I’d love to fill you in on all the great things we have going on. I have been at the school for years – my daughter is in 3rd grade and my son is kinder. We couldn’t be happier!

  • 399. AP Mama  |  June 6, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    Got a call from Jahn today. We were waitlisted #14 for K. Any thoughts on Jahn?

  • 400. Edgewatermom  |  June 6, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    In case people are interested in general waitlist movement, we got a call yesterday for Swift (#16) and today for McPherson (low 20s). We have an offer at a magnet so we turned both down.

  • 401. Sean  |  June 6, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    @397 I feel your pain. We applied to 18 schools and our best wait list number is 31 at Pulaski (1 mile from house). They responded that they’ve had huge demand from the neighborhood kids and they really weren’t sure if they would get to the wait list. Seems really strange.

  • 402. Andersonvilledad  |  June 6, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    JAHN is at least on 31 on the waitlist. FYI

  • 403. AP Mama  |  June 6, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    @402 – I’m not sure how that could be as we were 14 and just got a call a few hours ago.

  • 404. Andersonvilledad  |  June 6, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    My wife just received a call from Jahn (we’re 31) telling her she could enroll on Monday. Happened 10 min. ago

  • 405. AP Mama  |  June 6, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    Wow, Jahn is really flying through their waitlist then!

  • 406. Kim  |  June 6, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    Please see my post in the gifted forum for more info on my tour at Carnegie. We decided to take the Agassiz spot as Carnegie would have had to be stellar for us to accept.

    I Also toured Peterson. As we are number 1 on the list. No calls yet. The school was really promising. My husband said it was one of the worse tours we’ve had though. They had student ambassadors giving the tour, they were either 6th or 7th graders so we didn’t get much academic information. We did get a good look at the building. It felt like a very traditionally run suburban school. They have music options such as choir,band and orchestra. A strong environmental emphasis with many gardens/science related things. Even though it was a huge/overcrowded school it felt small. Algebra is taught in 7th and 8th grade as the highest level. There are many electives for upper grades. Musicals and theatre arts. Spanish is the language once a week and they have all stars programs with Spanish and team sports. The Phy-Ed for younger classes were doing the Macarena when we were looking in. The gym had a rock climbing wall. Very well organized. It sounded as if they had some pull out for advanced students and pullout intervention for kids that needed help. They have a small auditorium/ separate from the gym with choir loft and tech booth for lighting and sound. An art room, lunchroom, science room for upper grades, air conditioning, I believe, it wasn’t very hot or humid but it was yesterday so a little cold outside. 2 computer labs. One used for testing. One that was for media use with a computer teacher. The one irritating thing was that they were using ancient technology. The media lab had those old G4 emacs that were about the speed of the lampshade iMacs (early 2000s). Used Elmo? for over heads in classrooms that were new to the school to be used with a computer or regular paper instead of regular projectors. The kids had no clue what a smart board was. Over all it had a good atmosphere to the school. If we got the call I probably would have to tour again with a faculty member to make a decision between Agassiz and Peterson. It would probably come down to teaching styles of traditional at peterson vs more individualized goals and the technology emphasis at Agassiz.

  • 407. CPS crazy  |  June 6, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    The Jahn notes above…are you in the same tier or are these general list numbers? anyone have input on this school? if they are going through it that fast we may actually get a call!

  • 408. CPS crazy  |  June 6, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    also…anyone have LaSalle II input…..waitlist numbers….anything?!

  • 409. DadWithAChild  |  June 6, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    LaSalle II is at #7 for K Tier 4

  • 410. CPS crazy  |  June 6, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    thanks 409! wonder if they will take more!!?? eeek!

  • 411. Hating Arabic at Agassiz  |  June 6, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    Kim, may I ask why are you taking the Agassiz spot–any particular reason? It seems you are all over the place geographically–does that matter at all to you? Carnegie is so far south and Peterson so far north…

  • 412. Jenni  |  June 6, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    @374-new Alcott mom. Great to hear that you are in – do you have a son or daughter entering kindergarten? My daughter is entering, and we will probably start my son in PK next year. We are in Edgewater – it would be great to meet up!

  • 413. Kim  |  June 6, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    @411. We actually live in lincoln square. Lawrence and Rockwell. 4 houses out of Water’s boundary.
    My husband works at the U of C so I was picking schools that would be easier for him to pick up/drop off from LSD. If we would have gotten Disney we would have been set.

    Peterson is most likely the closest to us but we would have to drive. I drive past there at least once a week taking the kids to gymnastics.

    Carnegie actually was my last choice for the options. I had already toured a bunch of schools and I didn’t like how crowded Decatur was. They never really moved around their rooms, ate lunch. So a lot of sitting still. Principal was an elitest etc. So I had an extra choice for places near us. My husband works at The U of C on Woodlawn and 58th and we liked the RGC programs more than we liked Classical. He would just have to go to work with my husband. So I put it in as a last ditch effort for a spot not touring and knowing it would be a safety net if my son didn’t do to well on the test day. We already knew he tested off the charts from a psychologist who was in a panel of doctors at children’s when we were trying to figure out why he wasn’t eating much/trying to figure out his growth problems. CPS gifted testing seems to be more if they can do the work vs. IQ. He didn’t do to well but still enough to get him into Carnegie. We toured and didn’t like it. You can see why on the gifted letters board.

    As for Agassiz. We go to St. Pauls UCC and I worked in lincoln park/lake view area so I picked a few schools that I liked around the area and what people suggested for fine arts programs that I could take the train to or my husband could drop off on the way down to the U of C. Kind of the middle of the road scores yet stellar taking IEP scores out. When I toured at Agassiz I felt very welcomed and included, there was alot of parental involvement, and it actually still was individualized for the students and had many of the aspects of the teaching styles I liked in the RGCs. It had Algebra which all the SEES schools are teaching as the highest math. My fears of not seeing Agassiz as a feeder school for the top 4 highschools made sense when I found out it was a feeder for Lincoln Park High and I can see many kids wanting to stay in the neighborhood. The school has been in process of turning around with in the last few years so I think we will be soon seeing students ge into those schools. Has met AYP, except the no child left behind which is fine with me as I have reservations with that act and it has autistic students which your going to have some failing of no child left behind. Also it made level 1 this year which shows me that there has been effort. It’s close enough for me to be involved in. And it has Sibling priority so I have a chance with my other 2 kids.

    I hope that answers your question and makes sense.

  • 414. mia  |  June 6, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    #381- We got an offer from Prescott this afternoon, which we declined. We were #35 on the waitlist.

  • 415. AP Mama  |  June 6, 2013 at 10:31 pm

    @ 407 CPS Crazy – It is my understanding that the nieghborhood/magnet cluster school waitlists are all general.

  • 416. New Alcott mom  |  June 7, 2013 at 10:31 am

    @412–Jenni. We have a son going into KG. We already received a call from our “welcome mentor” who has a daughter going into KG. Apparently, there will be some playdates and so forth for incoming families later this summer.

    Are you on NPN? You can PM me from a recent Alcott post on 5/19. Or perhaps CPSO would be kind enough to share our e-mail addresses. It would be nice to meet some other new families!

  • 417. UptownMama  |  June 7, 2013 at 10:39 am

    For those interested in Chappell…we called yesterday and they haven’t touched their waitlist. They don’t expect to start calling until July.

  • 418. New Alcott mom  |  June 7, 2013 at 11:26 am

    FIY–Ravenswood is calling. We were #2, and declined.

  • 419. CPS crazy  |  June 7, 2013 at 11:40 am

    @419 any thoughts on how far they typically go on their list? (fingers crossed!!)

  • 420. AP Mama  |  June 7, 2013 at 11:56 am

    @419 We just got a call from Ravenswood. We’re # 22, so they’re working through there list pretty quickly.They gave us until the 10th to decide.

  • 421. Wondering  |  June 7, 2013 at 11:59 am

    Thanks for sharing Chappell info!

  • 422. local  |  June 7, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    @412–Jenni. We have a son going into KG. We already received a call from our “welcome mentor” who has a daughter going into KG. Apparently, there will be some playdates and so forth for incoming families later this summer.

    I wonder if welcome mentors are being tried in high-poverty schools. Or, in those welcoming schools for the school-closing kids? Playdates? Anyone hear?

  • 423. local  |  June 7, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    @ 413. Kim | June 6, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    Congrats! It sounds like your family is set and it’s looking less stressful from here on. That must be SUCH a relief. It’s wonderful when the keystone gets set. Whew! 🙂

  • 424. Edgewatermom  |  June 7, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    Waitlists are moving – we just got a call today from Prescott (20s) and Ravenswood (28). While I was impressed with Prescott, it is a little far for us. I am a little torn with Ravenswood. I thought it was a nice school – I like the arts focus. We have a spot at a magnet (Stone), so I feel like it’s not worth it to give up that spot. Numbers/test score wise, Stone does better, commute is not bad and we have a younger sib too that would be basically guaranteed at Stone, but not at a neighborhood school. Would appreciate anyone’s thoughts around the two and whether I’m missing anything in my thought process here.

  • 425. St Alphonsus Parent  |  June 7, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    My second grader to be just got offered a second grade spot at Hamilton. Any feedback would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

  • 426. waitlisted parent  |  June 7, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    Burr is moving down their list too. We were in mid 20s and received a call yesterday, we declined. ( sorry -can’t remember the exact number )
    We have our hearts set on our neighborhood school – Pulaski. After all the stress…we visited the school few times, talked to the parents and neighbors and feel very lucky to be able to send our son there.

  • 427. Even One More CPS Mom  |  June 7, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    Edgewatermom – Personally, I would not underestimate the value of having a “practically guaranteed” sibling spot. That may also depend on how many years there are between your children though. We also had chosen a magnet over some up and coming neighborhood schools (that were much nearer to home) and one of the big reasons was the sibling issue. Our older child will be in 4th grade when the younger child enters kindergarten and I just wasn’t feeling ‘certain’ enough that our younger child would necessarily get a spot at the up and coming neighborhood schools by that point. Of course, it may be possible as we can’t predict the future, but there is the risk that if the school is truly improving and up and coming that the school may get so popular with the neighborhood families that siblings of out of neighborhood families may risk not getting in at all, for kindergarten any way. And for you, if Stone is a quicker commute….that could be a big appeal as well. And also, are more of your neighborhood children likely to attend Stone or Ravenswood? Another thought to consider. Obviously others may feel differently. Good luck in your decision!

  • 428. Sean  |  June 7, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    @426 Thanks for the info. We are waitlisted 31 at Pulaski and were told they might not get to the waitlist at all. Our other neighborhood option Burr (2 blocks away from boundary) we are waitlisted 200. We feel hopeless as Lozano is not going to work for us. My budget is about to change as Catholic school is our fall back. Thanks CPS! Oh and we didn’t get any offers at any of the other 16 schools. What a joke, apparently my family received the short straw.

  • 429. Peter  |  June 7, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    No discussion of the CPS budget?

  • 430. Bucktownmom  |  June 7, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    We live in Pulaski district and also got a spot at lasalle II. Leaning more (not strongly) towards lasalle, but was wondering if anyone had any input on this. Thank you!

  • 431. CPS crazy  |  June 7, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    @430 we are still unsure about LS2 also….what grade?

  • 432. Kim  |  June 7, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    @423. I’m glad that we actually had a chance. If we get a call from Peterson we are on the #1 spot. I’m still thinking Agassiz but who knows what the hubby was feeling. He was set on pritzker for some reason.

  • 433. Bucktownmom  |  June 7, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    cps crazy- going into KG. what about you?

  • 434. CPS crazy  |  June 7, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    K also. not close to us but considering doing a half hour drive to get her in

  • 435. Rachel C  |  June 7, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    Alcott is really moving through their waitlist. We were #36 for K and got a call today.

  • 436. Tiffany  |  June 7, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    Does anyone know how far Agassiz is into their waitlist?

    @St Alphonsus parent. Hamilton is a WONDERFUL school. I have several friends who attend there and couldn’t be happier. Their principal is amazing. He has a twitter account (@principalgrey) and is very approachable. If you are a member of NPN, do a search on their website. There is a really good post discussing all of the positives.

  • 437. Irving Park  |  June 7, 2013 at 9:12 pm

    Offered McPherson today – WL #28 for K.
    Know there are great things going on there, but we declined and will attend our neighborhood school, Bateman, if we decide to stay in CPS.

  • 438. Andersonvilledad  |  June 7, 2013 at 9:20 pm

    Hypothetical Question (I apologized if this has been asked 100’s of times). My neighborhood school is McPherson but I have not registered and may send my daughter elsewhere. What happens if McPherson assumes enrollment is lower, offers a bunch of outside neighborhood seats and then gets an influx of enrollment later on. Does that mean giant class sizes or does every neighborhood school deal with these variables each year and just know how to navigate them?

  • 439. West Loop mom  |  June 7, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    Offered a spot at National Teachers Academy today -WL general #37 for K. I won’t take it. My daughter was admitted to Kindergarden at NTA-RGC. Good luck to number 38. This list is moving.

  • 440. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 7, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    426. St Alphonsus Parent | June 7, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    I’ve only heard wonderful things abt Hamilton and they have a great principal.

  • 441. FatherTornBetwixtTwoSchools  |  June 7, 2013 at 10:26 pm

    Agassiz or Alcott?

    Cannot decide!

  • 442. Edgewater parent  |  June 7, 2013 at 10:36 pm

    @438 Aville Dad, That’s why principal gets paid the big bucks to figure out how to proceed through the waitlist and manage classroom assignments ; }. And yes, sometimes they have good intel and judgement and sometimes it works exactly as you surmise above. Not a perfect system, huh?

    I often marvel that the really tough jobs are in the Neighborhood schools and that the magnet/SEES schools have it so easy on many of the aspects of managing enrollment/curriculum/staffing/etc.

  • 443. realchicagomama  |  June 7, 2013 at 10:38 pm

    That assumes that the culture is strong and positive in receiving schools. I am not sure that is always the case. Our school does a buddy program as well (facilitated by our PTA) and I shared the idea at a recent PTA workshop – hope it sticks somewhere!

  • 444. realchicagomama  |  June 7, 2013 at 10:41 pm

    @442 – I think it’s tough everywhere and for different reasons. Enrollment is slightly easier to control at SEs and magnets, but still fluctuates and is affected by budgets and staffing. Curricula should not be set by # of students IMO.

  • 445. cpsobsessed  |  June 8, 2013 at 12:06 am

    @Andersonville Dad: I assume Mc@h will be cautious as they’re absorbing some Trumbull kids. Most schools get pretty good over time with the predictions and tend to cushion themselves with space just in case there is last-minute enrollment (which can vary year to year.). So I doubt they’d way over-enroll so it may be that a class or 2 has a few extra kids but probably not excessive.

    The exception is schools that are gorwing fast that sometimes don’t recognize their popularity right away and get an influx, but usually just one year helps them figure it out. Mspherson has been growing more steadily so I’d imagine they”ll keep it under control. But possibly try to ask the admin to get a sense (rather than my sheer speculation…)

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 446. jd76  |  June 8, 2013 at 6:41 am

    Can anyone share if thiier stone k waitlist number has been called? My twins are 32 and 33

  • 447. St Alphonsus Parent  |  June 8, 2013 at 8:00 am

    @Tiffany, thanks so much for the feedback. I will your the school pretty soon. Much appreciated.

  • 448. db  |  June 8, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    @425 St Alphonsus Parent – I have a 1st grader at Hamilton and we’re very happy with the school. There is a tour this Wednesday, come take a look. I think you’ll be happy with what you see. If you have any specific questions, post them and I’ll answer as best as I can.

  • 449. Another LaSalle II Mom  |  June 8, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    Bucktownmom & CPS crazy – Do you have specific questions about LaSalle II or just struggling with the decision in general?

  • 450. Bucktownmom  |  June 8, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    We are wondering whether LS2 would be better than Pulaski which is our neighborhood school. If you have any thoughts, I would appreciate it.

  • 451. Another LaSalle II Mom  |  June 8, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    Bucktownmom – I see. Unfortunately I cannot help you at all with that one. I only know of Pulaski by name. Good luck to you!

  • 452. Schoolstress  |  June 10, 2013 at 8:44 am

    This whole process has caused more stress than I ever imagined possible. No calls and it looks like its just too expensive to live in the neighborhoods with good schools. I want to give up. My hopes for a last minute call are Coonley RGC, Edison RGC (t3 143), Chappell (wl 28), ravenswood (wl 76), waters (23). Tell me there’s hope!

  • 453. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 10, 2013 at 8:54 am

    453. Schoolstress | June 10, 2013 at 8:44 am

    I don’t know if you already answered this questions, but what is your n’hood school?

  • 454. Prescott Mom  |  June 10, 2013 at 8:57 am

    Prescott is offering their monthly tour tomorrow (Tuesday, June 11th) at 9am. The tour is led by two parents. You will walk into the classrooms and then end the tour with a Q & A session with either Principal Roche or AP Malsh. This is a great way to learn about their growth over the past 4 years. No need to RSVP. You can also check out for more info about the school.

  • 455. cpsobsessed  |  June 10, 2013 at 9:03 am

    Possibly a slim chance for one of those. Chappell is the wildcard right now.
    Are you looking to buy or rent in those areas?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 456. Schoolstress  |  June 10, 2013 at 11:30 am

    It’s Stockton/courtenay. I know Courtenay is a good school, but I really want to get out of uptown.

  • 457. Schoolstress  |  June 10, 2013 at 11:33 am

    Rent. My budget is tight, which is why I’ve lived in Uptown for the last 4 years, but I have got to get a little further west

  • 458. Lisa  |  June 10, 2013 at 11:41 am

    @Schoolstress We got an offer from Chappell with similar number last year, but with Trumball closing……

  • 459. Schoolstress  |  June 10, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    Thank you

  • 460. Liz  |  June 10, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    @459, school stress. You r likely to get a call from Ravenswood, I would imagine. Good luck! Keep us posted.

  • 461. Impatient  |  June 10, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    @446 jd76 – My friend got called for Stone a couple weeks after the letters went out, but she was something like #4 on the proximity list. I’m hoping they and other schools are holding off on calling more kids on their lists until school is over. It sounds like a lot of schools are just telling people their not even starting until July.

    Does anyone know if proximity and general lists continue to matter in later rounds?

  • 462. SK  |  June 10, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    Hi Everyone – can anyone share their wait list numbers and if they’ve been called for Agassiz or Alcott? I think I saw someone said in the high 30’s at Alcott – anyone been called since then?

  • 463. cps parent  |  June 10, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    Really want to commend those writing recently about considering certain magnet schools. It is so important for you to visit the school yourself. How many comments have we read about people loving a school and others hating the same place?
    You really need to go on a school tour.I think those schools with frequent tours are often those that really have something worth seeing! Principals who invite parents into the classroom to observe instruction are those who care about a good school/family match. Let’s help each other to make informed decisions and not enter irrelevant comments. Consider how schools, teachers and administration are doing currently. Don’t turn this into a hateful blog. We are here to constructively help each other through the difficult process of choosing schools for our kids. CPS obsessed, I do love this blog, but consider deleting some of the comments that are clearly just hateful.

  • 464. ChicagoMomofBoys  |  June 10, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    My soon-to-be kindergartener, whose currently enrolled at South Loop (our neighborhood school), was just offered a spot at Alcott. The call totally caught me off guard, as I figured magnet clusters would be filled with kids from closing schools. Any feedback on it? Given the choice, which school would YOU choose? For background, South Loop is literally in our backyard. I have until Wednesday to decide.

  • 465. cpsobsessed  |  June 10, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    I wouldn’t give up a very good in-your-backyard schools for a different very good schools that requires driving into lincoln park….but that’s just me! Is there any reason you’d like to make a switch?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 466. SK  |  June 10, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    What number were you on Alcott’s list?

  • 467. Bucktownmom  |  June 10, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    Got a call from Alcott, we were 54. Will likely take it, although it’ll be a haul from bucktown.

  • 468. ChicagoMomofBoys  |  June 10, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    CPSO: That’s what I’m thinking, too. But I hate to turn down a spot (any spot) without at least weighing the pros and cons. We attended an incoming South Loop KG picnic this weekend and I walked away feeling really good about the school. There’s a ridiculous amount of parent involvement, which is always a good sign. And, of course, the convenience factor is huge. I love the idea of my child having lots of school friends nearby. We’ll probably decline Alcott, but I’d love to hear others’ perspectives in the meantime.

  • 469. ChicagoMomofBoys  |  June 10, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    @466: Good question. I have no idea. Our numbers were so high that I threw out the letter from CPS 😉

    @467: What are your other options at this point? Just curious.

  • 470. cpsobsessed  |  June 10, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    I know, it’s so hard to turn down something when you feel like you’ve “won” it, isn’t it??

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 471. cpsobsessed  |  June 10, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    I think the local communty aspect of a neighborhood school will be a great advantage.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 472. ChicagoMomofBoys  |  June 10, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    CPSO @470: YES!! That’s so true!

  • 473. bucktownmom  |  June 10, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    @469 we were/are considering pulaski which is our neighborhood school and lasalle 2 which is also pretty close. Alcott seems to be too good to pass up, although no without reservations. Any thoughts?

  • 474. UptownMama  |  June 10, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    Prescott’s waitlist is moving. We just got a call (#70 on the waitlist). Pretty sure we’re going to decline because of distance, but mulling it over before the Wednesday deadline to decide. We honestly didn’t expect to get called so soon with such a high number so we haven’t really thought too hard about it one way or the other.

  • 475. Even One More CPS Mom  |  June 10, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    @bucktownmom – I wonder if you could find PTO/LSC meeting notes for the three schools on their web sites. Often they are in a parent’s section. That might give you an idea as to some of the upcoming initiatives/concerns etc… at the three schools you are considering. Might help you decide. You might be surprised at what you find. I know this decision can be tough.

  • 476. cpsobsessed  |  June 10, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    Oh, I got a call today for Ravenswood 5th grade. I think we were #1 or 2. We have 24 hours to respond and they have a school tour tomorrow.
    We’ll decline so I can continue to b*tch about the RGC homework. 🙂

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 477. Bucktownmom  |  June 10, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    @even one more cps mom- thank you for the tip! I’ll check it out.

  • 478. Former teacher/ current cps mom  |  June 10, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    @bucktownmom–The worst thing about Alcott kindergarten is that it is almost over. My son had the greatest year. His teacher was completely wonderful. He has the most amazing ability to make every day fun and engaging. My son learned tons but I never felt like he was being pushed too hard. He was supported, empowered and engaged. His teacher would dress up as historical figures, teach them the water cycle to the tune of that song Dynamite, he gave out certificates to kids who learned to tie their shoes…I could go on and on about how great our year was. There was tons of old school kindergarten stuff like tying shoes mixed in with the fact that my son learned to do carrying in addition. They do lots of differentiated learning so kids move on to the harder material when they are ready. The new principal is great. He came from Oriole Park Elementary which is one of the top school in Chicago. The parents are really involved and included in the school. They have art, drama, music, computers, gym and science lab. The classroom has a ELMO board which is great technology and they use ipads all the time. The drive isn’t really that bad–I live farther away than Bucktown. There are lots of Bucktown families too so you might even find someone to carpool.

  • 479. AnotherBucktownMom  |  June 10, 2013 at 10:39 pm

    @478 I second everything you said. Our new principal just has an incredible vision. I have an older child, but everything you said rings so true. We’re in Bucktown too and there are plenty of other families nearby. To get to school only takes about 10 minutes. Good luck on your decision!

  • 480. Bucktownmom  |  June 10, 2013 at 10:46 pm

    Thank you for this great input. It’s really nice to hear and helps greatly with our decision. I think we’ll accept. Thanks again!

  • 481. West Andersonville  |  June 11, 2013 at 6:58 am

    Called Peirce yesterday and they said they have not started making any calls yet. We are really hoping for a spot at #58 but were told over weekend by a parent that they will have one less K classroom this year. Please, keep us updated everyone as I would love to hear when each school starts calling and how far they have gotten on their lists!

  • 482. Wondering  |  June 11, 2013 at 8:43 am

    Why oh why is Peirce cutting a kg class?

  • 483. 60660  |  June 11, 2013 at 8:45 am

    according to admin it a space issue – although Peirce is a large building they don’t have enough room for 5 classes per grade all the way up

  • 484. Wondering  |  June 11, 2013 at 9:02 am

    Well, Peirce is my first choice and we’re 82 on the K wait list so boo.

  • 485. 60660  |  June 11, 2013 at 9:06 am

    I think you will get a call – it seems like about half the kids in the current K are out of district

  • 486. 60660  |  June 11, 2013 at 9:07 am

    *out of neighborhood

  • 487. @2ndGraderParent  |  June 11, 2013 at 9:25 am

    Received letter back in May (I know I’m late posting) for 2013-14 2nd grader:

    Prescott– waitlisted (general) 14
    Burley– waitlisted (general) 63
    Courtenay– waitlisted (general) 21
    Hamilton– waitlisted (general) 8
    Alcott ES– waitlisted (general) 46
    Nettlehorst– waitlisted (general) 78
    Agassiz– waitlisted (general) 37
    Blaine– waitlisted (general) 9

    Got offer from Hamilton last week, have until tomorrow to accept. Would prefer Blaine, anyone heard of any movement there or anyone think we might get a call from Blaine before the school year begins?


  • 488. cpsobsessed  |  June 11, 2013 at 9:27 am

    Blaine is possible. Older grades you end up with people who get the spot and turn it down, but it really just depends on random luck of how many people leave from the class.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 489. @2ndGraderParent  |  June 11, 2013 at 9:29 am

    @ cpsobsessed,

    Thanks for the insight. I think I will wait it out.

  • 490. Even One More CPS Mom  |  June 11, 2013 at 9:32 am

    @489 Are you aware that if you accept at one school that you will not be taken off the wait list for the others? If you accept at Hamilton you will still remain on the list for Blaine and if Blaine gets to your number they will still call you, even if you are registered at Hamilton.

  • 491. @2ndGraderParent  |  June 11, 2013 at 9:35 am

    @ 490,

    I was not aware of that, in fact, I thought it was the exact opposite.

    Thanks for the heads-up, really appreciate it.

  • 492. Even One More CPS Mom  |  June 11, 2013 at 9:53 am

    @491 – Glad I could help. Only in the case of the selective enrollment (SEES – test in) schools are you removed from the lists of the other SEES schools if you accept an offer. For the neighborhood, magnet cluster, magnet schools, you stay on the wait lists even if you accept an offer from another school and even if you register. It is possible for people to move around to several schools over summer and even into the school year if they wish, as their offers come in. Good luck!

  • 493. BetwixtTwoSchools  |  June 11, 2013 at 10:47 am

    My family is indecisive between Alcott & Agassiz. We have accepted Agassiz and were just called by Alcott.

    While overall we liked what we saw on our Agassiz tour, we are still strongly considering taking Alcott based on its test scores and what we’ve read online.

    We only have a small window to accept and will be unable to tour before then.

    Can anyone offer any insight as to why one would have an advantage over the other? All reviews on greatschools are glowing.

    Thanks for any advice! cps obsessed has been such a great resource!

  • 494. SK  |  June 11, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    #493 can you please tell me what waitlist number you had?

  • 495. Former teacher/ current cps mom  |  June 11, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    I can’t tell you anything about Agassiz but I can tell you that Alcott is a great choice. I already gushed in an earlier post about how amazing the kindergarten is. I also have a child who is going into 5th grade who has been there since preschool. The school was really great all along. With the former principal retiring, the school has a whole new energy. Mr Estrada, the new principal, left his old school to take on the challenge of guiding a preK-12 school and he is a thoughtful and experienced leader. He immediately came in and put together a committee of parents, teachers and administrators to come up with a 5 year plan. You can find it on the website along with the vision and mission statement. He values the growth of each individual students and one of the ways he accomplishes this is by hiring certified teachers to assist the classroom teachers as intervention specialists. There is at least one for every grade level. The great thing is that they aren’t just there to help the kids who are struggling. They are there for all of the students so if you have a really smart kid who is ready for more difficult material then they can help with that. The goal is to help kids continue to grow no matter where they begin. All teachers are integrating technology in the classroom and there is a science lab for the primary kids as well as for the middle and upper grades. Parents are welcome and appreciated. There are coffee talks every Friday morning and usually the principal or assistant principal attend and update parents on things that are happening and answer question from parents. How great is that?? The arts have always been big at Alcott. My soon-to-be 5th grader has always had art, music and drama. The after school program is fantastic and is open until 6:30, I think. They offer a wide variety of enrichment classes in addition for all kids after school with choices like science club, choir, knitting, dance, math games, newspaper and Girls on the Run–I think that is on the website too. The one insight that I can give you that is an advantage to attending Alcott is that you are automatically accepted at Alcott College Prep High School. I know that there are kindergarten playdates at the park set up and a happy hour for incoming kindergarten parents. We went to those last year and it was really fun and we met tons of parents there. I don’t know how it is at other schools but one of my favorite things about Alcott is that the older kids are always looking out for the little ones. My kindergartener loves to go out on the basketball court afterschool with the 7th and 8th graders. They pass him the ball and let him shoot. The older kids and younger ones have lots of interaction and it is really sweet. I don’t know if any of that gives you a better insight but I hope it helps. Good luck on your decision.

  • 496. ChicagoMomofBoys  |  June 11, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    We’re still 15% uncertain about Alcott (vs. our neighborhood school, which is the likely choice) and our decision is due tomorrow. Aside from the unfairness of the situation, is it OK to accept the spot to buy a little time? I’m not saying months, more like a few weeks. My child is already enrolled in our neighborhood school, so what happens then? Could other magnet/magnet cluster offers still present themselves? Trying to successfully navigate the system…

  • 497. SK  |  June 11, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    To answer the question about holding the Alcott spot… it would be nicer if you aren’t taking the spot, to give it up for some of us that are waiting for the call.

  • 498. ChicagoMomofBoys  |  June 11, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    @497: I totally get that. I know that it’s not nice or ethically fair, but I’m merely curious IF it can be done. CPS has a lot of loopholes, sadly. I’m not saying this is my plan, though. Just playing the game.

  • 499. SK  |  June 11, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    498 – can you please just tell me what number you had & when the call came? I’m just wondering where they are at.

  • 500. ChicagoMomofBoys  |  June 11, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    @499: Honestly, I don’t recall our WL number. It was high enough (as were all of the other schools I ranked) that I threw out the CPS letter in disgust. Judging from what I read above, I’m guessing in the mid to high 50s. We got the call late yesterday and it totally caught me off guard. Good luck!

  • 501. LSmom  |  June 11, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    @ChicagoMomofBoys, I think it can be done since your neighborhood school has to take you no matter what. You’ll still be in the running for other magnet/magnet cluster spots.

  • 502. CPSstressesmeout  |  June 11, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    @499 I called this morning and left a message for the lady who is making the calls and never got a call back. If anyone knows where Alcott is on their waitlist, can you please post?

  • 503. CPS crazy  |  June 11, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    @500, mid-high 50’s is not that high! we are in the 200’s! 😦

  • 504. Frustrated 60625 Mom  |  June 11, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    Hallelujah, we just got our first call – from Solomon. We were #8 on the kindergarten WL, and after talking to the lady at the office last week, I got the impression that even that single-digit number was a long shot. We’ll be accepting the spot, as it’s our only call, and I’m not considering our neighborhood school.

  • 505. bucktownmom  |  June 11, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    Quick question- was looking at Alcott website, what are the Alcott West vs Alcott East? Elementary vs High School campus? Thanks.

  • 506. West Andersonville  |  June 11, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    Has anyone heard anything from Courtenay? Both waiting list movement and general feedback are appreciated.

  • 507. Huge ACP Fan  |  June 11, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    @bucktownmom – You are correct. The East campus is Pre-K thru 8, and the West campus is 9-12. I cannot say enough about Alcott (which is now called Alcott College Prep). I have a Kindergartener and 3rd grader there. The new principal is outstanding in every way. His vision for the elementary and high school is ambitious and so inspiring. I am thankful every day that someone recommended Alcott to us 5 years ago! It is a top-notch school and will only continue to get better! (btw, I am also a Bucktown mom.)

  • 508. bucktownmom  |  June 11, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    @507- Thanks! Great to hear that there are a lot of bucktown families at Alcott. It would be nice to meet you all.
    @502- we were 54 and got a call yesterday evening.

  • 509. BetwixtTwoSchools  |  June 11, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    We were offered Alcott at #61 today

  • 510. Cpsstressesmeout  |  June 11, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    Thank you for saying 61 @ Alcott! We’re praying, fingers and toes crossed and we’re 64!!!! I hope we get a call tomorrow. I can’t handle this stress!!

  • 511. MAgDad  |  June 11, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    Can anyone explain that Alcott is so high on their WL? Isit maybe for $2,000 advance?!

  • 512. JMOChicago  |  June 11, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    I can’t tell you for sure, but one possibility is that it is because CPS went to per-pupil budgeting and Alcott is VERY underutilized as a school according to the CPS formula. They are only listed at 68% capacity. Might be trying to add an extra kindergarten this year?

  • 513. Jenni  |  June 11, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    While I was touring Alcott, they mentioned that they were thinking of adding another KG this year. They were waiting on the budget to decide… Maybe that is the reason…

    Also – New Alcott mom @422, we aren’t on NPN, but we will definitely go to the social events for the KG! I am sure we will meet there!

  • 514. Irving Park  |  June 12, 2013 at 10:30 am

    Offer yesterday from Prescott – our WL # was somewhere between 110-120 (don’t have it on me). Have until tomorrow am to decide. Not yet sure what we will do, but learning toward sticking with our n’hood school, Bateman, since it is walkable and I feel very confident in the strength of the leadership team (Principal and AP), having met them.

  • 515. cpsobsessed  |  June 12, 2013 at 10:41 am

    @Irving Park, can you say anything more about Bateman? I’ve not heard much about it until recently. I know there’s a new principal and I’m thrilled to hear that the schools seems to be recently embraced by local parents.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 516. West Andersonville  |  June 12, 2013 at 11:39 am

    Just called Courtenay. Said they haven’t started calling. Don’t know if their transition means that they will have a bunch of unexpected seats or not. Has anyone heard anything? I imagine that things are pretty hectic over there.

  • 517. Schoolstress  |  June 12, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    Ya, I’m really curious about Courtenay. Initially, it was my first choice…for the neighborhood and the overall good feeling I got on the tour. Now that they’re changing locations, my daughter has an automatic spot, since its becoming our neighborhood school. However, I’m not going to take it because I don’t want to stay in this neighborhood and who knows how the program will be different with all of the changes taking place?

  • 518. Teasdad  |  June 12, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    @ 514 Irving Park – Interesting that you got a call with WL No:110-120, when we got 103 and no call yet!?

  • 519. Irving Park  |  June 12, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    @518 Teasdad. Yes, I promise you it was >110. I want to say 117, since my husband joked when he heard the very nice VM from the AP, Amanda Malsch (sp?) “Just think, she’s done this 117 times, but you’d never know it!” I would definitely call the school.

    @515 CPSO on Bateman. I’ve lived in the neighborhood for many years and had never stepped foot inside the school until 2 months ago. I saw nothing not to like and lots of things to like. I’ve since talked with 3 teachers at different grade levels (friends of friends) to get their honest view of the school, so they are people who had no agenda in trying to sell me to come or not. On balance, they had great things to say. It’s a very good group of teachers with very few “duds” and some rock stars at all levels of tenure.

    The Principal seems tremendous. This is his first year. Very focused on quality of instruction and how to build real collaboration amongst teachers (wrote a book called Professional Learning Communities – too dense for me as a non-educator but … he gets it). He switched out the old AP (who some loved and some thought was a bully) and replaced him with a woman who is great at the knowing the kids, being in the hallways, engaging with parents stuff etc. She is a former bilingual teacher. Principal and AP very interested in engaging with parents and the community, more so than the previous administration.

    I really like that there is a “gifted” (in quotes because it’s really just accelerated) program starting in grade 1, given my 99.5/94 kid who didn’t get an SEES offer. Gifted will be transitioning to “honors” in the 5-8 years, which will broaden access (e.g., there may be 2 sections of honors science, for example, if enuf kids qualify). They are migrating the 5-8 kids to the top floor of the (large!) school and giving them lockers, making it a real middle grades experience.

    Level 1 school with really strong test scores esp given 90% low income population and high ELL population. Community schools grant this year, and trying to bring in YMCA after-school programming next year. Great chess club with awesome coach.
    Good/productive LSC dynamic.

    Cons (depending on what you care about, some of these may be non-issues):
    – BIg one: What will the impact of the budget cuts be? This will be a big deciding factor for us, as to date the school has been able to keep class size reasonable.
    – Lower diversity than many would like (90% low-income, 80% Hispanic). From what I could tell, that doesn’t vary a ton by grade, as it does at some schools.
    – Very early on in parent/community engagement, though strong desire to increase, no material fundraising (so can’t throw $200K from the Friends Of coffers at the budget problem)
    – Not (yet) the type of tuition-based programming you see at many “top” schools
    – Not great on marketing yet – website is bad
    – Big – 1,000 kids…but there are some advantages that come with scale?

    I’ll be honest that when I went to tour, I was mostly doing so in order to confirm that it “wasn’t an option.” But it seems to be a nice neighborhood school with a great administration and strong teachers, getting good results. Sorry for the novel. Those with actual Bateman experience should correct what I got wrong.

  • 520. CPSAppalled  |  June 12, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    @Irving Park: I, too, live in the neighborhood and Bateman is my neighborhood school. My children attend other schools, as we were less than impressed with the school and the former principal when we moved to the neighborhood 8 years ago. One of my children used to go to Bateman regularly for speech therapy, so we saw the inside pretty regularly for a few years. Nothing to rave about. Quiet, orderly school. The work posted on the walls outside the classrooms was basic, nothing to get excited about. The kids seemed to spend a lot of time lining up in the halls. No discipline problems inside the school, even though parts of the neighborhood are rough. I was actually impressed with the current website; it was a vast improvement over the last one. The new principal seems very dynamic, but very new. I.P., please keep posting information about Bateman so that parents in Albany Park can learn more.

  • 521. EdgewaterParent  |  June 12, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    I called today to ask about the Peirce waitlist. They said they called the first 5 on the list today.

  • 522. Impatient  |  June 12, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    Gosh, I don’t know whether to be excited that Peirce has started calling or distressed because they only called 5 people. Seriously, it’s like we’re unknowing subjects of a psychological study on how much stress a parent can take. Zoinks.

  • 523. Lauren  |  June 12, 2013 at 9:19 pm

    FYI – CPS has instructed that this year only the principal is allowed to call parents about wait list numbers (or at least, they have to be the ones to log into their system), and since most of them are in the midst of their budgets, they are unable to get to them at the moment. It is not an ideal situation and our principal is very frustrated that her wait list calls are going so slowly.

  • 524. @2ndGraderParent  |  June 12, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    K, accepted a spot @ Hamilton for 2nd grader today. Today was the deadline. Just received an offer via email from Courtenay; was 21 on its list. Still waiting for Blaine.

  • 525. Also hoping  |  June 13, 2013 at 8:38 am

    I doubt Alcott could ask for the usual $2000 for KG because isn’t full day KG mandatory in 2013-14? The $2000 was to cover the cost of paying for full day. Hoping that this $2000 barrier to entry will provide a more diverse entering class. While incoming families are told it is optional, families are hounded for the money (and I would guess embarrassed if they can’t pay).

  • 526. Also hoping  |  June 13, 2013 at 8:41 am

    Not saying the school or the parents acting as the tuition collectors embarrasses the families, saying that the families likely feel embarrassment for not having $2000 to pay a public school for KG.

  • 527. SOS  |  June 13, 2013 at 11:02 am

    I toured Alcott and don’t remember any $2K tuition talk. When does that come up? After you register? In any case, I did choose Agassiz instead of Alcott. It was a tough choice but since my son has an IEP, I felt Agassiz was the way to go. However, Alcott was closer and it seemed much less crowded and neater. Agassiz has things piled up all over the place in the halls. They don’t have a cafeteria so they set up tables in the halls. I didn’t like that much but I really liked a lot of other aspects so I chose to overlook the kind of messiness. The good news though was no matter what I chose, I knew my son was the winner either way.

  • 528. Even One More CPS Mom  |  June 13, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    West Andersonville and Schoolstress – Read this article regarding the status of Courtenay/Stockton.

  • 529. New Alcott mom  |  June 13, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    FYI, I just received an e-mail from Mitchell offering a KG spot. I think we were number 31 (I don’t have my sheet handy). So, for anyone holding out hope for an offer from Mitchell, they are e-mailing. For those applying in the future, this is really a fantastic school–it was one of my top choices among the neighborhood schools.

    (And, how cool that they are e-mailing offers?)

  • 530. Schoolstress  |  June 13, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    Thank you. My seventh grade neighbor attends Stockton. Yesterday, courtenay kids came to tour the school and get to know other kids…start the integration process. That’s unfortunate that they’re beginning this process and it may not even be necessary. Also, she said she thinks there’s going to be a lot of fights because the kids at Stockton are not feeling very welcoming to the “stuck up” Courtenay kids. It’s good to get a 7th graders insight

  • 531. colleen  |  June 13, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    I was 44 at Mitchell and received an email offer for K as well. I agree, I thought it was great they were emailing. We turned it down as we are going to Burr, but they were my second choice. Mitchell seems to have a great sense of community and staff.

  • 532. Cpsstressesmeout  |  June 13, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    I spoke with Alcott today and asked about a third Kindergarten. She stated that had not been decided and was up to the principal and budget. She said they had a lot of people move to the burbs and a lot of people accept at other schools causing them to go to 62…so far…on their wait list.

  • 533. CPSDeviant  |  June 13, 2013 at 9:20 pm

    Absent of the moral and ethical implications. What would happen, or could you accepted more than one school and make a delayed decision?

    We were offered Agassiz and registered after the tour. But, now have been called by Alcott and were given only 24 hours. I will be able to tour Alcott, but not my wife. I’d like to see the school to help with the choice. In order to do so, we’d have to register at both and decide later.

    Thanks for any insight. We don’t lack empathy!

  • 534. 60660  |  June 13, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    you can’t register at both schools – to register at Alcott you will need to file paperwork with Agassiz.

  • 535. Sideline mama  |  June 13, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    533-I believe once you register you are in the system, accepting at more than one would bump you off the first school’s system.

  • 536. cpsobsessed  |  June 13, 2013 at 9:57 pm

    I agree – I don’t think you can registar at both and I’ve heard of someone losing the spot at school #1. They know how our minds work…

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 537. Answering question with a question.  |  June 13, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    Agreed. Cannot do both.
    What # were you on Agassiz and Alcott wait lists?

  • 538. CPSDeviant  |  June 13, 2013 at 10:55 pm

    Offered at Agassiz. 62 Alcott. Leaning towards Alcott after both tours

  • 539. Frustrated 60625 Mom  |  June 14, 2013 at 12:16 am

    Is it the registration at a school that bumps you, or the acceptance of the offer?

  • 540. 60660  |  June 14, 2013 at 7:28 am

    our experience a couple of years ago was the school you are leaving needs to “release” the student in the cps system before you can complete enrollment at the new school.
    I guess you could do an (unethical) end run around this by securing more than one cps id for your child,

  • 541. Chicago Dad  |  June 14, 2013 at 9:25 am

    Does anyone know if Pulaski has started calling off the Kindergarten wait list???

  • 542. mom  |  June 14, 2013 at 11:16 am

    is applying for kindergarten like applying for preschool or is it harder to get the school of your choice? since there are fewer preschool programs…

  • 543. Chicago Dad  |  June 14, 2013 at 11:59 am

    @542Mom It really all depends on what the mysterious CPS lottery wizzard has in store for your family. There is no way to make a rational comment here because the process is pathetic. Safest bet is to simply move your family into an area with a good school and attend your neighborhood school. I really wish they would have shut down my neighborhood school. Crap test scores, low attendance, poverty stricken. I didn’t have the foresight 5 years ago when my daughter was born. My fault there.

  • 544. cpsobsessed  |  June 14, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    Agree with @543 Chicago Dad. No guarantees at all with the lottery and you can end up in a school halfway across town. I was guilty of not thinking it through up front either. Having kids seemed far away!
    Actually to answer your question, you can’t really have a “school of choice” when entering the lottery process. Statistically you’ll never get in it. You might get in *a* magnet or *a* good neighborhood school, but the odds of it being the 1-2 schools you really want are pretty slim.

  • 545. CPS crazy  |  June 14, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    anyone have info on Jahn?

  • 546. EK  |  June 14, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    Just wanted to post that I just got a call from Burr. My son was #85 on the wait list, so I guess it’s moving quite a bit! We turned it down as he was offered a Disney II spot and he has a little sister, so the combo is perfect for us (no worry about siblings – whew). However, it feels strange to turn down spots! Burr looks good on paper (never toured), I hope someone after #85 is getting a call soon!

  • 547. CPS crazy  |  June 14, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    anyone know anything about the Beaubien WL? moving, numbers, etc!?

  • 548. Kim  |  June 14, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    Peterson called me last night. wL #1. I’m declining for Agassiz. Hopefully some one else will need it. It’s a great school but we like the fine arts emphasis a little better.

    Now the question is Alcott going to get to 93? Then I’ll be in the same boat as everyone here. Any one explain what the differences between Alcott and Agassiz? I know Alcott has Chinese (which was my foreign language in school. so that would be cool.) Arabic is quite intriguing to me so I’m not too turned down on it. I loved the individualization with Agassiz and small group work. I am wondering if Alcott does the same?
    I won’t be able to tour until August and I didn’t think they were going to get so high so soon if at all.

  • 549. anonymouse teacher  |  June 14, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    If you are considering two different schools, it will help to attend the LSC meeting that discusses budget. Foreign languages and fine art subjects would likely be the first to get cut when the cuts are finalized. Talking with each school about what will be lost might help. For example, does each homeroom teacher at Agassiz do small group work for the entire classroom by herself in all subjects (entirely possible) or does she have resource teachers helping her? Those resource teachers would be the first to go. Will Alcott’s Chinese program get cut? Not saying I have any inside info, but each school is currently deciding these things. Might help sway a decision.

  • 550. SOS  |  June 14, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    Kim, I thought Alcott was just fantastic…they are redoing that whole outside…I saw the artist renderings and they are nice. I felt that Alcott was cleaner than Agassiz…Agassiz has junk all over the place. HOWEVER, Agassiz has the full time special ed teachers–full time speech, full time nurse that my son would utilize since he has a pretty extensive IEP. Also, Agassiz is more diverse than Alcott. Look at the CPS website. Alcott has 67% white and very low numbers on low income vs. Agassiz has about 35% white. So I like the diversity at Agassiz. Also, Agassiz has lower test scores, but they also have autistic children that contribute to the lower test scores. Pull out the autistic children scores and Agassiz and Alcott is more on par. Also, the Arabic language starts in K at Ag, but Mandarin doesn’t start until first grade at Alcott.

  • 551. Jenni  |  June 14, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    For those of you following the WL at Prescott – we received a call today and were WL at 197.

  • 552. Schoolstress  |  June 15, 2013 at 10:12 am

    That’s great that so many kids are finding spots in these schools! I wish all the lists would move like that. Many haven’t even begun

  • 553. Chicago Dad  |  June 17, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    No posts today? Oh god, everyone has gotten into a school but my daugher!!!!!

  • 554. Bsmoresmom  |  June 17, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    I figure most calls will be made in July since most schools are wrapping up the year this month.

  • 555. Impatient  |  June 17, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    Yeah, I’m checking in with all the schools on Tuesday, June 25. Another wrench – the schools all got their smaller budgets late last week. They have to figure out what they’re cutting. Maybe the principals already knew and have plans…

  • 556. TB  |  June 17, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    Here’s a dumb question – could it be true that neighborhood schools and magnet cluster schools who are now calling people off waitlists will now (post new budget info) accept more students than they originally planned? If they get paid per pupil, accept more pupils = get more money?

  • 557. Schoolstress  |  June 17, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    No school for us either. Feeling hopeless now.

  • 558. OIPfamily  |  June 17, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    Jahn called us today. K # 77. Will decline, but hope this helps someone else out.

  • 559. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 17, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    558. Schoolstress | June 17, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    Don’t feel hopeless (I know easy for me to say). Some school numbers aren’t moving that fast, but prolly will in July.

  • 560. Chicago Mama  |  June 17, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    I am certain that principals had no idea what was coming in the budgets before they got them June 5-7th. I don’t think anyone anticipated that the cuts would be this bad. The District has cried poor so often, I think most people (myself included) thought it could be possible that this was another…. psych! move by the District.

    I am wary of the idea that neighborhood schools would increase enrollment to make the numbers work. I would want to know what they are gaining by increasing classroom numbers. 31 kids in a classroom with art and PE is nice, but it’s still 31 kids in a classroom.

  • 561. CPS crazy  |  June 18, 2013 at 9:16 am

    anyone know if the ravenswood or beaubien lists are moving?

  • 562. Schoolstress  |  June 18, 2013 at 11:05 am

    Ravenswood is at 28 on kinder wait list

  • 563. New Alcott mom  |  June 18, 2013 at 11:09 am

    We just got a call from Burr, #92. We declined, but this seems like a great school. Good luck to everyone.

  • 564. West Andersonville  |  June 18, 2013 at 11:59 am

    Just toured Courtenay (at the Stockton building, which they will inhabit next year with the students of both schools) this morning. I was very impressed with the facilities (library, gym, auditorium, computer labs, multisensory room, overall spacious building. The tour was led by the Asst Principals of both schools and the overall vibe seems positive — the Asst Principal of Courtenay used to teach at Stockton and spoke of the merger as an opportunity to join the best from both schools. The LSC is working on hiring their principal (former principal retiring) and there was a definitely a good energy about it. I was happy to see that.

    As far as the wait list, we were told that the wait list will be moving quite a bit within the next few days, and they use email first, then phone calls, so if you are hoping for a wait list spot, watch your inbox! (As a note, the first message they sent me was filtered to my gmail spam so check that too). They said they will be trying to get their spots filled soon and they anticipate getting pretty high on the waiting lists (she mentioned likely going into the hundreds).

    I was very hesitant about the merger but it looks to me like it’s going to work out well. Other notes:
    – they will continue Courtenay’s Right at School after school program (fee-based) and may also get funding for a free after school program
    – No foreign lang at this time
    – “Language arts” school focused on reading/literacy/creative writing
    – Special ed program seems a big source of pride for both schools

    Hope this info is helpful for anyone interested in Courtenay. Does anyone have any updates on Peirce? I am hoping to be in the lucky situation of deciding between these two schools.

  • 565. Impatient  |  June 18, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    Thank you! I checked my spam folder when I read this and had a tour invitation, too. Anyone else who is wait listed at Courtenay, look in your spam folder! There is a confirmation of interest form and info about a tour of Stockton today (6/18) at 3:30 and two tomorrow (6/19) – 3:30 and 5.

    I just called Peirce and they are still saying they won’t start calling the wait list until summer.

  • 566. CPSstressesmeout  |  June 18, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    Just wanted to let all of you know to not give up hope! We just got offered a spot at Agassiz today and we’re number 38 on the waitlist. We are accepting and will stay unless a spot opens up at Alcott (We’re two away on their waitlist). I never thought Alcott or Agassiz would get this far on their list so soon. I know there will be lots of movement through the summer and especially once the new budgets get completely finalized and they figure out their need with the per pupil funding.

  • 567. SK  |  June 18, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    what # are you at alcott?

  • 568. Cpsstressesmeout  |  June 18, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    We’re number 64 and they are at 62.

  • 569. WL Mom  |  June 18, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    Just received a supplies list from my son’s school. Bathroom tissues?!!! CPS cuts the budget a lot!

  • 570. CPS crazy  |  June 19, 2013 at 9:14 am

    individual schools have to pay for cleaning and bathroom supplies this year….sad huh!

  • 571. Mary  |  June 19, 2013 at 9:23 am

    Our school runs out of TP all the time. And handsoap. A magnet school. The teacher asked us to bring in TP and handsoap directly to her, not to the office, because she wouldn’t receive it. She gives the girls TP to take in with them. She sends both the boys and girls in with the classroom bottle of handsoap. So, you can imagine the filth of the other kids hands and behinds – the ones whose teachers don’t send them in with parent-purchased soap and TP. Sad.

  • 572. Impatient  |  June 19, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    That’s depressing about the TP.

    On another note, unless I’m misunderstanding, I think we got into Courtenay – #70 on general wait list for kindergarten. I’m going on the tour today and will ask lots of questions. I’m really concerned about the transition of moving to and adding all the students from Stockton. Stockton was a very low performing school. It just seems like it could be a huge mess for a few years and I don’t want my kid lost in it. Is anyone currently in Courtenay and do you have any feelings about the transition? Going to keep your kid in or transferring out? Thanks.

  • 573. Impatient  |  June 19, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    PS from @572 – Our other option is Prescott, which is much farther away from our house.

  • 574. ap mama  |  June 19, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    We got the same email from courtenay. I believe they are just offering tours and gaging interest from waitlisted people. My email says we have a “waitlist seat” which is confusing wording in my opinion. We will not accept a seat there, I have a friend a few blocks away and I have concerns about the safety of the neighborhood after some of the Incidents she has shared with me.

  • 575. PatientCPSMom  |  June 19, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    @570 and 571, yes it’s so true – the first CPS school that my son attended for 2 years did not provide soap in the bathrooms (current school does) .

    At our first school, only teachers could dispense parent purchased pump soap that the child would take with them into the bathroom. Needless to say when it was lunchtime and no teachers were around kids were in and out of bathrooms – NO SOAP!! Also when volunteers and other visitors at the school used the bathrooms NO SOAP!! Hand sanitizer we were told would do the trick!

    I called the CPS Network offices to ask about this policy and was told CPS does provide budget for these items but the Principal can use the money elsewhere if they need to. I guess no one at CPS views this as a health issue – maybe the best bet is contacting the Depatment of Health.

  • 576. CPS crazy  |  June 19, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    Just declined Jahn # 65 for Kindergarten. good luck to those on the list.

  • 577. Impatient  |  June 19, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    @ 574 – I submitted the interest form thinking I was just saying, yes, keep me on the list and then got a message back saying, I think, that we were actually accepted. I’ll work it out at the tour today.

  • 578. Frustrated 60625 Mom  |  June 19, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    Just declined K at Bateman at WL #6. Good luck to those further down the list. We would have been happy there, but got another offer that was better for us.

  • 579. Mary  |  June 19, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    Besides the health aspect, I think lacking toilet paper and bathroom soap is demoralizing and confusing for the kids.

    The other aspect that really bothers me was that the teacher had to kind of secretively ask for the toilet paper soap donations. She alluded to the fact that the front office would deny they run out. She stated outright that if we dropped it off at the office, she’d never see it even if it was clearly marked with her name and room number on it.

    Maybe in the coming year, parents should consider sending in TP & bathroom handsoap without being asked — taken directly to the teacher. There have to be teachers out there who are afraid that they are ‘causing trouble’ for the school and so don’t ask for it from parents.

    So terribly sad with all the waste in our government that this is occurring. And don’t get me started on the cheap slop they serve for lunch (and pay the huge vendors SO much more that it is worth)

  • 580. Kim  |  June 19, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    @sos. This is a couple days past(we started our journey out west) I think I was the one who suggested about pulling the iep scores out so I’m aware of that. I forgot who but I was reading further up the board that Alcott differentiated other students learning at their level like Agassiz does. It looks as if alcott has stopped calling for a while. We’ll see if they start calling up again. I’m like 93.

  • 581. Kim  |  June 19, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    We also got an email about the Courtney openings for waitlist. I was confused as well. I sent in what I thought was a confirmation on us still being interested in the seat and they came back with an acceptance letter and registration info to get back to them. I thought they were trying to see what people were no longer interested at all. I really hope that doesn’t mean we just got ourselves kicked out of Agassiz. I would be really upset as I was just looking to see other options. My husband is touring Courtney tonight. So we’ll see what is happening.

  • 582. EK  |  June 19, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    Just something I wanted to post here in case anyone has a low WL# for Waters: we just finished the PreK there (out of neighborhood and a super high WL# so no spot for us!), and one classmate is out of neighborhood but has siblings there. He’s #2 or 3 on the SIBLING WL. So it sees Waters looks like a slim shot for those out of neighborhood with no siblings there yet….not sure how high the #s go for out of neighborhood, but it’s just tight there. Thought people who check in here should know…

  • 583. LSmom  |  June 19, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    We’re in at Courtenay too (I think, that email was sort of confusing). We will be sticking with Burr because it’s much closer to home.

  • 584. Irving Park  |  June 20, 2013 at 8:51 am

    @578 Frustrated 60625 mom: Where did you end up accepting? Glad to hear that the Bateman list is moving some. They are planning to go back to 4 K classrooms this year after surging to 5 last year because of higher-than-expected enrollment.

  • 585. RL Julia  |  June 20, 2013 at 9:59 am

    @ 579 Mary. ” So terribly sad with all the waste in our government that this is occurring. And don’t get me started on the cheap slop they serve for lunch (and pay the huge vendors SO much more that it is worth”

    For what it’s worth, I work for the City of Chicago and they don’t provide paper towels in our washrooms either and soap is pretty much hit or miss. Most people just band together, form a collective and buy their own. In terms of school lunch – yes, the contracts seem large, but trust me, the vendors have a very slim profit margin on school lunch programs and vendors are certainly not reimbursed “so much more than it is worth”…. the average cost for a school lunch for this year was $2.86 (and that is a maximum reimbursement they will receive. This number is set by the federal government). They also conform to strict nutritional guidelines (check out ISBE’s website if you don’t believe me). In the end, you get what you pay for, which most of the country – isn’t much. On a horrific aside, the reimbursement rate on feeding programs for seniors (who vote) is about a third higher last time I checked – which was a few years ago. I find this to be incredibly shortsighted.

    Would love for you to post where exactly you see the “waste in government” occurring.

  • 586. laura  |  June 20, 2013 at 10:25 am

    @579, My sister’s principal told their teachers NOT to ask for soap or toilet paper because she’s afraid people will really start looking into how bad things are financially and will leave the school. They are being very careful in how they present the cuts in attempt to make them look less serious than they really are.

  • 587. New Alcott mom  |  June 20, 2013 at 10:59 am

    For those still interested in WL movement, I received a call from Jahn this AM. We were #94 for KG. Good luck everyone.

  • 588. Yet Again ... CPS inspector general probes school-lunch deal  |  June 20, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    RL – maybe this is one of your City of Chicago toilet paper co-op colleagues? Another Chartwell’s fiasco hits the fan today.

    CPS inspector general probes school-lunch deal

  • 589. RL Julia  |  June 20, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    Don’t work for CPS, but if you ever want an interesting read – google Chartwell (and Preferred) other run-ins with CPS procurement from last year. This is why the IG was asked to be involved in the RFP process this year.

  • 590. Frustrated 60625 Mom  |  June 20, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    @584 – We chose to go with Solomon. We liked the smaller school size and higher test scores. I still have concerns, but no school will be perfect.

  • 591. Teasdad  |  June 20, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    @590 – What was your WL# for Solomon, please?

  • 592. Frustrated 60625 Mom  |  June 20, 2013 at 10:40 pm

    We were 8. I’ll admit that I was surprised to get the call, and to get it so early. I figured that if we did get accepted, that it would be later in the summer.

  • 593. AP Mama  |  June 21, 2013 at 6:33 am

    We got a call from Peterson last night. WL #10 for K. Going to tour the school today. The main concern that I have with a lot of these neighborhood schools that are atypically blowing through their wait lists SO early is – what are they going to do with all these extra kids and so much less money? It is unusual for Peterson to be doing ANY calling at this point in the process. I attended another LSC meeting in which a principal told the group that CPS told them they could potentially get extra funds TODAY if they had higher enrollment than anticipated. This makes sense given how many neighborhood schools are making their calls so early in the process.

  • 594. Bystander  |  June 21, 2013 at 9:51 am

    Hey, Alcott-watchers. We were #63 on the WL and got a call for K. Declined because going with a private school. Hope this means #64 (sorry, can’t remember your name here) gets a call next.

  • 595. CPS crazy  |  June 21, 2013 at 10:10 am

    any info on how Beaubien is moving on their list?

  • 596. Cpsstressesmeout  |  June 21, 2013 at 10:20 am

    Yes! Thank you so much! We got the offer at Alcott #64 and accepted! We’re beyond thrilled! I just pray these budget cuts don’t affect things too much! Prior to that we heard from Agassiz at #38. Hope that helps someone. Don’t give up hope guys, we still have all summer!

  • 597. CPSAppalled  |  June 21, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    We got a call from Agassiz this morning informing us our child (#25 on wait list) has been given a spot for 4th grade next year. We went to tour today, as we have to respond by “Monday morning”. I know it is the end of the year, but things seemed a bit chaotic. Can current Agassiz parents comment on the general mood of the school, and in particular, how well the staff interacts with one another? Thanks!

  • 598. OIPfamily  |  June 21, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    Went on a tour at Beaubien yesterday and when I asked the office worker said they haven’t started looking at it yet. She said they are still trying to figure out how many classes they were going to have, and the budget. Said they were going to start working on it next week. CPS crazy- what WL # are you. 30 here for K.

  • 599. Glass half full?  |  June 21, 2013 at 10:23 pm

    Oip- what were your impressions of Beaubien? Did you notice any differences in the resources being allocated for the nabe v gifted programs? WL#34.

  • 600. OIPfamily  |  June 23, 2013 at 8:34 am

    Re: Beaubien- The tour was lead by a parent, and there was a wide variety of age groups taking the tour- so she didn’t get very specific into gifted vs not. I felt like there was very little resource difference, however this might have just been how the tour was lead. They have a few promethean boards and one is in a kindergarten class. They are hoping to have them installed in all 40 class rooms over the next few years. I was really impressed with how orderly the school was for as large as it is. They are also getting a new playground this upcoming spring.

  • 601. AP Mama  |  June 23, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    Any thoughts re: Peterson vs. Ravenswood?


  • 602. CPSAppalled  |  June 24, 2013 at 11:16 am

    For those keeping track of Agassiz: we turned down a spot today for 4th grade next year. We were WL# 25. It is too big a decision to make with very limited information. We got the call Friday morning and were told we had until Monday morning to decide. The principal and the asst. principal were both unavailable on Friday and today to answer any questions. We did a self-tour on Friday; it was hard to tell what the real tone of the school is, as it was the very end of the year and no one was available to talk with us. Hard to turn down our only offer to date, but there were too many unanswered questions.

  • 603. Peirce parent  |  June 24, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    waitlist update: we were offered a seat at STEM for Grade 2.
    we will decline as we are looking forward to 2nd grade @ Peirce.
    GL to all waitlisted folks! Oh, we were #1 on the list.

  • 604. Twinmom  |  June 25, 2013 at 9:32 am

    We got a call from Agassiz for 2nd grade on Friday. Turned down the spots because we could not tour even though it sounds like a terrific school. Our neighborhood school is Pulaski and we like where it is headed. Agassiz WL numbers were 8 and 9.

  • 605. Franklin Dad  |  June 25, 2013 at 10:23 am

    We got a call from Newberry for 1st grade (#2 on WL) on Friday. We turned it down.

  • 606. Impatient  |  June 25, 2013 at 10:41 am

    I called Peirce today. She said she’d called the first 20 on the wait list.

  • 607. UptownMama  |  June 25, 2013 at 11:16 am

    @602 This has presented a real challenge for us as well. We’ve turned down a couple of offers during the past few weeks simply because there was no way for us to evaluate the school on such short notice — typically less than 48 business hours. These were schools that seemed like decent options back in December, based solely on test scores and some positive parent reviews on this blog and NPN. But when the offers came through, I didn’t feel comfortable giving up our current spot for a school with so many unanswered questions, even if there seemed to be a chance that it would be a better fit. In retrospect, I wish we’d focused our tours on more of the higher probability choices and skipped visiting the popular, less likely options. (I’m thinking of that morning spent touring Coonley!) A word of caution for folks looking to 2014-15…

  • 608. MayfairMama  |  June 25, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    Just received a call from Solomon for Grade 2. We were number 10 on the wait list. I’ve been told I can visit the school tomorrow, but I’m not sure how much I’ll learn with no one there.
    I’m really torn about this. We’re at Beaubien and my daughter is really excited about the teacher she will have next year. I am too as I’ve heard great things about her. Beaubien is closer to us and my daughter has done very well there the last two years. Any information anyone has about Solomon would really help me decide what to do here.

  • 609. realchicagomama  |  June 25, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    I think that is why the OAE recommends that you visit/tour in the fall and not rank any schools that you wouldn’t take if offered a spot.

  • 610. cpsobsessed  |  June 25, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    @608 Mayfair Mama: Just say no. 🙂 I know it’s hard but it sounds like you’re in a good place and you’re daughter is happy and it’s close by. Why leave that? I know it’s so hard to turn down something you feel like you’ve won.

    A friend of mine in Brooklyn whose son tested for a bunch of test-in/interview-in middle schools there decided to move out of NYC. Right after that decision was made, his son got a spot in one of the most sought after schools in the city, with a spot through high schools.
    It was KILLING my friend to turn that spot down and we joked about how he’d just hold it all through summer and keep calling his son in absent when school started, “just in case” so he didn’t have to turn it down. But he did, and they’re out of another crazy school system, headed for Portland where I’m sure his son will thrive.

    So I say make the break. Rip off the bandaid. Do what you gotta do, knowing you’ve got a good spot nearby.

  • 611. MayfairMama  |  June 25, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    Thanks for the advice cpsobsessed. It really does feel like turning down something you’ve “won”!
    The two main reasons I would switch are test scores are better at Solomon (but my daughter’s scores are very high and I’m very happy with her progress this last year) and Chinese language classes. Beaubien has no language classes. I guess I need to decide whether Chinese classes are worth the switch. And for what it’s worth, my daughter said she absolutely will not leave Beaubien as it’s the best school in the world. LOL
    I’ll visit Solomon tomorrow, but I’m leaning towards staying where we are. It’s just not a decision I want to make rashly.

  • 612. cpsobsessed  |  June 25, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    Wow. Solomon does have incredible test scores. Report back!
    Also, this probably won’t help as both schools look good:

  • 613. Peirce parent  |  June 25, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    RealChicagomama – I understand that’s what OAE suggests but from a parent perspective it’s not an acceptable guideline.
    during any given year there is enough change within CPS to make anyone want to have options…. I will absolutely continue to ‘play the lottery game’ if only to make up for the instability in the system and give myself backup options in case:
    * cPS decides to close or privatize my school
    * principal turnover
    * budget impacts to whole programs
    * budget impacts to capital improvements
    * continued / ever-widening gap between selective enrollment programs and neighborhood programs

    I totally apply to schools in Dec. and absolutely only plan on taking a spot if the ever-changing CPS conditions warrant it. Otherwise, I reserve the right to continue to be happy where we are.

  • 614. Dunning Mom  |  June 25, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    We are thrilled to announce we FINALLY got an offer for kindergarten, from Norwood Park. Woo hoo!

  • 615. Even One More CPS Mom  |  June 25, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    What #613 Peirce parent said.

  • 616. Even One More CPS Mom  |  June 25, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    To add…….I feel like applying to the lottery even if you are “happy” with the school your child is at is like having an emergency exit plan. You hope to never need to use it, but if you do, it is a lifesaver.

  • 617. Teasdad  |  June 25, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    @614 – congrats! What was your WL# if you,don’t mind?

  • 618. Frustrated 60625 Mom  |  June 25, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    @Mayfair Mama – We just accepted a spot at Solomon for K, primarily because of the small school size and high test scores. The Chinese language classes helped with our decision, but only slightly so. If you haven’t already, check out their website for more information ( At this age level, language classes tend to be more of an activity than a complete instruction in the language.

    You should certainly tour the school, and make your decision based on your own observations, but there’s a lot to be said for being in a good school that’s a known entity with which you and your child are already happy.

  • 619. Teasdad  |  June 25, 2013 at 11:15 pm

    @618 could you please post what was you WL#?

  • 620. former solomon parent  |  June 26, 2013 at 10:31 am

    #618- You will be very happy at Solomon. My sons went to Solomon and are just finishing their freshman and sophomore years of high school. They were completely prepared for high school and were able to walk into NCP and Lane and get all A’s with no problem. Currently, the number #1 student in the sophomore (rising junior)class at Lane (not my son) is a Solomon grad. Their accelerated math program – for grades 5 through 8 is another plus. The kids are divided for math and the teacher who teaches the accelerated math program is excellent.

    Solomon is truly a hidden treasure. They have one class per grade. Almost every teacher is nationally board certified. The school is amazingly racially diverse, plus they have many special needs children – it is one of the only schools in the city that has Pre-K through 8th grade self contained special ed classrooms. They do a wonderful job of inclusion, which I think makes the students more compassionate. If you want to see something heartwarming, at the end of the school year, they do a tumbling show, where every able bodied child is partnered with a special needs child. It is very special.

  • 621. Dunning Mom  |  June 26, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    @617 we were #36. Registered at Norwood Park today, and loved what I saw. The office staff and AP were so friendly and the campus is gorgeous.

    We were told that they are unsure of whether they will be offering their before and after school programs again next year. They will find out in July.

    Does anyone know if there are other after care programs in the area? We are so excited about the school but we aren’t sure what we’ll do if they cancel the after care. I work in CPS and my school day begins and ends at the exact same time as Norwood. I’m sure many parents have this same predicament…any ideas for what to do? I suppose we could hire a babysitter to do drop off and pickup.

  • 622. MayfairMama  |  June 26, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    Well Solomon made the decision for us. I was told to call for a visit between 1 and 3 today. I called a little after 1 and left a message. I called again close to 2 and again got no answer. They never called me back. I had arranged for my daughter to have a play date and I sat in the house waiting for 2 hours. I find the whole thing very discouraging. So we will be declining the offer.

  • 623. EdParent  |  June 26, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    @621 – Dunning Mom – Check with the YMCA. They have pickup at several schools. I’m not sure if either (Irving Park or Leaning Tower) currently serve Norwood Park, but it’s worth asking. We’ve been happy with Irving Park YMCA and I’ve heard good things about Leaning Tower YMCA also.

  • 624. cpsobsessed  |  June 26, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    @MayfairMama: boo, that’s disappointing. Thanks for the update.

  • 625. shocked  |  June 27, 2013 at 11:20 am

    Just got a call from Waters for 2nd grade! Wow, I’m so shocked! Didn’t think they were calling anyone out of neighborhood. Is anyone else think something weird is going on… Or is everyone just running to the suburbs??? 🙂

  • 626. Neighborhood parent  |  June 27, 2013 at 11:26 am

    and your waitlist number was? how many classrooms are they planning for second grade? how big are classrooms estimated to be? i wouldn’t be too concerned unless i knew more.

  • 627. Peter  |  June 27, 2013 at 11:27 am

    shocked, good for you! What number did you have?

  • 628. shocked  |  June 27, 2013 at 11:39 am

    @626 The woman said the waitlist number was 16 but I have no idea. The list is in a pile of papers at home. (Only did the lottery because our school was “under enrolled” per CPS and I wanted to have a backup just in case.) She said that they have 14 spots open so they must have opened up another classroom.

    BTW – In my hasty post, didn’t mention that we declined the spot so someone else will get a call today.

  • 629. EastVillageMom  |  June 28, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    I was 66 on Alcott’s wait list and we received calls today. I never thought it would be a possibility. We were all set up to be a Burr Family, but this seems to be an incredible opportunity.

  • 630. West Andersonville  |  July 1, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    Just called Pierce for an update. They have called just called up to #38 (for K) and are giving parents a week to accept, so I will keep my fingers crossed – hopefully they will get to #58 within a couple of weeks so we can relax for the rest of the summer.

    Thanks for updates, everyone. Really helpful for us (and the schools I imagine) to keep the phone calls to a minimum – this website is like the central clearinghouse of updates.

  • 631. Glass half full?  |  July 1, 2013 at 8:18 pm

    Has anyone heard from Beaubien?

  • 632. CPS crazy  |  July 2, 2013 at 9:35 am

    #631 i was wondering the same thing!

  • 633. Teasdad  |  July 2, 2013 at 11:11 am

    I haven’t noticed this year anyone posted any WL movement for Hamilton for K!? Did they call anyone at all!?

  • 634. CPSmom  |  July 2, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    Why do you think Alcott is getting so far on the wait list this year?

  • 635. Cpsstressesmeout  |  July 2, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    I was told by Miss Washington at Alcott that a lot of the neighborhood families are moving to the burbs opening up more spots. There’s also a possible third K class if the principal budgets for it. Whatever the reason is, we are beyond thrilled!!!!

  • 636. future thorp mom  |  July 2, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    Just received a call from Burr #126. We declined.

  • 637. 60625 Mom  |  July 2, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    Friends of McPherson is organizing summer gatherings with rising kindergarten families. If you are heading to McPherson, please send a note to and see their Facebook page, too. Thanks!

  • 638. Wren  |  July 2, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    Alcott always goes into the 80’s + 90’s. Check past threads.

  • 639. Andersonville tEacher  |  July 2, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    Anybody have any guesses on how deep Agassiz will get into their WL?

  • 640. Even One More CPS Mom  |  July 2, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    @638 Last year we were #72 on the Alcott list for kindergarten and never received a call – and I watched my phones and email like a hawk so no way I could have missed a call like that.

  • 641. schoolstress  |  July 2, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    Talked to Chappell. No movement on K waitlist and doesn’t seem like there will be.

  • 642. Wren  |  July 2, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    I stand corrected about Alcott. It has gone into the 80s and 90s. Perhaps now that $2000+ isn’t asked for more people are accepting earlier on.

  • 643. Erica  |  July 2, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    Incoming Alcott Kindergarten families…..
    Just a reminder that we are having two kindergarten playdates for your incoming sons/daughters on Wednesday, July 10th from 5:00-6:00 and Thursday, August 1st from 4:30-5:30. Both playdates will be at Jonquil Park located at 1023 W. Wrightwood. We look forward to meeting you and your children. Erica & Deb

  • 644. cpsobsessed  |  July 3, 2013 at 10:56 am

    Just got called for a 5th grade spot at Waters – #15. Turned it down since my son wants to stick out his RGC program.
    So I called by the 2 neighborhood schools I applied to for 5th grade — so just as a word of encouragement… I think it gets easier with each passing year to obtain a spot at some of the good neighborhood schools.

  • 645. Kelly  |  July 3, 2013 at 11:02 am

    Just turned down a 1st grade spot at Waters. # 1 on the WL.

  • 646. Waters - 1st Grade?  |  July 3, 2013 at 11:33 am

    This was unexpected. Received a call with an offer at Waters for 1st grade. Our wait list number is 5. Can anyone provide feedback on the following questions: How many children were in the 1st grade classes this year? Are class sizes at Waters expected to increase next year due to the budget cuts? We are currently at a magnet school that we truly do love, and our child loves and is thriving in. The big plus in the Waters column is location……much, much closer to home and in a neighborhood that we may eventually want to move into. We do like Waters as well, just not sure if we should make the switch especially considering the fact that we have another child who will be entering kindergarten in several years and no guarantee they would get a spot at Waters. No guarantee we would be living in that neighborhood then either. Much more likely the younger child would get a spot at the magnet. My spouse wants to at least discuss this though so thought I’d try to get a couple questions answered before we talk.

  • 647. CPS crazy  |  July 3, 2013 at 11:36 am

    #636 future thorp mom….what grade?

  • 648. cpsobsessed  |  July 3, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    @646: I’m inquiring about the Waters class size, although if you call the school you might get a more accurate answer. The school tends to be cautious about over-enrolling so I don’t think it would get too big…but I would say objectively that a magnet is probably better protection against large class size, funding cuts, and gives you the sibling entry guaranteed which is a pretty big deal. If you’re really into the arts or ecology, Waters is great for that.

  • 649. cpsobsessed  |  July 3, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    @646: People are speculating around 30 kids per class but suggest you ask the principal for the target number. Last year’s 1st grade had a class with only 24, but for a school like that, clearly that was an unusual occurrence.

  • 650. Waters - 1st Grade?  |  July 3, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    Thank you CPSO for the feedback. I am pretty much with what your post #648 states. Just need to have a final conversation with the SO.

  • 651. Future Thorp mom  |  July 4, 2013 at 11:57 am

    647 – Whoops. Kindergarten

  • 652. Waters - 1st Grade?  |  July 5, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    Left a message officially declining first grade spot at Waters so I would guess they will be making a call for at least one spot for first grade on Monday. We were wait list #5.

  • 653. Received a wait list call - Waters or Peirce?  |  July 5, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    We received a wait list call for Waters. We’d be switching from Peirce. Does anyone have any opinions? I like the fact that Waters is smaller and is a level one but it’s farther away, doesn’t have a library and means a transition to a new school. Any Waters parents have any comments?

  • 654. West Andersonville  |  July 8, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    Glory hallelujah we received and accepted a much appreciated offer from Peirce today. K waitlist #58, offer came via email.

  • 655. Wondering  |  July 9, 2013 at 12:00 am

    Congratulations on Peirce! how long did they give you to decide if you would take the spot? I know you accepted right away, I’m just wondering how long the school is giving everyone else before they make their way up to our number. 🙂 thanks!

  • 656. West Andersonville  |  July 9, 2013 at 5:46 am

    @655 Wondering: We have until Fri to respond. From what they have told me when I called, they make offers on Mondays and then give til the end of the week, then repeat the following Monday. Good luck to you!

  • 657. db  |  July 9, 2013 at 10:49 am

    @633 – Teasdad Re:Hamilton. They will only have 1 1/2 K classrooms this Fall as opposed to 2 1/2. Between neighborhood kids and siblings there aren’t many more spots left. My guess is that they called maybe one or two people but there won’t be much movement this Summer.

    We’ve had a great experience at Hamilton over the last 2 years, I love the small school feeling and the community that it has. My older dd is super excited to go into 2nd grade this Fall which is awesome because it shows me how much she loves school.

  • 658. Mom of 3  |  July 9, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    Offered a K slot at Ravenswood today. We were #65. Turned it down because we moved to the burbs — didn’t expect any calls because of high wait list numbers everywhere. Surprised they made it that far down the list by mid-July. Did they increase class size, add a class, or is that usual to make it that far at Ravenswood?

  • 659. Andersonville dad  |  July 9, 2013 at 8:28 pm

    Thrilled to accept Agassiz K at 66 seeing as we had no other decent option.

  • 660. another CPS mom  |  July 10, 2013 at 10:42 am

    Ogden principal removed and reassigned for now.

  • 661. CPS crazy  |  July 10, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    @658 that gives me hope thanks!

  • 662. CPS crazy  |  July 10, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    any movement on Beaubien?

  • 663. Fred  |  July 10, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    anyone heard any movement on the Waters or Oscar Mayer K wait list?

  • 664. mayfairAM  |  July 11, 2013 at 7:13 am

    No. 7 on the WL for Beaubien (tier4, gen wl) but have not heard from them…… (yet!)

  • 665. DB  |  July 11, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    Has anyone heard anything from Murray? If so, which waiting list?

  • 666. LSmom  |  July 11, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    Just heard from Agassiz, we were 73. We’re likely to stick with Burr though.

  • 667. chefkim  |  July 11, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    I also received an email from Agassiz – don’t know our number because we accepted an offer from Disney before we got the waitlist numbers. Just wanted to mention that they’re contacted via email & it went into my spam box – so if you’re watching – watch you’re spam box

  • 669. Chicago Dad  |  July 12, 2013 at 11:59 am

    @666 Please go to Agassiz. I live 3 blocks from Burr and are waitlisted 240. We’d rather go there : )

  • 670. LSmom  |  July 12, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    Aw @669, Burr is a lot closer for us too! They seem to be moving pretty briskly through the wait list, I hope they get to you.

  • 671. Neighborhood school update  |  July 14, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    Looks like Courtney (consolidated with Stockton) has hired it’s new principal. Just keeping up with the continuing changes.

  • 672. Neighborhood school update  |  July 14, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    sorry, that’s Courtenay. (darn auto-correct)

  • 673. Wondering  |  July 16, 2013 at 11:14 am

    Called peirce today. They’ve called up to 58 on the K wait list with 15 spots left. People have a week to decide. Next round of calls Monday afternoon.

  • 674. edgewater  |  July 16, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    @673, did Peirce say how many people they would be notifying on Monday? We’re #70.

  • 675. Wondering  |  July 16, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    Edgewater- I think they’re calling nearly 20 people a week. Or maybe emailing, so watch your spam folder. I bet you get contacted Monday. We are 82, so probably another week for us, but hoping for good news.

  • 676. edgewater  |  July 16, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    When I called they (Peirce) specifically told me that they would be emailing.

  • 677. Mom of 3  |  July 19, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    #92 at Agassiz. Turning it down because we moved.

  • 678. edgewater  |  July 25, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    In case anyone out there is still waiting and wondering, we had an offer for #70 K today, via email. We have until Monday 29th to decide.

  • 679. Teasdad  |  July 25, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    Received email from Peirce for K – wL#67…. declined. Good luck!

  • 680. OIPfamily  |  July 25, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    Edgewater- What school?

  • 681. edgewater  |  July 25, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    Gah! Sorry – #70 K Peirce.

  • 682. Northside  |  July 25, 2013 at 11:40 pm

    Can anyone compare lasalle 2 vs cics Irving park … Or provide any insight

  • 683. Edgewatermom  |  July 27, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    We got an e-mail on Thursday afternoon from Agassiz, #107 for K. We had until 8:00 AM the next day to respond. We declined to stay with our magnet.

  • 684. Even One More CPS Mom  |  July 28, 2013 at 8:08 pm

    Offered Chappell for 1st grade by voice mail on Friday. #8 on wait list. Given until end of day Monday to decide. We have decided to keep our child at their magnet and will be declining this nice offer. Hopefully someone else will be very excited to receive the call.

  • 685. LaSalle ll Parent on Lasalle II  |  July 29, 2013 at 9:22 am

    I looked at both schools at a few years back. My daughter got into CICS charter school and Lasalle II . We opted for the Magnet School for some very valid reasons. One being the lack of teacher turn over in Magnets. The administration and staff are more stable at a non charter school. The curriculum at Lasalle is very well implemented. The school offers differentiated reading and math levels. As your child progresses he or she will graduate into a higher group throughout the year. The health and welfare of the student body is valued at Lasalle. The Wellness committee is run by parents and focuses on current issues that children and parents go through.. The school has a very active LSC and PTO. Unlike Charters. Parents have a voice and are not reactive but proactive. The kids at Lasallle are multi cultural from language, religion, and race. Because of the language programs at the school social studies and history have more of a focus then in other schools.
    My daughter is entering 5th grade this year. She has a very positive outlook on school. We have been at Lasalle since 2nd grade.and feel very good about our decision to come to Lasalle.

  • 686. wondering...  |  July 29, 2013 at 9:31 am

    wondering if anyone has heard of movement on alcott’s list this summer?

  • 687. Hopeful  |  July 29, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    Has anyone heard from Skinner West about their waiting list? I have been calling and was told they haven’t started yet, that they should start middle of July, but when I called the following week they still had not started, I called twice today to check progress again, but no one answered the phone, so maybe they are busy making the calls.

  • 688. Bsmoresmom  |  July 29, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    I called Skinner West on Friday they said that they will start calling at the end of July and then asked for my waitlist number. They were very nice and I can wait another week but I will keep you updated if I hear anything else also.

  • 689. Wondering  |  July 29, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    Anyone got any new Peirce wait list news today? I’m hoping this is our week. Come on, lucky number 82!

  • 690. Hopeful  |  July 29, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    @688 Thanks so much for the update, they were very nice when I called before as well. I’m just trying to stay on top of things, don’t want to miss them if they have tried to contact me.

  • 691. CPS crazy  |  July 30, 2013 at 10:58 am

    just declined #8 Lasalle II Kinder….good luck to those in line!

  • 692. RogersParkMom  |  July 30, 2013 at 9:47 pm

    Anybody have thoughts on Prussing?

  • 693. Even One More CPS Mom  |  July 30, 2013 at 10:39 pm

    @691 CPS Crazy. Which tier/proximity for LaSalle II?

  • 694. CPS crazy  |  July 31, 2013 at 8:37 am

    tier 4

  • 695. CPSDeviant  |  July 31, 2013 at 10:23 am

    Called LaSalle II main office and they let me know they’re at #12… We’re 13 *hope hope* (K tier 4)

  • 696. CPS crazy  |  August 1, 2013 at 11:06 am

    good luck!!

  • 697. Mamamia  |  August 1, 2013 at 11:16 am

    Could use some Disney 2 hope from insiders… #2 on waitlist 3rd grade… so close and yet so far away.

  • 698. karet  |  August 1, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    @692, Prussing has decent test scores and a well like principal, from what I understand (I don’t have a kid there). However, last year a lot of kids enrolled for K at the last minute and the K classes each had 40 kids until January, when more teachers were finally hired. I don’t know why it took so long, but a lot of people were complaining about it. Also, there is no before or after care, which doesn’t work for some people. Despite all that, the school has a good reputation, IMO.

  • 699. Jenni  |  August 9, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    For those of you interested… We received an offer from Ravenswood – we were 79 on the waitlist. We plan to decline the offer.

  • 700. Teasdad  |  August 13, 2013 at 10:52 am

    Anyone heard from Alcott recently?

  • 701. Hopeful  |  August 14, 2013 at 10:14 am

    Today I finally received a reply back from SW and was told there were twelve siblings ahead of me, so doesn’t look like we will get a spot, #1 on the list for a 1st grade spot. Anyone know about progress on Stem or Suder?

  • 702. Peter  |  August 14, 2013 at 11:30 am

    Teasdad, why?

  • 703. Teasdad  |  August 14, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    We are around 100, and they were on low 80s on K WL. Also heard some folks decline spots and moved, or got somewhere else.

  • 704. wondering...  |  August 14, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    Teasdad – are you sure they are at 80??? Can you please respond ASAP?

  • 705. schoolstress  |  August 14, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    Yes, its for sure that high because we got the call (and declined) for #78

  • 706. wondering...  |  August 14, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    OMG wow. Can you tell me when that was?

  • 707. schoolstress  |  August 14, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    Can’t remember exactly…probably between 1 to 2 weeks ago

  • 708. SOS  |  August 14, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    I declined franklin and I was #10 proximity

  • 709. wondering...  |  August 15, 2013 at 9:14 am

    schoolstress – is there a way that I could get hold of you via email or phone? it would be a great help

  • 710. wondering...  |  August 15, 2013 at 9:15 am

    teasdad – do you know someone who was called in the 80’s for kindergarten at alcott?

  • 711. schoolstress  |  August 15, 2013 at 9:28 am

  • 712. Wondering  |  August 15, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    I just got a call from Agassiz for K. We are #181 on the wait list. We have until 8 am tomorrow. I don’t remember anything about Agassiz, so I’ll plumb this site for info, but if anyone has anything to say about the school, I’d appreciate it.

    For anyone still wondering about Peirce – I called there today. They told me they have emailed up to #73 and have more spots, but they are not calling anyone else on the wait list until next week (Tuesday?). They think they may get some neighborhood walk-ins registering next week and want to save space until they know. This process is so awful.

  • 713. SOS  |  August 15, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    I was accepted at Agassiz, Alcott and Franklin and chose Agassiz. I think it’s a great school and they have full time speech and special needs professionals (as opposed to other schools that have travelling professionals). I’m opposed to Arabic as their language, but better that than nothing I suppose. They put on 4 shows a year so if your child likes to perform, this is a plus. My son’s K teacher has a real nice website that talks about what is going on in the classroom so I liked that a lot as well.

  • 714. MayfairMama  |  August 16, 2013 at 8:25 am

    Just called Beaubien and was told it’s unlikely that they’ll have to go to the waitlist. If so, it wouldn’t be until after school starts 😦
    Did anybody hear from Thorp at all?

  • 715. Kinder  |  August 16, 2013 at 10:23 am

    Just got a call at #244 for Agassiz K. They gave us 30 minutes to decide. We didn’t take the spot, but I’m surprised they got so far down the waitlist.

  • 716. 60660  |  August 16, 2013 at 10:38 am

    I expect the schools who exhausted their lists last year to do the same this year. Giving people 30mins to think about it is a good way to plough through a list quickly too!
    Loved Agassiz when I toured but didn’t want to commute for K.

  • 717. FirstTimer  |  August 16, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    For anyone following Agassiz, I received an email yesterday (Thursday) telling me I had until 2 PM today (Friday) to respond. I looked back and we were wait listed #180 (general queue – but we’re Tier 3 if that helps). We declined as we’ve already accepted at Coonley.

  • 718. OIPfamily  |  August 17, 2013 at 9:32 am

    Agassiz Parents- Does anyone know the school hours and if they have any aftercare options?

  • 719. cm  |  August 19, 2013 at 6:20 am

    OIPfamily…We just accepted an offer at Agassiz (waitlist was in the 280s). 8 to 3 are the hours and yes, they have an after school program.

  • 720. Even One More CPS Mom  |  August 21, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    Received a voice mail offer for Peirce today. 1st grade spot. Passing on the opening. We are wait list #8.

  • 721. Wondering  |  August 21, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    We got and accept an offer for Peirce K today. #82. Will withdraw from Prescott. Peirce is much more convenient for us, but we were really impressed by Prescott. Kindergarten teacher and parents org were great.

  • 722. ap mama  |  August 22, 2013 at 9:45 am

    Just got a call from Peirce for K. We were #177, we declined.

  • 723. cpsobsessed  |  August 22, 2013 at 9:52 am

    it’s encouraging to see how low some schools are going on the list (and you can see why it happens as when schools gets closer, people don’t want to switch.)
    Does anyone happen to know of people who are still “stuck” without something?
    I wonder if it’s possible to call a school like Pierce this first week to inquire about getting a spot even if you’re not on the list?

  • 724. southshore  |  August 22, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    Were currently stuck!! We have catholic school admission, but I’m dreading the $800 per month tuition. I would apply to Pierce even though we are not on the list. Every avenue we tried- nothing! I mean selective enrollment and lottery…. I think CPS doesn’t want us!

  • 725. CPS crazy  |  August 22, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    CPSO we are stuck too….got called from 2 that were not geographically close and never got calls from schools that we had decent numbers at 😦

  • 726. cpsobsessed  |  August 22, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    Oh, I’m so sorry. I really think it gets easier to get a spot for 1st grade next year…

  • 727. LSmom  |  August 22, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    I think if you’re stuck it can’t hurt to call some of the schools that have moved way down their wait lists. With per-pupil budgeting, they’re not going to want to leave seats unfilled.

  • 728. schoolstress  |  August 22, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    Got a call yesterday from Peirce K #115, declined. Got a call from Chappell today K #28, declined.

  • 729. southshore  |  August 22, 2013 at 11:43 pm

    Received call from Prescott today, yay!!! Accepted the spot. Thank God, our turn came. This has been a difficult summer waiting and praying for this opening. I’m going to leave him there from K to 8. I can’t go through this again anytime soon!!

  • 730. Even One More CPS Mom  |  August 22, 2013 at 11:46 pm

    @729 southshore – Yay! So happy for you!

  • 731. Jenn, Prescott Parents  |  August 23, 2013 at 7:10 am

    Welcome to Prescott! If I can do anything to help with your transition, please reach out!

  • 732. SoxSideIrish4  |  August 23, 2013 at 10:18 am

    SouthShore~so happy for you!

    CPS Crazy~I hope something opens up for your family soon.

    Every1~can’t believe that schools are still calling right b4 opening day. Good luck and I truly hope no one feels ‘stuck’ once the new year begins.

  • 733. mominlimbo  |  August 23, 2013 at 10:24 am

    Has anyone heard of any movement on the Skinner West sibling waitlist, specifically 1st grade? What about the Ward waitlist for 1st grade?

  • 734. Even One More CPS Mom  |  August 23, 2013 at 10:34 am

    @733 – mominlimbo. Certainly wouldn’t hurt to call the schools directly today, inquire as to any movement on the lists and emphasize your interest. Good luck!

  • 735. Yogi  |  August 23, 2013 at 11:00 am

    Is Galileo Academy good? I just got notified yesterday and I have until the end of today to decide. Hard to research fast enough. Anyone’s kids go there?

  • 736. 60618 parent  |  August 23, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    Got a call yesterday late am from Peirce for K. We were somewhere in the 180s and never thought we would get a call. Would have thought VERY hard about it had the call come 4 weeks ago, but had just come from dropping off my child at St. Ben’s, where he had a great first day of K.

    Good luck, everyone!

  • 737. Bsmoresmom  |  August 24, 2013 at 4:34 am

    We were offered Haines on Thursday, Aug. 22,2013. We accepted. We were either 23 or 28 I don’t remember which number. This is for Kindergarten.

  • 738. Southshore  |  August 24, 2013 at 9:12 am

    Thank you to everyone for the words of congratulation. We look forward to settling in to our new school community. Jenn, I certainly would like to reach out to you about the Prescott parents.

  • 739. curious1  |  August 24, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    We’re considering what to do if we get a call from Agassiz this week. I’ve been very attached to their arts programming but I read on the RYH site that they lost funding for the art teacher – does anyone know if they will still have visual arts, music, and drama/dance teachers?

  • 740. Even One More CPS Mom  |  August 24, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    Curious1 – if you do not get an answer here the school should be able to answer that question for you.

  • 741. JLM  |  August 25, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    Earlier this week, I got offers for K from Courtenay (#3) and Peirce (#153). I had previously gotten the “are you interested email” from Courtenay several months back and had responded “no”. We’ve moved since we applied, so I’m impressed they tried my cell – didn’t recall putting that on the app!

  • 742. JLM  |  August 25, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    FYI about Skinner West. At the orientation on Thursday, the principal said that she’d just recently made the call to go to 3 neighborhood/magnet classes for K. She said that they received a lot of late registrations from neighborhood parents. The last ones to register are going to be in the third classroom, which is temporarily going to be staffed by the librarian until she can fill the spot. Seems fair that the late registrants will get the temp and then new teacher. It really bugs me that n’hood parents do this – this is not good for your school!

  • 743. Wondering  |  August 25, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    For the sake of posterity, we got an offer from Chappell last week with #34 for K. We declined.

  • 744. mominlimbo  |  August 25, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    @ 742 Wondering -Thanks for the update on Skinner West. I agree regarding the last minute registration, but I will give the parents the benefit of the doubt and perhaps they were also hoping for waitlist calls from other schools. I have to admit I wish the principal had added a 3rd K class last year then we would have been in and not going through this again this year. Still hoping for calls to the 1st grade waitlist…

  • 745. Alcott racial composition  |  August 26, 2013 at 10:07 am

    How did Alcott get so white? Is that even legal??? Shocking to a new family. Now I know how they get so low on the wait list.

  • 746. CPS crazy  |  August 26, 2013 at 10:22 am

    @745 if that comment was reversed and asked how a school got so black or so hispanic the person would be chastised off this blog…shame on you!

  • 747. cpsobsessed  |  August 26, 2013 at 10:26 am

    It’s a fact that many neighborhood schools in chicago are largely one race, unfortunately (whether that be black, white, or hispanic.) It’s also a fact that many chicago neighborhoods are as well.

    I travelled to DC and Detroit this summer and was struck by how much more of a mix of races there was everywhere I went.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 748. CPC4Chicago  |  August 26, 2013 at 10:27 am

    @745, Umm, perhaps because it’s a neighborhood school in Lincoln Park.

  • 749. Jeanne Marie Olson (@JMOChicago)  |  August 26, 2013 at 10:50 am

    #746, I don’t believe that there should be shame around discussing the state of segregation in Chicago Public Schools. It’s an important topic for everyone to be aware of. Since the time when the federal desegregation decree was struck down in Chicago, we have been seeing a reversal of some of the efforts made to desegregate schools.

    Alcott is a neighborhood school, in a primarily white neighborhood. Chicago is still a pretty segregated city. Alcott is an underutilized school and could work to take students from low-income Tiers, but they have chosen not to. They use money raised from parents to keep class sizes down instead.

    There are some more racially/ethnically diverse neighborhood schools in the city, but not as many as there are very segregated schools.

    I’m more concerned about the SEES and Magnet schools–which were set up to counter segregation and encourage desegregation–becoming more white and higher income. They originally received extra funding because of their efforts to combat segregation. Should they continue to receive extra funding and retain Magnet status, for example, if they become primarily white/non low income?

    It’s an issue. It’s important to talk about it.

  • 750. Neighborhood parent  |  August 26, 2013 at 11:38 am

    JMO – not sure I follow your first thought. “…we have been seeing a reversal of some of the efforts made to desegregate schools.” What have been the efforts to desegregate schools? Are you referring to the racial buckets that magnets/SEES used to use?

    From a neighborhood school (level 2, majority hispanic, tier 4 hood but 80% poverty rate) perspective, the only solution is ‘demagnetization’ and a switch to later-grade tracking of giftedness. And I don’t hold out much hope for either.

    Have a 2nd grader, and I’m too tired already… have spent the better part of 5 years trying to encourage ‘all’ of my neighborhood to embrace our school….. and honestly I believe there is too much at stake from the BOE, mayors office, CPS, CTU, politicians …. Change is hard for all these parties.

  • 751. JMOChicago  |  August 26, 2013 at 11:46 am

    The Desegregation Decree was the effort I was referring to (race-based admissions to Magnets and SEES.)

  • 752. ap mama  |  August 26, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    I just got the following email from Peirce AFTER I turned them down over the phone. If you are still looking for a good K spot for your child and Peirce would work for you, it might be worth calling to see if they will give you a spot.

    “We would like to extend a second opportunity to parents. We still have a few seats available at Peirce school in our kindergarten classrooms. If you are interested please give me a call at (773) 534-2441.

    Hope to hear from you soon!


    E. Sally Suarez

    Purchasing Clerk
    1423 West Bryn Mawr Ave.
    Chicago, IL 60660
    (773) 534-2441

  • 753. Wondering  |  August 26, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    #749 – Well said.

  • 754. OIPfamily  |  August 27, 2013 at 10:55 am

    Just got call from Burr for Kindergarten spot. Currently at Prescott. Love the foreign language option at Burr. Have till tomorrow to decide. I wish this call came last Tuesday. Any thoughts?

  • 755. Wondering  |  August 27, 2013 at 10:57 am

    Is one closer to your house? I’d go with convenience at this point.

  • 756. mom3  |  August 27, 2013 at 11:09 am

    Any call from Beaubien?

  • 757. LSmom  |  August 27, 2013 at 11:19 am

    @754, we’re just one day in at Burr, but so far, it’s great. My son loves Japanese and his K teacher. The other parents are nice and involved.

    The CPS budget cuts hit the school pretty hard in terms of fine arts programming and class size though.

    I chose Burr over Prescott, but the location is much better for us so that played a role.

  • 758. OIPfamily  |  August 27, 2013 at 11:27 am

    Just called Beaubien because ultimately that is my number one choice. They said that right now they are at 33 per class, so maxed out. If any other kids enroll the principal will open a 4th class, and then they will need lots of kids from list. Otherwise, no go. Come on late parents!!;)

  • 759. UptownMama  |  August 27, 2013 at 11:57 am

    Chappell is still calling folks. We just got a call, I think we were 50 something on their waitlist. Declined.

  • 760. waitlisted parent  |  August 27, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    How many student’s are there at Pulaski’s K now? Does anyone know?

  • 761. Lisa  |  August 27, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    Does anyone on here have any personal experience with Brentano Math & Science Academy? This is my neighborhood school and I am very concerned about there low score on CPS website (3) and their “probation status”. Please let me know your experiences or any information you may have. I have run out of options as my son was wait listed for several schools but we did not receive any calls.

  • 762. Jeanne Marie Olson (@JMOChicago)  |  August 27, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    Personally, I believe that Brentano is on the verge of becoming one of those up and coming schools. I met the Principal at a Community Hearing and she was amazing. They have a lot of challenges…low income in a quickly gentrifying area. You can try reaching out to Seth Lavin, a teacher at a different school but he is also one of the neighborhood parents investing in Brentano who is working on increasing Brentano’s profile and enrollment. Or Kate Kindleberger. I respect the opinions of both. Chris Hewitt on the LSC might also be a good choice. Their ISBE data shows very positive growth.

    You can find them on Facebook and/or Twitter. I wouldn’t count Brentano out w/o a visit if you are interested in getting in on a growing/changing school.

  • 763. Jeanne Marie Olson (@JMOChicago)  |  August 27, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    Here is a very cool video that the teachers put together re: Brentano back in February.

  • 764. Lisa  |  August 27, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    Jeanne Marie Olson thank you so much. I have been reading a lot of great things about it and agree it sounds like a great “up and coming” school. I was very nervous at first just looking at the scores on the CPS website. I have called to make an appointment to visit the school. Hopefully it all works out. Thanks again for your post. It set me at ease a little 🙂

  • 765. waiting waiting  |  August 27, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    @754, can you let me know what is your wait list number at Burr?

  • 766. Jeanne Marie Olson (@JMOChicago)  |  August 27, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    #764 – My pleasure. We also left a (great on paper) Magnet school to go to our neighborhood, mostly low income, mostly ESL families school and could not be happier with the decision. Our decision was a little easier…the school is less “up and coming” and already has a great reputation. But it is a leap when the media drumbeat is all about Selective Enrollment and Magnets as being preferable. There are some amazing neighborhood schools that get passed over by many families in Chicago because of these rankings and lists that prioritize standardized tests and don’t take into account other measures and sometimes even masks great outcomes and results. Every year, our neighborhood school sends kids to Northside, Lane, Von Steuben, Peyton, Young, etc. The older kids are a pleasure to be around and often coach/mentor the younger kids. We have our issues, and our shortfall of resources, but the culture and the spirit of the school as well as the professionalism and intelligence of the teaching staff is what we treasure.

  • 767. following up on 752 *  |  August 27, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    yes, Peirce is offering seats to interested Kinders & 1st graders. Call them if you are interested. 773.534.2440
    The class sizes sounded small.

  • 768. LSmom  |  August 27, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    @Lisa,Brentano is definitely improving, and you could also try seeing if there’s room at Goethe or Burr.

  • 769. ChicagoMomofBoys  |  August 27, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    Now that day #2 of kindergarten is successfully behind us, I just wanted to share my relief that this ridiculously strenuous CPS application process worked out for us… kind of. From the start, we had planned on sending our son to our neighborhood school (South Loop). Then, I became “obsessed” with the what-ifs and pinned my hopes on a great gifted/classical or magnet offer. We struck out with gifted/classical, but ultimately entertained two magnet options — Alcott and Suder. In fact, he was enrolled at Suder for about a week before my husband and I had a change of heart for multiple reasons and re-enrolled him at South Loop. I couldn’t be happier with our decision; our son loves it there so far.

    The morale of the story is that magnet schools aren’t necessarily better than neighborhood schools, but it took me a while to see the full picture and get past the competition the process tends to bring with it.

    Have a great school year, everybody!

  • 770. Chicago Mom  |  August 27, 2013 at 11:27 pm

    @754 I have a coworker who has her son in 1st grade at Prescott and they love the school and have a kindergartner going next year.

  • 771. Chicago Dad  |  August 28, 2013 at 8:52 am

    @760 I had the worst time dealing with Pulaski this year. They are close to our house and our waitlist # was 30 so I thought we had a good shot. They told me 4 weeks ago that they weren’t going to call the waitlist this year as they were full. I imagine the class sizes are large.

  • 772. Alcott racial composition  |  August 28, 2013 at 9:43 am

    Just for clarification on 769’s post – Alcott is not a magnet school. Its a neighborhood school that for some reason can’t fill itself with neighborhood kids so takes a lot of (white) kids from other areas through a lottery.

  • 773. cpsobsessed  |  August 28, 2013 at 9:56 am

    Alcott doesn’t use tiers at all (I think that is correct for kindergarten, but def for older grades.) So the kids who fill any lottery spots reflect the actual composition of the lottery pool, rather than balancing for socio-ec (which tends to reflect race.)

    My son’s school is largely white in the lower grades and I wish it weren’t. Even the RGC is disproportionate. But again, given the way the city is clumped racially, it seems difficult to change that.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 774. waitlisted parent  |  August 28, 2013 at 10:24 am

    Thanks Chicago Dad. I know last year they had 34 in K.

  • 775. Amon  |  August 28, 2013 at 10:36 am

    If anyone is still looking for a school I would call Burr. We just got an offer today and we were in the 300s on the wait list.

  • 776. Alcott racial composition  |  August 28, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    Alcott – if you are of color and you get called from the waitlist and you then visit, you realize you aren’t going to – oh, how can we say this every so gently so as not to frazzle some on this blog – “fit in” there.

  • 777. CPSDadof2  |  August 28, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    @776, Your child might fit in very well and love the school. Alcott has 64% White, 15% Hispanic, 12% Black. Not far from state average.

  • 778. Jenn  |  August 28, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    I hope the first week is going well for everyone! My kids are happy to be back in the swing of things with their friends at Prescott.

    If you are still looking for your place in CPS, Prescott still has a few openings in certain grades.

    Specifically, we have a spot or two open in:
    • Kindergarten
    • 1st grade
    • 4th grade
    • 5th grade
    • 6th grade

    As most of you know, Prescott has a ton to offer. With a rigorous curriculum, outstanding faculty (most nationally board certified) and fantastic enrichment programs, Prescott is well on it’s way to becoming the most sought after school in Chicago.

    Check out or email with questions.

  • 779. Alcott  |  August 28, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    “Alcott is not a magnet school. Its a neighborhood school that for some reason can’t fill itself with neighborhood kids”

    Alcott has potential, it’s had difficulty gaining traction because its just a few blocks from Lincoln, which is where the overwhelming majority of CPS neighborhood families want to send their kids.

    And to be honest only 65% white is pretty diverse for Lincoln Park, they are clearly accepting kids from out of the neighborhood.

  • 780. EastVillageMom  |  August 28, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    FWIW – Our family was accepted to Alcott through the lottery (we were 66) and we’re so happy we did. This week has been wonderful.

    Additionally, we declined a spot at LaSalle II today. We were 40 on the proximity wait list.

    Our main reservation about Alcott was the pain in the rear commute and we had originally been hoping for LaSalle II because it would have been walking distance for us. When the call came, I new that there was no way we’d move him out of Alcott. We’re already so happy there.

  • 781. anonymouse teacher  |  August 28, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    Many schools could end up scrambling to fill spots in different grades. With per pupil funding, if a school has 26 kids in 4 kindergarten classes, depending on the rest of the school numbers, they may end up having to cut a kindergarten teacher and make that 3 classes of 34 or do some split grades. This kind of thing will be happening all over the city on the 10th day of school (or right after). My principal is watching numbers closely. We have a a few classrooms under 30 in my school and its making my principal very nervous. This is partly why some schools are making so many calls and offering emails with “we have open slots”. They have to pack the rooms to stop more cuts.

  • 782. Angie  |  August 28, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    It would be nice to have a centralized location where principals could post their openings, and parents could find available seats for their kids.

  • 783. cpsobsessed  |  August 28, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    Jahn Elementary has openings in PreK-8th grade, so contact the school if you’re still looking.

    Also, I saw that Amundsen High School has some spots to fill.

    So it looks like with the per-pupil funding, perhaps schools are more interested in getting all their seats filled. We’ve seen several “up and coming” schools” have seat available if you’re willing to make a move the first week of school. Certainly not ideal by any means, but worth passing on that info next year when people are panicking.

  • 784. LL2 Parent  |  August 28, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    LaSalle II has openings in 6th, 7th, and 8th grades so feel free to call the school if you or someone you know is interested. 773-534-0490.

  • 785. AMDJ  |  August 28, 2013 at 10:07 pm

    Please call Jahn School located in the Roscoe Village area if you are still looking for a GREAT school! 773.534.5500 They have K -8th grade openings available.

  • 786. Seth Lavin  |  August 29, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    Hey– Lisa or anyone interested in Brentano– email me at Would love to talk or help!


  • 787. New Alcott mom  |  August 30, 2013 at 10:24 am

    For future reference, we received a KG offer from Sheridan on 8/28. We were #20 on the Tier 4 list. (We declined–we are sticking Alcott, which we love so far.)

  • 788. toomuchCPS  |  August 30, 2013 at 11:50 am

    @776 no worries, i want my kid at an all white school!

  • 789. schoolstress  |  August 31, 2013 at 8:44 am

    Dilemma: my daughter is currently enrolled at our neighborhood school, Jamieson, for k. “Ut we got a call yesterday for Waters (waitlist #23). I have til Tuesday morning to decide.
    It was very difficult finding a neighborhood I could afford with a great school, so I was very relieved when we discovered Jamieson. She was also assigned to an amazing teacher. Commuting to work from Jamieson is really eating into my work hours and i cannot afford to lose any hours. The trip from Waters to work is shorter and would eliminate that problem.
    Teacher at Waters is very new and young, and I don’t feel great about making the switch from someone who has so much experience, education, investment and dedication AND has taken an interest in my child and our family. She spent hours with me yesterday, helping me weigh out my options.
    I appreciate any and all input. I realize a lot more people know waters vs jamieson. The scores are pretty similar. But I know the teachers are worlds apart (for my child’s class).

  • 790. cpsobsessed  |  August 31, 2013 at 9:21 am

    @789 Schoolstress: I know it’s hard but I’d try to take a good look beyond Kindergarten. Kindergarten is important, but it is a year where a parent can probably supplement easily at home. Between you and a new teacher I’m sure you can have your child where they need to be by school’s end. The Waters principal has a good hiring track record for the most part, so chances are the new teacher will be fine (obviously an experienced teacher is ideal and the one your describe sounds fantastic.) I’d weigh the overall class sizes throughout the school, the offerings (waters has a very good arts program and ecology) and Jamieson may offer something else compelling.
    But that commute for 9 years – throughout the winters. Different people have different tolerance for that so it comes down to your priorities.
    Another benefit of being at a closer school is that school friends will live closer and it’ll be easier to arrange play time and parties etc.
    I think you’re in a good situation to have 2 good choices so try not to stress about it too much. (easier said than done.)

  • 791. schoolstress  |  August 31, 2013 at 9:52 am

    Thank you very much.

  • 792. 60625 Mom  |  August 31, 2013 at 10:13 pm

    We received a second offer from Pierce, after saying “no thank you” about a month ago. We enrolled at McPherson, our neighborhood school in Lincoln Square and it’s great. Neighborhood parents are definitely taking notice of the great things happening at this school. Kindergarten class sizes are between 15 and 20. There are still spots available! Contact the school if you are interested (773) 534-2625

    McP is a neighborhood/Magnet Cluster and offers art, music, World Language (Spanish), Energizabulls fitness program and lots of great after school programs. It also offers the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program and plans for the Primary Years Programs are in the works.

  • 793. colleen  |  September 1, 2013 at 8:52 am

    I know Burr has openings in 4th grade if anyone is still looking. Currently 23 students in 4th grade. The rest of the classes are full I believe

  • 794. BlessedMommy  |  September 1, 2013 at 9:18 am

    Turner-Drew Language Academy (Excellent School, Excellent Teachers, Excellent Students) has seats available in grades 1-4 and possibly grade 7. Check them out, you will not be disappointed.

  • 795. NorthsideMOM  |  September 2, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    Does anyone know where Pritzker is at with General WL for its neighborhood program for K?

  • 796. spots  |  September 2, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    Does anyone know the chances of getting a K spot at Blaine for next year? Or names of similar schools?

  • 797. cpsobsessed  |  September 2, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    I would put the odds of a K spot for out of neighborhood kids at Blaine and similar schools that are fully enrolled at zero to under one percent.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 798. Alcott racial composition  |  September 3, 2013 at 11:00 am

    Alcott gets almost all it’s racial diversity from upper grade students. The K/1/2/3 classes are almost all white except for “just enough diversity” which for Alcott means a splash of asian, a dash of indian, and an itsy bitsy pinch of hispanic.

  • 799. cpsobsessed  |  September 3, 2013 at 11:31 am

    @798: Lovely use of words – but to be clear, entry is via lottery, so it’s not like Alcott is social engineering a recipe of minimal diversity.
    The composition reflects the make up of those who apply and those who accept a spot.

  • 800. realchicagomama  |  September 3, 2013 at 11:40 am

    How does a neighborhood school hold an admissions lottery?

  • 801. cpsobsessed  |  September 3, 2013 at 11:45 am

    @800: People can enter the lottery for neighborhood schools to get spots that are not filled by local kids. Some schools have virtually no spots in the lower grades (Burley, Blaine, Edgebrook, Coonley, Waters etc) while others do have spots due to the neighborhood composition.

    So when you fill out your lottery form, you could choose Alcott and potentially get a spot in the school for Kindergarten (or any grade with openings.)

    Until a few years ago, principals could fill those spots on their own, so people from PreK could get spots, parents who shmoozed the principal or did a lot of volunteer work, etc could get spots.

    But a few years ago, CPS centralized the process and now each school can only admit students off the lottery list. I assume at some point into September the school *may* be able to admit students off the list, but not sure about that.

  • 802. Teasdad  |  September 4, 2013 at 9:16 am

    Could you be so kind and post a link to such lottery, please?

  • 803. Christine Whitley  |  September 4, 2013 at 9:38 am

    The application process for the lotteries starts in October. The handbook and applications will be at
    Applications are electronic and you have until mid-December to apply. Notification letters come in late March.

    All lottery schools (Magnet, Magnet Cluster and Neighborhood) are all lumped together on one application and you may apply to up to 20 lottery schools. That does not include your own neighborhood schoool.

  • 804. New to CPS  |  September 4, 2013 at 11:29 am

    If anyone is interested, we just got a message yesterday from Ravenswood offering a K spot. I don’t remember where we were on the waitlist – in the hundreds for sure. We are happy with our SEES school and won’t take the spot but if others are still looking, sounds like they have openings.

  • 805. Teasdad  |  September 4, 2013 at 11:30 am

    Thanx Christine, but I meant “admissions lottery” link for neighborhood schools. Is there a such a thing?

  • 806. LSmom  |  September 4, 2013 at 11:46 am

    There’s no separate admissions lottery for the neighborhood schools, just the general lottery you sign up for the year before, where you can list up to 20 schools including magnet and neighborhood schools. There may be some schools that have exhausted their wait list and still have room this year (McPherson?) where you might be able to just enroll.

  • 807. Even One More CPS Mom  |  September 5, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    I see that Agassiz called our home this morning but did not leave a message. We are number 56 for 1st grade. Would have declined. Thought maybe others would like to know they are making calls for 1st.

  • 808. cps obsessed  |  September 23, 2013 at 11:23 am

    we got a call from ravenswood for K last week but only had 24 hours to decide so we declined rather than make a rush decision

  • 809. Nicki  |  September 25, 2013 at 2:10 am

    Pretty! This has been an extremely wonderful post. Thanks for supplying this information.

  • 810. PatientCPSMom  |  September 25, 2013 at 6:29 am

    For my Near North neighbors:(Wells to River, Chicago to North Av)

    Below is info about the Near North Unity Program’s September 30th meeting. Reps from the Chicago Public Schools will be presenting information about current plans for our area schools. Whether you have children or not let CPS know you care about the quality of neighborhood schools here by attending this meeting. Neighborhoods that have quality neighborhood public schools enjoy higher resident retention, lower crime rates, and higher property values. Please let others in the area know about the meeting as well.

    NNUP: Many Voices, One Near North
    Next Stakeholder Meeting:
    Monday September 30th, 2013

    Keynote Presentation:
    K-8 Public Education in the Near North
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