Fall 2014 – Applying to Kindergarten / Elementary School

September 23, 2014 at 9:03 pm 401 comments

Bye mommy! Now you can look at Facebook all day long!

Bye mommy! Now you can look at Facebook all day long!

Kindergarten/Elementary application time here!

Welcome! After the long wait from infanthood, it is now time to being charting the waters of CPS elementary school.  

Applying has never been easier, now that it’s all online.

You can apply for a PIN (needed for online enrollment) now.  It will be mailed to your home within a week.

Applications will be accepted starting October 1st.

Details are here and the OAE site now covers almost everything you need to know, very well organized:


When entering Kindergarten (and older grades as well) you have several options:

Gifted and Classical schools – these schools require a test for entry.  For Kindergarten, the tests are given at the same time and kids are tested one-on-one.  For older grades, the kids test in a large group and the gifted and classical tests are on different days.   There is often debate about whether to apply early so your child gets and early test date (benefit: avoid blizzards, get it out of the way) or wait until the end of the application period to apply (benefit: kids may hit that magical reading breakthrough you’ve been waiting for.)  The test scores are normed by age, so it shouldn’t really matter when you do the testing.

Magnet schools – these admit kids via a lottery process.  People who live within 1.5 miles of a school get preference in a proximity lottery.  Others are also admitted, based on Socio-Economic Tier.

Neighborhood schools (also includes Magnet Cluster school, which are just neighborhood schools) – these are schools that admit kids from te neighborhood that surrounds a school.  If you don’t want to attend your own neighbohood school, you can apply to others who have room to spare.  This can only be done through the online application process.  Not every school has space, so it’s wise to fine some ‘up-and-coming’ schools that are growing and have seats to fill.  Or give you local school another look, with some other parents.   Building up parent interest is often a great way to build community and create/uncover a good local school.

One factor that can influence your chance of selection at a school is your Socio-Economic Tier.  Your address determines your Tier (Tier 4, highest socio-economic level, Tier 1, lowest.) NOTE: the tiers for the current application process have not been update yet, so current Tier information may be out of date!!

These are explained here, very cleary by OAE:


Feel free to post questions, comments, or suggestions below.

I don’t see open house dates posted yet, but ideally you’ll tour the schools you’re most interested in.  It’s possible to get a call very late in the application season or even over the summer and have 24 hours to make a decision, which may or may not allow for touring a school at that point.



Entry filed under: Applying to schools.

Hidden Gems High School Fair Sept 28th Test Prep: Pros and Cons

401 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Chicago School GPS  |  September 23, 2014 at 9:14 pm

    Thanks for the new thread, CPSO! This year, families can preschedule their SEES (RGC & Classical) test dates!

    From CPSOAE:
    Starting October 1st at 9 a.m., you can go to the online site and schedule your child’s test (for Regional Gifted Centers [grades K-8], Classical Schools [grades K-8], International Gifted Programs [grades 6-8] and/or Academic Centers [grades 7-8]) for the times and dates that are most convenient for you. Then, any time between October 1st and December 12th, you can identify the schools to which you want to apply and submit your Selective Enrollment Elementary Schools application. Remember — this is a two-step process: (1) SCHEDULE, then (2) APPLY.

    Should be a vast improvement over scrambling after receiving your test date to see if it fits in your schedule and try to change it if not.

  • 2. cpsobsessed  |  September 23, 2014 at 9:17 pm

    That’s so awesome! Thanks for the info. Oh, just make sure you don’t pick a day when there’s going to be a blizzard… 🙂

  • 3. Toddler Dad  |  September 23, 2014 at 9:26 pm

    Can anyone say more about the kindergarten test? (What test is it? What if your child can’t read yet? Is the “being able to go with the examiner unaccompanied” a common issue?) This is hard to get my head around, and while it was hard to imagine our little guy being old enough for kindergarten in a year, it’s now even more immediately hard to imagine him sitting for a test in a few months. Thanks!

  • 4. Vanessa  |  September 23, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    When are eligibility letters sent out? Are they based on NWEA spring scores or fall scores? (For SEES/Classical schools)

  • 5. cpsobsessed  |  September 23, 2014 at 9:34 pm

    Regarding the test: The classical test measures pre/early reading and math skills, while the gifted test measures things more like logic and thinking (patterns, how things are similar/different.) No actual reading is required. I believe for the classical test, knowing letters, some very easy 3 letter words, and verrrry basic adding can help (and of course kids who can read or do math tend to do well on this one.)

    The testers are all very friendly and it’s pretty rare to hear of a kid who won’t go off with them. It was my biggest concern of the day, and my son (oddly) went off with the tester guy with no problem at all. I do suppose that a child who is really shy could have some issues in the testing room, but so can any 4 year old given their many moods. It’s part of the crapshoot of testing really little kids.

  • 6. cpsobsessed  |  September 23, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    Here is eligibility information. I don’t believe they mail out letters like they do for high school. I think that is handled somehow when you apply (but I’m not quite sure how…)


  • 7. WesLooMom  |  September 23, 2014 at 10:00 pm

    Re: test for grades 1 and above. Is the child’s score affected by the child’s birth date?


  • 8. chiteacher  |  September 24, 2014 at 6:31 am

    Any suggestions for how to rank the classical/gifted schools? Is it easier to get into Skinner West Gifted than Skinner North Classical?

  • 9. SouthSider  |  September 24, 2014 at 6:59 am


    Both Skinners are classical. Here is a list of the classical schools:


    There is no “easier” when it comes to the gifted and classical schools. There are some schools that don’t get as many applications as others, but the differences could be something like 3,000+ applicants vs. 1,000–not much difference when you are looking at a class of 30 kids (or 60 if there are two classes). The most important thing is to rank them in order of the schools that you really want your kid to attend.

  • […] Fall 2014 – Applying to Kindergarten / Elementary School CPS Obsessed: Bye mommy! Now you can look at Facebook all day long! Kindergarten/Elementary application time here! Welcome! After the long wait from infanthood, it is now time to being charting the waters of CPS elementary school.   Applying has never been easier, now that it’s all online. Applications will be accepted starting October 1st. […]

  • 11. Bright Kids Chicago  |  September 24, 2014 at 10:03 am

    Thank you for collecting these resources in one thread, CPSObsessed. I hope it’s not overstepping any boundaries, as I know opinions on prepping for these tests are varied, but we at Bright Kids have had success preparing students for both the RGC and Classical exams. Our tutors are State Certified teachers and private tutors with years of experience, and we are also a publishing company, so we have a fully stocked library of materials from which to build custom curricula for all our students after taking our diagnostic, based on the specific skills required for each subsection of both exams.

    Since it is often familiarity with the material and confidence that makes the difference for already gifted students on these exams, we make sure to work with students on test-taking strategies that will give them the opportunity to arrive on test day with clear heads so they can perform to the top of their abilities.

    If you’re interested in our books, tutoring and test prep services or just need a place to vent about this sometimes overwhelming process, please don’t hesitate to contact me, Dave, the Office and Account Manager at Bright Kids Chicago. You can reach me at (773) 270-9001 or “d dot maher at brightkidschicago dot com”. Thanks!

  • 12. Loretta Trevino  |  September 24, 2014 at 11:41 am

    What if my son’s bday is 9/3, can he still get accepted into Kinder?

  • 13. CPS mom  |  September 24, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    @ 12 CPS cut off date is September 1. If they are five on or before 9/1, they will be in kindergarten. Your son will get an extra year in pre-k. There is an exemption but he will have had to be in the same private pre-K/Kindergarten for 2 years prior.

  • 14. cpsobsessed  |  September 24, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    Just a quick note: in the interest of reducing spam, I am going to set any post with a link in to require my approval before it posts. If you post a link, there may be a slight delay. We’ll see how it goes…

  • 15. Bright Kids Chicago  |  September 24, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    @9 Yes, additionally, we’ve heard that most schools hardly look at applicants who list them other than their first choice, so it’s important to take every factor into account before selecting that #1 school on your application.

  • 16. Chris  |  September 24, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    “we’ve heard that most schools hardly look at applicants who list them other than their first choice”

    You really want to stick with that?

    Hasn’t been like that for some time.

  • 17. Bright Kids Chicago  |  September 24, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    Haha, no need to stick with anything! If that’s not the case, I’m happy to have the updated info. I know of exceptions myself, but in our experience, most acceptances have been with the first choice school. Just trying to give as much anecdotal and factual info as possible, since I know at times the process can be frustratingly opaque.

  • 18. LSmom  |  September 24, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    We got into our sixth-choice school, and anecdotally on CPS obsessed, it is common for people to get offers at schools they’ve ranked below first. As @SouthSider says, the best way to rank the schools is in the actual order you prefer.

    There are schools that usually have fewer applicants and lower cutoff scores, and adding one or two of those schools to your list will increase your chances of getting an offer somewhere.

  • 19. Bright Kids Chicago  |  September 24, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    @LSmom I agree with all of these statements!

  • 20. Chicago School GPS  |  September 24, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    @3- there are 2 separate tests, depending on if you are applying to Classical (achievement test, requires a little “reading”/”math concepts”) or RGC (aptitude test, no reading or math concepts per se, but critical thinking and logical reasoning like picture puzzles, short term recall). We have a very informative seminar on 10/19/14 to give you a good introduction: http://www.chischoolgps.com/CSG___TestingMom.html

    @4- no pre-eligibility requirements for those taking K-4th grade entry. Those testing for 5th-8th require MAP minimums. Anyone currently in CPS can ask for their PIN now at http://www.apply.cps.edu. Those non-CPS 5th-8th graders get their PIN when they get their MAP results. Then you schedule your test, and then apply for whichever schools you are interested in (2 step process). Deadline is 12/1/14 for PIN request, and 12/12/14 for application.

    @7- tests are normed to birth date (give or take a day or weeks, depending on age), so you are judged among kids who were as old as yours when they sat for their test.

    @8- I tell all parents assume your child is the highest tester in the city (since we have no idea how our kids will do on these notoriously imperfect tests), so whatever you put down as #1 they will be slated into if they qualify, since it is simply a numbers game these days. They go from the highest scores down to the lowest and fill their SEES seats that way (tiers come into play only for entry years for 70% of the seats).

    @11- there are all sorts of resources out there, and thanks for being another avenue for parents. I tell everyone: whether you choose to prep or not, parents should definitely read to/with their child every night and ask them open ended questions at every opportunity. It’s great bonding time and sometimes may be all a kid needs at that age. In the end, we are our kids’ first and last teachers, always.

    @18- definitely widen your net by choosing up to 6 schools, but for sure, put your choices down in order of preference.

  • 21. cpsobsessed  |  September 24, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    There is no way a school would know how a child ranked that school. It’s handled centrally and a school wouldn’t have access to that information.

    The principal of my son’s school doesn’t even know what the score cut-off is for kids getting into K at the school (so he always asks me what people are reporting here!)

  • 22. Chris  |  September 24, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    “Just trying to give as much anecdotal and factual info as possible, since I know at times the process can be frustratingly opaque.”

    Sharing factually false info like “most schools hardly look at applicants who list them other than their first choice” (and this is clearly not true; not anecdotally not true) does not add to the clarity of the situation. Rather, it adds to the confusion inherent in CPS.

  • 23. cps mom  |  September 24, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    Yeah, that’s nuts “Bright Kids Chicago” – don’t spread false information. I realize you want to panic people and drive them to your business, but that ain’t no way to go about it.

  • 24. KGmom  |  September 24, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    @brightkids- curious how many kids did KG test prep last year with your org and how many got in to SE (1st choice or otherwise)

  • 25. Bright Kids Chicago  |  September 24, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    @21 & 22 Please, there’s no need to fight. If you talk to any of the dozens of clients we have prepared for the Selective Enrollment exams over the past two years, the last thing you’ll hear any of them say about us and myself especially (again, my name is Dave, and I’m happy just to talk or listen to any parent interested in discussing this process) is that we are pushy, and I certainly don’t want to add panic to cause panic. Quite the opposite. Of course I believe that we have services of value to offer parents who are interested, but I’m just as interested in adding what information we have to the dialogue surrounding SEES and the application and enrollment process. In fact, I’m happy not selling a thing if I can demystify the test and process for a few families, and I honestly mean that.

    Our experiences are certainly anecdotal but they are not false, and in our experience, most clients who report back to us post-exam report acceptance into their first choice school. @KGmom, I unfortunately don’t have hard or statistically significant numbers for you, but I’d say that of the approximately 15 SEES families we heard back from (while tutoring dozens more total, from SEES to SEHS), about 10 of them were accepted into schools, with all but 1 or 2 of those getting their first choices. I’m aware this is an incredibly small sample size, as we are a growing neighborhood company and the CPS pool is large. However, I think you’ll find it rare that a tutoring company is willing to be so upfront with the information they have available to them. I’m not claiming any sort of authority on the selection process, simply offering up the data we have!

    I think it’s best I bow out of the discussion and leave it to parents at this point. I apologize if I ruffled any feathers, and I’m happy to talk further via the email/phone number provided in my previous post if any parents are interested. Best of luck!

  • 26. NMMom  |  September 25, 2014 at 8:58 am

    If you’re child is already in a RGC, but you wanted to switch schools, would they need to be retested, say for another RGC/Options program at another school?

  • 27. cpsobsessed  |  September 25, 2014 at 9:01 am

    For another RGC or classical program, yes. You would need to re-test.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 28. OTDad  |  September 25, 2014 at 10:15 am

    I’m wondering how CPS rank the preschools by age? will a 4yr 10month old in the same bracket as another 5yr 0month old?

  • 29. Ruthie60607  |  September 25, 2014 at 10:30 am

    “I’m wondering how CPS rank the preschools by age? will a 4yr 10month old in the same bracket as another 5yr 0month old?”

    I have heard conflicting information on this issue and would love for someone to clear this up. I have heard that the children are tested by birth month, but I have also heard that they are 4 distinct periods, i.e. September-November, December-February, etc. Not that I think this ultimately makes a major difference, but I am curious…

  • 30. pantherparent  |  September 25, 2014 at 10:46 am

    Although many people feel that if their child doesn’t get into Classical School A or Gifted School B that they may as well kiss Northside or Payton good-bye. I can tell you from experience it isn’t true.

    My two oldest both attempted to qualify for a SEES and both were denied. So they went to the neighborhood school with everyone else. They enjoyed the easy walk, the moderate homework load and perhaps the lack of pressure.

    A few years later, each got straight A’s in 7th grade, did well on the ISATs and high school entrance exam (without test prep or tutoring) and both now attend Northside Prep as a senior and a sophomore.

    If you have a smart child, things will work out.

  • 31. Chris  |  September 25, 2014 at 11:00 am

    Bright Kids: “most clients who report back to us post-exam report acceptance into their first choice school.”

    This statement is NOT what you said that I (and others) objected to. You claimed that:

    “most schools hardly look at applicants who list them other than their first choice”

    which is patently, demonstrably FALSE.

    Your unwillingness to admit that you “misspoke” is not a good indication. At all. Nor is your obvious fundamental misunderstanding of how the selection process works.

  • 32. Chris  |  September 25, 2014 at 11:07 am

    “I have heard conflicting information on [age at test] and would love for someone to clear this up.”

    In the past, the scaled score has been normed by age in some fashion. It is more than possible that they have used birth month, birth date and ‘bands’ of months at different times without fully disclosing changes.

    I would expect that there will continue to be some to-the-month age adjustment, but I would not be surprised if (1) it is different from last year, and (2) digging at CPS results in conflicting answers.

  • 33. IB Obsessed  |  September 25, 2014 at 11:44 am

    @24 Really? Doesn’t the entire Chicago test prep cottage industry, parisitic on CPS madness, DEPEND upon parental panic?

  • 34. cpsobsessed  |  September 25, 2014 at 11:47 am

    You guys, please stop heckling. If you don’t want to use test prep, just ignore it! Some people prefer to utilize these services (without shame!) Many thanks.

  • 35. cpsobsessed  |  September 25, 2014 at 11:47 am

    Happy to start a new thread on the pros and cons of test prep across the grades if there is interest in debate.

  • 36. Chris  |  September 25, 2014 at 11:50 am

    IBO: “Doesn’t the entire Chicago test prep cottage industry…”

    Well, not *all* of it. There will always be some kids who benefit from test prep to deal with testing anxiety, or poorly developed skillz, and that’s not about *panic*.

  • 37. Donna Bracey  |  September 25, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    As the owner of a test prep company that was founded by 2 moms with the sole purpose of sharing information and attempting to make this process as transparent as possible, we are all not our here to create and cause panic for parents.

    @34, Chris is correct in that there are several children who experience anxiety with going off with a stranger and those who need to brush up on their skills. Also, there is benefit in seeing the types of questions that will be asked on the Selective Enrollment exams ahead of time.

    I don’t want to further de-rail this post, but I wanted to add a different perspective on test prep that what was previously mentioned.

  • 38. IB Obsessed  |  September 25, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    @32,@33 I think that could be a worthwhile thread,COb. It is just that it is not unusual to see test prep marketing material that promotes their service by reporting how much SEHS admission score points rose, with a warning about how much more competitive it was going to be the next year. It was not a heckle; I intended to make a real point about an issue.

    @35 Since sharing and transparency are the sole purpose of your organization, do you provide service free of charge?

    That’s the objectionable part of test prep. It creates a 2 tier system within PUBLIC education, with the upper prepped tier only available to those who pay.

  • 39. Chris  |  September 25, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    “the upper prepped tier only available to those who pay”

    You can get a portion of the test prep experience for free by making your kids take the SEES exam every year.

    Don’t ask me how I know that…

  • 40. prepchicagoblog  |  September 25, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    @36 IB Obsessed
    No we do not provide our services for free. There are expenses that need to be covered in order to operate.

    We do conduct free parent sessions to no-profit organizations on understanding Kindergarten options in Chicago. We do discuss what type of material can be found on the SEES test.

    We have also done free consulting to head start programs which clearly have demonstrated financial need.

  • 41. IB Obsessed  |  September 25, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    I’m happy to hear that some low income people benefit as well.

    It’s unfortunate that your services are needed by anyone, that access to a quality public education has become so complicated.

    @37 Lol, good advice.

  • 42. prepchicagoblog  |  September 25, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    I actually agree with you IB Obsessed. I am a huge proponent of improving neighborhood schools. I would love for my children to be able to go to the school down the street. I wish we could go back to a time when “specialized education” only served a very small population of extremely gifted (genius IQ levels) and special education (severe learning disabilities which cannot be accommodated in a typical classroom.

  • 43. Chicago School GPS  |  September 25, 2014 at 4:52 pm

    I had an earlier post that disappeared into the ether, but here is the gist:

    Age norms- my understanding (and remember, with CPS, the only constant is “change”) is that for the K testers, they are scaled against kids their own age, down to the day. So for two kids who score the same on the test, the one who is older by a day loses out to the one who had one less day in their life to “learn”. For early primary grades, it comes down to weeks, and the upper elementary kids are scaled by month bands. It works similarly for HS, where early fall SEHS testers are scaled differently than January testers.

    Ranking schools- put down your choices in order of your true preference. Assume your kid is the highest scorer in Chicago (because truly, these tests are notoriously imperfect so you never know!) and whatever you put down as #1, you will get if your child has the score to get in. If your #1 choice school has filled its seats before they get to your child’s score, the computer looks at your #2 choice to see if spots are available, then your #3, etc. It’s all strictly a numbers game.

    Tiers- tiers are expected to be updated soon (they do so annually) but know that tiers only come into play for the “entry year” of a program. Thus, only K for most of the Classical/RGC programs and 1st for Bell, Beaubien and Keller RGCs. Non-entry years have too few open seats for tiers to be used. As it is, most entry year SEES programs only have 28-30 seats (except Skinner North which has two K classrooms) that hundred/thousands are vying for. Tough odds!

  • 44. 60660  |  September 26, 2014 at 4:19 am

    Since there are several private test prep services is it time for CPS to disclose more info about the tests used to level the playing field?

  • 45. OTdad  |  September 26, 2014 at 9:44 am

    If the tests are designed to reflect a students ability.
    , why “level the playing field” is even needed? People can come up with all sorts of unrelated excuses, such as income, but at the end of the day, it’s really just the kids and their abilities dictates the outcome.

    I grew up in another country, where the academic competition is cutting throat starting from elementary school. The tests were often very hard. Sometimes, you could get 70 points out of 100 and still ended up to be #1 amount all testers. Yes, there are many private test prep services for those who struggle, but it has little impact on the admission. There was definitely no test prep arms race kind of thing.

    All CPS has to do is make the test reasonably hard to reflect a students’ true ability. Then the playing field is very leveled. No amount of test prep can overcome the IQ difference.

  • 46. Bright Kids Chicago  |  September 26, 2014 at 9:47 am

    I just want to officially state that I misspoke, Chris. Sorry that wasn’t clearer before. I made a mistake. Thank you for the correction.

  • 47. CPS mom  |  September 26, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    Why don’t we move on from this and leave the test prep people alone! I really don’t think they meant any harm. If you don’t want test prep, then don’t do it. In case you didn’t notice there is a new thread for that discussion anyway. Anybody know about open houses @ Keller? Or how the test from kinder differs for 1st grade?

  • 48. Test  |  September 26, 2014 at 12:12 pm


  • 49. otdad  |  September 26, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    @28. Ruthie60607:
    If CPS adjusts scores to the month, then there is little concern about when to take the test.

    I vaguely remember that they seem to adjust to a 3 month window. Could they be using something like:
    4yr – 4yr 3mon
    4yr 4mon – 4yr 6mon
    4yr 7mon – 4yr 9mon
    4yr 10mon – 5yr

    If that’s the case, when to take the test still matters, especially for classical test.

  • 50. fam  |  September 26, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    When is the open house for Lindblom Academic Center?

  • 51. cpsobsessed  |  September 26, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    I don’t see an AC schedule posted yet. I emailed cps early this week but they didn’t respond.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 52. Chicago School GPS  |  September 26, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    We try to list all the open houses we know about on our CSG Calendar: http://www.chischoolgps.com/Calendar.php

    I also haven’t seen anything released from CPSOAE yet regarding SEES open houses.

  • 53. WRP Mom  |  September 27, 2014 at 8:16 am

    The SEES open house schedule is up. Lindblom AC is on November 1 from 10 to 11:30

  • 54. WRP Mom  |  September 27, 2014 at 8:19 am

    Here’s the link for SEES open houses


  • 55. cpsobsessed  |  September 27, 2014 at 9:01 am

    Thanks for posting!

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 56. East Loop Mom  |  September 27, 2014 at 10:29 am

    Has anyone else who applied for a PIN at the OAE site on 9/19 still not received one yet?

  • 57. Emily  |  September 27, 2014 at 10:12 pm

    Are there any Kellogg elementary parents reading this thread? I’m in the neighborhood, and my preference is to send my son there next year. I’d like to speak to a few parents before I opt out of this application process. If you’re at Kellogg, please email me: eslambert (at) yahoo.

  • 58. cpsobsessed  |  September 29, 2014 at 10:26 am

    New Tier map posted


  • 59. Tier4Mom  |  September 29, 2014 at 9:06 pm

    So, now that I have found out that I am Tier 4… how exactly does that work for my daughter getting into a classical or gifted school? Thanks cpsobsessed. Your site is a lifesaver!

  • 60. cpsobsessed  |  September 29, 2014 at 9:21 pm

    Unlike the high schools, CPS doesn’t publish cutoff scores (or percentiles) for the elementary schools. If they did, you’d see that for most gifted/classical schools, the score required to get in is higher for Tier 4 kids than for lower tiered kids.

    So for some of the schools, your child will need to score in the 97th percentile or so for admission. Of course the wider you cast your net the better your odds are at admission.

  • 61. SouthSider  |  October 1, 2014 at 7:26 am

    Thanks for the new Tier map. I’m laughing at myself because I’m excited that my neighborhood has slipped down to Tier 2 this year (from Tier 3 last year). Whoo hoo!

  • 62. NewTier3Mom  |  October 1, 2014 at 8:59 am

    Yeah, and we went from a Tier 2 to a Tier 3 and I actually felt my heart sink. lol. BUT – our neighborhood HAS really actually improved and our neighborhood school seems to be doing better. So, I wasn’t too surprised.

  • 63. CFB  |  October 1, 2014 at 9:50 am

    So let’s talk about picking a testing date. Do you think that picking an earlier test date in say Nov. is more advantageous than testing in Feb? Or should you wait and prepare your child more? I’m sitting here unable to decide when to pick as the testing date!

  • 64. cpsobsessed  |  October 1, 2014 at 9:54 am

    How is your child doing at this point on early reading/math skills?

    I feel like 4 year old who haven’t mastered early reading (ie 3 letter words?) Might benefit from waiting. When the breakthrough comes it can be significant.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 65. CFB  |  October 1, 2014 at 10:09 am

    Interesting. She’s 4 (barely turned 4 in July) and has NOT mastered early reading. Or early math. I think I will wait until she has more pre-k under her belt and more “tutoring” sessions with me at night 🙂

    I’m sitting here blankly staring at the screen trying to pick a testing date. I think I’ll wait until January! So much pressure.

  • 66. ChicagoMomofBoys  |  October 1, 2014 at 10:22 am

    I’ve always preferred later test dates to allow my child to mature as much as possible beforehand. However, last winter taught me to not wait too long as it’s very challenging to reschedule due to bad weather and other unforeseen issues. So, this time around, I’ve opted for early winter test dates. Fingers crossed!

  • 67. SEES application  |  October 1, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    Questions to everybody.
    She is currently in RGC-K program. Do I need to tell current school that we are going to apply SEES this winter? Is she going to lose her spot at her current RGC by applying SEES test? If she gets an offer from one of the schools she is applying, is she going to lose a current school spot? I just don’t want her current school to terminate her spot before I make a decision. We may want to stay another year.

  • 68. veli  |  October 1, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    according to OAE this year all kindergarten applicants:

    “Applicants to Kindergarten:

    If your child is applying to kindergarten, he/she will take the test for both the Regional Gifted Centers AND the Classical Schools, even if you do not plan to apply for both programs.”

  • 69. CPS mom  |  October 1, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    #65-Nope she does not lose her spot until you accept a spot at another school. You can turn down that offer and stay at your school. We are applying for a spot at a RGC that starts at 1st grade. If he does not get accepted we will stay at the RGC he is at now for kindergarten.

  • 70. Tier4Mom  |  October 1, 2014 at 8:26 pm

    OMG… I feel the pressure! I kept ignoring it and telling myself it doesn’t matter but it has caught up.

  • 71. chiteacher  |  October 1, 2014 at 8:32 pm

    @68 I am right there with you. I just submitted our applications and scheduled the test. The Tier Map is beyond frustrating. We lived in a tiny island of green that is surrounding by Tier 3 hoods.

  • 72. Tier4Mom  |  October 1, 2014 at 8:40 pm

    @28 and @47 If my child turns 5 in Dec. when will be the “best” time (age for test) for her to take the test? I can’t figure this out… I want her to be the older one in the group. Hope this question makes sense. Thanks everyone!

  • 73. SEES  |  October 2, 2014 at 10:01 am

    Just finished applying SEES. Phew. I really liked the new process. I can pick the date and time. If I am applying for K, I would wait until Jan or Feb. I took a December slot last year. I regret that I did not wait until Jan or Feb because her reading was improving so much. Fortunately, she got an offer from RGC, but I wanted her to be in the classical school. I believe her reading score would be so much better. her reading was 97 and math was 99. Her birthday is in May. We are tier 4.

  • 74. OTdad  |  October 2, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    @63 CFB:
    Waiting until a later test date seems a no brainer for K, but there are other factors in play: rescheduling is harder for later test dates. 2 years ago, we had to reschedule because DD had high fever on test day. It was nail biting to wait for the new date. When the new test date finally came, it was 2 days before our preplanned, month long vocation overseas, that was very close. We are sure DD gain little (if any) on her reading and math skills during the month waiting for new test date.

  • 75. sandyoct  |  October 3, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    Hello there,
    My son has taken WPPSI iq test today and he scored 150+ He took the test through a licensed school psychologist.
    Does he still needs to take the cps test anyway or is cps accepting the wppsi score as well

  • 76. LSmom  |  October 3, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    You need to take the CPS test — they don’t accept outside results.

  • 77. sandyoct  |  October 3, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    Thank you for the information. I will apply and book a a lot ASAP!

  • 78. Kirsten  |  October 4, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    I just went to take our DD for the selective enrollment test for kindergarten at 1:40pm Sat. October 4. We showed up 45 minutes early to the test site at IIT- 3105 S State Street (life science building) and there was no one to be seen. We walked all over the building (all three levels) and there was no one there. Stayed for an hour. Anyone else have this happen? I am at a loss. Went online at the time of the test to cancel. There was no room number on the confirmation- and nobody was in the auditorium. Help- this is my first time!

  • 79. SNKdgMom  |  October 4, 2014 at 4:52 pm

    @sandyoct: You may find the Davidson Young Scholars program useful, if you haven’t come across it already. I would also advise you to ask current parents of students at the gifted and classical schools what their children are working on, and determine whether it sounds like it will be a good fit for your son.

    If it’s useful for anyone, in the Skinner North Kindergarten class they are working on counting, simple (single digit) addition, and greater than/less than. Math homework is not differentiated for the kids. (For what it’s worth, I have not yet found a RGC or Classical school that differentiates for math; if someone knows of one, please fill me in!) Reading homework is differentiated, and I was delighted that the story my son read today actually had words in it that he did not recognize (relocate and gnome).

  • 80. veli  |  October 4, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    @76. Kirsten | October 4, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    Testing does not begin until the first week of November. Check your letter to confirm date, and email OAE if indeed that is the date they gave you. They respond via email on weekends.


  • 81. CPS Parent  |  October 4, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    @77 – This year at Edison RGC they are differentiating the math and reading. My K student came home with differentiated math homework – double digit adding with carrying, time telling, and rounding to the hundreds. The reading homework is also differentiated and they had a level 2.5 reader. The new K teacher is making it a point to differentiate homework for reading and math.

  • 82. Lakecia  |  October 5, 2014 at 10:29 am

    Hello all I have 4 y/o twins and am debating on what to do. This year Cps is offering a 1st grade exception which they qualify for. Just wondering if there is a better chance of getting into a space by applying to Kindergarten vs. 1st grade? So confused…

  • 83. SNKdgMom  |  October 5, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    @79 – Thanks so much for the info! That’s great to know. Do you know if the math is differentiated by student, or are the students put into groups?

    At SN I believe the reading is differentiated by student. My son brought home a Level “J” reader, which the internet tells me is equivalent to an end of 1st/beginning of 2nd grade reader.

  • 84. sandyoct  |  October 6, 2014 at 8:30 am

    Hello, I just saw my son’s report and he took stanford binet and not wppsi and he scored 150+. I called cps and they are double checking on if they are accepting stanford binet. I actually feel wppsi and stanford binet are one and the same but anyway, I am also looking at David’s tag programs. The psychologist highly recommended my son to skip kindergarten this fall which made me nervous as he is just a 4 year old kid and he might be looking stupid in 6 year olds!!! We stay in mn right now but will be moving chicago. My friend recommends edison. Please let me know your thoughts and I have also submitted an online application for the cps test and waiting for their response.

  • 85. OTdad  |  October 6, 2014 at 11:02 am

    @82 sandyoct:
    Chicago’s selective enrollment elementary schools don’t accept any outside scores for admission, you don’t need to wait for a response. They only way to get in is signing up and taking the test.

  • 86. sandyoct  |  October 6, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    I have to wait for the PIN for a week anyway and so awaiting their response as well. I cannot do anything but wait but you have given me an insight so thank you!

  • 87. otdad  |  October 6, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    @77. SNKdgMom:
    “…in the Skinner North Kindergarten class they are working on counting, simple (single digit) addition, and greater than/less than. Math homework is not differentiated for the kids. ”

    That’s true. Reading your comments reminds me of this time last year. We had the same observations and possibly the same feelings and concerns. But a year later, I don’t feel math differentiation is all that necessary in lower grades (such as prior to 4th grade), except maybe for kids who have completed a rigorous math curriculum.

    Prior to K, our DD was probably at 2nd~3rd grade level in certain aspects of math. She made substantial gains by doing 1st grade math at SN (we did supplement her with some worksheets every now and then). Her spring NWEA score puts her at 60th percentile of 5th grade.

    When working with our 4.5yr old son, I realized that the most important aspect of math at this stage is number sense. With a good number sense, it’s a very easy and short transition from doing 1-digit to multiple digits addition/subtraction,or multiplication and division (basically what elementary school math is about). I think what the 1st grade everyday math curriculum at SN emphasizes is number sense and math concepts/vocabulary.

    Math is basically a language. The set of rules to do calculation is like grammar, not all that hard to grasp. There are much more than just that.

    BTW, the two SN K teachers are very good, possibly the cream of the crop in CPS. Hopefully the teachers at later grades are just as good.

  • 88. Amanda Weiner  |  October 6, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    Does anyone know what the test is like for students going into 1st grade? How is it administered?

  • 89. LSmom  |  October 6, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    The test going for students going into first is administered in groups of about 20 — I think someone reads the questions and students fill in bubbles on a scantron.

  • 90. WestRidgeMom  |  October 7, 2014 at 11:11 am

    Can anyone help me figure out why I can’t save the schools I am listing for magnets and open enrollments on the CPS website? I was able to save my schools for the SEES but not the others. I assume I am missing something, but I’m not 100% ready to click apply and it is a pain to keep retyping the school names. 🙂

  • 91. veli  |  October 8, 2014 at 11:26 am

    Does any one have a full proof way of selecting magnet schools? I’ve been to the CPS site and looked by map distance to my home, and then greatschools to cross check, and finally scrolled through thousands of posts on this site, but I still feel like I might miss some diamond in the rough magnet that isn’t jumping out at me at every click like the Disneys, etc.
    Please let me know if there is an “idiots guide to searching/selecting magnet schools”. Thank you!!

  • 92. veli  |  October 8, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    regarding Magnets from @89 question – what really confuses me is say a school like Edgebrook which is a neighborhood school, not magnet.
    BUT, if there is space, they will draw from a lottery to fill a spot or two. These schools… how does one find a list of all of these types of “not magnet, but sort of, if there is space schools” that don’t come up on the CPS magnet search criteria map… help!!

  • 93. LSmom  |  October 8, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    @89/90, you can look here for a full list of schools, including neighborhood, that you can list in the application: http://www.cpsoae.org/2015-2016%20Options%20for%20Knowledge%20Guide.pdf

    Some on the list note that there are very few spaces available (for example, Coonley isn’t even able to let all siblings in for K). You can look through past years’ CPS obsessed threads when the to see which neighborhood schools have let substantial numbers of applicants in.

  • 94. veli  |  October 8, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    @91. LSmom

    Now that is the mother’lode of helpful information. It’s all there! Massive Thank You!

  • 95. Mom2Three  |  October 9, 2014 at 9:03 am

    However, keep in mind that if you are dead set against your neighborhood school, in addition to the magnet schools, you should check out other neighborhood schools in your area that accept kids from out of bounds. It’s helpful to use the link on the CPS website to narrow down your search of schools. For example, I searched schools within 1.5 miles, then 2, then six and looked for schools that would work for our family. I looked at start times, researched after school programming, etc. There are lots of great neighborhood schools that are up and coming and have an active parent network.

    Basically, you have do your own research but start with what’s close to you.


    Good luck!!

  • 96. KGmom  |  October 14, 2014 at 9:36 pm

    hi all! tell me about your school tour impressions- esp. pritzker, edison, decatur, skinner north and skinner west. I need to work for many of them so trying to figure out how to rank!

  • 97. Cfb  |  October 14, 2014 at 10:40 pm

    I took most people’s advice and scheduled the test date for mid January. It’s so hard to tell how she will do on any test but all we can do is prepare her a bit more and hope for the best!

    I went to Edison RGC back in the 80s and 90s and all I can do is hope she gets in. Things have changed so much since our days.

    Good luck everyone! I’ll be at the Edison, Coonley, Decatur, Skinner North, West, and Pritzker’s open houses soon. Those were my 6.

  • 98. Tier4Mom  |  October 16, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    Let the open house festivities begin!!!! Edison looks great – big and modern – and the principal seems very involved. On the tour I heard that Decatur Classical will be moving Uptown. Anyone have any insight on that? When will this happen and what are the advantages other then a bit more space? Will they add more classrooms?

  • 99. notamorningperson  |  October 16, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    If you enroll in your neighborhood school, does the school know your child’s score or if he got accepted into an SEES? My husband says yes. I think no. And, FWIW, we did turn down an SEES spot for our neighborhood school.

  • 100. cpsobsessed  |  October 16, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    Decatur moving TO Uptown??

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 101. Decatur Parent  |  October 16, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    CPSO – Decatur has been working hard for the last couple of years to identify options that would allow Decatur to add 7th and 8th grade. One option is moving locations. Decatur parents have been told no decision has been made yet but there will be information and discussion about what is being considered at the LSC meeting.

    @96 – Did you hear that on the Decatur tour?

  • 102. cpsobsessed  |  October 16, 2014 at 4:08 pm

    Trumbull building?!

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 103. IB Obsessed  |  October 16, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    @97 Even the SE schools do not know your child’s score, I was told by staff at an elementary SE school. So, stands to reason,that your neighborhood school is not notified of a SE test score. There is no operational reason for them to have it. Very much doubt if your neighborhood school knows if you’re accepted into an SE. I have never heard anyone saying their school knew. CPS communication is not that organized.

  • 104. cpsobsessed  |  October 16, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    There’s no way your school would know your child’s score let alone if they applied to sees. I mean never say never, but it would take some underhanded inquiry.
    It’s all handled centrally and confidentially by OAE.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 105. Eli  |  October 17, 2014 at 8:16 am

    @100. cpsobsessed

    No, not Trumbull. I heard Decatur is considering Stewart. (God awful location)

  • 106. Tone  |  October 17, 2014 at 8:37 am

    What’s wrong with Stewart’s location? Very close to CTA train and LSD.

  • 107. LaSalle II  |  October 17, 2014 at 8:49 am

    LaSalle II will have two open houses.

    1. Saturday, October 18th at 10am
    2. Tuesday, November 4th at 5pm.

    Both will be held at the school.

  • 108. Chris  |  October 17, 2014 at 9:52 am

    “What’s wrong with Stewart’s location?”

    It’s at the southwest edge of the heart of the Uptown ‘issues’. May well be (mainly) perception over reality, but I certainly consider that part of Uptown to be sub-optimal for most purposes.

    Perhaps the Wilson stop reno will flip the switch, but I think that somewhat more change will be required to get rid of the perception that that part of Uptown is ‘scary’, ‘dangerous’, etc.

  • 109. Eli  |  October 17, 2014 at 11:55 am

    The Wilson stop renovation is lipstick on a pig for that neighborhood. Doll it up all you want, it is still a stinky pig. Last week I walked through the Stewart lot on the way to that L stop and saw an inebriated person urinating on one of the playground slides. Not near it or around it, on it. Not a week goes by on my walk that I don’t see someone throwing up, relieving themselves or drooling in a stupor on the school grounds/equipment. How will this change with a new L stop?
    Hazmat teams have their work cut out.

  • 110. otdad  |  October 17, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    Stewart is a decent location. Yes, there are some questionable characters, but the school is fenced in. A security guard could solve many of the issues you mentioned. If indeed Decatur moves to Stewart, it’s going to be a huge boost to that school.

  • 111. Tone  |  October 17, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    I’ve never had a problem in that area. Granted, I don’t hang out late at night around there.

  • 112. Real estate people's work?  |  October 17, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    I was looking at the Stewart location on Google Maps and noticed that, one or two miles to its southwest, many blocks were in a slightly barker tone than the usual ones. Zooming in shows that somebody put this label in the middle of that area: Coonley Elementary School District Boundries.

    By the way, the Stewart location is really a convenient one and Uptown, although far from being perfect, is not really a dangerous neighborhood compared to some on the south and west sides. It is just too behaviorally colorful.

  • 113. michele  |  October 17, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    LaSalle 2 Language Academy Open House tomorrow Saturday October 18th, 10am. The school is located in Wicker Park – 1148 N Honore (Division and Honore). Amazing school with robust Language program and awesome brand new playground for PE and recess. Also rumored the school will be adding a 3rd K class next year. Stop by and learn about our Spanish, Mandarin, Arabic, and French programs.

  • 114. New Decatur mom  |  October 18, 2014 at 9:14 pm

    The two methodone clinics and 3 known gang turfs surrounding the Stewart location is a real and legitimate concern for moving Decatur. And no matter what anyone thinks, if CPS says move, Decatur will move – whether the LSC is for it or against it. Its already been shown that CPS has no regard for the Decatur LSC wishes. Read the minutes – they had voted to out the principal but CPS said she stays.

  • 115. South Loop Mom  |  October 19, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    National Teacher’s Academy (NTA) in the far South Loop at 55 W. Cermak (right off the Chinatown Redline stop) has the following open house dates:

    October 22nd, 6-7:30 pm Open House
    November 13th, 9:30-11:30 am Open House and Tour of Classrooms
    December 2nd, 9:30-10:30 am Tour of Classrooms only

    – Chicago Public School
    – PK – Half-Day Ready to Learn program
    – K-8 Neighborhood School (18th St on the North, 2499 on the South, Clark on the West and the Lake on the East) and has an Options program you can apply to for the neighborhood classes
    – RGC for K-3rd and will grow a class each year
    – Before and aftercare available

  • 116. why uptown?  |  October 19, 2014 at 11:00 pm

    Decatur families, is the school really moving to Uptown?
    I already submitted my SEES school list with Decatur in the 5.
    I will sooner have monkeys fly out of my ass before my child goes to school in uptown. Any one know how to change the application??

  • 117. One and Only  |  October 20, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    I have been scouring this blog trying to put together our magnet/open enrollment list. Thanks for this resource CPSO! Anybody have any thoughts on Goethe?

  • 118. Decatur  |  October 20, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    112. New Decatur mom | October 18, 2014 at 9:14 pm
    “And no matter what anyone thinks, if CPS says move, Decatur will move – whether the LSC is for it or against it. Its already been shown that CPS has no regard for the Decatur LSC wishes. ”

    Ummm. The Decatur LSC actually voted on whether to ASK CPS to allow it to move to Stewart. CPS is not pushing this at all.

    Decatur is a great school, but the fact that it ends in 6th grade causes lots of issues for 11-12 year olds and their families when they have to find a new school. Decatur families have been trying to get a 7th and 8th grade for years now. This looks to be the farthest they have gotten yet.

    Ideally it would stay in its current location and they would expand the school. But of course that takes money, neighborhood tolerance / support for that, and a good solid ground for building (school built on landfill long ago). Since CPS/Decatur has none of those things, the only option is to move into an empty building (are there any viable empty buildings in more ideal areas) or continue with the less than ideal situation of not having a 7th and 8th grade.

  • 119. Decatur  |  October 20, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    Also, the chance of CPS is approving the request based on their deafness to year’s of requests is likely low.

  • 120. South Loop Mom  |  October 20, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    @One and Only: I met a Goethe parent at the NPN School Fair this weekend and was impressed. Genuine enthusiasm and sounds like a nice community. Third hand info..but wanted to pass it along. The fact that they showed up at the school fair says a lot.

  • 121. otdad  |  October 20, 2014 at 9:36 pm

    @114. why uptown?
    “Any one know how to change the application??
    I wouldn’t bother. Those SEES schools require similar scores to get in, especially in Tier 4. If a kid can’t in #1-#4, the chance of getting into #5 #6 is slim to none anyway.

  • 122. LSmom  |  October 20, 2014 at 9:44 pm

    @114, you can change your application here – http://www.cpsoae.org/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=72698&type=d&termREC_ID=&pREC_ID=430090&hideMenu=0

  • 123. One and Only  |  October 20, 2014 at 9:44 pm

    Thanks, South Loop Mom.

  • 124. Keep Options Open  |  October 21, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    @ 115. I’ve heard good things about Goethe. It’s on our list. (We also live off Milwaukee & commute downtown for work so location is also ideal for us.) They also just started the Right at School aftercare.

  • 125. New Decatur mom  |  October 21, 2014 at 7:27 pm

    @114 it is still undecided on whether or Decatur will move to Uptown. There is no consensus amongst the parents and even the expansion committee itself is divided. And it doesn’t matter what the parents or LSC say anyway, if CPS likes the idea it will happen. If CPS does not like the idea it won’t happen. I’ve really liked being part of Decatur and I do think it is a great school but understand your dilemma. I don’t think I would have put it as my first choice if it was in the Stewart school (Uptown) location at the time. But it may never come to pass that it will move or even add 7th & 8th grade so its a bit of a crap shoot either way.

  • 126. POE! MCDADE!  |  October 22, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    Poe Classical & McDade Classical Families:

    CPS is seriously considering moving Decatur Classical to a larger, nicer school building (Stewart) that was shut down during school closings so that they can have a 7th and 8th grade.
    Your 2 south side classical schools deserve 7th and 8th grade too! It will cost at least 15 million to get Stewart ready for Decatur. Your schools each deserve 15 million as well!!
    Doesn’t seem fair that the 2 south side classical schools are not being considered and you will remain K-6! Of the 5 classical schools in Chicago, that would mean the 3 north side classical schools get 7th and 8th, but not the south side kids!
    Let CPS know your kids deserve the same respect as Decatur kids! Let your Principal and LSC know ASAP!

  • 127. power of the LSC  |  October 22, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    Wondering about the comments that the Decatur LSC voted their principle out, but that he/she is still there. How does that happen? I am not looking for details on the why, but instead the logistics of CPS. When is an LSC decision binding? When can CPS override?

  • 128. fam  |  October 23, 2014 at 5:54 am

    @124 are there three north side classical schools? Refresh me on the names. I am drawing a blank.

  • 129. North Side Classical  |  October 23, 2014 at 6:14 am

    I believe they are referring to Decatur, Skinner North and Skinner West.

  • 130. decatur, no poe/mcdade  |  October 23, 2014 at 7:02 am

    Poe and McDade children deserve 7/8th grade ! Their families struggle with same issues of only going to 6th grade. But they are on the south side and only the north side classical school is being considered! Call the Poe & McDade alderman today to voice your concerns !


    Poe Classical – Alderman: Mr. Anthony Beale, ward 09
    ward09 @ cityofchicago . org

    McDade Classical – Alderman: Mr. Roderick T Sawyer, ward 06
    service @ 6thwardchicago . com

  • 131. Lisa  |  October 23, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    I have worked in the school system for 14 years. I have children of my own. I think the test prep is a waste of money, and if you child does the test prep, it does not guarantee anything. I understand if you live in a bad school district, I know parents will do anything to get them into a better school and I dont blame them for trying. But in my neighborhood, where we have a good neighborhood school. parents are prepping their average-above average kids and I dont know why. An average kid will not become gifted because of test prep. True ability isnt as apparent until 3rd grade when it is more measurable.

  • 132. Lisa  |  October 23, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    To sandyoct-
    It really depends on the social/emotional level of your child. At this age, socialization and play is most important. Academics is as equally important as socialization. Often unfortunately overlooked, many children have high academic capacity, but many are at or below (some above) the same level as their peers in a social and emotional level. They are still kids, and should not skip or miss out on that socialization piece. A smart kid will always be smart, but they need their peers to develop important life skills. Personally, I would view each case individually, but a child who is younger in a higher class can face other problems. My suggestion is to wait until 3rd grade. Try not to treat them differently. It can backfire.

  • 133. JSK  |  October 23, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    @124 &128: Decatur has formed their own Expansion Committee and identified Stewart as a *possible* solution. This is not driven by CPS. If Poe and McDade families want 7th/8th, start a group to identify ways to make that happen.

  • 134. Decatur  |  October 23, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    This was posted on the Southside thread. So looks like the Southside Classical schools have been working on their own plan that has just not been submitted yet. FYI, Decatur has been planning for years and years and years and………………..

    418. @417 re: decatur move | October 22, 2014 at 9:43 pm

    …from the alderman’s website about Decatur moving to get a 7/8th grade —

    421. Rachel Kovarsky | October 23, 2014 at 8:44 am

    417 – The LSC and principals for both schools (Poe/McDade) are working hard to make a 7/8th grade program a reality. I am a member of the Poe LSC and we have created a committee about this issue that will be crafting a proposal to submit to CPS for this project.

    423. Rachel Kovarsky | October 23, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    The idea is to partner with Brooks College Prep since their campus is quite large. Again, this plan is in it’s infancy so who knows how it will turn out but there are definite plans in the works to create a logistically sound proposal for a 7/8th grade. Believe me, no one is sitting on their hands and waiting for CPS to take the lead on this. I think post people would agree that the need for this program is there – the question now becomes how, where and when.

  • 135. 3rd grade parent  |  October 23, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    hey all…. thanks to Decatur for posting the 46th ward newsletter…. there’s another interesting CPS update in there…. Courtenay is getting a Comprehensive Gifted Program…. wow, that’s a wonderful update for Courtenay and for the folks that enroll there.

  • 136. Marti  |  October 23, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    Now that Courtenay is getting a gifted program it doesn’t make sense to place Decatur a few blocks away. There is a real lack of SEES and Gifted Programs on the far west and far north side of Chicago.

  • 137. al  |  October 23, 2014 at 7:27 pm

    According to that article, Courtney is not getting a RGC, it is getting a Comprehensive Gifted Program, which is basically a tracking program within the school. Many CPS schools already have that. All should.

  • 138. Marti  |  October 23, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    Gifted Schmifted, whatever you call it, its still more options not on the far north west or west side of Chicago.

    but speaking of comprehensive gifted programs, the OAE site says there are 48 schools with the program but does not list them and there is no search criteria… Any one have that list they can share please. thanks.

  • 139. Decatur  |  October 23, 2014 at 10:20 pm

    136. Marti | October 23, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    Probably no list because it is up to the individual school to decide if they want a comprehensive gifted program. You have to already be at the school and then test. These are neighborhood schools. If not in the neighborhood, have to get in via lottery. Have to accept offer without any guarantee that you will get into gifted component of school. Then you have to go through the school’s process (wherever that may be) to get in. So lots of hoops to jump through with no certainty of getting in. Plus these programs get $0 in additional funding from CPS.

    Plus school may pull the program at any time.

    I recall the Blaine Principal not being a big supporter of the gifted component of his school – heard it directly from him at an Open House at Blaine a few years ago. I don’t know if he ended up closing down the program or if it is still in existence. But he made it clear he didn’t really believe in the program. We had other options so turned down the offer to attend.

  • 140. cpsobsessed  |  October 23, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    I’ve seen the list, will try to find it. It might be in the sees guide that comes out each year.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 141. Chicago School GPS  |  October 24, 2014 at 7:33 am

    From page 59 & 60 of the 2015-2016 Options for Knowledge Guide:


    Comprehensive Gifted Programs
    Addams Elementary School
    Ashburn Elementary School
    Bateman Elementary School
    Clinton Elementary School
    Courtenay Elementary School
    Cuffe Elementary School
    Dawes Elementary School
    De Diego Community Academy
    Disney Magnet School
    Field Elementary School
    Gary Elementary School
    Hale Elementary School
    Hamilton Elementary School
    Haugan Elementary School *
    Hayt Elementary School *
    Healy Elementary School *
    Hibbard Elementary School
    Hurley Elementary School *
    Linne Elementary School
    Lyon Elementary School
    Mays Academy *
    McKay Elementary School
    Metcalfe Community Academy
    New Field Elementary School *
    Ninos Heroes Community Academy
    Parker Community Academy
    Palmer Elementary School
    Prussing Elementary School
    Randolph Magnet School
    Thorp, O.A. Scholastic Academy
    Westcott Elementary School
    Young Elementary School
    * Unable to consider applications for 2015-2016 due to overcrowding.

  • 142. Busing  |  October 24, 2014 at 8:55 am

    I followed the link and read this. Does anyone know if they are actually considering changing busing or is this just a standard cya note? Looks like

    * Please note: Due to the extreme budgetary pressures facing the District, the Board of Education will be reviewing
    all transportation policies to determine its ability to fund ongoing programs including those related to magnet,
    gifted, and selective enrollment programs as well as many others throughout the District for the 2015-2016
    school year. When making choices about school applications for your child, please keep in mind that current
    transportation policies and guidelines could be subject to change. If our transportation policy should change,
    updated information will be available on http://www.cpsoae.org or http://www.cps.edu.

    Also, saw this:

    Magnet schools: In most cases, school bus transportation is provided to students attending elementary
    magnet schools who live more than 1.5 miles but less than 6 miles from the school. Students attending
    Davis, Disney II, Kershaw, LaSalle II, and Mayer do not receive busing. However, the Bureau of
    Transportation Services provides Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) fare cards or travel reimbursements for
    parents and guardians of students at these schools who qualify for transportation.

    So looks like some of the schools already have been denied busing and get a CTA fare card or reimbursement.

  • 143. Marti  |  October 24, 2014 at 9:10 am

    @139 Chicago School GPS

    Thank you!

    I scrolled to about page 45 last night and gave up…of course its on the last few pages! Thanks again, very helpful.

  • 144. Marti  |  October 24, 2014 at 11:27 am

    I went through each Comprehensive Gifted School profile page at CPS, and many are not options due to overcrowding, 10+ miles from me, rest are low lottery chance, a handful level 3. The only school that comes close to the north west side and thats a stretch, is Thorp. Any one know why there are so few SEES in this pocket of Chicago? (Edison Park, Norridge area) Looks like we have Beaubien that has no gifted until 1st and is busting at the seams in neighborhood. What am I missing here?

  • 145. EPMom  |  October 24, 2014 at 11:36 am

    What is better a comprehensive gifted program at Thorp or attending Decatur?

  • 146. NW 2  |  October 24, 2014 at 11:45 am

    A few years ago I heard Oriole had their own internal gifted program. Not sure if that is still the case. I’ve heard folks love Oriole.

    One reason there are so few SEES is that the NW side doesn’t really want them due to our overcrowded schools. That is why Edison RGC had to leave. Neighborhood schools were bursting at the seams and couldn’t stomach that a perfectly good building in the heart of Edison Park was being used by mainly outsiders while neighborhood kids were stacked on top of each other.

    Edison RGC actually went to the local schools and asked for LSC support of these schools to keep school in neighborhood. That did not go over well with LSCs struggling to fit kids in classrooms.

    Even with all of the additions that have occurred in the area, word is that as soon as expansions get completed, schools immediately go to full capacity and even over capacity – at least that is the perception. The schools on the NW side are better than most in the city and families are increasingly opting for the neighborhood schools. So success breeds more opting to stay in the neighborhood which means more overcrowding.

    In fact, once Edison was freed up to the community, it became overcrowded almost immediately and got an expansion this past year.

    The culture in Edison Park is also different. I think there is a culture of looking down on people who may be “uppity” with education, who seek out “gifted” education. More emphasis on sports and social than education – kind of a this is “good enough mentality.” There are pockets that differ, but very little “tiger” type parenting here.

    I think parents would scream if even a comprehensive gifted program were to be put in place here. Too “uppity” and have and have nots. Feathers would get ruffled at the idea.

  • 147. Learning CPS  |  October 24, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    @ Busing – That note has been in place at least for 2 years b/c I remember reading it when we went through the K application process in fall 2012. I’m sure it is a CYA, and they could always pull money and busing support, but they haven’t yet. They have combined routes for schools that used to have dedicated routes, and I imagine that might continue to happen from year to year.

  • 148. NW 2  |  October 24, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    Also, timely, from dnachicago.com yesterday. In spite of some being given modulars (which parents and schools strongly dislike) and even some expansions, still expecting overcrowding to continue. Article didn’t mention other overcrowded school on the NW side.

    Northwest Side Schools Remain Some of the City’s Most Crowded, Data Shows

    NORWOOD PARK — Students are still crammed into every nook and cranny of classrooms across the Far Northwest Side, where public schools remain some of the most crowded in the city, according to enrollment data released by Chicago Public Schools officials.

    Taft High School in Norwood Park remains the largest and most crowded public high school in Chicago, with 3,233 students studying in a building meant for 2,184 pupils.

    Taft added 38 students this school year, bringing its utilization rate to 148 percent, according to CPS data.

    Heather Cherone says CPS faces difficulties adjusting to the changing neighborhoods:

    While Mayor Rahm Emanuel has said ending overcrowding is a part of CPS’ strategy “to ensure our students will live up to their full potential,” the utilization rates at several elementary schools on the Northwest Side increased or stayed the same.

    Enrollment at Dirksen Elementary School in O’Hare grew by 4 percent, on par with most other schools in the area. It has a utilization rate of 155 percent, among the highest in the city.

    But the school has an eight-classroom modular building, giving the school an adjusted utilization rate of 116 percent and a rating of “efficient,” according to data provided by CPS.

    Ald. Mary O’Connor (41st) has vowed to address overcrowding at Dirksen.

    At Dever Elementary School, in Dunning, 846 students study in a building meant for 720.

    Dever Local School Council Member Kerry Murphy on Wednesday pleaded with the Chicago Board of Education to address overcrowding at the school, which has the money to hire another teacher — but nowhere for him or her to teach.

    “Things are not getting better,” Murphy said, adding that the parent-teacher association often meets on the school’s front steps because of a lack of space.

    In addition, the new requirement that schools offer physical education every day means dance is held in the school multipurpose room — which is separated from the school’s gym and cafeteria by only a thin, moveable divider — at the same time as other students eat lunch and have recess, Murphy said.

    Enrollment grew by 2.7 percent at Bridge Elementary School in Dunning, which increased its utilization rate to 133 percent. The school operates on two campuses, with the junior high separated from the lower grades.

    Ald. Nicholas Sposato (36th) said he was working to address the overcrowding at Bridge.

    Meanwhile, construction projects have eased overcrowding at two Far Northwest Side schools.

    Hitch Elementary School in Gladstone Park, which was the most crowded public elementary school in the city last year, got an eight-classroom modular building.

    Prussing Elementary School added a third modular building with six classrooms to its Jefferson Park campus.

    In addition, annexes under construction at Oriole Park Elementary School and Wildwood Elementary School are expected to open in time for the start of the 2015-16 school year.

  • 149. EPMom  |  October 24, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    @NW2 do you really think people who live on the NW side of Chicago don’t care about education? My son currently attends a SEES and there are plenty of kids from Portage Park, Jeff Park, Norwood Park and Edison Park. Also why would there be IB Programmes in Wildwood and Ebinger if “no one cared”

  • 150. WhatSuP  |  October 24, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    144 what are u talking about? Do you actually live in EP? wow

  • 151. luveurope  |  October 24, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    144 If EP parents didn’t care about education, they would blindly send their kids to Taft…instead they pay for private or TRY (tier 4) for SEES. You can’t be serious.

  • 152. NW 2  |  October 24, 2014 at 2:55 pm

    147. EPMom | October 24, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    @NW2 do you really think people who live on the NW side of Chicago don’t care about education? ….Also why would there be IB Programmes in Wildwood and Ebinger if “no one cared”

    No where in the comments does it say that no one cares. Instead, overwhelimingly NW side would not support another SEES when neighborhood schools are bursting at the seams. Again, that is why Edison RGC was booted out. Neighborhood screamed for their space. Edison went to the LSCs to get their support and were told “No.”

    The IB program at Ebinger had nothing to do with what parents wanted. It was “given” to them with no input. If you look critically, the IB program is a lot of noise with not much substance. Basically a PR campaign for the Mayor to get votes.

    Yes, there are SEES families on the Norhwest side, but obviously a minority. No way the majority will support a SEES in our community with the overcrowding in place.

  • 153. luveurope  |  October 24, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    150 “If you look critically, the IB program is a lot of noise with not much substance. Basically a PR campaign for the Mayor to get votes.” Really? Where are you getting this info? My child went to WIldwood IB and learned more than…not going to go there. He is a gifted writer thanks to the IB program. Check your facts.

  • 154. ***  |  October 24, 2014 at 4:31 pm


  • 155. cpsobsessed  |  October 24, 2014 at 5:32 pm

    Great feedback – thanks for coming back with the update! So glad its working out so well.
    (Also, have you tried andy’s fruit ranch for their fun/well priced wine selection and amazing honey selection?)

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 156. McDade/Poe question  |  October 24, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    I have a question for the McDade/Poe families. What percentage of your students fail to get into an Academic Center for 7th and 8th grade?

    I’m not sure what tiers the families in your schools live in. The majority of the Decatur families live in tier 4. That led to 40% of the students getting absolutely no offer in the first round a couple of years ago and many students then attended neighborhood schools where they had to repeat curriculum they already knew.

    The result of the new tier system is that the children in tier 4 have to get all A’s in 5th grade and 99.5-100% on the test to get into an academic center. They then have to get all A’s in 7th grade and 99.5-100% on the test in 8th grade if they don’t get into WY or Lane. That is the reality at Decatur.

    If it is the same at your schools then you should definitely push for a 7th and 8th grade and you should get it. If it is not, and if you’re the one insisting that Poe and McDade get a 7th and 8th just because Decatur may get one, you should stop because the situations are not the same.

    Decatur started this process of trying to get a 7th and 8th grade over 10 years ago so it’s been a long time coming.

  • 157. cpsobsessed  |  October 24, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    However it must be true that at some point in a few years, the kids at decatur won’t be majority tier 4 as the tier system kicked in a few years ago. They are now because those kids got in under the old, nontier, system. Perhaps the acceptance rate will improve when that shift happens?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 158. Decatur  |  October 24, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    155. cpsobsessed | October 24, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    I expect it the % of Tier 4 kids will remain steady since any spots that open up after entry years are based on rank and not Tier. Since Decatur is surrounded by Tier 4 on the north side, it has lots of Tier 4 applicants who take the empty spots that open up after entry year.

  • 159. McDade/Poe question  |  October 24, 2014 at 7:00 pm

    I agree with the last post. The majority at Decatur are tier 4, even in the younger grades. People from the other tiers get accepted and come for K but many leave because the commute is too far and they don’t qualify for bus service because they”re south of Fullerton. They are then almost always replaced with a tier 4 child. They have classified almost the entire north and northwest side as tier 4. It’s not a good system because there are vast economic differences all over the north and northwest side.

  • 160. ***  |  October 24, 2014 at 7:30 pm


  • 161. west rogers park mom  |  October 25, 2014 at 8:19 am

    @154- You don’t need all A’s and a 99.5% on the high school test to get into high school (with the exception of NS and Peyton). Take a look at the scoring rubric and you will see.

    Re: Decatur and other schools with mostly Tier 4 kids. It will be very interesting to see how things turn out this year. Some of the neighborhoods near Decatur went from Tier 4 to Tier 3 this year. Who knows how this influx of Tier 3 kids will change the scores for next year. Yes, I know that the tiers are still hypothetically evenly divided but if you look at the map it looks as there is a bit more tier 3 on the north side.

  • 162. cpsobsessed  |  October 25, 2014 at 8:27 am

    I think the all As and 99 was for getting into north side academic centers, although I don’t know if that is true of taft?
    I imagine bell and coonley absorb some decatur kids who don’t get AC spots. I was surprised to hear that coonley re-filled all their 7th grade spots to replace kids who went to ACs.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 163. far northsider  |  October 25, 2014 at 9:57 am

    CPSO – Bell also filled their 7th grade openings from AC moves; this year none are from Decatur, though. To me it seems like a risky move to transfer to a SEES program in the 7th grade year, but maybe that’s just my parent-of-a-seventh-grader nerves talking.

  • 164. ***  |  October 25, 2014 at 10:12 am


  • 165. SoxSideIrish4  |  October 25, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    From what I’ve been told, SEES fill all their seat when 7th graders leave for ACs.

  • 166. on McDade/Poe issue  |  October 25, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    To 157–I have no dog in this fight, and do not know how many McDade/Poe kids get into ACs, but I will say that although there are four academic centers on the South Side, I would be skeptical of Harlan’s AC (any parents out there with first-hand knowledge to disprove this statement?) and depending on where you are on the South Side it can be a long enough haul to any of them to justify both schools going to 7th/8th grade. If the idea is going anywhere the money will likely be coming out of South Side TIFs and not having direct impact on Decatur’s situation.

  • 167. Beaubien  |  October 25, 2014 at 8:40 pm

    163. SoxSideIrish4 | October 25, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    From what I’ve been told, SEES fill all their seat when 7th graders leave for ACs.

    Actually, no. Beaubien does not fill all of their SEES seats. For example, this year’s graduating class of 2014 had 23 students. Coordinator was told repeatedly by OAE 2 years ago that there were no additional applicants meeting the requirements, so the seats remained unfilled.

  • 168. Marti  |  October 25, 2014 at 10:21 pm

    Back to the NW side…Does any one keep stats on how many kids leave schools like Ebinger, Edgebrook, Wildwood, etc after 6th to go to AC’s ? As well as how many stay through 8th grade and then get into the elite HS’s like Northside, Payton, etc? (I went through a few posts and so many stats on SEES schools.) Besides posting tests scores for all schools to help you gauge progress, shouldn’t CPS post these stats as well?

  • 169. Marti  |  October 25, 2014 at 10:23 pm

    I guess that sounds dumb. How would CPS know where you go when you leave. It sure would be nice if they could track that though.

  • 170. Marti  |  October 25, 2014 at 10:53 pm

    and my end goal is not necessarily an elite HS. Just a gauge to see if these NW side neighborhood schools are churning kids that can enter the same HS’s as SEES kids. I can’t figure out, yet, the obsession with SEES when parents have great neighborhood schools where the end result is the same. A lot of work to get into a SEES, commute to a SEES, stay in one and then maybe end up where your neighbors in the school down the street do.

  • 171. indeed puzzling  |  October 26, 2014 at 2:01 am


    If you just look at the usual test scores, NW side’s neighborhood elementary schools are probably better than all CPS neighborhood schools except several in Lincoln Park, Lakeview and North Center. But I have found it rather puzzling that the best NW side elementaries are not really outstanding in the number of graduates entering the “elite 4” high schools. For example, in 2010, Oriole Park sent between zero and four students to those HS, according to a CPS source (in a spreadsheet that you can find on this site). Wildwood sent five from 30 or so students. Perhaps the existence of Academic Centers can explain why the schools often test very well but end up less impressively on a more competitive criterion. Someone with intimate knowledge of NW side schools may be able to shed some light on this discrepancy.

  • 172. HS Mom  |  October 26, 2014 at 9:30 am

    @169 – 2010 was the first year of the change from the race based system to the tier system. Several good schools experienced uncharacteristic low enrollment assuming that entrance was going to be based upon gender/race. People were just finding out that you would not get into SE from tier 4 without A’s. Although you mention 4 schools, Lane, now a top choice for the northside had no A/C. Jones had no expansion. Payton will be expanding soon. 2010 is not a good predictor for SE schools.

  • 173. NW 2  |  October 26, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    167. Marti | October 25, 2014 at 10:23 pm

    “I guess that sounds dumb. How would CPS know where you go when you leave. It sure would be nice if they could track that though.”

    Yeah, well some schools don’t like to share where the kids. When you ask for the information, they are like, “well SEHS is not the goal of all of our families. They send their kids to Catholic H.S.” They say they don’t track it and that families don’t always tell them where they are going.

    The local school doesn’t want to track anything that is not going to make them look good.

    I think it is possible to send someone to a SEHS from a Northwest side elementary, but mainly to Lane, which is a great school and increasingly attractive to families (that wasn’t the case even a few years ago). The rigor of a “good” elementary” school on Northwest side does not compare to that of the top northside SEES. Unless you’ve had experience at both, it may not be apparent. Plus some of the the kids going to SEHS from elementary school, stopped at Decatur first. They had to go back to neighborhood school for elementary after 6th grade. So I wouldn’t say that it was the neighborhood elementary school that prepared them well to be competitive for SEHS admissions.

    There was a spreadsheet posted last year with this type of data – elementary school and SEHS. Can anyone post the link?

    Also, how can you find the threads from last year on cpso?

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  • 175. Edgebrook mom  |  October 28, 2014 at 11:55 am

    One of the tiny local print-only newspapers, either “The Sounds” or the Nadig newspaper for Edgebrook/Sauganash/Forest Glen publishes a chart each May or June of all the local high schools. It includes all the far-NW side schools for those neighborhoods, including the big Catholic schools and lists by numbers where all the kids are going. Unfortunately, I do not know how to retrieve this information since it is a tiny local newspaper.

    My recollection from reading that chart each year is that Edgebrook, Wildwood and Sauganash all sent about 5 students each to the 4 SEES high schools (Jones, Payton, Northside and Whitney) and another 5-10 students each to the next tier of desirable HS (Lane, LP, etc.). The Catholic schools mainly go to Catholic high schools, with Loyola probably being the most desirable. The rest of CPS kids are split among Taft, out-of-city, Catholic, etc. I looked at the overall CPS list a few years ago, and I thought my recollection was that these stats were near the top for all CPS purely neighborhood schools in Tier 4 (Edgebrook is a pure neighborhood school — no special CPS programs whatsoever and no additional funding for anything; Wildwood is IB).

    For many years now, Edgebrook has lost a big number of students to ACs in 7th and 8th grade. Particularly to Lane and many to Taft (even without any intention of attending HS there). For a couple of years, the 7th and 8th grade Edgebrook classes had only 20-24 students each, with quite a few of them out-of-boundary. This is significant, because the primary grades for those classes regularly had 30 or more neighborhood students. Edgebrook has a new principal in 2013 who has made retaining the jr. high students and getting them ready for good high schools a significant goal. Lots of PR to families and the neighborhood on why staying at Edgebrook is a good fit, working with Taft’s principal to show that moving from Edgebrook to Taft IB is a good plan, etc. The 8th grade Edgebrook teacher also won a Golden Apple last year, so there are excellent teachers in place. The school has a test prep course offered after school on-site most years. I think there are more than 50 students in 7th/8th grade this year, but again, I think there are significant numbers of out-of-boundary students in there. A few of those are neighborhood kids coming back from Decatur, but most are not.

    So, yes, I think Edgebrook does a good job of getting kids into good high schools, particularly when you take into account that a lot of the high achieving kids have left after 6th grade for ACs, that all of the in-boundary kids and most of the out-of-boundary kids are Tier 4, and that Edgebrook doesn’t have purely high testing kids the way the SEES elementary schools do. I don’t find the SEES acceptance rates low for the circumstances, just a little depressing picture of reality if you want to depend on that for high school.

  • 176. Tier4Mom  |  October 28, 2014 at 9:07 pm

    Can someone please explain what SEES, PR and SEHS stand for. Thanks.

  • 177. NW side CPS mom  |  October 28, 2014 at 11:12 pm

    SEES = Selective Enrollment Elementary School
    SEHS = Selective Enrollment High School
    PR = public relations (at least as used by post 173)

  • 178. 2nd go around  |  October 29, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    I have heard that Skinner west will no longer be a RGC. Is that true? There was no info on the CPS website, both are currently listed, and I am trying to fill out my applications. Thanks.

  • 179. Chris  |  October 29, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    “I have heard that Skinner west will no longer be a RGC”

    Well, it is a classical school, not an RGC now, so … perhaps question the source?

  • 180. MarkO  |  October 29, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    In past years, I saw a chart on this blog that showed for the incoming class to the SEHS, the number of kids from each elementary school. Does anyone know where I can find this?

    Also, any SN parents who can talk about what their kids are doing in 3rd grade now? Currently in private but considering testing for SEES. Decatur is too far/no bus but I bet if Decatur moves Stewart that opens up a bunch more spots which would have been nice for us.

  • 181. Tier4Mom  |  October 29, 2014 at 8:27 pm

    @175 Thanks

  • 182. indeed puzzling  |  October 29, 2014 at 9:38 pm

    Here is the spreadsheet that some were asking for:


    courtesy of those who contributed to that post.

  • 183. SN parent  |  November 1, 2014 at 12:03 am

    Skinner North is #1 again. I’m a proud SN parent!


  • 184. walker  |  November 1, 2014 at 8:34 am

    @181 They use for the ranking a very strange metric, especially for SEES:

    “Percentile” reflects the percentage of Illinois students who scored the same as or worse on standardized tests than the average student at each ranked school.

    Basically, you admit to SEES only 95%+ scorers and then ask who is above 50% 🙂

  • 185. SN parent  |  November 1, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    @walker: can you elaborate?

  • 186. walker  |  November 1, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    The rank shows how many kids are below average (or below 50% in standardized tests). To get into SEES one needs to score 95%+. In other words, only kids with well-above average scores get into SEES. So, the “Percentile” used in the ranking will be very close to 100% for all SEES.

  • 187. chiteacher  |  November 2, 2014 at 8:29 am

    I also have to add that when you have a school that is comprised entirely of students who have tested in, it should be expected that they are ranked #1.

  • 188. SN parent  |  November 2, 2014 at 7:06 pm

    @185. I know. What happened to Poe Classical? They dropped a lot!

  • 189. otdad  |  November 3, 2014 at 8:06 pm

    @184 walker:
    “The rank shows how many kids are below average (or below 50% in standardized tests). To get into SEES one needs to score 95%+. In other words, only kids with well-above average scores get into SEES. So, the “Percentile” used in the ranking will be very close to 100% for all SEES.”

    I think you understand the rank wrong.

    The rank actually shows ” the percentage of Illinois students who scored the same as or worse on standardized tests than the average student at each ranked school.”

    In the case of Skinner North, 97.4% means an average student @Skinner North is ranked 97.4% percentile. Assuming normal distribution, it’s reasonable to say that: every student in Skinner North is at or above ~95% percentile among all Illinois students.

  • 190. walker  |  November 3, 2014 at 8:39 pm

    @187 You’re correct, I got it wrong.

  • 191. Neighborhood Mom  |  November 4, 2014 at 11:05 am

    I thought what was most interesting about the Sun-Times rankings are how CPS neighborhood stacked up. Obviously, SEES are going to score highly. That’s a no brainer. Several of them (i.e., Alcott, Ebinger, Edgebrook, Sauganash, South Loop, Wildwood) are making some real gains. Exciting to see!

  • 192. EPMom  |  November 4, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    Yes this is exciting to see considering!!!


    “The culture in Edison Park is also different. I think there is a culture of looking down on people who may be “uppity” with education, who seek out “gifted” education. More emphasis on sports and social than education – kind of a this is “good enough mentality.” There are pockets that differ, but very little “tiger” type parenting here.

    why is Ebinger ranked #40 in Chicago for middle school/JR high?

    Whoever you are you obviously don’t live in EP!

  • 193. CTD versus CPS SEES scores  |  November 4, 2014 at 10:31 pm

    Our soon-to-be 5yrs daughter took the CTD assessment today. She scored 99% in reading and 99% math. The assessment took about 20 minutes. Does a child with scores like that, has a good chance at one of the classical programs in Chicago? I seem to remember seeing a post here and there, from parents of children that scored well for CTD program, but did not get a good enough score for SEES.
    If you are a parent of a child, that scored well for CTD but not so well for SEES, can you please share your insight of why that might have been the case? Thank you very much.

  • 194. CTD  |  November 5, 2014 at 10:32 am


    My almost 5 year old took the CTD test a couple of months ago. The scores didn’t come as percentages … There are KTEA-II grade equivalency scores, and KBIT-2 verbal and non-verbal % rank.
    Where did you get reading and math % scores?

  • 195. CTD versus CPS SEES scores  |  November 5, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    my notes on the KTEA-II say Standard Score, Raw Score and Percentile Rank, those were 99% in reading and math. The grade equivalency is not filled in.

  • 196. CPS Parent  |  November 5, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    My child did the CTD testing within a few weeks of CPS testing and our experience was that the CPS classical scores were slightly lower. CTD reading and math 99.9% and CPS classical 99 and 98. While there was not a huge drop, it was enough that it could affect admission in tier 4 where the classical scores need to be extremely high. The second test the KBIT score was not the same number as the CPS gifted test- It might have been the same percentile but not the same number. Hope that helps-

  • 197. ruthie60607  |  November 5, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    I want to echo the previous question about CTD scores… my almost five year old scored 99.9% for math and 97% for reading and I am trying to figure out if it is worth it to test for classical. If the scores are somewhat similar, then I would spend a little extra time on his reading skills in the next few months, but if the scores are not similar(i.e. CTD scores are usually higher than the CPS test scores), I don’t want to stress out/put pressure on my child for naught.

  • 198. EPMom  |  November 5, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    I would say go for it because when my son was 4 I had him tested at CTD and he was in the 99% percentile for both Math and Reading and he is now at Decatur and he scored a 99 in Math and Reading and we are in tier 4

  • 199. chiteacher  |  November 8, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    Has anyone’s child taken the Kindergarten test yet? We are testing soon and I am so nervous!

  • 200. Tier4Mom  |  November 8, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    I thought that the scores came in the mail several weeks/months later for the cps kinder gifted test. Do you get the scores right away?

  • 201. LSmom  |  November 9, 2014 at 8:38 am

    @198, you get the scores along with your placement letter, so not till March.

  • 202. Anxious  |  November 9, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    My DD tested yesterday and took about 30 minutes. Any insight?

  • 203. Tier4Mom  |  November 9, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    Thanks LSmom… that is what I thought but all this talk about scores got me a little confused.

  • 204. Alwaxman  |  November 10, 2014 at 6:27 pm

    cpsobsessed much kudos, this platform is a great, great service to the community. Also a debt of gratitude to all the parents on this board who have taken time to provide guidance to others.

    My question: While filling out school selection options online for my 6th grader who is taking the AC/RGC test, two lists came up – one for ranking ACs and the other for ranking RGC/Classical.

    This was my AC Ranking

    And RGC/Classical Ranking
    1. Edison
    2. Keller
    3. Skinner North

    In the event that he hits the cutoffs for his first choice will he get offers from both Whitney and Edison or….?

    Also I am hoping to get a Dec testing date but a CPS rep I called today said that there will be no testing in Dec any Jan, after I mentioned to her that I only saw Feb dates on the online app . I thought not having dates in Dec and Jan that was odd??

    Any insights on this will be appreciated as well.


  • 205. Megan  |  November 14, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    Any advice for someone moving to Chicago in July 2015? My son will be starting kindergarten. It seems it might be easiest to go with a good neighborhood school as we aren’t currently in the area to research all the other options. But of course I want to do what’s best for him. I’ll be working at UIC and would prefer a school/apartment nearby. I had singled out Skinner West as a good option but would greatly appreciate any guidance and recommendations.

  • 206. ruthie60607  |  November 14, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    Megan – I work at UIC and live in the neighborhood. You can email me at ruthie60607@gmail.com if you want to talk about the options more…

  • 207. took test  |  November 16, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    My son took the kindergarten test on Friday. From the time the “teacher” (thats what they called themselves there) came out to get him, to the time he walked back into the room was 34 minutes.
    He took classical and gifted. I know we are not suppose to take into account how long they are gone, but come on! Someone give me some odds here! He is 5 years, 1 month old, tier 4.
    Do we have any chance for a sees spot with 34 minute test duration?

  • 208. cpsobsessed  |  November 16, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    I’d say that’s a pretty standard time to be in there, so difficult to make a call based on it.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 209. 3rd grade parent - neighborhood school parent  |  November 16, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    205- you are ‘in’ ! (feel better ; ) ?) *
    Now be sure to cast your net wide enough.
    It will depend on your list of schools too. GL!

    * just to be clear – I think it’s an urban myth about the ‘test time length’. My DD was in for only 24 minutes and would have gotten into Pritzker, Skinner West, Lennart, Beasley…. if only I had added them to the app.

  • 210. EW  |  November 16, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    Hi there- Thanks for this amazing forum. My son is currently in the 4th grade and will be taking the SEES and Classical tests (he already took the NWEA Maps) at the end of the month. Can anyone give me some insight into what this test might look like for kids that age? Not interested in “test prep,” but would love to be able to give him a general sense of what to expect (filling in bubbles, taking the test in a large group, length of test, computer adaptive, etc). Thank you so much!

  • 211. took test  |  November 16, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    @206, 207 Thank you

    Also, This is the first year the kindergarten Sees testee is required to take both classical and gifted even if parents don’t plan to apply for one of the type of schools. I am trying to figure out if the whole test was modified to adjust for all K kids now having to take both tests no matter the school choices, so would the 30 minute duration kids be the same as years past… just curious. Probably won’t know until letters come next March.

    Quick observation for soon to be testers:
    While I was in the waiting room at IIT, a family with a mom, dad, testee and baby sibling in a large car seat all came in together. Lots of people, lots of gear, coats, etc. The testee child was very distracted and when the “Teacher” came out to get him, he refused to go. Both parents yelling at him to get up, and after a few attempts, the teacher said he would send another teacher in to see if they could get him to leave the room for the test. Second teacher had no luck either. Family was escorted out by supervisor man, and I didn’t see them again.
    CPS advises one parent only come to the test, and I advise talking to your child about going off with a stranger before you get to IIT.

  • 212. So confused  |  November 16, 2014 at 11:20 pm

    Which schools to look at for a very bright soon to be 3rd grader. In a good school but looking for one that offers accelerated programs. North side of Chicago. Any suggestions are welcome.
    Got 3 offers from SEES for this year but decided against them as they were too far.

  • 213. WRP Mom  |  November 17, 2014 at 8:19 am

    @210, the north side is a pretty large area. Can you be more specific in location? How far is “too far” for you?

  • 214. Go Neighborhood!  |  November 17, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    @210 So confused – where do you live approx?

    Go Neighborhood Schools!

    Lots of VERY BRIGHT kids at neighborhood schools!

    SunTimes Oct 2014 Top Chicago CPS Neighborhood Schools

    1. Lincoln
    2. Edgebrook
    3. Coonley
    4. Blaine
    5. South Loop
    6. Blaine
    7. Alcott
    8. Ebinger
    9. Sauganash
    10. Wildwood

  • 215. Chris  |  November 17, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    “SunTimes Oct 2014 Top Chicago CPS Neighborhood Schools

    4. Blaine

    6. Blaine”

    I know Blaine is pretty big, but big enough to be ranked twice?

  • 216. Go Neighborhood!  |  November 17, 2014 at 7:21 pm

    @213 Chris – thanks, 2 b’s typo

    SunTimes Oct 2014 Top Chicago CPS Neighborhood Schools

    1. Lincoln
    2. Edgebrook
    3. Coonley
    4. Bell
    5. South Loop
    6. Blaine
    7. Alcott
    8. Ebinger
    9. Sauganash
    10. Wildwood

  • 217. So confused  |  November 17, 2014 at 8:23 pm

    @211 & @212/214
    Thank you so much! Rogers Park is where we are. Our neighborhood school is not something I would consider sadly but there are many such schools that rock!

  • 218. WRP Mom  |  November 18, 2014 at 7:55 am

    @215, if you’re looking at SEES again this year, Decatur is probably the closest location. I recall several of my daughter’s classmates lived in RP back when she went to school there. Other northside SEES where you would be bus eligible would be Edison, Coonley & Bell. Landing a 3rd grade spot can be tricky, though, since there are usually so few slots. Good luck in your school search!

  • 219. karet  |  November 18, 2014 at 11:09 am

    @So confused, You may also want to apply to Disney. You would be in the busing boundaries. They offer a comprehensive gifted program in the school (you are tested after you get in — it’s a magnet, so you get in to the school through the lottery).

  • 220. SNKdgMom  |  November 18, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    This is so late no one is likely to still be about, and yet…

    @85 otdad: Thanks for the info on 1st grade at SN! I appreciate it, though I respectfully disagree with your assessment for the need for math differentiation among younger kids. And of course I can’t speak about the other K teacher at SN (although I have heard nothing but positive reviews), but we’ve been delighted with the responsiveness of our child’s teacher.

    P.S. What have you heard about Edison’s 1st grade teacher with regards to differentiation? (I’ve heard the scuttlebutt on her classroom management techniques already.) Or can someone else who has a child in 1st grade at Edison weigh in?

  • 221. Tier4Mom  |  November 18, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    What are the rumors about Edison’s classroom management???? I have not heard anything. I am seriously considering Edison and would love to get any “inside” information. Thanks.

  • 222. SNKdgMom  |  November 18, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    @219 Tier4Mom: Here’s the thread you’ll want to check out:


    It’s specific to the 1st grade teacher. Comments 502/504/531/557/566/1090 address it – there may be others too.

  • 223. Tier4Mom  |  November 18, 2014 at 8:45 pm

    Thank you so much SNKngMom. There is great info there. I am trying to decide between Edison and Skinner North…. my only concern is the commute to SN. I just came from the open house and loved it! Does it matter if I place one school above the other on my application? Will I be able to change my mind or is that list set in stone? Thanks.

  • 224. ***  |  November 18, 2014 at 9:04 pm


  • 225. took test  |  November 18, 2014 at 9:38 pm


  • 226. Tier4Mom  |  November 18, 2014 at 10:19 pm

    What is the process of getting into Drummond? Is it a lottery system?

  • 227. Drummond  |  November 18, 2014 at 10:28 pm

    Yes, Drummond is a 100% lottery for admission school.

  • 228. ***  |  November 19, 2014 at 8:18 am


  • 229. Drummond  |  November 19, 2014 at 9:49 am

    @224 Not sure the age of your kid(s) but note that Drummond’s entry point is for 3 year olds. K spots would I believe only exist if there is attrition.

  • 230. took test  |  November 19, 2014 at 10:00 am

    Helps me know we won’t be getting an offer from Edison 😉

  • 231. CPS mom too  |  November 19, 2014 at 10:26 am

    @228 Don’t read too much into test times, etc. For kindergarten my daughter got all pissy with her tester and came out mad complaining that “he kept asking her so many questions.” Pretty sure she was in there 20 minutes for classical and RGC testing. I thought it was a disaster, but she ultimately got into a SEES (although didn’t score high enough for Edison). The next year she said she did great, was really happy after the test and didn’t clear the 50th percentile on the test (despite scoring in the 99th percentile on standardized tests at school). It’s a bit of a crapshoot and there’s really no way to know what’s going to happen until you get the score.

  • 232. ***  |  November 19, 2014 at 10:57 am


  • 233. Learning CPS  |  November 19, 2014 at 11:04 am

    We did pretty much the same thing when our daughter tested for K. She is in 1st grade now and still has no idea that she took a test to get into her school; we never told her anything about her results, etc. And time doesn’t seem to predict anything. She was in the room for about 25 minutes and did both tests. Got a first round offer to her classical SEES and would have likely gotten a second round or third round offer to an RGC based on her score, though that is just speculation on my part since we accepted our first offer.

  • 234. took test  |  November 19, 2014 at 11:09 am

    thanks @CPS mom too

    Only 128 days until the third week in March…I am going to take a giant chill pill right now. I have a tremendous appreciation now for all the parents that got through the period between the test and the score. This is worse than the time leading up to the test.

  • 235. ***  |  November 19, 2014 at 11:24 am


  • 236. Kimberly Beck  |  November 19, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    Just wanted to give another data ranking since suntimes is still ranking on the isats for 2014 and alot of schools weren’t putting emphasis on it since it didn’t count so they had some major drops also I thinks there were alot of talk of parents boycotting it. NWEA rankings are here which is the test they are using for standardized:
    this is sorted by reading:

    I know, I know another data set… but I’ve been searching for something that wasn’t isats. This is my second time round applying for kindergarten. I’m in a neighborhood magnet and love it but want to make sure that if my kindergartener doesn’t get in sibling priority/ edison or coonley — we will have options.

  • 237. Anxious  |  November 19, 2014 at 9:22 pm

    Any thoughts from Open Houses this week? I missed Skinner North’s, but heard the presentation was engaging.

  • 238. stephanie  |  November 19, 2014 at 11:25 pm

    Quick question! Submitted an application, failed (I know) to print the confirmation/list of schools. Now I’m panicking that i missed something, and I can’t figure out any way to see what I submitted. Anyone know how to do this?

  • 239. parent  |  November 20, 2014 at 8:12 am

    Call OEA. They will tell you which schools you ranked.

  • 240. took test  |  November 20, 2014 at 9:57 am

    Thank you so much..
    Great reminder for sure. I was just thinking the same thing about these next few months, and plan to enjoy this abundance of free time (compared to what full time school will feel like!).

  • 242. otdad  |  November 21, 2014 at 2:10 am

    “Another Decatur school parent, Jon Ross, called the proposal to fund the move with Uptown’s public money “an injustice.”

    “When an injustice is perpetrated and it benefits me, I must be as outspoken against it as if it was injustice against me,” he said. “We all want to expand the school but not on the backs of the community of people who deserve” the TIF money.”

    Jon Ross is so lame. Building a better school benefits everybody, whether your kids in that school or not.

  • 243. Jennyb  |  November 21, 2014 at 7:46 am

    Does anyone know which magnet schools offer busing? I drive about 30 min each way to a magnet cluster and am getting tired of the drive!

  • 244. took test  |  November 21, 2014 at 8:54 am

    @241 Jennyb

    I believe all busing info can be found in the OAE guide book.

    They are also very quick to respond to email questions, oae@cps.edu


  • 245. took test  |  November 21, 2014 at 8:54 am

    @241 Jennyb

    I believe all busing info can be found in the OAE guide book.

    They are also very quick to respond to email questions,
    oae @ cps.edu


  • 246. susan  |  November 21, 2014 at 9:13 am

    Could any one please tell me what is on the Gifted test for 4th grade? (I only know the general types of questions at the Kindegarten level.) Is there a basic test prep book for 4th grade SEES gifted test?

  • 247. @243  |  November 21, 2014 at 9:30 am

    go to amazon and type in “gifted test prep 4 grade” loads of books

  • 248. Freaking OUT  |  November 21, 2014 at 11:38 am

    My son just took his test and was in there 26 minutes from when his teacher took him in and brought him back!!!! I’m so nervous I know timing isn’t everything but your comments brought ease and nervousness too.. He said they asked him to read sentences then add and do some folding too… He said they showed him a click and some coins too

  • 249. Freaking OUT  |  November 21, 2014 at 11:41 am

    My son just took his test and was in there 26 minutes from when his teacher took him in and brought him back!!!! I’m so nervous I know timing isn’t everything but your comments brought ease and nervousness too.. He said they asked him to read sentences then add and do some folding too… He said they showed him a clock and coins too…. Just one question each but we r tier 3 and now I’m not sure if he was in long enough….!!!!???? We r so nervous my husband I looked at each other when he was only in 26 minutes then the teacher said he picked a sticker which was a calculator but looked like a phone to him and was talking in it not sure if she was insulting our son or showing his creativity?????😢

  • 250. ***  |  November 21, 2014 at 12:06 pm


  • 251. Freaking OUT  |  November 21, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    No they didn’t say a time frame as to how long it would be… Unfortunately…. He said he did so good mama Im ready for kindergarten and I looked at him and gave him the biggest hug and smile said YES u r my love !!!!!! We’re lookingvat Skinner north and Edison… We have also applied to the maximum 20 magnets also, lol… He’s really ahead in school as he goes to private Montessori school….. I don’t know what to make of it except what God has written for him!!!!

  • 252. Freaking OUT  |  November 21, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    No they didn’t say a time frame as to how long it would be… Unfortunately…. He said he did so good mama Im ready for kindergarten and I looked at him and gave him the biggest hug and smile said YES u r my love !!!!!! We’re lookingvat Skinner north and Edison… We have also applied to the maximum 20 magnets also, lol… He’s really ahead in school as he goes to private Montessori school….. I don’t know what to make of it except what God has written for him!!!!

  • 253. Decatur  |  November 21, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    “Jon Ross is so lame. Building a better school benefits everybody, whether your kids in that school or not.”

    I’ve no idea what Jon Ross’s agenda is, but using and developing the school for Decatur is not free. Has an opportunity cost. Not like we can just wish for ponies for everyone (unless growing up in Poland).

  • 254. Curious  |  November 22, 2014 at 8:40 am

    Can anyone comment on the Skinner West neighborhood program? How does it compare to the Classical cohort?

  • 255. Alwaxman  |  November 24, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    @244 – You could try a monthly subscriptions to testingmom.com too. Boatloads of questions for all grades and a good variety

  • 256. katchance  |  November 24, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    I’m reading through some old mailbox / letter watch posts and comments (while trying to contain my growing terror). Question: Why do some people get “not eligible” messages for the same school that another person gets waitlisted at? I’ve seen this a few times for Coonley, Waters and others. Is there a way to tell that you will not be eligible so you should not bother applying (choose a different school to apply to)? Thanks!

  • 257. @254  |  November 24, 2014 at 10:35 pm

    You get a “not eligible” message if you apply to your own neighborhood school — because you get in automatically and are not eligible to be part of the lottery for the open spots available to kids out of the neighborhood boundary.

  • 258. @254  |  November 24, 2014 at 11:05 pm

    Or you get a “not eligible” if the school you pick is overcrowded or doesn’t have the particular grade you are applying to. For instance, if you applied to K for Keller’s RGC it would say not eligible because they start at first grade.

  • 259. cpsobsessed  |  November 24, 2014 at 11:08 pm

    Or I think at say waters and coonley, they don’t have spots in the grades to which you applied.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 260. Tier4Mom  |  December 8, 2014 at 7:16 pm

    Hello everyone,
    Is the deadline for listing your top schools on the 12th? Also, has anyone done it yet/before??? Wondering how the process works… I heard you list lottery schools 1st and then the SES elementary schools next. I’m a bit nervous about his step in the process.

  • 261. cpsobsessed  |  December 8, 2014 at 7:36 pm

    There will be separate lists for SEES and lottery/open enrollment schools. You can rank the SEES but not the others. (So only a few ranking decisions to make…)

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 262. Kathy S.  |  December 10, 2014 at 11:24 am

    I am totally concerned about the gifted/classical testing, based on what “FREAKING OUT” wrote above. My 4 12 year old can read only like 3 words – stop, off, moon, let alone a whole sentance! He certainly can’t tell time! He knows the basics of a clock, but can’t look at it and say 12 o’clock. His fine motor skills are super weak, and he was just evaluated by an outside OT. But I think he is quite bright- knows his right from his left, uses an extensive vocabulary, can give us directions in the car for how to get places and according to his pre-k report card he has mastered knowledge of letters and numbers. Ugh. I certainly don’t want to drill him, but I’m thinking I should attempt more at home. Is there a chance that the testing for gifted might be more favorable, as the classical skills are more application of knowledge?

  • 263. CPS teacher  |  December 11, 2014 at 8:50 am

    @ 260 Most kids are not reading at 4.5 years old. My son was reading some sight words about the time we tested. But he was reading fluently by the time he entered kindergarten. His is at an RGC and many kids in his class are reading and many are just beginning. Same thing with the motor skills–huge level of variance. They are all very bright kids, though. I would not recommend drilling, but practice these skills in a fun way…drawing, word games, read to him, etc. Good luck!

  • 264. CPS mom too  |  December 11, 2014 at 11:23 am

    @260 Ditto what 261 said. My daughter couldn’t read when she tested (she was almost 5) and really wasn’t reading much when she started K. She made into an RGC that was easier to get into (scores in high 120s). Some of her peers were reading, others weren’t. She made a ton of progress in K and came out a pretty fluent reader, reading chapter books, etc. So it’s definitely possible to do well on the gifted test without reading.

  • 265. Windycitymom  |  December 11, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    Does anyone know when or how you find out if your child was accepted to magnet/neighborhood schools (non SEES)? Is it by mail? Separate for each school? I have one kid going into K and one going into 2. Thanks!!

  • 266. JSK  |  December 11, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    @263 yes, it is by mail, roughly March 20th next year (I think). You will receive one letter with the list of schools to which you applied. Each school will either show an offer, a wait list number, or ‘not eligible’. You can receive multiple offers. Each student will receive a separate letter.

  • 267. fyi  |  December 11, 2014 at 8:13 pm


    This is an important message from the Chicago Public Schools Office of Access and Enrollment.
    The deadline to submit applications for centralized programs is Friday, December 12. Note that for Selective Enrollment Elementary Schools, you must first schedule a test date and then select the schools to which you want to apply. To confirm that you have successfully scheduled your appointments and submitted your applications, you can log into the online system, apply.cps.edu. If you see the word ‘completed’ under the scheduling status, you have successfully scheduled your tests. If you see the word ‘completed’ under the application status for each program, your applications have been successfully submitted. The online system will close at 11:59 pm on December 12th. No further applications or online scheduling will be accepted after that time. Thank you.

  • 268. Khmom  |  December 11, 2014 at 10:47 pm

    Urgent ranking question on sees, if you rank 5 schools get #5 but really want #1 do you even stay on the wait list or not? Real
    Question is if you are on the fence of including #5 should you even rank it. Another way to ask is if you get offered a spot do you give up your shot at choice #1

  • 269. cpsobsessed  |  December 11, 2014 at 11:13 pm

    You should def put any school you’d actually consider.

    If you get school 5 you have 2 choices:
    Accept it, and your kid has a spot
    Decline it and go back in the pool as schools go through more rounds. Then you may get offered a higher choice later on. The trouble is, if those spots don’t open up and/or your child didn’t score high enough, once you’ve declined #5 you may be left with nothing. Which is fine if you have another backup. More risky if you don’t. You’ll know your child’s score at that point so that can help you judge your odds of getting and offer at schools #4-#1.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 270. Chicago School GPS  |  December 12, 2014 at 10:06 am

    Believe it or not, the day has finally arrived- your CPS applications are DUE!

    If you are applying to any CPS school that is NOT your assigned neighborhood school, then you need to apply by today.

    If submitting a paper application, this is from CPSOAE:


    If you mail your applications, mail them to 125 S. Clark St., 10th floor, Chicago, IL 60603. Applications must be postmarked by December 12th. We recommend that you (1) have a postal official postmark your envelope in front of you, (2) send your envelope via certified mail, and (3) include a self-addressed, stamped envelope or postcard, which will be mailed back to you to serve as a receipt.

    If you hand-deliver your applications between December 8-12, take them to 42 W. Madison St., garden (basement) level.

    Applications cannot be faxed.

    If applying online, don’t forget to PRINT your confirmations and school choices. The online site is inaccessible after today (supposedly). Also, make sure the columns are grayed out and say “Completed” next to them. If applying to SEES, you need to Schedule your testing and Apply by today.

    YOU CAN MAKE CHANGES until Feb. 20 using CPSOAE’s Application Modification Forms so at least get something down by today and you can ruminate further if need be. BUT be sure to make a copy or print a confirmation of your original application.

    Need help? Chicago School GPS can help you with our 30 minute EXPRESS consultation, perfect for those needing to finalize their choices. http://www.chischoolgps.com

    GOOD LUCK TO ALL, and sit tight until the week of March 20, when the first round of elementary letters come (but subsequent rounds happen all the way through the summer, so don’t fret!)

  • 271. confused  |  December 12, 2014 at 10:37 am

    Quick question – I submitted by application for both Magnet and SEES. I want to see which schools we applied to. Can I do this online?

  • 272. Tier4Mom  |  December 12, 2014 at 9:17 pm

    I do not have a printer… I went ahead and completed everything. Is it THAT big of a deal that I did not print my selections? Now, I’m nervous.

  • 273. marquiesha0804  |  December 15, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    My son is 5 years old and is scheduled to take the test on December 21st. I’m pretty excited for him but I am also preparing myself for him to be denied just so I wouldn’t be so disappointed. We have a little less than a week to continue to study and practice and go over possible outcomes of what the test might be. So far I have letter and number recognition, doing a maze, writing two and three letter words, and patterns, seeing how things are similar or different. Is there anything else we should prepare for from your knowledge and experience? Or any other mom on here? I’m trying to cover all our bases.

  • 274. took test  |  December 16, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    @ 271 marquiesha0804

    my son said there were questions about coin$. I don’t know if he had to add them up, or just recognize them, but he mentioned a picture of a quarter. Also, there was fill in the blank. A missing word in a sentence. What I couldn’t figure out is if he had to make-up the word himself, or select it from some options.
    Good luck!

  • 275. marquiesha0804  |  December 16, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    Thanks so much. Looks like I’ll be squeezing in coin recignization in our studying.

  • 276. to 269 and 270  |  December 17, 2014 at 1:01 am

    269 and 270 did you save a copy of the last screen where you could print? I didn’t physically print out the page that said “Review” and “Please print this page for your records” but I did make a pdf copy that is saved in my computer and my email (cheap way to do cloud backup).

  • 277. Chicago School GPS  |  December 17, 2014 at 5:06 pm

    You can also send an email to oae@cps.edu and include your name, your child’s name and incoming grade and any pertinent info. The CPSOAE office is very good at answering you with your list of schools.

  • 278. scarlett329  |  December 18, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    Anyone know anything about cpsmagnet.com and hte testing booklet you can get online? I saw someone on this website recommended them so I paid the money and they were supposed to send me information on how to download the booklet but have not. I emailed them — no response. And the phone number listed on their website is not a working number. I was pretty clearly scammed, right?

  • 279. cpsobsessed  |  December 18, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    @scarlett – I’ve emailed with the person who runs it and seen the book and it’s legit. Can’t attest to how useful it is or how high quality the material is, but it did exist. I’d keep trying to see if you get can get it.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 280. scarlett329  |  December 18, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    Thank you CPS Obsessed! I will. Anyone have any recommendations on test/practice books to use for the kindergarten test?

  • 281. Question  |  December 27, 2014 at 7:50 am

    Would it be possible for a child to retake the SEES kindergarten exam? I heard of a family whose child allegedly took the test and then retook a few weeks later. I didn’t even realize this was possible!

  • 282. WRP Mom  |  December 27, 2014 at 9:13 am

    @279, Not true. Older children can be scheduled for the gifted test & the classical in different time slots, but no one takes the same test during the same year. I recall when my daughter took the AC test, we were told by OAE “if a child is exposed to the testing materials and cannot complete the test for any reason, we will be unable to retest him/her during the current academic year.”

  • 283. cpsobsessed  |  December 27, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    There were some instances last year, I think, where the test administers did something wrong – left out a section or something and some kids had to go back.
    That situation could lead to another test.
    I’ve never heard of someone requesting and getting a total re-take.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 284. @279  |  December 29, 2014 at 11:33 am

    @279, I asked if my daughter could retest last year b/c soon after she took the test, her school discovered that she had pretty severe hearing loss — after a major wax removal, it was back to normal and I asked if she could retest.
    They said no — no kid is allowed to retake after being exposed to the material. It was for the 1st grade test, where they are in a room with a big group of kids and I thought her hearing problem might make a big difference. I don’t know if it affected her score or not. She got into a good magnet and I stopped worrying about it!

  • 285. Skinner West  |  January 2, 2015 at 4:41 pm

    Does anyone have information about Skinner West’s neighborhood program and how it compares to other neighborhood programs?

  • 286. walker  |  January 2, 2015 at 9:22 pm

    @281 Yes, that’s exactly what happened to my son last year on the classical test. They just left out a section and then asked to take it later in a few weeks.

  • 287. PotentialSkinnerWestMom  |  January 6, 2015 at 10:06 am

    Another parent here who would love to hear about Skinner West’s neighborhood program!

  • 288. otdad  |  January 15, 2015 at 7:11 pm

    My son is 4yr11month old. He is going to take the SEES test tomorrow. He started reading simpler chapter books (e.g. Magic tree house) 3 months ago. His math is at 3rd grade level. We hope he can get into Skinner North. Tier 4. Fingers crossed.

  • 289. Tier4Mom  |  January 15, 2015 at 7:40 pm

    would love to get some feedback about the experience of the ses test for the little ones! thanks.

  • 290. Cathy  |  January 16, 2015 at 10:46 am

    My son is 4 year 9 months old. He can’t read, he can’t identify some of his lower case letters. He recieves outside OT due to the fact that he has not chosen a dominant hand and his grasp fluctuates. He is squirrely, and I have a hard time picturing him sitting in a chair in kindergarten, the majority of the day, doing something that is hard for him (drawing and writing) but makes teacher’s jobs easier to evaluate how a kid is doing. It is much harder to assess all of the areas that in which he is gifted.

    He can pick up lyrics to songs after first hearing the song. He can sing on key and keep a beat with his mouth simultanously. He can tell us the directions to Target, or to a restaurant, naming the streets since he was two years old. He is emotionally intelligent and from an early age – two – would become concerned for other kids when he saw them cry. He gives kids sympathetic looks when they are sad in his pre-school class. He can name all the diesel train lines by sight and knows the history of the development of trains, including the parts and their function. After going to the Museum of Science and Insdustry at age three, he came home and made a replica of the museum (yesterday’s main street, zephyr, wind tunnel, etc.) out of legos.

    Do we think he is gifted? Not sure. Do we think he will score well on the gifted test that he is taking on Sunday? Not sure. I don’t even know if he will separate from me! Do I think that a gited program would be the best setting for him? Especially long term when the middle school work load can be crushing?

    But he has a lot of advantages. He has two parents who love him, believe in all of his talents, and will support him through his challenges.

    So, I’m not stressed anymore. What happens happens. I just want him to be happy. IF he separates from me on Sunday 😉 I’ll update this board on what he tells me, if anything!

  • 291. MB  |  January 16, 2015 at 2:58 pm

    @Cathy Don’t worry. He’s just fussy and very smart.He will do great. I was in the same situation with my son. Some of the apps on his ipad (Monkey Word, Monkey Math) helped a lot. You need to keep in touch with his teacher on a daily basis and ask for her help. But dont expect miracles in the first 6 months. After that, he will surprise you. Good luck on Sunday!

  • 292. LUV2Europe  |  January 16, 2015 at 4:30 pm

    288. Cathy, your son sounds like most kids his age, especially boys. My son was like your son, OT, knew everything about cars, etc. When he got to kindergarden he met his match…another boy just like him (old man in youngsters body). They drover the teacher crazy because they didn’t just sit there and hang onto her every word. They were super bored. This was in a private school so of course they were labeled as needing blah blah blah. Fast forward … they are both seniors in high school, Eagle Scouts, NHS, etc. Enjoy your son while he is young and let the nonsense roll off. Good luch with the test!

  • 293. Learning CPS  |  January 16, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    @ Cathy – Not CPS test related, but just curious about the lack of dominant hand with your son. Our son is 3.5 and started eating with his left hand, but has mostly switched to his right though he does still sometimes use his left if it seems more convenient. Unlike his sister, who was writing her name and most of the alphabet at this age, he is not writing at all. When he colors, he switches back and forth between which hand he uses and doesn’t have any clear grip with either hand. Is this at all similar to what you have seen with your son? We are wondering if he is also not yet really chosen a hand and if that is part of the lack of writing…and if so when that should be a concern, if at all. My husband and I have zero experience with this coming from two families of pretty dominant right handers.

    Your son sounds imaginative, inquisitive and bright. However it works out, sounds like he’ll be just fine.

  • 294. otdad  |  January 16, 2015 at 11:37 pm

    Our son took the SEES test today. Here are our experience:
    (1) Getting there:
    The test was scheduled at 10am. After breakfast, dressing up, we left home @9:15. The traffic on Lake Shore Drive was pretty light. It still took us more than 20 minutes getting to IIT site from Lincoln Park. The parking lot is right across the street from the IIT life science building. The meter accepts the parking code we received via email from CPS. When we arrived at the 2nd floor waiting room, it was 9:45.

    (2) Waiting room:
    5-6 kids and their parents were in the waiting room. My son grabbed some crayons and paper and started drawing some sea creatures. Then suddenly, he stopped and said “My tummy hurts!”. What!?…. I immediately noticed the anxiety on my wife’s face. What if he could not finish the test due to tummy ache? I was little nervous too and kept asking “Are you feeling better now?” in the next 10 minutes. The little guy looked listless. After finishing a juice box, he said “A little better now, but my tummy still hurts.” Man! what a timing!

    @10:12, the tester came. My son not so eagerly followed her out of the waiting room. By then, I was concerned about not only his tummy ache, but also the plenty of fluid intake that might interrupt the test.

    (3) The wait:
    Noticing my wife’s nervousness, I tried not to mention the test when we were chatting. So, we talked about work, plans. It’s been a while since we could talk to each other for that long without interruption, kids free. I kept looking at my watch. 10 minutes passed, then another 10, …

    @11:14, our son was out, running toward us, without any effects of the tummy ache, and his pants were dry too!

    (4) What’s on the test?
    On our way home, my wife did the usual interrogation. And as usual, not much info. According to my son:

    “There was no math question!” just great. I guess he did no have the chance to show off his 3rd grade level math then.
    “The first part of the test is colorful. The 2nd part, not colorful.”
    “There are what-does-not-belong questions, and there are many shapes in them.”
    “There are missing words questions.”
    “There are coins.”
    Did you read a book? “no”.
    Were you asked to write? “no”
    Did you talk a lot during the test? “no, I was super concentrated.”
    …..”No, I don’t remember and I’m tired.”

    He should be tired after the 1 hour test. His attention span is about 15 minutes. It remains a mystery what/how exactly he did during that hour. Two years ago, his sister finished the RGC/classical tests in 15 minutes and got in Skinner North. The test shouldn’t be much different.

    Regardless the result, we are so proud of him. It’s amazing what a child can achieve if the parents are persistent. He attends a park district play school. All we did was 5 minutes reading, 5 minutes math a day, everyday even when we were in Disney World. Later, 10 minutes reading, 10 minutes math a day. In less than a year, he is reading chapter books and doing 3rd grade math. I started to think the grade standards are low.

    To all the parents whose kids are taking the test, best of luck!

  • 295. inventedbyevan  |  January 17, 2015 at 1:13 am

    Hi Learning CPS! My son is 4.5 and has had the same types of fine motor concerns. They are addressed by an occupational therapist. Look up more online and make a decision that seems right for your son in regards to addressing it. But know that comparing boys and girls is not always fair in regards to interest and ability for fine motor skills at this age. My thought? I waited as I felt that 3 was far too young to be concerned about writing. His school disagreed but he did not qualify for services under a Child Find screening. This year he did qualify for OT, and we went for it. He has come a long way in only 4 sessions, but knowing him it’s also because he suddenly has interest. Decide what you want to do. For me, the important thing was that he not feel pressured and that he develop at his own pace. Knowing how wrong-headed the kindergarten expectations can be nowadays (I work in schools) sitting and fine motor skills are a fact of life, and one that by necessity he will need to feel confident in the fall. Sorry this is so off-topic @CPSObsessed!

  • 296. Cathy  |  January 18, 2015 at 11:39 am

    My son just took it! In and out in 10 min. I think his gifted career was short-lived! 😏

  • 297. LearningCPS  |  January 18, 2015 at 8:40 pm

    Thanks Inventedbyevan…very helpful. My son is a September birthday so we have the rest of this year and two more school years before we even get to Kindergarten, so at this point I think we’ll keep observing and see where he is. He is definitely the type of learner who waits until he is ready and able before demonstrating a skill so I also wouldn’t be surprised if he suddenly starts writing beautifully with either hand seemingly out of no where 🙂 Apologies too all for veering off topic!

  • 298. Tier4Mom  |  January 23, 2015 at 8:36 pm

    Does your child really have to score in the 99% for Tier 4 to get into a gifted or selective enrollment kindergarden class????? I am beginning to stress out!

  • 299. @296  |  January 24, 2015 at 7:49 am

    Depending on what school, yes they have to score in the 99th percentile! The more sought after the school the higher the score. I think for Poe & Mcdade you could get away with 95th percentile for tier 4. Around the second round it gets to be a little lower than 99th percentile. If you go back to last years thread you can get an idea of the scores needed. I don’t believe both reading & math need to be a 99, but one does and the other could be a little lower.

  • 300. momof3boys  |  January 24, 2015 at 11:03 am

    I dont know how true it is, but I heard that if your child is on the younger side he/she has a testing advantage as far as percentle. for example if your child is 4y4m (aug bday), he would have and advantage over the child who is 5y/3m (sept bday) if the test is taken in dec.

  • 301. 3rd grade - neighborhood school parent  |  January 24, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    298- do you really think it works like that?

  • 302. Chris  |  January 26, 2015 at 12:56 pm

    “do you really think [SEES admission] works [with months-younger kids needing a lower score]?”

    I’ve never heard of it having ever worked like that, but it *is* true that at least at some time in the past the scaled score was normed to give younger kids ‘extra’ credit. I do not know if that remains true now, but it absolutely was true at some point in the recent (past 10 years) past.

  • 303. CFB  |  January 26, 2015 at 1:20 pm

    My daughter took the test last weekend. She turned 4 in August so she’s one of the younger kids. She was in and out in exactly 15 minutes. There were a lot of parents and kids in at least 2 waiting rooms.

    She remembered something about an airplane- that she did not get right. But she said she got the other airplane questions right. She remembered coins, a hat, a horse and a person.

    She said some of the questions were hard but she said she answered some right.

    She also couldn’t quite tell me if there were other kids in the room with her and said there were 4 teachers asking her questions.

    So, good luck everyone! I’m keeping my hopes and expectations very low. The competition and stats are just not in our favor, especially living in a tier 4 school.

    My 6 schools were: Edison, Decatur, Coonley, Skinner North, Skinner West and Pritzker.

    I went to Edison back in the 80s and 90s and would love for her to go, but let’s face it, with 28 kids and hundreds/thousands of kids testing? There’s not much of a chance.

  • 304. CFB  |  January 26, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    Sorry I meant she turned 4 in July, not August. Anyway she’s on the younger side. She also can only read very simple 3 letter words, and only sometimes.

  • 305. SEES Parent  |  January 26, 2015 at 2:07 pm

    Good luck to all taking the SEES test but keep in mind if your child gets in, one of the downsides is that there will be a *lot* of parents who really like to talk about how gifted or special their kids are. And seriously, there is may 1-2 kids max in each class who might actually be somewhat gifted.

  • 306. scarlett329  |  January 26, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    Thanks to all the parents who are posting their experiences. It’s been really helpful just to get a sense of what to expect. My friend’s daughter took the test and when I asked her what was on it she (the daughter) said “macaroni and cheese!” I said no really, what was on it? And she said “pizza!” So, not really helpful.

    And funny perspective from @SEES parent. My daughter’s preschool teacher says from his perspective/experience the test doesn’t do a great job determining what child is really gifted. I guess what test would at this age?

    Anyway, just wanted to thank everyone who is honest and open on here. Again, it’s very helpful and appreciated.

  • 307. almostCPSobsessed  |  January 30, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    My 5 year old took the SEES exam today. He also came in and out in 15-20 minutes. When asked about the test – “Some questions were easy and some were hard but it was fun!” That’s all we got out of him.

  • 308. Tier4Mom  |  January 30, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    Can others please reply on the length of this years exam???? It seems to be very fast this year and I can’t image how they fit in both the gifted and classical test in 15 minutes as some parents are reporting.

  • 309. took test  |  January 30, 2015 at 7:20 pm

    @ 306 Tier4mom

    I posted my time length back on Nov 16 – my son was in for 34 minutes (5 years, 1 month, tier 4)

    I have since talked to 2 parents that are not on this blog, and they were each shocked and surprised at how fast their child was in 10 and 15 minutes, both tested in January. One of them has an older child in Beaubien gifted. So, I was secretly feelin’ good about our time until I just came on here and saw @292-otdad was in for over an hour. What the heck.

  • 310. Cathy  |  January 30, 2015 at 10:01 pm

    This is what I have pieced together using some logic, reading the comments about times and what little I know about IQ tests.

    – I think (big leap here) that those kids who took 15 min and under are doing only the IQ test for the gifted schools not the classical academic portion. I don’t think that we applied to any classical schools, so my son did the scary-short 10 minute test. I think he just took the IQ test for gifted. So this is just a theory. If you know that you applied to classical and gifted, but your kid was in and out of the test quickly like mine, then there goes that theory.

    – I was talking to a school psychologist friend and I asked her how an IQ test could possibly only take ten minutes. Her response was that it could, if they just asked 5 or so questions to obtain a score. That way they could ask questions on targeted areas until the child maxed out- no longer answered correctly- but if you only have a few questions you can reach an IQ score quickly. Not a comprehensive IQ test (nor an all that accurate one) but an IQ score is reached on a couple of areas that they have chosen to look at.

    Some theories!

  • 311. Tier4Mom  |  January 30, 2015 at 10:10 pm

    The test automatically is for both gifted and classical. CPS no longer just does one rather, each child gets both. This is why I can not understand how it is physically possible to be in and out in 10 minutes. Also, I am assuming that they spend at least a minute or so chit chatting and talking about the process that the child will undergo. This seems crazy to me. My daughter was exactly 30 minutes on the dot and even that time to me seems short. She said the test was very easy in the beginning and then the questions got hard. She just turned 5 and we’re Tier 4.

  • 312. Cathy  |  January 30, 2015 at 10:35 pm

    There goes that theory. I would totally assume that my son bombed the test with his 10 minute test time. But it’s weird that some have said on other boards that their kid was in for 10 minutes and they either got into an SEES school or scored high. Same with people who were in for 30 min or 45 min. I don’t even care about my son getting into a gifted school, I know we’ll find the best place for my son. I’m just totally curious about this insane CPS weirdo process!

  • 313. scarlett329  |  January 30, 2015 at 10:39 pm

    Yes, it’s automatically for both. Don’t overestimate CPS — they do not put in the time to figure out what schools you applied to and then adjust the test accordingly. It’s possible the children who were only in for ten minutes or so answered a certain numbers of questions right and then started answering questions wrong (as they got harder) so that the test-giver was able to score them based on that. Also, some kids just take longer to answer questions. It’s probably useless to put so much emphasis on how long the test takes. You just never know….

  • 314. Cfb  |  January 30, 2015 at 11:18 pm

    I think people are over thinking the times. My daughter signed up for both classical and gifted. The test is the same and done one time. She was in and out in 15 min. I checked my phone.

    I’m not hopeful though. As I’ve said before the odds are against you. She’s also not amazing academically. I think there are other more gifted kids who will get in but at least we tried.

  • 315. CPS mom too  |  January 31, 2015 at 10:10 am

    I’m not sure time is at all predictive. There are so many unknowns with this process anyway; it’s essentially one additional lottery that you enter with your kids. My oldest was in for 30 m two years ago (gifted and classical test) and eventually got in to a RGC from tier 3, but her score would not have qualified for Coonley/Edison. (She is thriving in her RGC but didn’t even make the gifted cutoff when we tested her in 1st grade, so there’s your lottery.) My youngest took the test this year and was in and out in 20ish minutes (didn’t time it). She said the room was really hot and she was rushing to get back to me. Even said that she realized she’d got a couple questions wrong because she wanted to be done quickly. She’s more advanced in reading/math than big sis was at this age and could absolutely handle the RGC workload, at least what we’ve seen so far. But I know that there’s a small chance she’ll get in just because there’s so much randomness to the process when you test 4 and 5 year olds. (I’ve also heard the argument from many educators that testing at this age really isn’t very reliable, but it’s what we’ve got, so…).

  • 316. scarlett329  |  January 31, 2015 at 10:25 am

    @cps mom too

    Thanks for that perspective. I agree — it’s really just another lottery. Any test where you need a 99% is crazy. No test can successfully differentiate between 98% (or 97 or 96 or 95%, etc.) and 99%.

  • 317. otdad  |  January 31, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    @314 scarlett329:
    Yes, the RGC test is almost another lottery, but the classical test probably is less so.

    2 years ago, my daughter took NorthWestern CTD test prior to CPS test. Her scores were virtually identical in reading and math, accurate to 0.1%, which lead me to believe CTD and CPS are probably similar.

    Last October, my son also took CTD test and I paid some attention. Here is the test structure of CTD test:

    (1) Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement II (KTEA II) – Brief Form.

    The questions get harder and harder, until the child gets 2 consecutive questions wrong, after which the test stops.

    On math, my son’s last question was multi-digit addition/subtraction (which he already knew but just did the question wrong). Up to that point, there were probably 20 math questions. His raw score was 18, percentile “>99.9%”

    On reading, my son stopped at the word “honor” (he didn’t know how to read “honor” or its meaning). His raw score was 17, percentile “99.9%”

    (2) Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test 2nd Edition.
    He seemed to get 19 out of 20 non-verbal questions correct, and 17 out of 20 verbal questions correct. His IQ score was 133, percentile “99%”.

    My son finished the CTD test in 35minutes (~80 questions total). He described the test as “easy”.

    Based on the fact that RGC+classical can be finished in 15 minutes with high reading/math scores., I think the CPS RGC test shouldn’t be much more than 20 questions and the classical portion should depend on the reading/math level, That means on RGC test, it’s a matter of 1 or 2 questions wrong out of 20 simple questions, the kid is out of the race. Factors such as exposure, home language, the kid’s mood…. can greatly impact whether a kid can get into RGC, lots of randomness, while the classical test is an achievement test with less randomness.

    So, I think it’s totally possible that a kid with 10min testing time can get into a RGC, but less likely to get into a classical school.

  • 318. otdad  |  January 31, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    My SEES obsessed career is finally over after 2 years. I’d like to share my observations. They may not be correct, but may have reference value for next year’s parents:

    (1) For Tier 4, a child has to be at least 1st grade level in either math or reading to have a good chance at classical schools such as Skinner North and Decatur. One of the scores has to be at 99% or higher.

    (2) For Tier 1, Tier 2, your child’s chance is very good for classical schools if he/she has been exposed to reading and math. Reading simple books like “The Hungry Caterpillar” is 98%+. Doing single digit addition is 99%+.

    (3) RGC is basically a lottery among kids with above average intelligence. No easy way to prepare it. Many random factors. Can’t count on it.

    (4) RGC classes seem to have far fewer kids from non-English speaking families. I guess the verbal part of the test is the reason. So, for most non-English speaking or multilingual families, RGC is a long shot.

    (5) If the parents are persistent, it’s entirely doable to raise a child’s academic level to 2nd grade or more without stressing out the kid a bit.

    I’ll report back on my son’s scores in March, and then start to be obsessed @SEHS.

  • 319. took test  |  January 31, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    Thank you otdad. You should honestly consider starting an elementary test consulting business. Your posts have been invaluable.

    all, I know time length on tests are not predictive, but they are a “fun” distraction helping me pass the agonizing time until March letters.

    Thanks to every one for sharing their insights.

  • 320. SEES Parent  |  February 1, 2015 at 8:19 am

    “RGC is basically a lottery among kids with above average intelligence. No easy way to prepare it. Many random factors. Can’t count on it.”

    Obviously not scientific, but the kids I know who tested for RGC multiple years and who comfortably made it in the first year also scored persistently high in subsequent years. It could be true that there is less randomness for the classical test than for RGC but I’m not sure the difference is that stark. And for some kids, especially if they are not used to it, there is a lot of randomness just in how they respond to the test taking process on a particular day. I do know of some kids (whose parents were trying to get siblings in the same school) who score persistently high on one test but not the other.

  • 321. LSmom  |  February 1, 2015 at 4:07 pm

    Interesting @otdad, my son said he got two questions wrong on the RGC test.

    He was in the RGC/classical test for over an hour a few years ago, and his score was pretty high but not Tier 4 Skinner/Coonley/Edison high.

  • 322. Tier4Mom  |  February 2, 2015 at 1:43 pm

    So I’m wondering how the Kinder test is different from the 1st grade one. It seems like so many kids score a lot lower for the 1st grade SES test. Any thoughts?
    I’m trying to figure out ways to distract myself until scores come out in March… talk about March Madness!

  • 323. mila mom  |  February 2, 2015 at 3:02 pm

    @320-the format of the tests is different. The test for K is an individual test and the test for 1-8 a group test. In the 1-8 test everyone completes the test and in the K test I think they may stop if you get too many questions wrong since it’s individually administered.

    Anecdotally, based only on the posts to this blog, the RGC scores for K the last few years have run higher than they would be expected to on a bell curve distribution. 145 should be a 99.9% score (1 in 1000 I think), so even if there are 10k test takers and only 45 north side tier 4 spots, everyone with that score would be expected to get a spot if it was a bell curve distribution, but some years the cut off for some schools has been well above 145. The first grade test scores seems on the other hand to maybe produce lower scores than what would be expected on a bell curve, and this I do know personally, my younger boy scored 119 for the RGC test for 1st a couple years back, which is only like 89th percent or something, but got a second round tier 3 beaubien spot. I would not think 89th % would be enough with so many bright applicants, but it was.

    I have no idea if the hi/low score trend from K to 1 also extends to the classical schools test, I’ve just noticed it here for the RGC test.

    Good luck, less than 2 more months to wait.

  • 324. otdad  |  February 6, 2015 at 5:37 pm

    @317. took test:
    Thanks for the encouragement. I guess it can be best described by an old Chinese saying:” Prolonged illness makes the patient a good doctor.”

    From the experience of working with my son, I realized that the teacher’s method and experience is critical on how efficient a child learns.

  • 325. One and Only  |  February 6, 2015 at 6:08 pm

    I don’t know if there are any more test dates, but I will post this for future years.

    My child took the test yesterday. In and out in exactly 20 minutes. He said he was asked to ID a coin, point to pictures of words, tell what didn’t belong. He also said the tester told him something and asked what would come next (he wasn’t clear about this). Take this with a grain of salt because some of this was me asking if he did certain things and him answering yes or no. I’m not too encouraged since he told me he couldn’t read any of the words and his favorite part was “resting” :).

    Good luck to all!

  • 326. otdad  |  February 6, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    @318. SEES Parent:
    The randomness I talked about was actually from the parent’s perspective, which is basically the unpredictability or uncertainty whether his/her own kid can do well in either RGC/classical tests. I haven’t seen anyone on this blog feeling confident about his/child’s chances in RGC test. But for classical test, if the child is very advanced in math and reading, the parent may feel the chances are slightly better.

    I think RGC/classical test is a screening test, far short of a longer, comprehensive test like the one used by New York City. It’s like trying to find math genius by testing counting a stack of paper. All the kids who are able count can count correctly but also can miss 1 or 2.

  • 327. Tier4Mom  |  February 27, 2015 at 7:44 pm

    Can someone please tell me when I have to stalk my mailman… as far as acceptance letters for Classical and Gifted kindergarden. I know it’s in March but when???????

  • 328. WesLooMom  |  February 27, 2015 at 11:28 pm

    According to OAE website, letters will be mailed on March 20.

  • 329. Tier4Mom  |  February 28, 2015 at 2:35 am

    @328 Thanks

  • 330. mom  |  March 2, 2015 at 11:28 am

    CPS sent me a letter saying that since I had accidentally not picked a selective enrollment school they would not score the test results . Has this happened to anyone else 😦

  • 331. momofmany  |  March 2, 2015 at 11:57 am

    @330. Yes, there is a whole discussion about it on the Raise Your Hand Facebook group right now.

  • 332. took test  |  March 2, 2015 at 3:37 pm


    CPS Parents Blame ‘Glitch’ for Tossed Selective-Enrollment Applications


  • 333. CFB  |  March 2, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    @332, I just read the article. Her child took a 2 HOUR plus test??? Anyway. Hope CPS resolves this issue.

  • 334. took test  |  March 2, 2015 at 3:47 pm


    I know. Maybe she tested for 1st grade/up. This year you had to take classical on different day from gifted, and the 2 different tests can add up to 2 hours I think.
    I can not imagine the frustration of these parents.

  • 335. took test  |  March 2, 2015 at 4:30 pm

    @330. mom

    Maybe you should email the author of the DNAinfo piece, ( Mauricio Peña, mauriciopena760@ gmail.com)
    and have him forward your contact into to the 2 parents noted in the article. There is power in numbers, you can join forces.
    If they wrote to Barbara Bennett the CEO of CPS then they must have exhausted efforts with the OAE office.
    Good luck.

  • 336. momofmany  |  March 2, 2015 at 4:52 pm

    @330 mom,

    There is a group of affected parents that are meeting with CPS tomorrow @ 10:30 am. All the info can be found on the Raise Your Hand Facebook group.

  • 337. MomOfTwins  |  March 4, 2015 at 12:11 am

    I have 5 year old twins who tested in December. I know for magnat schools twins can be pulled together on the lottery. But for SEES they test individually and score individually. Parents of twins what has your experience been? My fear is one twin will get into one school and the other will get into another.

  • 338. took test  |  March 6, 2015 at 10:44 am

    2 weeks to go.
    night sweats have officially begun.

  • 339. Hotmess  |  March 6, 2015 at 11:53 am

    OMG my palpitations and nervousness started MARCH FIRST… 😂

  • 340. momofmany  |  March 6, 2015 at 12:32 pm


    Only you can decide if having your kids in seperate schools works for your family.

    If it were me, and my kids got two different sees offers, I woukd take both of them, and then test each year with the siblings school listed first in hopes of getting them together at some point.

    We have chosen to evaluate all schools on what is best for that particular child. Last year all of my elementary age kids were in our neighborhood school (first year in CPS, no choice). This year eldest is in RGC (hoping for an AC spot for next year), #2 neighborhood still (we’re not happy with it), #3 magnet, #4 same neighborhood but different location/start and end time (but will get sibling seat at magnet for next year), #5 private preschool (will get sibling seat at magnet next year).

    It is a ridiculous amount of driving, but we are trying to think long term.

  • 341. MomOfTwins  |  March 6, 2015 at 1:17 pm


    Thanks for your insight. I am prepared just in case we get two placements. I was thinking I might have to do what you suggested….send them to separate SEES (if accepted) and retest next year.

  • 342. KCabral  |  March 9, 2015 at 2:08 pm

    I have a question I thought I’d post to try to pass the eternity it seems it’ll be until we all receive our CPS lottery letters. The closer the mailing day gets the longer the wait feels!

    My son will be in 1st grade next year. Do tiers apply or matter at all when it’s not kindergarten? Will our tier make any difference whatsoever? I thought I saw something in the past that said tiers are only used in the entry, or kindergarten, year, but I don’t know if that’s true or not.

    Thanks for any info!

  • 343. AE  |  March 9, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    @342 Tiers are used for the initial “entry” year. For many programs, that is kindergarten. However, several programs start in first grade (e.g., Bell RGC, Beaubien RGC, and probably others). For those programs, tiers count for first grade entry.

  • 344. letter or letters?  |  March 9, 2015 at 2:46 pm

    For elementary–in years past the Magnet lottery letter came a week before the SEES letter… is that the case this year? I don’t see that information on the oae website.
    Or is it now 1 letter with Magnet and SEES results mailed on the 20th? or will it be 2 letters, one for magnet, and the other SEES mailed on the 20th?

  • 345. @letter or letters?  |  March 9, 2015 at 3:35 pm

    There is one letter for magnet, magnet cluster, and open enrollment schools, and one letter for Selective Enrollment schools.

    Both letters will be mailed to parents’ homes on or before March 20th.

  • 346. anxious  |  March 9, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    I am so nervous. I am hoping that the letters arrive on March 20, though I know that is unlikely. I also remember reading that some schools (Skinner North, Skinner West) sent an email to parents on the day letters were supposed to be mailed out. Hopefully that will be the case again this year.

  • 347. otdad  |  March 9, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    @346. anxious:
    2 years ago, we received magnet letter about 1 week earlier than the SEES letter. For Skinner North in that year, we received an email in the morning, the letter in the afternoon, on the same day (a Monday, if I remember correctly). It’s not exactly “on the day letters were supposed to be mailed out.”, rather “on the Monday after the letters are mailed out.” So, no need to be anxious during the weekend.

  • 348. question  |  March 9, 2015 at 8:18 pm

    For clarification, are Magnet letters being sent earlier than the 20th?

  • 349. momofmany  |  March 9, 2015 at 8:48 pm

    @348 OAE website says that all letters are mailing 3/20. Most people receive there letter the Monday after mailing last year from what I saw. That included us as well.

  • 350. Peirce parent  |  March 12, 2015 at 9:38 am

    As you await your letters; mark your calendars for Peirce’s Spring Open House

    Date: Monday March 30th
    Time: 8:30 a.m. (presentation begins, followed by building tours)

    Come learn about Peirce’s:
    *Accredited IB-MYP (Middle Years Program)
    *Candidate IB-PYP (Primary Years Program)
    *Pre-K offering
    *K-8th grade whole-child scholastic approach
    *Enrichment options
    *Before/After care with the YMCA

    Hear from teachers, visit classrooms, see students.

    Located: 1423 W. Bryn Mawr, in the Edgewater neighborhood.
    RSVP: Peirceopenhouse@gmail.com

    Our family has thrived in this wonderful neighborhood school that boasts 13 National Board Certified teachers including 2 Golden Apple Winners. Go Panthers!

  • 351. Julia  |  March 12, 2015 at 11:07 pm

    I am having second thoughts on my rankings for classical

    1. Edison
    2. Decatur
    3. Skinner North
    4. Skinner West

    If my daughter gets into Edison, but am hoping for Skinner North. Would I have to ‘reject’ it . .would the acceptance move down to Decatur and potentially have to reject that . .to get to Skinner North. Worst case she doesn’t get into Skinner North or Skinner West (after rejecting my first 2 choices) and I have ruined everything, correct?

  • 352. alwaxman  |  March 12, 2015 at 11:18 pm

    methinks Edison is in the regional gifted school category which is separate and distinct from classical schools. The rest on your list are classical schools

  • 353. Julia  |  March 12, 2015 at 11:23 pm

    @352 you are right. So essentially, same question. If she gets into Decatur and I reject it to try to get into Skinner North and she doesn’t get into North or West . .I have ruined it. .correct?

  • 354. cpsobsessed  |  March 12, 2015 at 11:24 pm

    That’s a brain teaser!
    If you turn down edison, they’d see which school opened up a spot next where you had the highest score. So it could be decatur or sn, whichever opened next.
    If you then turn down decatur you’d have to wait for a space at sn to open which might be tough after those rounds. Or might work out if you’re willing to wait for late summer/ fall.

    That would be an impressive feat to get and turn down both edison and decatur.

    And if you did that you run the risk of losing a spot entirely.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 355. Julia  |  March 12, 2015 at 11:30 pm

    @354 thank you for the response! Will I get my daughters score in the mail right away? So I could technically place my bets around how high she scored? It is making me nervous turning down any acceptance at this point, but Skinner North is so much closer to our home. I am not sure what I was thinking when I filled out the form.

  • 356. Ewa  |  March 13, 2015 at 10:10 am

    julia, is this kindergarten entry?
    Would you share how long she was in the test?
    I have had good experiences when I called the office of enrollment for questions. Reach out to them for clarification as you don’t want to be left with nothing. good luck

  • 357. Julia  |  March 13, 2015 at 10:46 am

    @Ewa she was in for 35 minutes. This is for Kindergarten entry.

  • 358. CPS mom too  |  March 13, 2015 at 12:13 pm

    @Julia You’ll get your scores with the letter that gets mailed next week (fingers crossed). Then you can get a sense via cpsobsessed about what scores in the same tier look like and what’s enough to get you in. Good luck!

  • 359. Chris  |  March 13, 2015 at 12:39 pm

    “Then you can get a sense via cpsobsessed about what scores in the same tier look like and what’s enough to get you in.”

    Which, for the Skinners, will certainly be in the high 90s on both pieces of the classical, right?

  • 360. CPS mom too  |  March 13, 2015 at 1:03 pm

    Right. You can look at last year, but the scores are very high for the Skinners,Decatur, Edison, Coonley, etc. It varies by tier, though, so that’s also something to take into account.

    Also, someone always points this out, but these decisions (SEES, classical, magnet, neighborhood open enrollment) continue into the early fall, so the lists do move. We got into 6 schools for my oldest between August and October when we applied in kindergarten. Not fun, but we did ultimately have some good choices.

  • 361. LSmom  |  March 13, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    Chances are if your child’s score is high enough for a first round offer to Decatur, it will be within range for Skinner North. It’s a risk to turn down an offer though, and there’s no guarantee that you’d get a later one.

  • 362. Cathy  |  March 13, 2015 at 2:54 pm

    CPS mom too, would you mind sharing the Tier that you were in when you were offered the 6 spots over the summer? We are contemplating a move to be in neighborhood Northwest Side schools, but I would hate to move then get an offer to, say, Disney 2, Coonley RGC (or any other great schools of our list) and then have to turn it down due to distance. We are currently Tier 4 and are bracing ourselves for very few offers, if at all!

  • 363. Chris  |  March 13, 2015 at 3:25 pm

    “Chances are if your child’s score is high enough for a first round offer to Decatur, it will be within range for Skinner North”

    Certainly true. But there’s the proposed scenario of getting into Edison RGC, and wanting to turn it down to wait on the Classicals–so then the classical score would have to either (a) support a “third round” offer to a Skinner, or (b) be not quite high enough for a “2d round” Decatur offer, but high enough for a 2-r offer to a Skinner. Which is, at best, a very stressful waiting game.

  • 364. Hotmess  |  March 13, 2015 at 3:44 pm

    Not to mention their hasvto be seats available to get offers if noone turns down then no offers

  • 365. question  |  March 13, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    I’m assuming that most parents that get into Skinner North during the first round don’t decline.

  • 366. question  |  March 13, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    @364 I am also a hot mess. My child tested in early Fall and I cannot believe that we are just a week away. What a crazy, crazy system.

  • 367. Julia  |  March 13, 2015 at 4:06 pm

    I mean is there that much of a difference between Edison – Decatur- Skinner North? Am I just splitting hairs? All 3 schools are in the top schools in the state. Any opinions to convince me otherwise?

  • 368. ***  |  March 13, 2015 at 4:32 pm


  • 369. otdad  |  March 13, 2015 at 4:55 pm

    @367. Julia:
    “I mean is there that much of a difference between Edison – Decatur- Skinner North?”
    There is little difference among all the RGC/classicals (not just those 3) in terms of funding, teacher, resources etc.

    There is a HUGE difference: location. For us, Skinner North is less than a mile away, Edison 7 miles, Decatur 10 miles. The commute/bus time difference is substantial, especially after multiplying by 9 YEARS.

  • 370. CPS mom too  |  March 13, 2015 at 5:24 pm

    @362. We were tier 3 and got into NTA RGC with a 128 if memory serves. That was in August, but NTA scores were a bit lower that year because it was a new school. We also got offers from Disney I(2 weeks into school), Ravenswood (6 weeks into school), Peirce (the day before school started), Chappell (can’t remember when) and one other I’m blanking on. So not Decatur/Disney 2, but good neighborhood/magnet schools.

    Oh, and my youngest got a PK3 offer from Ogden in February. I just laughed when they called me. We were willing to be flexible, but there’s flexible and there’s crazy.

    Doing it all again this year with my second, so trying to stay sane. (That, by the way is the big downside of the RGC – you have to test sibs to get in; it seems like the only fair way to do things but it does really complicate matters.)

    Good luck.

  • 371. Decatur  |  March 13, 2015 at 5:26 pm

    Decatur commute would only be 7 years…don’t they only go up to 6th grade???

  • 372. Julia  |  March 13, 2015 at 5:43 pm

    @369 I realize there is a difference in distance. What I meant was from an academic point of view. I would imagine the top 3 schools would all have great if not equal programs. Right? Open to hear opinions on this as well!

  • 373. Neil J  |  March 16, 2015 at 9:19 am

    we are awaiting word on a younger sibling at a magnet school. I’m hoping that it is a formality, but I’m still somewhat anxious about it as the VP has dropped hints to me about the volume of siblings who applied. Will the school’s office give you that news on Friday if you ask? Or request via e-mail?

    Secondly, is it possible at a magnet school for an entire starting class to be comprised of siblings? Or must a certain number of spots be kept for the proximity/tier pool?


  • 374. Southside fingers crossed mom  |  March 16, 2015 at 11:08 am

    Can someone tell me what is the highest possible score on the gifted test for students entering kindergarten?

  • 375. ***  |  March 16, 2015 at 11:30 am


  • 376. ABear  |  March 16, 2015 at 11:33 am

    Is it possible that all applicants to some SEES will be wait listed if you are applying for a non-entry year? Have schools asked parents if they plan to return next year? Do you receive a wait list number? My child will be in third grade.

  • 377. Sarah  |  March 16, 2015 at 11:38 am

    160, I believe. Minimum score for entry is 115.

  • 378. Southside fingers crossed mom  |  March 16, 2015 at 11:44 am

    Thank you !

  • 379. Chicago School GPS  |  March 16, 2015 at 11:51 am

    @376- many applicants for upper grade SEES will not know about spots until later in the spring/summer. Only 4th grade automatically increases class size by 2-3 spots each year. All other grades besides entry grades simply don’t know if kids leave until after first rounds and close to summer. This goes for Magnet and open enrollment schools as well. Hence, lots of movement throughout the summer as parents weigh options from different types of programs at different times.

    We will talk in depth about “What’s Next? Decisions After Notifications” on Thursday, 3/26 in our upcoming seminar, because many families are grappling with what to do now versus what to expect later. http://www.chischoolgps.com/CSG_ES_What_s_Next_.html

  • 380. Non entry year SEES  |  March 16, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    ABear–I know there will be at least one spot at Bell for 3rd grade next year due to a family moving out of state recently. I don’t know timing as far as whether or not OAE will be aware for 1st round offers…..And I don’t think there are wait list numbers. Once the letters come out, you could call OAE and they may give you an idea.

  • 381. AE  |  March 16, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    @376. Also, there is no wait list number given. Children remain ranked based on score — but because there is a lot of shuffling (students accepting and rejecting spots) your child’s place in line might change. For example, after first round offers are given, child A might have the next highest score for School A (“wait listed” #1 for School A). However, if child B turns down a first round offer at School B, they are put back in the pool of applicants. If child B has a higher score than child A, and ranked School A on his/her application, then child B would be next in line for School A (and child A would fall lower on the “wait list”). This movement is happening simultaneously for many applicants. So, as you can imagine, it’s a bit of a moving target. However, I have seen parents report on this blog that sometimes OAE will give parents a general idea of how close their child is ranked if they call (and get lucky with someone especially forthcoming). Good luck.

  • 382. Jen K  |  March 16, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    @373 I believe it is *possible* for an entire K magnet grade to be siblings. The wording is that sibs are guaranteed a spot if spots are available. If there are more sibs than spots (common for non-entry years), all sibs go into a sin lottery. At our school, approximately half is the seats go to sibs in K.

  • 383. anxious  |  March 17, 2015 at 7:47 am

    I called OAE yesterday to confirm the schools I applied to. I was so tempted to ask which school my child had gotten into. They obviously know already!

  • 384. lawmom  |  March 18, 2015 at 12:37 pm

    I wanted to share this information about charter schools and children requiring services under a 504 plan or IEP.


  • 385. ack  |  March 18, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    Anyone happen to know when the principals are informed of the test results/new class names? I have been told this happens before the letters are mailed or perhaps the same day the letters are mailed, but before the letters arrive.

  • 386. AE  |  March 18, 2015 at 1:10 pm

    Principals get a list of newly admitted students (and contact info) but do NOT get any score or tier information.

  • 387. ack  |  March 18, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    Yes, but when?

  • 388. Ewa  |  March 18, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    mail carrier just left…no letters yet. I know, they are not being mailed until friday, but I just want to say they haven’t started arriving early on the west side!

    ack, I heard that 2 years ago skinner west principal sent an email to new parents 2 full days before official letter was even suppose to be mailed. Ive started checking my email obsessively today as well.

    Is this where we post magnet offers and wait lists? So nervous!

  • 389. Kcabral  |  March 18, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    Re: non-entry year admission —

    My son will be entering 1st grade. Based on the discussion above, it sounds like I should expect him to be waitlisted at every school we applied to — SEES, magnet, and open enrollment. Does this seem correct?

    I figured that’d be the case simply because there will be fewer openings, but I hadn’t thought about schools not even knowing yet how many spots there’ll be.

    Seems like these are obvious questions but asking also helps keep me a bit occupied while waiting for the letters. And hopefully help me relax a bit when we get a letter that’s filled with waitlist numbers.

  • 390. anxious  |  March 18, 2015 at 4:01 pm

    Last year, Skinner West and Skinner North sent emails the Monday after letters were sent. I think it is unlikely to hear anything before Friday.

  • 391. west rogers park mom  |  March 18, 2015 at 4:03 pm

    @Kcabral – don’t forget 1st grade is an entry level year for Bell and Beaubien. Good luck !

  • 392. Bridgeport Mom  |  March 18, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    @Kcabral – My son is also entering 1st grade this year. I guess we won’t see any movements until later this summer unless we applied for the schools 391 mentioned above. Sigh…

  • 393. Kcabral  |  March 18, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    @391 & 392 — Thanks!

    We didn’t apply to Bell or Beaubien 😦

    Not far from you, Bridgeport Mom, we’re in McKinley Park. We applied to most of the magnet & open enrollment schools in our area (Sheridan, AJackson, STEM, Galileo, Haines, Ward…others, but that’s all I can think of off the top of my head).

    Good luck to you & to all!!

  • 394. nadja2  |  March 18, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    So I just called OAE and told them I would be out of town for the next week. I asked could they give them my results over the phone. They said no. Lol. I tried. I’m pretty sure they get a lot of request like that. I am not really going to be out of town so I guess I will just have to wait like everyone else….I’m so impatient!

  • 395. Bridgeport Mom  |  March 18, 2015 at 4:59 pm

    @393 ha..our school lists look very similar.. 🙂
    Good luck to you and everyone.

  • 396. Giftedmeasures  |  March 18, 2015 at 9:31 pm

    Woohoo! So excited. To the out of town mom soliciting info by calling OAE. That was out of pocket and purely hilarious! Thanks for the comic relief. Good luck everyone!!! 😉

  • 397. DearCPSobsessed  |  March 19, 2015 at 7:47 am

    In preparation of letter arrivals and parental freak-outs we need some new threads please ! thank you 🙂

  • 398. cpsobsessed  |  March 19, 2015 at 7:48 am

    Ok, ok! :).
    Cranking on a work deadline — coming soon. I need a cpso intern.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 399. hopeful  |  March 19, 2015 at 7:57 am

    I am hoping the Principals get the lists tomorrow. I don’t think I can wait any longer. Thanks CPS Obsessed!

  • 400. ZeeC  |  March 19, 2015 at 8:32 am

    Hello Everyone! This site has been so refreshing its nice to know we’re not alone in this process.

  • 401. Ewa  |  March 19, 2015 at 12:13 pm

    Thank you cpsobsessed for giving us an online oasis of sanity.

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