High School Acceptances 2015

February 17, 2015 at 9:47 pm 821 comments

Lincoln Park HS, built 1899

Lincoln Park HS, built 1899

Days away.  Best of luck to everyone in finding the school that is the best fit for their child, whether that is SEHS, magnet, neighborhood, charter, private, or high school homeschooling (AGH.)

Letters are due to mail out by this Friday 2/17 which means some people *may* see mail on Saturday, but most likely Monday.

How are your kids doing?  Any advice from parents who have gone through this before?

Lots of details here:



Entry filed under: High school.

What’s new in CPS – JANUARY 2015 Neighborhood / Magnet High School Information

821 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Waiting in North Center  |  February 18, 2015 at 1:53 am

    So are we thinking the SEHS letters really will be mailed out Friday Feb 20th??

  • 2. Chicago School GPS  |  February 18, 2015 at 2:11 am

    The SEHS are hoping the letters are mailed then! Jones has two incoming Freshman welcome nights (March 2 & March 4), while Northside has one on March 3.

    Last year, when they mailed on time, the decisions were due the first week of March.

    We are also having our “What’s Next? Decisions After Notifications” seminar on March 3. We will talk about Principal’s Discretion as well as other HS options for parents making decisions between public or private or charter or even some rolling admissions options. Info & registration here:

  • 3. pantherettie  |  February 18, 2015 at 7:07 am


  • […] High School Acceptances 2015 CPS Obsessed: Best of luck to everyone in finding the school that is the best fit for their child, whether that is SEHS, magnet, neighborhood, charter, private, or high school homeschooling (AGH.) Letters are due to mail out by this Friday 2/17 which means some people *may* see mail on Saturday, but most likely Monday. […]

  • 5. Newcomer  |  February 18, 2015 at 9:21 am

    Catastrophy theorist here, but what if October’s “revised” cutoff scores were so drastically underestimated that Rahm tried to postpone because of his feared wrath of parents?

  • 6. Rachel Murray  |  February 18, 2015 at 10:18 am

    I’m sure the revised scores will not be the actual scores. My guess is the actual cutoff scores will be 2-4 points less than last year’s actual cutoff scores. The MAP was not a “big deal” when kids took it before, so many of them didn’t push too hard on it (if it doesn’t count for much, why knock yourself out, right?). I’ve already heard of many “perfect” scores out there, so the competition will be tight. Good luck, everyone!

  • 7. Newcomer  |  February 18, 2015 at 12:15 pm

    Regardless, the initial NWEA sitting is a huge learning opportunity for the StandardIzed Testing dufuses: When kids don’t care, the tests scores are meaningless.

  • 8. otdad  |  February 18, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    “Catastrophy theorist here, but what if October’s “revised” cutoff scores were so drastically underestimated that Rahm tried to postpone because of his feared wrath of parents?”

    How come this has anything to do with the mayor? Would you explain?

    “Regardless, the initial NWEA sitting is a huge learning opportunity for the StandardIzed Testing dufuses: When kids don’t care, the tests scores are meaningless.”

    What do you mean by “meaningless”? You think you are not a doofus? Prove it on the standardized test.

  • 9. northside mom  |  February 18, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    @8 Because the school board is handpicked by Rahm, and they rubber stamp his initiatives, CPS actions ultimately reflect back on him. Including switching to the NWEA test which wasn’t designed for high stakes admission purposes.

    If this year’s test scores are significantly above the revised cutoffs released last year, then it will pretty much prove that the students didn’t take the NWEA test seriously when it wasn’t a high stakes test.

    I for one truly hope that the revised scores are closer to reality. If not, my Tier 4 eighth grader doesn’t have a hope for his 1st choice without principal discretion.

  • 10. Newcomer  |  February 18, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    By “doofuses,” I was not referring to kids taking the tests. I was referring to the corporations behind the tests, the ones treating them as measures of accomplishment or lack thereof. Have a great day!

  • 11. Newcomer  |  February 18, 2015 at 3:16 pm

    @9: Good luck, Northside Mom! Really hoping your 8th grader gets his first pick.

  • 12. northsider  |  February 18, 2015 at 3:22 pm

    @9. Good luck to you and everyone waiting!

  • 13. cpsdad  |  February 18, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    good luck everyone. remember selective enrollment is a competition! i will be surprised if the scores don’t exceed the projections for the oae.

  • 14. cpsdad  |  February 18, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    oops! should read “from the oae”

  • 15. otdad  |  February 18, 2015 at 6:21 pm

    @9. northside mom:
    As I read from this blog, the NWEA switch was because of ILSAT change. No longer gives percentiles (?). Instead of choosing another standardized test, CPS picked the NWEA test which every student takes anyway. Probably for money saving or a response to parents who oppose too much standardized testing. I can’t see the mayor has a hand in this.

    I agree with you that NWEA is not designed for measuring how well a student has mastered a subject. CPS should have simply make SEHS entrance exam more challenging and make admission decisions based on that score only.

    Good luck everyone!

  • 16. northside mom  |  February 18, 2015 at 7:06 pm

    I agree that it’s tough to connect the dots to the mayor for this one (but people will anyway). It’s just indicative of the problems overall. The system was like this before he inherited it, though I don’t think he has helped things and the way the appointed board automatically approves his initiatives and ignores public input brings the blame back to him.

    I also fully expect the actual cutoff scores to be higher than the revised scores, just wishful thinking.

    Thank you all for the good wishes! Good luck everyone.

  • 17. Patricia  |  February 18, 2015 at 7:41 pm

    @16 I do not agree that the mayor has ignored public input. We have a longer school day, recess, more SEHS seats, full day kindergarten, more preschool spots, IB and STEM programs, focus on helping freshman stay on track to graduation, more arts, more gym…………a serious focus on improving neighborhood HS and that is just off the top of my head. I am pretty sure that public input contributed to these changes and was an active public participant to get recess, so saw it first hand. Also, a heck of a lot accomplished in just 4 years given the slow change that CPS is historically famous for.

    I do see the point on the perception of “rubber stamp” school board. It would be useful if the public was made aware of the background and consideration that goes into things before a vote takes place. I am sure there is a lot we do not see and the board really does a bad job letting all of us common folk (LOL) know the thought process behind decisions. On the flip-side of things, without a unified board, NOTING would change or be improved. The longer school day would never have happened. Daley tried to add just 15 minutes and couldn’t do it. So there are certainly good and bad things about a board that seems to be in total agreement. Since so much needs to still be improved, I would rather have a board that can actually agree to change something than a board that bickers, is stacked by special interest groups and remains at a standstill because there is never agreement.

    That said, the real issue is that CPS and the board need to find a way to meaningfully gather public input and for the public to feel they are being heard.

  • 18. pantherettie  |  February 19, 2015 at 6:41 am

    Subscribing again

  • 19. waiting  |  February 19, 2015 at 9:12 am

    Lane Tech Principal Resigns


  • 20. mom2  |  February 19, 2015 at 9:12 am

    @17 Patricia – I agree!

  • 21. cpsobsessed  |  February 19, 2015 at 9:17 am

    Whoa. Interesting news.
    That’s gotta be a fairly plum principal assignment.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 22. pantherparent  |  February 19, 2015 at 10:07 am

    I love this part from the article:

    Dignam said his decision to resign from Lane had nothing to do with the budget constraints imposed by per pupil funding, which cost the school millions of dollars and forced difficult decisions regarding staffing and course offerings.

    Hahahaha. No. Nothing.

  • 23. OutsideLookingIn  |  February 19, 2015 at 11:00 am

    First the north suburbs take the Northside principal, now Lane. The article says there’s a vacancy at Highland Park High School….who will be the SEHS principal to leave next?

  • 24. Patricia  |  February 19, 2015 at 11:18 am

    I think we will see a lot more “plucking” top principals and network leaders from CPS. It makes sense. Running a network in CPS is a huge job and larger than most other districts in the country. Plus, the savvy skills a leader develops in navigating budgets, state funding and ability to serve a range of students both academically and socioeconomically are desired traits. There are not many places to get such deep experience in education administration as one can in CPS. As CPS continues to get better and better, it is only natural that it will be a desirable talent pool. Lane is a huge school that is very similar to a suburban HS. Plus, the academic success of the SEHS are certainly something that the suburbanites are envious of and want to replicate……otherwise, why did they move to the suburbs when they had kids?—LOL!

    Dignam did an amazing job with the budget shift, not only retaining all programs, but adding new ones. He will be missed Northside seems to have made a smooth transition. I am sure the Lane LSC will pick a good replacement as I would guess they will get many great candidates. The past budget challenge is nothing compared to the looming pension disaster on the horizon and a union already posturing for more………

  • 25. MarketingMom  |  February 19, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    Good luck to all. I will have 2 dogs in this fight next year!

  • 26. Gobe  |  February 19, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    So the letters will be mailed Friday? Or CPS hopes they will?


    All references to SEHS letters have been removed from the CPS OAE website banner, which up until a few days ago stated that Feb 20th would be mailing day.

  • 27. cpsobsessed  |  February 19, 2015 at 4:06 pm

    Mailing friday has often meant they go out later friday, seemingly after post office business hours, with letters showing up monday.

    But who knows….

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 28. Rachel  |  February 19, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    Dignam has done a fantastic job at Lane. My LTAC student has been so happy there, and we have been thrilled with the entire school.

    And do not expect letters before Monday — they do this every year. If they leave by midnight Friday, they will still say that “Letters were mailed Friday.” If you have lightning fast delivery, which most of Chicago does not, you MIGHT see it Saturday, but otherwise, lay in wait for the mail carrier on Monday.

  • 29. Waiting in North Center  |  February 19, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    Last year most of my kids’ friends received their letters on the Saturday they were expected. The year before I know my daughter received her letter on a Saturday but I don’t recall if it was “on time”. Have another one anxiously waiting this year…(and again in 2 years ugh!)

  • 30. Rachel  |  February 19, 2015 at 4:40 pm

    @29, I hope you’re right! =)

  • 31. @29 & 30  |  February 19, 2015 at 6:17 pm

    I do recall that year! My son who is a sophomore received his SEHS letter on a Saturday & the letters were on time!

  • 32. Aaaaaaaaaa  |  February 19, 2015 at 10:22 pm

    I hope with 896 and tier 4 we get payton or jones

  • 33. Northsider  |  February 19, 2015 at 11:13 pm

    It is going to be interesting this year. As with last year it seems like a lot of kids have ranked jones first.

  • 34. parent  |  February 20, 2015 at 12:39 am

    Good riddance to Dignam. Maybe they can salvage some of the great things he eliminated. Good luck to all. I’ve had one at Lane and one and Jones and they are both terrific schools.

  • 35. Suzanne  |  February 20, 2015 at 6:20 am

    Good luck to all. I have no one awaiting a letter this year, but many of our family friends are.

  • 36. NCPMom  |  February 20, 2015 at 8:20 am

    Good luck to all. I was in your shoes last year and we are very happy at Northside. For all Northside acceptance letters, we hope to see you March 3 for Freshman night.

  • 37. venkyrao  |  February 20, 2015 at 11:00 am

    Called CPS – Jeff mentioned that the letters will be mailed out later today….

  • 38. nail biter  |  February 20, 2015 at 11:11 am

    @32 if you dont it’s a serious problem

  • 39. cps parent  |  February 20, 2015 at 11:17 am

    Be warned–I think one of the years we were waiting, “mailed out” meant put in the CPS mailroom and not in the mail. For the second one, mail was being delivered after 11 p.m. on a Saturday!

  • 40. jmom  |  February 20, 2015 at 11:52 am

    We are all sitting on pins and needles for our kids…but try to remember that whatever the outcome, they will be fine. If they are motivated, excited to learn and explore, and supported by their parents, they will succeed. It may or may not be their first choice of school, but they will quickly make it their world. Every school has its plusses and minuses. My 8th grader desperately wants to go where her 2 sisters went, and if she gets in, that would be great…but honestly, as a parent, I would also welcome a new school environment for her (and her parents!) to experience.

  • 41. cpyes  |  February 20, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    We have one child at Northside and he is our eldest. Now awaiting our 8th grader’s letter – will our current 8th grader receive a letter either way? Or acceptance letter only? Thanks!

  • 42. Chicago School GPS  |  February 20, 2015 at 1:50 pm

    Anyone who tested and properly applied by the deadline will receive letters stating SEHS exam results, the student’s 900 point total and whether an offer was made to any of the schools they ranked. The schools send out their own “Welcome” letters soon after (in year’s past, sometimes the school’s letter beat it to the mailbox of the CPS letter. Don’t expect that will happen this year). Good luck to all!

  • 43. waiting  |  February 20, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    If you get a letter please post school, score and when it arrived.

  • 44. mom  |  February 20, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    @43 How can the post me marked 3:26pm when it’s only 3:02? Alternate universe!

  • 45. cpsobsessed  |  February 20, 2015 at 4:34 pm

    Maybe the server is on the east coast?
    Maybe I have the time set wrong.
    Maybe a time warp and the letters have been sent already……. !

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 46. not obsessed haha  |  February 20, 2015 at 4:41 pm

    I checked CPSO archives.
    Last year, letters went out on Friday, Feb 21 and the first letter results were posted here at 12:37 Saturday Feb 22 from the Lincoln Square neighborhood. But I”m not obsessed.
    I had a stake in this last year and it was a horrible anxious experience. I just shook and shook when the letter came. Good luck you all.

  • 47. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  February 20, 2015 at 7:52 pm

    The mayor gets the blame when CPS screws up because he has control of the schools — he appoints the board and the CEO. Daley & Emanuel wanted this responsibility, and say it provides for accountability. You reap what you sow.

    After 1995, Daley’s board was appointed solely by Daley. Any special interests or squabbling was his fault. And let’s not forget that the solely mayoral appointed board yielded two board presidents who made $800,000 in personal expenses using board funds and other ethical violations, one whom ate a gun while the inquiry was underway.

    I do not agree that the mayor has ignored public input. We have a longer school day, recess, more SEHS seats, full day kindergarten, more preschool spots, IB and STEM programs, focus on helping freshman stay on track to graduation, more arts, more gym.

    Certainly, full-day kindergarten was a plus as was recess. But preschool enrollment has in fact declined by 930 between 2013 and 2014, according to CPS enrollment figures. Some schools had to cut preschool to fit full-day kindergarten, and the more centralized enrollment process confused many people trying to apply.

    The freshman-on-track work started in 2008, well before Rahm showed up. We had good evidence of its effectiveness by 2014.

    No one was yelling for a longer school day, and certainly not for 7.5 hours. Finland and S. Korea have much shorter instruction time than the US does and perform far better because quantity does not equal quality. One of the core concepts you are supposed to take away from economics — diminishing marginal returns. Rahm had to backpedal to 7. So he took public input there, but late in the game. (He should’ve just ditched the ill-conceived campaign promise rather than have barreled ahead). By failing to lengthen the teacher day because he couldn’t pay for it, he messed up professional development in all the schools. 21% more school time has not led to 21% improvement on any measure — as critics warned it would not. And the arbitrary weekly minutes per subject robbed the schools of any new flexibility. It was 19th century Taylorism.

    More arts mostly consists of out-sourced programs, not regular, progressive arts instruction that some schools have. It’s better than nothing, but the goal is filling up 2 hours per week, not building a long-term arts program in CPS. Let’s face it: arts in CPS is scattershot — you can have dance at one school, drama at another, and music at a third. There’s no real rhyme or reason to it (this part is not Rahm’s fault; the problem predates him).

    IB & STEM remains to be seen. Most of the SE IB programs, aside from Lincoln Park HS, have poor records on the IB diploma exams, the true test of IB. We won’t see the STEM payoff for some time, if it works. But providing IB & STEM here and there doesn’t address the need for a solid math & sciences at all schools, especially in the elementary grades.

    IB has some advantage in that CPS has to follow IBO rules or it will loose or fail to gain accreditation for the schools. But it’s a sorry state of affairs when we have to rely on a global NGO to set the education rules.

    More SEHS seats, yes, but the marginal gain on admissions is slight. 300 seats added to a school means 75 new slots for admission each year, not 300 more entrants. The SEHS concept has its own problems, and I don’t blame Rahm for the craziness of that system, but he is responsible for failing to think about long-term reforms rather than press-release stunts. He squandered the opportunity to show genuine leadership on this.

    Neighborhood HS that I hear from are being pinched. Not supported. For example, LPHS got wall-to-wall IB, and then got its budget slashed by over $1 million.

  • 48. edgewatermom  |  February 20, 2015 at 7:53 pm

    I am very curious to see what the cut-off scores end up being this year.

  • 49. Tilly  |  February 20, 2015 at 8:17 pm


    I found the new HS scores yesterday!!

  • 50. cpsobsessed  |  February 20, 2015 at 8:29 pm


  • 51. edgewatermom  |  February 20, 2015 at 8:34 pm

    @49 Those are the cut-off scores for this year’s freshman class.

  • 52. cpsobsessed  |  February 20, 2015 at 8:34 pm

    Oh. Those are last year’s scores. I think I make that same mistake every year 🙂

  • 53. Tilly  |  February 20, 2015 at 8:36 pm

    They’re this year’s scores just posted yesterday, 2014-2015….

  • 54. Mom  |  February 20, 2015 at 8:39 pm

    Those are for last year……this year’s scores would be 2015-2016.

  • 55. Tilly  |  February 20, 2015 at 8:51 pm

    Ohhhhhh, got it. So, I hope the scores fall lower this year then?? For example, if Lane 2014-2015 Tier 4 Actual Cutoff Scores was 836 it will now be between 793 & 836??? First time 8th grader here and I’m on pins and needles here not knowing her score yet. Thanks 😁

  • 56. Anxious but hopeful  |  February 20, 2015 at 8:59 pm

    Does anyone have a sense of how we will know if they actually get mailed today/tonight? I have a sense that last year there was someone here who had a contact in the office who reported on when the mail went out.

  • 57. Mom  |  February 20, 2015 at 9:01 pm

    Cps had initially predicted that scores would fall this year based on previous student performance on the NWEA MAP vs the ISAT. Truth is, no one really knows, because this is the first year using the MAP as the high-stakes test. Scores could fall, stay the same, or jump. We will find out soon enough. 🙂

  • 58. Gobe  |  February 20, 2015 at 10:15 pm

    Since I need to distract myself in some way from obsessing over the mail…

    Now that cps seems to have the online application process worked out, what’s stopping them from email notices? This whole mass mailing thing seems archaic.

  • 59. Northside mom  |  February 20, 2015 at 10:51 pm

    If letters have supposedly gone out, why do they wait to release the cutoff scores? There’s so much ambiguity this year since last years’ revised scores with NWEA were so much lower than the actual ISAT cut scores.

    There’s so much tension at home tonight!

  • 60. Diane F  |  February 21, 2015 at 7:04 am

    “First the north suburbs take the Northside principal, now Lane. ”

    The suburbs didn’t “take” anything. The principal got out of the hellhole known as CPS as fast as they could as soon as the opportunity presented itself. Any other principal would do the same, unfortunately, there appears to be only one spot open in the burbs every few years. Brighter kids to teach and a safer environment to raise their own families can not be passed up. Congrats!

    My condolences to the children who have to attend any CPS school, SE included. Your parents should follow the principal’s plans and move to the burbs as soon as possible! Do it for the children…your own.

  • 61. LP lol  |  February 21, 2015 at 7:09 am

    With such brilliant insights, how did C Ball do in the LPHS LSC election?

  • 62. K Lommar  |  February 21, 2015 at 7:13 am

    From Article: “Dignam said his decision to resign from Lane had nothing to do with the budget constraints imposed by per pupil funding, which cost the school millions of dollars and forced difficult decisions regarding staffing and course offerings. “I’ve been successful navigating” the budget, he said, as well as finding solutions to new physical education mandates.”

    The bright ones accept challenges and find solutions. They realize throwing more money in a failed system is not the answer. The not so bright sit and whine and ramble on in long posts that no one reads.

  • 63. pantherettie  |  February 21, 2015 at 7:43 am

    @Diane F – you’re right, people leave jobs for a variety of reasons – including better pay, better commutes, different opportunities, etc. I think that it’s interesting that you assume that it’s because CPS is a “hellhole”. By many accounts, objectively and subjectively, LTHS is one of the best schools in Illinois and recognized nationally as a strong school. So for a person to leave that school to go to another well resourced school but with different demographics is just a job move. Nothing more. It seems like you really just wanted to bash CPS and used this as opportunity to get in a couple of licks. There are plenty of things wrong with CPS, and I’m sure that you could point them out, but it seems like this just isn’t one.

  • 64. Anxious but hopeful  |  February 21, 2015 at 9:29 am

    I am so anxious to know if those letters actually made it out the door yesterday or not. I don’t care if it was midnight. I would like to be able to sleep again sometime soon…

  • 65. Wanna know  |  February 21, 2015 at 9:34 am

    @47 or anyone in the know: Where does one go to find out how an IB HS did on the diploma exams?

  • 66. Watching  |  February 21, 2015 at 10:42 am

    @64…the crawl on CPSOAE is saying that they were mailed out as planned yesterday. Good luck to everyone waiting for mail!

  • 67. goodluck  |  February 21, 2015 at 10:44 am

    FYI, the ticker on the cpsoae.org website now says highschool letters were mailed to students homes on Friday Feb 20th. Good luck today, all.

  • 68. Anxious but hopeful  |  February 21, 2015 at 10:55 am

    Oh, thank goodness. Good luck, everybody. Waiting…

  • 69. SoLoMo  |  February 21, 2015 at 11:06 am

    Love your posts, CBall and pantherettie. Keep ’em coming, while we are waiting . . .

  • 70. Kristin k  |  February 21, 2015 at 11:16 am

    Our mail just arrived. No letter.

  • 71. cps123  |  February 21, 2015 at 11:38 am

    Good luck to everyone. I wish nothing but the best for you all!

  • 72. northside mom  |  February 21, 2015 at 11:50 am

    Does anyone know if individual school letters were also mailed yesterday? (Von Steuben Scholars, LP Double Honors)

  • 73. Watching  |  February 21, 2015 at 11:53 am

    @72…I know some IB and ROTC letters were mailed yesterday and some were received. So I am assuming that those others were mailed as well. But you know what they say when you assume certain things 😉

  • 74. klm  |  February 21, 2015 at 12:08 pm


    I understand where you’re coming from. CPS seems to be in a quasi-crisis every year: fiscal mismanagement, pathetic achievement scores, high drop-out rates, schools that people use as exemplars of how inner-city public schools can be oases of academic excellence, but in reality whose test scores suggest that most students are still 2-3 years behind their open-enrollment public school peers in suburbs with “good” schools (not necessarily ones with the ‘best’ schools, where comparisons are even more dispiriting), etc.

    It’s upsetting, depressing, worthy of criticism and enough to make one want to throw up one’s hands and move to Northbrook, Hinsdale, Oak Park, Naperville (even if one has to rent and live in a dump –at least the kids will have a guaranteed opportunity get a great education if they want it) or wherever a quality K-12 education is guaranteed and where getting into a great HS is as easy as filling out a simple form. Plus, there’s always private schools for those with the money –and parochial ones aren’t crazy expensive, even for regular people.

    However, CPS is not all bad. Some of its K-8 schools (even ones that are open-enrollment –Lincoln, Edgebrook, Blaine, Bell, Oriole Park, etc.) are among the best in the state as measured by achievement —higher than even ones in the “best” suburban school districts in some cases. Kids at many CPS schools are rocking in terms of achievement and besting kids in places like Wilmette, Glencoe and Lake Forest, on average. Again, this includes kids attending regular, open-enrollment neighborhood elementary schools, not just RGCs.

    Sure, HS can be a nightmare for parents with “typical” kids that get “typical” scores, what with gangs, high levels of drop-outs, the threat of gun violence at social gatherings (even school-related sporting events). The SE HS admissions process kinda’ sucks on every level.

    But when it works –and it does in many cases– CPS provides a great education that provides great opportunities for later success in life. I’m talking the same as schools do in Hinsdale a Winnetka –that’s how good they can be and sometimes really are.

    There are parents at my kids, CPS schools that have impressive c.v.’s: undergrad and graduate degrees from places like Princeton, Brown, Dartmouth, MIT, Caltech, U-C, Northwestern (all schools of parents from my kids CPS schools that I’ve become acquainted with, sometimes friends with). These aren’t silly airy-fairy dreamers that stay in the city or don’t go private because they’re not really “aware” of what a good education is. These are people that KNOW what good education is and yet they still choose (and are mostly happy with) the CPS education that their children are receiving.

    Living around me are college-age kids who went to CPS K-12 and are now going to colleges like Yale, Amherst, Wesleyan, U-C, Johns Hopkins (granted they did do HS at places like Payton and LPIB). I’m not saying a Name College matriculation is automatic proof that schools are great, but it does provide context and examples to parents in terms of real success, so that maybe their kids will go on to UIUC, Michigan State, Lake Forest College, NIU, DePaul or wherever, not drop out, party with gang-bangers and start attending baby showers for their best friends in 11th grade (not a few years after college).

    So, sure CPS has it problems, but so far it’s been great for my family. I know that we’re maybe not “typical,” but we’re not alone, either.

  • 75. Waiting in North Center  |  February 21, 2015 at 12:13 pm

    Kristin K – what neighborhood do you live in?

  • 76. cpsobsessed  |  February 21, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    Yes, if letters arrive, please post neighborhood!

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 77. cpsobsessed  |  February 21, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    Also, before the SEHS madness starts, one more plug for amundsen and lake view and senn as neighborhood options.
    Amundsen and lvhs will both host sessions next week/s for interested families to meet each other.
    SEHS isn’t the right fit for every kid, and embracing these schools as a community will result in more good options for students.

    I’ll be posting info on these schools meetings as I get that.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 78. SoLoMo  |  February 21, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    Mail arrived in South Loop, but no CPS letters.

  • 79. Kristin k  |  February 21, 2015 at 12:54 pm

    @75 Norwood park

  • 80. John Doe  |  February 21, 2015 at 2:28 pm

    Omg, when do the letters come?

  • 81. Alyson  |  February 21, 2015 at 2:43 pm

    Betting the letters are actually delayed as announced last week. Betting CPS only retracted this and made a new announcement about “trying to mail” on Friday, in order to end the outroar and conspiracy theories that erupted in response to the announced delay. Regardless, why don’t they email these things? My block hasn’t gotten mail all week, probably related to the substitute mail carrier on duty!

  • 82. Waiting in North Center  |  February 21, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    Mail arrived an no letter 😦

  • 83. LSLady  |  February 21, 2015 at 2:46 pm

    Lincoln Square mail delivered. No CPS letter.

  • 84. parent  |  February 21, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    probably sitting in the CPS mailroom.

  • 85. Anxious but hopeful  |  February 21, 2015 at 2:51 pm

    @81 I have a sinking feeling you’re right.

  • 86. mom  |  February 21, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    CPSOAE website ticker says they were mailed yesterday. Who knew Rahm had the US Postal Service in his back pocket, too!
    (that was a joke for all the conspiracy theorists out there).

  • 87. Northside mom  |  February 21, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    In everyone else’s world, “mailed on” means “postmarked by”.

  • 88. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  February 21, 2015 at 3:04 pm

    Tied for 3rd at 31 votes, 2 vote less than the 2nd CR, who had 33. The 1st CR, a realtor, had the LSC chair endorsement and got 44. Turn-out was low — the top PR got 50. The two of us in 3rd for CR had more votes than the 6th PR, who had 27. There were only 112 ballots cast shortly before polls closed. For a school with over 2,000 students, that’s pretty dismal.

  • 89. chicago60640  |  February 21, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    No letter in Ravenswood

  • 90. chicago60640  |  February 21, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    Any idea when score ranges are posted?

  • 91. Northside mom  |  February 21, 2015 at 3:17 pm

    I read somewhere on the cpsoae website that cutoff scores would be posted under “news” the week of Feb. 24th.

  • 92. John Doe  |  February 21, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    Well, I guess the letters aren’t coming today

  • 93. cpsobsessed  |  February 21, 2015 at 3:39 pm

    It’s possible that letters arrived in neighborhood/s of people who aren’t CPSO blog-readers.

    Possibly possible.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 94. Northsider  |  February 21, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    No letter in north center or roscoe village.

  • 95. chitowndad  |  February 21, 2015 at 3:46 pm

    @93- couldn’t possibly!

  • 96. WL OBSERVER  |  February 21, 2015 at 3:53 pm

    Last year the letters were mailed on a Friday and families received them on a Saturday. I think they maybe mailing them out on Monday or past the date of the election.

  • 97. HPDad  |  February 21, 2015 at 3:54 pm

    no letter in Hyde Park

  • 98. beentheretwice  |  February 21, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    Been there done that twice. Both times the letters went out late Friday afternoon.One year CPS even posted a picture, Friday afternoon/evening of the letters in a blue postal box on their Facebook page.Both times we received the letter on Saturday.Not a peep on instagram or twitter where the kids hang out so if they did go out yesterday must have been very very late.Good Luck everyone

  • 99. CPC4Chicago  |  February 21, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    Mail just arrived in Lincoln Park:

    Two Chuy fliers, one Rahm flier, two separate “special offers” from Xfinity, one Sur la table pamphlet for a Nespresso machine…no CPS letter.

  • 100. Tours  |  February 21, 2015 at 5:34 pm

    #99. Haha! I bet the candidates are loving this! Guaranteed that those families waiting for the CPS letters are at least getting their mail so they are getting some visibility.

  • 101. Anxious but hopeful  |  February 21, 2015 at 5:51 pm

    Meanwhile, here in Old Irving it’s 4:50 pm and the mail has yet to arrive. Sigh.

  • 102. Gobe  |  February 21, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    I know the cps oae ticker says letters were mailed, but no mention of letters on the cps Facebook or twitter accounts. It bothers me how little I trust cps…wouldn’t be surprised at all to find the letters haven’t actually been mailed yet.

  • 103. Catherine  |  February 21, 2015 at 6:07 pm

    Also in Old Irving and no mail yet. This is sooo frustrating.

  • 104. Catherine  |  February 21, 2015 at 6:19 pm

    My daughter camped out on the couch today looking for the mailman. (never showed up) I showed her this post and she feels better that we are not the only ones not getting a letter. A letter today would have been so nice, with a day before Monday to process everthing; either good or bad news. Now they just wonder, while in school, if the letter came or not. A night with bad news and homework is not a good mix. It’s so nice to have a place to see other parents going through the same thing.

  • 105. ELT  |  February 21, 2015 at 6:30 pm

    No letters in Bucktown. I was joking before about conspiracies, but geez, what are the chances of NO ONE getting a letter if they really were mailed yesterday?!

    If the letters don’t come Monday, CPS’s credibility is shot and Rahm definitely looks like the bad guy. But it’s still one more day until the election so what does that get him? So that theory doesn’t work unless letters don’t arrive until Tuesday. No one’s going to believe that 50,000 letters mailed on Friday don’t get to their intended until Tuesday. . .

    If it is Rahm, and he actually has the ability to pull such a stunt then he should have gone the extra mile and made sure that everyone who got their first choice actually got their letters before the election and those who didn’t got them after . . . hmmmm . . . that would be some interesting data…

    Anyway, I’m circling back to Occam’s Razor…CPS incompetence. They probably did hire some vendor to do the mailing, who told them they couldn’t guarantee letters going out Friday, CPS told them they had to no matter what, so the vendor sent them out, probably with a bunch of mistakes . . . .

    Next thing you know it’s Carnegie Mellongate here in Chicago. Another lesson in lowering one’s expectations when it comes to CPS.

  • 106. Portage  |  February 21, 2015 at 6:55 pm

    No letter. Mail finally arrived in portage park.

  • 107. City Man  |  February 21, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    When CPS has some one in charge of it that actually cares about CPS…
    When the school board is made up of accountable persons who reflect the diversity of Chicago…
    When both selective enrollment schools and neighborhood schools will be given proper support…

    …then the expectations of the system will be raised. For now, the leadership and its plan for public education is horrible. Let your voices be heard on Tuesday.

  • 108. WL OBSERVER  |  February 21, 2015 at 7:08 pm

    #107 I agree

  • 109. kmb  |  February 21, 2015 at 7:39 pm

    what if the vendor is not in Chicago? Then it could be they were sent out late Friday and no one would get the letter on Saturday

  • 110. cpsobsessed  |  February 21, 2015 at 7:47 pm

    Oh, interesting hypothesis about out of state vendor. Everyone check the postmark when the mail arrives.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 111. Patricia  |  February 21, 2015 at 8:01 pm

    Hmmm……. Interesting thought. Even if this vendor is in the suburbs, it may delay delivery. I know when I mail a letter downtown, it gets there lickety split……but when I mail using my Lakeview corner mailbox, it takes longer.

  • 112. WL OBSERVER  |  February 21, 2015 at 8:07 pm

    No conspiracy theory here but a little birdie told me, CPS was encouraging schools to push back freshman night. This leads me to believe they knew those letters were not going out on time.

  • 113. Waiting in North Center  |  February 21, 2015 at 8:54 pm

    So if/when the letters arrive on Monday and your anxious 8th grader is in school when mail is delivered, are all you anxious parents waiting to let your child open the letter when they get home? Just curious…

  • 114. HS HS  |  February 21, 2015 at 9:01 pm

    Also…just wondering….do all of the SEHSs have a freshman night for incoming kids this spring?

  • 115. cpsobsessed  |  February 21, 2015 at 9:06 pm

    @waiting in north center – this comes up every year. I’d discuss it with your kid and see if they’re okay with you opening it. And if not steam if open. Haha. Just kidding.
    As an fyi don’t use the microwave to steam a letter. It can burn the paper.

    But in the past some parents got the kids approval to open it.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 116. Anxious but hopeful  |  February 21, 2015 at 9:48 pm

    @103: 8:47 pm and no mail of any kind in my corner of Old Irving! How about where you are?

  • 117. GraceStreet  |  February 21, 2015 at 10:08 pm

    @116 we got mail in Old Irving today, but I have another month to wait for the AC letter :-).

    @113 when we got the letter with the rest results (because she did the early test date), I was ready to rip it open because my daughter wasn’t home. My husband stopped me but it was So. Hard. I’m glad I waited for her, though.

  • 118. Gobe  |  February 21, 2015 at 11:50 pm

    The Sun-Times noted the outside vendor as Lowitz + sons. Via google, it looks like the company is located in the city. Right around Halstead and Division. So I’m surprised no one received a letter today.

    Side topic: Why does CPS not email the results? Seems like such wasted money to hire a vendor to print and mail letters. For people who don’t have access to email or want a paper letter, that could be indicated on the application.

  • 119. Analysis  |  February 22, 2015 at 12:21 am

    The Chicago Post Office has an “on-time” delivery of 91.5% for Chicago. Note: this only applies if the First Class Mail is delivered to a “centralized delivery point” at the Post Office (not a mail drop, and probably not a local Post Office), it is reported to be delivered within 1-3 business days (Sunday is not a business day). For mail not delivered to the Post Office, but put in a mail drop, has an “on-time” delivery of 69.2% for Chicago. This is from the USPS 2014 Quaterly Performance Report for 2014. The fact that there is a Chicago Primary Election on Tuesday, February 24, 2015 will probably slow down the mail even more because of the enormous amount of election mailings that are deluging the post office and the carriers. So, I would be shocked if people get their letters before Tuesday. This is basic analytics. To avoid this clearly anticipated snarl at the Post Office before an Election, the mail should have been sent earlier in the week or the CPS Office of Access and Enrollment should have modified the online application process to INCLUDE an online notification process that would have been nearly instantaneous. If there is an Conspiracy, it’s one of Dunces.

  • 120. LR  |  February 22, 2015 at 4:03 am

    I always assumed they do not send notification electronically because it makes it harder for people to lie about where they live.

  • 121. cpsobsessed  |  February 22, 2015 at 7:42 am

    Ah, that’s a good point LR.
    Also the followups needed due to spam folders, people changing email addresses or lot remembering which email they gave would be time consuming.

    It does seems a bit antiquated though.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 122. Still waiting  |  February 22, 2015 at 8:04 am

    Just curious. How many people did not receive mail of any kind yesterday? 60641 zip code. No mail delivery yesterday.

  • 123. OIPMomof2  |  February 22, 2015 at 8:12 am

    We didn’t get any mail in OIP yesterday either. Thank you USPS.

  • 124. dixie  |  February 22, 2015 at 8:38 am

    Mail is out of NY. Just looked up contracts

  • 125. michele  |  February 22, 2015 at 10:20 am

    Has anyone thought about the implied contract that CPS made with the Parents and families that the acceptance letters would be mailed out on a certain date? Even with a disclaimer – there should be some legal accountability for the contract CPS made – class action for accountability of sorts. Those of you who are directly effected could organize and look at your legal options. Especially if there are financial consequences for not being able to apply elsewhere on time. Until CPS realizes there are real consequences for not fulfilling their contractual obligation nothing will change. Just my 2 cents.

  • 126. otdad  |  February 22, 2015 at 11:55 am

    CPS should just post a spread sheet online showing student number, scores, and admitted school. It only takes few minutes for CPS, but saves the waiting anxiety.

  • 127. Anxious but hopeful  |  February 22, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    @122 @123 Yeah, I’m in 60641 too. No mail yesterday. Who knows when we’ll get these letters.

  • 128. cpsmommy  |  February 22, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    CPS should just have a system where you log in with an ID and a password and your results appear on a certain day/time. Isn’t this how kids get their AP and ACT scores? AP/ACT scores are also mailed, but the kids (I am pretty sure) can look their scores up themselves after a certain date. You could even stagger the times of day to prevent overload (AP does this with scores for teachers).

  • 129. Still waiting  |  February 22, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    Mail delivered on Sunday in 60641. No letter from CPS.

  • 130. klm  |  February 22, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    The point somebody made about mail and fake addresses is a good one. However, don’t most people that use an address in another “easier” Tier use a “real” one, just not one where they actually live (a friend’s, relative’s, rental, maybe even a Tier 1 property that they own, but maybe rent out –lots of landlords that live in Tier 4 neighborhoods own property in Tier 1 locations, etc.)?

    Given all that and the fact that USPO mail is famously unreliable in Chicago (we get other peoples’ mail, like every day, I swear, and people have called me wondering why I haven’t responded to invitations that I never received), the fact that even the poorest, most socially disconnected people can get email at a public library or school, get free or subsidized cell phone service, etc., shouldn’t CPS get with the 21st century and notify students electronically?

    I saw a documentary a couple of years ago about poor students in rural, sub-Saharan Africa taking HS entrance exams and nervously waiting for scores. Finally, the day came and the impoverished students in a Third World country frantically got to get their scores —by using cell phones.

    I know that there are probably reasons for doing things the way CPS still does it, but I can’t really think of a good one.

  • 131. HS Mom  |  February 22, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    Not saying that I disagree with online notification….but…. would this method encourage people to use any fake address as opposed to a real one or even a relative etc where they can pick up mail. Think about it, this letter and the packet are the only pieces of information you’ll receive prior to registering/starting school and having the ability to change your address. It seems this inherent flaw in the system is perpetuating the archaic notification process.

  • 132. Marketing Mom  |  February 22, 2015 at 9:30 pm

    I don’t really think the letters will be mailed/received until after the election. The mayor does not want a backlash of angry upper and middle class parents to reflect negatively on him in such a close election where he needs 50 percent plus one to avoid a run- off.

  • 133. Sad Student  |  February 22, 2015 at 10:06 pm

    We will see if the letters come tomorrow, hopefully they do

  • 134. thanks cps  |  February 23, 2015 at 12:34 am

    I just wanted to add my own tidbit as an anxious 8th grader awaiting an acceptance letter. CPS sent out an email (and phonecalls) saying that they made a mistake on the letters and instead of selective enrollment, they put military schools on them instead. CPS also stated earlier that they would delay the letter in fear of biased voting because of angry parents. What I’m saying is, this probably was not a mistake and I probably will not get a letter anytime soon. The entire thing just sounds really evil to me. *sips tea*

  • 135. parent  |  February 23, 2015 at 1:44 am

    they are generally always late–election year or not. CPS administration and decision making is just incompetent–there is no conspiracy.

  • 136. P. Joseph Powers  |  February 23, 2015 at 8:18 am

    We mailed our letters from Jones College Prep late Friday evening, so the first deliveries will probably be Monday, February 23. For those selected to Jones, our Freshman Welcome for the Class of 2019 will be Monday, March 2 (names A-L) and Wednesday, March 4 (names M-Z). We are really looking forward to meeting all of our new Jones Eagles!

  • 137. SEHS  |  February 23, 2015 at 8:21 am

    The SEHSs often send welcome packets…these will most likely start arriving today even if the letters don’t. And yes, if you receive a welcome packet from NS or Jones today, that means you will be receiving an offer from that school.

  • 138. Cps mama  |  February 23, 2015 at 8:24 am

    Thanks Dr Powers.. So nice to know our children will have an answer soon. Jones is my daughters top choice. Hope to see you soon!!

  • 139. Just a thought  |  February 23, 2015 at 8:27 am

    Good luck to all the kids today that are waiting on a letter….

    As for those that are complaining about using the mail, I agree that email delivery would be nice, but it is just another variable for CPS administration to have to cope with. Emails are, when given, often handwritten. Is that an O or a Zero. Two t’s, or an h? As someone who had to deal with this in college to compile an email directory for a large alumni base, I can see who this can go wrong 20 different ways.

    Plus, you have the added variable of people not checking their email, overzealous spam filters, and access. Yes, people might have better access to email, but due to conflicting work and email schedules, they might not be able to check it, except on Saturdays.

    These are literally First World Problems. You’ve waited for a year (maybe two) for this process to play out. 48 more hours won’t kill you.

    @60- I normally don’t feed the trolls, but people like you are why we left the suburbs to move back into the city.

  • 140. Waiting in NC  |  February 23, 2015 at 8:29 am

    Did anyone else receive an email or phone call from CPS stating there was an error?? Also CPS never said the letters would be late for fear of biased voting – the cry of biased voting came from conspiracy theorists.

  • 141. 3rd grade - neighborhood school parent  |  February 23, 2015 at 9:29 am

    And this is how the urban myths and legends begin…. there’s no conspiracy; just life in the big city. C’mon folks ‘let it go’.
    And best of luck to all 8th graders….. and their parents.

  • 142. cpsobsessed  |  February 23, 2015 at 9:43 am

    Yeah…I don’t know if it get the train of thought from “my kid missed the cutoff for school X so therefore it’s all rahm’s fault and I won’t vote for him.”

    Even using just simple math, the number of people receiving high school letter right now is just a minute percent of the city’s population. It couldn’t be a big factor in swinging the election.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 143. 3rd grade - neighborhood school parent  |  February 23, 2015 at 10:00 am

    and does the opposite hold true: a voter that didn’t expect to fill a SEHS seat gets an offer, will they now vote for RE?
    afterall, the seats are going to be filled.

  • 144. pantherparent  |  February 23, 2015 at 10:09 am

    If you don’t think Rahm and his people take everything into account, then you haven’t been paying attention. He needs to get 50% plus one vote to avoid a runoff. Polls have him hovering near that number. No need to risk alienating even a small number of voters by rejecting their child the day before the election.

  • 145. cpsobsessed  |  February 23, 2015 at 10:18 am

    I still don’t get the connection — another candidate would do what to get one’s child a seat in a good school? This system has been in place for a long time and if anything the # of “good” HS spots has improved.
    Not that I’m support rahm on education necessarily. I just don’t know that not voting for him will change things substantially in terms of HSs.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 146. well-connected  |  February 23, 2015 at 10:23 am

    my close friend is a very very high up official in the Rahm administration. I am assured that there is NO involvement by the administration in delay of letters. I trust this person implicitly. We can drop the conspiracy theory.

  • 147. northside mom  |  February 23, 2015 at 10:28 am

    There’s just so much frustration with the system overall, the fact that we have to play this game in the first place. However, as much as I dislike Rahm’s education policies and actions, I can’t imagine that delaying acceptance letters is intentional. I think that people are more frustrated with the unknown than they would be with rejection letters. At least then, it’s a matter of not making the cut.

    If CPS would just release the cutoff scores, it could alleviate a lot of the frustration. The switch to NWEA and last year’s dramatically lower cutoff scores have intensified the stress since we have no idea what they will be this year.

  • 148. well-connected  |  February 23, 2015 at 10:32 am

    @147 amen. If Dr. Powers can print, package and mail letters to all accepted freshmen on Friday, then the list and cutoff scores were known well before then. This process is archaic, anxiety-provoking and unnecessary. I think everyone on this board agrees with that.

  • 149. pantherparent  |  February 23, 2015 at 10:35 am

    @146 Right. And the red-light cameras were set up for safety not for money. Did you just move to this city?

    @145 The worry is that a family with a child who just got rejected for a SEHS will be mad and take out that anger on Rahm. I’m not saying it’s a logical conclusion, but why giver a voter a reason to choose someone else. Remember this issue was brought up by CPS officials (appointed by Rahm) when they announced the delay. Then magically, when pressed on it, the letters went out on time.

  • 150. B.B. Leroy Brown  |  February 23, 2015 at 10:36 am

    Good luck to all! Hoping to hear from both SEHS and the IB/DH at Lincoln Pk today. We’d hate to have to shell out the $17K for Ignatius (that we heard from last week).

  • 151. nervousmom  |  February 23, 2015 at 10:44 am

    Our mail is never delivered before mid to late afternoon, sometimes evening. So Saturday I had a pretty good idea by the time it got here that the letter wouldn’t be in it. I’m hoping all of you who get your mail early or earlier post as you did on Saturday. As someone posted above, at this point the greatest anxiety comes from the unknown — will that #$^%$# letter come today or not — it’s nice having some sense before the end of the day!

  • 152. nervousmom  |  February 23, 2015 at 10:46 am

    @145 Was it brought up by CPS officials or the other mayoral candidates? I thought, at least based on the DNAinfo article that it was a creation of the political animals (perhaps encouraged by the reporter)?

  • 153. pantherparent  |  February 23, 2015 at 10:54 am

    From the article. CPS spokesman McCaffrey said. “As such, we may not be able to mail letters on Friday, Feb. 20, as planned, but we will work to get letters out as quickly as possible.”

    Then the mayor’s opponents jumped in and they were able to go out.

  • 154. Voter  |  February 23, 2015 at 10:55 am

    With or without a letter, Rahm won’t be getting my vote.

  • 155. Waiting  |  February 23, 2015 at 11:04 am

    @150..I agree with your statement…..the catholic school tuition bills are getting a bit high and it would be great to settle in to a SEHS and save that money for college!

  • 156. mom2  |  February 23, 2015 at 11:49 am

    Since most people on this thread seem to feel that you must have a seat at an SEHS or nothing at all, why on Earth would you vote for someone other than Rahm? The other candidates want more for the neighborhood high schools and less for those people and schools that already have more. My guess is you will have less chance at spaces for SEHS (and less funding for them) with others than you will with Rahm. I want everyone here to just go to their local neighborhood high school and the school will become fabulous instantly but I didn’t think that most of you agreed with that plan.

  • 157. Chris  |  February 23, 2015 at 11:52 am

    “another candidate would do what to get one’s child a seat in a good school?”

    Nothing. They’d do nothing. If there would be any meaningful change, it would become *harder* for the kids of the typical commenter here

    It’s just one more thing to say “anyone but Rahm” about.

  • 158. Bebe  |  February 23, 2015 at 11:52 am

    10:44 am. Just got the letter. Our boy will be joining his sister at WY next year. Yay!

  • 159. northside mom  |  February 23, 2015 at 11:55 am

    @158 Tier and total score please!!

  • 160. Bebe  |  February 23, 2015 at 11:56 am

    @156: Actually if our youngest child didn’t get into WY, he would go to our neighoborhood high school, which has seen phenomenal improvements in the past 5-10 years. If every neighborhood school is at least good (doesn’t have to be great), more people would choose them, and fewer stresses for everyone all around in these crazy SEHS rounds. We’ve done SEHS four times, and it gets more, not less, stressful, because the school choices have gotten more and more whacked out in the past 8 years.

  • 161. Bebe  |  February 23, 2015 at 11:58 am

    @159. Tier 4, total score 867.

  • 162. I tried  |  February 23, 2015 at 11:59 am

    My daughter got about 750, I have not got a letter, but I’m assuming she didn’t get into anything. Has anyone been thst low and got in

  • 163. Chris  |  February 23, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    “My daughter got about 750, I have not got a letter, but I’m assuming she didn’t get into anything.”

    What was her 6 school list?

    Yes, kids from all tiers get into an SEHS with a 750 (and lower scores) *every* year.

  • 164. Chris  |  February 23, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    “10:44 am. Just got the letter. Our boy will be joining his sister at WY next year. Yay!”

    Are you a Rahm plant? I’d heard that there was *no doubt* that there was a conspiracy to prevent the letters from being received before Wednesday. Something about the Mossad and perhaps littel green men.

  • 165. Sosidemom5  |  February 23, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    Nice Bebe! Congratulations to your son.

  • 166. northside mom  |  February 23, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    Obsessing more now! That 867 is 10 points lower than the Whitney Tier 4 ISAT cutoff last year (though within the Rank group with NWEA).

  • 167. northside mom  |  February 23, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    Forgot to add, Congratulations!!

  • 168. 2Kids.1Dog  |  February 23, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    Feeling much better about my Tier 4 kid with a 869.

  • 169. Anonmom  |  February 23, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    Last year, the SEES letters went out on Friday, but the first ones arrived on Monday. It’s just CPS putting them in the mail at the very end of the day, not some big conspiracy. Good luck to the families waiting for letters!

  • 170. Bebe  |  February 23, 2015 at 12:13 pm

    @164: Definitely not a Rahm plant. I am an active volunteer for one of the challengers. 🙂
    @166: Yes, the total score does seem lower, but the NWEA test scores were lower than the ISAT scores in general (at least that’s what our counselor told us.) Our WY girl had 900 two years ago.
    And thanks everyone for the congrats.

  • 171. Cps mama  |  February 23, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    Bebe… Did you receive the letter from OAE or from whitney young? I know the schools are sending out letters too.

  • 172. syssick  |  February 23, 2015 at 12:29 pm

    Just got letter. 883. Wanted Nside, got Whitney, 2nd choice.

  • 173. syssick  |  February 23, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    Sorry- if it wasn’t obvious- Tier 4. Cutoffs must be higher than predicted for Nside as this would have gotten her in with the predicted score.

  • 174. Nervous Nellie  |  February 23, 2015 at 12:32 pm

    @171. Can you post tier please thanks! Congrats!!

  • 175. pantherparent  |  February 23, 2015 at 12:49 pm

    @173 Great point. It looks like the revised cutoff scores that CPS put up as a guide using NWEA are nowhere near accurate as a predictor. They equated last year’s 894 at Northside to 865 this year. But 883 didn’t get in.

  • 176. relieved appa  |  February 23, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    Went home during my lunch break to check. My son got into Northside! 895/900 Tier 4. Have to zip back to work… but blessings to all as they await letters.

  • 177. nervousmom  |  February 23, 2015 at 12:55 pm

    It will be interesting when Jones scores start coming in. Could be that WY’s lower score reflects a greater number of applicants putting Jones before WY.

    But, then it could be anything. Guess we won’t know until CPS publishes cutoffs.

  • 178. northside mom  |  February 23, 2015 at 12:56 pm

    But at Whitney, the min Tier 4 with ISAT was 877 (841 with NWEA) and there is an acceptance at 867 so cut scores are at least somewhat lower there.

    There are going to be a lot of disappointed Northside hopefuls. Those revised scores are going to cause a lot of heartache,

  • 179. Newcomer  |  February 23, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    Thank you, Dr Powers, for having the humanity to inform us of Jones’ mailing. You are a great leader and CPS is lucky to have you.

  • 180. northside mom  |  February 23, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    A huge stack of CPS letters just arrived but I promised my son I wouldn’t open them without him!

    A separate letter came from Lane (his 1st choice, but he is likely very close to the revised Tier 4 cutoff). Would they send a separate letter if he didn’t get in?

  • 181. chi-towndad  |  February 23, 2015 at 1:10 pm

    Dr. Powers is the man!

  • 182. NCPMom  |  February 23, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    @180 – letters from the schools are the Welcome letters and info about Freshman Night.

  • 183. Kristin K  |  February 23, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    Cut off scores are posted …

  • 184. watching  |  February 23, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    CUtt off scores are published, yes?


  • 185. Cps123  |  February 23, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    Would anyone mind telling me what they mean about Dr. Powers?

  • 186. PSmom  |  February 23, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    Custoff scores posted


  • 187. hopeful  |  February 23, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    @northsidemom – what was your son’s score?

  • 188. Kristin K  |  February 23, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    Tier 4 – 885, missed first choice (Northside) by one point. Into second choice (Jones) on rank.

  • 189. Chicago School GPS  |  February 23, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    Principal’s Discretion applications have also posted and are due by 5PM on 3/13/15: http://cpsoae.org/apps/news/show_news.jsp?REC_ID=343986&id=0

    PD is for anyone who did not get into their hoped for SEHS and an SEHS principal can choose up to 5% of seats via a more holistic application system.

    We also have a “What’s Next? Decisions After Notifications” seminar on March 3 at 6:30pm at Wolcott School and will talk about not only how to decide upon school choices but also PD. Check out chischoolgps (dot) com.

  • 190. CPSDad  |  February 23, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    letter arrived. got in to first choice Jones with 894, Tier 4.

  • 191. Chicago School GPS  |  February 23, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    IB cutoff scores have also posted. http://cpsoae.org/IB_cutoff_scores_2015-2016.pdf

    Very interesting that Taft’s IB cutoff score (839) is higher than Lincoln Park’s (835.5)!

    A student can get accepted into an IB, an SEHS, a CTE and more than one magnet program. He can only accept one school, but it at least gives one choices!

  • 192. Nervous Nellie  |  February 23, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    Hey got interesting email. No letter just email of congratulation into Lincoln park IB . Anyone else? Plus listed was all the emails of other whom I suppose also got in. Dates on shadow days were included..

  • 193. Chicago School GPS  |  February 23, 2015 at 1:27 pm

    @191- to clarify, a child can only enroll in one school in the end, so oftentimes IB programs, magnets or CTEs do have availability later when kids have turned down their multiple offers.

  • 194. Relieved  |  February 23, 2015 at 1:27 pm

    Tier 4, 892 got into Jones 1st choice! Good luck everyone.

  • 195. northside mom  |  February 23, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    @187 I don’t know. I promised him I wouldn’t open the letters without him. He had 550 points going into the SE exam and usually scores in the low-mid 80s on standardized testing. He works so hard in school and didn’t have a single B on his report card last year or this year. He just doesn’t test at the top, and since we’re tier 4…. I REALLY hope the letter from Lane is a welcome letter!

    It’s driving me crazy! My husband took the letters away from me. I really want to open the letter from Lane to confirm that it’s an acceptance, I can’t think of any other reason we would have a separate letter from them.

  • 196. chi-towndad  |  February 23, 2015 at 1:32 pm

    @195.i am 99% sure your letter from lane is an acceptance.you could open the cps letter to confirm this and let your child open the letter from lane.or, you could just wait!

  • 197. 19th ward mom  |  February 23, 2015 at 1:33 pm

    @nervous nellie

    Also get the Lincoln Park IB acceptance email. But for me, it is driving me crazy because I have twins and it didn’t specify which child or if it was both.

  • 198. Killing me  |  February 23, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    aaaayyyy! Kid got a 886 (took early test and got score) and put NS as first choice. 886 is the cutoff. Still have to wait for the letter!

  • 199. jmom  |  February 23, 2015 at 1:40 pm

    Got the email for Lincoln Park IB. They didn’t email it to a “blind” list, but have everyone’s emails on there. A bit of a privacy violation.

  • 200. Suzanne  |  February 23, 2015 at 1:40 pm

    @195 – I would wait. I opened the letter for my first child because we hadn’t discussed it beforehand, and she was disappointed that I did so. I waited for my second child, and she was glad that I did so. Enjoy the joy together!

  • 201. Nervous Nellie  |  February 23, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    @197 You can call the the number at the bottom. The IB coordinator answered and set my daughter up for shadow day. I am sure they will tell you! 2times hopefully!! Congratulations

  • 202. cpsobsessed  |  February 23, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    School letters are acceptances.
    I’ve never heard otherwise.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 203. xCPSx4  |  February 23, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    if the mail is addressed to the student, DON’T OPEN IT!

  • 204. beentheretwice  |  February 23, 2015 at 1:52 pm

    195 I’m going with acceptance letter from Lane Tech also. Lane Tech’s meet and greet is this week according to their calendar.Kids work hard for this so let him bask in the joy of opening them

  • 205. Waiting in North Center  |  February 23, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    Those with Jones acceptance, did the letter from Jones arrive in your mail today too?

  • 206. Cps123  |  February 23, 2015 at 2:12 pm

    I hate that our mail comes between 4:30-5:00

  • 207. Sosidemom5  |  February 23, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    Tier 4, 879. Accepted to first choice Whitney Young, as well as IB programs at Lincoln Park, Morgan Park, and Ogden.

  • 208. Gobe  |  February 23, 2015 at 2:16 pm

    Lincoln Park just sent email notifications for the IB program.

  • 209. Anxious but hopeful  |  February 23, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    I am not going to be able to accomplish a single thing until that mail arrives…at 7 or 8 pm, probably, given how our mail service has been lately.

  • 210. Chicago School GPS  |  February 23, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    More observations:
    1) CPS didn’t publish number of kids in each category as they did last year, hence harder to figure out total freshman class size.
    2) Payton was hardest to get into for Tier 4 with a min of 891 vs. Northside’s Tier 4 min of 886.
    3) Lowest scores dipped by quite a bit, i.e. Payton’s Tier 1 Min was 784 this year and 838 last year.
    4) Lane’s Tier 4 Min is 808 this year and was 836 last year, plus Lane did not have any 900 point scores.
    5) Jones’ Tier 4 Min is 873 this year and was 883 last year, so it dropped 10 points.

  • 211. score  |  February 23, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    FYI – if you have the minimum cutoff score your actual result will depend on tiebreakers.

  • 212. North Side Parent  |  February 23, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    For those curious, here are the tier 4 cutoff scores, converted into percentile rank according to the cpsoae rubric. (That is, if your child got all A’s and the same percentile on both MAPs and the exam, here’s the percentile they needed to test at in order to achieve the cutoff score):

    Payton – 891 – 98%
    Northside – 886 – 97%
    Jones – 873 – 95%
    WY – 862 – 93%
    Taft IB – 839 – 89%
    LPHS IB – 836 – 88%
    Lane – 808 – 84%

  • 213. SoLoMo  |  February 23, 2015 at 2:26 pm

    So, came home to ten pieces of mail for my two 8th graders: 3 each from CPS, 1 each from LPHS, and a nice large one from Jones for each, our first choice (yay)! Haven’t opened any of it–waiting for kids to come home.

    Good luck, all.

  • 214. Gobe  |  February 23, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    Did the people who received CPS acceptance letters to Northside also receive a packet from NS?

  • 215. HSObsessed  |  February 23, 2015 at 2:37 pm

    A couple observations from comparing this year’s cut offs to last years. First of all, I notice they didn’t include the number of offers for each tier this year. If this was an oversight, maybe CPS could post a revised chart with the numbers, to ward off conspiracy theorists? 🙂

    In any case, for the smallest schools and tier 4, the cut off numbers dropped only slightly: By 5 points for Payton, 8 points for Northside, 10 points for Jones. However, the lower the tier, the greater the drop in cut off score. For example, last year an applicant from tier 1 needed an 838 or better to get an offer to Payton, but this year they could score 784 and get an offer, a difference of 54 points.

    This pattern seems to hold generally for Lane, Lindblom and Westinghouse as well: The lower the tier, the greater the drop in cut off scores. I’m trying to think what this might mean: Increasing number of applicants from highest tier keeping cut offs high? NWEA test written in a way that is subtly biased against kids living in lower tiers?

    It’s looking good for newcomer Hancock on the southwest side. Their rank and tier minimums are already higher than Lindblom’s and Westinghouse’s, so they got a strong pool.

    I know many of you don’t want to muse about arcane data theories at this point because you’re stalking the mailman, but I thought I’d throw the observation out there. Good luck to everyone.

  • 216. HSObsessed  |  February 23, 2015 at 2:40 pm

    @210 – Jinx on #1 and #3! Took me a while to type my post.

  • 217. Tepii  |  February 23, 2015 at 2:43 pm

    My daughter tested early and got a score of 823 tier 3. Haven’t gone home to check mail but by the look of it she will not get into Jones (cutoff 839) or Young (835). Hancock was her 3rd choice because it’s within walking distance, so it’s a bit bittersweet moment to know she was sooo close to getting into her first two choices. Hancock has a cutoff score of 718 for tier 3, looks like that’s where she’ll end up going.

  • 218. Lincoln  |  February 23, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    Should one assume that if a letter doesn’t arrive, that there is no offer (does cps send a letter stating you didn’t get in to your choices?)

  • 219. Chicago School GPS  |  February 23, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    HSObsessed- we’re on the same wavelength! I always love your in-depth observations. Lindblom, Westinghouse and now Hancock are definitely worthwhile considerations that are not as cut throat to get into but have great programs for students to consider.

  • 220. luveurope  |  February 23, 2015 at 2:51 pm

    218 CPS sends a letter even without an offer.

  • 221. Relieved  |  February 23, 2015 at 2:58 pm

    @205 Yes, package from Jones came along with letter.

  • 222. Newcomer  |  February 23, 2015 at 2:58 pm

    Are people still going to post scores and acceptances, even though the cutoff scores have abolished the mystery? Please do- it will be nice to congratulate (and commiserate).
    -Still waiting In Lakeview, more hopeful now with the scores published

  • 223. Tepii  |  February 23, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    HSObsessed, I too was pleasantly surprised that Hancock had higher cutoff scores than Westinghouse, that is a very positive thing! but the best thing for my daughter is that we no longer have spend 2-3 hours a day going to and from school. She’ll have lots of extra time for after school activities! We’ve been commuting from the Midway area to Lakeview (Agassiz School) for 5 years and I welcome a new chapter in our life. From Hancock to our home is a 3 minute drive!

  • 224. edgewatermom  |  February 23, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    It is interesting that the cut-off for Hancock Tier 3 is higher than for Tier 4. If Hancock is in Tier 3, maybe it means that more people who live close to the school put it as one of their top choices, making the competition tougher in that tier. Either way, I think it is great that another non-Northside school is becoming a good choice for many people. There are more than 4 “good” high school options in Chicago!

  • 225. relieved appa  |  February 23, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    @214 Gobe I did not receive a packet but a letter from Northside inviting parents to an orientation.

  • 226. results  |  February 23, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    A harder test is a larger magnifying glass.

    It magnifies/reveals the differences between schools and between tiers.

    So yes, Payton requirement drops a lot less than Whitney Young. And Tier 4 drops dramatically less than Tier 1.

  • 227. PJNY  |  February 23, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    Interesting PNJY observation –

    Northside has lowest tier 1 cutoff score, which means that it has the widest range of scores. 900 to 753 is one hell of a spread for a selective.

    More accurate acronym by average score requirement is PJNY (which sounds like a fashion blog)

  • 228. Newcomer  |  February 23, 2015 at 3:46 pm

    @227: They should get tshirts made.

  • 229. GPA inflation, another sort  |  February 23, 2015 at 3:47 pm


    Agree with your interpretation, though HSObsessed’s guess in 215 means something nasty may happen down the road: “NWEA test written in a way that is subtly biased against kids living in lower tiers?”

    From another angle, the harder test serves to lower the concealing effect of including grades in the composite score, by differentiating students’ academic readiness more sharply.

  • 230. Anxious but hopeful  |  February 23, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    Our mail arrived in Old Irving. Northside! So happy. Congratulations to everyone!

  • 231. Northcentermom  |  February 23, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    My daughter got into her first choice, Jones 894. She will be so pleased. We visited all the schools we would consider (for commuting reasons, basically all the ones on the north side) and she loved Jones the best. She had classmates with perfect scores and felt discouraged somewhat. It’s nice to know that she would have gotten into Northside if she had put that first. She will be happier at Jones though, so yay!

    And the letters are addressed to the parent and the child. Plus, she told me to open them all!

  • 232. Waiting in NC  |  February 23, 2015 at 4:06 pm

    Daughter got into Jones – 883, tier 4; Payton was first choice but she knew it was a long shot. She is thrilled with Jones.

  • 233. RVMom  |  February 23, 2015 at 4:13 pm

    I don’t mean this to be a controversial remark but truly wonder, do you think the lower scores in tier 1 are indicative of the amount of test prep kids in tier four are able to afford?

  • 234. B.B. Leroy Brown  |  February 23, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    TIER 4, 888, Second choice Jones (No WP). Also LP and Ogden IB, LP DH.

  • 235. Chris  |  February 23, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    “More accurate acronym by average score requirement”

    Is definitely PNJY. The mean score in each Tier is still higher at NS than at Jones–15+ for T 1, 2, & 3. That last-in T1 score at NS looks like an outlier.

  • 236. Alan Bloom  |  February 23, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    tier 4 888 Jones. Just missed payton but probably for the best.

  • 237. Chris  |  February 23, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    “do you think the lower scores in tier 1 are indicative of the amount of test prep kids in tier four are able to afford?”

    It’s indicative of about 10 major variables and 1000 others.

    If test-prep, alone, shows up in the results at all, it shows up in the bunching at the top of T4–pushing the top percentile or 2 to include many more test-takers than would be ‘natural’ in the absence of prep.

  • 238. HSObsessed  |  February 23, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    Tepii, congratulations and I’m sure your daughter will have a great experience at Hancock. In addition to the excitement of a new school and new possibilities, never underestimate the value of a short commute! More sleep, for one thing, which is always in short supply for teens.

    @226 – Yes, true, if the MAP is known to be harder and goes into more depth than the ISATs, I guess that it does give the higher-achieving kids more chances to earn points, while leaving less advanced kids behind somewhat.

    @227 – Although Jones’ tier 1 cut off is higher than Northside’s, all other tiers and the rank are higher for NS, so the average at NS is still higher.

    However, I see that Jones’ rank cut off at 883 is only 9 points lower than Northside’s at 892, which reflects the incredible meteoric rise of Jones over the last three or four years. Also, keep in mind that Jones’ numbers are based on 390 kids, vs. Northside’s 240 (last year’s stated numbers), and larger schools are “disadvantaged” in these numbers games.

  • 239. Catherine  |  February 23, 2015 at 4:32 pm

    In Old Irving and still no mail, so frustrating. Did get the email from LPIB and scheduled a follow day.

  • 240. LR  |  February 23, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    Just out of curiosity, do the SE high schools have a minimum score for entrance like the SE elementary schools do? If I remember correctly, regardless of what tier you live in, you have to achieve at least a 115 for Regional Gifted Centers and I don’t remember but it may be 80th percentile for Classical Schools. I just wonder because it seems like someone who gets a 750 or 700 might struggle at Payton or Whitney or Jones, etc.

  • 241. Second time around  |  February 23, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    Saw the cutoff scores before the mail and figured my Tier 4 kid who had 574 going into SE exam would get an offer to the second choice — Lane — which would be great — a shorter commute.
    Lo and behold a package from Jones arrives and the CPS letter confirms a 99 on the SE exam, so in by a hair…..
    And yes, we did test prep — I think there is a feeling if you are in Tier 4 and your child isn’t a stellar test taker, you need to consider it, because it does seem like even the super smart kids do tutoring or test prep.
    I agree with the #237 that test prep has an impact on the Tier 4 scores — and it just feeds itself. The higher the cutoff scores, the more people feel they can’t leave any stone unturned…. I hate it, yet we bought into it, and I think it made a difference for my kid…..

  • 242. Second time around  |  February 23, 2015 at 4:58 pm

    @240 — It was 650, but it looks like they lowered it to 600….

  • 243. Glad the wait is over  |  February 23, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    Tier 4-Accepted at Jones (first choice) Total score 894

  • 244. momof5  |  February 23, 2015 at 5:11 pm

    @239 Catherine, you are in my thoughts. We live in Old Irving as well and last time we went through this (2 years ago), it fell on a long weekend and the rest of the city seemed to find out on Saturday. When Tuesday came around, literally every single block in the area received their mail except for ours. I sincerely hope you have a speedier experience but just as happy news than we did.

  • 245. LR  |  February 23, 2015 at 5:13 pm

    Thanks, 242. Wow, 600?

  • 246. Patience patience  |  February 23, 2015 at 5:14 pm

    Portage park no mail either..

  • 247. Excited  |  February 23, 2015 at 5:15 pm

    My niece got into first choice Jones with total score of 897!!! Tier 4

  • 248. joneshopeful  |  February 23, 2015 at 5:19 pm

    Jones with a 880, tier 4. So relieved and happy. Good luck to everyone still waiting!

  • 249. venkyrao  |  February 23, 2015 at 5:21 pm

    Kid got into Payton with 898, tier 4. No test prep. I might have to do a paternity test to make sure she has my genes!

    Have an odd predicament. We live in the suburbs, and wanted to move into the city if we got into a good school. Now we need to decide, as we always considered a long shot.

    What would be the key advantages of being in WPCP over a suburban high school that was ranked ~35 in the state and ~700 nationally?

    Does it add significantly to the likelihood of getting into the Ivys?

  • 250. Jeff Goodby  |  February 23, 2015 at 5:24 pm

    My son: 878, Tier 4. Just got his Jones packet.

  • 251. Happy mom  |  February 23, 2015 at 5:31 pm

    West Rogers park received mail. Tier 3 score 900. Offered a seat at Payton. Good luck to everyone.

  • 252. ahhh  |  February 23, 2015 at 5:33 pm

    re minimum scores:
    Yep 600, look at King, which typically has Tier seats unfilled. Thus disproving the never-ending cries that there are not enough SEHS seats.

    re test prep conspiracies:
    T4 kids compete against each other so they only hurt each other in the test prep arms race.

  • 253. BT  |  February 23, 2015 at 5:35 pm

    To the parent from the suburbs……I already think its a bad fit as people from Chicago know that bragging is not really a trait that is looked highly upon. Good luck with “the Ivys”.

  • 254. Tacocat  |  February 23, 2015 at 5:36 pm

    @249, how are you classified as Tier 4 if you live outside the city?

  • 255. Quaker  |  February 23, 2015 at 5:37 pm

    Did anyone who was accepted into WP get a packet from the school?

  • 256. Payton parent  |  February 23, 2015 at 5:42 pm

    Suburb Payton parent: congrats, getting in from the suburbs is even harder than getting in from tier 4.

    I’m completely biased but moving back to the city to attend Payton is a no-brainer! You have an opportunity many families dream of. Payton is a special place – the most most diverse, high performing, and nurturing environment I’ve ever encountered.

    Posting now to get in in front of people who will inevitably start bitching that non-city residents can get SEHS seats. Ignore them, you earned your spot and will find a welcoming school community if you decide to join it.

  • 257. wandarla  |  February 23, 2015 at 5:43 pm

    Really you live in the suburbs and you tried to get your get into a Chicago SEHS?

    just… sigh.

  • 258. BT  |  February 23, 2015 at 5:47 pm

    I just didn’t like the bragging…….please.

  • 259. OIPMomof2  |  February 23, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    Did see a mail truck in Old Irving Park – so we might get our mail tonight.

  • 260. Aaaaaa  |  February 23, 2015 at 5:49 pm

    Just got the letter 896 tier 4 first choice Payton

  • 261. west rogers park mom  |  February 23, 2015 at 5:53 pm

    Just putting this out there: 2 years ago my child never received the letter. It still has never arrived. OAE finally emailed it me the following Friday. Good luck to everyone.

    So far the biggest ‘news’ I’ve read today (besides the anticipated NWEA scores being way off) is the fact that the TAFT IB score is higher than Lincoln Park. I wonder if they are trying to make the program smaller (less out of district) or if more AC kids are committed to staying. If I remember correctly the schools select the cut off scores. I’ve heard a lot of new good things about Taft lately- definitely a choice for the NWsiders.

  • 262. Newcomer  |  February 23, 2015 at 5:54 pm

    To be completely fair, if people can move to the suburbs just before 9th grade, then people should be able to move to the city for 9th grade. But the ensuing question was incredibly naive. No, we don’t know your child’s chances for the “Ivy’s.”. Because we don’t know your child, and we don’t work in the “Ivy’s” admission offices.

  • 263. Catherine  |  February 23, 2015 at 6:01 pm

    I called the post office on Cicero and they said our mail carrier was done for the day. He even checked in the back to see if there was any mail there for us. Nothing! (I never saw our truck/van today and they usually park infront of All Temp on Montrose) Some of the kids from my daughters class recieved mail from CPS and some have not and we are all in the Old Irving area.
    @244- Thank you for the encouraging words. I am so greatful that we got the email from LPIB.

  • 264. Cps mama  |  February 23, 2015 at 6:03 pm

    @261 my daughter is at the academic center at taft. I think the reason the cut off is higher is that this year, for the first ever, they guarantee an IB for any academic center student that stays. All they had to do is attend the informational meeting in the gym. Many students from the AC are choosing to stay and filling the spots. Many did not even test for SEHS at all.

  • 265. LR  |  February 23, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    Most people flee the city for a good high school. Even the best CPS schools are still CPS. My kids attend Regional Gifted Centers and we are still dealing with Rahm and funding cuts and other frustrations. I grew up in Glenview and attended Glenbrook South. Funding is never an issue there. I’m sorry, but the extra-curriculars in the city do not compare. My mom still works in the theater department at GBS. It is second to none. I just do not believe there is such a great academic opportunity at Payton compared to a school like GBS that it is worth moving to Chicago and dealing with CPS. In fact, I know that is not the case. GBS offers everything academically that Payton does in terms of AP classes. The difference? Shining at Payton might be harder. You might be 50th percentile at Payton…but, at your suburban school you might be 95th. That might look better on an Ivy League application. I would think very carefully before you pull the trigger!

  • 266. Chris  |  February 23, 2015 at 6:09 pm

    ” getting in from the suburbs is even harder than getting in from tier 4.”

    No, it’s not. It’s exactly the same.

    Unless you believe that:

    (a) it’s harder to get As in 7th grade in the ‘burbs (if so: present data)

    (b) the suburbs dull the senses of kids so they have a harder time getting high test scores.

  • 267. west rogers park mom  |  February 23, 2015 at 6:09 pm

    @264- My oldest actually graduated from Taft in 2013, which was the first year they guaranteed AC admission to the IB program. Many stayed for IB and AVID. Her year there were an incredibly amount of admissions to Northside and Lane, which makes sense proximity wise.

    I’ve heard things have changed for the better the past two years, and it was a good experience when she was there. Though my oldest didn’t stay at Taft there was a little less pressure knowing that she had at least somewhere to go other than the local high school.

  • 268. Chris  |  February 23, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    “You might be 50th percentile at Payton…but, at your suburban school you might be 95th.”

    I guess those suburban high schools are way worse than I’d ever heard before. Better cross-off “move to burbs” as a option for HS.

  • 269. Momwaitsnomore  |  February 23, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    Thanks to all who have posted here and have really helped make this process tolerable. Never felt alone. We love our kids and care so much about what is best for them. That is why they will excel wherever they are placed. Score 893 tier 4 accepted @ NCP. It is what he wanted and his slow smile as read the letter was an amazing thing to see. Soooooo glad the wait is over.

  • 270. Cps mama  |  February 23, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    @267 my son graduated from taft AC in 2012. Long interview and lots of kids did not get accepted, but could stay at taft in general classes. Guess last year was the change up year. Are the kids that stayed glad they did? My daughter has to decide between taft IB, lincoln park IB and Lane.

  • 271. SoLoMo  |  February 23, 2015 at 6:17 pm

    Tier 4 admit letters for Jones opened when two kids got home from school, with 900 and 897 scores. Also got LPIB. Interesting trend for Jones on this board!

  • 272. cpsobsessed  |  February 23, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    @second time around: was the test prep for the SE test?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 273. chimom  |  February 23, 2015 at 6:30 pm

    My son got Northside, his first choice – so happy for him!

  • 274. RVMom  |  February 23, 2015 at 6:33 pm

    He’ll join his Sophomore brother at Northside! 898 Tier 4. and LP IB.

  • 275. frantic321  |  February 23, 2015 at 6:34 pm

    Lane Tech 839 2nd choice, tier 4

  • 276. Chicago Mum  |  February 23, 2015 at 6:35 pm

    New to this…I have a kid applying to the Academic Centers (he’s in 6th). Are the cut-off scores for AC’s typically in the same ballpark as the scores for High School? Just wondering if one translates to the other. Thanks!

  • 277. Happy Ghost  |  February 23, 2015 at 6:40 pm

    Well, yes, but they could be different, which AC are u applying too?

  • 278. yosdk  |  February 23, 2015 at 6:42 pm

    Son got into Lane – first choice – and LPIB. Lane it is!

  • 279. val adn  |  February 23, 2015 at 6:44 pm

    i did not have a letter with information about lane school or payton ..is it should be mailed already?

  • 280. Northcentermom  |  February 23, 2015 at 6:49 pm

    The city high schools are a lot better than what I remember when I went to high school. Granted, it was a relatively small rural school that I went to (we still had tons of activities) but it was nothing like the schools we toured. The whole suburbs v. Chicago thing… meh. We don’t want to live in the suburbs so that wasn’t even an option for us.

  • 281. Chicago Mum  |  February 23, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    277 – He applied to Lane as 1st. No results yet for AC test but all A’s and 98math/91reading on NWEA. Tier 3. Just wondering if he has a shot.

  • 282. Jones CTE  |  February 23, 2015 at 6:58 pm

    I wonder if they sent out decisions for Jones CTE programs?

  • 283. printersrow  |  February 23, 2015 at 7:00 pm

    Payton or Jones? What are the pros and cons? My child is fortunate enough to have the choice, and not quite set on either for social and/or travel considerations.

  • 284. SoLoMo  |  February 23, 2015 at 7:04 pm

    @282: Got two rejection letters for Jones CTE along with two acceptances to Jones.

  • 285. RoscoeVIllage  |  February 23, 2015 at 7:04 pm

    Tier 4 – Daughter got 874 – got first choice at WY. Joyful screams and her feeling of accomplishment are the best tonic for all of her stress. So happy for her and all of the hard work she put in.

  • 286. help for mom  |  February 23, 2015 at 7:05 pm

    We would appreciate any help/suggestions for applying via principal discrection

  • 287. edgewatermom  |  February 23, 2015 at 7:05 pm

    @283 I am curious as to how your child has the option of Payton or Jones. I thought that you have to list them in your order of preference and would be offered a spot at the first one that you qualified for. Maybe the CTE program at Jones is completely separate from this process…

  • 288. jenben1282  |  February 23, 2015 at 7:07 pm

    Mailman finally arrived in Bridgeport!
    Payton, 900, Tier 3.

  • 289. CeeFran  |  February 23, 2015 at 7:07 pm

    We are in Tier 4, and my son has 853 points. Although he got a perfect 300/300 on the selective enrollment test, he didn’t get his first choice (Jones). He got Lane Tech. If we lived one block west of us (tier 3), I am told he would have gotten in. But we have a few good choices: Lane, Lincoln Park, and our neighborhood school (right across the street), Kenwood. I just don’t like the tier system.

  • 290. 19th ward mom  |  February 23, 2015 at 7:19 pm

    Has anyone seen any acceptance or rejection letters from Lincoln Park DH?

    Who is sending IB rejection letters, CPS or the individual school?

    The only thing we got today is two letters addressed to each of my students from Lincoln Park. Trying to figure out what it means since neither child is home and they will not let us open the letter.

  • 291. Cps123  |  February 23, 2015 at 7:24 pm

    Tier 4 Walter Payton first choice

  • 292. UghT4  |  February 23, 2015 at 7:29 pm

    So….lots of tears, zero offers. Our son is a straight A student, an athlete, and a leader. He tested poorly and is paying the piper. What can we do aside from PD–we are Tier 4, but our neighborhood school is Schurz. Helpless.

  • 293. ChiHSparent  |  February 23, 2015 at 7:34 pm

    @284 How did you get rejections and acceptances from the same school? Do you have four 8th graders? Do you live in the Jones attendance area?

  • 294. LPDH  |  February 23, 2015 at 7:36 pm

    @290, We received a LP DH rejection today. Just a letter in an envelope Pretty generic.

  • 295. 19th ward mom  |  February 23, 2015 at 7:43 pm

    @294. Thought we had acceptance letters from Lincoln Park so I think I need to Dial back expectations. 😦

    I thought I was surviving this process with my sanity intact until today when we got no letters except for these two letters. I’m about to lose my mind. Thanks CPS for this antiquated process of snail mailing letters

  • 296. Student  |  February 23, 2015 at 7:44 pm

    Tier 3
    I would suggest trying Principal’s Discretion if any of you are truly disappointed, but the important part isn’t the school, it’s how the student takes advantage of it. Best of luck 🙂

  • 297. CATHY  |  February 23, 2015 at 7:49 pm

    I know the process for SEHS looks at the 7th grade “final” grades in math, reading, science and SS. How is “final” calculated? Is it the 4th quarter grades? Or is it an average of all 4 quarters? And if it is the average, what happens if the student received TWO A’s in Math and TWO B’s in Math. Does the final grade equate to an A or a B?

  • 298. Di  |  February 23, 2015 at 7:49 pm

    Tier 4, 861. Wanted Whitney but was offered Lane her 3rd choice

  • 299. LPDH  |  February 23, 2015 at 7:50 pm

    @295, Sorry 😦

    Luckily my daughter received an acceptance letter from AVID over the weekend, which was her first choice, even over IB and SEHS. So as we received letters this week, she really wasn’t even interested in opening them. We are also wait listed for Disney II and are #3 on that list, which I can’t even believe. But she said she doesn’t want it. They know when a program is right for them I guess.

  • 300. Student  |  February 23, 2015 at 7:54 pm

    The final is an average of grades in the class for all four quarters, as for averaging the final, I think it depends on the percentages themselves. If the percentages average out to an A, it’s an A, if they average out to a B, it’s a B. If you’re able to check those, you can find out yourself, if not, you’ll have to wait and see.

  • 301. SoLoMo  |  February 23, 2015 at 7:56 pm

    Heart is breaking for your son, UghT4. As cpsobsessed and others have noted, there are great options like amundsen, lvhs and senn if you are in that vicinity, and others that ChicagoGPS might cover in their upcoming workshop. There are many who do not test well, but go onto great careers and lives, so chin up to your straight-A student athlete leader. He has a lot to be proud of, and after this initial (deep) disappointment, will find his way.

  • 302. SoLoMo  |  February 23, 2015 at 8:00 pm

    @293: Goodness, my hair would be completely gray if I had four 8th graders instead of two! We got two acceptances (probably by rank, with 900 & 897 scores) into Jones, but since we also applied to CTE, we also got two rejection letters since we got in through the SEHS application. Someone wanted to know if decision letters had gone out for Jones CTE, so I was responding to that question.

  • 303. @Cathy  |  February 23, 2015 at 8:01 pm

    The final average for each quarter is averaged. There is a fifth box on the final report card & it will have the letter grade. If the 2 As were high & the two Bs were high it may still avg into an A. If the As were low & the Bs were low then it’s probably a B.

  • 304. printersrow  |  February 23, 2015 at 8:01 pm

    Yes, CTE is a separate path, similar to the IB path. My 8th grader is not typically a good test taker for timed tests, so Payton was a surprise, but put as first choice on the recommendation of teachers (math joy) . We were counting on the Jones CTE program to keep us from having to move, and profoundly grateful that the program exists.

    A thought on the recent NWEA test shift. From what has filtered back home via the teenager, it is *not* a timed test. With the 3 components currently making up the SE requirements there is a sort of balance. Good grades for those who work hard at home and at school, the timed bubble test for the strong classical test taker, and the new NWEA for the slow, methodical, precise students. Of course it’s best to be great at all 3, but I do see some fairness in this current pattern.

    I guess I wasn’t CPS obsessed enough, or I wouldn’t be soliciting Payton vs, Jones opinions this late in the game, but again, Payton was unexpected. I’d appreciate thought from anyone with students that attended those schools. We attended the open houses, but that doesn’t give a true picture of the environment.

  • 305. CATHY  |  February 23, 2015 at 8:05 pm

    @303. Thank you for the detail!

  • 306. Happy Ghost  |  February 23, 2015 at 8:06 pm

    Oh, I’m sorry for replying so late. Of course he has a shot! A good one if you may ask? Well, Lane is one of the easier ones to get in, and I believe with a score that high, you have a 99% of getting into Lane Tech.
    IN REPLY TO 281

  • 307. Catherine  |  February 23, 2015 at 8:21 pm

    @-292 This year is our second child going through this process. Our first daughter is a freshman in college. We knew she, our first child, would not make it into a SEHS. It was no surprise when we recieved the letter. Shurz is also our local school. This is not an option we are willing to send our children to. Our daughter went to one of the Noble Street Charter Schools, Muchin. She loved it there and recieved a POSSE scholarship.(Full academic ride) I know the time has passed for the innitial application process but some of these schools are still taking kids because they could not get enough applications. WHY didn’t your school counselor tell you about these other options? Our counselor at Belding did a wonderful job making sure our students applied to everything no matter what their scores. Anyway, if you want more info about the Noble Street Schools I would be happy to talk with you.
    I know there are some feeling about charter vs public, but I sure was happy to have this option for our daughter.

  • 308. realchicagomama  |  February 23, 2015 at 8:24 pm


  • 309. Relieved  |  February 23, 2015 at 8:28 pm

    @304 Printers row

    Yours is a “good” problem to have! Both great schools relatively close to each other. Why don’t you attend both school’s “welcome nights” & then make a decision?

    The schools definitely each have their own ‘unique’ vibe…IMO Also, as your child is entering Jones via CTE consider whether that aligns with his/her interests

  • 310. Catherine  |  February 23, 2015 at 8:37 pm

    Happy Ghost or anyone else who may know…I also have a third child who applied this year for the AC at Lane and Whitney. We are tier 4 and her scores were math 99 and reading 95. I stupily did not realize that her scores would not be arriving at the same time as the the 8th grader’s. So the 8th grader wants to go to LPIB but my husband wants her to pick WY incase the 6th grader gets WY. Of course we have not gotten our letter yet so who knows. But, I told him there is no way our 6th grader would make WY because she needed 98s and 99s to get into WYAC. This is what people at church have told us. Does anyone have any opinions??

  • 311. kmb  |  February 23, 2015 at 8:50 pm

    You can get into WYAC with 95/99 depending on what the score is on the AC entrance exam. The cut off for tier 4 last year was 861 with ISAT. Assuming the trend is the same as high school for NWEA that score should be lower this year.

  • 312. B.B. Leroy Brown  |  February 23, 2015 at 8:54 pm

    @310 IMHO, your kids are individuals, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. That being said, while it may be convenient for you to have them at the same school, I think you should look at each child to determine what is right for them. My gut tells me 99/95 won’t be good enough for the WYAC. It is sad to say, but being almost perfect won’t cut it there.

  • 313. HS Mom  |  February 23, 2015 at 9:00 pm

    @236 – Alan Bloom – Jones is fantastic so take heart. See….things work out as long as you keep your options open.

  • 314. cpsobsessed  |  February 23, 2015 at 9:02 pm

    What about senn arts and chi arts? Do those go out this week? Anyone looking there?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 315. Analysis  |  February 23, 2015 at 9:09 pm

    For those of you conspiracy theorists out there, you realize of course the other side of the sword: If Rahm used this timing to influence the election by notices and lowering scores to gain that precious 1% vote to avoid a run-off, next year, that will be gutted! Meaning, the highest level schools will probably start failing out kids that were admitted this year by scores that were dramitically lowered during the election. You may not be able to remain at that school, and failing grades at a top tier school do not look good on college entrance exams. Enter and vote at your own risk!

  • 316. following  |  February 23, 2015 at 9:13 pm

    I know Senn went out, had a friends get into their dance program, found out today.

  • 317. ChiArts  |  February 23, 2015 at 9:18 pm

    ChiArts had callbacks as late as Saturday

  • 318. Momupnorth  |  February 23, 2015 at 9:23 pm

    Accepted at Northside – tier 4 – 898. He’s very excited. Wishing for each 8th grader that they can have the confidence that no matter what these letters say, they will land on their feet in high school and later as adults.

  • 319. Patricia  |  February 23, 2015 at 9:27 pm

    @ GPS. Regarding Lane not having a 900. One thing to keep in mind with the high end and cut off scores for Lane and Whitney is that they have many of the AC kids stay. AC kids scores are not in the cut-offs and many of the AC kids would score really high if they tested. Last year several 900 Lane AC kids stayed turning down Payton and Northside. (so technically, those 900’s really are in Lane freshman class this year but were on the cutoffs for the schools they got into first cut). So the top x% of Lane and Whitney AC kids for the incoming freshman class are not part of these cut off scores.

    Son tested “just in case”, got 886 (tier 4, no test prep). Must have lost Northside tiebreaker, offered Jones. Awesome school, but will likely turn down Jones spot and stay at Lane. Lane logistically closer, has everything to offer and I think as he becomes a Jr. Sr. he will benefit from all the electives and AP classes at Lane since being an AC kid he has already built so many HS credits. Plus, he is a sports kid through and through…….the smart jock type.

  • 320. lawmom  |  February 23, 2015 at 9:37 pm

    In at Northside — acceptance letter, no packet yet. Also into LP Double Honors. Tier 4, 882 with an IEP. So proud of my son who worked very hard and despite learning issues, did so well.

    Yes, test prep for selective enrollment entrance exam (300) helped. Practice, and knowing the format lessens the anxiety. Also test prep for MAP test. Didn’t repeat the MAP although that was a possibility.

  • 321. VJMO  |  February 23, 2015 at 9:38 pm

    Throwing another one out there – A suburb parent who moved from the city 10 years back – son got into Payton now.
    Kindda tough decision – to move or not

  • 322. SE  |  February 23, 2015 at 9:53 pm

    tier 4 865 score…any chance of still getting into jones?

  • 323. cps kid  |  February 23, 2015 at 9:56 pm

    got into northside with an 889 in tier 3!

  • 324. thegame  |  February 23, 2015 at 10:04 pm

    Suburb applicants have no tier correct? They have to get in via rank?

    Im sure most of us have friends who had to move to the burbs for high school bc they didnt get into a school they were happy with. Thats as common a story as you’ll find. Those of you with the chance to reverse that are faced with a rare option (despite what someone who grew up in Glenview *blech* may think.)

  • 325. Portage  |  February 23, 2015 at 10:11 pm

    Mail arrived in portage around 5 pm.

    The full run down (for the truly obsessed):

    Tier 4

    SEHS: Northside, offered, 892 (will accept)

    IB: offers from LP, Taft, Senn, and Amundsen (IB total, 889)

    CTE: Jones, wait list #180

    Von Steuben Scholars, offered
    Disney II, wait list #222

    LP double honors, offered

    I had no idea a kid could get multiple IB offers.
    I’d love to see what other magnet/CTE wait list numbers are looking like.

  • 326. Newcomer  |  February 23, 2015 at 10:12 pm

    How does the scoring work for IEP students? vatv

  • 327. Killing me  |  February 23, 2015 at 10:15 pm

    My 886 tier 4 made the cutoff but not tie breaker for her #1 NS. All’s cool, though, very happy with Jones.

  • 328. lawmom  |  February 23, 2015 at 10:28 pm

    I am not entirely sure. However, I do know that roughly 5% of the class has to have IEPs and the more rigorous schools want to make sure that these students can do the work, so the higher the score the better.

  • 329. thegame  |  February 23, 2015 at 10:28 pm

    “tier 4 865 score…any chance of still getting into jones?”

    The top schools haven’t had a second round of acceptances in several years. They have a pretty good handle on yield these days.

    Principals Discretion is likely your only shot. Just make sure it’s worth it for your kid – extending this stressful process even farther can be tough…

  • 330. thegame  |  February 23, 2015 at 10:33 pm


    Got into NS but #180 on Jones waitlist? Can you (or anyone) expand on Jones CTE, both the program and the application?


  • 331. Sharon  |  February 23, 2015 at 10:34 pm

    Of the kids that got in in Tier 4 how many took the test prep and did you take the test prep for NWEA or the SEHS test or both. Just curious since we will be going through this next year.

  • 332. lawmom  |  February 23, 2015 at 10:48 pm

    @321 I would say it depends on what kind of life you want. I agree with an earlier post. Your child will now have to compete with the top 3% or so of students in Chicago. The competition is fiercer, whereas in the suburbs your child might more easily rise to the top 5%, more challenging at Payton.

    Our children have reaped the benefits of the city — restaurants, museums, lakefront, theatre, etc. However, my daughter has also been accosted and had her phone stolen. Yet, as a senior now at WY she has thanked me several times for raising her in the city. I think life in the burbs is easier, but more bland. I also don’t like basements where kids can disappear and do whatever. And I like cabs/CTA so kids don’t have to drive every where. Are students more enriched in the city — of course. Are houses and yards bigger in the suburbs, yes! And if you want a pool for the summer — stay there. In the end it is a trade off. Having grown up in the burbs — my husband and I are not going back there. Also, consider what kind of people are you? Do you like to host dinner parties, bbqs, etc. If not, then the city is your place because in the burbs, your home is your entertainment center. Watch the movie “Ice Storm” and make the call.

  • 333. Northcentermom  |  February 23, 2015 at 10:49 pm

    Re: Jones v. Payton

    I have heard from a parent who has had a kid at Payton and one at LP IB that while both are good, she preferred LP. The teachers at Payton (according to her) were not uniformly good as she expected (probably true everywhere) but of particular use to you: the kids at Payton (at least from tier 4) were a lot of private/prep school transfers, and fairly well off. This is a culture difference that may or may not matter to you.

    I have no similar info on Jones, except that after going to the open houses to both Jones and Payton, our daughter chose Jones over Payton as her first choice. She just liked the people better overall there. And the new building *is* beautiful. (though Payton’s is new too)

  • 334. LR  |  February 23, 2015 at 10:59 pm

    @324: Perhaps I was a little strong in defending the burbs. I think people should live where they want to live. If you really want to live in the city, then live in the city (we do!). But, don’t move here just because Payton is ranked higher and you think it will look good on an Ivy League college application. Payton is ranked higher than this person’s #35 school because every single kid tests in! It’s not because it is better in every way. I have lived in the city for almost 20 years now and am committed to living in the city. But, people always think the grass is greener. Certainly, I wouldn’t let school rankings be the deciding factor in the decision to move or not.

  • 335. myideasaboutit  |  February 23, 2015 at 11:11 pm

    it seems i am the only one who have no letter from lane/payton schools acceptance? i got 2 other ones IB and Disney 2…

  • 336. WL OBSERVER  |  February 23, 2015 at 11:16 pm

    It possible to get into a selective high school and CTE program (separate applications). As a Jones CTE parent it really doesn’t matter once you get in. There are select courses needed depending on the program you get into (pre-engineering/pre-law). My child has enjoyed his freshman year at Jones so far. Its a good cross between a large school like Whitney and somewhat smaller campus like Payton.

  • 337. IBobsessed  |  February 23, 2015 at 11:20 pm

    There was a remarkably large drop in the cut off scores at some of the neighborhood IB programs. Senn’s cut off dropped 62 points. Wonder what explains that.

  • 338. cpsobsessed  |  February 23, 2015 at 11:27 pm

    Not sure what would explain the IB drop, other than the hypotheis someone laid out about map scores being more differentiating?

    I’m still surprised about taft being higher than lincoln park. Nothing against taft, LP just always seemed to get the top of the top kids with super high scores.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 339. mr  |  February 23, 2015 at 11:30 pm

    Tier 4, 851, Lane acceptance letter (from CPS and school), LP DH, wait list Jones CTE However, first choice is St. Ignatius and that is where he will go.

  • 340. Portage  |  February 23, 2015 at 11:31 pm

    The 600 minimum is surprising. Technically, a kid could get straight As with 99s on the Maps and not even take the entrance exam, but still get in. Kinda funny to think about.

    Did anyone else notice 892 was the max for tiers 4, 3, and 2 at NSCP? I guess it was a common score.

  • 341. Paytonprep  |  February 23, 2015 at 11:35 pm

    Kid got into Walter Payton with 893 in tier 4, first choice. Also got into LP ib, LP DH, and LP performing arts. I need advice though. My kid says she’s sure she wants to go to Payton but should I still have her shadow at LP for the ib program?

  • 342. Paytonprep  |  February 23, 2015 at 11:37 pm

    Kid got into Walter Payton. Also got into LP ib, LP DH, and LP performing arts. I need advice though. My kid says she’s sure she wants to go to Payton but should I still have her shadow at LP for the ib program?

  • 343. mr  |  February 23, 2015 at 11:39 pm

    @341 No, she should not. WP is amazing and if she knows that is what she wants, she shouldn’t have to waste her time. Those are my thoughts anyway.

  • 344. Paytonprep  |  February 23, 2015 at 11:41 pm

    @342 Ok that’s what I thought I just wanted clarification. Thank you!

  • 345. LV  |  February 23, 2015 at 11:50 pm

    OMG. Are we the only ones who didn’t get a letter today?! The mail has been very bad here as of late. How else can we find out if no letter has been received? This is our first (of 4) to do the high school process…

  • 346. Chicago School GPS  |  February 23, 2015 at 11:56 pm

    The results here show that there will be more movement in the next few weeks as students who got multiple offers to IBs, Magnets, LPDH, Arts, etc, as well as SEHS have to choose just one to accept. Thus, the story isn’t over for many kids still looking for acceptances. While the Jones, Payton, Northside, Young and Lane schools tend not to do second round offers (because they do “over-offer”, anticipating a certain amount who will turn down offers), many other types of CPS schools do have multiple rounds.

    Principal’s Discretion is a very regimented process, with specific guidelines for your child to state and show evidence of at least one of four reasons for applying, as well as recommendations, an essay, etc. Each SEHS can award approx. 5% of seats via this holistic approach. We will go into more specifics including how to decide to “go for it” or “let it go” at our March 3 “What’s Next? Decisions After Notifications” seminar: http://www.chischoolgps.com/CSG_HS_What_s_Next_.html

    Choosing which school to accept really is about “school fit” in the end. If your child tested in to a top school but isn’t one to buckle down with the homework required from all honors courses, for example, the four years at that particular school may end up being a rough ride and colleges do look at grades starting in first semester, freshman year and each semester thereafter. A school with a wider range of honors and regular classes as well as APs or IBs may be a better fit in the end. We’ll talk more about how to choose the best school fit at our seminar, whether you are deciding between public versus private or IB versus SEHS or magnet, etc. We’ll also talk about what other opportunities to pursue & transfers for sophomore year as it happens more often than you think. Come if you can on 3/3/15 @ 6:30-8PM!

  • 347. Mom  |  February 23, 2015 at 11:57 pm

    Tier 4, 891, got into Payton with no test prep. She is an LTAC girl and has decided to turn it down in favor of Lane, which we totally support.

  • 348. CPSDad  |  February 24, 2015 at 12:03 am

    @331: My daughter, Tier 4 – 894 (Jones), did not do any formal test prep with a company or tutor. Leading up to the NWEA, she did spend a couple of weekends working on her own, reviewing 8th and 9th grade “common core” math and reading questions that she found online.

  • 349. Newcomer  |  February 24, 2015 at 12:06 am

    @LV: You’re not the only one. We didn’t get a letter today, nor any mail at all.

  • 350. Chicago School GPS  |  February 24, 2015 at 12:11 am

    For the question regarding AC scores, the cutoffs and letters will come after March 20, but the scores are typically higher since there are far fewer seats to offer (approx. 120 at Young and Lane each).

    For Jones CTE, it is a separate application that doesn’t require an entrance exam but does give preference to those living in proximity to Jones and who want to pursue either a Pre-Law or Pre-Engineering track. It provides for a lot of pre-professional exposure and opportunities in those fields, while also being allowed to take a range of classes at Jones. There are typically 75 seats reserved for that non-test based pathway into Jones.

    Regarding IEPs, typically a SEHS must have within 4% of the CPS average population of students with IEPs. This is not the case for students with 504s only. There are certainly high scoring IEP students, so depending on the school population, sometimes an IEP provides no “score break” for entry, as some assume.

  • 351. captain mom  |  February 24, 2015 at 6:51 am

    We are seriously considering Amundsen IB and Senn IB. Does anyone have personal feedback about these two programs?

  • 352. Kelly N  |  February 24, 2015 at 7:12 am

    900 Payton. Hoping for private but wont know for a few weeks. If not then she will pick St. Ignatius.

  • 353. cpsobsessed  |  February 24, 2015 at 8:01 am

    Amundsen is having a get-together for parents (adults only) of students who are considering the school for next year.

    Weds March 4th.
    Borelli’s Pizza
    2124 W Lawrence

  • 354. cpsobsessed  |  February 24, 2015 at 8:04 am

    Similar Lake View High School event this THURSDAY
    RSVP requested, info below.

    Lake View High School and Lake View High School Partners cordially invite you and your student to LVHS Spring Showcase 2015, an exclusive evening with
    LVHS Principal Scott Grens, Department Leaders, Faculty, Students and Partners.
    February 26th at 7:00 p.m.

    Learn first-hand about Chicago’s Premier Neighborhood High School:
    – Demonstrations and Q&A from LVHS Departments
    – Meet LVHS Partners and Ambassadors
    – Meet current and prospective LVHS Parents and Students

    7:15 – Principal Grens Opening Remarks
    7:20 – LVHS Senior Don Geci: Astrophysics at Princeton, via LVHS
    7:25 – 8:25: Parent/Student Interaction with LVHS Faculty and Students/Demonstrations
    8:25 – Closing Remarks
    8:30 – 9:00: Mingling/Socializing

    This is a limited-attendance event. Your RSVP is requested at
    Hors D’oeurves will be served
    Mrs. Murphy & Sons Irish Bistro, 3905 North Lincoln Avenue

  • 355. otdad  |  February 24, 2015 at 8:12 am

    @337. IBobsessed:
    “Senn’s cut off dropped 62 points. Wonder what explains that.”
    The only difference this year is the MAP test. ILSAT probably was too easy.

  • 356. Angelica  |  February 24, 2015 at 8:31 am

    Does anyone know if Lakeview has sent out letters? Either acceptance or rejection? We haven’t heard from them. Also considering Amundsen IB.

  • 357. Xcps  |  February 24, 2015 at 9:22 am

    292 — Look into Loyola, St. Patrick, Notre Dame, Ignatius. They love smart, motivated athletic types.

  • 358. Got in  |  February 24, 2015 at 9:34 am

    Tier 4, 790
    Got only an offer from only Hancock, this is the 1st year as SEHS, I think we may pass since there is no track record.

    Also got Ogden & Senn IB,
    Any feedback on those?

  • 359. cpsobsessed  |  February 24, 2015 at 9:37 am

    If the tour of hancock and what the admin says are the plans for the program I’d keep an open mind. My son got into coonley the first year the RGC started. I know of several people who turned down spots because of of the lack of track record. I trusted my gut because the principal was very compelling and the outcome was worth it.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 360. North Center Mom  |  February 24, 2015 at 9:51 am

    re: Jones CTE

    At fall open house, we were told that Jones CTE accepted only 2 out-of-boundary students for the the 2014-15 class. Getting in from out-of-boundary is the longest of long shots.

    CTE was brokered by Ald. Fioretti for his constituents. It is another outlier in this convoluted CPS high school process.

    The students must use their elective for either a law or engineering class every year. It’s a fairly rigid program.

  • 361. Mary  |  February 24, 2015 at 9:54 am

    Question : is it possible to get double acceptance from CTE at Jones and selective enrollment Jones ? My child is on waiting list and we are wondering what are the chances to get in ?

  • 362. Mary  |  February 24, 2015 at 9:57 am

    Our child didn’t get to any good schools . Is there any schools still available or its to late for all of them ?

  • 363. got in  |  February 24, 2015 at 9:59 am

    thanks cpsobsessed, I did not take the tour of hancock. what were you impressed with.

  • 364. cpsobsessed  |  February 24, 2015 at 10:00 am

    I was just speaking conceptually. 🙂

    Haven’t been there, but just encouraging people to consider taking a chance on new programs IF you like what you’re hearing there.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 365. Chicago School GPS  |  February 24, 2015 at 10:10 am

    @362- not only is there the End of the Year Citywide Options application period from May 11-22 (which in the past, schools like Senn & Alcott have had space), but there are private/parochial schools with space as well (St. Ben’s, maybe DePaul).

  • 366. SER  |  February 24, 2015 at 10:14 am

    Regarding Amundsen IB; after hearing more and more of the improving situation at Amundsen and living in the neighborhood, my son and I took a tour recently. He is interested in the IB Program and interested in playing HS athletics. Simply said, we were both very impressed. We meet with the Principal, some of the teachers, staff and a couple of the students. I witnessed and experienced high energy, respect, focus and strategy. I was there between periods and witnessed an orderly transition and calmness. Importantly, we discussed the athletic programs and my son is particularly excited that he will be able to play baseball, golf and swimming at the high school level.

    What excites me most is the fact that the school and campus is in our backyard. My son will be able to wake at a normal hour and walk to school. We have been investigating schools all over chicago, (both private and public) and most were great, however, i always thought about logistics on our drive home. I am also hearing of other families and kids that we know that will potentially be in his freshman class. This always makes it a little easier.

  • 367. WYAC Mom  |  February 24, 2015 at 10:30 am

    Would echo @319’s comment about high scoring AC kids staying at Lane and WY. My WYAC kid tested just to know options and ended up with a Northside acceptance (897 – no test prep, but taking both the MAP and selective enrollment tests without pressure certainly could have helped). She’s very happy at WY and I’d put the odds at 99.9% that she will stay, but she finds the Northside block scheduling really appealing which accounts for the .1% uncertainty. Would appreciate any thoughts about the +/- of block scheduling. The major plus for us would be more flexible time management to balance extracurriculars. Any idea if WY or Lane have considered moving to block scheduling as well? Based on my very unscientific poll of reasons kids are choosing Jones over WY, it seems to come down to new building and block scheduling. Thanks in advance.

  • 368. mom2  |  February 24, 2015 at 10:39 am

    SER that’s fantastic news. Please stay in touch here to let us know how he likes it once he is there. I’m hearing this same sort of talk from families in the Lake View neighborhood and Senn. So excited about all three schools!

  • 369. realchicagomama  |  February 24, 2015 at 11:04 am

    I agree with this line of reasoning. My kids are at Disney II for the same reason – it was untested at the time – the 2nd grade (this year’s current 8th graders) wasn’t even fully enrolled in the first year. Now a number of those kids were accepted at NCP and Lane Tech. Those students are exceptional. My hope is that Disney II will remain a solid school and will only continue to grow academically as students from the original crop of students matriculate up.

  • 370. Principal Anna Pavichevich - Amundsen High School  |  February 24, 2015 at 11:08 am

    Good Morning from Amundsen HS!

    We are always ready and available to share the great news about our school’s remarkable and exciting transformation – which has led to improvements in every single metric, ranging from IB scores to attendance to athletics! Each and every decision we make is driven first and foremost by the needs of our students, who are at the center of everything we do!

    Please read our brochure, which can be accessed at this link! http://amundsenhs.org/pdf/Amundsen%20-%20About%20Us.pdf

    Here, you can find a wealth of information, including details about school tours and scheduling shadowing experiences. If anyone would like to reach out to me, personally, I am happy to answer your questions.

  • 371. NCPMom  |  February 24, 2015 at 11:09 am

    @367 My kid absolutely loves the block schedule. She feels she focuses and really engages in each class. The no rush to absorb in only 40+ minutes everyday to me is very beneficial. Sort of like a college experience in where they have some classes only 2x a week.

  • 372. Principal Anna Pavichevich - Amundsen High School  |  February 24, 2015 at 11:15 am

    A bit of information about cut-scores for IB …

    Due to the change in elementary high-stakes testing (NWEA vs. ISAT), the way cut-scores are calculated cannot be compared to previous years. What may appear to be a decrease in cut-scores is actually an increase. Ex: A score that ranked 50% for ISAT is now 24% for NWEA.

    Complicated and confusing, we know. 🙂

  • 373. LS Mom  |  February 24, 2015 at 11:17 am

    @340…the same score is the max score for those tiers because kids with scores above that got in on Rank. If I recall correctly, the top 30% of scores get in regardless of tier (Rank.) Then everyone else gets sorted by tier. So the “rank” admissions went down to 893.

  • 374. edgewatermom  |  February 24, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    Does anybody know approximately how many students are in each year in the IB program at Senn?

  • 375. wondering  |  February 24, 2015 at 2:01 pm

    does anyone know of a mt. greenwood student being accepted at whitney young?

  • 376. 19th ward mom  |  February 24, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    @ Wouldn’t you know, it was acceptance for both at Lincoln Park Double Honors. Looks like we will be going to the info session on Thursday to learn more and to help come to a final decision.

  • 377. 19th ward mom  |  February 24, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    Above post was directed to @299 LPDH

  • 378. Marketing Mom  |  February 24, 2015 at 2:12 pm

    I am interested in knowing how many students are able to get scores in the high 890s and above that are not attending selective or gifted elementary schools? It would be very interesting to see what the feeder schools are for the top SEHS this year.

  • 379. MamaofBoyz  |  February 24, 2015 at 2:35 pm

    @292 @357. I’m sorry your son did not get an offer from a school of his choice. It is too late for Saint Ignatius and Loyola, not sure about St Pats or Notre Dame. If you are considering private, you should consider DePaul Prep as it is really up and coming. Or maybe you could petition to get into Lakeview. Good Luck.

  • 380. David Gregg - IB MYP Coordinator, Senn High School  |  February 24, 2015 at 2:42 pm

    Hello CPSO community –

    In response to questions here and those I have gotten via email: Senn continues to host during-the-school-day shadow/tour opportunities so that prospective families can get a true sense of school life at Senn. There is space available March 17 and March 24. Visit our website or follow the link below to register.


    374 – We have approximately 100 students in each year of the IB Diploma Prep. Over 90% of those students participate in IB as upperclassmen either as Full Diploma candidates or as course (certificate) candidates.

    337 – Regarding the drop in cut scores, see Anna Pavichevich’s comments @372. To that end, the 550 minimum score for Senn this year (using NWEA) roughly equates to a score of 700 last year (using ISAT). Our actual cut score last year was only 630. Looking at our 2014 offers, 23% would not have gotten offers this year. Our ‘RELATIVE cut score’ increased due to the continued increase in applications we received – 34% more applicants to Senn this year over last.

    I would also add, for those wondering, that the cut scores for SEHS’s moved less than those of IB because the NWEA (and ISAT in prior years) weighs less toward the student’s overall score – 1/3 versus 1/2 for IB.

    Anyone may of course contact me by email with other questions about Senn: dgregg@cps.edu

    Best to all with your high school selections!

  • 381. cpsobsessed  |  February 24, 2015 at 2:42 pm

    Its too late to get into a SEHS but I believe its worth calling around to some other choices to inquire. Charters tend to have later application dates. Neighborhood schools take kids when they have space (lvhs, amundsen).
    Magnets like disney probably not until close to school starts?
    But many are worth an inquiry.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 382. mom_74  |  February 24, 2015 at 2:51 pm

    Congratulations to everybody who got in, and good luck to those who need to explore other options!

    My son (currently in 6th grade and in the suburbs) is applying to WY Academic Center. Going into the CPS exam, he had 598.5 points. CPS will not release the score he got on their exam, they are saying we’ll get it when they mail out acceptance letters. Suspence is killing me.

    Does anybody know if there is principal discretion when it comes to Academic Centers?

    Also, if I was to walk into Office of Access and Enrollment and produced my ID, would they release his the result of his Selective Test exam?

  • 383. momofmany  |  February 24, 2015 at 2:56 pm


    No on both counts. I am waiting it out too, so I feel your pain. My dd had a 598.5 going into the test as well. Good Luck.

  • 384. mom_74  |  February 24, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    @momofmany, good luck!

    Thanks for the info.
    Where is your daughter applying to?

  • 385. luveurope  |  February 24, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    292, You can still get info and admission for next year – St. Patrick, Notre Dame, Guerin Prep, DePaul Prep. Great schools, they would love to meet your son.

  • 386. 2nd Ward Mom  |  February 24, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    Re: double acceptance at Jones for CTE/SEHS. The CTE selection is done first. If student is accepted under CTE, they are dropped from Jones SEHS selection, but are eligible for other schools. My child was accepted into Jones CTE, and was also offered a spot at WY. I think all CTE spots will go to students within the attendance boundary. I know of one student who was not offered a Jones CTE spot even though they live within the boundary.

  • 387. momofmany  |  February 24, 2015 at 3:11 pm


    First choice WY. Second choice Lane. Third choice Taft. 🙂 I’m counting down the days.

  • 388. Lauren Rhone  |  February 24, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    In general “the ivy’s” don’t take as many kids from Illinois. Perhaps the suburban Mom should move to another state instead of moving to Chicago.


  • 389. mom_74  |  February 24, 2015 at 3:19 pm

    momofmany, we also put down Lane as second choice, but in all honesty I don’t know anything about the school. We went to WY open house and liked everything we heard.
    In your opinion, how does Lane AC compare to WY?

  • 390. captain mom  |  February 24, 2015 at 3:19 pm

    @366 – SER – We are considering Amundsen IB as well, would love to connect with freshmen families

  • 391. Mary  |  February 24, 2015 at 3:54 pm

    Does anyone decline a spot for CTE Jones ?

  • 392. Stephani (@mizbean)  |  February 24, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    My daughter got offers from LP Double Honors and Whitney Young. WY was her first choice so was she happy (last night, at least). However, my husband thinks she should pick LP-DH instead. We have friends that have kids at LP. They love the school, but both times I’ve visited the school I’ve been underwhelmed. (And neither of their kids are in the DH program either, if that matters). Anyone have thoughts on the virtues of LP-DH vs Whitney Young? I’ll also add that my daughter never really expressed interest in going to Lincoln Park.

    I also wanted to ask people’s thoughts on WY. I was impressed by their open house. I thought their principal sound very energetic and committed to the school. I also found the student who showed us around helpful and relatable. I think that’s one reason why WY was my daughter’s top choice. She also excels at math and their math program looks really good. My husband is less enthusiastic. Found the building rundown, the neighborhood uninviting and out of the way, and thinks we can get the same or better academic experience at LP.

    Unfortunately, as an added wrinkle, as of this morning my daughter has convinced herself that she made a mistake not picking Jones over WY. She picked Payton, WY, then Jones, and then Lane. (NS is too far away). I think some of this is peer pressure. Classmates were gloating on social media last night about getting into Jones, or Payton, or NS. She had the scores to get into Jones, but I let her pick. Maybe I made the mistake, but nothing can be done about that now. But it does make LP more palatable, although I’m still leaning for WY.

    Anyway, WY or LP-DH, thoughts? Thanks!

  • 393. sarah  |  February 24, 2015 at 4:21 pm

    I also would love to hear which elementary schools kids were accepted from. I know this list was posted a year or two ago, but things always change. Curious especially about south side elementary schools, both sees and regular. Thanks!

  • 394. dave  |  February 24, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    Mom 74 WY AC is always ranked top in the state, my son will graduate this year, got into Payton but I think he is staying at WY

  • 395. ItTakesAVillage  |  February 24, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    For the parent considering Jones vs Payton. What choices! Congratulations. We have a freshman daughter at Payton who has made wonderful, very diverse (both socioeconomically and ethnically) friends in a very short time. She is happy with her teachers with the exception of one, who is uniformly disliked by her friends (not as a person, but as a teacher). Payton has “enrichments” during the last period of every day during which students can sign up for tutoring. She has gotten to know her teachers very well through this process and earned straight As on her first report card (which I think would not have happened without the assistance she found during these enrichments). Also, of the 16 of her friends who went to Jones last year (yes, 16 from her school!) she says that they are happy but party a lot (based on social media posts and conversations). My daughter and her friends went to Homecoming, all play sports and instruments, and are involved in other extracurricular activities, but honestly, there is not a lot of time left for parties. Perhaps this will change as she gets older, but for now, Payton is a perfect fit. Good luck with your choice!

  • 396. mom_74  |  February 24, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    @394, WYAC is the reason we are applying to CPS. So no question this is the school my son wants to be in. We are not going to know for another month if he got in :(. So, I am starting to think if he gets into Lane, should he give it a try…
    As of now, our back up plan is homeschooling. But I don’t have any experience homeschooling. So, now that we are waiting for the results, I was going to see if Lane is a viable option for him.

  • 397. Tepii  |  February 24, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    My daughter received acceptance to her third choice (My first choice) Hancock. Tier 3, 823 score. Also accepted to Lincoln Park Double Honors (we’re done with the long commutes so we’ll decline). She was devastated that she missed Young by 12 points but I’m sure she’ll be okay at Hancock.

    I went to the open house at Hancock and although the building is old and in need of repairs,they said that their SE curriculum will be almost identical to that of Jones. The principal at Hancock is very energetic and I’ve heard that she is the reason that the school graduation rate has improved drastically since she got there.

    I had my reservations about the school given it’s lack of diversity and the fact it doesn’t have a proven record of success like other SEHS, but it’s in my neighborhood and it seems to be going in the right direction. They’re having an open house on Saturday February 28th form 9:00am-11:30am for students that have been accepted to the 9th grade.

    If your child has been accepted to Hancock and you’re thinking about declining the offer I’d like to suggest you go to the open house this saturday and check it out before you turn it down, maybe you see something that will make you change your mind.

  • 398. Second time around  |  February 24, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    @392 – My oldest who is now a hs junior had second thoughts about how he ranked the schools after he was accepted at his first choice….it all worked out (he stayed with his first choice). I can’t speak to the difference between Whitney and LP – DH. We know kids at both schools, and they are all pretty happy. You could always accept at either Whitney or LP, then do principal discretion for Jones, if that’s where she REALLY wants to go. But make her explore the reasons before you go down that route…..and maybe sit down with a list of pros/cons for each school…..and try to figure out what is really the best option for her. I think Whitney allows shadow days, not sure about LP, but that’s also worth exploring.
    Good Luck!

  • 399. dave  |  February 24, 2015 at 4:40 pm

    Stephani WY is a great school and has a culture of being the best at everything from math club to basketball but it isn’t a cut throat culture. Students help each other and teachers are caring and go the extra mile and Dr Kenner is the best. The building is a little run down but the open floor plan creates a fantastic learning environment and the surrounding park and their quad provides almost a college campus atmosphere. Your daughter couldn’t go wrong with picking WY. Good luck

  • 400. momofmany  |  February 24, 2015 at 4:41 pm


    Lane AC is a great program, and Lane is a great high school as well. It’s high school cutoff scores are slightly lower then PNJY because of its large size, not because it isn’t rigorous. I will send my daughter to Lane without any hesitation whatsoever if she doesn’t make the cut for WY. All of the Lane AC students that I have spoken to love the school and are enthusiastically happy to talk about it. IMHO, Lane AC definitely beats out homeschooling (I homeschooled for 5 1/2 yrs so I have some perspective on it).

  • 401. B.B. Leroy Brown  |  February 24, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    Given how most kids who were admitted to the most competitive schools got perfect to nearly perfect scores on the entrance exam, it is much less a factor in admissions decisions. NWEA and grades are much more a factor. Getting a 94% in reading on NWEA was the deciding factor in my son getting into Jones and not WPCP (not that we are complaining!).

    That being said, I suggest they get rid of the entrance exam, save all of the money they pay to IIT and others to administer it, save the time and resources (money) to tabulate and analyze it, and put that money into a new SEHS.

  • 402. AE  |  February 24, 2015 at 4:49 pm

    @ Mom_74 — I have an LTAC (Lane Academic Center) kid who absolutely LOVES it there. Teachers are young and energetic. Curriculum is challenging, but homework is very reasonable. School has a lot of energy and spirit. My child sees the size of Lane as a definite plus — particularly since AC kids have a lot more room in their schedules for electives later on. There are some really unique programs at Lane such as an Aquaponics lab, a 3-D printer/”makers” lab, etc.

    If test scores are your thing, the interactive report card shows LTAC has 100% of its 7th graders meeting or exceeding (with the vast majority exceeding) State standards. In 2014, Lane was ranked as the 4th best “middle school” in Illinois by the SunTimes (just behind WYAC, Keller RGC, and Edison RGC). Link is below:


    More importantly (to me, at least), my child has made some great friends. It is a really nice bunch of kids. Smart, but well rounded. For us, it was a very good choice.

    There is a separate AC page on this blog w/ lots more info regarding academic centers. Good luck.

  • 403. mom_74  |  February 24, 2015 at 4:50 pm

    thanks, momofmany!

  • 404. mom_74  |  February 24, 2015 at 4:58 pm

    @402, do you know if LTAC has a strong math program, as well as math team? My kid is heavily into math. That’s why he wants to be in WY.

  • 405. Patricia  |  February 24, 2015 at 5:14 pm

    @ mom 74. You may want to check out the thread on this blog about the Academic Centers to find info on WY and Lane. My son 8th grader at Lane has had an incredible experience. He is choosing to stay even though accepted at Jones with 886 (made northside cut off, but not tiebreaker I assume, with no test prep and a sleepover the night before the test–LOL oh, to be young again). Lane has everything to offer and is in a great location with a lot of great places nearby for kids to stretch their wings with freedom, while being in a really safe area. It really has been an unexpected plus with Lane. Academically, it is outstanding, sports and club opportunities abound, etc. It is high school classes, with high school teachers for high school credit, so make sure your kid is up for the challenge. His younger sibling is also awaiting AC this year with Lane first choice. You may also want to check the cut-off scores from last year. If I remember correctly, they jumped a lot. It will be interesting to see if the trend continues. Good luck!

  • 406. AE  |  February 24, 2015 at 5:19 pm

    @404 Here is a link to current math team standings:


    Looks like WYAC is ranked first, but Lane appears very competitive and is ranked third. (Both schools are division A). My child just started math team last week, mid-season (mostly bc he loves the coach who is also his Algebra teacher) so I don’t have any first hand info to report yet.

    Re: math curriculum, I have heard that WYAC may allow a very select few 7th grade students to skip Algebra 1 and move directly into Geometry (like 1-2 students per year). I have not heard of this happening at Lane (7th grade students take either Honors Algebra 1 or Pre-Algebra based on a placement exam). However, my child reports that Algebra is his favorite class / favorite teacher this year.

  • 407. cps alum  |  February 24, 2015 at 5:21 pm

    Edgebrook has at least 3 who got NSCP, at least 1 Jones, and lots of Lane.

  • 408. Vikingmom  |  February 24, 2015 at 5:27 pm

    @292 My daughter and I were exactly where you are just 3 years ago. You go through all the stages (denial, anger, bargaining…) but I swear that your son will be OK. It’s really hard now but — there are other schools for a smart, talented kid like yours. By all means try the PD but at the same time look at some of the privates that were mentioned (DePaul, St. Ben’s etc.) and also take a look at Lakeview, Senn (although that is a hike) and (drum roll please) Amundsen, where my daughter is a junior in the IB program and loving it …well, as much as any teenager can love a HS right? I do not know what options are for out of boundary students if you/he had not previously applied to any IB programs but it is worth a call. Amundsen has really come up in the past few years, and the sports programs are great and inclusive. I always hear good things about Lakeview and Senn too.

  • 409. Newcomer  |  February 24, 2015 at 5:38 pm

    Anyone still waiting? Here in Lakeview, empty mailbox two days in a row. Called OAE, they said they would email but not before this Friday.

  • 410. Catherine  |  February 24, 2015 at 6:02 pm

    The mail finally came!!!! Tier 4 887 points. First choice Whitney. She wants to go to LPIB.

  • 411. Catherine  |  February 24, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    @409 We went to post office today because our mail carrier has been sick.. She said 12 carriers have called in sick due to the cold weather. At the post office I was told two other parents were there this morning.

  • 412. Newcomer  |  February 24, 2015 at 6:13 pm

    Ah, that must be it. No one else on our block got mail this week. So now…… do I tell my son the results, as we know his score and the cutoff scores? Or wait for the delayed letter to make it official?

  • 413. Excited parent  |  February 24, 2015 at 6:34 pm

    My son’s scores just came in, an 898 out of 900 and accepted into NCP. He got all 99’s on his test, Ignatius, Northside, or Latin?

  • 414. 2019 Lane Parent  |  February 24, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    Another plug for Lane AC, these kids take more honors hs classes in 7th and 8th than Whitney. Lane 8th graders are taking Honors HS Chemistry for example. And it still comes in 4th in the state. Bravo LTAC! Lane is really a 6 year program, not 2. My daughter will be staying for hs even though she could have gotten into any of the other SEs with her score. Once you’re at Lane, and realize what all they offer class wise, it’s really hard to go to a smaller school with less to choose from. The extra curriculars are numerous, teacher support is amazing, sports galore, great campus, lots of hang out space, great kids and staff, 9 languages to choose from, fun parent parties…yep, glad to be there for the next 4.5 years.

  • 415. Payton Parent  |  February 24, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    For everyone who is considering Payton along with other schools, I just wanted to say that Payton has been a fantastic experience for my daughter. She is a freshman and this year has been great for her both socially and academically. While Payton is often thought of as strictly academic, my daughter has met tons of nice, well rounded people who are not overly focused on school or anti-social. Hope this helps some of you make the tough decision!

  • 416. Question  |  February 24, 2015 at 7:01 pm

    Question – if you accept an IB spot, will that kick you off of a waiting list for another school?

  • 417. printersrow  |  February 24, 2015 at 8:41 pm

    Hello again, did anyone get a Payton packet in the mail?

  • 418. Quaker  |  February 24, 2015 at 8:45 pm

    @417 we are still waiting for a Payton packet too.

  • 419. Paytonprep  |  February 24, 2015 at 8:57 pm

    @417 we haven’t received one yet.

  • 420. HS Mom  |  February 24, 2015 at 9:06 pm

    386 – Its the other way around. If a student applies to both Jones CTE and SEHS and get in through the SEHS, their application is withdrawn from CTE. So, yes, Jones students will get only one offer and SE comes first.

    Speaking as a parent whose child had a 1st choice of Jones pre new building and block schedule……there are so many things to like about Jones and we were never disappointed. They’ve just added a bunch of new programs and we’re totally jealous. The teachers are awesome, the tone is relaxed yet serious. Oh, and the block schedule…..love it, worked well for him.

  • 421. Amundsen IB  |  February 24, 2015 at 9:28 pm

    @408 Vikingmom – I realize that a lot of this discussion is about SE schools, but that is not an option for my child. The Amundsen IB is an option. I would love to hear more about this school from a parent’s perspective. Amundsen in the past has developed a negative reputation. I know though that Amundsen is on an obvious upward trend. Is your child challenged academically? How is the culture, behavior of the students? In your experience what has won you over? Thank you

  • 422. HS Mom  |  February 24, 2015 at 9:47 pm

    421 there’s a mom who regularly posts about her daughter in Amundsen IB. Very positive experience – hope she adds.

  • 423. thanks cps  |  February 24, 2015 at 10:05 pm

    I don’t think people who got accepted into Payton received a packet yet (including me). I heard that we’ll be receiving it sometime this week but I’m not sure.

    @378 I don’t want to mention my school because of privacy reasons, but twelve people in my class received acceptances for Walter Payton. We also had Jones, Northside, etc… None of us took test preps, and we do not attend a gifted or selective elementary school.

  • 424. thanks cps  |  February 24, 2015 at 10:06 pm

    FYI: Most of us are Tier 3.

  • 425. LV  |  February 24, 2015 at 11:12 pm

    Finally got the mail today:) Tier 4, Lane. The girl is SO excited.

  • 426. NCP2018mom  |  February 24, 2015 at 11:16 pm

    My daughter is a freshman at Northside College Prep, we LOVE it! Beautifully diverse there is not an ounce of segregation! The block schedule is perfect! I have to admit the process is long and stressful so hats off to ALL you parents! Best of luck on all your children’s new journeys!

  • 427. feeder schools  |  February 24, 2015 at 11:25 pm

    @ 423 & 424

    Mostly Tier 3, non-selective, and 10+ PNJYs – Healy in Bridgeport? Or do you count in the magnets and private/Catholic schools?

  • 428. Senn Fine Arts Hopefuls  |  February 24, 2015 at 11:32 pm

    There are reports of applicants to Senn Arts receiving denial letters whose parents call and are happy to find out that the denial letter was a MISTAKE. Call the program director if you have been turned down for Senn Fine Arts.

  • 429. Susan A. Lofton, Senn HS  |  February 25, 2015 at 7:33 am

    Hello all,

    Congratulations to everyone for completing the process. Many of you have multiple offers and will be selecting a choice. I want to make a pitch for visiting your neighborhood high school before selecting. There is really something to be said for attending the school near your home. School life is very important, but so is family. Shared meals and evenings help strengthen values and provide a nurturing environment during interesting adolescent times. If you did not get your first choice, please know there are many fine options remaining.

    Senn is fortunate to offer a highly performing IB program with over 70% of IB seniors earning the IB diploma last year (a stat which is right alongside LPHS). The Senn Arts program has been winning awards and representing CPS at the state level. Our attendance rate is the highest among the north side neighborhood high schools, and our semester freshman on-track rate is 96%.

    Before making a choice, take part in a Shadow Day at Senn. The best way to know the culture and climate of a school is to be there during the regular day. As always, I am happy to meet with parent groups and have one on one conversations over coffee. If you want to learn more about Senn, I am at slofton@cps.edu. You can sign up for a Shadow Day at sennhs.org.

    Again, congratulations all!

  • 430. Sherree Smith  |  February 25, 2015 at 8:19 am

    Are they any acceptances from Lindblom,Brooks,Westinghouse or Hancock??? Excited to know..

  • 431. edgewatermom  |  February 25, 2015 at 9:12 am

    I would love to see a thread on here devoted to good neighborhood schools where parents of kids currently in schools other than the top 5 SEHS could post their experiences. I think that it would be great for parents of kids who did NOT get into their school of choice to read about success stories at other schools.

    I really think that the neighborhood schools will all continue to improve if we can get past the “SEHS or nothing” attitude that so many people have. I think it was true at one time in Chicago, but it is NOT true today. Unfortunately, parents, teachers, and students continue to believe this.

  • 432. vikingmom2  |  February 25, 2015 at 9:34 am

    @421 Amundsen IB, My son is a freshmen in the Amundsen IB program this year and we’re VERY happy. Academics are challenging, but he’s not up all night doing homework, and the teachers are great. There are many sports and extracurricular offered, and he participates in both. Most importantly, I’ve been impressed with how he’s grown as a person this year. It’s really amazing to see, and something that should happen when kids start high school. But, the high school has to have the right environment to allow our kids to grow. I toured lots of schools last year, public and private, and I got the right vibe from Amundsen. Our experience so far has proved this gut feeling was on target.

    (ps – would love to see a thread on neighborhood schools and would be happy to share our experience there.)

  • 433. captain mom  |  February 25, 2015 at 9:55 am

    I second 431 and 432. I would really appreciate a neighborhood thread too.

  • 434. mom2  |  February 25, 2015 at 10:59 am

    I would like a neighborhood thread, too!

  • 435. lawmom  |  February 25, 2015 at 11:18 am

    About feeder schools — at the Payton open house they published their main feeder schools on the folders that were handed out to parents. My son attended Pritzker and out of 20 students in the Options class (because some left in 7th for academic centers) 3 are at NSCP, 7 at WY, 2 at Payton and at least 1 at Jones. There may be others — my son is not great at collecting information, but for a small class it is a great showing so far.

  • 436. lawmom  |  February 25, 2015 at 11:21 am

    Between LP DH and WY, I would go to WY. My daughter is a senior there and has done exceedingly well. Most of the teachers are great and Dr. Kenner is a huge advocate for her students. There is a broad away of class choices and a diverse student body. As a parent, I think the school lacks good communication skills, but my daughter thinks it has been the best fit for her. She also got into LP IB and Lab School.

  • 437. AW  |  February 25, 2015 at 11:32 am

    292 UghT4 (and others) – you should definitely call Amundsen and ask for a tour. They have a great IB and the sports program has totally taken off under the new administration (50% more kids doing extracurriculars than 3 years ago.) The principal will share any data you want — safety, scores, etc. Very transparent and very nice. Plus there’s tons of space for sports in that beautiful Winnemac Park in the back yard.

  • 438. Vikingmom  |  February 25, 2015 at 11:42 am

    @421 I heartily second vikingmom2’s opinion. You said “Amundsen in the past has developed a negative reputation” which was true but at this point I feel it is the distant past. My daughter is a junior (so we have three years under our belts) in the IB program and also participates in sports, which have greatly expanded under Principal Pavichevich. My daughter is also doing the ACT Boot Camp offered by the school for which I am very grateful! PP also brought back Homecoming week which imo makes for a real sense of belonging to the school, whether or not kids participate in sports. Definitely plenty of other extracurriculars as well. My daughter has a very diverse and nice group of friends–they often go out after school to get something to eat in the neighborhood, or maybe see a movie on a Friday, but she is still home in time for dinner (do teenagers ever stop eating??) Even now, as a junior when the IB program gets more rigorous, she as well is not up all night doing homework, although the workload has increased and I have noticed more Bs than As, but that is to be expected. She is a smart, focused kid, but certainly not “gifted.” She still has time for the school sports and also does an outside sports club and the time is not unmanageable. Teachers here are VERY supportive; if anyone needs extra help they are here for you. Like Vikingmom2, when I toured the school, back in 2012 (admittedly somewhat apprehensively) I really caught a good vibe. And when we went to freshman IB orientation and listened to a group of IB seniors talk about their experience–that 100% sold me on the school and program. We all have heard the amazing SEHS students talk about their experiences at their respective schools, and that is always so impressive. These Amundsen IB kids were absolutely just as smart, poised, and together as any SEHS student I have heard. One final thing — when my gal first started and people asked where she went to school I always had an addendum to “She goes to Amundsen” such as “well, she really wanted to go to Lane but the point system got so crazy this year” or “they have a new principal and she’s really making some great changes” but now I don’t even fell the need to bother. Why make apologies for a great school, teachers, and high school experience?
    And belatedly, congratulations to all who got into their choice SEHS! Such an exciting time for you!

  • 439. feeder schools  |  February 25, 2015 at 11:54 am

    @ 435

    Impressive stats! But I was curious which school can fit into 423 and 424 poster’s criteria: tier 3, non-selective, twelve admitted to Payton, and more elsewhere.

  • 440. mom2  |  February 25, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    @439 – One of the magnets like Hawthorne or Lasalle or a north side neighborhood school like Nettlehorst or Burley?

  • 441. North Side Parent  |  February 25, 2015 at 12:14 pm

    Pritzker Elementary is in Wicker Park. It has an RGC within the neighborhood school. I think that’s was lawmom was referring to.

  • 442. lawmom  |  February 25, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    Yes, that is the one. AN Pritzker school. It is also a magnet school.

  • 443. feeder schools  |  February 25, 2015 at 12:28 pm


    But few of the “better” north side schools are in tier 3.

  • 444. mom2  |  February 25, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    The kids can be from any tier even if the school is in tier 4, right? Especially with magnet schools.

  • 445. Wait List  |  February 25, 2015 at 12:49 pm

    Just wondering if anyone knows about the Disney II wait list and if it moves? We are #3 and weren’t sure if they would get to that number or if most of the folks who get lottery seats take them. Any info is appreciated.

  • 446. North Center Mom  |  February 25, 2015 at 12:57 pm

    Bell neighborhood program usually sends a lot of kids to SE schools. Don’t know what the numbers are, but so far I have heard of 5 for NS, 1 for Payton, a bunch for Jones (8-10) and Lane, maybe 1 for Whitney, but I’m not totally tuned in, so I’m sure there are more. All of the in-boundary kids are Tier 4. Have no clue about the options class.

  • 447. feeder schools  |  February 25, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    @ 444

    So, in a tier 4-located magnet school, it’s students living in tier 3 who excel? That would be something worth looking into. However, magnets give nearby applicants preference in the lottery. How big a ratio of lower tier students can a tier 4 school have?

  • 448. Mary  |  February 25, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    Does anyone knows if there are any openings for pre- law at Jones for kids on waiting list ?

  • 449. D2Mom  |  February 25, 2015 at 1:07 pm

    @445: My son was on the wait list for 7th Grade last year. I followed up, a lot, and they offered him a spot the weekend before Labor Day. He was on his way to the Taft Academic Center (which is great!), but we were so excited he got into D2.

  • 450. Mather CTE  |  February 25, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    Does anyone have any info on the Mather pre-law program? I haven’t heard anything here mentioned about it. My daughter was accepted there and is considering it, but I would like some personal stories if possible. Thanks!

  • 451. Wait List  |  February 25, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    @449 D2Mom, do you remember what number he was on the list?

  • 452. mom2  |  February 25, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    447 – sorry, not really up on how all that works but I thought magnet schools had to take a certain percent from each tier but had to take siblings first. I think they figured out what school they were talking about anyway.

  • 453. Tours  |  February 25, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    445. Wait List | February 25, 2015 at 12:49 pm

    “Just wondering if anyone knows about the Disney II wait list and if it moves? We are #3 and weren’t sure if they would get to that number or if most of the folks who get lottery seats take them. Any info is appreciated.”

    I think you have a very good shot. I have a friend whose child is leaving Disney II for a SEHS, so that will open up at least 1 spot, making you #2 on the wait list.

    I would call the school as others have recommended above.

  • 454. Steve Johnson  |  February 25, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    Here is a starter for the neighborhood thread. We have a son who was Decatured and Tafted and 300ed on the entrance exam…and didn’t get into an SEHS. It was the year all of the scores jumped 40-50 points. We didn’t know what we were going to do, because we hadn’t even thought about any other option. He was a “lock.”

    It wasn’t until then that we even knew Amundsen had an IB program. But we researched it, we got involved at the school and we supported the new administration — one that has been dead set on turning the school into a neighborhood beacon.

    The focus and effort Anna Pavichevich, her staff, and the growing number of involved parents put into it has made that school parents are putting into their consideration set. It is making the neighborhood school a viable option v a last resort. It is putting kids on track for Harvard, Illinois, U of C, Wisconsin, Iowa…and getting them there!

    Amundsen has improved every metric and has generated student engagement and pride any school could be proud of. The proof is in such wide-ranging success as bumps in the ACT average and having started water polo and golf teams.

    Every neighborhood school needs the same support we all give to our K-8s. With that effort, every neighborhood high school can become a viable option. SEHS schools are absolutely worth striving for, but it shouldn’t be a stigma nor a dead-end if a spot isn’t achieved. There are great things happening in the neighborhood high schools. Amundsen has become a perfect example of that.

  • 455. Wait List  |  February 25, 2015 at 1:32 pm

    Thanks @453!!! Good to know I moved up a slot 😉 I will give them a call and see what the word is!

  • 456. Patricia  |  February 25, 2015 at 1:53 pm

    @454 GREAT post!

  • 457. Insight on IB  |  February 25, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    Thank you @454! Has your son felt academically challenged and stretched?

  • 458. Irving Pk mom  |  February 25, 2015 at 2:37 pm

    Does anyone have any thoughts or insight on Lake View’s STEM program? Acceptance letters haven’t been sent but I’d like to hear some feedback if possible. Thanks!

  • 459. cpyes  |  February 25, 2015 at 3:34 pm

    Lane parents of girls: Any tier 4 parents out there who would be interested in starting a thread? My daughter comes from a tiny catholic school and I would really like to her to meet some girls prior to the beginning of school–just a thought 🙂 We live in Jeff Park

  • 460. cpsobsessed  |  February 25, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    Hi – I’ll start the neighborhood thread this evening. Thanks for the idea!

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 461. Bell parent  |  February 25, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    Bell neighborhood program is sending a TON of kids to SEHS/IB. Seems like almost the entire grade except a few “challenging” kids.

  • 462. SEHS Process  |  February 25, 2015 at 3:57 pm

    “Bell neighborhood program is sending a TON of kids to SEHS/IB. Seems like almost the entire grade except a few “challenging” kids.”

    I feel bad for kids with the pressure of the SEHS process. Tough at that age to know that everyone is talking about your getting in or not, especially if you made to feel bad about not getting in somewhere. Too much of a fishbowl, especially when it is unkind.

  • 463. Vikingmom  |  February 25, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    @454 Steve, our kids started the same year. It was a similar situation for my daughter: based upon the previous years points she would have been well within Lane’s acceptance range. Also, I second everything you say!
    @457 I can say my child has been very academically challenged in all subjects. What I really like is that although she is more a math and science person (and not at all a reader) she has gained a real interest and skill in writing, likely due to the number of writing assignments, depth of the projects, and in some cases, the ability to choose the subject.

  • 464. following  |  February 25, 2015 at 4:20 pm

    “Bell neighborhood program is sending a TON of kids to SEHS/IB. Seems like almost the entire grade except a few “challenging” kids.”

    They also only have 13% lo-income…..so…..there’s that.

  • 465. xCPSposer  |  February 25, 2015 at 4:32 pm

    464 what?

  • 466. Chris  |  February 25, 2015 at 4:32 pm

    “Bell neighborhood program is sending a TON of kids to SEHS/IB.”

    Has done so for years. Has been a focus of the school.

    “except a few “challenging” kids”

    This fits right in to @462’s point, tho.

    Even in a school like Bell–heck, even in Bell/Coonley options programs, or a school like Decatur–there are some kids from whom SEHS/IB isn’t the best thing, or who have test anxiety, or who had a bad 7th grade, or whatever. Their not going to SEHS/IB isn’t *necessarily* because they are “challenging” or “challenged” or anything else similarly pejorative, and casting those who are not going on to SEHS/IB as such is not really fair to those kids.

  • 467. west rogers park mom  |  February 25, 2015 at 4:40 pm

    “Lane parents of girls: Any tier 4 parents out there who would be interested in starting a thread?”

    Seriously — you are only interested in Tier 4 incoming students – – – wow, just wow. I had no idea that the fact that my neighborhood was reclassified from Tier 4 to Tier 3 lowered the worth of my children. What if the Tier 3 or Tier 2 kid actually scored higher than your kid, or at least got in on a rank spot? Would they be acceptable then?

  • 468. luveurope  |  February 25, 2015 at 5:03 pm

    467 That is another reason why the SEHS system is awful. So many kids do very well at other high schools without the “label” . Do you know how much pressure NS kids are under? Do you REALLY want that for your kid? That environment is NOT for everyone…again, most of this crap is from the parents. Lots of drugs at NS and Lane …should we start a thread on that?

  • 469. really worried  |  February 25, 2015 at 5:15 pm

    Are we the only ones to not have received any letters yet? All my kids’ friends have got them, even our neighbor has received all theirs. Yet we haven’t gotten one single letter from the CPS office. Should I call CPS and ask?

  • 470. Bell parent  |  February 25, 2015 at 5:23 pm

    @466 “challenging” is a euphemism for behavior problem, not an academic assessment.

  • 471. Chris  |  February 25, 2015 at 5:31 pm

    @470: ” “challenging” is a euphemism for behavior problem, not an academic assessment.”

    I understand that. That does NOT make it better.

    Think about it–the implication is that a kid from Bell who isn’t going to SEHS/IB is a behavior problem.

    @469: Call. Even if they say “it’s a USPS problem”, it will probably make you feel better. Someone upthread said that they called and were told that OAE would email the letter, but not until Friday. So I wouldn’t expect any definite relief before then, but youneverknow–unless you ask.

  • 472. lawmom  |  February 25, 2015 at 5:34 pm

    @469 Yes, call them. As to 468, there are drugs at all the schools in high school. However the people who I know whose kids are at NS say it is not the pressure cooker everyone makes out to be and their children have done just fine there. Also my kid was “challenging” yet made it into the NS. And I agree, these schools are not for every one. Consider your child and what kind of learner they are. They might do better in a smaller school. There are great schools out there for every one I think. I didn’t look at IB programs for my child because writing papers is very challenging for him, but for others, it is a great fit and I love that program.

    Kids who didn’t make it in to SEHS should not feel badly. There are other options that will keep them happy including LP DH or IB, etc.

  • 473. really worried  |  February 25, 2015 at 5:47 pm

    Just finished getting off the phone with CPS. Apparently they will start accepting email requests tomorrow, however they also gave me the option of going to their office and picking it up. I’m hoping they email the results on the same day as the request otherwise I might end up going to their office. Daughter’s really anxious to know results since everybody else in her class already knows where they’re going.

  • 474. IB Obsessed  |  February 25, 2015 at 6:23 pm

    Chris and Luv Europe- Your points factored heavily into why we bailed and moved to a suburb. Not worth the stress, didn’t like the message the process sent my kid, heard concerning things from parents about drugs etc. at Lane and LPHS, the schools we likely would have offers from. There are talented, going places, bright 8th graders out there right now who feel bad about themselves because of this SEHS (What’s wrong with you? You didn’t get in anywhere?)bs process. No one needs this self esteem hit at age 13, and for some already fragile, it can really be damaging. There are drugs etc. at suburban HSs, too, of course, but my kid will be 1 mile from home and have friends from the neighborhood-much easier to keep tabs on who they are hanging with than if they are at school 6 miles away and hanging out at with friends from all over the city. Build up the neighborhood HSs so the offer a range of academic options and activities!

  • 475. Chris  |  February 25, 2015 at 7:12 pm


    My point is actually that when the parents start generalizing (only the ‘problem’ kids don’t get offers), then it really sucks.

    The kids can be awful in their own ways, and that’s bad enough (especially layered on top of the already stressful reality even if everyone were to be completely gracious), but parents doing the same thing is really … dispiriting to me. Do they really not know any academically-mediocre (but totally charming/artistic/athletic/whatever) kids?

    But I don’t think that part of it has to be necessary. Which is why I said something about it.

  • 476. vhastings  |  February 25, 2015 at 7:22 pm

    We received an “ineligible” letter from Senn…after my child was told at her audition that she was “exactly what they were looking for in their program.” After calling the Program Director to question the letter, which I believed was a clerical error due to her complying with all the requirements…he agreed that the letter was sent in error and issued me an acceptance letter via email! It was a helluva rollercoaster for 24 hours. Just wanted other parents to know my story in case something seems off to you too with your rejection letter….

  • 477. 19th ward mom  |  February 25, 2015 at 7:42 pm

    Well after almost 4 years of stalking this board it was finally our turn up to bat.

    One child at Payton and the other at Whitney Young.

    This board has been such a wealth of information, I chalk up part of our success in getting both slots is the wealth of information from this board. Things such as knowing last year way ahead of the curve that ISAT was being replaced with MAP.

    One of my ducklings needed a little more help than the other, so we had her setup early for the 7th grade prep class at Selective Prep.

    Thanks to this board as well for the info about Selective Prep. Both children did the 8th grade SEHS prep class. While they were not thrilled with this extra class on the weekend, they did say at the end that they thought it was worth it.

    Another learning from this board was to cast a wide net, which we did. We looked at every single SEHS except Northside. a lot of IBs, Kenwood, Muchin , Lincoln Park.

    Both children got offers all over the place including Lincoln Park DH for both, Lincoln Park IB for one.
    So it was nice having options and we were prepared if SEHS didn’t happen.

    Glad luck to others still waiting for letters. And others we are just stalking years in advance, like I did. Hugs to those not getting into SEHS.

    My kids always wanted to know how I knew so much about this whole high school process, I told them I had my sources. 😉

  • 478. cpsobsessed  |  February 25, 2015 at 7:47 pm

    @19thwardmom: awww…thanks for the feeback on behalf of all of us who have shared information here. It’s a group effort, as you said.

    Thanks for letting us know how it all turned out and for sharing your strategies. Keep us posted next year if you would…

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 479. Newcomer  |  February 25, 2015 at 7:50 pm

    Mail finally came. No OAE letter, but we did get a welcome letter from Northside, his first choice! Tier 4, 890, no test prep. Congrats to all through this numbing process!

  • 480. cpyes  |  February 25, 2015 at 9:26 pm

    Lane parents–Anyone living in Jeff park/Portage/Oriole honestly anywhere on the NW side– with girls who just got into Lane- looking to start a thread– @467, my apologies- does not need to be tier 4, was just looking for other neighborhood parents – Freshman connection will be great, just wondered if I have any neighbors in the same boat! – congratulations to everyone! Lane was my daughters first choice, so we are really happy for her. Our eldest is a JR at NS and very happy there-

  • 481. WL OBSERVER  |  February 25, 2015 at 10:20 pm

    I’m not a Lane parent but a Jones current freshman parent. Wherever your child attends, if freshman connection exists I strongly encourage it. It’s a great program to get the student acquainted to the campus and freshman student life.

  • 482. Susan Bertocchi  |  February 25, 2015 at 11:47 pm

    I am a Senn Fine Arts parent with one Junior in the magnet Visual Arts program and one sophomore in the magnet Music program. I am also a Parent rep on the LSC. My sons love and are thriving at a school that, three year into the revolution there, I am still telling the story about. I know all about the fears and the history. Senn had some very bad years, and Rickover, while initially perhaps acting as a stabilizing factor for the school, is no longer the only amazing story in that building. Susan Lofton, the Principal, and her administration run a tight ship. She started by standing on the platform at the Thorndale L stop with her staff in order to guide kids off the train, up Thordale to the building and it’s just gone from there. Senn is a safe, sane, positive school with exciting things developing all the time. There is an amazing partnership program with Loyola University, partnerships in the Fine Arts program with institutions like The Art Institute, Steppenwolf and Chicago International Film Festival, Lookingglass Theatre, Raven Theatre, Adobe Youth Voices, Two Pence Shakespeare Theatre, Waltzing Mechanics Theatre, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, da Cornetto Opera, Innervation Dance, Joffrey Ballet, Specimen Music, Old Town School of Folk Music and Art Reach at Lill Street. Amazing places to be connected to.
    I wouldn’t have even looked at Senn three years ago when we were looking for a school for my oldest. But someone told me about this magnet Fine Arts program they had started. And the great IB program they were building.
    Now we’ve been told it’s the second strongest in the city – in addition to serving the neighborhood with Digital Media and Environmental programs. It’s an amazing school with amazing things happening.

  • 483. 19th ward mom  |  February 26, 2015 at 12:05 am

    Received our letter from Payton today, someone earlier had asked if Payton’s letters had been sent. Also got an email.

    Info night for admitted is Tuesday, March 3rd.

  • 484. Tours  |  February 26, 2015 at 12:46 am

    480. cpyes | February 25, 2015 at 9:26 pm

    “Lane parents..

    You may just want to have your daughter start a Facebook Page for the entire Lane Tech Class of 2019. The Class of 2018 has a public FB page with 1200 members. Once she creates it, post that it is created here and you will probably get lots of people joining. Then you can ask specific questions of the larger group. Great way to start connecting the kids with each other.

  • 485. insanity max:30 workout schedule  |  February 26, 2015 at 3:10 am

    insanity max:30 workout schedule

    High School Acceptances 2015 | CPS Obsessed

  • 486. Suzanne  |  February 26, 2015 at 4:35 am

    @ cpyes: Email me at suzkus@gmail.com. 🙂 I have an 8th grade daughter who has been at Lane for 2 years and is continuing on for HS.

  • 487. WRP Mom  |  February 26, 2015 at 7:28 am

    There may already be a Lane class of 2019 FB page in existence. My daughter, a current Lane freshman, is one of the admins of her class’s page. Last year, the Academic Center 8th graders who were staying at Lane started the page so they could help answer questions and connect to their new classmates.

  • 488. Kate  |  February 26, 2015 at 8:16 am

    My son got into 8 schools/programs but while having choices is good, it is very hard to find out how well IEPs are managed in different schools for sped kids.

    DOes anyone have information on Senn, Amundsen, Westinghouse, Whitney Young, and the IB programs on how well they do for kids with an IEP?

    I almost rather have my son go to a less high-gear program than one where he will have trouble getting his IEP fully realized/enacted.

  • 489. mom2  |  February 26, 2015 at 8:46 am

    @488 Kate – I’d love to know about IEPs at the various schools, too! What sort of learning differences does your son have? How was he able to get into Whitney Young? Curious how the whole thing works.

  • 490. mom2  |  February 26, 2015 at 8:48 am

    @Susan Bertocchi – Thanks so much for the great post about Senn. I wish more parents from Senn, Amundsen and Lake View would post here. I know they are happy, but I don’t think they frequent this site since they are happy and not “obsessed” – lol.

  • 491. Exhale  |  February 26, 2015 at 8:58 am

    #479 — we had the same experience. No OAE letter but finally a letter from 1st choice, NCP. Tier 4 w/592 going into SEHS exams. This board has been such a wonderful source of information, and therapy. (We are in a complete daze–when does that wear off? I need my brain back for work, taxes…showering…). Good luck to all and kudos for navigating this process. You are all amazing parents. I want to hug this board!

  • 492. analysis  |  February 26, 2015 at 9:03 am

    I have a son at Lane Tech Academic Center, it is very rigorous. They are earning High School Credit, and can be eligible to graduate in 11th Grade, if they want to, or to continue on and focus on some particular interest with electives in Senior year. Sometimes it feels like they are doing college work instead of HIgh School work. What we love about Lane Tech is the diversity, and the culture of non-competition. The school makes a very concerted effort to teach the kids to respect and support everyone in their unique abilities, whether it’s a particular interest or excellence in some field of academics, technology or sports. The kids help each other, and the older kids also try to help the younger kids -instead of people forming cliques, dismissing or devaluing other kids. The school definitely does not try to do a one size fits all, but offers so many alternative routes to success: engineering, computers, sports, art, language, technology, or STEM fields. I think this is why we are really pleased with Lane and decided to stay there: allowing our son to excell in his particular interests, as well as being respectful and supportive of that. I think the thing he was envious of were the new facilities at Jones and Northside -they are beautiful buildings. But, Lane Tech is renovating, and there is wonder in going to such a historical and impressive looking school that has a strong alumni base.

  • 493. parent  |  February 26, 2015 at 10:09 am

    @492. I had one at Lane and one at Jones. The new building at Jones is nice but Lane is wonderful The murals and history displayed in the halls and the carving in the library. I really loved that school.

  • 494. SER  |  February 26, 2015 at 10:14 am

    To 488 – Kate

    Regarding IEP at Amundsen, my advice would be to contact the principal directly. We have found her incredibly responsive and helpful.

  • 495. david  |  February 26, 2015 at 10:20 am

    I’m stuck between Ogden IB or Senn IB. I’ve seen post about senn arts program and it doe seem like its a great choice, but not too much on ib prgram. Any insights here? Suzanne, do you have contacts in IB program?

  • 496. parent  |  February 26, 2015 at 10:21 am

    Your daughter will have no problem making friends at Lane. She should do freshman connection and pick a sport or activity to do over the summer–there should be something over the summer. As I recall, there was an opportunity to start with debate before freshman year and if you do not get on that right away, it is not open after freshman year. Lots of kids from catholic schools at Lane.

  • 497. CpsArtsMom  |  February 26, 2015 at 10:37 am

    I appreciate the info about the Senn Arts program! We did our research and were surprised by how impressive that program is especially since it is so new! I was hoping to get a parent’s perspective about Senn. My daughter was accepted to the Theater program at Senn and Lincoln Park. We are really torn. Can anyone weigh in with more insights on either of these schools, especially arts programs?

  • 498. Mary  |  February 26, 2015 at 10:48 am

    Does any students decline the spot for Pre-Law at Jones ? Does anyone knows if the waiting list start moving ?

  • 499. david  |  February 26, 2015 at 10:50 am

    congrats on Senn arts. It looks impressive, and i totally looked over that when applying

  • 500. Assistant Principal  |  February 26, 2015 at 11:38 am

    As an assistant principal I wanted to say that I actually like the NWEA tests and Rahm.

  • 501. 19th ward mom  |  February 26, 2015 at 11:44 am

    @495 David
    You should go to a Shadow Day at Senn. It gives a good overview of the program and a feel for the school.

    We attended one and really liked the school. I wish they had a school like this on the South Side (though Kenwood is similar just without the IB / Dance competent )

    Here is a link to the Shadow sign-up (it is pretty hidden on their site)

    Next shadow days are:
    Tuesday, March 17, 2015
    Tuesday, March 24, 2015


    They have a open door policy, so the IB coordinator or the principal might be able to arrange a tour before this date.

    The IB coordinator is Mr. David Gregg at – dgregg@cps.edu or 773-534-2501.

    Good luck

  • 502. 19th ward mom  |  February 26, 2015 at 11:46 am

    @495 David

    My comment got moderated because of the link, so I am going to repost it and not include a clickable link to see if you can get your information sooner:

    @495 David

    You should go to a Shadow Day at Senn. It gives a good overview of the program and a feel for the school.

    We attended one and really liked the school. I wish they had a school like this on the South Side (though Kenwood is similar just without the IB / Dance competent )

    Here is a link to the Shadow sign-up (it is pretty hidden on their site)

    Next shadow days are:
    Tuesday, March 17, 2015
    Tuesday, March 24, 2015

    www. sennhs.org/apps/news/show_news.jsp?REC_ID=334129&id=0

    They have a open door policy, so the IB coordinator or the principal might be able to arrange a tour before this date.
    The IB coordinator is Mr. David Gregg at – dgregg@cps.edu or 773-534-2501.
    Good luck

  • 503. Newcomer  |  February 26, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    Yes, a massive thank you to the owner of this blog!!! If i may, I’d like to ask that you start a thread on “IEP at high schools”, I will need this info for my second child. (and I will miss reading all the SEHS comments now that my first child is sorted). Kudos and thanks!

  • 504. Chris  |  February 26, 2015 at 12:33 pm

    AP: “As an assistant principal I wanted to say that I actually like the NWEA tests”

    What do you like about them?

    Don’t need to convince me, as I am at worst agnostic, but curious on the bases for a positive view from someone on the ground in CPS.

  • 505. AW  |  February 26, 2015 at 2:00 pm

    The principal at Amundsen started her career as a special ed teacher so she should be pretty easy to talk to about how an IEP is handled there. I see on their school website that they have Viking Shadow Days on March 4 & 6. You can also look at the Friends of Amundsen Facebook page for other info.

  • 506. IEP  |  February 26, 2015 at 3:02 pm

    488. Kate | February 26, 2015 at 8:16 am
    489. mom2 | February 26, 2015 at 8:46 am

    Post your email and I will send you my email. I’d be happy to answer your questions regarding IEPs as a fellow parent who has had 2 experiences with H.S. IEPs.

    Lots of budget cuts coming. Role of Case Manager will likely be eliminated at all CPS schools within next year – pilot under way at 1 SEHS that I am aware of, several neighborhood H.S. and elementary schools. Pilots = this is going to happen CPS wide. That will mean more paperwork for the actual Sp Ed / Diverse Learner teaching staff. Counselors will be handling 504s instead of Case Manager. So Counselors will have less time for College focused activities and Sp Ed teachers will have less time for teaching.

  • 507. Angie  |  February 26, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    @505. IEP: How do you know all this? Source?

  • 508. IEP  |  February 26, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    LSC Meetings.

  • 509. Angie  |  February 26, 2015 at 4:11 pm

    @507. IEP: I see. Well, the upcoming teachers’ pension payment has to be paid somehow.

    CPS budget page: “Pensions continue to be the single largest driver of CPS’s structural deficit. The CPS contribution to the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund (CTPF) jumps another $84 million in FY15, to $697 million. Fortunately, the recently-passed state budget includes a $50 million state contribution to CTPF, decreasing the amount that CPS will have to pay by $50 million. Still, at $634 million, CPS’s contribution is the equivalent to nearly $1,600 per student, or 11 percent of our operating budget.”

  • 510. Anna Pavichevich - Amundsen HS Principal  |  February 26, 2015 at 8:56 pm

    @ 488 and others interested in knowing more about IEP implementation for HS students …

    A bit about me: I was a classroom teacher of Diverse Learners with IEPs for about 20 years. I have an MA in SPED and achieved National Board Certification for students with Exceptional Needs.

    That being said, I am very happy to speak to any parent about the individual needs of their students and about the full continuum of services offered at Amundsen High School. I know how important these conversations are and would not risk not giving them my full attention by responding on a blog. Please reach out to me directly at apavichevich@cps.edu or Principal Pavichevich on FB.

    As a quick clarification – the role of Case Manager is a school responsibility and not an actual job title, like Counselor, IB Coordinator, etc. This means that as long as a principal is willing to delegate the responsibilities of a Case Manager to a qualified staff member, that is within the principal’s discretion to do so. The Case Manager is a critical member of my leadership team, and will remain so indefinitely. (Unless you know something I don’t! 🙂 )

  • 511. Anna Pavichevich - Amundsen HS Principal  |  February 26, 2015 at 8:59 pm

    @ 490 – HHHAAAAAAAAA!!!!! EXACTLY! That made me smile at the end of a long work day!

  • 512. Lincoln Park Mom  |  February 26, 2015 at 9:19 pm

    Have a senior at LPHS IBDP program and want to say the school is great and has so much to offer. What makes it different than other SE schools is you can truly customize your child’s education. They can take AP or HH class or IB classes and they can take regular classes in subjects they might not excel in. It offers so many different levels of classes for everyone – teachers are great – and you can get very well rounded education there. My senior and his friends are all applying to and going to great colleges.

  • 513. CPSMom  |  February 26, 2015 at 10:14 pm

    My son found out today he was accepted into Chi Arts in the music program. He is deciding between Chi Arts and the private school he currently attends. He is very excited about Chi Arts but sad about leaving his friends, etc. Is anybody considering Chi Arts and what are your thoughts about the academics and the music program in particular?

  • 514. Annie Avery  |  February 27, 2015 at 10:54 am

    @513, my daughter is considering Chi Arts (acting). She was also admitted to Whitney Young. For us, the distance to Chi Arts is a factor (Whitney Young is closer, though still a schlep). Another factor is that the kids get so focused at Chi Arts, at such a young age. Great and not great – I guess it depends on the kid. We worry that our daughter will love the acting focus but after a year or two, grow restless for more – big sporting event to attend, newspaper to write for, dance team to try out for. Chi Arts is what it is, and it’s not a traditional high school with all those trimmings. We (meaning the parents) are torn but learning toward Whitney Young. For now we’re letting our daughter think it through without pushing. As for the academics, I hear they are good, but the school is so new that I don’t think there’s a lot of information about its academics. It looks like a terrific experience, and if our daughter really wants it, we’ll go with it. Sorry I don’t know anything about the music program.

  • 515. 19th ward mom  |  February 27, 2015 at 11:11 am

    @513 How did you find out about your ChiArts acceptance? Did you get an email or a letter?
    We also auditioned and though my kids are going with their SEHS acceptances, I am kind of curious why we haven’t heard back from ChiArts after the auditions.

  • 516. west rogers park mom  |  February 27, 2015 at 11:52 am

    My kid is a sophmore musical theater major at ChiArts,

    It is almost perfect for her. The music program is the largest program in the school because it is split between instrumental and vocal. I personally love the vocal program (Freshman MT’s had an emphasis on vocal) but it is all classical music and my kid didn’t love it. I think they have problem finding musicians but the musicians I have heard there blow me away. I also believe that there is a strong emphasis on composition and theory for musicians. Some other students think the musicians are ‘favored’ because they always have opportunities to perform at fundraisers and the like. So to @513, I think it depends on your son and how much he wants to focus on his music. Going for ‘dance’ or ‘acting’ or ‘visual arts’ is much more restrictive than being accepted for ‘classical guitar’ etc.

    Academically, my child is definitely challenged. ChiArts offers honors and AP classes, and the AP class she is in is especially tough. However, they are on the block schedule and have a study hall three times a week. All of the teachers are available for the students during study hall, as well as before school. Whenever we have had questions or reached out, ChiArts has been extremely responsive. The post secondary counselor is excellent and dedicated to the school.

    @514- Yes, ChiArts is not a traditional high school with all of the trimmings but it has trimmings that are pretty unique and amazing. Take a look at the website and view the 4 year curriculum for the acting students. Its a lot more than putting on plays. There are no sports team but they did have a student versus teacher basketball game this fall. There are school dances. There are senior trips. etc.

    So why isn’t ChiArts perfect? The commute stinks, especially with the construction on Western. The south siders do have private busses they have set up. There is little opportunity for electives, both in your conservatory and academically. The only languages are French and Spanish. Not all of the students are academically motivated. Oh- and the calendar has been modified and will no longer be on par with CPS. School starts August 13th next year and is scheduled to end June 2nd. After school matters (which offers many summer enrichment opportunities and provides a stipend to the students) ends after school starts so that opportunity is lost to these kids.

    I didn’t include the extended school day in the negative section. My kid has been mostly able to keep up with her other stuff on weekends and evenings. In fact, she sees many kids from Lane, LPHS, Jones etc on the bus home on a regular basis. The conservatory classes are amazing, taught by amazing talented professionals. Its a wonderful opportunity.

    Oh- and one more thing. Chi Arts does not over accept so if you didn’t get in now, don’t despair. Much like the magnet and SEES schools there is a lot of movement over the summer.


  • 517. locale  |  February 27, 2015 at 12:49 pm

    my daughter was also admitted to WY. Where do you live?

  • 518. Next round  |  February 27, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    do you think the academic center scores will drop like the SEHS scores did?

  • 519. locale  |  February 27, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    does anyone know if a student passes on a seat at chas if they can transfer in later if the SE school doesnt work out?

  • 520. west rogers park mom  |  February 27, 2015 at 2:32 pm

    @518 – The short answer- no. The lower high school scores were still much much higher than the projected NWEA scores posted by CPS. The AC NWEA adjusted scores were much closer to the actual scores. My hope is that the cut offs just won’t go up as much as they seem to have been the past few years. I’ve got a kid who wants to go to Lane AC next year.

    We’ve got a little over three weeks to find out.

  • 521. Next round  |  February 27, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    @520 — every SEHS score in every tier went down, albeit not as much as predicted. Clearly this was only the result of lower MAP scores vs ISATs. In addition, I assume that fewer 5th graders took MAP test prep than 7th graders. Why do you think the scores for the academic centers will rise?

  • 522. west rogers park mom  |  February 27, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    Perhaps it is because I am nervous for my own kid . . . they could go down but even if they do I don’t think they would go down a lot. It’s not such a good thing knowing the scores early all of the time. 🙂

    I can’t find the cut off score from previous years but every year they seem to go up as AC’s become more and more popular. Also, the Revised scores for AC’s were much closer to the actual scores than the high school projected scores, which while lower were still way way off. Perhaps because kids that tend to do better on the AC test tend to do better on NWEA? I don’t really know but that was my impression when I looked at the date.

    Good point about NWEA test prep. I don’t know of any 5th graders who test prepped for NWEA, though many of them took Selective Prep. My kid did re-take the NWEA in the fall, but that was mostly because her scores were much lower than in the past. Many of her classmates retook it as well.

    My kid has a 15 point cushion for Lane based on last years actual scores, and I remain hopeful but not over-confident she will get in. If not, her scores will get her into Taft, and she will go there.

  • 523. cps  |  February 27, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    RE ChiArts. I know someone who transferred out of the school for instrument–it was way too intense and there was not enough opportunities for large ensemble playing. I don’t know what instrument your child plays, but WYHS has an excellent orchestra and fine arts programs. My child was accepted into ChiARTs but we decided to go to a SE school–not sure if it was the right choice.

  • 524. SouthSideIrish4  |  February 28, 2015 at 12:47 am

    509. Angie | February 26, 2015 at 4:11 pm

    More charter teachers are demanding to unionize

  • 525. R Jones  |  February 28, 2015 at 6:39 am

    “More charter teachers are demanding to unionize”

    Good. Chicago debt was just downgraded to 2 steps above junk bond status. More public sector unions will help push us into bankruptcy were the city can file in Federal Court and bypass the corrupt state legal system. And the state is just as bad off thanks to 50+ years of payoffs, corruption and promises that were impossible to keep. Everyone knew, but ignored it. The sooner the city goes though bankruptcy restructuring like Detroit, the better.

  • 526. tina  |  February 28, 2015 at 8:46 am

    Congrats to everyone who was accepted to their top schools. My son was accepted into WY. He’s never been in public school, and he’s use to a very small class sizes. Any Tips to those who have children currently attending or have attended? I am planning on sending him to a shadow day next week so that he can experience WY for himself.

    Also a friend of mine daughter did not get accepted into any of the SEHS and is absolutely heartbroken. Her scores wasn’t that high, so do you think that she has a chance with PD?

    Thank you in advance

  • 527. mom_74  |  February 28, 2015 at 10:23 am

    @522 I also think that AC admission cut-off scores will not drop, and just like you, hope they will not rise.

    While I don’t know many people who are going through this process right now (we are in the suburbs), everyone I do know got either 99/99 or 98/99 on the MAP. I have been reading the AC post on this site as well, and it seems that the MAP scores that parents reported back to community are in the same high range.

    My son took AC admission test on Feb 8th, so the results will be mailed out with admission letters. I wish I knew his total score 😦

    If he doesn’t get in, we are completely out of options, and will have to homeschool him (as our decision to move to the city can’t be reversed at this point)

    Good luck, west rogers park mom!

  • 528. Next round  |  February 28, 2015 at 10:36 am

    Mom 74 I think you may be letting your anxiety get the best of you. If you look back at the comments from parents made prior to the sehs announcement you will see the same worries that you are expressing. Lots of people talking about how everyone in their kids class had a 900 and that scores were going to rise or only drop minimally. I’m betting on a 3-5 pt drop at Lane and 1-2 pt drop at Whitney.

    As for your options if your kid doesn’t make it into an AC, perhaps a good neighborhood program that list some kids to an AC would take your seventh grader.

  • 529. cpsobsessed  |  February 28, 2015 at 11:31 am

    @Mom74: Is your child coming out of Decatur? is that why you are “out of options?” Coonley 7th grade options took in at least 10 kids last year. I assume Bell and other schools lose 7th graders to the ACs, which opens spots at other schools.
    What are the options you explored in addition to the ACs that seem untenable?

  • 530. LP  |  February 28, 2015 at 11:46 am

    I wouldnt count on the AC scores dropping very much.

    Payton T4 barely dropped (back to where it was a few years ago, within random range) and the top AC’s are just as elite as Payton. Those kids are 99th or 98th percentile on any ranked exam.

  • 531. OMB  |  February 28, 2015 at 12:32 pm

    I don’t think they will drop much but will probably drop 1-2 points at least. Payton dropped 5 points in tier 4. We’ll see but I think the academic center test is far harder to get perfect scores on then the high school test and therefore even kids with 600 going in could be bumped by a kid with less than 600 but good at taking a more logic type test . I know of one kid last year in tier 4 who had one b and 90/99 on isat and still got into Lane because of the high score on AC test. That would not happen for top high schools especially last year

  • 532. Paytonprep  |  February 28, 2015 at 12:34 pm

    It would be great to also start a Facebook page for the Payton class of 2019

  • 533. Angie  |  February 28, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    @524. SouthSideIrish4: “More charter teachers are demanding to unionize”

    Yeah, CTU and AFT are working tirelessly to get their hands into more wallets. But teachers should talk to former employees of Hostess Brands, Joliet Caterpillar, etc. to see what happens when the unions working for the private employers get too greedy.

  • 534. locale  |  February 28, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    can anyone tell me for certain what happens if child is accepted into a neighboorhood magnet AND a /se high school? if he chosed the SE school, can he transfer to the neighboor magnet if he doesnt like the SE?
    So confusing

  • 535. cpsmommy  |  February 28, 2015 at 5:07 pm

    The average charter teacher salary is less than $43k per year. How dare those greedy teachers unionize!

  • 536. Angie  |  February 28, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    @535. cpsmommy : Average Chicago charter teacher salary was $51,000 in 2012, and it would be higher now. Source – Bloomberg, replace spaces with dots to read. www bloomberg com/news/articles/2012-09-13/charter-school-growth-fuels-chicago-teacher-fears

    That said, if they form a union and extort money from the already broke system, CPS might have no choice but to redirect more money from the students’ need to the teachers pockets. Then charter parents can join parents from CTU schools in complaining about lack of resources and budget cuts.

  • 537. Hot Mess!  |  February 28, 2015 at 7:39 pm

    As parents we should be very concerned about CPS spending, especially light of Chicago’s financial state. Read this today.


  • 538. Chicago Mother and Teacher Supporter  |  February 28, 2015 at 7:57 pm

    Can we stay on topic? It seems that there are several posters who like to bring popular threads back to some form of “teacher bashing.” The same ones…year after year.

  • 539. D2Mom  |  February 28, 2015 at 8:29 pm


  • 540. otdad  |  February 28, 2015 at 9:00 pm

    @537. Hot Mess!:
    Indeed a hot mess. The politicians are irresponsible and immoral to allow this to happen. There should be a tax payer union fighting for tax payer rights.

  • 541. realchicagomama  |  March 1, 2015 at 1:36 am

    @534 – No. Once your child accepts or enrolls at any given school – SE, magnet, IB – s/he loses any other offered spots at any other school. If your child enters SEHS and hates it, s/he can transfer to your local neighborhood school (or maybe some charters allow mid-year transfers, I don’t know). Some SEHS and magnets allow non-entry year enrollments, which they call transfers, but that’s at principal discretion, and does still require an application to be filed. So if your kid hates WY in 15-16 and wants to go to Von Steuben, s/he’d have to apply in fall 15 for consideration for the 16-17 year. HTH

  • 542. mom_74  |  March 1, 2015 at 8:31 am

    @529: we are currently in the suburbs. The only schools we applied to are WY and LT AC. I know nothing about other middle schools in Chicago. When we started this process, we agreed that if he doesn’t get in to WY, we will homeschool fro 2 years and then he will apply to IMSA. IMSA is really where he is hoping to end up.

    While waiting for the test results, I have been finding out about Homeschooling within the framework of CPS. Do you know anything about Chicago Virtual School? It offers K12 curriculum, you learn at your own rate, and just take some standardize test from time to time.

  • 543. Mom and teacher  |  March 1, 2015 at 8:35 am

    Stay away from virtual schools. Do some research and homeschool, if that is your best option. I believe IMSA is 10-12. You would have to do a grade 9 as well. Do you mind me asking where you currently live?

  • 544. Next round  |  March 1, 2015 at 8:41 am

    @ mom74 you sound like a nightmare parent. Telling your kid if he doesn’t get into the most selective middle school program in the city (maybe the country) that he will be home schooled for 3 years? That’s a ton of pressure for a 6th grader. Lighten up and send your kid to an Options program.

  • 545. Chicago School GPS  |  March 1, 2015 at 9:09 am

    @542- I highly suggest you visit Chicago Virtual Charter School, as they do have tours of their facility and their director is very open and forthcoming. They are a great option for families looking to do a combination of home schooling with built-in peer groups, etc. The school co-shares space with Merit School of Music, and has classrooms, lecture halls, computer labs, etc. Students are required to come in at least one day a week to have an in person lesson, participate in clubs/activities and otherwise engage with their teachers and peers. They also have an active parent support group.
    You may need to be a resident of Chicago to enroll, so you should check on that.

    IMSA can accept a very small number of 8th grade applicants who would essentially skip 9th grade and start in 10th. Acceptance is based on their SAT scores and well rounded application, which is a pretty exhaustive/detailed one.

  • 546. mom_74  |  March 1, 2015 at 9:20 am

    @544 I understand where you coming from assuming I am a nightmare parent, but the whole thing is driven by my son. Every morning starts the same in our house: school is boring, can I stay home and work on my math problems? He has been asking me to let him be homeschooled for the last two years.
    The plan to apply to WY is a compromise proposed by me. Because I want him to hang out with kids and be a well rounded human being, rather then just highly specialized mathematician.

  • 547. mom_74  |  March 1, 2015 at 9:34 am

    @543 and @545

    Wow two conflicting opinions!

    @543 (we’ve been in Northbrook for the last 2.5 years) Why do you say to stay away from virtual schools?
    English is my second language (Russian is first), I would imagine that teaching him Liberal Arts portion of school curriculum will be a total nightmare for me.

    @545 Thanks for the advice, I will definitely check out their open house. I know how competitive IMSA is. As he is just in 6th grade, we will have to cross that bridge when we gets there. He might change the focus of his interest by then. But for now, I have to plan assuming his interests in math will continue to develop.

  • 548. HS Mom  |  March 1, 2015 at 10:38 am

    Mom 74 – This is second hand information. I know of a family that has 4 children in the virtual school. They are very advanced and it works for them. Of the 4, 2 decided to transfer sophomore year to a SEHS and got in. It was a matter of fit, social etc. They speak very highly of the program and were glad to have it. I agree with GPS – it’s definitely worth checking out to see for yourself. With this arrangement, you can take the time to investigate schools and you can leave at any time for a brick and mortar school.

  • 549. pantherettie  |  March 1, 2015 at 11:54 am

    @ 548 which SEHS take transfer students? I wasn’t aware that any did take additional students in this manner.

  • 550. cpsobsessed  |  March 1, 2015 at 12:22 pm

    I believe any school can take transfer students but I don’t know if sehs’s take them freshmen year or after that.

    As far as I know this is one of the “unregulated” ways to enter a school and is fully up to the admin (and there being space of course.).

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 551. Chicago School GPS  |  March 1, 2015 at 12:34 pm

    Westinghouse, Jones and Lane have transfer applications online (typically open in March/April for next fall). Northside and Payton do not but sometimes take people on a case by case basis.

  • 552. pantherettie  |  March 1, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    Thanks for the info. I had no idea.

  • 553. HS Mom  |  March 1, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    Jones took several transfer students last year sophomore and junior year due to increased space. Sophomore year is a typical transfer year for most and during any given year students leave for multiple reasons. If you have a high performing HS student, most schools, including selectives will be looking whether they advertise or not. 2 of my son’s friends had transferred in junior year because they had moved in from out of town. One of those was a Hyde Park single mom household and the other was an out of state government official. Kids also transfer in from the suburbs even in junior year “because they want to go to a school that will get them into a good college” – don’t ask me if they move because they either claim that they do or pay tuition.

  • 554. SouthSideIrish4  |  March 1, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    WY, Jones & Payton take transfers after freshman year. There is an application to fill out and it’s at the discretion of the principal. They take very, very few.

  • 555. Senn Bulldog  |  March 1, 2015 at 2:42 pm

    Senn Meet and Mingle: Want to know more about Senn’s IB program?

    Join Principal Susan Lofton and Senn teachers in an informal setting to learn in more about Senn’s highly successful IB program, as well as find out about Senn Arts’ new IB options. Alderman Harry Osterman will be on hand to share in the conversation.

    In response to comments here and in talking with the community, we are offering a meet and mingle for parents of prospective Senn students and all community members. Deciding upon a school is a significant decision and having the opportunity to talk directly with the principal and teachers is a great way to learn about Senn’s vision and to ask questions. Senn offers unique supports and services surrounding instruction that have helped our students be successful.

    Senn Meet and Mingle Details:
    Date: Thursday, March 5th
    Time: 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
    Where: Uncommon Grounds at 1401 W. Devon (Devon and Glenwood)
    Notes: This is an adult event. Also, the restaurant is offering a 10% discount for those who decide to have dinner afterwards.

    5:30 – 6:00 p.m. Mingling
    6:00 – 6:30 p.m. Principal and teachers share the specifics of Senn IB and the Senn Arts options
    6:30 – 7:30 p.m. Small group conversations and more mingling

    Enjoy a sociable moment, enjoy a beverage, and have great conversations. We hope to see you there.

  • 556. Transfers  |  March 1, 2015 at 3:39 pm

    All the SE high schools take transfer ins after Freshman year. Some take relatively few and others take more. I see everyone mentioned the 4 north side SE HS schools, but I also know that Brooks, King, Lindblom, South Shore & Westinghouse take transfer ins.

  • 557. Way Outta There  |  March 1, 2015 at 8:46 pm

    To Mom74# 547: I write this with all the respect in the world: No 6th grade boy wants to stay home and do math problems. Just doesn’t happen. Something else is preventing him from wanting to attend school and my bet is that your son is being bullied. You are in one of the most highly rated elementary and high school districts in the state (and, no, I don’t live in Northbrook). Find out what’s really going on at his school and deal with that. There are so many afterschool math enrichment activities that he can attend. I don’t know how to break it to most of the people on this board, but there is more to life that getting 900’s on a high school entrance exam.

  • 558. Next round  |  March 1, 2015 at 9:26 pm

    @way outta there. 100% agree.

  • 559. Anxious but hopeful  |  March 1, 2015 at 10:38 pm

    @547 If WY or LTAC don’t work out and you can consider private, you might want to look at Science & Arts Academy in Des Plaines for 7th and 8th grade. I know plenty of kids there who are math-focused and dreaming of IMSA, and plenty of parents who were looking at homeschooling because they didn’t know what else to do.

  • 560. 557/558  |  March 1, 2015 at 10:45 pm

    Northbrook is not for everyone – for many reasons – and yes could very well be that there’s a lot of peer pressure on kids that we don’t see here. She also mentions that the move is irreversible so maybe better to move forward.

  • 561. mom_74  |  March 1, 2015 at 11:23 pm

    Thank you, everyone, for the insightful comments. We can’t afford a private school at the moment, and are proceeding with the move as planned.
    I am hoping he will get into the school of his choice, and if not, we will deal with it!
    And, btw, there are a lot of kids out there (boys and girls) who want to stay home to solve math problems. Math is fascinating! When my son wakes me up in the morning to share the solution he dreamt up to the problem he couldn’t solve yesterday, he is beaming with excitement!

  • 562. david  |  March 1, 2015 at 11:27 pm

    Has anyone heard of acceptances for the 2nd round?

  • 563. cpsobsessed  |  March 1, 2015 at 11:28 pm

    The SEHS don’t do second rounds any more. They know the response rate now well enough to over-send by a certain amount knowing how the final numbers will likely fall out.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 564. lawmom  |  March 2, 2015 at 12:06 am

    And I have to tell you moving to the suburbs is not a panacea. Most of my friends who have moved there have sent their children to private schools and are paying higher property taxes at the same time.

  • 565. Chicago Mom  |  March 2, 2015 at 8:17 am

    @564…I have a completely different view. ALL of my friends who have moved to the suburbs are more than satisfied with the quality of their neighborhood/public schools. Also, most, not all, are paying the same property taxes they paid in Chicago. (which were very high)

  • 566. cpsobsessed  |  March 2, 2015 at 9:58 am

    I guess to me, its a given that the suburban high schools (in the desirable suburbs) are going to offer more than the city does. It’s just a fact of how local school funding works. Sure, some people won’t be happy but really what’s not to like in terms of classes, activities, and facilities?

    But school, to me, is part of the larger life experience. A big one to be sure, but still just a part. And the suburban living experience isn’t the one I personally want for my son — same as many other city dwellers.

    I think this is the momentum behind the neighborhood HS efforts and interest. There’s a lot of us who feel this way and want to make it work.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 567. Homeschooling  |  March 2, 2015 at 10:03 am

    Just wondering if anyone knows whether homeschooled kids can apply for SEHS and, if so, how grades are handled?

  • 568. mom_74  |  March 2, 2015 at 10:27 am

    @566 My exposure to suburban life in Chicago is limited to Northbrook. And I can definitely attest to the fact that the experience of living in the suburbs provide, while very safe and comfortable, but not all encompassing life experience. Moreover, after HS graduation, the kids proceed to the Universities that enroll a large populations of “Northshore” kids, and when they come back home, moving to the city, while they are single, is suppose to broaden their life experience.
    Kids who are growing up in the city are more adaptable, they, hopefully, are used to using public transportation, they don’t have to plan a family trip to Art Institute, etc…
    I think when deciding between suburbs and the city, each and every one of us has to use their own circumstances. There is no universal formula that fits every family and every child.

  • 569. mom_74  |  March 2, 2015 at 10:34 am

    @567 Homeschool kids can definitely apply to SEHS! And they do!
    Re grades: when homeschooling, the parent is responsible for giving the grades to the student. Some of them file annual reports with authorities (I think Department of Education).
    My son’s home schooled friend just got in to WP class of 2019, and is very excited to attend the school.

  • 570. Newcomer  |  March 2, 2015 at 10:43 am

    Thought you all might enjoy this little 45 minute film about high school seniors trying to get into the Ivies. Takes place in Singapore and filmed at the school my kids went to the past three years. Enjoy!

  • 571. david  |  March 2, 2015 at 11:29 am

    The acceptance letter I received said said if we refuse there is a 2nd round.

  • 572. david  |  March 2, 2015 at 11:37 am

    Also, is anyone considering Senn IB program. I’m a bit discouraged that the cutoff rate for IB is pretty low.

  • 573. Mary  |  March 2, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    My child is on the waiting list to Pre- law Jones . She didn’t make to any schools of her choice. We didn’t apply to any of the private schools .Desperate to find a good school for A and B student. Does anyone have any suggestions ?

  • 574. mom2  |  March 2, 2015 at 1:10 pm

    @573 – where do you live? That will help guide suggestions.

  • 575. 19th ward mom  |  March 2, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    @571 David

    The letter said they “may”, and may was bolded and underlined. Direct quote from the letter:

    “A second round of selections may take place in the weeks to come”.

    CpsObsessed posted based on the experience the prior years, it hasn’t been a second round in a couple of years. So I would definitely not decline a SEHS offer in hopes of getting into a different SEHS.

  • 576. cpsobsessed  |  March 2, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    Ah, interesting. Wonder if some schools will do another round? Agree – not worth turning down a spot, for sure.
    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 577. Mary  |  March 2, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    @574 We live in West Loop.

  • 578. SouthSideIrish4  |  March 2, 2015 at 2:26 pm

    565. Chicago Mom | March 2, 2015 at 8:17 am

    “I have a completely different view. ALL of my friends who have moved to the suburbs are more than satisfied with the quality of their neighborhood/public schools. Also, most, not all, are paying the same property taxes they paid in Chicago. (which were very high)”

    Except for 2 of my friends (one in naperville), my friends were very satisfied with their neighborhood school as well. They really enjoyed that their kids could have that HS experience with other kids from the neighborhood. It’s a totally dif culture at SEHS, but one that my kids enjoy. Although I will admit that 2 decided to send their kids to a Catholic school (even though they liked their suburban school).

  • 579. Other Options  |  March 2, 2015 at 3:05 pm

    @577 Mary
    I don’t know if you would consider a private Christian school but Chicago Hope Academy is at Ogden & Taylor near the West Loop. I have heard very good things about this school from our school counselor and when we went to visit, I really liked what I saw.

    They pride themselves on small class sizes and tuition is actually lower than some catholic schools (definitely not the price range for other private schools). They have a rolling admissions policy until all slots are taken, I believe they are still taking application.

  • 580. Fam  |  March 2, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    @577 Mary: Try Muchin College Prep on State and Madison. It’s a Noble Charter High School.

  • 581. Mary  |  March 2, 2015 at 7:58 pm

    @579 and @580 Thank you so much !

  • 582. mdes  |  March 2, 2015 at 8:14 pm

    Parents who are considering Disney II HS should make a visit to the high school and have a serious conversation with the principal about the curriculum and discipline before enrolling. A good friend of my family is a teacher there and has become very disillusioned with the school. The school refused to purchase any textbooks or materials for non-core subjects (ie World Language, Music). There is a resident (intern) principal who has instructed teachers that even though their discipline may not receive textbooks, they are also not allowed to do any project based learning, and must teach strictly from worksheets. Not all content areas are have their own technology. Students are causing fights inside classes and are running the halls without punishment. Due to the co-location with Marshall Middle, gym class activities are currently being held on an auditorium stage.

    Disney II High School lacks a strong cross-curricular program and does not get the same support that the elementary school receives. Proceed with caution.

  • 583. D2Mom  |  March 2, 2015 at 9:48 pm

    @582 My son is at D2 and is thriving. For electives (music, computer science) he works off worksheets. I don’t see how having a textbook would drastically change the instruction he’s receiving. In fact, I don’t see how textbooks would help at all!

    For core content, he’s receiving amazingly rich instruction. Reading several novels and discussing revolution, writing papers every other week and learning how to craft persuasive arguments. He’s learning US History and asking challenging questions.

    Have you been to the school? I’ve been in the school, not seeing folks running the hall “without punishment”. I can guarantee you, when they do run the halls, they receive detention…since my son spent an afternoon in detention at the beginning of the year.

    One thing I love about the school, as a new transfer family, is the availability and openness of all the faculty and the administration. I’ve raised concerns about content of instruction with Mr. Coy, the assistant principal. He’s opened his door to us and had honest conversations about expectations and curriculum.

    Every single teacher, including electives, has been so helpful in my son’s transition and are always happy to go the extra mile to make sure he has what he needs. All of the teachers do tutoring. All of the teachers email me or my son within hours. All of his teachers have taken the time to check in and provide guidance and support.

    It’s a new school. When he enrolled, we knew that meant that some things would be getting worked out during the year. We decided to go because the vision of the principal is compelling and the families are trying to create a high school that is an enriching and challenging place.

    I say, if you are curious about the school DO talk to the administration, DO go on a school tour, DO talk to the teachers.

  • 584. IBObsessed  |  March 2, 2015 at 11:50 pm

    @572 David Look up thread for Senn’s IB coordinator’s comments on their cut score this year. There is an explanation for why it looks low this year.

  • 585. Esmom  |  March 3, 2015 at 7:07 am

    City living vs suburban living: one thing to keep in mind is that when kids reach high school age, life becomes mostly about their activities. My son is in band and on a sports team and yesterday he was at school from 7 am until 8 pm. So it’s not like they have time to take advantage of city attractions or are stuck wasting aimlessly away in a suburban wasteland, they’re busy with their own stuff.

  • 586. Other Options  |  March 3, 2015 at 11:05 am

    @577 Mary

    I got a postcard in the mail yesterday from Notre Dame High School for girls, indicating they are still accepting applications. Don’t know much about the school but they look of interested.

  • 587. Chris  |  March 3, 2015 at 11:14 am

    “one thing to keep in mind is that when kids reach high school age, life becomes mostly about their activities.”

    There are a lot of kids who aren’t joiners, too. Even at New Trier (a school with seemingly limitless student ‘clubs’), there are something like 20% who don’t participate in *anything*.

  • 588. Esmom  |  March 3, 2015 at 12:00 pm

    @587, that’s very true. But when I was referring to activities I wasn’t just referring to extracurriculars. I don’t know many city high school kids, “joiners” or not, with much time to take advantage of all that the city has to offer, like museums. And I don’t think it’s fair to say that the lives of suburban high school kids aren’t rich or full because they’re not spent in the city. They do things like volunteering or working, as many city kids do, or grabbing drinks at the nearest Starbucks. My point was that the life of a high schooler is pretty similar whether it’s spent in the city or the suburbs.

  • 589. Northwest mom88  |  March 3, 2015 at 12:57 pm

    My child did not get accepted to any of her choices school, even though she was a A, B student since first grade. She applied to Lincoln Park and Lane and did not get into either one. She is going to Chicago Academy 3rd choice (our neighbor school) and maybe transfer into one of her first choices. I guess I’m a bit frustrasted because one of my friend’s daughter applied to Lincoln Park, got accepted and now I’m finding out that she may not go there due to family moving to the surburbs, and two of my other friends kids have ADHD one got accepted to Northside Prep College High School and the other one to Von Stueben both very good school. Do these schools have special programs for students with special needs. So how is it that my child received a great score at testing and have been a great student since 1st grade could not get into any of her choices. I hate this whole Tier decisions. We are in Tier 4, and it broke my heart to see my child so upset that she didn’t get into any of the school she wanted to, sorry I just had to vent!!!!

  • 590. GraceStreet  |  March 3, 2015 at 1:10 pm

    @582 – I agree that anyone considering D2 – or any school – should tour and have serious conversations. I’m very surprised to hear the comment about the lack of project based learning. My kids are in the elementary level and a majority of their learning comes from projects, both individual and group. I currently work at the Lawndale/HS campus, supervising Library at lunch, and there are groups coming in daily to work on projects. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a “worksheet” at this campus although my 2nd grader at Kedvale does bring one page of math home daily. Students use the gym AND the large auditorium stage, making the most of the space in the building and the CPS decision to co-locate these schools.

    I also completely disagree with the statement that the Lawndale campus does not get the same level of support as Kedvale. Please understand that Kedvale has been running for 7 years; Lawndale is in year 2. It takes time to ramp up resources due to meager CPS funding for all of us. The administration group divides their time deliberately between the two campuses.

    Is the school perfect? Of course not. Are we providing an opportunity for all CPS students to get a really good education in a safe environment? Absolutely.

    @583 thank you for your input as a current D2 family in the upper grades. I’m sure that prospective families will find your input helpful, versus someone who has no personal connection to the school other than a friend who isn’t happy teaching here.

  • 591. Momof5  |  March 3, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    I know this question was just asked but I was hoping someone may have found the “official” answer. A co-worker is currently going through the PD process for his child’s school of choice but is under the impression there will be a second round. He says certain schools were named that will go through this process. Has this been confirmed anywhere? I find it hard to believe that it will since it hasn’t happened in at least 6-7 years. Has anyone confirmed that this is true?

  • 592. Chris  |  March 3, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    “under the impression there will be a second round”

    Guess it depends on definitions. There ‘will be’ a review of acceptances and slots after the deadline.

    I would consider it a near certainty (based on recent years) that PNJY and Lane will be assessed to have Zero open spots. I would speculate that, *if* the unlikely happens and there are spots, they will be for Tier 1 at Northside and Lane–most likely families that decided that the commute is too far.

    There is somewhat more chance of other schools having seats, but again, most likely only for certain Tiers.

    Anyone hanging their hat on a second round at Payton or Jones or Young is demonstrating irrational optimism, no matter what a letter or anyone from OAE says. Which doesn’t mean it’s impossible, just less likely than a principals discretion pick. And, if it happens, the seat(s) would almost certainly go to kids on the short-end of the tie-break stick.

  • 593. mom_74  |  March 3, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    @588, as I have mentioned above: city vs suburbs can only be evaluated on the individual basis.
    I don’t think that the lives of suburban HS kids aren’t as rich as the kids’ in the suburbs. You can have an amazing or underwhelming experience anywhere. All depends on your attitude and ability to adapt to the situation and find what is going to make you happy given the circumstances and resources available.
    From what I observed, however, city kids are more independent because they don’t depend on the parent to bus them around everywhere. There is a huge appeal for me in the fact that kids in same school come from very different backgrounds, culturally and socioeconomically. And the fact they are in a city does it make it easier to experience everything Chicago has to offer, regardless of how involved they are in school. While all of that is appealing to me, someone else might find it unappealing for his/her own reasons.

  • 594. location  |  March 3, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    does anyone know of any kids from beverly or mt greenwood going to whitney young for 2015/2016?

  • 595. lawmom  |  March 3, 2015 at 2:07 pm

    @589 So sorry to hear about your daughter. As posted earlier in this thread, students with IEPs are selected differently from students without and can have lower scores than the standard pool. Usually this population is pretty small – 4 to 5%, but every school is required to have students with disabilities. As to Lincoln Park, I don’t know which program your daughter applied to – Double Honors or IB, but it might be worth speaking to the principal to see if your daughter could be placed on a waitlist in the Double Honors program or possibly look into other high school programs that are still open ad offer good programs, many have been discussed in this thread.

    @593 I agree city vs. burbs is a very individual decision. My daughter who is at WY has thanked me many times for raising her in the city. We have taken full advantage of what the city has to offer and my kids have practically grown up in Lincoln Park Zoo and all of the museums. I do think their access to public transportation helps build confidence in navigating, particularly in traveling. We recently went to Japan and my 13 year old was very adept at navigating Tokyo’s subway system. I also think there is more diversity in the city schools than in most of the burbs. A student from the west burbs told me there were no African American students in her school. Growing up in the burbs, I was bored. Yes, I worked, but when it came time for social activity, all my friends lived far away and with no public transportation or access to a car, the summers were very boring. Further, my husband and I didn’t want a commute and enjoy the variety or restaurants, theatre, etc in the city so we stayed. Yes I have had basement/yard envy, but both my kids love the city.

  • 596. Sosidemom5  |  March 3, 2015 at 2:09 pm

    594. location | March 3, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    does anyone know of any kids from beverly or mt greenwood going to whitney young for 2015/2016?

    Yes, my son and a few of his classmates will be going to WY. He is shadowing next week.

  • 597. location  |  March 3, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    My Grand daughter will be going also. Her Shadowing is tomorrow. SOO Excited! Will your son be taking the rock island and then the blue line?

  • 598. Sosidemom5  |  March 3, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    Yes, he will be taking the trains. He is very excited (although maybe not so much about the early mornings!)

  • 599. location  |  March 3, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    That sounds pretty normal for our teens! Early mornings and teens usually do not mix well. I hope your son has a wonderful experience at WY! This kids have really worked hard to get in and I, for one, am so glad that they are given this opportunity!

  • 600. AE  |  March 3, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    @ 595 Hi. Could you, or someone else in the know, explain the details on the SEHS selection process for students with IEPs?? I looked on the OAE website, and can only find info re: testing accommodations for students with IEPs. I found nothing on the OAE website that even suggests separate admissions process for students with IEPs, and have so many questions…. Are IEP students selected on a case-by-case basis, looking at totality of circumstances (kind of like PD)? Or is it just a separate applicant pool ranked by score? What is the percentage of IEP students accepted outside of the “normal” process? Are IEP students also included in the general pool of applicants (by rank and tier), so that they might get admitted that way? Is there anything published by CPS re: the IEP selection process?

    Thanks in advance for any and all info!

  • 601. mom2  |  March 3, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    @AE – I’d love to know the answers to your questions, too. I only heard that the criteria to allow you to test for the SE exam is less (you can be good at reading but not math or vice versa), but no idea what happens after your scores are submitted.

  • 602. lawmom  |  March 3, 2015 at 3:05 pm

    @600, I can’t answer all your questions. However, you should visit the thread on this blog titled 504 Plans and scroll to 361 for a discussion on IEPs. Per my knowledge, SEHS select their pool of IEP students on a case by case basis. Each of these schools typically has a self-contained classroom for students with more severe disabilities. For example, Payton has a self-contained classroom for children with autism. However, for children such as my son who can be part of the general education program with support, they will certainly look at his score and tier. Each school must have at least 4 to 5% of its population with IEPs. To my knowledge the IEP process is not published other than the accommodations information that you found on OAE regarding testing accommodations and eligibility.

    In addition @489 and 490, you should visit the schools where your child will attend. The case manager should allow you to come and tour and ask questions. Our dr. who interfaces with all the SEHS schools for students with IEPs/504s said that WY would be her least favorite school for supporting kids with IEPs. She likes Northside, Payton and Lane. She also said Jones is fine. The IEP is a very involved process and parents need to be diligent to ensure the school is the right fit for their child. Hope this helps.

  • 603. 19th ward mom  |  March 3, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    @592 Chris

    “under the impression there will be a second round”

    I went with a family friend to Jones Welcome Night for the Class of 2019. I believe this is the first of their welcome nights, with another one tomorrow.

    The principal stated that they accepted:
    417 Selective Enrollment Students
    100 CTE students
    with a goal of getting a class size of 400 students

    I find it surprising that prior experience would lead them to believe that 20% of the kids accepted into Jones would turn it down, I would think it would be closer to just 10%. But nope, I guess based on prior experience they expect a 20% turn down rate.

    So based on already being 117 students over their targeted class size, I think the likely hood that they would have a second round would be very unlikely.

    I am pretty sure the numbers at Young, Payton, Northside, and Lane reflect a similar math to the Jones acceptance numbers.

    I wish CPS would just divulge all the numbers so that parents would know where they stand in regards to this possible 2nd round.

  • 604. SEHS class sizes  |  March 3, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    @603 We were also at the Jones welcome meeting & I heard the same numbers that you did. However, I’m curious if that was a misstatement as it was my understanding that the combined class at Jones (CTE & SEHS) was targeted to be 425 (350 SEHSs and 75 CTE) based on the new building size.

    Are other SEHSs also taking in numbers way above there building capacity? Isn’t this going to lead to overcrowding?

  • 605. HSObsessed  |  March 3, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    In order to give people a realistic idea of whether their child will be accepted into a high school, it would be helpful for CPS to publish cut off scores to more programs. Those numbers are already available for SEHS and IB, but it would be useful to see them for popular programs like the Jones CTE program, Lincoln Park double honors, Von Steuben general, Von Steuben Scholars, etc. Most of these programs have a formula involving grades and standardized test scores. Or, if the process involves an essay or audition or something that’s hard to quantify and makes a difference in selection, at least publish number of applicants and number of offers made, to give people some idea.

  • 606. 19th ward mom  |  March 3, 2015 at 5:16 pm

    @604 SEHS class sizes

    I don’t think there is an issue with overcrowding, the school is expecting that 20% of those that got offers to decline them, I guess based on prior experience.

    So if 20% of the 517 decline the offer, then you are at 413, if you add in the 5% for Principal Discretion, then you are at a class size of around 434.

    One interesting thing that I got when he disclosed the 417 selective seats, is that he turned to someone on stage and asked where the number was at now, and they said we are NOW at 417. So it sounds like there are glitches in the process where there are still students added to the initial offers that are put out. But I could be reading too much into that exchange, just my initial thoughts.

    But I do know that a parent, I don’t remember what year it was, posted on this site that there was a mistake in their child’s calculated score and when they went to CPS, they offered them on the spot a seat at Whitney Young once the error was verified.

  • 607. 19th ward mom  |  March 3, 2015 at 5:19 pm

    I know someone was earlier inquiring about Senn IB. They just put out an email regarding a Meet and Greet for TOMORROW, probably a good opportunity to ask questions about the IB program including that lower cut-off score:

    Senn Meet and Mingle: Want to know more about Senn’s IB program?

    Join Principal Susan Lofton and Senn teachers in an informal setting to learn more about Senn’s highly successful IB program, as well as find out about Senn Arts’ new IB options. Alderman Harry Osterman will be on hand to share in the conversation.

    We are offering a meet and mingle for parents of prospective Senn students and all community members. Deciding upon a school is a significant decision and having the opportunity to talk directly with the principal and teachers is a great way to learn about Senn’s vision and to ask questions. Senn offers unique supports and services surrounding instruction that have helped our students be successful.

    Date: Thursday, March 5th
    Time: 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
    Where: Uncommon Ground at 1401 W. Devon (Devon and Glenwood)
    Notes: This is an adult event. Also, the restaurant is offering a 10% discount for those who decide to have dinner afterwards.

    5:30 – 6:00 p.m. Mingling
    6:00 – 6:30 p.m. Principal and teachers share the specifics of Senn IB and the Senn Arts options
    6:30 – 7:30 p.m. Small group conversations and more mingling

    Enjoy a sociable moment, enjoy a beverage, and have great conversations. We hope to see you there!

  • 608. momof5  |  March 3, 2015 at 6:17 pm

    @604: With regards to possible overcrowding, yes it can happen but administrations have a way of correcting it before it occurs. It happened at Lane a few years ago. The year the AC was added, Lane accepted a larger freshman class than usual. Although the school wasn’t overcrowded, had they taken the usual number of freshmen the following year plus the second year of AC students, it would have led to issues. The answer was to take fewer freshmen. It raised the Tier 4 cutoff by 60 points!

  • 609. SEHS class sizes  |  March 3, 2015 at 7:20 pm

    @608 Thanks for the info…I guess that is fine for me as my child is situated & we don’t have younger siblings in the pipeline. However, it stinks for the future incoming class when they need to slash the admittance numbers. Also, I know that last year Jones also ended up with an oversized freshman class (480s) as they did not end up getting the decline numbers they were expecting.

  • 610. printersrow  |  March 3, 2015 at 10:28 pm

    Payton, vs. Jones:
    I suspect this thread may be winding down soon, but I wanted to thank cpsobsessed for this forum. It was extremely helpful, and we took the advice of another poster to go to the welcome nights for Payton and Jones to help with the decision. Payton is the better match, and although we are expecting a heavy work load, I truly feel my teenager will be *happy* there.

    Jones welcome night led me to believe that they over-accepted (I thought only hotels and airlines did that) so I’m not sure if our giving up a CTE Pre-Engineering spot is going to move anyone up on the wait list. Also declining Lincoln Park IB and DH (and a few others…)

    I understand that the schools might have a feel for the percentage of offers declined, but wouldn’t it be less risky to just do a second round or add additional spaces to Principal Discretion?

    Thanks again to everyone!

  • 611. Newcomer  |  March 3, 2015 at 11:29 pm

    The reason is that several kids will accept, and then withdraw late into summer when their families decide to move out of state or to the suburbs. So they can’t really open a PD or second round in July or August. In other words, their acceptance numbers as of March 10 will go down, they expect that and plan for that by over-accepting.

  • 612. cpsobsessed  |  March 3, 2015 at 11:31 pm

    Also the PD limit is 5 percent so there is a certain number of seats to fill that way.

    I think this one round method has made it more sane.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 613. cpsobsessed  |  March 3, 2015 at 11:33 pm

    Also, perhaps we all take an oath that the info about transfers remains on the downlow among those who read it here? Seems like spreading the word on that is counterproductive if you get my drift…. 🙂

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 614. Kate  |  March 4, 2015 at 8:16 am

    489 & others who commented on IEPs. Thanks for your comments we dropped off internet to do school visits. After all of our visits we opted not to take our SE seats and instead are divided between Amundsen IB and Lincoln Park double honors. They both seem much better fits for my math nerd son who has great music/art skills and both seem to be much less competitive (in a bad way for my son) environments. We did not like Charter schools options and have had many friends with bad experiences with their IEPs especially with high turnover for teachers–just too underpaid to stay maybe; hence we tried to stay within traditional schools.

    we are excited, but still have this choice to make. It may come down to logistics of commute since my son ha some serous awareness problems and needs simple A to B travel, probably me driving most of the time. we have only days to decide.

    We have been through 9 years of IEP, some of it very difficult, and have to say we are deeply disappointed in the changes we have experienced first hand under Rahm and are not voting for him. He is at the top and he is responsible. My son’s school has already done some “reorganizing” due to budget and it only hurts kids.

    We love our special ed teachers, counselor and case managers we have had so we are hoping for great support on my son’s next adventure.

  • 615. HS Mom  |  March 4, 2015 at 8:40 am

    @610 – All the schools overbook – even Payton. It is very difficult for a school to go into a second round. Pre tiers and even the first year of tiers (2010) with multiple rounds saw kids flipping around from school to school literally up until school actually started. Class sizes were lopsided because of too many or too little acceptances. There are students that lose out on a space when accepting kids drop out. Schools lose kids that were at cut off scores who have already accepted elsewhere. Since you can only get one SE offer, kids would accept at non-SE programs hoping for a spot that may or may not come. One round is definitely better.

    There is measurable movement at even the top schools. For example I know of someone who had Payton as their top choice but got into Northside as 2nd choice and decided to go private. How many times do we see people posting here that apply to all the top SE schools from academic centers and then decide to stay at their school? You’re leaving a Jones spot for Payton….many other examples.

    @613 – I’m not sure I understand what you mean. Not trying to be counterproductive. If you can explain that would be great.

  • […] See also CPS Obsessed (500 comments and counting). […]

  • 617. mom2  |  March 4, 2015 at 9:48 am

    @Kate – please stay in touch and let us know how your son does as LP DH or Amundsen. I’m sure we’d all like to know how they handle IEP, etc.

    Regarding Rahm, I agree that it has been a real struggle with budget cuts but I just cannot understand where everyone thinks Chuy will get the money to pay for all these extra police officers and reopen closed schools and make classes smaller and fund IEP personnel, etc. We really don’t have money just lying around so while I like Chuy’s promises, I really don’t believe them to be doable.

  • 618. IB Obsessed  |  March 4, 2015 at 10:02 am

    @617 Even if that is so, at least we would have more control over who is making the decisions to cut where in CPS. Elected school board.

  • 619. mom2  |  March 4, 2015 at 10:53 am

    @618 – Elected school board is separate from who is mayor. Makes no difference if you elect Rahm or Chuy, you can still have an elected school board. But, besides it being separate, not sure why you think you will have much of a say in where they cut if we have an elected school board. Every political group and people/groups with money will be lobbying for certain school board candidates and they will pick to fund whatever their contributors request. That’s how politics works. Maybe you have lots of money and clout, but I don’t.

  • 620. Angie  |  March 4, 2015 at 11:16 am

    @614. Kate: “We have been through 9 years of IEP, some of it very difficult, and have to say we are deeply disappointed in the changes we have experienced first hand under Rahm and are not voting for him. He is at the top and he is responsible. My son’s school has already done some “reorganizing” due to budget and it only hurts kids.”

    It would help to understand how extremely limited budgets work, before laying the blame on Rahm. If there is no money to pay for both raises and pension pickup CTU teachers’ demand, and for IEP services children require, one of these has to be cut. In this case, the teachers who greatly outnumber the disabled kids, and have the ability to shut down schools and go march on the streets, received the money. Next year, no matter who is elected mayor, they will demand even more. The difference is that if Rahm is elected, the city at least will have a chance to negotiate with the union, while if the CTU-sponsored Chuy wins, he will simply hand the money over to them.

    @618. IB Obsessed: “Even if that is so, at least we would have more control over who is making the decisions to cut where in CPS. Elected school board.”

    You really expect to have control over the elected school board staffed with CTU puppets? And make no mistake, CTU, AFT and other teachers’ unions will spend whatever it takes to fill the board seats with their people.

    I can already see how this is going to work. ‘People, we have 100 million dollars that can be spent either on teachers’ raises, or on the services for the school children. All those in favor of raises, show your hands. Decision unanimous!”

  • 621. Patricia  |  March 4, 2015 at 11:39 am

    Let’s be realistic, Chuy is just a muppet head talking for the CTU and the far far left democratic tea partyish faction. He is saying whatever people want to hear, instead of what they need to hear. Hats off to CTU who are masterful at pulling on heartstrings and keeping it about emotions………..instead of what we should be discussing. Pensions. That is the only word that matters now in not only Chicago, but Illinois.

    Chuy and CTU will do anything to keep the “p” word from entering the conversation. Even getting the “elected school board” on the ballot was part of the plan to keep the topic off of pensions. Keep it on emotions, instead of rational thought.

    Chuy is beholden to the CTU for where he is now and he will certainly be expected to give major payback.

  • 622. Patricia  |  March 4, 2015 at 11:42 am

    Also, I kind of think Chuy supports an elected school board because he does not want the responsibility. It sure is a hot potato, I don’t blame him for wanting to avoid accountability.

  • 623. Sosidemom5  |  March 4, 2015 at 11:55 am

    Interesting how people are so antsy to get their kids into CPS schools (presumably because they have reputations for doing excellent TEACHING), but are quick to bash those teachers as greedy and only out for raises. The CTU supports fully funded schools–counselors, library teachers, music, arts, reading interventionists, nurses, etc. Teachers are expected to perform all of these duties in the absence of such, and they should be compensated accordingly. Perhaps another thread should be started if people want to discuss elected school board, pensions, politics. This thread should stick to high school admissions.

  • 624. Patricia  |  March 4, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    @623, please re read the posts. It has nothing to do with teacher bashing.You are using the age old tactic to divert to emotions instead of rational discussion. It is the CTU that has abused the process over the years with politicians they elected and CTU is certainly part of the reason (not all, but contributors to) for the woes you site above.

    Yes, this thread should focus on HS admissions. We can agree on that.

  • 625. Angie  |  March 4, 2015 at 12:14 pm

    @623. Sosidemom5:”The CTU supports fully funded schools–counselors, library teachers, music, arts, reading interventionists, nurses, etc. ”

    Does CTU know where to find the money for all of this? Because without money, all these niceties, just like the Chuy’s promises to hire 1000 extra cops and reopen schools, are nothing more than pretty lies. The money is not there, and will not be there until CTU and other public unions are forced to curb their insatiable appetites.

    Consider this. An average yearly salary plus pension and benefits for the positions you mentioned is approximately $100K. Illinois rising pension debt is costing us $17 million per day. In other words, every single day we are wasting the money that could have been used to pay for 170 of these positions for 1 full year. And yet, CTU and other public unions are fighting tooth and nail to prevent our legislators from dealing with the pension problem.

  • 626. lawmom  |  March 4, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    I agree with Angie. I also think we should start a separate thread on elected school board, etc. It’s a serious topic and one that is worth discussing.

  • 627. HSObsessed  |  March 4, 2015 at 12:25 pm

    If an elected school board materializes, my prediction is that among the first changes will be lowering the percentage of kids admitted to SE schools on scores alone, and increasing the percentages by tier. For a short time, it was 40% top scores admitted, then 15% for each tier. Currently it’s 30% top scores, 17.5% by tier. Under an elected board, look for it to go down to 20%/20% or heck, maybe just make it a straight 25% top scores in each tier. We’ll see.

  • 628. Sheri Evans  |  March 4, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    I agree, this was supposed to be about Se admissions….can’t politics be left out of this?  Good grief, people.  Lets talk more about how proud we are of our children!

  • 629. Patricia  |  March 4, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    @627 HSObsessed. Elected school board would likely move to eliminate all selective programs, even those that are helping drop-outs. The philosophy is to support neighborhood schools which is a good idea, but it would go too far. Everyone gets “vanilla” because that is what is “fair”. Certainly good in theory, but will not solve the root problems in urban education and potentially make it worse.

    OK, to keep it on topic…………I am proud of my kids. LOL!

  • 630. Patricia  |  March 4, 2015 at 12:41 pm

    Oops, shame on me, the one word that is important is “Pensions”. Wow, that other stuff really does suck people into other paths that are not the real problem right now……focus should be on “pensions”.

  • 631. mom2  |  March 4, 2015 at 12:43 pm

    @Kate started it 🙂

    cpsobsessed – maybe a thread on elected school board would be something to consider. It would obviously lead to discussions about the mayoral race (even though it isn’t related) and the CTU, but as long as people really focus on the details and don’t just bash or name call, it could be healthy.

  • 632. HSObsessed  |  March 4, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    @629 – I’ll refrain from my lengthy commentary on this so others don’t get even more annoyed, but I doubt that anyone will eliminate SE programs altogether. Lane and Whitney Young are practically Chicago icons in the city’s history. I can’t imagine they’d be turned into neighborhood schools. I mean, what else is on Chuy’s list, maybe remove the lions from the front of the Art Institute? 🙂 YAY, kid! Proud of you.

  • 633. Patricia  |  March 4, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    @HSObsessed. Sure, it may not happen immediately, but if changes are made like the % you posed, it would end up undermining SE schools. I think the philosophy will be to “starve” the SE schools just like the neighborhood schools were “starved”. It would be done more covertly than overtly. IMO, we need strong SE and strong neighborhood schools, the problem now is we are missing the “middle”. Where do A/B or B/C students land? Should be strong neighborhood schools, right? Although I do sense the tide is turning for the better on that with Senn, Admundsen, Lakeview, etc. Hey……….how is that for weaving it back on topic. LOL!

  • 634. Patricia  |  March 4, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    Darn it, there I go again……..pensions, pensions pensions. That is the issue right now. So much can be fixed if pensions are fixed. So much will tank if they are not fixed. That elected school board thing really is a distraction from pensions. Kudos to the political strategists 🙂

  • 635. IB Obsessed  |  March 4, 2015 at 1:53 pm

    Well, since the topic digression has started, I’ll pile on.

    1) CPS failed to fund the contractually agreed upon pension obligations. Money was diverted elsewhere.Why is this cause of the shortfall never mentioned by Angie? The overall financial mismanagement of the city and CPS factor in the pension shortfall. The market crash in 2008 surely factors in. Would you want your expected retirement benefits cut to solve problems you didn’t cause? This is how teachers see it. They don’t get social security. Why the need to demonize them and oversimplify the cause of the shortfall? It’s complex.

    2)Does Angie have a source for the figures cited for “average pension and benefits? I’ve seen very different figures.

    3)I’m continually amazed at the position that we are better off being dictated to about our schools than we would be with a board we select. Democracy anyone? Chicago CTU members do not not outnumber Chicago voters. Why are CTU inevitable in an elected board? BTW, think we don’t have ‘puppets’ now?

  • 636. IB Obsessed  |  March 4, 2015 at 2:01 pm

    Patricia wanted facts, not finger pointing and “emotion”. So here’s some:

  • 637. mom2  |  March 4, 2015 at 2:15 pm

    I’m pretty sure people wanted to leave this thread about SEHS admissions. Should we wait for a new thread before people start responding further?

  • 638. Patricia  |  March 4, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    @636 Excellent article. Yep, as the article says everyone is to blame………….except joe taxpayer (I added the last part). Politicians, union bosses, silly state laws to support labor regardless of the economy. And apparently a lot of people who can’t do the math. I totally get why the workers would be pissed, but at least they have two votes, one for the union bosses and one for the elected officials. Joe taxpayer doesn’t have that leverage and can’t walk off the job to gain concessions It is complex! THE ISSUE IS PENSIONS!

  • 639. IB Obsessed  |  March 4, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    More facts. Not from a neutral source, granted, but if anyone has grounds to dispute them, bring it on.


    The unpredictable, unreliable funding of new and existing programs by CPS was a cause of my leaving the system and moving to the suburbs for HS.

  • 640. Patricia  |  March 4, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    Greg Heinz from Crains must be following CPSO blog. LOL!


  • 641. IB Obsessed  |  March 4, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    Posted the wrong link. Meant to paste this:


    Apologies to anyone annoyed by the topic change, but isn’t this how genuine conversations evolve, anyway?

  • 642. Angie  |  March 4, 2015 at 2:34 pm

    @635. IB Obsessed: “1) CPS failed to fund the contractually agreed upon pension obligations. Money was diverted elsewhere.Why is this cause of the shortfall never mentioned by Angie? ”

    I’m pretty sure I have mentioned this before in one of the old threads. The problem here is that these inflated pensions were not sustainable from the beginning, and should not have been promised in the first place.

    We’re in this situation for two reasons. First, because the union endorsed and financed politicians have promised them in exchange for campaign contributions and volunteers. And second, because the unions extorted them by going on strikes and otherwise disrupting the lives of the ordinary taxpayers when they did not get their way.

    2) This $100K total compensation cost was tossed around during the strike. If you have a better source, please provide it.

    3) See Jesse Sharkey bragging about forcing runoff, and other city elections CTU have financed. Remove extra spaces to read http ://www. chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/Felsenthal-Files/February-2015/Jesse-Sharkey-Election/

    If CTU spent this much money on aldermen who affect them indirectly, what makes you think they will not go all out to elect their pet representatives on the school board?

  • 643. Angie  |  March 4, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    BTW, are live links allowed now, or do they trigger moderation?

  • 644. Chris  |  March 4, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    “are live links allowed now, or do they trigger moderation?”

    more than one link trigger moderation. use single links, it should post.

  • 645. Chris  |  March 4, 2015 at 3:05 pm

    “I agree, this was supposed to be about Se admissions….can’t politics be left out of this? ”

    Comment #5 brought politics into the mix two-plus weeks ago.

  • 646. mom2  |  March 4, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    Well, since you guys aren’t waiting for a new thread, I’ll try to post my thoughts.
    First of all, I think it is horrible that wonderful teachers that were promised a certain pension are not being given what was promised. I know how that feels and so do most people in the private sector. The issue is that you can’t just create money. If the city doesn’t have it, then how can you give it to someone?
    When I first started at my job, the company had a pension system that you would qualify for once you worked there a year. Well, about 9 months after I started, they switched everyone (including those on the pension plan) to a 401K plan. They promised to contribute a matching amount of money to everyone’s plan. They did that for a while until the company didn’t have the money. Then they lowered the contribution. When the company still wasn’t making enough money (not losing – just not making enough), they lower it some more and did layoffs to help increase the profit. They also didn’t give pay raises (even though they were promised during my interview) for several years during harder times. It is very common to make those decisions in order to keep things running smoothly.
    Of course, Chuy or Rahm could pay the teachers what they were promised (the city does have money for “things”), but then something else will have to be cut or go. What would that be? Maybe less police officers? Or staying on the CPS topic, maybe less teachers which leads to larger class sizes? Maybe less social services or less help for kids with IEPs or more school closings to consolidate the building costs, etc. You see, you only have so much money and giving them what they were promised will lead to other things being cut. There are choices that have to be made. I don’t understand how people can only say it isn’t fair and they don’t consider the impact on our city and the kids, etc.
    I want our city to be prosperous. That means it needs to attract tourists and companies to create jobs. It needs revenue and I don’ think it should only come from raising taxes more than we already pay. To me, raising taxes is the only other answer and it isn’t something Chuy will admit he would need to do. He seems like a very nice guy and I love his promises but I’m broke already.

  • 647. waiting mom  |  March 4, 2015 at 3:39 pm

    mom2 you read my thoughts. I am sure plenty here feel the same. Sure you can tax these big corporations that have moved in or have been given tax breaks, but they will plan to leave and then goes those jobs and that tax money is gone.. then what? Neither Rahm nor Chuy can “fix” it in the next 4 years. This has been a broken system for so long. It will take just as long to get out of that mess, but it will NOT help if businesses plan their exits.

  • 648. SouthSideIrish4  |  March 4, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    Well you’ll be broke if Rahmbo get back in…he’ll be raising taxes just under the guise of CPS and CParkD. Rahm has lied and been caught so many times, paid ppl to attend his PR stunts, 2day he’s not allowing ppl to attend his pretend anger at Rauner event. He lost 55% of the vote~that means 55% of the ppl who voted didn’t want Rahm in office.

    PS~I’m so proud of my kids too!

  • 649. SouthSideIrish4  |  March 4, 2015 at 3:52 pm

    646 ^^

  • 650. mom2  |  March 4, 2015 at 4:01 pm

    648 – Not sure I’m following you. How will Rahm raise taxes “under the guise of CPS and CParkD.” What does that mean? Are you saying that Chuy will not raise taxes? I’m still trying to figure out how Chuy will pay for the things he is promising. Can you help me understand? I’m really all for doing more to fund neighborhood schools as it is likely my next kid will not get into the SEHS slots, so doing less for SEHS is more in line with our needs. But I want someone to answer my question – show me the money.

  • 651. gradmom  |  March 4, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    @614 We had a kid with an IEP graduate from Payton, we found that the teachers were great there as far as extra help. He also fit in well, nobody seems to pick on geeks there, it’s very inclusive.
    We had a non-iep kid at LPHH. The kids there really have to advocate for themselves when they are having trouble, I’m not sure how much more helpful they are for IEP kids. Think about how your son does judging people. There’s a lot of kids not interested in an education at LP, he needs to recognize who is good to hang around with and who isn’t. I don’t think my IEP kid would have done as well there, his social skills were not good.

  • 652. cpsobsessed  |  March 4, 2015 at 5:21 pm

    *** I’ll start a political thread tonight.***
    The NYT articles were thought provoking and I’d like to hear people’s thoughts on Rahm/Chuy.
    Hold off if you can to post them later in the new thread…

  • 653. Way Outta There  |  March 4, 2015 at 7:51 pm

    Oh, good. I get to have the last word. I think everyone will agree that high school is the ball game. Good high school = good outcomes. Hard to recover from 4 years at a bad / mediocre high school. So, in Chicago, if your student is a brainiac, they might get into a SEHS and will have a good outcome. If your student doesn’t have learning disabilities, you could go private and likely will have a good outcome. Any other student, and you’re kidding yourself with CPS. Here’s a few examples:

    Athlete. No question suburbs support student athletes with better facilities, equipment, coaching, variety of teams, opportunities to play, you name it. We drove to ‘burbs to play for years because that’s where the best coaches were.

    IEP. Again, much much better chance of getting disabilities addressed in suburban high school. CPS just doesn’t do this well.

    B Student. A solid student with B’s and scores in the 80s on standardized tests. (Oh, the horror). These students probably won’t be successful in IB programs. In the suburbs, they’re in general ed with their peers and they’re fine. At LPHS, LVHS, AHS, Taft, etc. they’re attending class with, to be charitable “a lot of kids not interested in an education” (Thanks, #651. I heard the same thing about LPHS).

    I get the city life part and it is fantastic. But the reality of parenting is a lot of shlepping around to school / church / activities / practice. Not all that different in the suburbs. What I don’t understand is the folks who will yell at the barista for the perfect latte or visit 3 farmers markets for the perfect vine-ripened tomato and yet will settle for a mediocre high school for their kids. It’s just 4 years. Rent out your house and move.

    Whew! Last word. That was fun.

  • 654. Wow.  |  March 5, 2015 at 10:10 am

    I don’t really understand how such an involved, “control-oriented” group of people as those who frequent these boards could ever think it is a bad thing to have parental, elected representation on our own school board. It truly boggles the mind. You’re all involved in your LSCs or at least take an avid interest in them. You scream and yell at any changes in CPS, but you don’t think CPS parents are worthy of having seats at the table where these decisions are made? You don’t think that actual CPS parents may have insights and suggestions that these appointed (NON-CPS) people couldn’t even begin to fathom as they have no actual CPS experience? You don’t think it’s ridiculous that current board members are making money off their decisions?

    I hope there is an elected school board thread, because I’d love to see the arguments against our being represented in an elected manner.

  • 655. cpsobsessed  |  March 5, 2015 at 10:25 am

    Elected school board thread – coming soon!

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 656. Mary  |  March 5, 2015 at 11:22 am

    @603, 604 , 606 Do you know if Jones will be accepting kids for Pre-low from waiting list ? We can’t sleep at night . Our daughter – an A and B student from tier 4 didn’t get to any schools of her choice. She’s close on the waiting list for Pre-law Jones. I’m trying to get any info from a Board of Education or Jones – no success !

  • 657. lawmom  |  March 5, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    @653 – as to sports, I wonder how the former basketball player at WY is likely to be number 1 pick in the NBA this year? There are plenty of good coaches and sports opportunities in the city. Sorry, bringing up kids in the city is nothing like the burbs. It is more difficult, more expensive and less convenient, but there are rewards and there are also plenty of good schools for “B” students. Glad you will be in the burbs. There is a big reason I am not.

  • 658. Wow.  |  March 5, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    Thank you, CPSO! I know you’re busy!!

  • 659. Chris  |  March 5, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    Way Outta There: “Good high school = good outcomes. Hard to recover from 4 years at a bad / mediocre high school.”

    So, if you aren’t able to afford a top ten type suburban HS situation (say if you have to send them to Niles West–which scores out about the same as LPHS). then you’re dooming your kids to failure.

    *Fantastic* attitude!

  • 660. Chris  |  March 5, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    Lawmom: “as to sports, I wonder how the former basketball player at WY is likely to be number 1 pick in the NBA this year?”

    C’mon, that’s like saying “how’d that kid from Lake View get into Princeton with a demonstrated, advanced, interest in Astrophysics?”–some kids hit the genetic lottery, and do well whatever the surroundings.

    Can you or I or anyone say Jahil would have not been *better* had he gone to HS at New Trier? No, we can’t. That he is where he is could be all about Young, or have very little to do with Young.

    Also, I would note that he went to elementary in Rosemont. Is his success because of, in spite of, or neither here nor there because spending ages 9-14 in the burbs?

  • 661. Caste a Wide Net  |  March 5, 2015 at 12:51 pm

    @656 Mary

    Jones took at least 25 kids over their target of 75 students for the CTE program. So at least 25 kids would probably need to turn down spots (we know of at least 1 from this board who is instead going to Payton) before they hit the waiting list.

    But there is probably hope, we applied to a lot of schools (casting a wide net), so each of my twins had 10 offers , and of course we can only take 1. So multiply that by the thousands of kids, and I am sure there will be movement after March 10th, I hope it is enough to give you options for your child.

  • 662. Mary  |  March 5, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    @661 I’m confused right now . When I went to Jones , I was informed that for the last 2 years they were accepting 75 kids for CTE. This year there will accept a 100. I just hope that she’ll get in .

  • 663. Cast a Wide Net  |  March 5, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    @653. Way Outta There

    I am afraid, we are going to have to take back that last word from you because you are just spreading fear unnecessarily and as a 8th parent, I previously believed the hype that only PJNY and Lane were acceptable H.S. options and it caused us such anxiety during this last year and half. Often, I questioned my sanity in staying in the city as I pushed my A/B student to do better so that they could claim the golden ring of PJNY.

    Don’t believe the Hype, after traveling across this city and visiting a wide assortment of schools, I was impressed both with the breadth and width of offerings out there for high school students. To the point that even after pushing hard, hard on my A/B student to get the grades/scores needed to secure a seat on the tail end of the cut off scores for one of the PJNY schools, I am almost saddened that we are turning down spots in other programs. And let me almost add, if she had not gotten that seat at one of the PJNY schools, we had other great options (i.e. my post above about having 10 offers) and casting a wide net.

    So here are few of the other options that we explored and that my A/B student got accepted into:

    1. Lincoln Park Double Honors – One of the schools that most came across as your typical mix of students but while also offering an accelerated program for both the top of the class (IB program) and the not soo top but still advanced student (Double Honors program). I don’t know what their cutoff score was this year, but it definitely doesn’t seem as high as the IB because we know a lot of kids that go into this program this year

    2. Kenwood magnet program – Great principal at this school and they are really doing a lot great programs including the partnership with University of Chicago and assortment of AP classes.

    3. Senn IB / arts program – We live south, so this was going to be a stretch of a commute but this school is really turning around and will soon be as sought after as Lincoln Park for the IB and Arts program.

    4. Westinghouse CTC – was very impressed with these students and staff at the school. In fact one of their math teachers comes from Payton ; Their broadcast journalism program (CTC) was just jaw dropping at the level of equipment and sophistication they have for this program. A full size broadcast studio including all the engineering boards that the students run. Same thing with their medical program that has a partnership with Northwestern

    5. Ogen IB – great group kids, with a mix of international students; For a student who is looking for a smaller high school environment, with an IB component , this is a good option to look at

    6. Noble Muchin/UIC- Good program for those who are interested in charter schools. They are very focused on getting their kids into college; They even mentioned that their freshman start taking AP classes their first year at high school. It is worth taking a look at them, their whole setup of a high school within a normal office building in the middle of downtown is quite impressive

    We also looked at the SEHS schools on the southside.

    Both Brooks and Lindblom have great principals and are doing a lot of great things. But for us the commutes put those schools out of consideration.

    Hope this info helps someone and again, don’t believe the hype. Their are great public school options other than PJNY and Lane. Get out there and see for yourself!

  • 664. Nadej  |  March 5, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    I’ve heard at least 2 people mention Muchin, but their application deadline has long passed and they already had their lottery drawing (Feb 16th), I believe. Students were either extended offers, or put on a waiting list. My nephew is #829 on the waiting list, so I would think students would be hard pressed to get into Muchin at this point.

    Also to whoever said “Good high school = good outcomes. Hard to recover from 4 years at a bad / mediocre high school” That’s not necessarily true. I had 4 yrs at a mediocre bordering bad HS and did well. Got accepted AND scholarships to every college I applied to, so I had my choice of where to go. I know students who have gone to both SEHS’s and suburban HS’s and have the complete opposite of “good” outcomes.

    Sometimes circumstances dictate what HS you end up at, but your will & perseverance can make all the difference.

  • 665. pantherettie  |  March 5, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    @663 – Fantastic post. I’ll put a plug in (AGAIN) for considering Lindblom and Brooks. I know that several people on this board are from the north side of the city and the commute just doesn’t work for their families. However, for families who are open to the commute or who live on the south side, these are excellent schools. My kid and several of her friends who are in the AC at Lindblom have made the decision to stay at the school, despite getting into schools like Jones and Lane Tech. Although I’ve been reading this thread and have empathy for families going through this whole admission process, I can tell you that those families who don’t consider places like Lindblom are missing out on excellent opportunities. When I hear about the potential class sizes at Jones, I think about my daughter’s classes with 20 kids in them, I’m grateful. I was Lindblom’s open house on Sunday and met parents and kids and teachers who are part of a terrific educational family. If you’re open you should consider PD at Lindblom and really cast a wide net. On a personal note, my kid had straight A’s in 7th and 8th grade (so far) and very, very strong MAPS scores. We didn’t even consider going the SEHS admissions hell or leaving Lindblom.

  • 666. 19th ward mom  |  March 5, 2015 at 7:18 pm

    @664 Nadej

    Look at Noble Academy, they are currently flying under the radar because the school is new.

    Their curriculum is based on the Harkeness method created by the Philips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire. They have a partnership with this private boarding school.

    Noble Academy is currently located downtown but they are moving to the building currently housed by Lycée Français de Chicago in Lake View on Irving Park & Lake Shore Drive.

    Noble Academy is still taking applications for next year.

  • 667. HS Mom  |  March 5, 2015 at 8:32 pm

    @654 Wow – Who said an elected board would be made up of CPS parents!!! That’s the first time I’ve heard that. This is not anything like a volunteer LSC position. Yes, I agree….wow.

  • 668. Way Outta There  |  March 5, 2015 at 9:39 pm

    Business Insider recently published the Top 25 Public High Schools in the U.S. Seven of them are in the area — 3 SEHS in Chicago and 4 open enrollment high schools in the ‘burbs. Open enrollment where anyone who qualifies can take AP classes, it is unlikely to get beaten up in the bathroom (happened to my student in CPS) and student athletes get facilities and coaching in multiple sports.

    #663 — you continually mention DH programs. What about the kids who can’t handle DH classes? Anyone actually had their student in a charter school? We tried that, too. We couldn’t even tough it out a year. It was beyond awful.

    #664 — sincere congratulations to you. But as #660 said, some folks are going to make it no matter the circumstances. Karen Lewis said it best: most kids need wrap-around services to get through high school. CPS simply doesn’t offer much of that. How about that student who needs lots of support, help and encouragement to get through high school? Tough luck?

    #657 — I thought everyone knew that WY principal used PD admits to get athletes. Any why were you so mean? I wasn’t mean to you. Unless of course you are one of those who yell at baristas…….

    I am thrilled at the progress that CPS has made in turning around neighborhood K-8 schools in the past 10 years. IMHO, high school is a different ball game. We blew nearly a year of junior high in a charter school. There just isn’t that luxury of time in high school. I just think it is unfair to your student to gamble with his/her HS education hoping that the school won’t be “too awful” when there are plenty of nearby opportunities that are not only far from awful but are tops in the U.S.

  • 669. cpsobsessed  |  March 5, 2015 at 10:09 pm

    Erm,Way Outta There… weren’t you gonna have the “last word” on suburban schools yesterday? 🙂

  • 670. Way Outta There  |  March 5, 2015 at 11:01 pm

    Oh, yeah. Forgot. Guess I’m just CPS obsessed! 🙂

  • 671. cpsobsessed  |  March 5, 2015 at 11:20 pm

    Also, there’s never the last word on the internet!

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 672. Way Outta There  |  March 5, 2015 at 11:24 pm

    Oh yes there is!

  • 673. cpsobsessed  |  March 5, 2015 at 11:27 pm

    That wasn’t a dare!! 🙂

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 674. Way Outta There  |  March 5, 2015 at 11:30 pm

    Go to bed! 🙂

  • 675. Chris  |  March 6, 2015 at 7:40 am

    “Karen Lewis said it best: most kids need wrap-around services to get through high school”

    Most??? Did she seriously say that??

  • 676. Chris  |  March 6, 2015 at 8:04 am

    “Business Insider recently published the Top 25 Public High Schools in the U.S. Seven of them are in the area — 3 SEHS in Chicago and 4 open enrollment high schools in the ‘burbs.”

    They republished a list from Niche.com. There are 6 top 25 schools in metro NY–guess Chicago has the best public HS situation in the country–by far.

    Dig around Niche’s site and they rank the elementaries, too. in CPS, Jackson is 1, Bell is 2. Lincoln isn’t one of the ~10 ranked as ‘top’.

    Methinks there are some methodology issues.

  • 677. Agree  |  March 6, 2015 at 9:13 am

    #667 I don’t know what the elected board would be made up of. But my point is that parents would elect the electable members and thus have “seats” on the board. It did not have to be literally parents — although I don’t see why not.

  • 678. cpsobsessed  |  March 6, 2015 at 9:15 am

    Oops, I’ll post the board thread shortly.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 679. NewJonesParent  |  March 6, 2015 at 1:03 pm

    Question from the Jones Open House. We were told that their policy was that every Tardy gets a Detention? IS this really true? Any Jones parents out there who can clarify? It seems a bit harsh and impractical. So if you have a kid who is running a few minutes late on a certain day – the choices would be either A) Go to school late and have a detention on your record or B) Miss out on a day’s worth of school and avoid the detention?

  • 680. x999cps  |  March 6, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    679 you can be serious..

  • 681. HSObsessed  |  March 6, 2015 at 4:36 pm

    Sorry @668, but I don’t understand why a suburbanite would frequent this site to try to justify their life’s decisions. Isn’t there an education blog in your suburb that you can join to talk about how happy you are with your child’s school? Maybe on EveryBlock or something. I love CPSO, but once my kid is out of CPS, I can’t imagine hanging around on this board any more. I will move on.

  • 682. lawmom  |  March 6, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    Amen HSObsessed!

  • 683. confused  |  March 6, 2015 at 10:40 pm

    Does anyone have experience at the way Jones handles their CTE students’ schedules? For freshman year, 5 spaces for class are already taken up (English, Math, Social Science, Science, PE) leaving two electives, which are supposed to go to Language and Visual or Performing Arts. I’m assuming CTE will take up one elective but language is a 2 or 3 year requirement and there is the requirement of taking at least one visual and performing arts class, which is supposed to happen during freshman and sophmore year. Does anyone have insight into this?

    Also regarding Jones CTE waiting list, a couple of my daughter’s friends turned down their spots but it is unknown if that will make a difference. But I would assume it would be unlikely if you’re not very high up in the waiting list.

  • 684. WL OBSERVER  |  March 7, 2015 at 4:38 pm

    #683 – I am Jones’ parent of a freshman. My child has a foreign language and pre-engineering (which I believe take up the electives).

    #679 – I’m unsure about that tardy/detention policy; so far so good – no tardys/no detentions

  • 685. val  |  March 7, 2015 at 9:36 pm

    maybe i am late to post this question, but i did not got letter to confirming acceptance in elective schools, such as lane. lane was our number 1 choice, the only choice. we got letter from them, happy…now i need to send a confirmation to main office, but no letter, no form to fill up. thanks God, they sent an email with the form..i got other 2 letters with IB and Disney 2 schools.. just to be sure..main office still should send me letter even we have only 1 school to apply, lane…??? thanks for any response

  • 686. Way Outta There  |  March 8, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    I was a CPS parent for 9 years. I tried everything to make CPS work. My student has learning disabilities, nothing to require an out of district placement, but did require the gen ed teacher to provide some accommodations. I spent 8 of the 9 years in a very highly regarded magnet school pounding my head against the wall to make the IEP work. When a charter school opened near me, I met with them over the summer and jumped at the chance, thinking these folks get it. I was an active parent from Day 1, believed all the hype and it was another disaster. Finally, reluctantly, we learned there was no place in CPS for our “B student athlete with learning disabilities” and we moved. I wish so much someone had been there, even on the internet, to explain to us that sometimes right doesn’t make might and sometimes you need to cut your losses and move on. So, I look at the CPS Obsessed website and occasionally post to speak to that family whose needs aren’t met that sometimes your needs will never be met and you just need to move on (e.g., Mary #650 whose very talented daughter didn’t get in anywhere in

    **comment edited**

  • 687. lawmom  |  March 8, 2015 at 4:21 pm

    No mean girl here. I have a kid who started at CPS with a whole host of issues and a robust IEP. I have also given hundreds of hours of my time pro bono to families (mostly single parents) to help them navigate the IEP process and helping them negotiate good ones for their children. We have gotten what we want from CPS and my son has thrived — sometimes it can work out. We have had great teachers for the most part, but sometimes you need to micromanage more than you want. Yes, for some maybe moving on is the answer. I am sure my sheer will was what kept us going and I know other parents in a similar situation that are making it work for them.

    Btw some of your comments were pretty rude — “go to bed”, etc. Perhaps on another thread, people want to debate burbs vs. city, but I’d say most of us on this board are CPS families, or in the city, and for one, I am not interested in exploring the burbs.

  • 688. Ami  |  March 8, 2015 at 8:24 pm

    *I posted this in the magnet/neighborhood thread but think it will be helpful to those still making decisions:

    Just want to say Senn Arts has been a great experience for my son. He is a junior in the theater program, and was the second Senn Arts class of incoming freshman, so there from almost the beginning. He was accepted to Lane, Lincoln Park HH, Lincoln Park Drama & Von Steuben Scholars. I’ll admit I had some trepidation when he chose Senn, but three years in, I’m glad he did. My son not only receives IB level honors academics, but also two periods of theater/acting every day. Senn partners with some of the best theaters in town – actually, let’s face it, I mean in the country! – Steppenwolf, Lookingglass, Goodman, American Theater Company, etc. I have worked professionally in the arts/media for over 20 years and can tell you what he and the Senn Arts theater students not only learn in class (Joel Ewing, the Theater Teacher is amazing) but also in the community rivals many college freshman-level theater courses. I know parents who are now clamoring to get their kids into Senn Arts (and Senn IB) when just a few years ago they wrote off Senn and wouldn’t even consider the option of this neighborhood school. I know because I am one of those parents. If your child is interested in the arts, you should definitely consider Senn Arts.

  • 689. Anxious but hopeful  |  March 8, 2015 at 8:54 pm

    @685 CPS OAE needs to have your acceptance of the spot at Lane by Tuesday, so if you haven’t received the form that is to be returned to them, you need to call them tomorrow and request it. But if they have emailed it to you, then you can print it and fill it out and return it that way. The response that goes to the school is separate. You need to alert both CPS OAE and Lane to your acceptance of the spot.

  • 690. Ogden IB Parent  |  March 8, 2015 at 9:46 pm

    @663 5. Ogden IB – great group kids, with a mix of international students; For a student who is looking for a smaller high school environment, with an IB component , this is a good option to look at

    Thanks for posting this. My daughter is at Ogden IB HS.. She is currently in the middle school. The teachers are so forward thinking. We are planning on staying through high school because of the IB diploma and small school environment.

  • 691. val  |  March 9, 2015 at 4:51 pm

    689 Anxious but hopeful THANKS!!

  • 692. 2 down, 1 to go  |  March 9, 2015 at 8:57 pm

    Question about Principal Discretion – are the principals aware of the order a student originally ranked the schools on their initial SEHS application? My daughter now wants to apply for PD the school she listed 2nd. (She was always torn about which to rank first – follow her sister or not. She changed her mind at the last moment – to not go to her sister’s school. And now she regrets making the change and wants to PD to her sister’s school). I am thinking that the principal would possibly take offense that their school was not ranked first? And if the principal is in fact aware they were not first choice do you think my DD should address that in her personal statement?

    My apologies in advance if this is not the correct forum to be asking about PD…

  • 693. Tours  |  March 9, 2015 at 11:11 pm

    692. 2 down, 1 to go | March 9, 2015 at 8:57 pm

    The Principals are indeed aware of how your child ranked their school. One principal I spoke with mentioned that this is considered when reviewing PD apps. I don’t have any advice on how to address it. Good luck!

  • 694. jazzman  |  March 10, 2015 at 6:54 am

    Here is the problem with both brooks and lindbloom yes they meet state standards but when you look at the numbers for exceeding state standards are low. The district and state have better numbers tribune illinois school report card 2014. I brought this up at the open house at lindbloom but couldnt get a good answer. I like what they are trying to do at lindbloom and brooks but they are not on par with jones, payton, nsp, lane tech, or whitney young. The biggest thing that is hurting those schools are the locations which i wouldnt feel safe sending my child into regardless of what they say.

  • 695. pantherettie  |  March 10, 2015 at 8:33 am

    I take significant issue with the comment that Lindblom isn’t “on par” with other SEHS. For years I’ve read people say on things on this board like that. At the high school level, why are people so concerned with “exceed standards” as a point of school quality rather than the college acceptance and persistence rates? How do Lindblom’s rates compare to other SEHS in those areas? As the parent of an 8th grader, I’m interested in those two factors *as well as* the quality of the teaching, the content of the curriculum and the school’s social/emotional environment. Maybe as a parent of a k-3 kid, I needed to see ”exceeds standards” on the now USELESS ISAT, but not now. If you don’t like the ACT scores or the EXPLORE scores, I get it. That affects college acceptance and if you’re a very ordinary, middle class white kid, you need to be sure to get the highest scores possible so that you can have a chance for scholarships. So if going to a school like Lindblom won’t get you there – because it doesn’t have enough “exceeds standards” than it’s not the right fit. That said, ifyou speak to students across the various SEHS, you’ll find that their class content is remarkably similar. You’ll also find many strong, highy educated and board certified teachers and committed students. West Englewood is not a great neighborhood. But the kids are taken to school by their parents or the school provided shuttles/busses. As an African American parent, I can tell you that my kid is no safer in many northside neighborhoods, especially at night and especially when driving.
    No, Lindblom is not for everyone but I’m absolutely sick of hearing it belittled on this board by many people. It seems to me, that for many who post here, the location of the school and the minority population of the students is really what makes it “not on par” – no matter how you look at the school. I’m finally just sick of it. So, just provide objective info about the school, ask for input from parents and kids who attend it or just stop talking about it.

  • 696. jazzman  |  March 10, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    Sorry you feel bad about my comment on Lindbloom but the numbers are what they are data everything else is just rhetoric. If you claim to be a math and science academy and on part with the others you dawn well better be exceeding state standards. And that is what brings “other” people to the school especially in that neighborhood. The numbers show the state and district are doing better at exceeding lindbloom how is that?? And why?? Act score 23 that’s not outstanding for a Selective high school compared to the others. These are facts even when I look at the academic center it ranks lower much lower than Whitney young or lane tech why? This can and must change but people can’t just be satisfied with a “good southside” education there must be more demand and competition to be on part with those other schools and exceed them as well period.

  • 697. cpsobsessed  |  March 10, 2015 at 12:42 pm

    @jassman, it think for those who has discussed these schools at length, the realization is that a “sorting” process occurs based on students scores.
    If the students from payton attended lindblom, its like linblom would be the top scoring school.
    Its easy to look good when you get the top students in the city.

    If every sehs had the same level of kids entering, I’d agree that the “output” would reflect the better schools. But that simply isn’t the case.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 698. feeder schools  |  March 10, 2015 at 1:10 pm

    It’s a dialectic situation. The southside SEHSs can’t attract many high scorers because of their locations, existing academic performances, and lack of racial diversity. The lower ratio of scholarly sound students admitted means those schools have more work to do to catch up with the few leading schools academically.

    However, since elite colleges allow different races to play the college admissions game differently, the southside SEHSs’ less stellar test performances and lack of diversity are not really a big inhibiting factor for African America families.

  • 699. pantherettie  |  March 10, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    @CPSO – 697 – thank you for that comment. @ 698 – Interesting comment. I’m not sure that I understand what you mean by “scholarly sound students”. When NS, WP, WY and J are only accepting kids with 890-900 as their entrance scores, does that mean that those are the only kids that are “scholarly sound”? It seems like there were many parents on this board who think of their kids as smart and talented with scores in the 700’s and 800’s but just are not in the top 1% of a self selecting group of bright and/or well test prepped kids.

    @Jazzman -My math/science nerdette benefits significantly from the academic and social environment at Lindblom. The fact that the average ACT score of 23 is not “stellar” is not an inhibiting factor for possible future studies for her. The fact that she attends a school that “lacks diversity” often opens the doors to programs and opportunities that are not presented at all at other schools. Believe me, Lindblom is a recruiting destination for many excellent colleges who want smart, well prepared and hard working students. Despite what people typically say on this board, there are many middle-middle class kids who attend Lindblom who will not qualify for significant need based college scholarships/aid . Lindblom is aware of this and works to attract top colleges who want their students and want to provide supportive and appropriate aid packages. This is not something I hear at all about WY, NS, J or WP. I’m not knocking these schools, I’m just saying that the focus is different and for our family (and many others) it’s the sign of an excellent school. Additionally, the teachers at Lindblom are no less qualified and the students do not have a lower college acceptance or college persistence rate than their peers at other SEHS. This isn’t rhetoric, these are realities for current students at Lindblom that appear difficult for you to accept.

    Ultimately, I just don’t agree with the argument that “exceeds standards” is the way to best judge a successful high school. I think that’s an incredibly limited view and one which reflects the insights of a parent who still looks at their high school student’s education through an elementary school lens. Good luck to you and your kid as you navigate through this process and your child’s high school years.

  • 700. North Side Parent  |  March 10, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    I’m sure all the SEHS have great teachers and academically minded peers. The ACT scores are a reflection of kids that go there in the first place.

    Just look at the cutoff acceptance scores. They consistently map to ACT results. The smartest kids in 7th grade are still the smartest kids in 11th grade (generally speaking), not a big shock.

    None of these schools (nor many of the better neighborhood options) will materially enhance or impair how your child scores on his ACT.

    To get into PJNWY (Rank or Tier 4) you need to be in the Top 3-4% of test scorers. Lane is ~80-85th percentile (assuming all A’s). For Lindbloom, Brooks, Westinghouse, Hancock it’s roughly 60th percentile (all A’s, or 80th all B’s). Notably the latter group is more competitive (higher cutoff score) for Tier 3 than Tier 4 (mostly due to proximity).

    They are all good schools with great teachers. There are the facts. Now everyone is free to fall wherever their values lead them on the elitist-to-inclusive scale.

  • 701. xan  |  March 10, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    Generally, I don’t think you can argue with data on which are the best high schools, but how you start is not as important as how you finish.

    I would bet, recruiter would prefer top 10% of LBWH compare to bottom 30% of PJNWY.

  • 702. feeder schools  |  March 10, 2015 at 3:36 pm

    Bottom line is that, for admissions to elite colleges, test performance weighs differently across the races. An ACT score of 30 and under can doom a white student’s prospect and is even more disastrous for Asians.

  • 703. mom2  |  March 10, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    @cpsobsessed is correct. If you are trying to judge how well a school will educate your child, looking at which schools have the highest test scores will tell you nothing. It only tells you which schools let in the best test takers to start with. If you take all the kids at Payton, for example, and put their entire freshmen class at Lake View HS, the year they take the ACT, Lake View will have an average ACT score of 28 (or whatever the score usually is at Payton). Granted, there may be some schools in the system that may impact your child’s ability to learn due to facilities or gangs or trouble makers or something, but for many schools in CPS, it is the kids that go there in the first place that determine the scores you are using to rank the “goodness” of the school. That is sort of silly. In fact, as others have pointed out here, sometimes being at the top of the typical class looks a lot better to colleges than being in the middle or the bottom of a selective class.

  • 704. cpsobsessed  |  March 10, 2015 at 5:26 pm

    @jazzman, when I first started exploring cps data years ago and saw the abyssymal test score at many of our schools I had the same reaction about “crummy schools.”. All things being equal, that would be a valid conclusion.
    Over time, I learned that all things are not equal across schools (and across society.)

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 705. Chris  |  March 10, 2015 at 5:57 pm

    colleges “prefer top 10% of LBWH compare to bottom 30% of PJNWY”

    Anyone that says anything to the contrary is lying.

  • 706. pantherettie  |  March 10, 2015 at 6:58 pm

    @ Chris – are you saying that the top 10% of students at LBWH is comparable to the bottom 30% of students at the other SEHS? I’m just tryng to make sure that I read that correctly.

  • 707. Student  |  March 10, 2015 at 7:47 pm

    I think they’re saying that colleges would chose a top 10% rather than a bottom 30% regardless of the school you’re at. They aren’t necessarily comparable in SEHS but colleges don’t really care about SEHS

  • 708. edgewatermom  |  March 10, 2015 at 7:54 pm

    Didn’t the SEHS schools stop ranking students?

  • 709. isupportpantherettie  |  March 10, 2015 at 8:57 pm

    @pantherettie- Why are you allowing these people to upset you? We all know that kids in tier 4 are not as smart as tier 1,2,or 3. They are test prep smart. They test prep for NWEA, ISAT and ACT for their high scores and then can’t pass the 8th grade Algebra exit exam. That’s why now the kids have to take, yet again, another test after they are accepted into the SEHS. The PJNWY schools are baffled by how these kids can score in the high 800’s but can’t even do algebra. My son will be going to Lindblom next year and I guarantee you he will be entering with a raw score in the high 800’s. No test prep included, because I know what these schools have to offer and what they can do.

  • 710. tired of it all  |  March 10, 2015 at 9:15 pm

    …and we wonder why the world is the way it is……People, what is the argument about anyway? Tier against tier??? race against race…I am really tired of reading such juvenile responses. Grow up people and let your children do what they do best….want an education!

  • 711. Student  |  March 10, 2015 at 9:56 pm

    Honestly, some of you parents make me sick.
    I’m a studen who’s done the work rather than one of these show parents who can’t take a minute to get off of their high horse and look around. You did not take the test. You did not go to school and get the grades. You are not going to the high school. So stop acting like your children are trophies or show ponies. Who cares if your child did or did not take test prep? Not every 900 is a test prep kid, not every tier four kid took test prep, not every test prep kid is stupid. Are you done discriminating yet?
    Besides that, some of you parents care more about the school than what your kid gets out of it. Rather than telling your kid what school to go to, or what score they were supposed to get, you could actually talk to them. There’s enough stress already, we really don’t need you harrassing us about how we could have done better, or complaining about it on a forum. My mother was calm and laid back during the process and I’m going to my first choice, Walter Payton. I don’t need to tell everyone my score, neither does she, and neither of us have.
    Finally, this is not your achievement or failure. I’m honestly indignant that some of you say that you worked too hard for this. If you’re sick and tired, how do you think your child feels? And the people who blame themselves for their child not getting their first choice? Unless you did every academic event or assignment for them, it’s not possible for it to be your fault, it isn’t anyone’s fault. So please, grab a good book, a cup of tea, and relax.

  • 712. jazzman  |  March 10, 2015 at 10:37 pm

    ok here are the scores for lindbloom math and science academy
    Select a subject for performance by gender, race and income level. School District State
    % meets % exceeds % meets % exceeds % meets % exceeds
    Reading (click for more) 82.2 6.7 33.7 4.7 45.6 10.7
    Math (click for more) 88.9 1.1 31.7 3.4 43.2 9.1
    Science (click for more) 73.9 3.3 23.7 4.0 38.1 11.5
    Source: Illinois State Board of Education school report cards.

    why are lindbloom scores lower than the district and state in the exceed area 1.1 math, 6.7 reading, and 3.3 in science?? Again my question is why?? this flies in the face of saying your getting a top notch education or when colleges come to recruit they are aware of this data. I can tell this makes some people on this thread mad and upset but this is a problem lets not talk around this issue. I not saying the teachers are not as qualified not at all I do think its a issue of the feeder schools that feed into the lindbloom and brooks that need to do a better job.

  • 713. jazzman  |  March 10, 2015 at 10:38 pm

    sorry about the font better to see it better check of chicago tribune school report card 2014 and check it out for yourself and compare it to other schools and see the data for yourself.

  • 714. jazzman  |  March 10, 2015 at 10:53 pm

    I not for all drill and kill or testing students all the time. I get the over testing debate but test do matter it does say something about us. If not testing then what tool should we use to measure our performance?? There must be a standard way to measure this knowledge.

  • 715. pantherettie  |  March 10, 2015 at 10:54 pm

    Ok Jazzman – you’re right – it’s not the school for your kid.

  • 716. feeder schools  |  March 10, 2015 at 10:59 pm

    This may be hard to digest, but it’s worth mentioning again that the lower test scores of mainly African American SEHSs, although a fact, are not much of a factor that can scare away good colleges’ admission and scholarship committees. The game is simply different for different races – this is also a point often made by klm, a poster here. It doesn’t matter for non-blacks to be indignant or envious.

  • 717. jazzman  |  March 11, 2015 at 4:40 am

    and that right there is a very sadly accepted axiom that should be attacked and destroyed with results not rhetoric ” lower test scores of mainly AA SEHSs” the problem is people are ok just to “get in” and dont push these schools to do more when data shows a trend. Just “as good” is not the same as “better than” demand higher standards. I am not saying the kids from lindbloom or brooks cant compete at the next level but the point should be to be number 1 and not just settle and be happy (with ” good southside” education) thats what brings stronger students. “its not the school for your kid” does not answer my question but thank you the people at the school couldnt answer either.

  • 718. pantherettie  |  March 11, 2015 at 6:27 am

    @Jazzman – The big takeaway for all of your posts is that Lindblom “isn’t as good as the northside SEHS”. You based that opinion *entirely* upon scores on the PSAE. No matter what I’ve said about the school’s curriculum, the quality of the teachers, the college acceptance rate, the college persistence rate, the college graduation rate, the social environment of the school or anything else, you continue to go back to the same *limited/narrow* view that the *only* way to judge a high quality school is how students score on the PSAE. I’ve given you many, many reasons that Lindblom isn’t just a “good enough” education, but that still doesn’t change *your* limited/one note comments about the only thing that is of importance is the PSAE scores of the students. You obviously refused to look at the school’s website to learn of the schools in which their 2014 graduates attended and your refused to acknowledge the schools college acceptance and persistence rates – despite all of this information being readily available for your review. Additionally, you make the erroneous assumption that students, regardless of their race, would be limited by attending the school because it doesn’t attract enough “others”. (By “others” I’m assuming that you mean white students). Final, among your “limited” assumptions is that you believe that when people decide not to engage you in a “one note” debate, based on “limited” reasoning, which ignores the reality of the school you’re duscussing, you’re views are correct. I’m happy to hear that whoever was at the open house didn’t engage you in this. You have a hypothesis that you intend to fill no matter what the additional data tells you. So, when faced with a person that refuses to actually engage in a discussion around the additional points brought up in a counter-point, all one can say is “good luck” send your kid somewhere else.

    Jazzman, here’s a little “real talk” for you. Your comments upset me because the basic premise was insulting. First insult, was that parents who send their kids to Lindblom don’t want and expect and excellent learning opportunity for them, instead we’re cool with “good enough”. That’s a lie. Period. The second insult was the the admis, teachers and students at Lindblom were not “on par” with their counterparts at other SEHS. That’s a lie. The third insult was the implication was you believed that no one saw your final comment of your original post – that the neighborhood was too dangerous for you to send your kid to the school anyway – no matter what was going on in the school. Why engage in this “debate” about the quality of a school which you find unacceptable because of it’s location? Is it for the good of us parents who don’t know better than to ask for just a “good enough” school for our kids? Finally, I will always agree that a diverse environment – racially, socially, economically, geographically, ect. benefits everyone. However, the endemic racial and economic segregation in Chicago is the primary reason that *all* of our schools look the way that they do. Outside of the centrally located Jones and WY, the schools are not “diverse”. So, I don’t agree the argument that providing an excellent education for the students that attend the school as well as being a strong possibility to any strong student who wants to and is qualified to attend that Lindblom isn’t “on par”. I do continue to think that you’ve made it clear that the school isn’t the right choice for your family.

  • 719. 19th ward mom  |  March 11, 2015 at 8:30 am


    What an excellent post and you have been an unfailing ambassador for Lindblom.

    But I am going to tell you to tone it down. Don’t get mad just yet, I am saying that to say to keep the school our Southside secret. A lot of the kids do not have the resources to compete to get into PJNY, some of them for personal reasons may not want to commute across the city for school or have the financial resources to do so. Isn’t it excellent that they have this great resource in their own side of town and they don’t have to compete Hunger Game Style to get in, like we are doing over PJNY.

    I meet some 8th grade AC students from Lindblom at an event and I was very impressed with these kids and the backgrounds they come from. It made me regret not looking a little harder at this school as an option. My kids crossed it off our list, but right before me, where nice, very smart kids with well educated parents in our same social circle, at the AC program that where very happy with the program, not stressed in the least over the high school decision because they planned to stay at Lindblom.

    I also see as a downside not going with brooks, Lindblom or Kenwood that we will be on our own in getting scholarships and not have the built in support that those schools offers.

  • 720. Mary  |  March 11, 2015 at 9:42 am

    Does anyone has any information about the status of waiting list for Pre-law to Jones ? How many kids declined ?

  • 721. RL Julia  |  March 11, 2015 at 10:30 am

    @711 student…. wait, my kid’s not a show pony??? All those show pony classes I enrolled them in…. wasted! I actually think of my children more like Pokémon anyway (with super fire power)!

    I enjoyed your post and think you are exactly right. It’s just that sometimes (we) parents want something to show for all our hard work raising kids or have expectations for our kids that have nothing to do with what they might want for themselves (for better or worse).

  • 722. Chris  |  March 11, 2015 at 10:42 am


    “@ Chris – are you saying that the top 10% of students at LBWH is comparable to the bottom 30% of students at the other SEHS?”

    Why does it seem that you always try hard to read the most offensive possible meaning into what I post?

    Seriously, go back and read the post that I was quoting from, take a deep breath, and re-read what I wrote.

    Then explain to me why it would be reasonable to think that I was writing something negative about the top 10% students.

    And, just for an avoidance of doubt, and to help those whose emotional response overcomes their reading comprehension:

    It’s *completely* obvious that a college would prefer a top 10% grad from LBWH to a bottom 30% student from PaNJY. So obvious that: “Anyone that says anything to the contrary is lying.”

  • 723. lawmom  |  March 11, 2015 at 10:46 am

    @721 I love the Pokemon analogy! As to Jazzman and the talk about feeder schools and LB etc, I agree wholeheartedly that all CPS children should have access to the same level of teaching and a quality education. This is something we really need to work on.

    Other posts have noted the dire circumstances that some of our public schools are dealing with. I know a teacher who teaches in an impoverished area on the south side and she says she has to bring her own paper to make copies for the students. She cried when she saw what little material supports were available to her. I told her I would gladly donate money to the school to cover some things. This is indeed so sad and I “pray” for the day that all students have the same advantages as others in their neighborhood schools.

  • 724. lawmom  |  March 11, 2015 at 10:49 am

    Oh, and btw someone posted that colleges don’t care about SEHS, actually that is quite wrong. The colleges know about these schools and their students. Also, the admissions process awards extra points for the rigor of the school.

  • 725. mom2  |  March 11, 2015 at 11:39 am

    @724 lawmom – not all colleges do anything with extra points for school rigor. Ask any parent that already has kids in college. Some schools decide purely on a point bases – gpa, act (maybe look at AP but maybe not because more AP means less money for the university) and then they ask themselves – do we need a certain diversity at our school, if so then maybe we should admit them, too.

    Just like the argument people here have had in the past about the harder elementary schools should have more weight to their A’s than the “easier” schools for SE admissions, it works the same way for college in many cases. I think maybe Ivy schools might try to do a more holistic approach and might know of some selective schools, but the majority of the country really doesn’t take that sort of time or care.

  • 726. lawmom  |  March 11, 2015 at 11:52 am

    Mom2 – we are going through college admissions process this year. Daughter is at WY. I am hearing something different than what you’ve stated and have been told also by college counselors. I am sure not all colleges do admissions the same way, but many of the colleges that my daughter has applied to definitely know WY and seek out their students.

  • 727. pantherettie  |  March 11, 2015 at 11:52 am

    @ Chris – I didn’t assume the worst, I just asked the question. I appreciate your explanation.

  • 728. Looking at colleges  |  March 11, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    I wanted to say my son is at NCP and several colleges do know NCP, but I also have found out that the college process is completely different from the SEHS process. Some school like U of I, Urbana-Champaign look primarily at test scores and then grades, whether it is regular, honors, AP and grades and what grade you received in the class (grades, by the way are self reported at UIUC – they then apparently they verify them once you enroll). They do not accept recommendations (it says on their website that if you submit them, they will be shredded). It makes absolutely no difference no difference to them what high school you go to. I have found this process similar at all the state schools he applied at.

    Private schools are very different. They look at all kinds of things – test scores, grades, recommendations, but then they look at things like race, geography, your major, some even sadly look at your ability to pay. The more “elite” the college the more they are trying to get diversity – a school in the Midwest may be more likely to take you if you are from New Mexico than a state that they already have enough students from. I know someone who received a wonderful scholarship from Rice, in Houston, because they do not have Midwesterners.

  • 729. Jones  |  March 11, 2015 at 5:13 pm

    679. NewJonesParent | March 6, 2015 at 1:03 pm

    “Question from the Jones Open House. We were told that their policy was that every Tardy gets a Detention? IS this really true? Any Jones parents out there who can clarify? It seems a bit harsh and impractical. So if you have a kid who is running a few minutes late on a certain day – the choices would be either A) Go to school late and have a detention on your record or B) Miss out on a day’s worth of school and avoid the detention?”

    The expectations are clear – be on time – everyday. I don’t find that unusual or harsh. Same expectations at work for most people. Teachers have a classroom to run and dispense with attendance immediately and notices/texts/calls go out to parents notifying us that child is absent or tardy (which we all need to know if child doesn’t show up asap at a commuter school).

    If trains are having issues, it is usually excused. Staff usually keeps abreast of train issues.

    My child has been tardy to 1st period and sometimes is tardy to later periods. I have no issue with the school holding students accountable for getting to school and to class on time (helps them develop organizational skills). Being on time is standard fare for school – helps keep the focus on learning. Otherwise there would be lots of wasted time and resources.

    Detentions are not horrible – you just go 45 -50 minutes before or after school and do your homework. You check with your 1st period teacher to see if you have any detentions to serve (that is student’s job to do so). If have 5 or more that you haven’t served then student is not allowed to participate in any activities. After 10 unserved detentions, time to have parent meeting. But again, this is not rocket science. Be on time. If you are late, come early or stay late to serve your time.

    Option B is silly. If you miss school and it is unexcused, you can not be on Honor Roll, plus why would you even think of doing that? Student needs to be in school every day or they will be late. Remember, classes are 90 minutes and meet every other day, so if you are absent you miss a lot.

    Your child will rise to the occasion and get with the program quickly. Support your child and the schools policy on this.

  • 730. Schurz  |  March 11, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    To the parents that “Schur zas hell won’t send their children to Schurz”:

    In the news today…”Principal Kramer took the opportunity to tout the school’s advanced placement classes, International Baccalaureate program and rising graduation rate, noting that Schurz’ most recent valedictorian received a full-ride scholarship to the University of Chicago.”
    The school has a long way to go, but great things are happening.

  • 731. info  |  March 12, 2015 at 2:56 pm

    Chicago Ag is making offers from the wait list….good luck to all who are waiting…

  • 732. Peter  |  March 12, 2015 at 10:18 pm

    Chuy and his supporters don’t understand simple economics. The City has no money. It must come up with over $1 billion in additional pension payment for the public employee unions next year. Plus Chuy wants to add expenses and services.

    Where does the money come from folks?

  • 733. P. Joseph Powers  |  March 13, 2015 at 11:01 am

    Re: CTE Programs at Jones College Prep

    As soon as we have the final acceptance numbers for the CTE (Pre-Law and Pre-Engineering), we’ll know if we will be contacting students on the wait list. Today is the deadline for students to accept CTE or selective enrollment offers.

    Good luck, everyone!

  • 734. Torn between 2 lovers  |  March 13, 2015 at 6:40 pm

    Looking for perspectives…tuition aside, Jones College Prep or Lab School. Thoughts please.

  • 735. cpsobsessed  |  March 13, 2015 at 9:36 pm

    Is the lab school mostly kids of univ professors/staff?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 736. feeder schools  |  March 13, 2015 at 9:52 pm

    I am sure you have taken commute into account. Other than that and tuition, you are probably looking for reasons to choose Jones. Basically, Jones has a mainly lower middle and working class student body while Lab is one or two notches higher in average. Although there is less snobbery in the air than some other private schools – roughly on a par with Payton – a working or lower middle class student can expect a sometimes challenging social experience. Granted, this may not apply to your case, as Lab’s tuition seems not to be a concern. Academically, Lab has more of the really smart kind of students, being U of C faculty families’ default choice. If you don’t want the competition, Jones is the way to go.

  • 737. Torn between 2 lovers  |  March 14, 2015 at 8:39 am

    Thanks for the comments. Actually we are leaning more towards Jones and trying to justify UC Lab which appears to be an awesome choice. The commute is about the same. 15 minutes to Jones on LSD and about the same meandering through HP.

  • 738. edgewatermom  |  March 14, 2015 at 9:15 am

    @737 If you are torn between the 2, I would probably go with Jones and invest the money that you would have spent on tuition. That will be a nice sum of money after 4 years that could then be spent on college, travelling abroad, etc.

  • 739. Anna  |  March 14, 2015 at 9:37 am

    Lab. Your children will make different types of friends. Many of which you will not find at CPS. The education is incredible and opportunities for enrichment beyond the common core is, without a doubt, probably the finest in the city. As a SEHS teacher (at a very fine, top sehs) I would send my child their with NO hesitation.

  • 740. Anna  |  March 14, 2015 at 9:38 am

    Are there different requirements to get into the CTE program at Jones?

  • 741. Flora Q  |  March 14, 2015 at 9:46 am

    “Lab. Your children will make different types of friends”

    Or not

  • 742. Roscoe dad  |  March 14, 2015 at 9:47 am

    The comment about making different kinds of friends at Lab rather than Jones is ridiculous. Your kid will find friends who are smart and with common interests at both schools but will be exposed to a more ethnically and economically diverse student body at Jones. My wife and I both have Ivy League educations and graduate degrees, we have a household income well over a million dollars a year and we chose Jones. If you aren’t paying tuition you can pay for many enriching activities outside school if you feel the need.

  • 743. pantherettie  |  March 14, 2015 at 10:10 am

    @Roscoe Dad – yep. I want to add that U of C is really making a push to make Lab more affordable to their entire university staff – not just profs. They are actively promoting reduced tuition costs, scholarship opportunities and other possible benefits in an attempt to diversify the school in many ways. I’m sharing this, because it could turn out that the population of Lab may be look more like Jones in the future than it does now – which would be a good thing (in my opinion).

    I have a friend whose oldest daughter went to Lab and is now currently a junior at Williams. Her middle kid is at a SEHS and she says that both she and her daughter think several good things about Lab, but wish she had attended an SEHS. The reason being that Lab was not as academically rigorous (at least at that time). Not saying Lab isn’t a great school – just different than Jones.

  • 744. cpscurious  |  March 14, 2015 at 11:18 am

    Any updates on Jones CTE wait list?

  • 745. Helen  |  March 14, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    @anna ‘requirements for Jones CTE’

    Eligibility for Jones CTE is based on grades & NWEA MAP scores for a maximum point total of 600 (The selective enrollment test is not part of the point total). The students are then put in order ‘highest score to lowest’. Students in the neighborhood are given preference.

    It is almost impossible for a out of neighborhood student to receive a CTE offer. I heard that somewhere around 1000 *neighborhood* students applied for the 75 seats available.

  • 746. 19th ward mom  |  March 14, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    @torn between the two

    I am not sure where the person that posted the Jones consist of just lower middle-class and working-class families is getting it from. But when I went to Jones freshman night for admitted students I saw a lot of upper middle-class parents and I’m willing to bet a lot of people on the friends of Jones don’t come from lower middle-class families with the connections they seem to be utilizing to help supplement funding there including holding their spring fundraiser at the University Club of Chicago.
    I think the correct assessment is at Jones you will find kids from a wide range of economic backgrounds.

    So here’s my take on Jones versus lab school. I went to labs open house thinking I’m just going to be totally impressed with what 30,000 a year get you for school and while it was nice I didn’t walk away just totally overwhelmed with wow look what money can buy you. It was nice but it came across as an average school but with smaller class sizes and an opportunity for juniors and seniors to take classes at University of Chicago.

    That same day I went to the open house at Whitney Young and I was like wow, everything that I saw at University Chicago lab school I’m seeing at Whitney Young. Except of course not having the smaller class size that lab did. The offerings at Jones of course are on par with Whitney Young.

    I don’t think you have a bad choice either way. I think it really is going to come down to what’s important to you and your family. Are you looking for something that exposes your kid to a more diverse environment then go with Jones but if you’re looking for something in the smaller class size and at the same time the lab alumni are known for their life long connections then go with Lab.

  • 747. feeder schools  |  March 14, 2015 at 4:02 pm


    “I am not sure where the person that posted the Jones consist of just lower middle-class and working-class families is getting it from. ”

    I am that person, I looked at the ratio of low income students at Jones (46%), and I am appalled by your mis-interpretation of “mainly” as “just”. On the other hand, it does seem that Jones is gentrifying, evidenced for example by its surpassing WY in cutoff scores for tiers 3 & 4.

  • 748. momof3fish  |  March 14, 2015 at 5:24 pm

    @711 Ummm. this forum IS for people to want to moan and groan about CPS and its process as well brag about their kid. since you are a student and don’t care about the scores and who lives in what tier, why in the world are you even on the forum. my kids never read it nor are they even remotely interested in anything on here. some of the stuff have been dinner conversations but i have never seen any of them go to this site. as for me, i love reading the comments-the bickering, and the sometimes drama. it allows parents to vent, brag, get info or opinions, or whatever. i think people feel like they are not alone in this insane process. isn’t that what a forum is for?

  • 749. proudtafter  |  March 14, 2015 at 7:19 pm

    “Taft High School had the highest cut-off score for admission to an International Baccalaureate Diploma Program in the city.

    Applicants to Taft’s diploma program had to have a score at least 839 points out of a possible 900 points to qualify, with the next highest cut-off score in the city 835.5, Principal Grishaber said. Half of the score is based on an applicant’s grades and the other half is based on an admissions test.

    Cutoff scores at other North and Northwest Side high schools were the following: 835.5 at Lincoln Park, 600 at Prosser, 550 at Senn, 530 at Amundsen, 500 at Steinmetz and 344 at Schurz.”

  • 750. edgewatermom  |  March 14, 2015 at 7:57 pm

    Does anybody know the size of each of the IB diploma prep programs? I really wish that CPS would publish more info about these programs – how many in each program, and how many freshmen who start out in the program end up earning the diploma (or IB certs in some subjects)

  • 751. southloopmom  |  March 17, 2015 at 5:11 pm

    Does anyone have information on how soon Jones will start contacting students on the waiting list?

  • 752. loagansquareDad  |  March 19, 2015 at 6:23 am

    When do the acceptance letters for the Academic Centers go out??? Will CpsObsessed start a new tread???

  • 753. Ogden IB Parent  |  March 19, 2015 at 8:55 am

    Proud Ogden IB parent
    Ogden International High School has the 3rd Highest Score of 721!
    Ogden has a dynamic new principal, she is leading this school in a positive direction. The scores under her leadership will just get better every year.

    International Baccalaureate High School
    Cutoff Scores — 2015-2016 School Year
    School Name Cutoff Score
    Amundsen 530
    Back Of the Yards 643
    Bogan 350
    Bronzeville 430
    Clemente 444
    Curie 675
    Farragut 400
    Hubbard 570
    Hyde Park 370
    Juarez 544
    Kelly 306
    Kennedy 420
    Lincoln Park 835.5
    Morgan Park 409
    Ogden 721
    Prosser 600
    Schurz 344
    Senn 550
    South Shore 427
    Steinmetz 500
    Taft 839
    Washington 515

  • 754. Ogden IB Parent  |  March 19, 2015 at 9:10 am

    Here are some numbers that can give you an idea of how many kids are in the IB Diploma classes.

    every year more students apply to the diploma program. It is a boat load of work but well worth it. One of the graduates this year is going to Northwestern on a full scholarship

    IB Enrollment: ​65% of the sophomore class applied for either Diploma or Course
    Status for next year! 37 students have been accepted into the Diploma Program and 23
    students are Course students. We exceeded our goal!
    College Acceptances​: College acceptances keep rolling in. 70% of our senior class
    has reported their acceptances, with many others still contemplating their choices.

  • 755. secondchance  |  March 30, 2015 at 11:27 am

    Hi again!
    I wasn’t sure if this thread was dead for now, but I’m curious if many here applied for PD (principals discretion) this year, even though they may have chosen a high school for their child.
    We are waiting, with high hopes, and it seems the window is longer this year than other years. It is tough to think we won’t know anything until May.
    There is no thread for PD but after putting together a large packet for a shot at a seat, I was hoping to find some other parents to watch the mailbox with us too in the coming weeks. Thanks

  • 756. Lane's Principal search  |  April 6, 2015 at 5:14 pm

    Good article about principal searchhttp://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20150406/roscoe-village/should-lane-techs-next-principal-be-hired-from-within-staff-is-divided

  • 757. Chicago School GPS  |  April 9, 2015 at 7:46 am

    Insightful documentary about Whitney Young: http://www.selectedfilm.com

    selectED is a feature length film that examines the truths and challenges of public urban education as seen through the lives of high school students at Whitney Young High School. This public school began as a dream to create a fully integrated school in a racially divided city, and within a riot ravaged neighborhood in the 1970s. Through interwoven stories, selectED explores the leadership, triumphs, and losses in one of the most culturally and economically diverse schools in the country that has stood the test of time.

    Just looking at the trailer underscores how diverse our city is and the real challenges kids face.

  • 758. Nancy F  |  April 16, 2015 at 7:00 pm

    Did CPS release the private/public school acceptance mix for 2015/2016? With every kid taking the same tests it would be interesting to see if anything changed vs prior years as far as percent of Rank and Tier 4 for the private/public mix. Thanks.

  • 759. King College Prep News  |  April 21, 2015 at 9:09 am

    Michelle Obama to Give Commencement Speech at King College Prep High School

    GRAND BOULEVARD — First Lady Michelle Obama will be the commencement speaker at King College Prep High School in Chicago on June 9, the White House announced Tuesday…


  • 760. secondchance  |  April 27, 2015 at 10:01 am

    I’m feeling alone I’m the PD process. Anyone else here as anxious as me? I believe they are mailing out the letters Friday or Monday. I haven’t slept in 7 weeks.

  • 761. 19th ward mom  |  April 27, 2015 at 11:23 am

    Sending you positive vibes that things work for you in this high school process. I couldn’t imagine being under that stress for 7 weeks. Have faith, regardless of what decision you receive in the mail this week, your child still has many many opportunities in this world. The next 4 years is just one step in their journey in life.

  • 762. secondchance  |  April 28, 2015 at 9:02 am

    @19th ward mom
    Thank you for your kind words and support. I agree it is one step, and really had hoped to avoid this process. It’s a rough situation when everyone around us is already experiencing the excitement of where they are going to high school and we still wait to know which way to turn.
    I remain hopeful for my child.
    Just like mailbox watch back in February, only tougher because they graduate in 6 weeks.
    It really was mentally challenging to go through this process twice in one year.
    I’m hoping to post some good news like the others here have moths ago, next week.

  • 763. Sheri  |  April 28, 2015 at 9:05 am

    Good Luck to you and most importantly, your child! I pray you have good news soon!

  • 764. secondchance  |  April 30, 2015 at 9:03 am

    Thank you, Sheri. The forms say they will mail out letters “the week of May 4th”. I’m not sure what day they will go out.
    Remaining hopeful it is at least early in the week.

  • 765. WhitneyYoung Documentary  |  April 30, 2015 at 9:07 am

    Whitney Young Documentary ‘SelectED’ Debuts in Chicago Friday


  • 766. Sheri  |  April 30, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    keeping my fingers crossed for your child! What school are you hoping to hear from?

  • 767. North Center Mom  |  April 30, 2015 at 1:07 pm

    At CPS, “the week of” almost always means “Friday at midnight”.
    Good luck with the PD.

  • 768. secondchance  |  May 2, 2015 at 9:18 am

    Thanks Sheri!
    I haven’t said the school because I’ve become superstitious now. This is the lunacy of the mind game entering week 8. Hahaha
    Should be mailed any day now.

  • 769. Sheri  |  May 2, 2015 at 9:28 am

    I understand completely! good luck!

  • 770. david  |  May 5, 2015 at 9:35 am

    No PD letter yet!

  • 771. secondchance  |  May 5, 2015 at 11:51 am

    Nope, David. Just got my mail. Nothing but ads and bills.
    Another sleepless night ahead 😦

  • 772. still waiting  |  May 5, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    Daughter of one of the Northside LSC members got her acceptance letter yesterday. Guess it pays to know somebody … we’re still waiting…

  • 773. still waiting  |  May 5, 2015 at 3:35 pm

    For those waiting on PD letters – you will get a letter either way. If you don’t hear anything by Monday, you are either supposed to call OAE and they will email the letter to the address on file or show up (with proper ID) and they will provide you with a copy.

  • 774. secondchance  |  May 5, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    @Still waiting
    I really wonder if that letter came from CPS downtown or Northside directly. I am sure the schools already know.
    Also I keep checking my email.

  • 775. Dolphin  |  May 5, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    It may just be where the mail comes first, so don’t use cheap shots. We got ours- in to Whitney! Phew!

  • 776. secondchance  |  May 5, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    Congrats, Dolphin!
    Did it come from CPS or Whitney? Im curious, Did you get an email also?

  • 777. Dolphin  |  May 5, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    Snail mail. I don’t think they use email. Maybe to prolong the 7 week mess even more.

  • 778. Sheri  |  May 5, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    Great news Dolphin! My grand daughter is also going to Whitney!

  • 779. rogers park  |  May 5, 2015 at 5:24 pm

    Was hoping for Lane, but will end up at Amundsen IB. Still good.

  • 780. secondchance  |  May 5, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    @rogers park
    Thanks for posting and I agree, still in a great school.
    I am grateful to know this process is almost over for everyone. These kids graduate in a few weeks.
    Thank you to everyone who has posted. I was feeling so alone.

  • 781. rogers park  |  May 6, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    Letters have been coming this week, some earlier this week, some today. From both the school and CPS. I hope you get yours today!

  • 782. secondchance  |  May 6, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    We got our letter! My child was accepted into Lane today and thank you for all your support and prayers!

  • 783. rogers park  |  May 6, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    SO happy for you! You seemed so very stressed. Breathe deep and celebrate. Sorry for those of us who didn’t get a spot, but we should be happy for those that did.

  • 784. Still waiting  |  May 6, 2015 at 2:14 pm

    @secondchance Congrats! Was it CPS letter and what zip code.

  • 785. mom2  |  May 6, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    rogers park, I hear wonderful things about Amundsen IB. Could turn out to be the best thing ever!

  • 786. 19th ward mom  |  May 6, 2015 at 2:42 pm

    @secondchance CONGRATULATIONS!! I am soo excited for you and your child. Glad everything worked out.

  • 787. rogers park  |  May 6, 2015 at 2:49 pm

    Got ours earlier in the week. Zip 60646. CPS and school letter.

  • 788. secondchance  |  May 6, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    Thanks! It was both a welcome letter from school and the cps letter, 60630.
    This was the only school my child applied to in the beginning and missed the original cut minimally, from a B.
    We didn’t expect today’s news and thank you again for everyone’s support and congratulations. Good luck to everyone still waiting. My fingers crossed for you all

  • 789. Still Waiting  |  May 6, 2015 at 7:00 pm

    Our last name begins with “P” and our zip is 60647. We haven’t received notice yet. For anyone who has received their PD responses, either from CPS or the school, where are you in the alpha? Are there many others out there like us who have not received notification yet? One student we know received a call on Monday letting them know they were in at Jones. Anyone else receive calls? Thanks in advance for sharing…

  • 790. Threeboysgrowing  |  May 6, 2015 at 8:37 pm

    I received my PD letter today as well. We got accepted into Walter Payton and will be declining a seat at Jones. I was very surprised and didn’t think we had a chance with the PD process considering what I have heard. That goes to show not to believe nothing you hear and it won’t hurt to try.

  • 791. west rogers park mom  |  May 7, 2015 at 10:09 am

    Congrats to those who were admitted through principal discretion. Do you mind sharing generally what your application consisted of? How close you were to initial cut off score? And where you ranked the school? It will be helpful to those going through the process next year.

  • 792. Threeboysgrowing  |  May 7, 2015 at 7:51 pm

    @west rogers park mom,
    I really can’t say what it was we did but I would love to share this information with everyone. The first thing I would like to say is don’t be afraid to try. When I was at the downtown office, I saw a lot of people turning in PD applications inches thick. Our application was only seven pages. We submitted three references, very strong and from the teachers that believed in my child the most. I made sure it was on the official school letter head (as requested by application), and submitted a personal statement. As much as I wanted to add my two cents in the statement, I realized I speak from experiences of an adult and my child speak from experiences of a child. With that being said, I did not touch his personal statement and let him express himself from his words. His test scores were very strong as well so maybe that helped too. So basically we kept it short and sweet and too the point. I figured if the principle saw a thick application, that would force him to scan through the application and possibly miss some important details, especially after reading through hundreds or maybe even thousands of applications. As far as school goes, we ranked the school first. I remember being so discouraged by the PD applications that were being submitted, I almost didn’t want to submit ours. I don’t want to disclose how many points we missed it by because I really don’t want anyone to be discouraged. I want everyone to believe and try just as we did and got accepted. Give it a chance because it really works and we are by no means connected to anyone but God himself.

  • 793. Chicago School GPS  |  May 11, 2015 at 12:02 pm

    CPS’s End of Year Citywide Options application has opened: http://www.cpsoae.org/apps/news/show_news.jsp?REC_ID=355553&id=0

    They are accepting applications to 24 high schools like Ogden IB & Senn IB. Applications are due (can be scanned and emailed) by 5PM on May 22. Families will be notified by mail the week of June 2.

    They do ask that if you submitted an application to a school on the list earlier, you don’t have to reapply now. But if you missed applying to one of the listed schools, you can do so now. For the IB schools, you will be invited to an info session if you haven’t done one already.

  • 794. Test Scores  |  May 11, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    Plan offered to relieve overcrowding at Taft: build a new school South of the current boundaries, only if TIF district extended:


  • 795. 90210  |  May 11, 2015 at 6:21 pm

    Question to the parents of incoming WY freshmen: do you know what time math placement starts on May 16th?

  • 796. Chicago School GPS  |  May 12, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    The 2015 US News rankings for Illinois High schools are out: http://www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools/illinois?int=9abb08

    Chicago has 6 of the top 10 in Illinois:
    1. Northside
    2. Payton
    3. Jones
    4. Young
    6. Lane
    10. Lincoln Park

    As always, rankings should be taken with a grain of salt and high school fit involves much more than school rankings.

  • 797. Jeff L  |  May 12, 2015 at 8:46 pm

    Thanks to Chicago School GPS link, we can see how Chicago schools rank nationwide:

    Chicago Schools in Top 50:
    Northside #15

    Chicago Schools below Top 50:
    Payton #66
    Jones #99
    Young #115
    Lane #217
    Lincoln Park #363

    At least Northside ranks well. Good job, Northsiders!!!

  • 798. 8th grade mom  |  June 30, 2015 at 4:55 pm

    Does anyone have any info on what the SEHS entrance exam is like? I saw a link to a sample test, but it’s a few years old. I see books online about Catholic HS entrance exams, and wonder if it is similar? And if my student did well already on MAP, any point in prepping for this? I’ve heard the test is easier than MAP.

  • 799. Sandy  |  July 11, 2015 at 7:46 am

    ” Does anyone have any info on what the SEHS entrance exam is like? ”

    In my opinion, based on our kids feedback, the SEHS is easier than MAP or HSPT (Catholic school) and significantly easier than the private school tests (ISEE, SSAT).

    If you child has prepped for any of the other high school tests, they should be ok on SEHS. Of course, additional prep can never hurt. We prepped for all of them, but SEHS the least (and did best on the SEHS – but that may be more due to testing population differences than test difficultly).

    Best of luck!

  • 800. momof3fish  |  July 11, 2015 at 8:48 pm

    I cant remember if this was ever asked… but can a student who goes to a SEHS transfer to another SEHS or is he stuck. I’m debating over three schools it’s kind of based on a sport.

  • 801. North Center Mom  |  July 12, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    @800, it can be done and it has been done. There are absolutely no guarantees that it will be done (you must apply and be accepted). You haven’t specified your sport-related problem. But if you haven’t already, you may want to contact the Athletic Director to see if there is a solution to your problem.

  • 802. Kate  |  July 14, 2015 at 11:54 am

    Sorry Mom2 for not getting back to you, and thank you IEP teachers and principal for responding. I had grants due and had to disappear. That information was helpful.

    My son did get into 13 schools afterall and we decided on Lincoln Park since there were so many electives and he could operate above grade level where he was able to but did not have to be in advanced classes in subjects where his weaknesses are (IEP), so we are looking forward to the school. It will be a hard transition regardless as anything new is, but apparently LPHS is near 6 different bakeries and sweet shops so something to look forward too.

    Many kids (from our school) only applied to 1 or 2 schools, and didnt get in, and now parents are sending kids to private schools that cost more than our State Universities. I did not have that option so we had to find programs that worked even if they were two hours away. We found despite some rundown buildings, every school he was accepted to had really diverse student body and the teachers we met seemed really awesome. We applied to 23 schools by the end of it.

    We are unhappy with state of Illinois for continuing to not solve problems which goes well beyond political party boundaries given that we had democrat and republican jailed under Ryan and Blago, and *over 200 more individuals* investigated but not enough to convict or seize their assets according to govt friends of mine in law enforcement. many people run unopposed and we have such a corrupt system as a result, even though it is better than when I was a kid (oh I could tell stories of bribes I know people did) for sure. So much money misappropriated.

    Sad for my son, grim times ahead.

  • 803. Payton Cuts Teachers  |  July 24, 2015 at 8:55 am

    Walter Payton Prep Officials Vote to Cut Teachers in Face of Tighter Budget


    NEAR NORTH SIDE — Walter Payton College Prep is set to cut the equivalent of nearly five fulltime teachers next school year in the face of more budget cuts delivered by Chicago Public Schools.

    The local school council (LSC) governing the prestigious selective-enrollment high school at 1034 N. Wells St. on Thursday unanimously approved the cuts, which would save nearly $435,000 but increase class sizes.

    The decision arrived a little more than a week after CPS told Payton to lop about $362,000 off its budget for next school year. Payton, which is regarded among the best public high schools in the state, will maintain its enrollment at 902 students.

    Payton’s LSC voted to get rid of one assistant principal, one math teacher, and a special education instructor whose removal had already been decided by CPS.

    The approved plan also calls to reduce or eliminate courses in the science, social studies, English, and music departments to arrive at the equivalent of 4.8 fulltime teachers cut. Teachers are paid based on how many courses they teach, with three courses equivalent to half a fulltime position.

    Payton Principal Tim Devine said he had a “very good idea” which teachers would be impacted by the cuts, but did not disclose names. He lamented that in the past four years Payton had already cut many staff and courses, giving Payton what he called the “leanest administration” for a standalone high school in Chicago’s school district. He also admitted the continued financial malaise of CPS, which faces a $1.1 billion budget deficit, has impacted his own family.

    “The No. 1 debate in my household is ‘should we send my 8th grader to a CPS high school,'” Devine said, adding he will.

    The school is also prepared to slash funds for drama, substitute teachers, and ACT prep for students who qualify for free and reduced lunch. The LSC granted the Friends of Payton booster club permission to start its fundraising campaign earlier than usual in an effort to supplement some of those cuts.

    “We have to cross our fingers that our teachers don’t come down with the flu this year,” Devine said.

    Devine did offer one glimmer of hope: an appeal he is attempting to schedule with CPS in an effort to recoup some funds. But a meeting has yet to be set, and Devine admitted he’ll be forced to move on with the cuts the LSC approved if nothing is scheduled by the end of Tuesday. Classes resume Sept. 8.

    “Time is short,” he said.

    A CPS spokesman did not immediately return a message left late Thursday.

  • 805. Jen K  |  July 30, 2015 at 4:11 pm


    This was just posted on DNAinfo although it may not actually be accurate. Lane Tech info doesn’t match with the post above indicating diff start times for AC/HS. WY shows 9-12. Possibly incorrect for LPHS….

  • 806. west rogers park mom  |  July 30, 2015 at 4:21 pm

    This is a recipe for failure. CPS really thinks a bus can finish a 2:45 route in time to get to a high school around 4:00 pm? ? The elem kids affected will get to school way to early and the high school (and AC) kids who have to take the bus will be consistently late because the busses won’t arrive on time.

  • 807. SoLoMo  |  August 27, 2015 at 1:29 am

    Help! Friend of my daughter’s hates her new (private) high school. She barely missed getting into Lane Tech, is very sharp, but did not know NWEA testing in 8th grade was so important coming from a private school. Hence the low test scores. I promised I would look into options, but it seems the SEHS that she’d qualify for (Tier 1) are not an option since they don’t accept transfers into 9th grade. Is that the same for IB? She missed the end-of-year applications in May obviously. Any help or suggestions of decent schools appreciated. She lives in Humboldt Park.

  • 808. CpsNo  |  August 27, 2015 at 8:55 am

    807 Hates the school that probably began last week. Give it more time before rush to transfer.

  • 809. Sally  |  August 27, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    “is very sharp, but did not know NWEA testing in 8th grade was so important coming from a private school. Hence the low test scores.”

    Not sure why not thinking a test is important would cause a worse score. In fact she should have been more relaxed and scored better without the pressure.

    She is probably just overwhelmed with a new school. She should give it time. Or look at another private school which may be more flexible on admissions than a SEHS. Worse case, she puts up with it for a year then transfers if she is still not happy.

  • 810. 19th ward mom  |  September 14, 2015 at 9:13 am

    Just for future reference. We got an email this morning from Disney II HS, with an offer for a 9th grade spot. We were number 564 on their waiting list. I am astounded that it got down that far, but for someone in future years, I hope this information is helpful.

    We will also be declining the spot. We are happy with where we are at.

  • 811. mom2  |  September 14, 2015 at 9:41 am

    That’s great to know. Thank you, 19th ward mom.

  • 812. Jen K  |  September 14, 2015 at 10:06 am

    @810 I think what happens in 8th grade is that counselors recommend applying everywhere, including D2, whether it’s geographically realistic or not. Just my option based on a few conversations I’ve had with others.

  • 813. worried mama  |  September 17, 2015 at 9:16 am

    What do folks here know about the Von Steuben Scholars Program and the Lane Tech Alpha Stem program? My son has the scores to get into Payton or Northside, but the Science programs there don’t seem as strong. Looking at the curriculum of Lane and Von Steuben, they seem to be very strong in science.

  • 814. Mommie_23  |  September 22, 2015 at 2:54 pm

    Has anyone used a lower tier address of a family member on applications to highschool? I’m really temped to, my child’s score with NWEA and final grades together was not the best she would have to score really high on the SEHS to get into one of the good schools!

  • 815. Mommie_23  |  September 22, 2015 at 2:56 pm

    Oh and are 504 students selected the same as IEP applicants or no?

  • 816. mom2  |  September 22, 2015 at 3:21 pm

    Just to build on @815 – How are IEP applicants selected? I know how they qualify to take the test, but not how they are selected after that.

  • 817. lawmom  |  September 22, 2015 at 5:19 pm

    @815 and 816 — no, 504 students are not selected the same as IEP students. With IEP students there is some discretion. By law, each school must have a certain percentage of students that receive special services. Some of these slots will be filled by “severe and profound or physically challenged students. If your child has an IEP, there are still taken on the basis of their scores, but qualifying scores can be less than the tier cut off. Oftentimes, IEP students are recommended to a high school, or high school special ed personnel reach out to contacts at “feeder” schools to look for good prospects. They want to make sure the child can do the work and not be a behavioral problem.

    If there is a certain school you have in mind, I suggest contacting talking with your child’s current case manager to see if they have contacts within the high school. If not, contact the potential high school’s case manager and make an appointment. Based on your child’s scores and demeanor, they may take him/her.

    @814, what you are suggesting would be considered as fraud. If found out, your child will be expelled from the school and further legal action may be taken against you. Have people done it? Probably, but it is not the sort of practice that should be encouraged or coached.

  • 818. mom2  |  September 23, 2015 at 9:12 am

    Thank you, Lawmom.

  • 819. Momof3  |  December 4, 2015 at 9:09 pm

    My daughter just received her score and I don’t know how to show it to her, she will be so disappointed. She is a straight A student actually named student of the month today to top it off her score was a 693 Tier 1. Does she have any chances? and do you I giver her the letter or act like it never arrived

  • 820. Chicago School GPS  |  December 4, 2015 at 10:26 pm

    @819- she has a decent shot at Lane, and certainly at Westinghouse, Lindblom, Hancock, etc.

    These are last year’s cutoffs but it is an indicator of what to expect more or less for this year, especially with 100 new seats at Payton spreading the distribution around:


  • 821. cpsobsessed  |  December 4, 2015 at 10:28 pm

    Aw, that is such a tough one. I think you need to let her know perhaps early in the weekend so she has time to mull it over before school Monday. Its one test that clearly isn’t measuring how well she can do in school and how hard she works.

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