SEHS Principal Discretion 2016

May 9, 2016 at 7:21 pm 79 comments

Breakfast Club

PD letters are due to be mailed this Friday, May 13.

As a reminder, each SEHS principal can allocate 5% of their seat based on their discretion, using whatever criteria they like.

A student can apply to only one school for PD.  These supporting documents are not required, but recommended as part of the application:

  • A personal statement, written by the applicant, no more than 1,000 words
  • Up to three letters of recommendation
  • Copies of recent awards, achievements and honors

Below is the number of Principal Discretion seats at each Selective Enrollment school:

Lane: 58
Young: 22
Jones: 18
Lindblom: 16
Northside: 14
Brooks: 12
Payton: 12
Westinghouse: 10
King: 9
Hancock: 5
South Shore: 3

We’ve had very few readers report that their child got in via PD. One who did said that she allowed the child to write the essay themselves.  Anecdotally, I believe some of the school seem to give priority to siblings.  WY is always rumored to prioritize kids good at sports.  Rumor also has it that it helps to have listed the school first on your list.  I don’t know if principals actually have access to this information (I doubt it) but it probably sounds good in an essay.

Please share any information you have about students who gotten a spot via PD.  Thanks and good luck!

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

SEHS Admission by Tier 2016 Wahoo! 7th grade is over!

79 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Can't stand the wait  |  May 9, 2016 at 7:41 pm

    Do you know how many kids applied at each school?

  • 2. Marketing Mom  |  May 9, 2016 at 9:03 pm

    Following

  • 3. Chicago School GPS  |  May 9, 2016 at 9:28 pm

    Hilarious principal pic, CPSO! No one makes a coming of age movie like John Hughes!

    And to add to the info above, students who apply for PD must apply under certain “criteria”:

    “In order to apply for Principal Discretion, you must identify the criteria under which you will be applying. Keep in mind that you will have to provide support for the criteria you choose. You may choose one or more of the following criteria:
     Unique Skills or Abilities. This category requires evidence of the applicant’s skill or ability in one or more extracurricular activities, including, but not limited to, visual and performing arts, athletics, school clubs, language skills or other particular skills or abilities that would enhance the learning environment at the Selective Enrollment High School.
     Activities Demonstrating Social Responsibility. This category requires evidence that the applicant has demonstrated a consistent commitment to social concerns, special interests or civic activities, including work experience and charitable or community service work, either in school or outside of school. Activities in this area may include demonstrated family and/or community responsibilities, awards for leadership or service work, civic or neighborhood projects, peer support or mentoring or evidence of leadership or other socially responsible positions held in an organization.
     Extenuating Circumstances. This category requires evidence that the applicant’s grades or standardized test scores are not a true representation of academic ability (for example, documented recent personal family crisis; death in family during period when GPA dropped).
     Demonstrated Ability to Overcome Hardship. This category requires evidence that the applicant can do well academically at the Selective Enrollment High School based on the applicant’s demonstrated drive and ambition to overcome hardship (for example, single-parent family dependent on documented public assistance).”

  • 4. cpsobsessed  |  May 9, 2016 at 11:27 pm

    Great info. Thank you.

  • 5. stories to tell  |  May 10, 2016 at 9:27 am

    hi, awaiting answer, does anyone know if concurrent e-mail notice sent out as well?? very spotty mail service in 60622 zip code

  • 6. NWSMomof4  |  May 10, 2016 at 11:54 am

    A friend’s son got into Lane Tech last year via PD. Lane was his first choice. He is a dedicated musician and that was one of his great strengths.

  • 7. Paytonmom  |  May 10, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    @stories to tell, I believe they will only send an email if you have not received your letter by May 19th. After that time, you can go to the OAE office downtown to pick up a copy or they will email you then but not before.

    I have a student who applied for PD to Lane and it was her first choice. She tried out of cheer last week and made the team. There is a meeting today and they asking for $50 to attend a camp so I emailed OAE and they wouldn’t share any information. So we’ll pay the $50 and hope that she’ll be accepted. I think emailing would save a lot on money but that’s my opinion.

  • 8. stories to tell  |  May 10, 2016 at 10:19 pm

    thanks, the 19th seems very far far away!!!
    I would love if cps sent email for timeliness and reliability,
    good luck to your student, hope she gets one of the 58 spots 😉

  • 9. first time HS application  |  May 11, 2016 at 9:50 am

    Do any of the SEHS make offers in a 2nd round? I know schools “over offer” knowing some students will decline, but what happens if more decline than expected? Do the extra seats go to Principal discretion?

  • 10. North Center Mom  |  May 11, 2016 at 4:57 pm

    I don’t believe there has been a second round since at least 2012.

  • 11. Momof3fish  |  May 11, 2016 at 11:37 pm

    Good luck all. I remember when my child did the PD and the letter came. We were crying like crazy people with our mail person… lol. Sometimes I read his letter and tear up because it was so well written and it really gave me an insight as to how his mind worked.

  • 12. Paytonmom  |  May 12, 2016 at 12:31 am

    @Momof3fish, what year and what school?

  • 13. Momof3fish  |  May 13, 2016 at 7:56 pm

    2011 Lane
    Straight A student but testing was all over the place

  • 14. Paytonmom  |  May 16, 2016 at 2:12 pm

    Has anyone received letters today regarding PD?

  • 15. stories to tell  |  May 16, 2016 at 3:31 pm

    not yet in 60622

  • 16. stories to tell  |  May 16, 2016 at 3:48 pm

    think we’ll be in tears either way, good luck to everyone

  • 17. Paytonmom  |  May 16, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    We received the letter (60639), she didn’t receive an offer. She will attend Lincoln Park in the fall. I guess it wasn’t meant to be. Good Luck to everyone.

  • 18. NWW20  |  May 16, 2016 at 5:26 pm

    I personally know a Tier 4 eighth grader who received an offer to Lane via Principal discretion. Grades and test scores are nowhere near the Tier 4 (or Tier 3) cut-off. The child meets none of the criteria in #3 above. Two other siblings currently attend Lane, so I assume the decision was made based on siblings and parental involvement.

  • 19. WishesEveryonetheBest  |  May 16, 2016 at 5:33 pm

    @Paytonmom – Good luck at Lincoln Park, we declined due to distance, we will be going to a private high school.

    @NWW20 – I think of lot of the PD selections are based on a sibling or siblings being at the school — which is unfair in a way, but all in life is not fair. Best of luck to child, hope it’s a great fit for them and they are successful.

  • 20. Paytonmom  |  May 16, 2016 at 5:36 pm

    Thank you for the kind words

  • 21. Cpsmomtoo  |  May 17, 2016 at 6:43 am

    @WishesEveryonetheBest not true because my son was declined at Northside inspite of having a sibling there. 99%ile test scores, very strong teacher recommendations, several awards and certificates, but all B’s in high school level honors classes at Academic Center. We had high hopes.

  • 22. happymom  |  May 17, 2016 at 8:06 am

    My son received an offer for Lane. No siblings. Missed cutoff by 30 points from tier 3. Good luck to everyone.

  • 23. Cindy  |  May 17, 2016 at 11:44 am

    My daughter got an offer from Jones. Tier 4. She is an all A student, did well on NWEAs and on 3 out of the 4 sections of the selective enrollment test. She missed the Tier 4 cutoff by 10 points. Her essay, recommendations and involvement in TONS of activities were exceptional. We were not confident and feel lucky! My other child in at LPIB and we would be happy at either place.

  • 24. Maybe  |  May 17, 2016 at 1:16 pm

    I think the PD offers are frequently made to students who can contribute something specific to the school, so it might be a good idea to take up the trombone or viola, or excel at a particular unsung sport or language.

  • 25. WishesEveryonetheBest  |  May 17, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    @cpsmomto – sorry, to hear about your son and I wish him the best, he appears to be a very bright young man. At NSP, academic achievement appears to outweigh other factors, whereas other SEHSs look at the overall student, etc.

  • 26. NCPparent  |  May 17, 2016 at 1:58 pm

    I would definitely disagree with the comment above. NCP has plenty of academically- achieving students. They are extremely welcoming to kids with “other” skills. Moreover, I know of plenty of cases where kids got in on PD because of music/ theatrical talent or social justice commitments.

  • 27. WishesEveryonetheBest  |  May 17, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    @NCPparent – you sound like you are offended, please don’t be. It was just an opinion based on research of NSCP and its academic achieving environment. I’m sure NSCP is welcoming of all students and its student body reflects all around diversity.

  • 28. NCP parent  |  May 17, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    @Wishes: Oh not at all!! I would never be offended by an online comment, lol, even if it was offensive (which yours was NOT). I’m sorry if I came across harshly, I meant to say that they have enough high functioning academic kids and they actually love the quirky outliers also. In any case, it seems that one can’t generalize about PD success stories. Everyone should just do their best, learn trombone, study hard, learn trombone, volunteer in a homeless shelter, learn trombone and possibly zither, and they’ll be fine! 😉

  • 29. gotNCP  |  May 18, 2016 at 12:01 am

    Got PD for Northside. Score near tier 4, has numerous academic awards, lots of extracurricular activities and ;lots of volunteer to the community (none at shelters), plays more than one instrument (none trombone though), no sibs, no sports, strong letters of recommendations, and straight A’s from academic center. We were also very unsure but feel very fortunate.

  • 30. cpsobsessed  |  May 18, 2016 at 9:30 am

    @29, Congrats! Can I ask (since people inquire every year) — was your child’s essay about accomplishments and their fit at the school? Or did it have a more personal angle to it?

  • 31. gotNCP  |  May 18, 2016 at 2:20 pm

    That is a great question! My son’s essay was both about accomplishments and his fit at the school should he be selected. It had a personal angle to it. I think it has to have an personal angle because otherwise, one would be listing things items without reflection of these items.

    The essay was originally well over 1000 words and so had to be cut which was difficult; but I guess he selected wisely. Before the writing began, we talked about why NCP would select a particular student and came to the same conclusion that certain areas needed to be emphasized on why the school would want him but word it differently. Word it like this is what I have done and the school can help me build on them… It was difficult to not show off and yet be humble. About 1/2 of the essay was about his growth in music (switching teachers and what that means) and using his music for the community (volunteering). His musical background and volunteering were backed up with recommendations from his private music teacher and head of the volunteer organization. One paragraph was about his academic success in taking the most rigorous courses offered and what that means to him. Overall, his essay had less emphasis on academic success because I believe principals (don’t quote me on this) would have access to transcripts??? I assumed they can see what CPS sees. He wrote more of a personal drive towards a goal and how NCP would help him achieve this goal. He won several awards for academic completions which were backed up with photos attached to the application. Whatever was submitted was supported with either recommendations or photos if mentioned in the essay.

    Another thing we did was to research the background of the principal. NCP’s principal has an English major. I threw a thesaurus at him and told him to select his words wisely and to add whatever writing style to persuade him to be selected in a creative way. Too bad, she didn’t have a music degree in a previous life. 🙂

    Looking back, he truly dreaded the process of writing this but it was rewarding to see his own accomplishments on paper. The materials that were gathered will be stored somewhere and probably re-appear for college applications and hopefully more can be added as years move on… Good Luck everyone!!! I hope this helps…

  • 32. cpsobsessed  |  May 18, 2016 at 2:35 pm

    Thank you for the information. He sounds like an amazing kid! That fits with what I’ve read about college essays: sound interesting, unique, passionate, and focused. I think my son could write a kick-ass essay like that if he were applying to Minecraft High School. 🙂

    Congrats again. That is an awesome parenting moment.

  • 33. gotNCP  |  May 18, 2016 at 6:34 pm

    Thank you, cpsobsessed, for this blog. I’ve followed it here and there and especially when selective enrollment testing results come by mail. It is a very difficult process emotionally for the kids and parents. I found your blog very helpful and glad I can chime in with our experience through this process to maybe help others. Fortunately, it all worked out well for us. I have not told many people of his acceptance and would rather him tell his friends and news will go by word of mouth. It really is his news to tell people.

    Another thing I heard and unsure if there is any truth to it is to rank your first choice first and do the principal discretion with that first choice. I am told that principals may not like that you are applying for their school and it wasn’t ranked first. I wished I knew a principal to ask this of but I don’t….

    We also tested early like in November and I knew his score before ranking. I knew it may not make the cut. We dreaded the ranking process but did decide on Northside first.

    I am told if your kid swims (as they have a strong swim team) that it would help. Something like football nor baseball would not help.
    Unfortunately, my kid is the most non-athletic kid there is… So, I worried as we applied. He had nothing sport related…..

    Fortunately, we didn’t have family hardship. So, the only two categories he could write about were the unique skill/ability and activities demonstrating social responsibility.

  • 34. WishesEveryonetheBest  |  May 19, 2016 at 12:51 pm

    Did anyone receive PD for WY?

  • 35. GoingCatholic  |  May 22, 2016 at 8:30 am

    Hi, my daughter did not make PD for Payton. It was her first choice. She missed the Tier 4 cutoff by 7 points. Very involved in drama, music, service and sports. Her letters of recommendation brought tears to my eyes. She wrote the essay herself, about her accomplishments to date and what she wanted to do at Payton to grow her interests etc. and how she could contribute to the school. My husband and I cut her 1600 word essay to 1000, without losing (what we thought was) important content, and in doing so, changed some of her writing style, I’m sure. Maybe it turned out to be “too manufactured”, who knows. (My husband and I are consultants.) ….. I would find it hard to believe that principals are selecting siblings just because they are siblings. However, if the family has made a significant contribution to the school – through volunteering and the like, I could see a principal’s predilection to favor a sibling. Or, in the same vein, if the older sibling has helped to create a positive environment at the school.

  • 36. Help a Mom  |  May 22, 2016 at 8:55 pm

    Does anyone know of a better option than Lake View for high school in the Roscoe Village area? My son didn’t get accepted into Lane and we can’t afford DePaul. We just moved to the area last year and heard Lake View was supposed to been safer place and the academics were supposed to be getting better but now I find out from a another parent there’s been several arrests there lately, a student was shot a after school, and thugs are selling drugs all over the place. I can’t see things to improve there with the proposed 25% cuts next fall. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. How is Amundsen?

  • 37. Marketing Mom  |  May 22, 2016 at 9:10 pm

    Sorry your son did not get into Lane. Three kids were just robbed at gunpoint the other day there. I don’t think there is really a completely safe school anywhere. My nephew just told me the other day about all of the drug problems at Payton. I have heard good things lately about Lakeview, it may not be perfect but it is improving. You should try to go for a visit and see for yourself.

  • 38. Help a Mom  |  May 22, 2016 at 9:57 pm

    Shooting at Lake View:

    http://www.cwbchicago.com/2016/04/lake-view-student-targeted-in-after.html

  • 39. Paytonmom  |  May 22, 2016 at 11:13 pm

    @Marketingmom, your nephew is right. My daughter a junior and they have major drug issues going on. Kids are selling and doing drugs big time.

    Sorry your son wasn’t accepted into Lane. My daughter was not accepted either. I heard
    Some great things about Amundsen. I would check it out for sure.

  • 40. every block site  |  May 23, 2016 at 5:59 am

    I’m not sure what’s happening at Lake View.

    You can see what’s going on there by going to sites like Every Block. It does seem Lake View had a high number of student arrests lately. The arrests for this school were made at 4000 N. Ashland Ave. on this site

    http://chicago.everyblock.com/streets/chicago/ashland-ave/4000-4098n/?only=crime

  • 41. GoingCatholic  |  May 23, 2016 at 10:06 am

    @Help a Mom – Have you looked into scholarships or financial help at DePaul? Worth an ask. Also have heard that Amundsen is making strides.

  • 42. stories to tell  |  May 23, 2016 at 11:13 am

    Alcott near Wellington & Hoyne has lottery, very nice, smaller high school; asst principal very lovely & caring, led personal tour;

    Lakeview seemed friendly at open house, security guard/agony aunt very sweet, art room was great, real photography darkroom on premises, principal had a lot of get up & go;

    liked Amundsen as well;

    not in Roscoe Village, but also check out Holy Trinity in Wicker Park, I liked the open house very much, plus scholarship at 90% if student gets 90% or better on admission test there;

    other threads have more info/impressions

  • 43. Vikingmom  |  May 25, 2016 at 12:06 pm

    @36 I urge you to visit Lakeview HS and not base your decision on what someone said. I myself have a daughter graduating from Amundsen and another kid who will start his freshman year there this fall. It’s been a wonderful experience.
    For more info on both schools and the efforts being made to promote these two excellent options you should check out the Grow Community Chicago website.
    Best of luck!!

  • 44. ittakesavillage  |  May 25, 2016 at 12:37 pm

    if I was in your situation i would definitely visit and give Amundsen a try vs. Lakeview. I have never heard anything good about Lakeview and i always notice police cars there. i think they have a police officer onsite :/
    Give Amundsen a visit and talk to the principal.

  • 45. cpsobsessed  |  May 25, 2016 at 2:20 pm

    FYI, all CPS high schools (even the SEHS) have a police car on site, as far as I believe. Some park out front, some have the car park out of the way. So I wouldn’t judge on the presence of a car.

  • 46. factsstraight  |  May 25, 2016 at 3:08 pm

    @45 I called a few schools and the CPS office and your statement is not accurate. NOT all CPS HS have a police car onsite.
    I would try Amundsen over Lakeview.

  • 47. cpsobsessed  |  May 25, 2016 at 3:34 pm

    I confirmed with a Jones teacher that they have cops assigned to the building. So using that logic…

  • 48. mom2  |  May 26, 2016 at 10:16 am

    Agree with Vikingmom. I’ve heard only positive things about Lakeview and Amundsen over the last few years. We know people that have graduated from Lakeview and loved it. They felt safe and they said the school was small with a very warm feeling – like their slogan about “home.” The teachers were very helpful and the students really cared about each other. They’ve had students graduate and go on to all sorts of universities from UIUC to Princeton.

    With kids being robbed at gun point next to Lane at 3:30 in the afternoon, I doubt you can find any school that is 100% without incidents near the school over the course of a year. I wish we could, though. I for one am glad that there are police outside of all the schools. I know I saw them at Lane all the time when my other kid went there (not too long ago) and my kid felt very safe there.

  • 49. Amundsen  |  May 26, 2016 at 11:56 am

    The everyblock link is very telling..says all you need to know about Lakeview. Do not do away with simple logic because others say ” Oh it’s not so bad..” Yes there will always be incidents, but I implore you to listen to your gut. If it feels off, it usually is. Try Amundsen.

  • 50. Chris  |  May 26, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    “The everyblock link is very telling..says all you need to know about Lakeview.”

    If you looked at everyblock postings as “all you need to know about” the WHOLE CITY, we’d all have to run away to live someplace else.

  • 52. cpsobsessed  |  May 26, 2016 at 11:21 pm

    The Everyblock link could also indicate that Lake View is more on top of discipline and takes student issues seriously. No high schools (even SEHS) are without issues, but some schools enforce rules more than others do, specifically so that they can address problems to make the place better for everyone.

    Talk to people at the school and *then* trust your (own) gut.

    I’m not saying there is or isn’t problems at Lake View. I don’t have close enough knowledge of the school. But as I get closer to contemplating it as an option, I’ll be sure to get a range of input.

  • 53. mom2  |  May 27, 2016 at 7:49 am

    To counter a few negative posts – https://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20160526/lakeview/lake-view-seniors-soar-as-stem-school-sheds-last-resort-reputation

    If 86% of seniors are going to college and that’s basically before the real push and change we’ve seen with the school, I can only imagine what the stats will be for the Freshman class. Sounds like a lot of suburban schools. Great job. Keep up the progress.

  • 54. cpsobsessed  |  May 27, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    Thank you for sharing. I spent more time on EveryBlock… it can be a huge time suck. I think looking up crime by block can be a bit like looking for predators in your neighborhood. Scarily, they are all over the place.

    I saw crimes reported for several top schools. Lake View may have a bit more right now.. but who knows — it could be the same kid who hits the same kid once a week. I think every school I looked at had a drug arrest in 2016.

    I know the principal at Amundsen has zero tolerance for drugs. So if the school has more drug reports to the police, (not saying it does) does that mean the school has a “problem?” Or the admin is taking a tough stance on the issue that happens everywhere?

    Just mulling it over more…

    I have hung around at Amundsen several times (was just there this week for my son’s play practice) and HS kids were still there… good vibes, friendly kids.) I overheard someone use a swear word and I pointed out that elem kids were nearby and he apologized (for his girlfriend.. a very generous guy) 🙂

    I haven’t had the chance to be around Lake View so if anyone has actual insight from being at the school or via families there, please share.

  • 55. cpsobsessed  |  May 27, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    One other principal discretion story to report:

    Friends of ours had a son get into Lane via PD.
    He has 2 school activities, 1 academic, 1 student gov.
    No sports or other special activities/interests.
    No siblings in the school

    But his mom says he is a very good writer and had a really good, heartfelt, personal essay.

  • 56. cpsobsessed  |  May 27, 2016 at 11:37 pm

    ***I’ve taken down the comments about Lake View by the person who kept posting extremely negative opinions. The two sources they included were posts seen elsewhere online that sounded very similar in nature. So I suspect they had written those posts themselves and then are presenting them here as other sources.

    Please share any objective information about the school if you have knowledge of the school (or any other high schools.)

  • 57. cpsobsessed  |  June 3, 2016 at 11:36 am

    Well, in an interesting turn of events, I just heard that Grens is leaving Lake View high school for an elementary school in Lincolnwood. Can’t say I blame the guy. Job as CPS principal has got to be a labor of love at this point and not worth the stress.

  • 58. mom2  |  June 3, 2016 at 12:38 pm

    Sad to hear about Grens. I sure hope they find someone good with marketing (because so much is marketing) and continuing the positive trends at Lakeview. The principal at Amundsen is the perfect example of the type of person they need. She’s great.

  • 59. cpsobsessed  |  June 3, 2016 at 1:04 pm

    totally agree.
    I am having some frustration with the Amundsen situation because I still feel like seems to have the “I’ll do it only if a bunch of other people are doing it” mentality at the school (similar to how the elems worked when they drew the gentrified parents (for lack of a better word.) It seems so much harder to make that tipping point happen.

  • 60. mom2  |  June 3, 2016 at 1:20 pm

    I agree. I’m thinking the only way to get others to jump on the bandwagon is to take away SEHS spots so people have no other choice (but it could make people just move) or add very selective programs (not just “STEM” or “IB”) into those schools (so others can brag about their kids getting in). Or do something radical like combining Lane, Lakeview and Amundsen into one school with three buildings and maybe Lakeview and Amundsen are for Freshman and then Sophomore-Seniors go to the Lane campus (and allow neighborhood attendance). Still trying to think outside the box.

    I thought Lakeview received all sorts of money for an honors program. I’ve heard nothing about it since I saw the article that said they were adding one.

  • 61. cpsobsessed  |  June 3, 2016 at 1:46 pm

    Yes, Mom2, I think you are spot on. We all want our kids to feel like they are in something selective. CPS version of everyone getting a trophy. 🙂

    I was wondering about the honors program at LVHS as well. I’ll be curious to see what happens over there now.

  • 62. @cpsobsessed  |  June 4, 2016 at 6:48 am

    Is this true about Grens leaving LVHS? Where did you get the information from?

  • 63. @mom2  |  June 8, 2016 at 11:39 am

    mom2, do you really think that the success of SEHS is only a function of better funding? A big part of this success is the quality of students that attend those schools. Many suburbans schools have much better funding then SEHS, but do not create a desirable environment for gifted students.

  • 64. Mia L.  |  June 8, 2016 at 12:02 pm

    Funding is a part, though not the entire part. They types of students schools accept is probably an equal factor. However, having worked at a CPS low performing school where we had no books, computers and a library that was only open 2 times a week, I can see why the SEHS I am at provides a much richer program.

    Just a thought, the flight of principals may have something to do with their own children needing to attend school.

  • 65. mom2  |  June 8, 2016 at 3:12 pm

    @63 – You asked, “do you really think that the success of SEHS is only a function of better funding?” – I actually think funding has very little to do with the success of SEHS. I think for most parents, especially on this forum, the success of a SEHS is dependent on the students that they admit to start off. The “best” schools are those that admit the students that score best on tests (ISAT, MAP, SE) and have the best grades in middle school. Reason, the school is judged on how many kids test well on the ACT or SAT and how many go on to the select universities. Look back and you will see that those kids are nearly always the ones that had the best test scores and grades before they even got to the SEHS.
    I only mentioned funding because Lake View said they were going to use these newly gained funds to start an honors program (apparently they need these funds) which will in turn allow them to select the better students to come to their school and make the school look better to parents on forums like this (because test scores will go up).

  • 66. Marra  |  September 6, 2016 at 6:06 pm

    What academic awards do they mean? Like straight A’s, attendance? I really hope if I don’t make it to the school I want to go to I get PD. Someone who got PD into Northside, can you tell me how much you missed the tier cutoff by, and what you put as your awards, services, and what you do to get it? Thank you so much.

  • 67. cpsobsessed  |  September 6, 2016 at 11:16 pm

    @67 Marra – I believe there aren’t specific academic achievements that principals might be looking for. It could be anything that demonstrates academic success, passion, and effort. A combination of those would be particularly compelling.

    for instance doing well in a math or science competition shows intelligence, participation, and sometimes teamwork — all admirable traits.

    Straight As are good, but in the top schools there are probably many kids with all As who missed testing cutoffs. You likely need something more unique to help get a principal’s attention. they also like to see that you have something to offer the school.

    Good writing skills for your essay and a unique or compelling angle can help there. Was there something else in your life you’re passionate about that you could write about?

  • 68. Unknown  |  September 9, 2016 at 5:23 pm

    Hi! I was wondering, when the SEHS schools calculate your map scores from 7th grade, do they look at the 8th grade percentiles or 7th grade? I’m worried because usually I do good on the map test, i got a high score last winter, but in that spring of 7th grade something happened and I went down 7 points. I was fasting and I am diabetic so that was likely the problem why. Would that work on PD? I’m just worried that the percentiles will be 8th grade percentiles instead of 7th, even though I took the test in 7th grade.

  • 69. Random  |  October 7, 2016 at 4:49 pm

    @gotNCP do you know what your son’s overall score was when he had to apply for PD to Northside and what tier he’s in?

  • 70. 70  |  October 7, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    Did anyone’s child get PD for Northside?

  • 71. Karin  |  March 18, 2017 at 6:56 pm

    just read the comments about a big drug problem at Payton. how serious is the drug problem? my daughter will start next year at Payton. many kids doing and selling ? or a few? hear the same about Whitney Young? how about Jones?

  • 72. Marketing Mom  |  March 18, 2017 at 7:27 pm

    Drugs and alcohol are commonplace at most SEHS and private high schools. My son is a freshman at a jesuit high school and early in the school year they brought in Rosecrans to hold a mandatory session for parents and students on drugs and alcohol. That really woke me up to how bad the situation is. My son regularly sees kids doing drugs in the locker room and kids being sent home for being intoxicated. Many of these kids are under a tremendous amount of stress with their classes and hours of homework, lack of sleep, puberty, teenage woes and trying to fit in to a new environment. Drugs are readily available for “smart” kids because they have access to them and the means to purchase them. Also their parents allow them more freedom. It’s a problem nobody likes to talk about. I pray every day that my son makes the right decisions.

  • 73. Parent  |  March 19, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    Any parent /child who selected private high school over SEHS – do you have any regrets? Would you rather select SEHS if you could go back? Debating here….

  • 74. luveurope  |  March 20, 2017 at 2:46 pm

    73 Son went to private HS. After CPS grammar school we were unwilling to send him to an environment that could collapse at any moment; monetary problems, striking teachers, etc. Yes, we paid tuition but that was ok. Got into a great university and had lots of college credit from hs. Never regretted the decision.

  • 75. TAMMY  |  March 20, 2017 at 10:53 pm

    Principle Discretion going into affect for Northside.

  • 76. ICM  |  March 22, 2017 at 7:31 pm

    if my sons PD letter is 1,105 words, will they not consider it?

  • 77. momof3fish  |  March 22, 2017 at 9:29 pm

    i think he should follow the rules. my son had to take out a lot to get to the target words. it was hard because he had a lot to say

  • 78. cpsobsessed  |  March 23, 2017 at 1:36 pm

    Probably unlikely someone will count the words, but with that as the guideline I’d aim to keep it within the parameters or you run the risk of it looking TL/DR and turning someone off.

  • 79. SLParent  |  March 23, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    @73 – Son got into first choice SEHS, but was drawn to the smaller class sizes and “freedoms” (no metal detectors, no id badges, open lunch, etc) that the private schools offered. A few years later, we have no regrets.

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