Wahoo! 7th grade is over!

June 21, 2016 at 11:17 pm 34 comments


Just a brief moment of celebration that the long-awaited, stressful, angsty year of seventh grade is over for us.   Gaaaaahhhhhh it feels gooooood!

No more parent portal!  No more bugging about homework!  Time to cancel the IXL.com subscription!

My kid learned the art of getting done what he needed to jussst keep the 90% for grade.  I suppose that is a valuable life skill.

MAP testing was literally within the final few days of school, interspersed with a Springfield field trip, class parties, and slumber party.  We survived.  Time to relax.

It was an interesting year, walking a balance of hovering over the grades and test scores and letting him navigate it himself.  We found a balance with me given “gentle reminders” and pointing out the current progress of grades.

Test prep was the 1 day TestaPalooza class, as I couldn’t rally commitment for a weekly class.

Ultimately the goal was to give him options.  We have Amundsen as our neighborhood school, a 2 minute walk away.  So that’s an option.  Exploring performing arts programs.  Lots of kids talk about Lane.  It’s hard to override the middle school talk about certain schools.  I feel there’s still a tipping point that is waiting to happen to get the kids on board for the neighborhood high schools.  I hope that point is very near.

OK, time for more wine.  It’s been a long journey.  Thanks to those of you who’ve been on it with me.  We’ll see what happens next year…


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SEHS Principal Discretion 2016 Academic Center Admission by Tier

34 Comments Add your own

  • 1. NearNorthMom  |  June 22, 2016 at 6:58 am

    Insightful post, your reference to following your journey and not just focusing on the destination is to me is what the CPSO blog is all about. Once we make it only about the destination that’s when we lose sight of what’s most important for our families and that’s access and direction to lots of good school choice, Thank you for staying with it through it all. My Best.

  • 2. Chicago School GPS  |  June 22, 2016 at 7:28 am

    Congratulations, CPSO!!!!! Drink up, relax, and EXHALE because surviving the parent side of the 7th grade journey is NOT a small feat! We learn a lot about ourselves and our kids through that year and it can be sobering, enlightening, nerve-wrecking and affirming, but it’s always worth celebrating making it through! Congrats to you and your now 8th grader!

  • 3. genxatmidlife  |  June 22, 2016 at 8:05 am

    I can’t help but wonder what role the Lego character in your photo is playing. Perhaps he is a sort of lucky charm for 7th-grade grade & test prep torture or an offering to the SE gods? He has a weapon. Perhaps he’s warding off bad test-taking karma or OAE acceptance letter snafus?

    Congrats – right there with you! We’ll see what next spring brings.

  • 4. northpk  |  June 22, 2016 at 8:46 am

    Congrats CPSO- You deserve to celebrate! I have been following this blog and have learned a great deal from you and all the parents with ‘big’ kids. Ours are in 4th,2nd,KG so we’ll be here cheering for those kids applying to HS in the near future 🙂 Have a great summer.

  • 5. Fam  |  June 22, 2016 at 10:25 am

    Yep, 7th grade is in the bag. Now there’s only the funding/lack of budget to obsess about. 🙂

  • 6. Northlander  |  June 22, 2016 at 10:59 am

    7th was a gas…now you have to worry about the sophomore jinx and cumulative finals. My boy is having a great time at Jones,,,as is evidenced by the plethora of C’s he brought home after finals.

  • 7. ariel4reading  |  June 22, 2016 at 11:03 am

    Gotta let them stumble and say grrrr….

  • 8. IB/IB mom (formerly IB and AC mom)  |  June 22, 2016 at 11:25 am

    I am glad 7th is over, though I didn’t have the stress that I had 4 years ago with my other daughter. Each child is so different. Which is good because I could focus on the college search with the older one who will be a senior this year. Though, I am wondering how to convert her NWEA scores into percentages. Does anyone know? The only conversion charts I found are from 2005 or something and I think it gets updated, but I am not sure.

  • 9. mom2  |  June 22, 2016 at 11:30 am

    Congrats on the A’s. Did he do well on MAP too? That must be a relief. I’m conflicted in wanting everyone on this blog to get into the schools of their choice and wanting a few to fail so they can go to the neighborhood high schools and post about how wonderful they really are. Oh, well. Let’s all enjoy the summer and obsess about if/when school will start, teachers strikes, pensions we can’t afford, moving out of state, etc. It should be a fun summer. So looking forward to not having to obsess about homework or the portal for a while.

    Enjoy everyone!

  • 10. HSObsessed  |  June 22, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    Congrats on surviving 7th and rocking the grades, to you both. Hey, getting the results needed with j-u-s-t the minimum effort needed is a good life skill, in my book! Happy summer!

  • 11. IB/IB mom (formerly IB and AC mom)  |  June 22, 2016 at 1:46 pm

    Question on IXL.com, when you have a membership can you access any grade level? I might sign up for the summer instead of buying workbooks to bridge the summer gap and avoid the brain drain. All though that is always my intention and then I close my eyes and summer is over.

  • 12. cpsobsessed  |  June 22, 2016 at 3:42 pm

    @IB/IB mom – yes, you can access any grade level (which becomes a little overwhelming. There is almost too much.

    What I did was have him take the 1 day Testapalooza class and it shows you which type of questions you missed so I then had him do some practicing in those areas. (When I say “practice” I mean like 5 minutes a day. So it barely made a dent.)

    Their math teacher apparently did some pretty intensive math practice leading up to the test (she did it begrudgingly, told the class he hates ‘teaching to the test’ but…) To me spending time practicing math is never a bad thing so I’m okay with it.

    He did get scores that *should* allow for entry into Lane (assuming cutoffs don’t skyrocket.) So there are options.

    I too kind of wish there weren’t the options and everyone from the feeders schools would go to Amundsen.

    I can see how for a kid going through the stress of 7th grade makes you (perhaps unnaturally) feel like you want a spot at an SEHS. It would be hard to turn it down after all that work.

    Unless you are rebel like HSObsessed’s kid. 🙂

  • 13. cpsobsessed  |  June 22, 2016 at 3:51 pm

    “My boy is having a great time at Jones,,,as is evidenced by the plethora of C’s he brought home after finals.”

    Hahaha… sounds like my first semester at college 🙂

  • 14. cpsobsessed  |  June 22, 2016 at 3:55 pm

    @genxatmidlife (great name btw.)
    The Lego sort of captured this weird age of 7th graders obsessing about grades and test scores, yet still being little kids in some ways.

    Age 13 is an interesting one.

  • 15. cpsobsessed  |  June 22, 2016 at 3:56 pm

    Also I think his expression and sword-wielding is how I felt all year!!

  • 16. harry potter  |  June 22, 2016 at 4:50 pm


  • 17. AC  |  June 22, 2016 at 11:28 pm

    Yes, hear ya’ Jones!!! Suddenly my straight A student has turned into a straight C student with the exception of Creative Writing! Wow! Honors class A!!!! Yeah! He is exceptionally gifted now in the art of socializing with HS students and being popular with the girls! Geez—for HS he needs to repair his unweighted GPA! No one tells you about the damage you can do to your GPA at an AC…sigh***

  • 18. Vikingmom  |  June 23, 2016 at 10:03 am

    Congrats CPSO! Now you can realllllly enjoy summer. And thanks for the mention that you are considering Amundsen. We just watched our daughter graduate from AHS last week (surprisingly I did not cry). It was a great ceremony. I really cannot believe that four years went by so quickly. She had such a great time there, studied hard, played sports, had a great group of friends, really felt that she belonged to the school. She is a bit wistful that the group will be breaking up, heading off to different colleges, but that’s life…Now I will have the pleasure of watching my son start at Amundsen as a freshman this fall. I know that some of his friends who attend one of the feeder schools will be joining him without worries. I am so glad to have first hand knowledge of this hidden gem as to feel great about sending my second (and last) kid there. I really encourage anyone who may have this school remotely on your radar to give it a closer look. So many opportunities there to have a great hs experience and be well-prepared for college.

  • 19. 19thwardmom  |  June 23, 2016 at 11:20 am

    @6 Northlander

    Your boy must have been socializing with my girl during AC Lab at Jones. I don’t even want to discuss the grades she brought home this year. Just barely made it to Sophomore year.

    I am soo torn between wanting to micromanage her and letting her figure this out in her own way with me just supporting and encouraging from the side. We all want the IVY leagues/competitive college for our precious darlings, and it is hard accepting that maybe your child is not cut off for that path. I micromanaged 7th grade to get her in Jones, so I am thinking, I might need to be hands off and let her find her own path in life that maybe fits her better.

    I have also wondered this year, if she would have better grades at a normal HS vs a selective enrollment HS. But she loves Jones, and wouldn’t hear of transferring elsewhere. *sigh*

  • 20. Newcomer  |  June 27, 2016 at 9:46 am

    Those of you fretting about offspring’s grades, don’t forget that Princeton, among others, doesn’t look at freshman year grades. There is still time to clean up their act!

  • 21. Le M  |  June 27, 2016 at 7:19 pm

    You’re going to need a bigger glass.

    Best of luck.

  • 22. College Mom  |  June 27, 2016 at 7:24 pm

    What about Sophomore year? 🙂

    If that’s the worst year (rebellion and peer socialization are in full throttle, they are just getting warmed up freshman year) could be negative not including freshman year.

    Don’t panic. It will work itself out. All classes are honors….it does make a difference.

  • 23. Momof3fish  |  June 28, 2016 at 6:31 am

    Not everyone need to go ivy. Look at Scott Walker. He didn’t finish college and he’s a governor. Just saying…

  • 24. luveurope  |  June 28, 2016 at 8:19 am

    micromanaging kids should be over by 7th grade unless you want them to be totaly dependent and living in your basement at 40…just sayin.

  • 25. Chris  |  June 28, 2016 at 10:39 am

    ” Look at Scott Walker. He didn’t finish college”

    Neither did Steve Jobs or Bill Gates or Larry Ellison. Or Michael Jordan.

    So, just so long as you are truly exceptional in one way or another, then dropping out of college will end up with you being famous and successful.

  • 26. Northlander  |  June 28, 2016 at 4:11 pm

    Once i saw my sons report card and realized that AP classes are weighted differently; i relaxed…a little. Thanks College Mom…no experience like experience.

    My fun having son can relax …somewhat. I bused tables at 16 too. Have a great summer!

  • 27. 8th & 6th & counting  |  July 8, 2016 at 10:28 am

    I’m a little late to join in but glad to be through 7th as well–although still have the entrance test on the horizon. My son has gotten the impression that it is “easy” from his classmates and the 8th graders who took it this year. Hope that is accurate. Since he earned the grades and did well on MAP, he wants to start looking at Jones and NSP. Prior to all this, Lane was his goal school. I think this will make for a busy fall with lots open houses and discussions so maybe we can relax at winter break?

    To @Vikingmom and others, I have been advocating Amundsen for him and to him. I think it is a great school that, like several of the local elementary schools, will all of sudden be a great school in the eyes of most. Unfortunately as CPSO observed, it difficult to overcome the chatter of classmates over what the “best” school is.

  • 28. Chicago School GPS  |  August 2, 2016 at 11:02 am

    CPSOAE finally has something out about non-CPS students taking the NWEA MAP test this fall: https://gallery.mailchimp.com/cc11be7ef66b704a306449bdb/files/Announcement_Flyer_about_NWEA_MAP_testing_for_non_CPS_students.pdf

    This is for students interested in applying to 5th-9th grade for next year who do not currently attend CPS.

  • 29. genxatmidlife  |  August 2, 2016 at 11:32 am

    Website doesn’t appear to have be updated yet. Will keep checking.

  • 31. genxatmidlife  |  August 2, 2016 at 11:58 am

    @Chicago School GPS — many thanks!

  • 32. Vikingmom  |  August 4, 2016 at 12:29 pm

    @27 I am glad to hear that your son is a good candidate for SEHS — but also very glad to hear you advocate for Amundsen. Honestly, I believe that every conversation like this that takes place has a cumulative effect. You are absolutely right about the chatter, from the kids, parents, and elementary school teachers and others; however, I sense a sea change in the perception of Amundsen over the past four years. My son will start as a freshman in the regular/gen ed program along with some of his close friends who attended one of the GROWCommunity feeder schools. This choice would have been unheard of in years past.

  • 33. mom2  |  August 5, 2016 at 9:37 am

    So glad people are going to or at least considering Amundsen and Lake View HS! Now, with those schools in the “safe” neighborhoods, we need the city to do something about the increase in crime in these neighborhoods. They finally get the schools on track and then they let the crime infiltrate the safe places. We were feeling great about our school choices and now I’m back to wanting to move :(.

  • 34. genxatmidlife  |  August 5, 2016 at 5:13 pm

    Did everyone see the focus groups that are taking place next week for Amundsen and Lakeview? It was in Ald. Pawar’s e-newsletter today.

    As for Amundsen, my incoming eighth-grader has been giving everyone who asks positive reports about our visit there last fall and the news she hears about the school. She has told me that she has heard classmates speaking positively about the school. Though there are still some who have negative perceptions, she thinks there has been a big change in attitude this past year.

    We live close to the school and are very interested in hearing about continued developments. I’ve got to say that the caliber and stability of the leadership at Amundsen is reassuring when other good schools haven’t been able to achieve the same consistency. So keep talking, Vikingmom!

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