High School Applications and Open Houses Fall 2016

September 18, 2016 at 2:16 pm 327 comments


Open house dates for SEHS schools have been posted below.  I’m working on adding other high schools and links to the list.  Feel free to let me know of any updates and I can add them here.


 Jones College Prep High School (SEHS)
606 S. State St.
SAT October 15, 2016 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
(last group admitted at 3 p.m.)

Whitney M. Young Magnet High School (SEHS)
211 S. Laflin St.
SUN October 16, 2016 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Hancock College Prep High School (SEHS)
4034 W. 56th St.
SUN October 23, 2016 9 a.m. to 12 noon

King College Prep High School (SEHS)
4445 S. Drexel Blvd.
SAT October 29, 2016 9 a.m. to 12 noon

Lane Tech High School (SEHS)
2501 W. Addison St.
SUN October 30, 2016 12 noon to 3 p.m.

Payton College Prep High School (SEHS)
1034 N. Wells Ave.
SAT November 5, 2016 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Westinghouse College Prep High School (SEHS)
3223 W. Franklin Blvd.
SAT November 5, 2016 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Lindblom Math & Science Academy (SEHS)
6130 S. Wolcott St.
SAT November 5, 2016 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Northside College Prep High School (SEHS)
5501 N. Kedzie Ave.
SUN November 6, 2016 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Brooks College Prep High School (SEHS)
250 E. 111th St.
SAT November 12, 2016 12 noon to 3 p.m.

South Shore International High School (SEHS) Not yet scheduled
1955 E. 75th St.



IB information sessions
List of IB programs here:



Magnet High Schools (High Schools with Magnet Programs follow)

Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences
3857 W. 111th St.

Clark Academic Preparatory High School
5101 W. Harrison St.

Curie Metropolitan High School
4959 S. Archer Ave.

Disney II High School
3900 N. Lawndale Ave.

RTC Medical Prep
2245 W. Jackson Blvd.

Von Steuben Metropolitan Science Center
5039 N. Kimball Ave.
Saturday, Nov 5, 2016 8 am Scholars Presentation& tour 10 & 11 am Magnet Science presentation and tour


Magnet Programs

Engineering – Harlan Community Academy High School
9652 S. Michigan Ave.

Lincoln Park High School
(“Magnet” programs include Performing Arts, Double Honors) – these programs have their own applications on the school web site
OPEN HOUSE SUN Oct 23 2:00 pm.
Simultaneous presentations on the 3 Magnet Programs at 2:45, 3:30, 4:15 (Perf Arts, Double Honors, IB)



Chi Arts (Chicago High School for the Arts) – apply online at the school site starting Oct 1
2714 W Augusta Blvd
Open houses, must reserve a spot: www.chiarts.org/apply/ backstage_pass/ . These workshops are encouraged but not required for audition. Oct 15, Nov 5, Dec 10

Fine and Performing Arts – Senn High School – apply via CPS as a Magnet school, then register via Senn for an audition
5900 N. Glenwood Ave.
Students can apply to BOTH IB and Fine Arts at Senn but will be accepted into oney ONE program

Lincoln Park performing arts program
2001 N. Orchard St.


Amundsen 5110 N Damen Ave Saturday, Nov 5, 2016 10am-1pm IB info session 10-11 am in the auditorium

Lake View 4015 N Ashland Ave  Saturday, Oct 29 2016 9am-12pm



Entry filed under: Applying to schools, High school, Uncategorized. Tags: , , , , , .

Hidden Gems High School Fair Fall 2016 Fall 2016: Applying to Academic Centers and Intl Gifted Program

327 Comments Add your own

  • 1. genxatmidlife  |  September 18, 2016 at 4:33 pm

    Am I correct that in order to apply to IB programs you have to attend an IB session?

  • 2. Marketing Mom  |  September 18, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    What about charter high school open houses?

  • 3. Chicago School GPS  |  September 18, 2016 at 5:30 pm

    Super helpful, CPSO! I am trying to keep up by adding them to our CSG Calendar so folks can see them in calendar form: http://www.chischoolgps.com/Calendar.php

    @1- in the past, the IB info sessions have been required for all IB applicants. From CPSOAE.org’s last year’s info:
    Information Sessions
    All eligible students are required to attend an Information Session at one of four sites: Amundsen, Bronzeville, Curie, and Taft. Students must attend only ONE session, even if they are applying to more than one IB High School. Students who apply using the online application process can schedule their own sessions students applying with a paper application will have their session scheduled by OAE and will be notified by mail

  • 4. cpsobsessed  |  September 18, 2016 at 6:11 pm

    That is correct. You just have to attend one session at any of the schools that are hosting an info session. (See post below from Chicago School GPS about the info sessions.)

  • 5. cpsobsessed  |  September 18, 2016 at 6:13 pm

    @marketing mom — I’ll Co tinge to build the list. Unfortunately charters don’t provide one nice concise list like they have for the SEHS schools. If anyone has, please post a link.

  • 6. cpsobsessed  |  September 18, 2016 at 7:18 pm

    Thanks very much CS GPS!

  • 7. Paul Powers  |  September 27, 2016 at 9:15 am

    You are cordially invited to attend the Jones College Prep Open House on Saturday, October 15, 2016, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm. This is a great opportunity to meet our teachers, students, and parents, tour our beautiful campus, and learn more about our outstanding programs. I look forward to seeing you then!

    P. Joseph Powers, Ph.D.

  • 8. Wayne Bevis (@W_Bevis)  |  September 27, 2016 at 7:29 pm

    I hope everyone visits Lindblom’s open house. You’ll have the opportunity to learn from our students why Lindblom provides amazing opportunities and great outcomes. I and the rest of the Lindblom staff will also be there to answer your questions. The High School open house is Nov. 5 from 2-4pm and our Academic Center open house is 11am – 1pm.

    Wayne Bevis

  • 9. cpsobsessed  |  September 28, 2016 at 8:31 am

    Thank you both for posting!

  • 10. tess  |  September 29, 2016 at 10:33 am

    hi, does anyone have information/opinions/experience regarding the Noble schools & their open houses? thank you in advance.

  • 11. Melizabeth Santos  |  September 30, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    Lake View High School, Chicago’s Premier Neighborhood School, welcomes all families to our Open House on Saturday, October 29, 2016 from 9am-12pm. We want to tell you more about our Early College and STEM Programs as well as the many opportunities to engage in student interests through extracurricular sports and clubs. Our teachers and student representatives will be available to answer questions. We look forward to meeting you!

    Melizabeth Santos
    Director of Community and Student Affairs

  • 12. mom2  |  September 30, 2016 at 4:40 pm

    @11 – Thank you for posting. We loved the open house at Lake View last year. We really liked the photography projects in the art room, the jazz band, meeting the sports teams (the kids were all so nice and smart) and learning about all the technology and Microsoft opportunities. The free t-shirts and water bottles were fun too 🙂

    We are looking forward to coming again to see what’s new.

  • 13. terriversace  |  October 1, 2016 at 11:52 am

    The old cpsoae.org site has been moved to actually live on the real CPS.edu site. Link is at bottom of this post.

    They have redone the point calculator tools a bit, and this it where you will find SEHS cut off scores from last year. Once you put in your scores, it tells you what you need on the enrollment test to most likely get into a highschool. it’s pretty cool. Put in your scores and the cutoff scores will show up.

    Here is Selective Enrollment point calcuator and cutoff scores:

    Here is SE rubric of how they score:


    For IB, they have the pdf rubric that shows how the breakdown works:


    And here is the home page that just went live:
    I hit apply to Ninth grade to find all this stuff I just wrote about.


  • 14. terriversace  |  October 1, 2016 at 11:59 am

    And from one of the powerpoints on the new site, discovered by a friend, regarding early notification:

    No Early SEHS Scores
    Last year: Students who took the Selective
    Enrollment exam in November could receive their scores before the application deadline.
    New this year: There will be no Selective Enrollment test in November. All students will receive their scores with the notification letter that they receive in March 2017.

  • 15. cpsobsessed  |  October 1, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    Interesting new section on CPSOAE site:

    CPS Selective Enrollment Myth Busting!


  • 16. Chicago School GPS  |  October 1, 2016 at 12:13 pm

    @CPSO- I love the mythbusters because they really are the common misconceptions and it applies to ES & HS admissions. They need to update it for this application season, though, but I think just that deadline date. The rest is still valid.

    They are also updating the CPS Tiers for this fall’s 2017-2018 applications and said the new ones should be released by Oct. 3. Tiers go up AND down, because ultimately there SHOULD be an equal number of school aged children in each tier. Always interesting to see what changes year to year.

  • 17. cpsobsessed  |  October 1, 2016 at 12:15 pm

    I assume long-time CPSO readers would have known the answers to all these “myths.”

  • 18. Chicago School GPS  |  October 1, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    This is what CPS said is “NEW for 2017-2018”:

     Students who apply online will be able to make online updates to their address and telephone number. (Paper applicants can contact the Office of Access and Enrollment for a paper Contact Information Modification Form.)
     Students who apply online can modify their school choices online by deleting their application and submitting a new one. (Paper applicants can contact the Office of Access and Enrollment for a paper Application Modification Form.)
     Students who apply online will receive their notification letters online. (Paper applicants will receive their notification letters via U.S. mail.)
     There will be no early testing or early scores provided to applicants for Selective Enrollment High Schools. Selective Enrollment testing will take place in December, January and February.
     The Office of Access and Enrollment website address will change to cps.edu/oae. If you type in cpsoae.org, it will redirect to the new site.

  • 19. cpsobsessed  |  October 1, 2016 at 12:19 pm

    Confirmed on the OAE site that if you apply online, your HS notification letter will be posted ONLINE. woo!
    If you apply with a paper application, they will be mailed.

  • 20. Marta633  |  October 2, 2016 at 5:32 pm

    I never received my PIN letter, lost in mail because I did get a notification that it was mailed last Monday. Did anyone had that happen to them?

  • 21. cpsobsessed  |  October 2, 2016 at 9:15 pm

    My understanding is that that PIN letters were passed out at school on Friday. My son was out sick so we didn’t get it.
    @Marta633 are you talking about for high school? Is your child currently in CPS?

  • 22. Melizabeth Santos  |  October 3, 2016 at 9:04 am

    So glad you enjoyed your visit! We look forward to seeing you again this year.

  • 23. JenFG  |  October 3, 2016 at 9:11 am

    We did not get PINs on Friday. Our CPS school said they were running late and expected them this week.

  • 24. cpsobsessed  |  October 3, 2016 at 10:30 am

    Thanks @Terri. CPS’s website is now light years ahead than it was when I started this blog. The new version is very good and helpful. So far only a few things I couldn’t intuitively located.

    I did also notice that the address for OAE is “garden level” at the CPS headquarters. I envision this team in a dank government basement somewhere making this all work. Gotta hand it to them. Hopefully my image is wrong! 🙂

  • 25. Chris  |  October 3, 2016 at 10:38 am

    ““garden level” at the CPS headquarters.”

    Did you ever go into the lower level at the State St Sears?

    That would be it.

  • 26. Elizabeth Thompson  |  October 3, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    Did anyone notice that on the CPS Point Calculator they have incorrect information for Whitney Young? If you enter your info for tier 4 it shows the cutoff as 886-874. It was actually 866-874 last year. It totally screws up the calculated points needed.

  • 27. IB/IB mom (formerly IB and AC mom)  |  October 3, 2016 at 4:09 pm

    I did notice the calculator was wrong and not just for Whitney. I am really trying to figure out how we will be ranking her choices. We are going to some of the open houses, but because I have been through it before I have an idea. She has a 580 going in and we are in tier 4 so our options are quite limited and really will depend on how she does on the entrance exam, but I don’t want to rule Jones or Whitney out. I also don’t want her to get her heart set on either as that happened with my older daughter. If scores are similar to last year she has to get a near perfect score for Jones or Whitney.

    Does anyone have the rubric as I am not finding it on the new OAE site, at least not without a 404 error? I really want to see the point scale for the entrance exam.

  • 28. elt  |  October 3, 2016 at 5:05 pm

    #27 what other errors did you see? At least for Tier 4 the other numbers appear correct. I have a pdf of the scoring rubric but can’t seem to paste it here.

  • 29. IB/IB mom (formerly IB and AC mom)  |  October 3, 2016 at 5:40 pm

    @ 28 I think I was looking at the wrong column in the cut off scores and thought Jones was wrong too.

  • 30. Chris  |  October 3, 2016 at 6:03 pm

    “Does anyone have the rubric as I am not finding it on the new OAE site, at least not without a 404 error?”

    This link should work:


    Each percentile point below 99 is a three point reduction on the scale, so 98 = 297; 90 = 273.

  • 31. cpsobsessed  |  October 3, 2016 at 8:52 pm

    That calculator tool is pretty cool.

  • 32. cpsobsessed  |  October 3, 2016 at 8:55 pm

    The Jones calculation looked correct to me (but they appear to have added a cushion for what’d you’d need) which makes sense given that the cutoffs can change from year to year.

  • 33. IB/IB mom (formerly IB and AC mom)  |  October 3, 2016 at 10:44 pm

    @30 Chris, Thank you so much. I really needed to get a realistic idea of where she may fall. I have a senior and an 8th grader so whenever I look at merit aid criteria for college I end up going full circle back to thinking about which high school will be the best fit and help her get into the college of her choice, etc.

  • 34. Jacque  |  October 3, 2016 at 10:47 pm

    Please, could anyone give me an idea as to what to ask/see at the high schools’ open house? What is the major difference between Payton, Northside, and Jones? Why Payton is ranked so high? What is on the selective enrollment exam?What is the difference of each date going to be at the selective enrollment test if you have it on December or February? Thank you, I am new to the process and I’m try to understand it.

  • 35. cpsobsessed  |  October 3, 2016 at 11:31 pm

    Test dates:
    Early – (Dec) get it out of the way, but child doesn’t have as much time to learn/prep. Depending on school mid Dec may be a busy time before holidays.
    Late (Feb) – kid has more time to learn, theoretically. But might be busy with school. Less time to wait for results. More time to prep (if prepping.)
    Jan – good compromise, but weather is often terrible.

    Overall, I’m looking at when my child will be less stressed with school work/activites + when the testing would fall based on test prep (if we were doing that, which we probably will not – unless it’s a short 1 day session.)

    If it’s up to me, I may push for the Dec date to get it out of the way and avoid snow in Jan/Feb.

  • 36. Chicago School GPS  |  October 4, 2016 at 9:03 am

    @34- When you go to an open house, teachers, students and parents from those schools are there for you and waiting for you to ask them questions. Take the time to visit the different academic, arts and sports departments, ask students about their daily schedules, ask parents about what they like about the school. Open houses can seem like dog and pony shows in some respects but at the same time, it’s a great opportunity to see a lot of the school in a short period of time. Sometimes a student tour guide can make or break an impression of a school, so be aware that some guides are more naturally adept than others at the job. Some schools have self-tours with opportunities to ask questions at different departments. Definitely hit the areas that are important to your child, and try not to see too many schools on one day or in a year. Spread your open house visits over a few years because a lot of the schools only have one per year, and some popular schools have open houses on the same day.

    These are some open house questions (from greatschools.org) that you could have in mind when you visit high schools:

    Does this school have a particular curriculum focus, such as STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) or the arts?
    What kind of emphasis does the school place on college preparation?
    Does the school have a good selection of Advanced Placement (AP) and honors classes?
    What percentage of students take the SAT or/and ACT?
    Where do students go after they graduate? How many attend four-year college? Are graduates prepared for college?
    Are counselors available to help students make important decisions about classes?
    Is college counseling and support available?
    Does the school offer a variety of career planning options for students who are not college bound?
    Does the school staff set high expectations for all students?
    Does the school have a tutoring programs so students can get extra help if they need it?
    How do students get to school? Is there a parking lot, and are buses (public or district-provided) available?
    Does this school have any school-to-work programs or specialized academies?
    What is the school drop-out rate?

    I always tell families that there is definitely a different “feel” to each school that can be apparent during an open house, a performance, a sporting event, etc. There is no “right” or “wrong” choice of school because what might appeal to one student may dissuade another.

    The schools you mentioned are all high performing so oftentimes the difference shakes out in facilities, location, extracurriculars. Both Northside and Jones don’t have football teams. Payton doesn’t have a pool, Northside is less centrally located but has a larger outdoor space, etc. It really comes down to what appeals to your student and your family.

    The selective enrollment exam has 4 sections: reading comprehension, grammar, vocabulary and math word problems. These are achievement based questions and count toward the point total. I think CPSOAE is adding a critical thinking component which does NOT count toward the point total so we’ll have to see where it does come into play in the future.

  • 37. IB/IB mom (formerly IB and AC mom)  |  October 4, 2016 at 9:40 am

    @34 when I did the open house circuit a few years ago, my main and sometimes only question was how much homework do you get? At some open houses students and parents are walking around as you stand in a very long line to get in. Make the most of that timing ask them how they like the school (of course they are going to like or love it), but you can ask them if they have friends at other selective enrollment or other schools and what the differences are. Many of your administration type questions should be addressed in the open house presentations. I take notes! A big one I look for is how much scholarship money the school is getting. There are smaller schools getting more money than slightly larger schools that are almost neck and neck. I assume that is because they may have better college counseling.

  • 38. genxatmidlife  |  October 4, 2016 at 10:02 am

    @34 — Definitely spread your tours out over at least two years, especially if you are also working in privates.

    At the tours, I found myself noting things I wouldn’t have otherwise, such as how will the commute really shake out, what condition are the facilities in, what the kids say about homework, how early/late the kids stay — things you can’t find in written materials. The principal presentations give a hint to the kind of leadership at the school, and you do learn things you hadn’t realized, even if you’ve done really thorough research.

    We toured four schools last year when DD was in 7th grade. I came out of most of those schools with a different impression than I had before going in. Because we did those tours last year, we are more narrowed down this year and can really focus on the choices that best suit us.

  • 39. Chris  |  October 4, 2016 at 10:41 am

    ” Jones calculation looked correct to me (but they appear to have added a cushion for what’d you’d need)”

    I think that the “cushion” is that the “score needed” is a range from last years (tier) cutoff to last years (tier) median.

    I didn’t cross check, so that might be wrong, but that was my quick take.

  • 40. Marta633  |  October 5, 2016 at 7:41 pm

    Im a little bit confused about Jones. Is there are 2 ways to get in it? CTE and selective enrollment or its all in one? Is CTE is a lottery the same as some magnet schools or it need some kind of test? Not much information on their website either

  • 41. Jacque  |  October 5, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    @35, @36, @37, and @38
    Thank you so much for responding, your responses are very helpful and insightful.

  • 42. Paul Powers  |  October 6, 2016 at 8:04 am

    Jones has two applications, selective enrollment and CTE. CTE uses just the 7th grade grades and NWEA scores for the 75 seats available in the pre-law and pre-engineering programs.Preference for CTE is given to students living in the area bordered by Grand, Ashland, 26th/Archer, and the Lake. Students may apply through both selective enrollment and CTE.

    Joe Powers

  • 43. Parent  |  October 6, 2016 at 8:51 am

    Off topic here, but does anyone know what happens to PSAT scheduled to be taken on October 19th if there is a strike? Will juniors be allowed to take it at a later time. I am reading that it is offered only once a year…

  • 44. Isitreallyhappening  |  October 6, 2016 at 7:23 pm

    Wondering if anyone knows contingency plans for next weekend’s open houses in the event of a strike? Jones and Young are on the board.

  • 45. Vicki  |  October 7, 2016 at 6:02 am

    @43 CPS is making contingent plans with The College Board for another “official” day for PSAT for CPS students only. Details have not been released.

  • 46. JenFG  |  October 7, 2016 at 10:15 am

    @44. This is from the WY weekly newsletter:
    What will happen to Whitney Young’s prospective student Open House if there is a teacher strike?

    Open House will not happen on October 16, 2016 if there is a strike. However, if someone shows up to the school that did not get the notice it was cancelled due to a strike, administrators will be attendance to talk to perspective students and parents. An alternate date of Sunday, November 3, 2016 has been identified.

  • 47. JenFG  |  October 7, 2016 at 10:16 am

    Note that Nov. 3 isn’t a Sunday… so I assume they meant the 6th.

  • 48. cpsobsessed  |  October 7, 2016 at 11:42 am

    Hm, so I wonder if “there is a strike” means the full week before? Just the Friday before? I assume there will be updates during the week.

  • 49. genxatmidlife  |  October 7, 2016 at 5:21 pm

    Wondering if this has happened to anyone else. Just got an auto call from CPS and an email. They have changed one of my children’s MAP test locations for this Sunday. Got the auto call at 4:51 p.m. which meant that I was not able to reach anyone at the OAE. This is completely inconvenient because I have two testing, and both were originally at the same location. Now they are testing at the same time in two separate locations.

  • 50. genxatmidlife  |  October 7, 2016 at 6:10 pm

    Apparently it was a false alarm. Got a message about 90 minutes later putting it back in its original spot.

  • 51. cpsobsessed  |  October 11, 2016 at 9:40 pm

    I saw this from a parent on last year’s thread as I’m trying to decide what time to attend the Jones open house this Saturday. Plan is 11am (probably the same as 80% of other families.)

    From PantherParent last year:

    A word of advice from someone who has done this with two kids (and is going with a third this fall): Later is better. We’ve had good luck arriving for the last hour versus the first, especially at Jones and Lane.

    The one drawback is you may miss the last dog-and-pony show presentation and have to move right to a tour. But I’ve found the presentations to be very similar anyway. “We’re great. The students are great. The faculty is great. Everyone is great.”

    On the plus side, you may actually get to speak to the principal or assistant principal as their day is winding down and they are hanging around the auditorium,

  • 52. dchicago56  |  October 12, 2016 at 9:48 am

    what about Whitney young? can you show up at say 3pm even though it ends at 4pm and just tour the school? or do you have to go early and get a “slot” even if you don’t want to enter until later (trying to plan around some commitments)

  • 53. Daniel Wang  |  October 12, 2016 at 5:42 pm

    Hi! We have 2 apartments in different tier. Can I use the low tier one for the application? How CPS decide the tier for the application?

  • 54. WRP Mom  |  October 12, 2016 at 7:12 pm

    53 Daniel, you want to use the address that your child actually lives at. Using an alternate address in a lower tier if your child does not live there is considered tier fraud and if they catch you, your application would be thrown out. Not worth the risk IMO.

  • 55. Chicago School GPS  |  October 12, 2016 at 7:20 pm

    This is from the CPSOAE site regarding application fraud and which address to use: http://cps.edu/AccessAndEnrollment/Pages/OAE.aspx

    Application Fraud
    Applicants to the CPS Selective Enrollment schools participate in a highly competitive admissions process. In recent years, the Office of the Inspector General has investigated two types of fraud by families attempting to secure a Selective Enrollment seat: tier fraud and residency fraud.

    All families submitting applications for Selective Enrollment schools or programs should be aware that these actions will not be tolerated within the Chicago Public Schools system. Students found to have engaged in fraud in order to gain entrance to a Selective Enrollment school or program will be subject to removal from the school. In addition, any students found to have engaged in tier or residency fraud will be permanently banned from attending any Selective Enrollment school or program for the life of their enrollment in the Chicago Public Schools.

    Q. I share joint custody with my child’s mother/father. Whose address should I use?
    A. If you share joint custody and your child sleeps at night at only one residence the majority of the time, that is the child’s primary address, and that is the address that must be entered on the application. In cases of joint custody where a child’s residence is equally divided between two addresses, either address may be used. Note that the address of only ONE parent can be used; your child cannot be considered for schools by using more than one address, and your child cannot submit applications with different addresses. The address that is used for the application and selection process must be the same, single address. If your child submits applications with more than one address, he/she will be considered for the selection process using the address on the first application that is processed by the Office of Access and Enrollment

  • 56. Chicago School GPS  |  October 12, 2016 at 7:25 pm

    @52- most SEHS open houses are rolling presentations, so if you show up about an hour before the event ends, the lines should be shorter and you should have time to hear the presentation and then go on a brief tour.

    Some schools do have specific presentations at set times, like Lincoln Park HS and Von Steuben. Check the websites for more info.

    We have an open house calendar at http://www.chischoolgps.com/Calendar.php

  • 57. zhuzhou mom  |  October 14, 2016 at 12:15 pm

    @53, I just saw this. I have owned a rental property in a Tier 3 neighborhood for over 25 years, but we lived in a Tier 4 neighborhood when my daughter was in elementary school. At that time I did a lot of research and spoke with CPS, and they were adamant that using the rental address and representing it as the “place your child lays his or her head at night” is considered fraud. Also, I did not want my child to feel like her spot at an SE high school was obtained by circumventing the system. Ultimately she landed in her program of choice anyway, but it was frustrating at the time.

    On a side note, at the end of 8th grade I was so done with the CPS crisis I bought the first house we looked at in Morton Grove. It was a really tough move for me, but my daughter is loving Niles West High School. It is so weird to be in a school system where parents rarely complain (or even talk) about resources, budgets and strikes. d219, which includes Niles West, is also very strict about residency. The school sent an officer to my home, unannounced, to make sure we lived there. My daughter answered the door, plus he left with dog hair from my yellow lab all over his pants, so I think we passed the test with flying colors!

  • 58. Jennifer  |  October 14, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    CPSObsessed, you mentioned a 1-day test prep course. Do you know of any companies that offer that? That sounds about right for my eighth-grader. Thanks.

  • 59. Chicago School GPS  |  October 14, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    I know TestPrepChicago has a one day Test-a-palooza for a quick afternoon of brushing up on test taking skills.

    You can meet them with us at our upcoming Nov. 3 “Public & Private High School Admissions & Testing” seminar from 7-8:30pm at Chicago Academy for the Arts.

  • 60. cpsobsessed  |  October 14, 2016 at 11:37 pm

    Here is the 1 day (4 hour) prep class info:

    When my son attended the MAP version, there wasn’t any teaching, but rather they did a practice test. The instructor then followed up about a week later with details on which questions they missed and in which areas. We had the practice test so he could work on the questions he missed (and I looked up other example questions online.)

    So I’d say the 1 day session can give them familiarity with the type of test content they might expect, then any extra “prep” will happen at home if they are compelled to pursue it (or you are compelled to browbeat.)

  • 61. Jennifer  |  October 15, 2016 at 12:49 am

    Thank you for the info on the one-day prep! I’ll check it out.

  • 62. Paul Powers  |  October 15, 2016 at 7:54 am

    Jones College Prep’s Open House is today, October 15, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm. We hope to see you!

    Dr. Joe Powers

  • 63. cpsobsessed  |  October 15, 2016 at 8:57 am

    Thank you for the reminder. I’ll be there!

  • 64. Jones Open House  |  October 15, 2016 at 2:39 pm

    @CPS obsessed

    Any good information from Jones open house?

  • 65. cpsobsessed  |  October 15, 2016 at 6:27 pm

    Well, I loved Jones and so did my friend – so we’re both ready to pack up and move to the South Loop and shake up our lives. 🙂

    The line was oppressive. I’ve heard the stories but was somehow unprepared for the real-life size of the crowd circling the building. So in all we waiting like an hour to get in. The fun part is seeing all the parents/kids you’ve known over the years in one place. They should really turn it into a big kid party/cocktail party somehow.

    A nice teacher answered a lot of our questions in line. Stuff about testing into math and language, that all Freshman take physics, that after the basic freshman classes most classes are mixed grads, that Jrs and Srs can apply for open lunch. School is basically open until 9pm so students can hang out for clubs and sports.

    There were a lot of highly enthusiastic students working the line to answer questions and sell items to fundraise for their clubs. Sometimes I wish these schools would have a room of student introverts for other introverts to meet. I can’t tell if all the kids that attend SEHS are outgoing, well spoken, bubbly types or if they’re the ones who self select for the open house.

    Once inside, Dr. Powers gave a really nice talk that sounded very natural considering he gave the talk about 10 times in 1 day. I learned about block scheduling and their “study period” which allows students to study, “chill,” meet with teachers, whatever they need to optimize their school week — so that sounded good.

    We walked around and looked in some rooms and I forced our group to sit in on a sample math lesson, which was very engaging (inquiry-based math.) We didn’t have a lot of time to sit in on other classes. The new building is beautiful and the auditorium, art studies, tech labs, science labs all are enviable.

    So overall, a good visit and impressive school and staff as far as I met.

  • 66. David Gregg  |  October 17, 2016 at 11:01 am

    Rather than a single Open House, Senn (named a top 3 neighborhood school in Chicago with Kenwood and LPHS) is once again hosting multiple during-the-day tours. See our Magnet Arts, IB, and neighborhood Digital Journalism and STEM programs in action. The first 3 dates have already filled to capacity so sign up by clicking here:


    Additional winter dates will be published and open for registration before winter break. You can also contact me with any questions.

    Best wishes to all this application season!

    David Gregg
    IB Coordinator & Admissions Director
    Senn High School

  • 67. Ogden Parent too  |  October 17, 2016 at 6:00 pm

    Two Open Houses over the weekend, only able to make the Jones open house. I’m an alumni of Whitney Young, class of 82. Since the day my daughter was born I hoped she would be able to go to WY. Now that she has seen Jones, she is set on having it for her #1 pick. I liked Jones very much, love the block schedule, love the free period at the end of the day, love the law program, class offerings, swim team, etc. I dont like the Jones campus! I guess Im a traditonalist. I love the sprawling Whitney Young Campus. I love the seperate buildings for arts and phys.ed.and athletic field. Whitney Young just seems more student friendly. What are your thoughts?

  • 68. JenFG  |  October 18, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    @67–You wrote that your daughter is set on Jones since she has “seen” it. By that, did you mean that she fell in love with the new building? Or did she appreciate the scheduling, programming, etc., like you did? If the latter, then I’d give points to Jones. If the former, then I’d share what Dr. Kenner from WY said at Open House: “New gets old” and “it is what is going on inside the school that counts.”

    Too bad your daughter wasn’t able to see both! I was at WY’s as a volunteer. Here are some facts I remember: WY has the most AP offerings in CPS, it has readily available tutoring, it has the most National Merit semifinalists(?) at 19 in Chicagoland area, received almost $50 million in scholarships last year, has dual-credit programs with UIC and UofC. Kids are encouraged to work hard and be individuals. Dr. Kenner will write a college letter of recommendation for any senior who requests one. One student said it was a large school that offers individualized attention and education.

    I don’t know the feel of Jones, but as a WY alum, I’m sure you know what WY is very rah rah rah! But I’m charmed that they’ve had prep rallies not only for football and basketball but also for chess. 🙂

  • 69. IB/IB mom (formerly IB and AC mom)  |  October 18, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    @67, I agree with 68. I attended both open houses and if she likes the block scheduling, etc. Jones is definitely the way to go. They do a great job with scholarship money as well. I feel like they got $34 million, but with a smaller class graduating class I think so I have always felt Jones was strong there. Honestly, after the open houses, I think the one thing that I got out of it as the major difference is arts vs. athletics! The kids at Jones were very artsy with their productions, etc. The kids at Whitney are very competitive with everything and extremely strong in athletics. I think 2 girls on the volleyball team got full rides to NorthWestern. WY also had a student speak who got a 36 on his ACT. Students who spoke at both schools (1 at Jones and 3 at Whitney) where all so impressive and well spoken. As far as Principals go, you can’t go wrong with either. I have always liked Dr Powers and Dr. Kenner does really command and motivate an audience. I don’t think one school is better than the other, I think there are just small differences.

    Kids at both schools seemed very involved in extra circulars (like long lists of clubs that they either are in, created, are president of, etc). I did like the 1 block period of study/access to teachers that Jones has every other day, but I believe that both schools probably have really involved teachers that are accessible.

    Now being that you are an alum, if you want to push for WY I would suggest downloading SelectED to get a better idea of WY since you weren’t able to attend the open house. I watched it a while ago and because it is about the stress of getting into one of these SE schools and how hard it is I would suggest you watch it first. It is specifically about WY though and gives good insight into the school.

  • 70. cpsobsessed  |  October 18, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    @66 – David Greg – thanks so much for the info (and for the reminder.) I gotta get on that…

  • 71. cpsobsessed  |  October 18, 2016 at 5:12 pm

    @67: Ogden Parent – I think this is the difficulty of having 13 year olds pick a high school. It’s hard not to be impressed by shiny things. My kid was impressed with the cool stuff at Lane (3 D printers, music studios, hydroponics lab etc). Then he saw Jones an really liked the new building (we didn’t have time to see the “old” building there.)

    I tend to prefer big old imperfect sprawling buildings with charater like Lane and Amundsen. Amundsen’s campus is beautiful, connected to Winnemanc Park and has a lovely football field behind it that is really charming. It’s all within a highly residential neighborhood.

    But kids are so intrigued by nice new stuff. I recall a few years ago a friend took her daughter and friend on some tours and reported that the things that seemed to sway them were a friendly security guard and really nice lockers. :/

    I’m planning to make a list of the different offerings of each school so he can think about them more rationally.

  • 72. genxatmidlife  |  October 18, 2016 at 7:50 pm

    @71 cpsobsessed My DD prefers the old buildings — Amundsen and Lane — to the new. In fact, access to green space is one of her criteria for a high school.

  • 73. Too Many Kids  |  October 18, 2016 at 11:02 pm

    I attended Jones and WY open houses this weekend with my 8th grader and 6th grader and I must say that we all prefer Jones. The atmosphere seemed to be relaxed in comparison to WY. The presentation by Dr. Powers was to the point and without all the fanfare in comparison to WY, which, IMO, was over the top and too long. At Jones, we were able to walk through the school at our own pace and speak with the teachers and faculty. At WY, the guided tour seemed and bit rush, and left little time to speak with teachers individually. I understand that schools want to put their best foot forward, but sitting in a hot gym for an hour, to listen to how great you are, is a bit much. I would have rather spent that time checking out the school and speaking with teachers and students. Don’t get me wrong, I know WY is a great school, having attended in the mid ’90s, but I just believe that it’s not the school for my children. A little more substance and humility at the open house would have done wonders, IMO…

  • 74. cpsobsessed  |  October 18, 2016 at 11:11 pm

    I’m reading the info for the day of the SEHS test:
    It says to arrive 30-45 min early. Then I’m surprised it says “early arrivals may begin testing before the scheduled test time.”
    Is that right?

    •Plan to arrive at the test site 30-45 minutes before the time of your test.
    •The test is approximately 3 ½ hours long (unless you have an IEP/504 Plan that allows for extended time).
    •Students are assigned to test rooms as they arrive; early arrivals may begin testing before the scheduled test time.
    •Parents should be available for student pick-up from the test site between three to four hours after the scheduled test time.
    •Students who arrive late may not be allowed to take the examination.
    •Take two #2 pencils to the exam. No other materials will be allowed on your desk during the testing process (unless you have an IEP/504 Plan that allows for other materials).
    •No iPods/MP3 players, electronic organizers, personal digital assistants (PDAs), or other electronic devices are allowed in the testing room.
    •If you have a cell phone, it must be turned off at all times. If your cell phone rings during the examination period, you will be disqualified from testing and you will not be allowed to reschedule the test.

  • 75. cpsobsessed  |  October 18, 2016 at 11:13 pm

    @Genxatmidlife – cool, a kid after my own heart! I don’t even know the extent to which kids hang out in the grass at either of those schools, frankly. I’ll have to stroll over to Amundsen during dismissal time before it gets too cold. But I know the school utilizes the green space at times during the school year.

  • 76. JenFG  |  October 19, 2016 at 10:20 am

    I forgot to mention that I saw that WY was having a meeting about a potential future block schedule: http://wybeaconnews.org/3972/news/the-end-of-the-2015-2016-year-brings-changes-for-the-fall/
    ” “I’m going to advocate the same schedule for next year, I believe, for the most part, that students and staff members are happy with it,” [Kenner] said. “There are some additional considerations. There is a committee that is looking into a sort of hybrid block schedule for the following year, and so we’re going to look into all of that and make the best decision we can for our students.” ”

    I haven’t heard an update since. Nothing to pin one’s hopes on, but at least it is being discussed.

    I plan to attend the Hancock and Westinghouse Open Houses and will be able to provide feedback on those.

  • 77. SusMP  |  October 19, 2016 at 2:38 pm

    We went to WY, took daughter and a friend. I thought it was too over the top, personally. But my daughter loved it, as I suspected she would. She is very outgoing, competitive, loves to perform etc and she loved the energy there. Had that gleam in her eye about the place. Her friend commented to my daughter “this is the perfect school for you.” I think it attracts a certain kind of kid, mine being one of them. I am learning to embrace her vitality. Didn’t make it to Jones.

  • 78. cpsobsessed  |  October 21, 2016 at 12:03 pm

    High school scoring rubric. I can never find this on the OAE site, so parking it here for future use:


  • 79. momof5  |  October 21, 2016 at 5:24 pm

    Got a robocall saying my child’s MAP scores would be on the application portal but they’re not liste. Has this happened to anyone else?

  • 80. cpsobsessed  |  October 21, 2016 at 8:07 pm

    @momof5 – is your child currently in CPS?

  • 81. TRss  |  October 22, 2016 at 10:14 am

    I was wondering if anyone has the cutoff score data from last year for the Jones CTE program. My daughter just received her MAP scores and we are in their neighborhood. I could not find this data on the internet. Thanks!

  • 82. LMJM  |  October 22, 2016 at 6:31 pm

    @momof5, I found the MAP scores under student info (I think). It was not under test results.

    Does anyone know what the average scores on the SEHS tests are? If we need a 290, how likely is that? Thanks for any advice!

  • 83. Lars Johansson  |  October 22, 2016 at 7:34 pm

    “Well, I loved Jones and so did my friend – so we’re both ready to pack up and move to the South Loop and shake up our lives.”

    We moved to the SL for our sons 8th grade year in preparation. He’s a junior now and his friends are sharp and outgoing….great neighborhood. We mingle with Lab/Latin/British neighbors who always comment on “the lad” and his friends.

    They’re talking about applying to the same Universities as they’re all juniors now…open lunch and all.

    Jones is definitely worth it!

  • 84. JenFG  |  October 23, 2016 at 10:32 am

    Note that Hancock’s is now Oct. 29.

  • 85. Ogden Parent too  |  October 30, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    Thanks to all who replied to my request for open house reviews, this was so helpful, keep them coming…

  • 86. cpsobsessed  |  October 30, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    Just went to Lane today. This was our second year and the tour was basically the same. I had expected the (new) principal to talk a bit about his mission or something about the school at all but he mainly did a general welcome speech.

    I did get a chance to talk with him briefly on my way out — he was there for questions/meeting the whole time we were there. He said he’s still in observation mode, as he’s been there only 8 weeks or so. His current guiding principles are inclusion and social justice, he said.

    Our tour guide told me that she and he mom both liked that the new principal sends out daily email updates about the school.

    Tour was same as last year with students taking us to the pool, gym, lunchroom, peeking at art, hydroponic lab, maker room, computer science room. Saw the library this time which was very beautiful mix of old wood and new tables/computers.

    School has open lunch starting 2nd half of freshman year, I think.

    8 class sessions a day, no designated study hall. Can you lunch for that if you want by going to the library (not sure when you eat if you do that.)

    8 languages offered.

    Lot of clubs, sports, art classes, computer classes. Swimming class is 5 weeks and they often teach kids to swim entirely, as some come in with no experience.

    Something like 6 assistant principals in the school.

    Our tour guide made it sound like the school, counselors, etc were willing to talk and do what is needed to help students succeed.

    It’s difficult to assess these schools during the tours as the halls are so chaotic and noisy. It’s fairly draining for a family of introverts. Not sure if we’ll go to Payton or NSCP next week as those are long shots (although I’m curious to see both.)

  • 87. Jen K  |  October 30, 2016 at 5:00 pm

    An update to the tour schedule listed above: Disney II will have their open house next Sunday, November 6th, from 11-2 and will cover both the 7/8th program and High School. Check the website for more details.

  • 88. IP Parent  |  October 30, 2016 at 8:47 pm

    My daughter liked Lane a lot today, I think because of the performing arts in the auditorium. Jazz band was very good and the dancers were fun to watch. Our tour guide was very personable and energetic.

    I’d like to have heard more about the scheduling or curriculum from the administration. I thought the previous principal had been looking to address homework overload and stress issues, so I was curious if this was a continuing initiative with the new admin.

  • 89. karet  |  November 1, 2016 at 9:47 am

    Interesting article in the Atlantic about selective enrollment high schools. The study they discuss concludes:

    Attending a selective-enrollment school led to only a statistically insignificant bump in the ACT of half a point. The selective schools also seemed to have little or no effect on the likelihood of taking Advanced Placement classes, graduating from high school, or enrolling and staying in college.


  • 90. mom2  |  November 1, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    I think for a lot of Chicago parents, along with bragging rights, the extra you get from SEHS is that your kids have a better chance of being friends with college bound/like minded kids. Otherwise, I’d totally agree that these schools don’t really help you get into better colleges. Your kids are already quite capable and could actually look better to a school if they came from one of the lesser known schools where they would be super stars.

  • 91. Coonleymom  |  November 1, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    I am confused on IB HS application process, so any help is much appreciated! Do you have to rank your choices, like SE High Schools? Could your child be accepted to more than 1 IB program? Also, do they give any cut off scores like SE. Thank you.

  • 92. Chicago School GPS  |  November 1, 2016 at 5:43 pm

    You can apply up to six IB schools and actually get in to all of them. You don’t rank, but there are cutoffs for each school. More info here: http://cps.edu/AccessAndEnrollment/Pages/IB.aspx and last year’s cutoffs are also on the CPSOAE website.

  • 93. Chicago School GPS  |  November 1, 2016 at 5:45 pm

    Lots of great HS admissions & testing info to be had on Thursday night 11/3/16: “Public & Private High School Admissions & Testing” seminar from 7-8:30pm at Chicago Academy for the Arts.
    Pre-registration is still open. Get all your questions answered!

  • 94. Vikingmom  |  November 2, 2016 at 11:13 am

    Amundsen HS Open House is this Saturday, November 5, from 10am-1pm. An IB Info Session will be held in the auditorium from 10-11am. Come see a great neighborhood school located at Foster and Damen! Check out the school’s website for additional details.

  • 95. Chicago School GPS  |  November 2, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    Lincoln Park HS has a growing outreach initiative spearheaded by an elementary school mom. That’s usually all it takes to get the buzz going on high schools: invested parents. http://www.1school1community.com/

    They have arranged another opportunity to see LPHS:
    “If you missed the incredible Open House, we will be hosting a community day on November 5 from 11:00AM – 1:00PM. We will be making some exciting announcements about our plans for the future of the high school. There will be a short program beginning promptly at 11:00 A.M. followed by school tours and refreshments. Bring your kids no matter what their age to tour our high school and see all the exciting things happening.
    The future of Lincoln Park High School is vital to keeping families in our neighborhood. The aim of #1school1community is to make Lincoln Park High School the #1 choice for our families.
    We hope you can join us on November 5. “

  • 96. cpsobsessed  |  November 4, 2016 at 6:34 am

    Very interesting about Lincoln. I thought a lot of local kids dud attend the HS but in sure there’s interest in getting even more of then to stay as a first choice rather than pursuing the SEHS. A true neighbouring school would be a thing of beauty.

  • 97. genxatmidlife  |  November 4, 2016 at 10:18 am

    We might have met one of those parents at the tour, which was very nice. We’ve toured twice — the IB program is impressive, and the kids seem happy and engaged. The only thing is those buildings are really in need of updates, which is one of the things this women mentioned getting support for.

  • 98. David Gregg  |  November 7, 2016 at 9:04 am

    All of Senn’s original fall tour dates have filled to capacity (much earlier than in years past) and the registration form was closed. However, we have added one additional fall date to accommodate 8th grade families who hope to check out the school prior to the end of application season. This is a great way to see the IB, Magnet Arts, and neighborhood programs in action.

    Visit http://sennhs.org/apps/news/show_news.jsp?REC_ID=368723&id=0

    Additional winter dates will be published and open for registration before winter break. You can also contact me with any questions.

    Best wishes to all this application season!

    David Gregg
    IB Coordinator & Admissions Director
    Senn High School

  • 99. JenFG  |  November 7, 2016 at 9:36 am

    We attended Hancock’s Open House recently. Hancock is in an old building and has updated some space with the $ received when it became SE. The auditorium, for example, is large and new, and the old convent became classrooms. It was CPS’ first “Democracy School.” It went from being on probation to being Level 1 within a couple of years–succeeding before it transitioned to SE. The data for ACT is still on the low side, but the first SE class are juniors this year, so the data should improve soon. From my quick scan, it looks like it had the 6th highest rank cutoff scores last year, after the “top 5” SEHS. It has a lot of promise for anyone able to get to the SW side. There wasn’t a lot of showiness to the Open House, but that doesn’t bother me–they are still new at this, after all. Lots of students were volunteering, the admin was friendly and helpful, and the info sessions were enlightening, and those are the important things. There were several 30-minute sessions and you could select which ones to visit. The school is 50% SE and 50% Law or Engineering program, with a priority given to students in the area. We visited the band and the “What to Expect in 9th Grade” session, where all the 9th grade teachers shared info. (That’s the first Open House I’ve heard of that does that… Bonus of a smaller school, I guess.) There were about 12 AP classes, but I believe three more are being added now. All classes are at least honors level. AP is started in 10th grade. The school handles science differently from most of CPS–physics first, then chem, then bio.

  • 100. JenFG  |  November 7, 2016 at 9:48 am

    We also visited the Westinghouse Open House. Beautiful campus. The NJROTC presented the flag, the dance troupe performed to music by the band, and the principal spoke. There was a nice film of the campus including interviews with some students. Three students spoke about their international trips.

    Second highest grad rate in CPS (after Northside). They have the SE application and also have CTC programs for Broadcast Journalism & Media, Business & Accounting, Health Science & Medicine, and IT/Computer Programming.

    The auditorium was divided into four groups to start “self-guided tours,” but each group was asked to start in a different room (probably to space us out). The room we were directed to was the CTC Business & Accounting talk. That subject didn’t interest us, but we were stuck in there until finally ducking out the back. We went to check out the band, but by that time the room was empty–probably already back in the auditorium for the next presentation. They had parents and students available for questions, but we couldn’t stay any longer.

    $15.5 million in scholarship dollars. 65 sports and clubs. 19 AP courses and can start freshman year.

    We timed the commute because CTA would not be an option for us at this location. We now realize we would have logistical problems making this school work for us, but we still have it on our radar.

  • 101. Jacque  |  November 7, 2016 at 10:34 am

    I was not able to attend Payton and Northside this weekend as I was traveling. Please, can someone share your impressions of both schools? Thank you.

  • 102. cpsobsessed  |  November 7, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    @David Gregg – thank you for the info.
    Question: For kids who are accepted into the arts program, are there varying level of academic classes they can take? Will kids who’ve been working in accelerated classes have the opportunity to continue at a slightly accelerated pace in some classes?

  • 103. cpsobsessed  |  November 7, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    I went to the Amundsen Open house this weekend (didn’t do the IB info session yet.) The school has had some fantastic building work updates and Rahm just announced more this weekend — as a compliment to the advances that the school has made with the students.

    There is a new makers lab, new computer labs, a weight room, new lunchroom. The new work coming up will include adding windows to several parts of the building, a teacher collaboration area, a career and counseling room, and a facelift to the main entrance.

    The school has a very positive vibe and the staff is very friendly, dedicated, and caring. Lots of local families in attendance at the open house. This school is at the tipping point, ripe for the feeder schools to embrace it as a local neighborhood option.

  • 104. cpsobsessed  |  November 7, 2016 at 12:13 pm

    And… I don’t know as many details, but Lincoln Park HS was also awarded $20 million in school building improvements, also providing a great option for local families.

    As you know from my writing over the years, I certainly support the SEHSs. It just feels so nuts to have kids commuting all over the city twice a day for high school.

  • 105. HSObsessed  |  November 7, 2016 at 2:38 pm

    @104 – Yes, LPHS will get $20 million in upgrades (or overdue maintenance) over the next two summers, so current 7th graders would be the ones seeing the most benefits. Here are the details of what will be done, from the principal’s letter:

    1. Window A/C units for all classrooms (upgrades for current non working units) Summer 17
    2. A makers space for set construction and design, video editing, painting, and other creation use and a new classroom for the Drama Program. Summer 17
    3. A new classroom for the piano lab. Summer 17
    4. A relocated and upgraded weight room. Summer 17
    5. A distance learning lab. Summer 17
    6. Roof, masonry, and HVAC repairs and upgrades. Summer 17
    7. All classrooms and hallway walls and ceilings will be repaired and painted. Summer 18
    8. All classroom and hallway floor tile will be replaced/upgraded. Summer 18
    9. Lighting upgrade and acoustical paneling installed in main building hallways. Summer 18
    10. New color for locker facades in both buildings. Summer 18

  • 106. Jennifer  |  November 7, 2016 at 2:39 pm

    I attended the Amundsen open house on Saturday and Northside on Sunday. I really liked Amundsen and was relieved to know that it will be just fine if my daughter doesn’t get into Northside or Lane. The kids at Amundsen were so bright and enthusiastic about their school. The park and campus are beautiful and the building was just fine, especially with the improvements. Most importantly, it was impressive how the school’s reputation has turned around from years past. And with the IB program, it sounds like my daughter would be sufficiently challenged academically. I agree with your assessment of the positive energy and the dedication of the staff and leadership. My daughter felt good about the school too.

    By contrast, Northside was a madhouse. All the lots were full, and we drove around for way too long before we finally found a parking space well away from the school. Then we stood in line for a long time to get into the building, where we were directed to the auditorium. Standing in line wasn’t so bad because it was a beautiful day and students came around to answer questions. But I didn’t like being trapped in the auditorium where we had to wait for at least 20 minutes to hear the principal speak. After the principal spoke, a student spoke about her wonderful experience at the school, and then we were treated to an amazing performance by the choir. After that we were herded out of the auditorium to join one of the student-led tours. Our student guide was terrific, but our first stop was the orchestra room. Once again, we felt somewhat trapped. We spent at least 15 minutes listening to people talk about the music programs, which was all very well and good except that our daughter has zero interest in the music programs. Our time would have been better spent elsewhere. Our student guide had to rush us through most of the building, breezing through or skipping over several departments.

    Notwithstanding my less than favorable impression of the open house itself, my daughter loved Northside. She had never visited the school before, but it’s now her top choice. She liked the building itself and the course offerings (including a psychology course). She also liked all the support they talked about for incoming freshmen, as well as the block scheduling and the “colloquium” program.

  • 107. HSObsessed  |  November 7, 2016 at 2:46 pm

    I also want to put in a plug for the concept that bright kids can attend non-selective-enrollment high schools and survive just fine: Now the data actually backs that up. “Is Attending the ‘Best’ High School Academically Irrelevant?” in The Atlantic discusses a recent publication by the U. Chicago Consortium on School Research that compares kids who attend SE and non-SE high schools, and their outcomes.


    “There is a lot of competition for students to get into selective-enrollment high schools,” said Marisa de la Torre, a co-author of the study and an associate director at the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research. “What the study says is, it’s not the end of the world if you cannot get into selective-enrollment high schools.”

    There are, of course, some benefits to attending a competitive high school. The study found that students at selective schools were less likely to be suspended or to miss school and reported that they felt safer. In addition, students who attended high-scoring non-selective schools did see academically significant benefits relative to those at low-achieving schools.

    The study highlights the challenge of measuring school quality and suggests that many parents and education policymakers are judging schools by the wrong metrics.



  • 108. genxatmidlife  |  November 7, 2016 at 3:40 pm

    Also did Amundsen and Northside.

    There is no doubt Amundsen has improved as fast as is possible. Just heard this morning that Rahm announced $3.5 million for them (on top of bundles they’ve received previously).

    Anyway, I have to admit that three years ago, AHS would not be on our radar, but now it is one of our DC’s top choices. Dyson lab was filled with great technology but also a very enthusiastic staff. I really liked their IB breakout session, separate from the CPS-mandatory one (took place in the auditorium). It was a good opportunity to talk with program teachers and kids who have been through it. AHS seems to be very focused on doing whatever they can to support their kids through IB, knowing that it is an intense and challenging program. The building looks great. The campus is, of course, lovely — beautiful views out every window. The kids are very welcoming.

    AHS offers shadow days and smaller group school tours – good opportunity to get a closer look at the school.

    Northside — I felt they spent more time than they needed to during the presentation talking about their obvious strengths. How many people show up to the tour unaware of what they are known for? For example, I would rather have heard more about what they do to support students who are in the demanding environment of the SE environment. I felt that I heard more brochure copy than stories that would give me more of a flavor of the school (aside from the student who spoke).

    Obviously they have great facilities. The students who took us on the tour were very capable of handling questions and keeping us together and moving. The campus is beautiful. I felt that the teachers were clear that they have a very thoughtful approach to curriculum. The quality of the teacher presentations really stood out for us on this tour.

    This tour was crowded, though not quite like Lane’s. I think it’s challenging to put together a tour with such a large number of people going through.

  • 109. cpsobsessed  |  November 7, 2016 at 7:23 pm

    The crowd factor is really a downside of the SEHS tours. It’s near impossible to get a sense of what a school is like. At Lane, I asked our guide if this was what the hallways are like during passing periods an she said “not at all.” She said it’s not that crowded and everyone knows where they’re going.

    I know kids end up having a preference for one over another, but it’s hard to tell if it’s truly related to what the school experience is like. It’s like judging a town by how good their circus is. 🙂

  • 110. cpsobsessed  |  November 7, 2016 at 7:24 pm

    Update, I heard that Lake View HS is also getting some multi-million dollar building improvements.

    I really love these old school buildings and keeping them in a decent state of repair makes a big difference.

  • 111. genxatmidlife  |  November 7, 2016 at 8:13 pm

    @109 cpsobsessed — When we toured Lane, we started during the AC tour, and it was FAR less crowded. Though the tour was set up for the AC, I was able to talk with teachers in every academic department about their high school program. I can’t imagine I would have been able to get into as much detail later in the day on the high school tour. This might be a good tip for anyone touring in the future.

    Also, made the mistake of doing the CPS-mandatory IB session during the Amundsen tour. Since they offer that session on other days as well, I should have spent that time getting around to more of the classrooms.

  • 112. cpsobsessed  |  November 7, 2016 at 9:00 pm

    @111 – I think that’s good advice, especially for people who like to chat with the teachers.

    Another thing I’d say about Amundsen is that you’ll have a very caring principal who’s like a good mom in addition to a good leader. they way they deal with breaking rules there (restorative justice, maybe) is impressive as well as the clear caring the staff has for the students. If you have a student who might need a more nurturing environment/admin, I think Amundsen would be a good choice. Size is ~ 1200 kids (1400 as it expands.)

  • 113. genxatmidlife  |  November 7, 2016 at 9:05 pm

    @112 Another thing about the bigger tours — SE’s cycling tons of people through — is that I didn’t get a strong sense of the administration. A high level of structure is so necessary to get everyone around to as many places as possible.

  • 114. CPSParent  |  November 8, 2016 at 8:43 am

    @111 I understand it may be more convenient to visit during AC hours, but as a parent of an AC student I think its rude to attend during their time slot. The presentation is also geared toward AC and not all AC teachers teach in the 9-12 grades. When I attended the AC open house, it was very crowded with 6th graders and their parents. I don’t think it should also be crowded with 8th grade families who have taken your recommendation. I’ve attended my share of HS open houses and I waited in line just like everyone else.

  • 115. genxatmidlife  |  November 8, 2016 at 9:55 am

    @114 — I was actually there for a 6th-grader and took the opportunity to talk high school as well. I do have an incoming 8th-grader, so there was a convenience factor. As for standing in line — don’t worry. I followed directions and exited the building at 11 so I could stand in line outside for 45 minutes for entry to the high school tour just like everyone else.

    Good point, though, about these tours getting overcrowded when people show up who really don’t have a need to be there. We were shoulder-to-shoulder on some of these high school tours with people who were “just curious” and attended even though they were certain they wouldn’t be sending their kid there.

    Short of limiting the tours to only incoming 9th-graders (or 7th-graders in the case of ACs) and/or requiring people to show grades/MAP scores at the door, CPS has few options for managing crowd size. Though I don’t expect my suggestion to swell next year’s crowds (especially with a 9 a.m. start time), I do think it’s a nice reminder for we parents to be considerate in this rat-race system.

  • 116. mom2  |  November 8, 2016 at 11:02 am

    @110 – I also heard Lake View was getting $20 million dollars for things like a new turf field and track, new gyms, new cafeteria, external building improvements, etc. My spouse attended the open house and said he was very impressed with the maturity of the kids, the caring of the staff and said the new principal was fantastic with all sorts of plans to continue the amazing growth of the school. 98.8% of Freshman on track to graduate in 4 years, etc. Great news.

  • 117. Glad to be done with tours  |  November 8, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    This was the second go around for our family. We did it 2 years ago with daughter #1. I found the comparisons interesting. Frankly, on the whole, I was disappointed.

    Jones: very similar vibe but this presentation was toned down from ’14. No student speakers and no video. I really liked them and wish they’d had them this year. Two years ago I was kind of disappointed that they didn’t have student led tours — but then after going on several disastrous ones later in the year — I changed my mind. I still think the school would benefit from some more formal tour process though because that’s were you get the nitty gritty feel/info.

    Young: same old, same old. Same speech down to the “how do I look” and “I’m the best principal in the world.” No comment. The tour guide couldn’t answer some really basic questions. It’s clear though that the students (and their parents) really like it there and I think that says something.

    Lane: Two years ago I found the principal’s presentation very informative and it really had an impact on the ranking. One of Lane’s greatest assets is that it has so many different track/options available. Unfortunately that message did not come across this time. The tour was chaos.

    Northside: Whoa, this was the biggest change and the greatest disappointment. Open house was 11-2. We got there a little after 12 and were among the first in line for the next group to be admitted. However, once we were let in it turned out that the line of those waiting wasn’t long enough to fill the auditorium. So we sat and waited and waited until enough folks came in to fill it. The presentation was only about 20 minutes long. But by the time we set out with the student tour leaders it was already 1:30. We managed to get to two classrooms before there was an announcement on the PA that the tour was ended in 15 minutes and we’d need to wrap it up. Huh?! Our harried guide (who was great by the way) hustled us to another classroom but we weren’t allowed to go in because ANOTHER announcement came over the PA stating that the tour was over! I was really disappointed. Two years ago we had a wonderful experience at NS — very informative and not rushed and we LOVED the place (and no, didn’t get there any earlier). The time spent waiting for the auditorium to fill could have been spent visiting more classrooms and touring the campus. Also, for every school I’ve visited at least, the ending time of the open house meant that’s the latest that the school would be open to visitors — not when they were expected to leave! I’m really glad I had the visit two years ago to fall back on, but daughter #2 wasn’t impressed.

    Payton: D#2 didn’t want to go.

    On the whole, I would say that it might be time for these schools to take a look at what they’re doing and maybe shake it up a bit or at least put some extra thought into it. As it is it feels like they’re just sitting back and resting on their “reputations” to sell themselves to students. Unfortunate.

  • 118. westrogersparkmom  |  November 8, 2016 at 2:59 pm

    If anyone is interested in ChiArts their freshman preview show is November 18th at 7:00 p.m. It is a shows with performances from the theater, musical theater, dance and music conservatories. It’s always a great show with lots of energy and enthusiasm and would be a great opportunity to get a ‘feel’ for the school.

    My daughter is a senior and I’m disappointed that I’m going to be out of town and can’t see it this year.

    ChiArts is a unique and amazing school. Don’t be scared off by the long day (you will find that most kids stay at school later with activities anyway) or distance (it’s a short bus ride from the blue line so if you can get to Whitney you can get to ChiArts; there is a private bussing service for southsiders). Even if it wasn’t an art school there is lot of value to a school with 150 kids per grade, whose teachers work in class cohorts, with block scheduling. However, your kid needs to LOVE their art, and not care about the lack of sports or it is not the right school for them.

  • 119. Vikingmom  |  November 8, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    So glad to hear the good response to Amundsen’s open house. My daughter was back in town from college for the weekend (for the Cubs celebration, of course) and also volunteered on Saturday. She spoke with a few parents which I think is helpful–always better to get the info right from the source. She is one of those kids who loved high school.
    @89 and 107, thanks for posting that link. I also want to add that Amundsen students (and, I imagine, Lakeview, Senn, etc.) applying to/being accepted to/going to college is actually quite the norm, nothing out of the ordinary. All of my daughter’s friends (IB program and not) are at school, and while some stayed in Chicago to attend a university, this is not unusual even among SEHS graduates.

  • 120. harry potter  |  November 8, 2016 at 6:16 pm

    I’m curious how such a bare bones and nearly bankrupt district is affording millions of dollars in capital improvements. Obviously the schools desperately need them, but a month ago the cries of “looming bankruptcy” and the clanging drums of “we can’t afford xyz” were deafening. Now? Seems like the district was never really broke.

  • 121. cpsobsessed  |  November 10, 2016 at 9:51 pm

    At the SEHS tours, they stress how kids should join clubs to help them meet like minded people (especially at Lane, being so big.)

    I met a parent last night with a child there who mentioned that some of the clubs you can’t get into until Jr or Sr year due to demand. She wasn’t sure about all of them, but mentioned dance clubs, which require auditioning. Does anyone know more about this? I’ve never heard it mentioned before.

  • 122. WRP Mom  |  November 10, 2016 at 11:22 pm

    CPSO, many of the ethnic clubs which perform dances at I-Days are very competitive and it would not surprise me if kids can’t get in until they are upperclassmen. We went to one to the performances one year and it was really impressive to see. I suppose if a younger student was an exceptional dancer, they might make the cut.

    All other clubs at Lane are open to all students, even those in the Academic Center.

  • 123. Chris  |  November 11, 2016 at 12:17 pm

    “I’m curious how such a bare bones and nearly bankrupt district is affording millions of dollars in capital improvements.”


    There are two pockets–capital and operations–with separate rules for revenue raising and spending. That there are funds for maintenance and construction, but not for operations is really common in local governments. Same thing happens with the City, CTA, MWRD, etc. How CPS does it is the same way that the City is spending billions on new water mains while being broke–they sold bonds, and raised water rates to pay off the debt over time.

    The funding sources are separate, and the bond market for each is different.

    ALSO: a lot of CPS construction has been funded by TIF. Ending TIFs would result in a shift of funds from the capital pocket to the operations pocket–yes, $$ can be taken from the operations pocket for capital projects, but that doesn’t happen often when you have a budget situation like CPS. No TIFs = higher property taxes or less CPS capital spending.

  • 124. WYFroshMom  |  November 12, 2016 at 1:20 pm

    Our family was in all of your shoes last year trying to decide what HS would be best for our daughter. We had attended the Open Houses for three years. We went to WY, Jones, Lane, Payton, and NSCP all three years (with exception of NSCP one year). Also went to Lincoln Park a couple of years as well. I have to admit that I found the bombast of Dr. Kenner at the WY Open Houses pretty off-putting. My husband less so. Our daughter tested early last year, so knew her score and she could have attended any of the above SE schools with a rank spot. Ultimately, she chose WY…we had friends that attended and loved the school and she had always thought of WY as a strong choice. Now that we are “insiders”, we have heard softer messages from Dr. Kenner that have really resonated. She has stressed that the school will meet the kids where they are at, which is why they continue to have regular classes along with Honors and AP. She does not care how the kids look or dress as long as they are respectful and kind to each other. She has stressed that they are a community and that she truly has their backs. She has commended the teaching staff regularly and is engaged with parents. She is visible at school events and attends regularly. We have felt her support first hand as she moved our daughter into a world language class when we were told it was closed (our daughter would have been devastated if things would have turned out differently). Our daughter LOVES attending WY, transitioned easily to the size of the school, has met a melting pot of new friends from all different areas of the city, feels challenged by her studies, loves the diversity, has joined 5 clubs and is excelling academically. We just attended report card day and the teachers uniformly talked about Dr. Kenner’s support and how much they loved teaching at WY. All of them seem fantastic and our daughter consistently speaks about how great they are. I’m not trying to pitch for WY, but wanted to share my/our experience and how it has changed a bit toward Dr. Kenner. I think that it is hard to judge a school from the snapshot of Open Houses, Unfortunately, that is often times the only thing that we have to go by unless you can check out an event or activity at a school before having to make your decision. WY may not the place for everyone, but it is our place and we are overjoyed that our daughter has found a school home that she loves and is excited to attend.

  • 125. Ogden Parent too  |  November 18, 2016 at 1:30 pm

    Anyone want to share their thoughts on Lincoln Park High School?
    I went to the IB information session. The teachers who presented are so engaged with their profession and with the students. Most of the teachers have been there for years and it shows in how much they love to teach IB. I wish I could say great things about the building. The updates cannot come soon enough. How CPS could let that building get sooooooooo run down, shame on them! The freshman building was a hot mess and depressing as hell.The freshman building really needs some love.
    With that said I would still place my kid in the IB or double honors. The administration and teachers have good energy and the kids seem happy.
    Does the building stay open late? I saw lots of kids still on the campus, coming and going.

  • 126. Deborah Wittrig  |  November 21, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    We live downtown in a Tier 4. My daughter is profoundly dyslexic but an amazing student and gifted in other areas. Does anyone have any experience or knowledge on what schools are great with the diverse learners and also provides a stimulating learning environment? She qualifies for SEHS but her score in the NWEA reading portion was awful and not sure if any SEHS/IB is a option. Please email me if you can share any information or contacts that were helpful. Thank you so much chicaQo@gmail.com

  • 127. CPSMom  |  November 21, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    @126 I would call the Office of Access and Enrollment and ask about options for your daughter. I have to say that every time I have called that office I felt the people were very nice and helpful.

  • 128. November  |  November 21, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    Based on schools w/ diverse learners + stimulating learning environment Whitney Young sounds like a great fit.

  • 129. cpsobsessed  |  November 26, 2016 at 7:20 pm

    Has anyone had a stress dream yet about missing the application deadline? I had one that was like the old “don’t know where to go for the test/forgot to go to class all semester” dream.

    In the dream I’d somehow spaced having my son rank the schools, the deadline passed and I realized there was no do-over.

    He is the type to want to mull things over so I’m sure we’ll be doing the ranking on the last possible day (or at least the day before so I don’t freak out if the site or our internet goes down that last day.)

  • 130. genxatmidlife  |  November 27, 2016 at 12:04 am

    I actually have had stress daydreams like this. I ended up putting down schools before I had the final input from my kids because I was so certain I’d miss the deadline. Fortunately I had it right, but I figured I could always go in and change it before the deadline, if need be.

  • 131. cpsobsessed  |  November 27, 2016 at 11:21 am

    Thanks – I think I will go ahead and do that so I don’t have to worry about it (as much.) Overall my stress level about it is very low, other that worrying about somehow missing the deadline. And even then, we’d be fine as Amundsen is around the corner from us.

  • 132. cpsobsessed  |  November 27, 2016 at 7:52 pm

    Hm, so kids can change their rankings up until Jan 20th? I didn’t realize that.

    If you need to make a change to the school choices on your application, click the ‘Modify” button under the Application Status to delete your application and resubmit a new one. Modified applications must be submitted no later than January 20, 2017, at 11:59 p.m.

  • 133. North Center Mom  |  December 2, 2016 at 10:00 pm

    @117 I agree with you that the SEHS tour process is hit-or-miss. Our experiences were similar to yours. As a parent with a senior and freshman at Jones, I can tell you that it is a very big effort for the staff and parent/ student volunteers. Speaking for myself, I am happy to give my time. Collectively, the prospective parents and students ,the school’s staff and volunteers form an enormous outlay of man hours. Is there a better use of everyone’s time? Is there a better way to do it? I am not sure. I suppose each school could create a video to view from home. For my kids, it was important to see the inside of the schools to get a first-hand look and feel. It is difficult for a 13 or 14 year old to imagine themselves in that environment (having an older sib helps) For me, it was important to speak individually with teachers. I also found helpful information from parents I knew personally with students at each school. And I wasn’t shy about asking them many questions.

  • 134. IB/IB mom (formerly IB and AC mom)  |  December 5, 2016 at 10:03 am

    @129 CPSO – I have not, but do not wait until the last day. I had so much stress about ranking them, but we discussed it and figured it out (or at least I think I did) after attending the open houses. When I tried to log back in it said my credentials were invalid. Invalid, I was typing them absolutely correct. I had emails confirming the IB and Test Scheduling, etc. and I know what my password was. I had to call the OAE for help. I can’t imagine what that would have been like had I waited.

  • 135. HSObsessed  |  December 5, 2016 at 9:48 pm

    So this is a little late for people applying to high schools this year, but there’s a new website hsbound.org that can help you look for options close by. The information seems to be drawn from the usual data we see everywhere and there’s nothing original given that I can see, but still it seems like a nice tool to peruse.


  • 136. cpsobsessed  |  December 7, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    Info on the Senn scheduled daytime session for students, written by my son’s dad:

    Went to several classes:

    Theory of knowledge – was interesting

    world history

    a theater class where they were doing poetry slam

    math – the teacher talked about learning to be a cook rather than following a recipe, said he doesn’t use the text book a lot

    saw a dance class, a couple art classes, a science class (most of their labs have been renovated in the past couple years. science they do as many labs as possible, hands on learning, real world learning. they also have a robotics team and science olympiad team.

    Random things about the school:

    They mix the students — IB and art in the same classes. started doing that about 4 years ago

    You can take IB classes even if you’re not in the IB program

    2-4 years of language – they have french and spanish

    there’s multiple theaters, the main auditorium was just renovated. We went into a class in the “black box” theater named after Harold Ramis who is an alum. They have a partnership with Victory Gardens theater, and people from the company help teach.

    Musicals are an after school thing open to anyone.. Theater students put on 3 shows a year

    There is a film studies class

    They share the building with a military academy but are hoping they move out soon so send can expand into that space.

    there’s 1400 student now (about 20% arts, 20% IB and 60% neighborhood), they hope to expand to 1600-1800 and would cap it there

    you take 2 classes a day in your arts area if you’re in the art program

    need to take classes in 2 of the other arts

    day is 8-3:15, on wednesdays 8-2:20

    they take 4 years of english

    IB has to take 2 years of art – focus on art history thru art making

    All sophomores need to do a personal project that starts in sept and finishes in february with presentations in march

    students have a lot of say, take on social justice causes, cam impact programs, clubs, curriculum (a film club turned into a class)

    they have a relationship with Loyola Univ

    there’s no homeroom

    50 minute lunch closed campus

  • 137. cpsobsessed  |  December 7, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    In the end, my son liked Senn a lot but has decided not to pursue a performance art program.

    So our 3 contenders will be: Jones, Lane, and Amundsen IB.

    Can’t believe the week of final application is here.

  • 138. NC Parent  |  December 7, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    I’m having trouble getting my child to look beyond which building looks newer/nicer. It’s difficult to get some 14 year olds to think about things like curriculum and which is the best fit, etc.

    Has anyone had conversations about this?

  • 139. JB  |  December 10, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    Does anyone know which selective high school is strongest in math? How do Young, Payton, Northside, Lane, and Jone fare in the national competitions like AMC 10? Thanks!

  • 140. JenFG  |  December 12, 2016 at 2:19 pm

    JB, I seem to recall the AMC 10 test being discussed here once, but I couldn’t find it in a search. WY’s Math Team is listed on their website as being “the winners of the 2013 4AA ICTM State Championship, an historic accomplishment since we are the first Chicago Public School to achieve this. We have also won the City of Chicago league championship for the fourth year in a row.”

  • 141. Dawn Kulich  |  December 17, 2016 at 8:40 am

    Good luck to all. If this system is difficult for those of us with the wherewithal and resources to maneuver, can you imagine what it is like for parents who, also, want the best for their child, but are lacking in resources and education themselves? There has to be a better solution for providing a free, excellent, public education for all than what we have.

  • 142. cpsobsessed  |  December 17, 2016 at 4:21 pm

    This link from last year has some math info in it (do a search for “math.”)


  • 143. ferreitout@gmail.com  |  December 17, 2016 at 5:05 pm

    Did they change the selective enrollment test this year? My child was very late getting out and another child told his parent that they added the second section of the test. There were two sections and the first was divided into 4 sections while the second was divided into 3. Was this the normal test or did they add a new section?

  • 144. Concerned  |  December 17, 2016 at 10:20 pm

    Where did your child take the test? Mine was at Westinghouse which ran way over but I heard Whitney was on time

  • 145. ferreitout@gmail.com  |  December 18, 2016 at 9:26 am

    My child was at Lane and went way over (waited little over an hour over the time they were to be released) but I had a friend at King and she waited with other parents almost 4 hours over. Some of her understanding of the situation is they started around 10 instead of 8 but that would still be over 2 hours over.

    It is my understanding that in the past the test consists of 4 parts so It makes sense to me that this would be the first half. I was told by my child that he suspects that the second half is not meant to be finished as it was extremely difficult.

  • 146. cpsobsessed  |  December 18, 2016 at 1:26 pm

    A friend told me the lane test started late.

  • 147. Ogden Parent too  |  December 18, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    We did test prep this year. my daughter said the new part of the test was not covered… she said get your money back, lol.
    Daughter was there from 7:30a to 1:30pm. I was really starting to get worried. I was one of a few parents left in the gymnasium. She was mentally drained and very hungry when she finally came out.
    Thanks CPS…always putting children first.

  • 148. Elizabeth Thompson  |  December 18, 2016 at 2:29 pm

    A bunch of my daughter’s friends took the test yesterday at Lane. They all said there was a new section on “patterns.” One said it was similar to something that was on the Academic Center test. Anyway we can get more info about what CPS is up to?

  • 149. cpsobsessed  |  December 18, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    How do they know what sections are “new”?

  • 150. feeder schools  |  December 18, 2016 at 2:52 pm

    Perhaps CPS is looking at increasing the exam’s future weight in the total score, though unlikely to reach the 100% in NYC.

  • 151. feeder schools  |  December 18, 2016 at 2:59 pm

    Or they are modifying the exam to reduce the weight of what overlaps with NWEA Map, and orienting the exam a little bit away from just testing achievements.

  • 152. Portage  |  December 18, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    Can someone point me to the latest (2016-17) IB cutoff scores? I can’t find them on the OAE website. Thanks in advance!

  • 153. Chicago School GPS  |  December 18, 2016 at 3:37 pm

    @152- here is the link from CPSOAE http://cps.edu/AccessAndEnrollment/Documents/IBcutoffscores.pdf

  • 154. cpsobsessed  |  December 18, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    FYI, I tried submitting an FOIA to find out what the test was – no luck (no surprise.)

  • 155. concerned  |  December 18, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    Found this under the FAQ section of the cps website

    Q.What is on the Selective Enrollment High Schools exam?
    A.The Selective Enrollment High Schools exam consists of two segments: achievement skills and critical thinking ​skills. Only the results from the achievement skills test in the four subject areas (reading comprehension, vocabulary, grammar, and math word problems) will generate percentiles and point values applicable for the 2017-2018 selections.

  • 156. concerned  |  December 18, 2016 at 3:48 pm

    Of course when my child asked a proctor yesterday they were told the critical thinking sections would count. This caused more stress. Particularly given the length of the day and the fact they weren’t allowed any water or bathroom breaks (breaks were to come out of any testing time).

  • 157. cpsobsessed  |  December 18, 2016 at 4:59 pm

    No bathroom break for four hours???

  • 158. cpsobsessed  |  December 18, 2016 at 5:03 pm

    As in discussing this with my son I realize you can’t let all the kids in the bathroom at the same time during the test.

  • 159. Ogden Parent too  |  December 18, 2016 at 6:39 pm

    At Westinghouse they were given bathroom breaks but none of the kids in her group took them.
    Matrix (whatever that means) is the new addition to the test. My daughter said the problems were identical to the AC test..

  • 160. concerned  |  December 18, 2016 at 6:49 pm

    My child was at westinghouse and he said you could take a bathroom break but it would come out of your testing time. He did not want to give up any time so essentially no break.

  • 161. feeder schools  |  December 18, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    Re: Matrix – this is how typical IQ tests present questions.

  • 162. Ogden Parent too  |  December 18, 2016 at 7:28 pm

    @ concerned,
    My daughter said bathroom breaks were offered after each session.

  • 163. cpsobsessed  |  December 18, 2016 at 7:53 pm

    I think this was discussed a couple years ago — does anyone know if it makes sense to guess on questions you don’t know? Or better to leave them blank?
    (I’ll try to find the old thread about it if I can (if I’m recalling correctly.)

  • 164. gata4040  |  December 18, 2016 at 8:07 pm

    For the Selective Enrollment Exam, it’s better to guess. The reason behind this is because leaving it blank gives you a 0% chance of getting the question correct, while guessing gives you a 25% chance.

  • 165. cpsobsessed  |  December 18, 2016 at 8:26 pm

    Thank you for the info.
    One other question if anyone knows — so in each section since it’s paper, can they skip and go back to questions they didn’t know initially? (ie, make a guess that the ones they don’t know at the very end)?
    I feel like by 8th grade I had such good paper test-taking skills that I don’t think our kids have now (despite the abundant testing they do.)

  • 166. ferreitout@gmail.com  |  December 18, 2016 at 9:12 pm

    I asked my child and he said no, you cannot go back to questions you didn’t know initially in other sections of the test because a teacher marks where you ended with a marker at the end of time but you may skip around in the section that is currently being timed. He said if you are caught working on a section that had already passed, you will be disqualified and escorted out of the test.

  • 167. cpsobsessed  |  December 18, 2016 at 9:43 pm

    Thanks – that makes sense about working only in the section they’re on.

  • 168. korwten  |  December 19, 2016 at 9:51 am

    Was a new testing date added? A friend of mine had to reschedule and now has February 5 at King. I don’t recall that one being on the original list. Does anyone else have a Feb 5 test date?

  • 169. cpsobsessed  |  December 19, 2016 at 10:50 am

    Feb 5, Sunday? I see Feb 4 was one of the original choices but not Feb 5.

  • 170. korwten  |  December 19, 2016 at 10:53 am

    Yes, Feb 5 is a rescheduling option on the dashboard but wasn’t on the original list of testing dates. Not sure why the automated system would lie but I feel like I should check just in case!

  • 171. mom2  |  December 19, 2016 at 11:11 am

    Does anyone know how long kids with an IEP are given for the SE exam? If the general population is there from 7:30 to 1:30, how much longer might an IEP kid be there?

  • 172. Dawn Kulich  |  December 19, 2016 at 11:53 am

    They are given whatever their IEP indicates.

  • 173. llmm  |  December 19, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    Typically IEP is either time and a half or double time for testing, but Dawn is right–it is whatever the IEP dictates. My 4th grader has an IEP with time and a half. But I can’t imagine getting 9 hours of testing would be very helpful for her when the time comes 😦

  • 174. MP2  |  December 22, 2016 at 5:08 pm

    My child didn’t have the scores for SEHS – we’ve applied to Senn and Amundsen IB and Lincoln Park. I have to say, it was a lot less stressful than I’d envisioned 10 years ago, due to there being more north side options these days.

  • 175. IB/IB mom (formerly IB and AC mom)  |  December 22, 2016 at 5:54 pm

    @174 My older daughter is in her senior year. She didn’t get into SEHS either. She was at Taft and honestly it turned out to be great for her. She has gotten into almost every college she applied to (we are not applying to the IVY’s) and lots of scholarships. She was so involved and worked hard that it really was the best school for her.

  • 176. cpsobsessed  |  December 22, 2016 at 11:49 pm

    I just talked to a friend today who’s daughter is graduating from Lincoln Park and has already had several good college offers, including U of I.

  • 177. Jb  |  December 23, 2016 at 10:29 am

    Lincoln Park High School is an excellent school! The IB program prepares the kids very well for college. The quality of the faculty is outstanding and the principal is very accessible and supportive. And the counselors are there to help the kids through every step of applying to college. The building may not be the most pleasing, but the academics greatly outweigh the external appearance. Although, the IB diploma is not for everyone; you need to be very focused and goal-oriented. My son just graduated from there in the class of 2016, and he is at Harvard right now.

  • 178. mom2  |  December 27, 2016 at 10:17 am

    I think having all these new options are fantastic. My kid has so many friends that wrote an essay and applied to Lake View for their honors program and Senn for performing arts and Amundsen for their IB. Things are really looking up.

  • 179. Portage  |  December 27, 2016 at 11:46 pm

    Thoughts on Schurz high school? They have an IB program, AVID, CTE. And it is a gorgeous building. But I’ve never heard the school mentioned here. Curious to hear any details or experience with this school.

  • 180. mom2  |  January 3, 2017 at 1:19 pm

    Does anyone know when and how you are informed about your child getting into the non-SE high schools like LP double honors or a neighborhood high school that isn’t your own?

  • 181. Chicago School GPS  |  January 3, 2017 at 10:32 pm

    Notifications to schools where you submitted the application directly to the school will be via a letter, and sometimes an email as well.

  • 182. Dawn Kulich  |  January 10, 2017 at 10:37 am

    I think that all these choices are daunting for the parent as well as the student. No matter how many choices there are, one has to understand that 40-45 in some classes. In a 50 minute class period, that is approximately 1.1 minute of quality time with each student. That, by the way might be the reason that parents can’t understand why their child, an elementary school “A” student, enters high school and now is getting “B”s and “C”s.

  • 183. cpsobsessed  |  January 12, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    Are there really up for 45 kids in a high school class?

  • 184. cpsobsessed  |  January 12, 2017 at 2:32 pm

    Question about the Grammar portion of the SE test (if anyone knows.) is it more recognizing which grammar is right/wrong? Or does it involve knowing the names of grammar conventions (ie predicate, gerund, etc.)

    I still never can remember what all those phrases mean…

  • 185. Dawn Kulich  |  January 12, 2017 at 6:31 pm

    I and my colleague had to keep 40 desks in a room made for 30 because we each had some classes with 40 students. Guitar classes atLane have 50 or more students. Remember, that is 1 minute of quality time for each student each day.

  • 186. another mom  |  January 14, 2017 at 1:04 pm

    @139 (JB)

    WY will give your child more opportunities to be involved in competition math and math beyond school curriculum, then any other SEHS. Walter Payton will be a close second. Northside and Jones are nowhere close in the amount of math kids they enroll or programs they offer.

    WY math team started their first meeting when we were still on break, and they are in the middle of practice now (Saturday from 8:30-12:20). The meeting isn’t mandatory, and doesn’t take place every Saturday. The kids who show up there, all without exception, are excited to do math on a Saturday morning.

  • 187. another mom  |  January 14, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    @139 (JB) part 2

    Sorry didn’t respond to your question about AMC10.

    I would assume that WY does better just because there are more math loving kids there (a lot of them enter WY for AC). I will ask my son if they ever compiled the statistics for AMC 10 and AMC 12 performance, I personally never did. But it can easily be done by going to MAA site, and uploading prior years top results and then sorting them out by state.

  • 188. Chris  |  January 18, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    “1 minute of quality time for each student each day”

    I’d wager that it’s less than 20 seconds of “quality” time, as there’s a lot of friction in shifting from focus on one student to another.

    That said, public education simply isn’t set up for individual “quality focus” on a daily basis. Emphasizing how public education falls short on teacher attention to individual students plays into the goals of the anti-public education zealots.

  • 189. mom2  |  January 18, 2017 at 4:49 pm

    Has anyone received a letter from Lincoln Park about performing arts auditions? Their web site said the auditions are in January but I’m not aware of anyone getting a letter with audition times yet.

  • 190. HSObsessed  |  January 19, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    It’s so great to see that Wicker Park/Bucktown parents are starting to look into the neighborhood high school, Clemente, as a solid option. The article goes into nice detail about the philosophy of the principal and the changes that have been made at the school.


  • 191. TK  |  January 21, 2017 at 9:00 am

    Just dropped of my kid @ King for the SE exam, they didn’t let the parents even into the lobby of the school. Is that the case for all SE exam locations?

  • 192. Dawn Kulich  |  January 21, 2017 at 9:13 am


  • 193. genxatmidlife  |  January 21, 2017 at 9:33 am

    Same at Lane.

  • 194. cpsobsessed  |  January 23, 2017 at 12:48 pm

    Somehow I thought we’d be sitting there waiting the whole time (which really doesn’t make sense.) thanks for the head’s up.

    Taking my kid for the test on this Saturday — doing some last minute math cramming after some revelations during Testapalooza last weekend. I think the ongoing use of the untimed MAP test doesn’t help prepare kids for the tightly times SEHS exam.

    I will be happy when Saturday is over and we shift to WAITING mode.

  • 195. genxatmidlife  |  January 27, 2017 at 11:08 am

    Does anyone know if we will find out SE test results prior to receiving acceptances?

  • 196. mom2  |  January 27, 2017 at 11:58 am

    No. They post the results along with any school acceptance on March 3rd as far as I know.

  • 197. cpsobsessed  |  January 27, 2017 at 2:23 pm

    My understanding as well.

  • 198. bgre  |  January 29, 2017 at 9:19 am

    My kid tested yesterday too. It took much longer than I thought it would. All over but the waiting! She thought it was pretty easy but who knows what that means.

  • 199. tess  |  January 30, 2017 at 5:32 pm

    Westinghouse same, husband said 2 lines ,
    one for kids, one to parents, very organized and not crowded,
    child didn’t get to last 15 questions or so in each section,
    didn’t realize no penalty for guessing,
    said many students took the full amount of time,
    said harder than map test

  • 200. cpsobsessed  |  January 31, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    @Tess – did the test proctors tell your child that they could guess without penalty? I’m curious if the playing field is leveled by making sure all kids are aware of this.

    I think the kids’ experience with the untimed MAP test leaves them kind of unprepared for the times SEHS test — at least that is what I’ve heard from a teacher is the main complaint from kids after the test.

  • 201. Anon  |  January 31, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    My daughter felt the test was “easy” but also didn’t complete all the questions. I’ve heard that quite a few kids get perfect scores on this test (wasn’t that mentioned in a CPSo post last year?) so those must be the kids who can work quickly.

  • 202. IB/IB mom (formerly IB and AC mom)  |  January 31, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    @201 I wonder did they get a perfect score, or did they score in the 99 percentile so they get the full 300 points? Not sure if it is one and the same, but I do remember a good number of 300 points posts in previous years.

  • 203. Newcomer  |  February 1, 2017 at 10:00 am

    CPS won’t tell you how many questions your child got right. They only give you percentiles, and yes, 99th percentile would translate to a 300.

  • 204. cpsobsessed  |  February 1, 2017 at 10:06 am

    Do they give you a percentile by section? Or just one overall?

  • 205. IB/IB mom (formerly IB and AC mom)  |  February 1, 2017 at 11:27 am

    I believe it is just one overall if I remember correctly. It has been a while though. March 5th can’t come soon enough!

  • 206. IB/IB mom (formerly IB and AC mom)  |  February 1, 2017 at 11:29 am

    Question, thinking about the notification date. Have they been notifying people electronically for a couple years or is that completely new? If it is not new, do they stick to the date they say it will be done by? I know when it was via letter the date pushed out, and out, and out….

  • 207. TK  |  February 1, 2017 at 11:47 am

    MAP test vs SE Exam

    Each child’s assessment of the difficulty of SE exam as compared to MAP going to heavily depend on the content of their individual MAP test. MAP is adaptive: if a kid is very advanced in math, his math MAP questions are going to be much more difficult then those that he will see on the math section of SE test, and vise versa.

  • 208. AlbanyParkMom  |  February 1, 2017 at 12:47 pm

    Last year our kid’s score report had separate percentiles for each section and the overall percentile rank.

  • 209. cpsobsessed  |  February 1, 2017 at 4:57 pm

    This is the first email notification. So it’ll be interesting to see if it all happens on time.

  • 210. mom2  |  February 1, 2017 at 5:36 pm

    Are they emailing everyone or do you go to their site and login to see the scores and selection?

  • 211. Confused parent  |  February 2, 2017 at 10:24 am

    Is anybody else here considering transferring their kid from AC at WY or Lane to a different SE school? I know a number of students left from WYAC to Northside last year. How many high school credits can they transfer to a new school? Does their GPA start over?
    What do we need to think about when considering such move?

    Any insight will be greatly appreciated.

  • 212. tess  |  February 2, 2017 at 11:28 am

    @200, cpsobsessed, no, proctors didn’t mention, I thought I did some time before the test, should have reminded child immediately before, her 1st choice schools are not SE, casting a wide net

  • 213. John  |  February 2, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    Can someone tell me how the grades are calculated for the high school application? I’ve been told they take the weighted average of each quarter’s final percentage. Is this true? Or do they take semester averages and average those? Thanks! What makes an A an A?

  • 214. IB/IB mom (formerly IB and AC mom)  |  February 2, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    @211 We are considering it, but my daughter is at Taft which leads to the IB Diploma program rather than a SE school so I think it is more common that the kids consider transferring that at a typical AC/SE school. We asked at each of the schools we visited if the classes would transfer to any other CPS school, but most of these schools will give them a placement exam and will urge kids to select classes accordingly. Some schools have Math 1, 2, 3, 4 rather than the traditional Algebra, Geometry and so on. Some schools suggest Bio in junior year, vs Bio in Freshman while AC kids already took it. My best advice is to wait to see what school your child gets into and call the counselor there to see how these things are handled.

    Are you wanting to go from a school like WY that had an AC to a school like Northside that doesn’t? Or are you transferring to a school with an AC so they may have kids who have taken similar classes already. Socially something to consider is if going to a school that doesn’t have an AC, they are likely going to be taking classes with more upper grade students rather than kids their own age. Might not be a bad thing for kids that are extremely academically advanced, but just something to keep in mind. If they go to a school that had an AC, they would likely have many classes with that schools AC kids, but those kids have had 2 years getting to know each other and group off already. Though if for any reason your child is not fitting in now, this also would be a fresh start. Food for thought.

    I assume the GPA comes with them, but I think if they take the same class over again the original grade no longer affects the GPA. At least that it what it looked like on my older daughters transcripts as she took Algebra in 7th or 8th and then again in the next grade due to a low grade. She was at the same school all 6 years so I was only looking at one transcript.

  • 215. Jen K  |  February 3, 2017 at 10:46 am

    @211 if they took high school level courses for credit, the GPA comes with them when they transfer. If they re-take the course at the new school, the new grade is the one that counts.

    @213 it’s the final end-of-year grade that counts. They use the percent score each quarter/semester to determine the final letter grade.

  • 216. momof3fish  |  February 3, 2017 at 4:01 pm

    my son had 95,97,99,99 core 99=300 last year. idk how they figured but i thought i’d look for his so you can use as a gauge

  • 217. CPS parent  |  February 4, 2017 at 12:28 am

    Does anyone have or know any kids who got accepted to SEHS through principal discretion? What’s the requirement?

  • 218. cpsobsessed  |  February 4, 2017 at 9:05 pm

    @CPS Parent – there is no particular requirement. The rationale is that a principal can select kids based on achievement in academics or something else like sports, music, etc. Some schools seem to give priorities to siblings. Some for athletes. I know of a kid who got into Lane last year by writing a really good essay. Personal hardship can also be used as a rationale. Basically the kid has to convince the school that they would be a good addition to the student body, and the principal has to determine that what that kid brings would benefit the school.

  • 219. cpsobsessed  |  February 4, 2017 at 9:09 pm

    @John – I believe the grade is just a running total of the points for the whole year. For instance if there are 200 points available each quarter, the final grade would be x/800. Then 90%+ is an A.

  • 220. momof3fish  |  February 5, 2017 at 9:17 pm

    @217 i think the only requirement is that your child took the test.

  • 221. HSMom  |  February 6, 2017 at 10:59 am

    @211 @213 I had my child transfer from Taft AC to SE. GPA comes with and they are not allowed to retake any HS credit issued courses again. All your CPS issued HS credits transfer over to a CPS HS. If you are going private/religious then they allow you to take placement tests, but no credit is given. Good luck.

  • 222. cpsobsessed  |  February 8, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    FYI – I asked OAE how the notifications will be posted on March 3rd. They replied:

    Notification letters for online applicants will be posted to the online dashboard. We will send a robocal and email to applicants to inform them once the letters are accessible.

  • 223. mom2  |  February 8, 2017 at 5:25 pm

    @cpsobsessed – thank you

  • 224. PPP  |  February 8, 2017 at 9:28 pm

    So now we can peek in the day before the kids get home from school. Wheeeeeeee!!!

  • 225. Jac  |  February 8, 2017 at 9:42 pm

    Does anyone know if the critical thinking sections of the test will count (the last parts about patterns)?

  • 226. NSParent  |  February 9, 2017 at 1:16 am

    I read on the application web site that that section doesn’t count, but I can’t find it on the site now.

  • 227. Jac  |  February 9, 2017 at 9:47 am

    I hope so , because my son had a hard time on that section.

  • 228. cpsobsessed  |  February 9, 2017 at 10:32 am

    I recall reading on OAE that the Reading, Grammar, and Math (word problems) would count towards admission. I can’t find it on the site now either (but the info may still be there somewhere.) I hope it doesn’t count as well since I told my son not to worry about it!

  • 229. Concerned  |  February 9, 2017 at 3:40 pm

    Under the FAQ section

    Q.What is on the Selective Enrollment High Schools exam?
    A.The Selective Enrollment High Schools exam consists of two segments: achievement skills and critical thinking ​skills. Only the results from the achievement skills test in the four subject areas (reading comprehension, vocabulary, grammar, and math word problems) will generate percentiles and point values applicable for the 2017-2018 selections.

  • 230. Jac  |  February 9, 2017 at 4:41 pm

    That is great, thank you!

  • 231. cpsobsessed  |  February 9, 2017 at 5:55 pm

    Ah, vocab. I forget the vocab.

  • 232. Mia Bart  |  February 13, 2017 at 3:38 pm

    Does anyone know how the final test score is determined? By that I mean, how much is Math vs. reading, vocab and grammar? My son feels he did well on the three language related tests, but didn’t complete all the math questions . . .

  • 233. cpsobsessed  |  February 13, 2017 at 11:54 pm

    @232, I emailed OAE and they said the 4 sections are weighted differently, but did not reveal what that weight is.

    so…. I guess that isn’t much help. My son also didn’t finish the math section.

  • 234. Mia Bart  |  February 14, 2017 at 9:35 am

    @cpsobsessed – thanks for checking. It’s so frustrating how much mystery surrounds this test. I agree with an earlier comment you made about how the time constraints of this test compared to the MAP test really are a challenge for some kids. I know it is for my son.

  • 235. Guatemom  |  February 16, 2017 at 6:23 pm

    Lincoln Park high school performing arts program- are they already got giving out acceptance notices? Girl in my daughters school said she was accepted,.

  • 236. cpsobsessed  |  February 16, 2017 at 9:40 pm

    I think it’s unlikely that someone would know if they’re accepted at this point.

  • 237. cpsobsessed  |  February 17, 2017 at 11:38 am

    2 weeks, people…..

  • 238. LM  |  February 17, 2017 at 11:41 am

    Waiting is the WORST! 😑

  • 239. cpsobsessed  |  February 17, 2017 at 11:54 am

    At least we know (supposedly) we’ll have info on Friday instead of watching mailboxes all weekend.

    Is anyone going to wait for their kid to get home to check it? Or is that just ludicrous?

  • 240. IB/IB mom (formerly IB and AC mom)  |  February 17, 2017 at 11:56 am

    This is so much better than having to stalk the mailman!! Wait, how can you wait? I do not have the will power.

  • 241. cpsobsessed  |  February 17, 2017 at 3:44 pm

    Off the record (haha) I have been saying that I’d potentially move to Evanston if high schools don’t work out in the city — but I just learned how high the real estate taxes are there. $15K/year on a $499K house – which seems very high.
    I know the schools are good, but still!

  • 242. IB/IB mom (formerly IB and AC mom)  |  February 17, 2017 at 5:57 pm

    The way I have always thought of it is if I had little ones and just about to start with CPS it might be worth it to move away from the craziness, but at this point what is worse taxes like that for the rest of the time you live there or private tuition for 4 years if you really don’t have any good options. Not that we don’t have other reasons to leave the city, but there are also several good reasons to stay. My oldest didn’t get into SE and she has so many college offers it is ridiculous, most with scholarships. SE is not everything even though it may feel that way. I know you are in Amundsens’ area right? Did you apply to Von? I feel like that is not too far. I loved it when I toured there last year. It reminded me of the IB program at Taft, but with more flexibility. We did not apply as going to Taft makes more sense due to location.

  • 243. Jen K  |  February 18, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    @235/236 a student at the school where I work came in with an acceptance yesterday to Taft HS AVID program. I was surprised to see a letter so early. Maybe the student lives in the boundaries and the application was outside of the CPS process?

  • 244. NWsideMama  |  February 21, 2017 at 11:56 am

    @239 Yes, I said I would let my son check it himself on March 3. I also know that if he got into the HS he is hoping for, they usually coordinate well enough to send a welcome packet in the mail that formerly arrived the same day as the CPS letters. So I would still watch the mailbox too!

  • 245. IB/IB mom (formerly IB and AC mom)  |  February 21, 2017 at 12:47 pm

    @243 Jen K. The way I understand it is AVID is a program open only to neighborhood students (only exception I am aware of is that they let AC kids apply). My daughters friend already has her acceptance as well.

  • 246. cpsobsessed  |  February 21, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    Interesting. FYI, my followups with OAE… they did not reply about what % the math counts for on the SEHS test. I am assuming ~1/3 of the score. That means 1/9 of the total 900 points.
    And that will be the 1/9 that probably determines my son’s outcome…

  • 247. Logan Dad  |  February 23, 2017 at 1:37 pm

    Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about “The Journey” our family has taken to get here. Fumbling our way through the pre-school process, figuring out the difference between state paid and tuition based and wondering if a spot in the pre-school would get us into the same school’s kindergarten (back then, it did). Learning about IB and Selective Enrollment. Taking the test, being invited to one school and turning it down. Being invited to Edison Gifted and nervously saying yes. Worrying about whether the decision was the right one and finding out years later that it absolutely was.

    Suffering through a miserable, pro-longed teacher’s strike. Getting confused about the Academic Center process. Deciding to forego the Academic Center process. Stressing about the need to get straight A’s in 7th Grade. Feeling relieved when the grades came in. Preparing the NWEA’s in 7th Grade. Driving to test prep classes at North Park College. Watching my daughter work so hard to improve her math skills. Taking the NWEA tests and nervously waiting for the results. Getting the results and feeling relieved and so very impressed and proud of my daughter.

    Enjoying the summer between 7th & 8th grades and again becoming nervous in 8th grade. Signing up for Prep Test for selective enrollment high school test. Touring all the high schools and seeing all our friends and fellow travelers trying to figure it out. The funny conversations, “Wouldn’t it be great if they both went to… Jones, Payton, Northside, Lane, Whitney…” Looking at the tier map repeatedly and wondering if our tier would go up. Driving my daughter to Lane Tech to take the high school test. Marveling at all the kids and families all trying to do their best for each other. Checking the tiers again. Stressing over which school should be our first pick.

    And now. Here we are, nervous again, waiting to hear which school will be the one where the next four years of learning, friendships, community and growth as a student and as a family will take place. What a journey it has been.

    I’m still nervous. Even after learning the system and putting in all the good effort. But I’m also hopeful and grateful for the experience and all the help we’ve received along the way. While we still do not have any guarantees, I wouldn’t change a thing about our experience with Chicago Public Schools.

  • 248. Chicago School GPS  |  February 23, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    Wonderful reflection, Logan Dad! CPS truly is a journey of ups and downs but is also super rewarding in many ways. Some of the “perks” become more evident in high school, especially for those students who want to ultimately attend U of C or Northwestern for college.

    Good luck to your daughter as she awaits her HS notifications next Friday 3/3/17!

    For those just embarking on their high school searches (5th & 6th grade families, especially), we invite you to join us, Test Prep Chicago, Mathnasium and NPN for a “What, Why & How of Chicago High School Admissions” seminar at 7PM on March 8th at the DePaul Mathnasium at 1444 W Fullerton. Enter code GPSFree for complimentary admission. http://www.npnparents.org/event_times/2800

  • 249. IB/IB mom (formerly IB and AC mom)  |  February 23, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    @ 248 Can you elaborate on some of the perks attending U of C or NorthWestern as a CPS student?

  • 250. cpsobsessed  |  February 23, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    @Logan Dad, that is a great summary of the whole process.

    Mine is somewhat similar except for adding:

    -Taking a chance on a brand new RGC program

    -Blogging about the whole process

    -Did not have a child who was compelled to “work so hard to improve math skills”. He preferred the “winging it” approach.

    There really are many stress points in this process. I will say, given the expanded options for high school it has been less stressful than I expected. But we’ll see if I’m singing that tune next week.

    I generally still feel it was worth it. I have some regrets about the class sizes over time. I truly think it is not ideal to have 28-30 kids in an early elementary classroom. I envy the extra curriculars and music/art programs my friends outside Chicago have. The standardized testing is oppressive. But overall, it has been a great experience for my son with caring, dedicated teachers and admin who thrive despite the constraints of CPS.

  • 251. Chicago School GPS  |  February 23, 2017 at 5:36 pm

    They both offer FREE summer bridge programs for CPS students only, which offer college credit for classes taken alongside current undergraduates of those schools. http://sps.northwestern.edu/program-areas/summer/high-school-programs/college-bridge.php

    While I’m not sure how much merit aid Northwestern gives, I have heard the U of C is very generous (full ride) for high performing CPS students, regardless of need or ethnicity. https://collegeadmissions.uchicago.edu/sites/default/files/uploads/pdfs/cps_scholarships.pdf

    They also waive college application fees all CPS students, and both have a FREE 3 year college readiness & guidance program for qualifying, need-based CPS students. Check out U of C’s Collegiate Scholars program and Northwestern Academy, both of which take applicants from 9th grade CPS students.

  • 252. Jennifer  |  February 23, 2017 at 6:24 pm

    @247 Logan Dad – Thank you for sharing your journey. You inspired me to write about my family’s journey–which, unfortunately, hasn’t been quite as rosy as yours.

    Our daughter was in a Bright Horizons pre-school, mainly for daycare but also for her learning and development. When it came time to think about kindergarten, we decided to have her take the exam– not because we were set on having her enroll in a selective enrollment school, but because we wanted her to be someplace that would best match her needs. If she didn’t get into a gifted or classical school, then she would have gone to our neighborhood kindergarten, which happened to be Waters School. (At the time, it wasn’t as strong as it is now, but it didn’t seem that bad. And it was a two-minute walk from our apartment!)

    Much to our pleasant surprise, our daughter tested really well and was admitted to Skinner Classical School. We were proud and didn’t worry too much about the commute. My husband’s schedule allowed him to drop her off in the morning and pick her up after school. Then we learned the school would be splitting into two schools, starting with our daughter’s first grade year. We had a choice between the then-current location, which would remain a classical-only school, or the new location, which would be a combined classical and neighborhood school and would be in a brand new building farther from our house. There was a bit of uncertainty and confusion around what would be the best choice for us, but we decided to select the location that was closer to our home. HOWEVER, right before school was set to start the next fall, we learned that our daughter had been put on the list for the new school. Rather than asking to be switched, we decided to go with the choice that was made for us. After all, the principal, most of the teachers, and most of our daughter’s classmates had chosen the new school building.

    The next several years were mostly fine, with some ups and downs. The “downs” were mostly due to some trouble with a few not-very-nice kids. Plus, the long drive to and from school was (and still is) a source of daily stress for my husband. (Of course, there are no school buses that serve our area, which is ridiculous.) Still, our daughter did well in school, always making straight-A’s on her report card.

    However, she didn’t– and doesn’t– love school. And that breaks my heart. There have been some good times and good friends, but my daughter’s elementary school years have been fraught with stress. From the late nights doing homework and struggles with math to the pressure the kids are feeling to perform well on tests, it has not been fun. Then, when it came time to consider Academic Centers we applied to Lane Tech, which is close to our home. And she didn’t get in. In the days following that rejection– when other kids were celebrating, including our daughter’s best friend who got into Lane– our daughter felt bad about herself and bitter about the tier system. What a terrible thing to put our kids through!

    So, in 7th grade the pressure was really on. We hired a private math tutor and she continued to get straight A’s. But the stress (not only from school, but also from teen-angsty issues) got to be so much, she started seeing a therapist to help her handle her depression. We wanted to lift this pressure from her shoulders, so we came up with Plan B for high school. We told her it doesn’t matter if she doesn’t get into a selective enrollment HS. There are some fine neighborhood schools, including the one nearest us, which is Amundsen. We did send her to a one-day test prep course prior to the admission test, but other than that, we’ve told her over and over not to worry about it. She’s not getting any pressure at home. If she doesn’t get into her first choice (Northside) or her second choice (Lane), then she’ll go to Amundsen and (presumably) be in the IB program. We told her this will be just fine. We visited the school and it has a lot going for it.

    BUT, she’s still feeling the pressure at school, from teachers and other kids alike. The fact is, the SE kids, as a whole, think they are better and smarter than regular public school kids. And I feel like they are getting this message from the teachers and administrators at school. It shouldn’t be this way.

    So, I feel nervous about next Friday too. Not because I think our daughter won’t have a good education and a bright future if she doesn’t go to a selective enrollment HS, but because of the emotional ramifications of a rejection letter. If, after eight years of commuting to a “top” school, all that hard work earning straight A’s and studying and paying for a tutor, etc etc…. if, after all that, she ends up in a neighborhood school, I’m going to wonder if she wouldn’t have been better off in a neighborhood school at the very beginning. Then at least she might’ve had friends in our own neighborhood… and she might have actually liked school.

    I don’t mean to sound so negative, but the CPS system is terrible. I’ll be glad when this school year is over.

  • 253. Ogden Parent too  |  February 24, 2017 at 10:11 am

    @Logan dad
    I was sobbing as I read your reflection. My daughter has been in CPS since preschool. My daughter is has done well and likes school. Our journey has been anything but ordinary, transferred to 5 different magnet schools, 5th one was the charm!

    Best of Luck to Everyone!

  • 254. mom2  |  February 24, 2017 at 10:31 am

    @Jennifer – thank you for sharing that. I hope someone from CPS and the mayor’s office reads your post. I find much of what you said to be true for many families.
    While our experience with CPS has mostly been positive (mostly good teachers, good administration and my oldest kid got into Lane and enjoyed most of it), the stress was and is horrible. The amount of homework given from the early grades through high school was and is crazy and we never have seen a benefit to it. The worst of it is what you said about the comparisons between SE and any other school in the system. And these comparisons come from the kids, the parents and from the teachers at the schools. While they may say that they encourage kids to apply to their local school, they also tell kids how they better pay attention in class, do homework or whatever so they can “get into” a good high school. We all know what that means. And I also hate that the kids get split up. While we will be very glad to get away from a few mean kids, I envy the kids in the burbs that just get to go to their high school and know they are going with their friends. The whole process is just so sad and stressful. I hate it.

  • 255. IB/IB mom (formerly IB and AC mom)  |  February 24, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    I love hearing each kids journey, but good or bad I think it will likely make our kids stronger in the end. Applying to college (unless we are talking about an ivy or other highly selective school) will likely be a walk in the park after this. I have one daughter who went to a magnet for kindergarten and the bus was so full she was sharing a seat on the bus with 2 other kids. Kids would throw stuff out the windows. She would get an elbow to the face here or there. She then got into an SE (RGC) for first grade and from there went to an AC. After all of that she did not get into an SE for high school. One B and a bad day on the admission test day is all it took to not get in. I honestly don’t know if her high school career would have been as good as it was if she had. Now we were going through the college application process and because “cast a wide net” is part of my make-up after this process, we applied to way too many schools and she got into all but 1.

    My younger daughter started at a magnet where I was always shocked that the kids would scream profanities right in front of the principal. He would of course punish them and do what he could. There were good things and bad things about the school, but while she was there we moved (leaving Chicago at that time did not cross my mind, but it probably should have with this process). We were very lucky, she got into a wonderful magnet school. I couldn’t have asked for a better grade school experience. She is now at an AC and I am hoping she will get into the SEHS that she wants. She didn’t pick the best or the most elite school as her first choice even though she may have a chance (albeit slim). I am proud of her choice. And if she doesn’t get in we will be ok. We know this now, but if this was my first child going through the SEHS process, I don’t know if I would feel the same.

    I do know that we were lucky in getting into magnet schools (even if they weren’t the best). At the time our neighborhood schools would not be an option. The grade school, if I remember correctly, had 27% MEETING or exceeding and serious, serious safety issues.

    I do have hope in that I have heard and seen improvement in each of the neighborhood high schools that I am familiar with. I think the neighborhood schools improving is the only thing that will make things change. I would give anything to have had schools that my kids could walk to and have friends in the neighborhood. I am sure that will take a continued collective effort between the school administration, teachers, parents and kids, but I am hopeful.

    Good luck to each of you and of course to your amazing children!

  • 256. IB/IB mom (formerly IB and AC mom)  |  February 24, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    @251 Chicago School GPS – Thank you! Do you do a college type seminar or have any college planning services? Just wondering for future reference.

  • 257. cpsobsessed  |  February 24, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    @Jennifer, I so agree with your assessment about the pressure from the kids about the selective schools. Amundsen, for example has made such amazing inroads and has gotten on the radar as an option for many families.

    But the final hurdle is changing the perceptions of 13-14 year olds which seems extraordinarily difficult. I don’t know what it takes to make that happen. They seem to form their judgements on what they hear from other kids. And it’s like a distorted version of what the parents say in many cases.

    The North Center Alderman (Pawar) has done a great job of linking the elementary and high schools to make Lake View and Amundsen regular choices for the neighborhood kids. But they still have not reached that tipping point where they’re not treated as the backup schools.

    I pass Amundsen every day and it’s such a beautiful building and campus and I think “why don’t all the kids just go here?!” I truly hope each year that more kids attend and spread the word about these schools, to help them gain momentum. I saw a TON of families there for the IB session, which was encouraging. Packed auditorium.

  • 258. mom2  |  February 24, 2017 at 12:25 pm

    I so agree about Pawar and making Lake View and Amundsen the standard choice for all kids in the boundary schools! I love that. However, they need to do even more to keep this momentum going. I still think Lake View needs a more official honors program with standards for admission. But I love all the improvements they are making to the facilities both inside and outside, the partnerships with places like Northwestern and DePaul and the Cubs and all the money coming into those schools to show the cities commitment to them. Did you know that any child that attends schools in certain boundaries are automatically admitted to Lake View or Amundsen? Even kids that go to places like Hawthorne that live all over the city have this option. I had no idea until about a week or two ago when I read it on one of their websites. They did not do a good job promoting that!

  • 259. mom2  |  February 24, 2017 at 12:30 pm

    This is what I read in a flyer from Grow Community – “8th graders, did you know?
    Any student graduating in 2017 from one of the GROW
    elementary schools (listed here: bit.ly/GROWSchools) can attend
    Lake View or Amundsen in the 2017-18 school year, irrespective
    of where they live. GROW elementary students planning to attend
    Lake View or Amundsen should ask their guidance counselor to
    project them to that high school.”

  • 260. Chicago School GPS  |  February 24, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    @256- You’re welcome and “yes”, please do consider us for future reference because we are extending our services to the college planning realm. We don’t aim to replace the pricier “all-in” consultants who abound in the world of college admissions, but we are using our “experience based” (& budget friendly approach) that gives parents the tools to efficiently and calmly understand the process and serve as a third party to help guide both the student and family along in their college search. Goodness knows with teenagers, just hearing something NOT coming from mom & dad will do wonders.

  • 261. Logan Dad  |  February 24, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    @jennifer – It breaks my heart to hear your story because your CPS SEHS path is so close to our path. At any given step in this 8+ year process, all it takes is a little bad luck, confusion, missed assignment or life change to set you off your trajectory. As a parent who is obsessed with getting good educational outcomes AND staying in the city, there were so many confounding, temper-flaring moments where I found myself at wits end.

    Some of the conversations I had with my daughter when she was 10 (for the AC) and at 12 (for high school) would seem ridiculous and cruel if heard by anyone outside of the Chicago Public School system. This past Christmas, we traveled to see friends and watched their expression when our daughter explained the CPS SEHS application process. Hearing this come from her mouth made even me (the architect of all this effort) gasp in disbelief.

    And, throughout this journey, I’ve tried to be conscience of mine and my wife’s role in all this beautiful, stressful madness. We both wanted selective enrollment outcomes for our kids and still do. Getting into one of the Big 5 high schools was important to us and perhaps, in some ways, too important. Some of this is based on legitimate life values like our dedication to learning and education. But some of it is just the madness and obsession that grips so many parents that visit CPS Obsessed.

    And while I don’t know if this will bring any comfort to you, I do believe that all of our kids will have positive outcomes because we all consider education as deeply important and have put forth the effort to share this belief with our kids and find the best possible outcomes for them.

    I sincerely wish you the best of luck as your daughter heads off to high school (And has an awesome, enriching experience because she will. You have given her that) and with moving past the stress and frustration (Because we all must and will. Life is too rich and wonderful for us to do any less).

  • 262. TAMMY  |  February 24, 2017 at 10:37 pm

    We are ALL such wonderful parents to care so much about the future of our children!! WE ROCK!!

  • 263. LM  |  February 25, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    @tammy, yes, we are all trying our best for our kids and hopefully they all turn out just fine.
    How many CPS students are entering HS? I guess I’m trying to figure out how many spots each school has. Are the odds of getting a SE next to none? Do you need a perfect 900 to get in?

  • 264. cpsobsessed  |  February 25, 2017 at 1:51 pm

    See this thread from last year:

  • 265. cpsobsessed  |  February 25, 2017 at 1:55 pm

    Based on last year’s numbers there were roughly 16,000 kids applying. (That is well over half the kids in a grade, but does include private school kids as well)
    On average, the rate of acceptance to an SEHS was:
    Tier 1 24%
    Tier 2 25%
    Tier 3 28%
    Tier 4 40%

    Obviously the chances ultimately depend on your child’s scores as the odds of getting in are not random. A kid going in with all As and test scores in the high 90’s will likely get an offer. A kid with 2 Bs and scores under 85% will potentially not get an offer.
    And of course it depends which schools you pick. Many kids could get into at least ONE selective high school… but some only consider certain schools on their application list.

  • 266. LM  |  February 25, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    Thanks. This is so helpful. Even if it only stresses me out more. Haha. I want to have realistic expectations heading into this week. Good luck to everyone. I hope you all get good news on Friday!

  • 267. cpsobsessed  |  February 25, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    Same to you!

    I (somehow) agreed with my son that I would not look at the email until he can see it.

    I’m curious to see how timely OAE is with the emails, since this is the first year with online notification.

  • 268. LM  |  February 25, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    My daughter wants me to open it right away and send her a screen shot!

  • 269. UT  |  February 25, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    My child put Jones as their top choice. And then last week when I was out somewhere (and of course talking about high school) a parent told me that their kid’s first 2 years at Jones had very oppressive, all-consuming homework.
    So now I’m kind of secretly hoping she doesn’t score in.

  • 270. LM  |  February 25, 2017 at 3:17 pm

    That’s just not worth it. I have a daughter heading to college this fall. She dropped some AP classes this year, just to cut down on stress. She did absolutely fine, got a great ACT score. They have to have a life!

  • 271. TAMMY  |  February 25, 2017 at 4:45 pm

    At this very moment I am a Grateful and Appreciative parent of a smart 14 year old 8th Grader!!

    My son sat on our bed this morning and very maturely and lovingly shared with us (hubby and I) these words…..I have decided that if the test results do not LAND in my favor and I am not accepted to the school of my 1st choice or 2nd choice or even if I am not considered at all – I choose to not fall deep into not feeling worthy or not smart enough~. We continued to listen with shock and eagerness as he gently spoke to us about how he chooses to handle things if the sky somehow turns gray if his dream school does not select him.
    After a while I kindly asked him how did he arrive at such a wise decision when all he has been talking about over the past year is getting into NORTH SIDE PREP by doing the following: *making sure his grades were top notch *participating in Prep courses *making sure he made it to open house early *wanting to go to an LSC meeting at the school ( which I refused to do)…… so are you saying to us that you have forsaken all those great efforts?? Have you thrown in the towel my son? With a smile on my face along with a pair of concerned eyes from his dad. He went on to share with us how he views his LIFE AT THIS VERY MOMENT. HE SAYS I AM AT A GREAT SCHOOL NOW AND I AM A GREAT STUDENT NOW. I AM ALWAYS ON THE HONOR ROLL/ I WAS ASKED TO REPRESENT MY SCHOOL AT THE SPELLING BE ON THE REGIONAL LEVEL/ MY TEACHERS ARE VERY ENCOURAGING/ I AM TAKING HONORS CLASSES/ MY FRIENDS ARE COOL/ I HANG OUT WITH AWESOME PEOPLE!!! And most importantly of all my school continues right into High school so all I HAVE to do is walk in a different entrance for High School and the GREATNESS CONTINUES!!
    My hubby and I could say many things but we choose to just be Happy!! 🙂

  • 272. cpsobsessed  |  February 25, 2017 at 5:36 pm

    Wow, that is a very self-aware 14 year old!! Good for him. His level of motivation alone is outstanding, so I’m sure he’ll do well wherever he ends up.

  • 273. LM  |  February 25, 2017 at 5:48 pm

    That is really great that he feels that way. My daughter’s grammar school experience is not so positive. She hopes to go to a SEHS just so she won’t go to school with anyone from her grade school. We are coming from a private school so most kids are going to a private high school. I hope she really finds her “people” in high school. We have had a rough time.

  • 274. TAMMY  |  February 25, 2017 at 5:58 pm

    Thanks for the kind words and I am sorry to hear about your daughters experience! School life can be a nightmare sometimes for our children, but it has been my experience that life can and does get better for them. Hang in there there is a rainbow coming!!

  • 275. Coonleymom  |  February 25, 2017 at 6:36 pm

    Best of luck to everyone next weekend! Crossing fingers my son gets into his 1st choice but it is not easy and whether it is right or wrong, being in Tier 4 makes it very difficult. I would kindly ask that parents consider waiting to tell their children until they get home? I remember last year hearing about parents calling and texting their kids during the day and although some kids got great news, others did not. Might be nice for all the kids to have the weekend to let good, or bad news sink in b/c it is going to be very tough few days for some of our kids.

  • 276. PSMom  |  February 25, 2017 at 6:42 pm

    @275 Most colleges release their decisions after hours exactly for this reason. Since CPS is releasing all of their decisions online they have the opportunity to control when we find out the news. I wish we knew the time the site will be updated so we can “plan” accordingly.

  • 277. cpsobsessed  |  February 25, 2017 at 8:15 pm

    That is a really good point @CoonleyMom. It would surely be better to wait until after hours for everyone to start discussing it. I emailed the contact I have at OAE to point that out. No idea what they have planned, but I figured it would be worth mentioning to them.

  • 278. Dawn Kulich  |  February 26, 2017 at 10:33 pm

    Good luck to all in this endeavor which was designed to keep the middle class in Chicago. We have decided to go private, but will check to see the CPS release of acceptances like everyone else. It is a decision based on the needs of our wonderful, talented, and loving daughter. Even the SE schools are not a panacea, but each teacher does the best they can with the resources they have. The resources are less at the other schools and so is the number of parents who can cough up money at silent and live auction evenings to make up the difference so that students have what they need to get an education.

    I love all that Chicago offers, and hate the fact that money, both locat and state, are assisting with our choice to go private. If we’ve made a wrong choice, then we’ll make a different choice. But until the money’s loosen up, each year is going to mean less of the good and more of those things that stand in the way of a great education. Those kids who are strong standard learners will be ok. Those who are not will suffer.

    My daughter has had a great experience at her CPS elementary school which she will be leaving after 11 sometimes frustrating, sometimes amazing, years. I salute all my former CTU colleagues.

  • 279. Ogden Parent too  |  February 27, 2017 at 6:12 pm

    I thought we received the SE results through the Dashboard account we set up when applying. Which is Dashboard or Email? Thanks in advance….

  • 280. Ogden Parent too  |  February 27, 2017 at 6:26 pm

    Concerning Jones and homework, I have heard just the opposite about homework. I know a handful of freshmen who love the block schedule, they say it is so helpful when it comes homework management.. I did hear that they give a lot of long term projects that you cant leave to the last minute to finish.
    With that said every kid is different and my daughter could make the least amount of homework an all night affair!

  • 281. Ogden Parent too  |  February 27, 2017 at 6:31 pm

    Chi Arts gave out acceptances last week. I know 3 kids who got acceptances.
    I wonder if Trump goes ahead with cuts in Arts funding what will come of these incredible programs.

  • 282. Logan Dad  |  February 27, 2017 at 6:37 pm

    We will not be looking at any CPS results until everyone is home the evening of 3.3. It’s going to take a lot of self control though…

  • 283. TAMMY  |  February 27, 2017 at 8:40 pm

    I would like to know the answer to the guestion: will the results be delivered directly to our personal email addresses or through dash board?

  • 284. cpsobsessed  |  February 27, 2017 at 8:47 pm

    I believe via the dashboard. I think you’d need to log in to see the results.

  • 285. KonradL  |  February 27, 2017 at 8:52 pm

    8th grader here. Anyone know what CPS will do with the non-achievement tests? (the ones with pattern recognition) It seems strange for CPS to give a test they won’t count.

  • 286. cpsobsessed  |  February 27, 2017 at 8:56 pm

    @285, my guess is that they are collecting data to see if this part of the test would be a good section to add. So they might be seeing if high scores on the pattern part correlate with high scores on the other sections.
    Or maybe seeing how well Chicago students do overall to see if they should add it.
    Or maybe it helps differentiate students a little better than the current test.

    If they see that it seems like a good way to measure achievement, they might add it to the test in the future. So probably not doing anything with individual scores, but looking at them overall.

  • 287. cpsobsessed  |  February 28, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    Just speculating here, but some schools may still be mailing out a letter to the homes of students who get in — so it’s possible this could show up before the online notification.
    Not every school has done this, and things may change this year, but just thought I’d mention it.

  • 288. CPSmama  |  February 28, 2017 at 5:32 pm

    @287 i think so too. That would be great in a way, so if parents see an envelope from a particular school, they would already know what will be found online. I feel like this is the longest week of all…

  • 289. IB/IB mom (formerly IB and AC mom)  |  February 28, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    cpsobessed – it will be after hours. Just got this email…

    This is an important message from the Office of Access and Enrollment regarding the notification letters for ninth grade for the 2017-2018 school year.

    If you submitted applications online, your notification letters will be posted on March 3, 2017, to the online application site, apply.cps.edu. The letters will be posted after school hours on March 3rd, no later than 11:59 pm. On Thursday of this week, we will send you another robocall and email, which will provide more information on how to access the letters and how to accept offers. Before March 3rd, we STRONGLY recommend that you visit the online application site, apply.cps.edu, to make sure that you are able to get into your account. If you cannot get into your account, click the “Forgot Password” button on the site. If you are still unable to get into your account, contact the Office of Access and Enrollment at 773-553-2060 or oae@cps.edu.

  • 290. IB/IB mom (formerly IB and AC mom)  |  February 28, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    And a robocall!

  • 291. Logan Dad  |  February 28, 2017 at 6:35 pm

    This is like mile 21 of a marathon. It’s going to be a long couple of days…

  • 292. LAM  |  February 28, 2017 at 7:37 pm

    We are also waiting for college acceptances for my other daughter that are trickling in at a snail’s pace!! Some won’t release notifications until April. She is a musical theatre major so the acceptance rate at many of the schools is less than 1%. I wish I could just go to sleep until Friday and wake up with one child situated, one way or another.

  • 293. cpsobsessed  |  February 28, 2017 at 11:22 pm

    Thanks @289 – glad to know the notification will happen after school hours.

    You know what’ll be weird this year is (I imagine) we’ll all find out at the exact same time. In the past, the mail trickled in over a few days. Now it’ll be like “boom” — check online.

    CPS OAE has been really good about the phone calls and emails to remind people.

    Welp, 3 more sleeps….

  • 294. cpsobsessed  |  February 28, 2017 at 11:23 pm

    @292, wow, that sounds intense. Did your child have to go to audition at those schools? Or do you submit a reel or something? Good luck and let us know how it goes.

  • 295. LM  |  March 1, 2017 at 7:16 am

    @cpsobsessed, all of the schools are different. Some make you come to campus, others hold regional auditions in big cities, (so Chicago is always one). We have traveled to NY and Florida and then the rest we were able to do in Chicago. But she had to apply to about 15 schools to cast a wide enough net with those acceptance rates. It was a brutal, expensive process. And now we wait!
    I agree with you, CPS OAE has been great communicating with everyone. They seem to be very organized. I hope we still feel that way in a year or two! I like your countdown, “two more sleeps” 😁

  • 296. Ogden Parent too  |  March 1, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    I like it better when the letters trickle in. I am counting sleeps too. I told my daughter we should go to bed earlier this week so we dont have to think about Friday!

  • 297. ELT  |  March 1, 2017 at 9:47 pm

    Anyone want to place bets on whether the CPS OAE site crashes Friday night? I can’t imagine a bigger IT nightmare than 10? 16,000? users all trying to log in to their dashboard at apply.cps.edu over and over again Friday night. I sure hope they’re ready for this….

  • 298. TAMMY  |  March 1, 2017 at 10:15 pm

    Interesting thought.
    You may be right!!

  • 299. cpsobsessed  |  March 1, 2017 at 11:36 pm

    Eek, that does sound like a valid possibility.

  • 300. mom2  |  March 2, 2017 at 12:58 pm

    I just realized that we have been waiting almost 14 years for the results of this next week. That is just totally wrong. No 13-14 year old should have this sort of pressure. Even with all the positive talk (which is actually true) about the vastly improved neighborhood schools, the kids are still freaking out at school and can’t talk about anything else. The staff is having meetings to help them be nice to each other after the news and be supportive for those that are sad. This is ridiculous. No matter what the outcome is for us, I am hating on CPS and the fact that these young kids will have to deal with this. Just venting. Thank you.

  • 301. IB/IB mom (formerly IB and AC mom)  |  March 2, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    @ELT – I was thinking the same thing. I am hoping there will be well timed emails from the schools themselves so that many people will know without logging in. This should be interesting.

  • 302. X@gmail.com  |  March 2, 2017 at 1:14 pm

    How many children applied this year to the SEHS? Has a number been released?

  • 303. mom5  |  March 2, 2017 at 1:49 pm

    I emailed OAE to ask if they would be sending an email tomorrow to let parents know that the notifications had been posted to the student’s dashboards. They said no. Just check between close of business and midnight. Fairly unhelpful.

  • 304. Ogden Parent too  |  March 2, 2017 at 2:14 pm

    I just want to thank you for starting CPS Obsessed. You and all of the posters have been indispensable.
    I have been with you from the start in 2008. My daughter is the same age as your son, a matter of fact we met at Digame’ years ago. Our kids were in the same class. At that time I think it was a class of two students. Your son and my daughter had the same level of energy. I think they drove the instructor batty! LOL

    I’ve been thinking of past posts, back to the day when a poster called me a racist because I said Ancona was diverse, the poster claimed I was using “diverse” as a code for non white…..ooooh how sinister, fun times for sure!

    I hope I have been helpful to parents through my journey, lord knows I have been able to review many schools because ” I was there”…. South Loop, Talcott, Suder, Galileo, Lasalle II and Ogden.
    Yes, one kid and so many schools, as I always say, in CPS you have to find the right fit.
    I hope we can all stay together and post our High School journeys. We are the graduating class of CPS Obsessed.

    One more sleep

    cpsobsessed we are all better parents for knowing you.


    Mari Blair-Pappa

  • 305. CPSmama  |  March 2, 2017 at 2:20 pm

    @cpsobsessed and Ogden Parent too

    I would like to parrot that message from Ogden Parent. These threads have been beyond useful all these years, since the early days. This is my last mailbox watch, even if it is digital this time. But it’s always been great to check into these threads whether it was for an AC or high school watch. The information is so darn thorough.

    Going to bed early tonight just to finally get to my last day of wondering…

    Thank you for all you do here. 😉

  • 306. mom2  |  March 2, 2017 at 3:04 pm

    OMG you guys are making me cry! We will still have 4 years of dealing with CPS and maybe we can help each other with college too.

  • 307. Mia Bart  |  March 2, 2017 at 4:30 pm

    I have read this blog for years but only posted recently (in this thread), but I have to concur that it has been interesting, informative and helpful. With my first (now a freshman in college) I was very stressed through the whole SE process, and it was that awful year where the cutoff scores went way up and there was so much sadness amongst many of her classmates. Kids crushed at going to Whitney when they wanted Northside – how crazy is that? She was lucky enough to get her first choice, Northside, and thrived there. However, during the college process, she told me how many of her friends went to Northside thinking they’d be somehow be better positioned for an elite college or some other secret benefit, but in the end they realized that in some ways they were competing with each other for the same schools and their outcomes could have been achieved at any number of good neighborhood programs. With my youngest (an 8th grader and classmate of @cpsobsessed son) we’ve dialed the stress way down, and though he’d be thrilled with his first or second choice, he is also aware that his neighborhood options are solid. I have to say – the college application and selection process, while challenging in many ways, was much,much easier than this, what my daughter had the most difficulty with was narrowing down the number of schools to apply to, and then of course which offer to accept. But those are great problems to have!

    Anyway – thanks to @cpsobsessed for providing and nurturing this wonderful resource for all of us.

  • 308. concerned  |  March 2, 2017 at 4:53 pm

    I am also thinking that the website will crash. Hope it doesn’t.

  • 309. PSMom  |  March 2, 2017 at 6:02 pm

    I had everything bookmarked on my Iphone and was able to login yesterday. I just tried again and now it says the browser is not supported.

    Not sure if we need to be on a computer instead of a device to check tomorrow.

  • 310. CPSmama  |  March 2, 2017 at 6:21 pm

    Here’s a thought…the majority of students who applied to SE high schools will not receive an acceptance letter. If I am one of those parents, based on the email today, I would log on and NOT see “view letter”.
    I would optimistically assume they just aren’t posted yet.
    I would log on about 50 more times until 11:59.

    My example times thousands of other parents doing the same thing.

    Why not post a green light letter or red light letter so either way there is clarification for all?

    With that math, yep– site is expecting severe traffic tomorrow!


  • 311. Mom5  |  March 2, 2017 at 6:25 pm

    Everyone who took the test will get some kind of letter. The letter will provide their score and name the school that they have been accepted to, or say that they were not chosen for whatever schools they applied to.

  • 312. Almost there  |  March 2, 2017 at 6:47 pm

    Hi. If you accept an offer from a SE high school that was your second choice on your list and then your first choice ends up with an open spot in your tier after march 17th deadline and you were the next in line for an offer; do you get an offer even if you already accepted another SE offer? Thanks.

  • 313. cpsobsessed  |  March 2, 2017 at 7:11 pm

    @312, no unfortunately once you accept the one offer, you will not get another offer.
    Most of the SE high schools do not do a second round of acceptances. The only people who get entry are those who are notified in the first round. Or you can apply via principal discretion in Mid March.

  • 314. Mom5  |  March 2, 2017 at 7:15 pm

    No, if you accept an offer from a SEHS, you are taken out of the applicant pool. You can accept a SEHS offer and apply to your first choice through Principal Discretion.


  • 315. Chicago School GPS  |  March 2, 2017 at 7:35 pm

    Most schools accept a percentage of students over their targeted freshman class size, assuming that some kids will turn down offers and when the dust settles, the school will arrive at their target size. Sometimes you hear of a school having a larger than normal freshman class because there weren’t as many declines as anticipated, but more recently, the CPS uncertainty has made it harder for principals to figure out that sweet spot of how many seats to over-accept by.

    Some SEHS do have second rounds of offers, but historically Northside, Payton, Young, Jones and Lane have not had second rounds for years.

    Principal’s Discretion allows SEHS schools to have up to 5% of their freshman class admitted via a more holistic metric of accomplishments, overcoming hardships, special talents, etc. It’s a long shot as well because of that small percentage but kids do in through those spots! PD typically opens the day or day after acceptance letters are mailed, and the SEHS cutoffs are also typically published that day. Good luck to all!

  • 316. cpsobsessed  |  March 2, 2017 at 8:35 pm

    @307 –
    I have such a vague recollection of Digame… had to dig into the brain to recall that, but I do remember talking to a nice mom about school. that was when my obsession was forming, I think.
    And my son still barely knows any Spanish. Hopefully you fared better in that department.

    Thank you to everyone who has been reading all along the way, sharing information and participating in the more lively debates over the years.

    And you’re right! — we ARE the “graduating class” of CPSO, having gone from K-high school together.

    It has been a weirdly emotional week, feeling like we’re at the end of a long road, but embarking on a new one that will be revealed tomorrow.

  • 317. cpsobsessed  |  March 3, 2017 at 10:33 am



  • 318. Logan Dad  |  March 3, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    @cpsobsessed @ogdenparenttoo @everyone – We all are the first graduating class of CPS Obsessed! I am so grateful to @cpsobsessed and everyone who shared their knowledge, thoughts, ideas, hopes and fears on this site. It really, honestly made it so much easier to be a CPS Parent knowing there are other folks like me out there balanced on the precipice of victory and panic at each stage of our kids school journey. And it’s been fun. I feel like I know my fellow CPS Parents a little better for my time spent here. The funniest thing is that I’m going to miss this place, it’s people and it’s fervent conversations once we get into high school. I won’t be a complete stranger as we have a 7-year old still moving through the system, but the second time just seems so much easier. I sincerely wish every crazy, school obsessed CPS Parent the best possible outcome as well as peace, adventure and joy on your journey.

  • 319. ProudPapa  |  March 3, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    Came here almost three years ago looking for information on ACs for my oldest child. This place was then/is now a great source of info and it helped me to navigate (and commiserate) this ordeal.

    My son missed his first choice, Lane, by a few points and was completely heartbroken. I’ll never forget the look on his face and the tears that he tried his best to stifle but soon came.

    It was a stake to my heart to see him, for the first time, miss out on something he so dearly wanted. I knew this would be one of life’s cruel lessons but in the grand scheme of things… it was only a minor ping. Like losing your first puppy love.

    I’d taken the SEHS exam 37+ yrs before him (a time when it was no where near as competitive as it is today) and was accepted to my first and only choice. I was so certain that he would experience that same measure of elation and pride that I was completely unprepared for his disappointment.

    He picked himself up and decided to go with what was offered and it turned out to be the great fit for him. He loves Taft AC and is seriously leaning towards staying.

    We went through this process again with him for SEHS and this time his younger brother is going thru it also.. for an AC spot.

    This time he wanted to go thru it.. he wanted to test himself and see how much he has improved. Even though the odds of him leaving Taft are, as he puts it, 65/35 to stay.

    We wanted him to do it again just so that he had options available (not to mention that Taft is very far from our home). “Options” is one of those key words that we always talk about with our sons. Options provide choices.. better to have some than none.

    He’s flourished at Taft and quickly matured beyond anything his mother and I could have conceived of at the time. He was still a little boy when he went off to Taft, he’s undoubtedly a young man today.

    Frankly, we’ve left the choice up to him on whether to stay or leave Taft. His level of understanding and maturity has convinced us that it’s a decision he is more than capable of making himself. It is one of the most important things that I like about the IB program.. it teaches children to open their eyes; to research and listen; to be thoughtful in their considerations and THINK for themselves. That’s a beautiful thing to see in your child.

    Our youngest son… all brilliance and pride.. has always taken great pleasure from besting the high standards set by his older brother. Has suddenly developed a keen sense of humility (LOL for the first time I might add). His scores were higher than his brothers going into SE exam and he has little doubt (as do I) that he will get a better score on the exam than his brother. But it’s been two years since his brother took the test.. two years of ever increasing scores and this year we find ourselves in Tier 4!

    well… i guess that’s it… I’ve been rambling on and on… not so much nervous as anxious to see and experience the outcomes. I’m not nearly as concerned this time around. What ever the outcome… all is good.

    It’s just life.
    For every person young or old… there’s nothing else.

  • 320. LM  |  March 3, 2017 at 4:13 pm

    The portal is updated! my daughter got a spot at Whitney! We are so happy for her! I hope you all are happy with your offers! Let me know who else is going to WY. We’d love to “know” someone going in! Thanks for all of the great advice and feedback in this forum. It has helped us so much.

  • 321. Westinghouse?  |  March 5, 2017 at 2:43 pm

    How is Westinghouse? Anyone have any experience or knowledge of what kind of school it is? Missed their open house but did research on line. They seem to have great scores, college level CTE classes with medical, engineering, IT, business and broadcasting. So it seems like a career academy with a the higher selective enrollment level of education than the magnet schools. One day a month is called Community Day where you can take these really interesting classes from the looks of it:


    I’d love to learn more.

  • 322. lphs double honors openings  |  June 15, 2017 at 7:57 am

    I received this email if anyone is still looking for a high school spot:

    Dear LPHS Students and Families,

    We are accepting additional applications for a limited number of seats for incoming 9th graders in Double Honors. The application is posted on our website in the news sections with instructions and qualificaitons needed for admission.
    We are also accepting a limited number of transfer students (rising 10th and 11th graders). Information about the transfer process is also posted in the news section of our website.
    If you know of any well qualified students who are interested in LPHS, please let them know that we are accepting applications.


    M Boraz

  • 323. mom2  |  June 15, 2017 at 10:37 am

    @322 – Is that unusual that they have openings for more freshman double honors students or does that happen every year? This could be a sign that other high schools like Lake View, Senn and Amundsen are getting some traction. We know of quite a few students that are attending these schools next year (and they are kids that come from families where kids had attended SEHS’s in the past. We are still on board for LPHS but glad to know if they don’t live up to our expectations, we can leave.

  • 324. TAMMY  |  June 15, 2017 at 11:22 am

    Hello, does anyone have a child or have a child that goes to Lincoln Park High School? If so, would you kindly share some insight?

  • 325. Laurence Sopala  |  September 19, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    A lot of the dates are wrong on the list of Open Houses. Please revise it soon!

  • 326. Sosidemom  |  September 19, 2017 at 2:42 pm

    #325–The list of dates posted is from 2016, not this school year.

  • 327. Chicago School GPS  |  September 19, 2017 at 2:46 pm

    We try to keep our CSG Calendar as up to date as possible with school tours and open houses, but sometimes schools do change their dates, so always check with a school’s website as well: http://www.chischoolgps.com/Calendar.php

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