New: 1-Application Coming for High Schools

January 23, 2017 at 12:33 pm 20 comments


In what will make things at least a little easier for high school applications, CPS is looking to create 1 high school application, reports WBEZ (an NPR affiliate.)

For now, the plan is to include the Selective, Military, Magnets, and (I assume) IBs and neighborhood programs on one form.

Interestingly, they say that when you apply, the school can then contact you about upcoming dates, etc.  Seems like a good idea.  I am hoping that doesn’t mean the school can look to see where you applied (a topic that seems to come up when we’ve discussed Principal Discretion.)

What seems to still be unknown is whether Charter schools would be included on this application.  I *think* each Charter group/company requires a separate application now, so that could make the Charter process more efficient as well.

I’ve always thought it was strange that Charter, which are still a part of our system, run separately in terms of application dates, processes, etc.   Potentially, this could help give all schools in the system a leg up in the “choice” process (I use that term loosely, given the constraints of our system.)

I assume that after the 1 application is filled out, families will still need to follow up with the other steps of scheduling a test or audition, etc.

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

Fall 2016: Applying to Kindergarten / Elementary School High School “Letters” Thread 2017

20 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Chicago School GPS  |  January 23, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    It will definitely be interesting to see how this shakes out. The benefits are seeing all the options in one place and completing one app, but there is something to be said for families debating between different types of programs (SEHS vs. IB, for example) having a bit more time to decide between them by not having to “rank” them against each other in the current multi-application system. While they still only have 2 weeks or so in March to choose which school to say “yes” to, there are “new student welcome” nights that help a lot with that during those initial weeks. The decision is easier to come by when the hypothetical turns to reality. If it becomes a “single offer” type of application, then that decision is pushed into a very short time period prior to end of December. Then again, they could change the deadline, too. Or have a broader “Principal’s Discretion” to include other types of schools like IB or Magnet. Lots to think about.

    If you are interested, please “save the date” for Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017 from 1-4pm for the “Hidden Gems High School Fair” at Amundsen High School this fall.

  • 2. cpsobsessed  |  January 23, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    Oh, of course now that I finally won’t need any more High School fairs, it’s a block from my house! 🙂

  • 3. Chicago School GPS  |  January 23, 2017 at 1:12 pm

    @CPSO- you are always welcome just for the nostalgia factor and peace of mind for no longer needing it! 😉

  • 4. cpsobsessed  |  January 23, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    Thank you! – I will come skip through the halls in a carefree fashion.

    Hey, maybe I will be an Amundsen parent. We will know in 5 weeks…

  • 5. Round 2  |  January 23, 2017 at 1:56 pm

    So does this mean only one acceptance, vs. the current method where you might get accepted to 1 SE, multiple IB, magnet, etc?
    (Sigh….my daugher is a freshman and I was thinking we had the process down in advance of my son’s application year.)

  • 6. cpsobsessed  |  January 23, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    I didn’t read it that way — just a centralized application system.

  • 7. falconergrad  |  January 23, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    I am cynical and assume that charters will be included and in fact may be the sole reason for this change. I assume they will have access to everyone’s contact info then and use it to send the marketing materials that other schools cannot afford. 😦

    From the article: “The contract is being awarded to a Silicon Valley startup called SchoolMint, which is used by several charter schools, including Chicago’s Noble Network, as well as Indianapolis Public Schools and the school district in Newark, NJ. School districts in New York City, Denver, and New Orleans have also moved to similar systems. CPS plans to roll out the new application for students applying to be freshmen in the fall of 2018.

    But there are still a lot of details to be hammered out in Chicago, including whether or not public charter schools will be included. Jackson said the Chicago Community Trust has committed $1 million to community engagement around designing the new system and promoting its use.”

  • 8. Chicago School GPS  |  January 23, 2017 at 10:41 pm

    @5- the Tribune article talks about the ranking of choices with an appeals process, but then the next paragraph alludes to a separate SEHS process remaining. Weird and confusing. Many details still need to be determined.

    “The new application would allow families to rank their choice of up to 20 schools, CPS Chief Education Officer Janice Jackson said. CPS then would offer the students a seat at one of their school choices based on the rankings. If the student is not happy with that offer, they could file another application.
    Students eligible to attend one of the city’s rigorous selective enrollment schools still would have to use a separate admissions process that allows them to apply for up to six of those buildings. Those families also could use the new application process for alternative options.”

  • 9. falconergrad  |  January 23, 2017 at 11:44 pm

    Sounds like typical crazy CPS way to do things. Up to 20 schools!!??

  • 11. Dix  |  January 26, 2017 at 10:21 am

    WBEZ is not NPR. They are an NPR affiliate. NPR is NATIONAL. The report is from the local station. Please correct your post … thanks

  • 12. Janet  |  January 26, 2017 at 11:43 am

    was this approved?

  • 13. cpsobsessed  |  January 26, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    @Dix – thank you for clarifying!

  • 14. cpsobsessed  |  January 27, 2017 at 2:42 pm

    INTERESTING UPDATE from Becky Vevea via the CPS Office of Communications.
    It DOES sound like there is interest in switching to a ONE offer system.
    Not quite sure how that would work. I guess you’d rank your school options (SEHS, Magnet, Perf Arts?, IB) and then rank schools within those or something?

    Q. How can parents provide feedback?

    · There are two ways parents can provide feedback.

    · They can email CPS at

    · They can also contact their local FACE manager to participate in more formal discussions.

    Q. Is this a “single application” or a “single offer”?

    · Under this system, students would rank order their top 20 choices and receive a best offer based on their rankings. If students don’t like this offer, they can reject it and re-enter the system as a second round.

    · Because many students receive multiple offers without making a commitment, the current system prevents eligible students from receiving offers to their best-ranked programs.

  • 15. Rog Park Mom  |  February 10, 2017 at 9:12 am

    This is interesting. So if I understand that you get 1 offer, I wonder if that means the following:

    For elementary, I apply to say Decatur (classical) and Hawthorne (magnet). I really want Decatur, but as we know it’s hard to get in and takes a while to work through the list.

    So (miraculously) my kid gets into Hawthorne in the lottery.

    If I accept Hawthorne, I wonder if that means I am out of the pool for Decatur since I took my “one offer.”?

    Hopefully it means you can have one at a time but stay open to other offers.

  • 16. Jen K  |  February 10, 2017 at 9:34 am

    @15 but with “one offer”, there won’t be much movement on the wait list, right? Students will be accepted to the highest ranked program for which they qualify. If it’s turned down, there’s no guarantee they will get another offer.

  • 17. Momof3fish  |  February 12, 2017 at 11:52 pm

    @15, Hawthorne is a magnet school and Decatur is a sees so you can get offers from both. But you ultimately have to pick one. You cannot accept two.

  • 18. Chicago School GPS  |  February 13, 2017 at 7:46 am

    @15- I haven’t heard of any changes to the elementary application process, so at this point, elementary students should still be able to use both the Standard application (up to 20 school choices) and the SEES application (one offer out of six choices).

  • 19. J Roberts  |  February 24, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    This sounds very much like the system in NYC, for public (non-charter) high schools, which has two applications: one for the specialized high schools (the SEHS in Chicago terms) and one for all other high school programs. Kids who want the test-in schools, fill out that application in ranked order. But all kids fill out the second application in ranked order.

    Specialized High School round: Kids who are accepted to one these schools get results of BOTH applications and must choose one. Kids not accepted must wait for next round to get results.

    First round: All other kids get matched to the highest schools on their list that accepted them

    Second Round: KIds not matched anywhere get to reapply to schools that have spots left–usually not the best ones.

    Appeals: Just what it says. Kids take their case to the DOE of why they should be someplace else.

    Done this way precisely because the top students were getting multiple offers from many schools while many thousands of kids got no offer at all. Many, many fewer now with no offers at all. But NYC application does NOT include charters.

    It’s an imperfect system. But what system isn’t?

  • 20. Jordan Hanna  |  February 28, 2017 at 3:34 pm


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