High School “Letters” Thread 2017

March 2, 2017 at 7:29 pm 515 comments


Well, here we are on High School day eve.  And this time I am a participant.  I started CPSObsessed when my son was entering Kindergarten and we’re now at the end of that very long cycle, waiting to find out where he will be going to High School.  And importantly, where his friends and classmates will be going.  And whether he’ll be commuting.  And how early he’ll have to get up next year.  And what the high school experience might be like.

I’m much more relaxed than I thought I’d be at this point.  He’s got 3 good options, which includes a neighborhood school.  We didn’t cast the wide net I always advised others to do.

But you know, I’m the original obsesser, so it’s gonna be a lonnnnng 24 hours.

Thank you to everyone who’s ridden this long, interesting path from kindergarten to 8th grade with me.  I couldn’t have gotten here without having people to help hash out all the details of this unique school experience.



Notification Letters for the 2017-2018 School Year
Ninth Grade Applicants Notification letters for high school will be released on March 3, 2017.
Paper Applicants
Notification letters for applicants who applied via paper to ninth grade will be put in the U.S. mail to the home address on the student’s application, no later than 5 pm on March 3, 2017. If you do not receive your letter by March 9th, contact the Office of Access and Enrollment at 773-553-2060 or oae@cps.edu from a telephone number or email address on your application. At that time, OAE can arrange for you to pick up your letter in person or have it emailed to you.

Online Applicants
Notification letters for students who applied online to ninth grade will be posted to the online application site on March 3, 2017. The letters will be posted after school hours and before 11:59 pm. An email and a robocall has been sent to the contact information on the student’s online application file with the following directions on how to access the notification letters and how to accept an offer, if applicable. To access the letters on March 3rd, you will login to the online application site, apply.cps.edu. Under the Application Status for each program to which you applied, you will see a link titled View Letter.* Click the link to access the letter. If you received an offer, a Confirmation Form will be attached to the letter. You will need to print the Confirmation Form and submit it according to the directions on the Confirmation Form. If you have not already done so, we STRONGLY recommend that you visit the online application site, apply.cps.edu, as soon as possible, to ensure that you are able to access your account. If you cannot access your account, click the “Forgot Password” button on the site. If you are still unable to access your account, contact the Office of Access and Enrollment at 773-553-2060 or oae@cps.edu from a telephone number or email address on your application file. NOTE: After you receive your letters, please carefully and thoroughly read all information, including any Frequently Asked Questions that may be included. (Note that the only programs with FAQs are the CTE, IB, and Magnet Schools.)

The deadline to accept an offer is March 17, 2017, for CTE-College and Career Academies, International Baccalaureate High Schools, Magnet High Schools and Programs, Military Academies, and Selective Enrollment High Schools. * Please note that we do not provide a notification letter if you applied to Selective Enrollment schools but did not take the Selective Enrollment admissions exam, or if you applied to Military Academies but did not attend a Military Academy Information Session.


Entry filed under: High school, Uncategorized.

New: 1-Application Coming for High Schools A word on north side neighborhood high schools (guest post from Hawthorne principal)

515 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Tier4Dad  |  March 2, 2017 at 8:22 pm

    Thanks for all your work on this blog.

    Will you continue to maintain the site after your child goes to high school?

  • 2. Joe  |  March 2, 2017 at 8:24 pm

    Thank you so much cpsobssesed for this blog. You and the many others who posted here were tremendous help in our own journey. Also anxiously waiting for tomorrow’s result. Good luck everyone 🙈

  • 3. cpsobsessed  |  March 2, 2017 at 8:26 pm

    Thank you (and thanks for reading and commenting.)

    Trying to figure out what to do with the blog after the elementary letters come out. As my son pointed out, I could rename it CPSMildlyInterested.com as my obsessiveness is finally winding down. Thanks for asking 🙂

  • 4. Julie  |  March 2, 2017 at 8:58 pm

    Thanks cpsobsessed! I’ve been fortunate that your K-HS journey has mirrored our own. Good luck to you tomorrow. I feel like I just need to know the decision at this point. My own obsession has led me to watch the apply.cps website daily *just in case* letters came out early. Ha ha ha!

  • 5. cpsobsessed  |  March 2, 2017 at 9:06 pm

    FYI, Tuesday night there will be a get-together at Hawthorne elem learn more about Amundsen and Lake View high schools as part of the Grow Community elem-to-high-school initiative.

    Info below:


  • 6. WYmom  |  March 2, 2017 at 9:28 pm

    Went through the process twice. I have to say it was very stressful but I’m done and didn’t have to move to the suburbs. Life is good! 🙂
    Wish you the best. I followed your blog with both my kids. One is now 19 and in college , I wish I never stressed so much about it. Everything is okay at the end.

  • 7. NPmom  |  March 2, 2017 at 9:57 pm

    cpsobsessed:Thank you for starting this wonderful site. I’m so happy we found you and all the parents on here. I’ve made many friends I’ve never met yet received so much valuable advice. My (3) kids are in magnet schools (4,2,K) so we too will go through the high school process in a few years. Good Luck Everyone!!

  • 8. CPSmama  |  March 2, 2017 at 10:01 pm

    Not gonna lie–it’s way earlier than bedtime for me but I feel like drinking wine right now so I can fall asleep fast and let it be tomorrow.

  • 9. Chicago School GPS  |  March 2, 2017 at 10:18 pm

    Good luck to everyone and I hate to even bring up thoughts beyond 9th grade but I did want to emphasize that transfers do happen from one SEHS to another for 10th grade, and certainly between other high schools as well. No one should feel stuck at a school if they don’t feel like it’s a good fit. 😉

  • 10. Paullena  |  March 2, 2017 at 10:29 pm

    Where is the fall 2017 school calendar

  • 11. JenRN  |  March 2, 2017 at 11:06 pm

    Ohmygoodness! Best of luck to all of you! I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your efforts in CPSOBSESSED! We are only in K this year and this site has been huge for us! Thank you!

  • 12. cpsobsessed  |  March 2, 2017 at 11:10 pm

    Me putting child to bed: How are you feeling about tomorrow?

    Child: Okay

    Me: That’s good.

    Child: Why, what’s tomorrow?

    Me: ….

    This house only has one obsessed person, apparently.

  • 13. cpsobsessed  |  March 2, 2017 at 11:11 pm

    Fall calendar is not posted yet.


  • 14. IB/IB Mom  |  March 2, 2017 at 11:25 pm

    I was wondering if you were going to start this post tonight. It will be different then everyone posting after stalking the mailman and all of us trying to figure out when our letter will come and what our chances are based on other kids scores and acceptances. This should be interesting.

    And thank you for keeping this blog going as long as you have! I navigated my kids early cps adventures alone, and I am so glad I didn’t have to do it alone for these last several years! Also reading all the different posts have often made me look at things (like tiers) with a different point of view!

  • 15. AC Mom  |  March 2, 2017 at 11:32 pm

    Is there just one offer for high schools? Or can you get multiple offers?

  • 16. Jzzyj1  |  March 2, 2017 at 11:44 pm

    @AC Mom, yes you can recieve multiple offers: 1 from SE, multiple from IB, CTE, Military, & others!

  • 17. cpsobsessed  |  March 2, 2017 at 11:47 pm

    @AC Mom, you can get 1 offer among the SEHS schools. But you can *also* get offers for the other types of schools you applied to (such as a magnet and an IB and a performing arts and a charter.)

    I think Chi Arts probably does their own notifications.

    I think Senn Performing Arts notifies via the portal…. does anyone know for sure?

    Also, the talk for next year is that with the central app, you’d get only one offer in total.

  • 18. Tier4Dad  |  March 2, 2017 at 11:56 pm

    FYI – Chiarts does give out their own notifications. We received ours 2 days ago.
    Unfortunately, we are on wait list 😦

  • 19. CPS Info Seeker  |  March 3, 2017 at 7:22 am

    Your blog has really come thru for me at times when I needed parent input and clarification on CPS info, open houses, AC info, test prep classes. Thank you so much! While I would not call myself obsessed, I really like information and as much as as possible. I love your graphic here and your story @12. It’s so CPS and so this process to promise notification by 11:59 pm. I am impressed by the Office of Access and Enrollment though. Of course, keep us waiting until midnight!

  • 20. Chicago School GPS  |  March 3, 2017 at 7:45 am

    CPSO, good luck to your son and he totally has the right attitude from @12! He’s chill because he knows it all works out (and his mom is a rock star!)

    Despite the crazy process, somehow it works out and our kids do end up at places where they will thrive. This blog proves it time and time again and we are indebted to you!

  • 21. CPSmama  |  March 3, 2017 at 7:56 am

    @19 Should be interesting. I’m guessing around 5 pm, with a robocall. Nobody wants to hang around their office until midnight on a Friday 🙂
    …I barely slept a wink last night!

  • 22. NWSidemomof4  |  March 3, 2017 at 9:25 am

    Wishing everyone here, and their children, the news for which they hope. (I have done this twice and now get a breather for a couple of years before the next two start.)

    Know that your children will find their niche no matter where they land – our neighborhood high schools are fantastic places with lots going on within them.

    Thank you, CPSO, for all that you do. It’s nice to just follow along this year instead of having skin in the game….

  • 23. HSObsessed  |  March 3, 2017 at 10:08 am

    My own family’s 13-year journey through CPS is in the home stretch, as we are waiting for final results of college admissions for our kid. The system is not perfect, for sure, and I’m not going to lie, I have a few regrets, but then again, too few to mention (LOL). In spite of the budget woes and terrible-sounding-headlines, CPS as a whole is getting better and better each year, with more kids meeting standards more kids graduating high school, more attending college, etc. Good luck to all of you and your students!

  • 24. Melinda Medlin  |  March 3, 2017 at 10:28 am

    I am thankful to a mother of a student in my son’s fourth grade class…who so many years ago explained how to navigate through this process while we waited to speak with teachers during report card pick up. She also told me about CPSO (who I thought might be her for a long time). My son got into an AC and today we are awaiting his letters informing us of his options for high school next year! Good luck everyone!

  • 25. Bob  |  March 3, 2017 at 10:58 am

    So in my obsession mode, I keep thinking about the timing for this afternoon. My guess is that they will release on the early side within the first two hours after school. I find it interesting CPS gave themselves such a large window from a technical perspective. In terms of releasing the info I don’t think CPS is really concerned about making sure kids can see the results tonight. I also find it interesting they created a window in the first place. I agree with someone else that no one from CPS wants to stick around any later than they want to. I’m sure plenty will access the site early to see if they happen to release early…which I doubt they would do.

  • 26. cpsobsessed  |  March 3, 2017 at 11:09 am

    I suspect that the OAE staff is used to sticking around late the Friday that letters used to go out. Hopefully this year will go more smoothly than getting a bunch of envelopes printed, prepared, and sealed. Those who applied by mail will still get letters so I guess they’re doing some of those.

    I do really hope it’s around 6pm-ish. 11:59 would be terrible!

  • 27. TwinMom  |  March 3, 2017 at 11:28 am

    While everyone is waiting, I want to add my thanks to CPSO. This is such a great blog. Please keep it going if you can…I have elementary age kids who are a couple of years away from high school and can’t imagine navigating the process with the wisdom and camaraderie here.
    Also, a question: For the AC and high school applications, does CPS look at the average grades for the entire year or is it just the grades for the last quarter that count? I couldn’t find anything on the website.

  • 28. aquino@yahoo.com  |  March 3, 2017 at 11:36 am

    @27 – I have a kid in 7th AC and i believe they looked at her 5th grade final grades.

  • 29. AC mom  |  March 3, 2017 at 11:39 am

    @27 – final grades

  • 30. TwinMom  |  March 3, 2017 at 11:43 am

    @28, 29 – thank you both so much!

  • 31. AC mom  |  March 3, 2017 at 11:46 am

    @24 – I have a kid at an AC and 99% that he won’t apply for HS because he is happy at current AC, just curious? what made your child want to apply for SE HS?

  • 32. cpsobsessed  |  March 3, 2017 at 11:49 am

    And the final grade is a summary of the 4 grades that feed into it (so the total points available for the final grade is a sum of all the points during the school year.)

  • 33. Chicago School GPS  |  March 3, 2017 at 11:56 am

    This is not super helpful, but on page 14 of this pdf, it does say that final grades means “cumulative”, not the last quarter’s grade.
    “Selection is based on a 900-point scale
    derived from admissions test scores, NWEA
    MAP scores, and final (cumulative) report card

  • 34. Chicago School GPS  |  March 3, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    For those wondering about Principal’s Discretion, check back later today, but here is what CPSOAE says:

    “When does the Principal Discretion process begin?
    The Principal Discretion Handbook will be posted on our website, cps.edu/oae, under News and
    Announcements, beginning March 3rd. The Principal Discretion application will be accessible
    starting March 13th at 9 a.m. Application packets must be received by the Office of Access and
    Enrollment between March 13th at 9 a.m. and March 24th at 5 p.m. Application packets must be
    MAILED or HAND-DELIVERED. Notification letters to Principal Discretion applicants will be put in
    the U.S. mail to parents’ homes no later than May 5th.”

  • 35. Logan Dad  |  March 3, 2017 at 12:05 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 sincerely wish every crazy, school obsessed CPS Parent the best possible outcome as well as peace, adventure and joy on your journey.

  • 36. genxatmidlife  |  March 3, 2017 at 12:19 pm

    Looking for superficial and entertaining distractions on this day.

    Playlist for Waiting Parents on March 3:
    “The Is The Day”
    “This Is It”
    “The Waiting Is The Hardest Part” (though our kids might say testing ’til their fingertips are numb or the relentless pursuit of 7th-grade grades is the hardest part)

    Or maybe just…
    “Love the One You’re With”


  • 37. tess  |  March 3, 2017 at 12:24 pm

    @17. We got admission letter electronically from ChiArts on Feb 24, followed next day by paper packet. I planned on telling child after school, but I received super bummed out text that 2 friends accepted and that she must not have gotten in. So I wrote & told her she got her 1st choice conservatory. Very happily received.

    I think it’s good that OAE office sending after school so that kids are not getting good or bad news surrounded by their classmates.

  • 38. Tier4Dad  |  March 3, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    Bob Marley’s – Three Little Birds
    Bobby McFerrin – Don’t Worry, Be Happy

    Looking back at my 2 other kids who been through this process
    (One who did not make it to SEHS and One that did) –
    Nothing we can do about what’s going to happen.
    So why worry.

  • 39. Bob  |  March 3, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    I’m predicting that cutoff scores go up this year for schools like Paton, Jones and Whitney. Just my gut. We’ll see…

  • 40. genxatmidlife  |  March 3, 2017 at 12:58 pm

    @38 Great choices! And good advice from someone who has weathered both outcomes.

  • 41. Julie  |  March 3, 2017 at 1:16 pm

    @31 @AC mom My 8th grader AC student also applied to SEHS. She really likes her current school, but would consider leaving for a school closer to home (Northside). She also likes their block type system of classes which is different from other HS. For me, I always like to have options when it comes to CPS. Friends are another factor. Are they staying or leaving the AC? If my child decided not to apply to HS because she wants to be with her friends from the AC in HS and those friends leave for elsewhere…

  • 42. Mayfair Dad  |  March 3, 2017 at 1:24 pm

    Good luck everyone. May the odds be ever in your favor.

  • 43. cpsobsessed  |  March 3, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    Hey, it’s our old buddy Mayfair Dad! Thanks for stopping by.

  • 44. cpsobsessed  |  March 3, 2017 at 1:57 pm

    @39 Bob – regarding cutoffs going up at those schools. statistically, they can’t *all* go up, right? They’re still pulling the top say… 5% of kids so if one goes up a little, some go down, right?

    I guess we will see. I need to pull out the cutoffs from last year so we can see the comparison. That is a wildcard for my son’s choices. If the cutoff goes up a couple points, that could make or break it. (Although he is fine with all 3 of his choices.)

  • 45. WonderingMom  |  March 3, 2017 at 2:05 pm

    @37 Did your child get accepted to ChiArts? I was interested in having my child apply next year.

  • 46. tess  |  March 3, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    @45, yes, she did, got 1st choice,
    applied at 2 conservatories (ordered 1st and 2nd choices),
    2 auditions on 1 saturday,
    2 callbacks on 2 different saturdays followed;
    applications on chiarts website (separate from oea process)
    slightly different application deadline too,
    we have til Mar 22 to give answer

    staff there seem very nice and kind

  • 47. westrogersparkmom  |  March 3, 2017 at 2:40 pm


    My oldest is at ChiArts. Don’t have the long school day scare you away. Your child will be gone until 5:00pm if they are in activity at just about any high school anyway. They have block scheduling and study hall incorporated into the academic schedule every year. If you love your conservatory it’s a great choice. The staff at ChiArts is wonderful and will really get to know your kid.

    My youngest is staying at her AC. She’s excited to see who stays, who goes, and which of her old classmates will join her.

    It’s weird to be slightly removed from this process but there is no way I would have survived the stress of college applications and high school applications at the same time. The closest thing we’ve experienced this year is the day in December the EA decisions came out for UIUC and the screenshot of the Orange/Blue ‘You’re an Illini’ were all over social media.

  • 48. ProudPapa  |  March 3, 2017 at 3:18 pm

    @31 Our AC son actually wanted to go thru this process.. he wanted to test himself and the SEHS w/o an AC (Payton, Jones, Northside) were tempting him! LOL

    He fell in love with Jones (seriously, I think the idea of being downtown had as much to do with that as anything else! LOL). He really is leaning toward staying at Taft.. he loves it there. But I think if his best friends decide to leave, that definitely might have a role in his ultimate decision.

  • 49. AC mom  |  March 3, 2017 at 3:43 pm

    @48 – I would imagine a kid at AC Taft would want to move to other SE since Taft HS is not SE and is also far and not teenage friendly when it comes to location. 🙂 I guess my question was more for any WY ACs 🙂

  • 50. WYAC Mom  |  March 3, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    @AC mom. My child is currently in WYAC and she loves it there. I’m glad too because I don’t know if I can deal with another stressful season of testing and then waiting. Good luck to all the applicants today!

  • 51. CPSmama  |  March 3, 2017 at 3:59 pm

    @AC mom– I actually believe the Taft retention is very good. Their IB program soared to the toughest to get into in Chicago.

    I personally know a ton of Taft AC kids who love it there and are staying. The spirit at Taft is great the past few years.

  • 52. Kenmom  |  March 3, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    Does anyone know if school is going to end on June 1 this school year?

  • 53. AC mom  |  March 3, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    @51 same at WY, only 2 or 3 kids left last year. we’re only in 7th grade but 99% that he is definitely staying. No more suffering.

  • 54. Julie  |  March 3, 2017 at 4:06 pm

    @CPSmama – I’ve heard great things about Taft too and I know many students there. WY was not the first choice of my child although it could’ve been. If that sounds defensive I admit I’m getting tired of telling people that she didn’t want to go to WY. To each their own.

  • 55. Joe  |  March 3, 2017 at 4:07 pm

    We have the email !!!!

  • 56. HSMom  |  March 3, 2017 at 4:12 pm

    Got a view letter option now! Good luck parents!! Waiting for my child to review first.

  • 57. Bob  |  March 3, 2017 at 4:15 pm

    @55 The portal isn’t updated for me. Is yours showing where your kid got in?

  • 58. Chicago School GPS  |  March 3, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    Good luck, good luck to all 8th grade families!!!!!

    Principal’s Discretion FAQs & handbook is also posted. http://cps.edu/AccessAndEnrollment/Documents/PrincipalDiscretionFAQs_SEHS.pdf

    1. What is Principal Discretion?
    Principal Discretion allows the principals of Selective Enrollment High Schools to fill up to 5% of
    the total seats through a process outside of the regular selection process, based on information
    provided in application packages submitted by students.

    2. How many Principal Discretion seats does each school have?
    Below is the number of Principal Discretion seats that each Selective Enrollment High School will
    be able to fill for the 2017-2018 school year:
    Brooks: 12 Northside: 14
    Hancock: 5 Payton: 15
    Jones: 18 South Shore: 2
    King: 8 Westinghouse: 9
    Lane: 49 Young: 24
    Lindblom: 14

    They usually post the SEHS cutoffs soon after as well.

  • 59. Concerned  |  March 3, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    Letters are posted. Good luck everyone!

  • 60. Joe  |  March 3, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    It has the view letter option but we will wait for the kid 🙃

  • 61. omaira  |  March 3, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    we applied online accept for the double honors program at Lincoln Park which we had to turn in to their office. Since the double Honors program at Lincoln park only accepted applications by written form does that mean that program is mailing out the acceptance letters? or will the double honors program at Lincoln Park also be included online tonight?

  • 62. mom2  |  March 3, 2017 at 4:32 pm

    Lincoln Park said they would mail letters by today, so I guess some of us will be waiting for good news in the mail like the olden days 😦

  • 63. Julie  |  March 3, 2017 at 4:32 pm

    @57 Yes, there’s a link to a letter with an offer on the apply.cps portal

  • 64. ProudPapa  |  March 3, 2017 at 4:32 pm

    SMH… well.. that’s just the thing.. many parents ASSUME that there is something wrong with TAFT.. I made that mistake also. I don’t know what Taft was like years ago. But I know what’s it like today. And today it is a very good school.

    The AC is top notch and those kids are damn smart! As evidenced by the academic competitions that they have been a part of (if some evidence is needed).

    I almost didn’t send my son there because I ASSUMED that being a neighborhood school with an SE component that it couldn’t be that good of a school. I also read many of the threads from years past about all the problems there. But those things were before Mr. Girshaber became the principle.

    And from what I’m hearing and seeing… MOST of the AC kids graduating this year will be staying at what is the highest ranked IB high school program in the city.

    Also… last year… more kids were accepted from Taft AC to Northside than ANY other school.

    And I just found out that my son got a perfect score on the SE exam and was accepted by his first choice, JONES!

    People… dismiss Taft AC at your own peril! The school is NOT what you think it is!

  • 65. MHJ  |  March 3, 2017 at 4:35 pm

    Any idea what cutoff scores were? My Tier 4 child had 893 and didn’t get into Payton.

  • 66. Julie  |  March 3, 2017 at 4:35 pm

    @ProudPapa – Right on! And congratulations!

  • 67. mom2  |  March 3, 2017 at 4:36 pm

    For those lurking parents that had a kid that didn’t get into an SEHS, any advice on what to tell them? How to handle most of their friends getting in, etc.?

  • 68. cpsobsessed  |  March 3, 2017 at 4:36 pm

    Taft has definitely evolved immensely over the past 8 years or so, due in part to the new principal. Also beat LP for IB cutoffs, which was quite a feat.
    I’m glad for anyone who lives nearby and has that as an option!

    I’m waiting to check the portal with my kid. I *never* have this level of restraint, but I promised.

  • 69. mattysmom  |  March 3, 2017 at 4:37 pm

    Payton – Tier 3, SE test 300, total score 890

  • 70. Onebravegirl  |  March 3, 2017 at 4:41 pm

    @MHJ this is anecdotal, but two years ago many of the kids coming out of Tier 4 scored 900 to get into Payton.

  • 71. SEparent  |  March 3, 2017 at 4:41 pm

    @64 @54 wow, Taft parents are defensive 🙂 I didn’t see here anyone saying anything bad about Taft, so I’m also SMH @proudpapa ! LOL!
    Best of luck to all 8th graders today. I know what a stressful day today is. 😦

  • 72. HSMom  |  March 3, 2017 at 4:42 pm

    @proudpapa I also have a child with yours at Taft AC. She can’t wait to leave. Personally I love the school and wish she did too. The IB program started for middle years has been fantastic and she loves the academic part of it, but not the school in general. Congrats on Jones!

  • 73. Julie  |  March 3, 2017 at 4:43 pm

    Tier 4; 300 SE Exam; 898 total: Northside. I imagine the cutoff scores will be out in a few days?

  • 74. Bob  |  March 3, 2017 at 4:45 pm

    Tier 4 890 Jones. First choice was Payton and did not receive offer. Last year 890 would have got him in.

  • 75. JHan  |  March 3, 2017 at 4:49 pm

    Tier 4 751 Lindblom. First choice.

  • 76. Speedy  |  March 3, 2017 at 4:50 pm

    Tier 3 – 892 got kid into Northside.

  • 77. MM  |  March 3, 2017 at 4:56 pm

    Tier 4, 900 – WY first choice. Did not get in WYAC in 7th grade, so this is great news.

  • 78. kmb  |  March 3, 2017 at 4:58 pm

    Tier 4, Jones 895 first choice

  • 79. Onebravegirl  |  March 3, 2017 at 4:58 pm

    Tier 3, 885 Payton first choice.

  • 80. CPSmom  |  March 3, 2017 at 4:59 pm

    Good luck to everyone! My older son went through this process last year, so I know how nerve-racking it is. My younger son is in 7th grade now, so he is under a lot of pressure to keep up his good grades for when he applies next year.

  • 81. AC  |  March 3, 2017 at 4:59 pm

    @77 My kid is at WY AC and loves it! Congratulations!!!!!!

  • 82. JenFG  |  March 3, 2017 at 5:00 pm

    Very excited! 848, Hancock–second choice. First choice was Whitney but we knew it was actually impossible based on NWEA. Looking forward to this young, scrappy, and hungry newish SEHS. We really enjoyed the open house.

  • 83. Konrad  |  March 3, 2017 at 5:01 pm

    Tier 4- 897 Northside
    300 SE Exam.
    I find how they calculated the exam score really weird. I got 89 in vocab, 93 reading, 97 writing, and 99 math. Maybe math counts higher than other sections, if someone can confirm this that will be great!
    Thanks cpsobsessed for this awesome blog, I’ve been lurking ever since 6th grade! And, congrats for all those who got into their top school as well!

  • 84. Joe  |  March 3, 2017 at 5:02 pm

    T4 Northside 900 points

  • 85. Logan Dad  |  March 3, 2017 at 5:02 pm

    Tier 1 – 891 – The girl is going to Payton. First choice. Happy Family.

  • 86. ProudPapa  |  March 3, 2017 at 5:05 pm

    @71.. well, obv you didn’t read 49… the insinuation that kids would want to leave because Taft is not an SE school but “only” has an SE program … I think that sounds a bit condescending and dismissive.

    I’m just setting the record straight as a parent of a Taft AC’er… frankly, more of us need to speak up.. I’ve been reading this blog for almost 3 yrs and Taft has always been considered the “bald head step child” of the north side ACs..

    People still want to blv that… that’s your choice. But as someone who knows… I feel the need to set the record straight for those coming after who will read these kinds of threads and dismiss Taft because of that.

    That’s a BIG mistake.

    and one last thing… how is Taft not in a student friendly location? Have you seen that campus!?!? The campus itself is huge and it sits across the street from a huge park w/ a pool, tennis and basketball courts and football field! In a residential neighborhood.

    Hell… name me one other school in Chicago that’s has a better situation?

  • 87. Julie  |  March 3, 2017 at 5:12 pm

    @71 I’m not a Taft parent! But I do tire of all the assumptions that go on regarding school choices.

  • 88. JenFG  |  March 3, 2017 at 5:13 pm

    Forgot to mention the 848 Hancock was Tier 4.

  • 89. Chicago School GPS  |  March 3, 2017 at 5:13 pm

    FYI- welcome letters from SEHS schools most likely will not arrive until Tuesday, as I heard the schools were strongly encouraged by CPS NOT to mail anything until Monday morning.

    Each school does typically have a “Welcome Class of 2021” night prior to the March 17 deadline, where families can find out more about the program and whether they want to accept or decline their offer. Jones has theirs on March 13 & March 15, depending on your last name, and Northside has its on March 14. Lane will have their assigned Meet & Greet times in their welcome packets. I think Payton’s is on March 15.

  • 90. Jane  |  March 3, 2017 at 5:14 pm

    @86 Taft is almost considered the suburbs, not a good location. 🙂

  • 91. Pop  |  March 3, 2017 at 5:14 pm

    T4 879 WY

  • 92. cpsobsessed  |  March 3, 2017 at 5:15 pm

    Thank you Chicago GPS!

  • 93. omaira  |  March 3, 2017 at 5:20 pm

    I just called Lincoln park the double honors program letters were mailed out today. So we will be waiting.

  • 94. Alwaxman  |  March 3, 2017 at 5:30 pm

    Tier 3 – 894 – Northside. Must also extend heartfelt gratitude to cpsobsessed. You have taught us afresh and anew the true meaning of non sibi. I owe you a debt of gratitude

  • 95. Pop  |  March 3, 2017 at 5:31 pm

    5:15 (Pop): T4 879 did not get Jones, fwiw.

  • 96. Alcottmom  |  March 3, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    The cut-offs for this year were just posted. Big jumps across the board.

  • 97. Julie  |  March 3, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    @83 Hmmmm. I don’t know how they assign points to the SE exam then! Mine got 99% across the board with 300 points so maybe math IS weighted very heavily!

  • 98. doctormomof5  |  March 3, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    Tier 4 875 WY

  • 99. Coonleymom  |  March 3, 2017 at 5:34 pm

    Good luck everyone! Happy to say he got his 1st choice, Lane.
    Tier 4
    300 on SE exam
    881 Total

  • 100. genxatmidlife  |  March 3, 2017 at 5:37 pm

    @96, where did you see them? I am having a hard time finding them on the OAE.

  • 101. Nana  |  March 3, 2017 at 5:38 pm

    Hi, I’m very grateful to this site, we live in Missouri and are moving to Chicago, so it was very hard for me to understand all the rules and necessary exams. My son got to his first choice – Northside, as tier 4. You helped a lot!

  • 102. ProudPapa  |  March 3, 2017 at 5:41 pm

    My son just got home.. he called me from his school bus to find out what school he got into because all his friends were receiving calls from their parents.

    His friends… the Taft AC’ers… out of the 10 that he’s spoken to so far.. all but one got their first choice (wanted Northside but got Young). So far.. my son, Jones… 3 Northside, 6 Lane, 1 Young.

    I thought being Tier 4 this time around would really hurt us.. but he got the school he wanted and he’s jumping off the walls! LOL

    What a turn around from two years ago when he was so upset that he didn’t get Lane.

    really proud…

    Good luck to all the families out there… wishing you all the best…

  • 103. wy8th  |  March 3, 2017 at 5:41 pm

    But I will not leave WY because this school makes me feel at home and I don’t want to start all over again at another school. All of my friends at WY who got into other schools feel the same way. Whitney Young is a great school and in my opinion, it is better than any other high school in the STATE.

  • 104. klpierce17  |  March 3, 2017 at 5:43 pm


  • 105. LM  |  March 3, 2017 at 5:44 pm

    tier 4, 898, WY first choice. So excited. She didn’t get into the AC so she has been waiting for this day! Congrats to all! And thank everyone for the advice, feedback, and insight into this process!

  • 106. Liz  |  March 3, 2017 at 5:46 pm

    Tier 3 886 Lane, first choice

  • 107. ELT  |  March 3, 2017 at 5:50 pm

    T4 874 WY

    Looks like the cutoff score website crashed already! Anybody copy it?

  • 108. genxatmidlife  |  March 3, 2017 at 5:53 pm

    @104 Got an error page. Wonder what’s up with the site.

  • 109. Momof5  |  March 3, 2017 at 5:55 pm

    Tier 4, 887 score and accepted to his first choice, Lane.

    Please be mindful of families who did not get the news for which they had hoped. This is a tough process.

  • 110. johansen  |  March 3, 2017 at 5:55 pm

    They took the file down. It was a PDF. anyone save it?

  • 111. Sue W  |  March 3, 2017 at 5:57 pm

    Just talked to my daughter who is an 8th grader at WY, she says everyone of her friends who applied got into either Payton or Northside, but only a few intend to accept the offer. Hopefully, it will open up some spots for a second round.

    To be honest, I am surprised that AC kids are allowed to apply to other SEHS without giving up a spot at their school. I think it messes up with the cutoff scores. From what I was told, all of her friends took SEHS test just in case.

  • 112. joe l  |  March 3, 2017 at 6:01 pm

    @90 maybe not for you…my kid is in AC now, we get there just fine.

  • 113. Ana  |  March 3, 2017 at 6:01 pm

    We got in our 1st choice. Payton. Score 898. Tier 4. Also got offered Von Stuben, LP and Taft.

  • 114. Dalia  |  March 3, 2017 at 6:09 pm

    My daughter got 883, Tier 4. First choice was Jones, but she got Young. She’s upset, but we’re blessed to have gotten into the Jones CTE Program. But I still don’t understand how she didn’t get into Jones with a 883.

  • 115. Dalia  |  March 3, 2017 at 6:16 pm

    Cut off scores

  • 116. CPS Info Seeker  |  March 3, 2017 at 6:16 pm

    I was able to access the 2017-18 Cut-Off scores document at Home page of Office of Access and Enrollment. Scroll down on Home page to “Useful Tools and Information” and the first tab is Cut-Off scores. I’ll try to link it but link above did not work so not sure if this will either: http://cps.edu/AccessAndEnrollment/Pages/OAE.aspx

  • 117. Marina  |  March 3, 2017 at 6:22 pm

    My daughter got her first choice , Jones, tier 4 895. However, she wishes she had put WY first. Is there a mechanism to switch at this point that anyone might know of? Yes, I did e-mail CPS. Thanks!

  • 118. NWSMomof4  |  March 3, 2017 at 6:47 pm


    No, there’s no opportunity to switch.

  • 119. genxatmidlife  |  March 3, 2017 at 6:47 pm

    DD in at Lane, first choice. Tier 4, 863. This is our first high-schooler. After what seems like 10 years of knowing this process was looming, we are relieved that it is over (in addition to excited, of course!). Also accepted at Amundsen IB and LPIB.

  • 120. SelectivePreppy  |  March 3, 2017 at 6:53 pm

    @83 & @97, yeah something is strange with that SE exam calculation of 300. My son got 297 based on:
    99 Vocab
    99 Reading
    94 Language
    96 Math

    297 seemed about right, but if 89, 93, etc. can result in a 300, I don’t know what to think. He got 892 tier 4, missing out on Payton thanks to the jump in cutoffs. He’s happy with choice 2 Northside.

  • 121. NWSMomof4  |  March 3, 2017 at 6:59 pm

    Yowza! I just did a comparison of this year’s scores with last year’s scores. In general, for most tiers as well as rank, scores have gone up yet again this year. In most cases, 10 points or more.

  • 122. Alwaxman  |  March 3, 2017 at 7:01 pm

    …very soon you will need a 910/900 to get into some of these schools

  • 123. Concerned  |  March 3, 2017 at 7:23 pm

    Perhaps more emphasis is placed on math. Son had

    96 vocabulary
    93 reading
    99 math
    99 language.

    Total 300

  • 124. Ravenswood Mom  |  March 3, 2017 at 7:32 pm

    I think you’re right – math must be weighted more. My daughter:

    98 vocab
    98 reading
    96 language
    99 math

    total 300

    total score was 888, tier 4, going to Jones

  • 125. genxatmidlife  |  March 3, 2017 at 7:35 pm

    I am no mathematician, but I wonder if the percentile rankings by subject are nationally normed, but the total points (meaning the 300 points) is normed by the pool of applicants. In other words, for example perhaps the highest scoring applicant in reading got a 97th percentile or something like that.

  • 126. Another Mom  |  March 3, 2017 at 7:41 pm

    Interesting observation: we are Tier 2, kid got into Payton with 898 points, but according to cutoff scores, max score for Tier 2 for Payton was 897. He must have gotten one of the rank spots, while other Tier 3 and Tier 4 children with the same score took a spot allocated to their respective Tier.

  • 127. cpsobsessed  |  March 3, 2017 at 7:45 pm

    Well, I underestimated my son. I told him his odds were 10% Jones, 88% Lane, 2% neither. Turned out the same as the odds on the election and the 10% odds won.

    He handily got into Jones. He’ll have a few classmates there but will be apart from his 2 best school buddies, so perhaps some mixed feelings.

    Also accepted to Amundsen IB, a lovely school a stone’s throw from our house.

  • 128. cpsobsessed  |  March 3, 2017 at 7:48 pm

    @125, that sounds feasible about the 2 scales. I do wonder, what other 8th graders in the country are even taking this test for developing national norms?? I know NYC has a placement test, but other than that selective test-in high schools are pretty rare.

  • 129. Jon Franks  |  March 3, 2017 at 7:55 pm

    These scores have jumped so much since last year. It’s too bad that Barack Obama SEHS fell by the side of the road, because its clear that there is a very strong demand for these too few slots.

  • 130. Jennifer  |  March 3, 2017 at 7:56 pm

    My daughter got into Northside, her first choice:

    99 vocab
    98 reading
    99 language
    95 math

    Exam: 300 out of 300
    Total: 895 out of 900
    Tier 4

    Very happy, but also just relieved to know what’s next for us. Best wishes to all.

  • 131. cpsobsessed  |  March 3, 2017 at 7:58 pm

    FYI, I am having a beer right now (and will probably have another) and then I’ll make a chart comparing the cutoff scores.

  • 132. genxatmidlife  |  March 3, 2017 at 8:02 pm

    @128 — I’m imagining they purchase this test. It may be customized to a certain extend, but I would think national norms are a factor. If we dig, don’t we find that the CPS threshold for selective programs is actually below what happens in real life?

  • 133. Ogden Parent too  |  March 3, 2017 at 8:04 pm

    1st choice Payton
    Tier 2
    score 889
    So happy

  • 134. ProudPapa  |  March 3, 2017 at 8:05 pm

    Congrats CPSO!

    Now you know and the old worry is over and the new one begins(??) LOL. How you do you feel? Is your son over the moon or pretty even keel?

    My son has finally stopped bouncing off the walls. He and his friends are killing things on the computer and talking about “who got in where”. So far, everyone that he’s spoken to has gotten their first choice, expect for one.

    And kids from the class of his first school have gotten spots at Young, Jones and Lane.

  • 135. Mia Bart  |  March 3, 2017 at 8:06 pm

    The scoring on the test is a bit of mystery to me, but not sure math is weighted more. My son had 99 vocab, 99 language, 98 reading, 93 math. Overall 99 so 300 points. Very happy with 1st choice, Jones.

  • 136. Jzzyj1  |  March 3, 2017 at 8:09 pm

    @117 Marina, your daughter can accept Jones & apply via principal’s discretion for WY.

  • 137. jenheim  |  March 3, 2017 at 8:17 pm

    My child was “waitlisted” for Jones.
    Does anyone have any idea if and his mother ch a waitlist moves? Jones is our 1st choice but if we say yes to Ogden IB we come off the Jones wait list. We were told we were 27 law 28 engineering. What’s the hence of 27 kids not taking a seat?

  • 138. Julie  |  March 3, 2017 at 8:17 pm

    @125 I’m not sure how that could be. My kid scored 99% across the board and got 300 points. Not sure what I’m missing that CPS isn’t telling us.

  • 139. cpsobsessed  |  March 3, 2017 at 8:21 pm

    @ProundPapa — ha, my son doesn’t act over the moon about anything. He’s a low key type.

    I think he has some mixed feeling (I am projecting here) as several of his friends are going to Lane. He seems good with the outcome and I think feels proud of himself (especially since I underestimated him and his math skills.) So I think he feels….. validated?

    His realized now that he actually had a shot at all the selective schools, but we only toured Jones and Lane. I do think Jones is the best fit for him, based on size and the kids seem kind of “alternative” there.

  • 140. cpsobsessed  |  March 3, 2017 at 8:30 pm

    My son said that they were all at school and at around 3:20 someone shrieked “They’re posted!!!!!!!”

    Then everyone went crazy checking phones and our plan to wait until he got home went out the window.

  • 141. CPSmama  |  March 3, 2017 at 8:53 pm

    898- Tier 4- Northside
    300 on the exam.
    I can only guess the slight variation on the weight of the 4 sections and scores is based on norms. My child took the first test available in Dec.
    Congrats to all. Get some sleep now.

  • 142. ProudPapa  |  March 3, 2017 at 8:55 pm

    Yes.. my son is beginning to face the realization that many of his best friends choose Lane as their first choice and so far as we know, they’ve all made it.

    I think he’s kinda wishing he’d chosen Lane so his close-knit group could stay together.

    He’s feeling good about all the work he put in paying off. That was what came to him when he had a moment to reflect.. he marched up to me and said, “Thank you, Dad”… no further words were necessary after that.

    It’s been a long road.. from the early yrs when school ended at 1:30 and home school began at 2.15… right up to the 11pm bed times after working on AC homework all evening long in 7th grade.

    Now we await my youngest son’s letter for AC. A few more weeks and this will be over, hopefully, for the last time.

    Let me thank you personally for this blog and all your work. It’s really been a pleasure to follow along over the past few yrs.

    I think you should keep it running at least until HS is over… then maybe follow the university years?? !8-D

    hahaha… yea.. it could happen!

  • 143. cpsobsessed  |  March 3, 2017 at 9:08 pm

    FYI, a classmate of my son’s got 883 (Tier 4) and did not get into Jones. So while that is posted as the cutoff, there must be a tie-breaker in there, cutting it off somewhere.

  • 144. HowDoesItWork  |  March 3, 2017 at 9:26 pm

    Will you be starting a thread for Principal Discretion deadlines and helpful hints? I reviewed your thread from last year and it was helpful. I am just wondering if anymore guidance or tips may surface. Thank you.

  • 145. cpsobsessed  |  March 3, 2017 at 9:30 pm

    Thank you for reminding me. Yes, I will make that thread.

  • 146. ProudPapa  |  March 3, 2017 at 9:35 pm

    LOL.. when you posted earlier that you’d be waiting to discover the results when your family was all together.. I thought, “that’s so cool”.. but I knew it would never happen in our home! LOL

    But I was still surprised when my son called me in a state of frenzy, yelling at me to pull up the results as his bus mates whooped and whaled in the background.. I could hear all the nervous chatter and annoyance with me for not finding the info faster! LOL

    I made him wait for secs while I scanned and told him that he got the max score on the test.. I said “You got your first choice….” but I think in that moment of excitement he’d forgotten what school he’d chosen or he just had to Hear The Words… 😀

    He stuttered screaming out the outcome and roar that went up from his friends made me shudder on my end. I was speechless.. not really processing the info that I’d just relayed to him. He whooped and hollered and I heard the high-fives and words of congratulations. But it wasn’t really registering for me…until he screamed into the phone.. “DAD! DAD! I MADE IT.. I MADE IT..!”

    Then it was real… that joy, being the distant echo of tears and sadness that stabbed at my heart two years ago when he didn’t get the AC he wanted.

    hmm.. wow.. it’s just starting to sink in for me here..

  • 147. Joe  |  March 3, 2017 at 9:55 pm

    Congratulations cpsobssesed and Everyone who got into the school they wanted 👏👏👏

  • 148. SutherlandParent  |  March 3, 2017 at 10:14 pm

    @117 Marina, My daughter got her first choice…

    You can put in for principal’s discretion at WY. I know someone who was accepted to WY last year as a second choice and got into Jones on PD. It’s a long shot, and I would be very cautious about turning down the spot at Jones. But it does happen.

    Congrats to all who got their first choice! Our oldest is at Jones, her #1 choice and a terrific fit for her. This year, we didn’t even have our 8th grader take the SEHS test. This kid had outstanding English grades and scores, but bombed the math section of the 7th grade NWEA and isn’t a fantastic test taker–we figured it wasn’t worth the stress to go through a brutal process when the scores just weren’t there, particularly coming from a Tier 4 neighborhood. She tried for LPHS IB, but missed the cutoff with a 789.5 score (the commute from the 19th Ward would have been challenging for a kid who really, really likes to sleep, so SutherlandSpouse and I were giving that choice a lot of side eye anyway). Now, we’re waiting to see about Chicago High School for the Agricultural Sciences, which has some excellent programs. Our waitlist number is OK, and we have a Catholic school option as the back up.

    Of course, the 8th grader is bummed and can’t stop comparing herself to her older sister, which is hard to watch as a parent 😦 But this kid will be fine wherever she ends up.

  • 149. IB/IB Mom  |  March 3, 2017 at 11:52 pm

    Wow, went to look at the cut off scores and wow! I was looking at tier 4 specifically. I am so glad I am finally done. No more CPS applications. The outcome was good. My daughter got into her first choice of Lane, but I can’t help but feel sad for all those kids whose score would have gotten them in last year but doesn’t cut it this year. I am glad we didn’t put money into prep, but if I had a seventh grader and saw these cut offs I would definitely look into prep classes right away!!!

  • 150. SelectivePreppy  |  March 4, 2017 at 12:20 am

    @123 what was your son’s “core total”? Since he got 300 I’m assuming 99? But my son’s was 98 even with slightly better scores:

    99 Vocab
    99 Reading
    94 Language
    96 Math

    I still don’t get it.

  • 151. 7th grade mom  |  March 4, 2017 at 1:19 am

    Thank you so much, CPSObsessed. You and your followers have been so helpful over the last 8 years! My son wants to take a selective prep class in the fall and I’m wondering how many of you took a prep class and feel that it was helpful. He didn’t sign up for a prep class for the NWEA for this winter. He has always scored very high on this test, but I’m now wondering if he should be doing everything he can. Getting worried as I talk to some 8th grade friends today not getting into SEHS!

  • 152. cpsobsessed  |  March 4, 2017 at 1:41 am

    FYI, I’ve added the cutoff scores at the top.
    Basically they have all gone up.
    I don’t think the number of kids applying has gone up significantly. And the number of spots has not decreased.

    So it *seems* like maybe everyone is just scoring higher for some reason.

    The numbers in green shading are those that rose 4% or more vs last year. All the rest increased 3% or less.

  • 153. cpsobsessed  |  March 4, 2017 at 1:42 am

    *Disclaimer, I hand entered those. If you’re looking for the cps version for this year, look here:


  • 154. Sibling  |  March 4, 2017 at 3:28 am

    Does anyone know if there will be second round offers, specifically for Lane?

  • 155. Catholic vs CPS  |  March 4, 2017 at 7:11 am

    Does anyone know how the waitlist works for the Jones CTE Program? My daughter’s waitlist number is 125. What are her chances?

  • 156. LSmom  |  March 4, 2017 at 7:27 am

    @154, Lane hasn’t had a second round in many years.

  • 157. Leslie Wolowitz  |  March 4, 2017 at 7:37 am

    Anyone have thoughts about Jones or Parker – daughter got into both; leaning towards Jones

  • 158. supertree  |  March 4, 2017 at 7:50 am

    Accepted at Jones and Von Steuben Scholars…seriously considering Von. Very close to us and I am impressed with the program. Not sure an 1 hr+ commute is right for us.

  • 159. CPSmom  |  March 4, 2017 at 8:00 am

    @151 7th grade mom. I have a 7th grader too and I have been wondering about test prep. I think I’m going to sign him up if he wants to do it, because what if I don’t offer him the chance to take a test prep class and he doesn’t get any offers? Then I’ll be wondering whether test prep would have made a difference. If he goes through test prep and gets no offers, then at least I will know that we did everything we could.

  • 160. obsessedingeneral  |  March 4, 2017 at 8:04 am

    Supertree mom – I would consider Von; having a kid who has to travel 55 minutes to high school – it is a pain

  • 161. supertree  |  March 4, 2017 at 8:14 am

    @160—yeah, I just think about that El ride in the winter, and THEN getting home to start homework, etc. I have a kid who likes downtime, plays sports, etc. We are walking distance to Von.I also like that the Scholars move as a cohort, go on trips together, and so forth.

  • 162. Coonleymom  |  March 4, 2017 at 8:19 am

    159-I had my son do the test prep and it is expensive,but I believe it ended up being worth it for him. He scored a 300 on the SE Exam and we were not expecting him to do that well! For the prep tests, he usually did ok, (about a B, sometimes even a C!) He would always tell me that the prep tests were harder than the real thing. I thought he was BSing me, but turns out he was right! Hope this helps.

  • 163. jenheim  |  March 4, 2017 at 8:33 am

    My son got wait list for CTE at Jones — #27 for law and #28 for engineering. Does anyone have any idea if the waitlist ever really moves? And, if so — what kind of numbers are we talking?!

  • 164. jenheim  |  March 4, 2017 at 8:37 am

    Our friend looooves VS! They told us it is the hidden gem!! And close to home, I’m with you on that! Just like adults, the quality of life for kids is just better with minimal commute time!

  • 165. nervousmom  |  March 4, 2017 at 8:47 am

    My son is waitlisted for Von, #99. He really wants to go there. Does anyone know if you accept a school offer, does your name automatically get removed from the waitlist? And how long does it take to hear if you made the waitlist. I’m afraid if he declines his only school offer, and does not get accepted from waitlist, than he has no school to go to.

  • 166. cpsobsessed  |  March 4, 2017 at 9:01 am

    @nervousmom, what is his one offer?

  • 167. cpsobsessed  |  March 4, 2017 at 9:04 am

    @supeetree. I’d totally go for proximity. I also know someone very happy with vs. My son will be going to Jones from Andersonville and I’m already dreading the mornings. He likes free time like your kid.

  • 168. Payton mom  |  March 4, 2017 at 9:39 am

    Academically you can’t compare Von vs Jones. I would pick jones. Yes the commute might be hard, I have one that commutes one hour but absolutely loves the SE school. The overall experience will be different at jones. The athmosphere, the sports, the school pride, the facility, socially , More resources , etc. I would pick jones.

  • 169. Payton mom  |  March 4, 2017 at 9:46 am

    My kid did selective prep for MAP test an de entrance exam. Thankfully he got into the AC center but he has friends who also participated and didn’t get in. They have to be dedicated and do the homework. It’s not easy. It all depends on your kid but selective prep is not a guarantee that a kid will get a spot but for my kid was a huge help.

  • 170. Konrad  |  March 4, 2017 at 9:51 am

    @151 As a student who has taken Selective Preps MAP prep and scored a 294 (99+) in math and a 246 (97) in reading, I feel i have an input on this.
    Everything Selective Prep taught me was not on the test. And yes, it is a computer adaptive test, so everyone takes a different test, but the point still stands. On my test, there was complex algebra, really difficult exponent simplification, Complex numbers, and for one question it even asked me what the derivaive of velocity was. What did help me was learning math at my own time, and at my own pace. If you want to improve your math test score to a 99, you need to know algebra and algebra 2. Don’t study deep, just know the concepts so that if they show up on the test you can use mathematical intuition to solve for everything.
    The most important thing people dont realize about the test is that it is multiple choice: so use this to your advantage. If the question asks you to simplify x^3/x^2, plug in for x and plug in x for the answer choices. Once you get the same answer, you know thats the correct answer choice. This trick gave me 10 easy questions on the exam. The instructer does not talk about test taking strategies.

    The stuff on huge Selective Prep packet is probably only enough to get to the 80th %, which isnt a lot looking at the cutoff scores for most schools this year if you are Tier 4. What will get you to the 95 % is getting that deep mathematical intuition and using the test to your advantage. This isnt something Selective Prep can teach in the spam of 5-8 lessons.

    FYI, my instuctor didn’t even go over the reading portion, so if you need reading help, don’t head to Selective Prep

    If your test scores are below 80%, Selective Prep will help you. If you are an anxious parent worrying if your son needs test prep to improve your child’s score from a 93 to a 99, Selective Prep can’t help you. What will help is understanding mathematics as a language and and something beautiful and not just “solving for x”

    P.S I have never taken their SE Exam Prep, if someone can tell me if thats a good option that would be great.

  • 171. Konrad  |  March 4, 2017 at 9:53 am

    Sorry if I came across as rude, that was not my intention. I am sure there are a few success stories with Selective Prep and I am happy for those kids 🙂

  • 172. CPSmom  |  March 4, 2017 at 10:04 am

    @170 Thank you for the info. It is helpful to get the perspective of someone who actually went through a prep class and took the test. And I have heard other kids say that they thought the practice tests at their test prep class did not really prepare them for the real test.

  • 173. Julie  |  March 4, 2017 at 10:44 am

    @172 @151 Mine did not do test prep and scored 300 points. Having been a CPS student since K though, she is used to taking tests. I’ve always thought of test prep as being maybe useful for kids coming in from outside of CPS. And perhaps kids who just don’t test well on paper.

  • 174. Payton mom  |  March 4, 2017 at 10:46 am

    You didn’t sound rude. I think my kid would have said the same. Selective prep was the extra help not the solution to get into SE.

  • 175. Bob  |  March 4, 2017 at 11:08 am

    I come from the school of you take every option available to you that you can afford to help get the highest possible score. Maybe test prep helps you with one question, and that one question is the difference between getting in where you want and not getting in. So while it may seem like the test prep class as a whole is a waste, the value can potentially be the sum of small parts. Some kids benefit from it and others don’t, but you have the financial opportunity to take the test prep classes then why not give your child the most opportunities to either learn techniques, reinforce material, etc… Also, many schools provide an excellent background for helping kids prepare for the tests while other don’t so for some kids these test prep classes help highlight or illuminate on topics not covered in the classroom.

  • 176. Bob  |  March 4, 2017 at 11:12 am

    In my comment #39 I predicted cutoffs going up. There are some schools, in some tiers, where you had 20 plus point jumps. At almost all the schools, across almost all tiers, you saw increases. Anyone have any theories why? More kids taking test prep? Schools better preparing their kids for tests? Parents and kids more focused on the importance of As in 7th grade?

  • 177. AC WY mom  |  March 4, 2017 at 11:15 am

    @julie. Not everything is black and white 🙂
    My kid has been in CPS K his whole life, and took selective prep. hes very happy to be a 7th grader at WY and so thankful to have done the prep.

  • 178. AC WY mom  |  March 4, 2017 at 11:17 am

    @bob well said !

  • 179. Konrad  |  March 4, 2017 at 12:31 pm

    @bob Yes, I do agree that one question can be the difference between getting in or not. It dosent matter that much on the MAP test, because its adaptive. I remember in 6th grade getting at least 20 questions wrong/didnt know how to do them and still got 98% percentile.

    For the SEHS Exam, every question counts, so I would think paying for prep would be a good idea if you have the money. I never took the prep, but for anxious kids/parents it might be a good idea.

    @176 I think the increase in scores is because of the lenancy of 300’s on the SE exam. I got low 90’s in most categories, but a 99% in math and I got full 300. I think the test got easier.

  • 180. CPSx2  |  March 4, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    Sort of off topic/future topic:

    Heard from our principal that CPS will NOT use Maps scores for SEHS process next year. But, naturally, they haven’t stated which test they will use instead. What could it be besides PARCC? I’m surprised they would make a change already. Maps has only been part of the process for maybe 3 years now. Went through this with my oldest when CPS switched from ISATs to Maps. And I remember how infuriating it was because it felt like CPS did not announce the decision till what seemed like the last minute. Also recall that this caused quite a bit of chaos the first year for private schools kids.

    Anyone hearing the same? Or have more info?

  • 181. Joan  |  March 4, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    @151 My daughter did educational endeavors, which was a one on one tutoring, and it made all the difference. A little pricey, but well worth it.

  • 182. genxatmidlife  |  March 4, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    @151 and others regarding Selective Prep — my daughter took both the MAP and SE courses. We have been private until high school, so I felt it was important for her to do at least the MAP course due to it being an unfamiliar test. We did the SE as insurance.

    Like @171, the SE didn’t seem to be all that revealing, but we’ll never really know because she’s never taken that test without the prep. She felt they were covering a lot of what her school had already covered. One week her math homework for the prep course was identical to that of her schoolwork. Also, there seems to be much more emphasis on the math vs. reading for both courses, but especially SE.

    But, look at the scores required to get into these schools. My daughter’s standardized test scores normally hovered around the mid-90th percentiles. After test prep she was solidly at or above 95th percentile, including on her private school standardized tests. If you use the calculator on the OAE site, you’ll see the difference between 94th percentile and 97th percentile means one school or another. Factor in the grades, and you can see how test prep can make a difference for a kid.

    For anyone taking the prep course, do not expect to show up every Saturday and have them work magic for two hours and then be done with it. The homework is a big piece of it, and there is plenty of it. It’s a pretty rigorous endeavor for the six or so weeks your kid is in it. My daughter actually preferred that way of learning — packing a lot into a short amount of time. This gave me some reassurance that she’ll be ok with the demands of a selective program, but, of course, we’ll find out how true that is come fall.

  • 183. 7th grade mom  |  March 4, 2017 at 12:52 pm

    @Konrad and the others that gave your experience with selective prep classes, thank you! That was very helpful. I think we’ll be skipping the MAP prep as he usually scores very high already and he plans to continue and enjoy doing his own prep with Khan Academy,etc. He’s in an Options program currently, so their math is a few grade levels ahead. Hopefully that will also be a plus?? He’ll probably take the SEHS exam prep in the fall.

  • 184. Julie  |  March 4, 2017 at 1:08 pm

    @AC WY mom True enough. It’s an individual/family decision- but I also posted because I think there’s an idea that all/most kids who got 300 did test prep and that is clearly not the case. As a side note, kids feel the pressure of other kids doing the test prep. My kid questioned my decision not to have her do test prep b/c she knew lots of kids doing it. She feared she would be at a disadvantage. But I know my kid and didn’t think test prep would make a difference.

  • 185. concerned  |  March 4, 2017 at 1:32 pm

    @150. His core total was 99. I don’t understand how they get their scores.

    I think the test prep sometimes just helps them feel more confident about taking the test. The whole process is overwhelming. My son is typically a strong test taker, particularly at math. So I don’t know that any prep really helped content wise. But I think it helped him feel more confident.

  • 186. concerned  |  March 4, 2017 at 1:36 pm

    Also when we were discussing schools he asked my opinion and I honestly told him I would consider Lakeview if I were him. It is our neighborhood school and the commute would be easy. He is a kid that likes to have down time and doesn’t really want to work hard. But he has been swayed by his classmates that SEHS schools are the only option.

  • 187. cpsobsessed  |  March 4, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    I think the prep usefulness depends on the student.

    You know that old saying “you can lead a kid to test prep, but you can’t make them study”? (Well, I guess you can by taking their phone away.)

    My son did 2 of the 1-day test preps sessions from Test Prep Chicago. I found it useful for MAP in that they gave him a detailed list of which areas he did better/worse on. So while he didn’t choose to study in those areas at all, he had a sense of why he missed certain types of questions, which may have given him an edge during the test (such as… read the paragraph carefully.)

    For the SE test, they were given a lot of very challenging math, which he could not do in a timed fashion. this put us into a panic a week before the test. He again did not choose to study, but he scored a 97% on the math section. So I think the prep didn’t really steer us in the right direction and made him more panicky.

    For a kid who doesn’t mind attending the prep classes and is will to study, I think it can’t hurt if you want to maximize your options. At the very least, you get some extra math practice and perhaps comfort with the test.

  • 188. Catholic vs CPS  |  March 4, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    Does anyone know how the waitlist works for the Jones CTE Program? My daughter’s waitlist number is 125. Does she have a chance of getting into the CTE Program at Jones?

  • 189. Lane mom  |  March 4, 2017 at 2:20 pm

    @154 Regarding a 2nd round at Lane: Perhaps others have inside information but it seems to me there could be a little movement as a result of the AC program. At least a few of the 8th graders leave their Lane spots for another school. Last year I hear a few dozen AC students left for HS elsewhere. I would hope Lane then opens those HS admissions spots.

  • 190. cpsobsessed  |  March 4, 2017 at 2:20 pm

    FYI, posting this here, written to me by Linda Lutton the WBEZ education reporter who has done some amazing stories about CPS and has been in a lot of the schools.

    Linda Lutton–I thought I’d share my experience. My kid faced the same choice, except for her, Jones was the easy commute. She visited each school during the school day, ended up picking Curie IB (she liked the vibe better). She took a train and a bus every day–start time 7:30am. I had other parents tell me I was committing some sort of abuse by letting her choose Curie (avg ACT 17) over a selective school. Her teachers at Curie and the IB program itself were absolutely outstanding. The college counseling was excellent. Her friend group was amazing–they were dedicated, smart, kind, community-oriented, striver immigrant kids that would make any parent proud. She’s a freshman at Brown Univ this year, totally prepared for that work (straight As first semester). Her friends from Curie are at Harvard, Pritzker, Connecticut College, U of I Engineering, etc etc.

    My son, just a year behind her and a very similar kid in terms of dedication to school, with slightly higher standardized test scores than his sister, chose one of the elite SEHSs for HS. Generalizing, his teachers do not know him a fraction as well as Curie IB teachers know their students. The reading and writing he’s done (all AP and Honors) have been far less demanding, and graded in less rigorous fashion (again, generalizing).

    If my older daughter hadn’t gone through the college process first, we would be LOST right now. All this to say–the better teaching and curriculum and college counseling is not necessarily at schools with higher test scores. That’s something I know as a reporter, and now have seen firsthand as a parent.

    I highly recommend you have your son (and you?) spend part of a school day at each place (we spent a couple hours). And I recommend you completely disregard test score comparisons. They are measuring the average socio-economic status of children there and the accumulated opportunity those children have had in life up to now –nothing more.

  • 191. Chicago School GPS  |  March 4, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    Thanks for posting that from Linda Lutton, CPSO! I totally agree that just because test scores listed are higher for one school over another does NOT mean that your particular child will be getting either test score if they attend the school. Those really are more a measure of other factors like opportunity. So much goes into a high school experience beyond the name or reputation of the school. I was going to reply to the poster who asked about Von vs. Jones and say that Von Steuben has a wonderful program with dedicated teachers and should not be discounted just because it is not as well known as Jones. If the school is closer, the extra curriculars, sports, clubs, schedule and offerings are what he wants, then it will be the best fit school for him. Ask to visit or even shadow at Von Steuben and Jones to help with the decision if that is possible. The Scholars program kids are basically a gifted class within the school and perform accordingly. The other thing I want to point out is that colleges do like to get students from a variety of schools, so think of the “little fish, big pond versus big fish, little pond” aspect of it. It’s a very real aspect of college admissions.

    Regarding CTE waitlists….I hear historically they don’t move much at all, but with CPS’s budget mess, families are not necessarily accepting their public school offers these days if they want to avoid the uncertainty.

  • 192. AC Mom  |  March 4, 2017 at 3:59 pm

    Why is it that some schools cut off scores are so low like 600 min. Are the schools not in good standing or not level 1 plus?

  • 193. Bob  |  March 4, 2017 at 4:10 pm

    Linda’s thoughts, and the thoughts of many others within these posts, remind us that being at “the top” or “best” school isn’t the most important thing. The focus should be on, among many things, does the school provide the right environment for challenge, opportunity, growth, expression, creativity, balance, commute time, etc. This formula can be found in schools that are highly rates SE schools, but also from other schools as well. Every kid needs the right school for them and just because someone scores a 900 it doesn’t mean that Payton is the best place for them.

  • 194. mb  |  March 4, 2017 at 5:12 pm

    New here. Curious….How is Core Total Calculated?

  • 195. cpsobsessed  |  March 4, 2017 at 5:51 pm

    @194 – you mean for the 300 points from the SE exam? That is proprietary. All we know is they are not evenly weighted.

  • 196. mb  |  March 4, 2017 at 6:41 pm

    @195 yes. i saw someone’s scores in the 70s for vocab/reading. 90s for language/math, core total was 97. 294 out of 300. just odd to me.

  • 197. cpsobsessed  |  March 4, 2017 at 6:45 pm

    Yes, the calculation does seem a little odd.
    Someone wondered if maybe the indiv scores are compared to a national average and the Core score to a Chicago average. Or something like that.

  • 198. mb  |  March 4, 2017 at 6:55 pm

    OK! thanks. just wanted to make sure i knew what all the components were. we decided to do a last minute try for SE in November (from Catholic school)–no online, all paper process. Waiting for the mail is excruciating.

  • 199. Erin  |  March 4, 2017 at 7:15 pm

    Congrats to everyone who tested and received their first choices. I am looking for some advice. My son received an offer from Lane (score 873 Tier 4). If he declines the seat at Lane how often do they have second round picks and how many seats on average? Per the cut off scores, he missed WY by a single point. I will call CPS office this week, but I am sure they will be flooded with inquiries. Just wondering what the average amount of second round seats are before we make a decision.

    Thanks for any input 😀

  • 200. Lane mom  |  March 4, 2017 at 7:59 pm

    I don’t have data on this but anecdotally second round offers are rare. Keep in mind that CPS has “tie breaker” questions on equal scores so even if your student is one point away, there could be a dozen students ahead in line. I hope that the OAE can help you answer that question so you can make a decision. They have been very helpful to me in the past. If you really don’t want Lane, then refuse of course. But if it’s a possibility, you can accept Lane and apply for Principal Discretion at WY. Fwiw my kid loves Lane and I had my misgivings. Their AC program has been tremendous.

  • 201. IB/IB Mom  |  March 4, 2017 at 8:11 pm

    So I started looking at the cutoff comparison above. I tend to look first at the top 5 due to proximity and tier 4, as that is my tier, and it is insane to me that the RANK cutoffs of 2015 are the same or 1 point off of the tier 4 cutoffs from this year!! How can it keep trending up so high?

  • 202. IB/IB Mom  |  March 4, 2017 at 8:13 pm

    @Konrad – congrats on Northside!!!

  • 203. cpsobsessed  |  March 4, 2017 at 9:17 pm

    @Erin, I would follow Lane mom’s advice and take the Lane seat, going for PD at WY. If not admitted that way, I’d check back right at the start of the school year.
    If for whatever reason they have fewer students than expected, you never know…

  • 204. cpsobsessed  |  March 4, 2017 at 9:28 pm

    @192 – a school like King, which has scores cutoffs of 600 are serving students who (probably for socio economic reasons) do not have high test scores, but are likely excelling in other ways.
    King is a Level 1+ school and has an avg ACT score above that of neighborhood schools.

    So to Linda’s point above, test scores (or cutoffs) don’t nec reflect what’s going on at the school. It just reflects the student body’s socio economic background to a large degree.

  • 205. cpsobsessed  |  March 4, 2017 at 9:28 pm

    Nobody has mentioned this possibility… CPS is getting better so all the kids are scoring higher vs a national norm?

  • 206. I live a block away from Jones and my child has no chance of getting in  |  March 4, 2017 at 9:49 pm

    Jones CTE Program from what I gather from online and from this board has 75 total seats available. If you entered Jones as number one on your SE app and also put it on the magnet app and qualified both ways it would default back to an acceptance on the magnet as accepted and the second choice on the SE would be available as well. I have wait list number in the high 60’s and low 70’s. That would mean that all the law students – for instance – that have the 35 seats would have to turn it down then another 35 on the waiting list would have to refuse too in order for my child to be offered a seat. Please correct me if I’m wrong but it seems to be there is only a slim chance of seat becoming avaialble if your child’s number is below 25 or so! Sorry

  • 207. IB/IB Mom  |  March 4, 2017 at 11:34 pm

    @CPSO, The thought did cross my mind. I really am thinking that the schools with the longer hours/year are likely the reason. It drove me crazy when my younger one went to an RGC and had to cram everything in from 8 to 1:30. I really hope that is the case as if it is we should see more improvement at the high school level at all high schools.

  • 208. Scott  |  March 5, 2017 at 11:24 am

    Long-time lurker, first-time caller. We came to CPS in 4th grade from Champaign, and this blog was always a huge help. Knowing nothing about CPS, we were lucky to enroll in a great neighborhood school, stuck with it even when offered a spot in a gifted program later, missed out on our chosen Academic Center in 6th grade, stayed with our neighborhood school, sweated the tests with everyone else, and now:

    Tier 4 – Score: 894 – Walter Payton

    Payton was my girl’s first choice, but she also felt very good about one IB program and one Magnet drama program, both of which she was also accepted to. It’s been a roller coaster that I don’t think anyone outside of Chicago would understand.

    Thanks to everyone who was with us for the ride, and good luck to everyone tackling it in the years to come. I can only assume college applications will be a cake-walk compared to this!

  • 209. cjay  |  March 5, 2017 at 11:36 am

    Does anyone know when AC online notifications are expected?

  • 210. P. Joseph Powers, Ph.D.  |  March 5, 2017 at 11:48 am

    Congratulations to our new Jones College Prep Class of 2021 Eagles! We are very excited you are joining our learning community. Please plan to join us for Freshman Welcome at 6:00 pm on Monday, March 13 (last names A-L) and Wednesday, March 15 (last names M-Z). Come early to meet Jones students, staff, and parents and experience some of the JCP spirit! See you then!

    Dr. Joe Powers, Principal
    773-534-8606 (direct office line)

    Follow me on Twitter @PJOSEPHPOWERS for news and views on Jones College Prep.

  • 211. Mary  |  March 5, 2017 at 12:25 pm

    Will students have the opportunity to shadow at Jones before the March,17th decision day?
    I was unable to find any information on the school website.

  • 212. Mchh  |  March 5, 2017 at 1:14 pm

    Wondering if anyone has any insight. My daughter got accepted for voice at chiarts and theater at senn. Chi arts has been her dream school forever, but she is excited about IB at senn. Would love to hear from anyone involved with the senn arts program.

  • 213. Lanetier4  |  March 5, 2017 at 1:30 pm

    My daughter scored 843 tier 4, which was the cutoff for Lane. She did not receive an offer from Lane. Does any one have guidance on second round selection?

  • 214. cpsobsessed  |  March 5, 2017 at 1:51 pm

    @213, aw, that stinks. I know someone in the same cutoff situation at Jones.

    There will likely not be a second round for Lane. You’ll need to apply for Principal Discretion.

  • 215. Westinghouse?  |  March 5, 2017 at 2:12 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.

  • 216. cpsobsessed  |  March 5, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    @211, Jones and the other SEHS don’t generally do shadow days, unfortunately.

  • 217. ExcitedParent  |  March 5, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    @209 April 3rd

  • 218. Concerned Person  |  March 5, 2017 at 3:11 pm

    Does anyone know if students decline an offer at Lane, will offers be sent out to kids who didn’t originally get an acceptance but were very close to the cutoff (1 point)?

  • 219. cpsobsessed  |  March 5, 2017 at 3:17 pm

    @218: It is unlikely that Lane would send out more offers. They anticipate an expected rate of offers to be turned down and factor that in when deciding how many offers they can extend.

    You can potentially contact Lane or OAE, but the school hasn’t done a second round in several years. Also, as we saw someone mention above, there are students who are right at the cutoff who didn’t get offers, so they would likely be first in line.

  • 220. cpsobsessed  |  March 5, 2017 at 3:38 pm

    FYI, one person in my household woke up 2 times during the night in a panic about next year’s daily commute to/from downtown for high school. And it wasn’t the person who will be doing the commuting. 😛

    I’m trying to remind myself that yes, I wanted to have an urban kid.

  • 221. WYFroshMom  |  March 5, 2017 at 6:56 pm

    Whitney Young does have shadow days for incoming students. I think that there are typically three days that selected students can choose from to attend before the decision deadline.

  • 222. Mary  |  March 5, 2017 at 6:58 pm

    @216 thank you.

    I wonder why that is – this is a big decision.. a shadow day would definitely help

  • 223. AC WY mom  |  March 5, 2017 at 7:05 pm

    My kid is a 7th grader at WY and commuting on her own. To school she takes the yellow school bus and the blue to the brown on the way home. Lots of kids do the commute on the L. She loves meeting new kids on the train.
    Lately she has started practice after school and still doesn’t complain. This is preparing her for the “real world” 🙂
    Other kids take the Ashland bus to as far as Lawrence Ave.

  • 224. cpsobsessed  |  March 5, 2017 at 7:47 pm

    Thank you @223. I know it’ll be fine once it happens. I appreciate the reassurance.

  • 225. AtAshlandALot  |  March 5, 2017 at 10:16 pm

    The Ashland bus turns at Irving Park and does not go to Lawrence. There are WY students waiting at the Irving Park and Ashland bus stop together in the morning at times, yes. Some have parents waiting in their cars to watch them get on the bus and they are very respectful on the bus, unlike the Lakeview children, one of which pulled a switchblade out to show her friends once when I was on and at other times there will be elderly or small children and they will not offer their seats or be courteous. I hope that changes.

  • 226. ProudPapa  |  March 5, 2017 at 10:38 pm

    One train there and back for Jones and the Harrison stop is at the door.. a dream come true for us!

  • 227. NeighborhoodHSsupporter  |  March 5, 2017 at 10:39 pm

    Really, #225? That was a pretty broad stroke indictment of Lakeview students. I’m sure all WY kids are perfect angels and all neighborhood high school kids are delinquents. I find your post utterly offensive and ridiculous.

  • 228. AC WY mom  |  March 5, 2017 at 10:41 pm

    I’m a WY parent and rolled my eyes regarding lakeview kids comment. Unnecessary. Please.

  • 229. AC WY mom  |  March 5, 2017 at 10:42 pm

    Wonderful. Congrats 🙂

  • 230. Erin  |  March 6, 2017 at 1:25 am

    #218.. My son is in the same boat.. Thanks for advice given..I will try to call OAE for advice

  • 231. FB40  |  March 6, 2017 at 1:57 am

    Congrats Northside Class of 2021 parents! 2020 parent here. My son loves his school and so do I. They have block scheduling and my son completes all homework at school rarely does homework come home. They have classes like this:
    M,Th (same classes)
    T, Fri (order flipped from M, Th)
    Weds – off day, they are in school doing study hall, elective classes, tutoring, seminars they select. My son does most of his homework on Weds and in Study halls on normal days.

    Is anyone’s child a swimmer? My son is and he is so excited to find out what swimmers are coming in. Congrats everyone!

  • 232. NCP Parent  |  March 6, 2017 at 2:07 am

    Ok this is strange FB40 was not the name I selected odd. Sorry for confusion on future posts!

  • 233. AtAshlandALot  |  March 6, 2017 at 8:16 am

    Then perhaps you will rally to change it. I am simply stating what I see and if it offends you, imagine how I feel when I see 70 year olds standing up by the front of the bus and the Lakeview kids all sitting in their seats ignoring them, or the students unnecessary swearing loudly (which I chalk up to a teen behavior but have never had such an issue with WY children). You can dislike what I say and take offense with it but you would be slaying the messenger. I would hope you are above stifling other peoples observations. The WY children are in proximity to this behavior and the issue of bus transportation came up so I did not respond out of turn. In addition, I have not only lived here, a block from that corner (since 1989), I also do not own a vehicle so I am a frequent CTA passenger so on both counts I feel well qualified to speak on the issue as I have watched its development. I will not respond again to sooth your egos or refute your sour grapes. It is what it is.

  • 234. BarbedWire  |  March 6, 2017 at 8:44 am

    I received similar responses in the past for having dared to mention schools like Lakeview, Senn (and Lincoln Park!) in a less than glowing light. The edict on here is to repetitively recommended the non- SEHS as up and coming options ; as if all of the neighborhood schools have drastically altered.
    As a lifelong Chicagoan and frequent CTA rider I’ve seen firsthand, at the ground level, what the culture is in some of these schools.
    People seem to take unbiased observations personally, but that doesn’t lessen the truth.

  • 235. Julie  |  March 6, 2017 at 9:51 am

    @NCP Parent
    Block scheduling at Northside is one of the things my daughter is excited about. She is a swimmer too… The pool is beautiful. Is it true that they can use the pool outside of PE class (after school)? NCP has swim teams?

  • 236. Mia Bart  |  March 6, 2017 at 9:58 am

    @CPSO, didn’t realize you were in Andersonville. I’d suggest that your son walk to Berwyn or Bryn Mawr bus stop, not a bad walk at all, about 4 blocks from Clark Street, or if close to Foster he can take the Foster bus east, the last stop on that bus is the Berwyn el stop, and he can hop on the red line to Jones there. My son (your son’s current and future classmate 🙂 ) will be riding the el to Jones, perhaps they can commute together at the beginning while they get the hang of it.

  • 237. FLO  |  March 6, 2017 at 10:24 am

    Does anyone know of the commute to Lane from Midway area? How long it takes getting there and getting back? If your child participates in after school activities/clubs/sports, how does this effect the commute or homework time? I’m trying to help my son make the best decision for himself. He also got a seat at several IB schools and pre-engineering.

  • 238. NeighborhoodHSsupporter  |  March 6, 2017 at 10:47 am

    #233/234 I am actually on a board to improve my neighborhood school. I have volunteered my time to its improvement in a major way. What are you doing to improve your neighborhood school? My kids are not even in high school yet. I haven’t even visited this board in years! Now I know why.

    I came for the precise purpose of seeing what the prevailing attitudes are toward our neighborhood high schools, so that our board can learn from what parents are looking for at SE schools. I think most of the parents here DO believe neighborhood schools are an option. A strong option. I am sorry you do not feel that way. My son is the gentlest, kindest child with the broadest circle of friends of all races. He is well-liked, because he’s a really “good” kid. If someone were to stereotype him as a bad apple because he were to wear a “Senn,” “Lakeview” or “LP”, you bet I would call them out on it. Wouldn’t you?

    I stand by my comments as you do by yours. My ego does not need soothing. I am thrilled with the quality of education my child will receive at our neighborhood school. I look forward to it. But in the meantime, I work hard to change attitudes about our schools. And if I did not address broad-sweeping generalizations and stereotyping, I would not be doing my job.

  • 239. mom2  |  March 6, 2017 at 11:21 am

    Can’t even control my disdain for people like those that want to categorize an entire group of people as any particular way of being. I assume many, if not all, of you are democrats and preach about how others are racist or homophobic or against Jews or Muslims or whatever. That is stereotyping and if you think that is wrong, what you are saying is totally wrong, too.

    My sister used to tell me how she could never send her kid to a place like Lane because she watches those kids and how horrible they are as they walk on the street or swear or whatever…I sent my kid there because she was stereotyping. She was so wrong about the majority of those kids but there were certainly bad kids there. Same goes for Lakeview, LP, Senn, Amundsen or WYHS, Jones, etc.

  • 240. mom2  |  March 6, 2017 at 11:38 am

    In fact, comments like those above are the actual cause of CPS having issues with not enough selective enrollment high schools and “bad” neighborhood schools. A parent is thinking of giving the neighborhood school a try (and the more that do, the better they get) and then they read your post and think, “oh, my” I can’t send my kid there. When the reality is that sending your 8th grader to any high school will be a risk as there are some kids that do bad things at all the schools. Our last high school experience had friends from Payton drinking and passing out at parties freshman year, friends as WYHS getting in trouble with the law, friends at Northside doing drugs, friends at Jones carrying knives, friends at LP double honors selling drugs, etc. It just happens.

  • 241. Momof5  |  March 6, 2017 at 11:51 am

    @218 Concerned person and @230 Erin,
    Please know that usually there is no second round. No other letters will be sent out but I urge you to consider going through the Principal discretion route. Please know that generally, you have the best chance at PD if the school you’re petitioning for was listed as your child’s first choice, if you have a sibling at the same school, and how well you fit the PD categories.
    Best of luck to you.

  • 242. College Prof  |  March 6, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    I had two students in my college class who were Lane grads who commuted from around Midway. I believe it took them 1.5 to 2 hours, and they left the house around 5:30am. These two students had been friends since grammar school and commuted to Lane together. They were then in college together. It was great how these guys supported each other. They were very good, hardworking students.

  • 243. FLO  |  March 6, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    @242 College Prof,
    Thanks for that info. That’s what I’m afraid of, 2 hours is a LONG time. There’s a handful of 8th graders from our school that received an acceptance letter from Lane. Will it be best to travel the 2 hours everyday back and forth to Lane or would it be best to accept one of the other offers that are closer to home and where he can still excel?

  • 244. NCP Parent  |  March 6, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    @Julie yes they can use the pool and fitness room / equipment outside of school hours 8am to 3:05. They can come to school as early as 6am and stay until 11pm. Pool use is limited to when a life guard is available or one of the coaches is present. Which usually is 6am until 8pm. AND lane availability so outside of swim practice, diving practice or water polo. On Wednesday they could swim as well during school as part of their independent study. My son worksout and runs on a treadmill every Weds. We have a swim team girls and boys. There is also a swim club for off season that is USA Swimming Sanctioned if you want more info contact the coach at Carlos.Cejas@NorthSideAquatics.org

  • 245. NCP Parent  |  March 6, 2017 at 1:04 pm

    @Flo there are carpool groups too. School starts at 7:30 or 8 (I think) use the Waz App on your phone to figure out car driving time. Or if you work downtown drop your child off at the blue line or western bus. Etc. Lane is a great school. I am there often and there are always children there at 8pm and on weekends too. The kids can come early and stay late. Many do because parents drop off early and pick up late after traffic. Don’t let the distant scare you from a fantastic experience! Lane also has more funding you wont find this at a neighbor school. Go to the orientation.

  • 246. FLO  |  March 6, 2017 at 1:25 pm

    @NCP Parent,
    Thank you for reassuring me. I did think of driving him in the morning and maybe he can catch public trans back. At least that can help a bit. I also though that a group of us parents can work something out with carpooling. I’m going to have to look into that WAZ APP. I think his mind is set on Lane and I definitely don’t want to take that great experience from him. I just want to hear from other parents that make this sacrifice from Midway to Lane and hear back that it’s not as and as one thinks, lol. Thanks!!!

  • 247. Wayne Bevis  |  March 6, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    Congrats to all students accepted to Lindblom. We will be holding our accepted students’ Open House on March 15 from 5:30pm – 7:00pm. This will be an opportunity to tour the school, meet with staff and students. We will have a tour with the opportunity to see classes in session on 3/16. It will begin at 1pm.

    We have a parking lot located behind the school at Winchester & 61st and ample street parking.

    I hope to see all accepted Lindblom students on the 15th.

    Wayne Bevis
    Principal, Lindblom Math & Science Academy

  • 248. Amy C  |  March 6, 2017 at 1:52 pm

    What does the “rank” part off the cut score stand for?

  • 249. mb  |  March 6, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    we are one of the few that did this process by paper. we are still waiting on our letter. BUT–i just got an email congratulating us to the class of 2021 for lane. i’m assuming this is not a mistake.

  • 250. JAG  |  March 6, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    @ cpsobsessed, you can always change this to collegeobsessed!! We still have another stage to get our kids through. This has been so helpful to so many people. Thank you

  • 251. Liz  |  March 6, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    My son got into his first choice, Lane. Today we also got an acceptance letter from Lincoln Park College Prep/Double honors. I am pretty sure he will stick with Lane, but does anyone have any experience with LP Double Honors?

  • 252. JenFG  |  March 6, 2017 at 2:53 pm

    @FLO, no personal experience, but we are near Midway. I see students on the bus coming home from Lane at around 5pm. I’m assuming they left right as dismissal, if that helps.

    My son qualified for Lane but didn’t apply there because of the distance. It wouldn’t work for his low-key personality. He accepted his offer at Hancock.

  • 253. joeytm55  |  March 6, 2017 at 3:05 pm

    @Flo..we also live near Midway and my son was accepted at Lane..can you contact me at erinkq@ameritech.net..I am interested in carpooling as well. The thought of the commute is scaring me as well.

    Thanks cpsobsessed for the great info.


  • 254. FLO  |  March 6, 2017 at 3:27 pm

    Is your son currently at Hancock? If so, I would love to hear his/your personal experience with that school. Anything positive or negative.

    @joeytm55- yes, I can e-mail you and we can discuss our options.

    Absolutely agree with @joeytm55…Thanks CPSOBSESSED with all your great info. I remember my 5 year old starting Kindergarten and I was already looking into HS. I agree with #250 @JAG … you can always change it to collegeobsessed.

  • 255. Jane  |  March 6, 2017 at 3:29 pm

    @251 – LP is not a college prep. It is a nice backup for kids who don’t receive an offer at a SE. I would stick with Lane. I’ve yet have to hear a legitimate story where someone passes on a SE offer.

  • 256. JenFG  |  March 6, 2017 at 3:42 pm

    @FLO He will start at Hancock in the fall. We were impressed with the Open House. The school feels nice and small and not too far from home, which is perfect for my son.

    The data wasn’t impressive, but the principal did point out that the first year of SE students hadn’t taken the ACT yet, so the data still reflected when the school was a 100% neighborhood school. Even so, the Open House slideshow highlighted the significant progress the school made in a handful of years even before becoming SE.

    The students at the Open House were friendly and warm.

    A relative of mine is a CPS HS teacher, and she is quite taken with Hancock’s teaching. I haven’t heard anything negative yet except that some Midway-area parents aren’t confident in the neighborhood. I hope that more SW parents will give it a chance once its data gets updated. I think we risk looking a gift horse in the mouth.

    My older daughter has gone to WY since 7th grade, so I have some ability to compare how a school “feels.” WY is perfect for my daughter, but it would not be perfect for my son.

  • 257. ELW  |  March 6, 2017 at 3:43 pm

    @ NCP Parent
    @ Julie

    Excited to be joining you this fall at NCP. My son is a swimmer and will be joining the swim team. He’s been swimming with their club team since age 8 so we know that pool well! Any idea how easy it is to join other sports teams? It seems easy to join clubs. Looking for ways to branch out and experience all the school has to offer in addition to the academics.

  • 258. IncomingFresh  |  March 6, 2017 at 3:50 pm

    Just received letter from LP double honors.

  • 259. supertree  |  March 6, 2017 at 3:52 pm

    @255 what in the world do mean, “legitimate” story?

  • 260. Julie  |  March 6, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    @NCP Parent
    Thanks for the info!
    And for all accepted to Northside, I see a posting on their website for a “Freshman Welcome, Class 2021” on March 14 at 7PM.

  • 261. jdub  |  March 6, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    @251 My daughter is a senior at LP in their voice program, and most of her classes have been double honors or AP. We have enjoyed LP thoroughly. I have heard great things about Lane as well, so maybe it really just comes down to which schools speaks to you and child. LP has a great variety of programs, and certainly has fabulous college counselors. Good luck with your decision.

  • 262. FLO  |  March 6, 2017 at 4:05 pm


    We weren’t able to make it to Hancock’s open house. I’m glad you have some good feedback on it. I agree that it’s a big plus for the distance and the size. And I understand that the whole concept about the #’s. We will be going this Saturday for Decision Day and than next Tuesday to Lane. I hope this can help us make the best decision.
    Thank you!

  • 263. Bob  |  March 6, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    @255 Your comment about LP not being College Prep is absolutely ridiculous. The IB program is beyond reproach. They offer AP classes and IB classes to those who are in Double Honors who don’t want the full IB program. I know many people who have been and are in IB and they are VERY happy with the quality and it is absolutely college prep, but does not have the name. I’m writing this to make sure everyone has this perspective.

  • 264. bobtoo  |  March 6, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    @bob , I’m sure they were just referring to the parent that said “My son got into his first choice, Lane. Today we also got an acceptance letter from Lincoln Park College Prep/Double honors. I am pretty sure he will stick with Lane”” let’s not be so sensitive. 🙂

  • 265. jdub  |  March 6, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    @251, 255, 263 The curriculum has been fabulous. I know that is not the issue for most on this site at this point, but great college offers are being made to LP students! Wall to wall IB is an option for some students. Either way, sounds like you have great choices all around! I am sure that if you explore both, you will find that both schools have their positives.

  • 266. Bob  |  March 6, 2017 at 4:40 pm

    @264 (bobtoo). The comment was that “LP is not a college prep. It is a nice backup for kids who don’t receive an offer at a SE.”. People read comments on here and don’t always tie a thread together. I don’t have kids at LP so no skin in the game for me.” People read these forums and make decisions based on what they read here so just making people have the right facts.

  • 267. mom2  |  March 6, 2017 at 4:41 pm

    jdub, I very much appreciate you and Bob for your comments about LP. Don’t feel everyone on this site only cares about SE. That would not be correct even though there are a few very particular parents on this site.

  • 268. Mia Bart  |  March 6, 2017 at 4:41 pm

    Word of advice? Make sure your child enjoys high school, and isn’t focused too early (or too often) on college. A “B” or even two, or three or (gasp!) four is not going to kill their chances at a great school or great scholarships. Encourage them to choose their extracurricular activities because they enjoy them not because they will look good on a college resume. The reality is that in my daughter’s Northside Class of 2016 only a handful went to Harvard, Stanford, Princeton, etc. The vast majority went to U of I. One of my daughter’s best friends was CRUSHED because she was either denied or wait-listed at every college she applied to except U of I. She cried for days. Today, she is insanely happy finishing her freshman year there and excelling. My daughter (she of several Bs) had her choice of great schools, including Northwestern and Vassar, but accepted a full-tuition plus offer from Grinnell, a school she had never even contemplated applying to, let alone attending, when she started that process. She is insanely happy there, and flourishing. But she has told me she wishes she had stressed less. She was focused on grades and test scores and leadership positions for nearly her entire elementary years at a RGC and then at NCP, She urges her younger brother – heading to Jones this fall – to explore things he’s interested in – and not to worry too much about college. Just thought I’d pass it along.

  • 269. mom2  |  March 6, 2017 at 4:54 pm

    @268 – awesome advice. We had similar experiences with our oldest who was crushed after 4 years of fantastic grades, leadership, clubs, varsity sports, volunteer work, etc and then not getting into the college thought to be “the best.” Now totally happy at a great university and doing fantastic.

  • 270. cpsobsessed  |  March 6, 2017 at 5:32 pm

    Thanks for the travel info, @Mia Bart (and for outing yourself (well to me, anyhow.)) I think we’ll both be on a field trip Friday?… we can discuss more!

  • 271. cpsobsessed  |  March 6, 2017 at 5:35 pm

    @248 – the RANK score means that the first 30% of seats at a selective school are given our without taking tier into account.

    The rest of the 70% of offers are divided evenly into the 4 tiers.

    This gives high scoring tier 4 kids an advantage in the number of available seats.

  • 272. cpsobsessed  |  March 6, 2017 at 5:41 pm

    “College prep” is really kind of a marketing term anyhow, isn’t it?

    I certainly know kids from LP going to respectable colleges. And LEGITIMATELY one (blog reader) who’s child turned down a top SEHS for LP and is now heading to college.

    If the giant size of Lane feels too big for some kids or perhaps a kid doesn’t want all the SE pressure, LP has traditionally been a top choice for college-bound kids. It can feel difficult to turn down something you’ve earned/won with an SE offer. But that doesn’t mean it’s always the best path for some kids.

    I was always a good standardized test taker as a teen and I probably would have tested into a top SE school and then floundered there.

  • 273. cpsobsessed  |  March 6, 2017 at 5:43 pm

    @258 Incoming Fresh – congrats on the LP offer!

  • 274. Cpsmom  |  March 6, 2017 at 7:16 pm

    Daughter thinks about applying for Principal Discretion. Number of seats available for each school available but does anyone know how many applicants throught PD for each school last year?

  • 275. XLopez  |  March 6, 2017 at 7:45 pm

    do the students entering Lane take a placement test? how do they know if they are taking Honors, AP or Regular classes?

  • 276. Lane mom  |  March 6, 2017 at 8:59 pm

    All the HS classes are Honors. Students take placement tests for math (required so they can place in either algebra- which is a HS class or in pre-algebra- which is not). They also test for foreign language placement (optional). As to AP, most 7th graders aren’t in AP classes but a few probably are (e.g. In a language they have experience with). You will need to ask about that placement. The 7th grade required English class is not a HS class and neither is PE but I believe all others are (except pre-algebra) and HS credit therefore Honors.

  • 277. oldtowndad  |  March 6, 2017 at 10:48 pm

    for those discussing college, highly recommend Frank Bruni’s “Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be”, which is great.

    I’m not an LPHS parent but the kid I know who went there is now at UCLA which is very, very difficult to achieve, no idea why anyone would say it’s not a college prep.

  • 278. Bob  |  March 6, 2017 at 10:58 pm

    Oh my gosh. The person was just referring to a mom that called it Lincoln park college prep.
    That’s all. Why are people so sensitive? Whitney Young is called Whitney Young magnet. It’s not called college prep. They were just referring to correcting the name. That’s all. The mom/dad called it Lincoln park college prep double honors. And someone just said Lincoln park is not a college prep. It’s Lincoln park high school. It’s like calling lakeview college prep or schurz college prep. I’m sure kids ended up in college at all high schools. All high schools prep them for college.

  • 279. cpsobsessed  |  March 7, 2017 at 12:48 am

    Reminder about a session to learn about Amundsen and Lake View high schools. To be held Tues eve at Hawthorne elem school:


  • 280. mom2  |  March 7, 2017 at 9:44 am

    I was told there are over 100 people that have RSVP’d to the Hawthorne event tonight and many more that will just show up. Makes so much sense to go there just to check it out – especially if you have a kid in 5-7th grade or you are still thinking about high school for next year.

  • 281. Bob  |  March 7, 2017 at 9:57 am

    @278, the Bob imposter! 🙂 This is the “Bob” who had made the other Bob comments above.

    Geez….no one is getting sensitive. The issue was not with calling it college prep or not. The original comment was “It is a nice backup for kids who don’t receive an offer at a SE.” The point me and others have made is that the IB program at LP is equally as rigorous, if not more, than many SE schools. It’s important that we’re sharing information that is accurate.

    @277, great reference to make and good perspective for everyone who gets too caught up in it all.

  • 282. Parent of 7th Grader  |  March 7, 2017 at 10:38 am

    Could someone please explain or provide tips on how an applicant prioritizes/ranks the schools they choose?

    If a student meets the cutoff score for multiple schools, will they receive an offer for each of those schools or only their first choice? It seems like they should get multiple offers, but then again I could see how they would not since it would mess up the number of seats at the school(s) they decline.
    Is a student penalized in any way for casting a wide net and choosing multiple/many schools? I see the obvious risk to choosing just one school (not getting any offer), but is there a benefit to doing so (better shot at PD)?

    Thank you to everyone who has posted about their experience. It’s helpful to those who will be future participants in this crazy process!

  • 283. Godspeed  |  March 7, 2017 at 10:51 am

    CPSOBESSED rocks!
    Incredibly informative. Thank you for the hard work and data that has been thoughtfully put into this website! Warm regards, Aaron

  • 284. Mia Bart  |  March 7, 2017 at 11:13 am

    @282 I assume you are asking about Selective Enrollment schools, and I don’t know how the one single app will affect this for next year – but currently your child ranks their schools by preference, and will only get one offer, from the school highest on their preference list that their overall score/tier qualifies them for. I know kids who have ranked the schools with Lane first and then Payton or Northside. While there is no harm to doing this, historically the cutoff for Payton and Northside is much higher than Lane, so effectively even if they score high enough for Payton or Northside, they will only be offered Lane as that was their first on the preference list. I told both my daughter and son to rank them based on the school that they wanted to go to as their first choice and then the others, and not worry about whether or not they would do well enough on the exam to get that spot. There is no downside to scoring really well and getting the first choice you thought was a stretch, but there is to ranking it below a school with historically lower cutoffs. Does that make sense? By the way – not trying to make Lane sound less desirable at all, it was my son’s second choice, just talking about the realities of the system.

  • 285. PeterP  |  March 7, 2017 at 11:32 am

    Following on to NCP parent question – any club swimmers or divers joining Lane next year? We had some impressive freshmen on a team this year, and really would like to compete with NCP and WY. Those 2 schools seem to be taking 1st and 2nd at the boys city meet every year.

  • 286. mom2  |  March 7, 2017 at 11:45 am

    I know someone that put Lane down as their first choice because that is what they wanted as their first choice. Then, instead of being happy about getting into Lane, they were upset because they thought people would think they weren’t smart enough to get into Payton or Jones or something. Crazy way of looking at things. If you check historically, if the top score at Lane (for example) was a 900, then people with perfect scores picked Lane at their first choice. If you can go anywhere, pick the place that works for you (location, clubs, etc.)

    If this site has taught me anything, it has shown me that marketing is more important than reality for many CPS families. Change “Gordon Tech” to “DePaul College Prep” and the school must be better. Call it “Double Honors” and it must be twice as good as just “honors”. Make it super selective and it must be better than something not as selective. If you have to “get in”, it must be better than a place where you just “get to go.” A school with an average ACT score of 28 must be better than a school with an average ACT score of 25. A university that requires an ACT score of 28 must be better than a university that requires an ACT score of 25. A university with a lazy river and a climbing wall must be better than one with “just a pool.” And so on…

  • 287. Chicago School GPS  |  March 7, 2017 at 11:48 am

    @282 & @284- it will be interesting to see how this plays out for current 7th graders with the Single App coming out this Fall. Currently they have single choice for SEHS but can have multiple magnet, IB and school specific acceptances to choose from.

    The rationale for the single app is to prevent a small percentage of students from “taking up too many seats” early in the process and leaving a large percentage of students without good options.

    While nothing is set in stone with CPS for next Fall yet, we will explain the current process and do our best to anticipate what to expect at an NPN School Choice seminar tomorrow 3/8 at 7pm on the “What, Why & How of Chicago HS Admissions & Testing”. Enter GPSFree at checkout for complimentary admission. We (Chicago School GPS), Test Prep Chicago and Mathnasium are presenting to help 5th-7th grade parents understand the basics of the process. http://www.npnparents.org/event_times/2800

  • 288. tess  |  March 7, 2017 at 12:16 pm

    @274, about 20 per school as I remember from last year, number varied. I think I read that on the principal discretion site. Last year son got into 3rd choice SE, applied for and got 1st choice SE through principal’s discretion, then accepted midsummer offer from arts hs after he went through 1st choice SE orientation. A real whirlwind let me tell you.

  • 289. cpsobsessed  |  March 7, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    @282 – regarding ranking. My son toured Jones and Lane (I felt those were the best fits and most realistic.) We talked a lot about ranking as I wanted him to understand the implications.

    He felt each school had pros and cons so I framed it up as Jones as the “long shot” and Lane as the “most likely” scenario. A kid with super high schools might have more options — in which case they should rank on their personal preference as Mia Bart mentions.

    I also pointed out that *if* he wanted to stick with his friends (one of whom was likely going to be at Lane) that he should put that first.

    Since he was on the fence, we kind of let the scores determine his fate (putting Jones first as the “stretch” school and Lane second.) And then when we talked about test prep, I let him decide how much effort he wanted to make to get into Jones. He went with the “very minimal effort” option.

    It’s a complicated process so I wanted him to understand the implications of his different ranking options.

    And for this year, we had Amundsen IB as another choice I knew he’d get into, so it helped to have a solid option in the mix. If CPS goes with the 1-offer system it’ll add another level of strategy into the ranking process.

  • 290. Mia Bart  |  March 7, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    As bad a process as it is now – it was much worse. You had to be very strategic about how you ranked the schools (you could actually be penalized and not get into a school that you qualified) – and 7th grade attendance used to factor in (100 points, it was a 1000 point scale not 900). Parents used to send feverish, contagious kids to school to avoid losing points. Hard to imagine, but the process has “improved”.

  • 291. wdj1IMTtKjsejBi1n+W5V6b2ODOXDx+4uMBHrifLfQo=  |  March 7, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    My daughter is in 7th grade at a CPS school. She is a straight A student, plays sports and is looking forward to high school and college. My goal is simple – to get her into a rigorous HS program without the stress and anxiety that will likely follow many kids into high school. Kids have enough stress these days – why add to it? Families that live in the Lincoln Park High School boundary have it lucky – we feed into an excellent neighborhood school with multiple academic programs, robust sports programs and an IB option, if the students opt to pursue that type of learning. My daughter may end up applying to a few SEs, but more than likely, she will be a proud LPHS Freshman in Sept 2018.

    One last thought for those reading this site, please be aware that the best thing that YOU can do to prepare for this decision is to do YOUR OWN research. Please don’t pay too much attention to comments on here as many of them are ignorant, out of line and are not made by folks “in-the-know”. I personally am comfortable with LPHS and know it is a good decision for my family because I have done my own research. Unfortunately, many people just like to spew rhetoric that has is not based on fact or experience.

  • 292. cpssavvy  |  March 7, 2017 at 1:04 pm

    Thank you CPSObsessed for this very special journey. I’ve been a lurker in your BLOG for the last 6 years. We moved from out of state and I had an incoming third grader who is now in 8th grade.
    The move from a suburban private school environment to CPS was hard on my son and he never took to test taking well. We got into a great magnet school when we moved and passed on the academic center option to give him some stability. I managed to work with him to pull his math scores to high 90s but reading scores peaked at 90.
    My daughter who is in 3rd grade took to CPS very well and scores off the charts for her grade level both in reading and math.
    Since we live in a tier 4 home, the top SE schools were a bit of a stretch for my son.
    We have an offer from LP Double honors program and that is our top CPS choice.
    I know this forum is mainly about CPS, but does anyone have opinion about a private school like St Ignatius or British and LP DH program? Mainly from the academics part , Not the $$.

  • 293. L T  |  March 7, 2017 at 1:14 pm

    Greetings. My stepson has been wait listed @ #31 for the Ag school. Are there any parents online who have been wait listed, and if so, was your child ultimately offered an invitation to attend? Any help would be appreciated. (New to CPS and this site.)

  • 294. Jill  |  March 7, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    @FLO my daughter is a junior at Lane and we live by Midway. She gets to orange line station at 6:10-15 am the commute takes a little over an hour. In the morning there are Brown line trains pulling out of midway station so she doesn’t need to transfer. If she doesn’t stay after school she’s home by 4:30-4:45, but she does stay after most days and is home between 5:30-6:30. Long day but she is good with it. If you want more info feel free to email me jillodazion@sbcglobal.net

  • 295. FLO  |  March 7, 2017 at 2:27 pm

    @Jill- That’s great to know and a nice relief. I had completely forgot about the Brown line leaving Midway. I’m normally at Midway by 7:00-7:15 and occasionally had made it to catch the last Brown line that leaves midway. This is perfect. My commute is normally 45 minutes from Midway to my work. So a little over an hour isn’t so bad. Thanks so much for this info. And getting home by 5:30-6:30 isn’t so bad either. I will definitely be e-mailing you. Thanks again.

  • 296. LPHSDH  |  March 7, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    #292, LP DH is an amazing program. LPHS offers more AP classes than almost any other high school in the city – named the “Most Challenging” in Chicago (#2 in Illinois) because of this academic advantage in 2016. Students in DH or even H can take IB classes, too, even having the opportunity to transfer into IB Diploma program in their junior year. There is also a newish IB Career program that sounds great. So, it is the most flexible academically I have seen. My good friend’s son just got accepted into the University of Chicago from LPHS. Another’s daughter is going to Savannah School of Art and Design – one of the top design programs in the country (she was also accepted at the School of the Art Institute). LPHS has the strongest music program in the city, too, sending kids to Berklee School of Music regularly. So, from academics to the arts, it can’t be beat. Truly. I honestly think you should email the principal if you have questions He’s amazing.

    I also have a friend at Ignatius. Her daughter loves it. She is very smart and could have gone to any SE. Socially, it’s a bit challenging for her – as in it’s VERY social. But perhaps she is, too, lol. I have a friend going into British from elementary British. They left CPS and seem to enjoy the British schedule more than anything as they travel a lot. I cannot say as far as academics, but I’m sure it’s great, too. They are serious about academics, too, so they wouldn’t put their child at a disadvantage there.

    Good luck. There is no bad choice. But obviously I am rooting for LP DH!

  • 297. CpsMama  |  March 7, 2017 at 6:36 pm

    Hi. Has anyone received the NCP welcome package today that was mailed yesterday? My mailman appears to be mia today.
    I am just curious when the 3 day orientation dates will be, if it is in there. Not sure if it is early or late summer.

  • 298. Liz  |  March 7, 2017 at 8:45 pm

    Sorry wasn’t trying to stir any pots, it’s just that the application for LPDH says “DOUBLE HONORS/COLLEGE PREP” so that’s what I called it! Think we will still stick with Lane (we live nearby) but LPDH sounds very impressive as well.

  • 299. anxious  |  March 7, 2017 at 8:54 pm

    My son scored a 655 out of 900 he got 81 vocabulary 61 reading language 86 and math 79 .

    Idk What to do will he be able to get into Lane tech actually with this type of score for Principal Discretion or not?/?/

    Im so worried.

  • 300. Comeonnn  |  March 7, 2017 at 8:56 pm

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

  • 301. cpsobsessed  |  March 7, 2017 at 8:58 pm

    @299, Principal Discretion is more about the case you make (via your essay) more so than the scores they got. Perhaps there were reasons a student’s scores didn’t reflect their true abilities. Or maybe the test doesn’t reflect other talents or skills they have. If so, play those up so the principal can decide what you might bring to the school. At the tour, the principal mentioned he was into social justice. Is there something related to that theme that you could write about?

    Good luck to you.

  • 302. LPHSDH  |  March 7, 2017 at 8:58 pm

    Congrats to your child on Lane. No pots stirred. I would stick with a nearby first choice, too. That’s why those in great neighborhood school boundaries are lucky – a great nearby school. Get ready for some further-away friends to hang out a lot! : )

  • 303. cpsobsessed  |  March 7, 2017 at 9:01 pm

    @300 Comeonn, the MAP percentiles will be from Spring in 7th grade (so the last ones you took in 7th grade.) Nothing from 8th grade counts except the Selective Enrollment test score.

  • 304. anxious  |  March 7, 2017 at 9:08 pm

    Yess thanks my son plays the piano he has received 3 awards and 4 letters of recommendation. And his score did drop due to the fact that we were kicked from our previous apartment and were looking for a new one in a hurry. WHich was then followed by my husbands job switch technically we had to live of our savings we collected. These reasons are all true are these good reasons for PD?

  • 305. Comeonnn  |  March 7, 2017 at 9:12 pm

    And yes what do u mean by relating to social Justice like We donated to immigrants online like if they need and food,shelter water from money (online charity) using paypal . Also he does volunteer and a local community center like cleans up moves chairs. things like that so my son technically meets 3 out of 4 criterias. Is that good ? Does the principal base it of his selective enrollment score or see his actual letter?

  • 306. anxious  |  March 7, 2017 at 9:12 pm

    And yes what do u mean by relating to social Justice like We donated to immigrants online like if they need and food,shelter water from money (online charity) using paypal . Also he does volunteer and a local community center like cleans up moves chairs. things like that so my son technically meets 3 out of 4 criterias. Is that good ? Does the principal base it of his selective enrollment score or see his actual letter?

  • 307. anxious  |  March 7, 2017 at 9:17 pm

    can someone please answer my question????

  • 308. Jane  |  March 7, 2017 at 9:24 pm

    @anxious from what I heard from previous kids who have done PD and made it were 1) very close to cutoff score 2) close to cutoff score and had a sibling currently at the school. 3) with jones PD and about 5 years ago the kid was very good at baseball and that helped along with score very close to cutoff.
    I know only one kid whose scores were low 700s with a unfortunate family situation and didn’t help a PD decision.

  • 309. anxious  |  March 7, 2017 at 9:27 pm

    So does my son to get into lane be close to the cutoff score? Becuz hes is like 164 points away is there a possibility he might get into it? via PD

  • 310. cpsobsessed  |  March 7, 2017 at 9:27 pm

    Yes, those things can all possibly help with Principal Discretion (and yes, those activities are related to social justice.) That’s great that your child volunteers.
    I would have your child write something that sums them up as a person, in terms of their strengths and interest so that they sound unique and interesting. Express WHY he likes to help pitch in with the clean-up. Include a small part about any hardships.

    The principal (or an asst principal will read the essay.) Not sure if they look at the scores – that may vary by principal.

  • 311. cpsobsessed  |  March 7, 2017 at 9:28 pm

    The child I know who got into Lane via PD missed the cutoff by maybe 5 points or so. I was told he was also a very good writer.

  • 312. anxious  |  March 7, 2017 at 9:28 pm

    And about that kid who had an unfortunate family decision did he make into the school with PD?

  • 313. anxious  |  March 7, 2017 at 9:33 pm

    okay so can my son possibly get into it with 655 nowhere near the cut off score for lane becuz there are 49 seats available?

  • 314. anxious  |  March 7, 2017 at 9:42 pm

    can someone answer my final question???

  • 315. cpsobsessed  |  March 7, 2017 at 9:45 pm

    I don’t think we can predict that. I would guess that will those scores, the essay and/or child’s achievements/activities would need to be very strong to get a spot. You can also include up to 3 letters of recommendation, so I’d advise having 3 really good letters too.

  • 316. anxious  |  March 7, 2017 at 9:53 pm

    I know a kid who unexpectedly moved to pakistan for his family unknown matters he wrote about this on the letter? ANd he got in with a 720 as his final score so how is tht possible?

  • 317. anxious  |  March 7, 2017 at 10:03 pm

    cpsobsessed please answer my question after this I’m done,,,

  • 318. cpsobsessed  |  March 7, 2017 at 10:06 pm

    I don’t know… I can’t say without knowing anything more about the kid and the situation. Perhaps the kid was a really good writer and/or had something really interesting to write about from Pakistan. It really depends what sounds good to the principal at each school. Good luck!

  • 319. anxious  |  March 7, 2017 at 10:10 pm

    Okay So he got his letter edited by college students which to me seemed unfair.

  • 320. anxious  |  March 7, 2017 at 10:31 pm

    did you read my message yet?

  • 321. anxious  |  March 7, 2017 at 10:32 pm

    You should like create a Principal Discretion thread for 2017

  • 322. TakeABreath  |  March 7, 2017 at 11:08 pm

    Perhaps going to the Principals Discretion thread for 2016 will offer some help as I am sure many similar questions are asked each year.

  • 323. StessedMom  |  March 7, 2017 at 11:55 pm

    Stress city here. Scored a 871 but tier 4 got us NOTHING! Not even CTE where I already have a student. Our local neighborhood high school is closing in June.
    The tier system isn’t fair. The West Loop was Tier 2/3 10 years ago and now tier 4. So because I invested in property well, the system assumes our kids have a higher advantage in life. Principles discretion but even that’s not a known.
    Education is not a privilege; it is a right and the system isn’t working.
    Call me bitter but how many CTE students used a ‘new’ address for a school like Jones?
    I wish CPS did house checks.

  • 324. Amom  |  March 8, 2017 at 12:03 am

    871 got you “nothing”? I assume you chose not to apply to Lane or any of the many IB programs?

  • 325. anxious  |  March 8, 2017 at 12:47 am

    You should considering trying for Young in Principal Discretion You child is 3 points behind the cutoff score score of young (Cutoff- 874
    maximum – 882) lane only accepts people with the maximum score of 865 not worth trying there plus your kid is smarter than an average student at lane .

  • 326. Jane  |  March 8, 2017 at 10:54 am

    @323 nothing? I’m assuming you didn’t apply to LP or Lane?
    LPDH takes most kids and 871 should definitely have given your child a Lane acceptance. I’m afraid your child received bad counselling at school, schools always suggest to list 1-6 SE choice, apply to LP always, LP is always a perfect backup when kids don’t receive a SE offer. Some kids (based on preference or qualifications) just choose to go there without even applying to SE so with a 871 she/he should have received an offer, something is wrong.

  • 327. Neighborhood Parent  |  March 8, 2017 at 11:06 am

    Yeah, I’d say if you are “stressed” it’s because you pinned your hopes on 1 of 3-4 schools max, which is statistically a challenge. Most people I know have not been stressed because they planned for acceptable backups.

  • 328. No Horse In the Race  |  March 8, 2017 at 11:07 am

    OK, Anxious, I will answer you. Will your child get into Lane with a 655 score? Not without one hell of a story. There will be a LOT of kids trying to get those PD spots, and I don’t believe the tier system comes into play with how they are allotted. So you can expect that there will be a long line of students with scores significantly higher than your child’s. Can you try? Of course. Would I bet on it? Not with money I couldn’t afford to lose.

  • 329. cpsobsessed  |  March 8, 2017 at 11:08 am

    I do wish that CPS had the resources to do house checks. We’ve joked on here before about doing a reality TV show like “house hunters” to investigate address fraud. Taking things into the hands of the citizens. 😛

  • 330. cpsobsessed  |  March 8, 2017 at 11:10 am

    Re @328, when I worked in advertising the goal for a good TVadvertisement was “A good story, well told.” Anxious, I think that’s what you’re going to need.

  • 331. Bob  |  March 8, 2017 at 11:40 am

    Anyone have numbers on how many principal discretion applicants there are for a school like Payton, Jones and Lane? I’ve seen the number of applicants for schools from CPS, but never numbers for those applying for principal discretion.

  • 332. cpsobsessed  |  March 8, 2017 at 12:16 pm

    FYI, here were the number they were looking to admit last year:

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

    Here is last year’s thread.

    I submitted an FOIA to see if we can find out how many applied last year.

  • 333. Parent of 7th Grader  |  March 8, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    @ 284 Mia Bart &
    @ 289 CPS Obsessed
    I apologize if this is obvious, but I’m still a bit confused about the SEHS ranking strategy and really appreciate your help.

    Mia mentioned a student will only be offered a spot at Lane if that was their first preference – and not offered a spot at a school with a higher cutoff score even if their individual score met that higher cutoff – if the student ranks it as a lower preference. Or perhaps I misunderstand?

    Yet CPSobsessed ranked Lane first but ended up with an offer from Jones (presumably ranked second or lower than Lane) since his score was high enough for Jones. You let his score determine his offer – which ended up not being his first rank?

    Sorry if I’m confusing what you’ve stated, but this seems very important to get right, so TIA for any clarification!

    @287 I will attend tonight – thank you for organizing!

  • 334. cpsobsessed  |  March 8, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    I must have jumbled what I wrote. My son did rank Jones first. (I’ve edited the 289 post.) Thanks for pointing that out.

  • 335. proudlaneparent  |  March 8, 2017 at 1:48 pm

    @333, 284, 289
    Here’s a perfect case in point. My student (Tier 4) scored an 895 out of 900, with 99 Vocab, 99 Reading, 99 Language, 99 Math and 99 Core, but because his school choices were, in order, 1. Lane 2. Young 3. Jones, he received an offer from his highest-ranked choice, Lane, notwithstanding that he qualified for every other school. Should he have ranked his school choices differently? Perhaps in the hindsight and opinion of others. But, he spent a lot of time at the open houses conversing with students on specific issues to help determine the right fit. My student wants to be challenged academically, but my student is also very athletically and musically accomplished and would like to have the time to continue with those endeavors. Sense of school spirit also weighed heavily in his decision. So notwithstanding that this parent initially felt like the student might have left some points on the table, I’m happy to say he’s thrilled with the outcome and so too am I.

  • 336. Another Mom  |  March 8, 2017 at 2:01 pm

    “Your kid is smarter then the average kid in Lane ?!?!?!.. ” The kid got a score a few points higher then the cut off, and all of a sudden a good, solid school is not worthy of him. Am I the only one who got rubbed the wrong way by this statement? Are you seriously assessing cognitive and intellectual abilities of a kid based on the statistical data generated by extremely broken SE process?

  • 337. Bob  |  March 8, 2017 at 2:03 pm

    @255 proudlaneparent: One thing I’ve learned through this site is that your number one pick should always be your top choice no matter what. So even if you don’t think you’ll get into pick one, still best to put it down as number one just in case knowing that you’ll also be completely happy with your number two pick (as an example of “top two” selection).

  • 338. tacocat  |  March 8, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    I’m pretty sure @anxious is just trying to mess with people.

  • 339. Mia Bart  |  March 8, 2017 at 2:14 pm

    @335 – first – congrats on your son’s scores and getting the school of his choice. Just want to clarify that I am not saying what order anyone should rank schools – except of course in the order of their personal preference. In fact, in my opinion, that is the ONLY way to rank them. We all speculate, but until those cutoff scores are posted, we have no way of knowing for sure which schools have lower/higher cutoffs. Look at Payton and Northside, Payton had a higher cutoff score for Tier 4, but Northside did for Tier 3. I was only trying to clarify that you are looked at once and only once in this process. They start at the 900s and move down. When they get to your student, they look at their score, tier and their school rankings. The first school on their list that they qualify for is it – they don’t look further down on your student’s list. I just want to make sure people understand this as I’d hate to see someone who really wanted Jones put Lane first thinking they couldn’t get into Jones, and then have qualify for Jones but be unable to attend. (Again, no judgments on schools here, just using examples.)

  • 340. HSMom  |  March 8, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    @AnotherMom,I’m with you on that comment from @anxious. My child miss her first choice by 2 points, disappointed for a bit, but completely excited for her start at Lane this fall. The Alpha program is what she is after now. Not sure what “smarter then the average kid in Lane” means, but w/ an AP class starting freshman year- that doesn’t seem too average IMO. Some posters post just to have something to start. I’m a strong believer in you will end up where you are meant to be.

  • 341. Son  |  March 8, 2017 at 5:48 pm

    @anxious – “Smarter than the average student at Lane?” What the h*ll are you talking about. First of all, Lane is a great school with very bright and enthusiastic students. Why would you knock on them like that. My daughter was accepted to Young, but I pretty much told her, any of the 5 SE schools are great and you should be proud to be a part of them. I also reminded her that, if you work hard in life and set goals, you can pretty much go to any school you want and it won’t make a difference. I went to Von and there are some kids that made nothing of their life and some that became millionaires. It’s about who and what you want to be in life, not who is smarter than you or not. Go an express your negativity somewhere else.

  • 342. FLO  |  March 8, 2017 at 6:21 pm

    @340- HSMom,
    Just wondering if you know or any one else knows: how many students get invited to the ALPHA program at Lane? What do they base it off?

  • 343. Bowmanville Parent  |  March 8, 2017 at 7:49 pm

    @ 342 – FLO According to the website, “Incoming freshmen will be invited to apply based upon honors status, math and science grades, and achievement scores.” Students are then accepted based on their application. According to my Lane student and her friends, Alpha is usually looking for students. Kids who have the grades and the interest are generally accepted. The buzz is that it’s very much a program for kids who really like science fair. http://www.lanetech.org/stem.php

  • 344. Momof3fish  |  March 8, 2017 at 9:14 pm

    @anxious It is possible to get into lane with a low score through PD. It happens. My kid got thru PD. He tests really awful both the isats and the test but had great grades. Idk how it now but at the time all he letters were reviewed by a panel and then given to the principal. The principal did not choose the packets. You need to sell yourself and convince the panel why you should be considered.

  • 345. merelyastudent  |  March 8, 2017 at 9:28 pm

    Lane student here (junior who’s been here since 7th grade). I mainly just want to say that if your kid is not really passionate about math/science, DO NOT take the Alpha program. Go into the honors/AP track (or whatever they’re calling it now) like I did. They will have a much better choice in electives and be a lot happier in the long run. I know so many kids who started in Alpha because they thought it looked good for college, etc, and hated it and a lot of them ended up dropping out of the program. Go through the information about the program on the school’s website with your kid and see if they’d be interested, or go to one of the meet and greets and ask questions. For example, does your kid like science fair? That’s a requirement of the Alpha program to do science fair for at least 2 years. Keep that in mind when you’re making your decisions.

    There are so many majors at Lane (including a brand new drama major, which I wish we had when I was a freshman.) Alpha is not the end-all be-all.

  • 346. mom5  |  March 9, 2017 at 9:01 am

    Does anyone have any personal experience with any of these three programs? IB at Ogden, Drama at Lincoln Park, or Lindblom? My son trying to make a decision by next week, while also compiling his principal discretion package for WY.

  • 347. IB/IB mom (formerly IB and AC mom)  |  March 9, 2017 at 10:29 am

    @342 or others do you have any input on the Omega program at Lane? And any info on the AP Capstone?

  • 348. FLO  |  March 9, 2017 at 10:31 am

    @343- thanks for the info. I’ll look into it with my son
    @345- appreciate your input, especially since your a student @ Lane. I will have my son look into the program and ask questions at the meet and greet. He does like Math and Science but I’m not to sure about the science projects. He really needs to think about it.

    Have a wonderful day!

  • 349. mom2  |  March 9, 2017 at 10:38 am

    @momof3fish – So your son got into Lane through PD with really bad test scores but great grades? If so, may I ask how he is doing there now? Is it a struggle to keep up with the other kids because of test taking issues or because he knows how to get great grades, is he doing fine? I’d hate to have a kid get into Lane through PD only to be stressed out all the time trying to keep up with everyone else. Just curious.

  • 350. IB/IB mom (formerly IB and AC mom)  |  March 9, 2017 at 10:44 am

    I meant to ask my question of @345 – merelyastudent. If you have any insight into the Omega program I would appreciate hearing it. Good or bad.

  • 351. Westinghouse Dad  |  March 9, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    @215 Westinghouse? By all means Westinghouse is a great school. My son is a freshmen at GWCP and he is thriving! You can always call the school’s admission counselor “Rebecca Miller” for a tour. I would highy recommend Westinghouse College Prep for your child.

  • 352. Vikingmom  |  March 9, 2017 at 3:06 pm

    @CPO I want to add my thanks for creating this blog. I have found it so helpful over the years! Congrats to you as well, and to your son especially, in getting into Jones. But I will miss having an opportunity to meet at Amundsen 😉
    Congrats to all who got into SEHS! For those who didn’t…it might seem like the end of the world now, but really, you/your child will be alright.

  • 353. CPSx2  |  March 9, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    @ 352, Viking mom – I’m very seriously considering Amendsen for my child. Would it be possible for CPSO to connect us directly via email, etc? Thanks in advance!

  • 354. anxious  |  March 9, 2017 at 8:52 pm

    So principal don’t choose what? WHy is it called Principals Discretion?

  • 355. anxious  |  March 9, 2017 at 8:56 pm

    @momof3fish Wait im so confused so who chooses the panel/board members or the Principals of the high school

  • 356. anxious  |  March 9, 2017 at 8:57 pm

    Im so confused who chooses the child to get in with this process Principal Discretion????

  • 357. anxious  |  March 9, 2017 at 9:35 pm

    So ur saying my son wont be getting into lane even I try with principal discretion??

  • 358. anxious  |  March 9, 2017 at 9:35 pm

    Answer my questionnnn????

  • 359. merelyastudent  |  March 9, 2017 at 9:41 pm

    @IB Mom
    I don’t have any firsthand experience with the Omega program because it only started this past year with the current freshman. I sort of… unofficially did a social science major just because that’s what I’m passionate about? I didn’t want to take Human Geo (nothing against the class, it’s a good startout AP, it just didn’t interest me) so I was able to talk my way into APUSH freshman year (that is not something they let kids do anymore lol). Then I took AP Comparative Gov and I’m in AP Euro this year, planning on taking AP Psych and Honors Law next year. The history classes are definitely the most work out of the AP social sciences. It’s a lot of reading, typically a chapter per week, and going to be at least an hour of homework every night if you’re reading closely and not half-assing it. Things like Psych and Human Geo have the reputation as being the easier ones.

    I can definitely fill you in on AP Capstone, though. It’s taking the 2 Capstone courses, Seminar and Research, and then 4 other APs besides. Any major can do it (and use it as a PE Waiver for Junior/Senior year), but it’s required for Alpha and Omega majors. I’m currently in the first level of the class, AP Seminar, and I like it a lot. It really teaches you how to write research papers and to conduct research, which is valuable for college. It also works well in conjunction with AP Lang from what I understand (being a former LTAC I took Lang last year so I can’t 100% speak to that). It’s also a pretty chill class. You spend all year working on a few projects and all of class is devoted to that, so as long as you’re productive you don’t have much outside homework.

    Honestly though, I think the whole AP push is a bit overrated. (I say as I have taken 9 AP courses already, 11 by the time I graduate.) Only take what you think you can handle, and never take more than 3 per year. No one handles 4 or more well. Most colleges only even accept AP credit if you get a 5 on the test these days, with the exception of state schools in Illinois, who accept a 3 or higher by law. If the Omega program sounds like a good fit for your kid, and they’re excited about it, go for it. Don’t stress too much if it’s not. Having a life is important too, after all. You can also change your major, so don’t worry too much about them either. You’re not locked in for life.

  • 360. Another Mom  |  March 9, 2017 at 9:47 pm

    Principal makes a final desission on who to accept via Principal Discretion. How the applications are sorted and who decides which applications make it for Principal to consider should be absolutely irrelevant for your purposes.

    If you are going to cater to what “they” are looking for, you will mostly likely lose the uniqueness of your application. Have your kid write an essay that tell his/her story, not someone else’s. Make a reader see why the school, student body and the community overall will benefit from him/her attending the school. Dont be afraid to be real and vulnerable.

    To be honest, if the tone of an essay is going to be similar to the tone of your posts here, I doubt the Principal will look at it. I am pretty sure I am not the only one who thinks you are just trolling here. But just in case you are genuinely concern, I am glad to provide you with my honest opinion.

  • 361. anxious  |  March 9, 2017 at 10:57 pm

    I promise you I’m not trolling anyone on here why would I i’m really concerned about him tho this is due tot h fact that I don’t want him to go to our neighborhood school (Senn IB) Please tell me what My child can write about to make him stand out.

  • 362. Bob  |  March 9, 2017 at 11:19 pm

    @anxious, in addition to what people have shared here, I would recommend speaking with your child’s school counselor about how to approach the essay and to provide you with advice and recommendations. They could also give you suggestions on how to approach any references.

  • 363. TooManyKids  |  March 9, 2017 at 11:29 pm


    As the previous post stated, your child should write about their strengths and what they would offer to the school as a student. Touch on why they didn’t score well and how they plan on improving their short-comings. Be genuine, not what you think they want to hear.

    Also, as a parent on the South Side, I wish my neighborhood school was Senn. Your child could thrive there, instead of possibly struggling as an SE school. See if your child is really a fit for Lane, or are you just concerned about how they will “look” attending a neighborhood school. While my daughter got into her first choice, if I felt that she wouldn’t thrive in that environment, she wouldn’t accept. In all honesty, it sounds as if you want this mord than your child needs it. Just my 2 cents.

  • 364. anxious  |  March 10, 2017 at 2:00 am

    I know now why this happened.THanks for al you support thank you.

    Let God be the Judge of who gets in or who dosen’t.

  • 365. parent  |  March 10, 2017 at 10:20 am

    anxious, Senn IB is an excellent program. It is one of the up-and-coming schools that is attracting more and more neighborhood students. It might have more to offer than you think.

  • 366. IB/IB mom (formerly IB and AC mom)  |  March 10, 2017 at 10:41 am

    @ anxious, is your child Comeonnn or are you posting with two different names? The reason I ask is because @ 305 and 306 you both posted the same message. If your child is Comeonn from post 300 and they are diabetic, I am wondering why they were fasting? When were they diagnosed? Do they have a 504 plan?

  • 367. IB/IB mom (formerly IB and AC mom)  |  March 10, 2017 at 10:55 am

    @359 Thank you! I really appreciate your feedback. Right now she is thinking about just doing honors/AP and I hope she will want to do the Capstone as well. I do completely agree with you about the push for AP. With the push I believe Lane did see a drop in AP pass rate, but I knew that was because they were pushing some of them too soon or kids were pushed to take too many. I couldn’t agree more about no more than 2 per year. What I found interesting is the paperwork we received said freshman who scored 800 or more take all honors and one AP. I think Freshman year is a little early, but we will see.

  • 368. Vikingmom  |  March 10, 2017 at 11:41 am

    @353 CPSx2 I would be glad to chat with you! CPO, can you remind me how to share my email privately?

  • 369. tess  |  March 10, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    @anxious, here is oae link all about principal discretion,
    opens mar 13, closes mar 24


    when my son applied last year, he missed the cutoff score by a little bit, owing to math section on the MAP test (unfamiliar material) he wrote heartfelt essay about hardships he overcame, his tone was respectful, humble, and honest, 3 of his teachers wrote very nice, touching letters, sports coach did as well, we added copies of some of his work to give more of a rounded picture, last year the minimum a person had to submit was an application, the maximum was 15 pages

    that said, I visited Senn twice tour and shadow day for my children,
    teachers and students were very kind, huge variety of offerings,
    (did not seem rough as it might have been once),
    below is link to David Gregg admissions person there


    wish you and your child well

  • 370. cpsobsessed  |  March 10, 2017 at 1:30 pm

    Hi. You can email me at CPSObsessed@gmail.com

  • 371. Help Please  |  March 10, 2017 at 4:01 pm

    Can someone clarify the PD process please? I just spoke to a friend of a friend, she and her family are moving to Chicago from the West Coast this summer. Older daughter went through SE process and received full 900 points. Her first choice on the application was Jones, but that was before they knew the subtle differences between SE schools. At this point, they believe that Walter Payton or Whitney Young will be a much better fit. If they apply for PD at one of those schools, do they automatically forfeit a spot at Jones?

  • 372. HSMom  |  March 10, 2017 at 4:09 pm

    @371 so long as they accept their seat by the deadline, 3/17/2017, they secure her spot at Jones. PD can replace this seat, if they are accepted and they accept that offer.

  • 374. tess  |  March 10, 2017 at 5:21 pm

    @371, http://cps.edu/AccessAndEnrollment/Pages/OAE.aspx#collapsePaneA3
    link to principal discretion how to

  • 375. Alwaxman  |  March 10, 2017 at 5:41 pm

    For any NCP parents whose kids attended an AC, were the kids allowed to take advanced math classes or were they made to repeat AC classes like HS Chemistry, HS Biology, HS Geometry etc. When does the course selection process start for freshmen? Thank you

  • 376. Julie  |  March 10, 2017 at 5:51 pm

    @Alwaxman The kids do not repeat any classes for which they already have HS credit. Mine has had HS Bio and HS Chem and will need to take Physics and a science elective after. I spoke with the principal about this a few weeks ago. As for when the process begins I do not know but hope to find out next Tuesday.

  • 377. genxatmidlife  |  March 10, 2017 at 6:30 pm

    Does anyone know if you need to decline an offer to an IB school, or do you just not accept via OAE? None of the communications indicate you need to decline, but just want to make sure.

  • 378. Alwaxman  |  March 10, 2017 at 7:10 pm

    @Julie…grateful for your response. See you Tuesday 🙂

  • 379. momof3fish  |  March 10, 2017 at 11:44 pm

    @349. my son is doing well. he is college. he struggled for a month and was able to get a really great support team at lane and he advocated for himself. he was able to get his IEP amended and tailored for his needs. Luckily for him we did not have a terrible time with getting him help.
    @ anxious. you’re driving people crazy. ummm people work and are not glued to this blog. at least Im not. i really dont understand why you are making yourself nuts over this. if your child does not get into Lane, then I hope you had plan B. We did and we were fine with the Plan B school. so to answer your question, from what i understand, all the applications are collected at the main office, they are screened by a panel and then forwarded to the principal. that’s how it was done when my kid went through the process. maybe it changed but i think it was done this way because of all the craziness that went on with the PD process before.

  • 380. momof3fish  |  March 10, 2017 at 11:51 pm

    @349. i also did not let him take any honors classes except for history until junior year. senior year he took a couple of AP classes. no need to struggle if he didnt have to. by college, i meant he’s at a university.

  • 381. Principal Pavichevich  |  March 11, 2017 at 9:18 am

    @353 CPSx2 – Vikingmom is a great resource. I am happy to help, too, if you need additional information. Apavichevich@cps.edu (Amundsen Principal)

  • 382. Ann  |  March 11, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    Anyone got accepted into a SE high school and a good private school like Latin? Thoughts on accepting (other than the obvious cost)?

  • 383. TooManyKids  |  March 11, 2017 at 1:01 pm


    We considered sending our daughter to Morgan Park Academy because they were going to cut the tuition in half ($24k – $12k), and with with scholarships, we would’ve paying approximately $3000 per year, but the benefit of sending our daughter to a public school like Jones, where we felt she would meet kids from all over the city, get a top quality education, and the downtown location, outweighed what we felt she would gain at MPA, or any other private school. The top 5 SE schools are on par, if not better, than the top private schools academically. To us, it was a no brainer…Just my 2 cents.

  • 384. Dana  |  March 11, 2017 at 4:45 pm

    Choice between good private school and SE is not so easy, I think. A good private school has many other unseen advantages, including college placement strategies that SE may not have. Grades and high scores are just the start for college placement.

  • 385. cpsobsessed  |  March 11, 2017 at 5:01 pm

    I would probably weight the specific private vs the specific SE you are choosing from (assuming money isn’t a major factor) to see which one fits best with the child’s interests and personality.
    Privates by nature will have a different group of classmates than public.
    Does the private offer sports, extra curriclulars, etc that interest the student?
    I’m not familiar with many of the private high schools, but I imagine some of the top ones have students from families where nearly everyone has nice stuff, goes on nice vacations, etc. Is your child comfortable with those peers?
    Which school will provide the best/more appropriate level of challenge for the specific child?

    Privates tend to have high expectations about additional fund raising. Are you comfortable with that?

    CPS poses some uncertainty in terms of budgets, strikes, etc. And always run into mid/late June which can interfere with some summer opportunities.

    Good luck in your decision.

  • 386. newjourney  |  March 12, 2017 at 12:29 am

    Hello everyone, my son is a 7th grader at an AC. I have been a frequent visitor here and before I write anything else, I would like to thank Cpsobsessed and all other parents on this blog for their great feedback that has helped us immensely in previous years. We are getting ready for yet another journey i.e applying to the SEHS and once again seeking support here 🙂
    Can someone (students who have been through the process and/or parents whose kids have experienced the process) please help us understand the nature of the selective enrollment test.1. What exactly are the sections on the test (I have heard there are 4 sections, vocabulary, writing, match and not sure about the 4th one) 2. What are kids asked to do in the writing section (examples of the type of questions) 3. Is the vocabulary section tough?Any suggestions for preparing for this section? 4. How does the math section of this test compare to the NWEA test…easier, tougher or similar? Thanks in advance for any feedback that you can offer 🙂

  • 387. Jane  |  March 12, 2017 at 10:24 am

    @new journey. Just curious but is there a reason why your kid wants to go through this process again? 🙂 we also have a child in 7th at WY AC and he’s not even remotely thinking to live this ordeal again. I’m just curious, maybe my son is missing something.

  • 388. newjourney  |  March 12, 2017 at 11:29 am

    @jane-he was at a Classical school (k-6) during his elementary years and had to go through the process to secure a seat in an Academic Center as neighborhood school wasn’t an option. But through out his elementary years, he has dreamed of going to NCP. While after starting his 7th grade at the AC he now feels that the High school option there will be fine too, but he definitely wants to try his luck for NCP:)

  • 389. Jane  |  March 12, 2017 at 11:51 am

    @new journey. Got it. Makes sense. It’s all about preference during this exhausting process. Thankfully mine didn’t have a dream SE and although Lane is 5 minutes away and Northside 10 minutes away those were definitely not top choice. It’s all about knowing what’s the “prefect” fit for the kid. Right ?

  • 390. cpsobsessed  |  March 12, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    Reading (reading comprehension), math, grammar, vocab.
    They don’t actually write anything.
    I believe the SE test math is easier than MAP, but keep in mind that MAP is a progressive test so kids can keep getting harder and harder questions.
    I think the challenge I have been hearing is that the SE test is timed, while MAP is not. I think the CPS kids don’t have a lot of practice with timed tests. In a timed test, really knowing your basic math skills will help bcs the kid can crank through the questions more easily. If I had a kid who was open to prepping, I’d have them practice math basics.
    The others are a little harder to prep for, but I think kids who have typically done well on the reading MAP test and have good vocabularies will do fine.
    I think reviewing test-taking strategies also can help because of the timed nature of the test.

  • 391. anxious  |  March 15, 2017 at 12:10 am

    Can anyone please send there winning child principal discretion letter if your child got in last year or the year before that my email is: sarwar25982598@gmail.com I need to see the structure and what to include in my childs essay

  • 392. pritzkermom  |  March 15, 2017 at 9:55 am

    last year my daughter was #24 on Jones CTE w/l for law and got a seat in very late July. This year she is a happy freshman at JCP. We had already completed the 2-week orientation at Westinghouse when we got the phone call and accepted JCP that same day. My suggestion is to embrace the seat you draw – they will take their emotional cues from you – and see all the positives with any of the SEHS. And know that there are many moving parts impacting the seats all summer long.

  • 393. pritzkermom  |  March 15, 2017 at 10:12 am

    Want to add that we were very impressed with the teachers and staff at Westinghouse. So while we did ultimately choose JCP, there was serious discussion before changing enrollment. The move also saved her about 40 minutes in commuting.

  • 394. Lindblom parent  |  March 15, 2017 at 10:48 am

    @346 my son is a junior at Lindblom and has been there since 7th grade. We have been very happy there. There is a lot of support for the students. The teachers go above and beyond to give each student what they need. My son has emailed a teacher at 8pm when he was stuck on homework and they’ve responded telling him to come in before school the next day for extra help. This is not an uncommon thinng. I know very few parennts on this site ever talk about Lindblom, but it is an excellent choice.

  • 395. Sibling  |  March 15, 2017 at 5:44 pm

    @391 You’re disgusting. If you need to ask people for letters than your kid doesn’t deserve to go to said school. What is that teaching your child if you need to plagiarize someone’s personal letter. Your child is supposed to write their own letter as well.

  • 396. tess  |  March 15, 2017 at 8:11 pm

    anxious, for ideas, your child will want to write about his/her own experiences/life

  • 397. tess  |  March 15, 2017 at 8:18 pm

    another thread about principal discretion

  • 399. LPHSDH  |  March 15, 2017 at 9:46 pm

    Interesting discussion happening around this article for those of you considering IB over SE:

  • 400. Don Justice  |  March 16, 2017 at 9:09 am

    @anxious, your child is not going to be successful anywhere if you do the child’s work. You are setting your child up for failure, particularly if you are trying to get your child into an environment the child isn’t ready to succeed at as the child’s skills will be far behind the student’s peers. The selection committee for principal’s discretion will look at whether your child is a good fit for the school, and nothing you have said indicates that the child is.

  • 401. Julie  |  March 16, 2017 at 9:17 am

    I have a question for any in-the-know Northside parents here. We’ve just decided to accept admission after having almost all our questions answered but there is one more: What CTA buses pull up to the front of NCP? The assistant principal mentioned that 3 CTA buses stop in front of the school at the end of the day (they detour from their regular routes to pick up kids just the one time because there is no Kedzie bus). What route #s are these buses?

  • 402. Mia Bart  |  March 16, 2017 at 10:35 am

    @401 – I know the Foster Bus (92) is one of them. I think one that goes to the Brown Line is also one of them, but I am not certain. I will say that I remember being very excited that this was an option, but my daughter only rode it once in her entire four years at NCP. They left too quickly after the end of the school day for her – she always had something going on right after school, even if it was just talking to a teacher or a friend. Nice option though if your child takes advantage of it.

  • 403. HSMom  |  March 16, 2017 at 11:42 am

    @401 Foster Eastbound (stops at the brown line) and Westbound (ends at Jefferson Park terminal for connection to the blue line and multiple buses going north and south) along with the California/Dodge bus. As Mia has stated, they only stop once in front of Northside at the end of the school day. Tons of kids walk west on Catalpa towards the Kimball buses as well. Good luck!

  • 404. Julie  |  March 16, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    @403 HSMom Are you fairly sure one of them is the California bus (93)? That would make sense, and be perfect for us, but no one at NCP seemed able to confirm this! Duly noted that jumping on the bus right at the end of the school day is not always an option though. We will probably be driving most of the time.

  • 405. JFTCH  |  March 16, 2017 at 7:43 pm

    @391, You sound like the type of person who’s going to write their child’s essay for them. Principal’s at SEHS read dozens of essays and have acquired a good enough bs detector that they can spot when a parent has done an essay for their child. If your child isn’t capable of writing an authentic essay, they shouldn’t be trying to get into a SEHS

  • 406. cpsobsessed  |  March 16, 2017 at 9:31 pm

    Let’s please not make assumptions about @anxious. I don’t know that test prep is any different than giving your child some guidance on the types of things to write and a recommended structure for an essay. Both help guide the kid to give them their best shot, which I think many of us have done during the course of K-8.

  • 407. Don Justice  |  March 17, 2017 at 6:21 am

    @anxious, Your kid’s score is so low. The school is not going to risk its SAT scores and national profile with your kid unless he’s a superstar athlete or can bring something else that will benefit the school to the table. You haven’t said anything to show why your child should be accepted over other students. Why are you so afraid of Senn? It’s a sold school that’s a great fit for other students with skills like your child’s.

  • 408. Amy C  |  March 17, 2017 at 6:23 am

    Did anyone go to the Westinghouse event last night?

  • 409. Jettison  |  March 17, 2017 at 7:52 am

    @ Don Justice if Senn is so great please send your own kids there.

  • 410. ChicagoT2  |  March 17, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    @anxious – your comments here suggest someone who is trying to push their child into something that does not fit. You should want your child to be happy and not miserable if they don’t fit in. I am concerned that you may be creating a poor psychological environment for your child. Accept them as they are and not try to make them “unacceptable” if they don’t get into the school YOU want. Eventually, the kids find their way in what ever school they attend – and they need to do it on their own. I recommend talking to your child’s teacher and counselor to find out what is best for the child – not for your own needs. Then, stop, take a breath, and love your child – unconditionally.

  • 411. Westinghouse  |  March 17, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    408. Amy C I was there. We were very impressed with all the tables set up for each department so we could meet and get information from everyone easily. The presentation was very informative with the slideshow and Q&A especially from the students. Very organized & Very welcoming. Students were very happy, very supported and motivated. We decided to accept their offer last night out of 25 or so we were accepted to.

  • 412. Coonleymom  |  March 18, 2017 at 6:41 pm

    406-Agree! Although I am not fan of @anxious being pushy w/ expecting answers so quickly, I may very well be the same way had my child not go into his choice. Let’s not be so quick to judge. I am not sure how many of us would just say go write an essay and good luck? It we have helped our kids prep in any way, then who the heck are we to judge and unless Senn is good enough for your own child (maybe it is b/c I know nothing about the school) don’t tell another parent is good enough for theirs. Best of luck to ALL kids trying to get in on Principal Discretion. I am afraid my son would not have had the persistence, so I think it is awesome that these kids keep pushing. This process is INSANE.

  • 413. Coonleymom  |  March 18, 2017 at 6:42 pm

    Sorry for the typos in post 412. Guess it is a good thing I don’t have to write an essay.

  • 414. Dee  |  March 21, 2017 at 7:33 am

    My daughter got accepted to jones and we are looking for families who want to car pool. Anyone traveling to jones from hydepark/Kenwood/bronzvile area?

  • 415. Parent  |  March 22, 2017 at 11:09 am

    Kind of silly question here. What font should be used in principal discretion personal statement? Is times new roman still ok, or should more modern font be used?

  • 416. cpsobsessed  |  March 22, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    Id go with whoever your child would select themselves. Other than comic sans. Lol. I’m partial to non times new roman. Bit I’m sure principals see it all.

  • 417. Parent  |  March 22, 2017 at 2:46 pm

    Thanks cpsobsessed! He wrote his essay in google docs and the text looks pretty bland when printed. But maybe it’s the age thing? I am used to word docs and good old times new roman:)

  • 418. cpsobsessed  |  March 22, 2017 at 3:12 pm

    I guess maybe match the font to the theme? If the angle is high-accomplished, I’d use a more modern font. If gritty, hard worker, kid who is overcoming challenges, etc… go for a font that looks authentically 13-14 year old.

    Overthinking, of course. But still…

  • 419. anxious  |  March 25, 2017 at 10:30 pm

    Okay so What I found out was that My sons essay was about 5 words longers than the limit of a 1,000 for Principal Discretions. So will that disqualify my sons personal statement or will the principals still read the letter and stop at 1,000 words exactly.

  • 420. anxious  |  March 25, 2017 at 10:38 pm

    The only reason actually it went over the limit of 1,000 words it was because of his name and the heading. What will happen ?

  • 421. anxious  |  March 25, 2017 at 11:09 pm

    can someone please answer me?

  • 422. Jane  |  March 25, 2017 at 11:57 pm

    Love it. Anxious is definitely not real. She/he is totally mocking this blog. Too funny

  • 423. cpsobsessed  |  March 26, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    Maybe Anxious is an amalgamation of all the blog readers over all the years…

  • 424. momof3fish  |  March 26, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    @anxious, i believe the principal will stop reading at the thousand mark.

    seriously though, mocking this blog totally stinks. it has been helpful for many parents and we’re lucky it’s lasted this long. i have shared my experiences and tips over the years and i hope they’ve helped someone.

  • 425. EmmaMom  |  March 27, 2017 at 12:41 pm

    Hi I have a question, sorry if it has been asked.

    We moved from Austalia to Chicago for my husband’s job and my daughter is in 7th grade – we’ve been told we need to think about SEHS & prepare for it.
    She’s at Lincoln Park Elementary for now. She’ve been tested as gifted with a quite high score and is a straight A student – she tested 99.9% on both maths & languages on her first NWEA test without any preparation. She does all her homework by herself & is very organized.

    We seem to have 3 choices:
    -Going to Lincoln Park High School on IB or double honor – are these program as good as SEHS?
    -Trying to get her into SEHS – we’re tier 4 – the % seem to be low?
    -Going private – we live in front of the Latin School and money wouldn’t be an issue. Plus it seem to be easier for kids to get into a good private high-school than SEHS?

    Since we know nothing about US college application process & she’s a little bit different (she leans a lot and very quickly by herself otherwise she’s bored) is it better to choose private over the other 2 options? Do the kids have more support from the teachers in private school & more college counselling?

    Thanks so much for your help, it’s been stressful since all the parents are talking about SEHS in her grade and we know nothing about it. Luckily she’s doing great at school! We’re still trying to understand the process.

  • 426. pantherparent  |  March 27, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    cpsobsessed. Congratulations to you and your son. I just wanted to say thank you for everything you have done over the years to inform the community about the SEHS process.

    Personally, It has been invaluable to me and my family and has helped us navigate the process for our three CPS kids. (One in college now, one about to graduate high school and one a freshman.)

    Thank you.

  • 427. IB/IB mom (formerly IB and AC mom)  |  March 27, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    @425 EmmaMom, sounds like your daughter is going to be in a great position and will have a choice. I would suggest taking her to all of the open houses you can possibly go to in the Fall and then ranking the SE selection accordingly. If she scores as high on the SE Exam that she does on NWEA she will be able to get into any SE school she wants. Based on your location, I would try to make sure to get to Payton, Jones, and Whitney Young’s open houses.

    If she enjoys Lincoln Park, I think the IB program probably does one of the best jobs of preparing kids for College, but it is challenging and the classes are all pretty defined. I don’t know much about Double Honors or their scores in general.

    With SE she is going to be able to have more of a choice in what classes she will take and will likely be in a school full of kids that are as studious as she is.

    Payton is very hard to get into, but she will be starting off with 600 out of 900 points. And she obviously does well on tests so if I was where you are (location and score wise) I would probably make that my first choice, but you can’t know for sure until you visit.

    She is going to do great no matter where she goes!

  • 428. cpsobsessed  |  March 27, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    @PantherParent – aww, thanks! And thank you for posting over the years. As I’ve said, this is all a collaborative effort here.
    I’ve really enjoyed getting to “know” everyone on here and hear their stories.

  • 429. Bob  |  March 27, 2017 at 9:57 pm

    @425, 427 provided some great comments on your post. Just wanted to add a few thoughts of my own. Just because someone can score a 900 and get into a Payton it doesn’t mean it’s the best fit for them – even if they are somewhat close to the school. Like 427 said, check out the open house and talk with as many kids and parents as you can. With LP, the IB program is quite rigorous and might be a great fit. LP has a lot of options to mix up IB with AP classes, etc. From what I’ve heard (people can correct me if I’m wrong), I don’t think DH would be a good fit – just not challenging enough. Latin is just a world within itself. I know many Latin parents and kids and they would all agree in no way is it a gifted school. They have all kinds of kids at different levels. Typically they have smaller classes sizes and great facilities, but from everyone I’ve talked with the quality of education is no better than IB at LP, Jones, WY or Payton. Open houses and talking with other kids will be critical for your daughter in the decision making process. We’re all here to help. Good luck!

  • 430. EmmaMom  |  March 28, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    @ IB/IB mom @ Bob

    Thanks for your comments – I’m relieved LP high-school seems to be a fairly good choice (so even if she don’t get into any SEHS she could still go there and get a good education).

    And thanks for the feedback on Latin – it’s really hard to have any real feedback on internet or from their admission office, maybe it’s a marketing thing from private school.

    Yes! We are planning to visit different school with her – at the end of the day it’s her choice, she’s very stubborn about what she wants anyway!

  • 431. LPHSDH  |  March 28, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    EmmaMom, As someone working closely with Principal Boraz at LPHS, I can say that LPIB is in all honesty one of the best educations a child can get. It is definitely on par with any SE school. And it is more diverse – perhaps the most diverse experience possible in high school. Diversity, both intellectually, socio-economically and culturally, is pretty important in my mind. Also, LPHS has more AP class offerings than almost any school, along with another, lesser known IB Career Program, which lets a child graduate with a career certificate, IB level, in digital media or photography. I, myself, appreciate DH in that a child has flexibility to stretch their intellectual and artistic muscles in the areas of their choosing, and can even enter the IB Diploma program in 11th grade, if they see it as a fit. It sounds like your child will end up having a world of choices. And that she, alone, will exercise that choice. But rest-assured, LPHS is a fantastic choice. And I personally do not believe a private school will equal the cost-to-benefit ratio (LOL) of an LPIB education!

  • 432. Logan Dad  |  March 28, 2017 at 5:42 pm

    So, is this it?

    Will this be the final comments thread in he beautiful, confounding and inspiring life of CPS Obsessed? You know, I thought I would be prepared when this moment came along and I was wrong.

    CPS Obsessed has been a huge help to me in figuring out the whole twisted CPS selective enrollment process but, more than that, it’s been a place where I could share ideas and feel part of a community that was in the same place that I was. Most of the time, that place was stressful, confusing and overwhelming. But CPS Obsessed always made me feel better. Some of the time, that place was lovely, beautiful and fulfilling. And CPS Obsessed gave me a place where I could share.

    And, if this is the final thread in CPSO’s storied existence, I find myself both sad and grateful. THANK YOU CPS Obsessed. You have really, truly done a good thing here. You’ve helped out thousands of crazy parents. You taught us how to be patient even when people were being mean or inconsiderate. You taught us not to demonize or blame CPS but instead to go out and get the outcomes we wanted. You taught us that there are many, many more options than we originally thought. And, you taught us that we are better, nicer, stronger and more successful as a community than we are as individuals.

    Thank You CPS Obsessed. Thank You!

  • 433. anxious  |  March 29, 2017 at 12:17 am

    And no Im not trolling this site why would I this is a place in which parents, students anyone who wants can ask a question and get the feedback quickly without anyone judging so I ask you nicely to please stop saying Im trolling or mocking.

  • 434. HSMom  |  March 29, 2017 at 9:08 am

    Thank you so much for this blog. I have one more child to get through this process with and it has truly been such a wonderful source to read. I may have not commented often, but I appreciated everyone’s q & a’s that pretty much stated what I felt and what I wondered. I hope this site stays up for future parents to read back on and know that they are not alone and that tons of options are out there that end up being the best fit for their kids. I feel pretty prepared on kid #4 and how to navigate early on. Good luck parents. And thank you so very much CPSO, you created something truly special here.

  • 435. mom2  |  March 29, 2017 at 9:23 am

    @cpsobsessed – please don’t go away. Even though you’re done and successfully navigated up to high school (congratulations, by the way), there are still 4 more years of CPS to deal with and the long college application process. What am I going to do if there is a threatened teacher’s strike or another breakfast in the classroom or they truly decide to end school three weeks early (and before my kid has had a chance to go on the DC trip!)? Your site has been such a great place to go and share my thoughts and worries and opinions and hear what others have to say. It has been both therapeutic and nerve wracking but I keep coming back. I hope you will consider sticking around!

  • 436. cpsobsessed  |  March 29, 2017 at 12:47 pm

    Thank you all, truly!
    At the very least I’ll be around here while the elementary letters go out and people go through their multiple rounds — can’t miss that excitement! (And feel free to go on that thread to advise them/talk them down…)

  • 437. anxious  |  April 3, 2017 at 1:44 pm

    Principal Discretion letters come out on May 8th. Im so worried.

  • 438. cpsobsessed  |  April 7, 2017 at 7:11 pm

    FYI, someone I know had a child accepted to the Jones pre-law program who was 24 on the neighborhood wait list.

  • 439. kid  |  April 8, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    How does the Jones pre- law waitlist thing work do they base it of your selective enrollment final point and score?

  • 440. Jane  |  April 8, 2017 at 1:32 pm

    JOnes pre law is not selective enrollment.

  • 441. Just a parent  |  April 8, 2017 at 1:34 pm

    Jones pre law and pre engineering is not part of selective enrollment. There is no waitlist for jones selective enrollment. Kids who applied for those “pre” could have not taking the SE test

  • 442. @latemom  |  April 8, 2017 at 2:22 pm

    If anyone still reads this thread, what’s the differences Payton from Northside? Is one school is better than the other in any aspect? e.g., academics, extracurriculars, math clubs, band, science, supports for kids, and etc.

  • 443. kid  |  April 8, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    Because It says her on there Webpage that : Selection Process
    Selection for these academies is based on a 600-point scale which is comprised of 300 points for 7th grade final grades and 300 points for NWEA MAP scores. Students will be ranked and selected from high to low; students residing within the attendance overlay boundaries of the schools are selected first. Click here to access the boundary map for Jones.? So Im confused?

  • 444. kid  |  April 8, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    Also paytons academics now is better than Lane source = teachers at my school

  • 445. NCP mom  |  April 8, 2017 at 6:44 pm

    @latemom There are doubtless many thoughts out there about Payton vs NCP. My daughter chose Northside over Payton because of the location, which is closer to home and she hates to commute. Other factors were the music and art program and the small size of the school (less than 1,100). I understand Payton is great for sports and so is Lane but my daughter doesn’t care about sports. She likes the block scheduling of classes as well (I’m not sure if Payton does that or not). They are both fantastic schools that any kid would be lucky to attend.

  • 446. @why  |  April 8, 2017 at 7:07 pm

    Thanks for the posts about my question.
    @NCP mom, thanks for sharing your choice. I think Payton increase freshmen( 500+) this year and it will get bigger than NCP. So when you mentioned music and art and small size, does it mean NCP is strong in music and art?
    How about Math and Science? We don’t care about sports either but are looking for a school that has a strong math and science in clubs, competitions, and etc. Thanks!

  • 447. NCP mom  |  April 9, 2017 at 9:57 pm

    Yes, Northside has a great music and art program. Their math team finished 2nd in state last year. And I did not mean to dis their sports because their swim and dive teams seem very successful (the pool is beautiful). They have the usual AP classes in science and math. They participate in a neuroscience competition. There are numerous clubs to chose from, including science and math clubs.

  • 448. kid  |  April 9, 2017 at 10:30 pm

    Does any one know someone whose child goot accepted to any Selective enrollment school with the score of 710 out of 900 cuz thats what i got, pls help

  • 449. kid  |  April 9, 2017 at 10:33 pm

    pls tell me anyone child that got accpeted?please

  • 450. @why  |  April 10, 2017 at 8:38 am

    @NCP mom, Thanks a lot !

  • 451. kid  |  April 10, 2017 at 11:33 am

    pls tell me anyone child that got accpeted?please like in 2016 or somethin

  • 452. kid  |  April 10, 2017 at 2:35 pm

    GUys pleasse help me out

  • 453. IB/IB mom (formerly IB and AC mom)  |  April 10, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    @ Kid what school are you wanting to get into and what tier are you in? Did you apply for principal discretion?

  • 454. IB/IB mom (formerly IB and AC mom)  |  April 10, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    @Kid also what is your neighborhood high school?

  • 455. kid  |  April 10, 2017 at 3:43 pm

    My neigboorhood high school is senn and I applied to Principals discretion and I also think senn is a good school with great IB and I live in tier 3

  • 456. kid  |  April 10, 2017 at 3:44 pm

    Im trying to gwt into lane tech

  • 457. kid  |  April 10, 2017 at 3:44 pm

    I meant get*

  • 458. kid  |  April 10, 2017 at 3:44 pm

    so can you tell me now? who got into lane with a low score such as mine via PD

  • 459. IB/IB mom (formerly IB and AC mom)  |  April 10, 2017 at 4:06 pm

    @ kid, I am not sure. Maybe others can chime in. There are more spots than at other schools at Lane, but I believe there are a ton of kids applying to them so if you don’t get it know that it wasn’t because you are not smart or good enough. Each principal or committee has different things they are looking for when it comes to principal discretion. i.e. how a student writes, if they have a sibling at the school, how ready they might be for the curriculum, or what they would add to the school such as in sports, etc. What I can tell you is that I have heard wonderful things about Senn and I am sure many others can speak to specifics. I also think living near where you go to school is a big benefit especially when it comes to extracurricular activities. I have an older daughter that didn’t get into SE high school (even though she came from an SE elementary school) and to be honest with you I am now glad that she didn’t. She was able to excel at the school she is at and has so many college offers it is crazy. Where ever you end up work hard and you will be just fine! Good luck.

  • 460. kid  |  April 10, 2017 at 4:15 pm

    Can I just tell you something please I am a great pianist and wrote about that in my letter for a criteria and showed my 3 awards for it and also an achievement award for helping a community out so is that good and also out family has financial problems like my dad we only live in a an apartment with on room a living room and a kitchen and I wrote about how that affects me. Is that good enough?

  • 461. kid  |  April 10, 2017 at 4:18 pm

    What i mean is will the principal be convinced if I am given a chance at lane I can excel?

  • 462. Just a parent  |  April 10, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    “Kid” sounds a lot like “anxious”
    Just saying.

  • 463. IB/IB mom (formerly IB and AC mom)  |  April 10, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    @462, I thought the same thing!!! So I went back to see anxious child’s scores and it was different. I know my daughter texts me in a similar manner so I am assuming it is not the same person and just an anxious kid. If it was anxious it would be ridiculous to give different info because our opinions based on stuff that wasn’t factual wouldn’t make a difference!

  • 464. IB/IB mom (formerly IB and AC mom)  |  April 10, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    @ Kid, we really don’t know, but hopefully that will help and we wish you luck!

  • 465. kid  |  April 10, 2017 at 4:31 pm

    Thank you very much for your response.

  • 466. kid  |  April 10, 2017 at 4:32 pm

    I will come here after I get the letter.

  • 467. NCP Parent  |  April 10, 2017 at 8:19 pm

    @kid my friend’s daughter was accepted into Lane on PD because she played an instrument with a low score from tier 4. So you have a shot. But you also have to ask yourself if you get in can you keep up with the work load? Is your score low because you are not good at testing? How where your grades otherwise? If tier 1’s lowest score is 682 I think you have a shot. But also as others pointed out Senn is also a good school. One thing I have learned over the years is many of our neighborhood schools are hidden gems and people over look how awesome they are due to the SE schools.

  • 468. kid  |  April 10, 2017 at 9:15 pm

    wait so ur sayin if my score was anywhere near or below 682 i wouldnt have a shot?

  • 469. kid  |  April 10, 2017 at 9:17 pm

    cuz I know some one my friends who got 676’s and 650’s and trying for lane.

  • 470. kid  |  April 10, 2017 at 9:17 pm

    do they? have a chance?

  • 471. kid  |  April 10, 2017 at 9:25 pm

    and they live tier 3 same with me so they have chance right?

  • 472. That's enough  |  April 10, 2017 at 9:42 pm

    @kid: this isn’t Twitter. Adults are not glued to this blog ready to pounce on your questions. All you (and your friends) can do is try for Principal Discretion; no one here can tell you “Yes, you will get in” no matter how much you want to hear it.

  • 473. HS Mom (the original now a college mom)  |  April 10, 2017 at 10:38 pm

    CPS Obsessed – Congratulations! Your son will have the experience of a lifetime. My son expanded his insights and ambitions and developed lasting relationships. Enjoy the ride – even though it has it’s “roller coaster” moments. You are correct – the kids are more “alternative”, unique and accepting at Jones.

  • 474. cpsobsessed  |  April 11, 2017 at 9:03 am

    Same URLs.

  • 475. cpsobsessed  |  April 11, 2017 at 9:04 am

    @HS Mom – “Enjoy the ride – even though it has it’s “roller coaster” moments.” Ack, trying to prepare.

  • 476. babahafez  |  April 11, 2017 at 10:35 am

    @cpsobsessed – CONGRATULATIONS! I’m glad this story has a happy ending. I hope your son enjoys his next four years at Jones.

  • 477. kid  |  April 11, 2017 at 12:14 pm

    For evry 1 kid there are 4 that dont get in like me 😦

  • 478. cpsobsessed  |  April 11, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    @Kid, I promise, it will be fine if you’re at Senn. It’s a great school and lots of kids do well there and go on to good colleges.

  • 479. anxious  |  April 11, 2017 at 1:19 pm

    Exactly, kid my son got a 655 and he didn’t get in not only he’s frustrated but I Am too. Also neighborhood school is senn I think you can be friends with my child.

  • 480. kid  |  April 11, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    True I can relate with your child for your Principal Discretion you should have added like a emotional appeal to it, because it seems that you also dealt with problems and you should have explained that. Did you add that?

  • 481. anxious  |  April 11, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    I added that the emotional thing I did (well my son did) he explained how it affected him during the SE test and in 7 grade and even now. So, I guess its okay? Plus does that like tell the principal the backstory of it?

  • 482. anxious  |  April 11, 2017 at 1:24 pm

    Yes it does tell the principal why u did that and tell him also that your child will do good at the SE school if hes given a chance. So, yea its okay you can still get in you have a chance still. Also, How many recommendation letters did he have I had 8 from a music teacher, shelter, soccer, loyola academy basketball , reading, math, social , counselor.

  • 483. kid  |  April 11, 2017 at 1:25 pm

    Um I had like 5 I think its long time ago.

  • 484. kid  |  April 11, 2017 at 1:25 pm

    why did u answer your own question? u said “YES it does”?

  • 485. anxious  |  April 11, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    I Dont know? I guess that what the principal told me.

  • 486. kid  |  April 11, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    whatever Just have faith in urself and your chid and hope We both get in.

  • 487. Just a parent  |  April 11, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    Too funny. Anxious and kid having fun at hoaxing CPS obsessed.

  • 488. kid  |  April 11, 2017 at 4:14 pm

    lol exposed

  • 489. CPSobsessed parent  |  April 11, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    It’s funny, interesting, and sad how people cannot read through the BS of “anxious” and “kid” it’s very clear from the first post that they’re mocking the blog. I don’t see how people don’t figure it out.

  • 490. cpsobsessed  |  April 11, 2017 at 5:29 pm

    Ookay, enough from Kid/Anxious. I’ll leave the comments and replies up in the event that they can benefit someone else reading this.

  • 491. kid  |  April 11, 2017 at 9:11 pm

    wait u can delete comments?

  • 492. IB/IB mom (formerly IB and AC mom)  |  April 12, 2017 at 10:56 am

    Can you block that URL from posting again? Only a crazy person would try to have a conversation with his/herself on a blog. I really thought it could have been a kid with anxiety over the situation since that is the way my children sometimes communicate (even though anxious communicates like a child).

  • 493. IB/IB mom (formerly IB and AC mom)  |  April 13, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    Or is that a troll posting with the same user name as I am not sure why it was ended with a question mark.

  • 494. cpsobsessed  |  April 13, 2017 at 4:54 pm

    Same troll, posting as me.
    My kid is still going to Jones!

  • 495. comparison  |  April 18, 2017 at 5:05 am

    If just comparing the programs and college matriculation (ignore practical issues of tuition, distance, and etc), which school’s doing better, private school (UCLS) or selective high school (NCP or Payton) in Chicago? Any thoughts?

  • 496. cpsobsessed  |  April 19, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    @ commenter, can I kindly ask that you refrain from using “cpsobsessed” as your name when posting? Or conversely, just refrain from posting altogether?

  • 497. cpsobsessed  |  April 19, 2017 at 4:00 pm

    @495 – better in terms of what? % of students ultimately graduating from college?

  • 498. comparison  |  April 20, 2017 at 5:15 am

    cpsobsessed, I meant accepted rate of elite universities (such as HYPS). It seems Chicago schools (both private and SEHS) are not welcomed as much as the ones in NY.

  • 499. CPSobsessed parent  |  April 20, 2017 at 7:09 am

    who cares?!

  • 500. cpswonderland  |  April 20, 2017 at 9:32 am

    For the parents who’s children took test for the ACs: is the administered test, test of amassed knowledge or test of cognitive skills?

  • 501. cpswonderland  |  April 20, 2017 at 9:32 am

    Wrong thread, sorry.

  • 502. North Center Mom  |  April 23, 2017 at 10:40 am

    @495/498, You ask for thoughts. But what you need are facts. Just call the Admissions office of the universities directly and ask the question. They are all accessible. That is their job.

    A few years ago, I attended a parent information meeting at Jones College Prep. One of the speakers in attendance was the regional admissions officer from the University of Chicago. She offered candid information of the process from her point of view. I am sure that the other universities would do the same.

  • 503. cpsobsessed  |  April 23, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    @495/498 – I read somewhere that kids on the east coast tend to have better acceptance rates into the Ivies, but I can’t recall what the speculation was (more legacies?)
    I feel like in general elite colleges are trying to diversify more in many ways, so perhaps this is something that will change over time.
    I think the best bet is fostering passion and unique interests for your child which will give them the best odds of admission to schools who prioritize such things.
    I suspect that’ll give you a better chance than trying to select a HS with the best odds. I think it’s more about the kid than the school.
    (but admittedly, I know little about that process at this point.)

  • 504. College  |  April 24, 2017 at 9:00 am

    There are no guarantees re: admission to HYPS or any of the other tippy top schools. Having just gone through the process with S1 (& his classmates) unless you are both smart & recruitable athlete or smart and interesting URM – the results at times can seem very random. For ex. 4.0/36 act rejected from Vassar, Wash U, U of C, but accepted to Brown. What I have learned is that there are ALOT of extremely strong academic contenders across US. Perfect gpa & act score is not enough to ensure admission to any top school (admission rates below 20%).

    On the flip side, S1 does have several classmates from Jones that were accepted to the Ivies (no Stanford admits this year) as well as top LACs. So while it is certainly possible coming from CPS high schools to get into the Ivies – it is never probable – for anyone.

  • 505. Chicago School GPS  |  April 24, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    2017-2018 CPS Calendar:
    “All high school and elementary school students are expected start classes on Sept. 5, the day after Labor Day, according to the calendar. The school year is set to end on June 16, 2018.
    The first official day of winter break is Christmas, which falls on a Monday. That means students’ actual break begins on Saturday, Dec. 23. They return to call on Jan. 8, 2018.
    Spring break is set to begin on March 26, 2018.”
    From DNAInfo https://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20170424/downtown/cps-calendar-2017-18-2018-schedule-christmas-first-day-of-school

  • 506. Chicago School GPS  |  April 25, 2017 at 6:14 pm

    Congrats to Northside, Payton, Jones, Young, Lane, Lincoln Park & Brooks for being named among the top 10 high schools in Illinois, according to US News & World Report for 2017.

  • 507. CPSx2  |  April 25, 2017 at 9:57 pm

    How are applicants chosen for the double honors program at LPHS? Is it a point system?

  • 508. cpsobsessed  |  April 26, 2017 at 11:59 am

    @College – what does “as well as top LACs. ” mean?

  • 509. @cpso  |  April 26, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    LAC=liberal arts college

  • 510. College  |  April 26, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    As a follow up to my prior comment. Great article entitled “Young, gifted & not getting into Harvard”.


  • 511. mom2  |  April 26, 2017 at 2:22 pm

    @507 – I’d love the answer to that question, too. I’m pretty sure it is a combination of 7th grade grades and MAP scores, but I don’t know if they have a very specific set of rules.

  • 512. karet  |  April 27, 2017 at 8:39 am

    @504, klm is that you? I’ve missed you!

  • 513. follower  |  April 29, 2017 at 7:05 am


  • 514. lottolearn  |  April 29, 2017 at 7:31 am

    Is there any SEHSs provide double honors program like SPHS?
    I am new to the district and it seems each SEHS offer their unique program that I didn’t catch before applying.

    Would you share your knowledge and insights about a few schools like Payton, Jones, NCP, WYHS, Lane Tech, etc?
    Any marching band or strong band program? more tech oriented? double honors program? more science or math strong school? anything makes the school unique?
    Thanks to your helps!

  • 515. WRP Mom  |  April 29, 2017 at 11:23 am

    @514, My child is at Lane Tech. The vibe there is big, busy and friendly. Because it is so large (roughly 4200 students), it offers just about everything you can think of in the way of programs. There are multiple bands, including marching band and jazz band, plus orchestra, chorus, and drama. Full range of sports offerings. Their Alpha (STEM) program is well known. A choice of 8 different foreign languages one could study.There is also a huge number of clubs to get involved in.

    Lane offers regular, honors and a many many AP courses. Check out the course offerings on their website lanetech.org The choices are almost staggering. There is something for every interest..

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