Academic Center Letters Spring 2017

March 30, 2017 at 1:00 pm 155 comments


Starting the thread so people can share information and advice.  Will spruce it up later tonight after an Amundsen fundraiser (woo! woo!)

Parents will be emailed by Monday April 3 with their notifications.


Entry filed under: Academic Centers, Applying to schools, Uncategorized.

RGC and Classical school Elementary “Letters” – Spring 2017 Elementary Magnet and Neighborhood School Letter Spring 2017

155 Comments Add your own

  • 1. TAMMY  |  March 30, 2017 at 1:03 pm

    Anxiously waiting !!!

  • 2. Lorelei  |  March 30, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    Here we go!

  • 3. WYAC Mom  |  March 30, 2017 at 1:30 pm

    Good luck to everyone!

  • 4. Pritzker Mom  |  March 30, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    It’s going to be a long weekend.

  • 5. *mom*  |  March 30, 2017 at 5:10 pm


  • 6. Pirc Defense  |  March 30, 2017 at 10:44 pm

    We applied via “paper,” so my understanding is that notification will be by US mail. Does anyone know if letters will be mailed out on 4/3 as well? Can I request that they email results?

  • 7. PoeParent  |  March 31, 2017 at 9:13 am

    Letters will be mailed out by 5:00 PM. If you you applied by mail, you will not receive a response by email.

  • 8. Rnorth  |  March 31, 2017 at 9:15 am

    Curious whether the scores will drop or go up this year since they added the math portion.

  • 9. momof3  |  March 31, 2017 at 1:16 pm

    Just a little advice from one who has had a child go to an academic center. It can be an excellent option for your child if: your child is mature for their age (meaning responsible, doing homework completely on their own without reminders), organized, ready for a challenge, likes doing projects (with very minimal assistance), and would be happy to go to the high school the academic center is attached to.

    Remember, 7th grade is the year of grades for selective enrollment applications. If they don’t transition well, their options to transfer to a different high school may be limited.

    Also, my child will tell you, “I started high school in 7th grade.” And by that, I mean everything that goes with it. Yes, they are sequestered in a way, but they are still on a high school campus with high schoolers which will require an adjustment. I don’t mean to make this sound negative. After the initial adjustment (Be prepared. They’ll feel intimidated and maybe scared, but it will get better.), it was a wonderful experience.

    For kids with organizational and time management issues, it will be a challenge. Help them get and stay organized from day one.

    There’s also nothing wrong with letting your child continue at their current school especially if they’re bright but not socially/emotionally ready to be put in a school with teenagers. Do what’s best for your child.

    I think some parents look at this as a status symbol. Validation of good parenting or having a smart kid. CPS makes a lot of parents paranoid. “Are we making the right choice? Giving our child the best opportunity?” I can assure you, they will be just fine. The prime advantage is early high school acceptance and being finished with their high school courses earlier so their senior year can be mostly, if not all, electives. (CPS discourages graduating at the end of junior year, and I think rightfully so).

    So, good luck! If your child gets accepted, congratulations! If they don’t, it’s not the end of the world. Hug them; love them. It all goes by so fast!

  • 10. Momof3  |  April 2, 2017 at 10:36 am

    Trying to keep my daughter busy and calm today. She is nervous. This is a lot of pressure for an 11 year old.

  • 11. Been There, Done That  |  April 2, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    Good luck to all! As someone who’s kid went through LTAC, and is now in high school there, a couple of tips and thoughts:

    -This is a LOT more competitive than three years ago. The secret is out on this option.

    -This is only pressure if you make it so. On the weekend letters were mailed, we could consciously went out of town. Kids still take their cues from you. If you act stressed, they will.

    -If your kid doesn’t get in, that is OK! Make the most of the last two years at their school before everyone goes their own way. Don’t pout, don’t talk darkly about tiers.

    -If your kid gets in- congratulations…to them. I’ve seen too many parents make this be about their own ego. The kid may not be into the idea. Those kids have a tough time when 7th grade comes around.

    -This will be a transition! Do an honest assessment- is your child(and have them do one on themselves), organized, conscientious, street smart? What can they work on? They have two more months of school to work on those habits.

    -The summer assignment is a good measure if how ready they are. Are they procrastinating? Are they putting forth their best effort? Step back, and let them show you their readiness.

    -if they don’t have experience with a combination lock, buy one and have them practice. It saves time and stress later.

    -The summer orientation and overnight are worth the time. Try not to schedule a family vacation until those dates are set.

    -Be involved! Go to meetings, go to school events, go to games.

    -They will interact with high schoolers. That is 95 percent a positive thing. Seventh graders can take classes with high schoolers.

    -Homework will vary. There will be nights with very little, there will be nights they are up until midnight.

    -There is a healthy balance between old friends and new friends. They will find it, but it takes time.

    -The math assessment is what it is. Don’t argue it. There will be plenty of time for trig and calc in their six years there.

    -Get to know 8th grade and freshman parents. They are good sources of institutional wisdom.

    -Teachers don’t coddle. They will work with the students, but As are earned, and so are Ds.

    -As these programs become more popular, people will ask you about them at your kid’s old school, at open houses for prospective students. I still am grateful to the mom who answered every seemingly inane question we had. Make an effort to do that for others, and be honest.

  • 12. WY sevvie  |  April 2, 2017 at 9:14 pm

    As a first year student at the Whitney Young Academic Center (seventh grade), I’d like to say a few things about my experience so far.

    To be completely honest, I am still adjusting to the work; not that the work received to too much, or too difficult, that’s just me. The workload received is definitely not as much as you’d presume to be or what is said. After all, all of the core class teachers speak to each other, so they know how much work to give their students, and they try not to give the students too much work. As for what we learn in our classes, I’d like to say the biggest struggle for me is when teachers move too fast in their units.

    Since we are in a high school, “ackies” are introduced to older students. which is okay! Many upperclassmen are incredibly kind, and as an “ackie”, you will gain a handful of 9-12 grade friends. Most upperclassmen you will meet will be within electives, but if you are in an extra curricular activity, that is a great way to meet new people and bond.

    I wish everyone receiving their letters/emails tomorrow the best of luck. Around this time last year was very stressful for me. The stress endured is definitely not worth making yourself feel any less than who you truly are. No matter where you attend school in the fall of 2017, your future is what you want it to be, not what you are told it is. Make the best of where you are.

    If you have furthermore questions just ask! 🙂

  • 13. dadrocker  |  April 3, 2017 at 8:03 am

    #12 – Thanks. My child is waiting for the K letter today, but your discussion is nevertheless quite helpful. Thanks for taking the time to share your perspective.

  • 14. IEP PARENT  |  April 3, 2017 at 8:08 am

    Anxiously waiting !!!

  • 15. cpsobsessed  |  April 3, 2017 at 8:35 am

    The high school notifications came around 315 pm FYI

  • 16. Kellermomofson  |  April 3, 2017 at 9:56 am

    Good luck everyone!!!

  • 17. KCK  |  April 3, 2017 at 10:48 am

    I remember parents received acceptance email from WY and Lane before the actual letter from CPS last year. Not sure if both schools will do the same this year, before CPS post the result?

  • 18. Christina Dimopoulos  |  April 3, 2017 at 10:57 am

    This is the first time my son has been outwardly nervous and anxious about his academic performance and future. I keep telling him that if he gets accepted, that’s great. If not, that’s great too. EIther way, he’ll be find as long as he keeps doing his best.

  • 19. Jordan 7  |  April 3, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    I’m waiting for mail notification letter. I applied for my son entering 3rd grade. I’m upset with my self for not applying online. Now I have to wait additional 2 day or so for mail notification letter. Just wanted to wish everyone the best and pray everyone get their #1 choice of school.

  • 20. South side obsessed  |  April 3, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    @60 more minutes. But I’m not counting or sitting in front of the tablet or anything. I just happened to notice it’s about 60 more minutes. Well 57 now. 56 . . ,

  • 21. Kellermomofson  |  April 3, 2017 at 2:39 pm

    60 minutes and counting!!!

  • 22. Kellermomofson  |  April 3, 2017 at 2:46 pm

    Letters are posted online!! Good luck!!!

  • 23. Another 6th grade parent  |  April 3, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    Just got the letter! Tier 4, 897, accepted to Lane!

  • 24. ProudPapa  |  April 3, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    Just got the letter.. gotta wait til everyone is home!! lol killing me!!

  • 25. Kellermomofson  |  April 3, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    Tier 4. Only wanted WY. Didn’t get it. So he will stay at Keller. Good thing we love KELLER!!! Good luck everyone.

  • 26. Tough Decision  |  April 3, 2017 at 3:03 pm

    Thanks Kellermomofson! Another Lane acceptance here. Tier 4, 875.9.

  • 27. Pritzker Mom  |  April 3, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    Lane Tier 4 900

    (I guess I need to pick a new screen name)

  • 28. TAMMY  |  April 3, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    Accepted to Newberry for 5th Grade…. waitlist (2) for Disney !!!

  • 29. JenFG  |  April 3, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    Tier 4, only applied to WY and didn’t get it. He’ll stay at his school, which is getting an IB program this year that will keep him occupied. Good luck to all!

  • 30. Janet K  |  April 3, 2017 at 3:11 pm

    Tier 3, we applied to Kenwood, WY and Lane. Did not get into any. Any info on the cut-off scores for the AC’s??

  • 31. JenFG  |  April 3, 2017 at 3:18 pm


  • 32. NWSidemom  |  April 3, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    Tier 2
    score 898.5
    accepted at whitney

    applied to whitney, lane, taft, kenwood in that order.

  • 33. no lane  |  April 3, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    Tier 4, Score 857, only applied to Lane, not accepted

  • 34. shayla  |  April 3, 2017 at 3:48 pm

    INTER-AMERICAN wait listed Tier 4 19

    what does this mean?

  • 35. acMom  |  April 3, 2017 at 3:49 pm

    I’m a Tier 4 mom, who’s child didn’t get into our school of choice in 2016. We did however get an offer to our 3rd choice. We were a bit disappointed, as many of you may understand. We thought about not taking the offer. But a year later, I must say, taking that spot was a great decision. Please don’t be discouraged if you weren’t accepted into Lane or Whitney. Congratulations to everyone

  • 36. Linda Otey  |  April 3, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    What is the highest possible numbers of points on entrance exam – 6th grader?

  • 37. Rnorth  |  April 3, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    tier 4
    twins got into Whitney
    scores 894 and 900!

  • 38. Rnorth  |  April 3, 2017 at 4:12 pm

    @36 150

  • 39. ProudPapa  |  April 3, 2017 at 4:18 pm

    @36 @38 while 150 is the highest RAW score you can get on the exam.. it is scaled up to 300 to be included in the final score total of 900max.

  • 40. Maybe Future Taft Parent  |  April 3, 2017 at 4:23 pm

    Does anybody has input about Taft AC? Where do kids go once they complete 8th grade in Taft?

  • 41. Montessoriplease  |  April 3, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    Trying to get into a Magnet Montessori school? anyone else?
    We are waitlisted in Tier 2 for all 3 schools with #15 to Drummond and Mayer and #28 to Suder.

  • 42. Info on Selective Prep  |  April 3, 2017 at 4:37 pm

    I am wondering if any of you took selective prep’s classes to prepare for the test? I have a rising 6th grader and would appreciate some opinions about the classes.

  • 43. HSMom  |  April 3, 2017 at 4:39 pm

    @40 I’ve had 2 kids go through the AC at Taft. One has gone on to NCP and the other to Lane. The program has improved immensely. It’s now IB for Middle Years and it has hugely challenged my 2nd child. High School credit is accepted at all SEHS, so long as it’s at least a C I believe. Should they want a more rigorous class once in HS, they need to maintain an A in credit bearing courses.

  • 44. Vikinmom2  |  April 3, 2017 at 4:54 pm

    @42, My (very) personal perspective. I have bright kid, who does well in school, chess team, math team, etc. We’ve just never really focused on test taking skills. We travel, go hiking and camping, do lots of creative things, play a lot of games. I think my son would have done well, but the selective prep course prepared him for what he would find on the test, and gave him a sense of calm. The prep course allowed him to do his best. The craziness that starts in fifth grade really caught me off guard. Even if you’re not a parent who worries if you’re child gets into an AC or not, they’re getting peer pressure at school.

    So my son ended up with a 144 and into Lane. We’re really happy and I know selective prep gave him an edge – just giving him that sense of calm.

  • 45. Casey Tee  |  April 3, 2017 at 5:07 pm

    Thank goodness for genes and DNA….our son made it in….scores were good enough, but being 6’5″ at age 11(thanks 6′ 4″ wife) I’m sure did not hurt. Hoops or books, the tradition will continue .

  • 46. DecisionTime  |  April 3, 2017 at 5:17 pm

    Tier 4. 873. Accepted at Lane.

  • 47. Chicago School GPS  |  April 3, 2017 at 5:21 pm

    If you are on the fence about an offer to one of your choices, most of the schools now do allow a chance to shadow or visit in the days leading up to April 24, when 1st round acceptances are due. The schools will be sending their own correspondences shortly. Good luck to all, and whether you take an AC offer or stay at your current school, the high school process looks at your 7th grade grades equally, no matter if you are at an AC or neighborhood or gifted school.

  • 48. 60660  |  April 3, 2017 at 5:31 pm

    875 earned a LTAC spot – first choice / T4.
    not sure if AC is the right choice for a kid who didn’t maintain As in 5thG.

  • 49. WYMom  |  April 3, 2017 at 5:40 pm

    My son swears Selective Prep made the difference. Tier 4, 883.5 Whitney Young.

  • 50. ChiMom60630  |  April 3, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    Tier 4, 891, accepted to LTAC from Beaubien 6th grade. Yes to Selective Prep – it definitely helped.

  • 51. ProudPapa  |  April 3, 2017 at 6:23 pm

    @40 My son is an 8th grader at Taft AC.. First, it’s a great school.

    I was worried a couple yrs ago when I researched Taft and saw so many negative reviews. But those were old reviews about a school that is NOT what it is today. I personally don’t know what Taft was like before two yrs ago. But today, their AC is Top Notch! Your child will be challenged! And personally.. I love their IB program. Its focus on developing students to be conscientious thinkers and expressing themselves… teaching them to question ideas and formulate their own ideas… is invaluable.

    My son told me a few weeks ago that in class they discuss everything. The teachers don’t just throw facts, figures and equations for students to memorize. The teacher’s provide a framework for discussions and the students talk through the ideas around that. He said in his previous school, ‘extended responses’ were rarely required.. you gave the answer and moved on to the next question. He says everything at Taft is an extended response. The teachers want to know how you came to you conclusions and what supporting evidence you can offer to support your conclusions. He said this was difficult when he started there.. but now, he WANTS to answer questions in that format.. to explain himself and offer the evidence.

    Judging from my son’s classmates.. they got to go where they wanted for H.S.. Lane’s freshman class is going to be overwhelmed with Taft AC’kies. Of my son’s friends who decided to leave Taft… all but one got their first choice. And the one who didn’t get their first choice is going to Young.

    My son says that most of the kids who are leaving Taft AC wanted to go to Lane and all of them got in. Northside gets the next chunk of Taft ACkies. Followed by Young.

    My son is going to Jones and as far as he knows, two of his classmates will be joining him. Only one of his classmates is going to Payton.

    And we just discovered that our youngest son is also going to Taft!
    857 Tier 4. He listed Young, Lane, Taft as his choices, but I think Lane was really his first choice. He missed by about 5 points.

    I know he’ll get a great education at Taft AC and they will make him a more well-rounded student as they did with his brother.

    We’re all excited and he’s happy to be following in his brother’s footsteps. He’ll know many kids on his first day.

    Really, our biggest problem with Taft is that it is so far away from home! We live near the lake and it’s near O’Hare… it’s a long trip there and back.. round-trip is two hours plus on the bus.

  • 52. Ambitious Mom and Son!  |  April 3, 2017 at 6:43 pm

    Tier 3 856.3 Lane

  • 53. WYMom  |  April 3, 2017 at 7:05 pm

    My son got into Whitney Young with a score of 883.5 in tier 4, i think that he is going to like it a lot.

  • 54. Curious  |  April 3, 2017 at 7:57 pm

    Has anyone received their child’s classica score?

  • 55. KCK  |  April 3, 2017 at 8:08 pm

    Tier 4 – 893, WY

  • 56. SKT  |  April 3, 2017 at 9:30 pm

    Any thoughts on Lincoln’s International Gifted Program?

  • 57. angie  |  April 3, 2017 at 9:39 pm

    Tier 4 Kenwood 842

  • 58. NewAC  |  April 3, 2017 at 10:48 pm

    Did not got into my first choice but did get into Taft, very excited and can’t wait. Who else got into Taft AC?

  • 59. 3x AC mom  |  April 4, 2017 at 8:38 am

    @51 thanks for the info and positive words about Taft!! Daughter #3 into Taft AC….tier 4 856.4. This is choice #2 but she is looking forward to it after sleeping on it all last night.

  • 60. cpsmom  |  April 4, 2017 at 9:01 am

    Am I the only one who did not get the promised notification, or is this a larger problem?

  • 61. Coonleymom  |  April 4, 2017 at 9:27 am

    Tier 4
    Lane Tech
    Looks like he will be joining his brother at Lane next year. I cannot believe this is our last year at Coonley. 9 years has flown by! If your child didn’t do as well as expected, try and not stress too much. I can say this b/c I have been there!! My 8th grader did not do well on the Academic Test and stayed at Coonley, which turned out to be the best for him. He also got a 300 on the High School exam, so very different exams (at least when he took them).

  • 62. Pritzker Mom  |  April 4, 2017 at 9:30 am

    @60: If you applied online, log in to In the table where it has the places to schedule test dates there is a column that says “Application Status”. In that column there should be a link that says “Show Letter”. I think this is the same place they had the link for getting your testing letter, but the content of the letter is different if you click on it now.

  • 63. BC  |  April 4, 2017 at 9:54 am

    Tier 4
    Kenwood AC

    Not what we wanted but we will have to decided soon right?

  • 64. Ac mom  |  April 4, 2017 at 9:56 am

    Did anyone receive an email from Whitney? I think one the shadow days is this Thursday

  • 65. KBM  |  April 4, 2017 at 10:11 am

    Does anyone have the AC cutoff scores from last year? I found this year and 2015-16 but not last year, and I’m curious to see how they’ve moved.

  • 66. jd  |  April 4, 2017 at 10:17 am

    this is for 2016-2017, don’t know how to format it here.


    Selection Method

    Selection Method
    Selection Method
    Selection Method
    Selection Method
    Morgan Park
    Morgan Park
    Morgan Park
    Morgan Park
    Morgan Park
    Academic Center Schools
    Cutoff Scores
    2016-2017 School Year
    Selection Method
    Selection Method
    Note: The “Rank” score denotes students selected by their point score only, outside of the tiers

  • 67. AC mom  |  April 4, 2017 at 10:51 am

    Any experience with Academic center admissions in the 7th grade to do only year 2? Is that even possible?

  • 68. KBM  |  April 4, 2017 at 10:52 am

    @66 thanks!

  • 69. Excited!  |  April 4, 2017 at 10:54 am

    No email from Whitney Young – However, they have full information for the Class of 2023 online – including registration for shadows days – April 6th is the first one. See link below for all details including programming day, family night and August orientation.

  • 70. ProudDad  |  April 4, 2017 at 10:55 am

    Cut off scores are posted:

  • 71. Ac mom  |  April 4, 2017 at 11:08 am

    @69 Thank you!

  • 72. Possible Taft AC Parent  |  April 4, 2017 at 12:29 pm

    @51 My son was accepted to Taft AC. It’s great to hear that you and your son’s classmates have done so well. Is the program rigorous? How is the homework load? Do they help the students prepare for the 7th grade MAP? Any input would be appreciated! So many questions….

  • 73. Another Possible Taft Parent  |  April 4, 2017 at 1:25 pm

    My son was accepted to Taft AC and I have been encouraged by some of the comments here. I was disappointed to learn that there is no additional Open House or shadow day available before the acceptance deadline. Hard to imagine making such a big decision without getting a chance to see the school. Unfortunately this program just wasn’t on our radar earlier in the year.

  • 74. dednimnepo  |  April 4, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    Does anyone have a perspective on the Lindblom Academic Center option? We live in the Beverly area and everything that I have read is positive (except perhaps the concern about safety near the area). I know it is not WY or Lane (I have two kids that go there) but this option may be better for my 3rd child who did not qualify for those options. By the way, we are Asian and hope that the school is diverse enough for him (i.e., he feels included).

  • 75. babahafez  |  April 4, 2017 at 1:56 pm

    Hi everyone, thank you to all who shared.

    Here’s my info, I would welcome any/all opinions on our realistic chances of getting into Selective Enrollment HS:

    6th Grade, Tier 4, applied to Lane Tech (#1), Whitney Young (#2) and Taft (#3).

    692.9 out of 900 combined score

    We did not use any formal test prep courses, etc. so this really is just a “baseline”. I’m thinking realistically an improvement of 50 – 100 points would be achievable, but that still puts us just out of reach of the cut-off scores for our tier.

    Any parents have a similar situation with their child’s scores? Can I help my daughter to get past that cut-off score in any way? Is it feasible with this as a starting point?

  • 76. LM  |  April 4, 2017 at 1:56 pm

    I’m posting this because of my experience last year, seeking advice on what to do about AC’s…I wish I would have read something like this:

    DON’T GIVE INTO FEAR…..yes, 7th grade is another crucial year but chances are if your kid made it into an AC, they will be just fine. Mine was an A student all through elementary and continues to be at her AC, all while participating in school and travel sports. The best advice we received was to stay on top of the homework. She definitely has more homework than at her elementary school, but it is absolutely manageable. Is she ever up late doing homework? Yes, OCCASIONALLY…it’s a non-issue. Is she learning a ton and being prepped for high school? YES, this is a good thing.

    Secondly, DON’T LET OTHERS JUDGEMENTS CLOUD YOURS. My daughter is at Taft. We mostly heard great things, but I definitely heard some negatives. Now I understand those with negative views were simply speaking out of turn. She loves everything about Taft; her new friends, teachers, and curriculum. Taft is not a second rate program, period. I’m so glad we didn’t listen to the naysayers. It didn’t take us long to realize she made the right choice. I’m from the suburbs. Elementary ended at 5th and kids moved to new building for Junior High. This is how I see it for my daughter. At Taft, AC students are in separate wing from high schoolers. I saw someone mention that there were no more open houses scheduled, I’m sure you could schedule a shadow day though.

    Good luck, everyone and congrats. I understand your stress.

  • 77. westrogersparkmom  |  April 4, 2017 at 2:46 pm

    @babahafez- How much of that score is based on grades? If your child can achieve A’s in 7th you have 300 points right away. On the other hand one B can put you out of the running.

    The AC test is a different type of test than the SEHS test currently given and there are many many many kids who were not accepted to AC’s two years a go and were recently accepted to schools such as Northside and Jones.

    And finally, look into wonderful programs at schools like Lincoln Park, Senn, Lakeview and Vonn.

    Good luck !

  • 78. babahafez  |  April 4, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    @westrogersparkmom – thanks for your comment.

    She had all A’s, one B from 5th grade (my understanding is that’s a loss of 25 pts out of 300).

    Thank you for that info re: AC test vs. SEHS — I thought they were practically the same. This gives me hope!

    I’ve looked into Lincoln Park programs (drama, IB, HH) but have not checked out the others you mentioned.

  • 79. Lorelei  |  April 4, 2017 at 4:01 pm

    I had my child take the test for AC to get a feel of how he would do on the SEHS test; I thought they were pretty much the same. I put Taft as our 1st choice since it’s close to us and because my son wants to stay at his current RGC anyways. He got a spot at the TAFT AC but he wants to stay at his school so that will be a seat for someone looking for one at Taft. I am so thankful for the information shared here- like I didn’t realize the tests were different. One big question I have is what’s the major difference between the AC’s and the RGC’s. Is one better than the other or is it just another avenue?

  • 80. Momof4Boys1Girl  |  April 4, 2017 at 6:08 pm

    @ dednimnepo My son is in 8th grade at Lindblom and he LOVES it. I had my reservations of the neighborhood but am so glad that we went with the decision to enroll him at the AC. The schedule mimics college and I feel they are better preparing him for the future. It is not as diverse as some of the other selective enrollment schools but that did not deter us and he is better for it. It is definitely more diverse than his neighborhood school that is for sure! My son is biracial (half Arabic half Mexican) and he has friends from all different backgrounds. I love how they learn off of each other.

    My first son had made it into Lindblom and I chose not to enroll him because of the neighborhood. That was a mistake. I am glad I learned from that mistake and my 2nd is happy and will be joining his fellow classmates into freshman year.

    Additionally, I feel that the AC did prepare better prepare him for the high school selective enrollment as many of his fellow classmates got into Lane, WY, and Jones. I hope you send your child to Lindblom. Don’t let the neighborhood deter you. It is a great school!!!!

  • 81. Hopingfor Lenart  |  April 4, 2017 at 6:36 pm

    Any Lenart families out there? I’m curious to know how many new spots will open up for 7th grade? How many 6th graders are leaving? My son will turn down his AC spot and is hoping for a second-round offer from Lenart (or Keller) with a RGC score of 140.

  • 82. wy 7th  |  April 4, 2017 at 7:50 pm

    Whitney Young shadow days are April 6th (this Thursday), April 17 ( Monday back from spring break), and April 19th.
    Whitney students find out whether or not they will be receiving a shadow tomorrow.

  • 83. parent  |  April 4, 2017 at 8:09 pm

    T3, 897 and accepted into Whitney Young. For current parents of 5th graders, do Selective Prep. It really helped!

  • 84. dednimnepo  |  April 4, 2017 at 10:58 pm

    #80 – Thank you for the insight. This will help with the decision.

  • 85. CPSConfused  |  April 5, 2017 at 10:57 am

    What does ‘cutoff score’ mean? My son’s score is higher than the cutoff (and the mean) for his tier but he was not accepted.


  • 86. JenFG  |  April 5, 2017 at 11:41 am

    CPSConfused: Are you looking at this year’s link?
    If so, that seems wrong. Can you provide more details?

  • 87. Hopingfor Lenart  |  April 5, 2017 at 11:54 am

    @85. I think the cutoff scores listed for a particular AC are the scores of students who put that AC down as their “top choice” and got accepted.
    Your son was probably not accepted because he had a different school ranked first.

  • 88. cjay  |  April 5, 2017 at 1:00 pm

    @43 @51 @76 Thank you your insights, they are very helpful. It is a big decision for an 11 year old.

    6th Grade -Tier 4 – accepted Taft AC – no test prep
    Applied #1 WY, #2 Taft, #3 LT

    We live in Lakeview. I’ve heard the bus commute is an hour each way. Are there any other Lakeview Taft AC out there? Where does the bus pick up?

  • 89. TwinzMom  |  April 5, 2017 at 2:58 pm

    Can anyone give me info on Brooks Academic Center? I know it’s fairly new but my girls were just accepted that and I needed a personal perspective. Thanks.

  • 90. R Banaby  |  April 5, 2017 at 3:42 pm

    Our twins are wait listed for kindergarten at:
    Prussing General #17-18
    Hawthorne Proximity #18-19
    Thorp, O Tier 4 #36-37
    Ebinger General 89-90
    Pritzker General 97-98

    What are our chances for getting into Hawthorne and Thorp? Thanks for the assistance

  • 91. JParkMom  |  April 5, 2017 at 5:24 pm

    Could it be true Taft is not offering another open house or shadowing? We, too, missed the open house due to sickness and would like to opportunity to check the school out before accepting. I hear WY is offering shadowing and Lane is offering a ‘meet and greet.’
    Tier 4- 818
    Taft AC offered- #1 Lane, #2 Taft
    No test prep

  • 92. ac mom  |  April 6, 2017 at 8:39 am

    whitney young parents, where do you park when you have a meeting at the school during the day?

  • 93. WYAC Mom  |  April 6, 2017 at 8:51 am

    I would suggest parking on the street. If you’re going to be quick, maybe you can get away with parking in the lot. I’m not sure how often they check the cars there.

  • 94. ac mom  |  April 6, 2017 at 9:20 am

    @93 thank you

  • 95. gmom  |  April 6, 2017 at 11:42 am

    Anyone accepted to Lincoln IG 6th grade?

    Daughter just got in

    Tier 4

    She said one of her friend with 896 didn’t get in! Any idea of the cutoff? I have no idea it was this high – the cutoff score forLincoln IB High-School is much lower than for the SEHS.

    She’s super happy anyway and we’re accepting! The school is 10min from our home by walk, so it’s much more convenient than any of the AC 🙂

  • 96. Jen K  |  April 6, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    @92 Street parking can be tough at WY during the day. You can park in the lot but get a pass from the office – allow time to run back to the car. In my experience, on the days they are expecting many parents (shadow days or other events), they do not check the lot for WY passes knowing many cars are visitors. They will tell you in the office whether or not they are checking for passes that day.

  • 97. Ac mom  |  April 6, 2017 at 1:03 pm

    @ Jen K thank you!

  • 98. WYAC mom  |  April 6, 2017 at 7:56 pm


    If I remember correctly, Lincoln IB program starts in 5th grade. The number of open spots for 6th graders equal to the number of students who leave the program after 5th grade. Depending on the year, there could be only a few spots.

  • 99. gmom  |  April 6, 2017 at 8:16 pm

    @WYAC mom It’s 6-8, so they are testing for the first year of the program.

  • 100. Good mom  |  April 6, 2017 at 9:48 pm

    Can anyone explain why the cut off score for Tier 3 at Kenwood (and Morgan Park for that matter) is higher than the cut off for Tier 4? Seems strange as all the other schools cut offs ascend with the Tier. It’s been that way for several years at Kenwood, and from what I can see, the first year as such at Morgan Park.

  • 101. Pritzker Mom  |  April 6, 2017 at 10:11 pm

    The schools are probably ranked lower by Tier 4 students so the high scoring tier 4 students get placed in other schools leaving spaces for lower scoring tier 4 students.

  • 102. Good mom  |  April 6, 2017 at 10:25 pm

    Crystal clear. Anyone else?

  • 103. Deanna  |  April 7, 2017 at 7:54 am

    If I register for my neighborhood school will I be able to still apply for other schools during the End of Year Open Enrollment?

  • 104. Jen K  |  April 7, 2017 at 9:04 am

    @100 maybe there are more Tier 3 neighborhoods around those schools, so geographically it’s the first choice for those students. More kids from those neighborhoods applying would mean more competition for the finite number of seats. I haven’t looked at a Tier map of those areas, so just speculating.

  • 105. dednimnepo  |  April 7, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    I also heard (not validated) that there are more Tier 3 near Kenwood which supports @104’s theory as well.

    Does anyone have a child who made it into Kenwood in the second round last year for tier 4? Would you mind sharing what his/her score range was? Also, do you know how many openings there were in tier 4 and/or rank for the second round?

    My child (Asian) is accepted at Lindblom but I just found out that a lot of his non-school friends are going to Kenwood (from STEM and South Loop); it may be easier for him to adjust. I am still weighing options between the two good schools. Any pros/cons with both schools to help with my decision? Relatively speaking, Lindblom may be more diverse, while Kenwood (area) may be safer.

  • 106. Taft Drawbacks  |  April 7, 2017 at 3:31 pm

    The biggest drawback to Taft is that the school has a thousand more students than its facilities can appropriately accommodate.

    Because of this, there is WALKING PHYS ED, where students–who cannot all fit in the gym facilities–walk the hallways for fitness (often with a drink or snack in one hand and their phones in the other). Hallway noise intrudes on the classrooms, even through closed doors.

    The auditorium will seat the 250 or so AC students, but with a seating capacity of less than 700, it will not accommodate even a single class (freshman, sophomores, etc.) at the high school level.

    There were over 550 classes this year that exceeded contractual class size limits (28 in most subjects, and higher in art, music, and phys ed). While the AC classes were generally within guidelines this year, CPS is making further cuts next year, and the AC cannot escape the rising class sizes that affects the rest of the school.

  • 107. HappyDad!  |  April 8, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    Returned from vacation today and applied via paper, so just received daughter’s score: 895.5. RGC Test: 149; Map Math: 99 Map Reading: 98. Tier 4. Accepted to first choice Whitney Young Academic Center. We are in the West Loop, so great location as well as great school!

  • 108. Ac mom  |  April 17, 2017 at 10:03 pm

    whitney young parents- how challenging would Latin 1 be as an ackie?

  • 109. IG  |  April 18, 2017 at 1:34 pm

    What is the minimum age a child can test in? I know there are kids that are grade skipped in those programs. Anyone know?

  • 110. @105  |  April 18, 2017 at 6:41 pm

    My son is a freshman at Kenwood who started out in the AC. You are mistaken about the diversity of Kenwood. It is actually the AC that creates most of the diversity in the overall percentages of the students at the school. The high school isn’t very diverse, but it is slowly changing because of new programs in the HS (AC Capstone, Pre-College Honors program & the magnet program). Now that Kenwood has two buildings (we acquired the Canter building whose middle school program was phased out a couple of years ago) it seems to me the diversity has increased dramatically. The AC students now have their own building, although some high school classes are held there and the AC students have to go to the main building for gym only—depending on the electives your child chooses. For instance, since Latin is so popular with the AC students the Latin classes are held at the Canter building. 7th graders must eat lunch at the Canter building and 8th graders can eat at Canter or the main Kenwood building, so it keeps the 7/8th graders mostly segregated from the HS students.

    I have friends who have kids at Lindblom and it a great place. I believe academically Kenwood & Lindblom’s AC are equal. However, I do find it nice that on warm days the students can be outside and Hyde Park is safer than Lindblom’s area. Lindblom takes great care and have wonderful security, but I don’t think the kids can just roam about outside. One of my friends did tell me that Kenwood’s AC has way more extra curricular activities than Lindblom though.

    Kenwood takes about 130 7th graders, so I believe you can calculate the number of students by tier. A couple of years ago Kenwood had a second round, but I don’t believe that happened last year. Maybe try contacting the school to see if there is anything the school can do to help try and get your child accepted. Also, think about HS and the 7th grade grades. Lindblom is a selective enrollment HS, however Kenwood has all the APs & honors classes like a selective enrollment school has. In addition, Kenwood has eight college courses taught directly at the school, in addition to dual enrollment at the University of Chicago and the city colleges. Generally, the AC students just take college courses their senior year with maybe one elective that they are interested in if they want. Several students do leave Kenwood’s AC for Payton, Jones and WY, too. I preferred Kenwood because my son struggles a bit in math, so he has regular math with his other classes being honors and the SE HS always make you take honors classes (with the exeption of a few). I also opted out of honors chemistry because it also can be difficult when you struggle in math (lesson learned because my older son at a SE HS had to take honors chem because they didn’t offer regular).

    I hope this info helps! Good luck!

  • 111. cpswonderland  |  April 18, 2017 at 8:57 pm

    I was wondering what kind of test is the one necessary for the acceptance to AC. Knowledge?

  • 112. dednimnepo  |  April 18, 2017 at 10:46 pm

    Thank you #110 for the great insight.

  • 113. Linda  |  April 19, 2017 at 6:16 am

    @108- Latin 1 @ WY

    Like everything else it depends on the kid. I was told that this year a seventh grader tested into Latin 2, and is one of the strongest students in class. He, of course, had previous experience with Latin.

    My kid started Latin 1 in 7th grade @ WY from scratch, and it was and still is (Latin 2) the most challenging and the most rewarding class he has taken in any school. The teacher is wonderful, she takes pride in making sure that the student learns the material, she is extremely strict and fair at the same time. I don’t know how many, but a number of my kid’s classmates decided not to continue with Latin in 8th grade, if you are interested I can find out how many sticked to it.

    Many kids who are in Latin 1 have had a previous experience with Latin in their elementary school and/or are native Spanish speakers, which helps a lot, especially in the beginning.

    Come to Family Night, find students who are in Latin, talk to them, get a feel of what the program is like.

    Do you have a strong student to begin with? Do you anticipate that other classes might present a challenge? Does your kid have good work ethics?

    Good luck with your decision! Welcome to WYAC!

  • 114. cpswonderland  |  April 20, 2017 at 9:33 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?

  • 115. Pritzker Mom  |  April 20, 2017 at 10:30 am

    It’s cognitive skills. We were told it’s similar to the CogAT and my daughter did some online practices for that test.

  • 116. cpswonderland  |  April 20, 2017 at 10:39 am

    @115. Thank you Pritzker Mom. I have few more questions and I would appreciate if you could answer. How does one prepare for it? How many sections does it have? How much time is allotted for the test? Did your child take prep course and do you recommend it?

  • 117. Pritzker Mom  |  April 20, 2017 at 11:40 am

    I wasn’t too obsessive in paying attention to the details of the test – that was my daughter’s department. It has a lot of short sections – like 10 mins or so each. The overall testing session was about two hours.

    She did not end up doing a prep course. We did a diagnostic with BrightKids & they didn’t think she needed a prep course. We got a book of sample tests from Amazon & signed up for a package of online practice tests. In all likelihood we would have gone with private tutoring over a prep course if there were any areas where she needed assistance.

  • 118. maman  |  April 20, 2017 at 11:57 am

    I am always amazed at how much information some parents get from their kids about these tests. When my children took the test all of them told me so little about the questions and content. That’s why I appreciate this blog so much.

  • 119. DecisionTime  |  April 20, 2017 at 12:18 pm

    I think it depends entirely in your kid and your goals. My child did no prep and scored well enough to get into any of the ACs. A friend did a course and outside practice and did not get in. The important thing to also realize is that the test for high school is a different test and many many kids who do not get in to an AC end up at their high school of choice. The test for the AC is also the test that is administered for admission into RGCs.

  • 120. cpswonderland  |  April 20, 2017 at 12:42 pm

    @ Pritzker Mom & DecisionTime: Thank you.

  • 121. NSMom  |  April 21, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    I’m wondering if anyone lives on the Northside and is commuting to Kenwood? I’m in the Wrigley area and I’d be willing to drive to school everyday. I will have an entering 7th grader at Kenwood for 2017/2018

  • 122. CPSx2  |  April 25, 2017 at 7:17 pm

    Anyone have intel on wait list movement for Disney II for 7th grade?
    Tier 3, waitlist #40

    I’m not even sure what their total 7th grade class is.
    Any insight into the wait list and the program from 7th grade up would be appreciated.

  • 123. Curious  |  April 30, 2017 at 9:37 pm

    Is there a 2nd round for academic centers?

    My child got within 1 point for WYAC so was wondering if there’s a 2nd round chance.

  • 124. Pritzker Mom  |  April 30, 2017 at 10:58 pm

    @123 – There is. I know of a few spots that should be open at Lane, (I don’t know of any WYAC).

  • 125. WRP Mom  |  May 1, 2017 at 6:40 am

    @123, 124- There hasn’t been a 2nd round for WYAC or LTAC in years. The initial round is “overbooked” assuming there will be some who will decline. That way, they end up with their target number without a 2nd round.

    Taft, however, usually has a 2nd round.

  • 126. How did your school do?  |  May 4, 2017 at 5:01 pm

    Anyone willing to give anecdotal data about how kids did this year in the AC process from various selective enrollment and magnet schools? In other words, can you identify where you go to school and how many kids in your 6th grade class got AC offers and where?

    I think I saw someone in the SEES thread say a northside RGC had something like 20 kids get AC offers, but didn’t identify which school. Anyone have any details?

  • 127. TAMMY  |  May 4, 2017 at 5:51 pm

    Principle Discretion Letters will soon arrive.
    Are We READY ???

  • 128. southloop  |  May 4, 2017 at 6:38 pm

    @126 From South Loop Elementary, 7 are going to Whitney Young, 18+ to Kenwood and 1 to Lane.

  • 129. SkinnerWest  |  May 5, 2017 at 11:44 am

    18 are going to WY, 2+ turned down Lane, 4+ are going to Kenwood, a total of 25+ kids will be leaving Skinner West.

  • 130. genxatmidlife  |  May 5, 2017 at 6:40 pm

    @122. FWIW, we were 39th on the Tier 4 waitlist, and we got an email today offering a spot. I totally didn’t expect this so soon, so hopefully you are in a similar situation for Tier 3.

  • 131. genxatmidlife  |  May 5, 2017 at 6:46 pm

    DS did not make his AC choice, but we got a call and email for Beaubien today. It’s a bit of a commute for us, and we had others that are closer higher on our list. We are in a private school and have known other families who have moved over to CPS in the 7th grade, as it seems to be a valid strategy for transitioning to the public system for high school.

    What we are debating now is if we should take this spot or wait for the possibility that 1) some will turn down spots at the closer schools and 2) DS will be high enough on those lists to get a spot down the line. (His current school is solid and close, so there’s that to consider too.)

    Any insight is much-appreciated. Thanks!

  • 132. TAMMY  |  May 5, 2017 at 7:31 pm

    HELLO Everyone….
    I have a QUESTION(?)?????
    My son is #2 on the WAIT LIST for Walt Disney Magnet as an incoming 5th Grader.
    Today I phoned the school and was told by the Secretary that he will not be called because no one transferred out and besides the WAITLIST is for K-3.
    Does anyone know this to be true???

  • 133. How did your school do?  |  May 8, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    @128 southloop and @129 SkinnerWest, thanks for posting. Those are impressive results and also eye-opening as to how much shake-up there is in the SEES classrooms due to AC admissions.

    Anyone else have results for other SEES they are willing to share?

    What historically happens? I assume a school wants to fill those seats for 7th, but are they able to? Are there really that many kids willing to transfer for 7th?

  • 134. Soon2bNCPparent  |  May 8, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    @133 Some schools end at 6th grade so SEES seek those students that do not transfer into academic centers so, yes, there are kids that are forced to transfer in 7th grade. Off the top of my head Decatur is one of these schools.

  • 135. thirdtimesacharm  |  May 8, 2017 at 5:54 pm

    232 TAMMY Yes this is true they don’t take kids after 2nd grade. I asked at open house at Disney Magnet. my 4th grader is 5# but my kindergardener recieved a seat .It’s never easy! They say open classrooms are very hard to get used to for older kids.

  • 136. TAMMY  |  May 8, 2017 at 9:13 pm

    Thank you so much for answering my Question(232). I needed to know how to proceed! Does anyone have a child who is enrolled in Newberry Math and Science Academy?
    If so, would you kindly share your experience? Or any input from a family member or friend who has a child at this school.
    Thanking you in advance.

  • 137. Newberry parent  |  May 8, 2017 at 10:17 pm

    @ TAMMY, My son is in sixth grade a Newberry. We LOVE it. He is leaving for Lane AC next year, and we will miss Newberry. If you have an offer take it, it’s a great school.

  • 138. TAMMY  |  May 8, 2017 at 10:52 pm

    Thank you for that confirmation. Yes, we did receive an offer and yes We accepted although we wanted him to be bussed but did not qualify. Could you share with me briefly what you like about Newberry??

  • 139. TAMMY  |  May 8, 2017 at 11:23 pm

    Congratulations to you and your son for being accepted to Lane Acedrmic Center!!! And thank you for responding abut Newberry!

  • 140. TAMMY  |  May 9, 2017 at 9:31 am

    Hello. In response to # 133 &134. Yes Selective Enrollment grammars schools seek out children who did not attend Acedemic Centers. My son was a Decatur Student a couple of years back and he did not attend an AC. Decatur ends at 6th grade but he was offered a spot at other high performing schools that would receive him at 7th grade.

  • 141. How did your school do?  |  May 9, 2017 at 11:25 am

    Yes, there are some 6th graders from Decatur, Poe and McDade who do not go to ACs that will transfer to another SEES. That said, in SL and SW alone, there are 50+ seats being vacated this year. Are there enough 6th graders from Decatur, Poe and McDade (not going to an AC themselves) to fill all those seats plus all the others that are being vacated at other SEES. I’ve never noticed. . . but do SEES class sizes historically decrease at 7th/8th because of this?

  • 142. HydeParkMom  |  May 10, 2017 at 5:09 pm

    Declined spot for Suder WL # 53 for 2nd grade. We accepted at South Loop!

  • 143. jazzman  |  May 13, 2017 at 4:10 pm

    @141 If the kids from the classical schools you listed dont get into AC do they have to test for the other SEES schools for 7th and 8th grade??

  • 144. How did your school do?  |  May 14, 2017 at 7:17 am

    @jazzman – They must apply and test to be considered for a 7th grade sees seat. AC and SEES application timing are the same. The vacancies created in sees by ACs create options for these kids, but they still have to test into those sees seats. If above data for SW and SL is representative of turnover in all the sees, supply/demand would suggest those seventh grade sees seats would not be that competitive, but I don’t know.

  • 145. jazzman  |  May 14, 2017 at 1:39 pm

    I need some feedback on how is the Kenwood AC compared to Kenwood High school and how many actually stay at Kenwood High or go else were? any stats on that? I have heard some good things about Kenwood high school but I would like to her from parents that have had this experience. I have about 2 yrs before this is a possibility for me if my child scores well enough.

  • 146. Maxernst  |  June 9, 2017 at 7:15 pm

    When SEES schools seek out students who did not get accepted into academic centers, The email says that they will look first at the child’s original choices. Does this mean academic center is seats are available?

  • 147. realchicagomama  |  July 7, 2017 at 6:57 am

    Offered spot at Taft AC in 2nd round.

  • 148. TAMMY  |  July 7, 2017 at 12:48 pm

    Wow! Congratulations!!!

  • 149. Good mom  |  August 26, 2017 at 8:31 am

    So, true to form, after we are all settled at the Manet school, CPS-OAE calls me yesterday to offer my 8th Grader a spot at Kenwood AC. She has cultivated friendships at the Magnet school, but has a lot of friends at Kenwood, too. Plus, Kenwood is much closer to home, and the switch would make HS application process much less stressful. I haven’t told DD yet. She was celebrating a birthday with classmates yesterday, and I didn’t have the heart to tell her.
    I will tell her today. 99% sure she will want to stay where she is.

  • 150. Tammy  |  August 26, 2017 at 12:35 pm

    Now that is tough news to share with your child…. but ALL will work out!!

  • 151. Pritzker Mom  |  August 26, 2017 at 1:06 pm

    I think there are two things you should ask about Kenwood before making your decision:
    1 – How many of her classes will she be in with fellow 8th graders and how many will she be in with 7th graders?

    2 – What percentage of the 8th graders leave to go to SEES?

  • 152. Tammy  |  August 26, 2017 at 2:32 pm

    Very good advice!!

  • 153. dpkk  |  August 30, 2017 at 1:57 pm

    @147 What tier and score?

  • 154. Janet K  |  August 30, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    We decided to stay at her current school, Mark Sheridan. DD had been out all day with school friends and they were giggling and carrying on when I picked them up. When I told DD about the call, she had tears in her eyes and said she didn’t want to go to Kenwood as I expected she would. I just couldn’t see uprooting her again since it would have been her 4th school in as many years.

  • 155. Good mom  |  August 30, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    Good mom, aka Janet K

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