RGC and Classical school Elementary “Letters” – Spring 2017

March 30, 2017 at 12:59 pm 600 comments


Emails will be arriving by Monday April 3 to inform parents of their scores and offers.

As a reminder, you can receive only 1 offer.  If you want a school that is higher on your list, you’d have to turn down an offer you get to be placed back in the pool.

Remember, the RGC and Classical schools go through several rounds of offers.  Many families don’t get placement until late spring, summer, or even the first week of school in the Fall.

CPS does not post cutoff scores for these programs, so in the spirit of crowd-sourcing, please (anonymously) share your information to help other families make choices.

Kindly post:

School admitted to
Grade entering

And finally — the scores in no way are a perfect measure of your child’s intelligence.  Many many smart kids end up not testing well for a range of reason.   One of the smartest 4 year olds I knew didn’t test well at the age and was just accepted to Walter Payton high school.   Intelligence shows up in different ways and on different tests over time.  And as well all know, ALL our kids are above average anyhow.  🙂

Please post your information, questions, and moral support for other parents below…


Entry filed under: Applying to schools, Uncategorized.

A word on north side neighborhood high schools (guest post from Hawthorne principal) Academic Center Letters Spring 2017

600 Comments Add your own

  • 1. add  |  March 30, 2017 at 1:24 pm

    Can you please add ‘grade entering in fall’ or similar to list of info to be posted??



  • 2. Lorelei  |  March 30, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    Waiting impatiently!

  • 3. Matt  |  March 30, 2017 at 1:57 pm

    Once a student receives an acceptance letters, does anyone know how many days students have to decide whether to accept an offer from a RGC school?

  • 4. cc's mom  |  March 30, 2017 at 2:16 pm

    April 24th is the deadline. http://cps.edu/AccessAndEnrollment/Documents/FAQsAdmissionsProcess.pdf

  • 5. cc's mom  |  March 30, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    I should have said for original offers so that then the waitlist business can begin.

  • 6. WesLoo Mom  |  March 30, 2017 at 2:22 pm

    Thank you CPSO. I appreciate you!

  • 7. Crossing my fingers  |  March 30, 2017 at 3:50 pm

    So if my child received an offer that wasn’t our first choice, what happens if we turn it down? What us the process of possibly getting a spot in a school higher on our list? Is it even a good idea to pass on an offer, in hopes of getting something “better.” Any feedback or advice is greatly appreciated.

  • 8. cpsobsessed  |  March 30, 2017 at 5:08 pm

    @7 Crossing – it”ll depend on the score your child gets on each test. From that you can try to assess your likelihood of CPS moving down the list to reach your child’s score.
    I think it also depends on the school your child gets a spot in, how good of a fit it is to your kid, and what your other options are (ie good neighborhood school, low (good) lottery spot, etc)

  • 9. Crossing my fingers  |  March 30, 2017 at 8:17 pm

    Thank you

  • 10. misha  |  March 31, 2017 at 9:12 am

    anyone find this more confusing and stressful than college??

  • 11. dadrocker  |  March 31, 2017 at 11:12 am

    Following. Good luck to all.

  • 12. cc's mom  |  March 31, 2017 at 5:55 pm

    Last week I received the first robocall and the email stating “Next week, we will send you another robocall and email, which will provide more information on how to access the letters and how to accept offers.”

    I never got this second call/email. Did anyone receive it?

  • 13. llmm  |  March 31, 2017 at 7:27 pm

    cc’s mom–we didn’t get call or email either.

  • 14. yankscubs  |  March 31, 2017 at 10:46 pm

    CC’s mom: Got the same email and phone call. The email said another call and email would come Monday after school closes so I assume late Monday. Will be a long weekend

  • 15. kotharijayh  |  April 1, 2017 at 7:41 pm


  • 16. newjourney  |  April 1, 2017 at 9:29 pm


  • 17. km  |  April 1, 2017 at 11:14 pm

    for those who didn’t receive the first robocall or email, I would suggest you to call 773-553-2060 – Office of Access and Enrollment to make sure they have your correct email and phone number on file. so you don’t miss the most important result on Monday. Good luck to all.

  • 18. abcd123  |  April 2, 2017 at 12:30 pm

    I received the second call just couple minutes ago. Good luck everyone.

  • 19. It'sTime  |  April 2, 2017 at 12:46 pm


  • 20. 2down2togo  |  April 2, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    Also received my second call today.

  • 21. cc's mom  |  April 2, 2017 at 2:39 pm

    Finally got that second promised email/robocall. Now nervously waiting for the “view letter” buttons to pop up on the application website. Going to be a looooong 24+ hours.

  • 22. 2nd kid  |  April 2, 2017 at 3:06 pm

    following. Good luck to all tomorrow. This is our second time with this process and it seems even more stressful with the second kid.

  • 23. It'sTime  |  April 2, 2017 at 6:03 pm

    Just got the second call and they said the letters might not be up until midnight Tuesday! Trying to keep busy to pass the time!

  • 24. CPS parent  |  April 2, 2017 at 10:08 pm

    @23: Are you for real? i didn’t get that call. Good luck everyone!!

  • 25. cpsobsessed  |  April 2, 2017 at 10:30 pm

    Oh man, really? The OAE web site doesn’t say anything different at this point. Good luck to everyone tomorrow.

  • 26. It'sTime  |  April 2, 2017 at 11:11 pm

    Maybe I should clarify. The letters are supposed to be released online on Monday before midnight. That’s still well after when I expected (say, around 4 or 5 pm). Hopefully it is much sooner!

  • 27. dadrocker  |  April 3, 2017 at 8:02 am

    The call said they would be released after school hours, and before midnight.

  • 28. Second rodeo  |  April 3, 2017 at 9:57 am

    The suspense is killing me!!!

  • 29. misha  |  April 3, 2017 at 10:11 am

    a colleague of mine who’s daughter got into an SES high school said that the notices didn’t come until 3:30-4:00 so I guess they are serious. . hasn’t stopped me from checking though, just in case.

  • 30. cc's mom  |  April 3, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    @second rodeo–absolute same here. My husband “jokingly” asked how many times the ‘refresh’ button will be hit on apply.cps.edu today. I’m well aware that it won’t happen until after 3 at the earliest, but I’m still contributing heavily to that total.

  • 31. Social1  |  April 3, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    I’ve been to my dashboard multiple times today already. I’m on pins and needles. This is the longest day ever. Good luck everyone. Can someone please remind me of the maximum number of students they allow for selective enrollment kindergarten?

  • 32. another cps mom  |  April 3, 2017 at 1:34 pm

    Has anyone received an (acceptance) email from SN principal?

  • 33. SArah S Karp  |  April 3, 2017 at 1:37 pm

    Does anyone know if they will email to say the letters are posted?

  • 34. LSmom  |  April 3, 2017 at 1:48 pm

    @31, it’s usually 28 in K. @33, they did email for high school so it seems likely.

  • 35. Social1  |  April 3, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    Thank you @LSmom. That’s what I thought.

  • 36. NewToThis  |  April 3, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    Just checked and received my letter.
    Reading: 99.9
    Math: 99.9
    Skinner North first choice
    Tier 4
    Good luck everyone!

  • 37. Offered Beaubien (but wondering about Bell) 1st  |  April 3, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    Got ours too!

    1st Grade
    Offered: Beaubien
    Score: 121
    Tier 3

    Happy, but have an older sibling at Bell and would love to have them at the same school! Anxious to see that the kids that got a Bell offer have for scores and then will have to make the nerve wracking decision of whether to role the dice again and gamble on getting our 1st choice.

    Good luck to all!

  • 38. Curious123  |  April 3, 2017 at 2:52 pm

    Results are out, entering 4th grade, score 146, admission at coonley. Is Edison better school? Anyone can help?

  • 39. another cps mom  |  April 3, 2017 at 2:52 pm

    letters out…Good luck everyone!

  • 40. NewToThis  |  April 3, 2017 at 2:52 pm

    Forgot to mention – entering K

  • 41. Social1  |  April 3, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    Tier: 1
    Score: 125
    School admitted to: Lenart (first choice)
    Grade entering: Kindergarten

  • 42. misha  |  April 3, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    Tier 4, REading 99.8, Math 98, gifted 145, got into Skinner North for Kindergarten

  • 43. misha  |  April 3, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    forgot to mention that Skinner North was our first choice.

  • 44. Glennon DM  |  April 3, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    Letters are in – RGC – 118 from Tier 4
    Reading: 70
    Math: 72

    I’m assuming we are not getting in and I am getting excited about where we are going!

  • 45. misha  |  April 3, 2017 at 2:58 pm

    New To This: Where does your son/daughter go to preschool? looks like our kids will be in school together if you accept. . .

  • 46. sarahkoning  |  April 3, 2017 at 3:02 pm


  • 47. rush mom  |  April 3, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    My daughter got 99 reading and 94 in math for 1st grade. Had applied for skinner north, skinner west and decatur

  • 48. rush mom  |  April 3, 2017 at 3:03 pm

    Is there any chances of her getting in later rounds?

  • 49. dad@lenart-K  |  April 3, 2017 at 3:05 pm

    Score: 119
    School admitted to: Keller (1st choice)
    Grade entering: 1st grade

    Good luck to all!

  • 50. rebelgirls  |  April 3, 2017 at 3:06 pm

    Tier: 3
    Score: 129
    School admitted to: Beasley
    Grade entering: Kindergarten

    Leaning against accepting as our neighborhood school is good and an easier commute, but would appreciate hearing what people know about the school.

  • 51. NewToThis  |  April 3, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    Congrats Misha, yes – we are accepting. Right now my son goes to preschool at the British School. How about your son/daughter? It would be nice to meet folks in the class before the school year starts.

  • 52. 2nd kid  |  April 3, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    1st Grade
    Offered: Coonley (2nd choice)
    Score: RGC 142
    Tier 4

    His older brother is at Edison…. to accept or not accept… a very tough choice but a good problem to have.

    Good luck everybody!

  • 53. misha  |  April 3, 2017 at 3:11 pm

    New To This – my daughter goes to the Lincoln Park Coop. . . we live in old town. . you? shall we connect offline??

  • 54. NewToThis  |  April 3, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    Misha – Sure, you can email me at dspies14@yahoo.com. We live in Lakeview (but used to live in Old Town).

  • 55. bptandme  |  April 3, 2017 at 3:15 pm

    4th grade (grade skipper, looks like she flunked classical/must have had bad day, is 4 years ahead in math and even higher in reading): tier 3 rgc:147 Classical Reading Percentile: 91 Math Percentile: 88 National Teachers Academy offered

    K tier 3 (which is stupid because she was in private K this year but that’s how CPS is, you can’t grade skip until you are in 1st, even if these are your scores at age 4): RGC 125, Classical Reading 99.7, Math 98. Skinner North offered.

    We might homeschool one or both kids. just not loving the idea of class size in cps and don’t think they could properly differentiate. If anyone is interested in a highly gifted or profoundly gifted homeschool coop option for these ages, pls find me via the chicago gifted meet up by posting there. ill leave it that vague since you will be a needle in a haystack.

  • 56. South side Dad  |  April 3, 2017 at 3:18 pm

    Tier 2 Neighborhood
    Reading 94
    Math 95
    Received a Kindergarten spot at Poe

    Congrats to everyone! And to those who didn’t get good news, do not fret. I have been pouring over these boards for months and it seems many people end up getting desirable spots after being put on a waiting list.

  • 57. 5th Grade Parent  |  April 3, 2017 at 3:21 pm

    5th Grade
    Offered: Coonley (1st Choice)
    Score: 147
    Tier: 4

    Best of luck to all!

  • 58. dadrocker  |  April 3, 2017 at 3:22 pm

    Tier 4
    Entering K
    RGC 141
    Reading 95
    Math 80

    No offers. Requested, in order:

    1. Coonley
    2. Edison
    3. Pritzker
    4. Skinner North
    5. Decatur
    6. Skinner West

  • 59. LisaPizza  |  April 3, 2017 at 3:24 pm

    Tier 4
    1st Grade
    RGC: 122
    Classical Reading: 86
    Classical Math: 94
    No Offers

    Applied to Bell, Coonley, Decatur, Skinner North, Skinner West

  • 60. Viktoria  |  April 3, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    Tier 4
    Score 149
    School admitted to Edison GS
    Grade entering K

    please contact me at vika77@sbcglobal.net if you get accepted and want kids to meet before school starts (I would love for him to know someone beforehand)

  • 61. AlwaysGotLost  |  April 3, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    Applying 4th grade, RGC: 143. But oops, I took her for the RGC test only but applied to Decatur only. So no offer. Just wondering if this score, tier 4 qualify for RGC offer?

  • 62. Curious123  |  April 3, 2017 at 3:27 pm

    @2nd kid- having first kid in Edison, and second kids getting into coonley, what’s your preference? Is Edison good school? Which grade is your older one in?

  • 63. Richard Richards  |  April 3, 2017 at 3:27 pm

    Tier 4
    RGC 124
    Did not make it into Edison for K, our first choice and only choice as we also like our neighborhood school.

    There were no scores for Math and Reading even though our child was tested for both Classical and RGC since the grade is Kindergarten. Does anyone know if the Math/Reading scores were not posted because we did not apply for any Classical programs?

  • 64. OMMom  |  April 3, 2017 at 3:28 pm

    Tier 4
    Math=97%, Reading=96%
    Applied for 1st Grade
    No offers

  • 65. NWSidemom  |  April 3, 2017 at 3:28 pm

    tier 2
    entering K
    RGC score 125
    offered Disney, Pritzker magnet.

    entering 4th grade
    RGC score 126
    no SEES offers.

    any chance my 4th grader might get SEES offers late in the summer? I know spots for older grades are harder to come by.

  • 66. Curious123  |  April 3, 2017 at 3:28 pm

    @AlwaysGotLost – entering forth grade, my sub got into coonley at 146 score, tier 4

  • 67. cpswonderland  |  April 3, 2017 at 3:30 pm

    Tier 4, 1st grade, offered skinner north, 99/99. no luck with magnet offers. already in one of the magnet schools (older sibling is there), but bored and not challenged.don’t know what to do.

  • 68. KCabral  |  April 3, 2017 at 3:33 pm

    Entering 3d grade — No offers

    RGC: 98
    Classical: 97 reading/98 math

    1. Skinner West Classical
    2. Nat’l Teachers RGC
    3. Skinner North Classical
    4. Pritzker RGC

  • 69. Mama  |  April 3, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    Entering K
    Tier 3
    RGC 125
    Offered a seat at Carnegie, won’t be accepting

  • 70. 2nd kid  |  April 3, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    @Curious123 I believe both Edison and Coonley are fantastic schools but it would be great to have both kids at the same school.

  • 71. ma  |  April 3, 2017 at 3:41 pm

    Tier 4
    Grade: K

    RGC Score: 124


    Applied to
    Nat’L RGC
    Pritzker RGC
    Skinner West Classical
    Skinner North Classical

    No Offers 😦

  • 72. Headed2Chicago  |  April 3, 2017 at 3:42 pm

    We are moving to Chicago this summer and navigating this long distance for our daughter who will be in second grade. I’d appreciate any insight:

    Grade entering: 2
    No offers received for selective enrollment.
    Magnet: Admitted to Disney
    Classical: Reading – 99, Math: 82
    Regional: 115
    (No tier applicable since we don’t currently live in Chicago).

    Couple of questions I’d be grateful to have your input:
    – Is Selective Enrollment unlikely to pan out even later with these scores? I assume so but please correct me if there’s any hope.
    – Is Disney considered a good magnet school?

    Other magnet waitlist numbers:
    HAWTHORNE wait listed General 182
    BLAINE wait listed General 101
    DISNEY offered
    DISNEY II wait listed General 241
    PRITZKER wait listed General 33
    PULASKI wait listed General 25
    PRESCOTT wait listed General 31
    COONLEY wait listed General 87
    AUDUBON wait listed General 57

    Thanks very much for your help in adance.

  • 73. Curious123  |  April 3, 2017 at 3:47 pm

    @2nd kid – thank you.

  • 74. SSMommy  |  April 3, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    Tier 3
    Grade: K

    RGC Score: 125
    Classical Scores: Math: 78 Reading 78

    Applied to
    McDade Classical
    Poe Classical
    Skinner West Classical
    Lenart RGC
    Skinner North Classical

    Offered Poe

  • 75. Tier4mama  |  April 3, 2017 at 4:03 pm

    Tier 4 – applied to K. Got 130 on RGC test, no offers (though we applied only to 3 schools). Staying private.

  • 76. joec  |  April 3, 2017 at 4:07 pm

    Tier 2
    Grade: Kindergarten
    RGC Score 144
    Reading 99.9
    Math 95

    Offered: Coonley (first choice-accepting)

  • 77. cpssavvy  |  April 3, 2017 at 4:09 pm

    We got Bell (1st Choice)

    Tier 4
    Entering 4th grade
    Math: 98/Reading 97

    I applied because I’m not tied to current magnet school as her brother would be leaving for high school. She doesn’t want to leave her magnet school because of her friends etc.
    Some friends say Bell is too good to turn down.
    What’s the opinion on this forum?

  • 78. curious  |  April 3, 2017 at 4:13 pm

    @2nd kid – a 142 didn’t get you into your first choice? Surprising as it is a high RGC score. What was your top choice?

  • 79. Crossing my fingers  |  April 3, 2017 at 4:17 pm

    Entering 1st grade

    Received offer for Beaubien RGC
    With score of 122

    Classical score..
    reading – 99. Math – 80

    Thoughts on Beaubien?

  • 80. alulu  |  April 3, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    Tier 2
    grade: Kindergarten
    RGC Score: 129
    Reading: 98
    Math: 91

    Applied to

    Skinner North
    Skinner West

    Offered: Skinner North

    I’m having a hard time right now, because although this is a dream, we are so happy at our neighborhood school (Brentano) for so many reasons including short commute, the neighborhood/community/friends who go there, and that younger brother can go there. Any advice for making a decision like this?

  • 81. chitownmama  |  April 3, 2017 at 4:24 pm

    Tier 4
    Grade 5
    Classical: 98 Reading/99 Math
    RGC: 119
    No Offers

    Grade 3
    Classical: 94 Reading/96 Math
    RGC: 104
    No offers

  • 82. jkj  |  April 3, 2017 at 4:26 pm

    Tier 4
    RGC: 124
    Classical: Reading 68, Math 62
    No offers

  • 83. 2nd kid  |  April 3, 2017 at 4:35 pm

    @curious Edison is our 1st choice.

  • 84. ON E  |  April 3, 2017 at 4:36 pm

    Tier: 4
    Grade: 3
    Classical: 99 Reading 99 Math
    Skinner: No offer

  • 85. hw  |  April 3, 2017 at 4:37 pm

    Tier 4
    RGC: 133
    Classical: Reading 98, Math 93
    No offers

  • 86. prouddada  |  April 3, 2017 at 4:39 pm

    Tier 4:
    RGC 132
    Classical 99.8 read/92 math

    Offered: Skinner North (were hoping for Edison as daughter is there)…

  • 87. Thisisnotfun  |  April 3, 2017 at 4:39 pm

    Tier 4, 1st grade
    RGC score: 127
    Reading: 99
    Math: 98
    Hawthorne waitlist: 49

    No offers. Any experienced parent think my kid will get a call for Skinner North (first choice) later down the road?

  • 88. Chicago School GPS  |  April 3, 2017 at 4:43 pm

    For those who applied to “non-entry” years (typically 1st grade on up except at Bell, Keller & Beaubien), many programs haven’t heard from parents whether a child is leaving the school or not. Oftentimes parents don’t tell a school until the start of summer, so if a spot opens up during the summer until early Sept, a family could get a call. Good luck!

  • 89. Non-entry year  |  April 3, 2017 at 4:45 pm

    For everyone applying for a non-entry year, probably 99.9% of us aren’t going to get an offer in this first round. It’s too early in the school year for most families to put in notice that they are leaving, thereby freeing up a slot. I think they add additional slots at 4th grade, so those families, along with the K and 1st graders, are just about the only ones to hear at this stage.

    For the rest of us, we just have to hang in there and wait for things to shake out. Good luck, everyone!

  • 90. Non-entry year  |  April 3, 2017 at 4:46 pm

    Ha, Chicago School GPS! We posted the same sentiment at the same time!

  • 91. MomofTwins  |  April 3, 2017 at 4:51 pm


    Disney is considered a good magnet school with relatively high achievement scores and is generally highly desirable. That being said, some parents of children with special needs have expressed disappointment and frustration, even to the point of leaving the school. The main thing to know about Disney is that it is BIG. The classroom are divided by moveable walls so it can also be noisy at times. Some students can concentrate just fine with this, others find it extremely distracting. Just think about your kid and what school would be the best fit. Also visit its website and see if the hours, curriculum offerings, etc feel right for you and your family.

  • 92. joec  |  April 3, 2017 at 4:55 pm

    My oldest goes to Bell Options (that’s what they call the gifted program). They have a very good program in a very good school. Bell does a lot of fundraisers so they’re able to fund a lot of extracurricular activities, even with the cps budget problems. For example, twice a week gym, Chinese language, Art, Music, and twice a week computer lab. That’s on top of the sports programs they have at the older grades. It’s a well balanced program.

  • 93. Mommyof1  |  April 3, 2017 at 4:58 pm


    My daughter attended Beasley Gifted for kindergarten and the kindergarten teacher Ms. Hickman is phenomenal. Also, the first grade gifted teacher is National Board certified. Every year Beasly gifted has students test into other “more desirable” programs as well if that is your end game. I highly recommend that you try it out for yourself at least for the first two years. Cons: the school is large and it has a bit of an edge to it, but we had a good experience.

  • 94. logan squarent  |  April 3, 2017 at 5:02 pm

    For statistics (and also bc I’m excited and don’t want to risk hurting parent friends’ feelings whose kids may not have done so well)

    Tier 3 R99.9 M98 / RGC122 (big disparity, but fits kiddo’s style)

    Skinner North – was 1st pick

  • 95. cpsmom  |  April 3, 2017 at 5:02 pm

    Tier 4
    Score 133
    Offered Lenart (2nd choice)

  • 96. Headed2Chicago  |  April 3, 2017 at 5:07 pm

    @momofTwins, thanks so much. This is helpful. We can live anywhere within ~30 mins of the Loop as we are relocating from out of state, and need to decide between the West Loop (Skinner West neighborhood), Bell/Coonley (non gifted), and Disney. It’s just hard to make up our minds when living out of state.

  • 97. bptandme  |  April 3, 2017 at 5:07 pm

    87. Thisisnotfun very likely

  • 98. logan squarent  |  April 3, 2017 at 5:11 pm

    @80 my understanding is there is a bus drop off for skinner north @ Darwin (Fullerton & Kedzie), so not so inconvenient in terms of drop off. We live in LS and while I was REALLY impressed with Seth Lavin (principal @ Brentano), we took the SN offer for sure. Also, while it’s easy to obsess, I’m sure your kiddo will do well either way!

  • 99. Neighborhoodschoolwins  |  April 3, 2017 at 5:13 pm

    1st Grade
    Tier 3

    RGC 124
    Reading 96
    Math 94

    Offered Beaubien

    We likely won’t be accepting and will be staying at the neighborhood school we have fallen in love with.

  • 100. allison  |  April 3, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    We just got the offer for Skinner North!

    Entering K
    Tier 4
    RGC 132, 99/98

  • 101. @newy  |  April 3, 2017 at 5:42 pm

    Entering 4th
    Applying from distance. (No tier?)
    RGC 145
    Didn’t get in our both choices of EGC and Coonley. Very surprised.

  • 102. rvdad  |  April 3, 2017 at 5:48 pm

    Tier 4
    Entering 1st
    RGC 131
    Reading 99
    Math 97

    Requested, in order:
    1. Bell RGC
    2. Coonley RGC
    3. Skinner West Classical
    4. Skinner North Classical
    5. Edison RGC
    6. Beaubien RGC

    Offered Beaubien
    1st on Coonley general waitlist

    We are currently at Oscar Mayer, which we love, but also would feel bad if we did not give him the opportunity of attending an RGC. Beaubien is out of the way for us in Roscoe Village. Wondering if we have any chance at Bell or Coonley RGC with a 131. Is that out of the question? I assume 1st on the Coonley waitlist will get in, right?

    If so, we’ve got to choose between keeping him at OM, commuting 5 miles up the Kennedy to Beaubien and back downtown to work, or accepting at Coonley magnet which is close to our house. We’re really grateful that we seem to have a lot of good options, but it’s tough to decide.

  • 103. In SN  |  April 3, 2017 at 6:02 pm

    We did this for fun and will not take up any offered seats.

    RGC 132
    First grade
    Tier 3
    Got Keller, didn’t get Edison or Coonley.

  • 104. RVmomma  |  April 3, 2017 at 6:02 pm

    Following and thank you CPSO!

  • 105. teachermom  |  April 3, 2017 at 6:03 pm

    1st grade
    RGC 133
    tier 2

    offer: Bell

    We will go on the tour, but are not going to accept the offer as we are VERY happy with the neighborhood school where we’ve been through preK and kindergarten, Brentano.

    Our classical scores are reading 86 and math 97. It really is interesting how different kids perform differently. My son can read now, but he started kindergarten not reading at all, and was solidly emergent in December when he tested.

    I was against going through the process of testing, but my partner wanted to prove a point. Point proven.

  • 106. Firstgrademom  |  April 3, 2017 at 6:05 pm

    Is the scoring for Kindergarten on a different scale than 1st grad and up still?

    Is K on an up to 160 scale and First Grade and up is on an upnto 150 scale?

    Thanks in advance.

  • 107. parent  |  April 3, 2017 at 6:06 pm

    My child already attends a SEES classical school, but I tested him again to try for a seat at a school that goes to 8th grade. No luck; He didn’t do too well, which is a little surprising considering his scores for 1st grade. Might have had an off day, or he’s supposed to stay where he is…
    Good Luck, Everyone!

  • 108. teachermom  |  April 3, 2017 at 6:08 pm

    @99 Neighborhoodschoolwins: Which one are you in love with?

  • 109. teachermom  |  April 3, 2017 at 6:12 pm

    @80 alulu: We are at Brentano and will be turning down our RGC offer for 1st grade.

    Brentano is seriously amazing. Feel free to email me if you want to chat (phone, FB, whatever works). I am a CPS teacher, and I feel blessed to be a Brentano parent.

    email: miscue13 at hotmail

  • 110. CMD  |  April 3, 2017 at 6:14 pm

    Tier 3
    Entering 5th
    RGC 143
    Reading 96
    Math 98
    1. Edison RGC
    2. Coonley RGC
    3. Bell RGC
    4. Skinner North
    5. Skinner West
    6. Pritzger RGC

    I should mention that she got into Skinner West for Kindergarten (elected not to send her). This time, she got an offer from Pritzger. No idea where we are on waitlists. We’re happy where we are (Agassiz in Lakeview, which we got into via the lottery, and which both my kids LOVE), and I have a younger kid in the same school. To just make things MORE complicated, both kids are type 1 diabetics who need medical support at school. We’ve had a hell of a time with the outsourced nursing service that’s just getting resolved after two years. We will likely pass on Prizger – we’d decided that we’d pull her for one of the top 3 that we chose, but Pritzger wasn’t one of them, it got added because it’s pretty close. If she doesn’t make into one of the three RGCs we prefer this year, we’ll wait for the AC test and see what happens. It’s a significant issue to pull a kid with a complex 504 plan from one school and get them appropriately set up in another. I’ll only do it if I really think it’s worth the effort. I know it probably makes me sound lazy, but between pumps and glucose monitors and insulin dosages and special fridge temps for the insulin, it’s a gigantic pain in the ass and Agassiz has been just awesome about supporting us.

  • 111. CMD  |  April 3, 2017 at 6:19 pm

    Whoops – other kid:
    Tier 3
    Entering 3rd
    RGC 129
    Reading 99
    Math 94

    No offers.
    Applied to the same schools in the same order as her sister.

    In cloud cuckoo land, both kids get offers to the same RGC. Also, I have a unicorn and am a size 2. All equally likely.

  • 112. CPS mom  |  April 3, 2017 at 6:20 pm

    Tier 4
    Score 133
    School admitted to Bell
    Grade entering 1st

  • 113. EdiKai  |  April 3, 2017 at 6:22 pm

    Waitlisted General 1 for 8th Grade at Ogden. Do we have any chance of getting in?

  • 114. Puzzling  |  April 3, 2017 at 6:36 pm

    Tier 4
    Score 123
    School admitted to Keller
    Grade entering 1st

    Probably accepting. But my child is already in a classical school for kindergarten and his math scores for math were surprisingly low to be doing double digit math in Kindergarten. He scored in the 68th percentile. I had him test out of curiosity, to see if the classical programs are up to snuff and measuring up to the tests that are given by IIT/CPS. So this means that if he weren’t already in a classical school, he wouldn’t have been accepted to a classical school. This whole process is puzzling and semi-criminal.

  • 115. VannaB  |  April 3, 2017 at 6:37 pm

    Tier 1
    Entering K
    RGC 133
    Reading 97/Math 82
    Accepted- Edison!

  • 116. RVparents  |  April 3, 2017 at 6:46 pm

    Tier 4
    entering 1st
    no offers

  • 117. LVWAZNs  |  April 3, 2017 at 6:55 pm

    Tier 4
    RGC 128

    Got into Skinner N. but neighborhood school is Burley, anyone with experience at both?

  • 118. @newy  |  April 3, 2017 at 7:08 pm

    With Gifted 145, is there any possibility to get in Edison or Coonley at the second round for 4th grade? Anybody with any experience???

  • 119. bptandme  |  April 3, 2017 at 7:31 pm

    106. Firstgrademom yep

  • 120. Tier4mama  |  April 3, 2017 at 7:31 pm

    Is the scoring for Kindergarten on a different scale than 1st grad and up still?Is K on an up to 160 scale and First Grade and up is on an upnto 150 scale?
    Thanks in advance.

    The scales on both tests go up to 160. The comment in the letter indicates that some schools for K had scores as high as 160 and some schools in 1st had scores as high as 150. It means the competition is higher for K but we all not that. More people take it at K than 1st grade. Also, RGC/gifted test scores aren’t as reliable at younger ages. Kids regress towards the mean as they age. Thus, its more common to get really high scores when you are younger than when you are older. This probably accounts for slightly lower scores for entrance in 1st.

    Either way, 150 and 160 is really high. 130 and above is 98-99%.

  • 121. Jen  |  April 3, 2017 at 7:38 pm

    Tier 4
    Entering 1st
    RGC 138
    Reading 99
    Math 97

    Offered Beaubien, which was first choice, due to proximity and positive tour experience. Bell was second choice, which also was a positive tour experience. Does anyone have any input as to the differences in the 2 schools? Would it be worth the much farther commute from Norwood park to try for Bell over Beaubien? Based on the scores posted thus far it looks like we would have a good chance at Bell. Thanks, and good luck to everyone!

  • 122. Dad423  |  April 3, 2017 at 7:43 pm

    Can you accept into a SEES and keep getting offers from Magnets? I don’t want to do something wrong, but wanted to see what my options are.

    Tier 3
    RGC – 133
    Reading 90/Math 97

    Offered NTA
    Waitlisted for Magnets – Skinner, Lasalle II, Jackson, Mitchell

  • 123. Sarah  |  April 3, 2017 at 7:54 pm

    Entering K.
    RGC score: 148
    Tier 1

    Applied to:
    1) Coonley
    2) Edison
    3) Pritzger

    Offered first choice of Coonley. We will probably accept.

  • 124. AB1216  |  April 3, 2017 at 8:10 pm

    Tier 4
    RGC score – 146
    Offered Coonley (first choice)
    Entering K

    Our neighborhood school is Audubon and my daughter goes to Pre-K there now. I was NOT expecting an offer at Coonley with a score of 146 in Tier 4, and I am very surprised. I would have been very happy at Audubon. We are doing a tour and want to find out more about the program, but we will most likely accept the offer.

  • 125. cpsobsessed  |  April 3, 2017 at 8:14 pm

    @118 Newy – regarding getting into Edison or Coonley for 4th grade with 145.
    The score is likely, but much of it depends on if/how many kids leave the class (or the school decides to expand the class by a kid or 2.)
    Each of those schools have only 1 class per grade, and usually there is maybe just 1-2 kids who leaves in a given year, if any.

    So basically other people’s life decisions will determine if anyone gets a spot. But I’d assume your child would be at/near the top of the list.

  • 126. Thisisnotfun  |  April 3, 2017 at 8:20 pm

    1. Do classical schools (i.e. Skinner North) have waiting lists? Or you just wait to see if you’re called without knowing where you stand a chance?
    2. About how many non entry grade slots are open after the first round do you think??

  • 127. rebelgirls  |  April 3, 2017 at 8:31 pm

    @Mommyof1 thank you!

  • 128. Thisisnotfun  |  April 3, 2017 at 8:39 pm

    Turns out I have more questions!
    3. After the first round for non entry level grades, does it still matter what tier you’re in?
    4. After the first round, does the system still take into account what your first choice school is?

    Thank you!! Confused and couldn’t find these answers anywhere else!

  • 129. quandary  |  April 3, 2017 at 8:56 pm

    I feel this is an embarrassment of riches, but youngest kiddo (for K) scored 99.8R/99M and 146. Got offered Edison. First choice, but Decatur is 2nd – wondering if she would get an offer there with her scores on second round if Edison’s style wouldn’t suit her..?

    BUT – Biggest issue at hand – she benefits from the sibling admittance for Disney II (current 3rd grader). Is SO set on joining her sibling there, but…Edison? Eeek, so tempting! We are in a quandary. Older sibling loves D2 (but seems sometimes a bit bored), and she has already bonded with the kindergarten teachers. It’s a wonderful school.

    We’re going to tour Edison on Wednesday. If we accept D2 sibling spot, will that eliminate further possible offers from RGC/classicals if we decide Edison is not for her? Or, are they unrelated?

  • 130. shanthikoduru  |  April 3, 2017 at 9:02 pm

    RGC 135 Applied to 1. Edison 2. Keller3. Coonley 4. Bell. Selected for Keller. But doesn’t work for us. What are chances for Coonley and Bell ?

  • 131. MathTeacher  |  April 3, 2017 at 9:13 pm

    Tier 3
    RGC 139
    Admitted to Bell
    1st grade

    Magnet Schools offered (will not accept)

    We also have some low waitlist scores:
    Boone 1
    Goudy 6
    Ravenswood 6

  • 132. MathTeacher  |  April 3, 2017 at 9:20 pm

    Made a mistake. Her score was 129, not 139

  • 133. BH123  |  April 3, 2017 at 9:24 pm

    tier 4
    entering K
    RGC 133
    reading 99.9 / math 84
    offered Skinner North, first choice

  • 134. 1MoreSouthSider  |  April 3, 2017 at 9:28 pm

    Tier 3
    RGC 129
    R 99 M 95
    Offered McDade
    Grade K

  • 135. cpsobsessed  |  April 3, 2017 at 9:36 pm

    @130 – what tier?

  • 136. Mike  |  April 3, 2017 at 9:37 pm

    My child was accepted to Poe. Anyone know anything about Poe ? Good School ? Was our. Fourth choice

  • 137. Chris  |  April 3, 2017 at 9:42 pm

    Any accepted Decatur classical Kindergarten?
    Please post score and tier please.
    R93 M90 – selected Decatur only due to far NW T4 location. Thanks.

  • 138. Chris  |  April 3, 2017 at 9:49 pm

    @137- sorry, no offer 🙁

  • 139. geographymattersmost  |  April 3, 2017 at 9:52 pm

    Entering 3rd

    RGC score 112
    Classical Reading: 99 Math: 99

    Offered Skinner West

    Will decline.

  • 140. Anonymous  |  April 3, 2017 at 9:54 pm

    Need advice. Our order of schools were 1. Edison2. Keller 3. Coonley and 4. Bell. Got selected for Keller first grade. We cannot go south side but if we don’t take Keller in round 1, would pool consider rest of the three or just Edison?

  • 141. HappyDad  |  April 3, 2017 at 10:00 pm

    Entering K
    Tier 4
    RGC = 149
    Got our first choice of Pritzker.

  • 142. Southsidernotstressed  |  April 3, 2017 at 10:07 pm

    We have to decide between Poe and Hawthorne all feedback would be greatly appreciated no need to discuss distance Poe is near home and Hawthorne not far from work so thats a draw.

  • 143. Beyonce  |  April 3, 2017 at 10:17 pm

    My child got the exact same score as a commentator whose child was accepted into a RGC. Mine was not accepted. Did the tier play a part in that? I’m tier 4.

  • 144. Tier4mama  |  April 3, 2017 at 10:19 pm

    Yes, Beyonce. The higher the tier, the higher the score usually has to be.

  • 145. Decisions  |  April 3, 2017 at 10:27 pm

    Tier 4
    Accepted Disney
    Waitlist Jackson 20
    Waitlist Stem 3
    Waitlist Skinner 94

  • 146. ConfusedDad  |  April 3, 2017 at 10:27 pm

    Tier 4
    RgC 134
    Reading 99 math 97
    Entering first
    We got bell, 4th option after Edison, and two skinners. We were thinking of moving to suburbs which has gifted programs after 3rd grade. I’d appreciate if anyone can share wisdom if we should rather start gifted program early and take Bell. Thank you!

  • 147. Nervousmom  |  April 3, 2017 at 10:31 pm

    Entering K
    RGC =141
    Offered Pritzker

    Anyone else child will be going here?

  • 148. info for you  |  April 3, 2017 at 10:34 pm

    More stats:

    Tier 4
    Entering 1st
    RGC – 123 (drop from last year 135)
    Reading – 99
    Math – 97

    No offers

  • 149. Desiontobemade  |  April 3, 2017 at 10:36 pm

    Entering K
    Tier 4
    RGC score 141

    Got accepted to Edison
    Older brother is in Beaubien’s RGC (super close to our home).
    Feedback on Edison appreciated and wondering if going to Edison is good decision when we will hope she’ll get into Beaubien for 1st grade.

  • 150. herewegoagain  |  April 3, 2017 at 10:37 pm

    Entering 2nd grade

    RGC 127
    Classical 99M 97R

    What is our chance to get a later round offer for any of these:


    thank you

  • 151. westtownmom  |  April 3, 2017 at 11:00 pm

    entering K, rgc142 97M/99.9 R Tier 4
    offered Skinner West, first choice, but now second guessing. Any thoughts on if we decline we might get an offer at SN? Also anyone with any experiences at Skinner West?

  • 152. Finally!  |  April 3, 2017 at 11:03 pm

    Tier 4, Entering 3rd

    Classical: Reading – 99, Math – 99
    Offered first choice, Decatur. We will accept.

  • 153. Tryingtohelp  |  April 3, 2017 at 11:15 pm


    Historically, classical and RGC schools do NOT have a waiting list that is visible to schools or the public. Schools are sent the info for kids who get offers and they reach out to them with open house info, etc. If a parent declines the offer, then OAE notifies another kid and gives the school that name. And so on, until every seat is full. I have heard of people getting a nice person at OAE on the phone and finding out where their kid is in the list, do that they can gauge probability more accurately and make other school plans, if necessary. The list keeps in motion all spring, summer and a little of the fall (until October), so do not give up.

  • 154. TestsTestsTests  |  April 3, 2017 at 11:18 pm

    @118 Newy – regarding getting into Edison or Coonley for 4th grade with 145: My child got into Coonley in 4th with the same score but was not in the first round.

    @150 herewegoagain — one of my other kids entered one of the RGCs you listed in 2nd with a score of 141. Not sure what score your child will need.

  • 155. cpsobsessed  |  April 3, 2017 at 11:26 pm


    Turns out I have more questions!
    3. After the first round for non entry level grades, does it still matter what tier you’re in?
    4. After the first round, does the system still take into account what your first choice school is?

    Thank you!! Confused and couldn’t find these answers anywhere else!

    #3 – tiers only matter for the entry year at a school.

    #4 – yes, your ranking still is taken into account. when spots open, they’ll work the way down the list and they’ll try to match you to your highest choice first.

  • 156. cpsobsessed  |  April 3, 2017 at 11:29 pm

    @126/thisisnot fun

    2. About how many non entry grade slots are open after the first
    round do you think??

    #2 – this one is hard to predict. People sometimes turn down those offers as they realize they don’t want to move a kid who’s gotten used to their current school. Plus after the first round, schools often still don’t know who is leaving quite yet. So it can take a few rounds and/or into the summer for these spots to slowly open.

  • 157. Thisisnotfun  |  April 3, 2017 at 11:30 pm

    Thank you “trying to help” and cpsobsessed! Now maybe I can actually fall sleep….!!

  • 158. AmyB  |  April 4, 2017 at 12:22 am

    Entering 3rd
    99 Reading / 99 Math
    148.5 RGC
    Applied Skinner North and Skinner West (older sibling at Skinner West)
    No offers yet

    When our daughter entered 3rd, she had scores in the very high 90s (I don’t recall exactly but I think 98 Reading / 99 Math). We got the call/email with the offer from Skinner West during the first week of August. They filled two spots that year.

  • 159. laissez-faire-mom  |  April 4, 2017 at 4:31 am

    Tier: 3
    RGC Score: 148
    School admitted to: Coonley (first RGC choice)
    Grade entering: K

    Sibling currently in 3rd grade at Skinner North.

    Only other offer was from Jamieson.

  • 160. @newy  |  April 4, 2017 at 5:47 am

    Thanks CPSOBSSESSED and TestsTestsTests.

    Laissez-faire-mom, what do you think about Skinner North? Do they accelerate the kids individaully? Is there a chance for kids to take high school courses at 7 & 8th grades like RGBs?

  • 161. laissez-faire-mom  |  April 4, 2017 at 6:08 am


    In general, I highly recommend Skinner North. Within the classroom, students are typically divided into approximately 3 groups (determined by testing).

    Math is taught well. Since the middle of 2nd grade, my son’s NWEA math scores have been off the chart. This means he has consistently scored higher than 11th grade students and is in the top 1%.

    His NWEA reading scores soared off the charts in 2nd grade as well.

    I don’t know operational details of the upper grades, but I imagine there are similar opportunities to RGBs.

  • 162. Norwood  |  April 4, 2017 at 6:18 am

    @146 ConfusedDad. The first grade teacher at Bell started the gifted programs in Chicago. After 25 years of teaching in the same classroom, her curriculum is breathtaking. If you can put off moving to the suburbs for one year and rethink after that..

    @77 cpssavvy. yes, it is too good to turn down.

  • 163. Viktoria  |  April 4, 2017 at 6:26 am

    @quandary are you getting a private tour at Edison? I thought all school tours were over.

  • 164. Please Decline Alulu  |  April 4, 2017 at 7:11 am

    @80 alulu

    Please decline and continue with your neighborhood school if you are happy with curriculum, commute and a guaranteed sibling seat. Many people opt for classical and gifted school because they are unhappy with their neighborhood school and they want more challenge for their kid. kids commute 8-9 miles each day to get to these schools. Year after year the kids take the test because they want to get into a particular school. Tier 4 kids can not dare getting into Skinner North or Decatur without a perfect score.

    So, if you have doubt accepting these offers then please decline at your earliest so somebody else who truly wants to get in can utilize that spot.

  • 165. @newy  |  April 4, 2017 at 7:27 am

    @laissez-faire-mom thanks so much for your kind response. With considering your DS, it seems the school advances farther the kid who excels without grade level boundaries. Is that correct? I was considering to give up skinner North for the second round of RGB opportunities but not sure if we can get a chance at Edison or Coonley. I know Edison had only one opening for the first round at 4th. Any thoughts?

  • 166. Skinner North mom  |  April 4, 2017 at 7:31 am

    1st grade
    99 Reading
    97 Math
    Applied for Skinner North- no offer
    Last year she was 98 reading and 96 math and was offered Skinner West. Turned down for private, but still trying to get her at school with her brother. What are the chances?

  • 167. Back@itagain  |  April 4, 2017 at 7:32 am

    NTA RGC K offers?? Please post scores

  • 168. SoHappy  |  April 4, 2017 at 7:43 am

    Entering K

    RGC – 148
    Tier 2

    Pritzker-1st choice because we have a sibling there. 🙂

    Congrats to HappyDad and NervousMom. We’ll be at a great school!

  • 169. rebelgirls  |  April 4, 2017 at 8:05 am

    @Back@itagain — Yes, I’d like to see NTA K scores as well. This was our #1 choice and we seem to have just missed the cutoff based on the 133 Tier 3 someone posted above. 😦 Hopefully, can get in during a future round…

  • 170. quandary  |  April 4, 2017 at 8:38 am

    @Viktoria – re: Edison. I saw there was an Open House listed on their site for tomorrow from 9-10 (or maybe 10:30). I will be calling today to confirm that it’s still happening and prospective students’ families can attend. I hope so – it will be a BIG part of our decision. Had a long talk with a friend who has one kiddo at Disney II (with our oldest) and another (older) child at Edison, so now feel like both places will give great education possibilities but have different approaches a bit. So we are looking to see the best fit for our youngest. Hoping to decide soon.

    For “second round”, do the schools wait for after 4/24 and do a “wave” of offers, or do they just go to the next person on the list right away? Meaning, if we decide NOT to take the spot, is it better to do so ASAP in order to help out other parents who might want the spot?

  • 171. datagirl  |  April 4, 2017 at 8:46 am

    I’m surprised by the 141 Tier 4 acceptance to Edison for K in the first round; this is lower then we’ve seen in the past few years. Is this a type-o (maybe 151?) or are scores lower this year??

  • 172. Back@itagain  |  April 4, 2017 at 9:08 am

    @rebelgirls I’ve only seen a couple of scores listed. We got 129 RGC score Tier 3, but much higher scores for Classical and received an offer elsewhere. NTA is 1st choice because sibling is there, so I need comparison scores ASAP so I can weigh the odds of declining current offer and getting NTA in future.

    @datagirl, I’m noticing the scores are overall lower than when I went through this process 3 years ago.

  • 173. parent  |  April 4, 2017 at 9:20 am

    The scores do seem lower. Sometimes people make mistakes when they type their scores here, or they are wrong about their tier.
    I see someone above says they got into Skinner North, tier 4, with
    99.8 read/92 math — but I am guessing that is a mistake of some kind. (score or tier)

  • 174. BellRGC  |  April 4, 2017 at 9:51 am

    1st Grade
    Tier 4
    RGC 136
    Offered Bell (will accept)

  • 175. Northside  |  April 4, 2017 at 9:57 am

    @162 Norwood Can you comment on what it is that is so impressive about the 1st grade curriculum at Bell?

  • 176. aqqua  |  April 4, 2017 at 10:06 am

    Entering K
    Tier 4
    Classical: 99.9, 99.9
    RGC: 141

    Offered: Disney, Edison
    Accepted: Edison

  • 177. #cpsneighboorhoodschools  |  April 4, 2017 at 10:07 am

    @164 Please Decline Alulu

    That is completely unfair. People apply to selective enrollment schools for many reasons. I’m a huge advocate of neighborhood schools, but every family has to make a choice based on what is best for their child and their family. Alulu is under no obligation to make a choice for someone else’s benefit.

    Beyond that, the quality of the neighborhood schools in your area is actually a factor in your tier. CPS addresses the discrepency without putting undue responsibility on any one family to make a choice that is anything other than the best choice for their own child.

    While Brentano is a great school, it wasn’t always like that. The neighborhood has also undergone significant gentrification. Maybe Alulu’s home will be in a different tier soon. But why would any parent make a choice for THEIR kid based on some other hypothetical student’s potential needs?

    I’m a tier 2 parent whose child applied to Skinner North. We have a pretty crappy neighborhood school, but we also have other options. I certainly wouldn’t expect Alulu to turn down an offer based on the fact that it would push my kid up one spot on the invisible tier 2 wait list.

  • 178. Jen  |  April 4, 2017 at 10:17 am

    @162 Norwood
    I also would love to hear more about the Bell 1st grade curriculum. For everyone: I’m wondering how Bell compares to Beaubien overall, as I tend to hear a lot of great comments about Bell, but not much at all about Beaubien. Also living in Norwood, and working west, wondering if Bell is much better and worth the difficult wrong way commute or long bus ride for my child. Thanks!

  • 179. NotSoMuch  |  April 4, 2017 at 10:20 am

    Entering 2nd
    Tier 4
    Reading: 94
    Math: 98
    Offered: Nothing
    (1st choice SkinnerNo, Decatur)
    (Didn’t test for Gifted)

  • 180. rebelgirls  |  April 4, 2017 at 10:22 am

    @Back@itagain, it looks like we’re in a very similar boat! Also Tier 3 129 hoping for NTA in later round. How would they choose between the 2 of us, alphabetically? 😂

  • 181. It'sTime  |  April 4, 2017 at 10:29 am

    Has CPS ever gone below the cutoffs when there are spaces that still need to be filled late in the game? Just curious.

  • 182. Southside Dad  |  April 4, 2017 at 10:47 am

    Has anyone received the results for paper based applications yet?

  • 183. NikNak  |  April 4, 2017 at 10:58 am

    No paper results yet for us and the mail came an hour ago.

  • 184. Beaubien Offer  |  April 4, 2017 at 11:13 am

    I emailed with Beaubien. Those with offers should expect more info Wednesday–not sure if by mail or email–and a tour is planned for 9am on Thursday, April 20th.

  • 185. So over option's stress  |  April 4, 2017 at 1:06 pm

    For the purpose of score posting. Entering 4th grade, Tier 4. RGS 146. Received first offer Bell. Contemplating acceptance of offer.

  • 186. cpsobsessed  |  April 4, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    I don’t know details about Beaubien, but I know someone who’s child went there from maybe 4-8th RGC? Liked it a lot, and is now going to Payton, along with several classmates. so they must be doing something right.
    I think both Bell and Beaubien are very good. I don’t like commuting, so I’d like choose whichever was closest to me (unless there was something about the admin or school vibe that drew me to one or the other.) Based on all I’ve heard I don’t know that one has a strong advantage over the other, except for personal pref.

  • 187. chicagomom1  |  April 4, 2017 at 1:17 pm

    @181 – No CPS won’t go below cutoff.

    @178 – A neighbor of mine goes to Bell RGC she’s about 8 miles from the school. The bus ride is not a problem because a lot of her classmates enjoy the ride with her. She loves the program. Why don’t you try it for a year and see how it is for your child? I’ve heard great things about the 1st grade teacher too. Good luck!

  • 188. HolySmoke  |  April 4, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    @178 – with such a high score that your child got , you can certainly get Bell

  • 189. cpssavvy  |  April 4, 2017 at 1:24 pm

    We are in the same boat. We had chosen Bell as we felt daughter was under challenged at her current magnet. And her brother was leaving for high school anyway. Now we wish we had chosen skinner north as that location world work well with her brother in Lincoln park HS.

    Is this an offer something that’s so good, it shouldn’t be turned down?

  • 190. Skinner North Mom  |  April 4, 2017 at 1:42 pm

    @160. @newy | April 4, 2017 at 5:47 am

    Thanks CPSOBSSESSED and TestsTestsTests.
    Laissez-faire-mom, what do you think about Skinner North? Do they accelerate the kids individaully? Is there a chance for kids to take high school courses at 7 & 8th grades like RGBs?

    I think you mean an RGC, right? If so, yes, Skinner North kids are doing accelerated (high school) work in 7th and 8th grades. However,RGCs and classical schools cannot offer actual CPS high school credit, like academic centers can. The upper grade math teacher at SN just won the Golden Apple award–she is amazing and really challenges the students!

  • 191. MakingaDecision  |  April 4, 2017 at 1:44 pm

    Does anyone have intel on Keller? Curriculum, culture and climate, teachers, homework, high schools that graduates mostly attend.
    Thanks in advance,

  • 192. Nervousmom  |  April 4, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    How is Pritzker RGC?? I’m so nervous and happy at the same time. My eldest child will be there.

  • 193. Chris  |  April 4, 2017 at 1:59 pm

    “@178 – with such a high score that your child got , you can certainly get Bell”

    For that to happen, one of the accepted kids has to decline the offer, first. If all the kids with initial offers accept, then there is no spot open for anyone else.

  • 194. Social1  |  April 4, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    Perhaps I missed them, but I haven’t seen any other Lenart acceptances. I know the majority of the posters are up north and the school is south, maybe that’s why. It still stood out to me.

  • 195. It'sTime  |  April 4, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    For those who tested early in November so you could get your scores early, do you recommend it, or do you have any regrets?

  • 196. ssmomof2  |  April 4, 2017 at 3:12 pm

    We were accepted at Lenart for third grade. We haven’t made a decision about accepting.

  • 197. Social1  |  April 4, 2017 at 3:18 pm

    @it’s time, I definitely recommend early testing. It allows you to know if your child is eligible for programs and rank your selections appropriately. Also, it works in your favor for scoring. The younger your child is, the less they are expected to know. So, their score will be higher because they are so young and bright. As they get older, the expectations go up and might result in a lower score. I really glad we tested early and I recommend it as well.

  • 198. HappyDad  |  April 4, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    @197 Social1 – Pretty sure month/age based adjustment for test results went away a year or two ago, so that isn’t a valid reason for early testing anymore.

  • 199. dadrocker  |  April 4, 2017 at 3:58 pm

    We did not get an offer. I’ve now seen two separate reports here of K offers to RGC schools in the same tier and with the same score. Those offers were from our #2 school, so I guess that explains it. But it did have me wondering what happens in the case where there’s only one spot left, but there is a tie on score, tier, and preference. Anybody know?

  • 200. Curious123  |  April 4, 2017 at 4:05 pm

    @newy – with RGC score 145, entering 4th grade, pretty high chances of getting into Coonley at least. My son has offer from Coonley at 146, tier 4.

  • 201. NewLenartParent  |  April 4, 2017 at 4:05 pm

    @Social1 #194. Accepted at Lenart but we live south will accept.

  • 202. BellRGC  |  April 4, 2017 at 4:12 pm

    Early testing did not work well for us last year and late testing his year worked in our favor. Scores are scaled to birth month, and so many other factors can influence score, including uncontrollable factors like how good a day your child is having on test day. i would schedule based on when you think your child will do best, even if it’s after the early deadline.

  • 203. Curious123  |  April 4, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    @ 154 TestsTestsTests – can you please share some insights into Coonley 4th graders program? Like languages, STEM, sports, art, music, parent funding and involvement? How do they group kids to keep them adequately challenged? Also do they teach any programming language?

    We have offer from Coonley. Entering 4th grade and considering it.

  • 204. bbbush  |  April 4, 2017 at 4:56 pm

    Tier 4
    Score RGC 133, Classical reading percentile 99, math percentil 94
    School admitted to: Bell
    Grade entering: 1

  • 205. Proudmama  |  April 4, 2017 at 5:26 pm

    Tier 4

    No offers

  • 206. LaneBrainMom  |  April 4, 2017 at 5:31 pm

    Reading 88
    Math 81
    We are at Inter- American prek and our daughter was offered Decatur Classical for K…she has a younger brother who can automatically go to Iams …what would you do? Any feedback in both schools welcomed to help us make our decision to keep her put or move her to Decatur. Thanks

  • 207. LaneBrainMom  |  April 4, 2017 at 5:46 pm

    Would appreciate feedback on Decatur for kinder. Please email me Erikaga3@aol.com.

  • 208. TestsTestsTests  |  April 4, 2017 at 5:48 pm

    @203 Curious123: Coonley 4th graders take Spanish, have PE twice a week (there are also some teams that are parent-run), have music and art each week, get plenty of opportunity to use Chromebooks for all kinds of things (actually a bit too much for that age, if you ask me). There are also several options for after-school activities (both free and paid), as well as after-care provided at school by NBGC. Parents seem involved and appear to do a good job fundraising. There does not seem to be much in the way of differentation, though.

  • 209. rvdad  |  April 4, 2017 at 5:53 pm

    @Proudmama – Not sure what grade your child is entering, but if those scores are for K or 1st, I think you have a great chance of getting an offer in a later round. Our son had similar scores last year for K (Tier 4 – RGC-131 and Classical-86R/84M). While we did not receive any initial offers, we got a letter last June asking us to apply to a select number of RGCs and Classicals.

  • 210. Proudmama  |  April 4, 2017 at 6:08 pm

    Hi! The scores are for K. That’s great!! Do you remember what schools they were offering to you? We are in Roscoe village, so trying to keep it somewhat convenient. Thanks so much!!

  • 211. Headed2Chicago  |  April 4, 2017 at 6:09 pm

    This is hard to do long distance. I assume if the entering grade is second grade, with a score of 99 in Reading, and 82 in Math, there is no chance whatsoever of getting an offer later in the year.

    In which case we should go with Disney (magnet offer but far) or pick a neighborhood with a good school to move to. We are considering Skinner West or Bell. Any idea on how I can find parents that have kids at the (non-gifted) programs within these schools to help decide between these two schools?

    Thanks very much for any insight from all of you local parents.

  • 212. Richard Richards  |  April 4, 2017 at 6:09 pm

    Tried posting a while back but no answer, so here goes again in case anyone new knows…

    My child was testing for K but we only got scores for RGC without scores for Classical Reading and Writing percentiles. We only applied for RGC programs, but I thought all kids going into K were given both tests?

    Can anyone confirm that I should have gotten both scores or did other parents who only applied to RGC programs with kids going into K get only RGC scores with no reading/writing breakdown?


  • 213. @newy  |  April 4, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    Does anybody know 4th grade program of Skinner North?
    e.g. Do they have Band or full orchestra?
    Any Math clubs? what kind of Math competition do they attend?
    Any science, STEM clubs?
    Parent involvement?
    Teachers, Art program, communication with administration?
    Individualized differentiation in academics or challenges for individual?
    and so on..
    Thanks in advance!

  • 214. rvdad  |  April 4, 2017 at 6:41 pm

    The available K schools were Carnegie RGC, and McDade and Poe Classical. They were too far for us (and probably for you too) and we love his current school (Mayer) so we didn’t apply.

    There were a few other schools on the list for 1st grade. The closest grade 1 school to Roscoe Village was Beaubien.

    It seems like scores are a bit down this year so maybe there will be better options for you this year. You may get into Bell for 1st grade next year if scores are similar. We are in RV also and wondering if a 131 will be high enough for Bell in round 2.

  • 215. 1MoreSouthSider  |  April 4, 2017 at 6:57 pm

    @Richard Richards you should have applied to take 2 tests RGC & Classical, both of which would have been administered at same sitting.

  • 216. Puzzling  |  April 4, 2017 at 7:01 pm

    Scores are lower this year. If you compare to the cut offs for classical last year (80th percentile) the new cut off for this year is lower (75th percentile). It indicates the change on the letters. I don’t know if the means have moved, or if the requirements only have changed because scores overall are coming back low.

  • 217. In SN  |  April 4, 2017 at 7:03 pm

    @ 212. Richard Richards

    Same here.

  • 218. In SN  |  April 4, 2017 at 7:04 pm

    But we took both tests separately for 1st grade.

  • 219. Thisisnotfun  |  April 4, 2017 at 7:29 pm

    Anyone have any language/text to suggest using when calling schools to show interest and/or digging for waitlist info?

    A parent said sometimes a nice OAE employee will tell you where your child stands on the list….Any language suggestions for calling that office?

  • 220. Mom2Three  |  April 4, 2017 at 7:56 pm

    @49 dad@lenart-K

    Are you switching from Lenart to Keller? May I ask why?

  • 221. herewegoagain  |  April 4, 2017 at 7:56 pm

    Has anyone previously got a late round offer from Coonley, Bell or Beaubien for 2nd grade RGC with a score 127?

    thank you

  • 222. Chris  |  April 4, 2017 at 7:57 pm

    @206 LainBrainMom
    May I know what TIER please?
    Thank you

  • 223. momofboys  |  April 4, 2017 at 8:03 pm

    Entering Kinder
    Tier 4
    RGC 138
    reading 90 math 86

    No offers-These are our choices and order 😦

    Edison RGC 1
    Coonley RGC 2
    Decatur Classical 3

  • 224. Dad423  |  April 4, 2017 at 8:07 pm

    Entering K
    Tier 3
    RGC – 133
    Reading – 90
    Math 97

    Offered NTA

    Does anyone have any feedback on the RGC at NTA? It would be much appreciated.

    Congratulations to all those who were offered! This is such stressful process…

    Hang in there and thank you for all the comments and feedback thus far.

  • 225. LaneBrainMom  |  April 4, 2017 at 8:36 pm

    Tier 2

  • 226. 3tabc  |  April 4, 2017 at 8:42 pm

    Entering 1st grade
    Tier 3
    Reading: 99%
    Maths: 97%
    RGC 134

    The school we applied and in this order: SN SW NTA and Pritzker.

    She was offered Pritzker, but we will have to turn down the offer, as we are more interested in SN or SW, much much closer to our house. I am wondering if anyone knows the possibility of having a spot from SN or SW in the following rounds?

    The other question is:

    We received a form from from my daughter’s current school, asking us whether we will be returning for the 1st grade: 1. return. 2. not return. 3. undecided.

    We are waiting for a possible spot in SN or SW. If there is no spot offered, we will stay where we are. If she is offered a spot in SN or SW, we will switch to SN or SW.

    For this form, should we choose 1. return or 2 undecided? Thank you very much.

  • 227. Chris  |  April 4, 2017 at 8:45 pm

    Thank you so much LaneBrainMom. That gives us hope 😀

  • 228. Confuse mom  |  April 4, 2017 at 8:49 pm

    My daughter got

    Reading: 90
    Math: 94
    And RGC: 115

    No offer yet but applied to 1)Keller 2)Mcdade 3)lenart what are the chances we get in later?

  • 229. Curious123  |  April 4, 2017 at 8:55 pm

    @TestsTestsTests, thank you very much! That helps.

  • 230. Skinner North mom  |  April 4, 2017 at 8:56 pm

    Right now there aren’t any openings at SN and none of the families have indicated they are leaving. I am hoping for my daughter also but it isn’t looking good. SW only has one classroom so not sure about that school either.

  • 231. 3tabc  |  April 4, 2017 at 9:04 pm

    @Skinner North mom

    Thanks for the information. We are probably in the same boat. My daughter has the same score as yours, for entering 1st grade. We are hoping for a spot in SN or SW.

    If we are waiting for a potential spot (that may or may not come), how should we reply to the current school now, 1 she will return, or 3 undecided?

    Thanks a lot!

  • 232. Thisisnotfun  |  April 4, 2017 at 9:06 pm

    Skinner north mom—did you call skinner north to get this info?? So disappointing…..

  • 233. humboldt park mom  |  April 4, 2017 at 9:07 pm

    Tier 3
    RGC 125
    Math 90
    Reading 83
    No SEES or magnet offers.

    Galileo – WL 9
    Disney II – WL 4
    Lasalle – WL 12
    Older sib at Skinner West and waitlisted #15 for sibling. assuming sib list is a crapshoot..
    Any thoughts on Galileo versus Disney II?

  • 234. prouddada  |  April 4, 2017 at 9:09 pm

    @173 @parent Nope, the scores and Tier are correct for the Skinner North acceptance. 99.8/92 and Tier 4 for K. Scores are down this year apparently. Surprised by the 141 and Edison offers as well….Congrats to everyone!

  • 235. parent  |  April 4, 2017 at 9:11 pm

    211, Headed2Chicago,
    Both Skinner West and Bell are good schools, but different. If you don’t know Chicago at all, the main difference (IMO) will be the neighborhoods. Skinner West is just west of downtown and is mostly condos / apartments – very urban, lots of big old buildings that are being renovated / and new construction. That area has been recently sort of turned around — maybe 10 yrs ago it was sort of sketchy, but now there’s tons of new development there, restaurants, etc (which is why Skinner West is overcrowded, but is getting an addition I think?). The Bell area has a lot of high end houses with yards (some condos, but a very different feel to it, more neighborhood-y, older trees and buildings, less like you are in downtown). It’s one of the 100 yr old schools that have the big high ceilings, big wide staircases. Skinner West is a newer building. You should definitely drive around both areas before making a choice. There are some nice areas near Disney (Andersonville, etc) too. As people have mentioned, Disney is a also a good choice for some families – it is a huge school and because of the “pod” set up (no real walls) it can be distracting for some kids, just not a good fit. Some people love it. It isn’t much farther than Bell from downtown, if you’re taking public transportation – you can live close to the red line so it’s a quick trip. I personally know families at all three schools who are all enthusiastic about them.

  • 236. Skinner North mom  |  April 4, 2017 at 9:14 pm

    If it’s a public school, I would just tell them that she will return. You aren’t obligated to let them know your plans and you could always change your mind.

  • 237. cpsobsessed  |  April 4, 2017 at 9:15 pm

    @211- I believe Skinner West is having some space issues due to the school and neighborhood getting so popular. That might give me pause, personally and it can make things dicey when people are having to negotiate for space.
    But both Bell and SW are great schools in different neighborhoods, so if one is more convenient for work, I don’t think you can go wrong with either.
    Oops, I see someone else said basically the same thing. Agree about their assessment of the neighborhoods. Different vibes so you may feel more interested in one neighborhood vs the other based on your interests.

  • 238. Thisisnotfun  |  April 4, 2017 at 9:19 pm

    Skinner north mom—hope you didn’t think I was saying YOU (calling) was disappointing! I meant the info of it not looking good for any of us was disappointing. Realized after I sent that could have been misunderstood. Thanks!

  • 239. CPS mom  |  April 4, 2017 at 9:22 pm

    Any thoughts on Decatur vs. Bell…? Thank you…

  • 240. 3tabc  |  April 4, 2017 at 9:24 pm

    @ Skinner North mom

    It is a public school. We will say she will return from now, and will update the school later if any spot from SN or SW is offered to her in the later rounds. Thank you so much!

  • 241. SN 1st grade 99/97 no offer in past  |  April 4, 2017 at 9:33 pm

    Last year our child had 99M 97R and did not get a 1st grade SN offer. The few open spots seemed to have been taken by children scoring 99/99 and 99/98. When we called OAE after the 3rd round of offers, we were told that many kids have the same score, but there are sub scores that parents don’t see and some weigh more then other. And then there are tie breakers. OAE told us, that our child was not even in the top 10, after a round 3.

  • 242. cpswonderland  |  April 4, 2017 at 9:35 pm

    Question for SN parents: Could you, please, comment on homework load for the 1st grade? Also, which after-school activities are available at that grade level? Thanks.

  • 243. Thisisnotfun  |  April 4, 2017 at 9:39 pm

    Interesting…and no wonder this site is called cpsobsessed. Sub scores in the high 90’s, tie breakers, round after round. Hard not to become obsessed! Thanks so much for your input–gave me some new insight! Feeling less hopeful though….bummer.

  • 244. Headed2Chicago  |  April 4, 2017 at 9:44 pm

    235, @Parent, thank you so much for the thoughtful response. That makes a lot of sense. I am having a really hard time getting a sense of these neighborhood schools long distance.
    A couple of questions- all responses gratefully accepted:
    a) Does anyone know how far south can we live for my kid to go to Disney and still be bused? I know the school bus zone is up to 6 miles. Could we live in Roscoe Village? (I will work in the Loop and am trying to split the difference so my commute and hers are under 20-25 mins).

    b) If we go to a neighborhood school like Bell or Skinner West that is an RGC as well, do the kids in the neighborhood program classes still get a high quality education, or are we better off picking one that is not also an RGC?

    Many thanks in advance for any insights.

  • 245. Kelly  |  April 4, 2017 at 10:10 pm

    Our son got a spot at Coonley RGC, score 138, tier 2, entering kindergarten. Good luck to everyone!

  • 246. 3tabc  |  April 4, 2017 at 11:02 pm

    @ 241 SN 1st grade 99/97 no offer in past.

    Thanks for the information. It is very helpful. If this is the case, we will choose to stay at our current school. It is a very good RGC, just too far away from our house.

  • 247. Detergent  |  April 4, 2017 at 11:12 pm

    To the parent who asked about second/third round offers for 2nd grade RGC – yes we got one last year around July. Our score was 128 so 1 point higher than yours . We r tier 4 … Good luck

  • 248. Maman  |  April 4, 2017 at 11:17 pm

    Entering K
    Tier 2
    RGC score 145
    Reading 87% Math 97%
    Offered Skinner North

    Of course very pleased with Skinner North offer, think we will accept. But can someone provide any insight on the differences between RGC and classical programs? We are interested in Pritzker RGC because of location (walking distance!), but I don’t know too much about it and the school in general doesn’t seem to perform that well, though I’ve heard some good things. How do gifted programs within a neighborhood school function? Separate classes, different work in the same class? What are advantages of RGC vs classical?

    From what I’ve read, it seems that my son’s score and tier might get him in to Pritzker if we declined Skinner North. Anyone familiar with one or both of these schools, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

  • 249. dad@lenart-K  |  April 4, 2017 at 11:47 pm

    @220. Mom2Three we’ve been thinking of moving from hyde park to near beverly and Keller is located in that community. This will help avoid busing for my kid which takes at least 1 hour. Other than that, we have friends who send their kids to Keller and they are extremely happy with the school. Lenart is also a great school and my kid loves it.

  • 250. Anu  |  April 5, 2017 at 3:45 am

    Tier 4
    Grade: K

    RGC Score: 95


    No offers

  • 251. Jen  |  April 5, 2017 at 5:57 am

    Cps obsessed, thank you so much for your input. I was really torn when ranking schools 1-2 between Beaubien and Bell, even after touring both. It looks like based on the scores that Bell is a little more selective, and that she would’ve gotten in first round. And I haven’t seen any Beaubien enthusiasts on here like for Bell. But yes, the commute is a big factor, driving or bus. In the long run I hope it’s the right choice.

  • 252. LSmom  |  April 5, 2017 at 6:08 am

    @Jen, if you check the 2016 letters thread there’s some more in-depth discussion of Beaubien.

  • 253. Cpsparent1  |  April 5, 2017 at 6:38 am

    accepting first offer or going for round 2? Things really do open up, there’s always next round offers .. If you look back on 2015-16 discussions offers continue well into Summer. We got a late offer for our child and couldn’t be happier where they are now…so if you didn’t get an offer or an offer your happy with , and scored well i chances are you will get it in later rounds.

  • 254. parent  |  April 5, 2017 at 6:53 am

    Tier 4
    Grade: K
    RGC Score: 141

    Offered Pritzker

  • 255. Proudmama  |  April 5, 2017 at 7:23 am

    Hi! Just to give you a little insight on Beaubien. Our longtime nanny has a daughter in gifted (7th) and she loves it. Her daughter has thrived there and is performing extremely well on standardized testing and report cards. Also, a family friend has a daughter there in 4th grade now and they also love it. I think it gets a little overlooked because of the location, but I think it’s a great school.

  • 256. @detergent  |  April 5, 2017 at 7:37 am

    Thank you, can you please share what school you got offered with that score?

  • 257. R  |  April 5, 2017 at 9:17 am

    duplicate post

  • 258. very unhappy parent  |  April 5, 2017 at 9:20 am

    Beware of Pritzker- I am sorry that i did not post this before people were ranking, but I was still trying to give the school a chance. I had received some warnings about the program but really felt like I had no choice, so took my changes. Sorry that I did. We are not having a good experience there at all. The teachers are mostly young and inexperienced and do not seem to really know how to handle gifted kids. there is too much mixing with the neighborhood kids and my child has been very negatively influenced by them. the bus service is sporadic- my child has been left stranded at her morning pickup location numerous times. there is a revolving door of bus drivers. the pickup window is an absurd 20 minutes. They even left her behind after school one day. I do not understand why an elementary school in a still sketchy neighborhood (that park across the street is a tent city for the homeless and who knows who else is loitering around there) does not have a stricter policy of tracking who is on the buses. Thankfully my child is older but I would be really fearful of a younger child. There is no school library- this made the wall street journal. https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-library-lockout-at-our-elementary-school-1483747233
    They cut the foreign languages in the school which I think is an important part of gifted education. the principal must be burned out and bitter. I have heard that she either does not care or is ineffective in dealing with student bullying. She treats her students and their parents with such disrespect, I am sure her staff and faculty are treated even worse. other good schools are phasing out their gifted programs and this one is still going? The only reason we have held out this long is because of one good teacher. But I am giving up. I would turn down a spot here if given the chance to decide again.

  • 259. Social1  |  April 5, 2017 at 9:36 am

    @201 NewLenartParent- I’m south too. What grade is your child entering? My daughter is heading to kindergarten.

    @198 Happydad the test scoring is most definitely scaled to age. I’m not sure where you got that information, but it’s incorrect. However, as another parent said, sometimes it’s beneficial and sometimes it’s not. I found it to be beneficial.

  • 260. NewLenartParent  |  April 5, 2017 at 10:29 am

    @Social1 My daughter will be in kindergarten as well. Just got an email about the open house in a few weeks…..so see you there.

  • 261. wondering  |  April 5, 2017 at 10:40 am

    I have really appreciated the information from this blog, but am I the only one that sometimes find it’s terrifying? I know my child must be bright. We are a tier 4 and they got a first round offer to Skinner for K. The commute was too much and we had to give up our spot. We moved to private and the expense with multiple children has been too much to maintain. We have a new offer from a RGC that my family was not expecting, but I’m scared again. My child is great but not ready for calculus or a phd program. I have a bright, silly, distracted, sometimes naughty, way too persistent, chatter box but not some super genius that should skip grade school. Then again, I’m like the biggest worrier, so maybe it’s just me.

  • 262. thirdtimesacharm  |  April 5, 2017 at 10:46 am

    Tier 4
    RG 119
    offer Disney top choice Lenart 2nd NTA do we have a shot ?

  • 263. mlh  |  April 5, 2017 at 10:49 am

    Tier: 4
    Score: RGC144, 70R, 92M
    School admitted to: No Offer
    Grade entering 4

    Choices: 1st Edison, 2nd Skinner North, 3rd Coonley, 4th Decatur

    I guess I should have concentrated on gifted schools in application choices, is there any hope for second round for us?

  • 264. mlh  |  April 5, 2017 at 10:51 am

    Tier: 4
    Score: RGC135,
    School admitted to: No Offer
    Grade entering K

    Choices: 1st Edison, 2nd Skinner North, 3rd Coonley, 4th Decatur

    How about this one?

  • 265. Confusedmom  |  April 5, 2017 at 10:53 am

    My daughter took the SEES test and score Reading-96 and Math-95. Any chances of getting into skinner west after 3-4 rounds of waitlist.

    Also my daughter got Disney magnet school and Hawthrone Elementary school. How are they ? Which one should I go for ? Have heard disney gifted is good. Does Hawthrone have a gifted program too ? Any insight is really appreciated.

  • 266. IG  |  April 5, 2017 at 10:55 am

    262 not at nta, I don’t think. look at last year’s data.

  • 267. HSA Mom X2  |  April 5, 2017 at 11:16 am

    @Confusedmom: Hawthorne doesn’t have a comprehensive gifted program, but it does differentiate for math and reading. Their formula seems to work, as the majority of their graduates matriculate into SEHS year after year. Pretty impressive when starting with a random pool of students. We love it there.

  • 268. Confusedmom  |  April 5, 2017 at 11:28 am

    @267 can I PM you and talk more about it ?

  • 269. HSA Mom X2  |  April 5, 2017 at 11:30 am

    Sure, but I’m uncomfortable posting my email address on a public forum. If you want to provide yours, I’ll gladly reach out to you.

  • 270. parent  |  April 5, 2017 at 11:33 am

    I have three kids at Hawthorne and I have been so impressed with the level of instruction and student engagement. The students are pulled out for writing and math which creates small class sizes. My son, who excels in math, has additional math to complete based on his skills. I couldn’t be happier that my children are at Hawthorne. In addition to the academics, I feel that they are loved and supported.

  • 271. mommytime  |  April 5, 2017 at 11:41 am

    got an offer at both Skinner North and Hawthorne…any thoughts between the two? also received an offer for Disney I. Kindergarten

  • 272. Jen  |  April 5, 2017 at 11:47 am

    LSmom, thank you. I was on that one last year but will go back and look.

  • 273. terabobera  |  April 5, 2017 at 11:49 am

    I didn’t mean to post my name! How do I change it?

  • 274. Jen  |  April 5, 2017 at 11:54 am

    Proudmama, thank you for the positive reinforcement! It seemed great when I toured it. As it’s the only RGC out this way I’m surprised no one is talking about it, good or bad. I was starting to doubt myself.

  • 275. another cps mom  |  April 5, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    Confusedmom: take Hawthrone and wait for SW…lucky you 😉
    mommytime: I’m sooo jealous of you…

  • 276. @newy  |  April 5, 2017 at 12:07 pm

    If we live near NCP, is it commutable to Skinner North? How long would it take? Would traffic bad at drop off and pick up time?

  • 277. slmom  |  April 5, 2017 at 12:07 pm

    dad423, my son is in kindergarten at nta and we could not be happier. he turned five a couple of days before k started, so is probably the youngest kid there, but is happily working at an end-of-2nd-grade level. he loves his teacher, his friends, the programming, the after school options, etc. it’s been just great. happy to share more/answer questions/etc, just let me know how to be in touch.

  • 278. @newy  |  April 5, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    Oops, before I finish my question, it was posted. Another same questions: How about if we live near U-chicago area? Would it be too difficult to commute
    to Skinner North?

  • 279. mommytime  |  April 5, 2017 at 12:58 pm

    275. Not bad options for sure but I only need one and its an important decision. Its good to know that the waiting list be moving for those anxiously waiting. Good luck to everyone!

  • 280. proudcpsmom  |  April 5, 2017 at 1:03 pm

    Parents who’ve had kids at Edison –
    1. Are the teachers easy to get a hold of and communicate with?
    2. What’s the parent/family interaction been? Are there class or school-wide activities throughout the year?

  • 281. Dad423  |  April 5, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    @277 slmom – thanks for the info. can we touch base off-line? rasavong at hotmail

  • 282. Logan Dad  |  April 5, 2017 at 2:34 pm


    Edison is a really, really good school. It is academically rigorous but very student centered. There is only once class per grade so the kids get to know each other really well and the teachers get to know the kids really well. I’ve found the teachers and principals very accessible and responsive. Additionally, there is a school wide initiative to provide more info to parents regarding homework (which there is a lot of) and projects (which tend to be big and challenging).

    Parent involvement varies by class. One of the big challenges at Edison is building a larger school community. Families come from all over the city and, at least in our class, most families are duo income and multiple kid, often in two different schools. Because of this, ERGC does not have the extended school community you might find at Bell or Burley or Goethe where most families come from the neighborhood. But the parents at Edison really care about the school and about their kids being academically successful and we found that to be very valuable.

    There are a number of school wide activities. Game Night, plays, trackathon, team sports, etc. I think many families would like to have more events and a tighter school community and current administration is working on that.

    Edison was the perfect place for our geeky, bright, intelligent daughter. She found herself among her peers there and we are very grateful we have been an Edison Family for the past 6-years. Our daughter is going to Payton next Fall and we are already beginning to miss the teachers, kids and great experience we have had at ERGC.

  • 283. RVparents  |  April 5, 2017 at 2:35 pm

    Our children are in the neighborhood program at Bell. It is strong academically and has many dedicated families. The options families are also dedicated and involved in the school. However, what is lacking is that the 2 programs barely interact. It is run like 2 different schools. The options families have their own tour, field trips, meetings, kids sit with only options kids at lunch, play together on the playground, etc. I will often hear neighborhood kids say “we don’t know him/her because he’s in options.” Same goes for parent relationships. It’s very segregated. Other families may have a different experience, but this is ours after 8 years at Bell.

  • 284. ProudPritzkerParent  |  April 5, 2017 at 2:39 pm

    @ 258 very unhappy parent: Sorry to hear that you and your child have had an unfavorable experience at Pritzker, and that your child has been negatively influenced by ‘the neighborhood kids’. Hopefully you are able to find a solution next year that better meets your child’s and your family’s needs.

    To set the record straight on the neighborhood, Wicker Park / Bucktown is far from a ‘still sketchy neighborhood’ in the city. When I moved there 20 years ago, yes, it was a bit sketchy, but now it is a highly desirable, vibrant and largely gentrified area with a plethora of restaurants, creative arts, nightlife, and safe streets (http://www.choosechicago.com/neighborhoods-and-communities/wicker-park-bucktown/). Yes, there are harmless homeless people in the park, but you see that in just about any park and busy corner in Chicago.

    I also think your representation of the teachers is quite untrue. My child has been part of the RGC program and has yet to have anything but an AMAZING teacher during each of his years. We also value the fact that as a neighborhood school, magnet cluster fine arts school, AND RGC (the only school in the city that offers all 3 programs) the school is a blend of ‘the real world’ and not just a bunch of RGC smartie students. Yes, there was the library closure that rightfully received some negative press (but which has since been resolved), and the principal is far from the best leader,… however, the teachers, students and community have all provided a wonderful learning environment for my child.

    Best of luck in your decisions for the 2017/18 academic year.

  • 285. Classical parent  |  April 5, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    @Headed2Chicago – The younger grades in Skinner West have four classrooms per grade (one classical and three neighborhoods) and all four classrooms operate on the same curriculum (one year ahead, starting the first week of kindergarten). For the most part, the neighborhood classes are indistinguishable from the classical classrooms. The school is loud, crazy, diverse and full of life. It is a very academic school with (in my opinion) too much homework in the younger years, but the school is wonderful and the children love it. There is an addition that will be completed in Fall 2018, with 15-18 new classrooms that will help ease the overcrowding.

  • 286. veteran parent  |  April 5, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    263 mlh – that RGC score is very strong for 4th grade but you need to think about how the process works…
    while 4th grade seats do ‘open up’ because class sizes get 2 more seats… most schools do not yet know how many students will be leaving (or not leaving). So the offers for non-entry grades will be issued as they know how many seats are opening up. It could be a long summer.

  • 287. Confusedmom  |  April 5, 2017 at 3:03 pm

    @269 HSA Mom X2 : My email is kotes23@gmail.com

  • 288. AlsoProudPritzkerParent  |  April 5, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    I agree with ProudPritzkerParent. My daughter is in first grade in the options program at Pritzker and it has been an excellent experience. Her kindergarten teacher, while young, was outstanding. I have found the first grade teach not quite as enthusiastic as the kindergarten teacher but every teacher is different. I’ve heard that the teachers in the later grades are all very good as well. The school (and union) were rightfully called out for closing the library but there is a strong parent involvement in the school that helped resolve the problem.

    As far as bullying, my daughter has not experienced any of it. She loves interacting with the kids that are not in the options program, whether it is playing on the playground before school or participating in school plays. She loves Pritzker.

  • 289. helpfulmom  |  April 5, 2017 at 3:29 pm

    hello parents,
    Entering K
    I’m a little late to responding to the site but my son scored 114 RGC, 78 Math and 74 Reading, no offers for SEES but will accept Hawthorne Scholastic magnet offering. Can you PLEASE share some things I can do for math and reading practice as we will be re-testing for 1st grade and I want to get a jump start. I am kind of surprised of his scores as I did tons of prep work but didn’t seem to get him in. Any ideas you all have done with your children?

  • 290. thoughtonbell  |  April 5, 2017 at 3:52 pm

    My daughter is in the 4th grade Options program at Bell and we’ve had a wonderful experience. Agree 1st grade teacher is one of the best I’ve ever seen. But disagree with RVparents about neighborhood versus options at Bell. My daughter has many friends in the neighborhood program and at least now it is part of the curriculum in grades 3 & 4 to integrate the kids. They have PALM (PE, arts, Library & Music) in groups that are mixed with neighborhood and options kids. They also have lunch and recess together. I know it is on the minds of both parents and the administration to give them opportunities to get to know each other and as far as I can see it is working. Also my daughter does Scouts, sports & after school activities with kids from the neighborhood program. I’m not saying it’s all perfect- there is an element, I believe, in any of these mixed schools about Options parents being on the outside – but that’s a different topic and I believe is related to proximity to school.

  • 291. @newy  |  April 5, 2017 at 5:13 pm

    To veteran parent: 263 mlh – that RGC score is very strong for 4th grade but you need to think about how the process works…
    while 4th grade seats do ‘open up’ because class sizes get 2 more seats… most schools do not yet know how many students will be leaving (or not leaving). So the offers for non-entry grades will be issued as they know how many seats are opening up. It could be a long summer.

    Do you know how many seats open up at non-entry grade (4th) at Edison? Is there any record like at least two seats opened up every summer…something like that?

  • 292. Chicago School GPS  |  April 5, 2017 at 5:35 pm

    The CTU student/teacher ratio for K-3rd grade is 28 kids per one teacher. The class size can increase to 32 kids for 4th-8th grade. Thus, 4th grade is a mini “entry year” with most magnet and selective enrollment schools adding up to 4 seats that year. Otherwise all other non-entry years typically don’t know if they will have spots to offer until parents tell them they are leaving, which usually happens closer to summer.

    Patience is a must for the CPSOAE process, so be sure you have a good “Plan B” and be ready to make a decision whenever (or if) you do get a call, whether it’s in a few weeks or in mid-September. And remember, there is no “golden ticket” that will propel your kid to Harvard starting in K or 1st or anytime, anywhere. There really are many “under the radar” schools that can be great fits for your child and will do more to inspire him/her than a school with a coveted name on the door but doesn’t fit your child. So much more goes into the success of a student, with family support being the biggest factor overall.

  • 293. Jen  |  April 5, 2017 at 5:53 pm

    @Cpsparent1, accepting first offer, which actually was our first choice. Was having doubts, but now leaning towards accepting.

  • 294. Jen  |  April 5, 2017 at 5:58 pm

    RVparents, that is too bad. I got the impression that the students from the 2 programs also integrated during specials, such as art, music, and PE.

  • 295. proudcpsmom  |  April 5, 2017 at 6:01 pm

    @ Logan Dad

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for your reply. It was such good information! I know ERGC is a great school but it’s helpful to hear specific examples of what you and your family have appreciated over the past 6 years. I’m sure your daughter will have great success at Walter Payton!

    We are deciding between Edison and our neighborhood school (Brentano) and your info was helpful. Thanks again!

  • 296. Cpsparent1  |  April 5, 2017 at 6:52 pm

    @jen Best of luck, your child scored very high, must be a very smart kid

  • 297. quandary  |  April 5, 2017 at 7:06 pm

    @Logan Dad – thanks too for the Edison info! We went on the tour today and were quite impressed with what the school offers, particularly in a smaller space (shared school space etc.). Very engaged kids, and interesting topics/programs etc.

    We are debating between Edison and Disney II – older sibling is at D2 (tested well at K but not as high as his sister, and got a lottery spot – so she benefits from sibling preference) and they keep talking about how much they want to be together. It’s cute but is making our decision SO hard because Disney II offers a lot of the same approaches/programs as Edison (although, maybe not at such an intense level). He’s very, very bright – and is engaged there; only very occasionally bored. She, however, may need more challenges, especially for start of kindergarten, as she is bored to tears in PreK (I feel many kids “catch up” to others in reading skills once K starts – our oldest went from not reading to devouring books 1-2 grades ahead within 3 months at D2).

    In any case, your info was very helpful – thanks!

    Ugh. This is tough.

  • 298. takealook  |  April 5, 2017 at 7:21 pm

    @jen – take a look at thoughtonbell #290

  • 299. karaheartstom  |  April 5, 2017 at 7:43 pm

    Looking ahead to the future, I am curious about preparing for next year’s RGC test. Did those of you who were accepted to an RGC prepare your children in any way? How and how much prep? Thanks and congrats!

  • 300. themillergems  |  April 5, 2017 at 8:26 pm

    Did nothing to prepare. One kid got into the in kinder, the other in third.

  • 301. Parent  |  April 5, 2017 at 8:37 pm

    Anyone who got accepted in RGC, can you comment if you received any point score and what are the ranges for higher grades. We had applied for third grade and we didn’t have any nwea test so far. Is nwea score contributed to gifted score?

  • 302. cpswonderland  |  April 5, 2017 at 9:07 pm

    @278 newy – we drove 1-2 miles longer distances for two years, from Uchicago to Lincoln park area. Kids were in the traffic little bit over 2 hours (had to drop off at one other school in the middle) and ride was killing us. But it looks like we will be driving again to two different schools. So, it is possible, especially if you are stay at home parent, and you leave before rush hour (starts at 7:15 am at the south side).

  • 303. @newy  |  April 5, 2017 at 9:29 pm

    @cpswonderland, thanks a lot for the info..I am a full time mom, but 2hours in trafffic everyday..that doesn’t sound easy.

  • 304. cpswonderland  |  April 5, 2017 at 9:56 pm

    @303. @newy That’s for the kids. You would spend more, depending where you go. For me it was more than 3h/daily (spring was the worst): drop offs in the morning, back to home, pick ups in the afternoon, back to home to Hyde Park.

  • 305. cpswonderland  |  April 5, 2017 at 10:06 pm

    @ 301. Parent

    – Anyone who got accepted in RGC, can you comment if you received any point score and what are the ranges for higher grades.

    Last year, my then 2nd grader (we were applying for the 3rd grade), had NWEA scores calculated and send as a section of the letter (we didn’t receive any SEES offers)

    -We had applied for third grade and we didn’t have any nwea test so far. Is nwea score contributed to gifted score?

    Your child must have had taken the NWEA MAP; you can ask the school for the tests and the results (but I think they would be able to provide only this year’s results).

    No, the results are not used at this level (for 3rd or 4th grade) and I don’t think they contribute to the score on the SEES test, except for the eligibility for the admissions test in 5th-8th grade (minimum 60th percentile in both reading and math on NWEA MAP).

  • 306. bptandme  |  April 5, 2017 at 10:07 pm

    @karaheartstom I feel very strongly about this. The seats are for the gifted kids. when kids get trained on how to do this, they might get in, but they can’t keep up. the teacher ends up trying to help them and ignores the kids that actually need differentiation and a challenge. dilutes the program. and then the kids are stressed on top.

  • 307. NWSidemom  |  April 5, 2017 at 10:34 pm

    @ProudPritzkerParent can you elaborate on the principal? That is one of the most important deciding factors for me–the culture set by the administration and their approach to discipline, development, etc. I am hoping for Pritzker to finally get two kids in the same school, and hoping even more that they both can stay in the running for the RGC there even after I accept the magnet spots.

  • 308. quandary  |  April 5, 2017 at 10:40 pm

    @karaheartsmom For both my kids, I didn’t prep at all. One did really pretty well, but had no offers. We had the luck of getting into a magnet that worked well for him. For my youngest this year, we just went without prep – and she did very well – in part because of (honestly) her older sibling, who liked to teach her math and reading beyond her years. So maybe that could count as “prep”…but we weren’t set out to do that. I think it does the kids a disservice to “teach to the test” in order to get in. It would make it too stressful for them if they struggle once in.

  • 309. Mom2three  |  April 5, 2017 at 10:50 pm

    @292 “The CTU student/teacher ratio for K-3rd grade is 28 kids per one teacher. The class size can increase to 32 kids for 4th-8th grade. Thus, 4th grade is a mini “entry year” with most magnet and selective enrollment schools adding up to 4 seats that year. Otherwise all other non-entry years typically don’t know if they will have spots to offer until parents tell them they are leaving, which usually happens closer to summer.”

    It will vary depending on the school. Most schools do K-2 at 28 or 30 seats, and then at 3rd grade open to 32 seats.

    Not 4th grade.

    @49 lenartdad — thanks. appreciate the insight.

  • 310. Poe Parent  |  April 5, 2017 at 10:52 pm

    @136 @142 Poe is a wonderful classical school that often goes overlooked because of it’s geographical location. The school’s overall scores are phenomenal and higher that some of the other highly sought after classical schools. The Kindergarten teacher, Ms. Becker, is phenomenal. They have a very nurturing and inviting environment and your little ones will be challenged. My kinder is reading and currently doing graphing, subtraction, and starting to think about multiplication. Spelling test every week that helps with phonics and increase reading. Homework is reasonable and age appropriate for a gifted child. You will love it!

  • 311. cpsobsessed  |  April 5, 2017 at 11:18 pm

    @299 – I don’t think there is that much opportunity to prep a 4 year old. Many of the key reading and early math skills need the kid to reach a mental milestone, so it’s difficult to prep a kid that age like you can with older kids.
    You can’t teach a kid to read if they’re not ready to read.

    For anything that you *can* practice with a kid, it’s still not really prepping as much as just teaching.

    I think you could possibly practice some patterns or other questions you might see on the testing mom site. This could help increase their familiarity but you still can’t prep them to understand something that’s beyond their abilities.

    I think this is why parents in Chicago don’t seem to do prep for K testing (whereas parents in NYC seem to be willing to shell out $ for it.) 🙂

  • 312. Chicago School GPS  |  April 6, 2017 at 12:12 am

    @309, class sizes are unfortunately not consistent, even if prescribed by CPS policy: http://policy.cps.edu/download.aspx?ID=30
    28 at the kindergarten level
    28 at the primary level
    31 at the intermediate level and upper grade level
    20 in the education and vocational guidance centers (if any)”

    Neighborhood class sizes can vary widely but most principals try to keep them around 25 or so. Parents are sometimes surprised to hear that magnet or selective enrollment classes often have bigger class sizes than a typical neighborhood class.

  • 313. LoganSquareMama  |  April 6, 2017 at 3:37 am

    Tier 2
    Grade K
    RGC: 134
    Offered: Edison
    Offered: Brentano (lottery)
    Waitlist: #7 Tier 2 Disney II

    Considering declining and hoping for second offer of Pritzker. Having some second thoughts on how I ranked them. Feedback on either school? If we declined, would that score be too low to get second round offer?

    Offered Brentano, considering since its in the neighborhood. Would love a spot at Disney II, since would give my youngest sibling preference. What are chances?

  • 314. RVmomma  |  April 6, 2017 at 3:54 am

    Anyone accepted to Coonley RGC 1st grade? Please post score and tier please. Or does tier not matter since first grade is a non-entry year? Anyone know if kid(s) are leaving and just hasn’t been communicated to the school yet? If yes, hoping we’ll get an offer in subsequent rounds. 139 Tier 4. Please tell me if you think 139 is not high enough. If there are kids with higher scores and trying for Coonley 1st grade, please post! I would be very grateful as it would help put things in perspective.

  • 315. 2nd kid  |  April 6, 2017 at 6:04 am

    @RVmomma As I mentioned earlier in this thread, our younger son got an offer from Coonley (1st grade) with RGC 142. We’re also Tier 4 but I think it doesn’t matter for non-entry levels. We will most likely accept the offer unless any miracle happens. His older brother at Edison and it would be great to have them together in one school, but I believe both schools are fabulous. 139 is a very high score! I believe all depends on how many spots will be open later and on how many kids that applied to Coonley’s 1st grade have scores between 139 and 142, which only CPS knows… but you could be next in the line. Good luck!

  • 316. Jen  |  April 6, 2017 at 6:47 am

    @quandry I know you already have a student at D2, but hope you are joining on the tour this morning. You may learn new things! We have a number of families that have received SEES offers but chose to stay at Disney II and have been really happy. You know your own child best – and I’m sure your youngest will be happy in either place.

  • 317. RVmomma  |  April 6, 2017 at 7:24 am

    @2nd kid Thx for replying Forgot to include your kid’s acceptance/stats in my post. By posting, I’m hoping to have more transparency with scores (and get the inside scoop on seats). To see if there are 142s, 141s, 140s and 139s out there trying to get Coonley RGC 1st grade too. I’ll call OAE to try to get this info. Do you know this info for Edison RGC first grade?

  • 318. @geographymattersmost  |  April 6, 2017 at 8:04 am

    With Brentano as a backup you’d be pretty happy with, I would play your luck and open up that spot at Edison for someone who really wants/needs it. I think your chances for Pritzker are pretty good now that you’ve had that offer though you may have to wait. You can call Sarah and be really nice and she might tell you where you’d be on the Pritzker list…

  • 319. @newy  |  April 6, 2017 at 8:23 am

    I’ve just learned that Skinner north has a new principal from April. Am I right?
    I wonder how about new principal and administration? Do they easy to access? Easy to communicate? Do they open to the different options to meet individual kids need? My biggest concern of the classical school is that they are less flexible compared to RGCs when it comes to the differentiation and acceleration.
    Does anybody have experiences of both and comparison between skinner north and other RGCs?

  • 320. karet  |  April 6, 2017 at 9:18 am

    @319, The Assistant Principal at SN was offered and accepted the principal position. She is amazing, organized, pleasant, everything you want in a principal. Everyone I know is thrilled.

    Yes, there is differentiation – in K there are different reading levels, for example. I don’t think it’s the case that classical schools are “less flexible” than RGCs, but someone with kids at both can comment on that. (From what I’ve heard, the RGCs are pretty different from each other – so I’m not sure it makes sense to generalize; SN and Decatur are also quite different in their approaches).

  • 321. AnneR  |  April 6, 2017 at 9:26 am

    Does anyone know where a table is that will show you a kids percentage rank compared to the RG school scores. For example what does a 110 or a 120 or a 130 or a 140 or a 150 equate to in terms of percentiles!

  • 322. MakingaDecision  |  April 6, 2017 at 9:32 am

    Can someone explain the difference between classical and RGCs from a curriculum and pedagogy perspective?

  • 323. Skinner North Mom  |  April 6, 2017 at 9:38 am


    “I’ve just learned that Skinner north has a new principal from April. Am I right? I wonder how about new principal and administration? Do they easy to access? Easy to communicate? Do they open to the different options to meet individual kids need? My biggest concern of the classical school is that they are less flexible compared to RGCs when it comes to the differentiation and acceleration.
    Does anybody have experiences of both and comparison between skinner north and other RGCs?”

    I am a current SN parent and I had another child go through an RGC and then an AC. The “new” principal at SN is the former Assistant Principal, Katie Magnuson. The school was started, let’s see, is it 8 years now? And Katie was the AP for the past five years. She helped create the collaborative and warm culture there that everyone loves so much and that won a 2016 Blue Ribbon designation from the US Dept of Education. The teachers love and respect her and so do the kids and parents. Incredibly good communicator, very diplomatic, accessible and smart. She loves kids! She is in the middle of the process to choose the new AP right now, so I cannot comment on that yet-to-be-hired person.

    As to comparisons, I can only compare the two schools I know. I cannot compare the generic classical vs. RGC schools (and I doubt anyone really could, across the board, so be skeptical if you hear things along those lines–every school is unique).

    SN is very focused on social-emotional learning (SEL). Your kid is not only going to be academically challenged (1-2 years ahead in subject matter), but they will learn about empathy, personal boundaries, being part of community, responsibility and more. They use Responsive Classroom–Google it if you have not experienced it yet. They understand that kids can score well on tests, well beyond their years, but can be emotional unready for lots of seemingly age-appropriate things. Every single kid in that school is treated uniquely. There is no cookie cutter approach.

    Their differentiation is not overt, like “all the smarties get in one group so I can challenge you, and the rest of you stay here.” Very subtle but present. They understand that a kid can be great at one thing but less accomplished at another. They help identify those weak spots and proficiencies with pre-tests and discussion, so no one feels “dumb.” Through constant formal and informal assessments, the teachers are able to know your child and where they are on any given topic. They are not tested in the beginning of the year and pigeonholed the rest of the year, doomed to be thought of in only one way. I love that standardized tests are not the school’s end goal. Their philosophy is that if everything is going as it should, that kids are academically challenged and socially supported, then test scores will follow. So far, they have been correct.

    My other child’s RGC was not as in tune with SEL. It was not nearly as touchy-feely and compassionate. It was more punitive (my child never got in trouble, but this was my observation over 7 years).Good teachers, but differentiated in a more ham-handed way. For example, 5-6 kids were in what the kids perceived as the “smart group” in math while the rest of them stayed “behind.” And kids jockeyed throughout the year to make it into the smaller “smart group,” which can feel icky.

    SN has been extraordinarily flexible for my family and the others I know personally. My kid loves it there and so do I.

  • 324. Skinner North mom  |  April 6, 2017 at 9:50 am

    The new principal at SN is amazing and I echo everything that the last mom said about the school. We love it.

  • 325. cpswonderland  |  April 6, 2017 at 9:56 am

    @Skinner North Mom: Could you comment on 1st grade homework load (I understand it’s weekly packet of homework, but I would like to know, for an average child, how much time it would take to finish it?).
    Also, extracurricular activities, I noticed that JCC is provider and I was wondering are siblings allowed to participate although they are not SN pupils? Thanks in advance.

  • 326. remember the little people  |  April 6, 2017 at 10:09 am


    I think you’re the only parent of a 1st grader on this thread to have received an offer from SN. Much congrats!!

    Will you please remember to post whether or not you accepted come April 24? Thank you!!

  • 327. Skinner North Mom  |  April 6, 2017 at 10:10 am


    “Skinner North Mom: Could you comment on 1st grade homework load (I understand it’s weekly packet of homework, but I would like to know, for an average child, how much time it would take to finish it?). Also, extracurricular activities, I noticed that JCC is provider and I was wondering are siblings allowed to participate although they are not SN pupils? Thanks in advance.”

    Homework has always been manageable in our child’s 6 years at SN. Maybe 10-20 minutes a night, at worst for the average first grader. It’s never given to teach new concepts, just to revisit what they learned that day, so it’s usually pretty simple. Think worksheet or they may have to play a “fun” Everyday Math game with you or a sibling. The weekly packet thing is very humane, so you can plan your child’s week better. Say, if your kid has swimming on Tuesday, then you can do two nights’ worth in one night, if need be. With very few exceptions, my child gets his homework done every day on the bus ride home, so home time is down time with family.

    Every student in the school gets a quarterly project that they work on–you guessed it–all quarter. If your child is like mine, that means they slough off for 9 weeks and are working like a fiend the day before it is due and that can suck up hours! LOL.

    To my knowledge, siblings cannot do the J at School activities at SN during the year. During the summer, siblings can do the summer camp, however. Contact J at School and ask them to be sure. I think a main number is 312-775-1848.

  • 328. cpswonderland  |  April 6, 2017 at 10:17 am

    @ 327. Skinner North Mom: Thank you. I’ve asked this questions before, but nobody answered, and I’ve been stalking the site ever since.

  • 329. cpswonderland  |  April 6, 2017 at 10:24 am

    @ 326. remember the little people: We will probably accept, I’ll post after the April, 18th.

  • 330. remember the little people  |  April 6, 2017 at 10:29 am

    Much appreciated. Good luck to you!

  • 331. 2nd kid  |  April 6, 2017 at 10:38 am

    @RVmomma I don’t have any additional info right now but I hope to get more insights after the spring break. If you want, give me your email address and I will send you everything I find.

  • 332. @newy  |  April 6, 2017 at 10:57 am

    @320 Caret, thanks a lot for your kind explanation.
    @Skinner North mom, wow, thanks a lot for taking time to write in detail about my question.

    The information relieves me and more than that, it seems there is a good community there.
    If your kids are in the upper grades (4th and above), do you know anything about teachers?
    Thanks again!!!

  • 333. Going Crazy  |  April 6, 2017 at 11:20 am

    @323. Skinner North Mom…May I please ask…which RGC school is your kid in? We’re debating on whether to keep her at her current (classical) school (way up North), or move her to options program. I don’t know much about her new school….thank you..

  • 334. 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 🙂

  • 335. gmom  |  April 6, 2017 at 11:56 am

    Just want to add – since lots of parents seem to be worried they kids didn’t get into their 1st choice of RGC or Classical school – my daughter went to our neighborhood school with no selective enrollment and she tested 149/150 on the RGC test (similar to the AC test). Her friends all have good scores as well (but didn’t get in in the first round – fingers crossed for the second round).

    So it’s not the end of the world and our other kid will likely go to the same neighborhood school. We really appreciated being able to walk to school in 5 minutes and to do things in our neighborhood with other parents who live a few streets from us. I have more time to drive my kids to EC activities since I don’t have to commute them to the school.

  • 336. Skinner North mom  |  April 6, 2017 at 11:56 am

    @cpswonderland There was only one opening for 1st grade and your child received it! Please let us know what you decide. I am anxiously waiting to get my daughter in SN with her brother.

  • 337. STEM  |  April 6, 2017 at 11:59 am

    Received an offer for STEM. Does anyone have experience there? (Entering K)

  • 338. teacher/mom  |  April 6, 2017 at 12:15 pm

    @337 I was just talking to a high school teacher who long-term subbed at STEM for a while, and she says it was a wonderful environment. I would argue that a school with happy teachers probably will also have happy students.

  • 339. Hoping for 5th grade  |  April 6, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    Classical score: 98R/96M
    RG: 138
    Entering 5th: no offers

    Hoping there is some movement this year. My dd is in 4th grade at a catholic school and is bored. The teachers are trying to challenge her, but there is not the support for the differentation she needs.

    Last year I tested her and she got into Decatur (2nd round) with a 98R/92M (declined due to distance the the fact it only goes to 6th grade). Late August got an offer from Coonley (score was 132) but declined since we already started school and she had a good year in 3rd grade. This year has been a challenge and the school counselor suggested we have her re-tested and explore other options for her. I guess time will tell!

  • 340. Curious  |  April 6, 2017 at 1:55 pm

    @cpswonderland Just curious, what were your child’s scores?

  • 341. Soon to be Skinner North Mom  |  April 6, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    Tier 4
    Entering K
    RGC 117
    Reading 99.9, Math 99

    Offer from Skinner North

  • 342. MommyatSN  |  April 6, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    OK, apparently someone else has the “Skinner North Mom” moniker in this thread. After 6 years of posting, I will give it up and change my name to “MommyatSN” How’s that for creativity?

    If you are curious about SN, or any school, and do not get feedback in this thread, I encourage you to view the previous years’ threads on the same topic. Many of us have been posting the same stuff for years and it gets tiring, or our kids move on and our info becomes dated, so you hear crickets when you ask a question in the newest thread.

    My child is in 5th grade at SN. His teachers, all the way up, have been excellent. Caring and intelligent, sensitive and savvy. We are looking forward to the upper grade teachers, too. One, our upper grade math teacher, just won the Golden Apple because she is smart, inventive and fun. Can’t wait! Since the school only graduated its first 8th graders last year, the school is feeling its way on the middle school environment. From providing lockers to offering “electives” to hosting a dance and having some overnight field trips, the school is working to create a rigorous but fun middle school experience that will help get the kids ready for high school. Very exciting!

    My older kid is at Lane in the AC. He went to Beaubien from K-6 (1-6 grades in the Options program). I, and others, have posted extensively on Beaubien in past threads. My info on that school is dated, as he left almost two years ago, so I do not feel very confident talking about the current school–things can change quickly. I CAN tell interested Beaubien parents that the school got him academically ready for life at a rigorous AC. He (and most of his Beaubien classmates who went to LTAC) managed to place out of pre-Algebra and move right into Algebra in 7th grade, which says a lot for the Beaubien upper grade math teacher.

    He loved most of his teachers at Beaubien (particularly math and science teachers) and made (so far) life-long friends there. The Options program there is only about 240 kids out of a school of almost 1,200 students. It’s big, which is not for everyone. The Options program is only 1 class, so the 30-32 kids go from class to class together, with very little change in their whole 8 years. They become pretty tight with one another, though.

    Beaubien is off the beaten path, because it is in the NW corner of the city, away from the direction most working people go. I think that is why people here do not talk about it so much or even apply for it as often. If convenience is your thing, the school’s location may be a drawback. It is located right off the highway, so it is a desirable location in some ways. We lived in the neighborhood so it was a no-brainer for us to take the seat when offered.

    Hope that helps!

  • 343. Parent  |  April 6, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    Any parent do you have third grader( in 2017 ) with gifted score higher than 130?

  • 344. NTA Parent  |  April 6, 2017 at 3:58 pm

    I haven’t seen too much discussion of NTA, but please know that if you are considering the school, we are starting a tuition-based preK program. The program is 8:00am-6:00pm, with 7:00am before-care available. Here’s the link to the CPS website:


    We’re not yet listed since our program hasn’t started, but our preK teachers are wonderful, and our facilities are top-notch. We’ve even started introducing the little ones to the swimming pool so they’ll be ready for their swim special, which starts in kindergarten!

    Approximately half of the preK slots have already been taken, so if you have a 3 or 4 year old and are interested, fill out the application and drop it off along with the deposit to the main office.

  • 345. cpswonderland  |  April 6, 2017 at 4:25 pm

    @ 340. Curious: 99/99, 1st grade.

  • 346. Proudmama  |  April 6, 2017 at 4:53 pm

    Question–do second round offers still go by tiers? Or, highest scores? Like does a tier 4 person have to decline, in order for another tier 4 person to get offered?

  • 347. HolySmoke  |  April 6, 2017 at 5:15 pm

    @Proudmama – YES second round offers are tier related…third round do not use tier

  • 348. EverythingWillbeOK  |  April 6, 2017 at 5:43 pm

    Entering 6th
    Tier 3
    offered Lincoln IG & Lenart
    will turn down

    Entering 4th
    offered Lenart
    will turn down

    My two kids are at a same RGC and happy in there, so we’ll stay.

    Good luck to everyone.
    Everything will be OK in the end.

  • 349. Proudmama  |  April 6, 2017 at 6:17 pm


  • 350. @newy  |  April 6, 2017 at 6:34 pm

    @348 which RGC your kids are at?

  • 351. SN upper grades?  |  April 6, 2017 at 6:35 pm

    SN Parents – how do you feel about the shift from 2 classes to 1 class at 7th grade? Does this create a pressure for kids to leave for ACs from administration or from peers? If you stay, are the 7th/8th social and extra curricular activities robust or do the kids who stay feel left behind? I was surprised to learn about the decrease in size at upper grades and was wondering how that plays out.

  • 352. gmom  |  April 6, 2017 at 8:19 pm

    @EverythingWillbeOK why test them if you don’t want tot change school? They’re in the same school so it seems to be better than having them in separate schools.

    I’ll never understand parents who make their kids taking tests just to “see” I really don’t want to put my kids under stress – so I’ll test them only if I’m really interested – with all that being said, I’m not an American – I come from an European country where kids don’t stress out for school until they are at the last year of high-school. They’re kids after all. I may miss something here.

  • 353. In SN  |  April 6, 2017 at 9:28 pm


    Are you sure taking tests is always stressful? Can’t it be fun or enjoyable for some? Not to mention benefits like getting used to one way in which the society works.

  • 354. Sally  |  April 6, 2017 at 10:46 pm

    Entering 5th

    RGC 150
    Apply for Edison
    No offer

    Have a question needs help.
    How many kids will get 150 in one age group?


  • 355. gmom  |  April 6, 2017 at 10:59 pm

    @353 I think testing is stressful – for some kids at least – or it’s OK but I don’t think it’s fun? Reading is fun, playing sport is fun … testing…? Kids are afraid to desappoint the parents and will have to prepare the test PLUS going to school and having all the homework. I don’t call it fun.

    Or it’s again an American thing I’m missing (testing + competition for a 10 years old = FUN) As I said I come from an country where kids don’t get tested until 14 years old and this test doesn’t count for the University.

    I don’t think you have to step on each other and feel like you have to compete all the time in your life to succeed. It’s not the kind of pessimist view I would like to teach my kids.

    But, it’s not you, I’ve seen some parents being like that at my kid’s school as well – mostly Asian parents – so maybe it’s a cultural thing I’m missing.

    I just want my kids to be HAPPY and live their KIDS LIFE.

  • 356. justanotherparent  |  April 7, 2017 at 12:05 am

    @355 mom

    your generalizations are terrible. what you’re missing is the fact that not just in the US, but all over the world, people come in all different sizes, shapes, and colors – kids and parents included.

    it’s great you teach your kids about how to succeeding in life the right way. with that, ii hope you aren’t teaching your kids to make such gross generalizations about people and cultures.

    side note: hypocritical much? maybe you should’ve held off on testing your 6th grader until age 14 to ensure a happy childhood.

  • 357. mum  |  April 7, 2017 at 12:21 am

    Thank you so much for your guidance on this thread. It is truly helpful.

    Would you happen to have any personal experience with the after school programs at SkinnerN?

  • 358. #cpsneighborhoodschools  |  April 7, 2017 at 12:36 am

    Some kids absolutely think testing is fun. After the gifted test, I asked my five-year-old if he still wanted to go back for another one (Classical). He said he did. He wasn’t stressed out about doing well. He thought it was an adventure. That might have something do do with why he did better than I expected. He felt no stress at all.

  • 359. Hayt  |  April 7, 2017 at 6:03 am

    Does anyone know about hayt’s comprehensive gifted program? I’ve never heard of it, growing up in the neighborhood, till this week. I didn’t believe it till I looked at the school website. Anyone have anymore info on the program?

  • 360. skinnernorthdad  |  April 7, 2017 at 10:06 am

    For those looking for SN upper grades in later rounds you definitely have a chance if scores are in very upper 90s. I imagine the vast majority of families have not told the school if they are leaving yet so they don’t know about open spots. My son entered Skinner in 1st grade with 99 Math and 98 Reading and we got the call in May or June (can’t remember exactly). It’s hard to just be patient, but it’s necessary in this crazy system. Good luck!

    And on a side note, we are extremely happy at SN and feel it is the perfect fit for our son. When I toured (privately with the principal) after he got in I asked him about the success of kids who enter after kindergarten and whether or not they would be at a disadvantage since they had not been learning at an accelerated rate previously. I wanted to make sure he wouldn’t feel overwhelmed or behind. His response was along the lines of that kids who get in later are actually often the highest performing because they scored at the very top since there were only a few open spots and tiers do not play into the acceptances after the entry year. In my experience, he was correct. My son is at the top of his class at SN and is in the highest math and reading groups. I thought I would address this concern since I think a lot of parents have this thought when going through the decision of pulling kids from their current schools to send to a SEES.

  • 361. skinnernorthdad  |  April 7, 2017 at 10:10 am

    @357 After school programs at Skinner are great. My daughter has taken violin and is currently in the drama club (which is free since it’s teacher run). This year J at school is putting on the program and then they offer All Stars (which are teacher run clubs/classes that are free and very popular). There are always a variety of offerings and kids can be there pretty late – I think until 6:00. If you look on J at Schools website you might be able to find out more. Some kids also are walked over to Stanton Park for activities.

  • 362. skinnernorth  |  April 7, 2017 at 10:14 am

    @”SN Parents – how do you feel about the shift from 2 classes to 1 class at 7th grade? Does this create a pressure for kids to leave for ACs from administration or from peers? If you stay, are the 7th/8th social and extra curricular activities robust or do the kids who stay feel left behind? I was surprised to learn about the decrease in size at upper grades and was wondering how that plays out.”

    My child is in the younger grades,but I have a sense that this shift to one class is slowing down. The current 6th grade is full with two classes and the feeling is that not nearly as many kids will leave now that the middle school is more established (we will see now that Academic Center offers are out). There is a real focus on building up the middle school and making it a robust program both academically and socially. If you want more info you could definitely reach out to the SNUG (Skinner North Upper Grades) committee and ask questions or talk to the principal Katie Magnuson. I’m sure she’d be happy to answer questions. I know fellow parents in my daughter’s grade (1st) are already talking about wanting to stay and commit to Skinner for the long haul.

  • 363. SN  |  April 7, 2017 at 10:37 am

    @ Question: “I have really appreciated the information from this blog, but am I the only one that sometimes find it’s terrifying? I know my child must be bright. We are a tier 4 and they got a first round offer to Skinner for K. The commute was too much and we had to give up our spot. We moved to private and the expense with multiple children has been too much to maintain. We have a new offer from a RGC that my family was not expecting, but I’m scared again. My child is great but not ready for calculus or a phd program. I have a bright, silly, distracted, sometimes naughty, way too persistent, chatter box but not some super genius that should skip grade school. Then again, I’m like the biggest worrier, so maybe it’s just me.”

    Response: I have a child at SN and the way you described your child sounds like the vast majority of my child’s classmates. They are totally normal kids – there are like 1-2 really genius type kids in the grade, but for the most part there is a broad range of ability, personality and maturity. They are still very “normal” kids who struggle in some areas and excel in others – remember too that the tier system means kids with a pretty large range of scores enter the school so not everyone scored in the 99th%. This means more diversity in ability and provides a more authentic classroom setting then if only the very top performing kids (regardless of tier) were accepted. Don’t feel intimidated by all of this – if your child is scoring very high consistently without test prep and shows a strong academic interest/curiosity then he/she is probably a great fit. For me, the best part about SN is that my child has found like-minded peers and is in an environment where being “smart” is cool (not nerdy). I also love that the teachers are used to working with high performing kids on an academic and social emotional level. They “get” them.

  • 364. @sm  |  April 7, 2017 at 10:41 am

    @360 SkinnerNorthDad, it’s interesting to hear about new students are high performers. It means students can stay at the current school at least for the academics. However, I am interested in how NC accommodated the needs of high performing new students.

    I have some questions about how your son was differentiated when he was accepted as a top of the class. Was he working as a group or individually for his advanced subject areas?
    Could he keep moving forward with the same pace? Some RGC offer pull out math session for the highly advanced kids. Does NS offer that for Math?
    After years, does your son still adequately challenged?
    Thanks in advance for your response.

  • 365. DCB  |  April 7, 2017 at 11:19 am

    Grade: entering 3rd
    Tier: 4
    Reading: 99
    Math: 99
    Gifted: 120
    Offers: none
    Applied to: Lenart, Skinner West, Skinner North

  • 366. wondering  |  April 7, 2017 at 12:19 pm

    SN, thank you for responding. We don’t do any paid test prep. The RGC score kindergarten score was pretty average for a Tier 4 and would not have resulted in a first round offer. We did use one book this time around that someone recommended on here and the RGC score shot up. My little one is not great at slowing down and reading directions before responding. I think the book helped with that issue and got them thinking instead of reacting. The classical this time around was not Skinner acceptance level, but I wasn’t surprised considering we are not at a place that moves at a pace that would assist with maintaining a 99 score. It doesn’t really matter since we have to accept the offer. Private school for multiple children is just way too much.

  • 367. determinedmom  |  April 7, 2017 at 12:41 pm

    @352 gmom, can you please please email me I have some questions I want to ask you email is check.asap@yahoo.com? thank you vey much

  • 368. NewParent  |  April 7, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    @366 What was the book you used?

  • 369. wondering  |  April 7, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    A Cogat book that I googled on Amazon.

  • 370. gmom  |  April 7, 2017 at 5:08 pm

    @justanotherparent the way you see me is not generalization for sure, I’m entitled to have my ideas on things. I don’t come from an American culture and I just said how surprised I was. How open minded you are indeed.

    My kid gets tested ONE time because I’m interested in entering and no, I’m not testing him EVERY Year as suggested, without wanting to accept the offer from the beginning.. (which is the case in the post I’m referring to)

    By the way, I totally understand some parents here. It’s really scary to read some comments when you are a “average” parent with a kid who’s not a genius (but smart and well rounded). Some parents are so pushy here that’s scary, sorry but it’s the truth. And I wanted to say that out loud, I’m not the only one who thinks this I’m sure. To those “average” parent like me, it’s going to be fine. Don’t let other people stress you out.

    @367 is it something personal? Otherwise you can ask me here, I’ll ask if I can (I’m not a CPS specialist at all!)

  • 371. SN?  |  April 7, 2017 at 5:21 pm

    356 and 370

    I’m happy to see an outsiders (370) view on the system, (356) your message doesn’t feel nice, she didn’t mean what you said, maybe you took it personally. Sometimes here, I feel like I’m a bad mom (I didn’t teach my son to read before K nor worked on the Classical test with him… I’m a working mom) and I also feel anxious because other people are so successful. Sometimes it’s crazy…

    I think as parents we need to relax, and sometimes, just let things be. My son (second one) is on the WL for Skinner North, if he doesn’t test in, I’m fine as well.

  • 372. ig  |  April 7, 2017 at 9:30 pm

    @skinner north parents: how do they handle profoundly gifted kids that are 3+ years ahead?

  • 373. PritzkerParentof2  |  April 8, 2017 at 12:21 pm

    Regarding Pritzker, we have been there for 6 years and I have one child in each program. I’m not sure what the problem is with mixing with neighborhood kids. There are wonderful children in both programs. And, to be honest, there have been children who I’m not crazy about in both programs. I think it is one of Pritzker’s strengths that it has such a diverse population that reflects the city of Chicago. As to the principal, each principal has strengths and drawbacks. This principal cares deeply about the children. Both my children feel comfortable talking to her and coming to her if they have any issues in the classroom. This, to me, is huge! She seeks out opportunities and trainings for the staff throughout the district. She seeks out funding opportunities and partnerships as well. This is bolstered by a very active parent body and increased funding. The library situation was due to cuts in centralized funding. The publicity was unfortunate but this has been happening throughout the city for years and should not be a reason to avoid the school. Frankly, it has the best arts program I have seen in any elementary school in the city. And, it is primarily funded externally so it will not be on the chopping block whatever changes come down from the central office. The teachers are extremely dedicated. Each child clicks with some teachers and not with others. That will happen at any school. Moreover, we have seen teachers who started after being student teachers at Pritzker and I have been very impressed with how quickly they have grown and how supportive, enthusiastic, energetic, and engaging they have been.

  • 374. cpswonderland  |  April 8, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    We just accepted an offer for the 1st grade at Skinner North. For all of you waiting, I hope there would be other openings. Good luck!

  • 375. parent  |  April 8, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    @372, SN differentiates for all levels (see previous comments from various parents above). I would hesitate to say a kid who is 3+ grades ahead is “profoundly” gifted when they enter K — pretty common at SN (and I’m sure Decatur, etc). That would just mean they can read chapter books when they enter K, and do some basic math / early multiplication / etc. Not at all unusual.

  • 376. PritzkerParentof2  |  April 8, 2017 at 3:33 pm

    As for the homeless in the park, they have been there for years. They exist throughout the city, even in more wealthy neighborhoods. I have no issue with them and have found them to be polite and friendly. And not scary/sketcy at all unless you are simply afraid of homeless people. The homelessness is only going to increase with the current budget stalemate. I feel completely safe in the neighborhood. The school bus situation is also a problem throughout the district and not unique to pritzker.

  • 377. @latemom  |  April 8, 2017 at 4:23 pm

    @375 HOw about upper grade level? For example, if 4th or 5th grade kid is ready for a Algebra, is it common? Is it possible for a kid to go to Algebra class? I don’t think it’s ideal to stay in the grade level and working on Algebra without peers.

  • 378. CPStressed  |  April 9, 2017 at 8:34 am

    Mom of a 3 year old here. No way we’re moving to the burbs, so starting to dive into all things Kindergarten CPS now.

    Based on his October birthday, we’ll take the test next November.

    I’m curious to know what tips parents who had successful results would have. I’ve read everything from don’t do any prep, to buy the workbooks, hire the tutors, do practice exams so they’re not taken by surprise with the structure.

    Ultimately I want a happy healthy well rounded kid, but having great educational options is a part of that. I went to CPS growing up and my mom never looked into any of these options and I think I would have really benefitted from them.

    Thanks in advance! 🙏🏻

  • 379. @IsItReallyGood?  |  April 9, 2017 at 10:20 am

    My son spent his toddler and early school years in the different school district where only neighborhood schools exist. I focused on that he can play outside a lot to develop their brain and body when he was toddler. I didn’t even teach him any phonics at all and he had to learn it at school (kindergarten). Once he got into the school, he excelled and skipped a grade later.
    In that system, everyone focused much less on academics until high school and only enjoyed a lot of extracurricular activities and etc. I felt that the town focused too much on sports .
    When we moved to Chicago, my son got 900/900 without any prep (even never knew what the test would be like) and got into his first choice of Selective Enrollment high school.
    I am really glad my son didn’t grow up in Chicago in this system.

  • 380. @IsItReallyGood?  |  April 9, 2017 at 11:13 am

    i am really wondering if Selective Enrollment schools send kids top college more than other school districts in the long run? If so, Is it because they have more academically strong kids or because the system works better.

  • 381. inadilemma  |  April 9, 2017 at 10:46 pm

    Hi, can anyone please provide any information about NTA’s gifted program? I didn’t see any review about the NTA gifted program, so just wondering if it’s not up to the mark as the other RGCs. Kindly provide your valuable inputs, so that we can make a wise choice whether to opt that or the current neighborhood program my child is attending. Thank you!

  • 382. @latemom  |  April 10, 2017 at 5:58 am

    CPSOBSSESSED, I am looking for threads from the previous years, but not able to find the link. Would you inform me where I can find the posts from past years?

  • 383. thirdtimesacharm  |  April 10, 2017 at 10:09 am

    Does anyone know what gifted scores are like for Lenart K/

  • 384. bell busing ?s  |  April 10, 2017 at 1:36 pm

    Does anyone know some of the bus pick up locations on the NW side for Bell, and roughly what those times are? Just trying to determine what is possible. Thanks!

  • 385. Bell Bus Pick-up  |  April 10, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    @384 Jamieson Elementary (Bryn Mawr and California-ish) at 7:32am

  • 387. SkinnerNorthParent  |  April 10, 2017 at 10:52 pm

    I agree that 3+ years ahead is not totally uncommon at Skinner North and I agree that it does not mean a child is “profoundly” gifted. There are definitely kids that are more at grade level or maybe a year ahead or so, but there are many who are very far ahead in one specific area as well. For example, my child generally scores about 2-3 grade levels ahead in math, but is scoring above the average for 12th grade in reading on NWEA MAP and is in 2nd grade. She is reading and comprehending at a college level Lexile. I don’t really expect them to do too much for her with regard to reading. She’s in the highest math group and is appropriately challenged, but the fact is that she’s very highly gifted in the reading/verbal language area (scored in 99th% for IQ in that area on the CTD test for Northwestern as well) and there’s only so much a school can do with that. Again, she’s happy, loves her friends, is stimulated by the environment and enjoys school. It’s unrealistic to expect these public schools with 30+ kids to really differentiate. It’s hard enough to differentiate in a smaller classroom. As I always say, while differentiation is always a challenge, the one thing that a SEES has going for it is that even the lowest performing kids are still pretty high so the ability range is narrowed which allows the teacher to teach to a higher level overall and not to have to focus on bringing the lower kids up to grade level. That’s about all you can ask for in a CPS school with large numbers of students. SEES are not magical places where each student is given an individual learning trajectory – they are still part of a large public school system, and as such, there will not be a ton of individualized teaching. However, I feel that Skinner is providing a strong, well rounded, diverse and social-emotionally appropriate experience for my child.

  • 388. CPSparent  |  April 10, 2017 at 10:54 pm


  • 389. CPSmom  |  April 10, 2017 at 10:55 pm


  • 390. Map Test misunderstanding  |  April 11, 2017 at 9:23 am

    One misunderstanding about NWEA Map test: Elementary level test result cannot be compared to the upper level test directly. If you are taking elementary level MAP test, the score only valid up to 5th grade level since upper level MWEA MAP test is different from elementary level.

    If your kid got about 260 and above in MATH from the elementary level test (ELA has lower ceiling score), it means he/she hit close enough to the ceiling and the test result could not be accurate (ceiling effect).Then, it is more appropriate the kid takes upper level test to evaluate his/her level. Usually, kids experience dropping of the scores when they switch to the upper level test. (My older one didn’t drop the score but score increased less than usual when he switched to the upper level test in 4th grade while my younger one experienced 10 score drops when she switched to the upper level test in 3rd grade.)

    Hope this helps to understand the MAP score.

  • 391. parent  |  April 11, 2017 at 10:12 am

    @377. All kids at SN are doing Algebra in 5th and 6th grade.

  • 392. Ditto 387  |  April 11, 2017 at 10:13 am

    Chiming in to echo what 387 SkinnerNorthParent said!

    I do not have kids at SN, but have had kids in two RGC’s and abilities of the kids there are much as 387 described and the description of what parent’s expectations should be are exactly what I would say you should expect at any RGC or Classical.

    If your child has a true “gift” whether it is basketball, music, or math, you are going to need to supplement it outside of school to help them reach their potential. But, any RGC or Classical is going to provide them with smart, creative, driven kids/families who are on the same path as well as teachers who are used to guiding kids like ours.

    I would also say, respectfully, that no matter how “special” each of our little snowflakes are, they are going to find a peer group at any good school and realize they have strengths and weaknesses within that group. No one is THE BEST and needs to be PUSHED at everything. I think that is a good thing for both kids and parents to keep in mind. It’s okay to read Warriors Books instead of The Republic even if your LEX Score says you are capable of it. It might even be better in the long run. No one wants a twelve year old burn out 🙂

  • 393. CPSparent  |  April 11, 2017 at 11:27 am

    Tier 2 for K
    RGC 123

    No offers

    Im new to this process. I know our daughters score isn’t as high as others who were accepted. Im wondering if I should look more into any of the schools we applied to just in case we get an offer later.

  • 394. parent  |  April 11, 2017 at 8:40 pm

    @384, Bell busing: You are going to have to be more specific than “NW side”. What is your neighborhood school?

  • 395. Bell busing ?s  |  April 12, 2017 at 5:54 am

    @parent, Garvy is neighborhood school. Don’t even know if that is a pick up site for Bell after last year’s busing cuts. Looking for pick up times in Norwood/Oriole/Jeff park vicinity. Thanks.

  • 396. CPSdad  |  April 12, 2017 at 7:19 am

    I might be misinformed, but the way I understand it is MPG is for the primary grades and is generally given for grades K-2 and then kids are given MAP after that. However, at Skinner North they begin giving MAP (the upper grade one) at 2nd grade probably so kids can move beyond that’s ceiling you discussed. For my child she did drop a few RIT scores in math when she switched to MAP. The teacher said that was typical considering the switch in test.

  • 397. Map Test misunderstanding  |  April 12, 2017 at 8:26 am

    @CPSdad, I am not at SN but I think they possibly take elementary level MAP test until 5th and switches it to the upper level test from 6th. If you look at their data in last two years, average Math scores were dropped about 6 points from 5th to 6th grade. It corresponds with other school data that switches their test at the middle level. If only SN takes upper level MAP test in the lower elementary level, in my opinion, the average scores wouldn’t be high like now, but you’d better to check with the teacher again.

  • 398. In SN  |  April 12, 2017 at 10:34 am

    MAP for Primary Grades (MPG), according to NWEA, has a validity ceiling of 215 for both reading and math. Above that level, switching to MAP 2-5 is recommended for valid assessments or obtaining “information useful for instruction”. My son in kindergarten scored just short of the math ceiling in Winter and will probably approach the reading ceiling in the Spring test. But NWEA doesn’t recommend switching so early, so I anticipate seeing him at end of 4th or beginning of 5th grade levels, which is rather hilarious.

  • 399. SEN  |  April 12, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    @395 Bell bus. My kids take the Coonley/Bell bus and Garvey is on our route now. My kids get picked up at Beaubien at 7:05. I am guessing Garvey pick up is around 6:50. Bell starts at 8:15 and Coonley at 8:30.

  • 400. Chicago School GPS  |  April 12, 2017 at 3:17 pm

    Regarding CPS & Transportation: this is from page 15 of the CPSAOE Options for Knowledge Guide (read the last paragraph below, which states that there may not even be busing next year)-

    “Is transportation provided? *
    • Magnet schools: In most cases, school bus transportation is provided to students attending elementary
    magnet schools who live more than 1.5 miles but less than 6 miles from the school. Students attending
    Davis, Disney II, Kershaw, LaSalle II, and Mayer do not receive busing. However, the Bureau of
    Transportation Services provides Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) fare cards or travel reimbursements for
    parents and guardians of students at these schools who qualify for transportation. In addition, school bus
    transportation, fare cards, and transportation reimbursements are NOT available for Drummond Montessori
    Magnet School.
    • Magnet cluster school/open enrollment schools: Transportation is not provided for students in magnet
    cluster schools or open enrollment schools.
    Transportation is provided to students with disabilities if the IEP or 504 Plan requires it; for information, contact the
    Office of Diverse Learner Supports and Services at (773) 553-1800. Transportation may also be provided to homeless
    students upon enrollment; for information, contact the Office of Educational Support for Students in Temporary
    Living Situations at (773) 553-2242.

    * Please note: Due to the extreme budgetary pressures facing the District, the Board of Education will be reviewing
    all transportation policies to determine its ability to fund ongoing programs including those related to magnet,
    gifted, and selective enrollment programs as well as many others throughout the District for the 2017-2018
    school year. When making choices about school applications for your child, please keep in mind that current
    transportation policies and guidelines could be subject to change. If our transportation policy should change,
    updated information will be available on http://www.cps.edu/oae. ”


  • 401. Bell busing ?s  |  April 12, 2017 at 5:47 pm

    @SEN, thank you so much for the information.

  • 402. WaitngFor2ndRound  |  April 12, 2017 at 11:20 pm

    Entering K
    R: 99 M: 97
    Tier 4

    What are the chances of getting an offer from SN or SW in the second round?
    Please share your thoughts/experiences.

  • 403. Proudmama  |  April 13, 2017 at 9:32 am

    I work at a CPS rgc/magnet school that is one of the biggest busing schools in the city. Our transportation coordinator has told me that basically each year the busing options will become less and less because of the budgetary issues with the city. He definitely thinks that busing could be eliminated next year completely next year. Except for students with IEP’s.

  • 404. cpsobsessed  |  April 13, 2017 at 11:34 am

    I (personally) don’t think bussing will be full eliminated, as CPS is committed to having socioeconomic diversity in magnet and option schools. However I agree, there will likely be cuts every year that just continue, so it could be combining schools on a route (like how Bell and Coonley are combined), cutting stops, shrinking the boundaries, etc. that ultimately result in really long rides for the kids who do utilize the buses.

  • 405. Bus Question  |  April 14, 2017 at 10:39 am

    Can kids do homework on the bus? or is it too noisy, bumpy, etc?

  • 406. CPS mom too  |  April 15, 2017 at 9:45 am

    @381 re: NTA

    I don’t think you’re getting a lot of responses because so many people are on spring break this week.

    There’s a lot if you look in earlier year threads, but here’s a quick summary.

    We started at NTA in the first kindergarten class and have been happy there. (Our daughter is now in 3rd grade.) Curriculum is ambitious and creative. Specials include Spanish, swim, gym, music, art, technology. The teachers and principal are imaginative and committed and it’s a beautiful facility attached to a park district facility where the kids have gym and swim. After school care offered by J at School includes all kinds of cool programming including drama, karate, robotics, chess, etc. Because the school is on the near south side, it hasn’t built much of a buzz among northsiders (as you’d expect), but it’s a great community and a wonderful school.

    Check it out in person if you can; there’s an open house April 18th.

  • 407. Confused Parent  |  April 15, 2017 at 5:54 pm

    I wanted to reach out because I am a little concerned about my son’s SEES scores. So he’s 4.5 and already reading, writing, doing math, etc. He can do puzzles and word searches, can identify patterns, etc. His classical score was 90/76. Which is enough to make him eligible but of course no offers. Totally understand. But, his RGC score was only 76. Now, I did not expect him to get super high scores or anything, but was taken aback at this score, that he didnt even make the 115 mark which makes him eligible (esp given he performed decently well on the classical). A number of my friends have expressed that they think its possible I could have been sent the wrong scores.

    Of course, its entirely possible its the right score and he just had a bad day or something (but how does that explain his classical score, which was on the same day?). But, is it worth calling OAE and inquiring about the possibility of receiving the wrong score? Any advice would be appreciated.

  • 408. cpsobsessed  |  April 15, 2017 at 6:55 pm

    It can never hurt to inquire. If there was some kind of mixup it may not be possible to verify it, depending how it happened.
    The testing at age 4 is such a crapshoot depending on so many factors of that one day in the kid’s life and the interaction between the child and the test giver.

    It’s entirely possible that he’ll test much better next year and/or will reacting to the 1st grade testing environment differently.

  • 409. laissez-faire-mom  |  April 15, 2017 at 9:11 pm

    Can someone please tell me how many kindergarten classes there are at Coonley, for both RGC and regular neighborhood?

  • 410. obsessing  |  April 16, 2017 at 6:33 am

    I’m reaching out to Bell Options parents. What do you love about your school? What do you hate?

    We have the tour next week, but I feel pretty uninformed about the school and the stories above about reduced bus service are disconcerting.

  • 411. cpsobsessed  |  April 16, 2017 at 2:47 pm

    Coonley has 1 options and o believe 4 neighborhood K classes.

  • 412. cpsobsessed  |  April 16, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    Goal is to have 3 neighborhood classes if possible for space considerations

  • 413. laissez-faire-mom  |  April 16, 2017 at 5:26 pm

    cpsobsessed, thanks for the information!

  • 414. NTA Parent  |  April 16, 2017 at 5:28 pm

    @381 Our child attends the NTA RGC program. As aforementioned, our child has a variety of specials, including swimming, each week. Her teacher is communicative, organized, and creative which has allowed her to flourish both academically and socially during her time there. Additionally, instruction is differentiated very well at NTA. In Reading, students are not just taught one year ahead like at some RGCs/Classical schools. They are assessed frequently and are instructed based on their reading level. The school’s parent group, FoNTA, is ramping up their fundraising efforts this year in an attempt to offset budget cuts. The campus is beautiful. I have never seen a CPS school that has the amenities that NTA does. SEES parents from other schools (SN, SW, Prtizker) have cautiously inquired about our experience at NTA and their reaction to the fact that we love it there has been somewhat insulting. (I am not suggesting that all parents from those schools are close minded. I am just speaking from my experience with peers/colleagues in the city.) Unfortunately, I think that there are still many who are scared to send their child to a “south side” school in what they perceive to be a poor neighborhood. I would argue that in many ways, NTA offers a richer social and academic education that some of its north side counterparts. Come to the Open House this week. It is truly a remarkable place!

  • 415. SoLo MoM  |  April 16, 2017 at 6:23 pm

    I live in the South Loop (within SLES boundaries) and have paid close attention to the growing popularity of NTA. The families who have children in the RGC seem very very very happy with it. But I think the lack of diversity within the school itself remains a big deterrent, particularly for north side students. Even if one of your kids is lucky enough to secure a RGC spot, there’s a good chance your other kid(s) won’t. And its less-than-central location throws a wrench into these types of situations. I’m sure that some have kids in the RGC and neighborhood programs. Most don’t, though, from what I’ve observed. Bottom line (IMO): NTA has lots of potential for pioneering parents. I’m admittedly not one of them.

  • 416. Inadilemma  |  April 16, 2017 at 11:31 pm

    @ 414 and 415
    Many thanks for your valuable inputs on the NTA RGC program. Also, I would like to know if any foreign language instruction is imparted to the RGC kids there? Thank you!!

  • 417. EdisonBellRGC  |  April 17, 2017 at 12:05 am

    My daughter didn’t fare well at this year’s SEES classical test, her scores being only in the 80th percentile. However, she scored 130 for the RGC test. She’s currently in second grade, and this score is for the third grade entry. She didn’t get any call from any RGC either. However, one of my friends told me she thinks it’s a reasonable RGC score for consideration into the 3rd grade in the later rounds. We’re in tier 4. I gave Edison RGC as the second option. I just wanted to check with you all regarding your thoughts on the score and the possibility of my child securing a spot in Edison during the later rounds. Has anyone had any similar experience like mine now or in the previous years? I gave Bell Elementary as the third option, but it seems they don’t have a bus service to downtown. Looking forward to reading your thoughts on the above-mentioned queries. Thanking you!

  • 418. Pilsen Mom  |  April 17, 2017 at 8:27 am

    Tier: 1
    Score: 783
    School admitted to: Lincoln Elementary IG
    Grade entering: 6th

    There is an informational session this upcoming Wednesday which I will be attending, however I wanted to know if there are any current Lincoln IG families on this forum that could provide me with their own personal insight on the school and their Gifted program.

    Thank you!

  • 419. LSmom  |  April 17, 2017 at 8:38 am

    @417, Bell does bus downtown.

  • 420. NTA Parent Too  |  April 17, 2017 at 8:57 am


    Of course, most RGC parents don’t send their other kids to NTA. The program is only 4 years old. Some parent said have an older kid in another school who they didn’t want to move. Some have only one kid. Some have a younger kid who got into a different SEES. There are several of us, however, with one kid in each program, and many more have preschoolers or infants who they plan to send to the NTA neighborhood program if they don’t get in. In fact, we’re all in a bit of a panic because the secret of NTA being an amazing school is getting out, and we may have to close our to the Options program, which is how most of the RGC siblings get into the school.

    If the school doesn’t work for a family because of location, I get that. I feel the same way about Bell, Coonley, Decatur, and all the other north side schools mentioned here. But to enroll a younger sibling in the neighborhood program is not a pioneering move. Yes, the neighborhood program is primarily low-income and African-American, and it is a fantastic school (note I said “and” not “but”). If parents’ preconceived notions about this fact scares them away from the school, then so be it.

    For those who have no such prejudices and are truly interested in a great school, I encourage you to attend the open house on the 18th.

  • 421. busoptions  |  April 17, 2017 at 9:51 am

    @419, LSmom,

    Thank you for letting me know that Bell does have busing options to downtown. Do you know the timings, and also if they have a stop from South loop or skinner west neighborhood school?

  • 422. LSmom  |  April 17, 2017 at 10:00 am

    @421, I think Skinner West and South Loop are stops: http://cps.edu/Spotlight/Pages/Spotlight690.aspx

    Not sure about timings though (and they can change from year to year).

  • 423. busoptions  |  April 17, 2017 at 10:05 am

    @LSmom, Thanks a lot for the information. Have a good day!!

  • 424. 2nd kid  |  April 17, 2017 at 11:02 am

    We’ve just accepted the offer for 1st grade at Coonley. There is no available seats at Edison at this point and it made our choice much easier. I would like to thank @cpsobsessed for such a great resource and other parents for their insights that helped our family navigate the SEES maze. One day, I will share our experience at SEES and thoughts to help newcomers.

    Good luck everyone!

  • 425. parent  |  April 17, 2017 at 11:36 am

    I don’t know if you have a chance at SN or not…
    Someone above (prouddada) reported that his kid got into SN with 99.8 read/92 math (tier 4). I don’t understand how that is possible, since your kid didn’t get in with 99/97.

  • 426. K score observations  |  April 17, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    I can’t speak to the accuracy of the 99.8/92 reported, but from watching K scores over the years, it seems that the decimals after 99 carry more raw score weight. In the past, folks have posted one score of >99.9 and the other score in the mid or even low 90s. . . and that kid gets in before a kid with two scores in the high 90s, but nothing greater than 99.0. Its almost like each .1 after 99 is equivalent to a percentage point below 99.

    I don’t think I’ve seen many (if any) >99.9 or >160 scores reported this year. I wonder if they are using updated norms for K this year or if those who received those scores are just not reporting them.

  • 427. ProudDad  |  April 17, 2017 at 6:31 pm

    We’re new to Chicago. 6th grade daughter is accepted to both Edison and Lane Tech AC. Struggling to make the right choice. Appreciate experienced parents can share some insight.

  • 428. Pirc Defense  |  April 17, 2017 at 6:49 pm

    I’m in virtually the same situation. My daughter was accepted to Whitney Young AC and Bell RGC for 7th grade next year. WY is first choice, but I’m worried about her attending an AC housed inside of a H.S. She recently did the shadow day and the kids and staff were great, so we’ll see.

  • 429. All in at NTA  |  April 17, 2017 at 9:57 pm

    I’m an NTA RGC parent with two happy, challenged kids. Love, love, love this school.

    Nice, responsive staff and administration. Safe school. I volunteer a lot, feels like family. If you take a tour (hint: April 18 at 9am), say “HI” to JP.

    Parents/family members are encouraged to volunteer and are valued. Opportunities to join Parent Advisory council and Friends of NTA (active fundraising org, 501c3), garden group (come by to see the gardens this summer!), active library group with parent volunteers and volunteers from “Real Men Read”.

    Fantastic teachers who collaborate and who are easy to communicate with. We’ve been here since K (one child in since K, second kid needed a challenge and came over this year from Disney – marine drive).

    Appropriate differentiation!

    My teachers have always had extra recommendations for help or extra homework practice, even if they have to make their own videos. My kids have always been positively encouraged to persevere when things get difficult.

    Class work moves fast at times, but it has never left my kids behind. We do need to do extra practice at home sometimes. Homework amount is reasonable. My kids have been encouraged to read lots of different books and they have become VORACIOUS readers.

    Nice field trips…Northerly Island, plays, museums, Naper Settlement, farm.

    Just finished a big project on Native Americans. Project included research, writing, drawing/coloring and building a model home. Kids loved it and they had to work hard.

    Art and Music teachers are top notch, swim is one of their “gym” classes, Spanish is offered but needs improvement and more frequency (IMO), kids have technology class.

    Creativity is fostered and teachers encourage kids to pursue their interests.

    Before school and after school program is run by J at School. Kids do homework after school and other activities. JCC also offers tuition based classes after school — chess, robotics, dance. Chicago Park District is in building next door and also offers after-school programming.

    Kids can join park district swim team, practice is held immediately after school, so very convenient. Coaches are great. Other team sports are mostly 5th grade and up…football, baseball, track, cheerleading, volleyball, wrestling. Soccer has been offered 2nd grade and up and is run by our PE teacher, parent volunteers and an org called Urban Initiatives.

    Lots of nice kids and families. I think we’d be hard-pressed to find a school providing a better education for our kids.

    We’ve had very positive experience and are in for the long haul.

  • 430. Logan Dad  |  April 17, 2017 at 11:51 pm

    @pircdefense @proudday – My daughter attends Edison and it’s a great school. That said, an invitation to an AC gives you both a great education AND guarantees you a slot in the high school. This is a HUGE benefit especially in you live in Zone 4. And remember, if your child wants to apply to one of the other high schools they still can. The ACs might seem daunting right now but the kids I know who jumped from Edison to Lane and Whitney all love it and found a great community and learning experience. Good Luck with your decision and know that both choices are great choices.

  • 431. Edison?  |  April 18, 2017 at 4:57 am

    @2kid kid, how did you know that if Edison has a seat or not? Did you call to school? My kid was accepted to the classical school but wanted to see if she can get in to Edison in the second round. but, I am worried if there’s a seat at Edison.
    @ProudDad, what was your daughter’s RGC score?

  • 432. comparison  |  April 18, 2017 at 5:08 am

    If we just compare the programs and college matriculation (ignore the issues of tuition, commute, and etc), which school’s doing better, a private school (UCLS) or selective high school (NCP or Payton) in Chicago? Any thought?

  • 433. Thirdtimesacharm  |  April 18, 2017 at 7:13 am

    All in at NTA Can you tell me more about Disney? And did you tranfer do to acceptance to gifted portion at NTA? You mentioned it not being challenging. We are considering Disney but it will be a long commute were in Beverly.And doing private school for the 3rd grader. NTA there score weren’t high enough to be consider.

  • 434. @429  |  April 18, 2017 at 9:30 am

    If you’re “all in,” then why didn’t you send your other child to NTA’s neighborhood program before he/she got accepted into the RGC? Do you consider Disney I to be better academically and/or socially? Truly curious.

    P.S. I know JP from Hi-Five Sports Camp. He’s a terrific guy!

  • 435. Nervousmom  |  April 18, 2017 at 9:37 am

    Hi, we got our 2nd choice of school. Would anyone know if we turn it down.. Is there a possibility of getting our 3rd choice? Just realize the distance might be a factor for us!! Thank you in advance!!

  • 436. Proudmama  |  April 18, 2017 at 9:44 am

    Hi! What grade and schools? And, tier? I actually just talked to OAE and they told me that they would be running several more rounds for kindergarten selections. Of course, it’ll depend on the schools, etc. But, the employee that I talked to thought they my daughter might get a call for a 2nd round offer with her scores…. so, maybe yours would too!!

  • 437. MommyatSN  |  April 18, 2017 at 9:46 am

    407. Confused Parent | April 15, 2017 at 5:54 pm

    I wanted to reach out because I am a little concerned about my son’s SEES scores. So he’s 4.5 and already reading, writing, doing math, etc. He can do puzzles and word searches, can identify patterns, etc. His classical score was 90/76. Which is enough to make him eligible but of course no offers. Totally understand. But, his RGC score was only 76. Now, I did not expect him to get super high scores or anything, but was taken aback at this score, that he didnt even make the 115 mark which makes him eligible (esp given he performed decently well on the classical). A number of my friends have expressed that they think its possible I could have been sent the wrong scores.
    Of course, its entirely possible its the right score and he just had a bad day or something (but how does that explain his classical score, which was on the same day?). But, is it worth calling OAE and inquiring about the possibility of receiving the wrong score? Any advice would be appreciated.

    A family friend tested their daughter for first grade six years ago and got the type of scores you are talking about. She did not get in anywhere although she was extremely bright, talkative and already reading well. It turns out, they coded her incorrectly, as a sixth grader (if I remember correctly). No wonder her scores were low by comparison!! That family did not get that resolved in time to get a seat, so please do what you can to make sure they have the accurate scores for your young child! The family tested her the following year and she scored off the charts and got a hard-to-get second grade seat at that school. She is now in the Options program and doing very well.

  • 438. Nervousmom  |  April 18, 2017 at 9:49 am

    @Proudmama – we are in tier 4 got offer to Pritzker with RGC 141. Would love to get an offer from Edison for 2nd round. Because we are just 5 mins away!! But not sure if that will happen. Any thoughts??

  • 439. Proudmama  |  April 18, 2017 at 10:04 am

    Hmm!! That’s a tough one!! Both are good schools!! Do you have any magnet or neighborhood options, just as a backup?

  • 440. LTAC Mommy  |  April 18, 2017 at 10:04 am

    427. ProudDad | April 17, 2017 at 6:31 pm

    We’re new to Chicago. 6th grade daughter is accepted to both Edison and Lane Tech AC. Struggling to make the right choice. Appreciate experienced parents can share some insight.

    My child is an 8th grader at Lane and man, it has been a fantastic experience for him! He has matured so much. His teachers have been excellent and have encouraged him to think more critically, dig deeper, etc. So many opportunities with after school activities, etc. He has met so many great kids.

    The LTAC kids are “separate” from the high school in that they will most likely do not take any regular classes with them (except for language and some electives) and they basically have most of their classes on the 4th floor. But trust me, high schoolers want NOTHING to do with the younger kids. They are nice, but are not inclined to hang out with them vs their own-age friends.

    My kid is already earning high school credit, which will free him up to take classes he is truly interested in, come junior and senior year–so exciting. The LTAC teachers understand middle school issues and are so helpful.

    As to your child, only you know the type of person she is (social skills, independent, etc.). She will be “new” at Edison, a MUCH smaller school (by all accounts, it is a terrific school). That might feel more welcoming to her. She will be one of the pack of 130ish “new” kids at Lane that does most everything together, from the overnight trip before school starts to lunch. Lane is huge, more than 4,000 students. With that size comes all of the benefits, though: diversity, football games, 100+ clubs to choose from, etc. My kid came from a large school about 1100 kids, so this is not that daunting to him.

    Lots of info, but it all comes down to your child’s personality. You know best. Take the tours and see what you think. Good luck!

  • 441. Tier4mama  |  April 18, 2017 at 10:08 am

    If we just compare the programs and college matriculation (ignore the issues of tuition, commute, and etc), which school’s doing better, a private school (UCLS) or selective high school (NCP or Payton) in Chicago? Any thought?

    This comparison is hard. You can probably get average and median test scores and lists of college admissions. Look where students are admitted not enrolled because low income students may turn down dream schools for more scholarship money at good or great schools.

    You have to rule out legacy factor too. Children of legacies get a leg up in college admissions, sometimes as much as a 30% increase in the likelihood of admission (i.e., Ivy leagues). To adequately compare college admissions between schools, you really need to know whether the student was a legacy of the school they were admitted to. Private schools often have the same test scores as SEHS and top public schools, but better college admissions. It could be that they have a better reputation among colleges or more or better counselors (reasons to pick their school) or it could simply mean that they have a disproportionate number of students who are legacies to great colleges, and this gives them an edge. If it’s the latter, it won’t help you if your child is not a legacy, and can even hurt them if there are lots of legacy students in their class (your child would have to perform significantly better than a legacy to gain the admission spot). UCLS probably has a very high rate of legacies to great colleges because many of the children are faculty children and we all know pedigree is essential for tenure at U of C.

  • 442. Nervousmom  |  April 18, 2017 at 10:14 am

    @Proudmama- we got an offer to Disney I .. but that is also a distance. Our neigborhood school is awesome!! But it’s at a capacity… so we are just kinda lost… this is our first child going to K.

  • 443. Proudmama  |  April 18, 2017 at 10:29 am

    But, your neighborhood school would have t take you though…. it shouldn’t matter if it’s full. Hmm. I think if it were me, I’d take pritzker and see if I got any other good magnet options. You can get busing to pritzker, if you’re comfortable with that?

  • 444. CPSnewbie  |  April 18, 2017 at 11:05 am

    Can anyone share opinion on what my son’s chances are of getting a 2nd round offer to Edison or Coonley?

    Tier 4

  • 445. SEN  |  April 18, 2017 at 1:07 pm

    405 Time wise, it would be great if the kids did their HW. My kids never did. #2 would do some reading. #1 always complained it made her have motion sickness if she read or did HW. I guess it depends on the child. Most kids just seem to socialize and play on their phones!

  • 446. Pilsen Mom  |  April 18, 2017 at 1:56 pm

    Can anyone on this thread chime in on Lincoln Elementarys IG program. Our daughter received an offer for 6th grade, still undecided. Any thoughts on this school and their IG program would be greatly appreciated.


  • 447. parent  |  April 18, 2017 at 4:24 pm

    Hmmm. Now we have someone with a tier 4, 145 not getting into Edison or Coonley — but someone above reported getting into Edison with a 141, tier 4. I assume that was a mistake …

  • 448. Coonley  |  April 18, 2017 at 4:26 pm

    @444, when I called to Coonley, Edison, and Beaubien, they both said they were full and wouldn’t know if there would be any opening until late summer or early Fall. Did your son receive any offer? 145 is high score.

  • 449. Inadilemma  |  April 18, 2017 at 5:08 pm

    Hi, is this 145 score for kindergarten entry?

  • 450. Proudmama  |  April 18, 2017 at 5:16 pm

    I think the person with 141 got a seat at pritzker. She was thinking of turning it down, in hopes of getting a second round offer at Edison.

  • 451. Confused Parent  |  April 18, 2017 at 5:26 pm

    @437 – really? Omg. How did they eventually solve the issue? Did OAE willingly admit that they had made a mistake?

  • 452. parent  |  April 18, 2017 at 7:43 pm

    @450 Nope, 149 Decisiontobemade said they got into Edison with 141, tier 4.

  • 453. parent  |  April 18, 2017 at 7:43 pm

    I wonder if some tiers changed and people weren’t aware of it.

  • 454. parent  |  April 18, 2017 at 7:50 pm

    176 aqqua also said they got into Edison with 141 tier 4.

  • 455. Chris  |  April 18, 2017 at 9:03 pm

    141 scores for Edison may possibly not K T4. FYI for the other parents – Kid has been trying Edison for several years with at least 135 T4 never offered a spot. We heard there were less than 5 kids accepted to Edison the past 5 years.

  • 456. CPSnewbie  |  April 19, 2017 at 1:42 am

    @447, 448, 449, 452, 455
    Thank you all for attempting to help answer my question. I should’ve clarified that my son did get a seat at another school, but due to distance, we would prefer Edison. But I’d like to know his chances at a 2nd round offer at Edison before we turn down the 1st offer.

    Again this is for entering K in Tier 4 with score of 145

    Thank you!

  • 457. asking help  |  April 19, 2017 at 5:42 am

    We are moving to Chicago from a different city. My daughter has some credits that earned from the high school (like academic centers in here). In that case, does NCP or any selective enrollment high school accept these credits? Does anybody have experience?

  • 458. Thirdtimesacharm  |  April 19, 2017 at 7:02 am

    TracyJ Thanks for info about Disney.Ya I put it down every year with no hope usually we are in the 300’s. But my kindergarten recieved a seat & my 3rd grader is 5. So we are strongly considering vs private.Disney open house is Thursday April 20th. So hopefully we love it.

  • 459. MommyatSN  |  April 19, 2017 at 9:52 am

    451. Confused Parent | April 18, 2017 at 5:26 pm

    @437 – really? Omg. How did they eventually solve the issue? Did OAE willingly admit that they had made a mistake?

    Yes, OAE admitted that the child was coded incorrectly (as being several years older than she actually was at the time of the test), but did not volunteer that THEY made the error. They did not solve the issue, chalking it up to “you notified us too late that there may have been an error.” But, good old-fashioned playground “Cheater’s Proof” worked in that the kid scored off the charts the second time she tested and got the desired seat the following year (and has been doing VERY well in the challenging program). They got lucky that another child left the program. Just make sure it does not happen to you. 😦

  • 460. Skinner North Update & Question  |  April 19, 2017 at 10:07 am

    First, thanks to all of the people on here who share information! It has helped us so much on this journey!

    The open house was last night at Skinner North. Very impressive. We happily will take the offered seat. The session was fast-paced and had a lot of information. I would not have minded if it was longer. I am glad my husband was with me, to help absorb everything. We toured the building, met the kindergarten teachers and talked with current parents (who of course are happy campers). My son was with us and he liked the kindergarten teachers and his classroom. He liked that there was a rock climbing wall in the gym and a reading nook in the library.

    I have a silly question for any of the Skinner North parents here…our son plays sports, including soccer. I know SN is a top academic school (and we are very happy about that), but does it have a soccer team or any sports teams? My husband and I heard about their math, robotics and chess clubs, but we do not remember hearing anything about their sports programs. It is not a deal-breaker for our family, but it would help my son make the transition if he knew he could join sports at his school. Thanks!

  • 461. another question about SN  |  April 19, 2017 at 10:26 am

    In addition to the above question about Skinner North sports, I want to ask about their differentiation in Math. I was told that they provide differentiation within the grade. So, advanced third graders can work on more in depth of 4th grade Math but not going to 5th grade level Math. But somewhere in the thread, one or two parents from SN mentioned all 4th and 5th graders in SN do Algebra. How can it happen if they only work within the grade level?

    I also was told that they don’t offer beyond Algebra 1. Then, what SN kids do when they are in 6th grade? I am so confused at this point.

  • 462. ProudDad  |  April 19, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    440. LTAC Mommy | April 18, 2017 at 10:04 am

    Thank you for sharing such a detailed perspective!

  • 463. WaitngFor2ndRound  |  April 19, 2017 at 5:37 pm

    @425, parent, Thanks for your response. My son got an offer from a RGC school, which was our first preference.
    SW and SN were our 2nd and 3rd preferences.
    We were just wondering, if we decline our 1st preference what are the chance of him getting an offer from SW or SN.

  • 464. cutoff  |  April 19, 2017 at 5:54 pm

    Does anybody know if the second round cut off is getting higher or lower? Thank you.

  • 465. cpsobsessed  |  April 19, 2017 at 6:14 pm

    @463- your chances depend on your child’s scores and your tier (and how many people decline spots at SW/SN.)

  • 466. In SN  |  April 19, 2017 at 7:21 pm

    Re: sports @ SN

    There are a few teams in the upper grades, soccer being one, that compete in CPS regional leagues. Their organization, however, is on the informal side and will probably never generate a lot of enthusiasm. But a PE teacher is applying to be the new assistant principal, so there might be changes.

    Re: math

    Upper grades’ curricula are an area still developing, so here too things might change, but obtaining high school credits seems unlikely.

  • 467. Another Skinner North Parent  |  April 19, 2017 at 9:10 pm

    Wanted to also chime in regarding Skinner North sports as our upper-grade experience is a bit different than In SN’s. Many sports team options are offered starting in 5th grade. Fall: Boys – Soccer, Co-Ed – Flag Football, Cross Country; Winter: Boys & Girls – Basketball; Spring: Boys – Floor Hockey, Girls – Soccer, Co-Ed – Track & Field. These sports offerings are similar to other CPS schools and are played against other CPS schools. SN also has a co-ed spring baseball team (which was started last year) that plays in an outside league against other non-CPS schools. Their sports programming is relatively new (I think only 4-5 years old) but the school has done a good job of organizing and ensuring that all students feel welcome to participate. Teams often consist of a hybrid of students who are quite experienced players (e.g. play on travel teams) to students who are completely new to the game. Many of Skinner’s teams have done quite well – the cross country & track teams have consistently had their students qualify for regional meets, last year some of the school’s basketball & soccer teams make it to playoffs, and this year, the school’s 8th grade basketball team won their division. championship. For younger girls who are interested in running, Skinner participates in Girls on the Run for girls 3rd-5th grade.

    I do agree that the upper grade curricula is still developing but that high school credits are unlikely. However, the are consistently making changes that enhance the middle school experience and many students this year who were offered Academic Center placement are opting to turn down their offers to stay at Skinner through 8th grade.

  • 468. WaitngFor2ndRound  |  April 19, 2017 at 9:57 pm

    cpsobsessed – Thanks for your response.
    We are in Tier 4. Scores are R:99 and M:97.
    Based on the scores and trend from previous years, what do you think are his chances.

  • 469. cpsobsessed  |  April 19, 2017 at 11:13 pm

    Unfortunately the person with the August offer for Skinner North didn’t list their score, as far as I can tell. If you scan this thread from last year you might find something:


  • 470. cpswonderland  |  April 20, 2017 at 12:18 am

    @468 & 469
    “897. ProudMom | April 18, 2016 at 1:56 pm

    How do I contact SEES to see where child is on wait list and what should I ask? Had 99 reading and 92 math and applied SN and SW for Kindergarten. Thank you for your responses” – (from the 2016 sees thread)

  • 471. cpswonderland  |  April 20, 2017 at 12:24 am

    @468 & 469

    “1245. ProudMom | August 23, 2016 at 11:24 pm

    Just got email that son got seat at skinner north for K. Any thoughts on the school? We are always scheduled to start at a private school beginning Monday. Thank you!” (same thread)

  • 472. another question about SN  |  April 20, 2017 at 4:40 am

    @466 In SN and @467 Another Skinner North Parent, Thanks a lot for your kind explanation about SN math in upper grade. It is very helpful.

  • 473. EdisonInvited?  |  April 20, 2017 at 4:44 am

    I think I’ve read somewhere in the thread about Edison RGC “is invited to the academic center”. I know they take a test to go to Academic Center and I wonder what it means. Do they take a different test from the other schools?
    Thank you in advance for your response.

  • 474. afterschool  |  April 20, 2017 at 6:58 am

    cpsobsessed and cpswonderland – Thanks a lot for the info.
    Appreciate your help.

  • 475. karet  |  April 20, 2017 at 8:27 am

    @461 re: SN math.

    Students at SN are working 1-2 grades above grade level in math. I’m not sure who told you that they are working at grade level, but I’m wondering if they were responding to your question about differentiation — students don’t work ahead *of the current class level* (which would already be 1-2 years ahead) by more than a full year, but they can work ahead.

    My kid is in 5th grade. They are learning a number of algebraic concepts, but it’s not as if they will have completed Algebra 1 this year. I think it’s hard to answer questions about exactly how far “ahead” they are because they don’t follow a traditional book from beginning to end in any of the grades. Sometimes they may be working on a concept that is 1 grade ahead, sometimes it is more advanced. (The workbooks they’ve used are a grade level ahead). Much of the homework this year has been problems written by the teacher.

  • 476. LTAC Mom  |  April 20, 2017 at 10:39 am

    473. EdisonInvited? | April 20, 2017 at 4:44 am

    I think I’ve read somewhere in the thread about Edison RGC “is invited to the academic center”. I know they take a test to go to Academic Center and I wonder what it means. Do they take a different test from the other schools? Thank you in advance for your response.

    I can’t comment on what you specifically saw, but every sixth grader who applies to ACs takes the same test as everyone else. No school is specifically “invited,” or has a leg up on admissions, etc. Results come just like the elementary school results come and kids from all over the city, from all types of schools (charter, neighborhood, public, private, religious, etc.) are offered seats based on the 900-point scale and Tier. Hope that helps!

  • 477. quandary  |  April 20, 2017 at 10:55 am

    I posted here once before, but will repeat our youngest child’s score (for kindergarten), etc: RGC 146, 99.8% reading/99% math.

    Had an offer for Edison. Our first pick.

    We were so excited with her score (always knew about the reading, but the math was a surprise), and the offer for Edison. However, our oldest (who scored well for the K entry but not well enough for offers), has been attending Disney II and getting a wonderful education which has been personalized and challenging – he hasn’t been bored and he loves so many aspects of the school, it’s been a great fit. His math and reading skills are 1-3 grades ahead! Our youngest benefited from the sibling preference and was offered a spot.

    So we have spent the time since the notification debating quite a bit. Did the Edison tour – it’s a great facility, with amazing, engaged kids and teachers. Met the K teacher who seems wonderful. Compared with Disney II, it was hard – not like apples and oranges, but peaches and nectarines. So many similarities; the exception being the kids’ academic/other skill levels upon entry, of course – with Disney II being a magnet vs. SEES.

    After much debate (and similar meetings/discussions with the Disney II principal and teachers), we have taken a deep breath and decided to let our Edison spot go. We did indeed love the school, but where my oldest has been is a great place, and 2 schools seemed a large challenge for not a clearly enormous benefit for our youngest. Especially since she preferred to be with her brother. We’re keeping the family together and hoping for the best. I think she will excel wherever she goes; and if we find Disney II to not be the best fit after K, we will take the chance and re-test.

    Best of luck to all of you out there. For those of you hoping for an Edison spot, one just opened up!

  • 478. another SN question  |  April 20, 2017 at 11:38 am

    @466 In SN and @467 Another Skinner North Parent – up above, someone mentioned that 7th and 8th drops to single classes. In your experience, does that affect the offerings (academic or extracurricular) for upper grades? A SN parent of a younger child said they thought that was changing. Do you think that is changing?

  • 479. cpsobsessed  |  April 20, 2017 at 11:57 am

    @Quandry – thanks for sharing. I’m sure that was tough to turn down, but I think having a family at 1 school is a great thing.
    And as you say, if she needs to make a move later it’s highly likely she’d test into someplace down the road, given those scores.

  • 480. SNMommy  |  April 20, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    478. another SN question | April 20, 2017 at 11:38 am

    @466 In SN and @467 Another Skinner North Parent – up above, someone mentioned that 7th and 8th drops to single classes. In your experience, does that affect the offerings (academic or extracurricular) for upper grades? A SN parent of a younger child said they thought that was changing. Do you think that is changing?

    Hmmm…it’s hard to say, because SN has only been around for 8 years, so it only graduated its very first group of 8th graders last year in 2016. If memory serves, they started the school with just one first and second grade class and two at the K level, to help control the growth until they established their culture, etc. So, the inaugural two classes were always comparatively “light” in students.

    Their plan has always been to have two full classes at each grade, which was working well until students became old enough to consider academic centers, (getting guaranteed enrollment two years early at a great SEHS, like Lane or Whitney, can sound pretty attractive!).

    I believe that explains the “drop” in numbers for the 7th and 8th grade you describe–happens to many, many schools. I just heard that a NW Options program of 31 kids is losing 21 of them to ACs next fall!

    I think things ARE changing at SN, and my guess is that more families will stay through 8th grade in the future. 1) The school’s first and second 8th grade graduating classes (2016 and 2017) snapped up a lot of coveted SEHS and private school spots, so clearly the school is preparing them well enough in the upper grades. So, maybe the urgency of grabbing a HS spot early will no longer be there for nervous 6th grade parents.(I personally know two kids who are staying at SN despite great AC offers.) And 2) the school is working closely with parents and students to shape the middle school experience, adding some of the social things kids love: student council, dances, overnight field trips, lockers, sports, etc. The kids are loving these opportunities. Younger students are getting excited about those things down the road.

    As far as limiting things, I don’t think so. It’s not like there are just three lone kids sitting in an empty 7th or 8th grade classroom, twiddling their thumbs. The teachers are still among the very best in the city, engaging and challenging their students, whether there are 60 or 30. Plenty of new faces joined the school in 7th and 8th grade the past two years to make it like any other school. They have enough kids to field all kinds of sports and academic teams and have all of the drama a normal middle school has. 🙂

  • 481. CPSnewbie  |  April 20, 2017 at 12:41 pm

    @477. quandary – Thank you for the helpful info. We are one of the families hoping for 2nd round into Edison.

    @479. cpsobsessed – I know the above parent reported that they’re going to decline a seat with a score of RGC 146 (not sure which tier) for K.

    My son scored 145 for K in Tier 4. I know there are unknowns that make it impossible to predict, but if you were to guess, do you think a score of 145 will qualify for a 2nd round spot to Edison Gr K? Are tiers a factor for 2nd rounds?

    Thank you in advance for any help you can offer. My son was offered a seat to Decatur, but we would decline if he could get a seat to Edison.

  • 482. newclass/rgc  |  April 20, 2017 at 1:03 pm

    Does any one know when the second rounds of calls start? I know that the deadline to accept the first round of offers is April 23. So, does the second rounds of notifications start the next day onward? I am new to this whole process, so pardon my ignorance. Thanking you!

  • 483. llmm  |  April 20, 2017 at 1:23 pm

    Usually it takes them a minute to turn it all around. Probably between a week or two.

  • 484. newclass/rgc  |  April 20, 2017 at 1:39 pm

    @483: Thank you for the information!!

  • 485. Potential NTA RGC parent  |  April 20, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    We are considering an offer for the RGC at NTA – entering in K. Have any of your toured this program or been a part of it? What were your impressions?

  • 486. Beaubien?  |  April 20, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    Was anyone else on the Beaubien tour this morning? Wondering what your thoughts were. I was impressed–especially with the math/science/technology portions and how nice, open, and engaged all the teachers and kids seemed. Since we where broke up into smaller groups so much of the time, I was curious if anyone heard anything that pushed them towards acceptance or not.

  • 487. Crossing my fingers  |  April 20, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    I was at the open house for Beaubien and was also impressed. I accepted the offer for my daughter. We are located on the northwest side of Chicago, so she will be taking the school bus to school.

  • 488. rvdad  |  April 20, 2017 at 2:59 pm

    My wife and I were at the Beaubien tour also. We were both very impressed. The 8th graders giving us the tour were great and the kids in the classrooms were very energetic and seemed to really enjoy the learning environment. We are leaning against accepting solely due to the commute. Unfortunately, I’m not sure we’ll be able to work out the logistics. If we lived or worked closer to the school, it would be a no-brainer for us.

  • 489. Proudmama  |  April 20, 2017 at 4:39 pm

    Hi! Just curious what your child’s scores were for the Decatur offer? Was it tier 4? I’m hoping for a second round offer from there and just trying to see how close or far away my daughter was… thanks!!

  • 490. HelpPlease  |  April 20, 2017 at 5:11 pm

    I am considering to give up classical school(SN) to try RGC in the second round (Edison or Coonley) only because I think RGC is more flexible in terms of curriculum and differentiation but I cannot certain about that. Wonder if anybody has experience of both type of schools and can tell me the differences of two types of schools. Thank you in advance!

  • 491. another SN question  |  April 20, 2017 at 5:18 pm

    @480 Thanks for the good information.

  • 492. In SN  |  April 20, 2017 at 6:11 pm

    @490 FYI about differentiation at SN.

    My son is in K. In his class, kids are divided into weekly reading groups based on formal assessments. The highest group currently reads 3rd grade materials (and does associated homework). There are also separate math groups, one of which uses 2nd grade workbooks. The teacher encourages development of math skills using internet resources at home: subscriptions to IXL and others have no grade limitation.

  • 493. HelpPlease  |  April 20, 2017 at 7:13 pm

    @492 In SN, thanks so much for sharing the info.It’s very helpful for the decision to know SN offers 2-3 above materials without grade limits. Based on my personal experiences, I don’t trust the differentiation only going deeper within the grade level, but the classical schools seems to be very structured in that manner and it made me so worry.

  • 494. CPS mom too  |  April 21, 2017 at 8:51 am


    Happy NTA parent here. (We’ve been in the RGC since it opened.)Try searching on “NTA” in thread; there are a number of responses above with details on the program.

    If you have any addl questions, let us know.

  • 495. shareinfo  |  April 21, 2017 at 10:40 am

    Hello parents! If your child is accepted to 4th grade at Edison RGC, would you be able to tell me if you are going to accept the offer or not? If so, I want to turn down our offer at Bell. Thank you!

  • 496. westloop dad  |  April 21, 2017 at 2:42 pm

    Live in west loop and son is in K at Andrew Jackson. We applied to Skinner West for 1st, 99r/98m (tier 4). What are the chances he gets SW offer? If he gets it, is it worth moving from Jackson?

  • 497. teacher/mom  |  April 21, 2017 at 3:28 pm

    I commented earlier that we were planning to reject our Bell offer to stay at Brentano, but the posts here as well as comments made by people I know in real life including teacher colleagues of mine made me second guess our decision.

    I went down a tunnel for a while.

    I missed the tour, but I visited Bell and had a long meeting with the principal. Her openness made me feel so welcome at the school. She impressed me with her vision for her school. They seem to have a grounded whole-child philosophy even about the gifted kids. I appreciate that the curriculum is inquiry and project-based. The principal said even within the gifted program, there is a high level of differentiation. Teacher collaboration also seems to be a priority. I also love that they have a policy of no more than 15-20 minutes of homework in the early primary grades. And the homework is meaningful. I was really impressed with the first grade homework assignments I saw. Some are practice-based, but others are inquiry-oriented. And students are able to choose among a menu of options. Choice seems to be a big thing at this school which I believe is imperative for student growth. The school even does genious hour with students in the upper grades. Their arts residencies in the upper primary grades seem magical. I really loved the energy of the school. It appears that the school does a lot of work to educate the whole child and build a community within their Options program and across the school. The classrooms and hallways are brimming with really impressive student work. The students I saw were all engaged. I saw students working with teachers, but also working with each other. Group collaboration seems to be another priority at the school. I have tried to find negatives, but I have not heard any parents say anything negative about the school. At all. Overall, the offer was tempting.

    In the end, though, we are going to stay at Brentano. Many of the amazing things they have at Brentano are also things we have at our school. The whole school curriculum is inquiry-based. Like Bell Options students, my child is also engaged in projects and experiments. I know that the learning at Brentano is differentiated within each classroom. I know the students frequently work in groups. Bell seems to have wonderful leadership, but I know Brentano has wonderful leadership. Brentano teachers collaborate a ton. I know we have multiple teachers at each grade level collaboarting both within and across grades at Brentano. Like the Bell students, our students also have buddies in the upper grades.

    We also have some things Bell doesn’t have for us. My son’s kindergarten class was 23 students. In first grade at Bell, he would have been in a class of 28. The students have PE every day as well a a daily arts class. My son’s friends live close to us. Brentano kids attend the same neighborhood summer camps. They are in park district activities together. When they are older, they will be able to walk or ride bikes to each other’s homes. We spend time outside of school with parents of his classmates. We do things in the neighborhood. There is a phenomenal parent community at Brentano. I’m sure Bell has one, too, but I’m guessing it would be harder to be a part of things when you don’t live near the school. And, the deal maker, I know that my younger child who doesn’t have the personality to do well on a test administered by a stranger will be able to attend school with her big brother. (Bell is working on a sibling lottery, but doesn’t have one in place now.)

    This has been a difficult decision, but I am at peace with our choice. I’m posting this because I have been scouring the blog to see concrete details of what makes Bell a great school, and I had trouble finding them. They are here for future reference in case anyone is looking. Of course, I couldn’t post great things about Bell without also balancing it with the great things that made us decide to stay at Brentano.

    In case anyone read through to the end of this and is wondering, there will be at least one Tier 2 first grade seat at Bell open for the second round of RGC offers this year. I’m sure whoever gets the spot will love the school. It just wasn’t the right choice for us.

  • 498. teacher/mom  |  April 21, 2017 at 3:32 pm

    @490 HelpPlease: I have a friend whose child is in first grade at Skinner West. From what she has told me about the program, I would definitely choose a RGC over a Classical School program. It does seem like the Classical focus is just about being ahead of grade level. See my comment above for my RGC impressions.

  • 499. All in at NTA  |  April 21, 2017 at 7:00 pm

    434. @429 | April 18, 2017 at 9:30 am
    If you’re “all in,” then why didn’t you send your other child to NTA’s neighborhood program before he/she got accepted into the RGC? Do you consider Disney I to be better academically and/or socially? Truly curious.

    I’ll tell you! 8)

    Tested for Kindergarten, got one kid in the RGC at NTA. South Loop (SLE) is our neighborhood school.

    Had no knowledge about NTA, knew no one at the school, info about NTA online was not great. Knew SLE was highly regarded, everyone talking about how great it is, how lucky we are to be able to go there.

    Went with NTA RGC for one kid (SLE was backup in case it was too difficult). Other kid went to SLE because that’s what we had to do…go to our neighborhood school.

    NTA kid flourished in their gifted program. I volunteered when I could and got to know the school/staff.

    SLE kid needed more rigor…challenge. Didn’t like SLE.

    Tested again to try to get RGC spot…for more rigor. Didn’t get into RGC again.

    Also applied for magnet and options programs. Waitlisted at NTA (options for knowledge). Offered Disney (magnet).

    Took Disney because they have gifted track of their own. Figured their gifted track would work, academically.

    No community feel at Disney. Community feel was increasing at NTA. Still volunteering.

    NTA kid happy, doing really well in school. Great teachers, great staff. So happy to be there.

    Still working on how to get second kid into right place academically. Kids in regular neighborhood program cannot swap into gifted classrooms, so figured it’s either Disney’s gifted track -OR- maybe we can still get into NTA RGC?

    Tested for NTA gifted program AGAIN. Applied for options program AGAIN.

    Got a spot in NTA RGC. Gifted rigor at NTA is perfect fit for second kid.

    No, I don’t consider Disney to be better socially…the schools seem pretty similar that way in our experience. If I compare the NTA gifted education to the regular class education my other kid was getting at Disney, yes, I think the academics are better at NTA. The challenge, detailed instruction and support my kids are getting from their teachers at NTA is really fantastic. We have nice kids and families at NTA, my kids have friends from all different classrooms.

    The one thing I miss about Disney is the extra emphasis on Fine Arts and the two-week CAC presentation work, BUT, my kids have awesome Art and Music teachers so we’re definitely not missing out on that end.

  • 500. mum  |  April 21, 2017 at 8:02 pm

    For the Skinner North parents…any thoughts on the different level reading and math groups. Do you think it breeds any competition or insecurities in the kids?

  • 501. To.SNparents  |  April 21, 2017 at 8:27 pm

    Parents in SN: How’s the new principle? Is she open and understand gifted kids well?I’ve talked with her at the open house, but I didn’t feel welcomed. The principle didn’t look open nor thinking flexible to meet individual kid’s need. She looked rather protective about her school and her answers was all about “we have so many smart and advanced kids (than your kid)”. (Interestingly, I saw the similar postings from SN parents sometimes in here too)
    Rigidity of the leadership bothers me a lot and considering to turn down the offer.
    If I am wrong about her, please correct me.

  • 502. newtoCPS  |  April 21, 2017 at 8:32 pm

    RGC vs. Classical: RGC is two years ahead and Classical is one year ahead of the curriculum. When you move from a classical school to RGC, is there any gap in the curriculum and learning?
    Are they really follow that rule strictly or it is just a boundary that can be unclear by the differentiation?

  • 503. mum  |  April 21, 2017 at 9:33 pm


    I got the same feeling from her at the open house as well! She did not seem very open at all. I did not get a welcoming feeling from her either. We’ve accepted a kindergarten seat at SN but she makes me very nervous about the decision.

    Also, my husband who is a veteran teacher asked one of the kindergarten teachers about differentiated teaching methods and he said she had no clue about what he was talking about. HIs assessment was that she must be used to outdated teaching methods and is stuck in her ways despite advancements in updated methods.

  • 504. disappointed mom  |  April 22, 2017 at 12:17 am

    490 and 498, and others wondering about RGC vs neighborhood or classical. I think you might be better off staying where you are. The grass looks greener on the other side of the fence, but I do not think most of these programs really live up to the hype. I had a child transfer in middle school to a RGC from a good IB neighborhood school. I am getting the feeling that even the RGCs do not really do much for “gifted” children. They still are only moving them ahead a year – much like the classical schools. I did not see any special programs or efforts to meet the needs of gifted children. instead of offering social support when my child was having trouble managing the work load, there was blame and punishment. she was getting terrible grades and no one cared. despite multiple meetings and emails and texts with the teachers no real effort was made to help her. not even a guidance counselor to turn to for help. if a child has test scores (without pretest coaching) in the high 90s and gets Cs and Ds in the gifted program, something is going terribly wrong there. the place was horrible for her self esteem. as a parent, I felt no sense of community. No welcoming. the principal was never around or approachable. there was no opportunity to mingle with the parents. we did not live nearby- my child was bused, there. i wanted to get involved – but could not figure out how to volunteer- I called the office and they told me to go to the web site but it was never updated. i never received any information from the school about activities, only requests for my money. I was sorry I moved my child at all and have since moved her back to the neighborhood school which always lets us know what it going on. maybe it is different if you start in kindergarten, but I would think twice about switching an older child. and do not expect much for the gifted child anywhere. If a child is getting special attention consider yourself likely, It does not seem to be a consistent across all of the schools. and the recent budget crisis has worsened the situation. I am only worried now that our IB school is becoming anti-differentiation. may be time to give up on the (starting to fail?) CPS system and move to the suburbs. Probably would already be gone but have another who was accepted to a selective enrollment high school… such a dilemma. it is too bad that it is so difficult to meet the needs of all of our children.

  • 505. c  |  April 22, 2017 at 12:32 am

    For those wondering about academic centers. I do not have any children who have attended them, but I have been researching them. and wanted to at least share what I have learned. One of my children was accepted to Kenwood’s last year but after considering it, declined it. It was too far from home and there was no early admission advantage. I do think it was academically a great program but my child was concerned about the social aspects of leaving all of her friends and starting all over again, especially since she was not certain she wanted to be there for high school, too.

    There is also an important thing to consider- the academic center grades are put on the high school transcript and will go to colleges when they apply . if you are concerned your child is not mature enough to successfully tackle high school level work at age 12, you might want to hold off on the AC.

  • 506. Thirdtimesacharm  |  April 22, 2017 at 5:50 am

    Thanks you so much. Is Disney worth a big commute? My child has a seat for k and scored low but is still in pool for gifted. He did a play based prek and I don’t think traditional learning is for him. I’m actually glade to hear there not so much of a community feel. I was just overwhelmed with the open house.

  • 507. teacher/mom  |  April 22, 2017 at 6:14 am

    @504 disappointed mom: Can you share which RGC it was? What you described is what I expected. I was pleasantly surprised by what I saw and heard at Bell. It was more like my own positive experience as a gifted child in Napervile. It is very likely that not all gifted programs within CPS are equal. The individual teachers and leadership make such a difference.

    That said, I do think there was an element of grass always being greener going on in my head which is why we metaphorically tore up our golden ticket.

  • 508. newtoCPS  |  April 22, 2017 at 6:15 am

    @505 Thanks for sharing your research and thought about AC. It is very helpful although my child is still young. I have a question about Ac credits. Are they counted as a high school graduate requirement at the SEHS or they are just attached to the high school credit as an additional information. If it can be counted as a graduate requirement, it means, AC kids need to take less credits at SEHS to graduate. right? It would be one benefit.

  • 509. CPSdad  |  April 22, 2017 at 7:20 am

    Lots of questions about Skinner North math on here. I can tell you about my experience. My child is in 2nd grade and at the recent parent teacher conference the teacher told me she’s is in the highest math group. She said that this group is so enthusiastic that she is doing 5th grade concepts with them. It seems to me that she is responding to the specific needs of her current group of kids (as all good teachers should). I don’t know if there’s a specific policy about how many grade levels above they will go. As far as if it puts pressure on the kids or creates a competitive environment, I don’t think they really even realize that there are leveled groups. The parents definitely do not talk about it and I think most are unaware. I was only told because my child was having a little trouble with one of the really advanced concepts so I asked the teacher about it at conferences and she explained about the leveled groups and assured me not to worry.

    With regard to the new principal, I am so surprised that the impression from the tour was not positive. I have always found her to be responsive, warm, very aware of each individual child, and driven to do the best for kids. The community was overjoyed when she was hired and I know that my daughter asked me to write a letter to let the committee know that we wanted her hired because she likes her so much. Skinner is rigid about certain things, like nut free policy, classroom party celebrations, and parents not roaming the hall of the school during the school day, but they have never seemed rigid to me about the important things – like the needs of students and the challenges of quirky academically advanced kids. And I am also surprised to hear that the kindergarten teacher was not responsive to a question about differentiation – again a very different experience than I had. Just my thoughts.

  • 510. Jen K  |  April 22, 2017 at 7:21 am

    @508 yes, the HS level courses at an AC count on the transcripts toward HS graduation; the students generally finish most HS requirements junior year and have the opportunity to take a lot of electives (AP classes, advanced levels of languages, computer science, art, etc). As @505 mentioned, it is important that a child entering the AC is truly ready for HS level work. It’s not just an accelerated program (like RGCs), kids are starting high school in 7th grade. The executive functioning / organization skills are extraordinary important.

  • 511. WRP Mom  |  April 22, 2017 at 7:39 am

    @508 I can answer your question regarding credits earned at an AC. If they are high school level classes, they DO fulfill the high school requirements. They are also included in their GPA and transcript so are a consideration when applying to college.

    My child went though the Lane Tech AC and is currently a Lane junior. Because she has completed the high school requirements, she will be taking all electives next year that she finds interesting. Some kids opt to graduate a year early.

  • 512. newtoCPS  |  April 22, 2017 at 7:58 am

    @510 and @511, Thanks so much for your quick answer for my question!
    @511, Does CPS allow kids graduate an year early? When I asked about it to one of the SEHS (I think it was NCP, but it was while ago and not so sure), their answer was CPS doesn’t allow that.

  • 513. AnotherSNCurious  |  April 22, 2017 at 8:08 am

    I agree that there has been lots of interesting discussion about SN here.
    @599 CPSDad, how about if a kid is above top level of top group? Does the teacher easily let him work individually to challenge him or keep him within the group?
    So far I read, it looks SN administration and teachers are not so open minded. They looks (over)proud of themselves and don’t see any other possibilities or options easily.

  • 514. Youdontknowme  |  April 22, 2017 at 8:52 am

    I have a child at SN. I am surprised by the number of complaints about our new principal and critiques of the K teachers after what I assume are 5 minute conversations. I know I would be hard pressed to find parents of current students who would share these same sentiments. If anything every parent in my child’s class is ecstatic about the opportunity their child is getting at SN. I guess I am wondering why sit here and complain about the administration. Just don’t take the offer. I know if I had such reservations about the people that will be guiding my child for the next year and beyond I wouldn’t be signing up for this school.

  • 515. WRP Mom  |  April 22, 2017 at 8:57 am

    @512 It may depend on the school, Lane Tech does let kids graduate a year early. I know of a few kids who have done this already or will be graduating early this year. I can’t speak for other SEHS.

  • 516. newtoCPS  |  April 22, 2017 at 9:21 am

    @515 WRP Mom, thanks for the info. It’s good to know! If Lane Tech allows early graduation, maybe other SEHS will allow it too because they are under CPS. I need to double check with NCP.

  • 517. Confused Parent  |  April 22, 2017 at 9:23 am

    I must say I have to second this. My child was at SN from KG through 6th grade and is now at Whitney Young. I am not just surprised at these answers, I am appalled. We had Ms. Bigelow (now Ms. Kearns) for KG and to say she is an exceptional teacher is actually not doing her justice. She is incredible. In fact, she sent the bar for me for all teachers moving forward, and I actually still wish to this day that she just followed my kid throughout elementary school because she is just.that.good. I still get teary eyed thinking of her and how amazing she is. To be honest, most of the teachers are. The former principal, Mr. Netterstrom, had an amazing ability to identify excellent teachers. I am confident he has mentored and trained the new principal to be just as good. Last year, my daughter and 17 – i will say it again – SEVENTEEN – of her classmates got offers to WY (this doesn’t even include the number that went on to Kenwood, Lane, etc). If that doesn’t speak to the quality of education they are getting at SN I don’t know what will.

    It doesn’t get much better than SN. CPS doesn’t get much better than SN. In fact, it’s the top school for many years now. People would jump for a seat at SN. And speaking as a parent of an incoming KG student who’s SEES and magnet offers are bleak and we are trying not to have a panic attack, I sincerely can’t believe the level of scrutiny such an exceptional school is getting. So, I agree with @514. if you have this many reservations, please don’t take the seat and give it to someone who absolutely wants to be there.

  • 518. To.SNparents2  |  April 22, 2017 at 9:39 am

    @514 and other SN parents, If you are upsetting about the negative comments about SN, you don’t need to. The people in here (including me) is desperately looking for any information to make a good/wise decision for their children. We post our questions and comments here because we are not sure if our research or experience (including 5min. conversation with a teacher) is correct or not. I kinda hope the negative postings here are wrong impressions about SN. If you feel any of them is not a fair comment about SN, you can kindly share your experiences and correct the it, rather than saying “why are you complaining here? just turn it down!” unless this is typical SN parents’ culture.

    I am not stalking this blog to read about compliments about the schools but to get all the possible information weather it’s negative or positive to make the better decision for my child.

  • 519. In SN  |  April 22, 2017 at 10:39 am

    Let’s pause for a moment digging up SN’s academic particulars and think about the school’s guiding principles. It’s in a big urban system, in a liberal-leaning domain (public education). So the administration’s stated #1 priority is to make sure its students develop well socio-emotionally, which I have found to be true in actual teaching. An unstated focus, I guess, is to fulfill its classical school mandate by making sure no child is left behind in the one-year acceleration. If these two concerns are adequately addressed (and I believe they have been), then the academics or test scores or AC/SEHS admissions pretty much take care of themselves – you can find or will hear this belief spoken time and time again by the admin, rightfully so. In this context, I think it’s unreasonable to expect those teachers of 30 students can give your child highly individualized academic pushes far ahead of the grade. I also think, given the school’s popularity, it’s a little too optimistic for parents to anticipate that our children will automatically stand out in the highest math or reading groups.

  • 520. WRP Mom  |  April 22, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    @516 Keep in mind, my experience is with LTAC and staying at Lane for high school. In that case, all AC credits are recognized by the high school and they go to the next level as freshmen. How a different SEHS (which does not have an AC) handles AC credit may be different.

    For instance, at Lane, the math department uses a traditional sequence: Algebra, Geometry, Algebra2/Trig, Pre-calc, AP Calculus, whereas NCP uses IMP math, which seems to be a more blended approach, and I am not sure how the AC credits translate there, since the NCP freshman math class is not exactly like a traditional algebra or geometry class. It certainly would be a good question to ask when going to an open house.

  • 521. cpsobsessed  |  April 22, 2017 at 4:37 pm

    One thing I’d add about SN and any other school in the city — there isn’t a right or wrong answer about how good a school is. Sure, some have generally better admin or school vibe or family involvement.

    But among the top CPS schools and most privates, I have known of families who have had “issues” with nearly every single top school. People have different preferences on admin, teaching style, behavior expectations. What might seem great to one person might rub another the wrong way (but might be a perfectly valid way to run a school.)

    It’s also possible for your child to get a great education and have a great time at school even if you don’t totally jive with the school administrators. Some people care more about the admin that others do – just personal preference.

    So even if one parents says something is a negative, doesn’t mean it’s universally a negative. So weigh the comments accordingly and think about what it important to you personally.

    Just my 2 cents…

  • 522. Hopeful Mom  |  April 22, 2017 at 9:25 pm

    Which of the following schools have a better RGC program?
    Pritzker or NTA?

  • 523. Confused parent  |  April 22, 2017 at 9:34 pm

    NTA. My daughter has been at both NTA and Pritzker. NTA has a better RGC all around comparatively.

  • 524. Skinnernorthmommy  |  April 22, 2017 at 9:43 pm

    Wowser! I think you definitely got the WRONG impression of the current principal of SN! It is nearly impossible to find a more open-minded, non-rigid educator than Katie Magnuson. She is absolutely flexible and always looking for the best way to support our kids, as kids, not academic repositories. She is VERY protective of our students, as a good principal should be. Her first response to any question or suggestion is “how does this affect our students?” If it benefits our kids, she is all-in. She is quick to shut down things that are not inclusive, kind, or beneficial to our kids. She is always looking for feedback from parents and ways to collaborate. So many of our wonderful programs and events have come about because in the last five years she has had an open mind and said an enthusiastic “yes!” to students, parents and staff. The current students, parents and staff respect and love, yes, love her. I guess that’s hard for people to communicate in a five-minute meet-and-greet with a stranger.

    I will say that SN is definitely not for everyone. If a family highly values standardized test scores, obsessed about grades, does not have an open mind or a growth mindset, they might not like SN. They probably will find our SEL-centric environment a little too touchy-freely for them. I always joke with my family and friends that SN is “hippy-dippy” and so damn “nice.” I blame Katie!

    But, you know your child best. If you did not get a warm, welcoming feeling during the open house, then it might not be a good fit for you. Trust your instincts.

  • 525. Hopeful Mom  |  April 22, 2017 at 9:46 pm

    Sorry, I forgot to post the score. My daughter was offered a seat @ Pritzker’s RGC for second grade.

    Score: 132 Tier: 3

  • 526. Hopeful Mom  |  April 22, 2017 at 9:55 pm

    Thanks for your prompt reply, Confused mom. Does the lack of cultural diversity bother you? I know that the NTA RGC classrooms are very diverse. However, the school in general is not diverse,

    I hear that Mr. Castelaz is a great leader. Do you concur? What else can you share about NTA? What did you dislike from Pritzker’s RGC?

    There is a possibility of receiving an offer from NTA is I decline the Pritzker seat.

  • 527. Confused parent  |  April 22, 2017 at 10:04 pm

    Mr. Castlelaz is an amazing leader. The fact that he can effectively serve two distinct student populations: RGC and neighborhood, without either group feeling like their needs aren’t being met speaks to his incredible leadership. Pritzker is good, but I felt that they just taught one level up (they collaborate with the neighborhood teachers. So for example, the RGC kg teacher does her lesson planning with the neighborhood 1st grade teachers. They are a team) and not really to the unique needs of gifted students. I feel like the RGC teachers at NTA are super competent. And castlelaz offers all his teachers – both RGC and neighborhood – weekly sessions with coaches. He is a very thoughtful and intentional leader.

  • 528. newtoCPS  |  April 23, 2017 at 5:03 am

    @520 WRP mom thanks so much for your advice. It seems Lane Tech has a very good options at the end of the high school years. Good reason to try to get in their AC and high school although I want to check it out other SEHS as well.

  • 529. Proud NTA Parent  |  April 23, 2017 at 7:49 am

    I read “Does the lack of cultural diversity bother you?” as “Does the face that there are so many African-American kids at NTA bother you?”

    I am going to say this again: The fact that there are many African-American kids at NTA does not bother us, nor do we view it as a hinderance to our child’s education. Her education is enhanced by the fact that her teacher is phenomenal and that her school is lead by an innovative leader. Her environment is diverse – culturally, socioeconomically, and racially.

  • 530. Af-Am NTA Parent  |  April 23, 2017 at 8:51 am

    Thank you, @529, for re-stating that question so clearly.

    One more time for anyone interested in NTA–the school has a large African-American population. If this bothers you, do not send your child there.

    Mr. Castelaz and the rest of the leadership team are dedicated to creating ONE school. And they are succeeding. RGC kids and neighborhood kids are intentionally mixed together everyday. For example, there are three K classrooms–1 RGC and 2 neighborhood. For lunch and recess, the kids are divided up into an A group, a B group, and a C group. One third of each group comes from each classroom, so that means that at lunch, my kid eats with about 9 of her classmates, 10 kids from the other neighborhood class, and 10 kids from the RGC. This group is in place for the entire year.

    We do field trips together, afterschool activities together, assemblies together. All school resources are shared equally. Again, NTA is ONE school, and the majority of the population is African American.

    So if it scares you that your non-African American child will find himself/herself as a racial minority on the playground, or at lunch, or in an afterschool program, then please do not send him/her to NTA. You will be very unhappy.

    But the non-African American NTA families who I know (and I’m very involved with the school) love the culture and environment of NTA and see the value in raising kids who feel comfortable in situations where they are not the racial and ethnic majority.

  • 531. Confused parent  |  April 23, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    I too, agree with all of the comments made about NTA. It’s student population is an incredible asset and overall We feel so blessed that our daughter gets to attend, and hoping that our son will be there as well!

  • 532. Soon2bNCPparent  |  April 23, 2017 at 7:19 pm

    @457 re: NCP high school credits This is the wrong thread for that question but I will answer it. NCP requires children that attend academic centers to bring in their transcripts and they honor those classes. My child was not in an AC here but a charter school and has completed many high school classes and is currently preparing for an AP exam in two weeks. He will begin at NCP next year. I am just going to bring his transcripts in when we go in for our appointment to see what happens but I do not think his credits will be turned down (at least not all of them). If you think about it, a high school class is a high school class. I can understand them not wanting interference with an established plan of progression that their children go through but, for example, my child is completing honors chemistry right now as well so I will recommend that perhaps when he gets to the year that Chemistry is taken that they give him AP Chemistry instead of honors. I feel that coming in with a plan will help but I do not know as his credits are not from academic centers. If you are interested in the outcome of our meeting, you may respond in the affirmative here and I will post our outcome on the thread regarding high school letters in two weeks.

  • 533. Excited parent  |  April 23, 2017 at 7:54 pm

    Are there any concerns with the RGC @ Pritzker? I have to accept or decline the seat by tommorow. The commute would be long for my child because she would have to be bussed most of the time. I am excited and nervous. Any thoughts or advice?

    If I decline, I my child may be offered another seat at a different selective enrollment school in the west and south loop area.

  • 534. Soon2bNCPparent  |  April 23, 2017 at 8:42 pm

    @533 I pulled my child out of the RGC @ Pritzker mid year. Everyone is going to have their own experience. Our was not good and you have to understand that the RGC is not truely gifted as much as it is one year accellerated. The parents at the school are very supportive but I really disliked the administration, particularly the principal who lacks common sense and is a bully, not just to me (that was my experience) but was extremely inappropriate to my child as well. Our situation was so bad she was ordered to apologize. This may not be your experience however because we all have different roads. I will say that they list Spanish as a class and that is incorrect. They have gotten rid of Spanish and Library. They have excellent arts teachers and the children in the RGP have access to those classes (dance, art, music, theater). As your child goes through the upper levels the neighborhood children pick an art as a major but the RGP children continue with art and music once a week (unless that has changed). The art teachers organize a play every year (the music teacher is instrumental in this affair and is very professional at her job).

    Of riding a bus, you will have to be careful. They lost my child twice. Once so badly that the bus service was terminated and I had to call my husband to relieve me from the bus stop so I could go home and relieve myself and figure out whate to do because no one knew where he was and even though the staff at Pritzker was aware of the situation, they went home for the evening so I was stuck at the bus stop, crying, calling downtown, with a full bladder wondering where my child was because the bus company claimed they never picked him up.

    I don’t mean to scare you off because my experiences won’t (hopefully) be yours. Other children completed their entire experience there and seemed happy. Many others waited it out and tested into AC.

    There are two DNA articles you may want to review. One is an article where the principal complains that the AC steal the “cream of my (her) crop” so that is an indication that many students try to test out in 6th grade and the second article is from 2 or 3 years back where a high school student in the neighborhood classes had no indication that she was doing poorly as she was passing right through but ended up in less than the 10th percentile in math so she had to go to summer school or not receive her diploma. To me that is an indication of another problem at the school. I will not comment on my thoughts on this.

    I am not sure what concerns you may have and hopefully our experience was completely different or things have changed but the absolute best thing about that school for us was not the administration or the education but the other parents who were all very nice.

    I would say our situation was extreme and there were many other issues but I dont’ want to scare you off of what may be a good fit for your child. If your child is artistically inclined and that would enhance the educational experience for him/her then you should consider that as well.

    Remember, with the parents being so supportive the principal might be gone at the next contract renewal, you just never know and I think once that happens this school can improve in leaps and bounds.

    If this is not helpful and you have any specific questions feel free to ask.

  • 535. Excited parent  |  April 23, 2017 at 9:08 pm

    @ 534 I am so sorry about your horrible experience @ Pritzker. How could they loose your child?! Was he in a primary grade? Where is your child now? Are you happy at his new school? How long was the commute? Thank for your honest opinion.

    My child is very excited, musically inclined and loves the arts.

    Can anyone else speak about their overall RGC experience @ Pritzker? My child still has a shot at another selective enrollment school.

  • 536. Soon2bNCPparent  |  April 23, 2017 at 9:26 pm

    Then your child would be a good fit I think. I still don’t know how they lost my child but he was dropped off to my husband right after I made it home. No explaination was ever proffered and I just considered myself lucky to get him back. He was in 3rd grade, the first week of 3rd grade. My child is currently graduating from K12 the virtual charter homeschool and has been very happy there. They have an “Advance Learners Program” which he was a part of and the children have to keep pace as required but if they want to go ahead and complete more lessons they are welcome to do as much as they want.

    The problem I had with the commute (back to Pritzker again) is that 2 years he was the first child scheduled to be picked up and the last one dropped off. At one point we had to be at the bus stop at 6:30 and he was dropped off until 4:20ish. It was a very long day. Your commute will vary depending on how far you are from the school and whether your child is the first or last on the route to be picked up. Typically, if they are first to be picked up they will be last to be dropped off. The commute for my child was so bad I would just go and pick him up afternoon 80% of the time anyway. We did not like the commute at all.

    If your child loves music and the arts this would probably be a good choice because it does have a trust fund from the Pritzker family so I do not think that the art or music classes will be cut. It is unfortunate that dance and theatre would most likely suffer cuts first. Only unfortunate because I would not like to see any of these classes cut. They also have a very good piano teacher that teaches after school. My son adored him very much and from what I understand that have school of rock classes there now too. The only problem with access to the before and after school lessons is that you will have to drop off or pick up your child. The bus will not be guaranteed to arrive early and it wont wait to leave late. This can be an issue depending on your availability.

  • 537. Excited parent  |  April 23, 2017 at 9:32 pm

    I am glad your son is happy and safe now. Thank you so much for your input!

    Can anyone else chime in regarding their experience @ Pritzker (RGC)?

  • 538. disappointed mom  |  April 24, 2017 at 3:07 am

    533 excited parent and 507. teacher/mom
    to 507 my child was at Pritzker (post 504)
    to 533 – there are several comments in this thread about pritzker- with some widely differing opinions. there are a few parents who seem to really like the school or at least jumped to defend it in response to criticisms. But I would worry if there are any such negative reports. The reports about the other schools here, like Skinner North and NTA and edison, all sound so much better than what I have seen at Pritzker.
    I agreed with much of what Soon2bNCPparent reports about the program. There are some very good teachers but if your child does not get one of them… .
    there are many comments above also about the bus service problems. now I think each school may contract out their own service- but I am not certain how this all works. But I know that it often does not “work” Some here have been predicting further cuts in the bus budget and possible complete elimination for the RGC students unless they have an IEP for it.
    my child also had problems with the bus. it just would not show up or be really early or really late. and this happened at an alarmingly frequent rate- several times a month. my child was older and luckily the school she was waiting at in the morning was very responsible about it – they would bring her into their office and let her use their phone to call me. Once they were even willing to let her stay there for the day when I was not immediately available to go back there and drive her to school myself
    in contrast- the one time my child missed the bus home (and she only took it home a few days a week) it was the most demeaning experience and the only contact I had all year with the principal who called me and threatened to report me to DCFS and call the police to take my child “per CPS policy” if I could not be there in 20 minutes- and I was in heavy rush hour traffic at least an hour away! I was lucky that my daughter’s teacher cared enough to wait with her, because none of the administrative staff would.. and the whole thing was spun to blame my child, that bothered me the most. there was no attempt to solve the problem (I still dont know why they did not offer to send her to the afterschool program- our other school always had a holding area and we were registered with the program), no understanding, no apology. when we used to live out of state, our neighborhood school kept track of every child- the buses would not leave if a child was missing. obviously that is not being done there. I cannot speak for the whole system, but clearly the administration at Pritzker does not seem to care what happens to your child. or at least refuses to hold themselves or the bus company accountable for any of this. it was always a CYA scenario. they would review the security camera footage or cite the “GPS” report that the bus was supposedly there and you weren’t.
    if you live a long distance away or work or dont have a car, and will find it difficult to drive back and forth yourself, don’t do it. You really cannot count on the bus. and being so far from the school I think really hurts the ability of your child to participate in other school activities or as a parent to be involved. also they have a 9-4 schedule. ending school so late in the day really complicates transporting your child to afterschool activities if you have some outside of school, or coordinating with your other childrens schedules, if you have any.
    the arts programs are pretty good, I guess, but my child did not benefit as most of these were before or after school and it was too difficult to participate with the bus schedule and commuting distance.
    Also like the other parent said- there is no foreign language there anymore. they have not bothered to update their website about that.
    Good luck with your decisions- I hope you find a good place for your child.

  • 539. asking help  |  April 24, 2017 at 6:10 am

    @ Soon2bNCPparent, thanks for the information about high school credits in spite of my wrong selection of thread here. ^^
    It would be great if you could share the outcomes of the meeting because we live in distance and won’t visit the school until late August. I will check high school thread in two weeks. I think it’s here, right?:
    Thanks in advance!

  • 540. alwaysconfused  |  April 24, 2017 at 7:09 am

    How many rounds does OAE offer for the admission process?
    If we get an offer in the second round and if we turn it down, do we go back to the pool for the third round?
    If we don’t get an offer in the second round, are we on the waiting list one of the schools we applied?
    Only the first or fifth choice school is what we are interested and we got an offer from the third choice. I wonder how I can stay on the wait list of the first choice school.

  • 541. Headed2Chicago  |  April 24, 2017 at 9:08 am

    For anyone that went to the Disney Open house on the 20th, what did you think of it? I was impressed by the facilities and the investment, but found the principal and management somewhat rigid – even in the way they handled parent Q&A. And this impression was reinforced through the tour. I also see a bunch of Disney parent reviews online that cite concern with how discipline is enforced. Since we are moving long-distance, we can choose to move to be near whichever school we pick. Right now, even though we accepted Disney, I am leaning towards Burley, Blaine, Lincoln or Skinner West over Disney. But my daughter will be in second grade, so the last possible year for her to get into Disney. Any insights from parents at Disney or at one of these neighborhood schools?

  • 542. thirdtimesacharm  |  April 24, 2017 at 9:54 am

    HeadtoChicago I was there as well.I agree with it being very ridgid. But I think concidering the size it is a plus. Have a plan B is smart! Since you can choose where to move. You can always go to a neighborhood school. I was hoping to have my oldest attend with my kindergardener. But kids past 2nd are’nt accepted this put the plan upside down. We are still going to try to make it work. And it still early kids can get called in different rounds for selective enrolllment schoools.

  • 543. MommyatSN  |  April 24, 2017 at 10:24 am

    One more thing about Skinner North that I would like to add. Do NOT underestimate the value of the social-emotional learning (SEL) that they offer to children. Every person in that building–from the security staff to the after school providers to the classroom teachers to the administrators–genuinely uses Responsive Classroom, which helps keep students engaged, calm and feeling empowered.

    In my six years at the school, I have witnessed so many wonderful interventions they have done for kids. Each kid is NOT just a number to those educators. They are unique people who deserve respect and it shows. Some young kids have the fidgets or have attention issues. For them, I have seen brief pull-outs that allow the child to do anything from gently tearing paper for a few minutes to sprinting some stairs during the middle of a class to loosen up and focus for class. For younger students, if there is a flare-up, the kids get to have a little time out and can decide to rejoin the group when they are in control of their emotions and body (usually just take a minute or two). Such a departure from when I was in school, where an unpleasant visit to the principal’s office was the norm. I know of one student who has some challenges in noisy crowds, so that child enjoys a supervised lunch with a chosen classmate each day in a quieter room (and the kids who get picked love it!) My kid has a physical disability that is always considered by his teachers when they plan things. And these are not all mandated by IEP, they just are implemented to help the child as they need it.

    The students’ opinions and feelings are validated and valued. They are encouraged to speak up and be active. Many of the students have important leadership roles–a few actually just interviewed candidates for the available AP position–and their opinions truly matter! My kid did not think a recess policy was fair so he was encouraged to speak to the principal about it, which he did and was heard. The policy was modified to everyone’s satisfaction. The LSC asked for feedback from the community about the available principal role and the kids’ passionate letters and emails were all answered personally by members of the LSC. The upper grade students are helping to create the middle school environment, from lockers to fundraising to student trips.

    The SN way is to accept everyone as they are and find ways to use differences to everyone’s advantage. For example, students like to learn about one another’s customs and family celebrations and they think different cultures and religions are cool and interesting. Watching my son and his classmates peacefully and joyfully accept others’ quirks, beliefs, and differing abilities has been amazing and humbling. My kid says things like “It’s ok, that’s just the way that person is, Mom.” Very humbling because in that same moment *I* was seeing red or mentally rolling my eyes at the person’s behavior.

    If you are concerned about your child developing into a decent person who also happens to get pretty good grades in school, then consider saying “yes” to SN. I am a very thrilled parent!

    One more thing that I must get off my chest, based on the comments from parents who attended the open house and commented above. Katie Magnuson is a HUGE reason the school is as great as it is. She has been the very involved AP for five years, helping shape the policies and helping to hire and train the right teachers and staff. She is open, caring, intelligent and tough, (but in the all the right ways). With her now as the Principal, I have no doubt the school will continue on its great path, maybe even going “higher” and “farther.” Very exciting!

  • 544. Soon2bNCPparent  |  April 24, 2017 at 10:45 am

    @539 Our appointment is a week from today, May 1st so I will post, yes, on the high school letter thread the results of whether they decide to accept my child’s high school credit. You are welcome in advance!

    @537 thank you. It has been challenging but I want you to remember this. We will all have different experiences and the take away from the other experiences being told to you is that you should have a back up plan. If you accept the slot and do not like it there, you can always pull your child out and put them in the neighborhood school or even test every year to see if you can move them into another slot. Just make sure you are checking in with your child and bridging any learning gaps that form and then you will have many choices should things not work out. I hope they do though. I would like every child to have a wonderful educational experience that sets off fireworks in their brain and satiates their appetite for knowledge. The wonderful thing about this decision is you will not be trapped so if you are leaning towards Pritzker, take it and just watch for the red flags you have been warned about.

    In the end, we all just want our children to learn and be happy so if your child becomes unhappy there, it is good it is not a final decision. None of this is, really. It will be ok no matter what you choose because you are a concerned parent who bothers to take the time and research and ask. What a wonderful gift that is to your child to begin with.

    I am not sure but even if you accept the slot to Pritzker and then get another offer you can always turn down Pritzker I think. I am not sure but perhaps another parent can chime in.

    Good luck and may your child’s educational journey be fruitful!

  • 545. alwaysconfused  |  April 24, 2017 at 11:59 am

    @ The family who moved their kids from a classical school to a RGC school, was there any gap in the curriculum because RGC is two years advanced and classical is one year advanced? Are the RGCs advanced two years in all subject areas or just in Math and ELA?

  • 546. IG  |  April 24, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    @ 513. AnotherSNCurious I hear you. Disclaimer. This note is not for everyone. This note is for the few that have an outlier. If you don’t have an outlier, your child is likely to be perfectly happy at sees. If you have a profoundly gifted kid, most likely they will not be challenged. Happy to forward an email I got from a second grade teacher thwt said my child wouldn’t be. Or a letter from a principal with same. Got a seat there last year for 2nd, kept private instead, grade skipped. Have plenty of friends at sn. Who is happy at sn? The kids who are average to one year above average and don’t have special needs, I.e. 2e stuff going on. Though they do have decent free services for 2e from what I gather, they are still on a shoe string budget and will give the minimum there for 2e. They do have multiple reading and math groups but they are all working pretty much on the same year or two. Same with NTA. Seats there this and last year (yeah we have a skinner north seat for k this year too, but here’s what i know happens. Not in every case. But it happens. Because people for some reason Facebook about doing it for their kids. They prep them for the test. And then they can’t keep up. The teacher teaches to the bottom. To meet numbers. Go ahead and ask. Once a child is in they aren’t in, unless the parents decide to pull because too hard. So if the child is test prepped, they get in, and then that’s going to be the bottom. The top performs are not getting the attention. Only if they fit nicely in the 3 groups. Some teachers there are gems and can go beyond, but it’s year to year and you are at the teacher’s mercy. My 4 year old has been reading since 2. She reads at 2nd grade level. No one ever taught or pushed or prepped. Skinner north is not a place for her. She is offered a k seat. She ll be parked with a book and not getting her 1/30 teacher time, because she is the easy kid. I asked during the k tour, what happens if a child misbehaves? Teaacher said I have 29 other kids, I can’t spend the time worrying about that one kid. that kid goes on time out. No thanks. My kid won’t be the one misbehaving, but she doesn’t need to see that. Also all the freak kids always find her and poke her and prod her and take her stuff etc, and with 30 kids no one is going to be watching to make sure she is safe. She is currently in kindergarten at a private school with half the size classroom with a full time ta. She turns 5 late summer, right around the time some of her red shirted classmates will turn 7. She is the top reader in the room. I won’t know where she is on math until she takes the map in a month. She was measuring 1st grade in the fall. But it was her first time on a computer and she just turned 4. I dont care about her level of academic challenge this year, though she is with a great teacher. They are doing fun stuff and she is learning how to do school, social etc. It’s no worksheets. It’s inquiry based approach, which is usually a sham but it’s not too bad in this specific implementation. I can’t imagine forcing her to sit and do worksheets all day about abc’s next year in skinner north. Or having to do single digit addition to 5 or 10 or whatever that is that they do. Because she was there when she’s was 3, and no one taught her. She just likes numbers. In cps she will be eligible to grade skip if we keep her private one more year. I can’t believe that educated parents of these bright, amazing children don’t mutiny and force cps to lower the student teacher ratio in the gifted programs. The range of children in an average classroom across cps is about 6-12 months from each other, due to age and development rates etc. In a gifted classroom the range can be 2-5 years but they can’t accommodate because they have 30 kids to teach. The top is going to be bored out of their minds. And if you tell me your kid is not? Then they are NOT at the top range of the iq. You might not like what I am saying and that’s just fine. They can be exceptionally bright children. But IQ and ability is a range, and cps is not great with HG and PG kids. If your story is different, and you are going to write me a nastygram reply, let’s hear how many years ahead your kid is vs. cps. Edison does a decent job but far from perfect. The learning is mostly worksheet based from what i can tell. The passion and curiosity…. no room for it, I think. If you have a Pg kid with a 145 iq or higher, be aware of an organization called Davidson young scholars. It’s free, and you can connect to other Pg kids. In some cases, a PG kid might be ok at some cps schools, but you won’t know until you try. So it doesn’t hurt to try as long as you are prepared to have to constantly advocate for your child and or to pull them into a plan b mid year. So, congrats if your kid got in. If they are super smart, then don’t get too excited until you get to about October and November. When you tour, ask to see what the kids in the highest group are doing for each subject. If your kid is already there, for the following year, or like in our case, years ago, well then ask how they would deal with that. Really push now, before you are in the school, and think about what would happen when they get to a higher grade and the curriculum in the school doesn’t go that high. Be prepared. Again, not applicable for the 1-2 year ahead crowd. This is addressed to parents with kids 3+ years ahead. And again, I don’t and never have had a child in, only accepted. You are best to find and talk to as many parents as possible. And you wouod do well with having some academic (not iq) testing administered to your chikd to see their academic grade level if you think you have an outlier. You will need that evidence to advocate for your kid. And if you do have PG well, you are a needle in a haystack, use Davidson to find others, we are very few.

  • 547. rewing123  |  April 24, 2017 at 12:14 pm

    Regarding Ms. Magnuson and SN, just a personal tidbit….

    On the first day of school, my son was scared to separate from me. He was trying his best not to cry but you could see his eyes were red and watery and he was trying to stay strong. I felt terrible and wasn’t sure what to do. I was walking him to the classroom when Ms. Magnuson saw us. She came right up and took his hand and started asking him about his new shoes and what sports he likes. He let go of my hand and went with her the rest of the way to his room. At the end of the day he said it was “so great” and we didn’t have a problem again. Whenever he sees Ms. Magnuson, he always smiles and waves. All to say that, on the first day of school when things are always hectic and there’s so much to do- she probably had a million things to take care of that morning- she took the time to comfort my son and help out.

  • 548. AnotherSNCurious  |  April 24, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    @IG, thanks for your posting about my question. I have an outlier child and got an offer from SN. SN is strong in academics and has good reputations, but I had to inquire about how his needs can be met in there. I kept asking about that to SN school and parents, but all we could get from SN (from the principal and office) were repeated answers: “we are one year ahead and doing great classroom differentiation”. The principal didn’t look care at all about meeting the needs of individual child. She looked more interested in keeping what they were doing (dividing into groups and differentiating regardless of the needs of kids) right now. She even didn’t seem to care if we would turn it down the offer or not.
    Our neighborhood schools are bad but I turned down the offer.
    Davison sounds interesting. Is it online school?

  • 549. MommyatSN  |  April 24, 2017 at 3:39 pm

    546. IG | April 24, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    @ 513. AnotherSNCurious I hear you. Disclaimer. This note is not for everyone. This note is for the few that have an outlier. If you don’t have an outlier, your child is likely to be perfectly happy at sees. If you have a profoundly gifted kid, most likely they will not be challenged. Happy to forward an email I got from a second grade teacher thwt said my child wouldn’t be. Or a letter from a principal with same. Got a seat there last year for 2nd, kept private instead, grade skipped. Have plenty of friends at sn. Who is happy at sn? The kids who are average to one year above average and don’t have special needs, I.e. 2e stuff going on. Though they do have decent free services for 2e from what I gather, they are still on a shoe string budget and will give the minimum there for 2e…

    There is a lot to unpack in your confusing message. This is not a “nastygram,” just me trying to understand (and help others here understand) you. If I can clear up some things in the process about SN, I am happy to do so. I do not agree with the picture you presented of the school I am grateful to have found for my goofy, very bright kid. (No, he will not be skipping high school to go to MIT, but he is pretty darn bright.)

    So…just to be clear, you do NOT actually have any children in any of the schools you are talking about? It is not clear that you have kids in SN, NTA or Edison, but you talked about all of them authoritatively. It sounds like you received offers and turned them down. Is that correct? I would not feel comfortable talking at length about a school my child did not attend.

    As far as 2e goes, I will assume you are referring to the traditional 2e’s, such as visual or auditory processing disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, sensory processing disorder, autism, Asperger syndrome and Tourette Syndrome. If not, let me know. Without trying hard, I can think of five students in my child’s grade at SN who have been diagnosed with (and publicly shared with our classes by the parents and kids) one of those conditions. I know of a few with ADHD, as well. That’s just one group of 60 kids and just the info I actually have. Given a few minutes more, I am sure I can think of more kids in other grades. Their parents seem pretty darn pleased at the challenging education their kids are receiving at SN, so I would be careful making generalizations about who would send their kids there.

    In my opinion, a good principal or teacher is not going to try to “sell” you on their school. They do not personally know your child yet, so I would be very leery of anyone telling you that their environment is “perfect” for your child. In fact, I might run the other direction if I heard that! The best a good principal or teacher can do is tell you their philosophy, answer your questions and point you to additional information. You need to make the decision that is best for your kid and your peace of mind.

    Over my many years of volunteering at my children’s RGC, classical and AC schools, I have encountered literally a couple thousand parents at open houses. Almost EVERY single one of them rushes to tell even little ol’ nobody me how genius their child is. According to some parents, their children practically came out of the womb reciting Shakespeare. Cool. I smile and nod politely. We all think our kids are special and have stories and data to back it up, who am I to judge? I can only imagine what teachers and principals hear from these same, proud parents. They need to be very careful in what they say. (Maybe I will go to hell for this one, but if I was a principal or teacher and I saw a parent tying themselves up in knots about our school, I would encourage them to go elsewhere. They will never be happy and I do not think I could handle the 9 years of daily drama!) When I finally meet these child geniuses in person, I see that they are kids just about like every other kid. They are goofy, smart, interesting, shy, outgoing, fun, thoughtful, clumsy, rude, polite, hilarious and sweet–like all kids. I think most of them would fit right into SN, make friends and have a blast!

    Sometimes, I think it’s pretty clear that the child would be absolutely fine at a particular school, but the parent is seeking something very specific, maybe something intangible, so they should go elsewhere (maybe private, where they do not have to follow CPS budget, timelines, idiosyncrasies, etc.) or consider home schooling. I have two acquaintances who home school their kids (one has four kids!) and it works great for their families. They are able to take advantage of everything wonderful the city has to offer, there are great online and IRL home school resources out there for gifted kids, and if they hate their child’s teacher, they can divorce them.

    As far as “gifted” goes, I am not sure I know shit from Shinola anymore because everyone’s definition here seems to be very different. I guess I will focus on test scores, since that seems universal and comparable. We all know the SN entrance exam is nuts now, with most coming in at 99+% in one or both areas. As far as standardized testing goes, I do know plenty of SN children (mine included), who have scored very well on the NWEAs (fourth graders, high 220s/230s/240s on math and reading) or in younger grades, the Fountas and Pinnelles guided reading (coming into kindergarten at 4-8th grade levels). I have seen Lexile numbers that are college-level in the younger grades (my kid, but he is still a kid, so finding age-appropriate books is a fun challenge). Some SN parents have revealed their kids’ WISC-IV and WISC-V test results to me (a couple 130+ and several in the high 120s) and I have been blown away! And they are still firm supporters of the school. Their uber-smart kids have made friends–even with dummies like MY kid– and feel like they fit in. To me, that is awesome!

    I am not here to tell anyone or everyone to go to SN. No school is right for every child. I do want to make sure that accurate info is shared here. It’s a pretty big decision. Hope this helps others on this thread!

  • 550. It'sTime  |  April 24, 2017 at 4:45 pm

    @496 – Is your son being challenged at Jackson? Do the kindergarten teachers differentiate at all or is it one curriculum for all? Do both kindergarten teachers differentiate? Is the school open to allowing your child to take classes with an older grade in the subjects in which he is advanced?

  • 551. AnotherSNCurious  |  April 24, 2017 at 6:41 pm

    @549, thanks for sharing your insight about SN. It will be helpful for considering-to-be SN parents to get the right information about the school.

    I just want to clarify one part about gifted children:

    @ “I do know plenty of SN children (mine included), who have scored very well on the NWEAs (fourth graders, high 220s/230s/240s on math and reading) or in younger grades, the Fountas and Pinnelles guided reading (coming into kindergarten at 4-8th grade levels). I have seen Lexile numbers that are college-level in the younger grades (my kid, but he is still a kid, so finding age-appropriate books is a fun challenge). Some SN parents have revealed their kids’ WISC-IV and WISC-V test results to me (a couple 130+ and several in the high 120s) and I have been blown away! ”

    I think the kids IG mentioned (including mine) are a bit more gifted kids than you mentioned. Their WISC-V is above 145 and they are classified as highly gifted in many definitions and gifted organizations. The kids who are profoundly gifted have even higher IQ than HG. Their MAP scores can reach the ceiling in lower grade, which means they can get above 250 to near 300 in Math and near 260 in ELA in the 2nd or 3rd grade. That’s why the parents of HG or PG are worried about SN’s one year ahead curriculum and subtle differentiation.

    There’s no doubt about that SN is the one of the best school in Chicago for so many children, but it’s a huge disappointment for me to learn that hey cannot or don’t want to tweak their curriculum or policy for HG/PG kids (Mine is just HG). More surprisingly the principal didn’t seems to understand the needs of HG/PG kids at all. Maybe it’s because SN is indeed a classical school not a gifted school. It’s my mistake anyway to write SN on top of my list with excitement without fully researching about this issue. I thought RGC and classical schools are almost identical at the time and I was wrong.

  • 552. Bright but not Brilliant  |  April 24, 2017 at 7:02 pm

    I’m really surprised to learn that there is no option for such remarkable children. I would have thought that private schools would be Lined up to offer such children admittance and full rides. What about Quest or GEMS? Also, you hear about children that skip grade school. Maybe if you did the 8th grade online school they could test for a selective enrollment high school?

  • 553. Excited mom  |  April 24, 2017 at 7:12 pm

    Thank you for your posts.

  • 554. bptandme  |  April 24, 2017 at 8:26 pm

    @552 Surprising, sad, and true, indeed. Some of the private (gifted and not) schools can handle it, some will flat out tell you after looking at your kid’s numbers, we don’t take 3 and up, unless it’s a particular year that has a lot of 3+ families already that didn’t flag as 3+ at admittance. Some, many, will make promises they can’t keep.

    AnotherSNCurious ding ding ding. bingo. As I was reading 549, I was thinking your response in my head. We are hard on the schools. We don’t fit into the 3 differentiated groups. ALSO. We are not the parent that says my kid is so brilliant to everyone who will listen. We hide. We don’t talk about it. We smile, we nod, and we worry. About how to deal with it all. Like stay up all night worry. Because we don’t want the kids to tune out, be ignored, be bored 100% of all of the day.

    I am happy to discuss private schools but probably not here, because this is after all, CPS focused. I have had kids in 2 private schools and am connected to people from every single one of them and toured all of them. When you have an outlier, you need to do your research and look at each and every option and the fit to your kid, and be prepared to make changes/have plan b, c ready.

    Now, for 549. I am not dissing SN or saying anything is wrong with the school. It is great for the kids that are a year ahead of CPS. You are right, I don’t have kids there.

    Davidson is indeed a school, but not at elementary age, it is a free support organization for the verified PG and a way to connect to other PG locally.

  • 555. Offered Beaubien (but wondering about Bell) 1st  |  April 24, 2017 at 8:27 pm

    We gave back our offer for Beaubien 1st. So, hopefully another Tier 3 family will be excited to get one soon.

    We took the tour and were very, very impressed. But, logistics were tricky and we decided to hold out in hopes of an offer to get the kids at the same school. We are very lucky that we are currently in a good school, and we will be fine keeping dc here for another year if our gamble doesn’t pay off.

    I’ll check back in if we end up with an offer so that parents combing thru next year will have a reference point.

  • 556. bptandme  |  April 24, 2017 at 8:33 pm

    Oh. AnotherSNCurious P.S. if it’s your first child and they are under age 6 or so and are already a few years ahead and you are not sure what you are in for… it’s exponential for many kids for a few more years – they don’t stay like, 2 years ahead… they keep adding and adding… even if you ban reading in the house and remove all educational opportunities. There is no stopping or slowing it down,.. FB PG Poppies

  • 557. KarmaCode60618  |  April 24, 2017 at 10:21 pm

    @OfferedBeaubien – what was your Tier 3 score? I’m not tier 3 but just curious will they give it to another tier of there are no tier 3’s accepting. Thanks & good luck

  • 558. Offered Beaubien (but wondering about Bell) 1st  |  April 25, 2017 at 5:43 am

    Tier 3 121
    I THINK they run one (or maybe two) more rounds with Tier factored in and then they create one big list and Tier no longer matters. At least that is how they did it when older dc was in K. Good Luck!

  • 559. Sunghyun Park  |  April 25, 2017 at 7:46 am

    Is it possible withdraw my submission to OAE today? I accepted SN offer but after reading the thread above, I am afraid my DD won’t fit at SN. she will be entering non entry level (She is HG) and her math is 3+advanced. The math teacher didn’t respond my email asking about the differentiation, which was unusual. Started getting worried about my decision.
    Can anybody at SN share your experience of the ‘extreme differentiation’ for the kids above the top group?

  • 560. cpswonderland  |  April 25, 2017 at 9:11 am

    To all of you with kids who are 2 or 3+ advanced: I’m just curious, why don’t you take offer for the GAT school and supplement at home (those schools are already at least one academic year advanced and then do part time homeschooling in the subject the child excels?)? What are your current options? (as I said, I’m just curious, not judging anyone).

  • 561. Options  |  April 25, 2017 at 10:01 am

    @sunghyun park…what other options do you have? And what grade will your child be entering?

  • 562. Another Current SN Parent  |  April 25, 2017 at 10:12 am

    All – I am another current SN Parent and have not commented on this string this year. My son has been at the school since Kindergarten and is now in 3rd grade. I have an older daughter at a private school. We have been very happy with Skinner North. I am very surprised to read the comments about someone that was at the open house. I would suggest giving it another go.
    1) The principal, Katie Magnuson is very warm and welcoming. She was actually one of the reasons that we chose to attend SN. We could not attend the open house due to other commitments and both Katie and Ethan Netterstrom gave us a private tour during spring vacation. She is very approachable and is open to new ideas. She is responsive and I have never had an issue or concern that she did not take care of. She is very experienced and I have no apprehension that the school is in wonderful hands. If she was not selected as the principal, we would have evaluated moving my son to the private school my daughter attends. We like the community and the atmosphere of the school. There will not be a misstep since Katie is there.

    2) Regarding the Kindergarten teachers, they are the best. My son had Mrs. Mulligan and there is no comparison. She was by far a wonderful Kindergarten teacher and someone that my son always wants to stop by her classroom to say hello. Both Mrs. Mulligan and Mrs. Kearns, work very well together as a team and my son was well prepared for 1st grade. They know what they are doing and they do it well.

    3) Regarding sports, yes there are sports at Skinner North. The sports program is comparable to many other public and private schools in Chicago. My son is a sports fanatic and we supplement his sports outside of school. However, we would do this regardless of what school he attended. It is just what works for him.

    4) Regarding different groups for reading and math, I don’t believe kids feel insecure with the different groups, as the groups sometimes fluctuate throughout the year.

    5) Regarding differentiation for highly gifted students, your children will continue to be challenged throughout their time at Skinner North. While it is not feasible to develop individualized for each child, all students are challenged academically and prepared for the next step. If my son needs further challenging work beyond what the school provides, I supplement this through various online programs and tutoring. Skinner North not only provides a quality education, they are teaching our children to be good people.
    Happy to answer any other questions.

  • 563. Skipping Curious  |  April 25, 2017 at 10:32 am

    This is probably a related topic. I wonder if anybody has tried to use the RGC/Classical testing process to skip grades. For example, suppose your child is going to 2nd grade next year and you have him/her tested for 3rd grade instead. Does CPS OAE allow this? Does it reject such applications? I checked its website and the only age restriction mentioned is for kindergarten entry. Also, how about neighborhood schools? Do they allow grade skipping and, if yes, what documents/proofs do they ask for?

  • 564. cpswonderland  |  April 25, 2017 at 10:33 am

    @Sunghyun Park: Were you at the Open House?

  • 565. karet  |  April 25, 2017 at 10:57 am

    My guess is that every time an administrator or teacher at a classical or gifted school meets with IG, they realize that this parent will *never* be satisfied with *any* CPS school, curriculum, teachers, etc. And they very wisely counsel IG to send their child elsewhere. Thank goodness. It doesn’t have much to do with the “gifted” level of the kid. If having 29 kids in a class is a deal-breaker for you, fine. Has nothing to do with the school’s curriculum.

    The idea that most of the kids at SN, Edison or elsewhere only get in because they use test prep, and then bring the whole level of the classroom down, is absolutely ridiculous. I have no idea why anyone would make that claim with zero evidence. I don’t know a single family who “prepped” their kid. We didn’t. My kid was also an “early reader” (before preschool) and many of the other kids at SN were the same.

    It’s really important to understand that what happens in K and other early grades is not simply math and reading all the time. The schools aim for well-rounded subject matter and projects, interactive classrooms, social-emotional development, and so on. The focus on reading and math groups in this thread is extremely narrow and is unlikely to be the most important factor in determining your child’s engagement with the class material, peers, and so on. My kid is in 5th grade at SN and I’ve never heard any parent complain that the work is too easy and that his or her kid is bored. Never. And I can guarantee that is not because the students aren’t *really* gifted, as some of these parents are suggesting. Give me a break. There is a huge amount of freedom in choosing the work the kids do, so you can adapt to your kid’s level. In 3rd grade, for example, there is a year-long literacy project that involves reading 10 books a quarter. The genres are specified and the books must be over 100 pages, but the kids pick the books. So your kid can read books as advanced as they like. I could give many other examples like this.

    People must make the choices that they are comfortable with, of course. Good luck to everyone.

  • 566. TriedAndTested  |  April 25, 2017 at 10:58 am

    Have to add my 50 cents (inflation). I am a mother to one of those outliers. I do not carry on about him. Because no one, unless they have one of their own, will truly comprehend. It is beyond comprehension. So when I hear a parent happily carrying on about their child’s abilities and how gifted they are, then I know your child is not one.

    I am a huge supporter of CPS. I’ve put two kids through, Lincoln, WY Academic Center, and WY HS. 3rd one is still currently at WY. And I did carry on about them. Was proud to carry on about how gifted and talented and smart they are. Wanted to share with anyone who was willing to listen. Facebook bragged often. They consistently, went on to state and national in science and history fairs. And went as far as international with science fair. I would have teachers stop me in the hallways to thank me “for sharing my son with them.” I still have past teachers inquire about them with bright eyes. Many awards, accolades, you name it, we probably have it. Met Chicago big wigs, fancy dinners to honor them, scholarships. etc. Never had to buy an iPad because my kids would just win us one with essays, projects, whatever. Two oldest are full-ride academic college scholarships and still going strong. Unlike some parents, i’m very hands off, my kids aren’t test prepped, tutored, nor do I sit down and do their homework with them. If you asked me now what my kids are doing at school, I couldnt’ tell you. But I do perk up when my son is expressing boredom, acting out, and drags his feet every morning when we have to go to school.

    That would be the 4th kid….and the first 3 pale compare to him. When you have his bright older siblings telling us that all the programs they’ve gone through are jokes and to consider IMSA for their 7-year-old brother, then how can CPS accommodate? That’s the difference here. Untaught, untutored, untouched, just raw natural abilities. Throw it at him and it sticks..in 5 minutes is what we’ve been told. So what do I do with him at home? I try to mind numb him by iPad and TV and games and puzzles. Because if I try to throw educational stuff at him, then how can his current school teach him anything??? If anything, we have to teach him to be patient while others have to catch up.

    No I can’t claim he was reading by age 3, did multiplication when he was 4. All I remember was he was a stubborn and active toddler. I sent him off to kindergarten barely reciting the alphabet and counting up to 10 and barely able to write his name legibly because I didnt’ want to be judged that my son couldn’t write his name. In fact, I wanted to redshirt him because he has an end of August birthday and thought he was not ready. That thought now makes me laugh. His NWEA and map scores were in the 60 percentile in kindergarten. Then 1st grade was 99th, and it’s now ridiculous. So if you have one of those, trust me, they will only process faster and the idea of any of these CPS schools (which were great for my 3 oldest), makes me cringe for the 4th one. Something to consider.

    If you’re happy and glowing with your supposed gifted child now, then meh, hate to break it to ya’, they’re like my 1st three. An HG or PG kid will make you lose sleep and want to become an alcoholic with all the parenting issues youre now faced with. YOu may be good going into these programs for K or 1st. Come 2nd grade, your child will be years ahead…and I’ve found cannot be accommodated, no matter how desperately you wish it to be, no matter how best the intentions.

  • 567. karet  |  April 25, 2017 at 11:05 am

    One more thing: I honestly laughed out loud when I read this part of IG’s rant:

    I can’t imagine forcing her to sit and do worksheets all day about abc’s next year in skinner north. Or having to do single digit addition to 5 or 10 or whatever that is that they do. Because she was there when she’s was 3, and no one taught her.

    Hahahaha. Why in the world IG thinks this is what K is like at SN, no one will ever know! So funny.

  • 568. TriedAndTested  |  April 25, 2017 at 11:43 am

    @567 I know a SN parent of an HG that pulled their child out in 1st grade because of these worksheets and lack of challenge. I know that CPS does give out alot of homework and worksheets starting kindergarten. My marriage almost ended over kindergarten homework…kidding. Sort of…
    I was the parent that didnt research in depth schools. Good school, gifted program, differentiation, we got in, AWESOME! Break open the wine.

    Comes 4th kid, and now we are so particular and research in depth greatly how my son will be challenged so we have to look waaaay ahead. We dont want to move school to school when he’s maxed out. Even though my 3rd grader may not quite be there yet currently, but because of his fast processing speed, we have to inquire with prospective schools about subjects not one year ahead but many many years ahead. (And I’ve been able to pick out a few like mine already just from some comments, reach out if you are, we are few). We toured Quest…and lovely and all. But my 3rd grader would be going in doing their 8th grade curriculum, then what?? He would probably top out at that school and back to square one. And again, to clarify, he is not stuck in a room at home with tutors. These kids just pick it up.

    I’d love to just stick him in SN or anywhere and be done, because it is that frustrating. But he is 8…and guess what NTA had the honest balls to tell us this year…take him to the academic center so he can get access to the high school subjects because if he is going to be doing high school math, he should at least get credit for it. So yeah, I come home and stared longingly at that vodka bottle. And I’m not laughing.

  • 569. karet  |  April 25, 2017 at 12:31 pm

    There are no ABC worksheets in K at SN. That is just silly. I have no idea what you people who do not have kids at SN are even talking about with the worksheets! The math homework in K is really interesting, with lots of interactive games using dice and cards.

    Listen, it’s not going to be a perfect fit for everyone. I would never try to make that case. There are plenty of families who would be thrilled to have a spot at SN. However, if you are this anxious about it, it may not be a good choice for you. You can turn it down. No pressure. But it is irritating when people try to spread misinformation about the school.

  • 570. MommyatSN  |  April 25, 2017 at 12:41 pm

    566. TriedAndTested | April 25, 2017 at 10:58 am

    Have to add my 50 cents (inflation). I am a mother to one of those outliers. I do not carry on about him. Because no one, unless they have one of their own, will truly comprehend. It is beyond comprehension. So when I hear a parent happily carrying on about their child’s abilities and how gifted they are, then I know your child is not one.

    Good feedback. Good that CPS was able to accommodate your first three children. My older one is going strong and I am thrilled for the academic and SEL opportunities CPS has given him, from history and science fairs to chess to service projects. I have often considered taking up drinking to deal with my kids and their non-stop questioning from the womb, their inventions in the basement, their lists all over the house on various itemized things, etc. They spend two seconds on homework and studying and get straight As, so parental lessons about hard work and planning go out the window. And these are just normally bright kids, not the apparently millions of uber-smart “outliers” we always get to hear about at this time in the life of a thread.

    I DO think parents need to calm down and be patient, to see what happens to their child over time. In the case of your fourth child, his bright light turned supernova after he was in school. Some do that. Others go the opposite way. They are quick out of the gate compared to their peers for many reasons and settle into plain old brightness, those poor bastards only getting NWEA scores 2-6 grades ahead. It’s hard to say what will happen to each child, so I do appreciate the time people spend considering this important decision.

    I want to switch gears and use this comment space to talk about the predictable life cycle of CPS Obsessed SEES acceptance post and highlight a point that I think most parents here seem to be missing. After 8 years here (is it already 8 years?) I think I am qualified to talk about this annual parade of humanity.

    First, people here on this annual thread are kind, offering support and good wishes before the big day. Jokes aplenty about stalking the mailman, hahaha. Then some come on happy about their child’s acceptance. Some are sad and nervous, “did my letter carrier die?” Then very disappointed people start saying awful things about race, tiers, etc. at that point), tempers flare, do-gooders step up and chide others here for their racism or attitudes or reassure people that their neighborhood school will be awesome or that seats open up throughout the summer–you still have a chance! We then get to the practical/logistical transportation and after school activity questions as parent try to figure out if commutes will work. Then come the gloom-and-doom CPS budget questions and concerns.

    Next, come all of the same nervous questions about second rounds and waitlists. Ambitious people call OAE and breathlessly report what they discovered,which is very little. Then come the open house feedback posts, happy and sad, but always, always very critical. “The principal did not fall at my feet, begging me to send my child to his school! What an asshole! I will show him and decline the seat and go to our neighborhood school!” It’s a wonder anything in those parents’ lives ever pass muster, even their own flawed children.

    [Special note: whoever taught parents the word “differentiation” needs to be shot because every parent seems to think that it means a CPS school can magically give 28-32 kids each a unique program, with their own private teacher, books, laptop, etc. I feel terrible for teachers and principals in this situation. They are educators, not magicians! With about a buck-fifty to spend on each kid’s education, it is simply not possible to give each child 100% of a teacher’s attention. Please be realistic. Please consider private school or homeschooling for your child. You will likely be happier with the results.]

    Next up on the thread, people who love their child’s experiences in a particular school jump on and try to reassure and clarify things. They explain how things actually run in their experience or how a particular teacher or administrator behaves on the job and they get sandbagged by people who keep finding fault over weird things. Some people go so far as to say scandalous or gossipy things about an education professional. Nice!

    My favorite ugly part in the life cycle of this thread comes where we get to hear about how genius children will be left for dead in SN, Edison, Prtizker, Decatur, NTA or any other CPS school because they are just too smart and teachers cannot deal with them. Well-meaning parents (like me) jump in to share their experiences and knowledge and then we get to have a pissing contest over how smart is smart. We get to debate whether a child who reads and comprehends college-level text at kindergarten is genius enough. Or how a 140 IQ is nice and all, but it’s not like MY kid who scored 141. We’ve heard of “slut-shaming,” but now we have “genius-shaming.” Come on, people. Our kids deserve better than this.

    If your child is an outlier (and the number of pure geniuses identified on this blog would actually make “normal” kids the outliers) then most likely CPS is not for them. There are sites more attuned to your family’s needs, I am sure. You can find plenty of like-minded people out there.You can discuss ways to supplement your child’s education because no one school will be able to live up to what you need. Surely, this cannot be the first time you have encountered this issue.

    Next up, the classic internet feature,Godwin’s law, where someone here will compare something or someone to Hitler. Who will the lucky Hitler be this year? Me, I hope!

    And then the thread goes into a deep sleep. Oh, wake up, wake up! We get a little bumps of activity as people get late offers in May, June, July and August. No one bothers to read any previous threads, they just hop on and demand “Help! I have ONE day to respond, we were offered X school, should we take it or stay at Y school?” Because it is summer, they get very little info and then they pout, yet refuse to search the previous threads for info. Ah. Good times.

    And then fall comes and we start over. But R may not continue this blog. What shall we do?

    For the time we have left, can we please stop being predictable? In the final days of this wonderfully helpful blog, can we do something amazing and consider our children’s social-emotional development?

    I continually see a sad disregard for the social-emotional development of our kids on these threads. The academic push-push tone is unnerving. Maybe SN made me overly-aware about the need for quality SEL for all kids, but it is very weird to me that very few people here are concerned that their kids have fun, make friends, and develop other parts of their selves at school.

    Social issues often go hand-in-hand with very bright and genius-level kids. Not all schools can or will offer comprehensive SEL support. We should all look for it.

    As Steve Jobs and countless other geniuses have shown us, it’s not enough to be smart or a genius. If you are going to live in this world and not be a social pariah, an asshole, or a lonely soul, you need to develop empathy, communication skills and be able to work with others.

    Please consider this important concept as you shop for your child’s school. You can always add academics to a child’s world outside of the school day through tutoring, camps, online resources, but it’s very difficult to add the 7+ hours of strong social-emotional development that a good school can offer.

    Best of luck to everyone in their decisions.

  • 571. Cpsmom  |  April 25, 2017 at 1:53 pm

    So, when do 2nd round offers come out? Do they call or email? Also, are tiers considered for 2nd round (I’ve heard conflicting answers)? TIA

  • 572. PritzkerParentof2  |  April 25, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    Sorry to be late answering @533 and sorry to hear your experience @534. The bus has always been an issue but that seems to be system-wide and not particular to any school. I have a 6th grader and the Options/RGC kids actually choose their major in 5th grade (Fine Arts and Neighborhood kids choose their major in 6th grade) and she is in her 2nd year in the band and loves it. She has band 2x a week. It is true that both Spanish and Library have been cut although that may change in future years. The pritzker foundation also supports drama and dance so I don’t see any reasons why those would be cut at any point. Each child (until 5th or 6th) gets art every week and music every week and then gets drama and dance for one quarter each. Clearly not everyone gets along with the principal (@534) but I have had no issues with her. I have always found her to be responsive to my concerns. And while we don’t see eye to eye on some issues, I have found her to be respectful and professional. And I have been very impressed with how she talks to children. Both the 6th grader and my kindergartner have felt comfortable talking to her. Good luck with your decision. There are many great schools in CPS. I truly believe Pritzker is one and am happy to have both of my children there. But I’m sure you’ll find the right place.

  • 573. bptandme  |  April 25, 2017 at 4:59 pm

    I’ll be brief, because I am pretty sure that cps obsessed did’t design this thread for all these tangents, but has other threads for them 🙂

    @563 from what I heard, skipping in CPS is very hard. I think lawyers have to be involved and it’s a long process. Best way I know is to go private, to a school that allows it if the child meets the next year’s criteria and socially and emotionally it’s a good option for the particular child. Then CPS goes along with it if you come back. There are rules and I don’t know all of them… like you have to skip K in private in order to go to 1st, you can’t enter as a grade skip.

    @560 it’s a good question and the answer is super complicated. The first thing to say about it is there is no silver bullet, no obvious solution. While the needs of the 2-10% that make up the majority of the gifted population in Chicago can be well met in the CPS SEES programs, the same doesn’t hold true for HG PG kids IMHO. They are simply not planned for because there are so few. The solution would be for CPS administration to come up with a clear path for those children. There is rumor of best practices etc but I’ve not met one HG PG family (I’ve not met many because there are few to begin with that say our school situation is perfect. Maybe someone with an HG PG that is in that boat can reply and teach me differently 🙂 and then we can all go to their school) I will only speak to our situation and those few that I know. Most people can’t 1. Afford private, 2. Afford to homeschool. 3. Know how to supplement a child that is super advanced, because sometimes the child surpasses the parent, at say, age 7. A small child learns best from a teacher, no matter how gifted, ideally with academic peers in the mix, ideally with some games mixed in, not just from worksheets. Not from a book, iPad, or computer program. These kids deserve the same level of instruction the other kids get. But that’s not what happens. 4. Some families don’t have time to supplement. They have to work and have to have kids in after care, and are picking kids up from multiple schools, and at the end of the day or on the weekend they want the kid to have some play time or park time or to see extended family. 5. Okay at the risk of upsetting some people… let’s say you have an 8th grader. How would you like to send her to 2nd grade during the school day and then teach her 8th grade in your spare time? How would she like that? That’s exactly the scenario that it is for the HG PG. That’s why supplement at home doesn’t work for many families. It is literally bad for the kids to be that bored all day. in my humble opinion 6. Some families function under the assumption that a place like a classical or an RGC are so in demand, so hard to get into, that they must be good. I have seen a similar thing in private school… I have seen parents who said we are all paying so much, that it must be good and meet the need of my child. The lack of more options in Chicagoland is what creates this. Some hg pg families choose to move out of state to get into a better school system. The solutions that exist are imperfect and because there’s is the drift to go out of state, at the elementary years … as it does get better around sixth grade… that there isn’t more of a concentrated demand. 7. relocation is not an option for many families, nor is a long commute/and sometimes the school situation changes and you put all your eggs in that basket – you don’t know if it will work….

    I can go on but I will stop.

  • 574. 3inCPS  |  April 25, 2017 at 5:46 pm

    I’m sorry I came on this too late to help @533. I am a Pritzker parent. Here’s what I tell every parent, and maybe it will help someone reading the thread for second/third/future rounds. Listen to people’s stories, but rely on your gut instinct from visits and knowing your child. Every school has strengths and weaknesses. Only you know how they line up with your own needs and hot button issues. (I have many friends at Skinner West who are very happy there. I was horrified be the answers SW gave to my questions when I was looking at them. We’re both right.)

    Our story: We are happy at Pritzker. My kids are happy to go to school. They enjoy the school community including their teachers, classmates, staff, and admin. The work interests/challenge my kids to varying degrees because as they age their talents develop at different rates. It is like riding a wave; each year is different. They’ve never regretted their placement. Their very different personalities have all been enriched by the different arts they get to explore. (A note to folks who are concerned about extreme differentiation and skipping grades–while your school should make all attempts to address your kids’ needs please don’t overlook the importance of being around their social-emotional peers. That is just as important as being around their academic peers).

    The parent community is quite varied. You will find Best Parent Friends and Those Parents That Make Me Crazy. As with most schools parent involvement is very high in the primary grades and reduced in the upper grades as parents give their kids space. There are many parent groups to join.There are many opportunities to be involved.

    The Principal: I have agreed with her and I have disagreed with her, but I can tell you without a doubt that she cares about every kid in the school. I have seen her brought to tears more than once by systemic inequalities she couldn’t fight or an individual kid’s struggles. I am happy knowing that the kids are her motivation even when she does things differently than I would.

    Is life at school perfect? No. My kids occasionally clash with a teacher or sub, or a fight with a friend, or realize that a rule does in fact apply to them. Budget cuts have lost us our Spanish and library classes. The before/after school classes the kids like don’t come back every quarter. There can be infighting between parents. None of these are specific to the school.

    I am sorry @534 had such a bad experience and clashed so badly with the principal. I’m glad they’ve found a better situation for their family. (Buses are a different issue. They are arranged by CPS central office. The bus companies respond to individual schools about as much as they do to individual parents–which is to say not at all. The bus system is broken but I’d bet CPS will pull all bus service before they’ll fix it. It makes me angry that CPS can’t get it right.)

  • 575. HolySmoke  |  April 26, 2017 at 9:24 am

    You are supposed to post simply
    entry level,
    It’s hard to find that now on this thread

  • 576. parent  |  April 26, 2017 at 9:47 am

    @575, Nope. After that information, the thread specifically says:

    Please post your information, questions, and moral support for other parents below…

    (I know, reading the directions all the way to the end is hard!)

  • 577. cpswonderland  |  April 26, 2017 at 10:31 am

    575. HolySmoke: It’s easy, just search the thread.
    In the case you are not familiar with the command, I can help with understanding it from mac user’s point of view: simply pressing, simultaneously, command AND f

    (just to repeat myself, so there’s no confusion: command f )

    prompts pop-out “find bar” in which you type, lets say, “tier” (it would yield best results, but I’m afraid it would limit you to only kindergarten results). Then grab a piece of paper and pen, and write down what you find. By hitting up and down arrows you’ll find more then one result. It’s that easy. 😉

    p.s. To those familiar with the process of searching the file, I apologise.

  • 578. Still waiting for an offer  |  April 26, 2017 at 2:32 pm

    Is there a way to know how many children are ahead of yours to get in during non-entry years? And are tiers taken into consideration?

  • 579. Chicago School GPS  |  April 26, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    Looking for insights into Classical and Gifted programs? Join us this Sunday 4/30/17 at 11am @ IIT to get an understanding prior to this Fall’s application season.

    Update!*** We’ve expanded this event to include parents of preschool to middle school children****
    This event helps parents of PreK through 5th graders learn how to successfully navigate the CPS application process and get a jump start on preparing their child for the CPS Gifted and Classical and academic center admissions tests. This event is designed to assist parents who want to get a competitive start on preparing their child for an academically gifted program the upcoming school year.
    Learn what you can do now to help your child’s future!
    If you are a PreK – 5th grade parent who is seeking school options and test prep resources that best fit your child’s needs please join guest speakers:
    Grace Sawin – Chicago School GPS (chischoolgps.com)
    Lemi-Ola Erinkitola – Educator, Critical Thinking Specialist (thecriticalthinkingchild.com)
    Sunday, April 30th from 11am to 1:00pm
    At this event parents will learn:
    How to successfully navigate the CPS application process
    What’s the difference between Gifted and Classical schools?
    What are some tips for academic center test prep?
    How does testing differ from other grade levels?
    What are the pros and cons of various gifted test prep methods?
    What teaching resources should I use if my child is learning multiple languages?
    How can I register my child for test prep (Critical Thinking Boot Camp for Kids?)
    What strategies work best for parents of multiples?
    All attendees receive a discount on Chicago School GPS’s Initial Consultation
    Registration is required. Adults only please!
    Seating is limited!

  • 580. @578  |  April 26, 2017 at 5:03 pm

    It’s my understanding that tiers are not looked at for non entry grades. Some people have had luck getting an answer on where your child resides on a list by calling OAE, but some have not.

  • 581. South Loop  |  April 26, 2017 at 7:25 pm

    It was apparently announced during recent LSC and 3rd ward community meetings that South Loop Elementary School’s boundaries will likely push south to Cermak once the new building opens (estimated January 2019). This conflicts with NTA’s current enrollment area. Meanwhile, rumor has it that the RGC may be moved back to SLES. Who knows what? Lots of controversy starting to brew!

  • 582. southoftheboundary  |  April 26, 2017 at 11:59 pm

    As the parent of of toddler who lives one block south of the new proposed boundary this is concerning. The current southern boundary of NTA is I-55 (24th or 25th St.). There are only a few (I can think of 3 including mine) residential developments in the current boundaries between Cermak and the highway, hardly enough population to sustain a school the size of NTA. Has anyone said what will happen to NTAs boundaries? On the surface seems like they are trying to build up South Loop Elementary by gutting NTA, which is sad bc seems like its on the path to being a great choice for neighborhood students.

  • 583. South Loop  |  April 27, 2017 at 6:25 am

    I, too, have more questions than answers. The new plan does seem to leave NTA hanging. Still, guess it’s official:


  • 584. southoftheboundary  |  April 27, 2017 at 8:30 am

    Wow, thanks for linking to that, it seems that the only reason to re-draw the boundaries is to include the Prairie District (the wealthier area off of Indiana and Prairie). It seems that the new boundaries “expand” to Cermak but somehow find a way to exclude all the affordable housing communities on Michigan between 20th and 21st (Long Grove House), and on Cermak and State (Hillard Homes). Seems like gerrymandering?

  • 585. rebelgirls  |  April 27, 2017 at 9:38 am

    @southoftheboundary, you’re reading the map wrong. Both of those communities are included in the new boundary.

  • 586. southoftheboundary  |  April 27, 2017 at 9:49 am

    Thanks for clearing that up @rebelgirls, I was reading the map on my phone, the slider doesn’t work well. Also, for anyone thats interested I emailed the alderman to ask about the boundaries and to point out the fact that there currently isn’t enough residential housing between 22nd and 25th to sustain NTA enrollment. Their response: “NTA attracts students from all over the city and we expect this trend to continue. Also, a new 870+ development is planned for 22-25 and State Street”

    I did know they were planning a new development for the area, but I don’t know the expected completion date? In the meantime, it still looks like the new boundaries will gut NTA’s future student pool until that development is built.

  • 587. ?  |  April 27, 2017 at 10:06 am

    There are plans to turn NTA into a High School.

  • 588. southoftheboundary  |  April 27, 2017 at 10:27 am

    I have heard that rumor as well, but can’t find any information on it

  • 589. Squashing rumors  |  April 27, 2017 at 11:44 am

    That’s because it’s just that. A rumor. There are no facts to support it. The South Loop has been calling for a high school for years and tried to get a true neighborhood admission piece incorporated into Jones (instead of what they have now, which is still based on scores and the lottery).

    Since that failed, all eyes in the South Loop have turned on NTA, given its location and beautiful facility. But NTA is a thriving elementary school and will continue to be so.

    The entire SL, Chinatown, and near south side DO need a true neighborhood high school. It just won’t be located at NTA.

  • 590. Still waiting for an offer  |  April 27, 2017 at 3:05 pm

    So, just called OAE. 2nd round offers will be made next week. Also, there is no wait list for RGC/Classical schools because they rerun the selection process each time because students who have turned down an offer then go back into the pool.

  • 591. @590  |  April 27, 2017 at 3:50 pm

    Did they give you an idea on what day they’d start next week?? Stressful….!!!

  • 592. wondering  |  April 27, 2017 at 3:50 pm

    FYI: I was recently told that the RGC classes open 3 spots for every rising 3rd grade class. If it’s true, that means 2nd grade is the best year to test for a non-entry year.

  • 593. Inadilemma  |  April 27, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    Just read your post that RGC increases 3 spots in third grade class. Can you please specify which all RGC schools follow this rule? I am just checking if it’s applicable to Edison RGC as well? Thanks..

  • 594. Two new seats  |  April 27, 2017 at 3:57 pm

    Generally, two new seats open up per fourth grade class in RGCs and classical schools. So each class can add two new people. If a school has two classes per grade, then four seats. So, testing as a third grader is a good idea if you want to try for a fourth grade spot.

  • 595. Bell  |  April 27, 2017 at 3:59 pm

    Agree with “Two New Seats” spots are added in 4th grade. In the case of Bell, usually 3 seats, taking the number of students from 28 to 31.

  • 596. Edison  |  April 27, 2017 at 7:23 pm

    @594 & 595, is it true for Edison too? I heard they don’t have increase in number at 4th.

  • 597. Edison parent  |  April 27, 2017 at 8:39 pm

    @596/Edison…Yes it applies to all the schools…my son attends Edison and 2 or 3 (can’t remember) spots opened when he was in fourth

  • 598. TestsTestsTests  |  April 27, 2017 at 8:44 pm

    @410 (obsessing), you asked what people love/hate about Bell Options.

    First, love: Curriculum overall seems rigorous; teachers I know who teach in the suburbs always comment favorably about the academics. High-school teachers comment about how well Bell graduates are prepared for high schools (including SEHSs). Several of the teachers are phenomenal (including the first-grade teacher mentioned earlier as well as the 7th-8th team). Most of the teachers have gotten extracurricular prof. dev. to help them teach gifted learners. They also embrace the fact that some of the kids are quirky; the program is a safe place for kids who love sci-fi or art or cosplay. The individual classes (and often their parents) tend to be tight-knit groups who are almost like siblings after being together for several years; it’s sort of a built-in academic support system. The Options program also tends to be more diverse than the neighborhood program.

    Dislike: There is a definite divide between the RGC and neighborhood program. The three programs (neighborhood, gifted, deaf) have their “specials” (PE, Art, Library, Music) together in third and fourth grade, which helps build some bridges. But then the interaction often stops. And unless the Options kids do extracurricular activities (such as sports or Scouts or the play), they don’t always mix with kids from the other two programs — despite having the same lunch/recess, for example. So there tends to be an “us vs. them” thing that happens. Neighborhood kids sometimes see Options as being for nerds; Options kids don’t want to mix with neighborhood kids because they’re too sporty, for example. The “us vs. them” aspect also exists between some of the parents, with parents who live in the neighborhood sometimes viewing Options parents as carpetbaggers who come and use their school but don’t contribute anything (although some Options parents volunteer countless hours). The kids can be competitive, when it comes to grades. It can be hard for kids to see their friends outside of school because they live in different neighborhoods and often have extracurricular activities.

    Having said all that, my child loves Bell and sees it has a second home. So despite its flaws, I think the overall sense of community and desire to be constantly improving keeps the school thriving and vibrant.

  • 599. teacher/mom  |  April 29, 2017 at 6:54 am

    @598 TestsTestsTests: Thank you. This was the impression I got of Bell from our visit. We declined because I don’t feel confident that our younger child would test in, and having our kids be a part of the same community is really important to us.

  • 600. Edison  |  April 29, 2017 at 7:03 am

    @597, Thank you!

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