High School Application News – Fall 2017

September 4, 2017 at 8:55 am 23 comments


Lake View HS 1943

2018-2019 CPS High School Application News (guest post from Chicago School GPS)

We often tell families we meet with that “The only constant in CPS is to expect ‘change’ “.  This fall, there is a LOT of change in the 2018-2019 CPS high school application process.  The rumors of a “Single Application” for CPS high schools have come to fruition with the unveiling of GoCPS www.go.cps.edu .  GoCPS is essentially a consolidation of what was previously several disparate applications (magnet, military, IB, CTE, etc) into one form, with one offer of acceptance based on the highest ranked school (out of 20) for which your student qualifies. The ONE EXCEPTION is that the 11 Selective Enrollment schools (entrance test required & 900 pt system) will still be a separate application. So think of it as “Single Application Plus SEHS”.  In other words, your student can get up to two CPS high school offers next spring, as opposed to the multiple offers from different types of programs that were given in prior years.

CPS has planned for a “single application” for several years now but this year is finally pulling the trigger.  The reasons?  Mostly to promote equitability, transparency, and they say, “simplicity”.  Before there were students who could have conceivably been offered several IB schools, several magnet schools, several CTE programs, and one SEHS school.  But because a student can only enroll in one school, those other offers sat “unused” or were delayed in being available for others.

Will this change really make it more equitable, as it is designed to do?  Much speculation remains, especially since cities like Denver, New Orleans and New York City are all still working out their systems.  Read more insightful analysis here: http://www.generationallchicago.org/will-a-single-application-for-high-schools-help-expan-equity-in-chicago-public-schools/

The following steps are for 8th grade families (the guinea pigs in all this):

  1. Subscribe to updates at www.go.cps.edu
  2. Follow the prompts at http://go.cps.edu/how-to-apply/high-schools and choose if you are a CPS student or a non-CPS student (non-CPS students still need to register to take the CPS-administered NWEA MAP reading & math tests either in September or October.  It’s first come, first serve so register early! http://cps.edu/AccessAndEnrollment/Pages/NWEAnoncps.aspx )
  3. Online accounts can be Activated now so you can see your student’s eligibility for programs, etc. https://cps.schoolmint.net/signup
    1. CPS students should have received an Activation Code at the end of last school year or will get one when school starts;
    2. Non-CPS students do not need an Activation Code but may need MAP testing (see #2)
  4. Applications open on October 2nd
  5. Visit schools, open houses, research programs, etc
  6. Applications close on December 15th.
  7. Rank up to 20 non-selective schools, and rank up to 6 selective enrollment schools, for a maximum of 2 school offers.
  8. You may still need to attend info sessions, auditions, selective enrollment testing or submit supplemental materials after the application deadline.
  9. You will be matched to the highest non-selective school for which you qualify, and put on the waitlist for any schools you ranked higher, with 1st round notifications coming on March 15, 2018.
  10. If you applied to an SEHS school, you will also get a single offer for one of those schools.
  11. If you don’t want to accept your single offer (and/or your SEHS offer), then you can apply again during a second round which begins in May 2018.
  12. Supposedly by June 2018 you will be settled in a single school offer, with your neighborhood school as your fallback.

Want to learn more?

The 6th Annual Hidden Gems High School Fair will be on Sunday, Sept. 24 from 1-4p at Amundsen High School; http://www.chischoolgps.com/CSG_HS_Fair.html

“What’s on the Test? HS Edition” w/Test Prep Chicago will be on Thursday, Oct. 19 from 7-8:30pm.  Location TBD.  http://www.chischoolgps.com/CSG_HS_Testing.html

CPS Go Contact Info



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23 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Chicago School GPS  |  September 4, 2017 at 9:43 am

    Generation All has been closely following these changes from CPSOAE and here are some helpful FAQs they compiled: http://www.generationallchicago.org/cps-high-school-single-application-faqs/

  • 2. Katie  |  September 4, 2017 at 9:42 pm

    Does anyone know where I can find a schedule for SEHS tours for this fall?

  • 3. Chicago School GPS  |  September 4, 2017 at 10:36 pm

    We have many public and private school tours and open houses listed on our CSG Calendar, including about 5 or 6 SEHS tours so far: http://www.chischoolgps.com/Calendar.php

    There is a small arrow in the upper right of the calendar that you can toggle on or off which types of schools you want to show.

  • 4. JD  |  September 5, 2017 at 11:31 am

    The one thing I haven’t been able to find is information about a placement test. Am I missing something? Seems like it hasn’t been updated yet.

  • 5. Chicago School GPS  |  September 5, 2017 at 11:49 am

    CPS hasn’t released info on the SEHS test dates yet, but I am pretty sure they are still including that as part of the 300 point rubric. Rumor has it that the test has changed a bit this year after they did practice critical thinking sections on the kids last year, but no new info yet on what sections will be on this year’s test. In the past, it was grammar, vocabulary, math word problems and reading comprehension.

  • 6. JD  |  September 5, 2017 at 1:37 pm


  • 7. JD  |  September 5, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    I’ve also heard that SEHS schools are required to take a percentage of kids with IEPs if they meet the minimum requirements for applying (combined MAP percentile of 48 and maybe GPA). Is this true?

  • 8. Katie  |  September 6, 2017 at 9:23 pm

    Thank you!

  • 9. Chicago School GPS  |  September 7, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    @7- SEHS have been required to have within 4-5% of the CPS average # of IEP students. In other words, if 10% CPS’s student population has IEPs, then an SEHS could have as low as 5% or as high as 15% of its students with IEPs. Granted, you can have 900 pt scoring kids who also have IEPs so whether it is an advantage for overall point totals is debatable. And apparently 504s do not have quotas so there is no consideration for whether a student has a 504 besides testing accommodations.

    From http://cps.edu/AccessAndEnrollment/Pages/SEHS.aspx
    “Eligibility Requirements for Selective Enrollment High Schools
    Applicants to Selective Enrollment High Schools (SEHS) must pre-qualify to take the SEHS admissions exam. Eligibility to take the exam is based on the student’s reading and math scores on the NWEA. The eligibility requirements are below:
    General Education Students and Students with a 504 Plan:
    Minimum percentile of 24 in both reading and math.
    Students with an IEP and Students Receiving Bilingual Education Services:
    Minimum reading and math percentiles that equal 48 or higher.”

  • 10. Chicago School GPS  |  September 7, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    SEHS test dates, also from http://cps.edu/AccessAndEnrollment/Pages/SEHS.aspx under the “More Info” tab:

    The Selective Enrollment High Schools admissions exam will be offered on the following dates for the 2017-2018 school year:
    December 17, 2016
    January 21, 2017
    January 28, 2017
    February 4, 2017
    The test will be offered at five sites: King College Preparatory High School, Lane Tech High School, Lindblom Math and Science Academy, Westinghouse College Preparatory High School, and Young Magnet High School.

    There are typically two test times, 8am or 1pm, and in the past you have been able to choose which time you would like.

  • 11. Chicago School GPS  |  September 7, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    Ooops, sorry- grabbed the wrong tab. Here is the info and I will find the link later:

    SEHS Test Dates

    Saturday, October 14
    Saturday, November 18
    Saturday, December 9
    Saturday, January 27
    Saturday, February 3

    The SEHS will be offered at five sites: King College Preparatory High School, Lane Tech High School, Lindblom Math and Science Academy, Westinghouse College Preparatory High School, and Whitney Young Magnet High School.

  • 12. Chicago School GPS  |  September 7, 2017 at 12:26 pm

    Here is the link for where to find the test dates, about halfway down the FAQs: http://go.cps.edu/about/faq/high-school

  • 13. JD  |  September 8, 2017 at 7:36 am

    Thanks for the info re: IEPs and test dates!

  • 14. VK  |  September 8, 2017 at 9:30 am

    Are the IB programs considered Selective Enrollment (Taft, Lincoln Park, Ogden)? Would you select these on the non selective schools applications or on the selective enrollment schools application – regarding #7 from above:

    7.Rank up to 20 non-selective schools, and rank up to 6 selective enrollment schools, for a maximum of 2 school offers.

  • 15. Chicago School GPS  |  September 8, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    @14- There are only 11 “Selective Enrollment” high schools: Brooks, Hancock, Jones, King, Lane, Lindblom, Northside, Payton, South Shore, Westinghouse & Young. Of these 11, you can apply for up to 6 choices, and can receive a single offer to the highest one for which your student qualifies for.

    All the rest of the schools are considered “non-selective”, including IB schools and magnets which sometimes do consider 7th grade grades and NWEA MAP scores but do NOT require an entrance test.

    Honestly, CPS is not great with nomenclature (don’t get me started on “Magnet Cluster”). They should say “Entrance Exam-based” schools and “Non-Entrance Exam-based” schools. Your child can be offered one school from each of those categories.

  • 16. mom2  |  September 8, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    I thought you had to take a test to get admitted to Lincoln Park’s IB program? Is that not the case anymore? I know it isn’t a selective enrollment school, but I thought it was entrance exam based. Maybe that changed in the last several years?

  • 17. Chicago School GPS  |  September 8, 2017 at 3:54 pm

    Eligibility Requirements for IB Programs:
    General Education and 504 Plan students: Minimum percentile of 24 in both reading and math on NWEA MAP and minimum 2.5 GPA in 7th grade.

    IEP and EL students: Minimum combined percentile of 48 in reading and math on NWEA MAP and minimum 2.5 GPA in 7th grade.

    Attendance at an Information Session is required for all eliglble applicants.

    Students are selected based on an overall applicant score. Points are based on NWEA MAP scores and 7th grade GPA. Students who live within the school’s attendance boundary will be given 50 additional points. The school selects the minimum cutoff score for selections.

    The most annoying part about the new website is not being able to paste the exact place where I found this. Instead, I have to write out that I went to http://go.cps.edu/search and then searched Lincoln Park HS and then clicked on the Admissions tab.

  • 18. Northside Mom  |  September 13, 2017 at 10:06 am

    I spoke with someone from Selective Prep yesterday to see if they’re including critical thinking in their fall Selective Enrollment classes. The woman I spoke with said that CPS confirmed that while there may be logic based questions on the Selective Enrollment exam, they will not count towards the students’ scores (like last year).

    She said that this info is on a CPS website but I haven’t been able to find anything.

    Can anyone confirm whether this is true?

  • 19. Chicago School GPS  |  September 13, 2017 at 10:23 am

    This is from http://go.cps.edu/about/faq/high-school

    “What is on the Selective Enrollment High Schools admissions exam?

    The Selective Enrollment High Schools exam consists of two segments: achievement skills and critical thinking ​skills. Only the results from the achievement skills test in the four subject areas (reading comprehension, vocabulary, grammar, and math word problems) will generate percentiles and point values applicable for the 2018-2019 school year selections.”

  • 20. Northside Mom  |  September 13, 2017 at 10:27 am

    Thank you so much! That’s a huge relief.

  • 21. CD  |  September 13, 2017 at 11:32 am

    How long does it take to get your scores? Do the students see it immediately, or do we wait for mail?

  • 22. Chicago School GPS  |  September 13, 2017 at 5:30 pm

    Excellent question and in the past, an October or November SEHS test date would allow a student’s final 900 point total to be revealed before the application deadline. Not sure what CPSOAE plans to do this year.

  • 23. Momof2fish  |  September 13, 2017 at 10:27 pm

    Anyone interested in the high school study guide? I’m thinking of selling it. I think I have most of the sessions but the big book is intact. Pm me jusand@live.com if interested.

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