High School Application News – Fall 2017

September 4, 2017 at 8:55 am 49 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



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

Coming Soon – New Posts for New School Year! Fall 2017: Applying to Kindergarten / Elementary School

49 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.

  • 24. cpsobsessed  |  September 22, 2017 at 9:43 pm

    Reminder about the high school Hidden Gems fair this weekend (Sunday) at Amundsen High school


  • 25. CoonleyMom  |  October 3, 2017 at 3:23 pm

    If a NON-CPS student plans on applying for selective enrollment high school, when do they take the MAP-in 7th or 8th grade? I find the CPS website confusing on this specific requirement. Thanks in advance for any clarification!

  • 26. Chicago School GPS  |  October 3, 2017 at 4:08 pm

    Non-CPS students need to take a CPS administered NWEA MAP test in the same fall they are applying to the school, so for 8th graders, it means fall of their 8th grade year. CPS had a September date already and their October request has passed but the exams are on Oct. 21 & 22. Check out http://cps.edu/AccessAndEnrollment/Pages/NWEAnoncps.aspx for more info.

    CPS students take the qualifying MAP exam automatically as part of their spring 7th grade year.

  • 27. cpsobsessed  |  October 4, 2017 at 10:13 pm

    Just a reminder that you can find the HS Open House dates on the indiv school web sites and on Chicago School GPS’s calendar (since they are tapped into these things.)
    The weekend right after the enrollment season starts are:
    Sat Oct 14 Jones
    Sun Oct 15 W Young

    See other dates here:

    I am still not seeing these on the OAE site. Is anyone else?

  • 28. cpsobsessed  |  October 4, 2017 at 10:15 pm

    One other thing I wanted to pass on that I saw on Facebook is that Whitney Young closed down their football team mid season.
    I don’t know why (funding? lack of participation?)

    I feel bad for the kids — one of my son’s classmates was playing there and they didn’t do their homecoming game.
    So if that is important to you, make sure you ask about it when you are touring.

    Jones also doesn’t have a football team.

  • 29. cpsobsessed  |  October 5, 2017 at 12:43 am

    Some info about Lake View and Amundsen:
    Kids in these areas can attend either school:

    DID YOU KNOW? Students who apply to Amundsen High School or Lake View High School (Chicago) through GoCPS will be guaranteed admission, regardless of where they live, if they attend a GROWCommunity elementary school: Audubon, Bell, Blaine, Budlong, Burley, Chappell, COONLEY, Greeley, Hamilton, Hawthorne, Inter-American, Jahn, Jamieson, McPherson, Nettelhorst, Ravenswood, or Waters.

  • 30. CD  |  October 5, 2017 at 9:28 am

    Just received info from the OAE that 8th graders will not receive their Selective Enrollment test scores until March 2017. These kids will be filling out their applications for the SE schools blind. What a bummer.

  • 31. mom2  |  October 5, 2017 at 10:16 am

    @28 – the news reports said it was a combination of injuries and kids not meeting the standards to be allowed to participate. I don’t know if that was accurate or not.
    @30 – same as last year. It doesn’t really matter because you just put down the schools you want in order and you get into the first one you qualify for that has an opening in your tier in your order specified.

  • 32. Brains are Better  |  October 5, 2017 at 1:35 pm

    @28 My son attends WY and they started with a very small team (26 versus the CPS required 22). After a couple of injuries and academic ineligibility they didn’t have 22. I personally wonder if they weren’t able to get the numbers due to concerns about injuries. The 26 team members were all grades – there wasn’t enough for JV versus varsity teams. The principal said it will be back next year but only time with tell.

  • 33. Chicago School GPS  |  October 5, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    Because of the revised GoCPS application dates of Dec. 10 to Dec. 22, I heard that CPS removed their planned Oct. 14 SEHS test date and added one in Dec. I haven’t found a link yet but here is what the new schedule should be:

    Saturday, November 18
    Saturday, December 9
    Saturday, December 16
    Saturday, January 27
    Saturday, February 3

    Families should be able to sign up for their preferred test date and site starting Oct. 10 if their child is eligible for SEHS testing.

  • 34. Chicago School GPS  |  October 5, 2017 at 2:16 pm

    Oops, I meant to say Oct. 10 to Dec. 22.

  • 35. Chicago School GPS  |  October 6, 2017 at 2:05 pm

    This is the super helpful link of FAQs from CPSOAE regarding all types of High School questions.

    It talks about the SEHS test dates, contents of test, other admissions screenings, etc. A worthwhile read!

  • 36. Chicago School GPS  |  October 6, 2017 at 2:09 pm

    This lists the schools that require additional admissions screenings and what is required:

    For example, Von Steuben’s Scholars program requires an essay and recommendation letters. IB & Military Academies require an information session, SEHS require testing, etc.

  • 37. CuriousJones  |  October 9, 2017 at 10:37 pm

    Is there anyone familiar with Jones’ CTE admission procedure? If a student lives within their boundary, is admission guaranteed? Or is it by lottery? or based on the grade and NWEA score from 7th grade? Thank you!

  • 38. cpsobsessed  |  October 10, 2017 at 6:38 am

    Welp, the application is open, but still no open house schedule posted! :0

    This weekend is Jones and Whitney Young:

  • 39. Chicago School GPS  |  October 10, 2017 at 6:38 am

    While this link has last year’s application dates, the bottom portion talks about the selection process.
    “Selection Process
    Selection for these academies is based on a 600-point scale which is comprised of 300 points for 7th grade final grades and 300 points for NWEA MAP scores. Students will be ranked and selected from high to low; students residing within the attendance overlay boundaries of the schools are selected first.”

    There are only about 38 spots for Pre-Eng and about 37 spots for Pre-Law (or vice versa). It’s a small cohort but certainly does get filled with boundary area kids.

  • 40. South Loop Family  |  October 10, 2017 at 2:09 pm

    @37 – basically at lottery (low minimum requirements) This is a pretty good overview from last year.


    Preference is given for within boundaries but know there are a lot of applications for these coveted spots.

  • 41. Northside Mom  |  October 10, 2017 at 6:26 pm

    Has anyone figured out how to schedule a Selective Enrollment Exam test date without actually applying? We’d like to schedule the preferred date but until the open houses, don’t have a definite order for ranking schools.

    I also didn’t see anything about whether it’s possible to change the rank order after applying.

  • 42. Chicago School GPS  |  October 10, 2017 at 10:31 pm

    This is from the top of page 4: http://cps.edu/AccessAndEnrollment/Documents/FAQs_HighSchools_2018-2019.pdf
    “How can I change my school choices?
    We encourage you to attend Open Houses and conduct any other school-related research BEFORE
    submitting your application, to decrease the need for changing school choices. If you apply online, you
    can make changes to your application online. If you apply via paper application, contact the Office of
    Access and Enrollment at 773-553-2060 or gocps [at] cps.edu to request a paper Application Modification
    Form. Changes must be submitted no later than December 22, 2017.”

  • 43. Chicago School GPS  |  October 12, 2017 at 11:30 am

    CPS Open Houses are now listed on their Event page:

  • 44. Chicago School GPS  |  October 12, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    Here is the “helpful” but a bit unwieldy online application guide. Has high school (pp 6-34), then elementary (pp 35-52) and finally preschool (pp 53-66) instructions. http://cps.edu/sitecollectiondocuments/gocps/GoCPS-HS-Application-Guide-English.pdf

  • 45. MomOfOne  |  October 15, 2017 at 10:59 am

    Since application and test dates recently changed, does anyone know when SEHS test results will be posted? Trying to find this on the Go CPS site and not having much luck.

  • 46. Chicago School GPS  |  October 15, 2017 at 1:32 pm

    SEHS test results will come at the same time as school notifications, in mid-March 2018. I was told this after emailing CPSOAE.

  • 47. Chicago School GPS  |  October 15, 2017 at 4:09 pm

    CPS TIers have been updated for the 2018-2019 application season. Type in your address into http://cps.edu/ScriptLibrary/Map-SchoolLocator/index.html and the blue box will have your tier listed under the yellow pin.

  • 48. CPS parent  |  October 17, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    re: 900 point enrollment calculation
    my child received a 98% in reading and math (7th grade spring score) and according to Go CPS, the NWEA map combo is 196. So does that mean 196 out of 300?

  • 49. Chicago School GPS  |  October 17, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    No, that 196 number is actually just the sum of the two scores. Use this rubric for your score out of 300: http://cps.edu/AccessAndEnrollment/Documents/ScoringRubric_SEHS.pdf

    Needless to say, it is very confusing for CPS to throw in that combo score because it has confused everyone.

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