About Me


This is where I’m at as of  Fall 2017:
My son is starting High School at Jones College Prep this year.  After starting the blog before Kindergarten, we made to the next big step.  Now we have some time to relax until college applications start.  That’ll be a breeze after all this.


This is who I was when I started this blog in 2008 when my son was entering Kindergarten:

This is a blog about a parent who is about to dive into CPS… the Chicago Public School system and the ongoing anxiety that will likely follow.

I’m the mom of a 5-year-old son who will be entering Kindergarten in Fall 2008 in Chicago.  A significant portion of my braintime for the past few years has been spent researching the different opportunities for education in our city and determining which school will be the best fit for him.  (No, my brain had seemingly not grasped that “choice” is mainly an illusion in the Chicago school universe.) **As of Fall 2009, I’m the mom of a 6-year-old who is first grade in one of the regional gifted centers.**

Our son spent his first 2 years of PreK at a private Montessori school.   But being the education-obsessed mom that I am, I had to get him tested for the Gifted/Classical schools.

Luck was on our side and he tested into a new Regional Gifted Center that is opening in Fall 2008 at what I will call the New Gifted School.  I say luck because I can’t help but wonder if there was a score mix-up of some sort.  Sure, his grandmother thinks he’s a genius but he seems like a regular kid to me — certainly not any different than the other kids his age I converse with (conversations being mainly about Sponge Bob and superheroes, of course, so how intellectual can it get?)

The decision to leave the cushy private school enviroment for CPS was a big one.  I spent hours upon hours talking to anyone and everyone who would listen/share about their opinions and experiences.  Ultimately, the administration at the New Gifted School continued to impress me repeatedly… enough to overcome our nervousness about CPS.  I’m excited about being part of the new program at the school and to be a CPS parent and get the full city-school experience, but also a bit nervous about the potential obstacles or frustrations that may lie ahead.

The decision has been made.  Now to see how it pans out…….

To reach CPSObsessed for questions, personal advice, commiserating, or random thoughts, please email me at cpsobsessed@gmail.com

166 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Ryan  |  October 2, 2008 at 11:09 am

    Thanks for this, it is so helpful. My son is in the same class, and this was a very tough decision for us as well. He spent preschool in a private school and when he was first accepted into a Gifted School (different school) after hours of trying to figure out what was best for him, we turned it down. (Due to the school itself and not the program.) We were fortunate enough to have another opportunity when he was invited to go to the New Gifted School. We were also impressed with this administration and so far so good. I am VERY new to the CPS system, so I find this so amusing and helpful. Hopefully we will meet soon:)

  • 2. Kinder Mom  |  April 2, 2009 at 11:38 am

    Love the blog! Keep it up…it’s nice to see I am not the only one “obsessing” over this – my kid-less friends don’t understand the stress behind all this.

  • 3. K's Dad  |  April 12, 2009 at 9:58 pm

    To cpsobsessed:

    Have you seen a teacher’s manual or parent’s guide for your child’s curriculum?

    I’m curious to find out if those are available to support homework.


    K’s Dad

  • 4. adad  |  April 12, 2009 at 11:16 pm

    Thanks for all your detailed and frequent posting. I’m brand new to the site and have been relieved/entertained by your ability to hit on so many topics I have been chewing on this CPS season…notably the good bit of game theory involved in the gifted/classical testing process (school ordering) and waitlisting. So as I am brand new to CPS – one of those private school families suddenly on the edge in this economy – we had our kids tested. Both scored high (must have been a good breakfast) and got in…however one into pritzker gifted and the other decauter classical. luckily also have a la salle slot and low waitlist number.

    We are quite impressed with decauter – despite the distance – think it is worth the effort to make that work. Pritzker on the other hand we were resoundingly underwhelmed by. Do you or the community know anything about Pritzker? There seems to be a bad vibe between the Principal and gifted teachers regarding the integration of the neighborhood kids and gifted….all one school stuff. Reports of massive intra-year gifted teacher turnover?

    Lastly – since you seem to have amassed an enormous bit of CPS knowledge – any thots re LaSalle…Why is this magnet so much better regarded than most others?

    Many thanks to you and any others in the community.

  • 5. cpsobsessed  |  April 14, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    K’s Dad: We haven’t seen the teacher’s manual of course. I was in the classroom yesterday and realized I felt a little weird asking to see that one (but of course curious a bit.) I’ll ask about a Parent Guide. The Everyday Math program includes a good deal of parent information that comes home – a lot in fact that I keep heaping into a pile for later reference.

  • 6. cpsobsessed  |  April 14, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    adad: Very good question about LaSalle. I don’t have any personal contacts with kids there – I think I’m too far north so I know people in Hawthorne instead which I think has as good a reputation. I’m going to write a post about it… give me a couple days.

  • 7. K's Dad  |  April 14, 2009 at 4:47 pm

    CPSO: You can buy used Everyday Math materials on ebay at pretty low prices. I know you don’t want the answers, but it might help create little lessons at home during cooking, vacation, etc.

    Take a look at what I found for Kindergarten:


    Amazon has a lot too.

  • 8. Jan  |  April 24, 2009 at 9:29 am

    Re: LaSalle — It’s a school with good, experienced teachers and a very involved parenting community, nothing that cannot be replicated anywhere else, and in fact is being replicated, not only in LaSalle II but other schools in which neighborhood families are rallying to improve them.

    LaSalle historically had high test score results for many years because the former principal very carefully picked and chose who would be admitted through the “lottery”. Everything from the requirement to sign in during the open house to the requirement to come to the school for a tour if you were on the wait list clearly showed that the principal selected those whose children were likely to score high on standardized tests, and therefore make her look good. (We were offered a spot but turned it down because this principal’s methods were a turn off to me, so this is not sour grapes speaking.) Now that there is a new principal who adheres to the rules of the lottery, it will be interesting to see how things change over the years.

  • 9. Iliana Rodriguez  |  May 4, 2009 at 6:41 pm

    Just thought I’d update you that Skinner North is offering a SATURDAY 2 hour open house for new Skinner Parents on May 16 to tour the Schiller location-and also a ‘community meeting’ on May 20 at Ogden. Should be interesting!

  • 10. Aarti  |  May 14, 2009 at 3:53 pm

    Nice to see this information, I am very to new to this area. I was not aware of these schools at all till this feb. My daughter will be going to 1 grade. I need more information. what is skinner North school. Do they have any opening for school year 2009-2010. As for CPS they say I can only try for year 2010-2011, At that time my daughter will be in 2nd grade. What are the chances that you get into thses schools in higher grades.

    Any help would be appericiated

  • 11. Jessica Vahey  |  July 13, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    Thank you so very much for creating this site. My husband and I are desperately trying to remain in the city but have had such trouble with CPS. We have a 5 and a 3 year old, both currently in tuition-based Montessori program. We have spent days and nights with headaches and tears, feeling like we were the most naive and ill-informed parents out there (and secretly wishing we had some legitiamte claim to being anything other than Caucasian!)

    Your site has given me some sense of normalicy, and dare I say “hope” that something may work out for us and we might be able to remain in the city.

  • 12. P's Mom  |  July 29, 2009 at 9:55 pm

    What a great blog idea! I was hoping you or one of your readers might know more about Skinner North and West classical program(s?). My daughter will be taking the exam to get into the Skinner classical program, but with the two new schools I’m a little confused about where she would be going if she tested in. Is Skinner West also going to have a classical program within the school and Skinner North will also have a classical program OR if you test into the Skinner classical program that means you’re going to Skinner North? Thanks!

  • 13. cpsobsessed  |  July 30, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    P’s mom: Check out this post about Skinner to start:

    This school year it was treated as one school when people first applied, then split off into 2. I believe that for the upcoming test period it will be treated as 2 distinct schools. When you select your top 6 choices of Gifted/Classical schools on the application (you will rank them) I suspect they will be 2 separate entries.

  • 14. Y  |  July 30, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    Skinner West and North were treated as separate options this year. Both are classical schools. You could choose either or both on your application form. Skinner West will be co-located with a neighborhood program at the new building in the West Loop area. The Skinner West program will be made up primarily with the teachers and administrators of the original Skinner Classical school. Skinner North is the new program starting this fall and modeled after Skinner West.

  • 15. Some Guy  |  August 5, 2009 at 2:00 pm


    hope your kid enjoys it.

  • 16. ts mom  |  September 4, 2009 at 12:15 am

    what a great blog! I am so glad I chanced upon it in time for applying for our daugther admission to K. i would be interested in understanding how testing works for RGC. do i need her to be preparing her for it. she currently attends preK at a montessori in down town. appreciate your insights and inputs.

  • 17. Mayfair Dad  |  September 21, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    Dear cpsobsessed:

    I love your blog and enjoy your writing style. You are performing a vitally important public service.

    Our kids are older than yours, enrolled in high-performing gifted and magnet programs. My wife and I remain active in our neighborhood CPS school’s LSC and PTA.

    We remember all too vividly the confusion, disbelief, heartbreak and anger we went through trying to decipher the CPS options for knowledge system. I wish you were around back then.

    To the parents of pre-school age kids: do your homework! This is not easy – the system is designed to confuse and discourage you. Keep researching, keep applying, keep testing your kids every year until you prevail. In the end it will be worth it.

  • 18. chicagomom  |  October 7, 2009 at 11:19 am

    Dear cpsobsessed,

    I just stumbled upon your blog and have found it extremely interesting and enlightening. I have a 5 yr old son in K right now who tested last year for the cps gifted program. He scored a 145 but did not get into any of our choices (granted they were Coonley, Edison, Decateur.) Our local school isn’t great so he’s going to a parochial K for now. However, financially I can’t keep this up, and he is (OK, I’m going to used the forebidden word) bored with his current class. I guess I’m just looking for some help or ideas from anyone who reads this. I’m at a loss as to what to do. The main problem is he is disruptive in class because he was doing what their learning when he was 2.5 or 3. Any advice from parents out there? I try to work with him myself but I’m a single Mom who works full-time out of my home. There are only so mnay hours in the day! He tested into NU SEP program and has started that and loves it. The more I read the comments I realize maybe I should have called more to see where he was on the waiting list. Since it’s that time of year again I guess I was looking for any insight possible.


  • 19. chicagomom  |  October 7, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    Sorry about the misspellings and really bad grammar used in the comment above – I’m a bit sleep-deprived!

  • 20. meadowsmom  |  October 20, 2009 at 7:53 pm

    Love this blog. Am from New York City and, frankly, feel there’s a lack of well-written blogs by plain-speaking parents who navigate the huge and scary NYC public school system. I get my info from the “big public school websites” but like a personal touch now and then. Maybe I’ll start my own NYC blog but so far, have nothing to blog about as my kid is 4 and I’m not “in” anywhere but our current private pre-K.

  • 21. cpsobsessed  |  October 20, 2009 at 10:43 pm

    Meadowmom – I can’t believe there’s not a NYC one either! Those parents get especially nutty because their system is so crazy AND the demand overwhelms the supply.
    Now is the perfect time to start – just as you’re getting into the thick of it.
    Do you read the East Village Inky ‘zine? She’s written a little about putting her kids in public school there and did a great issue on when her daughter toured and interviewed for public magnet middle schools.

  • 22. Dan  |  October 22, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    Please take a look at this site…

  • 23. akanji  |  October 27, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    excellent blog! i was wondering if there are any posts for this upcoming season of GEAP testing. I have a 4 1/2 yr old who will enter kindgarten next year and was wondering if there was any advice on testing.

    also, after going to some open houses this year i realize not all magnet schools are good – some are better than others. any advice on what the better magnet schools are on the north side of the city?

  • 24. cpsobsessed  |  October 27, 2009 at 10:39 pm

    Hi akanji-
    Thanks for reading. I’ll pull together the old posts about GEAP testing with a link to them for people testing this year.
    Let me look at the list of magnet schools on the north side. The 2 that come to mind (the only 2 I applied to) were Stone and Hawthorne but I know there are other good ones as well. The question is whether they’re worth driving far to if you have a good neighborhood school.
    Stay tuned… I’ll post soon.

  • 25. Y  |  October 27, 2009 at 10:47 pm

    Some others I would consider on the north side. Each is a specialized magnet but they tend to perform well overall.

    LaSalle – Foreign language
    Newberry – Math/Science
    Franklin – Fine Arts
    Inter-American – Dual-language immersion

  • 26. akanji  |  October 27, 2009 at 10:59 pm

    Thanks for aggregating all the info. If you have any thoughts on the Sauganash neighborhood school that would be helpful too.

  • 27. rae  |  October 28, 2009 at 11:19 am

    Just got a call from CPS OAE with our GEAP test date for the first week in November. Right around the corner.

  • 28. akanji  |  October 28, 2009 at 11:59 am

    Got our call today too. 2nd week of November….

  • 29. RGC mom  |  November 10, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    I’d love to hear your take on the new magnet school application process based on the Suntimes Article today.

  • 30. akanji  |  November 13, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    Just wrapped up our GEAP test for our 4 year old. They must brainwash the kids because he told us nothing about the test! He was done in 30 minutes so not sure what that says about his performance. Now the wait begins.

  • 31. cpsobsessed  |  November 13, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    Akanji – ah, now the wait begins for those scores! Isn’t that crazy how the kids don’t talk about it? I think everyone is certain their own kid will tell them more details and none of them do. Creepy!

  • 32. KCK  |  November 23, 2009 at 9:42 pm

    Hi cpsobsessed,

    I’m new to your blog & I love it. Every single piece of information is awesome, great work!

    My son is ready for K next September & he has taken his GEAP test in the 1st week of November. Now my concern is about the school choices I originally listed on the application, not sure if I should re-arrange them before the deadline? As I just found out Skinner West is now a neighborhood school with Classical Program while Skinner North is a new (mainly) Classical School . Does it mean Skinner West is not as good as before? How about the new one? Also, how many K classes in each of the school? And anyone know about the South Loop RGS & Lenart RGS? Any parents can share their thoughts with me? How do you like about your school? Thanks.

  • 33. Y  |  November 24, 2009 at 12:17 am

    @KCK Most of the original Skinner school (administrators, teachers, and students) that was housed on Ogden for the past couple of years moved into the new Skinner West building at the beginning of this school year. I suspect the program will remain at its previous high level. There is a benefit of having a classical or RGC program housed in a neighborhood school. If a student gets into a classical or RGC program, a sibling usually is allowed to enroll in the neighborhood program if s/he does not test in.

    Our DD was offered a spot at South Loop RGC last year, which we turned down due to logistical issues. We liked what we saw about the program. I believe their first class gifted class graduated last year or will be graduating this year, so there might be some information on where their students are attending high school. When considering schools, be aware of busing boundaries since they vary especially with newer programs.

    There’s an interesting perception about classical and RGC programs co-located with neighborhood schools. It seems like parents perceive those programs to be inferior to standalone classical and RGC schools. I suspect everyone at Bell, Coonley, Pritzker, and South Loop would challenge those ideas.

  • 34. CM  |  December 9, 2009 at 11:04 pm

    A friend went to Lenart on a normal school day to observe; she didn’t make her decision only by attending their Open House. It’s a smart idea for any school you are considering.

    I suggest you first visit Edison, Bell, &/or Keller before you see Lenart, so you have something to compare it against. Ask a lot of questions.
    Is the school a happy, buzzy place? Are there parents around doing work in the office or library or lunchroom?

    IS THERE RECESS EVERY DAY, inside in inclement weather and outside otherwise?

    By how many years is the curriculum accelerated? Don’t be surprised but this varies a good deal among gifted regional centers.
    What language do they teach? Native speaker?
    How much homework does the principal and asst. principal think is typical for the primary grades and for the upper levels?

    Ask if they differentiate in their upper level math curriculum, i.e. do they test students for entry into either Algebra 1 or Pre-Algebra in 7th grade? Or must the entire class move on to taking Algebra in 7th grade?

    The latter approach happens when the school only has one math teacher for the upper levels, and they simply can’t differentiate.

    It’s obviously bad for a gifted student to be pushed into Algebra in 7th grade if s/he is not ready. So differentiation of the math curriculum is important.

    Does the administration allow parents in the school to do meaningful volunteering? Ask for examples.

    How many social gatherings does the school offer?
    Is there a PTA and Athletic Association?

    Are there subcommittees on the LSC? How many? How often does the LSC meet? (If the LSC doesn’t meet monthly, they don’t like parental involvement.)

    Check out the extracuriculars offered at all grade levels…. don’t assume if they mention tennis that it is available for all grades.

    Is there an after school program?

    You can ask the principal for the School Improvement Plan (SIPAA) to see what the administration and LSC have deterined are the important areas to improve. Compare the schools’ plans and budgets.

    CHeck out the motility rate on each school for the past 5 years — that’s the number of students who have left. It should be on the CPS website or you can send in a FOIA request. Parents are dying to get their kids in these schools, but if one has a much higher rate, it should be a concern.

  • 35. Alex  |  December 21, 2009 at 11:56 am

    My son is just a year younger. I’m also concerned about his education and this web-site is just a jewel I was looking for! Thank you for the efforts!

  • 36. KateH  |  January 8, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    Thank you for sharing your CPS experience. We’ve started KDG at our neighborhood school after 2yrs of play-based, private PKDG where there were many phone calls 🙂 It looks like my child loves structure — and is totally motivated by the Red/Yellow/Green card behavior cards and the classroom ultra-structure (34 children!).

    I have to say, this is the reg classroom, not the accelerated class and I’m shocked at the weekly homework. Several, heavy duty worksheets, 10 tearout pages from a reading booklet, 5 sight words written in sentences …. the work contradicts the 15 min. a night rule. The teacher assures me to only do what he can, but he’s already frustrated at the amount.

  • 37. hopeful  |  February 1, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    CPS obsessed, did you read the sun times article today? It talked a lot about Huberman and also mentioned the budget crisis, including talk of requiring furlough days for CPS staff (not sure how they’d do furlough days for teachers since that’d mean kids would be off too), and talk of renegotiating the contract. This means they’d essentially break the CPS contract and lessen the 4% raises we got. I know these are tough times, but I guarantee that if the contract gets “renegotiated” that teachers will strike this fall and I’d bet that Daley does not get re-elected, largely due to all the pissed off school staff. If this happens, like it looks like it is going to happen, it is gonna get ugly. The other option they presented was that class sizes would jump from 28 to 31, resulting in several hundred teachers losing their jobs and even larger classrooms. I know a lot of schools at or above 31 now, including my daughter’s kindergarten class at Hawthorne. What, are they going to go to 35? 40?

  • 38. KateH  |  February 2, 2010 at 9:45 am

    Ummm, South Loop has two all-day neighborhood KDGs each at 36 — and it seems that a new child walks in every month. The principal is saying she “may” be able to get a 3rd teacher for next year — but she doesn’t have space. So she’s tentatively proposing one class of 25, and another large classroom with FIFTY and 2 FT teachers. Can you imagine the acoustics? The distraction, the bodies moving in that classroom …

  • 39. cpsobsessed  |  February 2, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    that is just shocking about South Loop. I know they’re squeezed for space it just is a predictor of what’ll happen at other schools (like my son’s in a few years that has the same gifted/neighborhood set-up.)
    To me it sounds like the principal is trying to please everyone. Honestly, if it were me I’d make the executive (and highly unpopular) decision to go to half-day kindergarten. Fifty kids in a classroom (even with 2 teachers) is crazy. Where would they do it? The gym?! I can’t think of any classrooms that would fit that many kids! Unless there was some really clever plan to keep kids rotating in shifts throughout the building I can’t see it working.
    Does the LSC have any thoughts on the matter? Elections are coming up soon which is the chance to get a group of opinionated parents into office.
    I’ll be curious to follow this one….

  • 40. KateH  |  February 2, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    I know — I’m sitting tight, spreading the word. Realistically, does it really matter what she says in January? She can try to appease everyone, but in the end, she can do anything she likes.

    She’s proposing a library or resource room to house the 50. Explained that the 2 teachers would teach in tandem – same lesson plan. I’m certain everyone will clammor for the small classroom – but I just realized that to make the large one work, she’ll have to move any behavioral issues to the small classroom.

    She’ll need 9 tables of roughly 6 kids …. our small KDG classroom already has 7-8 tables jammed in it.

  • 41. esther  |  February 25, 2010 at 10:58 am

    CPS OAE site still says letters with results will go out week of 3/15. My kid’s testing date isn’t until 3/2. Think the results will still be processed in time? BTW, I sent in my application beginning of December. Presumably lots of people after that?

  • 42. KCK  |  February 25, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    esther, I was told by the CPS that there was 2167 applications for kindergarten as of 1/13. Is your child also applying for kindergarten?

    I remember seeing something like ‘Notification letters will go out the week of 3/15’ under NEWS and ANNOUNCEMENTS of OAE earlier this month, but now they took it off.

  • 43. esther  |  March 1, 2010 at 9:45 pm

    She will be in K next year. We go tomorrow morning. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

  • 44. Hawthorne mom  |  March 9, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    Just got an email from our pta president….hawthorne will lose a bunch of teaching positions this fall due to budget cuts unless parents can raise a whole lot of extra money on top of the usual huge fundraising already in place. Wow. Wow. This is not unique to our school….if cuts happen for us, they are going to happen all over and honestly, it really isn’t a matter of IF anymore.

  • 45. Peter  |  March 22, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    i just wanted to thank you for your blog , it has been very informative .my oldest daughter is finishing 8th grade this year(at a downtown catholic school ) and i was considering options to St.Ignatius. both my wife and i are Jesuit educated and strongly feel that they provide a wonderful product for growth.by the time daughter #2 graduates 8th grade we will have over 250k already in their education and could sure use some time to get ready for their college expenses. your blog was an impetus to consider CPS. we are lucky to have a self motivated student and she is accepted into Lincoln Park (IB) as well as Walter Payton.Thanks.

  • 46. Jen  |  March 29, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    Thanks so much for this blog, it’s been a great help for us. My son is going into Kindergarten, and was accepted to Skinner West. We’re delighted but also anxious, I have heard so much about the intense workload. Would you be willing to post an entry where we can hear from parents who’ve experienced the classical/RGC workload, and what it’s like? How do kids make it through the day at Skinner without recess? etc etc. Thanks!

  • 47. Geaper  |  April 1, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    Dear cpsobsessed, thanks for this wonderful blog. I learned a lot from this site since Fall 2009, when we started GEAP application process. We currently live in the suburbs, and are in the process of evaluating the move to Chicago due to GEAP. My son has been accepted to Lincoln and Skinner West for 6rd grade; my daughter, Skinner North for 3rd grade. In the next week or so, there are a lot of decisions to make: which school (for my son), where to buy a new home, etc. I would like to network with parents who have similar age kids in those 3 schools, and who live in the Loop or adjacent areas. Please advise if there is a more appropriate area to post on this site than here. Thanks again!

  • 48. Jenny  |  April 6, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!
    Your blog is fantastic. I feel my anxiety dropping down a notch after looking through for a few minutes.

  • 49. Rich  |  April 7, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    Thanks for your site. You mentioned a situation that we are now in and perhaps you can be of some assistance. We applied to magnet schools and got into Hawthorne, but we never toured the schools and now Hawthorne is saying that we cannot visit the school before the April 16 deadline. The principal has not returned our call. Seems a shame to have to turn down Hawthorne on this basis alone, so any advice regarding Hawthorne would be great. We know pretty much nothing about the school other than what’s online and test scores have no other basis for making a decision. One additional wrinkle: Our child is currently in Alcott Pre-K and we had been planning on keeping her there K-8 since we like the school and the principal, parent involvement, etc. Additionally, we live in the Lincoln Elementary district so that’s clearly also an excellent option. I don’t expect any sympathy from anyone, since we know how fortunate we are and certainly can’t lose among Lincoln, Alcott or Hawthorne. But we still need to make a choice. What factors would you consider and where might you land? thanks.

  • 50. Marie  |  April 14, 2010 at 11:32 pm

    Geaper–We seem to exist in intersecting universes. My daughter has also been accepted into 3rd at Skinner North. My son will be in 6th grade at Ogden. So, we are in the area and in similar places. Have you made any decisions yet? I know a ton of families at Lincoln, all very happy. I’d be curious for your impressions of Skinner North. Also, to compare Lincoln’s pre-IB to Ogden’s (though I know they aren’t called that anymore).

  • 51. cpsmom  |  April 22, 2010 at 7:42 pm

    Did you read Catalyst? Amazingly, preschool for all may survive, but cuts to magnets, gifteds, se high schools and bus service are expected. Class sizes will go up to about 35 and the expectation is that 3000 school personnel will lose their jobs.

  • 52. liz  |  April 28, 2010 at 9:42 am


    Why can’t they trim the fat in here

  • 53. SouthLoopMom  |  June 28, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    CPS says it won’t lay off elementary teachers
    June 28, 2010 11:55 AM | No Comments
    After months of hand-wringing over what began as an estimated billion dollar deficit, Chicago Public Schools announced this morning that it will not lay off elementary school teachers and will restore full day kindergarten.

    Last-minute changes to state funding were not enough to take all teacher layoffs off the table, however, and schools chief Ron Huberman said high school class sizes could still go up to 33 students from about 31 now.

    The district took the opportunity to hammer the teachers union, calling on it and other union workers at the school district to take concessions to their contractually mandated raises.

    — Azam Ahmed

  • 54. Mary Szyjka  |  July 27, 2010 at 11:04 am

    Children with disabilities in the CPS system

    Dear Principals and residents,

    I had the pleasure to meet with Dr. Richard Smith last week, who was recently appointed to Chief Officer of the Office of Special Education and Supports. During my meeting with Dr. Smith, we discussed many issues that are affecting our youth, in Illinois and Chicago in particular. Our children with disabilities are facing many obstacles that need to be addressed. I explained many of the concerns that you have expressed to me over the years regarding a system that has not always provided the best resources and environment for our children with disabilities. I also noted that CPS, in many cases, failed to respond to a number of your complaints in a timely manner. Also, that the OSS was not always held accountable in making sure parent complaints were followed through with and that our children’s needs were being met.

    Dr. Smith has assured me that as Chief Officer, the OSS will be focused on making sure parent complaints are addressed promptly and that our schools are held accountable for the education of children with special needs.

    Dr. Smith would also like an opportunity to meet with residents to discuss the changes that need to be made to the Office of Specialized Services and to express his commitment to working with our local schools and families.

    I would like to extend an invitation for you to join me on Wednesday, August 4, 2010 at my office at 10400 S Western from 6-8 p.m to discuss the Chicago Public Schools’ special education program with Dr. Smith and to hear the upcoming changes that will be taking place at the OSS. Please RSVP to Michelle Sullivan in my office by Friday, July 30th at 773-238-8766 x 13.

    If you have any questions, please feel to contact me at 773-238-8766.


    Virginia A. Rugai

    Alderman, 19th Ward

    **sorry wasn’t sure where to post or how to contact you**Rec’d this via Ruthslist

  • 55. Mad  |  August 20, 2010 at 9:02 am

    Why is it that on June 28th 2010 CPS stated that they are restoring full day kindergarten and we have our letter stating that our neighborhood school is still half day. Other neighborhood schools are full day. Not fair. My daughter will be 6 mid sept.

  • 56. jane  |  August 30, 2010 at 8:48 pm

    wanting to subscribe to ur site updates

  • 57. jane  |  August 30, 2010 at 8:51 pm


  • 58. Maureen  |  September 20, 2010 at 12:07 am

    Just wondering if anyone has used any of the products for sale on http://www.thinktonight.com? I am thinking of ordering to help my daughter prepare for the test. She is in 1st grade now at a CPS Magnet but I would like to apply her to Skinner West for a slot beginning next fall. Anyone have any experience getting a slot at a higher grade level?

    Love the site…lots of great info!

  • 59. cpsobsessed  |  September 21, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    @Maureen, I’ve used a couple books. I think they help with practicing to answer questions but none of them are really truly geared to the test prep for whatever they use here (is the impression I have.) Each book seems to focus on certain types of questions, at least with the ones I have ordered.
    I would try writing to Helen who owns the site. She is very friendly and helpful and may be able to steer you in the right direction as to what to order. I’m always tempted to order a bunch of stuff, but I usually end up having to beg and plead to get my son to do them.

  • 60. Hawthorne mom  |  September 28, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    Is there data out there that indicates the number of students at SE high schools from each elementary school across the city? For example, out of a class of 100 freshman at X high school, 5 were from X elementary school, 4 were from Y elementary school, etc…?

  • 61. cpsobsessed  |  September 28, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    @Hawthorne Mom – I feel like I remember seeing that at one point. Wish I could remember where. A post on NPN, I’m thinking. I’ll see if I can find it….

  • 62. Amy  |  October 24, 2010 at 11:55 pm

    I was looking to apply to Saugnash and Edgebrook in the Options for Knowledge book and they dont have them in there?? They say they already have enough for K? How do they know when they start at K??

  • 63. cpsobsessed  |  October 25, 2010 at 12:54 am

    @Amy: Those schools are highly populated with neighborhood kids and have been for several years (word got out about good schools, so people moved to the neighborhood.)
    They can be certain that they won’t be taking any out-of-neighborhood kids for Kindergarten. (I supposed something radical could happen and they could be surprised next year when enrollment is down, but that is unlikely to happen.)
    So either you live in the boundary, enroll at the school, and they have to take you. Or you can’t attend. My understanding is that they are bursting at the seams, as it is, with big class sizes.

  • 64. lost at sees  |  November 9, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    Thank you for everything you have taught me about CPS. Love your blog.

    Do you have any knowledge as to whether or not an IEP attached to a SEES application is a benefit or a detriment in applying to gifted/classical? Or is it specific to each child? We’re trying to decide whether to wait until after admissions to start IEP process for kid entering K next fall.

  • 65. Hawthorne mom  |  November 10, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    Did you see this yet?

    Here we go again……

  • 66. James' mom  |  November 17, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    In regard to having an IEP – if your child needed services I would suggest you get the IEP in place before testing if possible. Any special provisions that the child needs per the IEP would be provided for the testing to create a level playing field. If you have questions about IEPs you should contact Kelly Kleine in the Special Ed office. She was at the Oct 2nd fair answering parent questions.

  • 67. hawthorne mom  |  November 24, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    Here is an article about de-tracking kids at ETHS. Thought it was relevant to the discussions lately.

  • 68. MM  |  January 10, 2011 at 11:14 am

    Hello – I found your site and I have a very popular parents blog in NYC for gifted testing at nycgiftedandtalented.wordpress.com. Also, just launched a new site called TestingMom.com. I’d like to chat with you about your site and your experience with Chicago schools. Thanks

  • 69. CB  |  January 25, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    LOVE YOUR BLOG PLS KEEP IT UP. Can you plse post about any options for after school care? My son starts kindergarten this fall (dont know where yet, hopefully edison) and i know they dont have anything at all.

  • 70. Hawthorne mom  |  January 30, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    New York City is saying it is going to need to lay off 10% of their teaching staff (15,000 teachers) at the end of this school year. They figure they’ll have to let go every teacher hired in the last 5 years. The federal stimulus money that saved a bunch of positions is not being renewed. That means this will affect everyone across the nation. We’ll see what ends up happening. I know this time last year everyone, including myself, was totally freaking out. By August, the cuts were drastically reduced. Still, 10% of our staff at our school would mean we’d lose funding for 3 teachers. We are already as parents directly funding several teaching positions. I am not sure how much further people can give.

  • 71. cpsobsessed  |  January 31, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    @69 CB-
    The after-care options vary greatly by school. So you have to inquire about it and take it into account when you decide where to send your child.
    Many schools have programs run by outside organizations (YMCA, Boys and Girls Club) while some may run their own programs with teachers.
    Many schools have ramped up in the after-care area in the past few years, which has been great. But they differ a lot in price and what they offer so it’s worth a look into each school.

  • 72. Hawthorne mom  |  February 23, 2011 at 7:34 am

    I can’t believe you haven’t mentioned what is happening to unions in many states in our country!

  • 73. IB&RGC Mom  |  March 11, 2011 at 11:54 pm

    @ 69 – Call the school that your child is going to attend and they can tell you all of the options. If they do attend a school like Edison or a magnet school that they are bused to they will probably have the option of attending a Park Kids program. The Park Kids program is offered at several Chicago Park District Parks and often runs from the time they get out of school until 6pm. It is very inexpensive compared to other child care options. The school can tell you what park or parks your child can attend. It may have to be a park that the bus passes on their regular bus route or they may take a different bus in the afternoon that buses several kids to that specific park. One thing to note, for good parks/programs these spots fill up quickly. Registration if often online and for the program my kids attend fills up within a couple minutes of the registration opening!

    I don’t know what I would have done without Park Kids! My kids good swimming, to wood craft, do all sorts of arts and crafts and sports, and they do have a dedicated amount of time that is spent on homework as well.

  • 74. MomOfOne  |  March 18, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    I am wondering why I am not seeing anything on your site about children with special needs. Am I just not entering the correct search terms? It seems that for any kind of discussion about diversity in the CPS to be truly comprehensive, it would have to include ability diversity as well as race and economic status.

  • 75. cpsobsessed  |  March 18, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    @74 MomOfOne: True, there is no info on here. Unfortunately I barely have time to write about what I know, so I’m not able to expand into areas that require me to do research (which this would.) If you have knowledge or know someone who does who might be willing to write a guest post, that would be great! My email is cpsobsessed@gmail.com.

  • 76. Michael Paul  |  April 1, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    As a member of the LSC at a gifted school, my experiences have been virtually 180 degrees out with those you have had. The AIO for our school does have about 40 assigned in total and typically visits each on a random basis about 3-4 times per year. Why s/he is not visiting yours is a surprise to me because they visited this frequently when I was on the LSC for my child’s elementary school.

    Next, having been through the principal evaluation cycle for two different principals – one elementary, one high school – I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt that the principals take this process very, very seriously since it is a direct thumbs up or thumbs down vote on renewing the contract and, in fact, LSC’s have the real power to remove someone who fails to perform. The real issue, once again, having done this twice, is whether or not the LSC is taking this seriously and doing its job in terms of a real soup to nuts evaluation.

    Net, after three years on two different LSCs, my impression is that yours is just a bit on the dysfunctional side and I would take a careful inward look before deciding the process does not work. Factually, it only works as well as the LSC works and many LSCs (ala the one’s that only meet 4 times per years instead of once per month) do not work very well.

  • 77. jimmy choo on sale  |  June 5, 2011 at 9:43 am

    i get your site away from msn,to be sure for you completely but i won’t be able realize that you last two text effectively. would you explaint more in depth?

  • 78. Hawthorne mom  |  June 16, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    Brizard wants year round schools. What do you think?

  • 79. josh  |  August 25, 2011 at 12:43 am

    if you had a choice between STEM and LaSalle language Academy what would you choose. I am biased because I attended Lasalle and know what they offer but I want the best for my 3rd grader and we have the choice between both of these schools. Can you give me a idea we are leaning toward STEM but still aren’t sure. thank you i need to reply to the schools by tomorrow.

  • 80. cpsobsessed  |  August 25, 2011 at 8:51 am

    How old is your child? Objectively I’d say to choose based on wanting language or the more math-oriented (that’s where stem leans, correct?) focus.
    Also, some people have a preference for well-established schools while others enjoy being part of building something new.
    The extras like after school activities and care could factor in. Or location.
    Sounds like you have 2 good choices.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 81. josh  |  August 26, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    Thanks we chose STEM he is 8 going into 3rd grade. They are having a block party tomorrow for incoming students . hopefully the school will be done by school year. Passed by a couple of weeks ago and it was still looking pretty out of shape. Any word on construction.

  • 82. cpsobsessed  |  August 26, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    Great! Keep us posted! There is a long, ongoing STEM thread you should check out. Look at the right nav bar and you should see a link, I think…..

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 83. jjjs  |  October 17, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    We hear that even kids that graduate from the top of their class from CPS schools are not as academically accomplished as those from other schools. Can you talk about this, put some sunshine on if this is true or not and maybe tell us parents who aren’t leaving the CPS what we need to do to bridge the gap?

  • 84. Patricia  |  October 17, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    Have you heard any updates regarding that new game-based school? I think its a charter school? I would really like to know how things are going with that school.


  • 85. cpsobsessed  |  October 17, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    Hi there. I haven’t heard anything yet, except that it has supposedly drawn a lot of kids from its vicinity. I couldn’t make their big open house unfortunately. I’m going to check my old email to see if I can find the parent who was sending their child there to see if I can get some scoop. Thanks for reminding me!

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 86. Marc Sims  |  November 25, 2011 at 10:15 am

    Most Chicago Public Schools and Charter Schools in the African American community are up against a culture where education is not a top priority. The average African American parent feels it is the responsibility of their children and the public schools to make sure their children do well in school.

    Do you agree or disagree?

    Marc Sims

  • 87. Edge water family  |  December 7, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    I am understanding that this blog is the forum to discuss the cps options. But, does anyone have any input regarding the comparison between AC program of Whitney Young vs. Sacred Heart School for 7 graders? Our daughter is a honor roll student of a gifted cps in the north side of the city. I am interested in hearing any opinions regarding the pros and cons in terms of the above two schools’ offers. Which school do you think that it would provide better opportunity for the admission to Northside Prep?Thank you so much!

  • 88. Lulu  |  January 19, 2012 at 11:42 am

    Hello. I have already put in my 16 picks for my fall 2012 kindergartner. I know that all applications are going through central office but… do you think it helps at all anymore to go visit schools and talk to the principals? I am really worried about her getting into a good school.

  • 89. cpsobsessed  |  January 19, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    @88 Lulu: Unfortunately (or fortunately) depending on how you look at it, I don’t *think* it really helps any more. My impression is that principals are under pressure to adhere to the central list.
    *However, as summer goes on and office clerks are making phone calls…. well, who knows what really happens then?

    I’m doubtful (but I could be wrong) that talking to the principal of a top magnet school will do any good. However for some of the good up-and-coming schools, it might be worth a shot, ESPECIALLY if you are willing to move your child after the school year has begun. If you’re gonna try it, I’d probably focus on just a couple schools where you can make sure the principal knows your name and your intentions and enthusiasm for the school (rather than desperation about not getting in anywhere else) and you can stay in touch with those schools through September. No idea if it’ll help, but I suppose what can it hurt?

    Keep us posted…. !

  • 90. P Van Duesen  |  January 29, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    Just a correction the property taxes and in general all taxes are way below cook county.

  • 91. P Van Duesen  |  January 29, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    Just a correction the property taxes and in general all taxes are way below out of cook county.

  • 92. anonymous  |  January 29, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    @87 that’s a difficult question to answer. Sacred Heart students take the Iowa and I’m not sure if you can compare the nationally normed part of the ISAT to the Iowa. The Iowa results SH parents get tell only how your child compares to national norms scored, not the mean score for their classmates. It’s definitely academically rigorous, but I don’t know if it is more so than WY. Parents tend to send their kids to SH for the total package, not just academics. SH sends several to SEs, but most go to St. Ignatius. Plus it actually might be easier to get into WY AC than SH. Then there is the little matter of SHS tuition……..

  • 93. 6thgradegirl  |  February 28, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    If anyone is looking for a wonderful elementary and preschool, Burley is the place to be! It’s so amazing! I’ve been at Burley for about 8 years already, and it feels like a second home. My sister is an 8th grader and although she is excited to go to High School, she will be missing Burley a lot when she leaves. My parents also absolutely love that they chose Burley for us.

  • 94. Marshall M.  |  March 7, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    Dear Ms. Obsessed, you certainly write about schools a lot! Especially Chicago schools. I wonder if your blog would get more traffic if you broadened the topics a bit. Perhaps you could also cover restaurants and sports, and maybe horticulture and rap music too. Just a thought. At the very least, you really should consider adding some pictures. People love pictures! All the words make my head hurt. I can imagine a very exciting post that includes pictures of school lunches, flowers, and maybe an animal or two. Sincerely, Marshall M.

  • 95. NW Side  |  March 9, 2012 at 2:03 pm


    Thank you very much for starting this blog. While I don’t always agree with you I appreciate this forum. I have learned so much from it. Regarding the above post. Pictures would be cool but keep doing what you are doing. If people want to talk about sports, food or rap music (ick!) they can start a forum that covers that. Keep up the great work.

  • 96. cpsobsessed  |  March 9, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    Thanks. That was just a friend of mine being goofy. 🙂

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 97. Elena  |  March 28, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    We are moving from Europe to the Chicago region. Probably to the Northfield area (so, Chicago suburbs). We have a boy, who is in second grade at an international school and who has just been tested with a result of 146. We are confused as to how we should approach the school situation with him. We would like him to attend a public school and think a Gifted Center sounds like it would be the best match but it seems we would have to wait until the fall to test him there and see if he gets in the next school year. Is there no way to work around testing dates? We would not like to place him in one school for a year and then make him switch schools again.
    Thank you for any advice or guidance you can provide us with.

  • 98. cpsobsessed  |  March 28, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    @elena – you’re correct that you would have to test within the cps system in the fall-winter of 2012-13 for admission in the 2013-2014 school year. Unfortunately with a system this size they keep that as the only time period. Registration is from around oct 1 – mid december. This is just for city of chicago schools.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 99. Deb Maltby  |  March 30, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    Hello CPS obsessed:

    Wow, thanks for being so obsessed. I remember when my kids were in elementary school and how I spent hours looking for the right fit, even though I’m fortunate to live in a town with excellent schools (Ft. Collins, Colorado) and we also have almost unlimited school choice. Both my children turned out to have dyslexia, so I’ve always obsessed about school for them and, despite being great kids, “gifted and talented” has not been an option for us.

    I am currently interviewing for a wonderful job at the U of C. If I were to move to an urban setting, I don’t want to live in my care commuting, so I am interested in Hyde Park, Kenwood, etc. My daughter who will be a sophomore would be moving with me. I think the Lab school would be out of the question because A) we are too late and B) she is more the athlete, cheerleader, gymnast girl, not the academic type. But, coming from a sheltered suburban environment, (Ft. Collins is essentially Mayberry) I am concerned that she wouldn’t know how to fit in at the public high schools with their high drop out rates and poverty. Are you aware of other High School options close enough to Hyde Park? Is there even choice at the High School level? Are their other private schools nearby to check out?

    I’ve searched the internet and can find lots of options for elementary school and two religious (Catholic) high schools for boys. Hopefully, I’m missing some options.

    Thanks in advance,

  • 100. local  |  March 30, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    Try De LaSalle. Catholic.

  • 101. SLoopMom  |  March 30, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    I have HS kids and know the schools well. Why don’t you negotiate her a place at Lab? There are significant tuition reductions for staff. You could get her through 2 years … it would be worth it.

    De LaSalle school at 35th & Michigan is co-ed catholic with boys & girls are on different campuses. St. Ignatius, another catholic co-ed, is academically very strong; you’d need great grades and letters for admission, but she’d probably love it.

    I wouldn’t send my child to either Hyde Park or Kenwood coming from a small town environment.

    If I were you – and couldn’t swing Lab or St. Ignatius – I’d consider living somewhere else for her 2 yrs of HS and commute. You could go west of the city to Oak Park and have Oak Park River Forest HS and be about 10 mi from work. You could go south to the Beverly neighborhood and have Morgan Park HS and Mother McAuley/Marist catholic schools and be on a train to Hyde Park. You could go to the north subs (Wilmette) and have New Trier HS.

  • 102. southie  |  March 31, 2012 at 10:38 am

    It’s 15 minutes to drive from Beverly to Hyde Park on the highway. White students do not attend Morgan Park HS, the neighborhood HS there, for some reason. They attend SEHSs, private (Morgan Park Academy), or Catholic HS (Marist, McAuley, De La Salle, sometimes Queen of Peace). Folks car pool or take METRA or CTA to these schools. Housing is relatively cheap in Beverly due to the recession, but it can be a boring place. Oak Park or even Evanston might be options (even with your commute to Hyde Park), Public schooling for white students in Chicago is wacky.

  • 103. Deb Maltby  |  March 31, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    Thanks for the insights. Yes, it’s been shocking to me how segregated the schools are. Beverly looks like it could be an decent choice with a reasonable commute for me and some school options that could work – though $10-20K tuition sort of takes my breath away (not to mention that my daughter might kill me if she had to go to an all-girl Catholic school — it removes the two reasons she likes school; boys and clothes). Beverly also looks to be closer to a few Cheer gyms. The transition will be hard enough for her without taking away the activities she loves. Anyway, I’d hoped the be more urban, but between my daughter and my pets, its probably not an option.

    I’ll keep an eye on your blog.

  • 104. Josh Gray  |  April 1, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    Hi CPSObsessed,

    Our son just turned 3 and is currently about 30th on the waitlist at our neighborhood pre-school (Audubon in Roscoe Village). Do you have any ideas about what else we can do? We’re applying to private pre-schools, but would prefer good public options.

    Thank you!

  • 105. southie  |  April 3, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    @ 103. Deb Maltby

    Most/some south- and westside girl Catholic schools are across the street from a boy’s Catholic school, it seems. They find each other. 😉

    Your teen also might be focused on youth actives in Hyde Park or downtown that are not linked to her HS. Ask the cheer advisor and mom community about their recommendations.

  • 106. Lamonda Washington  |  April 28, 2012 at 8:08 am

    By taking your child out of private school and putting them in Chicago public school you have harmed them for life. I would have cut back on other expenses to provide the best for my children. If spinning things to make them look more positive about CPS makes you feel better, then good for you.

  • 107. RLJulia  |  May 12, 2012 at 11:27 am

    Wow. Sounds like you have had a really bad experience with CPS.

  • 108. Ms. Washington  |  May 23, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    @106. Really, Lamonda? Sorry PS hasn’t worked for you, but please don’t poison the well. Continue to provide the best for your children and know that CPS has been incredible for quite a few students. Parents that know how to work the system, advocate for their children and network are making CPS work for them!

  • 109. financially distressed  |  June 4, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    Private school is not an option for most people financially. We all do our best to supplement our child’s public school education with art, science, music, recess, reading, dance, etc with the little bit of extra money we have. Those of us with no extra pennies do it ourselves taking them to the beach, museum (on free days) and the library.
    We got one of the coveted spots at a coveted gifted school and still need to fill in the gaps.

  • 110. RL Julia  |  June 5, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    109 – Welcome to Chicago!

    Getting into a difficult to get into school does not mean that your child’s educational needs will be completely met or that they won’t get a terrible teacher one year (or more) -disappointing, I know…..

  • 111. ES Mom  |  June 18, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    Where on earth do I get information on testing and deadlines for 2013-2014 school year enrollment in magnet and classical schools? One would think that it would be somewhere on CPS website, but I can’t find it anywhere after multiple searches. I feel like this is intentional and I am very discouraged by this process already.
    Thank you.

  • 112. WRP Mom  |  June 19, 2012 at 6:44 am

    The website cpsoae.org is where info will be posted. They haven’t updated the website for the 2013-14 school year yet (probably won’t until the end of the summer). The application period is October to mid December.

  • 113. kikiandkyle  |  June 19, 2012 at 8:00 am

    They don’t post the info until closer to the registration period, what specific info are you looking for?

  • 114. cpsobsessed  |  June 19, 2012 at 9:38 am

    The deadline is consistent year to year so if you find last year’s it’ll be similar.
    Starts sometime in early Oct (I think) and admission time always ends in mid December.

    During that period you apply to schools and sign up for testing.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 115. Richard Crane  |  July 16, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    Elena, if you live in Northfield, you send your kids to the local public school. It will be fine. CPS is for Chicago, not its suburbs.

  • 116. Jen  |  July 16, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    Richard sadly that’s not the case, most suburban schools are not equipped to deal with truly gifted children. If we can’t afford private schooling our only option is to apply for CPS spots and move if we get one. Unfortunately there are very few spots available after the entry level grade.

  • 117. RL Julia  |  August 11, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    Jen – I am not really convinced that with a (very) few possible exceptions (like about three) if CPS really is really equipped to deal with a truly gifted child – at least in the elementary school years – and you are right, it is very difficult to get into these schools period – especially after the entry level grade(s). I have heard from friends that many suburbs are no go at this either (actually have heard from good things about gifted education and the Morton Grove school district). Unfortunately, I have a feeling no matter where you end up, its a part-time job advocating. Best of luck!

  • 118. anonymouse teacher  |  August 11, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    From what I have seen in several districts and from working with some profoundly gifted children over the years, CPS is not equipped to deal with kids at a certain level of giftedness. Not in any of our schools, RGC, Classical or otherwise. But, if it helps, I haven’t seen a suburb do a good job of dealing with kids who are truly gifted. CPS gifted, some CPS magnet and neighborhood schools and suburban gifted programs help a little with kids who are slightly ahead (1-2 years), but that’s about it. Forget it if you have a kid who is many years ahead in a subject area or who simply displays great intellectual ability and problem solving skills that may or may not show up on tests.

    A great program for gifted kids is going to have:
    -massive amounts of differentiation–by that I mean daily, constant differentiation–this is not possible in a class of 30 or even in a class of 22
    -Mostly hands on and student interest-driven lessons
    -very small class sizes with, give or take, a 1:10 ratio
    -teachers with specializations in gifted education (CPS only requires a 3 day “gifted” institute, no gifted endorsement, I have never head of a gifted suburban program taught by someone without a gifted specialization).

    Every family has to make their own choice, but as good as CPS rgc’s and classicals can be, I wouldn’t leave a very good suburban school thinking you are going to get a better education there. There are a few good supplemental gifted programs outside of the K-12 system that are reputable and private or parental tutoring is often the best answer. However, I understand the frustration when one’s child isn’t getting what they need. Good luck and I hope you find something that really works for your child.

  • 119. Cynthia  |  August 12, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    @ 88 Marc Sims

    Be very careful about making general statements about who the “average” African Americans feels is responsible for educating their child. Viewing education as “important” is not a race thing. All races have many families that do not value education. Other factors can impact a families view on education like culture, socioeconomic class, etc. So to call out one “race” or community saying that “most” of them don’t value education is unenlightened.

  • 120. TwinsBoys  |  August 12, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    @ 119 Cynthia. Thank you for enlightening, Marc. It’s always amazing how an average guy like Marc is so well versed on the average African American parent. People like Marc must view things through the realm of race because socioeconomic class values lump “average” people together.

  • 121. anonymous  |  August 13, 2012 at 9:47 am

    The RGC’s aren’t really going to give a highly gifted child a level-appropriate education. The spread in ability level in these classes is rather large. I would generalize and say it is a range of very bright to very highly gifted in my child’s class at a highly coveted RGC. There are some who struggle with the math or vocabulary when working at the 1-2 year advanced level that these schools provide and yet there are other students who knew the material before it was taught in the classroom and could truly work 4-5 years ahead. The class size may be smaller than neighborhood classes, but there is no way the teachers in these programs could truly differentiate to every ability level. But, that said, we are so thankful that we are there because we could never afford private education. Socially it has also been a blessing because our child has actually found another child who understands their sense of humor and they are best of friends. The benefit in that sense has been immeasurable. We do our best to supplement the rest.

  • 122. Jen  |  August 13, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    I will say that it is the social aspect as much as the academics that I am trying to find in an RGC for my daughter. She has spent much of the last 3 years lonely and feeling left out because none of the kids she has to spend her day with want to talk about the things she does, or understand her jokes, or read the books she does. It’s heartbreaking at times. That’s something a small suburban school just can’t do anything about.

  • 123. RL Julia  |  August 21, 2012 at 10:46 am

    Having experience with a neighborhood school and an academic center, friends are not guranteed. I think my son had a better social experience in the neighborhood school than at the academic center (although, to be fair, that was middle school) – his best friends were and remain from outside of school activities/experiences (camp, religious school, family friends etc…). Having good friends outside of school goes a long way in making for a less lonely time in school (because at least you have a friend) – and eventually may help her find the strength to learn how to make friends with the kids in school even though they are so different from her. That was my son’s experience at least…

  • 124. Verra Blue  |  September 10, 2012 at 8:20 am

    This is a strike of choice.
    The interest of our kids should have come first.
    The concession given by the city should have been enough to avert the strike.
    Union is good but this is example of what is wrong with Unions.

  • 125. j zarate  |  September 10, 2012 at 8:36 am

    Dont throw the unions under the bus. The blue collar families have to protect ourselves from white collar non unoin bosses

  • 126. j zarate  |  September 10, 2012 at 8:38 am

    Dont throw the unions under the bus. The blue collar families have to protect ourselves from white collar non unoin bosses.

  • 127. rick  |  September 10, 2012 at 8:47 am

    Teachers don’t wear a blue coller. The average teacher makes much more money than the taxpayers who support him or her.

  • 128. GalileoMommy  |  September 15, 2012 at 5:02 am

    Im not real sure how I ended up on this site, but after reading so many of your blogs and the comments, I realize Im not the only wacko stalking CPS & the test scores!! LOL *whew*

    Let me tell you my story. If you don’t mind.

    Born and bred here in Chicago, went to a bottom 5 school (Hirsch Metro which btw currently boast 6.4% of their students meet minimum ISAT), by no choice of my own (different blog for a different day but most def a good story to be told) graduated #10 in my class, went off to college and despite my very best efforts, flunked out in 2 years. I discovered very early in life, there was something that I missed and didn’t get taught in my lower performing school.

    Fast forward some 25 years later in which I moved back to Chicago (2006) for the first time since leaving for college (1991, btw I really do despise Chicago), now as a single parent of a soon to be 3 year old trying to put 725 miles of distance between myself and my abusive ex.

    Upon moving here, I soon started stalking websites such as GreatSchools.org trying to determine where I will be able to put my daughter in school when the time came.

    We moved here in January of 2006, and I enrolled my daughter in what was suppose to be a *ahem* good daycare. On the first day there, my daughter was sent home in the same diaper I sent her to school with. Mind you, I sent pull-ups, not diapers, to the school. Over the course of the next 6 months, I suddenly became acutely aware of the kind of kids I didn’t want my child around. Kids whose parents thought it was cute for little boys to have on sagging pants (let’s play guess my race LOL) and earring in their ears and french braids in their hair. Little girls being walking advertisements for major urban label companies dressed in clothes that can rival Behavior problems. Parents cursing someone out on their cell phones while IN the school picking up their kids. Behavior problems. The school going on joint field trip with the daycare down the street and my child was at the other daycare and no one at her daycare knew until the daycare down the street called them and told them!!!!! *still mad* Oh, and did I mention behavior problems???

    Sooo the school year ended, babycakes went down south for the summer and the search was on!!! Finally decided on a Catholic School in my neighborhood (did I mention I was living in Roseland at the time?). The Catholic School gave me what I needed at the time, a sound and safe environment. Wasn’t too concerned with academics just yet because I was more concerned about my daughter not being exposed to hooligans OR their parents. I firmly believe in allowing my daughter to be around kids who have like minded parents. Parents who pay for private school (or fight the CPS machine for magnet or SE) will not allow their child to simply act a fool.

    The Good Catholic School did pretty good for academics it seemed, in the beginning the beginning that is. Early math and 2, 3, 4 letter sight words in PK3. 4 & 5 letter words and books in PK4, beginning adding and subtracting. 1st grade, chapter books.. math?? ehhhhh BUT, still better than the neighborhood CPS schools boasting test scores in the 20s & 30s. Unh unh.. not going for that one.

    Bad scores + hooligans – parenting = BEHAVIOR PROBLEMS/poverty X crime = HELL TO THE NO!!!!

    Oh, and did I mention that this low cost catholic school (low cost at 5K being substantially cheaper than the better ones on the Good NorthSide) literally wiped out all of my take home pay? And by time she hit 2nd grade, I gradually saw my annual pay drop about 12K while my hourly rate went up $1.50 in 6 years. (different blog for a different day about me transferring from GA to Chicago and it cost me my promotion cuz Chicago isn’t about work ethics, but its all about POLITICS) Sooo by the 1st & 2nd grade hit, my daughter was in school by the mercy of the principal and fumes. I would usually have to take my tax refund & student loan refund to pay her tuition off for the year in February (yeah, finally finished college dec 2008). Let’s see, my lights got cut off twice. Since heat was included with rent, I just let the gas go. No car. No house or cell phone. No cable. One bedroom apartment. Just internet so I can do homework. I learned to make do with $20 for the week in groceries. Why didn’t I apply for help? I did, you see, when you say “oops” only once and have just ONE child, you do not get a dime if you make a penny over minimum wage. I made $20 bucks too much/month to qualify for $18 worth of food stamps. I don’t even qualify for free lunch because the most I can make is 15K.

    But Ive digressed haven’t I?? (Im a blogger by heart)

    First time I tried to make the switch, her Kindergarten year when I first saw doom fast approaching, I found out about the Magnet/SE application process very late. Just so happen I had days left, in the middle of finals and app due date was the day of my undergrad graduation. I just had to let that one gooooo…

    2nd time, 1st grade year. I really couldn’t tell you what happened. I was TIRED. After doing my undergrad, followed by a 8 classes in 18 weeks full time paralegal certificate program (still looking for that over-saturated dream job), working full time downtown with a non-tradition retail work schedule , and a kid and living on the farrrr southside dependent on public transportation. Deadline got away from me very quickly.

    3rd time is the charm isn’t it? By the time my daughter hits 2nd grade, Im realizing just how smart she really is. I mean, I already knew she was smart, just didn’t know HOW smart. Has a photographic memory kinda smart. Bores easily. No effort put forth in work. Lazy. Doesn’t care much for repetitious learning. Grades still all As & Bs, but only cuz I stayed in her behind. (I don’t play with kids. No really, I don’t.) Got As on tests effortlessly. Did poorly on tests when she was sick of the material and ready to move on. But I did understand it was time to get her out. Smart. Very smart. Not quite sure if she is gifted. And I made the deadline on the very last day. Handed the apps IN PERSON to the man downtown for both SE and magnet schools.

    Time for SE testing. Very nervous I was. Had everybody and God praying for my child. I knew she was smart, but I also know she wasn’t academically prepared for such testing, had no ability to pay for pre-testing tutoring like the Good White People on the Northside, (heyyy I lovesss me some GWP LOL but ummm Sylvan??? Exclusionary tactics much?) but we tested anyway. First choice Skinner, then Jackson, Keller, something beginning with an L. She didn’t make the mark. 55 in math, 78 in reading. I don’t remember the overall score. Need an 80 in math AND reading for consideration into SE lottery correct? Not bad considering where she was coming from, but not good enough. But thats ok. We shall wait for the magnet school options. ,

    Letters in the mail came for those. 1st choice, Galileo. (heyyy Im all about the math), a couple of others I thought she may have a good chance at getting into and a bunch of other mindless choices.

    *SIDEBAR* ATTN PARENTS: do not be fooled by the so called “magnet clusters” Most are neighborhood schools with open district enrollment, fancy names and BAD TEST SCORES!!! EQUALS…. BAD BEHAVIOR!!!

    Accepted at all magnet clusters, looked up test scores and racial make-up, uhhh no thanks, wait-listed at all good magnet schools. but she was wait-listed at Galileo at #9. I was cautiously excited, but I also knew that if she wasn’t wait-listed at #5 or lower at Galileo for 3rd grade, her chances were slim. But low and behold, the last Thursday in July, 2011, I received that phone call saying she was accepted at Galileo!!

    Literally, 30 days later, I moved from the southside to the westside (If I thought Roseland was bad, wait until I meet North Lawndale *gasps*) in an effort to move into an area I can afford within the 6 mile radius for busing. Ive read many complaints in the comments of this blog page complaining about their commutes in their cars to far away magnet & SE schools, well imagine a commute from the 100s to Racine & Taylor, to downtown, back to Racine & Taylor, back to the 100s. Yea.. I couldn’t imagine it either, so I moved! LOL

    Third grade is the pivotal year right? Its the make or break year as they prepare to leave the primary grades and enter into the middle school stage is that correct? And it was ONE TOUGH YEAR!! We started off ok. Well kinda. These 3rd graders had already covered single digit multiplication up to 12, and babycakes had barely glanced at it during 2nd grade at the Good Catholic School. Sooo it was catch up time. She was right on target for reading and other subjects, but most def not math. My poor baby (LOL my poor poor baby) was subjected to random and multiple times a day multiplication drills. They had 2 seconds to answer, if she thought about it too long the teacher would already be 4 questions ahead. She brought home her first C. Not Acceptable. Time for worksheets (by this time they were up to double and triple digit multiplication, 4th grade math anyone??), random drills.. etc etc etc… if I don’t know anything, I know math (Current Accounting Grad Student) and I will be doggone if she does not succeed in math!! She ended up finishing the year on the Principal’s Scholars List, an increase from a 58% in math in 2nd grade to a 89.9% in 3rd & 82% in reading. A mere 10 & 17 points away from hitting the qualifications mark by 7th grade for the Big FOUR. Whitney/North/Payton/Jones.

    I always have gotten flack for not allowing her to attend a one race, neighborhood public schools with bad test scores. The argument is always presented to me that I shouldn’t keep her, a smart child, from going to a poor, neighborhood school because when you pull the smart kids out, the schools really go down. Well. thats not my nor my daughter’s problem. Im not going to allow the quality of my daughter’s education be sacrificed while folks attempt to get some act right.

    Nope. Not my daughter.

    You see, I refuse to allow what happen to me, happen to her. Imagine being considered “smart” only to find out you were really not that smart. Or shall I say ill-prepared?? Yea, I was smart for a dumb school, but dumb for the smart school (college). Woefully ill prepared for college. ACT? I got a 19. My saving grace for college selection was I scored a 26 in Math. and didn’t even take Calculus in high school.

    Im big on believing that bad schools become bad because of no parent accountability. However, there are smart kids stuck in these schools, with parents who aren’t accountable. Kids who get good grades because they want a life out of poverty. I was one of those kids. And to flunk out of college was the damnedest of feelings. My escape from poverty went up in smoke & I gave up. And I wasn’t the only one either. The valedictorian of my high school, it took her 5.5 years to finish college. She too felt stupid. I went to a predominantly white college in Minnesota who was known to recruit top 10% ranked black students from CPS schools. Special federal funds they received, and in return we were awarded in-state tuition rates. There were 80 blacks on my 5k campus. 60 of us were from Chicago CPS schools. 40 of us were Freshmen. 20 of us flunked out after 2 years.

    There was something I wasn’t taught. Something that isn’t being taught in the urban school. I don’t know what happened, that smart kids like myself were failed by our poor performing high schools. I can’t even begin to tell you HOW our school failed us. It seemed as if we had good teachers. They cared about us. Especially those of us in the top 10%. I can’t quite put my finger on what “it” is, but I believe it has something to do with critical thinking and analyzing skills. We were taught to do more memorizing than applying… we didn’t really learn HOW to apply anything we had learned. We black kids would marvel at how our fellow classmates would achieve perfect scores on tests and we would only have half of the questions right. no matter how much and how hard we studied.

    Again, no, not my daughter.

    Although, I appreciate the affirmative action the school took to get us there, I can’t help but feel we were used for federal funding. There was no help available to us. We BEGGED for help. My adviser said he didn’t know what to tell me or how to help me. And I hope this school, as well as others, have resources in place to help “smart” kids who come from bottom schools.

    No, not my daughter.

    I do know it to be true, that finding a racially mixed school with very high test scores is a damned good way to be Harvard/Yale/Princeton bound.

    I told y’all. I don’t play with kids. LOL

    Im sure you and I have completely different backgrounds as to how and why we have ended up stalking CPS test scores & schools, but the reason is still the same. We want the absolute best that is possible for us to give to our kids.

    Im sorry for the very long comment!!

  • 129. GalileoMommy  |  September 15, 2012 at 5:11 am

    Oh.. and I forgot to mention.. although Galileo isnt THEEEE VERY BEST school, they do manage to keep their test scores pretty up there.. this year I believe they are at 89% and they are ranked 35 out of all CPS elementary schools. I thought of getting her tested again for SE/Gifted/AC but Im learning to be content.. I do believe in having life long friends and she still misses her catholic school friends she was with for 5 years so I don’t want to uproot her after just getting adjusted. But we will try for Whitney in 7th Grade.. if she gets in, she is in there!!

  • 130. SouthEastMommy  |  September 15, 2012 at 7:08 am

    @ GalileoMommy

    Thanks for sharing your story! Let me tell you it is not just “white” people paying for tutoring for selective enrollment schools. I do agree that those with the means will do whatever they can to help their child be as comfortable with this crazy CPS process as possible, and get that free SE education. I too can relate to your story though. I went to a suburban district that was mostly low income, high needs, minority families. My educational background was subpar to say the least as well. Some how, by the grace of God, some good teachers, and a good grandmother, I changed the cycle and have a B.S. and a M.A. Others were not so lucky. In my opinion, in situations like ours there are more factors than just the curriculum that impacted the type of education that we received. Imagine what a different story it will be for our “onlies” ( I have one girl too) because they have parents that go the extra mile to support them academically? Keep your head up, and best wishes to you and your daughter.

  • 131. Tchr  |  September 16, 2012 at 3:54 am

    @Galileo. A truly inspiring story.

  • 132. RL Julia  |  September 18, 2012 at 11:46 am

    THanks for the story GalileoMommy. I think you put your finger on it when you talk about being loved by your teachers but not given the critical thinking skills needed to ultimately succeed in college (at least the first time around). My one criticism of the K-8 model is that in many, many school it prevents the intellectual shift that needs to happen around school from happening. On the other hand, while sending my kids to academic centers has helped a little, the fact is, teaching those skills you didn’t get from CPS require teaching writing (and thinking) and many teachers are not equipped to do so – and/or don’t want to teach those skills because it ultimately means a huge workload -grading hard to grade papers. Unfortunately, going to an SE (or even to college) is no gurantee these things will be taught to you or taught to you enough for your to master these skills.

  • 133. Adreana  |  October 10, 2012 at 9:29 am

    Does anyone know if your younger child gets into a magnet school does your older child get in also? I know this is usually the reverse order. I ask because we have applied for 3 years and our eldest has not gotten in anywhere. Now our youngest will be giving the lottery a shot but if we find out she gets into a school it will be too late to apply for her sister as a sibling. Does anyone know?

  • 134. LSMom  |  October 10, 2012 at 10:17 am

    I think they are first on the list in the lottery for the next school year (so 2014-2015), but they would only get in if a spot opened up, say because a student moved. The sibling wouldn’t get in for the 2013-2014 school year though.

  • 135. Kelly  |  October 10, 2012 at 10:44 am

    My reading of the sibling preference rule is that it doesn’t matter whether the younger sibling gets in first. As long as he or she is a currently enrolled student the following year, the older sibling will get preference (assuming there’s a spot in that grade; and if there’s more than one sibling applicant for that grade, it’s a lottery among those applicants for the available spot(s)). I asked this same question last year when my younger child got in somewhere but my older child did not. A number of people responded that it has to be the older sibling who gets in first, but I don’t believe that’s correct. The principal at my younger child’s school confirmed that my older child will benefit from the sibling preference on this year’s application. Maybe it’s different at different schools, but the plain language of the rule indicates that it doesn’t matter which child wins the lottery, so to speak.

  • 136. mom  |  October 10, 2012 at 10:46 am

    The older child definitely goes into the sibling lottery.

  • 137. RJ  |  February 4, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    You all shouldn’t try to label your children at such a young age. It’s really sad.

  • 138. Sunny  |  April 15, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    CPSObsessed – any thought to adding a place within this blog where those of us with disabled children can talke about CPS? I feel this is lacking anywhere on the internet and could really use some input from fellow parents. I’m near the end of using CPS – need transition services, but still have at least a 6th year of high school left. It is really hard to figure out what is out there. Parents of disabled children are cpsobsessed too!

  • 139. richard crane  |  April 15, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    I would welcome the opportunity to compare special ed notes as a part of this blog.

  • 140. southloopmom  |  April 15, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    I think 2 separate categories for 504 and IEP plans would be even more helpful.

  • 141. cpsobsessed  |  April 15, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    Hi, for those with an interest in sped topics, can you email me at cpsobsessed.com about it? I have a message forum set up that could be used for sped posts ( I recognize a big need for that) but I need some help getting it set up!

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 142. local  |  April 15, 2013 at 11:06 pm

    I’m interested in sped topics.

    Could you created a link to the cpsobsessed forum up at the top of the cpsobsessed blog page, if possible? It would help me navigate to the forum.

    Perhaps a CPS SWD-related area could be organized on DX or domain. Like, autism, emotional disorder, LD, ADHD, sensory, physical disability, hearing impairment, visual impairment, etc. Also, early intervention, evaluation, IEP, 504, effective implementation, social/emotional, state-sponsored mediation, due process, transition, tuitioning out, etc. Not sure how deep you’d want to go.

    But, I don’t think there’s any one-stop-shop for all things SWD-related in CPS from the parent POV on the web. Perhaps your cpsobsessed blog/forum might have a space. (Who knew, back when you launched this blog…?!)

    As parents of young students move through CPS (or the private school system), it’s very likely that a goodly percentage of them will have to encounter the SWD world.

    Just my 2 cents, per usual.

  • 143. local  |  April 15, 2013 at 11:10 pm

    @ 138. Sunny | April 15, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    Re: transition. You might want to seek a consultation with Rod Estvan and his crew at Access Living in your search. But, CPS (and Ill.) transition is pretty lame. It’s a DIY proposition.

  • 144. Sunny  |  April 16, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    #143 Thanks. I will reach out to him. Anyone heard anything about the 4 Special Ed High schools: Raye Graham, Southside, Northside Learning Center, Jackie Vaughn? Tried to get CPS to consider this last year, but they insisted she go to her neighborhood school, which truly offers no services for transition. Now they are suggesting it, but I don’t even think they really know the programs themselves. I’m looking for transition to work, but don’t know what the target population of these schools is. Low average IQ with LDs and mental health issues? Would that be a match for these schools? Or are they for more serious cognitive or physical disabilities. I plan to tour but see that the CPS site lists attendance boundaries. IEP team seemed unaware of this. Any input on these schools or other even neighborhoold schools that have transition services is apprecaited.

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  • 149. rick  |  May 23, 2013 at 9:26 am

    In reply to Sunny, I have visited Vaughn’s and was very impressed. Most of the students are intellectually disabled, although some have autism. There is an academic curriculum as well as preparation for occupations. The atmosphere is upbeat and friendly. The principal is outstanding. Students from all over the City can go there, with the appropriate IEP. If you are getting the runaround, call OSES. If you can’t get the info you need, contact Dispute Resolutions.

  • 150. local  |  May 23, 2013 at 10:08 am

    @ 144. Sunny | April 16, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    I think the student’s needs drive the placement through the IEP. If the team is dismissing real transition issues/needs, then ask for help from OSS and/or Access Living. There’s also always state-sponsored mediation through ISBE if CPS agrees to it.

  • 151. Duck Soup  |  July 20, 2013 at 12:41 am

    I’m a teacher in CPS. I’m at a selective enrollment school. I juggle things that you don’t realize I juggle. Things that I cannot say that could get me fired if I said them, and things that you’d be shocked and want the news media to make the headlines out of. I have a family to support, and I can’t sacrifice my family for your kid, so I juggle. I juggle the unbelievable things I have to juggle, while doing everything possible to give your kid the best experiences I can (even at the expense of my own kids).

    I’ve yet to meet a teacher in C.P.S. not in these circumstances. Trust me, by-in-large the bad teachers have been fired due to C.P.S.’s past 4-5 years of attrition. y At this point they need to be asking the question, “Why do we need principals?” They don’t lead. They don’t improve teaching. They don’t help students. They don’t provide vision for the school. They do cost about 300,000 dollars per year when combined with their assistant principals. It’s an archaic patriarchal model that doesn’t get questioned for the same reason that we have two amazing universities in Chicago with stellar engineering departments and yet we can’t fix the roads to survive the winter.

    They point? Don’t ask the teachers for anything except how you can help. I wake up and go to sleep thinking about your kids, and I know them better than most people they will ever meet. Asking me to do extra work like provide you something besides what I’m doing already, that just makes me hate you.

  • 152. To help the next year's hopefuls  |  August 16, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    Hey, cpsobsessed, How about a new category….Last minute offers for SEES and Magnets….the last week of summer vacation….?

  • 153. KV  |  August 29, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    looking for any insight on Pritzger Regional Gifted…we got a last minute slot and have to make an fast decision to enter kindergarten….PLEASE any insight good or not so would help..

  • 154. cpsobsessed  |  August 29, 2013 at 9:02 pm

    I think there are some Pritzker comments in this thread (you can search the page.)
    For some reason I don’t think the school does tours that well (people seem to leave there uncertain) but here has certainly been positive feedback about the place on this blog from families who have kids in the RGC. I would weigh it versus your current placement. Also, your child may score well enough to get a 1st grade seat at Bell/Beaubien next year if they scored well enough for Pritzker.


  • 155. cpsdadof2  |  August 29, 2013 at 10:02 pm

    @153 KV, I toured Pritzker this spring and was quite impressed with the RGC kindergarten teacher (don’t remember her name) who showed us around. The classrooms are much nicer for the RGC kids comparing with the neighborhood kids classroom.

  • 156. Veteran  |  August 30, 2013 at 8:12 am

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    teachers go to sleep thinking about their students…out of six administrator I’ve had only one was worth the salary-and he left for a better position in another system….

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  • 165. cpswonderland  |  November 29, 2015 at 5:56 pm

    Hi cpsobsessed,

    I was wondering if you could share your opinion why SEES may be better than top magnet schools? My son is in a very good magnet school and my daughter is to be tested for SEES soon, so I wasn’t sure what’s the main advantage of sending child to gifted/classical school. It sure can not be just because of more homework load and, as a consequence, accelerated learning because parents could supplement children’s education at home.Is there something more, that I’m missing?

  • 166. Carlos Sadovi  |  February 27, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    Does anyone know if there is a uniform grading scale at CPS? If not, does anyone know if most of the grade schools, especially on the North Side go by a 10 point scale where. 90- 100 is an A? I know that Whitney Young recently switched to this scale and may have been the last but just curious if its the same for the K-8 grade schools. Thank!

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