Posts filed under ‘High school’

High School Applications and Open Houses Fall 2016


Open house dates for SEHS schools have been posted below.  I’m working on adding other high schools and links to the list.  Feel free to let me know of any updates and I can add them here.


 Jones College Prep High School (SEHS)
606 S. State St.
SAT October 15, 2016 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
(last group admitted at 3 p.m.)

Whitney M. Young Magnet High School (SEHS)
211 S. Laflin St.
SUN October 16, 2016 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Hancock College Prep High School (SEHS)
4034 W. 56th St.
SUN October 23, 2016 9 a.m. to 12 noon

King College Prep High School (SEHS)
4445 S. Drexel Blvd.
SAT October 29, 2016 9 a.m. to 12 noon

Lane Tech High School (SEHS)
2501 W. Addison St.
SUN October 30, 2016 12 noon to 3 p.m.

Payton College Prep High School (SEHS)
1034 N. Wells Ave.
SAT November 5, 2016 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Westinghouse College Prep High School (SEHS)
3223 W. Franklin Blvd.
SAT November 5, 2016 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Lindblom Math & Science Academy (SEHS)
6130 S. Wolcott St.
SAT November 5, 2016 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Northside College Prep High School (SEHS)
5501 N. Kedzie Ave.
SUN November 6, 2016 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Brooks College Prep High School (SEHS)
250 E. 111th St.
SAT November 12, 2016 12 noon to 3 p.m.

South Shore International High School (SEHS) Not yet scheduled
1955 E. 75th St.



IB information sessions
List of IB programs here:


Magnet High Schools (High Schools with Magnet Programs follow)

Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences
3857 W. 111th St.

Clark Academic Preparatory High School
5101 W. Harrison St.

Curie Metropolitan High School
4959 S. Archer Ave.

Disney II High School
3900 N. Lawndale Ave.

RTC Medical Prep
2245 W. Jackson Blvd.

Von Steuben Metropolitan Science Center
5039 N. Kimball Ave.
Saturday, Nov 5, 2016 8 am Scholars Presentation& tour 10 & 11 am Magnet Science presentation and tour


Magnet Programs

Engineering – Harlan Community Academy High School
9652 S. Michigan Ave.

Lincoln Park High School
(“Magnet” programs include Performing Arts, Double Honors) – these programs have their own applications on the school web site
OPEN HOUSE SUN Oct 23 2:00 pm.
Simultaneous presentations on the 3 Magnet Programs at 2:45, 3:30, 4:15 (Perf Arts, Double Honors, IB)



Chi Arts (Chicago High School for the Arts) – apply online at the school site starting Oct 1
2714 W Augusta Blvd
Open houses, must reserve a spot: backstage_pass/ . These workshops are encouraged but not required for audition. Oct 15, Nov 5, Dec 10

Fine and Performing Arts – Senn High School – apply via CPS as a Magnet school, then register via Senn for an audition
5900 N. Glenwood Ave.
Students can apply to BOTH IB and Fine Arts at Senn but will be accepted into oney ONE program

Lincoln Park performing arts program
2001 N. Orchard St.


Amundsen 5110 N Damen Ave Saturday, Nov 5, 2016 10am-1pm IB info session 10-11 am in the auditorium

Lake View 4015 N Ashland Ave  Saturday, Oct 29 2016 9am-12pm



September 18, 2016 at 2:16 pm 84 comments

Hidden Gems High School Fair Fall 2016

High school application is nigh.  I’ll be in the thick of it.   Wayyyy less stressed than I expected to be looking back 5 years or so.

Oct 3rd is the official start date of the high school application process.

In the spirit of the “cast a wide net” mantra of CPSObsessed here is info on the Chicago GPS Hidden Gems school fair.   Here you can meet staff from a wide range of Chicago high schools beyond the selective enrollments.

for Chicago School GPS’s  
“Hidden Gems” High School Fair

Sunday, September 25, 2016
1-4 p.m.

British School of Chicago, South Loop
161 W. 9th Street, Chicago


Admission is $25/family at the door. Receive $10 off via our online pre-registration discount. Pre-registration is not complete until payment is received.  
(Free vouchers are available for low-income families upon request via email).
We encourage you to bring your middle schooler so they can meet current high schoolers, learn essay writing tips & executive functioning strategies.

These are the public schools participating (as of 9/14) and there is also a range of private schools.   Link of schools here:

Intrinsic (charter)
Von Stueben
CICS (charter)
Disney II
Noble (charter)

A school fair is a great way to talk to a lot of schools in a short time.  It can be overwhelming, so if you attend with an 8th grader I’d suggest going in with a short list (ie public only, certain type of private, etc) rather than stopping at every single table.  ie, if you can’t afford the $26k/year tuition at the Chicago Academy of the Arts, keep your kid away from the table or they’ll get all excited about it from the brochure.

On the other hand, it’s encouraging to see the options that are out there.

If you’ve ever survived the extensive NPN elementary school fair, this’ll be a breeze.


Link to event is here:

Have fun and report back!

September 15, 2016 at 10:13 am 22 comments

SEHS Principal Discretion 2016

Breakfast Club

PD letters are due to be mailed this Friday, May 13.

As a reminder, each SEHS principal can allocate 5% of their seat based on their discretion, using whatever criteria they like.

A student can apply to only one school for PD.  These supporting documents are not required, but recommended as part of the application:

  • A personal statement, written by the applicant, no more than 1,000 words
  • Up to three letters of recommendation
  • Copies of recent awards, achievements and honors

Below is the number of Principal Discretion seats at each Selective Enrollment school:

Lane: 58
Young: 22
Jones: 18
Lindblom: 16
Northside: 14
Brooks: 12
Payton: 12
Westinghouse: 10
King: 9
Hancock: 5
South Shore: 3

We’ve had very few readers report that their child got in via PD. One who did said that she allowed the child to write the essay themselves.  Anecdotally, I believe some of the school seem to give priority to siblings.  WY is always rumored to prioritize kids good at sports.  Rumor also has it that it helps to have listed the school first on your list.  I don’t know if principals actually have access to this information (I doubt it) but it probably sounds good in an essay.

Please share any information you have about students who gotten a spot via PD.  Thanks and good luck!

May 9, 2016 at 7:21 pm 70 comments

SEHS Admission by Tier 2016

SEHS Acceptance Rates 2016I

I got this information a few years ago, but figured it was e for an update.  This shows the # of applications and acceptances to each school by Tier.   I still need to get the # of applicants by tier, so I estimated that for now using the # of applications and the average # of applications by tier from 2013.  (Tier 4 kids apply to fewer schools than other tiers do.)

This shows that overall, Tier 4 kids are more likely to get an SEHS spot than the other tiers are.

You can also see the acceptance rate by Tier for each school (although this is distorted since students can apply for up to 6 schools.)  So while the Tier 4 acceptance rate looks like 17%, some of the applications were likely only putting Lane as a 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or 5th choice.

Overall, ~ 1/3 of the kids who apply are offered a spot at one of their choices.



April 26, 2016 at 8:49 pm 202 comments

High School Letters 2016

SEHS Cutoffs 2016_17

As expected, many of the cutoffs for SEHS went up this year, compared to last year.  The exception being the traditionally top-scoring schools: Young, Payton, NSCP.  Payton has the highest cutoff scores this year, indicating that it’s been inching out NSCP.  Tier 4 students need a 890 to get into Payton.   Jones is up quite a bit.  FYI I noticed the sheet doesn’t indicate the # of students this year.

In any case, big thumbs up to OAE for posting these early Monday morning!


February 29, 2016 at 10:51 am 714 comments

High School Letters “Pre-Show” 2016

LVHS Music



I figure if the Oscars can have a pre-show, then the High School notification process can as well.  SEHS letters are 2 weeks away.

I am curious to see where people’s heads are at if you have an 8th grader applying to high school.  Is the stress level high?  What are the top choices?  Did you cast a wide net?  Is anyone embracing the neighborhood high school?  Anyone consider a charter?

I was fortunate enough to meet with HSObsessed this week who talked me off a moving-to-Evanston ledge by convincing me (just as I convince others) that there are plenty of good options in the city.  That we can fulfill our dream of raising city kids who get a good high school education.  I know this rationally, but the news about CPS budgets wears me down at times.

Feel free to share any pointers on dealing with lackadaisical pre-teens during 7th grade.






February 12, 2016 at 1:23 am 520 comments

Stress in SE High Schools

Stock photo students always have their head in their hands

Stock photo students always have their head in their hands

I read this article that someone posted on Facebook last week, that has stuck with me and has been causing me some angst.  It’s on the Lane Tech school web site, written by the editor-in-chief.   One of my initial thoughts was how well written this was (I have to admit I thought it was a newspaper article, didn’t realize it was on the school site until I went back to post it.)   I read this just a couple weeks after I read about a suicide cluster of HS students in Palo Alto that was pretty disturbing.  The Palo Alto link is here if you haven’t read it.  To summarize, (as you can probably guess) there is so much pressure on these kids from high achieving families to excel, succeed, do more – that they can’t take the stress.

Which makes me wonder if this title of this Lane Tech article is fully accurate.  Does the CPS Selective Enrollment machine create perfectionist students?  Or is that a societal influence right now among school with high expectations?

My angst comes from worry about whether my kid is cut out for a school like this and raises these questions:

Are the majority of kids in SEHS experiencing this level of stress?

Is there a way to have a kid in a competitive/rigorous school and avoid this level of stress? (The article does talk about resources at Lane to help kids deal with stress, and the editor also encourages de-stressing among fellow students.)

Or are students who are high-achievers going to feel this level of pressure no matter where they attend school due to the general pressure on this generation to achieve academic success?
Curious about your thoughts based on experience, feedback on students you know in school, (or conjecture if that’s all ya got.)

Excerpts from the Lane Tech article are below:

CPS Selective Enrollment Machine’ creates anxious, perfectionist students

“Countless times I have heard my friends talk about how it feels wrong on the days that they do not have work to do for school. They cannot go to sleep because they feel like they should be doing something.”

“Recently, I went home and was so overwhelmed by exhaustion that I went to bed. As I lay in bed, I could not go to sleep because of the revolving thoughts in my head.

You are not going to have enough time for homework. You still haven’t started on that project. When are you going to schedule that meeting for club? Did everyone pay for those sweaters that you got for club? Are you being a good leader? Is everything on track? People depend on you now.”

“Jack Cox, Lane’s social worker of 24 years, said that the reported levels of anxiety and stress has had a spike over the past five years.  “More and more anxiety,” Cox said. “I’ve had many many kids being formally diagnosed out in the community by psychologists. They’re being diagnosed with generalized anxiety or social anxiety. It’s very noticeable.” “

The author speculates that the pressure to achieve good test scores (ACT/SAT) puts pressure on both the teachers and the students at SEHS.  In addition, many students at an SEHS school are striving to be the best.  But of course not everyone can be “the best” which creates additional stress.

January 4, 2016 at 9:41 pm 192 comments

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  • No early SEHS test dates this year. Test dates are: December 17, January 21, January 28, February 4 (all after application period ends) 1 month ago

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